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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Prime Minister Dean Barrow speaks on Cayo's peaceful protest against crime
The Prime Minister of Belize, the Hon. Dean Barrow, has offered his congratulations and thanks to the thousands of Belizeans from the Cayo District and across the country who participated in the San Ignacio/Santa Elena peaceful protest against crime. The Prime Minister views this latest mass action against the greatest scourge in our country, as a continuation of the same Cayo spirit and resolve that he highlighted in his Independence Day Address. The Prime Minister also acknowledges that it remains Government's primary responsibility to safeguard citizens in Cayo and all of Belize. He therefore reiterates the commitments he made in his meeting with the leaders of the Solidarity Movement for Justice and Peace. Accordingly, the Government of Belize will:

Assault of 2 men on the beach leaves 1 critically injured
Sometime around 8PM on Wednesday, October 10, 2012, San Pedro Police and PolyClinic Doctors were summoned to an area just off the beach south of the San Juan Roundabout where they discovered two injured males. The doctor on duty noticed that they were suffering abrasions to the head, and asked that they be taken to the clinic for further treatment. 24-year-old Marwin Lizama and a 46-year-old (whose name is being withheld until family members are notified) were treated and released after no open wounds were observed. The 46-year-old had a swollen right eye along with his other injuries, and seemed to be the most seriously wounded. However, he was released into the care of a friend, with the doctor making frequent checks on him throughout the night.

SPTC meets with San Mateo residents about future infrastructure plans
In a meeting with San Mateo residents on Saturday October 6th, Mayor of San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), Mayor Daniel Guerrero along with representatives from the Public Utilities Commission discussed the plans for proper infrastructure within the San Mateo subdivision. In an interview with The San Pedro Sun, Mayor Guerrero assured that San Mateo will have proper infrastructure prior to the ending of his administration's term in office. "The council has a very aggressive campaign on roads and streets and we have not abandoned San Mateo. We have San Mateo at heart, just like all the other sub-divisions. And we are committed to bringing its residents proper streets - and infrastructure. The main thing for the council right now is to open the streets with hardcore and that, we are doing. Once we've finished the streets, Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) will come in and put electricity and once we have the poles, it's easy to put cable and telephone in. The next one is the water - water isn't that fast but we are looking into that. We committed to having water and electricity installed prior to the ending of our term in office. However, sewer is another issue. While we would certainly love to have the sewer system extended to San Mateo and all other parts of the island - we must be realistic. We are working with our resources to get all that we can for San Mateo."

2 Belizeans and 1 Mexican arrested and charged for Drug Trafficking
On October 7, 2012 at about 6:00PM, acting on information received, Police visited C & B's Bar on Baeza's Layout, Corozal Town, where searches were conducted on a Silver 2005 Ford Eco Sport SUV L/P UUA 79-54 in the presence of the driver of the said vehicle along with two other passengers. The search resulted in the discovery of a black plastic bag which contained six small transparent bags suspected to contain cocaine. As a result, all three persons were detained and escorted to the Corozal Police Station where further searches were conducted on the vehicle, leading to the discovery of another black plastic bag under the passenger seat containing twelve small transparent plastic bags containing suspected cocaine. Both bags were weighed in the presence of the three persons namely Pedro Alfonso Betancourt Reed, age 52, Mexican of Chetumal City, Alfonso Iglesias Jr, age 51, Belizean tailor of Consejo Road, Corozal Town, and Jose Nu�ez, age 51, Belizean Businessman of San Pedro Town, Belize District. One bag amounted to 159 grams and the other to 136 grams. Both bags were sealed in their presence and labeled as exhibit.

Ambergris Today

Cancer Struggle of Belize's First Lady Featured in American Way Magazine
Belize City, October 4th 2012-The first lady of our nation, Kim Simplis Barrow, is once again featured in the October issue of American way, American Airlines' popular inflight magazine. The piece chronicles Barrow's battle with stage three breast cancer, in an article dubbed, "The Fighter". Click here to learn more about this article. Across the world, October is celebrated as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and as a tribute to millions who have fought the disease, the magazine highlights Mrs. Barrow's resiliency. Editor of the magazine, Adam Pitluk, writes, "Kim Simplis Barrow is our friend." Undoubtedly, it is a description that every Belizean can attest to. Whilst she has been a champion for the Belizean people, Kim's truest test came when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Iron Man Takes the Challenge for Iron Kids
When does 2+2=8? When the Rotary Club of Belize matches all funds donated to the Iron Cause for Iron Kids Program. Rotarian Jim Scott has been in serious training for the 2012 Iron Man Triathlon in Cozumel, Mexico, held on his 50th birthday, November 25, 2012. Together with Rotary Belize, Jim is raising donations for the Dorothy Menzies Child Care Center. Please help Jim raise the funds to bring urgently needed improvements for the children. Kindly take donations to Scotia Bank, account # 9132885; making non-cash deposits out to the Rotary Club of Belize; Reference: Iron Cause. For more info;

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize's Clown Ozzy off to Mexico for convention
Belize's very own Clown OZZY is planning to go to a Clown Convention in Mexico City from the 19th to the 26 of this month... there are two things he wishes for; One is for your Continued support ...And two is for your Moral support. Last year OZZY represented us proudly under the Belizean Flag. Take a look at the site and you will see him. We ask that you please make this possible by making a small donation. He will always have Belizean Kids and Adults alike laughing through the ages. Contact OZZY at 6287999. "Thanks in Advance" - OZZY

Ignite the Peace Demonstration
The Ignite the Peace demonstration was peaceful, and 1000's showed up in solidarity at Columbus Park.

Cayo Solidarity Shutdown
Most stores are closed downtown. Patrick Jones was in town early to cover today's stories. "The shutdown of San Ignacio and Santa Elena has begun."

Oxtails is definitely a Caribbean dish. Oxtail is exactly what the name says "the tail of the ox or cow." In this video my husband Joe shows us how he cooks this dish. The beef was tender after it was done and the gravy was thick and spicy. We served it over white rice, but it can be served with Belizean Rice and Beans too.

Peace rally against crime in Cayo, Belize [VIDEO]
The peace rally against crime in San Ignacio, Cayo District. We have the live streaming here.

We now offer Cartoonizing Services
I am proud to announce that iBelmopan is now offering a cartoonizing service for all Belizeans. Above is a cartoonized photo of a couple that we did. If you are interested in our cartoonizing services visit our Cartoonize Me section on our blog for more information.

Belize Mega Bingo Result For (10 October 2012)
Y 125.00 Each (12 Balls) 37 �68 �52 �50 �34 �65 �1 �49 �2 �33 �67 �24� Straight Line 100.00 Each (12 Balls) 37 �68 �52 �50 �34 �65 �1 �49 �2 �33 �67 �24� Letter X 750.00 Each (25 Balls) 37 �68 �52 �50 �34 �65 �1 �49 �2 �33 �67 �24 �58 �6 �48 �71 �18 �61 �53 �69 �72 �20 �44 �11 �26� Inside World 1000.00 Each (25 Balls) 37 �68 �52 �50 �34 �65 �1 �49 �2 �33 �67 �24 �58 �6 �48 �71 �18 �61 �53 �69 �72 �20 �44 �11 �26�

Channel 7

Cayo Community Unites! Will Criminals Take Heed?
Today, businesses and schools in the twin towns of Santa Elena and San Ignacio were shut down and hundreds of citizens came out to participate in the Solidarity Peace Movement. It was a peaceful but purposeful protest against crime - because while everyone knew that the strong showing wouldn't magically end crime - it is clear that the community wanted to be somehow engaged in something meaningful and cathartic. Our coverage starts in Belmopan - where students at the University of Belize remembered their fellow students. Jules Vasquez has the story:.. Jules Vasquez reporting This morning at 8:00 UB Students gathered at the main campus in Belmopan to remember their dead, Norval Belisle and Suzenne Martinez. The spirit was strong and there was prayerful reflection and a symbol of justice from Norval Belisle's mother. Norval Belisle's mom "I light this torch for justice and peace because in this country we have none."

GOB To Cayo: Coming As Fast As We Can!
And that pickup truck is part of the official response to the concerns taken to the Prime Minister by the Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association. They submitted a seven-point list of demands to the Prime Minister on Monday. These were taken to Cabinet on Tuesday and last night the CEO in the Ministry of National Security was supposed to present a progress report to the community at a town meeting in San Ignacio. But, things never got that far, the crowd was antsy and impatient with Attorney General Wilfred Elrington who scolded them about kids not brought up right - and told them that in his Pickstock Division he has to deal with many more murders than Cayo does. That was enough for the crowd, which just got up and walked out en masse on the A-G who was left at the microphone talking. It was an embarrassment beyond compare for the government - and more than that - it stopped them from getting the message out that many of those seven points would be dealt with - like - immediately. Today, the CEO in the Ministry of National Security discussed the progress made on the registry of sex offenders with a monitoring system for those who get out on bail.

Kareem Dixon Allegedly Killed By Wife, Now Couple's Son Shot
On Monday we told you about 37 year old Kareem Dixon - the security guard who was stabbed to death by his common-law-wife Melanie Staine. Staine is still being investigated and may face charges. But while that hangs over the family's head they have another misfortune to deal with. The couple's son is hospitalized after he was shot last night on Mopan Street. 17 year old Malik Dixon was travelling in a grey Toyota Corolla driven at the time by 20 year old Ellis Meighan. While Meighan and Dixon were heading towards Ebony Street, two men who were standing on Mopan Street opened fire on the vehicle. Dixon was shot in the right lower back and was rushed to the KHMH. In an interview today with his mother, Melanie Staine, says that her son is stable at this time and is recovering well.

Police Give Briefing About Incident
Police Press Officer Raphael Martinez held a media briefing this morning - in which he spoke about the incident. Raphael Martinez - Police Press Officer "On Wednesday 10th October at approximately 8:45pm police visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they saw a 17 year old Belizean student Malik Dixon with an apparent gunshot wound to the lower back. Initial investigations revealed that at approximately 8:40pm on that same evening Malik and a friend were travelling in a grey Toyota Corolla along Mopan Street when they were fired upon by two male persons standing on the street side. As a result Malik sustained the injuries." "Malik is presently at the Karl Heusner Memoral Hospital in a critical but stable condition. Police are again asking for your assistance to solve these crimes. By bringing these criminals to justice you can call any of the nearest police station or 911 or 922-TIPS/Crime stoppers." "I want to mention as well that retrieve from the scene of this incident were 9 expended 9mm shells."

Man Remanded For Gun That Snapped Three Times
21 year-old Alfred Mahler, a construction worker of Pelican Street, is at prison tonight after he was taken to Magistrate's court for allegedly pulling a firearm on a man. According to 21 year-old Linsford Lord at around 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 6, he was riding his bicycle. When he arrived at the corner of Pelican and Curassow Streets, a man, who he identified as Mahler, approached him and pulled out a black handgun. Lord said that Mahler immediately pointed it at his face and pulled the trigger 3 times, but the gun misfired with 3 clicks. Lord sped off on his bicycle and went immediately to the Queen Street Police Station where he made his report. Police investigated and the charged Mahler with aggravated assault. He was taken before Magistrate Adolph Lucas, where he pleaded not guilty. Due to the nature of the offence, he couldn't get bail, and he was remanded to prison until November 14.

The Harvest Moves To Orange Walk
On Monday, we showed you the Harvest for Kids effort, which the members of the Belize Camping Experience made over weekend at Banana Bank. They had 11 combines going all at once - to harvest a 20 acre corn field in 26 minutes. It was organized by the Belize Camping Experience, an innovative outreach program that seeks to take at-risk children from Belize City out of the cycle of violence, and show them a different way of life. Today, another mass mechanized harvest was held in San Carlos. We attended that harvest and found that traditional Mennonite communities who don't use combustion engines also participated. Here's what the Mayor of Blue Creek, and the Director of the program told us: Abe Dyck, Mayor, Blue Creek Village "What happen here is a project for Harvest for Kids where we were invited to join with different farmers and with the Belize Camping Experience to raise funds for the camping program that is going on in Belize City and we were invited to join them and we they were asking how we could raise some funds for that project and as farmers this is one way that we can try to help support that. We decided that all together we will go ahead and plant 21 acres of corn and whatever the proceeds from that will go towards helping send children to camp in Belize City."

Tonight's Profile is about Jorge Pelayo. He's a career educator - and a muscle man who would have given Rigo Vellos a run for his money three decades ago. Tonight he talks about his life's journey as an educator and a sportsman.

Medical Tourism Draft Proposal Ready, All On Board
The consultations on medical tourism have been going on for the last three months. And now the consultant has come up with what's called a draft sector strategy - which means consultation is finished - and now the work comes to crafting the policy document. The various stakeholders held a final consultation followed by a press conference in Belize City today - and here's what they said:.. Mike Singh, CEO - Trade and Investment "As we discussed in the meetings the vision of the government is to develop an industry that will create employment job opportunities, secondly, will afford us technology transfer to create the kind of knowledge jobs that Belize needs and also improve for Belizeans healthcare that right now is being exported. A lot of our Belizeans healthcare recipients actually travel to places like Merida, Guatemala and Miami for medical attention." Massimo Manzie, Consultant "This has been 3 months that we will be in Belize to analyze the competitiveness environment that Belize has. Belize has a lot to offer to medical tourist. This is a renowned retirement destination - a natural tourism destination. This is a place where people really like to come; this is an English speaking country - a country that is not facing the same communication problems that other problems in Latin America that are willing to receive patients are facing."

Channel 5

Sedi no ready; Cayo residents walk out Elrington's meeting
Attorney General, Wilfred "Sedi" Elrington, was deployed to San Ignacio on Wednesday night to cool down temperatures of residents, who have been protesting a recent upsurge in crime and violence in the Cayo District. The crowd overflowed the ITVET building where the public meeting was being held. Among the topics covered, were the removal of [...]

Igniting a peaceful demonstration against crime in Cayo
There was a total shutdown today of the business community in San Ignacio. By any measure, it was a monumental success and after Wednesday night's disastrous public meeting with the attorney general, residents came out in full force to support the anti-crime demonstration. They were joined by UB, Galen and Sacred Heart students. The community's [...]

National Security says residents will get most of their demands
Within hours that the demonstration fizzled, government was quick to act and with the speed of light, a promised pickup truck was delivered to the San Ignacio police. The new pickup comes as part of a pledge made by the Ministry of National Security to meet the demands of the people. While the vehicle is [...]

From Guangzhou to Belize; visas please!
There’s another situation that is building up. Belizean passports are not the only hot commodities being sought by foreigners seeking a new identity. Years ago, the Government of Belize actually implemented an economic citizen program, which was viewed as the bucket sale of passports. While it legitimized what was once an illegal activity, the recent [...]

Economic Indicators pumps out fuel prices
It would be logical that if oil prices are going down, the price of fuel should follow suit, but that's not the case. In fact, of late, it is the opposite. Tonight we look at historical data of the world price per barrel of West Texas Crude; fuel acquisition costs and pump prices for the [...]

S.S.B. Chairman says B.E.L. property not needed as security for debenture
As you've heard by now, the Investment Committee of the Social Security Board (S.S.B.) has approved a fifteen million dollar investment in the government owned Belize Electricity Limited. As soon as that came to light, attorneys for Fortis, the previous owner who is challenging the nationalization, gave notice that Fortis will be heading to court [...]

Who stole her 2000 Kia Sportage?
An employee of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital is tonight up in arms after her green 2000 Kia Sportage, with license plates C-24565 was stolen from inside the parking lot of the institution. Sandra Bradshaw is furious because despite security on the compound as well as surveillance cameras, someone drove off with ease in her [...]

Cops leave decomposing body overnight in house
An area of Cairo Street, off Euphrates Avenue, was cordoned off this morning. The body of an elderly man was found on Wednesday but it was not removed by the authorities until this morning. The overpowering stench caused discomfort to the neighborhood; the police say they could not pin down the pathologist so the body [...]

Teen shot in the back
On Monday, we reported on the death of thirty-seven year old Kareem Dixon, who was killed by his common-law-wife, Melanie Staine during a domestic dispute. Well tonight, their seventeen year old son is hospitalized after being shot on Wednesday night. Malik Dixon, who works in Orange Walk, only returned to Belize City after his father's [...]

Charged for Aggravated Assault since gun misfired at man's head
An incident at the corner of Pelican and Curassow Streets on Saturday night has left a Belize City man traumatized while his attacker is behind bars. According to twenty-one year old Linsford Lord, he was riding his bicycle on Pelican Street when a lone gunman walked up to him, pointed a gun at his face [...]

Honduran National to be deported for illegal entry to Belize
A nineteen year old mother of two, who illegally entered Belize five months ago has been caught and is now facing deportation. Honduran national, Yuri Estefanie Dubon, was picked up during routine checks by Immigration Personnel at the Belize City Bus Terminal on Wednesday morning. She appeared in Magistrates Court today where she was deemed [...]

Medical Tourism workshop prepares for the inevitable
The Ministries of Health and Tourism in partnership with BELTRAIDE are one step closer to getting medical tourism in the Belize off the ground. A series of consultations and workshops ended today, with the launching of the medical tourism sector strategy and policy, developed by international consultant, Massimo Manzi. It was a three month job, [...]

Will Medical Tourism benefit Belizean doctors and institutions?
When the idea of developing medical tourism was first announced, members of the Belize Medical and Dental Association were not onboard because they hadn't been consulted. There were also concerns that foreign doctors would be the only ones benefitting. But after being included in the planning process, BMDA is now behind the initiative. The association [...]

UB and primary school students clean up the coast
Aside from participating in anti-crime initiatives, the University of Belize is involved in other social activities. Over the weekend, the UB students took the lead with primary school students in a cleanup campaign that started in the area of the lighthouse and spread to other areas of the city. And in the process, the younger [...]

Healthy Living gets prenatal care
A part of Millennium Development Goal Number four is to reduce the rate of infant mortality. That is bringing down the number of babies that die before they reach one year of age. Currently, Belize has a rate of twenty-one deaths per thousand live births. As a part of reducing this number, the Central Health [...]


Principal's Attorney Speaks On Her Behalf
On Monday morning 27 teachers and most of the student body of Orange Walk Technical High School walked out of class in protest of Principal Elizabeth Muschamp who has been at the helm of the school for almost a year now. To make a story short, teachers are not in agreement with the way Mushamp manages the school and the fact that she implements changes at the school without consultation, only adds insult to injury. On the day of the walkout teachers also expressed that they have a problem with Muschamp's husband running the school's cafeteria and were in disagreement with the expulsion of a 17 year old student who was allegedly accused by Muschamp of consuming alcohol during the September 8th Carnival held in the old capital. Bottom line is, they wanted Muschamp gone no if's or buts'. So, to appease the situation Minister of Education Youth and Sports Honorable Patrick Faber descended to Orange Walk and held a meeting with the school's faculty, board of directors and members of the District Education office where it was agreed on that the board, the principal and District Education Manager will meet with the staff to hear their concerns before the end of the week; and this meeting will be preceded by a meeting between the principal and heads of department. But as they say there are two sides to a story. Now, we've definitely heard the teacher's side and yesterday Mushamp's attorney Arthur Saldivar gave us his client's side of the events.

Conmen Captured In Corozal
They posed as employees of an oil company looking for a cook and even took money from two possible candidates and that action caused that the two men from the Corozal District be charged for obtaining property by deception. Reports are that on two separate occasions Darrington Williams and George Vega, who also goes by the name of Jesus Amaya or Jorge Amaya, visited the home of two women and fed them with a story that they were looking for someone to cook for the employees of an oil company which they also worked for. The men then took money from the women with the promise that a bank account will be opened in their name and soon the first payment from the oil company would be deposited for their cooking services. Upon receiving the money, both men exchanged telephone numbers with the women who also handed over their social security cards. A few hours after the encounter, the women dialed the numbers given to them only to find out that they had been conned. The women immediately reported the matter to police and the men were detained while boarding a bus.

Four Men Charged For Circle K Robbery
Four men have been charged for the October 2nd robbery of Circle K Supermarket in Corozal Town. Brothers Paul Massam and Mark Massam, Anthony Roaches and Giovanni Young were picked up by Corozal Police on Monday and charged for robbing the proprietors of Circle K Supermarket located on College Road. Since the crime was committed with a firearm, all four men were denied bail when they appeared before the Corozal Magistrates Court yesterday and remanded to the Belize Central Prison until there next court date scheduled for December 6th. Viewers might recall that on October 2nd just before closing time, four masked men entered Circle K Supermarket brandishing a firearm. During the robbery the proprietors of the establishment were severely beaten by the assailants who managed to escape with an undisclosed amount of cash.

C.C.C. Awarded For Best Marching Band
On September 21st Belize celebrated its 31st anniversary. Country wide Belizeans celebrated their freedom by participating in several activities including the 21st of September parade which was one of the highlights here in Orange Walk. To put an extra oomph to the 21st parade, the Orange Walk Town Council organized a competition for the best float, best marching band and the best carnival group. The first prize for each category was $500.00 and today the winners of the competition received their checks. The title of the best marching band went to Corozal Community College who captured the attention of young and old. Jasmine Canul- Student Director C.C.C Marching Band "It is like talking in general, well, we are always here to serve our community and also to expose the potential that our members have and our passion is music and we try to encourage other students, maybe other kids with talent and we also do this to show what Belize has and also to expose our talent to the world and also for other children to know maybe they don't know if they have certain talents but through music they can express themselves and discover themselves."

Unions And GOB Sign Partial Bargaining Agreement
Since September 2008, the Belize National Teacher's Union, the Public Service Union and the Association of Public Service Senior Managers have been negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement with a 23 point proposal. For years now the unions have been attempting to get GOB around the table for negotiations to progress. Yesterday afternoon Representatives from the three unions along with government negotiators including a subcommittee of cabinet ministers comprising of Minister of Education Patrick Faber, Senator Godwin Hulse and Senator Charles Gibson, gathered at the Radisson Fort George in Belize City where a partial collective bargaining agreement was signed. The agreement didn't include a raise of salary but rather a long list on allowances set to be increased. The list includes increase of allowances for cashiers, increase allowances in housing and rent for public officers and teachers among others. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education there is an increase in daily subsistence; that's travelling allowances for general workers as well as established workers, there is an increase in hazardous allowances, there is an increase in the allowance-entertainment allowance as it relates to heads of departments-there is an increase in travelling allowance for public officers who travel abroad, there is an increase in motor vehicle allowance, there is an agreement for public sector modernization to include a performance appraisal system or meritocracy system, a position classification plan, review of the public service regulations, review of the government workers regulations, and an institutional audit of the public service; all of these form a part of that public sector modernization plan that we're agreeing to today. There is an increase in the responsibility allowance for principals and vice principals depending on the size of their schools. There is career path remuneration, there is an increase in commuting allowances, there is I believe increase in hardship allowances for teachers who are in rural areas who have to commute. There is an increase in the-the establishment of a teacher training subsidy.

Belize Celebrates World Mental Health Day
Today Belize joins the international community in celebration of World Mental Health Day under the theme "Depression: A Global Crisis". The observation of World Mental Health Day seeks to raise public awareness about mental health issues, promote open discussions to reduce stigma and discrimination and also to advocate for investment in prevention and treatment services. This afternoon a forum was held at the Multi Purpose Complex which saw the participation of five secondary educational institutions namely Muffles College, Orange Walk Technical High School, New Hope High School, Bishop Martin High School, and Orange Walk ITVET. Each school was represented by two students who made a presentation on depression and its affects on adolescence.


A man detained in Cayo
One man has been detained in connection to a report of maim in the Cayo District. The police press officer provided details this morning.

Stabbing in the City of Belize
Criminals were hard at work over the weekend in Belize City where on Friday, a Businessman was hospitalized after being stabbed. Police press officer Raphael Martinez has more on this incident.

Demonstration in San Ignacio and Santa Elena
Out west, the people of San Ignacio and Santa Elena turned out in the hundreds to demonstrate against crime. But what culminated in the mass gathering at the Columbus Park started with a Sunday afternoon meeting not far from ground zero. Love TV's Patrick Jones and video journalist Brian Castillo were in Cayo for the event and bring you the following report. The demonstrators got the requisite permit from the police department, and from early began to gather inside the town's main park for their protest. Although the demonstration was held in San Ignacio town, the message was aimed squarely at Belmopan. The people of San Ignacio and Santa Elena are hoping for a response to their petitions by Wednesday. Failing a favorable response, they intend to stage an even bigger demonstration on Thursday, which should include a simultaneous shutdown of businesses. We'll keep you posted on developments out west

Shooting in Santa Elena
In Santa Elena Town in the Cayo District, a man was hospitalized following a robbery, which could have a fatal incident.


Torch run ends with Peace Rally in San Ignacio
The morning air was palpable with the wind of change as students, teachers, parents, concerned citizens and childr...

No decision yet on BTL case in Court of Appeal
The Court of Appeal of Belize, after three days of oral argument, has not given a decision on Civil Appeals 18, 19,...

Alfred Mahler remanded after Saturday's shooting in Belize City
21-year-old Linsford Lord is fortunate to be alive today after a lone gunman walked up to him and pulled the trigge...

Another Belize City youth is shot and injured
Another Belize City youth is shot and injured. Around 8:45pm last night (OCT 10) police visited K. H. M. H where th...

Canada donates Integrated Ballistic Identification System
The Government and People of Belize, not a second too soon, are receiving much-needed assistance from governments a...

Belize City construction worker robbed at gunpoint
Edwin Ruben Erazo, a Honduran construction worker of Mahogany Street, Belize City reported to police that he was ro...

A government worker held up by a 10 years old
A government worker is held up by a 10 year old child. 34 year old Elia Juanita Avilez, a Public Officer of Belize ...

43 years old Belize City fisherman missing
Shanname Banner, of 5th Avenue, Corozal Town yesterday file a missing person report with police. She says that arou...

The Guardian

SSB's Solid $15M Investment in BEL
On Wednesday, October 10th, the Chairman of the Social Security Board, Douglas Singh and the Chairman of SSB's Investment Committee, Nestor Vasquez, met with the media to appraise them of a proposed 15- million-dollar investment, which the Social Security Board will be making in Belize Electricity Limited. According to Singh, the investment committee has made the recommendation to make the investment and the Board has accepted the recommendation. It is now a matter of a legal process where the decision has to be published twice in the Gazette and in two consecutive publications of two newspapers before the disbursement is made. The 15-million-dollar investment, according to Vasquez, is a solid one and at this time. it is a golden opportunity to secure the SSB's funds. BEL invited the SSB to purchase debentures, which are being expanded from 17 million dollars to 25 million dollars. As a result of this, there was an offer for the Board to purchase 5 million preferred shares with a guaranteed rate of return of 5% per year for a lifespan of 3 years. According to Singh, the debentures will be purchased for 5 million dollars ,while the preferential shares will be purchased at 2 dollars each amounting to 10 million dollars bringing the investment to a total of 15 million dollars. According to both Vasquez and Singh, there is an excess liquidity in the SSB with the most recent figures showing that it has 150 million dollars that is earning very little and over the last two years, the returns are consistently being reduced to below 4 percent. Vasquez noted that currently BEL has some 26 million dollars that is available for investment. These monies, he noted, is earning between 1 and 1/4 percent to 2 percent when 15 million can be invested in BEL to receive 7 percent on debentures and 5 percent on shares.

Government reaches Agreement with Unions
"The collective bargaining agreement journey began in September of 2008. Little did we know at its inception that it would be such an extensive and trying journey," said Marvin Blades, President of the Public Service Union. The Government of Belize signed a Partial Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Public Service Union (PSU), Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) and the Association of Public Service Senior Managers (APSSM) on Tuesday, October 9th, four years after the process started. Both sides were relieved after the agreement was signed. Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, signed on behalf of the Government. He chairs the Cabinet sub-committee appointed to negotiate with the Unions. Faber said, "We join our union counterparts to celebrate this partial agreement, which represents a realistic picture of what it is we are able to do as a Government given the economic situation we are facing now." "What it is we are able to do" excludes a 30% salary adjustment which was one of the union's main proposals. Faber said the Government could not agree to the salary adjustment at this time because it would be unmanageable. Representatives from both sides agreed to an extent. One senior government officially simply said, "It is unrealistic and unreasonable." To the question if it is unreasonable at this time, a union representative said, "It is not etched in stone." The 30% salary adjustment is one of 23 proposals, however, it was not featured in the partial agreement. That and a few others remain on the negotiating table and will be the focus of a final agreement.

Cayo Community bands Together against Crime
On Wednesday, October 10th, Attorney General, Hon. Wilfred Elrington was at the ITVET building in San Ignacio where he met with residents of the Cayo area to discuss the crime situation in that district. Accompanying the AG was the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of National Security, Col. George Lovell. Minister Elrington's visit was as a result of an earlier meeting which was held between the Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow and a newly formed group, the Solidarity Movement for Justice and Peace, on Monday October 8th. In that meeting which lasted an hour, the Prime Minister expressed his great concern over the growing crime problem and decided on asking the Attorney General to attend the meeting since he was the one responsible for the justice system. The overarching sentiment by the gathering, which packed the room, was that the Director of Public Prosecutions be replaced and that a forensic laboratory be put in place as soon as possible. On the question of the DPP, Elrington explained that she was one of the best prosecutors and legal minds in the country and she can only work with what evidence is given to her. People cannot be convicted unless there is evidence, he noted, and added that the entire community can contribute much for that to take place.

UDP Executive Committees for the South
On Saturday, October 6th, elections and endorsements took place for the New UDP Executive Committee for the Toledo West Division. The meeting was held in Columbia Village, Toledo. Present for the selection of officers were Party Chairman Hon. Patrick Faber; Roosevelt Blades, Vice-Chairman and National Party Coordinator, Ruben Campos. Also present was the Divisional Caretaker Juan Coy. Elected to serve in the constituency were Chairperson: Nicasio Sanchez and members: Richard Peck, Andres Coh, Adrian Cus, Lindley Ramclam, Enero Bol, Nelson Teck, Anna Muschamp, Domingo Cal, Santiago Sam, Eduardo Pou, Galo Mejangre, Alberto Choco, Rufino Choc and Andres Canti. Selected as alternates were: Irideo Bolon, Emilio Makin, Gustavo Bul, Francisco Chub and Juan Cus. At the gathering, Hon. Patrick Faber addressed them and explained that it was important to be united as a Party and continue to work together to return Toledo West with a UDP Representative. He encouraged the newly elected executive committee to be vocal, to participate in the political affairs of the division and work together with the caretaker to unite the party. After the address, the Hon. Patrick Faber, then swore in the new executive members.

Re-enlisted Policemen get Salary Adjustment
On Thursday, October 4th, Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar handed out letters to some 20 police officers effectively adjusting their salaries. According to Minister Saldivar, it has long been the practice at the Police Department that when police officers leave the department and re-enlist, they are brought it at a salary far below where they were before. Now, the Ministry has sought to correct that situation. Over 200 officers across the country find themselves in the position and the situation has been corrected. The officers, who have re-enlisted will now be receiving the salary equivalent to what it was when they left. That is also being implemented retroactive to when the officers re-enlisted. After handing out the letters of salary adjustments, Minister Saldivar took time out to take questions and concerns from the policemen and women present. Concerns presented by officers included instances where officers leave the department at a certain rank and when they are re-enlisted they are taken in as police constables. That, said Minister Saldivar, will be a thing of the past where officers, who leave the department and are re-enlisted will be done at the rank where they left at.

UDP Executive Committees for the South
On Saturday, October 6th, elections and endorsements took place for the New UDP Executive Committee for the Toledo West Division. The meeting was held in Columbia Village, Toledo. Present for the selection of officers were Party Chairman Hon. Patrick Faber; Roosevelt Blades, Vice-Chairman and National Party Coordinator, Ruben Campos. Also present was the Divisional Caretaker Juan Coy.

Re-enlisted Policemen get Salary Adjustment
Minister John Saldivar addresses police officers. On Thursday, October 4th, Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar handed out letters to some 20 police officers effectively adjusting their salaries. According to Minister Saldivar, it has long been the practice at the Police Department that when police officers leave the department and re-enlist, they are brought it at a salary far below where they were before. Now, the Ministry has sought to correct that situation. Over 200 officers across the country find themselves in the position and the situation has been corrected. The officers, who have re-enlisted will now be receiving the salary equivalent to what it was when they left. That is also being implemented retroactive to when the officers re-enlisted.

Joe Coye fails in Application to strike out case
Former Area Representative for the Caribbean Shores Constituency, Joe Coye was in court on Tuesday, October 9th where he had applied to have a case against him struck out. The matter was one where the Government of Belize is taking Coye before the court on charges of misfeasance in public office. Government is claiming that Coye along with former Minister of Lands Florencio Marin, Sr., transferred 56 parcels of Government land to a company owned and or controlled by Coye and underpaid for it.

EU underlines Commitment to universal abolition of the Death Penalty
The following is a statement from Catherine Ashton, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, on the European and World Day against the Death Penalty, 10 October 2012. Today is World and European Day against the Death Penalty. The European Union is opposed to the use of capital punishment in all cases and under any circumstances. Its universal abolition is one of the key objectives of EU human rights policy. Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, said: "Capital punishment is a cruel, inhumane and irreversible action that violates the basic human right to life and dignity. In the case of any miscarriage of justice, from which no legal system is immune, it represents a terrible and irreversible loss of human life. The death penalty can neither reverse the crime it seeks to punish nor mitigate a victim's loss. It should be a relic of the past." The European Union regularly reaffirms its opposition to the death penalty and uses the various diplomatic tools at its disposal - including statements, demarches and Human Rights Dialogues with its partners - to advance the cause of worldwide abolition. The movement towards abolition is one of the top priorities in its recently adopted Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy, as well as under the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR).

Teachers and High School Students protest for Removal of school Principal
On Monday, October 8th, teachers, students and parents of Orange Walk Technical High School (OWTHS) staged a protest against the principal, Elizabeth Muschamp, in front of the institution's premises. The protest was for her removal following numerous allegations in respect to her attitude and manner of dealing with issues pertaining to the school.

Information and Communication Technology for All Belizeans
"The purpose of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Road Show is to go to the unconverted-people who don't know about ICT-show them the benefits and teach them how it can be used to make their business more profitable," said Dr. Colin Young, C.E.O. in the Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities.

Government to recruit Country's Top Science Students
In the 2012 Global Competitiveness Index Report Belize is ranked 123 out of 142 countries in terms of competitive economies of the world. In this region, only Haiti is ranked lower. Dr. Colin Young, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities, said that one of the factors contributing to the low rating is our inability to innovate. "Innovation is key to our national development," said Young. He continued, "As a country we are primarily users of technology. We have very few of our people inventing and we know that our people are as bright as anybody else." Young said the Ministry is well aware that "we need to provide the environment through which our people can innovate."

New Youth Group in Lake-I
Area Representative for the Lake Independence constituency, Hon. Mark King has set up a new youth group in that constituency. Hon. King says the group was set up as a direct response to crime in the area. The group seeks to involve young people between the ages of 12 and 18 years of age in productive activities to steer them away from negative past times and crime. The group has been in existence for two weeks and so far, it has a membership of 20 young people. The group is now seeking to increase the numbers and anyone, who is interested in joining or contributing to the efforts can call the chairlady of the youth committee, Tameca Baizar or Shawna Gillett at telephone number 223-0059. Young people from the Lake-I constituency are encouraged to join.

Three Years for Sexual Molestation of a 16-year-old
On Friday, October 5th, Wood Pecker Street resident, 43-year-old Patrick Payne was found guilty of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a 16-year-old girl.

Guatemalan Shot in Chiquibul
A man believed to be a Guatemalan national was shot and killed in the Chiquibul forest reserve by a BDF Soldier. Police report that on Friday, October 5th, they visited the Ceibo Chico Area in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve where they found the lifeless body of a man, who is believed to be a Guatemalan national. The body was clad in a greet shirt and blue jeans and a pair of rubber boots and has a tattoo with the marking 'Foy' on the right arm. The man was found about 175 feet into a feeder road in the area. Investigations by police indicate that at around 11:30 on Thursday, October 4th a BDF Soldier and Forestry Officer were in the area doing spot checks when the soldier saw the man in the bushes. He followed the man, who was carrying a wooden box on his shoulder and had a machete in his right hand. Reports say the soldier ordered the man to stop however, he threw the box down and turned around. Again, the man was ordered to stop and throw down the machete however, he did not comply and advanced towards the soldier. This forced the soldier to fire at least 6 warning shots and took cover but the man continued to advance forcing the soldier to shoot him when he had reached about two feet from him.

Acquitted of Murder

On Friday, October 5th, 32-year-old Ealsine Gentle, who was on trial for the September 13th, 2008 stabbing death of Orlando Myers, walked out of Supreme Court a free man. A jury of 12 stepped into the deliberating room at 2:38 p.m. and when they emerged from the deliberating room 6 hours later, they found Gentle not guilty of murder. The case was heard before Justice Dennis S. Hanomansingh where Gentle had been accused of stabbing Orlando Myers, 3 times during a misunderstanding on a basketball court in the Village of Georgeville. According to the prosecution, Gentle had an altercation with a few boys on the basketball court during which he pulled out an 11-inch knife and stabbed Myers three times to the body. According to the crown's main witness, who was a good friend of the deceased, he was the intended victim of the knife attack however, Myers intervened and was stabbed instead. Myers was rushed to the San Ignacio hospital that night and later died at about 2:20 a.m.

Melanie Staine claims Self Defense in Slaying of Common-Law-Husband
35-year-old Melanie Staine was released by police on Monday after she was questioned for the killing of Kareem Dixon. Dixon was Staine's common-law husband and at about 11 p.m. on Saturday, October 6th, the couple got into a heated argument. According to a report by the couple's son, shortly after the argument started, Staine walked into the house and informed him that his father had slapped her across the face. The son grabbed a pint bottle, the mother grabbed a knife from the kitchen and, the two proceeded outside. When Dixon noticed the two coming, he started to move up the stairs of the house towards them. The son said that Dixon reached for his side like he was about to pull something from his pants and that's when Staine went forward and stabbed him to the left side of his chest. Dixon was rushed to the hospital by someone in the area at the time. He succumbed to the injury at 1:45 a.m. while receiving treatment. Melanie Staine, who is claiming a case of self defense, was arrested by police and released after instructions were handed down from the office of the Director of Public Prosecution. Police investigation into the incident continues and a decision will be made on Staine's fate at the conclusion.

Vega Cup Tournament continues in Orange Walk North
The 2012 Vega Cup Tournament continued on Sunday, October 7th in the Orange Walk North Constituency. In Group A games played, Old Skool defeated San Roman FC by the score of 9-0. The goals for Old Skool were scored by Jose Carlos Puerto, Marlon Miranda (2), Oliver Hendricks (4), Richard Gillett and Dedron Baptist. In game two, San Pablo FC and Barrio Boyz played to a 2-2 draw. The goal scorers for San Pablo FC were Jacobo Cosme and Edgar Itza, while the goal scorers for Barrio Boyz were Wilmer Padilla and Francis Coyoc. In the third game of the day, San Luis FC blanked New River Dynamite by the score of 2-0. The goal scorers for San Luis FC were Jose Marin and Henry Orellano. In the fourth and final game of the day, Santa Cruz FC also blanked Untouchables by the score of 5-0. The goal scorers for Santa Cruz FC were Josue Diaz, Enrique Castillo, Ernesto Chi and Luis Herrador, who scored twice. In Group B, San Jose Pumas defeated Douglas Galaxy by the score of 5-1. The goal scorers for San Jose Pumas were Osmar Uk, who scored two, Leonel Gongora, Aurelio Gongora, and Martin Francisco, while the goal scorer for Douglas Galaxy was Marco Correa.

Belize District Basketball rolls on at Bird's Isle
The Belize District Basketball competition in both the Firms and U-23 categories continued at Bird's Isle over the last weekend with a number of games. On Friday, October 5th, 2012, in the U-23 game Tuff E Nuff defeated Truckers by the score of 81-73. The top scorers for Tuff E Nuff were Jamal Kelly with 23 points and Luis Pitterson with 15 points. Meanwhile, the top scorers for Truckers were Carlston Barrera with 20 points and Winston Reynolds with 21 points. In the first game in the firms competition, Atlantic Bank won over BEL by the score of 58-51. The top scorers for Atlantic Bank were Ervin Orosco with 19 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals; and Marcel Orosco with 18 points, 12 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals. For the BEL squad, the top scorers were Lloyd Leslie with 26 points and 10 rebounds and; Brandon Cadle with 8 points and 5 rebounds. In game two, BTL won over the Belize Bank by the score of 54-48. The top scorers for BTL were Lennox Cayetano with 20 points and 18 rebounds and; Lupito Acosta with 10 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Meanwhile, the top scorers for the Belize Bank were Troy Gabb with 20 points, 3 rebounds and 3 steals; and Chris McGann with 10 points and 5 rebounds.

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Placencia Assassins and Belmopan Bandits at Top of the PLB standings
The Premier League of Belize Football Competition continued over the last weekend with 6 games across the country. On Saturday, October 6th, at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village, the host team Paradise/Freedom Fighters edged the visiting San Pedro Seadogs by the score of 3-1. The Paradise/Freedom Fighters got on the scoreboard first when Alexander Peters scored his team's 1st goal of the game in the 41st minute of play for a 1-0 lead. The lead was further increased when Victor Franco scored his team's 2nd goal in the 43rd minute of play. The first half of the game ended 2-0 in favour of the Paradise/Freedom Fighters. In the second half of the game, the Paradise/Freedom Fighters were able to score once more when Onest Martinez scored his team's 3rd and final goal of the game in the 87th minute of play. Meanwhile, the visiting San Pedro Seadogs was able to get on the scoreboard when Mario Chimal scored his team's only goal of the game in the 90th minute of play. At the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the Police United squad handed FC Belize its first defeat of the 2012 campaign when it blanked them by the score of 3-0. The Police United squad got on the scoreboard when Danny Jimenez scored the 1st of 2 goals in the 17th minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. In fact, that was the only goal really needed however, Evan Mariano scored his team's 2nd goal of the game in the 43rd minute of play. The final goal of the game was scored by Danny Jimenez in the 77th minutes of play.

Male team open Try-outs
The Belize Softball Federation announces that an OPEN TRYOUT for ALL Male softball players will be held on THURSDAY, October 11th and FRIDAY, October 12th, 2012 starting at 6:00 in the evening. This OPEN TRYOUT is for the selection of the 36 player pool to represent Belize at the Central American Male Softball Club Championship to be held in Guatemala City, Guatemala from November 22-26, 2012.

Belize District Volleyball comes to An End this Thursday
The Belize District Volleyball Association championships will come to an end on Thursday, October 11th, 2012, at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium. On Saturday, October 6th, 2012, three games were played in the championship series. In the female game, Moen Stars captured this year's title when it defeated Honey Bees by the score of 25-15 and 25-16. In the Firms Competition, Scotia Bank won over BTL by the score of 18-25, 25-20 and 15-12. In the final game of the evening in the male competition, SQ Devils defeated UK Hitters by the score of 27-25, 21-25 and 15-6.

Best Retirement Ever
60-year-old Eduardo Wade, Sr., is enjoying every minute of retirement. After retiring from 35 years of service as a police officer, Wade uses his time to be with his family, work on his farm and pick up six-digit cheques. The lucky Belmopan resident is the latest Lotto winner and on Monday, October 8th, he went to pick up his cheque for $142,375, which is 85% of Saturday's $167,500 Jackpot. For most, winning the Lotto would be an ecstatic experience but not for Wade. He was more relieved than excited saying, "After buying for so many years, at last my time had come." Wade has been buying Lotto ever since the game was introduced in Belize and almost missed his turn to win. He was laying down in a hammock on his farm when he decided to go put up an old rug. After throwing the rug in the farm house, he took a final look at it and saw the numbers 2, 3, 8 and 6. He used the four numbers to purchase one Lotto ticket for Saturday's drawing minutes before the deadline. It was while listening to the Boledo broadcast on Sunday that Wade heard a repeat of the winning Lotto numbers. They were his: 02, 03, 06, 08 and 23. Wade said after finding out that he had won "there was not much excitement but my wife and kids were happy to hear that I had won." He would not say what his exact plans for the money are but did say, "It has come at a good time and will serve us well."

Muscles and figures on display - Mr. Belize selected
The Belize Bodybuilding Federation held the 2012 Bodybuilding Championships in Belize City on October, 5th at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. It was well attended and fans got their money's worth when competitors flexed their toned bodies and muscles in 9 categories in the female and male competition. In the Female Categories, Charlyn Flowers took home first place in the Bikini Fitness while Michelle Gillett took home second place and Lorraine Lino was placed third. In the Body Figure competition, first place was Gina Lovell, second place went to Giselle Diaz and third place was taken by Arlene Welch. In the Women's Bodybuilding category, Lurnette Sankey-Young took home first place while Josel Gault took second place. For the men's competition Leroy Card took first place in the novice category while Eduar Burns placed second and Jose Alvarenga placed third. Dean Hemmans took the first place in the Men's Phisique competition while Robert Howes took second place, and Calbert Castillo took third place. In the Welterweight competition, there were two contestants with Deon Danderson besting Deon Ortiz. The Middleweight saw Guy Neal placing first and Eduar Burns placing second and Chris Carter placing third. The Light Heavyweight was taken by Rigo Vellos and Ernest Broaster taking second place and Deon Banner took third place. The overall winner in the competition was Rigo Vellos.

What about Maritza Santos?
Jasmine Lowe, Suzenne Martinez and Maritza Santos The San Ignacio and Santa Elena communities were once again publicly protesting the death of yet another young woman, 20 year-old, Suzenne Martinez, who was found dead in the morning of October 3rd. The killing has once again sparked the Cayo community to action and had them once again take to the park in front of the San Ignacio Police Station on Thursday, October 4th and again on Monday, October 8th. The residents came out because the man that was the primary suspect in the killing was not charged for the crime. He was instead transferred to the Belmopan Police Formation where he was charged for handling stolen goods and also investigated in the murder of a Belmopan resident, Robert Stephen Lewis. The protest was similar to the one that took place in the case of 13-year-old Jasmine Lowe, whose body was found on June 6th in the outskirts of San Ignacio town. At the time, the killing raised a wave of sentiments including candlelight vigils and a massive demonstration in front of the police station on June 20th when her alleged killer, Bert Vasquez was taken before a Magistrate and charged for murder. And while the nation looked on as protestors were out in force to demonstrate and demand justice for the two deaths, lost among those who organized the protests was Maritza Santos. She was a 19- year-old young lady who was also viciously killed, allegedly by her boyfriend who, after killing her attempted to take his own life and had to be taken out of the country to receive medical attention. The placards at the protest sought justice for Jasmine and Suzenne, but what about Maritza Santos? Have the people of Cayo forgotten about her and her alleged killer?

Message from the President - Tribute to Murdered Students
Norval Belisle, Jr. and Suzenne Martinez Colleagues, Students, Members of the Board of Trustees, and Alumni of the University of Belize Community. It is with deep sadness and profound concern that I am challenged to make sense of the untimely deaths of our two very promising students, Suzenne Martinez of San Ignacio and Norval Belisle, Jr. of Belmopan, who were taken from us within recent days. Our sympathies are with their parents and relatives as they seek, like we do, to ponder the senseless tragedies that have been inflicted upon our communities and the nation. In recent years, the vulnerabilities of our youth have become increasingly evident in the violence that has become a marked feature of our lives. Suzenne and Norval were shining lights, excellent students, and in the full blush of youth. However, they did not escape the dilemma that confronts us all - how to rebuild a sense of the beloved community within which we could nurture ourselves and each other. We must recognize that the violence which took them from us is an expression of the social breakdown that must be overcome if we are to offer our youth a chance of leading lives that provides a sense of accomplishment and fulfilment. As we mourn the loss of Suzenne and Norval and share the grief of their families and friends, we should call to mind the very moving tribute to love and loss penned by the Guyanese poet, Martin Carter: On behalf of the entire UB community, I extend our heartfelt sympathies to their families and friends as we all mourn the departure of two very promising souls. May they rest in peace.

Violence and News - Part 1 News Producers Defend Violent Content
Murdered 16-year-old featured recently on news For the week October 1st to October 5th, there were 42 articles on 7 News and Channel 5 News in which the subject was an individual 25-years-old or younger. In 37 of them, the individual either committed a crime or a crime was committed against them. It is content such as this that caused the Prime Minister's Chief Executive Officer, Audrey Wallace, to announce, "Increasingly the Belize Broadcasting Association (BBA) has been receiving a lot of complaints about the graphic details featured in news and the impact it has on children watching." Wallace, who sits on the BBA Board, was engaged in an open discussion with journalists from across the country at a United Nations Children's Fund sponsored media sensitivity workshop. She said that though Government would never attempt to censor the media, there needs to be a level of responsibility in news presentation. Janelle Chanona is one of the most respected journalists in Belize. She too expressed her dissatisfaction at the content featured on daily newscast and weekly publications. She said, "News in Belize has become infotainment." When asked if the content in their news is a fair microcosm of society, 7 News' Jules Vasquez said, "News is when there is a deviation from normal behavior." He continued, "A dog biting a man is normal behavior but a man biting back a dog is news." Vasquez says he watches news on a daily basis from different parts of the world and news is the same everywhere because "there is no further deviation from the norm than an adherent's violent behavior". Channel 5's news producer, Amalai Mai, responded to the question saying, "We report what is news. We have no control over what happens every day and we are not trying to portray our youths in a negative light but news is news." Vasquez explained further, "We report these deviations from the norm so that the public could be informed when they are happening in order to protect themselves."

The Reporter

Tribute to the Father of the Pan
In every generation there are those hand-selected few who do more than inspire their contemporaries. There are those who leave behind a legacy that can forever be seen, felt or admired. And, in the case of Dr. The Honourable Lennox A. Pike, his legacy can be heard and danced to whenever the rhythmic cadence of a steel pan is in the Belizean air. The deserving accolades were bestowed on the musical pioneer, when The National Institute of Culture and History (N.I.C.H.) acknowledged Dr. Pike for his role in introducing steel pan music to the Jewel. The laureate received his honor at the most fitting time: after Belizeans had enjoyed a melodious night of spectacular, feet-stomping renditions that were served up by several of Belize's top steel bands at the fourth, annual "Pan Yaad" Concert at the House of Culture on Friday, September 14. But for those who do not already know the story of the genesis of steel orchestras in Belize, The Reporter took the time to speak with Dr. Pike, who was more than happy to share the full story of how this unique Eastern Caribbean tradition was carried to our beloved Belizean shores.

Exploding cylinder kills Hector Duran
Hector "Chapin" Duran, a veteran tour guide for the past 20 years, died when a scuba tank exploded as he was filling it on the dock of the Amigos Del Mar Dive Shop in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. The accident occurred around 4:45 Monday afternoon, October 8. The explosion sent a shard of metal into Duran, disemboweling him. He died shortly afterwards. An eyewitness reported seeing the remains of the tank shoot into the sea nearby, still spewing gas, as the loud explosion rocked the dive shop and other buildings nearby. The Amigos Del Mar management has issued a press release lamenting the tragedy and announcing that it is cooperating fully with authorities investigating the incident. Fabrigas Belize Ltd. Plant Manager, Ezekiel Ayala, speculated on what may have happened. The scuba tank was being filled from a distribution manifold supplied by a compressor. The manifold has a pressure gauge and allows several tanks to be filled at the same time. But if the pressure gauge is giving a faulty reading, it may have caused Duran to inadvertently overfill the cylinder or exceed the rated pressure. Ayala cautioned that pressure gauges need to be checked from time to time for accuracy and if necessary, re-calibrated. Some compressors come with an automatic cut-off switch that will turn the compressor off when it reaches the pressure for which it has been set.

True definition of 'Transparency' and 'Accountability'
In almost every election season, the Belizean electorate gets an earful of promises of increased 'transparency' and increased 'accountability' from the defending incumbent and his opponent. It almost comes across as if the application of these twin concepts are dependent on the measure of their integrity and honesty. However, we should cringe at that thought, because the true application of what these concepts really refer to should never be dependent on the discretion of any political institution or administration. We should have autonomous agencies that are able to objectively scrutinize the administration. Agust�n Cartens, the former deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), giving an address at a 2005 regional workshop, said, "Transparency ensures that information is available that can be used to measure the authorities' performance and to guard against any possible misuse of powers.

Mexican policemen invade Chunox home and rob family
Two Mexican Judicial State police officers, Francisco Villanueva Gamboa, 24, and Walter Cordova Lopez, 46, were remanded to the Belize Central Prison, after they were arrested last week for allegedly robbing fisherman Julius Foreman, 27, and his family during a home invasion in Chunox, Village last Tuesday night. Corozal Magistrate, Clive Lino denied them bail last Friday morning when they pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated burglary, wounding, and handling stolen goods.

Fiona Mitchell, 32, acquitted of ammunition charge
Fiona Mitchell, 32, a food vendor of #4 Faber's Road, was acquitted of unlicensed possession of ammunition in the Belize City Magistrate's Court on Thursday, October 4. She was charged after Police allegedly found a single round of 0.32 calibre ammunition in a pink and black bag with two straps, when they searched a house on Faber's Road on August 16, 2011.

3 positive cases of Whooping cough identified
The Ministry of Health has recently confirmed three positive cases of Pertusiss (Whooping Cough) in Belize. The Ministry investigated 13 suspected cases of Pertusiss (Whooping cough), and has received preliminary results on five of them, of which two are negative. The suspected cases were sent for analysis at the Caribbean Epidemiology Center (CARDEC) in Trinidad and Tobago. MOH is awaiting final confirmation on the other eight cases.

10 Practical ways to reduce "stress"
Every day, in every aspect of our lives, we encounter the inevitable stressors of life. And while some level of stress (eustress) is needed to motivate us to be productive and successful, when not handled properly with whatever current resources we possess, distress can be very detrimental to our health and well-being. It is critical that we learn and put into practice, different methods and techniques, to help reduce or alleviate these unexpected and sometimes unavoidable stresses of life. Below are 10 practical ways in which this can be accomplished. 1. Organize: A famous writer once said that organization is the law of heaven, and whenever we do not abide by its principles of order, we are bound to experience hell on earth. When one's life is not organized, the clutter can cause annoying stress even for those without any type of anxiety or stress disorder.

Digicell, Airport, & Atlantic Bank win in firms' basketball
Telemedia Digicell, Airport, Belize Water Services, Port Belize and Atlantic Bank all enjoyed wins when the Belize City Firms' Basketball Competition continued at Bird's Isle over the weekend, while Tuff e'Nuff and Belize Bank enjoyed wins in the under-23 competition. Telemedia Digicell outlasted Belize Bank 54-48 in Friday's nightcap. Lennox Cayetano led with 20 pts, 18 boards, but Belize Bank's Troy Gabb matched him with three long 3-pointers for 20 pts and the score was tied 11-11 at the end of the quarter. Lupito Acosta drained in two more 3-pointers to add 10 pts, as Digicell surged ahead 28-13 at intermission. Chris McGann added 10 pts, 5 boards for the bankers with Divaun Williams also hitting a 3-pointer to add eight points and Eugene Courtenay and James Gentle were good for 4 pts each. BTL's Jason Lamb scored eight points to lead 36-21 in the third quarter and Chaka X and Otis Clother each scored six points for the Digicell win.

Rigo Vellos wins BBBFF's Mr Belize 2012
Rigo Vellos of Corozal has won the Mr. Belize, and Gina Lovell has won Ms. Belize Body Figure, when the Belize Body Building & Fitness Federation (BBBFF) held its annual Belize Body building and Fitness Championships at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts in Belize City last Friday night, October 5. Rigo Vellos won first prize and the trophy in the light Heavyweight Division, while Ernest Broaster of the Body 2000 gym took second prize. Dion Banner of Downtown Gym claimed the third prize. The contest was divided into weight divisions, and the evening climaxed with an overall contest for the most muscular physique among the winners of the various weight divisions. Rigo Vellos claimed top honors again to win the 2012 National Mr. Belize 2012 title. Guy Neal of Neal & Gordon's Gym won second prize, and novice champ, Leroy Card who also trains at Neal & Gordon's, took third.


Changing Directions
Today is dedicated to a few nameless people who are questioning their direction and anyone who sometimes feel like they are running in glue. I had to meet Cheryl at Banana Beach Resort today and hand over the check to Mama Vilma's Family Home from Cowboy's pool bar and grill for the Karen Waldrup lounge chair fundraiser. Not wanting to be on Belize time I knew I would ride my bike, I decided to go on my fav back road and hope for the best. I had already surrendered to the fact that pretty much any direction I went in I was going to have to travel through massive puddles. My best heading in that direction turned out to be getting away with a right foot soaker, I knew I was potentially going in a not so good direction but I did it anyways. I was glad to get off easy, I took the same road by foot a few times recently, ended up two major soakers yesterday and and on my @ss due to a slippery board the day before. On my way home I stood in the parking lot beside my bike for a second to think about riding home. I decided rather than potentially forgo the same wet fate, I was going to try another direction and see what happened. My top 2 choices were Los Caminantes road followed by the Mansions road, I decided closer was better.

Chaa Creek's 2012 Living Link to the Maya
With the approach of the 2012 Winter Solstice, an event earmarked in the Maya Long Count calendar thousands of years ago, the Lodge at Chaa Creek is preparing a series of activities to ensure that their December 21 2012 celebrations act as a "living link" between ancient and contemporary Maya culture, Chaa Creek owner and GM Lucy Fleming said today. "It's an exciting time here at Chaa Creek as we're preparing for the week long 2012 Maya Winter Solstice celebrations centred on December 21. It's our most ambitious project yet, and we want to make sure we get it right, from the educational lectures and workshops through to the grand procession to the ancient Maya temple of Tunichilen on the night of the winter solstice. "With the hand carved stone commemorative stela almost finished, as well as the plans for the Maya cultural village where workshops on Maya arts, crafts and traditional skills such as carving, thatching and cooking will be held, we're turning our attention to the menu for the elaborate Maya feast, traditional music and other details.

My First Dive in Belize
Learning to dive in Belize is easy and safe. For me, it was also quick; the first day involved an intensive PADI video training and on the second day I was ready to go on my first dive! The same can't be said for everyone learning to dive as it all depends on how quick you pick it up. The good news is that from my entire class, no one took longer than a week. And take into account that most people choose to take a day off during the course to relax or go on a tour. My first dive in Belize went somewhat like this: The loud motors of the dive boat slowed from their high-pitched whine to a baritone hum as we approached our dive sight near Ambergris Caye. The boat drifted towards a buoy, "I've got it!" shouted one of the dive masters. He then proceeded to tie the boat down as we eagerly geared up for our first dive. Diving in Belize is one of the main reasons why tourist visit Ambergris Caye. "Ok students, we're here," said our diving instructor. A petite man, no more than five feet tall and nearly forty years old, who had a Belizean accent that always seems to differ from one Belizean to the next, based on their locale. I had a few questions on the tip of my tongue; but, he answered them before I could speak. I looked towards the horizon and saw nothing but ocean stretching out like a rolling mirror until it merged seamlessly with the horizon and the cloudless sky. "Belize is beautiful," I gasped.

International Sources

Students make 2nd trek to Belize
A group of North Point High School students and teachers traveled out of the country once more to take their dedication to service beyond the walls of the Waldorf high school. In April, three students and two teachers from the school ventured to Belize for five days for a service trip, during which they observed a different culture's take on education and immersed themselves in a new environment while serving the community. Following the success of the trip and the impact of the experience, drafting teacher Dwight Brown said, the group returned in July, this time with more students and more time. "We had the opportunity to revisit Belize from July 9 to 16 and continue our work," Brown said. "This time, we took nine students down, and not from just the drafting program but from all over the school. I think the students saw how well it went the first time and wanted to get involved this time." The nine students and three teachers on the trip participated in service projects in the Central American country, including setting up a computer lab for a school in San Pedro, working with a local basketball team and training students and teachers in technology. Like last time, the group brought school supplies, athletic equipment and money for the community.

Eighth Amendment breaches basic structure
The Belize Constitution (Eighth Amendment) Bill is perhaps the most controversial amendment to the Constitution ever proposed. It was introduced in the House of Representatives on the July 22 2011 and was subject to widespread heated debate. The Belize Bar Association went so far as to procure two opinions from leading international constitutional law scholars. The amendment was introduced against the background of the Court of Appeal's decision that the government's nationalisation of Belize Telemedia Limited, and certain security interests of British Caribbean Bank Limited, was unlawful, null and void. The primary purpose of the amendment was to make the renationalisation beyond legal challenge. The Eighth Amendment was unprecedented in its implications for future challenges to constitutional amendments and to the power relationship between the executive, legislature and judiciary. Many regarded it as a threat to democracy.

How To Taste Wine - Wine Tasting Tips for Everyone
"Learn how to taste wine! With helpful wine tasting tips including how to smell and slurp when tasting. Plus you'll know how to choose wine with confidence." When in Belize City make sure to visit Tinto and Blanco Wine Bar to enjoy wines from around the World. Make sure to "LIKE" their Facebook Page for updates of events and specials.

The Science of the Perfect Nap
According to a growing body of research, napping is a smart thing to do. It can help refresh the mind, make you more creative, boost your intelligence, and even help you live a longer, healthier life.

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