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Today's Belize News: January 16, 2013 #455355
01/16/13 07:47 AM
01/16/13 07:47 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 73,302
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


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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 San Pedro Sun

Technology is supposed to make life easy and wonderful...but when it doesn't work it can sure make life difficult! Please bear with us as we muscle through some issues we are currently experiencing with are working on it! Thank you!

Ambergris Today

A Closer Look at Belize’s New Identity and Brand
During the 12th Annual Industry Presentation of the Belize Tourism Board, Belize’s new brand and identity was announced as part of the BTB’s three-year Action Plan. With Belize’s logo and old brand being 26 years old, the BTB hired the Olson agency to refresh its marquee and they crafted this gorgeous, modern take on the Belize identity. Olson says it turned to Belize itself for inspiration - the circular forms found across the nation inspired the new typeface, while a local artist contributed his own take to the national bird, the toucan. The identity brings a contemporary, yet classic vibe to represent tourism in Belize and utilizes the classic travel posters of the '60s. The graphic forms are balanced out with textural brushstrokes - a nod to the handcraftsmanship of the country's artisans.

New Special Constables to Assist Police in Crime Prevention
The Special Constables Program was established to invite members of the community to assisting the Police Department in their daily duties such as patrolling around town or office work at the police station. Special Constable Brian Cook of Fido's Courtyard is a major supporter of the program and invites the public to be a part of their next program which is in the summer time. Those interested in joining the program have the option to participate in one of the patrols so as to have a firsthand experience before signing up for the program. Interested individuals may visit the San Pedro Police Department or Mr. Cook at Fido's Courtyard for more information. Kudos to the 11 individuals who took this initiative in helping out the Police Department and the community of San Pedro!

Misc Belizean Sources

The Secrets Of The Barracks' Tambran Tree
Here is the famous and historical TAMBRAN TREE by the Barracks. This tree provided some of the rods of correction used by the authorities to correct evil doers and upstarts. Likewise it is believed that many babies were conceived on the trunk of this tree. Hurricane Hattie finally battered it to death, But the remnants were taken to the Memorial Park and erected as an Historical Fixture. The field on the background was used as a Football Field a Cricket Pitch, a calisthenic ground, a Military parade Field, a Horse race Track, the Charles Lindbergh Landing field, and eventually the Belize Airstrip for small planes. The ZIK Radio Station was located in one of those far-away Buildings. For me it brings back memories of that day, when I won the 1953 Marathon, ending hear the Old Tambran.

VIDEO: Flashmob Caye Caulker Gangnam Style...

Mama Sue from Jade Gardens has passed away
The Wong Family would like friends and family in San Pedro know that a Memorial Mass for "Mama" Sue Wong will be held at the Roman Catholic Church in San Pedro on Saturday January 19th at 2:00pm. A gathering will follow at the Island Academy grounds. "Mama" Sue a long time resident of San Pedro touched the hearts of many with love for family and friends and the stomachs of most through wonderful meals at the Jade Garden. Please join the family in celebrating the life "Mama" Sue. There will also be a funeral held on thursday in Belize City at Divine Mercy Church (2.5 miles Northern Highway) at 2pm.

Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association
The CNWA has a page where you can follow them and keep updated with their current events. Their next meeting is tomorrow night at the police station. They also supported the peaceful demonstration today at CET. Keep up the great work, CNWA! "Christmas has passed and so has new year but CNWA is still alive so it's monthly meeting time again. Tomorrow night, Wednesday January 16th at 7:30PM at the police station conference room. This will be our first meeting of 2013. We will be issuing out the radios that we showed you guys at our December meeting. So there will also be a short quick training on the usage of them."

Rebecca Stirm's 2013 Runway Release
Rebecca Stirm's 2013 Runway Release fashion show is getting close. January 26th, at 6:30pm at the Princess Hotel in BC. Two Miss Belizes will be there: Destinee Arnold and Chantae Guy. Latest Update: "Looks like our Platinum are pretty much sold out! Sooo, if you didn't get a platinum ticket - its time to get a Gold ticket for the show! Gold is second row - but you still get a great view of the runway! Pick em up quickly at Eyecandy(Belize City), Formosa (Belmopan), and Mr. Greedy's Pizzeria(San Ignacio)."

Cheddar Cheese Biscuits
My daughter loves the biscuits from her favorite restaurant, so Joe and I learned her to recreate them for her. Cheddar Cheese Biscuits, are scrumptious, crispy and spicy.

Channel 7

More Rosewood Found In The South: This One Won't Be Burned
The Forestry Department has made another Rosewood seizure. It's not as big as the last one comprising one thousand flitches which were burnt. This find is only 47 pieces. It was found around farm 12 in the Independence area. It was confiscated and impounded at the Independence Police Department, which is where it is tonight on a trailer. So far no one has claimed it and it remains found property. Official word is that the Forestry Department will not burn the 47 flitches.

Government Balks At Increased Rate For Streelights; PUC Backpedals; Consumers Feel
At the end of 2012 - we told you that electricity rates would be going up 17%. That hasn't changed but the distribution of the increases has. Here's how it works: as a residential customer your rate went up from 41.6 cents per kilowatt hour to an average of 48 cents per kilowatt hour. Well now, it's going up to 49 cents per kilowatt hour. And that's because Government objected to the rate increase on street lighting. The PUC had proposed increasing that to 64 cents per kilowatt hour - nine cents more than the 55 cents it had been set at. But Government - the pro-poor government - wrote to the PUC saying that it would rather reduce the subsidy to social rate customers, the poorest customers - and keep the rate for street lighting at 55 cents. We're restrained from making editorial comments, but that one, that's special... Today the PUC explained why it agreed with the government:.. Dr. Leroy Almendarez, Dir. Tariffs and Admin. - PUC "The major difference here is the change from in terms the cost - the tariff for street lighting. It went back instead on 54 cents, it's now back at 55 cents. What the government is saying in their comment is that they did not get any relief when it was reduced by 6.14 cents. The government state in their comment that the additional 9 cents per kilowatt hour would then mean additional expenditure when in fact they say they did not get the relief."

Northern Highway Accident Serious, But Not Fatal
This evening just after 4, there was an accident on the Northern Highway near mile eight. Traffic was backed up for miles while police tried to clear the scene. There were no fatalities but passengers of both vehicles received injuries. The accident involved a Unicomer Cargo Truck and a Mazda Tribute SUV. From reports gathered on the scene, the SUV was travelling towards Ladyville, while the truck was going in the opposite direction. Both vehicles tried to avoid making a head on collision and lost control. When we left, police officers were still processing the scene. We'll have an update of this accident in tomorrow's newscast.

Senior Citizen Burned In Blaze
At around 7 this morning, residents of Marigold Lane were alarmed by a house fire which started at the home of 74 year-old Ewert Leslie, who lives alone. Fortunately, the Fire Department was quickly notified. Their personnel arrived and got the fire under control, but it did substantial structural damage to Leslie's house. 7News spoke to one of his neighbors who called in the authorities to come to his aid. She told us that the senior citizen was inside the house and received burns: Voice Of: Neighbor "My nephew came this morning and tell me to please call the fire department because the house next door is on fire. When I came outside I ask him which house, I didn't know it was that house. I came out and saw the smoke and ran back inside, pick up my phone and call the police and ask them to please call the authorities because I didn't remember the phone number to call. They call and a little while after the fire truck came and they start to put out the fire. I know that a single man lives in there but I didn't know where he was. I was panicking because I didn't know what happened if he was inside the house or if he had gone because normally he usually goes soon but apparently he was still in the house because he got burned."

Did Someone Try To Sink "The Oar"?
But a few hours before that Fire Department personnel had to respond to a fire in Ladyville just before midnight last night. The Operations Officer told us that they believe that someone tried to burn down Oar Bar and Grill in the Visa Del Mar area: Here's how he explained it: Ben Matura - Operations Officer, Fire Department "Last night approximately 11:45 we responded to a fire in Vista Del Mar. The apparatus from Ladyville substation responded immediately. We had a few challenge with the road - a lot of pot holes and that slow down our response but nevertheless we arrived there and we got into operation. On arrival the structure had a thatch roof - it was a bar and grill - Oar House Bar and Grill. the entire thatch was on fire and we got into operation and extinguished it. The extent of damage was the roof was totally gutted because as you know that fire will burn that quick especially in this dry time and a portion of the patio - that's all that got damage. Due to our quick respond we manage to save most of the bar area and the restaurant itself." Reporter "What was the cause of the fire?"

KHMH Will Outsource Security; Guards Worry About Jobs
Change is afoot at the KHMH and the security guards are none too happy about it. The Board of Directors has decided to contract out the Hospital's Security Services to a private company, SOS Security. SOS has committed to absorb all 30 or so staffers who are being released, but many of them are unhappy about it. They say the private company will pay less, work them for longer hours with no benefits. But, the Chairman of the Board Chandra Cansino says that it's a cost saving necessity because the in-house security was costing the hospital tens of thousands of dollars in illness and overtime payments. She says they put the bid for security services out to tender and the board selected a bid that was neither the lowest nor the highest. Four security guards will be kept on as supervisors. Fearing for their job security, none of the guards wished to speak to us today.

BDF's New Commander Gets New Trucks
There will be a new BDF commander. On February first, Colonel David Jones who earned his fame as an explosives and demolition expert will assume command of the BDF. He takes over from Dario Tapia who has reached the retirement age of 45. Tapia assumed command almost five years ago. Today, as Commander Designate Jones, Jones received two pickups form the government on behalf of the BDF. He explained how they will be used:... Lt. Colonel David Jones - Commander- Designate, BDF "We just received another two more vehicles as promised by the Ministry of National Security, the Minister has been very instrumental in ensuring that we get these two vehicles and this will assist us with our operational capability to effectively patrol around the borders and deploy operations as we need at the moment because we are desperately in need of more vehicles and the Minister has already given us five and we just received another two more today, we expect another three and that will enforce the capability that we have. The capacity is being grown and with the improved capacity we are going to more effectively be able to deploy and provide a credible deterrence to narcotic activities and criminal activities that are happening along the border."

Pervert Slips Under Bed Of Teenaged Girl
A teenaged girl in Cowpen had to chase a pervert from under her bed! The minor reported that at 4:15 yesterday morning she was awakened from her sleep by someone who was fondling her. When show awoke with a start she saw a man scramble under her bed. She called her brother to bring a flashlight. When she shined it under the bed she saw 18 year old Darwin Ruiz. Ruiz dashed out of the house, but was later arrested by police and charged for AGGRAVATED BURGLARY.

Shots In the Cemetery
A Belize City woman is reporting a scary event. Last night at 9:30, the sales executive - whose name has not been released - was driving her SUV through Lords Ridge Cemetery, when she heard a gunshot and saw the rear window shattered. Terrified, she didn't stop to investigate and sped off. Police say they are investigating. In other police news, Mark Massam handed himself into Corozal Police this morning - after he was put on blast yesterday. He has been charged for keeping unlicensed firearm and ammunition - and with that his bail for a similar offence is expected to be revoked.

Cayo Community Opposed To Liquor Licenses
The Cayo Liquor Licensing Board met today to consider new licenses for the year 2013 - and they had people pressure from the Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association. The CYNA doesn't want liquor licenses or night club licenses issued in Residential areas. The handful of protestors held up signs to this effect. As we understand it, the liquor licensing board has decided to issue provisional three month licenses for some establishments to wait and if they conduct their operations in line with regulations.

Cemetery Situation Still Fraught
Last night, 7News told you about the situation at the cemetery where family of the late Zebedee Pitterson Jr. were dissatisfied with the way the Belize City Council handled the building of his grave at the 13 miles Cemetery. Well, we were able to get a response from City hall about it. As we told you, the family claimed that the grave was only built and prepared an hour before his burial yesterday. We spoke to Deputy Mayor Dion Leslie this evening who was very measured in his comments informing us that all public relations will be handled by a newly hired press officer for City hall, Kenny Morgan. He did offer us a brief explanation saying that there was a breakdown in communication between the different personnel responsible for the cemetery, which resulted the contractors being informed very late. Kenny Morgan contacted us this evening, and he told us that in relation to that particular grave, he visited the cemetery himself and saw that the newly prepared tomb was in its finishing stages.

Not Quite Kumbaya As Honourables Vega And Faber Open School
The UDP convention will be held on February 17th in Corozal - and daggers are drawn between the current Deputy Gaspar Vega and the man who would seek to unseat him Patrick Faber. And that's why yesterday it was a rare opportunity see them together at San Jose Village in Orange Walk. They were there - shoulder to shoulder - to open a new school building funded by SIF. It will benefit over 434 students and was financed by the Government of Belize through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank at a total cost of almost half a million dollars. Vega and Faber cut the ribbon together. San Jose Village is the second largest village in the Orange Walk District with 2,533 residents.

The GSU Reloaded
When you think of how completely the Gang Suppression Unit or the GSU has absorbed itself into the national consciousness - it's hard to remember a time when it didn't exist. But you don't have to go to far back: try October of 2010 when it was formed by Commander Marco Vidal with the blessing of the National Security Council and the backing of then Minister Doug Singh. In the less than three years since it has become the most controversial - and among the most productive units in the police department inspiring fear, respect, admiration and outrage. To find out how the unit got to the epicenter or controversy we have to go back to the start - when it had just started to draw attention for its tasering tactics. Jules Vasquez visited with them in March of 2011:.. Jules Vasquez Reporting: Officer in Training "Load!" "Make weapons ready!" This is the MT-9, a weapon designed strictly for law enforcement It uses 9 millimeter rounds but works like a machine gun. The GSU is the only police unit using it and yes, they are also the only unit authorized to wear masks.

Commotion At Court
A man's hand was broken at court today after a fight erupted between rival gangs in the holding area. Police had to get an ambulance to the court to treat Ronlee Petillo, who is on remand for murder. Seen here in the footage, Petillo had to receive treatment to his arm for and wrist injury he allegedly sustained from that scuffle inside the holding cell area. There are varying reports on how his hand was injured - and it is unclear whether it happened in a cell fight or when police intervened. The court environs had started out hostile from earlier in the morning because when the prisoners were being transported from the prison transport to the holding cell, they got angry with photo-journalists who were taking photographs. One of those prisoners picked up a rock and hurled it at one of the journalists, but fortunately, she wasn't hit.

Price Would Have Been 94
And after all that rough and tumble news, we end tonight with a touch of grace. George Price would have been 94 today - and though he passed on going on two years now -the memory of him is still alive. One of the best video memories come from 1981 when he was a spry 63 year old - and had just realized his lifelong dream of seeing an independent Belize. Here's how he looked on that day - footage courtesy the archives department:.. Jules Vasquez Reporting On September 21st 1981 in Belmopan, George Price was at ease his confidence visible, the fruits of his labor have come to pass, the field was line with supporters, the new citizens of an independent Belize. Hon. George Price "We continued our work, not only to build Belize to yet a greater levels of economic growth and social progress, but in doing so to remove causes of conflict and to cooperate in the economic development of the region." The day before the press conference Price faced over 200 international journalists. And was at the height of his powers, he was sharp and gauged deliberately ambiguous and on top of his game.

Channel 5

P.U.C. delivers its final decision on electricity rates; there’s good news for G.O.B.
Many Belizeans welcomed the New Year with a cringe following the announcement at the end of December that electricity rates would increase by as much as sixteen point eight-seven percent effective the first of January. Since the announcement, many have prepared – at least mentally – for what is sure to be more dollars spent [...]

But not so good for consumers; 16.87% increase in the cost of electricity stands
So government maintains its tariff for street lights and will continue to pay fifty-five cents per kilowatt hour and not the sixty-four cents that was presented in the first draft. That nine cents as pointed out by Almendarez will be redistributed. So who will bear the shortfall? All other consumers, Dr. Almendarez explains.   Dr. [...]

Police officer charged for death of Punta Gorda Resident
One month after a Punta Gorda resident was found dead in a drain, a Police Constable has been charged in connection with his death. The officer, forty year old Leon Higinio, was arraigned for the death of fifty-three year old Francisco Shol. The tragic death of Shol, a driver of the Punta Gorda Town Hospital, [...]

2 fires: Oar House Bar & Grill gutted in a case of arson
There are two fires to report tonight; one in the City and the other in Ladyville. In the case of the Oar Restaurant located in Vista del Mar, it is believed it is a case of arson. The restaurant went up in flames after midnight on Monday night and despite challenges, the Fire Department was [...]

Elderly man injured in 2nd fire on Marigold Lane
The other fire started about six hours later in Belize City. A senior citizen, living alone at a house on Marigold Street, was injured when the fire erupted at his wooden house. Eaworth Leslie attempted to put out the blaze even before fire fighters could respond to calls from alert neighbors. He received second degree [...]

Accident on the Phillip Goldson Highway; several persons injured
Just after five this evening, there was an accident near mile seven on the Phillip Goldson Highway. It involved a Sports Utility Vehicle and a trailer truck. According to an eyewitness account, the SUV was extensively damaged while the trailer was flipped on the right side of the highway. Three persons, including a minor, travelling [...]

Should the media censor coverage of gang related murders or violent crime?
Over a thousand persons voted on our last week’s question on whether there is support for a curfew given the crime situation. An overwhelming eighty-five percent were in favour of putting a curfew in place while the remaining fifteen percent said they were against it. Tonight’s question also relates to crime. Should the media censor [...]

Late evening shooting in Old Capital
Just a few minutes ago, there was a shooting in the city on Raccoon Street extension, just three blocks away from the police station near a tire shop. Early reports to this station are that Kent Moss was injured in the shooting. It is not yet known if the incident is gang related or a [...]

Another bust of illegal Rosewood extraction in the south
  For months the illegal rosewood extraction has been a topic of interest, and since the burning of over four hundred thousand dollars worth of flitches by forestry Minister Lisel Alamilla last Friday, let’s just say the topic is receiving national attention. And apparently with good cause as tonight there are credible reports that another [...]

Special Tribute to George Price on his Birthday
January fifteenth is the birthday of the man who has been hailed as the father of Belizean Independence and the Father of the Nation. George Price died on September nineteenth, twenty eleven, just before Independence Day. But his memory has lived on, and Price is remembered for his humility, his achievements, his contributions and the [...]

Opposition Leader visits Dean Street
In the wake of the four brutal murders last week, Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca offered the cooperation of his Party to fight crime; it was accepted in principle by the Prime Minister. Fonseca has since taken to the streets and is meeting with residents of the most affected communities. Today, News Five spoke [...]

Index of Economic Freedom: where is Belize ranked?
If you’ve been trying to remember the last time Belize was featured on some foreign list or by some rating agency in a positive light, you might not find many. Well tonight we have one that is not favorable. Have you heard about the Index of Economic Freedom? It’s an annual guide published by the [...]

Mayhem inside detention cell at magistrate’s Court
There was mayhem inside the Magistrate’s Court detention area this morning and a BERT ambulance had to be called to the scene after a fight broke out between prison inmates and police officers. It happened early this morning when the Kolbe Correctional Facility bus arrived in the area transporting as many as sixty-eight prisoners charged [...]

Another case of carnal knowledge
There is another report of carnal knowledge to report. A fifteen year old minor told police that her mother, a resident of Sarteneja Village in the Corozal District, gave her permission to live with her boyfriend in Belmopan and has been sexually involved with him since last November. Her twenty-year old boyfriend Eluterio Cruz, who [...]

Mark Massam turns himself in to the cops
  We reported on Monday that police were looking for Mark Massam, who was seen throwing away a gun while running away from the police in Corozal Town last Sunday. Massam, who has a list of offences to his name, turned himself in to the Corozal police this morning and will be charged for keeping [...]

B.D.F. receive new vehicles to increase patrols along borders
With the ICJ question up in the air, a referendum on the Belize/Guatemala dispute scheduled for October sixth and persistent incursions into our borders, the lack of security at the borders has been a major concern. But to increase patrols, it also means additional resources—human and otherwise. In a brief ceremony in Belmopan this morning, [...]

U.S. travel advisory lifted
There is a sign of relief in the tourism industry. A travel advisory issued by the United States immediately following the slaughtering of four George Street gang affiliates has been lifted.  A release rescinding the January eighth advisory, says that while police and defense forces continue to maintain an increased presence in parts of the [...]

F.F.B. National A selection to take part in UNCAF tournament
The Football Federation of Belize National “A” selection leaves this Wednesday for Costa Rica to take part in the UNCAF tournament. Belize will be going up against three major teams this weekend. The national selection plays against Costa Rica on Friday, Guatemala on Saturday and Nicaragua on Sunday in the first round. If all goes [...]

Regional Integration and Economic Growth lecture held at UWI and UB
The economies of Belize and other countries in the region have been in the forefront of discussions in recent years, as global realities have forced governments to adjust, adapt or face economic devastation. In Belize the situation is no different, and the future economic story of our nation is by no means written in stone. [...]

Re: Today's Belize News: January 16, 2013 [Re: Marty] #455356
01/16/13 07:47 AM
01/16/13 07:47 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 73,302
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

More News: Scroll up from here


Opposition Leader Meets With George Street Residents
Since the slaying of the four members of the George Street Gang one week ago today, the People’s United Party Leader, Francis Fonseca has called on the government to conduct an inquiry into the quadruple homicide. Today Fonseca told reporters that he has not received a form...

Father of The Nation Remembered on His Birthday
Today many Belizeans are remembering the birthday of Belize’s first Prime Minister George Cadle Price. Earlier today a mass was held in his memory at our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Belmopan. Mr. Price died on September 19, 2011 at the age of 92. He was laid to rest f...

Fire Department Investigates Two Separate Fires
A senior citizen has been hospitalized following a fire in Belize City this morning. Love News spoke with Operations Officer at the National Fire Service, Benisford Matura and he gave us the details on the incident. “This morning at 650 we got a call of a hou...

Government Hands Over Two New Vehicles to the BDF
Minister of National Security John Saldivar has handed over two new vehicles to the Belize Defence Force. On hand to receive the vehicles was the newly named Commander Designate of the Belize Defense Force, Colonel David Jones. Colonel David Jones, who is currently the Deputy...

Family Loses Home In Fire
The inside of a house was gutted by fire early this morning on Marigold Lane in Belize City. Firefighters got a call at around six fifty one this morning and made their way to number 4107 on Marigold Lane, where a twenty by twenty concrete Bungalow house was on fire. The fire was cont...

Local Government Ministry Singles Out Western Municipality on Increased Cost for Drivers License
The Ministry of Local Government has put out a public advisory, which has left more questions than answers. The official statement sent out on Monday morning, advises the general public that the legal fee for the issuance of a driver’s license is thirty dollars and not a ce...

Rival Gangs Meet In Prison Cell; Altercation Results
Ronlee Petillo, a prisoner remanded on charge of murder, broke his right wrist in an altercation this morning in the holding cell at the Magistrate Court. The altercation was between members of rival gangs. Petillo was taken in an ambulance to KHMH. According to an eye witness ...


First day of Supreme Court business for 2013 starts with a bang
Today was the first business day for the Supreme Court's 2013 sessions and irt started with a bang. Ambulance had t...

Twin Towns Mayor talks about increase in driver's license fees
The Ministry of Labor, and Local Government sent out a press release yesterday informing persons, particularly resi...

Belize City fire leaves senior citizen with burns and homeless
A Belize City fire on Marigold lane has left a senior citizen with burns and homeless. Fire Service officials say t...

BDF receives two brand new Mahindra Pickup
This morning, newly named Commander Designate of the Belize Defense Force, Colonel David Jones, received on behalf ...

Mark Massam turns himself in to Corozal Police
Yesterday we told you that Police from the north were looking for Mark Massam. Well this morning Massam handed hims...

Residents of the twin towns send a message to the Liquor Licenses Board
Residents of the twin towns came out this morning in a form of community activism to send a message to the Liquor L...

PUP hold wreath laying ceremony at tomb of George Cadle Price
Leaders, members and supporters of the People's United Party (PUP) gathered this morning to remember and recognize ...

PUP Leader Francis Fonseca meets families of murder victims
The Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Francis Fonseca met with families of murder victims. Hon. Fonseca today told rep...

SCAIS program equips youth to be productive citizens
The Ministry of Human Development and Social Transformation have been spearheading a program called "SCAIS". It's o...

First of many cruise ships docks in Dangriga
There was much buzz and spirits high were in Dangriga Town yesterday after residents learned that the first of many...

Belize Football Team off to play Costa Rica, Guatemala and Nicaragua
The Football Federation of Belize (FFB) National ‘A’ Selection leaves Belize tomorrow. The purpose of the travel is...

Belizean author launches book on maintaining a positive mind
A Belizean artist has launched a book on how to maintain a positive mind amidst adversaries. Stanley Saunders, a te...

Electricity rates going up as approved by PUC
The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has approved an amendment to its Annual Review Procedure (ARP) for Belize Ele...

SUV was shot as occupants headed to Belize City
An SUV was shot as occupants headed to downtown Belize City. A Sales Executive of Belize City, reported to Police, ...

20 years-old man detained for unlawful carnal knowledge
Yesterday Belmopan Police visited Las Flores Area, in Belmopan City where they met a 15 year old female minor who s...

17 years-old finds man under her bed
In the South, a 17year old Belizean female student of Cowpen Village, visited the Stann Creek Police Station and re...

Police officer charged with the death of Francisco Shol
A Police officer has been charged in connection with the death of a Toledo resident. Late last year, we told you ab...


3 of the injured thieves remain in hospital... This afternoon after all the pomp and ceremony of the Supreme Court’s official opening for 2013, things returned to normal for the Magistrate’s Court when three of six persons accused of robbing a Chinese businessman appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. Steven Swasey, 36, a resident of San Pedrito, San Pedro; Alexis Ku, 18, a butcher of 9128 Mahogany Street Extension, and a minor, 17, were all charged with robbery, keeping an unlicensed firearm for an Austrian brand Glock 9mm gun, and keeping unlicensed ammunition for 10 Aguilla brand and 2 Lugar brand 9mm live rounds, which were recovered from the scene. Police report that at 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 12, 2013, they received information that Jian Vin Shop, located at the corner of Mahogany and Mopan Streets, was being robbed. Jing Jong Li, 61, reported to police that while he and his wife were at their shop, six men entered the shop, one of whom was armed with a gun. The man with the gun then hit him and his wife on their jaws with the gun and demanded money from them. The men then robbed the couple of $2,500 in cash, a black DVD player valued at $150, and a laptop computer used for Boledo. The men then went upstairs and that was when police, who responded quickly, arrived and cornered them.

Three Mexican nationals were imprisoned after illegally fishing within the preservation zone of the Bacalar Chico Marine and Wildlife Reserve on Ambergris Caye. Basain Cruz, Emilio Ambros and Norberto Cruz were charged in Magistrate Sherane Rodriguez’s court in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, on Wednesday, January 9, 2013. The Fisheries Department was contacted about the situation on Tuesday, January 8, 2013, and the matter was taken to court the following day. “Fisheries had against them two charges,” said Fisheries prosecutor Immanuel Westby. “We had one for fishing without a commercial fisherman’s license, which is a requirement if you’re going to fish commercially in Belize. And also, for fishing within the preservation zone of the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve, which is also something that should not be done,” he explained. Westby said that the marine reserves are set up in three areas: a general use zone, which is accessible by persons for basically any activities allowed by law; a conservation zone in which non-extractive activities take place, and a preservation zone in which absolutely no activities should take place. The three men were doing their fishing within the preservation zone. In court, the magistrate read them both charges, to which they all pleaded guilty. It was their first offense on such charges, and all three men were fined $710 each. They were each charged $500 for the illegal fishing, $200 for not having a fishing license, and $5 for each charge for cost of court.

Today, the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations (APAMO), a powerful lobbying body, issued a press release applauding the efforts of Minister of Forest, Fisheries, and Sustainable Development, Lisel Alamilla, to control the illegal harvesting of rosewood, and other woods, in Belize. On Friday, January 11, 2013 about 700 pieces of illegally harvested rosewood were burned by Minister Alamilla. Some say it was not the best move, as the wood could have been kept for a useful purpose, while others saw it as a bold and admirable move for the Minister. APAMO is on the side of those who applaud the action of the Minister, who before being appointed a minister of government was executive director of Xa’axche Conservation Trust, a standing member of APAMO. The organization wrote in the press release that it “applauds Minister Lisel Alamilla for her decisive actions to halt the illegal trade of this valuable wood, the moratorium on the extraction of Rosewood, and other measures taken to promote the sustainable development of the country’s forest and marine resources.” APAMO went on to state that they condemn the government and whoever else is involved in the ongoing illegal harvesting and trade of Belize’s wood.

The Belize Tourism Board held its 12th Annual Industry Presentation on Friday, January 11, 2013, at the Island Academy in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. The Board launched its five-year action plan and announced that it has a 20-year master plan for tourism in Belize, and these presentations were made against the backdrop of significant achievements in various sectors of the industry over the past year. Ian Lizarraga, Chairman of the BTB, said the Board has nothing but positive news to share with the people of Belize concerning the tourism industry. “If we work together we can accomplish magic,” he said. “I think there is so much positive in and around us every single day that if we challenge to find the positive or two positives for every negative, we will inundate this country with so much good news that the bad news is put into perspective… I think that tourism of course plays the most important, most major role in that happening.” Laura Frampton, Director of Tourism for the BTB, said that the performance of the Board over the past year has been record breaking and that the Board looks forward to another profitable year for tourism in Belize regardless of the decrease in cruise tourism, which was down by about ten percent last year. “While we were down in cruise tourism, the overnight tourist arrivals were very strong,” she said. “Over a ten percent increase in overnight tourist arrivals of 2012 versus 2011. And 2011 also saw a five percent increase over the previous year, so we just keep going up in overnight arrivals. In fact, the first three-quarters were record-breaking months.” Frampton said that there was also a large increase in the number of licensed tour guides and tour operators last year. She said that the Board is looking harder than ever to promote Belize.

The Belize District Police has gotten a new police chief — Assistant Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura, who took over from Deputy Commissioner of Police Elodio Aragon, Jr., today Monday, January 14, at the Racoon Street Police Station. Assisting Segura are two deputies – Sr. Superintendents Desiree Phillips and Marlon Allen. The two deputies will be in charge of Community Policing and Operations. Aragon has been transferred to Belmopan as Deputy Commissioner with responsibility for police operations countrywide. In handing over, DCP Aragon said that over the two years he has been the person in charge of the Belize District police, there have been many improvements, many changes and many challenges, but changes are a part of evolution, and the department is evolving. The focus is to triumph over the battle, to reduce crimes and to have a safe and peaceful community, and this takes hard work and dedication, he continued. Aragon says he is confident that Miguel Segura and his two deputies will impact the crime situation in the city, adding that although he will be in Belmopan, he still has his thoughts on the old capital.

Police foiled a robbery Saturday night around 9:00, shooting four of six thieves during an exchange of gunfire with the robbers in the top flat of a two-storey building at the corner of Mahogany and Mopan Streets. The four thieves are now receiving treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) for various degrees of injuries, under police custody. The other two men have been taken into custody and will be charged pending investigation. Police shot a minor, 16, of a T Street address, in both his thighs. Gregory Knox, of Rio Grande Crescent, was shot in both his feet; Jean Pasqual, of a C Street address, was shot in his right thigh, and Alexis Ku of Mahogany Street was shot in his left thigh. Police say that they were on patrol on Mahogany Street, and as they approached the intersection with Mopan Street, they intercepted an armed robbery in progress. They say that six men were robbing a Chinese store in the lower flat of the building. When the men saw the police, they ran out of the store and ran upstairs the building, from where they fired at police. Police say they returned fire and stormed the house, where they found four men with gunshots wounds. Police found two other men hiding in the house – Steven Swasey, 37, of San Pedro, and Dillon Dougal, of a Boots Crescent address. They were all taken into custody. The injured men were taken to the KHMH and the two men who were not hurt were taken to the Queen Street Police Station

The new ComPol is big on “community policing...” The Police Department gets a new Commissioner of Police – Allen Whylie, who has today officially taken over command of the department from Commissioner David Henderson, who is now the Director of Forensic Services. The change of command for the Police Department was conducted in Belmopan at the National Police Academy, on Thursday, January 10. Whylie, who was the Assistant Commissioner of Police before his promotion, is a veteran police officer who has given 26 years of service and he stands prepared, he said, to take on the challenge of upgrading the type of policing carried out in the Jewel in an effort to restore a sense of peace and security to the nation. In accepting the job as Police Commissioner, Whylie noted the particular challenges that are being faced in Belize City, and said that bringing the crime situation in the city under control would be a primary focus of his. Whylie expressed the belief that while crime is happening in other areas of the country, the old capital is the battleground. And he will not give up on this fight, nor will he give up hope, he said. Whylie explained that he would be deploying a variety of strategies, and would evaluate and reevaluate results – changing and adapting in an effort to achieve an optimum outcome. The strategies then, will have to be flexible, so that they can adapt to whatever changes they see on the ground, Whylie further stated.

Dear Editor, Could you publish this for us. Dear Prime Minister Barrow, Peninsula Citizens for Sustainable Development strongly supports Minister Alamilla’s actions today in burning illegally extracted rosewood to graphically illustrate how illegal extraction and exportation of rosewood is burning our country’s economy. Illegally cut and exported rosewood might just as well be burned for all the benefits it brings to Belize. Illegal extraction of rosewood has to stop – not only does it hurt our country environmentally, it also hurts it economically and socially. When people see this happening and the government unable or unwilling to stop it, it sends a message of governmental ineffectiveness, and leads people to conjecture about the involvement of government officials in the illegal extraction. Minister Alamilla is to be commended for her determination to stop this pillaging of our patrimony. Sincerely, Peninsula Citizens for Sustainable Development

Dear Editor, Please publish this letter to the Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean Barrow. Dear Prime Minister, I am a woman, a mother, a Belizean, a servant of the people and a believer in God, and with all that I am I call on the Prime Minister of Belize to rescue our nation from the paralysis of fear and violent crime. For too long law-abiding citizens like myself, who work hard every day to be productive members of our communities, have been victims of criminals with no heart, no soul and no love. Mr. Prime Minister, I may not have fancy degrees plastering my walls, but I have enough common sense to know that any negotiation with these terrorist gangs is destined for failure. When a government will stoop to brokering deals with criminals, it shows that it has no power, no authority. That power is transferred to the terrorists, and that is exactly what they want. Please, Mr. Prime Minister, it is time to listen to us, and heed our cries and not those of the very people who brutalize us at their whim.

Dear Editor, The Hon. Lisel Alamilla, Minister of the Environment, stands head and shoulders above her critics. Her monumental decision to burn illegally cut rosewood sent far reaching and powerful messages to the criminals that cut the rosewood and the corrupt, Forestry officers that allowed the cutting. The message was clear that none would profit from the illegal cutting of rosewood and the Ministry would take all steps necessary, extreme or otherwise, to stop such illegal activity. The Hon. Lisel Alamilla showed good judgment and intestinal fortitude in making her decision. The rosewood could have been sold for a considerable sum. However, such a sale would have sent the wrong message and would not be effective in deterring future illegal cutting of rosewood. Such a sale could have been construed as a tacit approval of the illegal cutting. Unfortunately, misguided politicians have criticized the decision to burn the rosewood. Such criticism is short-sighted and not in the best interest of Belize. Belize has been endowed with great attributes, which include its forests and exceptional fisheries. Such attributes would have provided wealth for the people of Belize for many generations to come. Unfortunately, corruption is destroying assets to where soon there will be little remaining for the children or their children.

This newspaper began in August of 1969 as the organ of a young, black-conscious organization which made three demands of the ruling PUP government. One demand was for the 18-year-old vote; the second was for radio time; and the third demand was for the teaching of African and Indian (Mayan) history in our schools. At that time, black Belizeans were still clearly the majority of the population, but they had begun an exodus to the United States after Hurricane Hattie in 1961. Sugar cane was replacing mahogany and hardwoods as the colony’s leading export crop, and so economic power was moving from the Belize and Cayo Districts to the Orange Walk and Corozal Districts. Agriculture had become more important than traditional forestry. Centuries before, the ancestors of Belize’s majority black population had been brought here as slaves to work in the forestry-based economy. In the latter half of the twentieth century, blacks were, for various reasons, unable or unwilling to make the transition to agriculture, and hence the post-Hattie migration to New York City, Chicago, and then Los Angeles. Belize is a strange country, one reason being that it is a unique country. In considering Belize, the first thing you must note is that Belize is the only English-speaking country in Central America, and then you should remember that it was the only part of Central America which had a majority black population. Over the last 35 years, the demography here has changed dramatically: Belize’s black population is now a minority, and it is a marginalized minority. The masses of Belize’s black population, who built the settlement in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries, are now fighting for survival in the modern Belize.


A Tale of Five Cities: Visiting Campeche's Old City Wall
We didn't have time for a great deal of sightseeing during our brief stopover in Campeche, Mexico, but one thing we did do was visit a portion of the old city wall that is open to tourists. The entire centro area of the city was walled in the past, but today only a few portions of the wall remain. This was where we passed through on our way from the bus stop when walking to our hotel the day before. The largest gate is called "Puerta de Tierra", and an attendant collects a small fee to allow you to go up the stairs to the top, where excellent views of the city can be found. He tells you to ring the bell when you want to come back out as he locks the gate during your self-guided tour. There was only one other man and his son who were on the wall when we went up. Puerta de Tierra Old City Wall It was fascinating seeing the tops of the colonial buildings. The hotel across the street had a lovely rooftop deck, and a huge tree growing from the courtyard. Interesting views from above Walking along the top of the wall, there was a big contrast between centro historico to the right and the modern city to the left. Something that was fascinating to us was the discovery that some of the buildings in centro were truly just facades with ruins, trees, and foliage behind -- not actually habitable spaces in their current states. They look pretty from street level, but it's a bit deceptive! These are a little more well-maintained...

Best birthday EVER
I often get asked for recommends on different things. This time it was Cathy who came to me wanting a Tropic Air tacogirl special and some boat options for her birthday. I sent her Eric’s contact info for Uprising tours, he is a great guy and best of all he has music option on his boat. She opted for day-long fishing trip/beach BBQ and sent me the following review and pictures after she and Jeffrey got back from their Caye Caulker vacation. [Where I stayed in Placencia pictures coming soon, still editing] Hi, It’s Cathy from Arizona First of all let me thank you so much for your suggestion of Eric for our boat captain. I had the best birthday EVER!. We have never been able to afford to do something like that before due to the expense (it averages $700 in Turks and Caicos for example). And hotels, condos, excursions are soooo spendy.

Everyday living on an Island
Mystery blogger here. Apologies for not turning up last week but….. I dropped off Mr. John at the Water Taxi to catch the 8:00 to Belize City for another dental appointment. I think he is probably having his teeth filed into points so he doesn’t have to think up a Halloween costume for next year (Dracula). Any hoo back to the subject “Everyday living on an Island”. When I lived in Blighty, if I wanted anything it was a click on the computer (internet shopping, eBay) I love eBay, phone call, or a short ride on the tube. But on an island you have to wait and not being the most patient of persons it very FRUSTRATINNNNNGG. But in general it is excellent living on an island. People here are very friendly, going about my business of shopping, paying bills, you don’t get very far without hellos and how are you from people you know. Deciding on footwear is not difficult it is just a matter of matching a colour with your outfit. These are just a small selection of flip-flops that I have.

International Sources

Meet the harem of SEVEN women who lived with fugitive software tycoon John McAfee before he fled Belize
Very salacious....lots of photos.... Eccentric software millionaire John McAfee had seven women living with him in Belize, it was revealed today. The 67-year-old has posted photos of the women, who lived with the fugitive tycoon 'full-time' on his blog under the title ‘The Girls’ in which he lays out how the bizarre arrangement - or 'social engineering project' as he called it - worked. McAfee reveals that he found them through a friend called Paz to whom he would give a physical description and other requirements. Whether they are prostitutes is unproven, but he does go on to describe each was 'hired' and found by the owner of the nearby Lover's Bar and the poses in the pictures leave little to the imagination. Presented with a potential candidate he would then ‘feel the person out and, if comfortable, explain the project and hire them’. McAfee, who created the popular anti-virus software that bears his name, fled Belize last November after being wanted for questioning over the murder of his neighbour, American Greg Faull. He spent nearly a month on the run in a bizarre game of cat and mouse that ended when he illegally entered Guatemala to escape justice. He is now back in the US and is in Portland, Oregon, trying to arrange visas for two of his favourite Belizean girls, Sam and Amy, who are waiting for him in Honduras. The episode offered the world a window into McAfee’s strange lifestyle which reportedly involved drug-fuelled sex games, unhinged conspiracy theories, armed guards and a large dose of paranoia.

Welcome to Portlandia, John McAfee
"My life is sort of weird. I don't back off from things."—John McAfee, the newest weird resident of Portlandia. The software millionaire is on the run from police in Belize, and says he plans on staying in the Oregon town for "a few years." A local TV news station caught up with him for an interview. At Stumptown coffee, of course. Perhaps Fred and Carrie will befriend him. Guys, this interview is pretty good. Snip: John McAfee: Oh the media has no clue. Last night I actually started putting photos up of teams I used to collect information. That’s the first time I’ve done that. [KATU reporter Emily Sinovic]: To collect information on what? McAfee: On what was happening in Belize. The links between the Belize government and Hezbollah and the giving of false identifies of Hezbollah terrorists. They’ve been doing that for years. Sinovic: What is it about Portland that makes you feel safe? McAfee: If anybody is after me, it will be the Zeta cartel, Hezbollah. I can’t imagine Hezbollah showing up in Portland without being noticed. I mean, this doesn’t look like a place where they would fit in. Or maybe they would. I do not know. And I’m farther away from any other place in America from where the problem is.

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