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(L-R): Minchev, van Noord, Hon. Elrington, Hon. Dr. Passy & Lightburn. Minchev and Passy were part of a group of Bulgarian officials and business people that stayed at Portofino Beach Resort.

Foreign Affairs Minister and Attorney General of Belize, Mr. Wilfred Erlington met with the Bulgarian Foreign Minister, Hon. Dr. Solomon Passy where they discussed several topics of interest to benefit both countries, especially strengthening ties to benefit both tourism industries. During the meeting, the ministers discussed the bilateral cooperation with a strong emphasis on enlarging the tourism sector in both countries. Minister Passy mentioned the possibility of Bulgaria making investments in the Tourism Industry in Belize since Bulgaria is a highly tourist country.

The Ministers discussed the possibilities for Bulgarian investments in renewable energy sources and the chance to increase the diplomatic emphasis on the relations between the two countries. This was the first meeting at a high level between Belize and Bulgaria in almost 20 years of History of Diplomatic Relations between the two countries.

Also present at the meeting were Maxim Minchev, Director General for the Bulgarian News Agency, Kiril Asenov, Business man from Bulgaria, Clinton "Pulu" Lightburn, public figure in Belize and Sjoerd Jan van Noord, Portofino Beach Resort in Belize.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the Ambergris Today

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The San Pedro Sun

Man injured after boat crashes into Pier
An islander was injured after the vessel he was captaining crashed into a pier. The incident occurred on the night of Saturday, March 17th. The injured person is 24-year-old Cesar Daniel Acosta, a resident of San Pedro Town. The accident took place in an area 1 � miles north of San Pedro Town sometime around 8PM on the given date. According to the Belize Port Authority Acosta was the only person on board the vessel namely MV Cristy when he crashed into a pier in the vicinity between Palapa Bar and Boca Del Rio along the eastern coast of San Pedro. According to the Authority's preliminary report, it indicates that "Captain Acosta may have been operating the vessel under the influence and this may have been the cause for the incident." For that reason the Belize Port Authority is reminding all mariners of the importance of "Safety of Life at Sea" and a zero tolerance for "Boating under the influence in Belize."

Bulgarian diplomat meets with officials in Belize
With the intention to strengthen the ties between Belize and Bulgaria, a special meeting was held last week Monday, March 19th with Bulgarian diplomat Dr. Solomon Passy and Belize's Foreign Minister and Attorney General Wilfred Elrington. Other attendees at the meeting were Maxim Minchev, Director General for the Bulgarian News Agency, Kiril Asenov, Bulgarian Businessman, Clinton "Pulu" Lightburn, Belizean public figure and Sjoerd Jan van Noord of Portofino Beach Resort. This was the first meeting at such a level between Belize and Bulgaria in the nearly 20-year history of diplomatic relations between the two countries. According to Dr. Passy, there were a number of different issues discussed, including "bilateral cooperation, with a very strong emphasis on the exchange of Tourism between both countries�[we] see a huge opportunity in increasing tourism in both directions�[we] have to stress on this most obvious avenue�" Investment in the Belize tourism industry by Bulgarian stakeholders, with the provision of their know-how was also discussed. Bulgaria is very much a tourism oriented country, with a population of around 7.5 million, and approximately 10 million tourists visiting the country annually. Other possibilities include investments in renewable energy sources. "We also discussed some multilateral formats like cooperation with the European Union and with the NATO organization for security and cooperation in Europe," said Dr. Passy.

American students and doctors volunteering in San Pedro
A group of students and doctors were on Ambergris Caye last week conducting volunteer works and medical clinics. The group, from Dallas, Texas in the USA, was at the New Horizon 7th Day Adventist School where they conducted ear clinics and helped in the renovation of a classroom building. The volunteers visited San Pedro through the coordination of the Arlington 7th Day Adventist Church and Ear Care International. The group assessed the students and members of the public and provided them with free medical checkups. Those that required further medical attention were then referred to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Poly-Clinic II while others received free vitamins. Other students worked in the renovation of the classroom. The group reinforced the walls of one of the wooden structures and gave it a facelift. Students at the school were also engaged in bible classes where they sang and listened to stories and did arts and crafts. The volunteers are mostly high school students, doctors and teachers who took time out from their Spring break to conduct work in various parts of the world. It is the group's second time to Belize, having been here previously in 2010. Back in Dallas, the students raised funds by selling food to purchase all materials that were used to renovate the classroom.

Ambergris Today

Strengthening Ties with Bulgaria to Benefit Tourism Industry
Foreign Affairs Minister and Attorney General of Belize, Mr. Wilfred Erlington met with the Bulgarian Foreign Minister, Hon. Dr. Solomon Passy where they discussed several topics of interest to benefit both countries, especially strengthening ties to benefit both tourism industries. During the meeting, the ministers discussed the bilateral cooperation with a strong emphasis on enlarging the tourism sector in both countries. Minister Passy mentioned the possibility of Bulgaria making investments in the Tourism Industry in Belize since Bulgaria is a highly tourist country. "We discussed some multilateral formats like cooperation with the European Union, with Nato organization for security and cooperation in Europe," stated Minister Passy in a release. "I was very pleased to invite Minister Erlington to visit Bulgaria and hopefully to bring a delegation of representatives of the Tourist Board there. And to have to say to have a follow up over what we discussed."

Swim Challenge Postponed to Reef Week Activities
The Committee of Healthy Reef, Healthy People Swim Challenge would like to inform the public that the swim challenge, scheduled to commence today, March 23, 2012, was postponed due to unfavorable weather conditions. Gerry Badillo and Eric Donis informed Ambergris Today that this decision will give many people the chance to help, assist and the opportunity to join them on the challenge on the official day. They also stated that a meeting was held with the Hol Chan Marine Reserve committee and the brilliant idea arose for the Swim Challenge to be proudly added to their calendar of events for Reef Week (Reef Week dates will be announced later in April).

Misc Belizean Sources

Fiber Optic lines in Belize
The Government of Belize is committed to improve the standard of living of the people of Belize. To this end tourism development has been earmarked as one of the most promising avenues of growth thus increasing the demand for safe, fast and reliable telecommunication services. As always the relevant issue is how to steer growth in a sustainable direction so that it will provide sustainability for all stakeholders, local, national and international stakeholders. The object of the project is to ensure social, economical and environmental sustainability and equilibrium, which are the three keys to a successful project. The Belize Telemedia Limited (btl) has embarked on a nationwide venture that will upgrade and improve a hundred fold the service of telecommunications not only to the mainland sector of Belize, but also to the island of San Pedro [See Fig 1.0]. The project entails the installation of a Submarine Fiber Optic Cable (SFOC) from mainland Belize to Ambergris Caye, where it will be incorporated into the network that presently exists on the island [See Fig. 1.0]. This upgrade, by virtue of Fiber Optic Cable (FOC), which is a state of the art tool in telecommunications, will allow for quicker service time and allow easier access and download times on the internet, which in the case of San Pedro, is essential due to its importance to the tourism industry of Belize. The FOC will run from Maskall to Bomba and from Bomba to the coastline, overhead on the existing Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) poles [See Fig 1.1]. The FOC will then proceed underground and via a SFOC to the island of San Pedro [See Fig 1.2] and [Plate 1.0]. Once the SFOC reaches the island, it will be incorporated into the grid via manholes that have already been installed throughout the town [See Fig 1.5]. It must be noted that this project will be implemented during the dry season, thus decreasing and\or minimizing the impacts onto the environment, both land and marine.

Women in Art Fair is today in Benque
The Benque House of Culture is having their Women in Art Fair tomorrow. You'll find it in Centennial Park, from 2:00pm until 9:00pm. Great art, great talent, and great food. The link goes to the Women in Art Launch Ceremony pictures that the Benque HoC just uploaded.

PHOTOS: ATLIB Football Regionals at Broaster Stadium pictures
The University of Belize uploaded some good shots of last Saturday's games here in Cayo, at Broaster Stadium. "On Saturday, March 17, UB Black Jaguars made their way to San Ignacio to play in the ATLIB Football Regionals tournament. In their first game Male Black Jaguars defeated Ecumenical Junior College 2-0. Coming to the end of the day UB Black Jaguars faced Sacred Heart Junior College and won 2-1, qualifying to the ATLIB Nationals. Female Black Jaguars were not able to qualify for the Nationals. The Nationals will be held on March 31, at Independence Junior College."

Channel 7

Tonight the fragile gang truce continues to hang in the balance and relations between the police and the Taylor's Alley Gang remain tense. That's after a joint operation between the GSU and other police units zeroed in on Taylor's Alley on Wednesday night. Six men in the alley claim they were beaten, injured and humiliated. Today, Junior Minister with responsibility for the gang truce and CYDP, Mark King, visited Taylor's Alley to speak with residents. A statement from King says that quote, "the visit was eye-opening and he was touched by the account of events." His statement quotes him as saying that, quote "human rights must be maintained and citizens�must be treated with respect." When we tried to reach King for a comment on camera, he told us he would be busy in meetings this afternoon. But his statement is important if only because it reaches out to the residents of Taylor's Alley - in the hopes of propping up the truce - which is we said is more fragile than ever.

And so, the GSU is in the crosshairs - in ten days we should know whether the actions of its officers on Taylor's Alley on Wednesday night were excessive. For the GSU - which has endured many, many complaints since its formation just over a year ago - this one is different because it is an official investigation. But, in that year, the unit has also made a record number of interdictions, and gun and drug seizures, while giving the police department a no-nonsense, rough and ready Unit. And part of the unit's policing strength comes from its tight internal discipline and forward planning - which is built up in regular briefing sessions where they discuss latest intelligence, operations and targets. 7news has obtained a clandestine audio recording of one of these briefing sessions, which happened in the latter part of August of 2011. It gives a valuable insight into the tactics and hard-charging nature of the unit. We'll share a brief portion of that recording with you tonight.

Turning now to politics, yesterday we told you about the PUP's election petition filed for Yolanda Schackron. That seeks to up-end the result of the election in Lake Independence - and force a new election with Schakron as a candidate. There's plenty of time ahead to see where that goes, but there's only a week left to file election petitions. And word to 7news today was that the UDP are looking at the possibility of filing its own election petition. 7news has confirmed that the UDP's lawyers are taking statements and examining evidence for a possible election petition against no less than the leader of the opposition, Francis Fonseca! Fonseca won by 150 votes - but it seems the UDP feels there was something amiss - other than the result. The party's legal advisor Michael Young told us he had no comment.

The May 18, 2009 grenade explosion was a terrible day for Belize; it marked the transition from gang warfare to urban terrorism. Today, the 2 brothers accused of throwing that grenade and causing the death of one, and the injury to eleven others - walked out free from the Supreme Court. They are 19 year-old Akeem "Baby" Smith and his brother Kareem, also known as "Flash". Their trial for murder started this week, where Crown Counsel Trenia Young called a total of 8 witnesses to prove her case against the men. All of the witnesses testified under oath this week and told very different stories from the ones they gave police in written statements in 2008. None of the witnesses provided the prosecutor with any identification evidence that she could use against the two accused.

45 year-old Henry Humes, a stevedore from George Street was arraigned for obtaining property by deception when he appeared in Magistrate's Court today. It is alleged that he stole Lisbet Castillo's $5,000 vehicle - but it was you standard car-theft - his was a sly and crafty maneuver. On Wednesday, Castillo, a 53 year old employee of the Income Tax Department, made arrangements via telephone with a man for her white Chevy Metro vehicle to be transported from her workplace to the mechanic shop. She said that the man told her that he would send someone to come pick it up, so when Humes showed up at work pretending to be the person sent to pick up the vehicle, she didn't question it and handed over the keys. When she checked back with the man who she made the arrangements, he told her that he never did send anyone, and that he didn't know who picked up the vehicle.

Last week we told you about Edwin "Dubsta" Moody who was shot on Racecourse Street on Wednesday, March 14. Tonight we can report that his alleged shooter, 22 year-old Rene Chavarria, was arraigned in Magistrate's Court this evening. Chavarria, a laborer of a La Milpa address, in Ladyville, and who has recently been staying at a house on West Canal, was arraigned on the charges of attempted murder, dangerous harm, and use of deadly means of harm. Due to the nature of the offense, no plea was taken and Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer remanded Chavarria in to custody until April 23, his next court date. As we reported, Moody was riding his bicycle on Racecourse Street, and when he got near to the Sunnyside bakery in Belize City, a gunman shot him in the lower abdomen.

Eleven year old Katarina Ishim from San Pablo Village in the Stann Creek District is at the KHMH Intensive Care Unit tonight awaiting highly specialized, lifesaving surgery. The child has a massive and aggressive tumor growing on her face - and surgery needs to be performed to remove it immediately. It's an awful burden for her family - and today we spoke to her grandfather, Juan Ishim. We warn you - that if you're squeamish - the sight of the monstrous tumor is frightening! That said, her story must be told. Here's what Monica Bodden found out today:.. Juan Ishim, Grandfather "I have a grandchild at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital by the name of Katarina Ishim. She has a tumor with cancer to her face and to her nose and it started in October 2010. It started as a mosquito bite on the nose and then from there getting bigger from the size of a marble to the size of an egg. I took her in December to Dangriga Hospital where a Doctor Pott did a surgery to remove it. It was okay after that."

On Sunday, the Prime Minister will once again accompany his wife to Miami where she will be receiving medical treatment. Kim Simplis Barrow announced in November that she is battling stage 3 cancer, and since then she has continually been receiving treatment for it. On Monday she told us that she's getting ready for her surgery and after that she still has to endure radiation for 6 weeks. The Prime Minister will be with her in Miami for a week, returning Sunday April 1st, 2012. Deputy Prime Minister, Gaspar Vega will be acting as Prime Minister until the PM returns.

Yesterday in Punta Gorda Town, the municipal development project was launched. This project will target the refurbishment of the administrative offices of the Punta Gorda town council, improved traffic management, improvement of revenue as well as increased employment rates. Now, it is a government project, but a newly elected PUP council will benefit. At the launching yesterday morning, PUP Mayor Anthony Fuentes explained the goals of the project. Anthony Fuentes, PG Mayor "The Belize Municipal Development Project is both important and significant to us here in Punta Gorda Town as it will improve the administrative building, thus improving and enhancing the working conditions and services offered to the citizens of Punta Gorda Town."

Facebook - by now we've all heard of it - and whether you have a Facebook page or not - you definitely know a few people who do. Indeed, the social network is re-mapping the way we interact, communicate, connect and socialize. But more than that, it's also causing quite a few to become addicted, lost inside the portal, disappearing down the electronic rabbit hole. Our intern Robin Schaffer knows about that all too well. She freely confesses that she's a recovering Facebook addict, and to study the phenomenon, she got some of her peers from sixth Form to talk about their Facebook habit. More than that, she polled 117 students about their Facebook routine to form a rounded, slightly disturbing profile of fb and the modern teenager. It's Robin's first feature for 7news and it's a good one - here's what she found out:..

Today the National Met Service of Belize joined in with the rest of the world in celebrating World Metrological Day. World Metrological Day is celebrated annually on the 23 of March, and today students were invited to the Met Center for an open day to tour their facilities. The chief Met Officer told us more: Dennis Gonguez, Chief Met Officer "We had planned an open day fair at the National Metrological Service that schools can come in anytime during the course of today to tour our facilities." "I'd like to talk a little bit more on the theme. The weather affects everything in our daily lives as you know. We all depend on weather forecasts to plan our daily activities from the way we dress to outdoor activities to even multi-million dollar investments depend of the weather." "Through the years National Metrological Services forecast has improved to the extent that we are now putting out seasonal predictions. We can now predict what will happen in the next 3-4 months. Our local weather service has that capability at this time."

On Monday we told you about the Garifuna Collective - hitting the stage in Costa Rica - at the International Festival of Arts. It was their first time travelling as a group and performing in a Latin Country, and as always, they put on a spectacular performance in front of 20 thousand people. Today the group arrived back home and 7news was at the PGIA to greet them and to find out just how the festival went. Joshua Arana "We were in the capital of Costa Rica. We played for one of the largest festivals in our region and it was fortunate that for the first time we had the opportunity to perform in Latin America." Monica Bodden "How was the experience over that side?"

Channel 5

Investigation into police beating of Taylor's Alley Crew
There is a foreboding sense of apprehension going into the weekend in the Taylor's Alley neighborhood where security forces clashed with residents on Wednesday night. An investigation is being launched into the allegations that the Gang Suppression Unity and the Dragon Unit harassed and brutalized members of the Taylor Alley Gang. The incident is threatening ...

Police investigate Rape and Stabbing of Yacht Tourists
On Monday we reported on the vicious attack on a group of American tourists who were spending the night off the coast of the Pelican Cayes near southern Belize. During the incident a sixty-one year old woman was sexually assaulted by one of four men. Two of her colleagues were also stabbed and relieved of ...

Stakeholders meet in Placencia to counter crime
There has been increasing violence in the Placencia peninsula where the beaches are among the most pristine and the area has become a hot diving destination. What was once a small sleepy village has boomed into a major adventure getaway. But the crime wave is threatening the security of residents and visitors and can potentially ...

News website temporarily down
Tons of e-mails and messages are being received at this station in respect of our website. For the past two days, our online readers have been experiencing difficulty accessing Our website was hacked and has been tagged by Google and Mozilla as malicious. It was cleaned up and repaired by the technicians at Idea ...

Viewers participate in pertinent poll
The recently imposed moratorium on rosewood harvesting and exportation in the south has received mixed responses. While the NGO community supports it, many residents in Stann Creek and Toledo are protesting because they have logs that were already harvested and the moratorium means a financial loss if they are not allowed to sell it. We ...

PM joins wife for cancer treatment
Prime Minister Dean Barrow was sworn in on March ninth for his second term in office. This Wednesday, the national assembly held its first session in Belmopan. And on Sunday, the PM will be traveling to Miami, Florida with his wife, Kim Simpliss Barrow, who has been undergoing chemotherapy battling stage three breast cancer. The ...

Changes in the Ministry of Tourism
More changes are expected in the Ministry of Tourism. From what we gather, a decision is yet to be taken in respect of who is to replace outgoing C.E.O., Lindsay Garbutt. Tracy Panton, a former Director of Tourism, is a favorite of the Minister, but a possible appointment will have to be decided by the ...

Not Guilty of Murder
Sixteen year old Mayflower Street resident, Darren Trapp, was killed in a grenade attack on May eighteenth, 2008. At least eleven other persons were injured when the explosive was tossed into the crowded area. Two brothers, Akeem and Kareem Smith were charged for Trapp's murder; their trial concluded today. Senior Crown Counsel Triennia Young, who ...

Rene Chavarria charged for Attempted Murder of construction worker
West Canal resident, twenty-three year old Rene Chavarria has been remanded to prison for the attempted murder of twenty-two year old construction worker Edwin Moody. On March fourteenth, Moody was riding a bike on Racecourse Street when he was shot near Sunnyside Bakery. Two men, who were reportedly riding behind him, fired the shots which ...

Woman disputes burglary facts in Court
We reported on Tuesday about a Mahogany Heights man who was charged for breaking into a neighbor's house after a failed attempt at getting into another house in the area. But one of the alleged victims is disputing the facts put forward in court by police. The police version is that Paul Parham attempted to ...

City Hall says let's go 50/50 on streets
On Thursday, we aired part one of an interview with newly installed Mayor Darrell Bradley. In part two tonight, the mayor discusses upcoming projects. Because of its limited resources, the Belize City Council is trying a new concept called the fifty-fifty. For businesses and individuals who have disposable income and the interest to see their ...

Mayor on top of garbage collection
Residents of Belize City can normally forecast when collections are low. That is because workers of Belize Maintenance Limited often protest in front of City Hall when cheques to the private company have been slow in delivery. It's almost guaranteed that garbage collection and payment will be an inevitable issue that Bradley's Council will face. ...

U.S. Under Secretary coming to Belize
A top US official will be visiting next week. She is the Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of State, Maria Otero. When she arrives on the twenty-eighth and twenty-ninth, she will be meeting with officials and non-governmental agencies to discuss the bilateral relationship between Belize and the US. Otero is Under Secretary for Civilian ...

Chief of Staff lobs a grenade for you
Six grenades were detonated recently. Before you get alarmed, it was an operation designed by the Belize Defense Force to destroy confiscated artillery that was found on the streets. The specifics of the operation aren't known as the media was not invited to witness or interview the participants. The footage, provided courtesy of the Government ...

Free orthopedic clinic this weekend
A pediatric clinic in rural communities concluded today in Caye Caulker, but another initiative this weekend to provide free medical attention to young persons. The World Pediatric Project is having an orthopedic clinic this Sunday at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Patients with health issues including leg length discrepancies, Blount's disease, bilateral Vara or "bow ...

Emergency Meeting as crime wave hits Placencia
This evening in the Placencia peninsula, tourism stakeholders as well as residents are holding an emergency meeting in respect of a crime wave that is striking the village. The Village Council chairman, the acting police commissioner and representatives from the B.T.B. and B.T.I.A. are in attendance as well. Muggings, robberies and burglaries have become common ...


22-year-old Rene Chavarria, a laborer of Milpa Site in Ladyville was charged with attempted murder when he appeared in court today. Chavarria was also charged with dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser explained to Chavarria that sh...

Two brothers, 23-year-old Kareem Smith and 19-year-old Akeem Smith, charged with murder in connection with the grenade explosion death of 16-year-old Darren Trapp, were acquitted of the charge today in the court of Justice Adolph Lucas. The prosecution, represented by Crown Couns...

Prime Minister Dean Barrow is scheduled to travel to Miami, Florida on Sunday. According to a statement from his office, Mr. Barrow will accompany his wife who will receive further medical treatment for breast cancer. The Prime Minister will be out of the country for a week, and ...

Citrus farmers in the Stann Creek district were today informed that they would not be receiving payment for orange deductions for the month of February. Over three million dollars in payments was to have been made today; but the Citrus Products of Belize Limited informed its pare...


Seven Year Old Abducted In Corozal
There is another shocking incident relating to a child coming out of Corozal tonight. Seven year old Dana Hill, an infant two student of Saint Francis Xavier Primary School was abducted by one of her relatives. The incident occurred around 8:30 yesterday morning at the school grounds. But why would anyone want to kidnap 7 year old Dana hill? That's what our news team found out today. Saint Francis Xavier Primary School has no warden, but the heavy chains and defending locks are signs that the school has the safety and security of its students in mind. But before 8:30 yesterday morning a clandestine intruder waltzed into the compound and took 7 year old Dana Hill away. According to Vice Principal of the school, Yaniri Smith, Dana Hill was taken away by a relative.

Police Officer Injured In Traffic Accident
Last night the Northern Highway played witness to what could have been a deadly traffic accident. When we arrived at the scene of the accident near the Village of Carmelita 31 year old Police Constable #184 Artemio Ical, attached to the Orange Walk Police Station, had already been transported to the Northern Regional Hospital suffering from chest pain. On the left hand side of the highway was a light green 1992 Honda car with extensive damages. CTV3 News understands that around 6:00pm yesterday Ical was driving his car from Carmelita Village towards Orange Walk Town when one of the vehicles rear tires suffered a blowout. As a result Ical lost control of the vehicle which overturned several times landing on its four wheels. According to police the vehicle was insured. We understand that a blood sample was obtained from Ical and sent to the lab for testing. Ical is presently admitted at the Northern Regional Hospital where he is receiving treatment for his injuries.

Fun Run Takes Place In Corozal
And while the Fun Run here in Orange Walk started at 9:00 in the morning, a little further up north in Corozal the Fun Run started at 6:00am. A total of 9 schools participated in the event which was geared at generating Special Education awareness. "It was successful, we had a little over a hundred kids participating, we have for the first time the Scouts participating with us and we usually invite other schools to come along on this day and socialize and have fun with our Special Aid children, we had the participation of the Seventh Day Adventist School, San Narciso R.C. School, San Pedro Government School, our school, Guadalupe School, the Scouts, Church of Christ and Cristo Rey R.C. School it was a good even we had fun." It's the fifth year that the Fun Run is being held in Corozal and from all indications the message is getting across because every year the number of participants increases.

BSCFA Looking At Fair Trade Funds To Pay Former CEO
On March 19th Justice Oswell Legal ruled that the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association is to pay the association's former Chief Executive Officer David Madrid a whopping sum of $171,292.50 plus 6 percent interest per annum from January 17th until the sum is fully paid. The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed against the BSCFA by Madrid's Attorneys Eamon Courtenay and Michael Coye for wrongful termination. Viewers might recall that on September 1st 2010 Madrid was fired by the BSCFA less than a year after he began serving as CEO of the association. This morning the BSCFA held an emergency meeting with its different committees to discuss what steps would be taken in regards to the lawsuit.

Yolanda Schakron Files Election Petition
Yolanda Schakron has filed an election petition. According to a press release issued today by the People's United Party, the former PUP candidate for the Lake I Independence division who was disqualified as a candidate on Nomination Day by returning officer Noreen Fairweather, filed an application for the leave to present an election Petition to the Supreme Court. The election petition was itself attached to the leave as well as two affidavits. The Election Petition challenges the validity of Mark King's election as a member of the House of Representatives for the Lake Independence Division in the general elections of March 7th 2012. The release states and we quote, "Attorneys for Mrs. Schakron maintain that the determination as to whether she was disqualified to be elected as a member of the House of Representatives could only have been made by an Election Judge of the Supreme Court to whom is expressly and exclusively entrusted the power to make such determinations."

Recognizing the Women Of Our Community
In our series of recognizing women for this year Women's Month, we now focus on a woman from the Corozal District. Eighty year old Daisy Olga Marin has been actively assisting the Corozal community for more than five decades. Her work ranges from being the first female Mayor of Belize in 1981 to voluntarily working with youths, women and the elderly. Marin grew up in difficult times but through hard work and dedication she managed to climb the ladder of success without leaving her community behind. Daisy Olga Marin, Volunteer "In 1981, I was the first lady mayor in the country of Belize and I feel very proud because at that time ladies didn't had the opportunities that we have now, ladies just to stay home and the men had to go out and work but now they have an opportunity to go out and work and help I n the house too."

Math Olympiad Out Math League In
The Math Challenge was an idea brought forward and carried out by Bishop Martin High School back in 2004. In a span of two years the Math Challenge proved to be a huge success among high schools here in the Orange Walk District. In 2006 the Social Security Board then decided to fully sponsor the mathematical competition renaming it the "Belize National Math Olympiad". Since then the Math Olympiad blossomed but on December of last year the Social Security Board announced that this year's Belize Math Olympiad would be suspended due to certain disagreements with the Belize Association of Secondary Schools. Keeping in mind how important it is to encourage better grades in math, Bishop Martin High School, Orange Walk Technical High School and Muffles High School will be participating in a numerical competition tomorrow. The foundation of a true math contest is embedded in the math league. But according to Orange Walk Technical High School math teacher, Clarence Sheppard tomorrow's competition is not necessarily a replica of the Math Olympiad.

Compassion School Wins World Water Day Poster Competition
International World Water Day is celebrated annually on the 22nd of March. The day focuses its attention on the importance of fresh water and advocates for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. Each year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater and this year's theme "Water and Food Security" says it all, especially since food security is critically dependent on a sufficient supply of clean water. In celebration of World Water Day the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture organized a poster and essay competition for primary schools. This morning, at the Princess Hotel in Belize City, the names of the winning schools were revealed and tonight we are proud to mention that two students of Compassion School in Yo Creek were awarded first place. Otilio Munoz, Compassion School Teacher "We had about ten entries and it was very hard for us to diced which one to send for this competition because we had ten and the ten were very good ones at the end of the day they only, wanted one entry so we have really hard to select the best one and we had the input of the parents, we invited the parents to come into our school and observe the ten of them and help the teachers to decide which one will be the best one and they selected the one that we went and the good thing is that we won the contest, the first place." Running For A Good Cause
This morning special education students, their parents, their teachers, and other members of the community participated in the annual fun run held in Orange Walk for children with disabilities. The run was held with the hope of eliminating the stigma against disabled children and also served in preparation for this year's National Special Olympics. The run started off from the Barracks and the CTV-3 News team of reporter Janine Ayuso and cameraman Kenric Simpson were present for the run and filed the following report. The theme for Child Stimulation Month "Start Early Aim High" does not only apply to able children but also to those with special needs. And today it was time to take charge and run for children with disabilities as the annual Fun Run took place this morning. With the Barracks swarming with primary school students, the morning started off with an official address from the Mayor of Orange Walk Town Kevin Bernard who recognized the need to further support children with special needs.


Health fair helps citizens know the status of their kidneys
A health fair was held today in Belize City. Love TV's Natalie Novelo and video journalist Brian Castillo attended the event and bring you the following report.

Health project to benefit children
The World Pediatric Project is on another mission to help children with medical setbacks. This time, the project will host a pediatric orthopedic surgeon that will set up shop and start screening this Sunday. Project Manager, Khandice Tillett, explains the scope of the clinic and surgical procedures. Sunday's clinic will start at eight in the ...

Prime Minister Barrow about to leave for Miami
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is scheduled to travel to Miami, Florida on Sunday. According to a statement from his office, Mr. Barrow will accompany his wife who will receive further medical treatment for breast cancer. The Prime Minister will be out of the country for a week, and during his absence, the Deputy prime Minter Gaspar Vega will hold over the reins of government in Belmopan.

Ladyville man charged for attempted murder
22-year-old Rene Chavarria, a laborer of Milpa Site in Ladyville was charged with attempted murder when he appeared in court today. Chavarria was also charged with dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser explained to Chavarria that she will not take a plea because the offences are indictable. She explained to Chavarria that the court cannot offer him bail because of the nature of the offences. She remanded him into custody until April 23. The incident occurred on March 14 in Belize City. The police reported that they visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and saw Godwin Moody suffering from gunshot wounds to his body. Moody told police that it was Chavarria that shot him.

Duo of brothers freed of murder charges
Two brothers, 23-year-old Kareem Smith and 19-year-old Akeem Smith, charged with murder in connection with the grenade explosion death of 16-year-old Darren Trapp, were acquitted of the charge today in the court of Justice Adolph Lucas. The prosecution, represented by Crown Counsel Trienna Young closed its case after several witnesses were called and none of them gave any evidence that inked the accused persons to the crime. As a result, Ellis Arnold and Sharon Pitts Robateau the attorneys for the accused persons, submitted that their clients do not have a case to answer to. Justice Lucas upheld the submission and directed the jury of 10 women and two men to return a formal verdict of not guilty. The incident occurred aropund8:40 p.m. on May 18, 2008. Trapp and several others were standing on Mayflower Street when a grenade was thrown at them. Trapp kicked the grenade and it exploded, fatally wounding him. Several other persons were wounded by the explosion.

Garifuna Collective back from Costa Rica gig
Just back today from a four-day tour in Costa Rica are Mohobub Flores and the Garifuna Collective. The musicians were invited to take part in that country's Festival Internacional de los Artistas. And aside from the event being a wonderful experience by their account, Joshua Arana, who headed the group, told Love News that they gained quite a lot for Belize. One of the female artists, Marcela Aranda, said that they are already working on new material for the 2013 bookings that they have secured for Canada and Europe. This was the first time that the Garifuna Collective has been invited to take part in throughout Latin America.

Moya bex and dih "lik road" pahn Love News
She has only been out of office for two weeks now; but former Belize City Mayor Zenaida Moya is not disappearing quietly into the sunset. She is not a happy camper; and today the fury of her anger is aimed squarely at our News Center. Moya has taken issue with a statement made on this newscast earlier this week. In an interview with Mayor Darrel Bradley, Love News stated that he took over from Moya who had come under heavy criticism for introducing what we called her unique system of "under-depositing." Well, in a strongly worded email fired off to the RSV News Centre, Moya claims that the introduction to our story contained information that is erroneous and damaging to herself. Moya takes umbrage with the linking of the term "under-depositing" to her tenure as Belize City Mayor, even though no one had heard about the practice until the financial scandal that rocked her administration during the first term in office. Moya offered a clarification which states, and we quote: "I NEVER introduced the system of "under-depositing" at City Hall. It is a system that was met by our UDP City Council, and carried out as a normal process by the staff who were carried over from the previous PUP City Council," end of quote. Moya says that pre-2006 records of the Belize City Council will vindicate her and says that linking her administration with the practice of "under-depositing" is nothing more than political propaganda. For context, Love News clarifies, that until the financial scandal at City Hall under the Moya administration, the term "under-deposit" was never widely known in the public domain and only came to prominence when she herself explained it in subsequent newscasts after the scandal broke. In trying to extricate herself from the negative image painted by the under depositing scheme, Moya described the whole thing as a distasteful and unethical media spin, which we go back to our original statement of fact that it all started with the former Mayor herself. Since we posted the story on the social media network site Facebook, the public has been weighing in heavily on the Moya's decision to criticize Love News. Some of the comments are strong; but most, from what we observe have not been flattering of the former two-time Mayor. One writer says, and we quote: "She - meaning Moya - should probably consider herself lucky that she's not spending some quality time behind bars right now. She will go down in history as the worst Mayor Belize City has ever had." End of quote. Another person who joined in the discussion, assessed Moya's tenure as Mayor of Belize City as being disappointing. He said, and we quote: "she came into Office riding on the crest of a wave against all that was wrong with the PUP government and turned out to be nothing more than an overrated activist and opportunist," end of quote. And one other person writes, quote: " while it may be true about the scheme coming from her predecessors, she was the one who "named" the scheme." End of quote. If you would like to share in the online discussion of the story, you can visit our website at:

School girl lured out of classroom, taken to Mexico
The school yard should be one of the safest places for the nation's youngest citizens. But on Wednesday it turned out to be a parent's worst nightmare as a young child was taken without consent. With the assistance of our Orange Walk bureau, Love News was able to put the sequence of information together that saw the lower school student taken out of class and whisked across the border to Mexico. Love TV's Julia Carrillo reports.

BDF destroy's grenades and high-powered ammo
A cache of dangerous ammunition was destroyed this morning in Hattieville village. According to the Chief of Staff for the Belize Defence Force Lt. Col. James Reque�a, the decision to dispose of the ammunition came after court processes were completed and in consultation with the police. The ammunition was destroyed under the unblinking lens of the cameras for the Government Press Office. Lt. Col. James Reque�a has confirmed that all of the ammunition were destroyed.

The countdown to Belize Band Fest starts
It has its origins in the spring of 2006, and over the years, the Belize Band Fest has earned the title of Belize's Premier Family Event of the year. The 2012 edition of the Belize Band Fest is nine days away, and tonight we begin a series of features on the participating bands. A total of six Marching band with instruments and an equal number of Drum Corps will take to the streets of Corozal Town on March thirty first. In tonight's feature, we turn the spotlight on two drum corps and one marching. According to organizers, Belize Band Fest seeks to bring together schools, teachers, children, families, musicians, choreographers, and the private sector, to showcase our children's success and achievements in music. The last six years, the organizers say, have demonstrated that when we work together we can succeed in helping our children to be the best that they can be. The inaugural Belize Band Fest was won by the St. Luke Marching Band in the event held at the Marion Jones Sports Complex. The defending champions are Succotz Festival Drum Corps in the Wind Instrument category and Holy Redeemer Marching Band in the Drum Corps category.

Ground broken for new P.G. Town Hall
The Social Investment Fund held a ceremony in Punta Gorda Town this morning that marked the official start of the long awaited infrastructure improvement of the PG town hall. It is a component of the Belize Municipal Development Project, a thirty million dollar facility being implemented by the Government of Belize in seven Municipalities. Director of Public Relations of the Social Investment Fund is Mike Hernandez, Other speakers in the ceremony included Executive Director of the Social Investment Fund, Daniel Cano, Mayor of Punta Gorda Town, Anthony Fuentes and Deputy Mayor Simon Paulino.

Women's summit held in Belize City
The seventh annual Women's Summit took place today at the Radisson Fort George Hotel. Guest speaker at the event was CEO in the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, Judith Alpuche. Human Development Coordinator in the Women's Department Cynthia Williams says that the summit is an opportunity for dialogue and discussion. Williams says that the participants make up a very dynamic group, since there are a variety of ages and socio-economic backgrounds. Women from all over the country of Belize were present at the event which ended at 4 pm today.

Belize joins in observing World Water Day
In 1996, Belize joined the globe in celebrating "World Water Day" and since then the campaign to use our water resources wisely has been an increasing one. Today, on the occasion of World Water Day, that campaign took the front burner. Water analysts say that while Belizeans still enjoy an abundance of fresh water, the entire globe has limited fresh water sources and one day, we can find ourselves wanting. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources, Gaspar Vega, assured that the government will do its part to help manage proper use of water. The speeches were delivered at a ceremony this morning to mark the occasion of World Water Day, observed aptly with the theme, "Water and Food Security". During the event, students who had submitted winning entries in a poster and an essay competition for the occasion were awarded for their achievements.

Election petition filed on behalf of Yolanda Schakron
The first election petition was filed today in the Supreme Court. According to a statement from the People's United Party, the petition was filed by disqualified Lake Independence candidate Yolanda Schakron. [VO STARS HERE] A statement from the PUP Secretariat says that the Election Petition challenges the validity of Mark King's election as a member of the House of Representatives for the Lake Independence Division in the general elections of March seventh. The official statement says that attorneys for Mrs. Schakron maintain that the determination as to whether she was disqualified to be elected as a member of the House of Representatives could only have been made by an Election Judge of the Supreme Court to whom is expressly and exclusively entrusted the power to make such determinations. The PUP statement ends by saying that the voters of the Lake Independence Division were unlawfully deprived of an opportunity to vote for and elect Mrs. Schakron as their member of House of Representatives and that the PUP is confident that, but for the abuse and interference by the government in the process, Mrs Schakron would have won the March seventh election in the Lake I Division. According to the PUP, they intend to challenge the returns in other constituencies shortly.

Home invasion targets elderly Crooked Tree resident
The phenomenon of home invasions continues to plague communities around the country. The latest incident happened forty eight hours ago in the scenic village of Crooked Tree. Love TV's Marion Ali and video journalist Myles Gillett went up the Northern Highway today to bring you the following report.


Two houses destroyed by fire in Dangriga
Dangriga Police are investigating reports of two recent house fires. Plus TV's Dangriga correspondent James Valerio...

Dep. of Environment conducts week-long training
The Department of the Environment (DOE) conducted a weeklong Compliance Monitoring Inspection Training from March 1...

Woman with schizophrenia goes missing
26yr old Janine Simplis, reported to Police on Monday that her mother 56yr old Carmelita Simplis, who suffers from ...

Chief Forestry Officer says Alcaldes support Rosewood moratorium
On Tuesday Mayas from the Toledo district converged on the Independence Hill in protest of the moratorium on Rosewo...

Belize Municipal Development Project launched
The Government's $30 million Belize Municipal Development Project (BMDP) commenced yesterday (MARCH 22) with the of...

Belmopan residents take to the streets for Special Olympics Fun Run
This morning the "One World /Special Olympics Belize Fun Run" took place in Belmopan. One world international organ...

PM Barrow to take short trip out the country
The Office of the Prime Minister sent out a release stating that Prime Minister Barrow, will be travelling to Miami...

Con artist lies to steal car
53yr old Lizbeth Castillo, reported to Belize City Police yesterday (March 22) that after making arrangements with ...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

"Fu Goh" serving healthy food, snacks and smoothies!
Being an advocate in healthy eating which provides us with healthy living, I was invited by Proprietors, Mario and Carin Guizar to visit their newest venture in food outlet on Caye Caulker, "Fu Goh" meaning to go in Belizean creole. Fu Goh is located at the Atlantic Bank's plaza on middle street in the heart of town. All the food being served there is pre-packaged and ready to go, visitors and locals can also dine on site on their quaint and inviting location. The newest addition to their menu is their smoothie bar where Carin whips up her refreshing smoothies using natural products and no sugar. So, for those who are advocates in healthy eating, like myself and even people who believe they need to start eating healthy, Fu Goh can definitely hook you up with their delicious pre-packaged meals and natural food and vegetable smoothies. It's never to late to make a change in your dietary intake. Foods are cooked free of fats and oils or fatty carbs. It's my pleasure to share the following photos:


Taxicab operator propositions female passenger
He is now in jail on remand... Lincoln Miguel, 38, a taxicab driver of Belize City, was today brought before Magistrate Hettie-Mae Stuart to answer charges of unlawful imprisonment and common assault.

Beaten to death in a cemetery
Did one of his friends kill the 35-year-old father of 4 for money? Jose Manuel Caal, 35, a construction worker of Corozal Town and father of four children, was found dead in the Mount Calvary Cemetery in Corozal Town around 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 18. He was lying face down on the ground in a drain between two tombs, with his hands behind his back, his head smashed in and bruises on his body.

Gunman shoots two on Balan Street, Lake I; one dies
Police report that late Monday night, Cheray Zetina, 31, a resident of Balan Street in the Lake-I area, was with her boyfriend in front of their house when a dark-complexioned man rode up right in front of them on a bicycle. The man then fired one shot at Zetina, then rode off in the direction of McKay Boulevard.

Whose turn to feed?
"Buying an election in small-sized Belize has become an increasingly attractive option, especially again as poverty is increasing," said Dylan Vernon, at Belize at Thirty Conference... As a part of the Belize at Thirty Conference, spanning Tuesday, March 20 to Thursday, March 22, 2012, Belizean researcher Dylan Vernon delivered an insightful presentation on Wednesday afternoon, titled, "Our Turn to Feed: Exploring the Origins and Implications of Rampant 'Handout Politics' in Independent Belize."

Cabinet endorses rosewood moratorium - Toledo villagers protest!
Some loggers not respecting moratorium, says Chief Forest Officer... Cabinet announced on Tuesday, March 20, 2012, that it has endorsed the controversial moratorium on the harvesting and exportation of rosewood extracted from the Toledo and Stann Creek Districts, a moratorium which was declared last Friday, March 16, 2012, following a ministerial decision by Lisel Alamilla, the new Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development and Indigenous Peoples.

Schakron wants a crack at King!
"I have already been sworn in. That makes me a legitimate representative." - Mark King... Political aspirant for Lake I, the People's United Party's Yolanda Schakron, went to the Supreme Court today, Thursday, requesting leave to file an election petition challenging the legitimacy of Mark King's United Democratic Party victory in the Lake Independence electoral division.

Home alone, Ron Vasquez (Western Spirit) wins the Ariel Rosado Memorial Belmopan Classic
It's all about who's ready, and who's not, for the big upcoming Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic. And, though last Sunday's event was a major race in its own right, the aura of the Country pervades everything in cycling right now, including and especially the last major race before Cross Country - the Ariel Rosado Memorial 31st Annual Belmopan Classic, which hit the pavement on Sunday from Leslie's Imports outside of Belize City to Belmopan and back. It was a 100-mile test of speed, skill, conditioning and will, and, if anything, it certainly proved that no one cyclist is head and shoulders above the rest in conditioning right now, although Ron Vasquez of Western Spirit got away from the main peloton and managed to hold his lead across the tape for the victory. Nevertheless, Ron Vasquez, at 25 years of age, has made a statement, and has to be considered one of the big Western hopefuls come Holy Saturday, along with his 32-year-old brother and last Belizean Cross Country champion in 2006, Shane Vasquez.

Chimilio says the Federation owes him money
New FFB President Ruperto Vicente said this evening that his meeting on Monday with Dr. Bertie Chimilio was far from fruitful. The situation keeps looking worse, and the Federation is putting together its legal and financial consulting team to try and deal with the situation. FIFA is abreast of the developments, and has promised to assist the new administration in extricating itself from the debacle that Dr. Chimilio has apparently left them in.

Criminal returns to the MCC on Saturday night
After bursting back on the football scene with MVP honors in the Super League's Closed Interoffice championship at the MCC Grounds back in January, skeptics wondered if former National U-20 star Lennox "Criminal" Castillo had sufficiently recovered from a near career- ending knee injury to make an impact at the highest level of Belize football. His Premier League debut at the MCC with his Police United squad showed promise, but he was kept off the scorecard in a fiercely contested match, in which his team managed a 1-nil win over highly touted Placencia Assassins on a 2nd half penalty conversion by Police captain Orlando "Leechi" Jimenez. That was back on February 11, and the MCC has not seen Criminal since.

EDITORIAL: Decisions, decisions, decisions �
The demonstration this week in Belmopan against the rosewood extraction moratorium declared last week by the Government of Belize gives you an idea of why it is difficult to govern Belize in this modern era. Villagers involved in the rosewood extraction business travelled all the way from Toledo to Belmopan to protest the moratorium, and the television cameras carried their displeasure nationwide the same evening.

Bulgarian diplomat meets with officials in Belize

With the intention to strengthen the ties between Belize and Bulgaria, a special meeting was held last week Monday, March 19th with Bulgarian diplomat Dr. Solomon Passy and Belize's Foreign Minister and Attorney General Wilfred Elrington. Other attendees at the meeting were Maxim Minchev, Director General for the Bulgarian News Agency, Kiril Asenov, Bulgarian Businessman, Clinton "Pulu" Lightburn, Belizean public figure and Sjoerd Jan van Noord of Portofino Beach Resort.

This was the first meeting at such a level between Belize and Bulgaria in the nearly 2

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