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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
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Ambergris Today

Celebrity Christmas Vacations in Belize
Canadian Actor Kris Holden Reid (pictured above) was spotted having dinner at Caramba Restaurant in downtown San Pedro. He met with restaurateur Rene Reyes, owner of Caramba, and was gracious to take a picture with him. Reid is known for his role in the Showtime series The Tudors, the television series Lost Girl and as the mutated lycan in the film Underworld: Awakening. After posting two pictures on her Instagram account, MTV reality television celebrity turned fashion designer Whitney Port was known to be vacationing in San Pedro and bringing in the New Year in our tropical Paradise. “Heaven” and “My Escape” is what she called San Pedro on her picture posts. She was spotted taking a sailing trip aboard the Lady Leslie catamaran and stopping for lunch at Rainbow Restaurant on out neighboring sister island of Caye Caulker

Electricity Rates Go Up for Belize!
The New Year came in with a bang as electricity rates increased as of Tuesday, January1, 2013. According to news media the Public Utilities Commission has made the decision based on the Belize Electricity Limited’s budget which skyrocketed way above their budget this past year. It went so high that the company ended up spending $45Mil, more than it had budgeted to buy power. The company sent its figures to the PUC for the annual review - and when the PUC did the math, the Utility was effectively requesting a rate increase to about 55 cents per kilowatt hour - about one-third more than the 41 cents you are currently paying. “The new approved electricity rate is now 48.86 cents which is approximate 16.87% above the existing 41.81 mean electricity rate,” commented John Avery, Chairman of the PUC, in a press conference in Belize City.

Donut Delights and More at Denny’s Donuts & Truck Stop
Delicious and fresh donuts are hard to come by the island and since the nearest Dunkin’ Donuts is in Honduras, Dulce’s donuts have to be the best donuts around. But she is working her magic on more than just donuts; included in her pastry menu are cookies, cinnnamon rolls and she is opening for breakfast and lunch with specials for the day! Angel Perlita Zapata took time to visit Denny’s Donuts and Truck Stop, along with her son Gaven and his friends, who were treated with an afternoon of cookie making. Dulce’s grandson Davin joined in the fun. The shop is located across Ramon’s Village, next to Asian Garden Spa. Her Delicious Donuts go for $2 each, Three for $5, Six for $10, and a Dozen for $20. Lunch specials are for $10. For orders call: 663-9615

Rockin’ New Year's Eve in San Pedro, Belize
THE party town of Belize that never seems to sleep would most definitely be San Pedro, known for its great bars, live entertainment and parties that go on until the sun comes up - One such party that nobody should miss out is ringing in the New Year. There were fire dancers and face painting at Sandbar by the beach, Lola’s Pub pitched tents and brought out the bar to the street, it was jam-packed under the famous giant palapa at Fido’s, Señor Marlin’s Sports Bar drew another hefty crowd to celebrate beachside and Kama Lounge and Captain Morgan’s Retreat offered great parties in the North Ambergris area. Even Elvi’s Kitchen stayed open past midnight to ring in the New Year with live music, hors d’oeuvres, party favors and champagne; one of the few restaurants to do so. The two night clubs in town, Jaguars Temple and Daddy Rock were full to capacity with a local crowd, as well with visitors from the city and around Belize.

Misc Belizean Sources

Abalone Caye - Here to stay and new fish magnet
Abalone Caye, a small island in Port Honduras Marine Reserve and the location of TIDE's marine ranger station, is being saved from being washed away by the waves by a new artificial reef. A year since efforts began in earnest to save Abalone Caye and the Port Honduras Marine Reserve (PHMR) ranger station from being washed away by rising waves, the construction of an artificial reef around part of the caye has not only slowed and perhaps even stopped the erosion, but surveys show fish abundance and biodiversity to have increased in the vicinity. The new artificial reef has also become a handy educational tool, providing an ideal sheltered lagoon full of fish, with easy and safe access for school children and other groups to snorkel in and learn about marine life, and all right next to the ranger station! After a high number of turtle strandings this year, a rehab facility could be included into the design, providing a safe and convenient location for stranded marine animals, such as turtles, to recover under surveillance by the ranger staff.

VIDEO: Altun Ha "Ancient Maya City"
Day Trip from San Pedro, combo pac includes Belize Zoo and Belize Museum

Channel 7

Working Man Killed For No Reason
Tonight our first newscast of 2013, begins much like our last newscast of 2012: with a story about murder. Monday's was a domestic killing; tonight's homicide is believed to be gang related - but not in the classic sense. The victim was a 45 year old who had no gang connection. He is believed to have been killed by a gang-affiliated person - as an act of retaliation against the state, the law... because of a mass lockdown on New Year's Eve. It's a very crazy motive, but the real story is the loss of a productive life - a working man who was killed for standing on the corner of the block where he grew up and spent most of his adult life. It happened at 9:47 last night - and I found out more today: Monica Bodden Reporting It was here at the corner of Dean Street and West Canal - where 45 year old Orlando Williams was violently murdered around 9:47 last night.

Man Shot In Head Again, For No Reason
In that story, we referred to another shooting, which happened earlier; it was at 9:40 just seven minutes before Williams was killed. And it is another case of a totally senseless attack with no discernible motive. The victim is 48 year old Carlos Valle - who works at the Princess. The father of five was in the downtown area of Belize City by Wellworth on his motorbike. He had gone to pick up some food at the hot dog stands near Battlefield Park and was riding alongside a friend when a young man rode up on bicycle and fired a single shot, hitting him in the head. The shooter is described as a young creole male in a red t-shirt - and police suspect it could be the same shooter as the one in the Williams murder. That is a very distressing possibility but tonight it makes hardly any difference to Valle's family: all they know is that the hardworking man was shot for no reason at all. Tonight, he is on life support; his sister told us more: Sandra Moguel - Sister "Actually, right now, he is critical, but stable. He is on a mechanical ventilator, and he's actually fighting for his life right now. Apparently, the bullet actually went through the temple and then came back out, but they were saying that they want to see if the brain stem at the back was affected. So, with that, they will do another CT scan in the morning, and see what is going on with the brain."

Robbery Attempt At BTB
And the crazy violence continued in the city this afternoon when a pair of men tried to rob the Belize Tourism Board. Now, it's not the kind of place that would seem to suggest having a lot of cash at hand - but there is a cashier at the front desk who collects hotel Tax receipts - which we presume are usually paid by checque. More than that, the BTB is the headquarters of the Tourism Police Unit. Nonetheless, a pair of daring men, one with a gun, and the other with a knife, popped inside the office this afternoon at 4:30. They reportedly put the gun through the service window and held it to the cashier's head and told her that it's a hold up. The security guard was sitting in a booth in the same room and set off the alarm. He confronted the men, who then dashed out. But the security guard fired at one of them and hit him in the foot. He fell on South Street about 100 feet from the BTB's door. Tourism police picked him up and placed him into the back of the police pickup. He has been taken to the hospital - and is being held pending charges. According to our reports, he is CLARENCE LAMB from the nearby Jump Street area. Another man escaped down Regent Street - and reports are that there may have been a boat waiting at the Foreshore. So far we have been unable to determine if any money was stolen. Tourism Director Laura Esquivel told us she had no comment until police finish their investigation.

Woman Stabbed In Domestic Dispute
On Monday night the headline was about the murder/suicide of Keena Williams and JAMES Staine - which happened right in front of their young son. By all accounts, that tragedy was prompted by deranged jealousy - and tonight there is another such case to report. 25 year old Julissa Flores was stabbed multiple times on New Year's Day in San Ignacio Town. The main suspect is her common law husband Alvin Puc. They had an argument and Puc allegedly inflicted what police call "large stab wounds" to her neck, the palm of her hand, the left side of her breast, her right hand and her abdomen. She was taken to the Western Regional Hospital where she is in critical condition. According to police - she is lucky to be alive after profuse bleeding. 31 year old Puc, a resident of San Jose Succotz has been detained pending charges.

Cousin Charged For Vera's Killing
In other police news out of Cayo, police have charged 22 year old Joseph August for the murder of Rene Vera. He was killed on December 22nd - and reports are that it was by a relative. Well, the man charged for the murder, 22 year old Joseph August, of Esperanza is reported to be a cousin of Vera's. Vera was found lying in a pool of blood inside his home with 9 stab wounds to multiple parts of his body.

Police Say Sudden Death, Family Says Murder
At the top of the Newscast, we told you about the murder of Orlando Williams, and the shooting of Marco Valle which happened last night, but there was a death which occurred on New Year's Eve, which didn't make the news. It concerns the death of 74 year-old Hector Hylton, a mechanic of Lopez Workshop, who was found dead at his workplace at around 1:30 p.m. on December 31. Police don't believe that anyone murdered him, but his family believes strongly that they are wrong. They spoke to us this evening, and they told us that his nose was bashed in, and his body was posed to look like he fell from the top of a container. Here's how his daughter told us about the finish of the autopsy, and their suspicions based on what they found: Deltrude Hylton - Daughter of Deceased "Based on our knowledge, and from what we saw, we know that it is not something of the normal. We know that our dad was killed, by who, we're not so sure as yet, but we're giving the police their time to do their interview. They're saying that he fell from off a double container, and this was told to us on the scene by the police officers who came after us. They said that he fell from off those containers. The employees on the ground know that our dad does not climb heights.

The Ombudsman Speaks
And now Hector Hylton's family has someone they can take their grievance to. That's because the new Ombudsman is in office. Lionel Arzu reported to work today - and we stopped in to ask the Toledo resident why he wanted what must be the toughest job in town: Lionel Arzu - New Ombudsman "Lionel Arzu is from Punta Gorda, as most people might be aware. I come from humble beginnings down in the south, and when I look at the job description in short, it's to be the voice of the voiceless. And so, I believe that because that, I will be able to just do that for the people who come to the office, and request assistance from the Ombudsman." Daniel Ortiz "Tell us a bit about the experience you have in what is required to be the Ombudsman." Lionel Arzu "Way back in the 80's, I worked with the Agricultural Department, and within that job, you have to be working with farmers and fighting for the things that farmers need. And so, from that angle, I realized that if I am able to do that for those farmers in those years that I worked, I can do the same for a greater population. The contract is from January 1, 2013 to January 1, 2016. Today is my first day." Daniel Ortiz "And how do you feel so far on the job? Is it measuring up to your expectation? What's your feeling?" Lionel Arzu "I am feeling optimistic. I believe that a lot has been said, and my only thing now is to prove that yes, I am worthy of the office, and I intend to just carry out my duties to best of my ability.

Woman Claims Police Brutality
But an education in police brutality, not higher learning is probably what awaits Arzu in the Ombudsman's chair. He's sure to get a lot of complaints about that just like we do. One came in this afternoon where the family of 20 year-old Mecshack Flores claimed that officers from the Gang Suppression Unit brutalized him when he was arrested for robbery. According to police, at around 6:30 p.m. on December 27, 33 year-old Leroy Cassasola, a salesman for Santiago Castillo Limited, was on Central American Boulevard, and he had just exited Tommy's Store. That's when he was approached by 2 men, one of whom was armed with a firearm, and robbed him of just over 19 thousand, five hundred dollars in cash, which belonged to the company. The men got away, but police say that they investigated, and they charged Flores for the robbery. Well, his family came to 7News today to tell us that the GSU officers brutalized him before they charged him. Here's how they described it: Daniel Ortiz "Tell us about the GSU Officers, and your nephew." Florence Horn - Aunt of Accused "Well, they beat him bad. Sir, my nephew can hardly walk. They threw clorax in his face; they covered his face with a black cloth, and they say he can hardly walk. He fainted 3 times. How do we know? That's because the persons who the did it to as well, in front of him, told us, and then he himself told me. He said, 'Aunty, they beat me bad.'

Motorcycle Man Dies After Bus Collision
There was a fatal traffic accident on New Year's Eve in Dangriga Town. It happened at 7:00 in the evening between Miles 1 and 2 on George Price Drive, where a motorbike collided into a James Bus. The bus driver Earl Sanchez Sr. stopped to let out two female passengers. One of them asked him to wait for her as she ran to give a package to a man on the opposite side of the road. While waiting, 28 yar old Winfield Duran, a fisherman of Sarawee Village ran into the back of the bus. He recived major head injuries and died on the spot.

First Baby Of New Year
While the New Year has started with violence and murder, it's not all bad because there were new lives which started yesterday. One of those newborn babies is Romarion Williams the first born of the new year, who is now 2 days old, and 7News had a chance to meet his parents and him at the KHMH. Here's what his parents told us about what they hope his life will be like: Daniel Ortiz "Your baby is the first for the New Year. Tell us what's the feeling for you right now." Tanesha Lopez - Mother "Amazing, this was great, awesome. I feel good." Reporter "When was your due date?" Tanesha Lopez "The first of January." Reporter "So, he was born on the due date." Reporter "And it's your first child?" Tanesha Lopez "Yes, it is my first." Daniel Ortiz "What challenges do you see yourself having, being a new mother?" Tanesha "I have to show a good example, teach him the right way, and make him be somebody good in life."

Krem Classic Winners
In our New Year's Eve newscast, we told you about the run up to the 2013 Krem New Year's Day Cycling Classic. The Race Promoter told us that the instability in the Belize Cycling Association would not throw a damper on the race. It didn't, and 7New caught up with the winners from all 3 categories when they crossed the line. Here's what they told us about the level of competition this year: Daniel Ortiz "Tell us about that victory." Tarique Flowers - 1st Place, Juniors "Amazing, I ran the entire race. I ran all day, punished, thought about the win, and it was tough. But then again, that's cycling. Pain is temporary; pride is forever." Daniel Ortiz "How far did you lose the main pack?" Tarique Flowers "It was from like about mile 46 or so." Daniel Ortiz "Is this your first win?" Tarique Flowers "Yes, sir." Daniel Ortiz "How many races have you competed in?"

La Popular Tortilla Factory Targeted On New Years
Yesterday, there were scores of people lined up to buy tortillas for that special new year's day lunch. But at La Popular Tortilla factory on Vernon Street, while consumers were lined up, the criminals were watching. And at around 2:30 PM, when the sales had subsided, a lone gunman attacked the business and robbed the manager while he was counting the money. He managed to steal $1,000 in cash, along with his cell phone.

Channel 5

Robbery foiled; gunman at B.T.B. shot
Crime and violence dominated the headlines in 2012; and if you expect that to change, well more of the same is ushering in 2013. On New Year’s Day alone, there was a murder on West canal, a shooting in downtown Belize City, a woman was stabbed in San Ignacio, a man was chopped multiple times [...]

Belize City, venue for 2013’s first murder
The murder count at the close of 2012 stood at one hundred and forty-five. The City was the most violent where the largest number of homicides took place and it is where the first murder for 2013 was committed. A forty-five year old standing on a street side with friends was shot multiple times; he [...]

Random shooting leaves man clinging to life
The murder of Orlando Williams occurred just minutes before a shooting, in close proximity at Market Square in downtown Belize City and it is believed to have been the same gunman. Around nine-thirty p.m. on Tuesday, forty-eight year old Marco Valle, an employee of Princess Hotel, had just left work and had purchased food from [...]

Woman stabbed multiple times and survives
As the year closed, a man shot and killed his common-law and then took his life. That was on Sunday night in Punta Gorda. In the west on New Year’s Day, a mother of two was similarly attacked by her ex, but luckily she survived the vicious stabbing in which at least nine wounds were [...]

Old beef leads to hacking in Biscayne Village
The violence spread to Biscayne Village where a resident was chopped multiple times on the face and hand, also on New Year’s Day. The weapon of choice was Mark Davis’ own machete and his attacker was no stranger to him.  The violence was prompted by an old beef among residents of the village. News Five’s [...]

The Economic Indicators of 2013
In economic indicators tonight, we look at the Impact of Rising Electricity Rates on the Productive and Business Sectors. The electricity sector promised significant reforms in recent years. These reforms were to bring about higher efficiency and productivity, lower and better services.  But that has not been the case.  The Public Utilities Commission has announced [...]

Is there a compensation offer for Telemedia?
In his New Year’s Message, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said that the government is proposing to transfer to the previous owners of Telemedia, fifty million dollars of proceeds from the re-sale of shares. The down payment on compensation is a further sign of government’s desire, said the PM, in reaching a just settlement. News Five [...]

City Hall puts funeral home on life support
With increases in trade licenses for some businesses and hikes in electricity rates, 2013 spells ‘haad time’ for entrepreneurs. You would think that following a year of record murders, that undertakers would prosper in a new year that has already had a fair share of violence in two days. But David Coye, the proprietor of [...]

Mayor reviewing Chamber’s Trade License Assessment
The Belize City business community is experiencing an increase in Trade License fees. Rates for most affected businesses have been increased from ten to thirty percent while fees for a few have skyrocketed to two hundred percent. That is because the Trade License fee is calculated using the rental value of properties. Mayor of Belize [...]

Construction at Belize City entrance soon complete
If it is necessary for you to exit Belize City and head towards the north of the country, you probably diverted to Coney Drive because of ongoing construction at the entrance of the City. It’s an upgrade that’s not popular with some motorists, but the Mayor says it’s all part of making traffic flow easier [...]

Cop charged for preventing cop from work
From the streets to the courts; a police officer who chose to challenge an Assistant Superintendent of Police in the execution of his duties was slapped with three criminal offenses today. Thirty- three year old PC Edward Castillo who is attached to the Hattieville Police sub-formation, appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano for arraignment.  He was [...]

Suspect busted for San Cas robbery
A San Cas salesman was robbed at gunpoint last Thursday just after he collected a large payment from Tommy’s Store on Central American Boulevard. One of two suspects has been caught and today twenty year old Mischak Flores was arraigned before Magistrate Dale Cayetano for Robbery. He pleaded not guilty, but bail was denied and [...]

Even the tortilla factory get robbed
La Popular Tortilla Factory located at the corner Vernon and Sarstoon Street in Belize City was robbed on New Year’s Day. At two-thirty p.m., while counting the day sales inside the tortilla factory, a man wearing a black T-shirt and a black Dickies pants entered the factory and pointed a silver revolver handgun at the [...]

Fire in Succotz Village
In the west, the Garcia family of Succotz Village lost everything but the clothes on their backs when their house was completely destroyed by fire on Monday night. Six persons were living in the house and they were all at church when the blaze erupted. A neighbor called the Fire Department and alerted the family, [...]

And the first baby for 2013 is…
The parents of the New Year’s baby were all smiles today when we caught up with them at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Aside from the joy of a bouncing new baby, they received generous gifts from James Brodie and Santiago Castillo Limited. The nine pound baby boy was delivered within thirty minutes of the [...]

Another mother of newborn honored by Lions
Also giving birth to a beautiful six pound four ounces baby girl was Raquel Franklin. Janayla, her fifth child, was due later this month, but late Monday night, Franklin experienced labor pains and was rushed to the hospital where she delivered her baby girl. And good tidings also came her way. Apart from receiving a [...]

Football Federation announces members of National Team
Belize’s national football team will be playing against regional power houses. The Football Federation of Belize today held a press conference today to announce the name of the players who were selected to be on the National Team, which is being sponsored by the Belize Bank among others. The Head coach indicated that commitment to [...]

3 runaways of Youth Hostel speak of physical beatings
Three girls, wards of the Youth Hostel recently ran away. They are currently together staying at the home of one of their families. The parent of one of the minors contacted News Five because the girls allege that physical beatings as well as emotional abuse were the norm while they were at the facility on [...]


Cane Farmers Continue To Deliver Quality Cane To The Factory
Since the beginning of the 2012/2013 crop season back in November 2012 CTV3 News has been following its progress closely and based on figures and reports submitted by the Belize Sugar Industry Limited the crop season started off on the right foot. Here is a break down of crop week number four. Latest figures from crop week number four show that so far the factory has milled one hundred and sixty three thousand five hundred and seventy one tons of cane producing fifteen thousand two hundred and sixty five tons of sugar. Last year during the same lapse of time the factory milled one hundred and twenty three thousand seven hundred and sixty seven tons of cane producing ten thousand nine hundred and ninety four tons of sugar. This week it took 10.29 tons of cane to produce a ton of sugar. This is good news if we take a look at the cumulative figure and compare it to last year’s crop. So far for the four weeks of crop TCTS stands at 10.72%. Last year it stood at 11.26%. According to Chairman of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association Committee of Management Alfredo Ortega a TCTS 10.57% is indication that cane farmers are delivering quality cane to the factory.

Corozal Resident Charged for Carrying A Machete
While Belize City Police have the first murder for the year 2013 to investigate, a resident of San Andres Village in the Corozal district has been arrested and charged for the offence of “Possession of Article with Blade.” On Monday December 31st 2012, officers from the Corozal Police Department were on patrol when their attention was drawn to a male person of Hispanic decent riding a bicycle. The individual, identified as forty six year old Hilberto Daniels, was searched and found to be in possession of a machete. Daniels was escorted to the Corozal Police Station where the machete was found to measure two feet, one inch in length. As a result Daniels was arrested and charged for the offence of “Possession of Article with Blade”. The machete was kept as exhibit.

2013 Spells Murder For Belize City Resident
The north welcomed the New Year free of major incidences, unlike the Belize District which saw its first murder for 2013 on the first day of the year leaving residents wondering if the blood bath will ever end. Around 9:45 on New Year’s night, 45 year old Orlando Sylvester Williams was standing at the corner of Dean Street and West Canal in Belize City, right across from where he lives, conversing with another individual, when he was targeted by death. As Williams conversed with the individual a male person described as being of clear completion, slim built and wearing a red pants came walking unto Dean Street from the direction of Plues Street and fired a barrage of bullets at Williams’ direction fatally wounding him. Williams was injured on multiple parts of the body. The victim was transported to the KHMH where he was pronounced dead on arrival. At the scene of the crime police retrieved seven Aguila brand 9mm expended shells, one slug and one copper jacket. So far police have no motive for Williams’s murder and are looking for a Belize City resident for questioning.

Traffic Accident Claims Life Of Stann Creek Resident
In the Stann Creek District a traffic accident claimed the life of twenty eight year old fisherman, Winfield Duran, a resident of Sarawee Village in the Stann Creek District. The fatality occurred between miles 1 and 2 on the George Price Drive, Dangriga Town on December 31st just minutes after 7:00pm. Reports are that Winfield Duran drove his blue Meilun brand motorcycle into the rear portion of a yellow and green James Bus driven at the time by fifty three year old resident of Mile 20 Stann Creek Valley Road, Earl Sanchez Sr. Duran received serious head and body injuries and was transported to the Southern Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. According to Sanchez Sr. two female passengers exited the bus and as he waited for one of them to return after delivering a package to an individual who was standing on the opposite side of the highway he heard a loud bang coming from the rear of the bus. When police arrived at the scene of the traffic accident the James bus was observed parked on the right hand side of the highway facing an easterly direction with damages to its back door and fenders. Duran’s motor cycle was a few feet behind the bus with extensive damages. Police investigation into the matter continues.

2013 Will Bring Better Times Says P.M
Life continues after the enjoyment and the amusing time spent with family and friends over the Christmas Holiday and New Year’s celebration. But truth of the fact is that while we forgot for a while about the problems our country is facing, it’s time to go back to reality and place emphasis on what lies ahead for our country Belize. While Belizeans recognize that Belize is facing crucial times, in his 20 minute long New Years message, the Prime Minister of Belize, Honorable Dean Oliver Barrow, painted a colorful rainbow picture to Belizeans when he spoke about the country’s future. In the PM’s lengthy New Year’s message he speaks of the super bond, thematic that has drawn much attention, since a fiscal cliff was foreseen. But according to the P.M this is no longer the scenario. And that is as far as he went since he never did explain the settlement agreement of the super bond. Honorable Dean Barrow- Prime Minister of Belize: “The settlement we have reached with our Superbond holders is on terms very favorable to us. And the relief we have been able to secure amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars. For a physically and economically tiny country, for an Administration and a people unfairly saddled with a monstrosity not of our making, this is an accomplishment of historic proportions. And it is a great way to underline the annual refresh with which we mark every January 1.”


Police officer charged for driving uninsured motor vehicle
Thirty-three year old police corporal Edward Castillo, who allegedly obstructed Assistant police superintendent Anthony Rosado, was charged with obstruction when he appeared today in Magistrate’s Court today. Castillo was also charged with receiving a person for a cause other than crime and driving a motor vehicle not covered by third party insurance. He pled not guilty to the charges and he was released on a bail of one thousand dollars. His case was adjourned until February 12. The incident occurred on Boxing Day. Rosado, who is the deputy commandant at Police Training Academy, reported that he and a police constable were driving on Central American Boulevard when he became aware of a SUV that had stopped in front of his vehicle. Rosado said that he saw Castillo inside of the SUV and he asked the driver, Lloyd Dyer, for his driver’s license. He said Dyer handed him the license and when he was about to check the vehicle for insurance, Castillo and Dyer got into the vehicle and drove away.

Man charged with robbery, appears in Magistrate’s Court
Twenty-one year old Asban Grant, a resident of Lizarraga Avenue, was charged with robbery when he appeared in Court today. Grant pleaded not guilty to the charge. He was offered a bail of one thousand dollars his case was adjourned until February 21. The incident occurred around 12:30 on the afternoon of Saturday, December 29. Tanya Mcnab, a graphic designer, reported to the police that as she exited her car she was held up at knife point by a person who stole her Blueberry bag, valued at two thousand dollars and an Apple I-phone, valued at two thousand, five hundred dollars. She her assailant rode off on a beach cruiser bicycle.

Youth accused of armed robbery, remanded top prison
Twenty year old Belize City resident Micshak Flores, who the police believe was one of two persons involved in the robbery of nineteen thousand, five hundred and ninety five dollars, was charged with robbery when he appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court today. Flores pleaded not guilty to the charge. The court could not offer him bail because the offence was committed with a firearm. He was remanded into custody until March 3. The incident occurred around 6:30 pm. on December 27. Thirty-three year old Leroy Cassasola, salesman for Santiago Castillo Limited, reported to the police that as he exited Tommy’s Store on Central American boulevard and was about to get on his motorcycle, he was approached by two persons, one of them armed with a firearm. He said the gunman held him up while the other person stole a cool aid kit which contained the money and a knapsack which contained several bank cheques. Both persons then ran down Arlington Drive and escaped. Police investigated and detained Flores shortly afterwards. Members of Flores’ family said that he was beaten by the police and that a piece of cloth was put over his head and Clorox was thrown on his face. They say that they are going to Internal Affairs to make a report.

San Ignacio woman recuperates after viscious New Year’s Day attack
Thirty one year old Alvin Puc, a resident of San Jose Succotz village in the Cayo district has been detained by police pending charges, following a stabbing incident on New Year’s Day. According to police reports, Puc went to the home of twenty five year old Julisa Flores in San Ignacio town around ten thirty on Tuesday morning, during which the couple got into an argument. During the fight, Puc allegedly stabbed Flores multiple times including to the left side of her neck and abdomen. Police have since detained Puc pending charges. They have also recovered a knife believed to have been used in the stabbing. Flores meantime, remains hospitalized at the Western Regional in Belmopan.

Esperanza resident charged for Santa Elena murder
Just over a week after the brutal murder of thirty six year old Santa Elena resident Rene Vera, police have brought murder charges against a man from Esperanza village. On Monday of this week, police arrested and charged twenty two year old Joseph August for the crime of murder. August appeared in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court on Monday and was remanded to the Hattieville prison until his next court appearance later this month. Vera’s body was found inside his home on Bishop Martin Street in Santa Elena town on the afternoon of Saturday, December twenty second.

Orlando Williams is 2013′s first murder victim
The first murder of the New Year happened just before ten o’clock last night in Belize City. It claimed the life of forty five year old Orlando Sylvestre Williams. According to police reports, Williams was at the corner of Dean Street and West Canal around nine forty five last night, when he was fatally wounded. Initial police investigations reveal that the gunman, described as been of clear complexion, slim built and wearing a red pants, came walking onto Dean Street from the direction of Plues Streets and fired several shots at Williams. Police say they have recovered a total of seven nine millimeter expended shells, one slug and a copper jacket from the scene of the murder.

Man shot on Regent Street, clings to life
Another shooting incident, this time on Regent Street has left a man hospitalized in critical but stable condition. Forty eight year old Marco Valle was shot to the left temple around nine forty last night. Police say that Valle was riding on a motorcycle heading towards the Swing Bridge, when upon passing in front of Welworth Store, a man of Creole descent rode up beside him and fired a single gunshot injuring Valle. Police investigations continue.

Armed robberies in Belize City and Toledo
Two armed robberies were reported in the last forty eight hours in Belize City and in Toledo. In the case of the incident in Toledo … fifty year old Santos Sanchez, a resident of Boom Creek village reported to police that he was on his way home around five thirty on Monday evening when he was accosted by a man of dark complexion. The attack took place near the first bridge in the village, and Sanchez says the robber who carried a gun, took away his cell phone, wallet containing forty dollars in cash and his personal documents. In the other incident, a Belize City businessman was held up and robbed at gunpoint on New Year’s Day. The manager of La Popular Tortilla Factory at the corner of Vernon and Sarstoon Streets reported to police that on Tuesday afternoon, he was reconciling the day’s receipts when a man, armed with a handgun entered the factory and held him up. Fearing for his life, the manager says that he handed over a thousand dollars in cash and a cell phone. The armed robber is reported to have been of dark complexion, tall, and wore a black T-shirt and a pair of Dickie’s pants. Police investigation of both incidents continues.

Man charged after he was found with a machete late at night
A man from San Andres village in the Corozal district has been arrested and charged for the offence of possession of an article with blade. It sounded like a strange charge; but several contacts in the legal field have confirmed that such a charge is on the law books of the country. The arrest and charge follows the interception of forty six year old Hlberto Daniels on Monday night during a police mobile patrol on the San Andres road. Police say that when they saw Daniels, around eleven thirty on Monday night, he was riding a bicycle and when they asked him to stop, he refused. Police pursued Daniels and when they caught up with him, found him to be carrying a machete on his bicycle. Daniels and the machete were taken to the Corozal police station. Authorities measured the machete and found the blade to be two feet, one inch in length. Daniels was then arrested and charged. For context, the charge for which Daniels was charged is covered by the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Act, which is Chapter 102 of the Laws of Belize. The law basically prohibits anyone from carrying articles with blades or point and offensive weapons in public between eight o’clock at night and five o’clock in the morning. The law also prescribes that any person who is charged under this law, must prove that he had the article with him for use at work or had other good reason or lawful authority for having the article with him in a public place. If found guilty of the offence, Daniels faces a possible fine not exceeding five hundred dollars or imprisonment of up to six months.

Man dies after crashing into parked bus
A traffic accident in Dangriga town on New Year’s Eve night, claimed the life of a man from Sarawee village in the Stann Creek district. The victim has been identified as twenty eight year old Winfield Duran. Police say Duran was driving his motorcycle on George Prince Avenue in Dangriga town around seven o’clock on Monday night when he crashed into the back of a passenger bus that was parked at the side of the road to allow passengers to alight. Police say Duran sustained serious head and body injuries and was taken to the Southern Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Police continue to investigate Monday night’s incident.

Belizeans get Queen’s New Year’s award
Four Belizeans have been named in the Queen’s New Year’s Honors for 2013 and appointed to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, MBE. They are attorney at law Denys Barrow for his contribution to Law and Education; Patrick Bernard for his contribution to Public Service and good governance, Pen Cayetano for his contribution to Music and Art and Cristina Hyde for her services to Education and the community. Barrow’s appointment makes him an ordinary Commander of the Civil Division, while Bernard, Cayetano and Hyde are ordinary members of the Civil Division. The insignias will be presented to the award recipients in Belmopan at a date to be announced, by Governor General, Sir Colville Young.

Man accused of stealing a nurse’ wallet
Thirty-three year old Belize City resident Denfield Lemoth, was charged with burglary today. It is alleged that Lemoth, a resident of Racoon Street, stole a purse from the office of public health nurse Pauline Griffith at the Cleopatra White Health Center. Lemoth pleaded not guilty to the charge. He was released on a bail of one thousand dollars. The incident occurred around 8:55 this morning. Griffith reported to the police that she left her office and went to the office of another nurse. While there, Nurse Griffith said that she was notified that a man had just entered her office. Griffith said when she went to her office she saw the man coming out of her office and she asked the man what he was doing in her office. The man reportedly said that he was awaiting his turn. But when the man turned around Nurse Griffith saw her wallet in Lemoth’s back pocket. Griffith said she grabbed the man in the back of his pants and held him until the police came and took him away.

Villager says football field in San Jose Succotz damaged by concert promoters
A concerned resident of the village of San Jose Succotz in the Cayo district is complaining about damage being done to the community’s football field. According to the resident, and as shown in photographs sent to the RSV News Centre, the field has been gutted by vehicles skidding onto the grass, apparently to transport equipment for a music concert which has been ongoing since New Year’s Day.

Do you think that crime (murders) will decrease in 2013?
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Orlando Williams shot dead in Belize City
There were 145 recorded murders last year, and on the very first day of 2013, murder number one for the new year to...

Arrest made for murder of Rene Vera
Cayo police have also made an arrest in the murder case of 36 year old Rene Vera. Vera was stabbed to death inside ...

Fatal traffic accident on New Year's Eve in Dangriga
There was a fatal traffic accident on New Year's Eve in Dangriga Town. The incident involved a James bus which was ...

New Year’s first baby born at KHMH
It is an annual tradition, the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) welcomed with fanfare the New Year’s first bab...

Belize City Lion’s Club makes monetary donation to a new mother
This morning the Belize City Lion’s Club handed over a monetary donation to a new mother on the ward who was identi...

PM anticipates benefits from Green Tropics' sugar project
Early last year Plus News received information that a large scale sugar production company was expressing interest ...

70 participate in KREM New Year’s Day Cycling Classic
New Year’s Day saw the 23rd edition of the KREM New Year’s Day Cycling Classic. Defending champion in both classics...

La Loma Luz Hospital celebrates 40 years of service
La Loma Luz Adventist Hospital in Santa Elena held its grand 40th anniversary celebration over the weekend. It was ...

Proyecto Lagartija Centroamérica. promote drama in Belize
If you would like to be an actor and would like to sharpen your skills, then you may be interested in the following...

New Year's Honours announced
Appointments have been made to the most excellent order of the British Empire on the occasion of New Year Honours 2...

Attempted robbery at BTB
Just this afternoon, an attempted robbery incident was reported at the offices of the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) on...

Attempted murder on New Year's day
In the west, there was an attempted murder on New Year's day. A man stabbed his common law wife multiple times. Acc...

Taxi driver accused of rape
On Monday, we reported on a rape which occurred in Santa Elena Town. Well, police say they have arrested the accuse...

La Popular tortilla factory in Belize City was robbed
La Popular tortilla factory in Belize City was robbed on New Year's Day.The manager was inside the establishment at...

Robbery reported in the south
There was also a robbery reported in the south. 50 year old Santos Sanchez of Boom Creek Village, Toledo District, ...


A Tale of Five Cities: Traveling to Merida
After two full days and three nights, it was time to hit the road again, heading north to Merida from Tulum. We'd be traveling to a different Mexican state today, from Quintana Roo to Yucatan. We've neglected to include a map of our travels so far, so here is a map showing our route through Merida. We'll continue updating it as we travel along. After breakfast, we headed to the Tulum ADO bus station, a very short walk. The king of traveling light Prepared for the air-conditioning in the bus Today's journey was to be made on a "luxury class" bus called an ADO gl, which is pronounced, we found out from watching ads on the DVDs in the bus, like "ADO hell". Ha! It was much closer to heavenly than hellish, however. A very comfortable ride indeed. We were given free bottles of water, earbuds for listening to audio, and there were multiple DVD players playing American movies that were dubbed in Spanish. We discovered that with most movies, even speaking just a bit of Spanish, we were able to figure out enough of what was going on from the video to follow along.

Pimp My Ride in Ambergris Caye
Mystery Blogger here. I drove Mr. John to the water taxi to catch the 7:00 am boat, whilst driving we saw two backpackers and asked if they wanted a lift, yes they said. They had stayed at Pedros and thoroughly enjoyed their stay on the island. Mr. John is going to Belize City and back to the dentist. I dropped him off at the water taxi, then drove home. On the way there I stopped for two more backpackers, who were on their way to Victoria House to stay the last night of their vacation. Then home for me and a cup of coffee. Today I am making a chicken curry. When I cooked curry in the UK I never used coconut milk but here it is part of the norm, and very tasty. Curry ingredients Chicken, red curry paste, cumin, curry powder, coconut milk, termeric, fresh ginger and chilli. I saw this on the Island and want one I really really do. Either pink or french navy in colour.

International Sources

What Traditional Societies Can Teach You About Life
A new book from best-selling author Jared Diamond tells us how we can learn a lot from people who live like most of us did 11,000 years ago. For most humans living today, it's hard to imagine life without written language, governments and large-scale agriculture. But on the scale of human history, all of these are recent inventions. Until just 11,000 years ago, we lived in small groups, hunting, gathering and practicing simple farming. Tribal warfare was common, life spans were short and strangers were rarely encountered. While that lifestyle might seem to belong to the distant past, it is also the life that our bodies and our brains are adapted to, and it’s a life that some people around the world still live. In his latest book, Jared Diamond, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Guns, Germs, and Steel, argues that we also have a lot to learn from people who have continued to live as humans did for most of our history. The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies? (which comes out on Monday, December 31) takes readers around the world, from the New Guinea Highlands and the Amazon rainforest, to Africa’s Kalahari Desert and the Arctic Circle, where people still living the lives of our ancestors have lessons to teach us about how we might better live today.