The San Pedro Sun

Ambergris Caye "may face water shortage" during the High Season
There is a high possibility that islanders "may face a water shortage" during the high season come Easter. That's the message communicated to the San Pedro Business Association (SPBA) by Dee Dillon, General Manager of Consolidated Water Belize Limited (CWBL) who is asking that a water conservation initiative be conducted. In his letter dated December 27, 2011 to SPBA, Dillon wrote, "[...] you can imagine my concern when I learned that we can only make enough water to barely cover demands." The demands are those currently being used by water consumers. With the expectation of an influx of tourists arriving at Easter, it is expected that consumption will go up, causing more demand for water on the island. "For at least the last four years this island has been walking the razor's edge and I don't want to be a Pollyanna (raise alarm) but when production = demand there is a serious water capacity problem by 50% -100%," explained Dillon.

Tropic Air announces New Non-Stop Service between Belize City and San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Tropic Air announced today that it will be inaugurating three times weekly non-stop Cessna Caravan service between Belize City International Airport and San Pedro Sula, Honduras, on March 12th, 2012. With the launching of this service and the opening of its new station there, Tropic Air will be the only airline to operate non-stop flights between the two countries. This service is a direct response to requests from its valued customers, and carries through on the airline's stated commitment to the people of Belize. It will not only serve to make travel between Belize and Honduras easier, but will allow for the expansion of trade and tourism between the two countries.

SPJC places fourth in ATLIB National Basketball Competition
The San Pedro Junior College (SPJC) basketball team travelled to San Ignacio to represent the Northern Region in 2012's Association of Tertiary Level Institution of Belize (ATLIB) basketball Nationals. The team, along with teachers and fans travelled on Friday, February 17th for games at the Falcon Field and on Saturday, February 18th at the end of the tournament, the boys came in fourth. There were eight teams that made it to the Nationals; four in the female category and four in the male category. Representing the northern region in the female category were St. Johns Junior College Junior College (SJCJC) and Wesley Junior College (WJC); while competing in the male category were San Pedro Junior College and Wesley Junior College. Representing the southern region in the female division were University of Belize (UB) and Ecumenical Junior College while competing in the male division were Galen University (GU) and University of Belize.

People's Referendum will be officially launched at ceremonies in Belize City
The plan of action of the Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage will be unveiled today as we are one week away from the actual Referendum Day on Wednesday 29th February, 2012. The Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage calls on Belizeans to give of their time and resources to ensure that The People's Referendum remains an initiative that is people driven. Operations bringing together the logistics of the first ever People's Referendum is being headquartered at Oceana's office at the corner of Regent and Dean Streets is Belize City. The Coalition which has embarked on this initiative to guarantee the voters of this country a voice on whether or not there should be oil exploration and drilling in our waters says that it is the people's power that will make the leaders and decision-makers take heed on the wishes of the people on this issue.

UB and SPJC sign MOU to provide tertiary level of education in San Pedro
On Friday, February 17th the University of Belize (UB) and the San Pedro Junior College (SPJC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the aim to meet the needs of Belize's development and tourism sector. The signing occurred in the Dean's office at SPJC. Signing the MOU were Mrs. Martha Guerrero, Chairlady for the SPJC and Dr. Gary Fraser, President of UB. The MOU was signed to ensure the delivery of UB's Bachelor of Science in Tourism Management Program at the SPJC.

Ambergris Today

UFC/MMA Trainer Rob Radford Shows Interest in San Pedro
He hangs amongst the top boxers and UFC fighters in the world, but in San Pedro he loves to hang with the boys at The Rum House. This is where Ambergris Today bumped into Rob Radford, a certified USA-ABF coach, cornerman, referee and trainer. Rob was chilling with Saul sipping on some fresh brewed coffee and having a good time in San Pedro. "This is where it's all at; nothing more, nothing less," commented Rob to Ambergris Today. He has fallen in love with San Pedro and one day plans to live on the island and even open a boxing training center for the youth, teenagers and adults. He is a very laid back and cool guy. We had the opportunity to chat for a while and sip some coffee at The Rum House, even sampled some tasty coffee, chocolate and cream rum! "I have not turned on my cell phone for 14 days since I came here; I'm loving it," Rob told us. He surely is taking in the island life and especially having a great time during the Carnaval celebrations. "I got painted by a couple of kids, it was fun."

Coca Cola Spelling Bee Zone 5 Elimination
The 18th Annual Coca Cola National Spelling Bee Zone Elimination took place at the San Pedro Lions Den on Tuesday, February 21, 2012. Participating schools included Holy Cross Anglican School, New Horizons Adventist School, San Pedro R.C. School, Isla Bonita Elementary School, Ambergris Caye Elementary School, Island Academy and Caye Caulker RC School. Judges for the event were Cindy Reinhart, Julie Babcock, Tamara Disselkoen and the pronouncer was Mrs. Joy Elliot. Scorers were Jules Nolan and Sarah Ebson, Timekeeper was Susan Ayers and Runners were Olivia Oldham, Lily Hayden and Renita Dellaca. Mr. Lucien Pollard was the representative present for Bowen & Bowen.

Carnaval 2012 Day 3: Dancing and Painting to the Max!
EL Gran Carnaval de San Pedro has come to end, for this year that is! Carnaval painters and dancers hit the streets of San Pedro early to enjoy the last day of Carnaval on Tuesday, February 22, 2012. The painting and dancing was at its max! Music and dancing by the comparsa groups livened up the streets of San Pedro and let us not forget the herd of Carnaval revelers running up and down the streets painting each other. Oh the fun of one of San Pedro's most loved tradition! The following is a short description of the comparsas that were out on the last day of Carnaval and lots of pictures to enjoy!


Belize Charity Organization updates
Over $3,000 raised at Saga Valentines Benefit hosted by Captain Morgans Casino 'Fur-ever Love' was flying through the air on Valentine's night at Captain's Casino! All the ladies were treated to a glass of champagne and a rose from our hosts, Karen Riley and Ernie Olmstead, the gracious owners and directors of Captain Morgan's Resort and the Captain's Casino. Saga Humane Society is very happy to report that just over $3,000BZ was raised from the event. Saga H.S. would like to send heartfelt Thanks to Karen and Ernie for extending Saga the stupendous generosity that made this benefit event possible, including all the items donated by the Resort for raffle prizes that made the night great fun for our guests! A big "Thank You" also goes out to the wonderful staff at the Resort and Casino that were simply stellar in their service and hospitality; they are outstanding! Saga HS would also like to thank Jose Luis and Perlita Zapata of Jose Luis Zapata Photography for capturing the evening's couples and the event; Ambergris Brewing Company, Premium Wines & Liquors, Wine De Vine, Bruce Pickering, and Coleen Creeden for their contributions and donations to the Raffle Prizes, and to Gecko Graphics, San Pedro Sun and Quicksilver for contributions to the event's marketing efforts, Thank You!

The Last Night of Carnaval in San Pedro: More Dancing and Even MORE Paint
I went into town for the first day of Carnival (Lots of Dancing and Lots of Paint) and decided to brave Day 3 - historically the craziest day of painting. Here is one of my favorite pictures from the festival. How often do you see a painted (because he lost a bet) Mennonite gentleman watching cross dressing dancers while his family sits in a sports bar? How vainglorious! Only in Belize. I saw a few comparsas groups dancing, singing and raising money for good causes. The first one for me was a small group from Ambergris Caye Elementary dancing to Michael Jackson's Thriller.

Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? The 2012 Bowen & Bowen National Spelling Bee
Am I smarter than a 5th grader? Hmmm...I wasn't sure when I left the 2012 Coca-Cola Local Spelling Bee. I had never even heard of some of these words. For example, gilgai. Origin: a native Australian language. Meaning: a natural watering hole. Gilgai. GILGAI? But let's back up a bit. Two winners from each primary school lined up nervously on the stage at the Lion's Den in San Pedro at 9am, Tuesday morning. The kids need to be full attending students from Standards 4, 5 or 6 (approximately ages: 10-13). The represented school were: Caye Caulker RC School, St. Peters, Isla Bonita Elementary, New Horizon, Ambergris Caye Elementary, San Pedro RC School, Holy Cross School and The Island Academy. The judges readied themselves with the extensive rules and the word lists. The time keeper had her rules, her score sheet, her timer and her bell. When the word was given, each child repeated the word to make sure she understood and had 15 seconds to try to spell it. You can try as many times as you can before the bell rings.

Snorkeling with Sharks, Sting Rays and Manatees in Belize
No trip to Belize is complete without a visit to at least one of its Northern Cayes in the Caribbean - either Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker (or both if you have enough time!). Being the second largest reef system in the world, it's no surprise that snorkeling and scuba diving the Belize Barrier Reef is the top attraction for visitors to the chilled out islands. The most popular snorkeling excursion in the Belize northern cayes is the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley. We were fortunate to have teamed up with Tsunami Adventures prior to our arrival to Caye Caulker. As you can see in the short video, our snorkeling trip was filled with marine wildlife and colourful soft coral reef. After an unsuccessful attempt at swimming with whale sharks in Placencia, we were pretty excited to have witnessed a pair of manatees swimming in their natural habitat.

EXTREME RESEARCH - An Author's Guide to finding the next book
In 2008 I went on a research trip to Belize. I'd long been aware that there were no novels about gap year volunteering for young people who might one day want to do it. Yet it was an important rite of passage which I knew from experience was capable of changing lives. When my son, Idris, returned from his gap year in Belize I didn't recognize him. Five months earlier I'd seen off a white-faced youth incapable of even locating his vaccinations certificate let alone surviving in the jungle. Now a great hulking man walked towards me, his whole way of inhabited his body totally changed. It was if he had arrived at last - and not only at Heathrow Airport. I'm an author, so I know a story when I see one. Did gap year volunteering make as much difference to other young people as it had done to Idris? And, if so, how? And how important were the projects these volunteers worked on? According to the press, gap years were the province of privileged young people working on cosmetic projects sandwiched together by beach-partying. But how true was that?

Channel 7

UDP Launch Their 2012 - 2017 Manifesto
Elections are two weeks away - and the UDP launched its manifesto today. Unlike the PUP, which departed from its own tradition and used its air-cooled headquarters for the launch - the UDP - as is the custom - had its launch at a big hotel conference room, "under ice." But just like Independence Hall, it was standing room only - as party supporters filled the venue. What they got was a manifesto that looked good but didn't promise too much. Party Leader Dean Barrow filled in the blanks well enough for them though - with a few special treats he kept in the bag - here's how his "big reveal" went:

UDP Proposals On High Interest Rates From Financial Institutions
And one issue that should factor into those elections is interest rates at the banks. Lending rates may be inching down, but saving rates are down even more - meaning - that the banks continue to profit nicely off the spread in those rates. Well, Barrow said his government is determined to do something about it - and it would be a manifesto promise, except he wants to make something happen before this term finishes. And that's why he's meeting with the bankers next week:

Police Shooting Victim Speaks
Last night we told you about Jorge Celis - the Orange Walk resident who is at the KHMH recovering after a policeman fired a gunshot - which left two lead fragments in his eye. The official story that police put out is that Sergeant Roberto Novelo - who was off duty - and armed with his licensed 9 millimeter pistol visited an Orange Walk bar and had an altercation with three men - including celis - who had been drinking. Police said that the men tried to take his weapon - which is when the gun accidentally went off - and Celis was injured with a bullet fragment. But while that is the official police story - Celis has a different account - and he gave it to Monica Bodden from his hospital bed this morning:

Robbers Got Away With $70K
Two days ago we told you about a brazen broad daylight jacking in the heart of downtown - on the swing bridge, actually. At 10:00 on Monday morning, Customs Broker and Office Assistant for Gonzalo Quinto and Sons, Eric Gordon, was attacked by a pair of robbers and stabbed. He was forced to let go of a yellow manila envelope which he was leaving the bank with. Today, police confirmed that the robbers stole the envelope with containing $70,000 dollars in Belizean currency. No one has been arrested...

Man Found Dead In The South
A farmer in southern Belize has been found dead. 41 year old Ignacio Ical, a famer of the Stann Creek district went missing on Wednesday of last week. His sister Maria Ical told police that her brother left home in search of Pacay Fruits in the nearby bushes and didn't return home. Police found his body in an area about 4 1/2 miles south-west of Alta Vista Village. It was in an advanced state of decomposition.

Remanded For Allegedly Molesting A 14 Year-Old
Today in Magistrate's Court, Alrick August, a 20 year-old employee of Ready Call Center, was remanded after he was arraigned for allegedly having sexual intercourse with a 14 year-old minor on two separate occasions. According to Police, the minor and her mother to the police station and reported that sometime between December 1 and 31, 2011, she accompanied August - who she knew well - to his Diego Street residence at his invitation. The minor said while at his house, he had sexual intercourse with her. She also said that sometime between the 1st and 31st of last month, it happened again. Police arrested and charged August with two counts of the same offense. August pleaded not guilty.

Human Rights Of Belize
The Human Rights Commission of Belize officially launched its new education outreach program today. The campaign is timed to coincide with the HRCB's celebration of 25 years of service to Belize as an NGO. Today two of its champions spoke to us about the universality of human rights: Simeon Sampson - Started Human Rights Movement in Belize "Human rights issues are with us every day of our lives, except that is it sensationalized by UNIBAM, the death penalty, and so on. But human rights involve the right to health, the right to education, the right to work, the right to legal representation by the impoverished defendant, the right to jury trial - all sorts of rights as to intertwine. they're indivisible, and they're with us at all times every day of our lives."

Oceana Calls For Nationwide Voting In People's Referendum
Another Organization on a mission is OCEANA. They are organizing for what they call a People's Referendum - which is now set for next week Wednesday - not Friday as had been originally announced. This afternoon Oceana launched its effort unveiling their plan of action by keeping it as an initiative that is people driven. Vice president of Oceania explained how, to 7news. Audrey Matura - Shepherd - Vice President, Oceana "What happened is that we had the official launching of our "The People's Referendum", which is the initiative of the Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage. What really we are doing there is to make people know that today, marking one week from now; we're going to have a national referendum, countrywide. That means next week Wednesday, on the 29 of February, we are calling people to come out to the polls. The polls will be opened from 6 in the morning until 8 in the evening. Every district will have their own polling area - more than one polling areas, and we'll be publicizing those in the Friday newspaper, And we want people to go out an vote; it's not to go out and sign, because some people think it's to go and sign. No, we're not collecting signatures anymore we want people to vote.

Missing Girl Found
Last night Lisa Bradley was pleading for her 15 year old daughter's safe return. Well, Lianie Baptist has since been found. She was seen in Belmopan today, and after contacting her parents, she was picked up from the bus station. She was in the same clothes she had left with on Saturday, and last we heard she was with her mother at the police station.

BTB Launches Fort Point Facelift Project
The 11.7 million US dollar sustainable tourism project is one of the most important tourism initiatives currently underway in Belize. The project is about enhancing key destinations to encourage longer visitor stays by the overnight tourists. It is targeting civil works for major tourism areas in San Ignacio, Placencia, Belize city and San Pedro. Work in san Ignacio is already underway in the downtown area, and Belize City's project component saw its groundbreaking today. As we found out, the project will re-fashion much of the north side of the downtown area. Here's how it will all come together:

UK Children's Advocate To Pass Through Belize and 10 Countries in Americas
Imagine travelling over four thousand miles through 11 countries - now imagine doing that on a quad bike. Mark Noonan, a resident of the UK, is making just such a journey through 11 Central and South American countries to raise funds for neglected and disadvantaged children. He will be making his second stop in his journey tomorrow at Liberty Foundation's Children home to spend time with the kids and volunteer. He will be staying for 1-2 weeks at the children's home before moving on to another country. All the proceeds of the journey will be split between the 11 charities that he will be visiting.

Channel 5

PM says Superbond is Jack Boot on throat of Belizeans
The super bond slid into the election campaign when the prime minister announced the date for early general elections. He said he was going back to the people for instructions to do something about the super bond. The result was a prompt downgrade to junk territory of Belize's credit ratings from agencies such as Standard ...

People's Referendum on Offshore Drilling begins
In the week ahead, volunteers from across the country will be manning telephones to get the pulse of voters on a referendum on offshore oil exploration. Voting is already underway by phone and next Wednesday, voters can register their views at numerous booths that are being placed strategically in the districts. At the launch of ...

U.D.P. Election Manifesto Promises
The referendum didn't figure into the United Democratic Party's manifesto launch this afternoon. The glossy red and white document is in two parts; the first section deals with the U.D.P.'s pledges for 2012 to 2017 and the second part lists its accomplishments in the last four years. With a room full of standard bearers and ...

On the Campaign Trail with Dr. Francis Smith
The Pickstock constituency is one of the smallest in the City. At the last election the P.U.P. stronghold went red in the tidal wave that swept across the country. But Doctor Francis Smith hopes to change that and return the division to the blue corner. He is a first time candidate who we feature tonight ...

U.D.P. Manifestos flip flop on 13th Senator
In its 2008 manifesto, United Democratic Party promised to increase the twelve member senate to thirteen members. The additional seat would include a representative from a non-governmental organization and Greg Ch'oc was selected by the NGOs. But when it took office in 2008, the U.D.P. did not enforce the appointment of the thirteenth senator. The ...

3rd component of Sustainable Tourism Project launched
With elections two weeks away, a number of projects are being unveiled. This afternoon, the third component of the Sustainable Tourism Project for Belize City was launched. It is called the Fort Point Pedestrian Walk and while it is not an actual pedestrian walk, the project contemplates the transformation of the Memorial Park Area. The ...

Fire Victim needs help
An apartment in the Yarborough area that was occupied by thirty-five year old Claudia Blanco and her children was destroyed by fire on the morning of January sixth. Blanco lost everything and her family has since been temporarily taken in by a friend on Dean Street. But the single mother doesn't want to overstay her ...

Bert Vasquez to stand trial for Forcible Abduction
Businessman Bert Vasquez has been in and of court since May 2011 when a sixteen year old minor alleged that he kidnapped, sexually assaulted and pistol whipped her. Well, today at the end of a preliminary inquiry, Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart committed Vasquez to stand trial at the Supreme Court for Forcible Abduction. The victim ...

Mother of alleged carnal knowledge attacker faints
Also in court, an arraignment for a sexual offense today landed a Belize City resident in prison and his mother in the hospital. Twenty year old Alrick August was charged with two counts of Carnal Knowledge following a report by a fourteen year old minor, who claims they had a sex in December 2010 and ...

Former B.E.L. C.E.O. responds to Editorial
Lynn Young; he's a prominent Belizean who was the head of Belize Electricity Limited before its nationalization. Young has dared to speak up on government's takeover of the utility company without paying compensation. Since returning from a business trip to Washington organized by Friends of Belize a few days ago, Young has found himself the ...

KTV Latino; caliente music
On the entertainment scene, the competition in KTV Latino is now in full swing. So get your Smart phones ready because it's time to start voting for your favorite Group B performers. The second round of live competition took place at the Bliss on Tuesday and it's already clear that's there will be a tight ...


At Tuesday's manifesto launch of the People's United Party, the party leader, Francis Fonseca also answered questions on other topics of concern. One of the subjects had to do with Oil exploration offshore and within protected areas. This was what Fonseca has to say on this issue. Francis Fonseca - Leader of the Opposition "We would have to follow the law in reaching the conclusion of the process and arriving at a referendum but certainly our objective would be to work with the Coalition. We believe it is critically important to hear from the Belizean people on this issue, it is an issue of national importance. We have stated our position very clearly for some time now that we are in support of the referendum; we believe we should hear from the people. We have also have said that as a party we are in support of a moratorium on offshore drilling, we believe that we need to find out a lot more about the risks involved with respect to offshore drilling before we make any determination as a government on that matter. But certainly we would be prepared right away after March 7 to sit with the Coalition and to determine how best we can get this referendum done." Fonseca also dealt with the matter of the super bond, saying that the reason why the super bond has become burdensome is because Belize's economy has become stagnant. Francis Fonseca - Leader of the Opposition "The reason has become a burden on the backs of the Government and a burden on the Belizean people is because of the fact that the economy has not grown under this UDP Government. For four years we have had a stagnant economy, in 2009 we had negative growth, in that context indeed the super bond becomes burdensome. Let's be very clear the super bond can be dealt with in the context of a growing economy, we are absolutely committed to growing the economy. We believe that a PUP government will restore investor confidence, create new jobs for people and in fact grow this Belizean economy and in that context the super bond will not be a problem for a future PUP government."

This weekend, the downtown area of Belize City will be filled with artists of all fields as they showcase their talents at the Second Annual Street Art Festival. The event takes place this coming Saturday and Theatre Director at the Bliss Centre for Performing Arts, Karen Vernon, told Love News what the public can expect from the event. Karen Vernon - Theatre Director "Albert Street and the Central Park, it starts at 2 p.m. and it goes until10 p.m. We have booths for artists, all different types of artists, we have people selling jewelry, we have embassies doing different displays, we have a tattoo artist, which is new and a makeup artist that is new, and they will be displaying what they do and doing live art out there as well. There will be entertainment on two stages, the first stage will be at the corner of Bishop Street and they will be entertaining from two until seven and then at six o'clock the Central Park stage opens and we have live music playing, dancing, acting, it will be a fun filled day." Vernon says that this type of event has a two-fold approach, to entertain the public and to give the artists a chance to earn their keep. Karen Vernon - Theatre Director "Apart from the exposure and people getting to know them and what they do, they have an opportunity to sell what they have so it is an opportunity for them to make money which in these times are very good. I would like to encourage you to take some time out from all the politics and come and have a day of fun with arts and culture at the street art festival this Saturday." The event runs from two in the afternoon until seven in the night in front of the Battlefield Park on Albert Street.

Christians worldwide mark the start of the 40 days of Lent today. Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, the season of preparation for the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday. Lent is a time when Christians examine their faith, and deepen the commitment to live the Christian life. During mass today the faithful will receive the ashes in the form of a cross on their forehead reminding them that from dust you came and to dust you will return. The distribution of ashes reminds Christians of their mortality and calls them to repentance. In the early Church, Ash Wednesday was the day on which those who had sinned, and who wished to be readmitted to the Church, would begin their public penance. The ashes that we receive are a reminder of our own sinfulness, and many Catholics leave them on their foreheads all day as a sign of humility.

Last week over sixty persons were recognized by the Mental Health Program of the Ministry of Health at an employee recognition luncheon for present and past employees of the program. They were recognized for their outstanding and dedicated service to the delivery of Mental Health care in Belize. Most of the recipients worked at Rockview Center which is now the Belmopan Halfway House for chronic mental challenged patients. Keynote speaker at the recognition luncheon was Matron Augustina Elijio of the Ministry of Health. The recognition ceremony was made possible through a donation of the Barney Isaacs Trust. Funds were provided from the trust to the Mental Health Program of Belize after Mr. Isaacs passed away. It also provided sufficient funds to do minor upgrades to the mental health clinics across the country including the construction of a utility room at Port Loyola Mental Health Center and outfitting of clothes for the homeless across the country.

Two men from the Cayo District have been charged with drug offences. Police say while they were crossing the wooden bridge in San Ignacio Town their attention was drawn to two men sitting on the bank of the Macal River. Police say they conducted a search on the men which led to the discovery of two point nine grams of suspected cannabis on 30-year-old Abner Swift and a transparent bag containing 61 grams of suspected cannabis on Joseph Hammerly. Swift has been charged with possession of controlled drugs while Hammerly was charged with drug trafficking.

On Monday we reported of a stabbing incident that occurred on the Swing Bridge in Belize City. Eric Gordon, an office assistant for Gonzalo Quinto and Sons was robbed in the incident. Police reports that Gordon was robbed of a manila envelope containing 70 thousand dollars. Investigations continue into the incident.

On Monday a caller to Love FM's morning show called in to say that there was problem at the school in Boom Creek Village. He said teachers were not going to school because of the bad road conditions. Today the principal of the school spoke with our correspondent Paul Mahung and explained the situation. Paul Mahung reporting� "The Living Word Primary School is located in Boom Creek Village partly located along the banks of the Moho River, some seven miles out of Punta Gorda. Principal of the School, Ruth Coleman contacted Love News to explain that contrary to information out, the school was and is not closed. Ruth Coleman - Principal "As principal of Living Word Primary School I want to clear the rumors that have been spreading around. Living Word Primary School situated in Boom Creek Village was never closed. We have a staff of five teachers, three of these teachers live in village and classes were going on. I tried many times to go to the school but I had to go back home because the truck could not pass or it got stuck in the mud.

20-year-old Alrick August, a customer care representative at Ready Call Center who resides on Diego Street was charged with two counts of unlawful carnal knowledge when he appeared in court today. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser explained to him that she will not take a plea because the offences are indictable. She also explained to him that the court cannot offer him bail because of the nature of the offences. She remanded him into custody until April 13. The first incident occurred between December 1 and December 31, 2011. The second incident occurred between January 1 and January 31, 2012. The complainant a girl 14 years and three months old reported to the police that on both occasions August had sex with her.

Many developments are taking place throughout the country of Belize, especially in the area of Tourism, which is one of the biggest money earning industries for the jewel. This morning yet another development plan came to a start as the Construction Launch and Ground Breaking ceremony of the Belize City Fort Point Pedestrian Walk, took place at the Memorial Park, a endeavor in collaboration with the Sustainable Tourism Program, Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture, the Belize Tourism Board and the Belize City Council. The project includes the rehabilitating the Memorial park and improve Park Street, Cork Street, Fort Street to the Tourist Village entrance and North Front Street to the foot of the Swing Bridge. Christy Mastre the Project Coordinator for Sustainable Tourism Program presented of the final design. Christy Maestre- Project Coordinator "The project itself is the rehabilitation of over two acres of the Memorial Park which we are standing in today, over an acre of hardscape and an acre of softscape, the renovation of the band stand which historically sits behind us today, a trellis walkway that will offer shading and access from the tourism gate all the way out to the waterfront which will now be a drop off for passengers at the end of the day for the bus lines as well as the taxi and tour operators, permanent and temporary vending stands, public restrooms, an amphitheater which will be created around the renovation of a new stage to accommodate over 200 plus seated and up to a thousand plus standing for events within the park, tour operator parking especially to accommodate the mini vans which surround us here so dedicated at the top of the park, the drop off zone ad turnaround at the head of the park, dedicated resident parking, one of the largest Belize flags which we will be replacing on the flag pole there, so we will be enlarging that as well. Basically those are some of the main ideas within the park, and then the streetscape improvements extend to over 10,000 linear feet of covered sidewalks that we will be improving, over 5,000 feet of cobblestone roadbed that will start at the foot of the Swing Bridge all the way up North Front Street surrounding North and South Park Street and the rest of Cork Street so that will be the infrastructure development or the fingers that extend into the city."

The UDP Manifesto, bearing the motto "Always for the People", serves as a booklet of accomplishments and a plan of action for the next five years. The party's chairman, Patrick Faber, presented the achievements during their four years in office after which the UDP's standard bearer for Corozal North, Hugo Patt, presented their plan for infrastructural projects ahead. These include a new boulevard and a bridge on Chetumal Street, sporting complex, an administration building and a bus terminal. Patt revealed that there was a plan to improve a portion of the Northern Highway and new hospital for two municipalities. Hugo Patt, UDP Standard Bearer, Czl North "We will also be rebuilding the Northern highway from Haulover Bridge to Boom Junction, a new drainage project from Belama Extension and Northern Highway and we will also be constructing new public hospitals in San Pedro and Punta Gorda." If they are re-elected, the UDP's yearly school assistance for students of $300 will be increased by $50. The party's Toledo East Standard Bearer, Eden Martinez, said that the additional $50 is uniform and book allowance. Additionally, polyclinics will be opened for 12 hours and for people who are still hoping to own a piece of land or are looking forward to free Voice over Internet, the party has promising news.

Last week Ignacio Ical of Alta Vista Village in the Stann Creek went hunting in an area called Canada Hills and did not return home. His family reported him missing and yesterday the family's worst fears where confirmed when his body was recovered. Love News spoke with a family member who gave us the details. Family member "Four of us brothers came together to look for him. It looked like he went in the area and someone was waiting for him. When my brother left he told my father that he would be back in three hours and so he did not take any flashlight or anything. It looks like they took away his machete and took him further into the hills, we found him under a tree. It looks like they hit him in the back of the head, it looks like a gunshot wound. He received a number of threats because he is a hunter." A post mortem examination has certified that Ical received nine chop wounds to the head.

A prime suspect in the murder of 21 year old Abel Robinson was caught today in Taylor's Alley, Belize City. 22 year old Gushani "Suga" Wagner was believed to have been on the run following strong rumors of the murder of Robinson over the weekend. He was captured by police sometime around 10 o'clock this morning. By 2 this afternoon he had been brought to the Orange Walk police station where he is being questioned about the incident. Abel Robinson was last seen around 9am on Friday when he left his home on Cristock Street in the company of Wagner. The family , fearing the worst , decided to organize a search party on Monday and it was shortly after noon when Robinson's older brother , Reynaldo Rivero, accompanied by other relatives and friends made the discovery. Robinson's body was found with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head and a laceration to the throat lying face up under a tree in some bushes off a remote Palmar road. The body was already decomposing and a burial had to be done on the spot following an autopsy on Tuesday. While the police have not released any information on the motive of this homicide, Love News understands that this incident is the result of a misunderstanding over and unlicensed firearm that was loaned to one of Robinson's friend and which was not returned to its owner. So far, no one has been charged with this murder.


Traffic Accident Claims The Life Of A Mennonite Man
A Mennonite man of the Ship Yard Community is tonight dead after he was involved in a traffic accident last night while heading back home. Reports are that around 8:30 last night, 38 year old Cornelio Elias of Camp 3 in the community of Ship Yard, was heading back home when he lost control of his brown Toyota Corolla car while traveling somewhere along camp one. As a result the vehicle overturned several times landing on its four wheels. Elias, we understand, was flung out of the vehicle and landed approximately 8 feet away from the vehicle. Elias sustained sever head and body injuries and died on the spot. The body of the 38 year old Cornelio Elias was transported to the Northern Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Gushanie Wagner Detained By Orange Walk Police
Yesterday the only thing that was known about the murder of 21 year old Abel Arturo Robinson is that police for looking for Gushanie Wagner aka Suga and Victor Anthony Luna aka Torrito who police believed would be able to assist in their investigations. Strong rumours were that Wagner was on the run and he was nowhere to be found in Orange Walk. But this morning around 10:00 the 22 year old was captured by police in Belize City somewhere around Taylors Alley. By the time Wagner was brought to Orange Walk Town it was highly rumoured that police had their main suspect in the murder of Robinson in custody. Reports are that on Friday morning Robinson left his home located on Crickstock Street in the company of Wagner and that was the last time his family saw him alive.

Students of Concepcion Presbyterian School Back in Class
On Monday the Concepcion Presbyterian School in the Corozal District heard the roar of concerned parents who were in protest of the school board's recommendation to demote Esther Mendez from her post as principal. As part of their protest, parents opted not to send their children to school. But late yesterday evening when we spoke to President of BNTU Corozal Rural Branch Mario Mesh, he told us that the children were back at school and that Principal Mendez had not been demoted from her post, at least for the time being. As mentioned on Monday, the schools Board of Directors headed by Ismael Vallejo, issued a letter to the Ministry of Education requesting that Mendez be demoted by the 31st of January on the grounds of insubordination, orchestrating the ousting of the board, lack of proper financial management, promoting division among staff members and obstructing the work of the board.

BNTU Disagrees With Governments Proposal For Salary Increase
This afternoon the Belize National Teachers Union Orange Walk Branch, held a meeting with its members at the Gala Lounge where the main topic of discussion was the Collective Bargaining Agreement which includes a salary increase. For the past four years B.N.T.U has been negotiating a teacher's salary increase with the present Government but has been unable to come to an agreement due to a number of reasons. The last time teachers received a salary increment was back in 2007 under the People's United Party. Today when we spoke to President of BNTU Orange Walk Branch, Otilio Munoz, he told us that BNTU has reached the end of the road and there will be no more negotiations. According to Munoz a recent proposal was made to BNTU by the Government of Belize but teacher's country wide are not in support of the proposal.

PUP Corozal Town Council Slate Launches Manifesto
And while the PUP launched their National Manifesto yesterday, on Monday February 20th, the Corozal PUP Town Council slate launched their Manifesto for 2012 to 2015 entitled "PUP Delivers: New Life for Corozal". The manifesto entails various important factors that contribute to the positive development of Corozal Town. One of those major factors has to do with financing, which undoubtedly is needed to ultimately run the affairs of the town. Like many councils across the country, the finances and operations of Corozal Town Council have not been managed in an open, transparent and accountable manner. To solve that issue, the PUP Corozal Slate will among other things practice openness, inclusiveness and accountability by ensuring that the Council's financial records are publicly available. In that same arena, the PUP Corozal Slate will ensure the efficient and effective collection and use of taxes by implementing an effective collection system that will oversee the proper administration and efficient collection of both current and back taxes.

PUP Orange Walk Town Council Candidates Meet With Residents Of The Louisiana Area
With fourteen days before the Municipal and General Elections the PUP Town Council Candidates in the Orange Walk division are hard at work ensuring that the message of change reaches all registered voters of the community. That message is being spread through neighborhood meetings held in various areas across town. Last night the PUP 7 Team, headed by Mayoral Candidate Kevin Bernard, met with residents of Liberty Avenue and surrounding areas. For Bernard and the rest of the candidates it was an opportune moment to discuss the PUP Town Council Manifesto and at the same time make it clear that the PUP 7 team is ready to work hand in hand with the people.

Ash Wednesday Marks The Beginning Of The Lenten Season
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten Season. It is a season of Penance, reflection and fasting which prepares Christians for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which redemption is attained. For those who might not be aware of the Catholic Church's practice on this holy day we took the opportunity to bring light to the matter. Father Amelio Chi- La Inmaculada Catholic Church "The ashes is sign of repentance, for example there is the story of Jonah going to the Nenevites, they were sinful city and Jonah was asked by God to go and preach the word to go and convert or else they would change everybody, the king declare a day of fasting, of penance and part of that conversion is to where Zack law and ashes so they repented and we continue with that and again it is visible reminder that unless we do not repent we will die out of grace and so that's why we have the ashes remembering that you are from dust and to dust you will return. The message would be no other than the gospel, open yourself to God, God loves you and let him work and work with God."

PUP National Manifesto In Honor of Honorable George Cadle Price
Deliverance For Belize, that's the title of the Peoples United Party Manifesto 2012/2016 launched yesterday in Belize City at the party's headquarters. The six page contract with the people of Belize is dedicated to the memory of the P.U.P's founder and Father of the Nation the Right Honorable George Cadle Price. Honorable Francis Fonseca- Leader of the Opposition "This manifesto represents the framework for our PUP plan to deliver Belize from social and economic crisis; it reflects our party's vision for and commitment to a Belize with a growing economy, new and innovative job opportunities lower cost of living, social stability and an ever improving quality of life. It is fitting that we dedicate this manifest to the memory and legacy of the Rt. Honorable George Price. Our great leader and father of the nation reflect our reaffirmation as a party to the philosophy and principles of George Price and our deep and unwavering commitment to serve our Belizean people."


Memorial Park to be rehabilitated in Tourism
Many developments are taking place throughout the country of Belize, especially in the area of Tourism, which is one of the biggest money earning industries for the jewel. This morning yet another development plan came to a start as the Construction Launch and Ground Breaking ceremony of the Belize City Fort Point Pedestrian Walk, took place at the Memorial Park, a endeavor in collaboration with the Sustainable Tourism Program, Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture, the Belize Tourism Board and the Belize City Council. The project includes the rehabilitating the Memorial park and improve Park Street, Cork Street, Fort Street to the Tourist Village entrance and North Front Street to the foot of the Swing bridge. Christy Mastry the Project Coordinator for Sustainable Tourism Program presented of the final design.

El Gran Carnaval comes to San Pedro
It's the start of the Lenten season; but for residents of San Pedro it also means that it is time for El Gran Carnival. Love TV's Maria Novelo reports.

UDP launches its manifesto
The United Democratic Party is seeking a second consecutive term in office and today the red machine put forward its plans for the nation should the electorate give them the nod on March seventh. Love TV's Marion Ali and video journalist Myles Gillett attended the manifesto launch this afternoon and bring you the following report from the Biltmore.

School principal clarifies talk show caller concerns
On Monday of this week a caller to the Love FM Morning Show complained of a problem at the school in Boom Creek Village in the Toledo district. The caller reported that teachers were not going to school because of the bad road conditions. Today the principal of the school spoke with our Toledo correspondent Paul Mahung and explained the situation.


Ground Breaking Ceremony for Point Pedestrian Walk Project
And in Belize City, groundbreaking ceremonies were held this morning for the Belize City Point Pedestrian Walk Proj...

PUP manifesto promises youth projects and tourism development
Yesterday, the People's United Party released its manifesto as well. We looked at some of the pledges included in t...

BTNU Orange Walk branch holds meeting
The National Teacher's union has been negotiating with Government to get time off on the last Friday of every month...

Credit Union embarks on rural financing program
The Belize Rural Finance Programme was launched to improve the quality of life of the poor in Belize. It aims to th...

Mexican Embassy presents "Punto y Croma" art exhibition
The Mexican Embassy launched a painting exhibition entitled "Punto y Croma" by nine Mexican artists at the George P...

Boat transporting students overturn
Every morning, school kids from Placencia make their way across the Placencia lagoon by boat to Mango Creek where they attend high school. Yesterday morning, while the vessel was heading to Malacate, it overturned, allegedly because the vessel was overcrowded. While no one was harmed in that incident, which could have proven fatal, many parents are raising concerns over the situation as the students lost their books and other school supplies were damaged and destroyed. We understand that the school had been demanding additional and able boats from the Ministry of Education for some time now, but has not received a favourable response. We called the police in Mango Creek for further information but we were told they have no information on the incident.

Rhett Fuller denied bail
40 year old Rhett Fuller was denied bail yesterday at the Supreme Court. Fuller has been fighting deportation to th...

Man stabbed, robbed of $70,000
We have reported on the stabbing incident that happened on the swing bridge on Monday morning. Police have just rel...

Parents protest endorsement to dismiss principal
Concepcion Presbyterian School in the Corozal District was recently placed under the management of the Ministry of ...

Mental Health Program hosts Employee Recognition Luncheon
The Mental Health Program of the Ministry of Health hosted an Employee Recognition Luncheon for present and past em...

International Sources

Local doctors oppose medical tourism plans for Belize
There is growing controversy over the potential development of medical tourism in Belize. The policies are currently being drafted and could open up the market to new medical facilities that may offer health care exclusively to foreigners. The problem is that the government is working with investors, but refusing to include local medical professionals in any debate or discussion. Medical tourism could hurt the pockets of local doctors, as it seems that American medical professionals will provide exclusive health services that are already being offered by locals. In a radio interview, Joel Cervantes, president of the Belize Medical and Dental Association said that removal of medical tourism services offered by local doctors could seriously affect the viability of well-established institutions," What is very important to realize is that medical tourism, at this point for Belize, poses a threat as there are a lot of interest both inside Belize-powerful businessmen, very politically aligned-and also foreign interests with a lot of money and they are interested in opening up medical tourism. In fact, there are a lot of advanced plans; we know that there is a place in the Free Zone; we know that there are plans for something to go on in San Pedro, and also down in Placencia. The only problem, in our view is that medical tourism should first and foremost be a national industry whereby we, as Belizeans, local doctors, dentists, nurses and all health allied personnel, should be the ones that are leading. But we have been left out of the picture." Most available medical procedures are cheaper in Belize than in the USA, but many residents head north into Mexico for treatment, where costs are lower, facilities are better and more procedures are available. Facilities, equipment and doctors in Belize are in extremely short supply, so the range of available treatments is limited.

Wildwood locals premier documentary at Stockton
Frank Weiss, of Wildwood Crest and student at Stockton College, arrived in Belize last year with a camera and a mission to show how the modern world impacts the local tribes. In less than a week, he left with more than 1,000 gigabytes of video footage. Weiss will debut the final product, "The Road is Coming," at the Noyes Museum of Art of Stockton College, 733 Lake Road in Oceanville in Atlantic County at 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23. The junior visual communications major said he got the inspiration for the project from a Wildwood Catholic High School classmate, Grace Boswell, who went to Belize with the Peace Corps. Boswell worked with the Ketchi Maya people in Laguna Village for more than two years, 2009 through 2011, as an elementary education teacher trainer. After obtaining a grant and getting sponsorship from the Noyes Museum, Weiss said he researched the country and the local tribes and planned to shoot his footage in five days. Ultimately, he said, he decided that the majority of the film should be shot in the Laguna Village of about 340 Kekchi Maya people. "It was a mix of dirt roads and cell towers," Weiss said of the local people's struggle to preserve their history as the modern world encroaches. He said that the film take viewers on a journey through the jungles and inside the thatched-roof homes to reveal the lifestyle, food, work, and leisure of the local people. "Belize is developing," Weiss said. "But the film talks about sustainability and doing it the right way." Weiss said that he learned that the younger people in the village don't want to become farmers like their parents and grandparents. Instead, they want to move out of the area and pursue jobs in tourism. Weiss, a self-proclaimed visual adventurer, said he didn't think twice about doing whatever it took to "get the shot." He said he would wade into rivers to take photos of natives washing dishes and attract a crowd of children and curious adults whenever he was filming.

Last edited by Marty; 11/17/12 10:54 AM.