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The San Pedro Sun

SPTC Foreman to leave for training in El Salvador
San Pedro Town Council Foreman Samuel Gonzalez is scheduled to leave the country for a four-day training in El Salvador. Gonzalez will leave on the 5th of June and expected back on the 9th of June and will receive training in solid waste management. Gonzalez will be part of a larger Belizean delegation that will receive training in solid waste management as part of the national Solid Waste Management Plan. The national Solid Waste Management Plan that is yet to be adopted proposes a transfer station for the transportation of solid waste from off San Pedro Ambergris Caye. When the plan is in place, garbage will be barged off the island from a station in San Pedro Town in a specialized container to a propose site near Belize City, then transported to mile 22 on the Western Highway.

Coral Reef Ed-Ventures returning to San Pedro for Coral Reef Programs
Hol Chan Coral Reef Ed-Ventures is an educational summer program that teaches children about reef ecology and conservation. In 2000, three Smith College professors collaborated with Hol Chan Marine Reserve, especially Miguel Alamilla, to create an environmental education program for Belizean school children, facilitated every year by Smith students. The goal of the program for the past twelve years has been to foster collaboration between Smith students and the residents of San Pedro to promote an understanding about the environmental and economic benefits of a healthy reef system with the hope of increasing conservation of this remarkable resource. This program has two sessions: a one-week advanced program and a two-week youth program. The advanced program is for youth ages 13 to 18, and will create a coral reef conservation project. Last year, the group created a documentary focusing on mangrove restoration. This year we will start on Monday, June 18th and go through Friday, June 22nd. The program runs from 4PM to 6PM at San Pedro High School. The youth program is for school children ages 7 to 12 and will run from Monday, July 2nd through Thursday, July 12th. The program runs 9:00 to 11:45AM at the RC School. Children participate in a two-week, inquiry-based program to learn about coral reefs that includes many hands-on activities that emphasize the care and preservation of the reef. Interested students should pick up permission slips at the library (across from the RC School) or at the Hol Chan Office and bring it to the first day of the program.

The National Celebrations Commission announces 2012's "THEME" Competition!
All Belizeans living at home or abroad are invited to submit their most creative ideas for the theme of this year's September Celebrations to commemorate the 214th Anniversary of the Battle of St. George's Caye and the 31st Anniversary of Belize's Independence. This year's celebrations coincide with the festivities surrounding our Maya Culture and Heritage. The 21st September is recognized as the International Day of Peace. As a result, the theme may also include reflections capturing the contributions of Belize's many cultural groups, to the national development, as well as ideas about peace and aspirations for our country. The theme should not be more than ten (10) words and the deadline for submissions is Friday, June 15th, 2012. The winner of the chosen theme will receive a cash prize of $1000. Email submissions to: [email protected] or drop it off at the House of Culture on Regent Street in Belize City or any of the offices of the District Town Councils.

San Pedro Lobster Fest Committee announce activities for 2012
The San Pedro Business Association (SPBA) has released the list of activities for the San Pedro Lobster Festival. The one-week celebration is being held under the theme "Lobster Crawl 2012" and is scheduled to coincide with the start of the lobster season. One of the main highlights is the annual San Pedro Lobster Fest Block Party and the introduction of a Lobster Crawl 2012 passport which is new twist to the celebration. Entertainment for the week will feature Belize's well-known Garifuna Collective, Panerrifix Steel Band hailing from Our Lady of Guadalupe RC School in Belmopan and San Pedro's Gino and the Shack Shakers. Events kick off on Friday June 15th with opening night at El Divino restaurant. On Saturday June 16th the event moves to Banana Beach Resort during the day and in the night at Fido's Courtyard. On Sunday June 17th spend a fun day at the Seahorse Bar at Corona del Mar. Events continue on the evening of Monday June 18th at Mojitos Bar and Grill. Pineapple Restaurant at Ramon's Village will be the venue on Tuesday June 19th to enjoy the lobster while Wednesday June 20th, it's all about lobster pizza at Pedro's Sports Bar. On Thursday June 21st the event goes back on the beach at Crazy Canucks Bar. On Friday June 22nd, enjoy the start of the Eco-Pro Kayak Challenge during the day onboard SEAduced while sailing along the coast of Ambergris Caye and then head over to Wet Willy's on the Friday night. On Saturday June 23rd the event moves to the Central Park the entire day with the final leg of the 2 day Eco-Pro Kayak Challenge around Ambergris Caye. The activities continue through the night with the annual Lobster Fest Block Party at Central Park featuring live musical performances. The week-long event culminates on Sunday June 24th during the day at Cowboy Doug's Grill at Grand Caribe Resort at the Lobster Fest after party.

Ambergris Today

Awareness Walk for World No Tobacco Day
The Ministry of Health and the National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC) in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) celebrated World No Tobacco Day on Thursday, May 31, 2012. Although the day is recognized every year on May 31st, the Ministry extended the awareness campaign until today June 1, at various health centers across the country. In San Pedro, the NDACC in collaboration with the San Pedro Town Council, held its first ever "World No Tobacco Day Awareness Walk" with a brief ceremony at Central Park before participants took a walk around the main streets of San Pedro.

Get Ready for Ambergris Caye Eco-Pro Challenge Kayak Race
- The organizers of the Lagoon Reef Eco-Challenge bring to you the Ambergris Caye Eco-Pro Challenge Kayak Race. Coming June 22 - 23, 2012, is the Eco-Pro Challenge Kayak Race with professional international kayakers from all over the world competing in a grueling 60-mile race around the entire island of Ambergris Caye. For the Eco Challenge Pro Race, both professional and amateur teams are allowed to participate. Only Malibu two and Malibu two XL sit on top kayaks will be allowed. There will be three grand prizes (1st, 2nd, 3rd place) for each category, one for the overall race and individual station prizes for specific points along the route. Juniors will be awarded 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. For more information email: [email protected] or call 666-8078/610-1690 or visit the website:

Not Guilty; 4 accused of double murder on north Ambergris Caye are now free men
A jury of 12 handed down a not guilty verdict on the four men accused in the double murder of James Swan and Edwardo Gutierrez. As we reported in the Thursday May 25th, 2012 publication of The San Pedro Sun, the case began on May 16th in the 2012 setting of the Supreme Court in Belize City. On Wednesday May 30th, the jury took five hours to deliberate and pass down a not guilty verdict for murder and manslaughter against Brionne Swift, Victor Garnett, Frank Edwards Jr and Gabriel Salazar. During the trial, the prosecutor called in their main witness Eric Swan, the brother of deceased James, but the jury was not convinced by his story. In his account, Eric told the court that he never saw the actual murder but heard shots while being held hostage in a boat.

Got Milk? World Milk Day Observed in Belize
San Pedro students at both the San Pedro Roman Catholic School and Holy Cross Anglican School got their special dose of milk and a great daily intake of calcium thanks to the folks of Santiago Castillo Limited of Belize City as they observed World Milk Day today, June 1, 2012.

Misc Belizean Sources

'Are you in the Circle?' Video

The National Committee for Familes and Children has released a feelgood video. This is a well done video, and it looks like all districts are in there, like Cayo. The mission of the NCFC is: "Championing the rights, welfare and development of Belizean families and children."

"No matter where we are in society - we all have a role to play in raising our children! it really takes a village."

Their FB page is here.

Cayo's Welcome Center Progress
The Cayo Welcome Center is almost done. Many local businesses are also making improvements. Downtown will be looking picture perfect in no time.

June's Cayo Event Calendar
The Cayo Event Calendar for June is up. If there are any events that aren't on there, just let us know. It's a big month: June 5th is the Maya Full Moon Ceremony at Lower Dover with Don Beto Cocom, June 20th is the Caracol overnight trip with NICH, and from June 26th through the 29th, the Institute of Archaeology is doing their Symposium at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel.

Death at Blue Hole
There was a death May 31st at the Great Blue Hole. A dive group from Turneffe Flats had a fatality and the body was brought in by the coastguard. from a tourist.... May 31, 2012 I just ran into a fellow tourist (we were in the same tour group a few days ago) in San Pedro and he just came back from a dive at the Blue Hole today and said a woman died today. Apparently another company had a fatality---not sure what happened but he said it sounded like she drowned while diving the Blue Hole.

Belize Youth Awards 2012
Youth for the Future Belize is accepting nominations for this year's Belize Youth Awards. Nominations can be made until August 3rd. There are a wide range of awards from which to choose, including Youth is Sports, Youth in Media, and Youth in Agriculture. YFF Belize is located in Benque, in the town hall. "The Belize National Youth Award 2012 Nomination Forms now available at all the Department of Youth Services/Youth for the Future offices nationally! Nominate someone today! Nomination deadline: August 3, 2012"

Boiton's BBQ Kicks Off Promotion and Website
Boiton's BBQ has a new website! Boiton's BBQ is teaming up with Vivian's, Belize Digital Express, and the Caye Caulker Water Taxi to send a lucky winner to Banana Beach Resort for 3 nights. Good luck! "Remember friends, the super summer promotion starts today, June 1st. With every $10.00 that you spend at Belize Digital Express in Santa Elena, every $15.00 at Vivians in San Ignacio, and on every $25.00 at Boitons Bar BQ and House of Pastries, also in Santa Elena, you are entitled to a ticket that allows you to participate in this promo."

Channel 7

This morning in Belize City, a man was found dead in his home - he had been stabbed to death. The victim is 35 year old Rudy Cruz, very well known in the entertainment world as Belize's premier light technician. But last night - police believe he was killed in his sleep by someone who did not break into his home. It is a murder that has all the indicators of a crime of passion - and today Monica Bodden tried to find out what led to his death:.. Monica Bodden reporting Family members, neighbors and friends gathered outside this house on Allan Pitts Crescent - the home of 35 year old Rudy Cruz - his body lay dead inside his bedroom - where he was attacked and viciously stabbed over a dozen times. Cruz was last seen alive last night at the Princess Casino. Around 6:30 this morning his lifeless body was discovered on his bed inside his home by a friend who went looking for him after he didn't show up to an early morning job.

Our next story is about an unusual and disturbing carjacking. It happened on the Spanish Lookout Road in broad daylight - and the victim is well known Belize City engineer Omar Mitchell. The location is unusual - and so is the fact that the carjackers tried to inject him with an unknown substance. The good news is that he was not seriously hurt, but the chilling news is that criminals are striking in broad daylight on a heavily trafficked road. We found out more when we visited the area today. Jules Vasquez reporting This is the stretch of pavement on the Spanish Lookout Road that Omar Mitchell was driving on at 11:15 yesterday morning. He was in his 2009 silver Toyota Hilux at this area, about a half a mile south of BNE - and is quite heavily trafficked. So he thought nothing of it when a vehicle tried to pull him over. He presumed it was police:. Sr. Supt Chester Williams, OC - Cayo District "When he stopped, the two male persons who are Hispanic decent approach the vehicle and requested him to move over so that they could take command of the vehicle." "One of them took out something which he believe was to inject him and he had a struggle with them. During the struggle the man which was in possession of one of the subjects went off and injured him in the left leg."

An infant child was shot last night when a gunman opened fire on a taxi with a nine month old inside. The disturbing event happened last night on in Belize city at around 11:30. 47 year old taxi driver Patrick Bryant reported to police that while driving his Geo Prism Taxi Cab on Wilson Street heading towards the Princess- a gunman walked into the road and opened fire on the vehicle. Inside the car along with Bryant were his girlfriend 19 year old Whitney Alvarez, their 9 month old baby and passenger Teddy Reyes. The child was shot to the right leg, while the mother, Alvarez received injuries to her foot and Reyes was shot to the abdomen. All 3 victims are listed in a stable condition at the KHMH; the infant had to undergo surgery. The adults declined comment and we spoke with police press officer - Fitzroy Yearwood- about the incident:..

30 year-old Daron Waight, a man who was staring down a 4 year-sentence for a firearms conviction, got good news today that he will be going home in a few more months after he successfully appealed to the Supreme Court to have his sentence cut in half. Waight pleaded guilty in November of 2010 to keeping an unlicensed firearm and keeping unlicensed ammunition after police busted him and his 11 year-old brother inside a vehicle with a gun stashed under the driver's seat. He took the rap so that his brother could be freed of the charges. The sitting magistrate sentenced him to serve 2 years on each count, which was to run consecutively. His attorney, Brian Neal, argued to Justice Dennis Hanomansingh that Waight's sentence should be reduced because the magistrate could have handed down a sentence of 2 concurrent terms of 2 years for both counts.

Benque Viejo police took a man to court today for trafficking over fifty pounds of marijuana. The bust is the product of sharp police work. On Wednesday night on Jose Marti street in Benque Viejo town, a patrol saw a Ford Escort lurch off when they appeared. They pursued the vehicle as it sped off eastbound on the Western Highway. Inspector Jesus Palma told us what happened next:.. Inspector Jesus Palma - Station Manager, Benque Viejo "The police responded, and they saw a suspicious vehicle on within Benque Viejo Town on Jose Martin Street. When the driver saw the police, he began behaving suspicious, and the Benque police ordered the vehicle to stop. The driver fled the area, and police made a pursuit. They eventually caught up with the vehicle on the outskirts of Benque Vejo, where the vehicle came to a stop. 2 occupants of the vehicle - 2 Hispanic male persons exited the vehicle, and they made their escape in nearby bushes. As a result, the vehicle was searched the officer discovered 2 sacks of marijuana, also a black plastic bag, all of which contained a total of 25Kilos, which is equivalent to 78 pounds of marijuana. They vehicle and the items were escorted to the Benque Vejo Police Station. On May 31, the following day, the owner of the vehicle, which was learnt to be one Abner Francisco Escobar, 26 year-old, a Naturalized Belizean - Guatemalan National, the of Corsalito area of Benque Vejo Town, handed himself over to police, and he was identified as the driver of the said vehicle. He was detained, where Benque Vejo Police conducted an investigation into the matter."

And while Escobar ended up in prison, for allegedly smuggling weed, 26 year-old Prison Officer, Abraham Ponce, is an inmate tonight after he was busted trying to smuggle weed into the facility. According to police, sometime after 7 p.m. last night, Ponce reported to work, and when one of his colleagues performed the routine search on him, that officer found 3.3 ounces of weed hidden under the soles of his right work boot. As a result, police charged him with drug trafficking, and he was taken to court today. Ponce pleaded not guilty to charge, and he was granted bail of $6,000 despite the prosecutor's objections. But he was not able to meet bail, so he will be remanded until his can do so at a later date. He is to be brought back to court on July 9.

On Wednesday, 7News told you about 22 year-old Ambrose Joseph, 21 year-old Lionel Vasquez, and 22 year-old Kendale Ramirez who were all reportedly caught in the act of burglarizing a home in Placencia. Well, police have since charged Ramirez with burglary, since the owner of the items pointed him out as the person she saw running away with her items. They charged Joseph and Vasquez with conspiracy to commit burglary since they were reportedly caught in the general area where the items were recovered. But, although their apprehension is the result of police and the community working together, the family of Joseph and Vasquez is upset because they believe that police are pinning this burglary on these 2 who allegedly had nothing to do with it. We spoke to Vasquez's mother today, who told us that the two are being wrongfully accused. Here's how she described why:

Today marks the beginning of this year's hurricane season, and as always, the country has to maintain hyper vigilance. According to all the major international meteorological organizations, the Americas should expect a hurricane season which is comparable with activity of past years with 10 named storms that can likely develop. Of those 10, it is likely that 4 or 5 storms are expected to become hurricanes. And while it is forecasted that 10 storms may develop, experts believe that this early into the hurricane season will see less activity because the conditions are not as favorable for development, as compared to last year around this time.

The San Pedro Airstrip is getting a 3.7 million dollar upgrade. It's part of a COCESSNA project to improve airfields throughout Central America. Minister of State with responsibility for transport Edmund Castro told us more:.. Hon. Edmund Castro "San Pedro has the busiest airstrip in the entire region, not just in the country of Belize but it's the actually busier than all the airstrips in Guatemala and neighboring Honduras and so on. So it's very important that we upgrade this airstrip in San Pedro and bring it up to world class standards." "Basically what we are doing is moving away from the chip and seal or chip and tar situation for the airstrips. We are using the hot mix. The natural transportation of materials out to San Pedro is very costly because everything have to be truck in barge and then pick up from the barge to the plant. So it's a little bit more costly but nevertheless that's the standard now that we are trying to use on all the airstrips in the country because it will lasts longer." The ragged Belize City airstrip is slated for upgrading next.

When was the last time you saw a beauty pageant contestant who didn't have a slender figure? Well the Miss Big, Bold and Beautiful pageant is all about defying that norm in the name of fundraising. The pageant showcases women with grandiose hips, bellies like pillows and abundant bosoms - who are not afraid to make the statement that- BIG is Beautiful! It's the pageant's 4thyear and today 7news got a chance to talk with some of the 7 contestants. Schawanie Stanford, Pageant Organizer "This is our fourth year. It's an annual event that we have and we the proceeds that we get we normally give to a carnival band in order to help them to finance making their costumes and stuff like that." "We set a standard by which our contestants bring across whatever they have to bring across and you can expect elegance, charm, beauty, sincerity, honesty and everything like that. Some other pageants they do have that but I don't believe to the level that we do." "When I was younger I wanted to be a model but back then I was very slim, but as I got older I got bigger and I thought that that dream had die and I went and did a fashion show for a young lady Ms. Matus at the Princess and the people really accepted the pageant and the love was so overwhelming, that I said that we should have a pageant. That's how the idea came about."

Channel 5

Rudy Cruz murdered in his home
A well known light and audio technician and DJ was found dead in his bed before seven o'clock this morning. Rudy Cruz, a former employee of the then Belize Arts Council was stabbed multiple times. There are no signs of forced entry at his house and the family believes that his murder was not motivated [...]

Cab driver, wife and toddler shot in vehicle
There is other violence to report. A toddler, cab driver and his wife were injured in a shooting incident on Thursday night in Belize City. It occurred after ten p.m. in the area of Kelly and Wilson Streets. Up to eight shots were fired at the family. Reports are that two gunmen fired shots at [...]

Moody's debt rating downgrades Belize for 2nd time this year
In financial news tonight, there has been another downgrade in Belize's credit rating. Moody Investors Service issued a very brief statement, saying it was downgrading the sovereign debt rating further into junk territory because government’s ability to service its debt is deteriorating. The credit rating plunged to Ca from Caa1 pushing it deeper into highly [...]

S.S.B. employees black ribbons for Collective Bargaining Agreement
The Social Security Board turned thirty-one today. But there was not much of a celebration in fact, to mark the occasion its employees countrywide wore black ribbons to signal their unhappiness because they have been unable to sign on a new collective bargaining agreement. The Christian Workers Union is also threatening industrial action because of [...]

Problems ahead for S.S.B. if C.B.A. not signed soon
Gonzalez says Singh has been consulting with the former S.S.B. chair and board members, but the union does not see the need for further consultations since the negotiations have been completed. The union president says they are at the end of their rope and if the agreement is not signed in the near future, they [...]

Poll says cost of living "gahn up"
In the past four years, has your cost of living increased or decreased? That's the question we asked our viewers this week. Eighty-seven percent of those who responded via our e-poll said the cost of living has increased while thirteen percent voted that it decreased. On our blog, most of those who commented generally expressed [...]

Cristo Rey villagers dependent on truck for water
In the west, a community has been without potable water for well over a month. The water pump has been out of commission for six weeks now and the villagers of Cristo Rey have been coping by resorting to the Macal River. The village chairman is not giving any comfort to the seven hundred plus [...]

Governor General on way to U.K. for Jubilee
Activities are being held throughout this year in celebration of Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee. But this Saturday to next Tuesday has been dubbed the central weekend of events in the UK and across the Commonwealth. So today, the Governor General, Sir Colville Young, left Belize en route to England where the Heads of State from [...]

Reduced sentence for admitting ownership of illegal weapon
A man who has been incarcerated since November of 2010 received some good news in the Supreme Court today. Thirty year old Daron Waight is still behind bars, but he will be going home sooner than expected. Waight was busted inside a vehicle with a gun stashed under the driver's seat. He took responsibility for [...]

Another prison officer busted for trafficking of marijuana
Smuggling weed into prison; there have been countless visiting women caught in the act and charged, but now prison officers are doing the same. Twenty-six year old Abraham Ponce was allegedly busted as he reported to work on Thursday night with over three ounces of marijuana hidden in the sole of his boots. He was [...]

Hurricane Season; storms named
It's June first and that means it's officially the start of the hurricane season. There have already been two named storms, Alberto near South Carolina and Beryl near Jacksonville Florida, but predictions are for an average season. A total of ten named storms are forecasted, six are expected to become hurricanes, but only two will [...]

Cheapflights say Belize Zoo is one of Top 10 Worldwide
Cheapflights travel blog, an online media that offers the best overall travel deals to worldwide destinations, has named the Belize Zoo as one of the top ten zoos worldwide. The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center, being the only zoo of this region ranks with zoos of Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. According to [...]

Teaching adults to be parents
A workshop geared towards strengthening parental aptitude will be held on Saturday at the ITVET Building in Belize City. The seminar, according to organizer, Annie Palacio of Belize Kids First, is necessitated because of the current social decay, a problem she attributes to a lack of proper child-rearing. The three-hour discussion will feature an American [...]

End of Maya Calendar takes place at Caracol
Tonight we air Part two of our series on the equinox at Caracol covered by Channel's Five William Neal and Alex Ellis earlier this year. In this segment, Dr. Jaime Awe explains the significance of the equinox as well as the Mayan calendar. But did the Mayas believe the world would end in 2012? Find [...]


Friday, June 1 - POLICE NEWS
Belmopan Police are investigating an arson that occurred on Wednesday night at Western Caribbean Fruit Growers Farm in the Barton Creek area of Blackman Eddy Village about three and a half miles off the Western Highway. Manager of the farm, 21-year-old Jessie Allas, told Love News that...

Activities to mark the diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second will start on Sunday and continue next week. A series of parties and pageants are planned for the June third to the fifth celebration. Queen Elizabeth the Second has been on the throne for sixt...

Belize today joined the rest of the region in observing Caribbean Nutrition Day. Robyn Daly is a nutritionist at the Ministry of Health. ROBYN DALY "Caribbean Nutrition Day is a day use to highlight the importance of nutrition, healthy eating and having a healthy li...

A well known and well liked lighting technician was killed. Marion Ali has the story. MARION ALI "This is the bloody bed from which the body of 35 year old, Rudy Noel Cruz was removed shortly after six this morning after he was stabbed to death at #21 Corner...

The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins today despite two named storms in the last two weeks of May. Chief Meteorological Officer Dennis Gonguez says the forecast is for an average season. DENNIS GONGUEZ "The various institutions that produce sea...


Someone burns up two houses in Barton Creek
Arson in Blackman Eddy. Belmopan Police are investigating an arson that occurred on Wednesday night at Western Caribbean Fruit Growers Farm in the Barton Creek area of Blackman Eddy Village about three and a half miles off the Western Highway. Manager of the farm, 21-year-old Jessie Allas, told Love News that on Thursday morning he was told by one of his workers who was at the farm sleeping, that on Wednesday night sometime around 10 o'clock they were awoken by the sound of an explosion coming from the direction of the garage. It continued for about ten minutes. When the employee checked they found two houses had burnt down, one was furnished while the other contained some appliances. When they checked the garage they found two tractors were also burnt. About 50 feet under another shed was a Ford pickup truck that was burnt as well. According to reports the culprits were trying to light another garage but because the rains came, it did not burn. Allas suspect that the person or persons came in vehicle and lit the farm with gasoline since they saw the vehicle track. Allas estimates the damages in the vicinity of 100 thousand dollars. The owner of the farm, US national Sonny Sell is out of the country. Police continue their investigation.

Veteran audio technician murdered in his home
Another family is tonight mourning the loss of a loved one due to violence. The fact that a well liked young man was killed with an edged tool as opposed to the customary gun violence is cold comfort for his family and friends who are left with that eternal question: why? Love TV's Marion Ali and vide journalist Brian Castillo worked the crime beat today.

Police look to bring charges in the case of a man set ablaze
Burn victim succumbs to injuries. Police are about to charge a man after he allegedly set his neighbour on fire nineteen days ago and the man died of the injuries. As we reported on Thursday, fifty-six year old Joseph Usher was set on fire, allegedly by an enraged next-door neighbour who grew jealous over Usher's close friendship with his common-law wife. Today Police Press Officer, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, told reporters that charges will soon be forthcoming. Usher was reportedly walking through the neighbour's yard and was heading to his own house in the adjoining yard at the corner of Antelope Street and Central American Boulevard when he was set ablaze. He suffered second degree burns to the upper part of his body.

Kim Simplis' health shows signs of improvement
Belize's special Envoy for Families and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow continues to receive medical treatment in Miami, Florida. A statement from the office of the Prime Minister was issued this morning, following widespread rumors of her death. The official statement however, says that Mrs. Barrow remains in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital, and is receiving treatment for complications with her heart and fluid in her lungs. [FS STARTS HERE] Mrs. Barrow, according to the official statement, is showing signs of improvement and is strengthening. She is expected to be transferred from the ICU to a regular hospital room in the next couple of days. Prime Minister Dean Barrow remains by her side in Miami and is scheduled to return to the country over the weekend. The official statement ends by saying that the Prime Minister and his wife thank everyone for the continued prayers and support.

Prayer service for Kim Simplis Barrow
And speaking about prayers the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese is at this hour celebrating a special prayer service in honor of Mrs. Barrow. Love TV's Marion Ali reports.

Cancer symposium held in Belize City
The Belize Cancer Society in collaboration with the Dangriga-based Belize Cancer Center, the Medical and Dental Association and the Ministry of Health today hosted a Cancer care Symposium in Belize City. Attending the symposium were healthcare professionals, physicians and nurses and other people from the health field. President of the Belize Cancer Society is Laura Longsworth. Love News met with presenters, Dr. Susanne Donovan, a professor at UCLA School of Medicine and Sandra Collins a Nutritionist who shared information presented during the symposium. Longsworth said that since cancer is something that is bound to happen and patients have the right to be provided with the proper healthcare throughout this episode in their lives.

Doctor says cases of lung cancer continues to increase
It was Kim Simplis, wife of the Prime Minister who just weeks before she herself was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer, said at a cancer forum � quote "When I hear the word "cancer" it is not numbers or percentages which come to mind� rather it is the faces of those, who on a daily basis, fight this dreadful disease� Ladies and gentlemen, we all know that cancer does not discriminate, it does not care if you are young, old; black, white; rich or poor" � end of quote. This message is amplified today, not only because it is the end of Cancer Awareness Month, but also because today is World No Tobacco Day. On this occasion, Love News went in search of the statistics as far as cigarette smoking and its close link to all types of cancer. On the other end of that search was Internist at the Belize Medical Associates, Dr. Fernando Cuellar, who shared some sobering details. Dr. Cuellar says that while there have been fewer television commercials and movies advertising cigarettes, conversely, the cases of lung cancer have steadily increased over time. Perhaps, he agrees, these are caused by an increase of cigarette smokers as well as pollution in the community. Still interesting to note, in sharing ad-hoc information, Cuellar says that the younger population seem to latch onto the idea that smoking is detrimental to health.

Hurricane season about to officially start
It is the eve of the start of the Hurricane Season and already there have been two named storms. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says conditions in the atmosphere and the ocean favor a near-normal hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin this season. According to a report issued a week ago, for the entire six-month season, which begins June 1, NOAA's Climate Prediction Center says there is a 70 percent chance of nine to 15 named storms, of which four to eight will strengthen to a hurricane. Of those named storms one to three of them are predicted to become major hurricanes. Based on the period 1981-2010, an average season produces 12 named storms with six hurricanes, including three major hurricanes. The next named storm will carry the name Chris.

Thunderstorm awes San Ignacio and Santa Elena
Cayo thunderstorm. And in another piece of news from the weather front � Strong winds and heavy rains swept through the San Ignacio area this afternoon. Residents of the twin towns of San Ignacio/Santa Elena say they were startled by the severe thunderstorm which descended on the municipalities around four o'clock this afternoon. One eye witness account speaks of trees being bent almost to the Breaking point by winds, which some estimate were near of above tropical storm strength. The phenomenon, which forecasters describe as a Thunderstorm, is often times referred to as a freak storm. And a few minutes after the heavy rains and wind started, they just as quickly passed and residents of the area say hot sun emerged as if nothing had happened.

Artistic community mourns the passing of Bob Reneau
Tonight, the artistic community is mourning the loss of one of Belize's very own. News has been received of the death of Robert "Bob" Reneau at the age of ninety three. Reneau died on Wednesday in Chicago, Illinois. A former broadcaster at the now defunct Radio Belize, Reneau has left a legacy of contributions to the artistic community in Belize, particularly in the field of dance. May his soul rest in peace, and rise in glory.

Sale of majority shares in BSI gets full support
BSI shares sale gets thumbs up. The impending sale of majority shareholding in Belize Sugar Industries Limited continues to be the subject of discussion, particularly in the north. Love TV's Arturo Cantun reports.

Rice farmers say low crop year looming
Rice farmers in the Toledo district are sounding the alarm about a projected low rice crop this year. The anticipated low rice crop came out of an assessment recently carried out by the Toledo Rice, Beans and Corn Producers Association. Our Toledo correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Lengthy jail sentence for rape convict
An Orange Walk man was given a long jail sentence after he was convicted of the crime of rape. In a sentence handed down in the Corozal session of the Supreme Court, twenty year old Isaac Chan Junior was sentenced to eight years in prison. The rape happened on September 17, 2011, and Chan was found guilty of the charge two weeks ago by a jury of seven men and two women. Chan was represented by attorney Arthur Saldivar for the trial, was represented in court this morning by attorney Richard "Dickey" Bradley. He has indicated that he will be appealing his conviction and sentence. The case was prosecuted by crown counsel Kisha Grant.

Armed hold up near Spanish Lookout
There was an armed hold up and robbery this afternoon in Spanish Lookout. Our Cayo correspondent Fem Cruz reports.

Man who was set ablaze dies
Eighteen days ago, fifty-six year old Joseph Usher was set on fire, allegedly by an enraged next-door neighbour who grew jealous over Usher's close friendship with his common-law wife. It happened just as Usher was walking through the neighbour's yard and was heading to his own house in the adjoining yard at the corner of Antelope Street and Central American Boulevard. Usher suffered second degree burns to the upper part of his body, and, by his relatives' accounts, his face was burned beyond recognition. Love News has learned that Usher passed away on Wednesday night at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Since the incident, the police had detained the neighbour pending investigations.

Woman collars thief; drags him to police station
The Crime Beat. A soft-spoken Cayo woman is tonight being hailed as a heroine after she stood up to shoplifter and made a citizen's arrest. The incident happened on Wednesday afternoon at Codd's Pharmacy in San Ignacio Town. The story is that two customers walked into the establishment and while the pharmacist identified as Daisy Codd was in the process of filling a prescription, she noticed a man acting suspiciously as if he had stuffed something under his shirt. Well, Codd, who we are told is of a small stature and middle age, wouldn't let some thief just walk off with her belongings without a fight. She sprang into action, lifting up the man's shirt and retrieving the stolen item. She even, we are told, administered some punches to the would-be thief, collared him and dragged him through the streets of San Ignacio and personally delivered the suspect to the police station herself. It was no doubt a sight to behold in San Ignacio on Wednesday as Codd dragged the would-be thief to the police station. In a brief interview via telephone, Codd joked that everyone watching the spectacle must have thought she had lost her mind when they saw her dragging a man to the police station. Codd says that even though she felt some pain after the administered some corporal punishment to the would-be thief, at no time did she feel intimidated by the man, who is clearly larger in stature than she is. What's more, we are told that the same man was in police custody a day earlier allegedly for another robbery but somehow he was back on the street again. But when he decided to target Codd's Pharmacy met his match. San Ignacio police are yet to release official information about this incident.

Single mother is newest lotto jackpot winner
Lotto has a winner. Wednesday's one hundred and ten thousand dollar jackpot was won by Belize City resident, Betty Rowland. She bought the lucky ticket with the numbers eight, seventeen, twenty, twenty- two and twenty-eight. She was prompt at the Tropical Gaming Office on Queen Street this afternoon to collect her big prize, and Love News asked how she felt about being the luck lotto winner. After government income tax deductions, Rowlands walked away with ninety three thousand, five hundred dollars. The lotto jackpot now reverts to fifty thousand dollars and you can watch the draw, right here on Love Television at nine o'clock on Saturday night.

Flowers Bank Festival this weekend
The village of Flowers Bank will come alive this weekend as they celebrate their fourth annual fair. Communications officer at NICH, Shari Williams says that there is a strong reason behind this celebration. The Chairman of Flowers Bank, Clinton Rhaburn, told Love News more about what you can expect at this weekend's fair. Williams says that although the exhibit will open this weekend, it will be permanent so anyone who visits the village can delight themselves with a history of the river valley.

European Union donates to cane farmers
Cane farmers in Northern Belize are the beneficiaries of a donation courtesy of the European Union. A special signing ceremony was held today in Orange Walk Town. Love TV's Arturo Cantun was there and files this report.

Spacial data usage being promoted in Belize
The Land and Surveys department in collaboration with Land information center and Protected Areas Conservation Trust held a National Consultation to discuss the draft National Spatial Data Infrastructure Policy. Spatial Data also referred to as GIS is viewed as one of the most powerful dataset used around the world and many stakeholders in Belize are using the program which helps in resources management and decision making. Today's consultation is looking to standardize a policy which will allow for the sharing of information between the ministry and other stakeholders. Commissioner of Lands and Surveys in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture, Wilbert Vallejos spoke on the importance of sharing information. Using spatial data comes with a number of benefits like addressing crime, improving agriculture sector and food security, education and research, health, insurance and banking and many others. A presentation on the status of the Belize National Spatial Data Infrastructure process was done by Carren Williams. The consultation was held at the Radisson Hotel in Belize City.


Man found stabbed to death in his home
A man was found stabbed to death in his home this morning. Belize City police are investigating the death of 35 yea...

Tiring negotiations put damper on SSB anniversary
Today is the 31st anniversary of the Social Security Board but a number of workers are not in the celebration mood ...

Nine month old child shot
A nine month old child was shot to the leg in Belize City. Last night some time after 10 o'clock, a taxi was drivin...

Man succumbs to burn injuries inflicted by neighbor
A man is dead after he was set on fire by his neighbour. The incident happened on May 13th, but 57 year old Joseph ...

Hurricane Season gets underway
Today marks the beginning of the hurricane season. The hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th and ove...

Robbers hit Gonzalo Quinto and Sons store
Afternoon robbers struck Gonzalo Quinto and Sons. It happened while the media were conducting an interview with Pol...

Belize's debt rating cut for second time this year
Belize's debt rating was cut for the second time this year by Moody's Investors Service. Moody's Investors Service ...

Shots ring out during power outage, man injured
There was another shooting, this time on Wednesday night in Belize City. It happened in the middle of a two and a h...

Coca Cola National Spelling Bee draws near
The Coca Cola national spelling bee finals are set for next week Friday. Some of the best primary school spellers a...

Man convicted of killing elderly security guard
There was a conviction yesterday in the Supreme Court. 27 year-old Shandoy Jeffords was convicted of manslaughter a...

Belize observes Caribbean Nutrition Day
Today is being observed as Caribbean Nutrition Day 2012. This year the focus is on 'Wellness in the Workplace', hen...

Belize's GG joins in on the Queen's Diamond Jubilee
In a News Release from Belize House in Belmopan, the Office of the Governor-General announced that the Governor-Gen...

Alleged drunk driver involved in fender bender
A fender bender happened on the North Ring Road of Belmopan City just after 7pm on Wednesday night. Seems that a dr...


Dangriga man found decomposing in bed
Neighbors in the areas said that the stench of decaying flesh was disturbing them. They thought that an animal had died near Petillo's house and were seeking him to ask him to remove the dead animal, but he was absent and his whereabouts unknown.

Friends and family pray for ailing Kim Simplis-Barrow
She remains in Miami hospital ICU tonight... Tonight, the family and friends of the wife of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, Mrs. Kim Simplis-Barrow, continue to pray for her recovery after her health took a turn for the worse during her regular treatment for breast cancer at a Miami, Florida, U.S.A. hospital.

National legend Robert "Bob" Reneau dies
The National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) issued a statement today saying, "Mr. Bob Reneau was a man of many talents... This man of God was indeed a blessing not only to his homeland, Belize but also to the Chicago-Belizean community who was blessed on numerous occasions to experience and enjoy Mr. Bob as he showcased some of his many talents."

George Frazer, noted educator and trade unionist, to retire in July
Frazer, 65, is leaving his post as executive secretary of the Belize National Teachers' Union (BNTU) after 29 years on the job and a prior seventeen years in teaching, closing the curtain on a career that was driven primarily by his fiery passion for social justice and unyielding concern for the lives of his fellow educators and citizens.

Warning to thieves - keep away from Placencia!
Citizens make arrest and hold thieves for police... Citizens of the Placencia Penninsula who organized a neighborhood watch network have zero tolerance for criminals and thieves, and to add to this, the Placencia police have been strengthened with the addition of crime investigators, Special Branch personnel and Tourism Police. This heightened security led to the arrest of three thieves by the citizens, who handed them over to police.

4 acquitted in murder trial
Jury deliberated from 12:53 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.... This evening at about 5:45, all four men accused of the double murder of James Swan and Eduard Gutierrez were acquitted of both murder and manslaughter, although only three were able to walk out of court as free men, after being remanded for 26 months and 3 weeks.

Win or Go Home in BECOL Semifinals
On Friday night at the Falcon Field in San Ignacio Town, Benque Eagles (1-1) was able to even the best-of-three series against Ball Starz (1-1) in the Under 18 Division, winning 45-39. Benque Eagles' top scorer was Akeem Watters, who had the game high with 22 points, while Najib "Hot Sauce" Hernandez helped out with 9 points. In the loss, Ball Starz was led by Christian Aldana, who scored 12 points. With the win, Benque Eagles and Ball Starz will play the final and deciding game 3 on Saturday. In game 2, Hydro's (1-0) Over 35 team was able to deliver the first punch in the series, defeating JCF (0-1) by the score of 72-62. Hydro was led by Joe Awe, who had the game high with 29 points, while Alston Hope and Gerald "Hedge" Usher sank 14 and 9 points, respectively. In the loss, JCF was led by Desmond Berry with 18 points, while Karim Juan sank 16 points, and Shelton Defour scored 11 points. In the nightcap, JDB Ballers (1-0) claimed the upper hand in game 1 of the series in the Under 21 category, defeating Young Money (0-1), 71-62. JDB's top scorer was Edward Ireland, who finished the game with 23 points, while sinking 7 three-pointers; while Shimeon Simpson tallied 19 points, and Jarrell "Bird" Velasquez and Vinnie Garbutt netted 15 and 11 points, respectively. In the loss, Young Money was led by Johann "Cutto" Bermudez, who scored the game high with 26 points, while Dijon McNabb and Elliot Bermudez chipped in 14 and 13 points, respectively.

Football flashback - Chito's Rangers
The picture above was provided to us a few weeks ago by former footballer Trenton Miller who presently runs a sailing resort out at Caye Caulker. According to Trenton, the picture is of Chito's Rangers during the 1978-79 football season in Belize City. At the time, Chito's was the defending Belize City 1st Division champs, having clinched the 1977-78 season championship in the final game with a 3-3 draw against Charger, who finished second.

Volleyball has arrived - crowded BES auditorium for finals opener
The whole of Mercy Lane, which lies between the Belize Elementary School compound and Jamboree Restaurant, was filled with parked cars by 8:00 p.m. tonight, forcing late coming vehicles to jam the side street east of Jamboree and the Jamboree parking lot itself.

Paul writes Audrey
I would like to submit that you, through your Amandala article of 27th May, 2012, appearing on page 38, have brought us to the edge of the precipice. From there we may either plunge headlong into chaos or rise to the pinnacle of the highest civilization ever.

Ideas and Opinions - Different Things
Is there a gene which determines that a male child will grow up to be a homosexual, regardless of his environment or, the influence of those responsible for his upbringing?

Editorial: The union lion
George Harold Alexander Frazier is not a saint. We don't know of any. But for the better part of the last three decades he has been the firebrand union activist, the general secretary of the largest, most militant union in all the land - the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU). He has seen union presidents come, and he has seen union presidents go, but he has remained: the one constant through it all.

Fruit of the poisonous tree
"The legal doctrine of 'fruit of the poisonous tree' is fairly basic in its premise: if the information being used in a case was obtained through illegal means, then any other information gathered via that illegal action is also tainted by the poison from the initial illegal action."


Very Cool Pictures: Paving the Air Strip in San Pedro
If you have flown on or off Ambergris Caye over the past few weeks, you may have noticed that they are paving the air strip. It is used by the airlines all day...and the pavers need to work during the day. Here are some pretty cool pictures of the airlines and the construction company working together.

You know you have been living in Belize a while when�
You know you have been living in Belize a while when you catch your self using the word like pirate as a search term while trying to find something in a gmail search. Today I wanted to post just one picture so I set off in search of an image that visually represents why I love living on Ambergris Caye. I went to my stock folder and found the pics from when Dick and I went driving down south and ended up with 36 scenic shots instead and they are only one third of our exploring that day. We also photographed a really cool looking catamaran at the far end of the barge dock, and a drive through Captain Sharks boat yard. Of course it was the road less traveled that won the which pictures to post first contest - hands down.

Last edited by Marty; 11/17/12 10:04 AM.
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
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Fascinating Nature: Why is nature important?
My name is Adreano Finnetty. I am currently a Standard 6 student attending Holy Redeemer Primary School in Belize City. Since I was born, I realized how fascinated I am with nature and the Earth itself. I have taken time and effort to learn as much as possible about nature: from the simplest of organisms, like flowers with the power of pollination; and, bugs which lay millions of eggs every single day; to animals of brute strength like lions and sharks. To me, being an eco kid is to have the knowledge of both scientific and earthly details, not just the admiration of the life cycle; but also to save the environment from little things like littering. As human beings, we should know what is good for the environment and what is not. For example, the mufflers of some vehicles spew out toxic smoke that literally destroys our ozone layer. The ozone layer is what is protecting us from the sun's harmful rays.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - Three great ways YOU can eliminate waste and protect your environment!
Hello, name is Emily Sanchez. I was born to my parents Esther and Evan Sanchez and I am presently attending the New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist School in San Pedro Ambergris Caye. When I read your advertisement, I instantly became interested and told my mother that I want to be an Eco Kid. I want to be an Eco Kid because it will give me the opportunity to appreciate all that nature in Belize has to offer. I could learn to care for it better and apply the gained knowledge to the three R's (reduce, reuse, recycle). I will also be able to share with my friends, family and classmates my experience at camp. We are blessed to have a bountiful source of nature in Belize. There are many things that can be learned when exploring nature and caring for it. We have rivers, creeks, ponds, lakes, seas, and the wonderful ocean. The tall and enormous mountains, a variety of flora and fauna, and other exotic, intriguing, and amazing animals make nature very alluring. Nature is self-governed and we cannot control it, but we can save it.

Belize: high praise
" ... This was a recommendation from Shirlene at Belizean Publisher Cubola Productions, who I emailed for suggestions. There were several authors she could recommend, she said, but Zoila Ellis was her top pick ... The seven short stories in On Heroes Lizards and Passions paint a powerful and varied picture of life in Belize and the Belizean diaspora. Centring on moments when characters find release from fears, prejudices, assumptions, hopes and dreams, they reveal the way that, wittingly or unwittingly, we can change the course of one another's lives. There is the lapsed priest who finds a way to make peace with his inadequacies through a neighbour's chance comment, the pregnant teenager set free by her grandmother's compassion and the lizard community thrown into confusion by the arrival of humans. Ellis's speciality is pinpointing the blind spots and bigotry lodged in her characters' psyches, all the while keeping their humanity in the forefront of the reader's mind. The most memorable example of this is 'And the Subway Takes me Home', in which Carla struggles against prejudice in her work as a maid for a rich white American pensioner, all the while pondering how to get her son away from his Kerub girlfriend back home in Belize:

HOW TO Play Diablo III While Cuddling With Girlfriend [FUNNY]
There is clearly a problem here -- it looks like she is kicking his #$$ in Diablo III.

International Sources

Moody's Downgrades Belize Further Into Junk Territory
Moody's Investors Service downgraded Belize's sovereign debt rating further into junk territory, saying its government's ability to service its debt is deteriorating. Moody's lowered the Central American country's rating to Ca from Caa1, pushing it deeper into highly speculative territory. The outlook is developing. The rating cut is the latest in a series of downgrades this year from Moody's and Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, as both rating firms cited concerns about the possibility of another debt restructuring there. Moody's said Belize faces weak short- to medium-term growth prospects and a questionable outlook for debt sustainability. The rating firm downgraded Belize in February, also on concerns about the country's lagging growth and debt restructuring. The rating firm said it expects Belize will move forward with a debt restructuring plan for a $547 million "superbond," which accounts for about half the government's debt and is itself the result of a distressed debt exchange completed in 2007. The restructuring was motivated by the superbond's increased debt service costs. The government's capacity to service its debt is expected to weaken due to declining oil-related revenues and mounting fiscal liabilities stemming from the nationalization of Belize Electricity Ltd. and Belize Telecommunications Ltd., Moody's said. The developing outlook, Moody's said, is contingent on the government's disclosure of its debt restructuring terms.

Video: Coming Face to Face with a Whale Shark
Whale sharks are the largest fish in the world. They can grow up to 40 feet long and over 20 tons. But they are hardly sea monsters. Whale sharks are said to be gentle and curious and sometimes pull up alongside fishing boats. They don't seem to mind snorkelers who visit their underwater hunts. So where might you catch sight of a whale shark? Well, they typically swim in warm tropical waters that are rich with plankton. One such spot is right along the coast of Belize, in Central America and we are looking for the name of a Belizian town that is famous for whale sharks. The resort town is about a two hour drive from Belize's capital, Belmopan. Placencia, Belize is the answer to the Geo Quiz. Anchor Aaron Schachter talks to Ann Marie Macneil, who guides snorkelers on whale shark excursions, about the experience of coming face to face with a whale shark.

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