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The San Pedro Sun
San Pedro Tourist Police Unit now have PADI Certified Officers
Three officers attached to the San Pedro Tourism Police Unit have now joined the ranks of PADI Open Water Certified divers. The officers took the course over the period of September 4th through 8th which was offered by the San Pedro Tourist Guide Association (SPTGA). Four officers started the course, however only three completed. Taking the course were Police Constable Kendis Humes, Police Constable Richard Nunez, Special Constable Germain Crawford and Special Constable Kenny Ferguson. SC Ferguson did not complete the Open Water Course but is however allowed to dive within the reef.
Sharmane Young, Woman Corporal 834 NCO IC (Corporal in charge of the Tourism Police Units) for San Pedro Caye Caulker spoke of what this means for her unit; “Well, I must say that the industry that we’re in requires that we are out there on the sea. As such, we have tourism police officers out there on a regular basis. It is not uncommon that we have incidents that require our officers to be informed and trained. This course will assist these officers in terms of preparation. It will give them an idea of what is to be expected, what not to expect and also what to do as to offer assistance when it becomes necessary.”
Logan Gray of ACES wins SPTC’s 2012 Spelling Bee Competition
As part of the long month of activities for the September Celebrations, the San Pedro Town Council hosted a Spelling Bee Competition for the various schools in San Pedro. The competition was an excellent opportunity for the kids to showcase their spelling abilities and win much needed cash prizes and school supplies for the new school year.
Eight students from four primary schools went up against each other for a chance to win first ($150), second ($100) and third ($50) places in this year’s Spelling Bee. Representing Island Academy were Jackson Leslie and Kylee Kumul. Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES ) was represented by Bianca Narvaez and Logan Grey. Alexia Gutierrez and Kylie Alamilla proudly represented San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRC ) while New Horizon S.D.A. was represented by German Alamilla and Jadzia Cab.
Velma Melendez wins Reef Radio’s 2012 Karaoke Competition
Almost immediately following the King of Kings Karaoke Competition, a new competition began. Reef Radio/Jaguar’s 8th annual Karaoke Competition saw five weeks of eliminations, with a grand finale on Thursday September 13th, with 22 astounding performances by the 11 finalists.
Previous winners from past Reef Radio competitions were not allowed to compete. 30 aspiring singers signed up to compete for the chance to take home the grand prize of $2,000.00. Leading up to the finals, each week two individuals were elevated to the finals; one by the judges and one by the crowd. However, in the first week of competitions, there was a tie between two contestants which led to 11 individuals qualifying for the finals.
Competing in the finals were LeRoi Hyde, Jaime Bautista, Wilber Rivero, Javier Castillo, Gina Cadle, Velma Melendez, Jessica Lopez, Jackeline Retaña, Luis Albeño, Israel Zetina and Eric Figueroa.
SPHS’ Joel Ruiz brings back gold medal from CODICADER games
A student of San Pedro High School (SPHS) is back on the island after participating with the male basketball team of Sadie Vernon High school at the CODICADER* games held in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. 16 year old Joel Ruiz, a senior student at SPHS was chosen to join the Belize contingency to the CODICADER, which is the highest tournament for students in the Central American region. It is a major accomplishment for Ruiz, who managed to be one of the key team members whose excellent performance contributed to Belize capturing the gold medal.
Belize played their four games from the 4th to the 7th of September, winning all four games. Belize played against Honduras first, winning by a score of 95 to 81. The second game was with Costa Rica and Belize also won by a narrow score of 65 to 63. Belize faced the host country Guatemala in the third game and won by 18 points earning, them a spot in the finals. The final game was a rematch between Belize and Costa Rica, who had lost only one game during the qualifying matches to Belize. Having a good knowledge of their rivals, Belize went to the court with full force, scoring 92 points to Costa Rica’s 58, capturing the gold medal.
A very happy, triumphant Joel Ruiz spoke to The San Pedro Sun. “It was my first time at a CODICADER game and for me it was very exciting and I am very happy that I was asked to be a part of the Belize Team. I was the only person chosen from the SPHS, which placed second in the national tournament earlier this year,” said Ruiz. “I want to thank teacher Paul Kelly and my parents who supported me to have this experience. I also want to thank Sadie Vernon for allowing me to be a part of their team,” he ended.
Central American & Mexican communities celebrated in SP
The Central American and Mexican communities in San Pedro celebrated their independence day with two separately organized activities. The first was the official activity organized by the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) and the other was organized by the San Pedro People’s United Party (PUP) Executive Committee.
The official activity, which is a part of the island’s September Celebration Calendar of activities, was held on Saturday September 15th at the San Pedro Central Park. Earlier this month the SPTC had invited the Central American and Mexican communities to showcase their unique cuisine as part of their county’s culture. The celebration coincided with the 191st anniversary of the Independence Day of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica and Nicaragua having obtained political freedom from Spain on September 15th 1821. In the case of Mexico, it celebrated its 202nd year of independence having obtained it on 16th of September 1810.
At the event, each country showcased the best of food, from the “pasteles de papas con salsa”, “chocolate caliente” and “pupusas” from El Salvador, the “arroz con pollo” and “ceviche de pescado” from Costa Rica to the “carne asado con frijol negro volteado con tortilla” of Guatemala. The Mexicans had their traditional “Tacos al Pastor” and “Tacos de res”. The flavors were many, and all were satisfying.
Nuñez Brothers Donate Drums to Isla Bonita Marching Band
Councilor Gaby Nuñez was kind enough to present the school with two drums on Monday, September 17, 2012. Two of councilor Nuñez’s sons were avid drum players and members of marching bands but have decided to concentrate more on their studies and had their father donate their drums to the students of Isla Bonita Marching Band. The students were very thankful for the kind donation and wasted no time in continuing their practice session with their new drums.
BTB Welcomes New Director of Quality Assurance
The Belize Tourism Board is pleased to announce the appointment of its new Director of Quality Assurance, Armeid Thompson.
“We are honoured to welcome such an outstanding individual, Armeid Thompson, to our executive management team here at the Belize Tourism Board. We believe that her world-class experience will greatly contribute to the quality that the Belize Tourism Board aims to achieve,” stated the Director of Tourism, Mrs. Laura Esquivel-Frampton.
Armeid began working at the Belize Tourism Board in March, 2011, where she served as the Executive Assistant to the Director of Tourism. She graduated top of her class with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, United States. She has enjoyed travelling to many places such as Papaua New Guinea, Australia, the Eastern Caribbean, Nicaragua, Honduras, Mexico, and Guatemala.
Is Belize the next Hollywood? New Movie to Start Filming in San Pedro
Who doesn't want to make it big in Hollywood? Or be a famous rock star or famous actor/actress? It would be something great! Well our little country has quite the potential when it comes to movie making and in the future possibly be the next Hollywood. Producer Matthiew Klinck of Make Belize Films has seen this potential and has put it to great use.
This year he premiered his first ever Belizean film "Kurse a dih Xtabai" that was filmed entirely in our rich Creole language, filmed in our beautiful country and had the participation of over 65 Belizean actors/actresses and film crew, making this film 100% Belizean.
Ambergris Today met with producer Matthiew Klinck who was elated to share with us some exciting news about the movie and more.
“First of all I am extremely happy to say that we have had an amazing run for 'Kurse a dih Xtabai; it's been screened throughout the country and it is now time to take it internationally,” stated Matthiew. “The movie will be launched on the Make Belize Films website and will be available for purchasing for just $2.00US. This way the movie will be available to international viewers, movie critiques and bloggers.”
Belize Has Been Recommend–ed, More Magazine Exposure
Excitement continues to surround Belize! The country has been featured in the August “On location” issue of Recommend magazine. The magazine has been in existence for over 43 years and is one of the leaders in the travel trade marketplace. It aims to educate and inform travel agents about the latest happenings in various locations, which assists in selling the locations. The monthly issues highlight the different aspects of tourism. Recommend also has a very active website where interested viewers can read the current and past issues of the magazine as well as view the latest information on various destinations and events.
Police Officers Receive Open Water Dive Training
Three special constables and one Police Officer, who are attached to the Tourism Unit in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, have completed a course in Open Water Diving thanks to the efforts of the San Pedro Tour Guide Association (SPTGA). They were presented with their certificates of completion by President of the SPTGA, Mr. Billy Leslie on Friday, September 14, 2012.
The Majestic Blue and Yellow Macaw
These birds can reach 76 to 86 cm (30 to 34 in) long and weigh 900 to 1500 grams (1.9 to 3.3 lbs), making it one of the larger members of its family. They are vivid in appearance with blue wings and tail, dark blue chin, golden under parts, and a green forehead. Beaks are black, and very strong for crushing nuts. They are especially very impressive when you see them in flight and in groups.
Misc Belizean Sources
VIDEO: Diving the Canyons, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
Featuring Open Water Diver Certification dives and the Lionfish Divas. With the most awesome dive team Island Divers Belize!
George Price - The Father of Our Nation
A brief biography of George Price. A fitting article to end National Service Dayo with. Don Hector Silva tonight remembered him happily, and said that before he passed he came up with an idea for a peaceful revolution to bring justice back to the system. He'd called it a 'second revolution,' the first being the gaining of independence 31 years ago. The comments at the end of the article are great, and you can leave condolences or other comments if you'd like.
"George Price entered into politics in 1944. With three days of preparation, he lost his first election. In 1947 however, he was elected to the Belize City Council and from 1958 to 1962 he was the Mayor of that Capital. In protest against the devaluation of the British Honduran dollar in 1949, a few citizens, George Price included, formed the People’s Committee. Here was the start of the Peaceful, Constructive, Belizean Revolution. It was the forerunner of the Peoples United Party, officially established on September 29, 1950. 6 Years later, George Price was elected Party Leader."
SHJC Clean Up of the Western Highway
Sacred Heart Junior College did a clean up today for National Service Day. They picked up trash along the Western Highway. Thanks, SHJC! They also had Hector Silva speak about Belize and its independence. It was a great session, and a lot was learned. Here's to the future!
"As part of our pre-Independence celebrations at SHJC, we organized 3 events for Sept. 19. First the highway cleanup project along the Western Highway, our first ever 'Wear it Blue, Red and/or White' Day & lastly, a talk on 'Belize's Struggle to Independence' done by Mr. Hector Silva."
National Service Day in Belmopan
Clean up and beautification campaign in Belmopan. No more littering!
"Photos from around Belmopan of students cleaning up, painting and honoring Rt. Hon. George Price on National Service Day"
Benque Tribute to George Price
The Benque House of Culture will be having a tribute to the late George Price tonight in Centennial Park. There will be a poetry recital, and the winners of the poetry competition will be announced. Later tonight, they will show the documentary, 'Man of Purpose and Vision.' After that, they'll have live marimba music. Happy National Service Day!
"In honor of our Father of our Nation, Belize comes the Tribute to Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price, credits to much of his rich knowledge came from reading, often described as an avid reader of all kinds of books including philosophy, literature, poetry, and religion. The 19th of September will be observed as National Service Day, and through this we present the winners of the GP poetry competition, and recital, a short film documentary of the life of our Hero, including live marimba music, by " Vos de la Selva" courtesy of our Marimba players under the leadership of Mr. Ernesto Aldana 'Don Beto'."
Reflections of George Price by Richard Holder
Richard at RH Photography has created some amazing banners that really capture the messages and purpose of George Price. He definitely has the September Celebrations spirit. Feel free to share and distribute, and credit who did it. Thank you for sharing, RH!
Don't forget to check out the George Price Man of Purpose and Vision exhibit at the SISE HoC. Happy National Service Day!
National Service Day Clean Up in Benque
For National Service Day in Benque, they had a clean up campaign at Centennial Park. Thanks to the Benque House of Culture for documenting it.
If only we could stop the littering in the first place, we could focus our community efforts on more pressing matters, like obtaining, painting, and installing trash cans. Unfortunately, this encourages the despicable action of littering. No more littering!
"Our Leaders of tomorrow, rendering their community service at the Centennial Park, Del Carmen Pre- School with family, friends and Administrative staff"
Creations of Thank You - Tribute George Price
What a great video made to honor George Price! It was made by Positive Belize Music and Belmopan Youths. There's a touching story on how they all come together to make the video too. Happy National Service Day!
"As youths who have been working to impact change in our country we decided that we have to take it up yet another step—we saw the opportunity to challenge the young people of Belize in seeking real solutions for the issues affecting us as a nation. In this one night, a mere 7 hours of reflecting on such a National Hero, we saw that we already have the solutions locked up in the speeches of our hero... but it's now time to take action...
So now to all my proud Belizeans, be the change for he gave us a reason and leave your country a better place than you found it!"
Did Belize Default On Superbond?
The Superbond payment was due a month ago - and 30 days after it's due - if no payment is made - the country is considered to be in default.
Our indications were yesterday that an extension of the default period would be worked out with bondholders in exchange for a partial payment of the 46 million dollars that was due a month ago. But, up to newstime - no announcement had been made - so tonight we take the position to be that Belize has defaulted on its Superbond debt.
It was foretold - but still, it is not an entirely desirable state of affairs.
And it doesn't seem to be quite what the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow expected when he returned from Houston with his ailing wife today.
The media caught PM Barrow at the airport and here's what he told us about the deadline:..
"Sir, its 5:15pm eastern time and I haven't seen any press release. Has Belize defaulted?"
Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister
"You haven't seen any press release? I don't think we have. I have a conference call with our advisors this morning from Houston, which was at 9am Belize time and we certainly - it appeared making some progress with the bond holders. If things change dramatically between then and now I would not have had an opportunity to be briefed. I am pretty confident that we are in decent shape as far as the negotiations are concern."
Another Northern Murder
And turning away from the sovereign debt issue - to violent crime in Corozal - which continues to escalate - there is news tonight of another murder in that northern district.
This one happened in Libertad and the victim is taxi-man, Anwar Hernandez. Police believe it is a retaliation for some illicit type activity - although the victim had no criminal record.
Daniel Ortiz went looking for answers today:..
Daniel Ortiz reporting
Last night at around 7:00, the quiet of Libertad Village in the Corozal district was shattered with the execution style killing of 28 year-old Anwar Hernandez, a resident of Corozal Town.
All indications from the police are that Hernandez, who is a taxi driver, picked up one or more of his assailants, who posed as customers, from his usual taxi location in town.
Chinese Grocer Jacked In Corozal
And at around the same time of the murder of Anwar Hernandez, a business place in Corozal town was robbed by 3 men.
According to police, at around 7:15 p.m., 3 armed men, who were wearing masks, and long sleeved clothing, robbed Huan Huan Store, which is located on 5th Avenue in Corozal Town.
The men didn't hurt any of the employees, but they managed to get away with $500 from the cash drawer. Police have no leads in that incident as yet.
Bus Collision On Northern
This evening just before 5, there was an accident on the northern highway between mile 12 and 13. Thankfully, there were no injuries or fatalities.??
It involved the two buses seen here.
Initial reports to our newsroom are that both buses were northbound, following a Tillett's bus. The Tillett bus was reportedly trying to overtake another vehicle, but because there was oncoming traffic, the driver had to swerve back into his lane.??
This forced the driver to suddenly hit the brakes to avoid hitting the vehicle in front of him.??
That abrupt deceleration caused a chain effect and the driver of the yellow bus at the back couldn't respond fast enough.?? The bus at the back slammed into the bus in front, and although both buses received damage, no one was hurt.??
When we left, police officers were documenting statements and processing the scene.
Will Ashcroft Alliance Block BTL AGM?
BTL's Annual General Meeting is scheduled for next week Friday - but if the Ashcroft Alliance has its way - the phone company won't be issuing any dividends - which is like having a birthday party without any cake!
7News has learned that the Ashcroft Alliance - in the person of the BTL Employees Trust - has applied to the Caribbean Court of Justice in Trinidad to stop the payment of this year's ten million dollar dividend - most of it to the majority shareholder, the Government of Belize.
The Alliance argues that with the default on the Superbond - Government is broke and basically can't be trusted with the receipts from the dividend payment.
The hearing has been granted by videoconference for next week Wednesday - two days before the AGM.
Today the Prime Minister said he'll have to wait and see what the court says:
"The Ashcroft Alliance has applied to the CCJ and has gotten a video conference hearing for next week to block the issuance od dividend from BTL which the AGM is next Friday. Are you aware of this and will it stops the procession of the AGM and the business of the AGM which is to issue a dividend?"
Rt. Hon. Price Remembered On Nat'l Service Day
National Hero George Price passed away one year ago today - and in honour of his legacy - today was National Service Day. All across the country, school children, civic organizations, business houses and regular folk - did what Price would have done: they loaned a hand to worthwhile community causes - from picking up garbage to fixing up parks to delivering care packages to planting flowers.
It is the distillation of Price's truest essence - or as he put it, quote: I believe that happiness consists in serving others and not oneself."
And that's what so many did today - almost all without publicity, fanfare or self - promotion, which is also the way Price would have done it.
One event we did capture was the laying of wreaths at Price's grave-site in the Lord Ridge Cemetery.
Party Leader Francis Fonseca was there and he discussed Price's legacy one year after his passing:..
Hon. Francis Fonseca
"Apart from the symbolism of it which is important for us, to say to the nation that we want to keep the spirit and legacy and memory of George Price alive. For us it's deeply personal, for me, having work and known George Price for so many years - it's very important for us to come and pay tribute to him on the anniversary of his death. It's important, George Price - as the young people here reminded me this morning - he did so much for this country, he did so much for Belize and so we have to as a country and have been demonstrated over the past year George Price has risen above party politics in Belize. Everybody now embraces him as a National Hero, as the Father of our Nation and that's very good to see and we have to do our part as the PUP to keep that alive; to keep the history and story about George Price alive."
Restoring A Park
One effort that caught our attention was the work at the Victoria Alvarez Park. That's the park on North Front Street that Marsha Argalles adopted after her son 9 year old Joshua Abraham was killed a year ago.
She tried to organize the effort the re-fit the park earlier this year - but the effort fizzled when she ran out of building supplies. But today the effort got a mass infusion of energy, man and woman power and resources. Volunteers from Restore Belize, NICH, Atlantic Bank and the National Youth Cadet Corps descended on the park in a whirlwind of productivity.
Marsha Argalles told us that she was overwhelmed and inspired:..
"How is it going out here today?"
"Excellent Jules, my heart is filled with joy. I cried already, it's overwhelming. So many people that came out; Belize City Council, Restore Belize, Atlantic Bank, Women's Department, Cadets - they work and work, it's amazing."
Three On Three Will Travel
Last night we told you about the plight of the National basketball selection that's gotten a seed to attend the Three on Three World Basketball Championships in Seville Spain.
The Belize Basketball Federation could not put together all the resources to make the trip possible and the Minister of State with responsibility for sports made it clear that the Federation should not be looking to them for a bailout.
But, nonetheless, something did work out. President of the Federation Paul Thompson told us this evening that a private donor did come through with ten thousand dollars for visas, an official's ticket and travel accommodations.
But, time is very limited since the passports have to be sent to Guatemala City for processing - and so they're crossing their fingers and hoping those passports can come back in time for the team to travel early next week.
We'll keep you posted on their progress.
Can They Stop "The Hustle" At Immigration?
Jay-Z once rapped, "can't knock the hustle," but when it comes to Belize's Immigration Department - it seems you can't stop the hustle. No matter who's the minister or what safeguards are put in place - someone's always hustling at Immigration - whether its passports in the 80's, Permanent residence in the 90's, passports again in "the oughts", and now Hezbollah two day specials in 2012…there's always something up at Immigration.
And, insiders will tell you that how it's set up, because there are times when high officials also need a system with loopholes to exploit for their political ends, or just regular "ends."
But, regardless, the effort to clamp down continues. Today the Prime Minister told us that Immigration Minister Hulse and his Minister of State Penner held a meeting yesterday to get tighten up and batten down:..
Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister
"What I will say is that I spoke to Minister Hulse yesterday from Houston. He was in a full scale meeting with the key people in the ministry; the head of the department, the Minister of State and in fact they were agreed a number of new procedures so that that ministry and that Minister of State can get on top of the situation once and for all. I have every confidence that Godwin Hulse will come up with the sorts of structures that will pretty much shut the door on any irregularities that have occurred."
Reports are that police are now investigating new reports of another person who also got a passport with a false birth certificate two weeks ago.
Former Accused Murderer Remanded For Armed Robbery
24 year-old Neil Grey is at prison tonight after he was taken to court for allegedly robbing 88 Kitchen at gunpoint. The owner reported to police that on Monday, a man came into the establishment, pointed a gun at him and demanded money.
The owner apparently wasn't obeying fast enough because the assailant then hit him with the gun wounded him and another man who was in the establishment at the time.
Fearing for his life, the owner handed over $700 from the cash register, and the assailant escaped with the money. Police investigated the report and they arrested and charged Grey with one count of robbery and 2 counts of wounding. He was taken and arraigned before Magistrate Aretha Ford today, and he pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Due to the nature of the offences, he couldn't be granted bail, and as a result, Magistrate Ford remanded him until October 30, his next court date.
Grey recently walked off a 2009 murder when the prosecution's main witness refused to testify.
Kim's Cancer, An Update
Kim Simplis Barrow returned from Houston today where she has been for the past month receiving treatment for breast cancer. And while there is rarely reason to celebrate with cancer, today the Prime Minister had good news: his wife's heart function is just about back to normal.
Here's his explanation of her overall condition:..
Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister
"She completed the radiation this morning. That was the last session. She has also made contact with a medical oncologist who will now be in charge of the monitoring process from here on out."
"We have to go back in 3 months' time for a repeat visit with that oncologist. She also saw the re-constructive surgeon this morning, he will see her again when she goes back to visit with the medical oncologist and at that time he will fix an actual date for the reconstructive surgery."
"In terms of the heart, we saw Dr. Duran on Friday and he did another heart test and in fact the output is now up to 50.5 I think it is. Remember when we were there the last time it was 40. It's gone up to 50.5. Dr. Duran feels that she will make a full recovery where the heart function is concern. In fact he says that once you are above 50% you are in the normal range - it's between 50 and 60; you don't go beyond 60, so she is pretty much good to go where that is concern."
Rosita Baltazar Has Breast Cancer
Another well-known person who has been diagnosed with breast cancer is well known Dancer Rosita Baltazar.
She is the Assistant Artistic Director, Dancer and Choreographer with the Belize Dance Company - but she recently had to leave the Festival du Sud this past summer because of failing health.
The Dance Company will have a benefit performance for her on Saturday, Sept 22nd at the Bliss Centre. Tickets are be $15 & $10 dollars, and apart from being a good cause, it's also an opportunity to see the Show that the Company toured with in Europe called "BELIZE - Diverse Cultures and Rhythms"
DeMarco Here For Belize's Independence
And on the 20th night in Orange Walk - there will be a full bill of Jamaican artists to bring in Belize's independence in that northern town.
Don't frown - this has been going on since Byron Lee days - and now it's De-Marco and Black Chiney's turn.
They stopped by our studio today to tell us about the concert event and generate some hype:..
Shawn Urbina, SKU Promotions
"Tomorrow it's all about the big show Belize birthday bash 2012 featuring DeMarco, Black Chiney, Popeye Caution, our guest performer."
"Orange Walk, tomorrow night will be mad, so make sure everybody come out and support the thing because there is going to be a lot of high energy and the performance is going to be sick."
Supa G Says It's Still Summertime
And while they are touring in Belize - perennial local favorite Supa G is home from touring abroad.
He's releasing his new album - which is the 14th of his career - and the tenth solo recording.
He told us about it today:..
Supa G, Artist
"Actually it's something that just comes up. I was in New York at one of my friend's house and my friend ask me if I won't release any new album and I told him that I don't think so. While we were there, songs start to come out and when you see we came up with an album - just like that, very simple."
"I decide to release it at this time. We only took like 1 week to put this album together. There are 9 brand new tracks and 4 old tunes. That is one of the reasons why we are selling it for only $10. There are a lot of hype songs Suga G style and I also have one song that wasn't written by myself that is from Speedwagon - I did it in reggae. Its different styles of music on it; I have a paranda track on it also."
Remembering the Great Man
One year ago tonight - Belizeans all across the land were mourning the loss of national hero George Price.
The 92 year old had been hospitalized for a few days in a grave condition after accidentally falling at his home.
He died in the morning and the news rippled across the country in a wave a of grief and loss.
There was sadness yes, but also joy at a life lived in service of a greater cause; as it is probably best said, Because of Him, Belize. One week after Mr Price died and there were unprecedented outpourings of love and respect, a state funeral was held for him in Belmopan.
Tonight, to remember the Great Man, we briefly look back at that event:
Jules Vasquez Reporting
From the morgue, to the Bliss, past the Price family home on Pickstock Street, into the church where Price went to mass every day for almost his whole life for a final march through the city streets - seen here from above, once more across the swing bridge, the crowds lined up by the thousands at the Bliss center, the Price Center in Belmopan.
International media says G.O.B. default; P.M. says no default
At five p.m. today, a grace period ended for payment of the Superbond after government missed payment in August. Government’s failure to pay triggered a technical default. The forty-six million dollar payment is only one hurdle facing the government as the bond fell zero point forty-eight cent to thirty-four point fifty-six cents after trading above [...]
Opposition Leader supports renegotiation of Superbond
The Opposition, Peoples United Party (P.U.P.) has expressed its interest and concern about the bond. Though the P.U.P. has not been a part of the negotiation, it supports the government’s desire to ease the burden on the Belizean People. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition “It is a critically important matter and it continues [...]
Driven to a hit, murder in Libertad
A Corozal taxi driver was killed, execution style, early on Tuesday night. It is believed that the two men, who chartered Anwar Hernandez to take them to Libertad, carried out the heinous crime. Witnesses say they heard multiple gunshots and Hernandez pleading for help but were too scared to go to his aid. His eight [...]
Before, during and after Hezbollah, Belizean visas abused?
Three days, August twenty-ninth to September first, is all it took for an alleged associate of the terrorist organization Hezbollah to obtain a Belizean birth certificate, a driver’s license and a passport. Raffic Labboun’s brief encounter with Belize is only one example of individuals who either get fraudulent passports or visas to Belize. While Labboun [...]
Lord Michael Ashcroft appointed to Privy Council at large
Lord Michael Ashcroft has been out of the news in Belize for a while but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been busy. The news out of London is that earlier this month, Lord Ashcroft was appointed to the Privy Council in the UK. For many years the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council was Belize’s [...]
Economic Indicators looks at youth reflections on Superbond
We reported on Tuesday that the major findings of a poll measuring public opinions on debt, spending and taxes show that overall there is a high level of dissatisfaction in the handling of the debt issue; that spending should be cut; taxes should not be increased; and that government should pay off the Superbond and [...]
A move to block issuance of Telemedia dividends
The B.T.L. Employees Trust has applied to the Caribbean Court of Justice to stop the payment of dividends to shareholders at the upcoming annual general meeting or that alternatively government put the money in escrow pending cases before the courts that seek to return the telephone company to its former owners. The A.G.M. is planned [...]
SCA students travel across country to give service
The Father of the Nation, George Price passed away one year ago on September nineteenth. His passing evoked huge respect and emotions of patriotism and nationalism for the man who led the country to independence and who dominated the political landscape of Belize for decades. To honor his memory, across the country, activities were held [...]
SJC’s tribute to George Price
At SJCJC, Global Minds paid a tribute to the late father of the nation through a display of pictures and screening of an interview. The student club hopes that the youngsters take away something from the tribute. Tiffany Hope, Events Coordinator, Global Minds “We are doing a tribute for the life of George Price, [...]
Playground restored in the name of murdered youth, Joshua Abraham
Over at North Front Street, children, Restore Belize and City Councilors were among those who turned up to restore a playground in the name of Joshua Abraham. Joshua is the young boy who was murdered last Independence Day. While she grieves the death of her young son, Marcia Argalles, is happy that the children in [...]
P.U.P. looks up George Price on Service Day
Before the schools set out on their initiatives, early this morning National Service Day started with a mass in Belmopan City as a tribute to George Price. Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca said that after the mass some of the participants travelled to Belize City and placed wreaths at Price’s tomb inside Lord Ridge [...]
Kim Simplis Barrow continues cancer treatment
When we caught up with Prime Minister Dean Barrow at the airport, he also spoke on the health of his wife, Kim Simplis Barrow, who has been in Houston in the past days getting treatment for breast cancer and for a heart condition. Prime Minister Dean Barrow “She completed the radiation this morning; that [...]
Spectacular Superstar Performances!
It’s now down to seven performers in each group to determine who will be The Next Superstar. Group B was in the spotlight at the Bliss on Tuesday night, bringing a mix of song, dance and drama to the stage. With the grand prize on the horizon, the performers stepped up their acts to impress [...]
Belize Governor General Receives Credentials From Seven Ambassadors
Seven ambassadors presented their credentials to Governor-General His Excellency Sir Colville Young at Belize House in Belmopan. Ambassadors from Colombia, France, Nigeria, Peru, Portugal, South Korea and Turkey all brought greetings from their respective Heads of State. For his part G...
National Geographic Features Belize In Upcoming Issue
Belize will be featured in the October issue of National Geographic Magazine. The magazine is concentrating on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, which highlights Belize’s own Barrier Reef. This news was shared with us by Healthy Reefs Initiative and this morning Love New...
Belize Remembers George Price on National Service Day
Today marks the first year anniversary of the passing of Belize’s first Prime Minister Right Honorable George Cadle Price. Mr. Price died at the age of 92. In September 2000 Mr. Price became the first person to receive Belize’s highest honor, the Order of Nation...
Taxi Man Murdered in Corozal
Corozal is again uneasy after another murder has disrupted that community. Just before 7:30 last night Corozal police were called out to the entrance of Libertad where they found a Maroon Mitsubishi Gallant with its head engine and headlights on. Inside the vehicle, police saw the moti...
Belizeans Await Update on Super Bond Renegotiation
There has been no announcement of an official consensus with Belize’s external creditors on the bond exchange offer announced earlier this year. Today is the expiration of a thirty day grace period after Belize failed to make a forty five million dollar interest payment.&nb...
New Director of Quality Assurance for the Belize Tourism Board
The Belize Tourism Board has announced that its new Director of Quality Assurance is Armead Thompson. Before taking of her new post Thompson served as the Executive Assistant to the Director of Tourism. She began working at the Belize Tourism Board in March, 2011. According to a ...
Taxi Driver Murdered In Corozal, He Became Victim Number Nine
There was another murder in Corozal last night and police say that this one is also drug related. The victim is 28 year old taxi driver of Santa Rita Layout in Corozal Town, Anwar Hernandez. The incident happened at the entrance of Libertad Village next to the Libertad Health Centre at around 7:00pm. Our News team travelled to Corozal this morning and here is what they found out.
Blood stains on the grass mark the spot where 28 year old taxi driver Anwar Hernandez took his last breath before he bled to death. Hernandez, a resident of Santa Rita Layout in Corozal Town was shot several times while driving his maroon Mitsubishi Galant car with Corozal licence plate D-00293 at the entrance of Libertad Village.
Reports are that Hernandez apparently received a total of 12 gunshots wounds. But who would want him dead and why? So far Corozal Police has not established the motive behind the killing but they do believe that Hernandez’s murder was a retaliatory action linked to illicit activities. In short: a drug related hit.
Burglary At Chinese Store Caught On Tape
There was an armed burglary in Corozal Town last night and it occurred around the same time when Corozal Police was called out for the murder of 28 year old Anwar Hernandez. The victims were the proprietors of Huan Huan Chinese Grocery Store located on 5th Avenue. Inside the store is a surveillance camera which recorded the entire burglary. The video shows two armed assailants storming into the store wearing long sleeve shirts and black masks.
As you can observe, one of the burglars hit the proprietor on the back of the head with the gun and proceeded to empty the cash drawer while the other assailant stood guard. According to the owners of the establishment a total of $500 was stolen and the assailants made good their escape in a getaway vehicle that was parked outside the store.
So far Corozal Police have no suspects detained. From our count the entire robbery took about 20 seconds.
MJC Students, Masters Of The Road
Yesterday Muffles Junior College held their annual Masters of the Road sports competition. The event kicked off with dozens of male and female athletes starting off the marathon from the foot of the San Estevan Bridge heading to their school ground for part two of the competition. Once they reached MJC the female competitors mounted their bicycles and road back to the San Estevan Bridge while the male competitors had their work cut out for them as they rode to the Village of San Estevan and raced back to the bridge. Without a doubt the competition is tiring but for students of MJC its all about having fun and becoming actively involved in sports.
Arturo Acosta- Sports Director MJC
“We had 142 students signing up and we have the majority being females this year so that was quite a surprise. The name of the race is Masters of the Road and we are thinking that there could only be one master so there is only one male and one female first prize and the way we get that prize is that we ask the students to contribute towards some money chars that we have and every year is different and depending on how generous the population is but it averages about 200 dollars male, female each. We just want to give a little thank you to all the students that participated and we want to encourage everybody to do some sport.”
National Service Day Celebrated In Honour Of Mr. Price
Today marks one year that Belize lost a great man, a man who fought for the country’s Independence, a man who believed and lived by the philosophy of the Peoples United Party. Honorable George Cadle Price died on September 19th 2012 at the age of 92, in a medically induced coma at Belize Healthcare Partners Hospital after surgery to remove a blood clot. In order to commemorate the life, work, dedication and service of the late Rt. Hon. George Price, the George Price Centre for Peace and Development declared September 19th as “National Service Day”, a day set for Belizeans to carry out community service projects in order to make a positive change through hard work and service. Here in the north schools and political leaders joined hands and honored the day by carrying out a variety of community service initiatives.
To think of George Cadle Price is to think of Belize. In September 2000, he became the first person to receive Belize's highest honor, the Order of National Hero for the prominent role he played in leading his country to independence. He received similar honors in other Caribbean and Central American countries and in 1982; he was made a member of the Imperial Privy Council.
BHOC Celebrates 10th Anniversary
Ten years ago the Banquitas House of Culture opened its doors to the Belizean public with the objective of promoting our history and culture. During those ten years of existence the institution can boast of a compact historical exhibit which focuses strictly on our northern culture consisting of pictures, stelae replicas, maps, and diagrams. In addition, the institution has through the years successfully initiated and carried through many activities promoting our culture. Today, September 19th the institution celebrated its 10th anniversary and a special exhibition was prepared for the public.
“As you can see we have the corn exhibit, whereby this year is the year of the Mayas so we thought it is very important to depict something that represents the us and corn was a very important and symbolic in the life of the Maya civilization, so we sis an exhibit on corn, the process of corn, and also to mention that we have in our community one of the oldest tortilla factory in existence since 1969, so that is the Tortilleria Maya and we have a little history of their existence and up to right now they are still giving that service to our community and their product is corn so we have a display also whereby she is showing the process of corn, how it was done in the old days so those are some of the booths that we have of display and also we have the marimba music part of our culture and we think it is something very important.”
BDF band was playing by the National Youth Orchestra
There was music coming from the building occupied by the National Youth Orchestra located on Newton Barracks this morning. The men behind the melodious music were members of the BDF Band who were polishing their sounds with international assistance. Staff Sergeant Kevin Campbell from the BDF explains.
Wade Furniss, CWO II
Chief Warrant Officer two, of the Louisiana National Guard, Wade Furniss told us more about how they are training the men.
Both the BDF and the Louisiana National Guard will perform for the Independence Day Celebrations.
Medication lost between Belmopan and Punta Gorda
A Laguna villager in Toledo is making every effort to locate his much needed medication lost between Belmopan and Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung has his story.
The National AIDS Commission is educating the young HIV and AIDS victim
Today youths whose lives revolve around educating others on the negative factors that accompany stigma and discrimination against people with HIV and AIDS gathered to listen to new views on the issue. It is a topic high on the agenda for the National AIDS Commission over the next two years and it is taking an all-encompassing approach in every district across Belize. Jimmy Leslie is heading his group from Benque Viejo. He says it all boils down to having respect for other’s rights.
But the job of imparting information that will sway the mindset of some is easier to conceptualize than to make happen, as Toledo’s Chairperson of the National AIDS Commission, Joan Palma shared.
The National AIDS Commission has as its focus between now and 2014 to change people’s attitude towards others.
Murder in the Port Loyola area in Belize City
Two brothers were shot on Monday evening, one of them fatally. The incident happened on Jane Usher Boulevard in the Port Loyola area just as the brothers were going to a nearby Chinese shop. Their stepmother told reporters this morning that they heard roughly eight gunshots just a few minutes after the youths left home. When they got the news, twenty-two year old Andrew Usher was shot in the chest and lay dying and his younger brother, nineteen year old Jordan Usher was shot in the right leg. According to the stepmother, they had just relocated to the area two weeks ago. She said that the family had just returned from an outing.
Usher’s stepmother said that the youths didn’t have a problem with anyone.
Bus fare increases for the ride from Belize City and Belmopan
Twenty four hours ago the Minister of State with responsibility for Public Transportation Edmund Castro announced that there is no authorized increase in bus fares. But tonight, the news is that commuters will be paying more for a ride between Belize City and Belmopan. That is because the Belizean Bus Association, at a meeting today agreed that starting on Saturday a new fee structure goes into effect across the country. At their mi-morning meeting, the Association resolved that in order to remain competitive, bus operators need lower fuel rates, duty free & Tax Exemption of Parts and Equipment and a one hundred and twenty day notification for the termination or replacement of a Road Service Permit. Those were the minor issues; but for commuters the major thing coming out of this morning’s meeting is that they will be asked to pay more for public transportation. Now technically it’s a price increase; but the bus operators are calling it a price realignment. According to advisor and spokesperson for the Belizean Bus Association Patrick Menzies, the realignment is a reflection of the hard economic times in which the public transportation industry is operating.
Edmund Castro, Ministry of states, Transportation
In an interview on Monday, Minister Castro said that the bus operators cannot realistically expect commuters to pay a new fare without first improving their service. The operators’ response is that they can improve the service; but there are conditions attached.
The Belizean Bus Association says it also wants representation on the Transport Board and equity in the price for road service permits.
Today’s meeting of the Belizean Bus Association was held at the Belize Institute of Management training room in Belize City.
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$20M Municipal Development Bond on Track
“There is never a brick wall! A lot of the things that we are doing is because of our will and determination." That was Mayor Darrell Bradley's response to reports which have come up stating that the Municipal Development Bond has hit a brick wall. That was the assumption surmised after Legacy, one of the Council's financial advisors had announced last week that it was no longer serving in that capacity for the Council.
In speaking to The Guardian, Mayor Bradley explained that the Municipal Bond is well on track and that the Council actually counts on financial advice from many advisors. Among those advising the Council is the Central Bank of Belize as well as a World Bank consultant, who is assisting the Council with the Municipal Development Project as a technical advisor to the Council. As for Legacy, the Mayor pointed out that the Council is the client and the advisors work for the Council and it is not obligated to proceed along the way in which the advisors attempt to take the Council. While Bradley says that Legacy provided tremendous assistance to the council, it felt that the two had reached a certain point where it was necessary to disengage.