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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

Valid: Friday - Monday, May 18-21, 2012

The weather has been showery over the past five days, associated with instability in the lower and mid levels of the atmosphere and an influx of moisture from the Pacific. A weak 1010 mb surface low has formed just offshore Belize, and will remain in the area during most of the weekend. The GFS model then moves this system slowly north eastward by Wednesday of next week. The persisting low will continue to generate outbreaks of showers and some thunderstorms especially in the west and south this weekend and on Monday.

Daily rainfall rates for Friday through Monday will be in the range of 0.25-0.75 of-an-inch, especially in the western portion of Belize and in the South. Higher rates of 1.00-2.00 inches are expected in the hilly terrain of SW Cayo, western Stann Creek and northern Toledo districts.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekend Weather Report

The San Pedro Sun

SPTC, SPTGA and Belize Port Authority works to make San Pedro's Beaches safer
San Pedro has seen various incidents in the past months where boating accidents have left individuals limbless or injured. Sadly, these accidents could have been avoided if the cause for them had not been speeding. In response, the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), San Pedro Tourist Guide Association (SPTGA) and the Belize Port Authority are working hand in hand, to prevent these incidents from occurring again. The entire coast line of Ambergris Caye is deemed a No Wake Zone, meaning that boaters by law are required to slow down to the point of "idle" speed while in that zone. This is, of course a law to maintain safety and prevent accidents. In a meeting earlier this week, all entities gathered to discus a main area of concern, the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge and the Boca Del Rio swimming area, which we are now being informed is a "NO" swimming area. San Pedro Town Mayor, Danny Nu´┐Żez informed, "The river I had mentioned before that we are asking all boat operators and tour guides to go at a slow, idle speed so that we can protect the bridge and for the safety of the kids swimming in that same area. The Port Authority will be putting signs up as well, two in the back area, two in the front, and two on the sea wall concerning the safety of swimming in that area. This area is very dangerous; however the kids as well as the general public have been using it as a popular swimming area, due of the white sand that has over-flown from the improperly placed geo-tubes. Our objective is to divert swimming from the river area to the front where it would be safer to swim."

Education Minister tells SP educators that "Education is everyone's business"
The Minister of Education, Youth and Sports Hon. Patrick Faber launched his two-week countrywide tour beginning in San Pedro Town under the theme "Celebrating Education." The tour was launched on Thursday May 10th at the Angel Nunez Auditorium and is the first of a series of Town Hall type meeting with education stakeholders which will take place in all district towns. The main purpose of the tour is for the Minister of Education to meet with the education stakeholders and the community and share with them what the Government of Belize (GOB) is doing in the area of education. It also serves as a means for the Minister to listen to the concerns of the education stakeholders and the community and to see the areas that need attention in order to improve the quality of education in the country. In his address to the attendees, Minister Faber explained that 26% of the annual National Budget is allocated for education. Such investment surpasses by far the amount other countries in the region invest; an estimated six to eight percent. But in investing so much, Minister Faber explained that there is no "quality for value." He stated, "We have been investing so much but do not get the best from such investment. It clearly shows the inefficiency in the education system and it will take everyone to fix it." He went on to say that in order to get quality for value, "everyone must be on board with the Strategic Plan." In acknowledging the "tough issues" within the education system on the island, Faber added that "education is everyone's business and as such we need to get the entire community to help address the issues affecting the island. We need to get the business community, the Mayor, the Area Representative, we need to get the entire island involved if we want to see some of these issues addressed." Faber's comments came following issues raised such as the lack of class room space on the island; the hardship teachers face such as high cost of living, cost of housing; petition for benefits that would offset some of the expenses on the island, feasibility and lack of proper teacher's training for island teachers that will improve the quality of education.

Ambergris Today

The Eco Kids Rainforest Adventure Continues´┐Ż
Chaa Creek has had a rich past as an ancient, bustling ancient Maya community and trade centre, as a vibrant part of the early British Honduras chicle and logging industry and as one of the many farms supplying San Ignacio town before becoming home to Belize's first eco-resort. "We respect this colorful heritage while at the same time recognizing the importance of contributing towards a positive future." As part of our commitment to Green sustainability, all of us at Chaa Creek are continually promoting greater environmental awareness and respect for the things that make Belize so special. We also try to pass on our passion for protecting Belize's unique natural beauty and resources. And who better to reach out to than the future custodians of Belize's natural wealth - our children.

Belize in the Lifetime Network Spotlight
Mark your calendars for Belize's debut on the Lifetime Network which airs on Friday, June 29, 2012 and Friday, July 20, 2012. The Balancing Act is America´s only one hour morning show that is about women, for women, and trusted by women. Celebrating life and all there is to accomplish, The Balancing Act inspires and empowers women, with entertaining and educational shows, which helps place them in the best position to achieve success in every area of their lives. The Balancing Act Morning Show reaches an audience of over 96 million people. So stop and take the time to watch Belize's very own Dr. Jaime Awe and Mrs. Laura Esquivel-Frampton promoting Maya 2012 and Belize as Mother Nature's Best Kept Secret.

Teachers Celebrated During Education Week
Happy Teacher's Day! The San Pedro Town Council hosted all the wonderful teacher of Ambergris Caye in a great banquet and party at the San Pedro Lion's Den on Thursday, May 17, 2012, as part of Education Week, joining them in the celebration was the staff of the Dr. Otto Rodriquez Poly Clinic. Today, May 18, marks Teacher's Day and school is out for today as teachers in their respective schools celebrate with individual trips, parties and special programs. Teachers are very special to all of us and a very integral part of our society; Happy Teacher's Day to all of them!

Misc Belizean Sources

Public and Bank Holiday Payroll Info
As a follow up to my update in December 2011, one of the major changes that the Labour Amendment Act No 3 of 2011, (effective May 1, 2011) effected was the payment for public and bank holidays and that for Christmas Day, Good Friday and Easter Monday. I have been waiting to see if the Labour Department would have reversed this modification to the principal Labour Act but to date this has not been done and it is perhaps time for Employers to make the necessary changes to their payroll. The changes are: Assuming the employee is at work on a public and bank holiday, under the ( Amendment Act), 2011, all work done on public holidays shall now be paid at the rate of one and a half times the employee ordinary rate, in total. That is, you get your regular day's pay plus half your ordinary day's wage...

Driving Message from the U.S. Embassy in Belize
The U.S. Embassy reminds all U.S. citizens in Belize to drive cautiously and at a safe speed when traveling on the Western highway and other highways in Belize. On May 16, 2012, a fatal motor vehicle accident occurred on mile marker 44 of the Western Highway, killing four people and leaving a fifth in critical condition. Initial police investigations list the slippery road conditions as one of several contributing factors in the crash. A similar accident occurred on May, 15, 2012, without fatalities. Historically, there have been numerous fatalities on the Western Highway, usually linked to a host of factors including excessive speed, weather conditions, lane spacing and poor construction. The various areas of wear and asphalt paving along the Western Highway contribute to changes in traction and vehicular maneuverability...

VIDEO: Placencia Belize, Around The Village
A walking and driving tour of Placencia Village.

Mr Greedy's Pizzeria gets new website
Mr. Greedy's new website is live! The best pizza in Cayo, and the bar that brought happy hours to downtown. Ms. Ellerry Garbutt did a great job building this site. Time for some $2 rum and cokes!

BNYCF's Chess Olympiad today at UB
today, at the University of Belize's gym, the Belize National Youth Chess Foundation will have the 2012 Chess Olympiad. Grandmaster Maurice Ashley will be there. The theme is "Building a Safer, Smarter Society one move at a time." Good luck to all.

Sports Day at Broaster Stadium Today
Youth for the Future, Cornerstone Foundation, and Youth in Action are hosting a Sports Day tomorrow at Broaster Stadium. It starts at 9:00am. You can call the YFF at 804.0540 for more information. Have fun!

Cayo Mural Project pictures
Tag the Town, a community art project, is doing another mural. This one is a little different, and is a cicada. "The cicada sings like there is no tomorrow, because there is none." There are also pictures of the project in Benque: "Creativity is cheaper than alcohol." They have a special font, the Ahau Font, that was created by Abdi Castellanos and Jose V. Guerra Awe. It's a mix of graffiti and elements found in Ancient Maya glyphs.

Joe's Fry Baked Plantain
Plantain's are a good source carb. Sometimes when we think that the plantains are bad, that's when they are actually at their best, taste wise. In this recipe, I'll show you how to cook the plantains so they are the peak of perfection and taste. You'll never look at plantains the same again.

A Belize City man bought a coke this morning anticipating a refreshing drink of the well loved beverage. But as he opened it, to his surprise he found what appeared to be a roach's egg casing floating on top. The man promptly took the allegedly contaminated beverage over to the Bowen and Bowen office on Slaughterhouse Road in Belize City. On his way to drop off the coke with the foreign object in it, the surprised coke consumer stopped by to record his astonishing find. A quick check with the Bowen and Bowen office ion King Street did not yield any answers as our call was placed on hold for about 2 minutes before we hung up.

Channel 7

When we left you last night, it was with the news that there had been another murder in the city: 48 year old business owner, Jeremy Ellis McNab had been killed. It happened inside his business place, Mobile Hardware at the corner of Cemetery Road and Curassow Street. Monica Bodden was on the scene last night - and here's what she found out:... Monica Bodden reporting The murder of 48 year old businessman Jeremy McNab happened inside his Mobile Hardware store on Curassow Street a little after 7 last night. He was found lying face down in a pool of blood behind the counter of his establishment. He was killed execution style - 3 shots to the chest at point black range. It was a horrific scene - especially for his 2 employees who witnessed the tragic episode. They were inside his store at the time when 2 men entered. According to police the men had a conversation with McNab and then one of them pulled out a 9 millimeter pistol from his pants waist and aimed it at McNab - firing 3 shots at him. The men then left with McNab's licensed firearm. According to neighbors around the area, McNab was still breathing but expired shortly after. 3 nine millimeter expended shells were retrieved as the scenes of crime technicians processed the scene. McNab's body was later placed in the pan of this police pick-up truck - as the entire neighborhood gazed on in disbelief -as it was carted away through the crowds - into the city streets and then unto the morgue.

And before the night was over - two more men were shot in the city. Around 9:30, on Mahogany Street, 18 year old Brandon Bradley and 21 year old Alfredo Tun were walking out of B and H shop when a man opened fire on them. Tun was shot to his legs, and has been discharged from the hospital, while Bradley was shot to the left leg and is recovering from an emergency surgery. And then, early in the morning, another man was shot. 26 year old Codrington Bood was shot by a robber. Police press officer Fitzroy Yearwood told us more:.. Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, Police Press Officer "He was attacked by a Hispanic male. This person put a gun on him and told him not to move. He is saying that within a split second he heard the gun go off and realize that he was hit in the abdomen. He manage to grab on to the weapon and he and this person had a struggle, but this person because he had injuries ended up getting hit with the same firearm in the head. He realizes when he woke up that he was robbed of his bicycle and a cell phone." "Bood is also listed in a critical condition in the KHMH." The gunman got away with Bud's cellphone, bicycle and even a small bible. Bood has been discharged from the hospital. Police have no suspects.

Tonight 57 year old Joseph Usher is in the intensive care unit at the KHMH fighting for his life- after he was allegedly doused with fuel and then lit on fire by a neighbor. The incident happened around midnight on Sunday in a yard at the corner of Antelope Street and Central American Boulevard. According to Usher's family, they are not quite sure of what took place but from what they understand, Usher was walking through another neighbor's yard to enter his own when he was set on fire. He suffered severe burns to the head, back, chest, and both arms and was rushed to the KHMH. Today 7news caught up with his distressed sister and daughter. Jacqueline Usher, sister of burn victim "I was sleeping when I heard a bang at my door, I said not Joe again. When I came out I saw him burn, he was burned up. He wasn't on fire, the fire had already out. I start screaming and crying, the people on the streets were shouting that someone set him on fire. I tried to call his daughter on the phone but she didn't hear what I was saying because I was crying. I told he to come now." "The police and ambulance came right away, probably someone on the streets call them. I was praying to God for strength to keep my head together. I open the gate and they came in. The state I was in - they could take an interview from me. They ask me what happened, but I didn't know anything."

There was a terrifying home invasion late last night in Bullet Tree Village - which is in the Cayo District. It happened at the residence of Gilles Chereau, a retired French Photographer. At 9:00 he heard his dogs barking, then his 91 year old mother screamed out. Chereau jumped out of bed to see what was the matter when he was ambushed by two men, one of them with a machete. A struggle ensued where he managed to grab the machete and tried to chase the two male persons and that was when a third person appeared and knocked him unconscious. When he regained consciousness, his hands and feet had been tied. The assailants stole his flat screen Television, his professional digital camera and a Laptop computer. Police have since detained a 17-year old male from the Village; along with 18 year old Jacob Banner, and 20 year old Alfredo Bidillo, from Alta Vista Village, in Stann Creek.

On Tuesday, we told you about the Sho family from Toledo, who claimed that they were brutalized by a police officer from San Antonio village. Late yesterday evening, the police press office finally gave us the police department's current position on this matter, which is that the family members were the ones who aggravated the situation. According to the Police Press Officer, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, there was an independent witness who was interviewed about this matter. This witness reportedly said that the officer was escorting an ex-girlfriend of one of the Sho men to the house to pick up her belongings. When this girl arrived, Casalina Sho - who appeared in our interview - reportedly attacked her, and the officer was forced to step in to try to de-escalate the situation. According to this witness, when the Sho sons saw the officer trying to restrain their mother, they approached the officer in a threatening manner.

There were three regional Meetings held in Belize over the past three days - all related to the Commonwealth Group of Nations. First there was the meeting of ministers of local government of the Caribbean, second there was the Caribbean Local Economic Development Programme - and third there was the Commonwealth Local Government Forum. And, then in addition to all that, the Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma was also visiting. If you don't know, the Commonwealth Group of Nations is an organization of 54 independent member states - which were part of the British Empire. So Secretary General Sharma holds sway over a large and important bloc of countries and at a closing press conference today, he said after meeting with four ministers, the Prime Minister and the Leader of The Opposition, there are specific, key areas of assistance targeted for Belize:.. H. E. Kamalesh Sharma - Commonwealth Secretary-General "All of my meetings were engaged and informative, and afforded the opportunity to gain an up-to-date perspective of how the Commonwealth's work is viewed, and how we may be of greater assistance and relevance to all Belizeans. There are particular challenges in Belize for its young people, and the Commonwealth is committed to pursuing actions that place young people at the heart of national development and even pursue possibilities for new assistance in the following areas: public service strengthening including support for training of public servants; building knowledge and skills to develop small and medium enterprises, including capacity of these enterprises to generate income from exports; supporting youth enterprise, including continuing to explore opportunities for commercial banks to support young professional and business creators; and, professionalization of the media, including training for journalists and exploration of a voluntary Code of Conduct."

And while the Commonwealth Secretary General was at the Radisson, over at the Princess the Commonwealth Local Government Forum was holding its closing press conference. This was the meeting that had the participation of Trinidadian Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar - who is the patron of the CLGF. At the closing press conference, key players underscored the major themes in the statement coming out of the meeting: those are Democracy Good Governance and Local Economic Development. Outgoing Chair of the CLGF, Zenaida Moya outlined the historical significance of the event:.. Zenaida Moya, outgoing CLGF chairperson "It has been a quite fruitful meeting, and a historical meeting as well because of the fact that it's the first time that such a meeting was held in Belize. The only other time that it has been held in the Caribbean - the Commonwealth Local Government Forum Board Meeting - has been in Jamaica. And so, we are very pleased that Belize could have hosted it."

Prime Minister Dean Barrow, left the country today to re-join his wife in Miami as she continues treatment for breast cancer. He is scheduled to be away until Wednesday and Deputy Gaspar will act as Prime Minister until tomorrow when he departs for the Mexico-CARICOM Summit in Barbados - a high level meeting between President Calderón of Mexico and all Prime Ministers and Presidents of CARICOM State Members. When Vega leaves, Minister of Education, Patrick Faber will then act as Prime Minister until the PM's return.

You might not be familiar with the name Rhaburn's Ridge - but it's an immigrant community at the northern boundary of the Belize District. Well - even there - snitching seems to be a big deal - in fact a man was shot for it! It happened in March - but police are just reporting it and say they are looking for two men. 29 year old Francisco Sosa says on AMrch 21st three men form the village accosted him and accused him of being a snitch. They followed him to his house, and banged his door open: one of them carried a shotgun, the other a machete. Humberto Garcia fired a shot at him injuring his left hand, right leg and left leg. His injuries were classified as dangerous harm and police say he was only recently released from the hospital. Police are looking for Humberto Garcia and Edgardo Deras both of Rhaburn Ridge Village.

Last night, we told you about the World Telecom Day Conference which was held at the Princess Hotel and Casino. This year's theme was "Women and Girls in ICT". Well yesterday, the leading Caribbean ICT Organization, CANTO, announced that a Belizean has won their 6thAnnual Essay Contest based on that theme. 17 year-old Amenzee Amu, a student of Saint John's Junior College, has submitted essays 3 times for this annual contest, and on her third attempt, she finally won. It's a distinct honor because CANTO chose her essay as the winning piece over all other entries from countries across the Caribbean including Antigua, The Bahamas, Dominica, Guyana, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Jamaica, St. Maarten, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, as well as Belize. Today, we spoke to Amu who told us that it is not only a mark of distinction for Belize, it was also a gift to her from God.

Today, the two week celebration of Education week culminated in teacher's day - where most of your favorite "Ms"'s and "Sir"'s went far afield for recreational trips - in honour of their day. The ceremonial culmination was held last night at the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall with the Teacher Awards. Education Minister Patrick Faber underscored the value of good teachers:.. Announcer "And the winner is, Mr. Lord Wade, ITVET Belize District." Announcer "And the winner is, Therese Roches, RCH Anglican Primary School, Belize District" Announcer "And the winner is, Mr. Armando Gomez, ITVET Orange Walk District."

Channel 5

Samantha Carlos: Innocent, Free and Victim of the System

Robbers escaped with over two hundred thousand dollars in a heist at Heritage Bank in Orange Walk on April fifth, 2011. Two of three men, entered the bank and asked to speak to the loan officer, while the other waited outside. They were escorted to the office of Bank Manager, Samantha Carlos, who was held [...]

Was it a hit or a robbery? McNab Murder

There were three separate shootings in the Old Capital on Thursday night that has left one person dead and three others hospitalized. The first was the execution of forty-eight year old businessman and owner of Mobile Hardware Store, Jerminie Ellis McNab. Shortly before seven on Thursday night, McNab was inside his business on Curassow Street [...]

4 persons shot within 6 hours

Two and half hours after the murder at Mobile Hardware, shots rang out once again; this time on Mahogany Street. At around nine-thirty, police visited the K.H.M.H. where they saw eighteen year old Brandon Bradley suffering from apparent gunshot wound to the left leg and twenty-one year old Alfredo Tun Junior with gunshot wounds to [...]

Shot for his bicycle and phone

The fourth shooting victim is twenty-six year old Codrington Bood Junior. This Friday morning, just before two a.m., Bood was ambushed by an armed robber while riding his bicycle on North Creek Street in Belize City. A gunman pointed a pistol at him and told him, "Don't Move!" In the blink of an eye, the [...]

French nationals victim of Cayo Home invasion

Violent crime was not limited to Belize City. In Bullet Tree Falls Village of the Cayo District, two elderly persons were the victims of a home invasion. Around eleven-thirty p.m. on Thursday, sixty-nine year old Gilles Chereau, a retired French Photographer and his mother, ninety-one year old Yolande Chereau, were inside their home they were [...]

Viewer poll on businessman and GOB mending fences

In an unprecedented move, Prime Minister Dean Barrow extended an olive branch to the Ashcroft Group of companies, saying that there has been too much confrontation rather than cooperation. In light of this, we asked viewers this week: Do you support that the mending of fences between the Government and Lord Michael Ashcroft will in [...]

Youth Voices Poetry Slam

Words can be very powerful and one local group is bringing the rhythm of speech to the stage tonight. Youth Voices is launching the Word Power Slam Poetry Campaign. The event will kick start an eight month campaign by the Global Parish Project, which includes performances, workshops and a school tour. News Five spoke with [...]

Lupus Walk raises awareness about the illness

While the Youth Voices team spread the message with talk, another local group is doing much the same with their walk. Many may not be familiar with the incurable disease called, Lupus, which can be damaging to different body systems, including joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, the heart, and lungs. You also may not be [...]

Commonwealth Secretary General announces new partnerships with Belize

Over the last three days, Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Kamalesh Sharma was in Belize on a working visit. His stay was kicked off with the Commonwealth Local Government Forum. During his stay, Sharma met with Prime Minister Dean Barrow, Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca, Cabinet Members and other leaders. Sharma told the media [...]

Attorney's letter turns the wrong side of Justice Hanomansingh

The lower courts of the country are always packed with legal matters, but today the Supreme Court had more than its fair share. As many as sixteen bail applications were presented, but there was one more that Justice Dennis Hanomansingh refused to hear. In fact, the judge chastised attorney Leo Bradley Junior for what he [...]

$10,000 in bail offered for gun charge

But back to the bail applications that were actually heard by Justice Dennis Hanomansingh in the Supreme Court today. At least ten were successful, three will continue next week and the other applicants had their charges withdrawn. One of the major issues was the bail application for Michael Herrera, his mother Nurse Judith Rocke and [...]

Caribbean Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors in Belize

One hundred and fifty representatives from throughout the Caribbean are in Belize for the annual congress of the Caribbean Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (CARAIFA). The congress, which will be hosted at Coco Beach Resort in San Pedro, starts on Sunday and runs until next Wednesday. It is expected to be four days of [...]

District Festival of Arts to showcase best performances

The district level Festival of Arts are ongoing countrywide and it's all leading up to a week of activities for the National Festival. A month long art exhibit is also included in the national festival and it's opening next Tuesday at the Bliss. According to Creative Arts Development Officer Denise Enriquez, the exhibit will feature [...]

Rotaractors from the region converge in Belize

A hundred and twenty youth from Central America are in Belize as a part of the Rotaract Annual Conference. Rotaract Belize works alongside another group that together encompasses seven countries; Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panam´┐Ż. On a yearly basis, Rotaract hosts a Bi-district conference for all Rotaractors from these countries [...]

PM leaves country to join wife in Miami

Earlier today, Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country and headed back to Miami where his wife, Kim Simpliss Barrow is undergoing treatment for breast cancer. According to a release from the Government Press Office, the Deputy Prime Minister, Gaspar Vega will be the acting PM for today and Saturday. Vega then leaves for Barbados [...]

Belikin adds cacao to special batch of stout

Bowen and Bowen is the bottler of Belikin Beer and Stout. In 2011, the brew master made a commemorative Christmas edition of Sorrel Stout. The local beer company has whipped up a new formula that has a chocolate flavor. News Five's Isani Cayetano reports.   The contents of the cacao pod, which, in the past, [...]


Thursday, May 17 - POLICE NEWS
Forty nine year old Yun Sing He reported to police that on Wednesday night he was inside the Good Fortune Restaurant along with his employees when four men entered, one of whom was brandishing a firearm. One of the men reportedly took Yun Sing He into the kitchen and robbed him of his ...

He has been the Indian Ambassador to Mexico and Belize for the past three years and his term of office is coming to a close. Today Indian Ambassador, Denish K. Jain, left on his farewell visit to Belize in his official capacity. Before he did, however, the Ambassador sat do...

The alleged forgery of Fuel Orders has been reported at the Immigration Department. Finance Officer Teresita Castellanos conducted an audit at the end of April based on information that the signature of the Deputy Director was being forged. Castellanos told police that duri...

The Belize Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors will be hosting their regional counterparts for 26th Caribbean Sales Congress. The event will take place in San Pedro and begins on Sunday. The annual event which is held in a different territory each year, brings to...

World Telecommunications and Information Society Day is being celebrated today by all countries that are members of the international telecommunications Union, a United Nations based organization. In Belize, Belize Telemedia Limited is celebrating with the theme Women and girls i...

Last week attorneys for the appellants and respondents in the election petition application against the UDP's Lake Independence Area Representative, Mark King, argued on whether or not Mark King violated the law when he did not declare a purported contract that his firm has with ...


Former Bank Manager Exonerated Of All Charges
April 5th 2011 marked the brazen bank robbery of Heritage Bank here in Orange Walk which netted robbers over $200,000. Following police investigations former bank manager Samantha Carlos was detained for conspiracy to commit robbery after it was believed that she was involved in the robbery. In addition, four other persons were detained, namely Ricky Valencia who was charged with robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery, Harold Valencia brother to Ricky Valencia who was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery, Noel Usher who was charged with robbery and Marva Welch who was charged with handling stolen goods after she was found with $1,200 believed to be part of the monies stolen. But the case against the five individuals started falling apart when Noel Usher, who it is alleged would have been the crown witness in the case, was murdered in October 2011. And then the case basically got cold with the death of Ricky Valencia who was murdered execution style on 21st February 2012 on Caesar Ridge Road in Belize City. From there it was all down hill for the prosecution leaving only Samantha Carlos, Harold Valencia and Marva Welch to stand trial.

P.U.P First Leader Passes Away
Tonight the People's United Party is mourning the death of their first leader John A. Smith who passed away on Tuesday May 15th. The 93 year old died in Metairie, Louisiana in the company of his wife and children. Smith is well known to the People's United Party and Belize, as one of the fathers of the country's Nationalist Movement. Smith was a founding member of the People's Committee in 1948 and became the first leader of the P.U.P in 1950 prior to which he served as a member of the Belize City Council from 1944 to 1955 including Mayorship from 1947 to 1950. Smith was also a member of the Legislative Assembly for six years from 1948 to 1954. He subsequently migrated to the United States where he remained a proud Belizean and instilled his passion for Belize to his children. John Smith is survived by his wife, Consuelo Smith (Nee Riverol) and four daughters: Jean Bernard, Anne Angelle, Donna Bodin, and Patricia Smith; Sons-in-law Gary Bernard, Terry Angelle, and Russel Bodin as well as a number of grand-children, great grandchildren and a host of nieces and nephews. Funeral Services for the late John A. Smith will be held on Saturday May 19th at the St. Phillip Neri Church in Louisiana. John Smith dead at ninety-three.

Calling All Kite Lovers
On Sunday May 20th; the Orange Walk Civic Committee will be hosting a kite competition for children under the ages of 14. All kites must be homemade and of course be able to fly. There will be prizes for the most unusual kite, highest flying kite, largest flying kite, the most colorful kite and the smallest kite. The competition will provide an avenue for children to express their creativity and artistic talent. If you are interested in taking part in the competition, which starts at 9:00am at the BSI Field, you can register at Leonardo's located at # 1 George Street. Judging will take place between 11:00am and 1:00pm. All proceeds will go to another child friendly event.

San Victor R.C School Holds Open Day
In celebration of Education Week and in commemoration of the Quality Child Friendly School Initiative, San Victor RC Primary School in the Corozal District held their annual open day today. The event was focused on demonstrating the students' skills by exhibiting their drawings, essay writings, origami's and many other projects. We visited the school this morning where we were given a tour by the students. "Good morning, welcome to San Victor RC School's Open Day. The theme is 'Together We Can Achieve Quality Education For All". Kindly follow the arrows." And that's exactly what we did, like obedient students setting the example, we followed the arrows. And In doing so the first booth we encountered was that of pre-schoolers who were busy enjoying their snack upon our arrival. Believe it or not these 40 young minds have been busy with their hands over the last three weeks learning how to manoeuvre a scissors. Learning how to cut out shapes is what the students learnt next and that's exactly what they had on display today. The arrows then led us to the infant division where we found Idirma Gutierrez and her peers ready to present their pieces of work including drawings, paintings and hand crafted flowers.

BHOC Celebrates World Museum Day
The world wide communities of Museums are celebrating the 35th anniversary of International Museum Day which brings to perspective the role of museums in our society. In a world where technology often overcomes tradition and culture, the rediscovery and appreciation for heritage is a steaming vitality for young children and other community members and today the Banquitas House of Culture brought back to life everything Belizean. Janine Ayuso, Reporting Here in Orange Walk the Banquitas House of Culture is at the forefront in celebrating International Museum Day by observing new techniques to get visitors interested in observing the occasion. As part of the activities, the house of culture was brought to life with special performances and presentations prepared for school children and other visitors.

Oceana Files Another Case Against Government In Court
The Non-governmental organization OCEANA is not letting up the fight against the decision concerning the rejection of over 8000 signatures from the petition for a referendum on offshore drilling. Ocean submitted an application for leave to apply for a court review of the disqualification of the signatures on May 4th. That case will be heard in the Supreme Court on June 20th. Another pending litigation against GOB is the matter of six oil contracts that are being challenged by OCEANA. The oil drilling concession contracts were issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources between 2005 and 2007 to Island Oil Belize Limited, Tropical Energy Limited, PetroBelize Company Limited, Princess Petroleum Limited, Providence Energy Belize Limited and Sol Oil Belize Limited. Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, and the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage have jump in the litigation as interested parties. Yesterday Vice President of OCEANA Belize, Audrey Matura Shepherd, gave the NGO's stance upon the matter.

Quality Child Friendly School Initiative Program Launched In Orange Walk
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports in collaboration with UNICEF kicked off the Quality Child Friendly School Initiative Program at a district level today. The program is aimed at establishing a system which if put into practice could enhance school effectiveness within the districts. The program was implemented two years ago in the Belize and Toledo Districts and today the four remaining districts were all at the forefront of the launch. This of course means that Orange Walk is also in the educational race. "It takes a community to raise a child" that's an old saying that goes way back, but when it comes to education all methods available for the insinuation of learning is put to practice. And that is the main objective of the Ministry of Education; provide children with the highest level of education by involving the community at large. Today Orange Walk observed the launch of the first Quality Child Friendly Initiative at the Multi Purpose Complex where power point presentations were set up to educate all participants, including students, of the QCFSI's purpose.


No wake regulation to be enforced around San Pedro
The situation of observing No Wake zones around San Pedro town is being addressed by municipal authorities. Love TV's Maria Novelo reports.

Indian Ambassador on farewell visit to Belize
He has been the Indian Ambassador to Mexico and Belize for the past three years and his term of office is coming to a close. Today Indian Ambassador, Denish K. Jain, left on his farewell visit to Belize in his official capacity. Before he did, however, the Ambassador sat down with Love News' Marion Ali, during which he explained the many strands of diplomatic achievements, including the closer connections between our two countries. Ambassador Jain left a parting message for his Indian compatriots in Belize and to all Belizeans on a whole. India spends one billion each year to assist developing countries like Belize in areas of technical cooperation.

Belize observes World Telecommunications Day
World Telecommunications and Information Society Day is being celebrated today by all countries that are members of the international telecommunications Union, a United Nations based organization. In Belize, Belize Telemedia Limited is celebrating with the theme Women and girls in ICT, during a brief ceremony this morning, Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors at Belize Telemedia Limited, Nestor Vasquez, explained what the day is all about and emphasized the importance of this year's theme. According to Vasquez, Information and Communication technology is used in television, internet and mobile phones which also allows for mobile banking and today Atlantic Bank is joining BTL in providing mobile banking to its customers. Guest speaker during the ceremony was Process and Quality Manager for Atlantic Bank Limited, Claudia Lopez. The Chief Executive officer in the Ministry of Energy Science and Technology and Public Utilities Dr. Colin Young, reiterated the importance of women in ICT during the keynote address this morning. The winners of the ICT essay competition were announced and included two students at the tertiary level and one from the secondary level. Executive Chairman Nestor Vasquez and CEO Dr. Colin Young proceeded to cut the ribbon and officially open the exhibit in the King's Room of the Princess Hotel where information on the different sections of BTL will be displayed throughout the day to students and others alike.

Canada-funded CARILED launched
The Commonwealth Local Government Forum meet came to a close last night at the Princess Hotel. An official closing was held in which speeches were delivered by a representative of the Canadian International Development Agency. CIDA is funding the CARILED project to the tune of twenty three point two million US dollars. The project was launched by the patron of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum, the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Kamela Persad-Bissessar. She said that the only path to recovery from the global financial crisis in the region is to focus on sustainable economic growth and development. And she outlined how that should be done. Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar also announced that her country is deeply investing in CARILED, since the project will be headquartered in the twin-island republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Persad-Bissessar also outlined another program that is being implemented in Trinidad and Tobago which she says might be of great benefit to CARILED. According to the Prime Minister, partnership with CARILED will complement the regional planning program and aid in restitution of its activities and she looks forward for this collaboration. After the closing ceremony, everyone enjoyed a reception at the Calypso Restaurant at the Princess Hotel. The Board is meeting today at the Princess after which a statement will be given to the press in relation to their meet this afternoon.

Petition against Mark King thrown out of the Supreme Court
Last week attorneys for the appellants and respondents in the election petition application against the UDP's Lake Independence Area Representative, Mark King, argued on whether or not Mark King violated the law when he did not declare a purported contract that his firm has with the government of Belize. The appellant, Martin Galvez, who lost the elections to King, and his attorney, Senior Counsle Lisa Shoman, claim that King ought to have made a public declaration. King's attorney, on the other hand, Senior Counsel Denys Barrow, said that there are various types of contracts and the law is specific on those which require public declaration. Today, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin handed down his ruling, and it was in favour of Barrow and King. Shoman, who spoke with reporters first said she saw things differently. Senior Counsel, Denys Barrow, was confident that he had the better argument. King himself has been silent throughout the hearings, but today he broke that silence. And while he did not admit that his security firm does have a contract with the government, he said the firm provides security services to quote ´┐Ż "a lot of people". Martin Galvez, in the meantime, is weighing his options of taking the matter to the Court of Appeal.

Students from the north go on field trip to Toledo
A group of students, teachers and parents from Libertad village were in Toledo yesterday on an educational tour. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Family remembers the life of Arthur Smith
The slick road conditions are thought to be the cause of Wednesday's tragic road accident at mile forty-four on the Western Highway which claimed four lives. The small GEO Prizm car with the four casualties was heading towards Belmopan when its driver, forty-five year old school counselor, Karen Tillett Castillo, lost control and slammed into an oncoming Isuzu Rodeo. One of the persons who perished was forty-five year old Arthur Smith, also known as "Smiggit", a well-known bus driver who catered to mostly chartered trips out of Belize City. In retrospect, Smith's sister, Harriet Smith, told Love News that she never imagined that her brother would be killed the way he was. Smith was accompanying his thirteen year old daughter, Alicia Smith, her mother, Karen Tillett Castillo and her mother, sixty-eight year old Nicholasia Tillett. All four perished in the crash. Another family member, school teacher, twenty-eight year old Monique Robinson was the sole survivor in the Geo Prizm car.

Motor Cycle reported stolen
A motorcycle belonging to Intelligent Solutions has been reported stolen. Computer technician Duane Staine reported to police that sometime between midnight and seven o'clock yesterday morning, someone removed the company's 2009 Meilun-10 motor cycle from where it was parked in his yard. The value of the stolen motor bike is put at two thousand dollars. Police investigation continues.

Police raid Brian Brown's house
Police have conducted an operation at the home of thirty six year old businessman Brian Brown. The search, which was carried out on Wednesday morning, led to the discovery of several Ziploc plastic bags containing compressed cannabis, several small plastic bags containing suspected crack cocaine and a bullet proof vest. According to the police press officer, no one was at home at the time of the search. All drugs were weighed amounting to 1,124 grams of Crack Cocaine and 762 grams of cannabis. They were all sealed and labeled as exhibit in the presence of a Justice of Peace.

Conviction for Good Fortune Restaurant robbery; another robbery reported
25-year-old Keith Williams, a security guard who was charged with robbery and kept firearm without a gun licence was sentenced to seven years today after he was found guilty of the charges. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser who imposed the sentences stipulated that the sentences are to run concurrently so Williams will only serve five years. The incident occurred around 2 a.m. on December 26, 2011 at Good Fortune Restaurant and Bar located on Newtown Barracks. The complainant, businesswoman Xin Ye Zhang testified that she was about to close when three men entered and one of them of them held her up at gunpoint. She said they stole her Nokia cellular phone that has a value of $1,000.00. She said the men also made off with $700.00 and $500.00 worth of phone cards. She identified Williams as the person who was taking the money off the counter and giving it to a man who was at the door. In a statement he gave from the dock Williams said he went to Queen Street Police Station to make a report of a robbery and the point 25 pistol the Police found in his pocket was one he took from the robber during a struggle. After Williams reported the alleged robber the Police took him to Good Fortune Restaurant and Zhang identified him as one of the persons who robbed her. Williams then took the Police to his house and handed over some dollar coins which he said was his share of the proceeds from the robbery. A second man, Brasel Gordon was charged jointly with Williams for robbery but he did not have a case to answer because the witness who identified him did not appear to testify. And while that 2011 case has ended with a conviction; tonight there is another incident involving the very same business establishment. Forty nine year old Yun Sing He reported to police that on Wednesday night he was inside the Good Fortune Restaurant along with his employees when four men entered, one of whom was brandishing a firearm. One of the men reportedly took Yun Sing He into the kitchen and robbed him of his wallet containing $2,300.00b in cash and two cheques with a combined value of five thousand and seventy five dollars; whilst another went to the cash drawer and helped themselves to six hundred dollars, along with personal documents belonging to the employees. All four men then exited and made good their escape. Police investigation continues.

Alleged forgery of government fuel orders discovered
The alleged forgery of Fuel Orders has been reported at the Immigration Department. Finance Officer Teresita Castellanos conducted an audit at the end of April based on information that the signature of the Deputy Director was being forged. Castellanos told police that during her audit a fuel order book could not be located, despite extensive searches. When a reconciliation of fuel bills for the Immigration Department was done, it showed that the same serial numbers on the missing fuel order books were used on fuel orders tendered at gas stations to obtain fuel. A further examination of the tendered fuel orders allegedly shows that the signature of the deputy director is a forgery. After the internal investigation at the Immigration Department, the matter has now been turned over to the police who are carrying out a criminal investigation.


Commonwealth Secretariat holds press conference on visit to Belize
This morning at the Radisson Fort George Hotel Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma hosted a press confe...

Belize City streets to get facelift
The rains have started and Belize City residents are already suffering the discomfort that results when they hit th...

Lupus walk slated for Saturday
Cancer is a well documented disease and everyone knows about it. But there is a ground swell of support rising up f...

Amenzee Amu wins CANTO essay competition
The Caribbean Association of National Telecommunications Organizations (CANTO) every year hosts an essay competitio...

Popular Belize City businessman murdered
It is another story of crime and violence when CIB personnel last night visited a crime scene at #102 Curassow Stre...

Another home invasion in the West
In our news update this morning we told you about reports of a home invasion in the West. Well according to police ...

Two injured in shooting
A shooting incident took place last night in Belize City. At 9:35pm C.I.B. personnel visited the K.H.M.H. where the...

Former Bank Manager acquitted of robbery charge
In April of 2011 former Heritage Bank Branch Manager, Samantha Carlos, was charged with conspiracy to commit robber...

Will Said Musa step down from Fort George?
Hon. Said Musa may be preparing to step down as PUP Fort George area representative. Reliable sources to Plusnews h...

Man shot, robbed of Bible
This morning at 1:55am, C.I.B. Personnel visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they saw 26yr old Codring...

Freak accident at Baking Pot Ferry
Travellers to Spanish lookout are familiar with the solid metal bridge which spans the width of the Belize River. H...

Hon. Vega holds over in PM Barrow's absence
Prime Minister Barrow left Belize today (May 18) to re-join his wife as she continues with her medical treatment. D...

Man followed home, shot, after confrontation
29yr old Francisco Sosa, Guatemalan of Rhaburn's Ridge Village, Belize District reported that on Wednesday March 21...


CJ throws out Martin Galvez petition against Mark King
"There is a contract between Brints Security Services and the Government of Belize, and that is signed by Mark King," insists Lisa Shoman... Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin made a landmark election petition ruling-which will serve as a legal precedent not just in Belize, but in the wider Caribbean-when he declared in the Belize Supreme Court this morning that a contract for security services with the Government of Belize does not require disclosure before election, as Martin Galvez, political opponent of Lake I area representative Mark King, had argued in a petition filed in April, challenging the legitimacy of King's election on March 7.

Terrible tragedy - 4 die in W. Highway collision
Two others survive... A horrific collision on the Western Highway between a gold Geo Prism car, bearing license plate BZC-38571, and an Isuzu Rodeo claimed the lives of four relatives around 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 16, around Mile 45 on the Western Highway, on the outskirts of Cotton Tree. Two other victims are in critical condition.

Case withdrawn against accused conspirators in Heritage Bank robbery
Third accused, charged with handling, awaits her fate... On Tuesday of this week, at a preliminary inquiry in the Orange Walk Magistrate's Court, charges were withdrawn against two of the remaining accused in connection with last April's robbery of the Orange Walk branch of the Heritage Bank in which some $202,000 was taken.

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Third Matura brother shot to death in front of his home
Matura's brothers, Glenford and Anthony, were killed in separate incidents within weeks of each other in 2010, and his cousins, Mark and Jermaine, were also previously targeted (Mark was killed, while Jermaine has been shot several times).

Police issues warrant for arrest of Brian Brown
The GSU conducted an anti-drug operation around 6:00 a.m. yesterday, Wednesday, in the old capital, Belize City, on Jimmy Dyer Street in the Fabers Road Extension area; searched the property of Brian Brown, 36, an auto dealer, who was not at home; and found several Ziploc plastic bags containing compressed weed and several small plastic bags containing crack cocaine.

Murder at corner Cemetery and Curassow
Popular businessman, Jeremy McNab, shot to death in his store.... The mayhem in this beleaguered city continues. Around 7:05 tonight, a Belizean businessman reportedly died when he was shot three times in the chest in his store, the Mobile Hardware Store, located at the corner of Cemetery Road and Currasow Street.

No Champions League for Belize's Placencia Assassins
Well, it's official. Belize will NOT be represented in the next edition of the CONCACAF Champions League tournament, beginning July 31, in which the champion clubs of all countries in CONCACAF (North, Central America and the Caribbean) get to participate. The newly- crowned Belizean football champions Placencia Assassins will follow 3-peat national champions Belize Defence Force, and before them Culture Yabra, as Belizean champion clubs who were denied participation in the prestigious regional club tournament.

Placencia Assassins are Premier League 2012 champions
Upwards of two thousand football fans were a part of football history on Saturday night, May 12, at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan, where Placencia Assassins were crowned 2012 Premier League of Belize football champions, after they drew 1-1 with the recently formed but star-studded Police United FC. The Assassins had taken game 1 by a 2-1 score the previous Saturday night at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village, so the 1-1 draw this past Saturday gave them the aggregate victory and the championship by a 3-2 margin.

Kaya is #1, wins Women Cross Country Classic
It was no fluke, or no accident yesterday, Mother's Day, in the Women Cross Country Classic, where once again, as has become the trend lately on the home stretch in female cycle races, Kaya Cattouse of C-Ray Cycling Club out-sprinted her competitors to claim the coveted garland and etch her name in the history book of female cycling in Belize as the 23rd Women Cross Country Classic Champion.

OLA and Coalition want to join Oceana in legal challenge to 6 offshore oil contracts
Both the Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) and the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage have applied to the Supreme Court to join Oceana Belize in challenging the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment over the validity of 6 offshore petroleum contracts awarded by the Government of Belize.

Rice and beans
We believe that it is safe to say that beginning with his first term as Prime Minister, the Hon. Dean O. Barrow has sold himself to the Belizean public as an implacable opponent of British billionaire, Lord Michael Ashcroft, whose policies and operations on the country's financial (and economic) landscape were seen as inimical to the best interests of Belize, to say the least.

Repeal Prevention of Corruption Act - it's useless!
This is certainly true. It is we the people that put leaders in office and it is we the people that must keep the HAT on them during their term of office. We must join together to make sure our elected officials are "HAT" - honest, accountable and transparent. We must bring pressure on them, if necessary, to obey the law or pay the penalty for breaking it!


Second 24 h at Banana Beach Resort
I finally finished editing all my Banana Beach Resort pics and along with that comes the write up on our second 24 hours there. You can see pics and write up of our first 24 h on my 2 day getaway at Banana Beach post. [This post a work in progress time has run out and I have to get to Red Cross First Aid training at Fidos - will finish asap.] The second day brought us another great sunrise, more fantastic, food, some more boat action, pool time, a massage and 2 bubble baths. - Meals were fantastic our entire trip, as you can see from all the food pics. My new obsession is triple Chocolate Obsession from El Divino - foodgasm. - Staff catered to our every need - Banana beach has a nice tropical ambiance, loved our ground floor Oceanfront room. It was perfect and we loved being steps from the beach and pool. - We felt safe and secure during our stay there and noticed many of the guests including ourselves got to know the onsite security.

Finding Great Souvenirs in San Pedro, Tough but Not Impossible: Graniel's Dreamland
These would make beautiful gifts, right? But let's back up... It can be tricky finding a distinctive and affordable gift for your friends when you are on vacation. There are lots of shops in town but many sell the same old thing. Stuff like t-shirts (don't get me wrong, I've purchased quite a few of them...especially the Belikin beer ones), plastic jewelry, shot glasses... or magnets and mugs that were obviously ordered with the stipulation "fill in your country here"... But exotic hard woods of all colors are one of Belize's most beautiful (and rare) resources. Graniel's Dreamland on Middle Street (aka Pescador Drive) takes full advantage of them. Turning the woods into so many beautiful things for your home and for gifts. NONE of these woods are dyed...the hues below are the woods' natural colors. (Friends and you know where I got all of those cutting boards!) They have also recently introduced these flip flops in a few different patterns to hang on your wall. Love them too. They cost about $50bzd (or $25 USD). I asked the sales woman what the two most expensive and rare types of wood are...she had two. The first is zericote/ziricote, a dark wood with uneven waves. Pretty, right? Apparently this tree produces an edible fruit but I need to do a bit of research on that. And the other is the rosewood burl...huge knots in the rosewood tree that are very rare and can weigh up to 50lbs. Instead of a straight or wavy grain, it is a mass of pink to red circles and squiggles and makes for some really pretty but pricey bowls. My point? There are over 20 different types, rarities, price levels and colors of wood to choose from at Graniels.

A cautionary tale on eating the Devil's eggs
The Clathrus Ruber also known as the Basket stink horn or "the Devil's egg" is an intriguing fungus. Its fruit is a hollow sphere with interlaced branches and can be found feeding off decaying woody plant material, and is usually found alone or in groups in leaf litter on garden soil, grassy places, or on woodchip garden mulches. The height ranges from 8 to 20 cm. The leathery, basket like structure is usually bright pink to pale orange. Despite the smell of Stink horn mushroom usually being considered an unpleasant odor, it is still considered a delicacy in many European and Asian countries where they are readily available in markets under the common name "Devil's egg". An important caution to heed is that of consuming the Devil's eggs" only during the egg stage and not as a mature fruit to avoid poisoning.

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