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The San Pedro Sun

Eli Lopez wanted for impersonating a medical doctor
San Pedro Police are looking for a man who pretended to be a doctor and was volunteering at the Doctor Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Poly Clinic II. The imposter has been identified as 31 year old Eli Lopez who had a San Pedro address but is originally from Santa Familia Village in the Cayo District. Apparently Lopez has since left the island. The investigation against Lopez originated from at least two reports made to San Pedro police alleging that Lopez was impersonating a medical doctor and had treated at least two separate individuals while on the island. According to San Pedro police, Dr. Laurenzco Nicholson visited the station and told police that on July 27th, he visited the station to treat a person who had been detained. While with Dr. Nicholson, the detainee kept making reference to one "Doctor Eli Lopez," and said that he had previously been treated by such person. The detainee was taken to the clinic along with Dr. Nicholson where they saw Lopez who the detainee identified as the doctor who had treated him. According to police, Lopez told Dr. Nicholson that he knew Dr. Javier Zuniga, who is also attached to the clinic.

New San Pedro resident donates truck to SPTC
The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) has received yet another vehicular donation. This just within two weeks of receiving the donation of a brand now golf cart. The new donation, a GMC U-Haul truck was donated on Wednesday September 26th by Mr. and Mrs. John Robert, of Buffalo New York, who have permanently relocated to San Pedro after Mrs. Robert retired. John spoke to The San Pedro Sun of his donation. "My wife and I came for the first time three years ago, fell in love with San Pedro. We purchased an ocean front condo with the intention to eventually retire here. I finally got my wife to retire three weeks ago, we decided to sell our home and make San Pedro our new residence. We purchased this 24ft box truck - loaded all our household possession - headed south to Fort Lauderdale Florida, shipped it to Belize City and here we are. And we have no plans of ever going back home so we have no need for a truck. So it seemed the likely thing was to leave it on the island. And I understand the town council can use it perhaps in a positive way."

Karen Waldrup is on La Isla Bonita to perform benefit concert at Wet Willy's
Karen Waldrup, singer/songwriter and artist based in Nashville Tennessee, USA is in San Pedro Town and is scheduled to perform at Wet Willy's in a benefit concert for the Mama Vilma Family Home. The event is planned for Thursday September 27th and should start at 6PM with an official meet and greet, after which the show is scheduled to begin at 7PM. 27-year-old Waldrup, of Bravo Network's Platinum Hit fame, will be using her beautiful and melodious voice to raise funds for a worthy cause while she vacations in Belize. Mrs. Shelley Huber and Karen on the dock at Wet Willy's. Huber is a director of the Mama Vilma Family Home, which will be the beneficiaries of the concert. Waldrup touched down at the Phillip SW Goldson International Airport shortly after 3PM on Wednesday September 26 after her flight out of Texas, USA. She then flew to San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. Speaking to The San Pedro Sun, the enthusiastic young artist said that she is looking forward to meeting many people at the benefit function and invited everyone to come by for a good time. "The people of Ambergris Caye can expect to hear some country sets, and I am hoping to fuse some of the local musicians as well. What people can expect is a good time, and the monies raised will go towards a good cause. We will have some good original music coming from Nashville, which is a song writing community. I will be performing songs that people can connect to," said an excited Waldrup.

Nohoch Che'en Archaeological Reserve (Cave's Branch) Vandalized
It has come to the attention of the Ministry of Tourism & Culture and the National Institute of Culture & History (N.I.C.H.), that on the weekend of September 22nd - September 23rd, 2012, an act of sabotage. Damages reported are deemed substantive enough to pose a serious safety risk to users at this site. Damages to the rappel platform include the cutting of client safety lines, the rope barrier, as well as partial cuts to the metal supports of the platform and to the anchor cable. There was also evidence of fire damage to portions of the entrance stairway to the Crystal Cave.e was perpetrated at the Nohoch Che'en Archaeological Reserve (commonly referred to as Cave's Branch), one of Belize's premier Archaeological Reserves and tourist destinations, located in the Cayo District. The Ministry of Tourism & Culture and N.I.C.H. are disheartened and deeply saddened by the unfortunate course of events. We are fully cognizant of the ramifications such acts of sabotage can have on the integrity of the country's tourism product, the quality of the visitor experience, the investment environment, and on the sector as a whole. The Nohoch Che'en Archaeological Reserve receives the most visitors of any tourist site in the country and activities at this park represent a significant contribution to the livelihoods of hundreds of Belizeans. Additionally, being the largest revenue generator for N.I.C.H., this park supports the maintenance, management and improvement of visitor facilities for archaeological reserves throughout the country.

Ambergris Today

Attraction at Archeological Reserve Sabotaged
The Ministry of Tourism & Culture and N.I.C.H. are disheartened and deeply saddened by the unfortunate course of events. We are fully cognizant of the ramifications such acts of sabotage can have on the integrity of the country's tourism product, the quality of the visitor experience, the investment environment, and on the sector as a whole. The Nohoch Che'en Archaeological Reserve receives the most visitors of any tourist site in the country and activities at this park represent a significant contribution to the livelihoods of hundreds of Belizeans. Additionally, being the largest revenue generator for N.I.C.H., this park supports the maintenance, management and improvement of visitor facilities for archaeological reserves throughout the country.

Retired US Citizen Donates Truck to Town Council
The San Pedro Town Council has been on a working streak for the betterment of the island. The fixture of the roads has been one of the biggest projects that they have been working on and the beautification of the island is top priority. But as it has been mentioned before, the Town Council lacks equipment for carrying out these projects diligently and in a fast and effective manner. The Belize Ministry of Works has lent the San Pedro Town Council equipment for the road fixtures and any donation of equipment to the island is always welcomed.

iPhone 5 Working with Belize Cellular Network
The iPhone 5 carries a new Nano SIM card that is much smaller than regular SIM cards required here in Belize by BTL. To use the Macro SIM, iPhone users had to carefully cut the card for it to fit into the phone. Now that the Nano Sim is even smaller and thinner, iPhone faithfuls were worried that they could not upgrade to the new iPhone 5. But it did not take long after the launch of the new phone for users in Belize to get a hold of it and start testing. With precise cutting and sanding of the back of the Nano SIM card, the iPhone 5 has been successfully used under Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL)'s cellular service. People are now rushing to order their new iPhone and cellular vendors are expecting to have some in stock in less than two weeks.

How to Survive Independence Day Parade in San Pedro?
Every year my friends and I gather people to join us in creating our very own float. This year we teamed up with Daddy Rock Night Club and we paid tribute to the Mayas. Our costumes were creative with yellow shirts, black pants and a decorated feathered head piece (We looked like party Maya Gods). Every float is decked out with their own sound system to keep their crew pumped during the three hour parade down the streets of San Pedro Town. Many think this is a regular walk down the park, No! (But it is fun and totally worth it).

VIDEO: Gerry's Independence Day Parade Fun
If you are ever planning a trip to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize make sure to make it out on September 21st for Belize's Independence. You are definitely in for a great time with music, food and a colorful parade. This time around I will show you how fun it is being part of a crazy, fun and wild float with my friends. Mark your calendar and see you next year.

Misc Belizean Sources

Tricks and Rhetoric
Belize's annual month-long period of celebration and merrymaking is behind us and we now move on to face the harsh realities of everyday living. Our families and friends from abroad have all returned to their greener pasture and we are now left to face these troubles and hardships alone. They have no doubt returned with a better idea of what we are facing here at home. Many were appalled at the high price of fuel, which even at the "two to one" currency exchange, far outpace the three and four US dollars per gallon prices that they are used to paying in the states. Many quickly realized that this was not the Belize that they had left behind. Apart from the socializing, festivities and parades associated with September, the occasion offers both government and opposition the opportunity to present to the people their respective views on the "state of the union". Listening to the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition, one might be tempted to believe that these two men live in totally different worlds. The Leader of the Opposition, while calling for a "unity of spirit and purpose" warned against "the growing danger of intense individualism". He was practical and sincere in pointing out the difficult challenges that awaited us after the festivities were over and done with. Belize is faced with high unemployment, high cost of living, 43% poverty rate and a crime problem that has crippled our social lifestyle. No less than four rapes were reported over the long weekend along with a number of robberies, burglaries and other serious crimes. While he struggled to remain positive, the Leader of the Opposition was forced to acknowledge that things in Belize were far from what they should or could be.

Meet Mr. Mishenka
Mr. William Mishenka, current resident of the Belize Yacht Club, is my kinda guy. He doesn't do anything half-way. It's believed he murdered his own uncle over some family business disputes. He's also believed to be involved in four other murders. One incident involved machine guns, knives and maiming of the victims. Mr. Mishenka is also believed to be involved in the largest bank robbery in Slovak history. That escapade took place on January 6th, 1996 and resulted in the theft of 5,742,547 Euros (that's 173 million USD kiddies!). Slovak media says he is paying off the authorities and their source says succinctly "the system is corrupt in Belize." One other thing worth noting -- one article I read says there may be as many as 20 other Slovaks on San Pedro. Based on the record of the two guys, I can't wait to find out the pedigree of these other folks.....most wanted....biggest bank robbery...what's the next superlative? This article has some nice videos you can watch. I think this whole Slovak "thing" has reached the stage where it's time for Belizeans to be, um, concerned...

VIDEO: Orange Walk Carnival in Belize 2012
Carnival in Orange Walk is getting bigger every year with more dancers, and more floats. The fiesta following the carnival has really grown beyond the park with food, drinks, rides and people

Belize Mega Bingo Results For (26 September 2012)
Straight Line 100.00 Each (6 Balls) 3 �68 �74 �29 �25 �48� Inside World 1000.00 Each (20 Balls) 3 �68 �74 �29 �25 �48 �71 �58 �9 �37 �17 �23 �30 �53 �54 �27 �24 �67 �6 �42� T 150.00 Each (27 Balls) 3 �68 �74 �29 �25 �48 �71 �58 �9 �37 �17 �23 �30 �53 �54 �27 �24 �67 �6 �42 �32 �62 �12 �49 �44 �39 �36� I 225.00 Each (36 Balls) 3 �68 �74 �29 �25 �48 �71 �58 �9 �37 �17 �23 �30 �53 �54 �27 �24 �67 �6 �42 �32 �62 �12 �49 �44 �39 �36 �41 �

The First Lady of Belize, Kim Simplis Barrow, is featured in the 40th Anniversary, October issue of Ms. Magazine! She is being hailed as "The Michelle Obama of Belize" Ms. Magazine is an award-winning US publication recognized internationally as the media expert on issues relating to women's status, women's rights, and women's points of view. The 40th anniversary issue of Ms. will be available on newsstand everywhere by October 2. Make sure to pick one up and learn what's at stake for women, from safe abortion and birth control to economic security and workplace equality, and all about Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and protection against violence. And yes, it also provides a voters' guide to key ballot initiatives and a look at the numbers of women running for the US Congress. You can buy a single copy on-line here by October 2, 2012

Photos of Orange Walk Carnival 2012 in Belize - More to Come!
You have seen the short video but you want to see the colorful photos of the Orange Walk Carnival 2012. Well take a look!

Channel 7

BTL Will Have AGM - But Will It Defy CCJ and Declare Dividend?
Plans are still on to hold BTL's Annual General Meeting tomorrow night - but the big question is, will the company declare a dividend? As we've reported, in a special sitting yesterday, the Caribbean Court of Justice ordered the Government of Belize - as the majority shareholder - to hold off on declaring a dividend until at least December 15th. The Ashcroft Alliance asked the court to prevent the company from declaring any dividends pending the determination of pending appeals. It seems straightforward enough, but, there's a wrinkle. BTL's articles of association say that the company is deemed to have declared a dividend 21 days after making the financials public. Those financials went out on September third, so there's an argument that the dividend has already been declared - and now it's just a matter of cutting the checks. BTL's small shareholders would be happy to hear that, no doubt, but the majority shareholder is the government of Belize - which has to weigh what, technically, it might be able to do versus what the court has expressly said it wishes it to do.

Perilous Highway Conditions Caused By Oil Slick
Conditions on the Western Highway were perilous this morning as there was an oil slick stretching for miles. It happened between miles 31 and 38 just before the La Democracia Junction and the Jaguar Paw cut-off. The slick seems to have been caused by a leaking oil tanker that turned down the Coastal Highway at the La Democracia cutoff. The tanker was not found - but its trace endured for hours. We spoke to one driver about the conditions:.. David Andrews, Tour Guide "My back was turn to the truck that pass by but after then pass then I start to smell the oil. I look around and that's when I saw all the oil on the road and that's when I borrowed a bucket and wash off the oil off the road. I drive on the road a lot and whenever you meet oil especially after it rains you find that the road gets slippery due to the oil on the road."

More Like Mello?
By now those who follow the news should know the Karol Mello story inside and out - but according to news reports from Slovakia, he isn't the only Slovakian fugitive on San Pedro. According to multiple Slovak news outlets, another Slovak National Viliam Mi�enka lives on San Pedro - and like Mello, he is wanted for serious offences in his country of origin. Slovak newspaper reports say he is wanted for fraud - and local authorities are aware of his presence in Belize

A Doctor OF Impersonation?
The San Pedro Sun is reporting that island police are looking for a man who pretended to be a medical Doctor. The newspaper reports that the man, 31 year old Eli Lopez was volunteering at the San Pedro Poly Clinic II - where he was only supposed to take vital signs - but somehow he earned a public reputation as being a Doctor - and acted as such - allegedly treating at least two separate persons on the island. According to the Sun, San Pedro police are looking for Lopez as part of their investigation and to verify if he possesses any documentation as a medical practitioner. He is believed to have left the island.

Unusually High Tides Force Municipal Airport Closure: Climate Change To Blame
Unusually high tides have forced the closure of the Municipal Airstrip for the past two mornings. Long-time residents of the area say the tides in what's called "the hangar area" are higher than they have ever been. And for the past two mornings, with the high tide coming around eight in the morning - it has meant the closure of the airstrip which runs right alongside the sea. Yesterday it was closed from 8:00 in the morning until the early afternoon - and today it was opened at 11:00 am. That's how long it took for the tides to recede and to clean off the debris. But, with the runway closed, it's a tremendous inconvenience - and we asked the decision maker in chief about it today:.. Jules Vasquez "It's a tremendous inconvenience for travellers. It's a significant loss of earnings for the air carriers and a loss of earnings for the taxi men as well."

FECTAB Still Chafed Over Chukka
heard country manager for Chukka tours, Valerie Woods squarely accuse FECTAB of inciting the atmosphere that lead to the attempted destruction of their rappelling platform at Jaguar Paw. Today we asked the crowd called FECTAB how they feel about that characterization - here's what they had to say:.. Tom Greenwood "We didn't do it but we incited it, might as well say that we did it. It would be an act of total stupidity and illegal and criminal act on our part which would be - I can't use the right words in the media - but it's just flies in the face of all reason. We categorically deny anything with a stupid act like that." Yohnny Rosado - "We didn't want any criminals to go and burn up Chukka, we don't want anything like that because we are fighting a good cause and so we want all the right things in our way. We don't want anything illegal done to them."

GOB Wins Over Port In Court
Yesterday it was the Ashcroft Alliance which won in court with that CCJ hearing, but today the government of Belize had its turn with a Supreme Court win. It's a claim before Justice Hafiz-Bertram in which the Port of Belize Limited and the Belize Ports Limited were suing the Government of Belize. According to the claim, the then Luke Espat-Controlled Port said that the Government of Belize - which was led by the Musa Administration - entered into 6 very important contract agreements - and they claimed that certain special concessions on tax exemptions were not honored. The claimed that this situation added to the financial burden of running the company, and it eventually forced the company into receivership. As a result, they took the matter to court, seeking to have Justice Hafiz-Bertram make four declarations of breech and misrepresentation of contracts.

PM To IMF To Swing Major Loan Support
Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country today for Washington DC - to lead a delegation into high level meetings with Executive Officials at the IDB and IMF. According to our information, the PM is going to lobby the IDB to give a partial guarantee to Belize's Superbond restructuring - a guarantee that is proving difficult to secure. The PM's visit is seen as the final push to try and swing the deal. The PM returns next Tuesday - and in his absence Deputy Gaspar Vega will act as Prime Minister.

Putting Energy & Science @ Forefront of the Nat'l Development Discourse
We don't hear much from the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities. And that's probably because Sceince and Technology are not considered development priorities in Belize. But the ministry launched its strategic plan today - and they say that has to change. Minister Joy Grant outlined the statistics which show Belize is at the back of the pack regionally:... Hon. Joy Grant, Minister of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities "Belize uses fossil fuels for 65% of its energy needs. The country imported 88% of its fossil fuel needs at a cost $339 million dollars in 2011, this represents 10% of GDP and 11% of total imports. The transport sector uses most of the fossil fuels, so as a matter of urgency we must undertake a comprehensive review of the sector to address the issue of efficiencies."

Man Jailed For Theft
40 year-old Mark Neal, a resident of Sibun Street, is at prison tonight after he was taken to Magistrate's Court for theft and handling stolen goods. 48 year-old Dale Pascasio reported to police that sometime between the August and early September, 2012, someone cleaned out his property on Sibun street, stealing assorted industrial equipment valued at $28,580 dollars. Police investigated the report, and they eventually recovered several of the items at a recycling company located at mile 8 on the Western Highway. The employees of the company reported to police that Neal was the one who took the items there and pawned them for cash. As a result, police arrested and charged Neal with theft and handling stolen goods.

Tonight's profile is about dermatologist Dr. Peter Craig. He is the son of Meg Craig - Belize's foremost collector - and he's also George Price's nephew. And that's probably what steered him into a life of public service in the BDF - which is where he endured one of the worst accidents imaginable - falling 35 feet from a rapel line from a helicopter - and breaking both his legs and his spine. He tells the profile how he survived it:..

Stolen Laptops, Like Lost Lives
Very regularly in the police blotter - we see reports about vehicles being broken into and laptop computers or other electronic items being stolen from inside. It's unfortunate - but usually not enough to make the news - until it starts to become a trend�.which is when we try to put the public on notice that - in case you didn't know - leaving a laptop computer in a car is really not such a good idea. Alexander Evans knows all about that. Today he came to speak to us about the theft of his expensive laptop, which was stolen from his vehicle on Tuesday. He told us that he is offering a reward for the safe return of the laptop, no questions asked: Alexander Evans, Personal items stolen "It was Tuesday night, I was at Belize Elementary coaching a volleyball game between 7:45-10:30pm and when I got back to the vehicle I noticed that the passenger side window was broken. The first thing I check was my backpack to see if my laptop was there. My laptop, external hard drive belonging to the National Institute of Cultural and History and a pair of headphones were missing."

Channel 5

Eight mile oil spill on George Price Highway
Miles of the newly renamed George Price Highway were covered in oil this morning. A private truck transporting crude oil bought from B.N.E. leaked the black gold on the highway covering a stretch of eight miles. The owner of the vehicle and B.N.E. have been summoned to the Department of the Environment this Friday morning, [...]

Telemedia shareholder meeting but no dividends
It might not be as highly watched as an episode of Law and Order, but suspense is heightening in the old capital this evening over whether the Government will comply with the order of the CCJ not to deal with the matter of dividends at Friday night's Telemedia AGM. On Wednesday night we reported that [...]

Illegal activity in Chiquibul costs millions
A latest assessment on illegal activities taking place in the Chiquibul shows that the financial losses are consistently increasing. Friends for Conservation and Development says that a large area of the Chiquibul has been penetrated and that aside from the millions of dollars lost, the ecological impact is also damaging. News Five's Delahnie Bain reports. [...]

Bi-national cooperation with Guatemala can fix Chiquibul problems
The illegal activities will not be easily deterred since Belize shares over forty kilometers of border with Guatemala and there are sixty-eight communities on the other side. But Raphael Manzanero believes it can be done through bi-national cooperation with Guatemala on an official level, since the FCD, as an NGO, is constrained. That is among [...]

Belize's regionally high internet price
Belize is one of the least competitive economies; that was confirmed today by the Minister with responsibility for Technology, Joy Grant, at the launch of the national energy policy. As to technology, the percentage of Belizeans with access to internet Belize is at the bottom of the list, compared to other countries in the region. [...]

Will G.O.B. comply with CCJ order not to declare and distribute dividends at B.T.L. AGM?
Tonight's question is: Do you think the GOB will comply with the CCJ order not to declare and distribute dividends at the BTL AGM on Friday? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on our e-poll at You can also send an email with your comments [...]

The economic indicators of living
In this segment we continue to focus on economic indicators for the Toledo District, one of the most economically depressed areas. We first look at basic cooking facilities. In all other five districts in the country, seventy-seven point nine percent of households have kitchens inside their houses. The Toledo District is the exception where only [...]

Belize switching gears to low carbon economy by 2013
Earlier we told you that Belize was among the least competitive countries globally. It is also highly dependent on imported fuel. This morning, the Minister of Energy, Science, Technology and Public Utilities, Joy Grant, made a major presentation on the national energy policy that seeks to transition Belize to a low carbon economy by next [...]

FECTAB says it did not vandalize Chukka's equipment
It is no secret that Chukka Belize and FECTAB have been at odds for some time. The latest row is over a rappelling platform built by Chukka at Caves Branch which has been vigorously criticized by FECTAB. A few days ago the platform was sabotaged, but who would want to compromise the personal safety of [...]

Chukka says it does not put tourists at risk with rappelling activity
FECTAB maintains that the platform, while built to international specifications, is dangerous and that there is more than meets the eye. As the two trash it out, the rappelling tours have been suspended temporarily. News Five's Jose Sanchez reports.   Jose Sanchez, Reporting The Federation of Cruise Tourism Association of Belize (FECTAB) had sent an [...]

P.M. on the way to IDB and IMF meetings
Earlier today, Prime Minister Dean Barrow headed to Washington for meetings with the Inter American Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund. A release from his office did not say the purpose, but the trip is likely related to the negotiations on the re-structuring of the Superbond. Credit rating agencies have lowered Belize's rankings to [...]

United Nations General Assembly
A top heavy Belize delegation, headed by Minister Wilfred Elrington, is in New York for the yearly United Nations General Assembly. Elrington is scheduled to make his presentation next week and that statement is still likely on the drawing board. But the president of Guatemala, Otto Perez Molina spoke on Wednesday to the UN. The [...]

B.T.B. expects tourism arrivals to continue going up
It's been a good year so far for tourism and recent statistics show significant improvement over the first eight months of last year. While cruise tourism is lagging behind slightly, the number of overnight visitors is on a steady increase, which is expected to continue for the rest of the year due to the Maya [...]

Waste Control equipment; about $29,000 stolen
Mark Neal, of a Freetown Sibun address, appeared in court this morning to answer to charges of theft and handling stolen goods valued at almost twenty-nine thousand dollars. Dale Pascasio, Operations Manager, of Belize Waste Control alleged that between August and September ninth, 2012, Neal stole an assortment of equipment from his farm in the [...]

Thief steals security guard bicycle
A convicted burglar who is presently serving a five year prison sentence just got an additional year added to his jail term after he picked up yet another conviction; this time for theft. He is fifty year old Eric Barrow, who was allegedly bold enough to steal a beach cruiser bicycle from a Security Guard [...]

Get healthy with Healthy Living
You met Alize Reid on September thirteenth, when we reported that she was among several children who were preparing to undergo cleft palate surgery at the Southern Regional Hospital. Well, Alize is now well on her way to recovery and Healthy Living caught up with her and her mother for an update on her condition. [...]


Oil Tanker Leaks Petroleum On George Price Highway
The recently renamed George Price Highway between La Democracia community and the Jaguar Paw cut-off was made all the more treacherous aside from rains that fell throughout the morning when an oil tanker carrying petroleum fuel experienced a dysfunction and started to leak the contents...

Ministry of Energy Launches Strategic Plan
The Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities this morning held its Strategic Plan Launch at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel on the Northern Highway. The 2012-2017 Strategic Plan contains a summary of strategies which the ministry plans to execute...

Agro-Processing Conference Takes Place at Central Farm
A two-day conference on agro-processing started today in Central Farm, Cayo District. Close to two-dozen participants from cooperative groups in the west are taking part in the forum which is being held at the Republic of China, Taiwan's conference room. Food ...

New Executive for Belize Council of Churches
New members have been elected to serve on the executive of the Belize Council of Churches. At its bi-annual general meeting held last week, the group chose Reverent Roosevelt Papouloute as its new president replacing Canon LeRoy Flowers. The vice president is now Bishop P...

Prime Minister Travels to Washington For Meeting With IDB and IMF
Prime Minister Dean Barrow traveled to Washington, D.C. today. According to an official statement from his office, Mr. Barrow is leading a delegation to scheduled meetings with high-ranking executives of the Inter American Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund....


The reinforcement of the immigration deportment
Three weeks ago the news broke of an incident at the Immigration office in Belize City where an alleged terrorist linked to Hezbollah received a false Belizean identity in a matter of two days. Since the incident, the supervisor at the Immigration office who approved the passport for Rafic Mohammad Labbon Allaboun, has told investigators that Allaboun showed him a social security card, which turned out to be fake. Today the Minister of Immigration, Godwin Hulse, told Love News that the Immigration officers who dealt with Allaboun have been shuffled around but remain on the job as the police investigation progresses along. He also said that the loopholes in the system will be tightened to prevent another such incident from happening. Minister Hulse said that he will make himself available to the various media houses to inform the public of the changes being made within the Immigration Department.

The Sugar Industry Bill in Belmopan
During the course of today debate on the Sugar Industry and Cogeneration Project Incentives Bill in Belmopan, the name of Senator Godwin Hulse was mentioned several times on the floor of the House. While the debate was ongoing, Love News spoke with Minister Hulse in Belize City about the Bill, which clears the way for American Sugar Refineries to purchase controlling shares in Belize Sugar Industries Limited. Minister Hulse says that he does not foresee any problems in the future to warrant the Government and or ASR to come to the discussion table over the arrangement.

A fire in Port Loyola Division of Belize City
A man lost his house and all his belongings during a fire shortly after eleven o'clock this morning. It happened at 161 Curl Thompson Street in the Port Loyola Division. Painter, Brad Steadman told Love News that he got a call at work that informed him that his wooden house measuring roughly twenty by fifteen feet was ablaze. Steadman said he believes the fire was intentionally set. Fire officials have found that the casue of the blaze was a faulty electicl connection which did not have BEL authorization. And in addition to that, the wiring was also exposed to heat. A neighbour to Steadman told Love News that she smelled something like wire was on fire and when she looked outside to see what it was, she saw smoke coming from Steadman's house top. Brad Steadman says he has lived in the area for almost fifteen years and is an employee at Skills Trading Centre and is asking your assistance to rebuild his house and his life. His cell number is: 662-7666.

In Belmopan held a meeting for the House of Rep.
The House of Representatives met today in Belmopan. The main item on the agenda was Sugar Industry and Cogeneration Project Development Bill, 2012. The Bill was introduced by the Prime Minister and taken through all its stages at today's sitting. What the Bill does is provide for certain exemptions from taxes and duties to attract new capital investment into the sugar industry. That new investment is by American Sugar Refining, the Delaware-based company that has acquired majority shareholding in Belize Sugar Industries Limited. At the introduction of the Bill, the Prime Minister said the list of incentives is nothing out of the ordinary for an investment of the magnitude as ASR is making in the sugar industry. When it came time for the debate, members of the Opposition People's United Party stuck to the party's stated stance of opposing the piece of legislation saying that it gives an unfair advantage American Sugar Refining and will end up hurting the small cane farmers. While members of the ruling party's side of the House came out in full support of the Bill. First to speak was the member for Orange Walk Central John Briceno. When he rose to contribute to the debate, the Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca appealed to the government not to pass the Bill today and allow for consultation with the cane farmers on the issue. In winding up the debate, the Prime Minister began by indicating that the opposition's call for a deferment of the passage of the Bill was not an option. That prompted PUP representatives to walk out of the Chambers of the House, leaving the Prime Minister to bring the debate to a close and a vote on the Bill. After a committee of the whole house on the Bill, it was returned to the floor without amendments and passed its third reading. The Bill now goes to the Senate for ratification. Also passed through the House today were the Belize City Council Municipal Bond Bill and the companion Belize City Council Amendment Bill, 2012.

The Guardian

Sugar Industry Saved! ASR brings 100 Million Investment to BSI
American Sugar Refineries (ASR) is expected to make payments to settle all of the debts by Belize Sugar Industry Limited and BELCOGEN to the tune of 64 million U.S. dollars by next week. Also liquidated will be a 10-million-dollar loan, which the government made to BSI back in 2010 as well as 2-year dividend payments to the BSI Holdings trust amounting to 5.4 million dollars. Additionally, ASR will invest 30 million U.S. dollars in production expansion at the plant. But before ASR makes the payments, the Government went to the National Assembly to pass the Sugar Industry and Cogeneration Project (Development Incentives) Bill, 2012. The Bill is an updating of the BELCOGEN Act of 2005, which gave the company certain tax concessions that run up to 2022. In the area of Business Tax, BELCOGEN currently has 2 years remaining; that will be adjusted to go up to 2016. Under the new ASR arrangement, BSI/BELCOGEN will get tax exemption of 80% in 2013; 60% in 2014; 40% in 2015 and 20% in 2016. As it relates to taxes on dividends, BELCOGEN has a 15-year tax break from 2007 up to 2022 and that has been reduced to go to the year 2018. Similarly, taxes on technical services has been cut down from the year 2022 to 2018, tax breaks on interest payments remain up to the year 2022 as it was in the original BELCOGEN Act. A 10-year exemption is also being given to the company from 2013 to 2018 on import duties and environmental tax; this is a reduction of time as the original BELCOGEN Act gave the company exemptions up to 2022. In the area of Stamp Duties, the company is being given a 50% waiver on the transaction for the sale of shares.

Ministry of Health signs New Collaboration Project with Peace Corps Belize
Nina Hernandez and Dr. Peter Allen sign agreement The Ministry of Health signed a Letter of Intent to collaborate on Wednesday, September 26th, 2012 on the grounds of the U.S. Embassy in Belmopan during the celebration of Peace Corps' 50th Anniversary. The Letter of Intent outlines the creation of a new development project that will focus on rural community health and wellbeing. Mrs. Nina Hernandez, Director of Peace Corp Belize, mentioned that the focus will be on Family and Community Health needs. "�the importance of the partnership is to provide what is in the best interest of communities in Belize." Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Peter Allen, signed on behalf of the Ministry of Health. In his remarks, he mentioned that this is an exciting partnership because it sets the path to make our health services even more effective. He went on to mention that "it seeks to combine good intent with good administration." He ended his speech by congratulating the establishment of Peace Corps and its volunteers in Belize highlighting that the Ministry and the Government of Belize takes pleasure in joining in the revolution of the new Peace Corps. This 50th anniversary celebration and the renewed collaboration is a full reflection of two countries with the common goal of working together to make a positive difference in the lives of Belizeans. Dr. Allen expressed the Ministry of Health's pleasure in further developing a strategic partnership with Peace Corps as the Ministry strive to improve access to quality health services for all Belizeans.

More Streets to be paved
The Belize City Council has spent 1.9 million dollars in the paving of 22 streets and the Sandlighter's Promenade in the past 6 months and, now there is an invigorated push to do more. Speaking to Mayor of Belize City, Darrell Bradley, he explained that work has already commenced on the concreting of Freetown Road from where it intersects with Barrack Road up to the Flag Monument Roundabout. Bradley added that while the work has commenced on Freetown Road, so too has preparatory work commenced to pave Kelly Street, Electric Avenue, Southern Foreshore and Bahemia Street in the Belama Phase II area of Belize City. Mayor Bradley says that while the council is awaiting for financing from the Belize City Municipal Development Bond to pay for the paving of the streets, that is not stopping the Council from proceeding with the work. The Council is actually ready for the bond to be issued as a the prospectus is almost complete and the Council awaits legislation for it to proceed. That legislation was finalized on Wednesday, September 26th at the House where it went for the 2nd and 3rd readings.

Teen girl remanded to Prison
On Monday, September 24th an 18-year-old girl appeared in Magistrate's Court to answer to charges including attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and wounding. 18-year-old Jamie Hope, a Receptionist of Plaza Hotel on San Pedro Ambergris Caye, appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano where the charges were read to her. No plea was taken since the offences are indictable. Hope was then remanded to the Belize Central Prison until her next court appearance on November 28. Hope is being accused of stabbing Joanna Arellano to the face. The incident occurred on September 17th, 2012 at the Tourism Village on North Front Street in Belize City. Arellano, a 33-year-old city resident, reported to police that whilst in the company of her 14-year-old daughter, she was struck to her forehead by an object which caused her to fall. According to Arellano, when she looked up, she saw Hope standing over her. Fearing for her life, Arellano said she ran towards the water taxi pier and that's where she realized that she was bleeding.

Three Years in Jail for Aggravated Assault on Girl
29-year-old Ladyville resident, Kenroy Betancourt, a Security Guard of the Ladyville area was convicted on a single count of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a 14-year-old girl on Tuesday, September 25th. Betancourt appeared before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith where he was found guilty and sentenced to 3 years imprisonment. He was found guilty of entering the bedroom of the 14-year-old girl on July 10th, 2011 and whilst she was sleeping he began to fondle her. The 14-year-old girl testified in camera that on the night whilst asleep in her bedroom she was suddenly awaken by the touch of someone. That's when she opened her eyes and saw Betancourt, her neighbor, fondling her. The girl said she began to scream alerting her brother, who came to her aid and set chase after Betancourt who managed to escape.

Justin Goff charged for Cell Phone Robbery
On Wednesday, September 26th, 24-year-old Justin Goff and 21-year-old Ronald Michael appeared in court for charges relating to the robbery of Allan Contreras. Goff was charged with one count of robbery for taking away Contreras' cell phone valued at $250 on Monday, September 24. Police later recovered the cell phone in the possession of Michael. He was charged with one count of handling stolen goods. Both men pleaded not guilty to their charge. Goff was denied bail when the court prosecutor, Sgt. Dennis Miles, objected base on the grounds of the prevalence and seriousness of the crime and the fact that police has strong evidence against him. The prosecutor believes that if he is granted bail he may try to interfere with the victim and the prosecution witnesses. Magistrate Hettie-Mae Stuart remanded Goff into custody until October 10. Michael was offered bail in the sum of $4,000 plus one surety of the same amount or two sureties of $2,000 each. Magistrate, Hettie-Mae Stuart ordered him to stay away from the victim, his family and any of the prosecution's witnesses. Michael is due back in court on October 31.

12 years Imprisonment for Henry Lauriano
On Tuesday, September 25th, 43-year-old Henry Lauriano AKA "Tyson" appeared in Magistrate's Court where he was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment. Lauriano was sentenced after he was found guilty of robbing his friend and stabbing him in the palm of his right hand. He appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. In court, George Griffith told the court that on December 28th, 2011, at about 11:30 p.m., he, two other friends and another man, known to him as Williams, were playing dominoes in an open lot at #48 Amara Avenue, when a man, known to him as Tyson and Henry, approached him and asked him for money. Griffith told him that he was broke; that's when Lauriano showed him a shiny object which resembled a knife. At that point, Griffith decided to stop playing dominoes and instead he decided to go home.

Murder Struck Out! Justin Orellana charged for Manslaughter of His Stepfather
Shortly after 8:30 on Tuesday night, September 24th, a jury of 12 emerged out of the deliberating room in the murder trial against 23-year-old Justin Orillana without a conclusive verdict. Orellana had been on remand since 2007 for the murder of 38-year-old Cecil Thompson, his stepfather. Around 7 p.m. on March 27th, 2007 Orellana went to Thompson's Vernon Street residence and an argument ensued. In a statement to police, Orellana claimed he was asking for his "things" from Thompson but did not get them. Orellana then got a knife and asked for his stuff once more. Thompson did not cooperate and that was when Orellana stabbed him numerous times. A doctor testified that Thompson was stabbed as many as 12 times. He was stabbed once to the forehead, a stab wound that fractured the skull dividing it into two. He was also stabbed to the chest, hands, face and over the body.

Rudolph "Tubba" Smith sentenced to 15 years imprisonment
On Monday, September 24th, 36-year-old Rudolph "Tubba" Smith, a resident of Hattieville, was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment after he was found guilty of aggravated burglary and aggravated assault of an indecent nature. Smith's trial concluded before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith after the prosecution called five witnesses to testify against him. The main witness, was a 15 year-old girl who testified that at around 4:25 a.m. on July 23rd, 2011, she was awakened when she felt Smith on top of her. She said that he held a knife to her throat, fondled her, and demanded that she take off her pants. She refused, and that's when one of her siblings, who was also sleeping in the same room, woke up, turned on the light, and saw "Tubba" Smith. They screamed for their mother and he ran before he could be detained. Smith testified in his defence that he was passing by the house, and saw the victim going through the window. He called an alibi witness to testify on his behalf, but she didn't help his case because the prosecution put it to her that she was asleep at the time of the incident. After considering all the evidence, Chief Magistate Smith found him guilty of both offences and sentenced him to 15 years for the aggravated burglary, and 3 years for the indecent assault. Both sentences are to run concurrently, so he will only spend 15 years in jail. This is Smith's second offense of this nature. He still has the other case pending before the court.

Pastor and Teacher Norman Willacey dismissed by Baptist Management
The Baptist association of Belize issued a press release on Monday, September 24th in which it announced that Norman Willacey, the Principal of the Belmopan Baptist High school, has been fired. The release states that "after its investigation and deliberation, the Management found the allegations to be true and recommended Mr. Willacey's immediate dismissal and revocation of license." Speaking on the issue, Minister of Education, Hon. Patrick Faber explained that the termination of Willacey was something he had been advocating for from the onset. On Wednesday, August 22nd Willacey was placed on a 15-day suspension pending the outcome of the investigation by the Baptist management. With the decision to terminate, Minister Faber explained that it is now a case where the reason for his dismissal will be a part of Willacey's record and any school wishing to hire him in the future will be well aware of his past actions.

Independence Day Address delivered by Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow on September 21st, 2012
Your Excellency, the Governor-General, Sir Colville Young, and Lady Young; My Lord Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin; and other Justices of the Supreme Court; Hon. Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca, and Mrs. Fonseca; Hon. Ministers of Government and Members of the National Assembly; Your Worship the Mayor of Belmopan, Mr. Simeon Lopez, and Mrs. Lopez; My Lords the Bishops of the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches of Belize; Superintendent of the Methodist Belize/Honduras District; President of the Evangelical Association of Churches; other members of the Clergy; Excellencies of the Diplomatic Corps; Members of the Consular Corps; Special guests, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, Fellow Belizeans; and, of course, I salute my wife Kim, just back from Houston and another stage on the return journey to health.

Hundred Percent of Stann Creek Teachers trained
Hon. Patrick Faber and participants in "Education Day" On Sunday, September 23rd, the Minister of Education, Hon. Patrick Faber, attended a special showcase at the Georgetown Technical High School (GTHS). In November of 2010, the Ministry of Education collaborated with the University of Belize to launch the Banana Belt Teacher Training Program.

Ambassador Said Badi Guerra in Chile
On September 7th, 2012, Ambassador Said Badi Guerra departed for Chile to attend a course in International Relations. This course, is being sponsored by the Government of Chile. The course which is supposed to be held for a complete year, was brought down to 3 intensive months. One representative from 29 countries around the world is participating in the course.

Independence Day Ceremony
PM Hon. Dean Barrow greets Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Francis Fonseca On Friday, September 21st, Belize celebrated its 31st anniversary of Independence. No one could have asked for more pleasant conditions to celebrate such occasion. The official ceremony was held at Independence Plaza in Belmopan City. On Friday, Belmopan saw an overcast sky with temperature in the low 80s and a constant soothing breeze. Representatives of the Diplomatic and Counselor Corps from all over the world began taking their seats just after 9:30 a.m. During this time, the Belmopan Choral Society provided entertainment with their renditions of several cultural songs. The Master of Ceremonies, Rene Villanueva, Sr., took over at 10 a.m. and announced the arrival of the Guests of Honour.

Infrastructural Upliftment for Belmopan, Corozal, and Orange Walk
Official ribbon cutting ceremony Belmopan, Monday September 24, 2012: The municipalities of Belmopan, Corozal and Orange Walk will see a further improvement of their main streets as a result of a $2.1 Million dollar street project under the Belize Municipal Development Project (BMDP), which was launched this morning during a formal ceremony in Corozal Town.

What's wrong at OWTC
Over the past 6 months, we've been reporting on things that are going terribly wrong at the Orange Walk Town Council and a recent publication of that municipality's financials for the month of June simply proves what we've been saying all along. The financials of the council for May and June posted in the website paint a picture of a mismanaged municipality.

Marion Jones Stadium on its way
Artist's concept of the new Marion Jones Stadium The last time The Guardian visited the Marion Jones Sporting Complex was on Wednesday, May 9th, during a shoot for "The Real Deal". At that time, Hon. Herman Longsworth, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, explained that the project was at "stage 4 (A)" in which they were working on the actual entrance to the grand stand. On Monday, September 25th, over four months since last visiting, The Guardian and other media houses were invited by the Ministry for a tour of the facility.

Oceana Calls out the Press for Case Management
Audrey Matura baits the press to the Supreme Court The media houses swarmed out at the Supreme Court on Tuesday, September 25th after they were called out by Oceana supposedly for the beginning of a judicial review hearing initiated by Oceana. In the end, however, it was much-a-do-about-nothing as that is exactly what took place - nothing. The matter was barely in the case management stage and Oceana is already calling out the press. They really are in need of publicity to be doing that. Nonetheless, the press was out and Vice President for Oceana in Belize said that matter was in case management and attorney for the government, Naima Barrow has indicated that she will be filing preliminary objections for late filing by Oceana in the hopes of having the matter struck out.

Belize celebrates Wellness Week
KHMH employees sing, dance and eat Health centers across the country will be hosting events such as staff clinics, sporting competitions, exercise classes and dance lessons throughout this week as Belize joins the rest of CARICOM in celebrating Caribbean Wellness Week. This year, Caribbean Wellness Week is being celebrated from September 23rd to 29th.

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Victoria Alvarez Playground inaugurated in Memory of Joshua Abraham
At exactly one year after the shooting death of 9-year-old Joshua Abraham, the Victoria Alvarez Park was officially reopened in memory of young Joshua on Independence Day, September 21st. The ceremony was attended by Abraham's mother, Marsha Argalles, the Mayor of Belize City, Darrell Bradley, along with other members of the Belize City Council, and officials of Restore Belize. The efforts to retrofit the park had started as an initiative by Argalles to bring a play facility for young people in the neighborhood, It was not until the days leading to the 1st year anniversary that it picked up steam and was finally complete. The park is now fitted with swings and a slide. In speaking with Argalles, she said that she was happy to have been able to see her dream come to completion. She added that the area is a much needed one in the city since public spaces like this one is lacking. Along with the retrofitting the park, Argalles' initiative also saw the cleaning up of an empty lot opposite the park for children to be able to play football. Argalles said she was thankful that the project is complete and explained that it would not have been possible without support from a number of sponsors including NICH, Atlantic Bank, The National Youth Cadet Corps, Zeta and Restore Belize.

Police Sergeant loses Both Legs in Traffic Accident
Sergeant of Police Mark August, who is attached to the Punta Gorda Police Formation, is receiving treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after being involved in a motorcycle accident. Police report that sometime around 4:30p.m. on Sunday, September 24th, they visited an area near the Swasey Bridge on the Southern Highway where they saw Police Sergeant Mark August lying on the ground. Both his legs were missing. Investigations revealed that Sergeant August was travelling towards Punta Gorda on his motorcycle when he collided into a lamp post. He was transported to the Southern Regional Hospital and later to the KHMH where he is undergoing treatment.

Sabotage at Nohoch Che'en
It has come to the attention of the Ministry of Tourism & Culture and the National Institute of Culture & History (N.I.C.H.), that on the weekend of September 22nd - September 23rd, 2012, an act of sabotage was perpetrated at the Nohoch Che'en Archaeological Reserve (commonly referred to as Cave's Branch), one of Belize's premier archaeological reserves and tourist destinations, located in the Cayo District. Damages reported are deemed substantive enough to pose a serious safety risk to users at this site. Damages to the rappel platform include the cutting of client safety lines, the rope barrier, as well as partial cuts to the metal supports of the platform, and to the anchor cable. There was also evidence of fire damage to portions of the entrance stairway to the Crystal Cave. The Ministry of Tourism & Culture and N.I.C.H. are disheartened and deeply saddened by the unfortunate course of events. We are fully cognizant of the ramifications such acts of sabotage can have on the integrity of the country's tourism product, the quality of the visitor experience, the investment environment, and on the sector as a whole. The Nohoch Che'en Archaeological Reserve receives the most visitors of any tourist site in the country and activities at this park represent a significant contribution to the livelihoods of hundreds of Belizeans. Additionally, being the largest revenue generator for N.I.C.H., this park supports the maintenance, management and improvement of visitor facilities for archaeological reserves throughout the country. The Ministry of Tourism & Culture and N.I.C.H. view this attack as criminal and maintain its zero tolerance policy against such acts at any of the sites it manages. The Ministry of Tourism & Culture and N.I.C.H. informs the public that, with the support of the Ministry of National Security and the Police Department, a full and thorough investigation will immediately commence. Those who may be found responsible for this act of sabotage will be dealt with within the strictest level of the law. The Ministry of Tourism & Culture would like to give its highest assurance to all concerned that the safety of stakeholders and visitors is our most important priority. The Ministry of Tourism & Culture and N.I.C.H. look forward to continue improving visitor facilities, through strengthening of relations and in cooperation with all industry partners.

Suspected cases of Whooping Cough in Springfield
The Ministry of Health is awaiting the test results for six samples, which were sent to the Caribbean Epidemiology Center (CAREC) in Trinidad and Tobago to test for whooping cough. On Monday, September 3rd, the Ministry received reports of suspected cases of the disease in the Mennonite community of Springfield located on the Southern Highway. Since that time, multidisciplinary surveillance teams have been dispatched to identify the suspected cases, trace contacts, collect specimens and provide treatment and education on the disease. As a result of the intervention six suspected cases were detected, five of those being children; one a six-month-old child and an adult were treated and are in good health. According to the Ministry of Health's Dr. Natalia Beer, the common factor with all the cases is that they are all persons, who have not been vaccinated. This, she says, poses a greater risk for contracting the disease. She added that with the community being Mennonite, the Ministry has problems with them accepting all the vaccines. As a result of the suspected cases, there is now an enhanced surveillance for vaccine preventable diseases. Pertussis, also known as whooping cough is highly contagious and is caused by a bacteria. It causes episodes of violent and uncontrollable coughing which makes it difficult to breath. There is a deep whooping sound often heard when the patient is breathing. The disease most commonly affects children and can be fatal especially in children less than 1 year old. The infection usually lasts 6 weeks. The Ministry of Health reports that it provides a vaccine for Pertussis and is administered to children ages 2, 4 and 6 months and a later dose at age 4. Anyone who exhibits signs of whooping cough is asked to visit the nearest health center for screening and treatment.

Stann Creek Ecumenical College wins a Game in CODICADER
The Stann Creek Ecumenical College (high school) division won its first game in male football at the on-going CODICADER Games in San Salvador, El Salvador, when it defeated Nicaragua by the score of 6-3. The goal scorers for Belize were Hassan Lucas (4), Melvin Valerio and Marlon Escobar. This is the first time that any of the schools that have represented Belize at the CODICADER Games in male football have actually won a game. In the other games played so far, Belize lost to El Salvador by the score of 3-0. Belize also lost to Panama by the score of 6-1. The only goal of the game for Belize was scored by Jamal Westby. Belize also lost to Guatemala by the score of 6-2. The goal scorers for Belize were Hassan Lucas and Kyle Valerio. The team will play its last game against Costa Rica.

RG City Boys slow down the Raging Placencia Assassins
Belize Defence Force's Ralph Flores scored team's only goal in the 34th minute of play The Premier League of Belize 2012 Opening Tournament continued over the last week with a number of games played across the country.

Inter-District Champion of Champions Football Competition opens
The 2012 Football Federation of Belize Interdistrict Champion of Champions Competition opened on Sunday, September 23rd, with 8 games across the country. At the MCC Grounds in Belize City, Brown Bombers and Hattieville Monarchs played to a 3-3 draw. The goal scorers for the Brown Bombers were Jermaine Foster in the 38th and 64th minutes of play, and Kadeem Myers in the 87th minute of play. Meanwhile, the goal scorers for the Hattieville Monarchs were Calton Rogers in the 15th minute of play, Kenton Dyrer in the 48th minute of play and Ralph Spawn in the 85th minute of play. At the People's Stadium in Orange Walk Town, Guinea Grass FC blanked Calcutta FC by the score of 3-0. The goal scorers for Guinea Grass FC were Nelson Perez in the 37th and 50th minutes of play, and Ian Cima in the 89th minute of play. Out at the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga Town, Benguche FC edged Southside FC by the score of 4-3. The goal scorers for Benguche were Darwin Castillo (3) and Charles Lino, while the goal scorers for Southside were Abraham Chavez, Wababa Noralez and Carlton Thomas. At the Marshalleck Stadium in Benque Viejo, Santa Elena Synergy and Benque Bad Boys played to a 3-3 draw. The goal scorers for the Santa Elena Synergy were Minor Galindo, George Cocom and Marco Alaya, and the goal scorers for the Benque Bad Boys were Alvin Mendez, Brandon Wiltshire and Melvin Dawson.

Telemedia Softball Team to defend Charles Solis Title
The 5th Annual Charles Solis Memorial Tournament is scheduled for Sunday, September 30th, 2012, commencing at 9:00 am sharp at the Rogers Stadium. This year's Charles Solis tournament will utilise a new format and will feature Telemedia (National Softball Champions of Belize), Mirage Lady Rebels (Belize City champions), Flowers Bank Easy Does It (Belize Rural champion), Camalote United (Cayo champion) and Falcons (Orange Walk champion). The Charles Solis Memorial Tournament will be declared opened by Linda Reyes, ISF Hall of Fame Member, Honorary Life Member of the Belize Softball Federation and a former National Team player under Manager Charles Solis. The championship medals and awards will be presented by Lorne Solis, son of Charles Arthur Solis. The Telemedia Softball Team is the two-time defending Charles Solis Memorial Champions.

City Interoffice Volleyball Competition rolls on
The Belize City Interoffice Volleyball Competition continued at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium on Saturday and Sunday September 22nd and 23rd, 2012 respectively. In the games played on Saturday, September 22nd, Belize Telemedia won over First Caribbean Investment Bank "Servivors" by the score of 25-22 and 26-24. In the junior female competition, Honeybees won over Simon Quan Black Stars in three sets by the scores of 22-25, 25-18 and 15-13. In the junior male competition, Simon Quan Dragons won over UK Royals by the score of 25-21 and 25-23. The competition then continued on Sunday, September 23rd with two more games. In the first game played, Scotiabank defeated Atlantic Bank by the scores of 25-13, 16-25 and 15-12. In the final game of the day, in the junior male competition, Croshers won over UK Hitters by the score of 18-15, 25-10 and 15-12.

The Place for Abstinence Only
There is an impressive body of research indicating that well designed and age-appropriate Health and Family Life Education (HFLE) curriculums delay sexual debut for young people by several months on average and make it safer when it does occur. There are also large numbers of studies showing that an abstinence-only approach to HFLE for adolescents is at best ineffective. Although this method has become more sophisticated than when the only education on sexuality that most children received was the whispered advice to girls not to let boys touch them, it has not been any more successful in preventing or even delaying sexual experimentation in young persons. However, many of us, uncomfortable with our own sexuality, prefer to pretend that children are essentially sexless, little Ken and Barbie figures with no genitals. This chorus of denial has organised itself to prevent, or at the very least minimise, comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services for young people, including HFLE. They often work by stealth, snipping away at education and service provision to strip them of anything offensive to their beliefs. One avenue of attack is the claim that parents and/or guardians should be the only or the main source of sexuality information ...


Things I Love About Tulum, Mexico...Even If Just For One Night
There is plenty to love about Tulum, Mexico (and I have gushed about it all before)...but #1? The amazing, amazing beach. You can read about it here: Best Beach in the World. and I've visited and talked about the cool Mayan ruins before... But I didn't make it to either on this trip. I was only passing through for about 18 hours on the way home from my trip to Colombia. I'd gladly spend a night here any time (and I FAR prefer it to a night in downtown Cancun). At first glance, it might seem like just a small strip along the highway but it is so much more. Tulum town has a ton to offer and I always enjoy eating and drinking...I mean staying there. The food! Here is who I visited on this trip... This DELICIOUS Italian/European deli that makes fresh sandwiches...slices the meat while you wait. This is really one of the things I miss most for the NYC area. In San Pedro, sandwiches tend to be overpriced and skimpily stuffed, the Italian and fresh mozz I ordered at Gourmet Tulum was not.

Yellow raincoats on boats
It does not happen often but this morning was one of those days where we had a good long rain. Leisa and I sat on the veranda drinking our coffee and watching the boats going by filled with with people wearing bright yellow raincoats. We were both thankful that we were high and dry and not on a bumpy wet boat with rain spraying in our faces - been there done that on the way home from an Altun Ha tour once. I did not check the weather forecast, the sky seems to be clearing a bit and the rain has stopped for now. Leisa said her new rain gauge shows 2 inches, that includes some rain from last night as well. I did not pack my waterproof camera so no colorful raincoat boat pictures.

Royal Rat at Benny's
Jose Luis Zapata was in town for a photo shoot at Xunantunich, and he was able to stop in Succotz at Benny's Kitchen to try some gibnut. Benny's does it right! "So if you are wondering why it is called 'Royal Rat' in Belize it is because the Paca or Gibnut is scientifically classified as a rodent and when the British media learnt that Queen Elizabeth was fed Gibnut, they headlined their newspapers, 'Queen Eats Rat.' Here in Belize everyone took it lightly because we are cool like that and hence the dish was referred to as 'Royal Rat.' So remember to ask for and try our famous 'Royal Rat' if you haven't. It is truly a Belizean delicacy"

George Price Exhibit at GPC
The George Price Exhibit by Richard Holder, entitled Reflections of a Hero, is now on display in Belmopan at the George Price Centre. Thanks go out to Belize Natural Energy for sponsoring the event. For more info, call 822-1054.

I Love Belize Contest
Amber Sunset Jungle Resort, one of Cayo's new lodges, is having their 'I Love Belize' Facebook challenge. You can win an overnight stay for 2. Just upload your favorite picture to their site, and ask people to like it. Good luck! "I love Belize Challenge! Email us your pics at [email protected] and we will post them in a special album and tag you in it. You can send in as many pics as you like, the more you have, the better your chances of winning. We will choose a SINGLE picture with the most likes and that person wins an overnight's stay for two. Winner will be chosen on October 30, 2012!"

VIDEO: Belizean Butterfly Artwork by Baron Neal
Great story about Cayo native and artisan Baron Neal, who makes beautiful art from butterfly wings. Gerry Badillo interviews him in this video. Turns out, he came up with the idea while working at the butterfly farm at Chaa Creek. A true success story. Congratulations, Mr. Neal! "Making art from butterfly's that dies of natural causes is not something that would pop up firstly when thinking of Belize. Baron Neal does not let these beautiful creatures go to waste and proves that creative talent can be used in a very interesting and sustainable way."

National Geographic Showcases Mesoamerican Reef!
We have always known we are special but it is always flattering when the leader of environmental issues and photography decide to focus their latest issue on our reef!! The Mesoamerican Reef region lies within the Caribbean Sea and touches the coasts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. It contains the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, stretching nearly 700 miles from the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula down through the Honduran Bay Islands. The greater part of this reef residing in Belizean waters. National Geographic have highlighted the features of the reef, a number of which have been photographed in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and the majority of which have been taken somewhere in Belize!

International Sources

New World starts drilling in Belize
New World Oil and Gas announces that the Blue Creek #2 well targeting the B Crest prospect commenced drilling on 27 September 2012, at its Blue Creek Project, located in the productive Pet�n Basin in Northwest Belize. The Company's Competent Person, RPS Energy, estimates B Crest to hold a P50 un-risked prospective resource of 92.1 million barrels of oil ('MMbo') (Y1 and Y2 intervals) and a P50 un-risked Net Present Value ('NPV10') of US$2.4 billion on a 100% working interest basis. Following New World's farm-down of a 5% working interest in the Blue Creek #2 well with the drilling contractor, ThermaSource International LLC, rig #104 will drill to a target depth ('TD') of 7,000ft, targeting the mid cretaceous Yalbac 2 Formation. RPS Energy reports a Probability of Geologic Success ('POSg') of 1 in 5 and drilling results will be released once TD has been reached, which is expected to be in mid November 2012.

Belize bondholders cheer offer of partial coupon payment
Holders of Belize's $547m 2029 "superbond" have welcomed last week's announcement by the government that it would make partial payment of the semi-annual coupon originally due on August 20. ..

Belize PM Heads to Washington
Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow has left for Washington, DC for a series of high-level talks with multilateral institutions, his office said in a statement. Barrow, who departed Thursday, is leading a Belizean delegation for discussions with executive officials at the Inter-American Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund. His United Democratic Party government won another term in the country's March 7 general election. It's likely that the country's recent partial coupon payment will be a major talking point. The payment, which was had been due Aug. 20, is part of a $547 million "superbond" maturing in 2029. Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega will be acting as Belize's Prime Minister during Barrow's absence. The Prime Minister will return to Belize Oct. 2.

Belize: home to the world's second-largest barrier reef
If you love snorkelling and scuba diving and want to combine your love of these activities with a holiday, a yacht charter around Belize is the perfect break for you. The Caribbean country is home to the second-biggest barrier reef in the world, so you can rest assured there is plenty to see when you delve beneath the waves. There's no need to worry about getting chilly while out in the Caribbean Sea either, particularly if you have little ones in tow on your sun-drenched getaway. Like the typical annual temperature, the water can be as warm as 27 degrees C, so you can spend hours splashing about without feeling a chill. The waves are also gentle as a result of the protection of the reef, and the water is crystal clear, meaning you can often see for an impressive 165 ft when scuba diving. Even when snorkelling it only takes 2 ft of water for you and your loved ones to spot small fish darting about. Should you want as much sun as possible, the Caribbean is a natural choice. However, Belize does have a rainy season, so book your holiday for between November and May to avoid getting drenched when on land! The climate and wind conditions are, of course, perfect for sailing. This means you and your family and friends can enjoy relaxed sailing without fear of tricky obstacles.

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