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The San Pedro Sun
Wanted US national Khaffak Sahib Ansari detained in Belize
Wanted American national Khaffak Sahib Ansari was captured in San Pedro Ambergris Caye, Belize by San Pedro Police on Thursday September 6th. 46 year old Ansari, who was convicted in the U.S. for fraud in May of 2012, was detained by local authorities after a woman made a report against him at the local police station. He was detained shortly before 6PM and is expected to be extradited to the U.S. sometime over the weekend.
Ansari, said local police, was managing a local establishment on the island where a female had a misunderstanding with him and he had to be detained. According to police, after Ansari was detained, investigators decided to run a search of his name in their database and found that Ansari should have been serving a jail sentence in the USA for charges of fraud.
New school building inaugurated at SPRCS
Inauguration ceremonies took place on Thursday September 6th at the San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRCS) for a new school building. The brand new building will hold three classrooms and is expected to minimize the congestion that the school faces. It will also allow for more children to have access to a primary school education. The building was officially inaugurated by the school’s benefactor and owner of Canary Coves Don Listwin, Area Representative Hon Manuel Heredia, Mayor of San Pedro Daniel Guerrero and the Manager of Roman Catholic Schools in Belize, Sister Barbara Flores.
The building measures 27 feet wide by 72 feet long, and is estimated to have cost over $120,000. Financing for the building was obtained through the collective efforts of the Councilor Gaby Nuñez and the school management, who lobbied for funding from Listwin. Don Listwin, who has adopted San Pedro as his second home, spoke at the event, saying he was happy to be involved and contribute to education on the island. “If you are going to live in a community, you have to participate in the community and so my wife and I both though about what we wanted to do… We were happy to do this (building of the classroom) and we are happy to see the result.” Listwin also stated that he wants to be further involved in the community.
SPTC and Police “tighten up” in enforcing traffic and bicycle laws
But the enforcement of parking laws by the traffic officers were not the only issue that has residents, especially bicycle owners, up in arms. The San Pedro Police Department also carried out their own enforcement of the bicycle law confiscating bikes that had malfunctioning brakes, no lights, lack reflectors and bells and were on public roads. Mayor of San Pedro Daniel Guerrero had indicated earlier this year of the council’s decision to implement the license of bikes as mandated by law. In speaking to The San Pedro Sun, Mayor Guerrero said that the decision to confiscate bikes that are “deem unfitted” to be used on “public streets” was a decision made by the police. What has upset affected residents is the fact that no prior notification was given. According to the San Pedro police department there is no need to warn anyone on the enforcement of bicycle law. “The law is specific when it comes to bicycles that should be on the road,” said the Officer in Charge and Assistant Superintendent of the Police Viennie Robinson of the San Pedro police department. According to the police, following the unexpected “sweep” over the past weekend, most of the people got back their bicycles except for those who could not show “proof of ownership.” Residents need to brace up as the police cautioned that they will continue to enforce and ensure that bicycles are “deem fit” to be on public road.
Belizean Accused of Kidnapping after Guatemalan Arrest
His name might seem very familiar, because he has had quite a bad reputation of being in and out of trouble with the law in Belize and now 37-year-old Joseph Budna finds himself in custody of the Guatemalan authorities.
News outlets in Guatemala report that Budna is in serious trouble after being arrested and accused of being the ringleader of a gang of kidnappers operating in Belize Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala. The National Civil Police (PNC) captured Budna in San Benito, Petén after a gun face off after which he found himself in the hospital.
New Classrooms at R.C. School Possible Through Great Benefactors
Master of ceremonies, Mr. Angel Nuñez, then introduced what he playfully called "the goose that lays the golden eggs"; he called on to the podium one of San Pedro's newest benefactors, Mr. Don Listwin, owner of Canary Coves. This humble benefactor shared with those in attendance how he came about to live in this beautiful piece of jewelry we call home. Don and his wife Hillary are avid divers and stated that they wanted to give back to the community which is now his second home.
"We will continue to invest in this community," stated Listwin. "We would like for you to consider us as benefactors of education not only for this school but for all schools on this island."
Songwriter Danny Michel Inspired by Garifuna Music of Belize
Canadian singer-songwriter Danny Michel has quite an eclectic catalogue of music to his credit. Among his eight solo albums, are albums entitled ‘Tales From the Invisible Man’, ‘Feather, Fur & Fin’ and ‘Sunset Sea’, the later which was fully inspired and recorded in Belize. Born in Kitchener, Ontario, Michel spent four months in Belize, recording a new disc with Producer Ivan Duran and the members of the Garifuna Collective.
Duran is founder of Stonetree Records, an independent record label and recording studio. He has produced over 30 albums featuring the musical styles of Belize, Honduras & Guatemala. In 2007 he received the womex award alongside the late Andy Palacio for their work on the Watina album, voted by Amazon.com as the #1 World Music album of all time.
Misc Belizean Sources
Belize "Independent " Macroeconomic Report ▪ June 2012
The Belizean economy continued to recover in 2011, with GDP growth 2.5% from 2.9% in 2010.
Deputy Prime Minister to Attend Unveiling of Sanctuary Belize 250-Slip Marina
Belize’s Only Deep Water, Fully Protected Marina Accommodates Boats Up to 140 Feet
Sanctuary Belize, the award-winning five eco-system residential, resort and marina development, is excited to announce the opening of the only deep-water marina in all of Belize on October 20, 2012. The Deputy Prime Minister of Belize will be heading up the ribbon cutting ceremony for the state of the art, full service marina. This marina is the key focal point of the real estate development.
After securing the necessary environmental permits, the completion of the 250-slip marina and adjacent beach club fulfills a key developer promise made to early buyers. Surrounded by 250 villas and townhomes, restaurants, pubs, and shopping, the marina slips will accommodate boats up to 140 feet.
The opening of this full-service marina will provide a much needed gateway for boat owners, residents and enthusiasts to experience Sanctuary Belize's nine-mile wildlife river reserve, 2,000 acre tropical savannah, 10,000 acre rain forest, the second largest barrier reef on the planet, and the development's own six acre private island off the gorgeous southern mainland coast of beautiful Belize.
Average Tourist or Visitor's Length Of Stay in Belize
2006 thru 2011
Tully & Holland Advises Belize Aquaculture, Ltd., in its Recapitalization
Tully & Holland, Inc. ("T&H") is pleased to announce its role as financial advisor to Belize Aquaculture, Ltd. ("BAL" or the "Company") in conjuction with an investment in and recapitalization by Thailand-based Seafresh Industry Public Co., Ltd. (CFRESH: Bankok). This joint venture will provide Belize Aquaculture additional capital for growth.
Founded in 1996 by Sir Barry Bowen, “Belize Aquaculture is one of the premiere shrimp farms and integrated production facilities in the world,” according to Tim Tully, President of Tully & Holland. Using strict environmental controls, adherence to the highest standards of sustainability and traceability, Belize Aquaculture has achieved one of the highest productivity levels in the shrimp farming industry in a world-class processing plant located on 14,000 acres on Blair Atholl Estate inBelize. “This transaction is yet another example of the globalization of food markets, in this case across three continents,” according to Tully.
About Belize Aquaculture, Ltd.
Belize Aquaculture, Ltd., www.balshrimp.com, is one of the world's foremost Intensive Marine Shrimp Aquaculture Companies. BAL has the unique ability to ship fresh cooked, never frozen shrimp and other value added shrimp products to US markets. BAL's extensive infrastructure and state-of-the-art processing plant is characterized by the World Wildlife Fund as "likely to be the aquaculture system of the future.
Graph: Belize - Annual Nominal Fiscal Balance
Why we might need a superbond 3 or is it why we don't need a superbond 2 ?
UB Central Farm Classroom Inauguration
The University of Belize's Central Farm campus had a new classroom inaugurated this week.
"The presentation was made by the Deputy Prime Minister at CFC during the inauguration of a newly constructed building that will house classrooms and a Soil and Biology laboratory. In his Keynote Address entitled: 'Agriculture: the foundation of our diversified economy,' the Deputy Prime Minister said that UB has played an important role in the development of agriculture in Belize; and in this regard, the collaboration between the ministry and UB offers a good template to positively impact development across all districts in Belize."
Literacy Day at the SIPL
The San Ignacio Public Library celebrated LIteracy Day. They invited all the local primary schools over for some fun reading. What a great way to celebrate the September Celebrations.
"San Ignacio Library promoting books and reading! Yay!"
Belmopan Literacy Parade Pictures
This morning in Belmopan, they had the Literacy Parade for the September Celebrations. Tons of students from Belmopan's primary and secondary schools participated in the event. They even had a few literacy floats. The students made lots of great signs, one that said: "Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life."
Have a great September, and encourage all kids to read.
UB's Semester Kickoff pictures
The University of Belize had their semester kickoff this week, with food, games, music, and they ended with a bonfire. The students had a great time.
Flavors of Belize Exhibit
The Flavors of Belize exhibit is currently at the Image Factory. The Flavors of Belize cookbook had their big launch over the Summer, and now the exhibit will be on display until the end of September. Here are pictures and video from the opening ealier this week, where they got to interview Tanya Mcnab, the creator, along with the curator of the Image Factory.
Story of Resistance Exhibit at Benque HoC
The Benque House of Culture opened the "Story of Resistance"exhibit yesterday, to much fanfare. They Benque HoC teamed up with the ISCR to bring the exhibit here. It'll run for the September Celebrations. There was a great turnout for the opening ceremony.
Cayo Event Calendar for September
September's Cayo Event Calendar has all the September Celebration events on it. Tonight, don't miss the Children's Talent Show downtown, and then Meluchi's Ladies Night. There will also be a Thanks Giving Service in Benque at Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
Have a safe and fun September!
Baby Kaylee Was Killed
The post mortem examination on baby Kaylee Burgess was performed this afternoon in Belize City. It found that she died of suffocation - not drowning. It is a consequential finding because the family's report was that she died after falling into a bucket with water - but the post mortem finding says that the child suffocated and the matter is under investigation.
That says it was foul play - basically that the two year old was killed on the day before her birthday.
Today, after the post mortem we spoke to the child's paternal grandmother and father - and they told us that they want the police to find out what really happened to the child:....
Caroline Quilter - Grandmother of Deceased
"I just came from the morgue just a few minutes ago and they did the autopsy and they claim that the baby died from suffocation. Right now we are leaving everything in the hands of the police for us to know that they can take it from there. It's not drowning, they ruled out drowning. They haven't found any evidence of drowning. They found that she was suffocated, that's what the death certificate says - suffocation."
Guats: Budna Is An International Kidnapper Wanted by FBI
Belizean Joseph Budna is making major headlines in Guatemala tonight - where he is now being described as the head of an international kidnapping ring.
Guatemalan Police say that the charges against him are: Kidnapping, conspiracy and illicit association with other criminals. But in the press there, he is also being accused of child molestation and trafficking in persons, but, we stress, he has not been charged for that.
At 3:00 yesterday afternoon, Budna was captured by an anti-kidnapping teamin San Benito, Petén, The Guatemalan press reports that there was a confrontation with the police where Budna, described as a gang leader was injured. They say he is the leader of a criminal network dedicated to international kidnapping in Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico.
Of note is that press reports there say Budna is also wanted by the FBI in the United States for kidnapping an American. He is being investigated for three recent kidnappings in Guatemala for which ransoms of as much as five thousand dollars were demanded. According to press reports, Budna abducted his victims in Guatemala and then moved to Honduras while the ransom was being demanded - and then let them go near their homes after it was paid.
The Guatemalan press reports that he was posing as a journalist, spiritualist and doctor. He did the same in Belize - where he was also a convicted pedophile.
Man Acquitted of Indecent Assault Against 4 Year-old
In September of 2011, there was a disturbing case of sexual assault against a 4 year-old girl in Belize City, which was allegedly perpetrated by a relative.
Well tonight, the news is that the man who everyone suspected as the culprit was acquitted today in Magistrate's Court of indecent assault.
As we reported, the mother of child even made attempts to come out publicly because she was not satisfied that police were properly investigating this relative whose name was being called by the child.
Well, if today's outcome is indication, the police couldn't prove it then, and they couldn't prove it in the trial either. We can't reveal any names or show any photographs of the man because the child's identity would be compromised, but his trial started last week Monday before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith.
The prosecution called the child to testify in closed court, and she told the court that on September 22, 2011, the accused took her to another relative's house, forced to lie down, took off her clothes, and fondled her.
Saldivar Complains About Prisoner Health at Kolbe
65 year-old Michael Coye and his daughter, 36 year-old Melonie Coye are currently in prison serving 3 years after they were convicted in Supreme Court of laundering over 1.5 million dollars.
Their lead attorney, Arthur Saldivar, indicated to the media weeks ago that he was in the process of filing an appeal of this judgement.
But Michael Coye is an elderly man, and he is suffering from diabetes, a which his attorney claims has worsened.
Melonie Coye also has diabetes.
According to Saldivar, he recently visited his clients in prison, and says health has been seriously compromised. He wants the Kolbe Foundation to take note that these prisoners need special care, and his opinion is that they are currently not getting it.
Here's how he described it:
"I had an opportunity to get to the Kolbe Foundation to visit the Coye family; Mike and Melanie Coye - after having heard of a recent episode involving the health of both individuals. Mr. Mike Coye had suffered extensive diarrhea as a result of complication arising from the food that he was eating there and the fact that he wasn't getting the kind of medical attention that he requires. He is a diabetic, but recently we also found out that he was diagnosed with hepatitis C which is a highly communicable disease. Melanie Coye herself had gone into hyperglycemic shock while at the facility as a result of not being able to access proper food and medication."
McKoy Charged For City Shooting
Tonight, 20 year-old Deandray McKoy, a Belize City resident, is on remand for allegedly trying to kill another Belize City resident. According to police, 20 year-old Alexis Ku reported that on Wednesday, at about 8 p.m., he was walking on William Street when McKoy allegedly rode up to him and shot him several times in the abdomen, the lower back and the left hand.
Ku was rushed to the hospital, where he was treated for his injuries, and immediately after, police began a search for Deandray McKoy. Today, McKoy was taken to Magistrate's Court where he was arraigned before Magistrate Aretha Ford for attempted murder, dangerous harm, and use of deadly means of harm.
Because of the nature of the offences, McKoy couldn't be granted bail, and he was remanded to prison until October 10, his next court date.
Russell Hyde Claims Police Setup
Roaring Creek Resident Russell Hyde is in the news again tonight. This time he came to us because he got out on bail - after spending a month on remand for a kidnapping charge.
42 year old Hyde, and 25 year old Roger Banner are accused of beating and kidnapping a woman who had been drinking with them. The 25 year old woman said she had to jump out of the vehicle at the Roaring Creek speedbump.
But now Hyde and Banner have gotten Supreme Court bail - and he came to our studio to say that it was all a setup from the start. He claims that while he was with the woman after she consented to get into his SUV - he alleges that the Officer Commanding in Cayo, Chester Williams inflated the allegation to force Hyde to bring in two illegal weapons - and he said he'd keep his SUV impounded until such time.
Here's what he told us today:..
"They took us to San Ignacio and Chester told me that 'I told you I wanted that 12 and that 9 Beretta and I will put a charge on you so that you go straight to Hattieville prison.' One month later I got bail on the grounds that the statement given by the female that accused me could not come up with a kidnapping charge and I also have Chester Williams on tape to prove where I was wrongfully abuse. I want to play this tape and let the people know Chester Williams is doing in Cayo."
The Rise Of UNOPETROL
The Texaco brand has been recognized in Belize for decades - but, no more; now UNOPETROL has replaced Texaco.
You may have noticed the signs going up at gas stations in your area. Our information says that UNOPETROL is refitting seven service stations countrywide. The Honduran company owns all those stations. There are three other Texaco stations, which UNOPETROL does not own; one of them has decided to go UNOPETROL, the others may or may not - but either way, they'll have to stop using the Texaco logo - which is no longer licensed for Belize.
The refitting work is being done by a company called FIMCOL, which we could not find listed in the phone book. It's news because UNOPETROL created a stir when it announced to dealers - those folks who run the gas stations - that they would be introducing a new system.
2012 CSEC Grades Is a Cause For Concern
As we reported a few weeks ago, there is concern all across the Caribbean over falling grades in the C-Sec exams - what we call the CXC. Only 33 per cent of the those sitting the Mathematics exam achieved Grades I - III. This is down from 35 percent in 2011, and 41 percent in 2010.
It has caused concern everywhere - except, apparently, in Belize where a press release from the Ministry of Education breezily referred to grades being down in English A, Mathematics and Principles of Accounts - but did not say down by how much or give any comparative figures. And even though we requested such figures from the Minister and Minister himself - none have been forthcoming.
But in Jamaica the low grades have caused consternation and as we find out in this report from our Colleagues at CEEN TV - a task force has been appointed to find out what went wrong in Math and English:..
Jungle Ballers Win Midnight Basketball Tournament
A month ago, 7News told you about Restore Belize bringing back Midnight basketball to try to give at risk youths a productive past-time for the summer holiday.
Last night, the finals were held at the ITVET Compound where the final 3 teams battled for first place.
Today, 7News caught up with the winners and the organizers of the tournament.
Here's what they told us about entire experience:
Kashieka Broaster, Organizer - Midnight Basketball
"The main idea behind the midnight basketball series was to get the youths from different neighborhoods involved during summer and while at school when they have nothing to do in the nights. We have them some out and play some basketball."
"Where exactly did you guys hold these basketball tournaments?"
"We had the tournaments in 3 different areas; first we had in Cumberbatch Field, the Samuel Haynes area and the Euphrates court beside St. John's primary school. We had them simultaneously, so each night each court was playing on the courts."
Memorial Park Is Ready For 10th Celebration
3 weeks ago, we showed you the current status of the Memorial Park, which is the annual staging ground for the September 10th Opening Ceremony.
The project coordinator for the Sustainable Tourism Project assured us they current construction on the park, as part of the Fort Point Facelift project, would be finished in time for the ceremony.
But, no matter what the coordinator said, members of the public still doubted that it would finish in time, and so today, the planners called us out to the park where they officially confirmed that Memorial Park is now ready for Monday's Celebration.
Here's what project coordinator and the co-chair of the September Celebrations Committee told us:
Christy Mastry, Sustainable Tourism Project
"I can officially confirm today Friday that Monday we will be hosting the September 10th celebrations at the Memorial Park. As you can see everything is in place. The BDF had their official dress rehearsal this morning. The stage is intact; the lights were working last night. We have the planters and we have all the electrical outlets for the media to be here to tape this wonderful event."
CitCo Hosts Multicultural Fair
As a part of the tenth weekend celebrations, the Belize City Council will be hosting its 7th Annual Multi Cultural Fair at the MCC grounds. The fair will be held on the 10th of September from 11 in the morning straight through to 9 at night. Deputy Mayor, Dion Leslie stopped by our studios this morning to tell us about the event and the entertainment lineup - including Belize's Prince of Peace, Lova Boy.
Dion Leslie, Deputy Mayor - Belize City
"It's the 7th annual Belize City Council Multi-Cultural Fair and 10th Bram - it's the only thing that is happening on the 10th after the citizen's parade. We invite everyone out to the MCC Grounds at 11am. If the same as we've done for the past years - we will have tents with food, every food that is made in Belize. You can expect from rice and beans to barbeque to hudut, everything we will have there under the food court."
"We will have entertainment under the food court by Mr. Ernesto Babb and Mr. Tony Wright. They are there every year and they put on their own performance within a performance. Of course we have games for the kids; mechanical rides, bouncy house, and trampoline - we offer everything for everyone. It's a family fun day that we try to promote.
A Teaser For 2012 Carnival
And that's 7news for tonight. Thanks for watching, I am Peta Gaye Levy.
Make sure to tune into Channel 7 tomorrow morning at 11:30 tomorrow where Shari Williams and Tyrone Chimilio will lead our live coverage of Carnival 2012.
To get you in the Carnival spirit, we leave you with highlights of the Carnival season so far.
Goodnight - and have a great Tenth.
2 year old suffocated to death; who will be charged?
Death by suffocation; that is the result for the autopsy done late this afternoon by Doctor Mario Estradabran on the body of Kaylee Burgess, who would have celebrated her second birthday today. It’s a shocking revelation that has evidently ruled out any speculation that the child perished by drowning in a bucket of water on [...]
Joseph Budna: kidnapper, arms dealer, sexual abuser
We told you on Thursday night that thirty-seven year old Joseph Budna is in police custody in Guatemala. Initial reports said he was involved in gang related activity. More details are available and the story spread like fire today all over the Guatemalan media. To say that Budna is in serious trouble is a major [...]
Attorney says Calaney did not murder her baby’s daddy
Twenty-five year old Calaney Flowers has been charged for the murder of her baby’s father, Lyndon Morrison, who was knocked off his motorcycle on Freetown Road on August twenty-eighth. Morrison’s girlfriend, Sochyl Sosa was also injured in the incident and found out while she was hospitalized that she was pregnant, but lost the baby. It [...]
…and Kolbe allegedly not fit for medical treatment of detained persons
Since she was arrested and charged on August thirtieth, Calaney Flowers has been remanded at the Central Prison. That’s nothing unusual for persons charged with murder, but Flowers is a lupus patient and Saldivar says the Kolbe Foundation’s medical facility is not equipped for her treatment regimen. According to Saldivar, there must be some consideration [...]
U.S. Fugitive arrested in San Pedro bar
An American fugitive is in the custody of San Pedro Police on Thursday and is expected to be handed over to US officials over the weekend. He is forty-six year old Khaffak Sahib Ansari, who was convicted of Fraud in the U.S. in May. Ansari was reportedly managing the Boat Yard Bar in San Pedro [...]
U.S. sex offender convicted in U.S. of paying Belizean child for sexual favors
A seventy-two year old Wisconsin man, who was charged in 2010 and pleaded guilty in May of this year for sexually abusing a Belizean minor was today sentenced to five years in prison. At the end of that jail term, Roland Flath will also serve ten years of extended supervision. The charge against Flath, who [...]
Reconstruction still ongoing, but officials say Memorial Park will be ready
The celebrations kick off with the Jouvert and Carnival on Saturday, but the official ceremony that comes with all the bells and whistles, is a traditional occasion that includes members of the military, queens and politicians. That event normally occurs at the Memorial Park. But for six months, the park has been under reconstruction. News [...]
Carnival’s Flamboyant History
In the first two parts of our carnival series, we focused on the birth of the local carnival in the seventies and relived the big moment when the groups participated in the Miami Carnival. As the years went by, the costumes have become more elaborate, intricate and in some instances particularly revealing. Most observers will [...]
Jouvert is known for body mud and now body chocolate
Before the road march on Saturday afternoon, revelers will be out from five o’clock in the morning for the Jouvert. The sacred mud has been prepared and this year, NICH is introducing the Coco Devils, who will be covered in chocolate. Organizer, Karen Vernon, spoke to News Five about the new flavor of the Jouvert. [...]
Accused of molesting a 4 year old, Judge says Not Guilty
Today the thirty-four year old man who was accused of committing an indecent assault against a four year old relative walked out of court a free man, as Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith found him not guilty of the charges. The alleged incident occurred last year and the frantic, outraged mother spoke to most media [...]
Medical Tourism is on the horizon
The verdict is still out on medical tourism but the reality of its full presence in Belize is inevitable. Over sixty countries worldwide have already been established as medical tourism destinations and Belize is on the road to becoming one of them. Today at the House of Culture, a workshop was held with both the [...]
First Aid taught to senior citizens
A series of training sessions concluded today at the Mercy Center as part of activities to mark World First Aid Day. Trainers from the Belize Red Cross were on hand to prepare the elderly on how to cope with emergency situations. Considered as the vulnerable population, they were taught basic first aid skills. News Five’s [...]
Belize CitCo Multicultural Fair on Monday with Lova Boy
This weekend it will be no work and all play Belizean style. The celebrations for the tenth will culminate with the annual road march on Saturday but the fun won’t end there. On Monday, which is the public and bank holiday, the Belize City Council will be staging the seventh annual multicultural fair and tenth [...]
Artist made new album because he “Hearts B.Z.E.”
A new CD is hitting the stands and it’s all Belizean. Jah from the musical group Plagga, known for the track ABC Man is here in the country to perform at the Sound Fest tonight at Bird’s Isle. The Belizean artist is also in the Jewel to promote two albums. His solo album is called [...]
Reality Youth’s Saturday ‘upliftment’ concert in Battlefield Park
Jah from the Plagga is not the only musical ensemble available for the weekend. On Saturday September eighth after the Carnival, the Battlefield Park will be filled with song and spirituality. A gospel concert with local and international artists will fill the park with spiritual vibes. Reality Youth, the organizer of the concert told News [...]
Publisher of “George Price: A Life Revealed” receives prestigious award
Ian Randle, founder and chairman of his namesake publishing company in Kingston, Jamaica, was instrumental in the printing of George Price: A Life Revealed, a biography authored by Godfrey Smith. The memoir, which was launched in December 2011, later made it onto the top ten list for the 2012 One Caribbean Media Bocas Prize for [...]
UB students walk out of classes in protest
Students of the University of Belize held a peaceful protest in Belize City on Thursday evening. Love TV’s Patrick Jones and video journalist Brian Castillo went to the demonstration and bring you the following report.
Baby found dead; parents feuding
Ladyville Police are investigating a bizarre twist of events that started with a suspected arson on Tuesday and ended on Wednesday night with the sudden death of a toddler. Kaylee Burgess, a baby girl who would have celebrated her second birthday on Friday, was reportedly discovered in a bucket of water at the house where she lived with her mother and grandmother in the village. The circumstances into how the child died have raised suspicion by Ladyville Police, who are also investigating a fire on Tuesday that they label as “Arson” that destroyed the home where the child’s father, 32 year old Kevin Burgess, lived. Love News’ Marion Ali and Videographer, Myles Gillett, bring you the details in the following report.
A post mortem examination on little Kaylee Burgess is scheduled for Friday.
Fate of disgraced Baptist pastor still pending
In Mid August reports of the Principal of Baptist High School in the Belmopan area, Norman Willacey engaging in inappropriate behavior with a former student was in the headlines. The situation drew condemnation from various sectors of the population. On August 22 the Board of the Baptist High School met and suspended Willacey pending a 15 day investigation. The time has elapsed and the Board has made its recommendation. Ruperto Vicente is the President of the Baptist Association of Belize.
Bus operator addresses tension in the industry
The Ministry of Transport has been trying to regulate the bus industry for a number of years and not meeting its expectations. There have been numerous complaints from commuters and bus operators alike. Earlier this week representatives of the Belizean Bus Owners Association were on Love FM’s Morning Show and they said there is still tension within the industry because of the amount of politics being played especially in how permits are being licensed. The Association has written to the Minister of Transport requesting a discussion with him to look at the way forward. In an interview earlier this month with Minister of Transport Edmund Castro he indicated that there are only two bus operators with permits, West Line and James Bus Line. The bus operators pointed out that the only one who has paid for his permits is Sergio Chuc, owner of West Line, this they say show that the playing field in the industry is not level. Chuc responded to the charge today.
Chuc said he has gone the extra mile in trying to reach a compromise to ensure the smooth running of the industry.
The representatives of the Belizean Bus Owners Association say they are still waiting for a response from the Ministry.
Burden of Illness Study launched in Belize
The Ministry of Health, with collaboration from the Pan American Health Organization and the Caribbean Epidemiology Center today launched a major study on Food Borne Disease. The “Burden of Illness Study” as it is called, is designed to determine the prevalence of acute gastroenteritis in Belize caused by food and water infections. Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health Dr. Peter Allen told reporters that the survey will also investigate the more common viruses or bacteria transmitted via food.
Dr. Allen says that in addition to knowing the prevalence of food borne diseases, which are manifested in vomiting and diarrhea, the study will also help doctors to make better diagnosis and treatment, and policy makers will be in a better position to mitigate the economic costs of food borne diseases on the country.
The survey will get started on September twenty fourth and Dr. Allen says that the data collection should be completed by September of 2013. Thereafter, he estimates that the results should be available for publication by the end of next year. The manager of the Food Borne Disease Program at Caribbean Epidemiology Centre Dr. Lisa Indar told reporters that similar surveys have been conducted in other parts of the Caribbean.
The launch of the Burden of Illness Study was followed by a workshop for stakeholders, including regional health managers, the Belize Agricultural Health Authority, PAHO, Public Health Inspectors and Laboratory Technicians.
Chukka defends its rappelling platform
The pressure is mounting and the calls getting louder for Chukka Belize to take down a rappelling platform that it was allowed to build near one of the cave entrances at the Nohock Che’en Caves Branch Archaeological Reserve in the Cayo district. It is a pitched battle with the Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize on one side and the Chukka Belize tour company on the other. But lest it be lost in the fight, FECTAB is clear that its stance is not an anti-Chukka one. What the Belizean operators are concerned about could be summed up in three distinct; but related issues. First, there is the building of a walkway and rappelling platform near the cave’s entrance. FECTAB says the proximity of the platform endangers people down below who are entering the cave. Then there is what some members of FECTAB have described as the unfair access granted to a private company by the regulatory body, the National Institute of Culture and History, NICH, to a national reserve. And thirdly, there is the claim that the rappelling platform and the unfair access have allowed Chukka Belize to desecrate an archaeological site. Earlier this week, Love TV’s Patrick Jones and video journalist Brian Castillo went to Jaguar Paw to look at the concerns raised and to talk with Chukka executives.
In a press release issued following its Monday press conference, FECTAB explained that by railing out against the location of the rappelling platform the Federation is in no way trying to jeopardize the face of Belize and create any damage to the Tourism Industry because it would be counter-productive as they themselves have to depend on this resource to eat and live every day. What we want to do, says FECTAB, is to let everyone know including the Governing entities and their representatives that, quote: “we will not timidly stand aside and look on as our sacred cultural and historical archaeological reserves are threatened for the sake of but one institution,” end of quote. On Wednesday, the National Institute of Culture and History issued a statement of its own on the issue. NICH, in its release, appears to come out firmly in support of Chukka Belize, saying that it had facilitated a good faith meeting involving all parties to discuss the allegations and issues raised by FECTAB and promised to consider them and respond in a timely manner. The NICH statement says that the rappelling platform it green-lighted follows strict international standards for these types of facilities in public parks, and that it complies with the guidelines of the Original Canopy Tour in Costa Rica, and the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation. NICH says it also meets with all standards established for International Amusement Parks and Attractions in the U.S. Regarding the access and walkway into and through the Crystal Cave, NICH says that they were constructed as a response to safety and conservation concerns in this cave and that the walkway was constructed under the supervision of the Institute of Archaeology’s Conservator. The official release ends by saying that both NICH and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture are committed to the professional and sustainable management of Belize’s cultural resources and that in pursuit of that objective, it will continue to seek innovative, but responsible, ways for integrating archaeology and tourism development while ensuring that professional assessments of all sites are conducted prior to their use as tourist destinations.
Bureau of Standards cracks down on price gougers
On Tuesday of this week we reported on a complaint forwarded to the Bureau of Standards which stated that a gas station on the Northern Highway increase prices of fuel before the prices took effect and over charged a customer, who proved it with a receipt. This morning the Bureau of Standards issued a press release stating that it has come to the attention of the Supplies control Unit that some merchants and particularly some distributors of price controlled goods such as gasoline, diesel and kerosene have been prescribing to the practice of implementing control price increase adjustments prior to the effective date announced by the Government of Belize. The release goes on to inform that the act is an offence under the Supplies Control Act Subsidiary Regulation for Price Controlled Goods, carrying with it a penalty of one thousand dollars as well as a charge of two hundred dollars per day for each day an infraction is committed, and or imprisonment for a period of six months. The SCU can also seize goods with respect to preceding infractions. The bureau of Standards also appeals to consumers to request receipts, since it is proof of purchase. Asking for the receipt is the right of the consumer and it is the obligation of the merchant to supply it.
Solar energy installed at Toledo schools
Inauguration ceremonies for solar renewable energy projects at two rural schools were held yesterday in the Toledo District. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.
Budna arrested in Guatemala
According to Guatemala’s law enforcement body, Policia Nacional Civil (PNC), agents of La Fuerza de Tarea Contra el Secuestro y Fiscales (an anti-kidnapping taskforce), captured Belizean Joseph Budna, 37, also known as “Joe,” after an exchange of fire this afternoon, following investigations which, they allege, have revealed him as the mastermind behind a regional kidnapping and extortion ring operating in Belize, Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras.
The PNC, in an online posting made this evening, said that Budna, who was reportedly captured in “Ermita” in San Benito, Petén, had been sought in various countries because he is the presumed head of an international kidnapping ring.
Guatemalan police said their investigations have linked Budna to the kidnapping and confinement of three youth in the department of Chiquimula, who were allegedly kept in captivity in neighboring Honduras.
Yadira Argueta designated 2012 Emblem of Freedom – Queen of the Bay
Miss Stann Creek, Yadira Argueta, of Thomas Vincent Ramos House, walked away with the highly coveted title of Queen of the Bay on Saturday night, September 1, at the conclusion of the 67th Queen of the Bay Pageant held on Birds Isle in Belize City.
Argueta was trained by former Queen of the Bay, Reena Usher, who comes from a regal line of pageant winners, including her elder sister, Sherima, who had also won the pageant some years prior.
There were a total of 11 delegates who competed this year in the introduction, talent, evening gown, and question and answer segments.
The pageant is unique for its emphasis on Belizean patriotism, which is emphasized during the talent segment through music, dance and drama. However, the highlight of the night is the curtsy segment, which requires skill, focus and precision as the delegates, adorned with ballroom gowns, greet audience and the reigning queen with her humble bow.
“DJ Tambran” vs CitCo!
Owner/manager of the DJ Tambran Music Depot in booth #7 at the Commercial Center in downtown Belize City and popular disc jockey, Lennox “DJ Tambran” Young has been without electricity in his business establishment for three weeks now.
He is also behind two years in rent, approximately $6,500, and he believes the top people at City Hall are circling, looking to put him out despite a 15-year lease that runs out next year.
Young told us that the Council owes him far more for damaged equipment and records than he owes them for rent.
Young says he will not budge, and he wants to be properly compensated for damage sustained to very important master vinyl records, CD’s and equipment subjected to pouring rain from a leaky ceiling.
Young told Amandala earlier this week that his problems started about a month ago when he suffered water damage to the electricity line that runs through the nearly two-decade old building.
Arson, drowning – what next in Ladyville?
A terrible tragedy in Ladyville on Wednesday afternoon has resulted in the death of a baby girl, almost 2 years old, who was found apparently drowned in a bucket of water on the verandah of her grandmother’s house after her mother was released from police custody that same afternoon.
The mother, Deidra Pratt, 23, had been held by Ladyville police in connection with the burning down of her former common-law husband’s home in the same village on Tuesday night. When Pratt, the mother of three children, was in custody, she did not know where her baby Kaylee Burgess, was, but told police that she thought that she was with her father, Kevin Burgess, 32, a mechanic of Mile 9 ¾ on the Northern Highway.
Sometime late Wednesday night, however, the child was found dead at her grandmother’s home, where her mother now lives.
The Burgess family is confused, however, because while Kaylee was reported missing around 6:00 p.m., they said that the child was seen with an aunt at a Chinese store around 8:00 that same night.
2012 Lionman Triathlon Champions
Some 31 determined athletes, male and female, took up the challenge to endure the grueling 1500-meter Swim, 40-kilometer Ride and 10-kilometer Run of the Lionman 2012 Triathlon, which started and [...]
Celebrating Belize by the Carib Sea – St. George’s Caye Battle Regatta 2012
Under the brilliant sunshine and by the beautiful waters of the Caribbean Sea, the Belize Sailing Association (BzSA) held the St. Georges Caye Battle Regatta on Sunday, September 2. Hundreds of Belizeans gathered to participate in [...]
Drama at Rogers Stadium!
Mirage Lady Rebels turn the tables on National Softball Champions, Telemedia Following the break last week for the National Tournament, the Belize City Female Softball Tournament resumed with the commencement of the best-of-5 Final series at [...]
Editorial: In Memory Of...
South Africa has 80 percent of the world’s known stocks of platinum, but that is not nearly enough, it appears, for the London-based owners of Lonmin Marikana mine, one of the largest mining concessions there. Like so many other mining companies that have historically amassed their riches using cheap southern African labor, Lonmin has produced crushing poverty for the miners, but wealth untold for its proprietors.
On August 10, the 3,000 miners, who live in shacks with outdoor toilets, went on strike demanding a three-fold increase in their monthly salaries. Understand that to produce 1 ounce of platinum, miners have to break about 10 tons of raw ore underground using 50-pound handheld machines. It’s backbreaking work.
What followed was a nasty face-off between police and the miners, culminating in what some are calling “the Marikana massacre.” 34 people were killed in that deadly police operation on August 16 – autopsy results show they were shot in the back. A total of 44 persons have been killed so far – including two police officers and two security guards – 78 injured, and 270 arrested. But still, today, September 6, the struggle continues…
From The Publisher
On Sunday morning, January 21, 1962, Luis Francisco Sagastume Ortiz, then a 25 year old agronomist, led a party of Guatemalans into the Ketchi village of Pueblo Viejo, three miles across the Guat border inside Belize.
The invaders tore down the Union Jack, burnt it, and hoisted a Guatemalan flag in its place.
From Pueblo Viejo, they went to San Antonio, calling themselves Belize Freedom Fighters, asking the villagers to join them to help “President Price” liberate Belize.
Said Sagastume: “I am willing to die for your country.”
Five invaders were initially captured by soldiers of the Royal Hampshire Regiment and British Honduras Police Force personnel.
They were Francisco Sagastume, Jose Vicente Mejia, 62, Ricardo Tuz Choc, 24, Balbino Herrera Garcia, 36, and Justo Marroquin Cardena, 54, all dressed as civilians and in possession of arms, ammunition and large sums of money in their shoes and other places.
On Friday, January 26, two more invaders – Santiago Chan, 45, and Jose Leon Ramirez, 29, were captured. They had in their possession shotguns, cartridges, and money.
Letters to the Editor
Belize and Mexico advance talks on new border crossing, new City Center, security and more…
The expansive territory of Mexico abuts Belize at the Rio Hondo. Their geographic proximity has necessitated efforts by the two neighbors to develop a bilateral agenda, which covers, among other things, headline issues such as immigration, security, and a more progressive ‘Green Energy’ agenda—significant in light of the fact that Mexico is a major power supplier to Belize.
Last week, diplomatic officials from Belize and Mexico toured the new Chac-Temal international border crossing point located in Othon P. Blanco, Quintana Roo, Mexico, and Corozal, Belize, to review progress made at this shared border. The new crossing should be inaugurated within the next two months, according to Alexis Rosado, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who led the delegation for Belize.
Leading the delegation for Mexico was Norma Pensado, Under-Secretary for Latin America and the Caribbean in the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs for Mexico.
We all have things in life that tend to [#%!] us off mildly or to a larger degree depending on what it is and how tolerant you are. After living in Belize almost 7 years my tolerance level has grown and I have been able to maintain an it is what it is attitude in some respects an not let myself get to bent out of shape over the little things. I have seen some people let them selves go nuts over over things that are totally not worth the energy.
Here are a few of my current pet peeves:
- Line ups. Belize bank is generally the worst for that here, although last time I went in I was pleasantly surprised and I walked right to the front of the line.
- People throwing garbage on street especially when there is a garbage can close by. Once tacoboy even stopped a guy doing that by saying hey I think you dropped something. The guy looked at him like he was nuts.
A New Exit Fee When Going from San Pedro to Chetumal + My Trip To Medellin, Colombia
I'm not sure how useful the information about travelling from San Pedro, Belize to Medellin, Colombia is. Surely it's not one of the most popular routes in Central/South America. But you never know. Colombia seems to be the new place to travel. And even though I've only been here a few hours, I think I'm starting to see why.
But let's start at the beginning of my trip. I've got to get out of Belize! And the cheapest tickets BY FAR to Colombia were through Cancun. I could fly for $320USD from Cancun to Ft. Lauderdale (overnight) to Medellin (on Spirit Airlines) or about $550 from Cancun to Panama City to Medellin (on Copa Airlines) but from Belize City? No ticket is less than $1000USD. So let's get moving...
I took the San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi from San Pedro to Chetumal, Mexico Just last week, the country of Belize has implemented a new exit fee (for non-Belizean citizens and residents) that seemed quite steep and had more than a few tourists grumbling as they paid.
The new exit fees, now $30bzd plus the usual $7.50bzd port fee are often more than the price of the ticket. My dwindling pocketbook was quite pleased, I am a resident and therefore exempt.
Another new sign.
Note on ticket price: If you are coming from Chetumal to San Pedro (Mexico to Belize) wait as long as you can to buy your ticket. (There is no need to secure a ticket in Playa or in Tulum.) Both companies (especially San Pedro Water Jets) are hugely competitive in Mexico, at the bus terminal in particular, and you can get a deeply discounted round trip ticket. I was hearing prices as low as $40 or 50bzd round trip.
I was in San Pedro so I was charged the usual...$80bzd both ways..
While Belize is certainly geographically very Central American, its long history as a British colony gives it a feel that we found more similar to some Caribbean islands than its Latin neighbors. The Creole tinged English was a familiar sound to our ears after the years we spent on St. Croix, but it would fit right in on any of the Virgin Islands, Barbados, Antigua, or Jamaica.
The history of Belize, known as British Honduras from 1862 until 1964, has a lot in common with those islands. The main difference being that harvesting mahogany trees was the driving economic factor, as opposed to sugar cane.
September and it’s celebrations are upon us!!
This is the month where we in Belize and Caye Caulker celebrate two significant dates in Belize’s history – firstly 10th September – the Battle of St Georges Caye, where the Baymen fought off the Spaniards to defend their territory. And secondly 21st September is Belize’s Independence.
So the month of September becomes one that we find every reason to party or even to adorn our houses, our golf carts and even ourselves in National pride – red, white and blue! Tomorrow, many (not all) will travel to the City to watch the carnival take place – this is a colorful extravaganza in notably sweltering heat!!
So … as the celebrations begin … we wish to welcome in the month of September and enjoy all it has to offer us!!
Marine biology teacher seeks grants to enhance learning
The touch tank is the first part of Clark’s grand plan to enhance her class. This summer, she was one of 13 teachers in Alabama to be awarded a $5,000 Fund for Teachers fellowship, and she was chosen as one of 100 teachers across the nation to receive a $2,000 ING Unsung Heroes grant for innovative teaching.
Fund for Teachers is a nonprofit organization that awards teachers fellowships for trips around the world that will impact their teaching. Clark used her Fund for Teachers fellowship to travel to Belize for two weeks to study how lionfish, an invasive species in that country, are affecting the island’s coral reefs. She also used the fellowship money to purchase a TV with a webcam for her classroom.
Clark received the fellowship because she proposed using her experience in Belize and underwater photos of the coral reef and lionfish as teaching tools. She proposed using the TV and webcam to allow her students to conduct web conferences with lionfish scientists in Belize.
She said her class has already held two web conferences with a scientist in Belize, and one with scientists in Washington about estuaries.
“I want my students to receive information not just from me, but from experts in what we’re studying so that later, as the semester goes on, they will become experts as well and they can share what they’ve learned with others,” Clark said. “I’ll have them do that through having web conferences with elementary school students.”