Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

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 December 16th, 2012 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Santa Elena Woman Facing Murder Charge:
    The latest murder in the twin towns occurred shortly before midnight on Saturday, December 8, 2012, on Carillo Puerto Avenue in Santa Elena, Cayo. The incident actually came as no surprise to the neighbourhood as many are of the opinion that, given the regular confrontation between the major players, it was an incident just waiting to happen. While the incident has resulted in a murder charge, San Ignacio police is classifying it as a crime of passion between two gay female lovers whom, the investigation revealed, had been living together for over two years. San Ignacio police reports that at 11:45 pm on Saturday, December 8, 2012, they were summoned to La Loma Luz Hospital in Santa Elena where they came upon the lifeless body of a female with a stab wound to the throat, bruises to both arms, abrasions to both lips and a cut wound to the right arm.
  • Another Drug Trafficker Sent to Jail:
    Failure to pay a ten thousand dollar fine could result in a three year prison term for a convicted young drug trafficker. The case against the convicted youth, Kemani Grinage, 19, began over five months ago on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 when, at around7:45 pm, San Ignacio police, on mobile patrol in Santa Elena Town came upon the then accused, along with another older person, Alexander Hernandez, 28, as they stood under a shrub in the center of La Loma Luz Boulevard near its junction with George Price Highway. Both Grinage and Hernandez were searched but nothing incriminating was found on their person. The police however observed a white plastic bucket on the ground between both male persons and when questioned, Grinage reportedly told the police that the bucket was his and that he had just taken it out of his car. A search of the bucket led to discovery of a black plastic bag containing a tightly wrapped package in a transparent wrapper which, when cut open, was found to contain suspected marijuana. At this point both men denied knowledge of the illegal substance.
  • Official Opening of Mental Health Resource Center:
    The Mental Health Day Care/ Resource Center Project was officially inaugurated this past month in a small ceremony in Belize City. The new facility will not be a residential center but it will provide a daily meal, medical referral and recreation for the homeless and people living with mental health problems. Speakers at the opening included representatives from the Mental Health Association, the Mental Health Program of the Ministry of Health and from the Social Investment Fund. The Mayor of Belize City His Worship, Darrell Bradley also provided contributing remarks. Minister of Health, Hon. Pablo Marin spoke at the ceremony where he congratulated all the partners who came together to make the center a reality.
  • National HIV Program Reveals Behavioural Survey Findings:
    A Behavioural Seropervalence Survey (BSS) was conducted earlier this year in three specific groups. Men who have Sex with Men (MSM), Female Sex Workers (FSW) and Persons Living with HIV (PHIV.) The specific objectives and results were released to the press last month and can be found on the Ministry’s website: A summary of the other findings that are worthy to mention include the following: Out of the 220 FSW recruited, only three did not accept to undergo the HIV test and 35 did not get a test for STIs. For MSM, 136 were recruited for the survey and out of that, 130 accepted to undergo the HIV test as well as the screening for other STIs. 60% reported having gotten the HIV result in the last 12 months and also all have received their results. We also noted that 58.9% had done their test at a Public clinic or hospital.
  • Northern Regional Conducts Training In Maternal And Child Health:
    Although no formal complaints of Maternal care at the Northern Regional Hospital have been reported to the Ministry of Healh, we have investigated specific reports from the news media outlets and an aggressive plan of action including trainings in specific areas has been implemented over the past month. The Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Unit of the Ministry has conducted training for both doctors and nurses on the use of the partograph in the progression of labor. It shows when labor is proceeding at a normal rate and when care providers should begin possible intervention procedures. Training for both doctors and nurses has also been carried out in the general review of the management of Postpartum Hemorrhage and Hemorrhagic Shock, also reorientation in the monitoring of fetal wellbeing, and also in the use of referral instruments and transfer protocols when facilitating patients that need to referred to the specialist at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. Most of the training has been facilitated by the Technical Advisor of MCH in the Ministry.
  • Trinity College Awards Doctor Of Laws Degree To Senior Belizean Lawyer:
    It is with great pleasure that the Board of Directors at Trinity College has this day awarded Dean R. Lindo, a Doctor of Laws (Legum Doctor, LL.D.honoris causa ad gradum). This is in recognition of his achievements in the field of law, his public service, and his unfailing support to the social and economic welfare of the country of Belize. Dr.Lindo has previously been awarded the Degree of Utter Barrister from the Grays Inn, London, England, a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Arts from New York University, and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Durham, England. Dr.Lindo has been a senior partner for the law firm of Lindo & Arnold since its formation in 1964. He was admitted to the Inter-American Bar Association and admitted to practice law before the United States Supreme Court, the New York Court System, the United States Federal Court of Appeal, the United States Court of Customs and Patents Appeals and was admitted as Barrister-at-Law and Solicitor to the Belize Bar and as a Barrister-at-Law to the English Bar.
  • BNET Funds New Library For ACC:
    Energy Trust provided a grant of $54,000 to the Anglican Cathedral College (ACC) for the renovation of a fully functioning library. Today, the Inauguration ceremony for the newly renovated library 10:00 a.m. Mistress of Ceremony for the event was Ms. Sherlene Cabral. The program got underway with the opening prayer by Barry White. The national anthem was performed by the school’s recorder group and the welcome address was delivered by Jaime Williams. Principal’s remarks was delivered by Principal Ismael Requena and this was followed by student Asher Lopez reciting a poem. The introduction of the Chairman of the Belize Natural Energy Trust, Daniel Gutierez, was delivered by Ryan Bainton.
  • STAR Humor: Magician and Parrot
  • Editorial:
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices

The San Pedro Sun

Doctor Love: “Help! I’m jealous of my own mother!”
Dear Doctor Love, I know this may sound silly but I am going to go ahead with it anyway. I was born when my mom was sixteen years old. Now I am in my early twenties and she is in her mid-thirties. The problem that I have is that she looks better than I do. [...]

Editorial: Police have the “smoking gun” on McAfee; so why no charges?
John McAfee, the on-the-run from the police/anti computer-virus pioneer has swallowed the attention of the local and international press, but in Belize he is simply wanted by authorities for “questioning” in the murder of his neighbor, Gregory Faull. Faull was found dead on the morning of November 11th, but according to Police Press Officer Raphael Martinez, until McAfee can be questioned, the murder investigation has “stalled”. With police claiming that he might be able to shine some light on to the investigation, the calculating and media savvy McAfee gave Belize the slip and fled to Guatemala well over a week ago. Now headed to the US, we may have lost the chance to bring McAfee in for questioning. One has to wonder why it was so hard to locate the man when all the while he claimed to be in Belize, with rumors of him even being at his house here on the island. As local authorities claimed they were scrambling to solve the murder of Faull, islanders, as well as “people in the know” accused the Police Department of “dragging their feet,” not only slow in solving the crime but in locating McAfee. Some claim that the “good relationship” McAfee maintained with some of the senior officers within the Belize Police Department resulted in a half-hearted attempt to bring him in. It seems to me that the one way the police could have heightened his status from “wanted for questioning” to charges of “Kept Firearm and Ammunition without a License” was completely dismissed. With the new amendments to the Firearm Act that came into effect in 2012, police are now tasked to charge “everyone and anyone found in a particular house when a firearm is found when they are not authorized to have it”. In addition, there have been several cases when the property owners were not present, and even though he or she was not at home at the time of the search, were sought and charged with “Kept Firearm and Ammunition without a License”.

Wolfe’s Woofers: Trophy
Jose's uncle in Chicago has all kinds of trophies and medals...Mario is impressed with his athleticism. There's only one problem...

Misc Belizean Sources

Community-based climate change adaptation programme launched in Belize
The Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP) implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Friday launched the Belize community based adaptation (CBA) programme funded by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), of the government of Australia. Daniel Alemu, assistant resident representative, UNDP and Lisel Alamilla, minister of forestry, fisheries and sustainable development, provided encouraging remarks on this occasion and thanked all the agencies and partners involved in facilitating Belize’s adaptation to climate change. The launch was preceded on Thursday by an orientation workshop for potential grantee partners. The orientation will enable the participating organizations to apply for grant funding from the new CBA programme, which has received a country grant allocation of US$120,000. At a brief ceremony held on Friday, grant awards were also presented to the GEF SGP and COMPACT programme grantee partners funded in 2012. The 13 grants awarded on Friday added up to BZ$1,088,415. Established in 1992, the year of the Rio Earth Summit, the GEF small grants programme embodies the very essence of sustainable development by "thinking globally acting locally". By providing financial and technical support to projects that conserve and restore the environment while enhancing people's well-being and livelihoods, GEF SGP demonstrates that community action can maintain the fine balance between human needs and environmental imperatives.

VIDEO: ATM Cave - Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve
Cayo Adventure Tours - ATM Cave - Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve

VIDEO: Surface Interval and The Aquarium
After lunch at Half Moon Caye we start our third dive of our Blue Hole Day Trip from San Pedro,, next stop, The Aquarium. Awesome schools of fish big Tarpon and more!

VIDEO: Diving Belize, The Blue Hole
Another great dive as we explore The Blue Hole with Amigos. Check out these Amber Jacks as they chillax at 140ft. Thanks for joiniung us on this dive Tom and Cindy.

VIDEO: Belize Diving, Half Moon Wall, Lighthouse Reef
Featuring Guest Divers Tom and Cindy. Caribbean Gray Reef Sharks appear after "Barry the Barracuda" eats Lionfish from our spear.

Work continues on the rehabilitation of East and West Collet Canals in Belize City. It is part of the ongoing rejuvination project in the old capital.


National AIDS Commission holds end of year forum
Today the National AIDS Commission held its Annual Assembly at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel. The event is the Commission’s end of year gathering of all who work in HIV across the country to recommit to the work they do as part of the National Operational Plan. It was an important year for the Commission, which has introduced its National Strategic and Operational Plan and increase the participation of people living with HIV/AIDS in the programs it carries out. Executive Director of the Commission, Dr. Martin Cuellar, explained. The Commission has also mobilized specific multi-sector committees and in its fight to lower Belize’s numbers per capita. But despite the accomplishments, the year also came with its challenges. Executive Director of the Collaboration of Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS, Eric Castellanos, whose untiring effort has been for the Ministry of Health to put into use the viral load machine it has for over a year, did not divorce from that same appeal today. Lydia Rancharan is a person living with HIV since 2002 and conducts home interviews with people who are also infected. One of the presenters at the event was Love Radio and Television Reporter, Marion Ali, who challenged everyone to do their part in changing the per capita number of HIV infections in the region. Dr. Cuellar said that a lot more advocacy and prevention work will come in 2013.

Soft launch for Digicell 4-G
Digicell is celebrating its tenth anniversary, and with that, the much anticipated and talked about telecommunication service, Digicell’s 4G network was launched this afternoon at the BTL Office on Church Street in Belize City. The soft launch comes within twelve months of the initial contract signing with Telecommunications giant, Ericsson. Tom Noble is the representative from Ericsson and this afternoon he commented about the 4G network during his speech. Executive Chairman of BTL, Nestor Vasquez said that he believes that this technology will give a major competitive advantage in the market Vasquez went on to say that with 4G, Digicell is dramatically changing the way in which their customers will communicate with their mobile phones A lot of things have happened since the Government nationalized BTL, according to Vasquez and today he spoke about some of the changes occurring Since today is the soft launch, only friendly users will enjoy the service at the moment. When the service becomes available and a customer enters an area without 4G, the service will back down to 3G automatically then back to 4G when the service area becomes available.

School holds book fair in Belize City
If you’re not quite sure what to get for your loved ones this Christmas, remember that a good read is always a good choice and Horizon Academy will be holding a book fair this weekend at their school located on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Principal of Horizon Academy, Dianne Maheia told us more about what you can expect in visiting the fair. The fair will be held on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday it will begin at 9:00 am and proceed through the lunch hour until 6:00 p.m and on Sunday from 9:00 a.m. through the lunch hour until 4:00p.m. A grand raffle of a flat screen television will take place at the fair.

House of Representatives meets in special session
A special sitting of the House of Representatives took place today in Belmopan. A series of eight bills introduced at the last sitting were brought back for second and third readings before going to the Senate for ratification. Among the bills approved today was the Crime Control and Criminal Justice amendment bill, which seeks to streamline and strengthen the provisions relating to the declaration of special crime-ridden areas. In their contribution to the debate on the Bill, members of the Opposition People’s United Party expressed concerns that the sweeping powers could be abused; but the Prime Minister, who introduced the piece of legislation, said that the necessary safeguards are in place to ensure that that does not happen. In a rare show of bi-partisanship, the opposition PUP gave their full support to two pieces of legislation, those being the Trafficking in Persons prohibition Bill and the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Prohibition Bill. The Senate is schedule to meet next week to consider the Bill approved at today’s Special Sitting of the House.

Man dies in hit and run incident in Orange Walk
Yet another hit and run accident was reported, this one in the orange Walk District. Reports are sometime around six o’clock yesterday evening, 76-year-old Primitivo Pott was on the Phillip Goldson Highway in San Jose Village when he was hit by a white D-Max pickup truck. Pott suffered severe injuries and died at the scene. The driver of the vehicle did not step to render assistance.

BEL makes submission to the PUC
As part of its election campaign leading up to the last General Elections the government promised a reduction in electricity rates. But while the Belize Electricity Limited has not asked for an adjustment, it has suffered a blow to its pocket over the past few months as a result of a dry rainy season and an increase in the cost of power. Senior Manager of the company’s Energy and Supply Unit, Ernesto Gomez, explained to Love News today that the company has, as is required by law, submitted to the Public Utilities Commission, showing the current cost of power since July. And what the company is hoping will happen is that the PUC will reconsider the 30.2 million dollars that it has ruled the company owes BEL customers. Gomez advises its customers that there are a few ways to save on your electricity bill, including plugging out electrical appliances when not in use and ironing clothes all at once rather than on a daily basis.

Benque police nab suspected drug trafficker
A Belize City man was charged with drug offences in the Cayo District following a police operation. Correspondent Elaine Berry has the details.

Annual Banana Cycling race canceled
The annual Banana cycling classic has been cancelled. Sagitun Cycling Club in Independence Village today issued a press release informing the public that the eighth Annual Banana Cycling Classic that was scheduled to be held in Independence on Sunday December sixteenth has been forced to cancel. The Club says that this action is being taken on the advice of the Minister of Sports, the President of the National Sports council and several reputable Cycling Officials, as a result of the boycott of cyclists and club managers of events being held under the jurisdiction of the Belize Cycling Association or Federation which they say is now defunct with no leadership. The Sagitun Cycling club says it regrets the stand it now has had to take for the betterment of the sport and continued interest of the fans and they extend thanks to their sponsors and supporters for their patience in this matter. They regret most of all the disappointment of the villagers in the Banana Belt and Southern part of the country especially the youth. The Annual Banana Cycling Classic has for eight years formed part of the calendar of races held under the BCA.

Community helps the Belmopan police
The Belmopan People’s Coalition today stepped forward to lend a helping hand to the police in the nation’s capital. Correspondent Fem Cruz has the story.

CCJ orders BTL not to pay out dividends
The Caribbean Court of Justice, in an emergency application, ruled that Belize Telemedia Limited cannot proceed with the payment of dividends. This follows a decision by the Belize Court of Appeals on Thursday. Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke with Love News via telephone about the ruling.

Cruise operator says industry rival behind his imprisonment
Member of the Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize, FECTAB, Yhonny Rosado, is out of prison tonight, after he was arrested and charged on Thursday with a gun-related offense. Rosado says that the charges stemmed from an incident three months ago. Upon his release, Rosado made his media rounds to explain what he endured and to say that he strongly suspects it was the result of a vicious attack by one of his competitors in tourism. Rosado says that he will return to his tours and will return to court when his case is called.


Chapin Duran fundraiser at Wayo’s and Judging the Christmas Lights of San Pedro
I really wanted to go to the Chapin Duran fundraiser at Wayo’s but I just did not have in me and I have strict orders from a few people that when I am not feeling the energy I need to take it easy and that is all there is too it. My mood was more solitary and I decided to go for a walk and find someone to hang out with for a bit. I went as far as Tropic Air then turned around again and headed for home. In all that time the only person that stopped me and wanted to do something was Percy and while he seemed like an ok guy, he was not anyone I was looking to get into trouble with As I kept walking south a friend offered to give me a ride, since he was headed to close to where I live that made my decision of where next easier. Not quite ready to banish myself to absolute relaxation and quiet, I decided to go around the corner to Glenn’s house to drop something off, he offered me a Baileys on the rocks and we chatted in his workshop for a while, just what I needed. Write up from junior blogger Nina Kumar, she also gets photo credit for all the great pictures below. The fundraiser for Mr. Hector Duran’s family at Wayo’s Beach Bar, was a HUGE success. It was a great turnout with over a hundred people.

Judging the Christmas Lights of San Pedro: It Ain't Easy
Each year, our local newspaper, the San Pedro Sun, hits the streets to find some of the best holiday lights and displays around. I was asked to judge for the second year in a row. Well...let's be honest...I lobby hard for this job. It is so much fun. Here is some of what we saw last night. Graniel's looked beautiful. Our judging sheet. Seems like so many categories but by the end of the night, it is so hard to pick. Do you pick someone who has an amazing display and clearly spent tons of money? Or something simple and cute? Oh my... Next week's paper will have a full color insert with all of the winners. Our decorated golf cart caravan readied. Do you see that giant cooler? Rum punch. I am feeling it today. And by the way, if you heard us caroling way too loudly last night, I apologize! Okay...enough whining. Let's look at the lights. Thomas Hotel. I've never seen the inside but the outside sure looked great. Polo came running out to ask us to come back tomorrow. He still had more lights going up!

Gentle On My Mind – in Ambergris Caye,Belize.
“After the Lord Mayor’s show” is a saying in the UK which quite simply means that it is exceptionally quiet after an eventful and enjoyable time . An anti-climax. Well, that was today after the fun of the Christmas Charity Concert yesterday . And the fact that because it was a Sunday there was no work on our build in Ambergris Caye,Belize. The day started with an overcast sky and a very strong breeze and was quite cool. Actually thought at one stage that I was going to have to get a sweater out. Great weather though for the youngsters of the San Pedro Sailing Club who took full advantage of the wind to develop their skills in the Optimist dinghies. What do you do when you have been monitoring the build of your house all week and you have a free day? You go look at another building project, that’s what ( sad isn’t it). Rose and I decided to see what progress has been made on the building of the Water Taxi Terminal and the Sunset Boardwalk which is a major development on what a short while ago was the site of the Saca Chispas Football Field and the ‘El Embarcadero’ area. It is not an area that we have much call to go to. True it can be used as a route to our build and there are some shops there. It is also worth visiting to buy fruit, vegetables and fish but we tend to go to the north side of the island via Barrier Reef Drive because, more often than not, we have something to do or get in that part of San Pedro Town. We were surprised to see how much had been done since we last went there. The road between Caribeña Street and Buccaneer Street is being laid.

International Sources

The University of Chicago Wants to Know Who Sent This Journal to Indiana Jones
Earlier this week the University of Chicago received what might be an elaborate hoax, a miracle, or the best college admissions application of all time: Abner Ravenwood’s journal from Raiders of the Lost Ark. The journal came in a package addressed to Henry Walton Jones, Jr. but wasn’t sent through the U.S. mail — its stamps are fake. It’s a near-perfect replica of the journal Indiana Jones uses in Raiders, but it’s not the real deal – Lucasfilm also doesn’t know its origins — and the university has absolutely no idea how it found its way into Rosenwald Hall, which houses the school’s admissions department and where the staff initially thought it was just a piece of mail meant for a professor that got lost on the way. “This package was a little perplexing because we couldn’t find the staff member or the professor [it was intended for] in the directory,” Garrett Brinker, director of undergraduate outreach for the university, said in an interview with Wired. “So that’s when the plot thickened.” Since its discovery, Brinker said, the university has been doing everything it can to figure out where exactly the package came from. (See its contents above.) After determining that the replica they’d received was not a recently sold item on eBay, they decided to ask the internet. They put an “Indiana Jones Mystery Package” post on Tumblr, set up an e-mail tip-line for anyone who might know its origins and even asked Lucasfilm, which responded, “We were just as surprised to see this package as you were!” And then, Brinker said, followed up to ask the school to let Lucasfilm know if it determined its origin. “We don’t know where the package came from but would love to know,” a Lucasfilm spokesperson told Wired in an e-mail. Fans of Raiders will remember that Abner Ravenwood’s journal was what Indy used to find the Ark of the Covenant. Ravenwood was a professor at the University of Chicago and one of Indiana Jones’ mentors. The replica of his journal that was sent to his former university is meticulous in its details: photos of Harrison Ford as Indy, maps, currency, and even – as one eagle-eyed internet responder pointed out – handwritten text that can be found here. “The entire journal must’ve taken hours upon hours to create,” Brinker noted.

Guatemala Dispatch: Inside the Stranger than Fiction Saga of John McAfee
It was barely 6:30 a.m. on Dec. 8 when John McAfee, 67, the eccentric U.S. software pioneer wanted for questioning in the slaying of his neighbor in Belize, called me from the Guatemalan detention center where he was being detained for illegally crossing the border. “I’m sorry if I’m not making much sense,” he said. “I just woke up, but I want to talk.” The former Silicon Valley millionaire said, “There’s not that much to do here. I’m kind of bored.” Just over 36 hours had elapsed since McAfee’s last interaction with the media. At that time, he was being carried into a Guatemalan hospital on a stretcher. His lawyer claimed McAfee had suffered two heart attacks. (On Wednesday Dec. 12, McAfee–by then in Miami–acknowledged faking the incident to buy time to appeal Guatemala’s efforts to deport him.) On the night of Dec. 7, he had frantically called his lawyer, a former Guatemalan attorney general. The police, McAfee claimed, were surrounding the immigration shelter where he was being held and trying to whisk him away. The lawyer must come at once, and bring reporters. “Are you sure?” his lawyer, Telesforo Guerra, asked. I accompanied Guerra as he rushed to the shelter, but immigration officials said there had been nothing of the sort. The facility had been quiet for hours. “He’s very paranoid,” Guerra said. Earlier in the day McAfee had lashed out at one of Guerra’s assistants, claiming he had promised to put him in touch with Guatemala’s president, Otto Perez, but failed to do so. “I don’t understand where he got that from,” Guerra said. “My assistant can’t just call the president.”

From Bermuda to Belize: Small US businesses scope offshore locales
Fighting the cliche of the dot-com start-up that runs out of a basement, David Ward is living the dream. The 32-year-old web designer moved his one-man operation from Albany, New York, to the Cayman Islands last year. "My wife hates the winter. She wanted to be near a beach" said Ward, owner of Meticulosity, a support company for online retailers. He is not alone. American small business owners of all stripes--some relocating existing ventures and others starting new ones--are considering tax-friendly locales ranging from Bermuda to Belize. Relocation experts say the so-called "fiscal cliff" that threatens to end the Bush-era federal tax cuts at year-end may be fueling renewed interest. An estimated $11.5 trillion of funds is held offshore by individuals in tax-friendly jurisdictions, roughly five times the amount estimated by the World Bank in 2002, according to the Tax Justice Network, a coalition of researchers and activists that promotes tax transparency.