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The San Pedro Sun

BTIA Marketing and PR Summit 2012
The Belize Tourism Industry Association would like to take this opportunity to humbly extend an invitation to the media to attend our 2012 Real-time Marketing Masterclass - Marketing & PR Summit. The one day summit will run from 8:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. on August 23rd, 2012 at the Princess Hotel & Casino. Real -Time Marketing Masterclass features (3) 90 minute presentations, with a panel discussion after each segment, which will include discussions with successful industry stakeholders (both local and international), providing added insight in the on three main subject areas including; Content marketing, Real-Time Marketing & PR, and Social Media. The goal of this seminar is to enlighten the participants on how to harness the power of online marketing and public relations comparing these to our current practices and seeing how we can develop a stronger efficiency on both. With this being said, we have hired renowned speaker and published author: Mr. David Meerman Scott, who has presented at industry conferences and events in over twenty countries, was once the VP of marketing for two publicly traded technology companies and was Asia's Marketing Director for Knight-Ridder, at the time one of the world's largest newspaper and electronic information companies.

2012 IBL Basketball Champions to be crowned this Friday
There is one game left in the 2012 Interoffice Basketball League (IBL) season and on Friday the IBL kings will be crowned. The IBL final series game five will see hometown favorites Tuff E Nuff take on Alamilla's in a game that will decide the champions of the season and will again see some of the country's best players battle it out on the court to showcase their skill and athletic ability. Tuff E Nuff has taken the competition by storm and has dominated the season from the start boasting a better record than any other team in the league and breezing through the playoffs to reach the final series suffering just two loses all year. They did however, come up against some tough opposition, meeting the only team to beat them throughout the competition in a 5-game final series that has now come to last match in a thrilling 2-2 tie for the crown. Alamilla's is the first and only team to show stiff competition to the impressive Tuff E Nuff squad, but coach Rico Black has professed that the team is ready to bring it home; and they will be holding nothing back in the final game when they make their last effort for the championship.

Lack of Magistrate causes backlog in the court in San Pedro
San Pedro Town with its almost 13 thousand residents lacks a resident magistrate to preside in a timely and efficient manner over cases in the San Pedro Magistrate Court. The lack of a magistrate came after Patricia Arana departed and was transferred to the Financial Intelligent Unite in June of 2011. Since then, the island has been without a full time resident magistrate which is now causing a serious backlog in new cases brought forward by the San Pedro Police Department. Currently different magistrates are sent to San Pedro twice a week, on Tuesday and Thursday, for about a combined time of six to eight hours per week to deal with court matters. With only a few hours of service, the Magistrate Court is unable to keep up with the number of cases before the court. In many instances detainees remain at the San Pedro police station holding cell for several days until a magistrate judge is sent to San Pedro Town. On a weekly bases some 20 cases are scheduled for hearing at the Magistrate court, of which approximately 30 are new matters. These cases before the court do not reflect the number of civil and family matters also dealt with at the Magistrate Court through the office of the clerk of court.

Mary Gonzalez promoted to Associate Editor of The San Pedro Sun!
The San Pedro Sun is proud to announce the promotion of long-time employee Ms. Mary Gonzalez to the position of Associate Editor. In 2005 Ms. Gonzalez was hired at The Sun to perform as our graphic designer and paper layout staff. Over the years she has not only excelled in this area but brought to the paper a sense of style and personality that defines our media presence within our community. Ms. Gonzalez has also added her own charismatic touch when writing for the weekly San Pedro Sun Visitor Guide under her pen name "Tia Chocolate" and takes a special interest in reporting on community news with a genuine passion for the people and country of her beloved Belize. SPSUN Editor Tamara Sniffin commented, "It is only fitting that an employee who demonstrates exemplary skills and dedication to her profession be duly recognized, and it is with great pleasure that we add Ms. Gonzalez to the title of Associate Editor. We congratulate Ms. Gonzalez on her very successful journalism and media career and look forward to working side-by-side with her for many more years to come."

Record Number of Manatees Seen in Belize
Sometimes the best way to approach a situation is by getting a new perspective. Researchers in Belize have done just that, and have strengthened efforts to protect one of the most iconic - and threatened - animals in the world's oceans. To get a better handle on the number and locations of endangered Antillean manatees, Belize's leading marine research organization and conservation groups took to the skies to scan the crystalline waters of Belize for the rotund marine mammals. From their bird's-eye view aboard small planes, researchers have been able to spot a record 507 manatees this year, confirming Belize's status as the world's most important country for this endangered subspecies. A team from the Oceanic Society, led by Dr. Holly Edwards, partnered with LightHawk to conduct aerial surveys of the remote Turneffe Atoll, which were then combined with surveys of the mainland coast led by Nicole Auil Gomez of Belize's Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute and LightHawk to arrive at the total.

U.S. fund raiser makes over US$20,000 for injured tourist couple
A fund raiser was held in the United States earlier this year. The purpose was to assist Dana and John "Rob" Leonard. Readers may remember Rob as the visiting tourist on the last day of his honeymoon who met an unfortunate accident when he was ran over by a boat while snorkeling and consequently lost his leg. His wife, Dana was along with him when the accident occurred and also received injuries to her arms. The U.S. fund raiser collected just a little over US$20,000 which was handed over to the Leonards to offset their medical expenses. The San Pedro Sun first reported on the boating accident on September 22, 2011 in Issue 21 Vol. 37. Eyewitness to the accident, Wolfgang Wind, had informed The Sun that the two individuals were snorkeling in front of the dock at the hotel they were staying at when he saw a San Pedro Belize Express vessel drive by approximately 50 feet away from the dock and run over the snorkelers. Wind opined that the boat was extremely close to the dock and that ordinarily, vessels travel much further out at sea. He further stated that the vessel that caused the accident eventually returned, but by that time, the injured tourists had already been taken aboard a Caye Caulker Water Taxi boat that had been close behind.

Change in controlled prices of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)
The Ministry of Trade, Investment Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection hereby informs the general public that effective August 16th 2012 the controlled prices of LPG will be as follows: District Controlled Price for LPG Imported from Mexico Controlled Price for LPG Imported from Central America Belize City 108 109 Belmopan 110 111 San Ignacio 110 111 Benque 111 112 Orange Walk 109 110 Corozal 108 109 Dangriga 112 113

Rowan prepares to 'Walk Across San Pedro' to raise funds for the Visually Impaired
Few people can say they've climbed to the top of Victoria Peak in just two days, and even fewer can say they've walked across the entire country in less than a week, but Rowan Garel can, and he's done it despite not having the ability to see! The courage and bravery of the inspirational fourteen year old seems limitless and has done so much for the visually impaired in Belize by raising awareness and much needed funds, yet, he's set and ready to do more� now he's getting ready to bring his determination and efforts to La Isla Bonita and 'Walk Across San Pedro'. Rowan has shown that by putting fear and regret aside you can achieve great things regardless of the challenges you may face, and despite being born without the ability to use his eyes, his efforts have raised thousands of dollars for the struggles of the visually impaired in Belize. During his walk across Belize, young Rowan was able to raise over $74,000 for his cause and became an inspiration to his many friends and supporters and indeed the entire country for the courage he has shown. He did, however, have a goal to reach $100,000 and Rowan is not one to sit back and let his dreams pass him by. Rowan is sure that by bringing his efforts to the community of San Pedro his will certainly be able to reach his goal; proving to everyone that you can achieve the thing you put your mind to as long as you choose not to give up.

Ambergris Today

Belize Boasts Record Number of Manatees Worldwide
Did you know that Belize has the most number of this endangered species in the world? That's right; studies have proven that Belize has the most number of Manatees! Researchers in Belize have strengthened efforts to protect one of the most iconic and threatened animals in the world's oceans. To get a better handle on the number and locations of endangered Antillean manatees, Belize's leading marine research organization and conservation groups took to the skies to scan the crystalline waters of Belize for the rotund marine mammals. From their bird's-eye view aboard small planes, researchers have been able to spot a record 507 manatees this year, confirming Belize's status as the world's most important country for this endangered subspecies.

Sweet Success for Belizean Cocoa Industry
IDB and TCGA sign agreement to support cacao farmers in southern Belize The agreement between the Inter-American Development Bank and the Toledo Cacao Growers Association, signed in Belize City this week, is for a contribution of almost US$750,000 from the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) a member of the IDB Group, to support cocoa production in Toledo. The project will significantly boost exports of organic cocoa from Belize by connecting small farmers in rural Mayan communities to global supply chains. The project will work with the TCGA to expand economic opportunities for cacao growing communities in rural Belize by providing farmers with technical assistance to strengthen their production of cacao, using organic and sustainable methods; increase the use of harvesting and processing methodologies that ensure the cocoa meets flavor and quality standards; and strengthen the TGCA's business management capacity, including implementation of a geographic information system for forecasting and strategic planning. The project will also promote the parallel cultivation of other high value organic crops, such as spices and peppers, to supplement farmers' incomes. The project will develop multimedia training kits in the Kek'chi and Mopan Maya languages, and produce documentaries and case studies on the sector. Some 1,100 small farmers and their families are expected to benefit from increased income levels as a result of productivity and quality improvements. Over the next three to five years, the TCGA and its members are expected to double the volume of their cacao exports into high value markets, from 45 tons to 90 tons per year. The area of land certified as organic and fair trade will increase by 30%. The project also seeks to expand the participation of women and youth in cocoa production, through training in bean fermentation, and financial literacy.

Misconception Of Guidance Counseling
Many students (and some teachers) in Belize tend to think of counseling as a form of discipline or something for the mentally sick: a suspension requirement or talking about one's problem(s). That is totally wrong. Real-world counseling is relatively new to high school students and/or adults in Belize, and is very much unlike what is portrayed in common fictional scenes on TV. During my term as counselor (two years) at a local high school in Belize I continuously stressed my position as being that of a guidance counselor instead of counselor. What's the difference? Basically, guidance focuses on helping a student make important choices/decisions (about classes and teachers, about home and family, about peers, and about a future vocation or career), and counseling focuses on helping a student make important changes in his/her life, and includes various forms of therapy. A guidance counselor focuses on helping a student do both: make important choices and necessary changes. Although discussing the past may be helpful in some situations, guidance counseling helps a student focus on coping with his/her own problem(s) in the present and future, and on setting short term and long term goals. Guidance counseling provides students with tools for dealing with problems and enhancing quality of life. Tools include parent/teacher/peer relationship skills, anger management, or techniques for controlling thoughts and actions. Despite past issues in a student's life, guidance counseling focuses on the present and whatever specific problem(s) that a student is targeting.

Misc Belizean Sources

Melonie Gillett's Come Away Music Video
Melonie Gillett's 3rd Music Video "Come Away" was directed by Ben Hudson of Star Base Films. The Come Away team travelled across Belize in pursuit of capturing the beauty of Belize in it's most natural state.

VIDEO: BELIZE on MSNBC: Wildlife Sights And Sounds: Jungle of Belize
Originally aired on November 17th 2008, MSNBC takes a look the pristine beauty of Belize. Belize is home to more than 700 wild animals and bird species. This video features the wildlife sights and sounds of the Howler Monkeys, Tapir, Spider Monkeys, Jaguar, Black Tigers, Vultures, others

Belizean Food Recipes
Learn to cook Belizean food recipes and other dishes from Belize. Camaron Frito, Chicken Onion Pie, Fish Loaf, Fish Tacari, Fried Steaks, Spicy Chicken Wings

Generation of Fire's Sky VBS
Feelgood story of the day! Generation of Fire had their Sky Vacation Bible School. They took 100's of great pictures during the week. "As We kicked off Our Vacation Bible school with the Theme SKY - We learnt that NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE ... TRUST GOD"

Dhal Roti
Dhal is a type of flatbread, in this case I use flour tortilla, Roti is the more inexpensive form of this meal, while Puri is the more elegant form. I do believe what I've made here is the Dhal Puri, but in Belize I knew it as Dhal Roti. I love flour tortilla and split peas, so pairing them just seems natural.

Channel 7

Flooding In Corozal
Last week, Hurricane Ernesto made landfall in the southern areas of Mexico, with the Corozal District getting some of its effects. Corozal was very prepared for that storm and nothing much happened. And, according to forecasts, tropical depression 7 for 2012 was supposed to bring only minor effects to the district, and as a result, no one was paying it much attention. But, this system produced over 12 hours of rain, which resulted in unexpected wide-spread flooding in the low lying areas of the entire district, catching everybody off-guard. NEMO Corozal and other authorities had to activate to help the villagers who were affected to evacuate and secure their personal items. 7News went to Corozal to see the effects of the flooding, and here's what we found out: Daniel Ortiz reporting More than 12 hours of rain has flooded the low lying villages in the Corozal District.

Doctors Can't Do Anything Else for 10 Year Old Brighton
For the past 3 weeks, we have been following the story of 10 year old Brighton Cordova - the little boy who was crushed beneath a house as it collapsed on him and his friend, 7 year old Jova Griffith. Luckily for Jova, his injuries were not too serious and he was treated and released. But Brighton's injuries were far more severe. He suffered a cardiac arrest and severe head injuries and was put on life support. But, just days ago he was taken off the machine by doctors at the KHMH and is now breathing on his own. It might seem like quite an improvement for the young child but his diagnosis is still grim. According to his family, more than half of Brighton's brain is damaged and doctors say there is nothing else they can do to help him. This afternoon he was discharged from the KHMH hospital and was transported in a Bert Ambulance to the Northern Regional Hospital in Orange Walk Town.

Chamber Supports Superbond Restructuring
The Belize Chamber of Commerce has written to say it supports Government in its effort to restructure the Superbond. A meeting was held yesterday between the debt renegotiation team and the Chamber executive earlier this week and this evening, Chamber President Kay Menzies writes to team leader Mark Espat, quote, "the (Chamber) believes�debts must be paid (but) where the economic viability of our country is at stake, the terms of repayment should not be so onerous as to strangle or deter the country's economic growth." The letter continues, "It is in this vein that BCCI supports the renegotiation of the bond with the goal of making debt repayment more manageable." The chamber urges government to use whatever savings are realized through a renegotiated bond to, quote "introduce programmes to stimulate and promote economic growth and investment."

Lands Dept Computer Records Corrupted, Causes Admin. Paralysis
The Lands Department is recovering from a major computer breakdown - and it's caused a near administrative paralysis and much perverse speculation. According to CEO Beverly Castillo, the problem started two weeks ago - on the third of August when the computer system was backing up and had a massive breakdown. It left the computer system corrupted - and thousands of files had to be restored. What's concerning folks right now is that the financial portion of the records has not been restored - leaving some to fear that the record of their tax and other payments may have been irretrievably lost. CEO Castillo says you shouldn't worry; they do have those records in the cash book - and are systematically restoring it. But, it's a tedious process and she says it will still be another two weeks before it is fully restored.

12 Kilos of Cocaine Worth Quarter Mil - Left Unclaimed On Griga-Barrios Ferry
12 Kilos of cocaine has a wholesale value of about a quarter million Belize dollars on the street - so what was it doing lying around unclaimed in a Puerto Barrios to Belize ferry? That's what Dangriga police found on Monday afternoon at 3:30 pm when a customs officer called them to the pier where the Barrios to Dangriga Ferry docks. The customs officer told the police that the boat captain had called him to say he found something suspicious on the boat and wanted to hand it over as he docked in Dangriga. The package contained 12 kilo-bricks of cocaine wrapped in plastic. Police questioned the captain and all the persons on the vessel. According to the officer commanding in Dangriga Town, Robert Mariano they were convinced that the cocaine did not belong to anyone on the boat, so no one was detained, and it has been labeled as found property.

Could There Be Another Spell Of BBOC Bus Unrest?
Who can forget the bus unrest of May 2011? Those striking images of when the Belize Bus Owners Cooperative shut down the highways are some of the most enduring that we have captured. And, some in the BBOC are now threatening that they might do it again - if a new decision by the Transport Board is put into effect. A five hour meeting was held in Belmopan today between the BBOC and the Commissioner of Transport Crispin Jeffries. Jeffries informed them that two runs out of Benque Viejo at 3:30 and 4:00 pm will be given over to Westline Bus. In exchange the BBOC will get two runs from Benque at 7:00 and 8:00 at night. Jeffries told us it's an attempt to bring uniformity to the schedule and eliminate overlapping runs. But the BBOC says Transport taking away two profitable runs and giving them two losing runs in exchange.

Another Special House Sitting
Many an eyebrow was raised today when a notice went out announcing a House Meeting for next week Thursday. It's another one of those special sittings - but from what we've been told by Government sources - there's nothing too special on the agenda. According to our reports, Government intends to pass legislation introduced at the last special sitting and may table for a first reading other legislation as may be required to meet the terms of a policy based loan with the IDB. Back in June, the Prime Minister had announced that Government is asking the IDB to partially guarantee the restructured Belize bonds.

Butane Prices Creep Back Up
Four weeks ago, the controlled price of butane fell sharply - by a little under thirty dollars across the board - bringing the price for a hundred pound cylinder of Central American butane to under a hundred dollars for the first time in a very long time. Well, it was good while it lasted, but the news tonight is that the price has started to climb back up. Butane imported from Central America has gone up about 12%, from 97 dollars per hundred pound cylinder to 109 dollars. Higher grade Butane from Mexico has also gone up - but not as much. That climbed from 103 to 108 dollars per hundred pound cylinder. The CEO in the Ministry of Trade says that the price change arises because the acquisition cost went up. He assured us his ministry will be as quick to react when that acquisition cost goes down.

US Park Service Gives Tips To Belize
Belize often boats that we have about 36% of our national territory under some kind of protected areas designation. Well, that impressive but the US National Parks System is no slouch either. It has 397 areas in the system and today one of their Outdoor Recreation Planners, James Bacon visited Belize to discuss Best Practices with Belize's park managers. Now, it's not that Yogi Bear wasn't available, it's just that Bacon says he may be able to learn a thing or two from Belize:.. James Bacon "It was just to exchange information, learn from each other, share our best practices and some of the things that we need to improve in the United States and vice versa to here - take those messages and best practices back with me to United States."

Tonight's I Am Belize profile is about Hakeem Arzu. He's a Belize City boy from Raccoon Street Extension. He grew up selling Johnny Cakes for his family business and now he's made it to medical school in Cuba where he is specializing in Pediatrics. Tonight, the Doctor-in-training tells us that medical school is a long ways off from where he started - but the lessons he learned from his grandfather who kneaded 50 pounds of flour every night - still apply. Here's his story:..

Captain Roby's Soca Excursion
It's a well-known fact that most Belizean recording artists and entertainers don't make a living off their music: they do it for the love, and when the love runs out, most just stop. But, Captain Roby has been doing it for 25 years and though the returns may be diminishing - the lover he has for music seems to be ever increasing. His latest recording - stacked with 10 original Soca Tunes is called "Fyaah On the Streets." It's his first full-length recording since 2008 and he says it is being released just in time for September:.. Captain Roby, musician "It's a new album and it has a lot of entraining music; dance music, so we could party throughout the carnival and September time."

Corozal Still Flooded
As we told you at the top of the newscast - many parts of northern Corozal are flooded tonight. At this hour, the floodwaters are receding in some areas of Corozal town where the drainage is working well; it's stopped raining for the time being, but the rain is forecast to continue into tomorrow. Footage taken by our colleagues at Baymen North within Corozal Town show how heavy the flooding is in some areas - so much so that only dogs seems to be enjoying it. In the villages, the water level is still more or less the same as we left it this evening - which is that it has gotten into some people's homes in villages like San Joaquin and Libertad. At this point though, families have simply secured their belongings - but have not moved into shelters.

Channel 5

Corozal District flooded by rains
There was no hurricane, but residents in the north of the country woke up to streets and even the floors of some homes under water. It can be called a freak storm up north as for the past twenty-four hours, there has been non-stop raining. From three o’clock this morning, several shelters were opened to [...]

Lack of drainage is the cause of flood damage
Several areas in Corozal Town including Port Saul and the Chula Vista Area experienced a rise in water levels of up to four feet. Corozal Town Mayor, Hilberto Campos, says a lack of proper drainage in those areas prevents the water levels from receding. And in the other areas with proper drainage that nevertheless experienced [...]

Bond default may affect investment in Belize
Last week, the government published three restructuring scenarios for the 2029 Superbond. Those scenarios were followed up by an announcement that the government would not be able to pay the August twentieth coupon. An assessment of the situation released by Nomura Securities noted that the Prime Minister's budget presentation indicated that the government had provisioned [...]

Chamber of Commerce meets with Bond Team
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, following a meeting with Ambassador of Economic Affairs Mark Espat, has issued a release in support of renegotiating the Superbond.� While the default on the coupon and the Standard and Poor's downgrade were being announced, Espat, in his capacity as government's lead negotiator, met with the private sector [...]

Belizean car jacked on dangerous road in Mexico
Businessman Hiram Longsworth, an occasional auto dealer, was carjacked in Mexico on Monday by a trio of armed bandits in the State of Tamaulipas.� Longsworth, who occasionally visits family and friends in the United States, was transporting a pair of vehicles along a treacherous stretch a few miles outside the city of Matamoros when he [...]

Village Council member and Chairman at odds
We reported earlier in the week about the complaints coming from Crooked Tree Villagers regarding the lagoon's fishing regulations. But that's not the only battle the villagers are fighting. The Crooked Tree Vice Chairman Steve Perriott says the Village Council is essentially inactive and that the chairman, George Guest has refused to have a meeting [...]

Butane prices rockets
Almost a month ago the Ministry of Trade, Investment Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection, announced a huge decrease in butane prices. The cost per hundred pound cylinder went down by thirty dollars, but it's heading back up. As of today, the prices from Mexican Importers went up four dollars while the price from [...]

University of Belize Solar Energy dream, a reality
In September of last year the construction for a clean energy solar generation system started in Belmopan. The project was funded by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), at a contract cost of ten million Belize dollars. The project, which impacts the entire country, seeks to reduce green house gases and produce a viable source [...]

Coastal Zone series for professionals
A Stanford University doctoral candidate has been doing research in conservation practices in Belize for the past few years. During that time, Patrick Gallagher has worked with organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund, the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI), Ya'axche Conservation and the Green Reef Initiative. But most of his research has [...]

U.S. National Parks experts meet with locals
Belize is internationally recognized for its conservation initiatives and vast protected areas. Today, a half day seminar organized by the United States Embassy, was held at the Radisson to discuss best practices when it comes to managing national parks. Leading the seminar was James Bacon, an outdoor recreation planner from the U.S. National Parks Service. [...]

House of Culture and Museum exhibits kid art
Summer is slowly winding down and so are the many camps that sprung up two months ago. To culminate its summer activities, the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) opened an art exhibit at the House of Culture today. It features impressive pieces by the young camp participants, most of whom have no previous [...]

Courts gives to customer
UNICOMER's Courts Belize Limited is one of the country's businesses that tries its best to give back to customers. Its recent promotion came in the form of two round trip tickets to London, including shopping money. News Five spoke to the winner and the company representative who says there are more giveaways to come in [...]

Healthy Living feels the pinch of Appendicitis
The premature death of fourteen year old Marcella Smith on August eighth was devastating for her family. The cause was appendicitis, which can easily be confused with gastroenteritis.� As in Smith's case, the condition can be fatal if it goes undetected. So this week on Healthy Living, General Surgeon Doctor Philip Burgess explains the early [...]


Police News
Police have detained a Belize Defense Force soldier pending the outcome of investigations into a report of aggravated assault. The incident happened around seven thirty last night at the Riverside Patio in Belize City. A woman, identified as Sherlette Lamb reported to polic...

Murder in Orange Walk Town
A murder was reported in the Orange Walk District. Correspondent Arturo Cantun has the details. ARTURO CANTUN Orange Walk Correspondent Love FM "A resident of San Vicente, Toledo was murdered this morning in Orange Walk. Reliable reports indicate to Lo...

Past Mayoral Candidate Proposes Highway Thumb Bumps
The stretch of road between the Haulover Bridge and Belize City has become one of the busiest parts of the Northern Highway. Thousands of vehicles traverse the roughly five miles of road on a daily basis and over the years there has been numerous traffic accidents, many of them fatal.&...

Oceana Sponsors Trip for High Risk Youths
OCEANA Belize has teamed up with the Belize City Council to give a group of children a memorable trip to one of our offshore islands. It was part of the organization's first-timer reef visit program. Hipolito Bautista Jr. is the Communications and Marketing Officer fo...

Police Department Employee Charged for Theft; Bar Brawl Leads to a Dozen Arrests
A number of people appeared in San Ignacio Magistrate court yesterday. Correspondent Elaine Berry has the story. ELAINE BERRY San Ignacio Correspondent Love FM "Twenty nine year old, Francine Garcia of Rosewood Street in San Ignacio was charged with theft in...

City Hall Prepares to Release Details of Municipal Bond
And while Lake I residents can boast of a newly paved street, city residents will in a few weeks time be able to invest in the municipal bond that Mayor Bradley has said will serve to give the entire city a facelift. We got an update from the Mayor on the progress of that initiat...


Corozal Comes Under Water With The Passing of Tropical Wave
As meteorologist Derrick Rudon mentioned, the District of Corozal felt the strong effects of the tropical wave. Several areas were left under water and families had to be evacuated. After receiving several calls of concern CTV3 News headed further north this morning. At the entrance of San Jose Village we were greeted by a section of the northern highway under water. As the water flowed across the highway, finding its way into culverts, yards and homes, we continued our journey to Corozal Town. What we found upon our arrival is something never seen before, at least not to that extent. The damaged caused by last night's torrential rains was unbelievable. Reporter Hipolito Novelo and cameraman Kenrick Simpson filed the report. Corozalenos are trying to cope with the damage left behind by last night's tropical wave. The rain that fell was the kind that turned streets and yards into lagoons. After many hours of torrential rains this is how Corozal looked.

Quib's Family Recovers His Body And Takes Back Home For Proper Burial
Today marked a sad day for the family of 33 year old Fernando Quib, who was gunned down in the wee hours of yesterday morning, while sleeping on the passenger seat of his cargo truck parked on Banak Street. Today Quib's father, Juan Quib Sr. and his brother Juan Quib Jr., travelled to Orange Walk to recover his body from the hospital morgue in order to take it back to San Vicente Toledo for proper burial. The news that his brother was murdered in Orange Walk Town left Juan Jr. in shock. According to him, his brother was a person of good character, had problems with no one and all he did was work. Juan Quib Jr. - Brother of Deceased "My brother was calm, hard working and energetic he is always traveling most of the time like three or four times per week." Carmelita Perez- Reporter "When was the last time you saw him alive?" Juan Quib Jr. - Brother of Deceased "Maybe like two or three days ago."

DEMO On The Ground Assisting Corozalenos
On the ground assisting residents that were and are still being affected by this unexpected flooding, is DEMO Corozal. At around 8:00 this morning, the executives of the organization met and discussed their plan to effectively and efficiently handle the flooding situation. According to Coordinator of DEMO Corozal Willard Levy, several shelters have been opened in order to accommodate shelterees. Willard Levy, Coordinator, NEMO Corozal "At this point we only have one shelter that has seven people in there, up to twelve o'clock today and the other shelters are still open should in case, but most of the families going to relatives and friends, what we are doing at this moment is that we assisting the families relocating their personal belongings, we have truck and we have different volunteers doing this work in assisting the people in relocating themselves to somewhere dry, it terms of their properties." Hipolito Novelo - reporter "Sir, approximately how many shelters are open throughout the Corozal District?" Willard Levy, Coordinator, NEMO Corozal "At this point we only have four shelters open; we have the Guadalupe R.C. School, we have C.C.C., we have Xaibe R.C. School and we have Libertad Methodist School." Hipolito Novelo - Reporter "Approximately how many citizens of Corozal Town are affected by this flooding?" Willard Levy, Coordinator, NEMO Corozal "We don't have a count right now but we know it is a lot of people that affected with this flood."

BCCI Throws In Their Support For Bond Restructuring
A few days ago the Barrow's Administration announced that it will unable to meet coupon payment on the 2029 bonds due on August 20th. Since its announcement, both local and international negative feedbacks have been hurled at the Government. Ambassador of Economic Affairs, Mark Espat who is leading the negotiation team on the bond restructuring, met with the private sectors yesterday. Today, in a letter written to Espat, The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry has expressed support for the restructuring of the super bond. In the letter the chamber states and we quote, "As expressed in our conversation yesterday, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) believes that, without exception, debts must be paid and that we must be financially responsible citizens. However, where the economic viability of our country is at stake, the terms of payments should not be so onerous as to strangle or deter the country's economic growth." End quote. The letter concludes by stating that, quote, "Our debt burden must be restructured so that it is sustainable in the long term thereby enabling Belize to honor its financial obligations without further damage to the economy." End quote.

Price Per Hundred Pound Cylinder Of Butane Goes Up
Less than a month ago Belizeans woke up to the good news that the price per a hundred pound cylinder of butane saw a price reduction of $30.00. But the good news did not last very long because effective midnight last night the controlled price for butane saw an increase. Here in Orange Walk the price for a hundred pound cylinder of premium butane went from a $105.00 to a $109.00 marking a $4.00 increase while the lower grade will be sold for $110.00 instead of $98.00. That's an increase of $12.00. This means that Belizeans will pay more for the lower grade butane which comes from Central America. In the Corozal District the new prices stand at $108.00 for premium butane and $109.00 for the lower grade, marking an increase of $3.00 and $12.00 respectively. In the release, issued by the Ministry of Trade, Investment Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection, Government makes no mention as to why the increase was necessary.


Okeke's traffic idea to priven accident
Since his failed bid to occupy City Hall as Mayor, Stephen Okeke has been out of the media spotlight. But today he broke his self-imposed exile to take on the issue of road safety within City limits. But he is not just pointing fingers � Okeke is actually putting forward workable solution, at least that is how he shopped it to reporters this morning in a first of its kind road side press conference. Love TV's Patrick Jones and video journalist Brian Castillo braved the sun and rain to hear Okeke's idea. Okeke estimates that it would cost less than three thousand dollars to install four different sets of these thumb bumps between Belize City and the Haulover Bridge and it is a project he believes can be easily implemented within a very short period of time. Regarding the death of Chen, police on Monday formally arrested and charged the driver of the SUV, Shoshana Moody for the offences of manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct, driving without due care and attention, driving a motor vehicle with alcohol concentration above the prescribed limit and failure to keep as close as possible to the right hand side of the road. Police Pathologist Dr. Mario Estradabran has certified that Chen's cause of death to be trauma shock and massive organ damages and traumatism due to road traffic accident.

Murder in the Orange Walk District
A murder was reported in the Orange Walk District. Correspondent Arturo Cantun has the details.


Belize farmers plant corn to raise funds for Southside kids
Plus news was in Banana Bank a month ago to cover an ongoing initiative between Farmers from the Cayo District and ...

Town Counsellors discuss progress of Cayo infrastructure works
Two councilors from the Twin Towns appeared on Plus TV's Rise and Shine. Mike Salazar who is responsible for Entert...

Twin towns prepare for September Celebrations
The month of September is only two weeks away and the country of Belize will be celebrating 30yrs of Independence. ...

Opposition PUP responds to Government's decission to Default
In a release issued by the People's United Party they " noted with grave concern the decision of the UDP Government...

US Embassy asked "What next" in John Zabaneh saga
As was promised we bring you more from that interview with Public Relations officer Eric Heyden concerning the rece...

PM Barrow says Belize will default on Superbond payment
News flash! The Government of Belize today announced that it is unable to make the August 20, coupon payment on the...

Sixteen year old murdered in Belize City
There is another murder to report in Belize City which occurred last night. Another 16 year old Kirk Hemmans was ki...

Orange Walk man is beaten to death
Orange Walk resident 35 year old Ricardo Blanco was out socializing with some friends on Thursday August 2 when the...

Forty belizean kids get first time visit to Barrier reef
Oceana and the Belize City Council join forces for a children's summer program. On Saturday (August 11) 40 children...

Police confirm elderly woman died of heart Failure after witnessing brawl
On Monday we reported on a brawl which took place in the village of Cristo Rey. The lawless men took the fight into...

Roaring Creek man shot by masked man
A Roaring Creek is thankful tonight to be alive. 21 year old Jermaine Welcome, of Roaring Creek Village reported th...

Belize City woman is attacked by a BDF soldier
A Belize City woman is attacked by a soldier. Sherlette Lamb reported that on Tuesday night (August 14) around 7:30...

Dangriga police nab robber in the act
Dangriga Police this morning (Aug 15) responded to a call received pertaining to a possible break in at Gongora Apa...

Break-in reported by businessman in Hopkins Village
Over the weekend it was reported to the police that the home of Lee Sanders Canadian businessman of Hopkins Village...

Orange Walk mental patient gone missing
Maria Lucia Carillo of Louisiana Area has reported that her sister 31 year old Zudianita Carillo, who is a mental p...

Thirteen year old child claims 21 year old man had sex with her
A 13 year old female minor and student of Belize City

The Guardian

Where is the love and where is the PUP Women's Group
PUP Women's Group It does not matter who the person is, what type of job one does, or even what country they live in; nobody should receive $5,000 after 43 years of service to one organization. Unfortunately, the People's United Party is not just any organization. They are "a criminal organization involved in politics" and $5,000 is exactly what Doreth Bevans received after she was fired from the Belize Times after 43 years of service to the paper and even more in service to the party.

Minister of National Security visits Annual BDF Volunteer Camp
Volunteer batallion shows off their skills and Hon. John Saldivar visits camp On Friday, August 10th, 2012, Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar visited over 300 troops taking part in the annual BDF Camp conducted at Boston Camp located at Baldy Beacon, Mountain Pine Ridge.

PUP Wants Consultation on Superbond Restructuring??
In 2008, the United Democratic Party was elected to pull Belize out of a ditch that the People's United Party had drove the country in. That required the establishment of a fiscally-disciplined administration that had the ability to maneuver and halt the country's downward path to its demise. In just four years, Prime Minister Barrow's administration was not only able to halt the country's downward path, but he was also able to turn the country around. By March of 2012, the country was ready to climb out of the ditch and move forward. Prime Minister Barrow called early elections to ask the people for a specific mandate. After four difficult recovery years, the people of Belize reelected the United Democratic Party to office with a mandate to do whatever was necessary to lead the country back on the path to prosperity. That means getting the tires, hands and face muddy if necessary to crawl out the ditch and get us on solid economic ground.

New UDP Orange Walk East Committee
Supporters of the Orange Walk East Committee On Sunday, August 12th, the United Democratic Party's new Orange Walk East Committee was sworn in. The meeting took place at the Nabet's Service Center on the Orange Walk-Corozal Road and saw some 50 supporters of the UDP witness the swearing in of the new executive. Sworn in were Alberto Crawford as the chairman; Carlos Perera as the secretary; Hubert Pascual as the assistant secretary who will also be in charge of youth; treasurer Marcelina Sutherland and assistant treasurer Araceli Gongora.

Committee extends deadline for Public Comments on Marijuana Decriminalization to August 31st
The Committee commissioned by the Minister of National Security to evaluate the issue of Decriminalization of Marijuana thanks those who submitted their opinions regarding a proposal to remove the current criminal penalties incurred for possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana (Cannabis Sativa) for personal use. Your responses have been respectfully evaluated and taken into consideration, including, many requests to extend the deadline. In this regards, the committee has extended the period for submitting your comments to August 31, 2012.

Mark King Continues Infrastructural Development in Lake Independence
On Wednesday, August 15th, Hon. Mark King, Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez and Mayor Darrell Bradley officially opened the new and improved Holy Emmanuel Street in Belize City. King has led the effort to upgrade streets in the Lake Independence area from before he was elected as Area Representative of the division on March 7th, 2012.

Belize City Council Summer Program: Shaping Young Minds for a Better Belize Tomorrow
Belize City Council Mayor Darrell Bradley, Councillor Alain Gonazalez, Phillip Singh, Community Outreach Officer in collaboration with Oceana had a successful summer camp. Singh said this year's theme was - "Shaping Young Minds for A Better Belize Tomorrow". This camp had 70 kids from Standards 4 thru to 6. The kids visited the Old Belize Museum and Beach, Goff's Caye, Bacab Eco Park, The Belize Zoo and the Prison. One of the most enjoyed was the trip to Goff's Caye, which included a snorkel on the reef. Thirty of the children had never been to Goff's Caye and an equal majority had never snorkeled before. After one of the kids dipped his goggles below the water for the first time he shouted out in excitement and amazement, "Sir! Sir! Fishes!" Others were amazed by the Brain Coral. Words can't describe the heartfelt emotions you get when you see children so alive with amazement.

30 More Students receive BTL Scholarships
Belize Telemedia Limited 2012 Scholarship recipients The Belize Telemedia Limited has been providing opportunities for young Belizeans to further their education since its scholarship program started in 1991. Since then, almost 600 students have received scholarships, and over $1 million has been spent on the educational expenses of promising Belizean youths. On Wednesday, August 15th, 30 more youths received the best scholarship in the country.

Belmopan Sports Camps a Major Success
Tennis Summer Camp with Dr. Raju at Hilltop, City of Belmopan Close to 500 children and youths participated in summer camps in the Capital City over the past two months through the collaborative efforts of Belmopan Area Representative Hon. John Saldivar, the Belmopan City Council, the Belmopan Sports Council and Belmopan's Sporting Associations.

John Chessman Jr. and Dillon Clarke charged for E-Buy Supermarket Robbery/Murder
On Thursday, August 9th, Ladyville Police responded to a robbery in progress at E-Buy Supermarket located at #116 Crab Catcher Street. Surveillance video inside the store showed that the robbery took place at about 5:05 p.m. 31-year-old Chinese businessman Peixian Tan was inside his shop when two dark complexioned men entered the store. One was wearing a black T-shirt and cap and the other dressed in a blue T-shirt and cap. The men demanded money as the robber in the black shirt pointed the gun at Tan. Tan handed over an undetermined amount of cash and whilst leaving the store, one of the men fired a single shot at Tan, which hit him to the left side of his head. Tan was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital by a civilian where he was pronounced dead upon arrival. Investigators recovered one expended 9mm shell from the scene. Quick Police response led to the arrest of 22-year-old John Chessman, Jr., and 18-year-old Dillon Clarke. On Monday, August 13th, the two men appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer where they were formally arraigned for the murder. No plea was taken due to the nature of the offense, and bail could not have been granted. The men will be remanded at the Belize Central Prison until their next court appearance on September 20th. According to neighbours, it was not the first time that Tan's shop was robbed. They believe that Peixan Tan, who they call Kenny, was killed by cold -blooded individuals because he did not pose a threat to them.

Kirk Hemmans Murder Result of Tangled Gang War
At about 10:30 p.m. on Monday, August 13th, 16-year-old Kirk Hemmans became the latest murder victim from an area that has been ground zero for Belize City gang warfare over the last month. Supaul Street and surrounding areas have seen numerous shootings and murders over the last few weeks due to ongoing gang rivalry and personality clashes. Hemmans had been living in fear for his life since his friend, Kendis Pike was killed on Tuesday, July 31st. That fear escalated when his neighbour, Arlene Banner's, house was shot up early Saturday morning and an 11-year-old and 18-year-old were injured. Hemmans is not known as a violent or dangerous individual but he is known for hanging out with Supaul Street residents. His fear was not predicated by his direct involvement in any criminal activity; it was based on his understanding of how thin the line between friend and foe really is in a hostile environment. Hemmans lived the last few days of his life not certain what friends to hang with and which enemies to fear. He was at his grandmother's house on Monday night before he decided to go buy something to eat. His grandmother warned him about being on the street late; however, Hemmans was hungry and wanted something from a nearby Chinese fast food shop. He was on his way back from buying a burger and ideals and was riding on Kut Avenue heading towards Kraal Road. Upon reaching the intersection with Fairweather Street, he was approached from behind by a man on bicycle, who fired a single shot at him that hit his right upper back. The suspect then continued riding down Kut Avenue heading in the direction of Kraal Road and made good his escape. Hemmans was rushed to the Karl Heusner memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead by a medical officer.

Liny Aranda shot while Riding on Faber's Road
Liny Aranda was riding his bicycle along with other friends on Faber's Road at around 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 11th. Upon passing St. John's Vianney Primary School and heading towards Central American Boulevard, Aranda was approached by a male of fair complexion. That individual pulled out a firearm and fired a single shot at Aranda. He was hit to the left shoulder and was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was treated and released. Police investigation into the shooting of Aranda continues.

Three Men charged for Orange Walk Murder
Police have arrested and charged 3 men in connection with the murder of Ricardo Elmer Blanco who's body was found on Saturday August 4th on a feeder road in the Indian Hill area just outside of Orange Walk Town. He had been badly beaten and was strangled with the elastic band from his underwear. Police have since arrested 21 year old Manuel Toloza, 20 year old Feliciano Briceno and charged them for murder. Also charged was 25 year old Taxi Driver, Julio Castillo who was charged for abetment to commit murder. All the men appeared in the Orange Walk Magistrate's Court where they were remanded to the Hattieville prison until September 12th.

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Joshua Gallego detained for Shooting of Jermaine Flowers
Police have arrested 19-year-old Joshua Gallego of #7098 Raccoon Street Extension for the shooting of 19-year-old Jermaine Flowers. At about 2:40 p.m. on the afternoon of Sunday, August 12th, Jermaine Flowers was riding his bicycle on Raccoon street Extension and upon reaching the corner of Pelican Street Extension, he was approached by Joshua Gallego, who took out a firearm and fired three shots at him. Flowers was hit by a bullet in the right hand and grazed by another near the upper left side of his rib cage. Gallego appeared before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, where he was charged for attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and grievous harm. He was remanded to prison until September 25th.

Police search for Allain Garcia in Connection to Shooting Incident
Police are looking for Allain Garcia in their investigation into the shooting of 19-year-old Randy August. Randy August and a friend were riding their bicycles on an unnamed street off LaCroix Boulevard at about 7:45 p.m. on Monday, August 13th, when a dark complexioned male described as being medium built exited a yard and fired several shots at him. August received one gunshot wound to the right side of chest and one to the right forearm. Police investigation into the incident continues.

Belizean Car Dealer jacked in Mexico
More and more, the country of Mexico is falling into the clutches of drug dealers and criminals and a Belizean car dealer fell prey to the wonton disregard for law and order. The Guardian spoke to Hiram Longsworth, the Security Manager at the Belize City Council but who also doubles as a car dealer in his spare time. Longsworth who is in Mexico, relayed a horrifying ordeal he had at the hands of criminals in Mexico. He told us that on Monday, August 13th, he was making his way to Belize through Mexico in a Blue Bird bus, which he had purchased in the U.S. While he was driving the bus he was also towing a Ford Escape with the bus. Longsworth says that he was travelling through the Mexican State of Matamoros when suddenly an SUV approached him at high speed and forced him to pull over. Immediately, three men carrying AK-47 assault rifles jumped out of the vehicle and boarded the bus. He was forced off the bus and one of the men commandeered the bus. Longsworth says he tried to offer the gunmen money but the refused it. Instead, they only took the bus and drove off with it in the opposite direction. While doing so, because of the speed that the men were travelling in, it caused the Ford Escape to be wrongly towed totally destroying it.

11-Year-Old awoken by Gunshot to the Chest
On the night of Friday, August 10th, Arlene Banner and her eight children went to sleep under the shelter of their home. Their sleep was disturbed by officers of the Gang Suppression Unit sometime between 2:30 and 3 a.m. on Saturday morning. The officers asked the whereabouts of one of Banner's sons by using his nickname. She explained that he was not there and he had not been living there for a while. She opened the doors to the officers and they took a quick look before they left. The family then went back to sleep. About two hours later, 4:55 a.m., the family's sleep was disturbed once again, this time by the sound of gunshots. 18-year-old Tyrone Pinto was sharing the lower level of a bunk bed with his 11-year-old sister, Carline Pinto, when he heard the sound of gunshots coming from nearby. He heard his sister cry out and realized that the bullets were a threat to them. As he tried to pull his sister to safety, he was struck by a bullet to the left knee. Tyrone Pinto fell to the floor unable to pull his little sister off the bed. The gunman continued shooting in one general area. Carline Pinto fell to the floor a few seconds after her older brother but by then she was already been hit multiple times. After the shots stopped, Tyrone managed to drag Carline outside the room. Their older brother, Charles cried out to their mother and shouted to the neighbours for help. Arlene Banner, who thought the shooter was targeting someone near the house, was struck by the realization that it was her children who were under fire. A neighbor rushed to assist the family in his minivan and transported the injured children to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.

One Year in Jail for Indecent assault
On Tuesday, August 14th, 46-year-old Dwayne "Warrior" Young, a stevedore residing in Mahogany Heights, appeared in Magistrate's Court where he was sentenced to one year in jail. Young appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer accused of indecent assault. According to a 22-year-old woman from Mahogany Heights, on February 20th, she had gone into her yard to feed her dogs when Young, her neighbor, made inappropriate sexual advances on her. She told the court that he kissed her on the mouth and cheek and touched her genitals against her will. The young woman's father also testified in court explaining that on that day, he had gone outside to check why the dogs were barking and he saw when Young had his daughter held by the waist. In his defense, Young told the court that the entire story was made up. He said that he had done work on the bathroom for his neighbor and that her mother had made advances on him which he refused. Because of this, he said the woman made up the story to get back at him. The Magistrate did not buy the story and found him guilty of indecent assault and sentenced him to one year in prison.

Minister Herman Longsworth and the Ministry of Sports and the National Sports Council to introduce New Disciplines to Belize
The Hon. Herman Longsworth, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports with direct responsibilities for Youth and Sports, came away from the 6th Commonwealth Sports Ministers Meeting that was held on Wednesday July 25th, 2012, at the White Hall Banqueting Room in London, England, as a winner. Minister Longsworth, through the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association, the International Rowing Federation and International Roller Blade Federation, held discussions on the introduction of rowing and roller skating to Belize. These discussions involved both International Federations promising to send clinicians and equipment to the country for the introduction and development of the two new disciplines. While in London, Minister Longsworth was briefed by the Director of the National Sports Council Patrick Henry that Florette Blackwood, Senior Director of Sports in the Prime Minister's office in Jamaica has confirmed that the Jamaican Amateur Swimming Association will be calling shortly to set up a swimming programme for the country. The introduction of the programme was first discussed between Blackwood and Henry back in 2010 with the process now fully coming on stream with support from the Jamaica Amateur Swimming Association. With these new disciplines to be introduced shortly in the country no doubt the focus will be on individual disciplines and events.

Telemedia captures Silver Medal in Central American Softball Championship
Telemedia, the National Softball Champions of Belize, returned home on Tuesday, August 14th, after representing the country at the 7th Central American Senior Female Softball Championship in San Jose, Costa Rica over the weekend of August 9-13th, 2012. Telemedia joined the representatives of the seven countries that make up the Confederation of Central American Softball Federations (CONCASOFT) for the championship. The championship officially got underway on Friday, August 10th, with Belize winning handily over the host country Costa Rica by the score of 15-2. The winning pitcher was Mary Flowers and the losing pitcher was Kimberly Porras. Due to the heavy rains experienced in San Jose, the competition had to continue early Saturday morning at 7:00 between Guatemala and Belize. In this game, Guatemala defeated Belize by the score of 4-2. The winning pitcher was Laura Rodriguez and the losing pitcher was Kenrene Gillett. This was the only defeat for Belize during the championship. In the second game played that day, BTL bounced back to defeat the 2010 (9thCentral American Games Champions) Panama by the score of 6-2. The winning pitcher was Leandra Guy and the losing pitcher was Bleysin Sobenis. In the third and final game that Belize played during that day, it also defeated Nicaragua by the score of 6-4. The winning pitcher was Kenrene Gillett and the losing pitcher was Imelda Lopez. The championship then continued on Sunday, August 12th, with Telemedia winning both games played that day. In game one, Telemedia defeated El Salvador by the score of 11-2. The winning pitcher was Leandra Guy and the losing pitcher was Katia Galeas. In the final game for Belize, it also defeated Honduras by the score of 8-1. The winning pitcher for Telemedia was Mary Flowers and the losing pitcher was Maite Nunez. At the end of the championship, it was Guatemala that captured the 7th Central American Senior Female Softball Championship with Telemedia, representing Belize, taking the second place trophy and Nicaragua taking the third place trophy. Although Guatemala and Telemedia finished with the identical win-loss record 5-1, Guatemala won the championship because it had defeated Belize. Belize's pitching sensation Leandra Guy was named the Best Pitcher of the championship and she was awarded the Best Pitcher Trophy.

22nd National Women's Championship set for next weekend
The Belize Softball Federation will be hosting the 22nd National Women's Softball Championship from August 24-26th, 2012, at Rogers Stadium, the home of softball in Belize. The National Women's Championship brings together the champions and sub-champions of the affiliated associations of the federation in an intense 3-day competition for softball supremacy in Belize. So far, these are the teams that have earned the right to represent its association at this year's championship: from Cayo, Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy and Camalote United and, from Belize City Telemedia and Mirage Lady Rebels. The Technical Committee for the 22nd National Women's Championship consists of Edison Parks; Tournament Director; Floyd Flowers, Deputy Tournament Director; Jude Lizama, Chief Scorer; and Statistician; and Joel Westby; Chief Umpire. The National Softball Champion gets to represent Belize at the 22nd Central American Senior Softball Championship. The defending national softball champion is Telemedia from Belize City.

Vega Cup Tournament continues This Weekend
The 2012 Vega Football Cup Tournament regular season commenced on Sunday, August 12th, 2012, with four games on the schedule. All games were from Division A and were played at the Trial Farm Football Field. In game one, Barrio Boyz defeated Santa Cruz FC by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Nizon Arana in the 47th minute of play. In the second game of the day, San Roman FC blasted New River Dynamites by the score of 5-2. All five goals for San Roman FC was scored by Damian Ku in the 41st, 61st, 67th, 76th and 88th minutes of play, while Irvin Cantun scored the 1st goal for the New River Dynamites in the 17th minute of play, and the 2nd goal was scored by Hereberto Rejon in the 56th minute of play. In game three, San Pablo FC and Untouchables FC played to a 1-1 draw. The goal for San Pablo FC was scored by Abel Cosme in the 39th minute of play, while the goal for Untouchables was scored by Alexander Cacho in the 18th minute of play. In the final game of the day, Old School also blasted San Luis FC by the score of 5-1. The goals for Old School were scored by Jose Puerto in the 5th and 87th minutes of play; Oliver Hendricks in the 33rd minute of play; Remi Can in the 85th minute of play and Vance Waight in the 87th minute of play. Meanwhile, Miguel Medina scored the only goal of the game for San Luis in the 28th minute of play. The competition will continue this coming Sunday August 19th, with four more games. All games are in Division A and will be played out at San Jose Football Field. The first game is scheduled for 10:00 am between San Juan FC and Athletics FC, followed by game two between San Jose Survivors and Blackwater FC, followed by game three between Douglas Galaxy and United Ballers, with the fourth and final game between San Antonio Jaguars and San Jose Pumas.

Newborn travels to Virginia for Life-saving Operation
Paediatrician Dr. Cecilio Eck accompanies baby Hannah on her long journey On Wednesday, August 8th, Leonzo Castillo and Aurora Maribel Chacon had their first child together at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. They named her Hannah Castillo. The birth of a first child should be one of the most joyous occasions in an individual's life but Leonzo and Aurora were shaken by the discovery that their baby was born with a life-threatening birth defect call esophageal atresia.

CIBC FirstCaribbean joins Orange Walk Community
Businesses and residents in the Orange Walk community now have the experience of banking with the Caribbean's largest commercial bank following the opening CIBC FirstCaribbean branch on Queen Victoria Avenue recently. In speaking on the location strategy for the new branch, Country Manager, Glen Smith stated, "A branch in the Orange Walk area is a fantastic business opportunity for CIBC FirstCaribbean and we are delighted to know that anticipation of our branch opening is high. "We coupled our soft opening with a sales blitz that allowed us to introduce ourselves to the community and build rapport with them. As a further demonstration of our commitment to the Orange Walk community, we are working also on an initiative which will allow our employees to make a donation to a worthy cause in the area. This aligns with our Caribbean-wide "Adopt-a-Cause" activities." The new branch employs six persons led by Branch Manager, Pablo Ayala. It features three teller stations, one Instant Teller and a Night Depository facility. Other banking halls that have recently been introduced within CIBC FirstCaribbean's branch network include Maraval in Trinidad, Rodney Bay in St. Lucia, Wildey and Sunset Crest in Barbados and Carmichael in The Bahamas.

Preliminary Results for 2012 CXC Examinations
The Ministry of Education released the preliminary results of the 2012 Caribbean Examinations Council's exam on Thursday, August 9. 3,040 candidates, 1,687 females (55.5%) and 1,353 males (44.5%), registered for 33 out of the 35 general and technical Proficiency subjects offered at the CSEC level for the May to June examinations. Overall there were 19,405 graded student subject entries- up from 17,661 last year. 120 candidates, 61 (50.8%) females and 59 (49.2%) males, registered for thirty-five CAPE Subject Units of the forty-six offered by CXC comprising of 19 Unit 1 and 16 Unit 2. Candidate entries for CSEC 2012 showed an increase of 9.2 percent compared to 2011, and the subject entries experienced an increase of 12.6 percentage points, while CAPE's candidate entries decreased by 10.4 percent compared to last year and the Unit entries increased by 6.3 percentage points.

San Joaquin Fiesta comes to Life once again in Corozal District!
The Village of San Joaquin will not be outdone as it kicks off its 46th Annual San Joaquin Fiesta. For all those who enjoy a Spanish- style fiesta, then San Joaquin village will be the perfect place to be this Thursday, August 16th to Sunday, August 19th as the San Joaquin Fiesta sets the weekend a blaze.

Testing in Belize Educational System and External Examinations
Betty Jean Usher-Tate, 4th from left The beginning of formal education in Belize (formerly British Honduras) dates back to 1816 with an effort to educate "the young and disadvantaged children" in the Honduras Free School, which offered religious and academic instruction (Bennett, 2008). Under British colonial rule, the Church-State system of education was established. In twenty-first century Belize, this symbiotic partnership remains in existence mostly because Belizeans perceive religion and moral teaching as an integral part of one's education. The system has also worked conveniently for the Belize government thus far.

The Reporter

Judge rules Karol Mello illegally detained, but new charges will keep him in jail!
Slovakian national Karol Mello remains in Police custody, even though Supreme Court Justice Oswald Legall ruled last Friday, August 10, that the Government of Belize had illegally detained him. Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer denied Mello bail late Friday afternoon, when he was brought before her on charges of perjury and uttering a passport which he was not entitled to utter. These new charges have effectively nullified the writ of habeas corpus that Mello's attorney, Godfrey Smith, had filed to determine the validity of his client's detention.

Carline Pinto, 11, survives massive attack on her home in Benbow St.
Eleven-year-old Carline Pinto survived and is in stable condition after she was shot four time as she slept in her parents' home at #32 Benbow Street, just before dawn last Saturday, August 11. She was shot in her chest and belly, but latest reports say the worst is over; as a surgical team at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital had worked feverishly to save her life.

Superbond ll: The Price of a Belizean Haircut Belize needs to be more innovative!
In 2007, the country of Belize, at the time considered to be in default on its debt by Standard & Poor, issued a $550 million bond on international markets. The so-called "super bond" due in 2029, would bear interest only for 12 years, giving Belize time to achieve fiscal consolidation and grow its economy before principal payments began in 2019.

We can't afford to pay next "superbond" coupon, GOB says.
The Government of Belize, via a Ministry of Finance press release, announced Tuesday that it is "unable to make an August 20, 2012 coupon payment" on the U.S. Dollar Step-Up Bonds due in 2029. "The annual interest rate on this bond stepped up earlier this year to 8.5%," Prime Minister Dean Barrow said. "We simply cannot afford this coupon payment, given the financing shortfalls and other challenges we face."

PUP sets up tamper-proof leadership in defiance of its party constitution
The National Executive of People's United Party has passed two resolutions effectively barring any and all challenges to the office of Party Leader and PUP parliamentarians as standard bearers until after the 2017 General Elections.

Belize Times workers cry foul over severance pay! But former party boss Musa says they got everything.
The Belize Times, the official organ of the People's United Party, and the oldest newspaper in the country, folded and its work force disbanded. Five long-time employees were given their walking papers last Friday, and they are furious, accusing the management of foul play and betrayal. Doreth Bevans, the paper's lithographer who has racked up 43 years of dedicated service to the newspaper, was paid $5,940 as severance pay and said this week: "After so many years of service, I did not want to leave bitter. I wanted to leave in peace."

Belizeans awarded 21 scholarships to study in Taiwan
Twenty-one young Belizeans received their scholarship awards to study in the Republic of China on Taiwan from Taiwan's Ambassador H.E. David Wu at the Chateau Caribbean on Saturday, August 4. Some 19 students received scholarships under Taiwan's International Cooperation and Development Fund Scholarship Program. Among them, Enoc Hercules will pursue his Bachelor's degree in Business Administration at the National Chengchi University. Derek Alfred Davis will study for his masters in information systems and application at the National Tsing Hua University, and Amparito Teresita de Jesus Tun will study human resource development at the Graduate Institute of the National Taiwan Normal University.

Dark chocolate may lower blood pressure
There may be good news for people looking for an excuse to munch on a couple of squares of chocolate after a review showed the treat could reduce blood pressure. An analysis of 20 studies showed that eating dark chocolate daily resulted in a slight reduction in blood pressure. The Cochrane Group's report said chemicals in cocoa, chocolate's key ingredient, relaxed blood vessels. However, there are healthier ways of lowering blood pressure. The theory is that cocoa contains flavanols which produce a chemical in the body called nitric oxide. This 'relaxes' blood vessels making it easier for blood to pass through them, lowering the blood pressure.

7 Major benefits and exercise essentials of a daily exercise regime
We were created for "movement and action" and no doubt a consistent daily exercise regime is one of the best ways to keep this machinery, the human body, in such mobility. Most doctors recommend at least 30-45 minutes of daily exercise. 7 Benefits of Daily Exercise Regime Just 30 to 45 minutes of daily exercise are critically important to a total lifestyle approach to health. Below are some of the benefits of such a consistent exercise regime.

BDF wins 2012 Champions' Cup
Belize Defence Force won the 2012 Champions' Cup 8-3 on goal aggregate, after they drew 2-2 with Westlake in the second game of the championship finals at the MCC grounds on Sunday, August 12. Ralph Flores and Marlon "Matador" Meza led the BDF offensive, supported by Byron Usher and Harrison Tasher on the wings, and Lisbey Castillo and Richard "Cheety" Jimenez at midfield. Knowing that they needed a 7-0 win to overturn the 6-1 result of the week before, Albert Thurton anchored the Westlake's defense with the help of Shannon Flowers, Jarret Davis and Leon Rowley. They held the BDF strikers scoreless for much of the first half, and only four minutes remained before intermission when Byron Usher succeeded in embarrassing Westlake's goalkeeper with the BDF's first goal.

Telemedia women win silver at VII Central American Softball Championship
The Belize Telemdia women won the silver medal at the seventh Central American Women's Softball Championships held at the La Sabana Sports Complex in San Jose, Costa Rica on Sunday, August 12. The Belize women got off to an encouraging start as pitcher Mary Flowers led them to a 15-2 win over the hosts, Costa Rica, in their opening game at the Daniel Vargas Stadium last Friday morning. Pitcher Kimberly Porras was Costa Rica's pitcher

Toledo cacao growers to get $750,000 IDB funding
The Toledo Cacao Growers Association signed an agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank in Belize City this week, by which a member of the IDB group, the Multilateral Investment Fund, will contribute almost US$750,000 to support cacao production in Toledo. The project will connect small farmers in rural Mayan communities to global supply chains, thereby significantly boosting Belize's exports of organically grown cacao. The project will work with the Association to expand economic opportunities for cacao growing communities in rural Belize. The project will offer farmers technical support to strengthen their cacao production, using organic and sustainable methods. They will also be encouraged to use harvesting and processing methods, which ensure the cacao meets flavor and quality standards. The Association's business management capacity will also be strengthened, with the use of a geographic information system to forecast crop yields and for strategic planning. The project will also promote the cultivation of other high value organic crops, such as spices and peppers, in tandem with the cacao to supplement farmers' incomes. The project will develop multimedia training kits in the Kek'chi and Mopan Maya languages, and produce documentaries and case studies on the sector.


One of The Coolest Experiences of My Life: Swimming with Whale Sharks Off Isla Mujeres/Cancun + Tips & Suggestions
We rode out for about 50 minutes to a spot where all the boats were congregated...when we slowed down, you started to notice that there were fins everywhere. QUICK! Into your gear! (The guide said that the water is about 35 meters deep here.) The captain angled right next to one of them and JUMP! Two people assigned to a guide hop into the water right next to this huge shark. (I'm not going to hands were shaking. And the ones were were seeing in the beginning were only about 25 feet long.) Jump? Seriously? Right near the shark's mouth? Sure. The shark could care was like the 100 boats and all the snorkelers meant nothing. They were just cruising around skimming the water for the golden flecks of algae. At first you are just trying to stay out of their way...the tail and the gills gaping open are the only things really moving. That's us swimming alongside our first shark. THAT'S US! Totally, totally insane. Perfectly smooth with three long ridges along their back, polka dotted, they don't even seem real. It's like you are watching a film through your swim mask even though the animal is less than 10 feet from you. It doesn't matter that there are tons of boats and people out there. There were SO MANY SHARKS. I'd guess well over 60...maybe 100? At some times there were 4 or 5 just near our boat. You can swim with the sharks for about 10-15 minutes (or try frantically to follow them) and then the captain calls you out so that the next couple can jump in. You can go again later (up to 3x). PLUS you are exhausted. THAT WAS SO CRAZY.

Top 10 Can't Miss Experiences & Things to Do in Belize
Diving/Snorkeling Belize is home to the second largest barrier reef which makes it an ideal spot for scuba divers and snorkelers alike. Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker are two of the most popular islands in Belize and both offer outstanding dive spots to explore the reef. The water is a brilliant turquoise when you jump in and the show has just begun. Purple coral, electric blue fish, nurse sharks, turtles, orange starfish, and occasional hammerhead are just a sampling of what you may see. The reef is just three quarters of a mile from the shoreline of Ambergris Caye and there are many other locations to explore the reef along the approximately 175 miles it stretches along the coast. Whether it's a quick trip just out from San Pedro, a trip to Turneffe, or a multi-day trip to the Blue Hole, you won't be disappointed with the extraordinary world under the sea. Mayan Ruins Belize's fertile climate, coastal access, and expansive marine life made it an attractive home for many Mayan people and therefore restored ruins are sprinkled throughout Belize. Some of the most popular sites include Altun Ha, Lamanai, Cerros, Caracol and Cahal Pech. A day at one of the many sites will provide breathtaking views from the tops of temples and a good dose of Mayan history provided by one of the many experienced Belizean guides. Deep sea fishing If you're looking for a little adventure, deep sea fishing off the coast of Belize can deliver just that. dorado, tuna, marlin, wahoo, sharks and sailfish are all present outside the reef. Deep sea fishing is a thrilling experience whether it's your first time fishing or you are a seasoned angler. From the excitement of heading out to the satisfaction of reeling in a magnificent Dorado, the entire experience will leave you wanting more. To top off a successful day of fishing you can bring your catch to one of the local restaurants in town and enjoy a fresh seafood dinner provided by your hard work on the boat.

How to Swim with Sharks in Belize
You're sitting in a boat on the backside of Ambergris Caye outside Belize's barrier reef. Your mission: find a patch of water known as 'Shark Ray Alley', jump in and swim with a school of fully-grown sharks. At this point, you think to yourself, "What happened to the stress free vacation I promised myself?" The good news is these aren't great whites - instead, today you'll be swimming with nurse sharks. Don't let the name "shark" fool you; these gentle giants are harmless�at least most of the time. To help you relax and enjoy this special experience, here are helpful facts to keep in mind while swimming with nurse sharks. Nurse Sharks Are Mostly Harmless To Humans When it comes to dinnertime, nurse sharks simply aren't interested in swimmers. They are unable to consume large fish, much less a whole human. However, like most wild animals, they will bite defensively if provoked. The lesson? Respect them and they will respect you. Few attacks have ever been recorded, none of which were fatal. Only one of those attacks was unprovoked. Nurse Shark Have Small Teeth and Mouths Perhaps a large reason for their lack of aggression towards humans is related to the small size of their teeth and mouths. Rather than eating pray with traditional 'shark bites,' they opt to suck in their food with the vacuum produced by their large throat cavities. They Are More Likely to Dine LIKE a Human than On a Human Nurse sharks can be very large. In fact, they have been known to grow as long as 14 ft and weigh over 730 lbs! Despite their large stature, their diet is quite similar to that of a human. Shellfish, shrimp, squid, and small fish are common menu items for this open-water foodie. Nurse Sharks are Bottom Dwellers Nurse sharks catch their pray on the sea floor and spend most of their time down below. Occasionally, however, they can be coaxed to the surface at 'Shark Ray Alley' where cautious snorkelers can take a closer look, without encroaching too much.

Shark Week!!
Yes, it is here, the official Shark Week 12th - 19th August celebrated by the Discovery Channel. And, although they are mainly celebrating the sharks on the opposite end of the spectrum with regard to fear ie the Great White, our Nurse Sharks deserve a little applause too and so we are here to give them a big hand!! Both the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve have varying numbers of resident Nurse Sharks. These non- agressive members of the Shark family serve an educational purpose to all of those persons who have been terrified to get into the water since 'Jaws' first came out, proving that not all Sharks are going to tear your head off!! Shark week will be on the Discovery Channel for the rest of the week so for those wanting to learn more about how we can protect our apex predator and therefore protect our marine environment. Or perhaps you just want to terrify yourselves or even just admire the prowess of these magical creatures in the water - whatever the reason, it will be interesting!!

Belize Mega Bingo Results For (15 August 2012)
Straight Line 100.00 Each (7 Balls) 23 �28 �41 �67 �7 �32 �46� Y 125.00 Each (10 Balls) 23 �28 �41 �67 �7 �32 �46 �53 �42 �48� T 150.00 Each (18 Balls) 23 �28 �41 �67 �7 �32 �46 �53 �42 �48 �47 �27 �31 �6 �3 �62 �35 �17� Letter X 750.00 Each (22 Balls) 23 �28 �41 �67 �7 �32 �46 �53 �42 �48 �47 �27 �31 �6 �3 �62 �35 �17 38 �39 �40 �66�

International Sources

Markets react badly as Belize presses bid to renegotiate debt
On Tuesday, the Belize government announced that it would be unable to make next Monday's (August 20) US$23 million coupon payment on its US dollar US$546.8 million so called "Step-Up Bonds" due 2029. This has set up a potential default if the country is not able to restructure its debt and pay bondholders within 30 days of August 20. This news was met swiftly with a ratings downgrade by Standard & Poors (S&P), which lowered its long-term foreign currency sovereign credit rating on Belize to 'CC' from 'CCC-'. "Under our criteria, either a missed payment or an exchange that we view as distressed constitutes a default," said S&P credit analyst Kelli Bissett. This move by the ratings agency follows rumbles of disquiet that started up last week when the Central Bank of Belize posted to its website a proposed a restructuring of the bond that would discount its value and reduce its interest rate.

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