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Today's Belize News: February 8, 2013 #457592
02/08/13 09:58 AM
02/08/13 09:58 AM
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The San Pedro Sun

Guatemalan 2012 tourism publication map shows Belize as part of Guatemala
Guatemala-Tourism-Publication-Map-1The Tourism Institute of Guatemala (INGUAT) published a destination book with a map of the country in which Belize is featured as part of Guatemala. The 2012 edition of the publication entitled “Guatemala – Heart of the Mayan World… 2012” is similar to Belize’s “Destination Belize”. The book was distributed by the Guatemalan Government to members of a Belize delegation during a media conference on January 14th. The conference was organized by the Central American Tourism Integrated System (SITCA) which falls under the Central American Integrated System (SICA). Page 26 of the book shows Belize as part of a state (departamento) indicating that in such region, four languages are spoken mainly English, Spanish, Mopan Maya and Garifuna. As part of the geographical description of Guatemala, the book explains that they have two coastlines consisting of the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean.

National News: Mark King suspended over early morning casino altercation
An elected member in the Executive Arm of the National Assembly was disciplined by the Prime Minister of Belize Hon Dean Barrow after he was booted out by security officers at a Casino in the Corozal District for apparent unruly behavior. The incident occurred in the wee hours of Tuesday February 5th at the Princess Hotel and Casino outside of the Corozal Free Zone. The minister being singled out is Mark King, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation. According to first official police report sent out on Tuesday February 5th it indicated that, at about 2:30AM on the givenMark-King date, a uniformed police officer was on duty at the Princess Casino located at Santa Elena Northern Border. The officer was standing outside of the casino when he noticed that the security guard from the casino was escorting a male person out of the casino. That person was later identified to be 22 year old Diego Witz, a business man of Punta Gorda Town. According to the police, the security guards escorted a second male person out of the casino since he was “behaving disorderly.” While the name of the second person was not released by police, they indicated that Witz came back to where the second male person was being escorted out and attempted to hit one of the security guards. “The police then intervened and Diego Witz reportedly pushed and punched him (the Police) in the face. A struggle ensued where Diego Witz Jr. was subdued. He was cautioned of the offence committed of assaulting a police officer.”

The BTB Conducts Horse and Buggy Training
On February 7th and 8th, 2013 the Belize Tourism Board will be hosting a Horse and Buggy Training at the Samuel Haynes Institute in Belize City. The exercise is expected to include the participation of horse and buggy owners and handlers working in the Fort George Tourism Zone, along with Belize City Traffic Officers. Facilitators of the training, Marjorie Olson and Stephanie Lupp, will kick off Thursday’s session at 9 a.m., with presentations on the current Horse and Carriage regulations. The participants will also learn commonly used terminology in the business, interactive training on handling horses and carriage maintenance, as well as routes and other procedures to be followed when working in the Fort George Tourism Zone. On Friday, the second day of training, the workshop will conclude with a veterinary inspection of horses. In addition, traffic officers will be equipped with skills and knowledge on how to detect horses that are in distress, fatigued, injured, or overworked, as well as being able to recognize and identify carriages which surpass the weight restrictions outlined by the Horse and Buggy Regulations. This training forms part of a training series being offered through Belize Tourism Board for the improvement of standards and quality of service in the industry. For more information on the Horse and Buggy Training, contact Mrs. Shola Babb, Compliance Officer via e-mail at [email protected] or via phone at 227-2420.

San Pedro Lions Club receives 700 pairs of prescription glasses
Lions-Club-Glasses-Donation-2The glasses included everything from bifocals, reading glasses, single prescriptions glasses and sunglasses with prescription. According to the Secretary of the San Pedro Lions, Bonnie Musbach, the glasses will be distributed throughout the country with 100 pairs being given to each zone president. Further to this, Musbach will be trained through the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired BCVI to administer primary vision tests. With this skill, she hopes to travel to the southern districts along with President Murlene Spain and past president Melanie Paz where they will be issuing tests and glasses to those individuals in need. The team plans on hitting areas such as Punta Gorda, Placencia, Seine Bight and Dangriga among other places in the south. President Spain is very excited for the donation and assures Kerensted that the glasses will certainly reach the individuals that need them the most. The San Pedro Lions Club hosts eye doctors from BCVI the first Wednesday of each month. The doctors will be back on the island on March 6th and 7th when they will be offering free eye exams and services.

Ambergris Today

“Charmed” Actor Brian Krause Filming in Belize
San Pedro, Belize has been getting quite a lot of visits from famous actors. The most recent actor to be in our beautiful shores is famous actor and screenwriter, Brian Krause most popularly known as “Leo Wyatt” of the famous TV Series “Charmed”. Brian Krause was at one of San Pedro’s premier resorts, Captain Morgan’s Retreat, this week and took time to take a picture with staff members of the resort. Brian celebrated a Belizean birthday this past Friday, February 1, 2013, as he is in the country filming a Sci-Fi movie titled Poseidon Rex.

Misc Belizean Sources

Nature's Lullaby - A tour through Belize City, Belize in Central America
This is a video of the tour that tourists are taken on when they go cruising to Belize. It is about an hour long.

Foreva Fancy EXCLUSIVE FASHION SHOW Spectacular!
Foreva Fancy EXCLUSIVE FASHION SHOW will be an event you will not want to miss. On Sat, March 2nd our beautiful island of Ambergris Caye will be storming with Gorgeous Models as they display the latest in High Street Fashion 2013. Loads of Giveaways... Time: 7:30pm sharp Location: Sands Villas Pool Area (New White Condo Building South of the Belize Yacht Club).

From my point of view, G. Michael Reid
Aside from being published in the Belize Times, I have a few internet lists and forums to which I post my articles. I get feedback; some folks agree and some folks disagree. Such is the nature of the game. I always enjoy hearing from my readers whichever way it comes and am not one to confuse opinion with judgment. One reader wrote to me recently and had high praises of how I wrote. It was what I wrote about that had her dander raised. She suggested that I obviously write about the things I do because I am a PUP. I gave it some thought and came to this conclusion. I do not write about the things I do because I am a PUP. On the contrary, I am a PUP because of the way things are that spur me to write about them. Sometime aback, someone coined the term PUDP to suggest that there was no difference between Belize’s two political parties. I beg to differ! There are profound and distinct differences between these two parties.

NEMO gets visit from CDEMA
Today 7th, February 2013, Mr. Jeremy Collymore, Executive Director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), visited The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO). During his visit he met with the Senator Honourable Godwin Hulse, Minister responsible for National Emergency Management along with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the National Emergency Coordinator (NEC). In their meeting they discussed the various disaster initiatives and actions, including; the framework for regional centers of excellence and the governance structures and operational efficiency of CDEMA, resource mobilization and ongoing activities and support for Belize through CDEMA advocacy initiatives in disaster management. Belize is one of the eighteen (18) member countries of CDEMA. Mr. Collymore will return to CDEMA Headquarters Barbados, tomorrow.

Grand Caribe Belize Resort and Condominiums Holds Very First Facebook Contest
Grand Caribe Resort & Condominiums in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, has launched a photo contest on its Facebook page. One winner and a companion will enjoy: - A 3-night stay in a luxurious 1-bedroom suite - Welcome drinks upon arrival - American-style breakfast daily - Roundtrip flights on Tropic Air from the Belize International Airport to the San Pedro Airport. - A snorkeling tour of the world-renowned Shark Ray Alley within the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. - Access to all amenities, including 3 swimming pools, 2 hot tubs, and the onsite pool bar and grill To enter, contestants are required to submit a photo entry using the ‘Photo Contest’ tab on the Grand Caribe Facebook page.

Belize over Turks and Caicos
Congratulations to Team BELIZE who defeated Turks and Caicos in the Division 2 International Cricket Tournament!!! Go BELIZE!!!!!

Valentines Sailing Regatta Feb 10
The San Pedro Sailing Club will be holding a “Valentines Sailing Regatta” in celebration of our love for sailing. All are invited down to Caribbean Villas, Sunday 10th February, were the race preparations will start shortly after 9am. The junior sailors will be racing Optimists in the morning and adults Hobies in the afternoon. Come join the fun! Live music and a delicious beach BBQ will be on hand for your enjoyment.

Inspired To Ride: La Ruta Maya
The La Ruta Maya, the canoe race from Cayo to Belize City, is only a month away. It starts on Friday, March 8th, under the Hawkesworth Bridge. Here's a video from last year's race, when paddle boards were first allowed. "Shane Perrin attempts to make history by solo paddling the 179 mile La Ruta Maya Belize river challenge on a stand up paddle board. His heroic journey commemorates the tenth anniversary of his second chance at life."

Bob Marley Tribute at Falcon Field
The Purple Movement, as part of their Heart Connection Tour, is having a tribute to Bob Marley at Falcon Field tomorrow evening. There will be live music, food, drinks, games, and a 5 on 5 football marathon. "Five-A-Side Football Marathon (Open) TO ALL Friday, February 8th, 2013 Falcon Field (Double Court), San Ignacio, Cayo Start Time: 6:00 P.M. Registration Fee: $30 per TEAM (only 8 players per team) Prize: Cash Prize and Team for 1st place team, Team Certificate for 2nd and 3rd place teams. 8 Team Marathon, so register in advance…… Contact: Erwin “Papo” Gillett @ 631-4107"

Red Carpet Affair Promo Mix
The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio is having their Red Carpet Affair on February 16th, at Meluchi's. They've got their promotional mix on Soundcloud; over an hour of mixed music that you'll hear at the party. "Come support a worthy cause. Proceeds will go towards the provision of gift baskets for families, river clean up campaign and Project Cure (rehabilitation of a ward at the Western Regional Hospital) SPONSORS: MELUCHIS, PRINT BELIZE LTD, DIGICEL, MR. GREEDY'S PIZZERIA, BENQUE RESORT AND SPA, RECINO'S IMPORTS, HODES PLACE,Vanessa Awe Makeup Artistry,The Dollhouse, Rolson's Cocina"

Traditional Herbal and Medicinal Exhibition Launch
Last night the Benque House of Culture launched their Traditional Herbal & Medicinal Exhibition. The exhibition runs through March 4th. "Exhibition 2013, join us as we unveil the wonderful properties of the traditional & natural medicines in Belize, by our expert naturalist Mr. Harry Guy Sr. Please note the time starts at 7:00 p.m. Save the date Thursday February 7th,2012"

Potentialists Tour at SIRH Today
The San Ignacio Resort Hotel will host the Motivational Missionaries Potentialist Motivational Tour tomorrow. Thanks, SIRH. "San Ignacio Resort Hotel is excited to participate by hosting the San Ignacio Youth Seminar Portion of the tour, here in the Bedran Hall, on February 8, 2013."

Howler Monkey Leaves BWRC for Wildtracks
Feelgood news of the day. The howler monkey that the Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic has brought back to a healthy state was transferred to Wildtracks. It got to have an exciting flight. Thanks, BWRC, for all the amazing work you do saving Belize's wildlife. "Talk about V.I.P. (primate) treatment, this recovering Howler monkey with the help of Lighthawk received free air transportaion to Wildracks for further rehab and hope to be reunited with her troop in the future."

Creamy Cheesy Mac & Cheese
My kids love Mac & Cheese, but only when it's creamy and has tons of cheese. If you hate Mad & Cheese from a box, you will absolutely love this dish. It uses very few ingredients and very simple to make, but it is delicious.

Hon. Julius Espat on Belize – Guatemala – ICJ
I have looked at the two sides of the issue when it pertains to Belize and the ICJ, and I am convinced that the risk of loosing any part of our territory is too much to take. We have already gone through the difficult process of obtaining our Independence with our territory defined. This was unanimously agreed to by the vast majority of nations of the world. We cannot ignore this great achievement by our forefathers. Let the United Nations seek an opinion from the ICJ on our behalf, but not a judgement. - Julius Espat A strong stand on behalf of the people of Belize. One must always put their nation and people first, it is an oath that each and every Belizean MUST put into action I, do swear that I will bear true faith and allegiance to Belize and will uphold the Constitution and the Law of Belize and that I will faithfully and conscientiously contribute to the development of Belize and discharge my duties and responsibilities as a Belizean citizen. I will further respect the history and culture of Belize and refrain from any anti-social or criminal activities and devote myself to the service and well-being of the Belizean people. I pledge that I will do everything in my power to promote and strengthen democracy and the rule of law in Belize and will do everything to promote the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Belize. So Help Me God.

Mennonite Whoopie Pies
1 cup whippin' creem 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract pinch salt 4 cups all-purrpus flour 1 tsp. bakin' powdr 1 tsp. bakin' sody Fillin: 1 cup buttr, softened 2 cups sifted icin' sugar 2 tsp. cocoa powdr 3 cups marshmalloe “Fluff”* (stere bouite er homemade) 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract Whisk togethr aigs, creem, sugar, vanilla and salt. Whisk togethr remainin' ingredients. Add dry ingredients t'wet, one cup at a time, mixin' t'form a soft dough. Divide into acoupla parts. Wrap each n' plastick. Refrigerate t'chill. Preheet ove t'350 F. On a floured surface, roll out dough t'half-inch. Cut cookies usin a medium roun cuttr.

Channel 7

Amateur Video Shows The Momentary Madness Of Mark King
The video of Mark King throwing a tantrum at the Princess Casino exists but Casino management isn't even admitting anything happened din there, much less sharing the video. But tonight, 7News has obtained amateur video footage of the fracas at the border crossing, where king followed police after they picked up his associate on Tuesday morning at 2:30 am. As you may be able to make out in the footage, Mark King is the man in the maroon and white shirt being pulled by his shirt collar by a woman. One of King's companions is trying to block the photographer from videoing the scene. If you look closely, he is in a confrontation with a police officer, and other bystanders are trying to get him under control. He is swinging his hand at someone in the background, and as the frame cuts, you may notice that police are trying to talk him down. He is eventually placed into the pan of a pickup truck, and that's where the person with the camera ends the footage.

Hon. King Arraigned In Court
Today, that Mark King Saga ended up in court, 2 days after the minister of state was charged for an incident that started at the Princess Casino near the Corozal Free Zone and ended up at the border crossing. During that time King is accused of throwing a wild tantrum in the casino and then assaulting police as they tried to arrest one of his friends. Today he became only the second sitting member of cabinet in memory to be brought up on criminal charges as he was escorted to the Corozal Magistrate's court. Daniel Ortiz was there and he has this rpeort:.. Daniel Ortiz reporting King arrived at court promptly at 9 a.m., and along with his entourage, went directly inside the building. In his haste, trying to elude the cameras, he ended up dodging into the clerk of court's office. He quickly realized that he was in the wrong area, and he then moved to the court room area. It is customary that Magistrate's Court starts with older matters where adjournments are dealt with first. But not today, Magistrate Clive Lino called up King's matter as soon as he formally opened the session.

Bze District Teachers Did Not Vote On GOB Wage Proposal
Last night the Belize District Unions meeting lasted more than three hours - and tonight, the news is that at the end of it they didn't vote on whether they would accept government's proposal. But we can report that the sentiment of those who spoke at the meeting was that they didn't like the proposal. They object to it because it is based on what they call an "if" - referring specifically to government's proposal that "if" there is a revenue surplus then they will get a raise. Those who spoke at the meeting say they don't want an "if", they want a number, a minimum figure, what they call a floor. Again, no vote was taken, so we can't say if that was the position of the majority of the 120 or so persons who attended the meeting. Those who attended though, say that was the overall sentiment. The union's leadership will now continue their consultations in the districts and answer the Prime Minister - most likely by next week. But, government sources say the Prime Minister is not likely to agree to a minimum figure, or what the unions call a floor, so things could be heading for another impasse. We'll wait and see.

Man Beaten By Police Comes Out Of Coma
On Monday, we told you about Caye Caulker tour guide Bert Nicholas, known as Ras Creek. He was allegedly beaten by a tourism police officer on the island and ended up in a coma requiring emergency brain surgery. Tonight, the good news is that he is out of that coma - but still in the hospital. Monica Bodden spoke to his girlfriend who spoke to us off camera and said she wants justice:.. Voice of: Girlfriend "Right now Creek is still in the ICU but he is doing better. They woke him up yesterday and so far he seems to be good; his legs and hands are moving and his brains seems to be working as well. He recognizes us and we can talk about thing she knows about and people that he knows." Reporter "It must be great relief given the fact he has been in a coma for quite some time." Voice of: Girlfriend "Definitely, I was not expecting such a fast recovery."

The Fates Of Various Rosewood
Tonight two containers of Rosewood are sitting at the Forestry Department compound in Belmopan. And then there's also the container sitting at the Benque Viejo border. And so, today, after a morning show appearance, the Chief Forest Officer gave the full rundown on those two containers plus one more we reported on a month ago. That one was confiscated at the Port of Belize, because it was believed to have undeclared logs inside. Turns out it did have zericote logs. Wilbur Sabido explained:.. Wilbur Sabido "However, when we opened the container and we found the Zericote in round or log form - that is against the law essentially. Zericote is protected species; it can only be exported as a value added product. So in that particular instance we seize the produce from the container. The exporter is a known exporter to us. He goes by the name of Anita Lou based originally out of Roaring Creek and now operating out of Orange Walk. The other situation is one that is more known which was about a month or so ago where we got reports that there were two containers in Belize Engineering yard that had rosewood in it and we contacted Police, Customs, BAHA and all the law enforcement agencies and it was so we actually had a 20' and 40' container that we took to our compound and when we off load it, it was a total of about 15,000 board feet that we were of rosewood that we were able to document. That particular exporter goes by the name of Kambokin. The two persons that registered that particular company - I can only recall the name of one; it's Pererra. In this particular instance we have only manage to make contact through the broker Mr. Raul Cawich. It's through him and with the DPP we are working to see how we can make contact with the actual owner of the material."

Belize Accounts For World Heritage Sites
The team from the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development also spoke about the UNESCO team that's in Belize to address issues with our World Heritage Sites. There are seven sites in Belize that have been given World Heritage designation but a few of them have come under review for violations. The UNESCO Mission is in Belize to see if corrective actions have been taken. Alamilla explained that the Belize sites are in danger:.. Minister Lisel Alamilla "Where we are right now is that we are in danger. So it means that you have to address some of the challenges of ensuring that the integrity of that world heritage site is maintained." Jules Vasquez "One of the sustain threats to integrity or one of the pursuits that is inimical with world heritage sites is offshore drilling. We do have world heritage sites; the government seeks to pursue offshore drilling. How will those two things be reconcile?"

Setting Standards For Horses And Carriages
The Horse and Buggy has become a staple attraction for cruise tourists visiting Belize City. But training for the horse and buggy operators is also important - both in terms of the image of Belize's tourist product and for the humane treatment of the animals. Training has been ongoing, but it's a growing industry and new employees are coming in every day. That's why today the Belize Tourism Board organized a Horse and Buggy Training at the Samuel Haynes Institute in Belize City for 40 persons involved in the industry. Shola Babb explained that they are trying to improve standards:.. Shola Babb, Compliance Officer - BTB "Today they are going over the general welfare and the care of the horse, what the police needs to look at when they are giving tickets, what the drivers should be doing while driving the cart or while carry off their tours." Stefanie Lupp, City Resident "The training is about the healthcare, the driving, how to fix horse shoes and how to keep a horse and how to feed a horse."

Armoured Catfish Prowling Northern Belizes Riverine Territory
The armoured catfish first reared his very ugly head in the Rio Bravo Area of Belize back in November, 2012. Now, there are concerns that the invasive species of fish may be making deeper inroads into Belize. Today the Director of Fisheries outlined the threat:.. Beverly Wade, Fisheries Administrator "The Armored Catfish for Devil Fish; there are several names for it, is really a species that is a very robust specie. In Northern Mexico it actually displaces Tilapia, so it has that potential in places like Florida. If you do some research, it's actually the cause of a lot of - it undermines the foundation of these beautiful houses that are along water ways because it digs a hole about this big, its burrow; it digs a hole into these banks. The burrows are about 3 meters long. It's very destructive to your natural environment and it's very robust. A specimen was caught last week by a fisherman in a little bit further down south in the Rio Hondo. It is an indication that it is here in that particular watershed and there is a need for us to now put in place an action to how to deal with it." "Our local species are already under stress by the Tilapia invasion - it competes for them like the Bay Snook and these species that naturally nest - they create nest. These fish just literally marginalize them and push them out and displace them."

Profile of An Educator
Tonight's profile is about Alma Eiley, a career educator. But more than just being a teacher - which she did for 50 years, Eiley also served as a scout leader for 27 years. IT'S voluntary work but in tonight's profile, she explains that the reward she got out of it was far greater than what money could buy:..

KHMH Goes With Courts
The KHMH received a huge donation this afternoon. As part of the hospital's Adopt-A-Ward program, Courts Belize Ltd and one of the institution's very own doctors Jose Guerra, made a cash donation and also furnished and renovated two rooms in the Maternity Ward. A short appreciation ceremony was held at the KHMH and 7news was invited. Dr. Francis Longsworth, CEO - KHMH "This particular project had to do with renovating two private rooms in the maternity ward and we approach Courts Belize Limited to assist and we mentioned it to Dr. Guerra that we were planning to do this and he immediately jumped on board and said that he would donate towards this cause. Of course he is one of our more prolific gynecologists, so he just loves the idea that we would have this type of amenity available to patients who would want to access it. You can see the room, it's nicely decked out. We have all the amenities; TV, fridge, lounge, couch, recliner, bedside tables and bathroom."

Science Minister Wants Less Reliance On Fossil Fuels
The Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities wants Belize to burn less fossil fuels. That's the subject of a trio of meetings with the Private Sector. Minister Joy Grant explains that they want to find out about best practices with alternative energy because Belize needs to spend less money buying fossil fuels:.. Minister Joy Grant "We have had presentations for many in the private sector who are currently utilizing solar and hydro and we've had a quite interesting discussion and we are going to continue that this afternoon so that we could determine what it is that the government of Belize can do or must do to make it easier for people to get investment in this sector and to also ensure that it is a profitable investment." Reporter "Is there anything that we can do that will have meaningful impact globally?" Minister Joy Grant "First I want to go back nationally because what is so important here today is to recognize that majority of what we spend as a country we spend on fossil fuels, so as I said this morning if we could reduce that bill then the amount of money we save we could use it for development projects and we all know that Belize needs to have development projects so we could employ people."

Channel 5

A King charged in court
Minister of State Mark King this morning finally had his day in court. Cabinet, on Tuesday, issued a release stating that Corozal Police would charge King for Threatening Words and Disorderly Conduct for his involvement in a brawl in front of the Princess Casino. But on Wednesday, Police issued a release stating that King had [...]

OAS meeting with Belize as part of Guatemala map
A public awareness campaign was recently launched for the October referendum in which Belizeans will vote on whether Guatemala’s claim to Belize will be decided by the International Court of Justice. But today, Belize is sending a formal note of protest to the Guatemalan government for including Belize in its official map. A diplomatic spat [...]

Foreign Affairs C.E.O. supports diplomatic protest
Late this evening, News Five spoke to the C.E.O. of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alexis Rosado. Rosado said that he was aware of the incident at the OAS headquarters in Washington D.C. He told News Five via phone that he fully supported the protest lodged by Ambassador Nestor Mendez.   Jose Sanchez “Despite the [...]

Belize City teachers say too many “ifs” in salary proposals
The Belize District Branch of the Belize National Teachers Union expected six hundred of its members to show up at the first consultation with its leaders for the presentation of a government proposal for salary increments for the years 2014 to 2017. The maximum salary adjustment in any of the three years would not exceed [...]

Illegally harvested Zericote shipment found
The Ministry of Forestry has been clamping on the illegal but lucrative harvesting and exportation of rosewood. But despite a moratorium in place since last year, the illegal activities have continued at a brisk pace and containers of the precious wood have been seized in the south, at the western border and adjacent to the [...]

Rosewood still being cut during moratorium
As for the rosewood at the western border and the two containers stored and confiscated at Belize Engineering Limited adjacent to the customs compound in Belize City, the Chief Forestry officer says the D.P.P. is looking into the matter.   Wilbur Sabido, Chief Forest Officer “The other situation is the one that is more known [...]

Tush given 2 years for attacking a jogger
  In the Magistrate Court this morning, a Belize City man went on trial for attacking an evening jogger who was exercising on the Phillip Goldson Highway in July of 2012. Thirty-eight year old William Tush appeared for charges of Aggravated Assault and Wounding upon forty-seven year old Desiree Adolphus. At the start of the [...]

Ras Creek emerges from coma
There is good news tonight in respect of the health of Bert “Ras Creek” Nicholas, the Caye Caulker tour guide who slipped into a coma last Saturday and had to be airlifted to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. “Ras Creek” regained consciousness on Wednesday and is recovering slowly. Family members say that while he is [...]

Finding alternative sources of energy
Twenty-seven percent of energy consumed in Belize is acquired from Mexico. The rest is obtained from fossil fuels, biomass and hydro, while the use of solar energy is growing. The Ministry of Energy believes that renewable energy resources can be exploited to reduce dependency on fossil fuels. The savings, says the Minister of Energy, Joy [...]

Courts and K.H.M.H. get a good deal
Aside from cutting edge technology recently donated to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, expecting mothers can now look forward to delivering newborns in modernized maternity units. The nation’s referral hospital today showed off spiffy new units that were renovated with the assistance of Courts Belize. Duane Moody reports.   Duane Moody, Reporting Expectant mothers who [...]

Healthy Living zooms in on medical imaging
The advancement of technology with new smart phones and tablets has significantly impacted on our lives specifically in carrying out our day to day routines. This rapid technological development has not been exclusive to our personal devices. In fact, with new developments in medical technology, the machinery and information obtained from diagnostic tools have become [...]


Tour Guide's Hospitalization May Be The Result of Police Brutality
Two weeks ago, on January 11, a Caye Caulker tour guide had an unpleasant experience with a tourist police officer who allegedly lost control and allegedly hit him in the head shortly after he had completed a tour at the Caye Caulker Water Taxi dock. Forty-nine year old Bert Nich...

Diplomatic Incident At The OAS As Guatemala Flashes Map Inclusive of Belize As Part of Its Territory
A diplomatic incident has erupted at the Organization of American States involving Belize and Guatemala and it stems from a provocative map used by Guatemala in a video presentation showcasing our neighbor to the west where the OAS General Assembly will meet later this year. The ...

Minister of State Arraigned on Three Criminal Charges
Lake Independence area representative, thirty eight year old Mark King, was formally arraigned this morning in the Corozal Magistrate’s Court on three criminal charges. When he appeared before Magistrate Clive Lino, King was read charges of aggravated assault, use of threat...

Minister Says Illegal Harvesting of Rosewood Continues Despite Moratorium
Since the Minister of Forestry, Lisel Alamilla, signed a Moratorium banning the harvesting of Rosewood in Belize, extractors have not stopped in the illegal trade and a number of seizures have been made. One was made in January just before making it on the dock for shipment near ...

Streets Upgrade Begins In Punta Gorda
Work has begun on upgrading of two streets in Punta Gorda. Information from the Social Investment Fund Office here confirmed that work on Punta Gorda streets upgrading project commenced this week with work crew of contractor Imer Hernandez Development Co. Ltd. of Bengue Viejo. &nbs...

Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Upgrades Private Rooms in Ward
Two years ago the KHMH started a campaign that appealed to the public to adopt its wards for better upkeep and to help the hospital have more aesthetical appeal. Over that period a number of businesses and anonymous donors have come forth and taken on the challenge. The aim...

Belize City Resident Sentenced After Attacking Woman
Thirty-eight year old William Tush, a resident of Kelly Street who attacked a woman with a knife, was sentenced to 3 years in jail today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser after he pled guilty to aggravated assault and wounding. The incident occurred around 5:20 p.m. on July 22, ...


Charges laid against Lake I representative
Twenty four hours after a “breach of the peace” incident inside of the Corozal Free Zone, police have brought formal charges of aggravated assault, use of threatening words and disorderly conduct against Member of Parliament Mark King. The thirty eight year old first time area representative was given a 3-month suspension from Cabinet by Prime Minister Dean Barrow after it was confirmed that he was involved in an early Tuesday morning brawl at the Princess Casino in the Corozal Free Zone. Up until the time of his suspension, King was the junior minister of Human Development and Social Transformation. Minister King was one of two men who were thrown out of the casino around 2:30 am Tuesday after a disturbance involving a member of his entourage broke out inside of the establishment. According to police reports, twenty two year old Diego Witz, Junior, who was a member of Minister King’s group got into a physical confrontation with security personnel for the casino as they were escorting him off the premises. A police constable, identified as Nelson Ramos, intervened and Witz reportedly punched the law enforcement officer. That resulted in PC Ramos placing Witz under arrest. But the police report says that Minister King intervened and tried to get the police to release Witz. Officer Ramos would have none of it and the official police report says that the Lake Independence area representative then climbed into the pan of the police mobile pickup truck. While inside of the pan of the police mobile, according to the official police report, Minister King threatened and assaulted Constable Ramos. As we noted before, Minister King was charged by police for the crimes of aggravated assault, use of threatening words and disorderly conduct.

Autpsy shows girl died of smoke inhalation
The results of an autopsy on the body of three year old San Narciso village resident Danelly Shanairy Guadalupe Cabrera have been released. The child perished in an early morning fire on Monday. According to pathologist Dr. Hugh Sanchez, the post mortem examination reveals that Cabrera died as a result of Asphyxia due to smoke inhalation. The child’s mother, forty year old Ramona Cabrera remains hospitalized with severe burns to her hands, face, chest, throat and back. Fire officials in Corozal have concluded that the cause of the blaze early Monday morning blaze was from a burnt plastic hose attached to an open gas tank.

PM says budget preparation well underway
The annual exercise known as the budget preparation is well underway in Belmopan. Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow today confirmed that the numbers are being compiled and that in the coming weeks, he will be going to parliament to lay out the government’s fiscal plan for the next financial year starting on April first. The Prime Minister says he will have to do some domestic borrowing to plug expected budgetary shortfalls. The budget for fiscal year 2013-2014 is tentatively scheduled for presentation to the House of Representatives on March first, with the debate expected to take place just before the Easter holidays at the end of next month.

PM says salary adjustments for teachers hinge on government revenue surplus
The leadership of the Belize National Teachers Union has begun the process of explaining a proposed agreement for salary adjustments to their general membership. Meetings are scheduled across the country where the Union representatives on the joint negotiating team will divulge the details of the deal agreed on in principle by the unions at a meeting with Prime Minister Dean Barrow on Friday of last week. When he appeared on the Love FM Morning Show today, Prime Minister Barrow told the nation that given the fiscal constraints of Central government, the agreement hammered out in last week’s meeting is the best that could have been offered at this time. Prime Minister Barrow emphasized that in order for the agreed salary adjustment to become a reality next year, both government and the Public Service Union must work together to ensure that there is improvement in the government’s recurrent revenue.

PM says suspension of Mark King is political punishment enough
The involvement of Junior Minister Mark King in a self described “breach of the peace” incident in the wee hours of Tuesday morning in Corozal continues to be the focus of discussions around the country. Today, Prime Minister Barrow told Love News that bearing in mind that court system will be allowed to run its due course, the swift political punishment he meted out on Tuesday morning is sufficient enough, given the gravity of Minister King’s transgression. While King is suspended from Cabinet, he remains the duly elected area representative for Lake Independence. The Prime Minister says that the fact that he acted swiftly to deal with the situation is an indication that his government does not sanction misbehavior by elected officials. Mr. Barrow says that he expects that at the end of the suspension period, Minister King will resume his official duties. One person has been formally arraigned as a result of yesterday’s incident at the Princess Casino in the Corozal Free Zone. Twenty two year old Diego Witz Jr was arraigned on a single charge of assaulting a police officer. He pleaded not guilty to the charge, was released on a bail of four thousand dollars and ordered to return to court on April sixteenth.

Our Lady of Fatima pilgrimage going to Punta Gorda
Preparations have been finalized to receive and host the pilgrimage of the statue of our Lady of Fatima tomorrow in Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Tryouts begin for the King James basketball tournament
Young high school basketball players are being invited to try out for the opportunity to be a part of the team that will be travelling to Ohio, USA later this year to participate in the King James Basketball Tournament. Coach Bernie Tarr says they are looking forward to see as many high school players as possible at the try out sessions. Coach Tarr says they are seeking sponsorship for the upcoming tournament and the feedback from the business community has been great.

Police officer walks free of carnal knowledge charges
In 2011 Police Officer Yannick Wade was charged with six counts of carnal knowledge. It was alleged Wade had sex with a then thirteen year old girl on six different occasions between June 21, 2009 and March 2011. Today Wade walked out of court a free man after the charges were withdrawn after the prosecutor entered a nolle prosequi. Justice Troadio Gonzalez informed Wade that since the case against him ended in a nolle prosequi, it is possible that at any time, the charges can be brought back against him. Prosecutor Leroy Banner informed Justice Gonzalez that they have been unable to locate the crown’s two main witnesses being the minor and her mother. He said he believes the two have been deliberately been hiding from the police and so they were not served their summons to appear in court. Earlier this morning, Prosecutor Banner had empanelled a jury of 9 persons, 4 men and 5 women to hear the case in anticipation that his witnesses would show up. This is the first nolle prosequi case for the January session of the Supreme Court which commenced on January 16, 2013. Wade was represented by attorney Arthur Saldivar.
It is a popular Belize City restaurant and since robbers targeted its deliverymen over the past few years, Chon Saan Restaurant on Kelly Street has excluded some areas of the city’s south side for delivery orders at night. But that exclusion did not include the George Price Highway and on Tuesday night, two armed men came up with a plan that worked. The men, who reportedly wore ski masks, reportedly called into Chon Saan Restaurant, pretending to live at a house near the Lord Ridge Cemetery, which is normally dark at night. They placed an order for food amounting to thirty-three dollars and fifty cents and instructed the restaurant to have it delivered and to send change for a hundred dollar bill. But when the deliveryman arrived in the area, he instead got a rude awakening when he was ambushed by two men dressed in ski masks and armed with guns, who took away the food, the sixty six dollars and fifty cents in change, the deliveryman’s wallet and the motorcycle that he used to deliver the food. Despite the loss, Chon Saan Restaurant confirmed to Love News today that while they no longer offer delivery service to extension areas past the Central American Boulevard at night, they continue to offer nightly delivery service as far as the Burton Bridge on the George Price Highway. People who live on the south side in the extension areas past the Central American Boulevard can still place delivery orders at night, but those orders need to be picked up on the Boulevard.
There was a stabbing incident in Belize City on Monday evening. The victim has been identified as thirty two year old Corrington Villanueva. Police say Villanueva was socializing at a bar on Regent Street West around five o’clock on Monday evening when he was stabbed to the left side of his abdomen by another man. The suspected knife-man has been identified as twenty nine year old Rudy Faber, a resident of Biscayne village in the Belize district. Faber was arrested on Tuesday afternoon and charged with the crimes of Attempted Murder and Use of Deadly Means of Harm.
Police have classified the discovery of a body hanging in a house on George Street as an “unnatural death.” Acting upon information received, police say that around six-forty on Tuesday evening they went to the house and found the partially decomposed body of twenty four year old Jeffery Flowers. Flowers’ body, according to police, was found hanging from the beam of the house with a cloth tied around his neck. The last time Flowers, who worked as a deliveryman, was seen alive was on the night of February 1 by his mother. Police say no sign of physical injury was observed on Flowers’ body. A post mortem examination is pending.

Millions of dollars worth of narcotics destroyed
Millions of dollars worth or narcotics went up in smoke this morning in Belize City. It was a deliberate destruction carried out by law enforcement authorities. Love TV’s Marion Ali and video journalist Myles Gillett witnessed the destruction and bring you the following report.

Banquitas House of Culture hosts bird exhibition
A photography exhibition has opened in Orange Walk town. Correspondent Dalila Ical has the details.

Dara Robinson food drive a huge success
On Tuesday’s newscast, Love News reported on the food drive spearheaded by Joel “Dara” Robinson which took place today at the MCC tennis Court. And by all accounts, the exercise was a big success. Robinson explains. Love News spoke with some of the donors to the food drive, which included students from Ebenezer Primary School. Robinson will be at the Banquitas House of Culture in Orange Walk town on Saturday for the continuation of the food drive. Meanwhile, today is Bob Marley’s birthday. Decades after his death, Marley is still a prominent reggae icon and one supporter of today’s food drive spoke with Love News about the significance of the message that Marley’s music carries. Bob Marley died on May 11th 1981 in Miami, Florida at the age of 36. He would have been sixty eight years old today.

PM says talk of an American military base in Belize is not true
An American anti-war group is reporting on its online blog that the United States military is building bases in Central America, including Belize. Railing against what the group calls the US’s continued militarization reach into Latin America, the group is claiming that the Obama administration is spending enormous amounts of cash, much of it on the war against narco traffickers in Latin America. But while the nations with a common coast along the Caribbean Sea which is seen as a transshipment route for North America-bound narcotics, Prime Minister Dean Barrow says he knows of no impending US military base being set up in Belize.

UDP leader ready for convention to elect senior deputy
The United Democratic Party’s convention to choose a deputy leader is set to take place in the next week and a half in Corozal. Collet area representative Patrick Faber is challenging the incumbent, Orange Walk North representative Gaspar Vega. Intra-party campaigning has been going on for the past several weeks and with the convention date so close, party leader Dean Barrow says all systems are a go for the UDP to carry out a democratic election of its senior deputy party leader. Prime Minister Barrow says that should Faber succeed in unseating Vega as deputy leader of the UDP, it will not immediately trigger a Cabinet shuffling of portfolios. The UDP’s deputy leader’s convention will take place on Sunday, February seventeenth in Corozal town.

Re: Today's Belize News: February 8, 2013 [Re: Marty] #457593
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Belize to submit diplomatic note of protest to OAS
Yesterday February 6th, the Organization of American States (OAS) held a permanent council meeting at the OAS Headquarters in Washington DC. In that meeting, during a video presentation by the Guatemalan representative; he presented a map of Guatemala which shows Belize as a part of their territory. It’s not...

Mark King appeared in Corozal court
Mark King appeared in Corozal court this morning. Suspended Minister of State in the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation & Poverty Alleviation, and cabinet member, 38 year old Mark King stood on the witness dock inside the courtroom today, where he was formally read charges of a criminal...

Minister Alamilla speaks about ongoing issues within her Ministry
The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development continues in an almighty battle with illegal exporters of the precious commodity rosewood in the South. After numerous busts and one very controversial burning, the Ministry can report some success, but there is still much work to be done. First, Minister...

Forum highlights Renewable Energy
The Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology and Public Utilities hosted the first of three private sector fora at the Belize Biltmore Plaza this morning, focusing on importing and championing renewable energy sources in Belize. Opening the event, was Minister of State for Economic Development, Santino Castillo, who pledged his...

Some oil drilling contracts will not be renewed
Belize’s Barrier Reef, it is one of our primary attractions and UNESCO has made it a World Heritage Site. But concerns over offshore drilling have led some to question whether it will stay that way. Today, Minister Lisel Alamilla suggested that concerns over the current production sharing agreements covering...

Catfish is spreading in the Rio Hondo
The invasive armoured catfish is reportedly spreading in the Rio Hondo. Many have heard about the lionfish or tilapia – invasive marine species that has threaten to take over whole populated areas of marine ecology. Last year another such species, the armoured catfish, was sighted in the Rio Hondo...

PM says COLA has a right to protest
The unceremonious removal of activists Giovanni Brackett, Wil Maheia and Albert Cattouse, all representing COLA – Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action from the official launch of the ICJ referendum campaign at the Radisson on January 23 made the news that day. Brackett, Maheia and Cattouse unfurled and displayed...

Police recover stolen handgun
On Monday we told you about a licensed gun which had been reported stolen. Police say, that they have now recovered the handgun. According to Police, on Monday at about 6:00pm Crimes Investigation Branch personnel visited Lavender Street, in Belize City where they recovered the black CZ brand, 9mm...

BTB holds training for horse and carriage operators
The sight of tourists going around and seeing the sights of the Old Capital on modified vehicles pulled by horses may seem unusual, but is also a big money-maker in the tourism industry. However, concerns have been raised about the level of safety and care for the four-legged transport...

The Guardian

Two Cops charged with Theft
Carolee Castillo-Samuels, wife of Belize City Councilor Dean Samuels, filed a theft report against two Belize City police officers, PC Phillip Swift and PC John Galvez. In her report to police, Samuels said that at about 1:20 p.m. on November 16th, 2012, she dropped her purse in front of Oxygen Boutique on Freetown Road. Reports are on that same day her purse was found, allegedly by police. At about 3:20 p.m., some 2 hours later, she received a call from police informing her that her purse had been found. When she went to retrieve her purse she realized that it was empty and her cash, $525 and 120 pesos, were missing. Police investigation into the missing money led to the arrest and charge of Swift and Galvez. On Tuesday, February 5th, both interdicted police officers appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith where they were read a single charge of theft. Both men pleaded not guilty to the charge and there was no objection to bail; however, court prosecutor Sgt. Egbert Castillo asked the court to set conditions to bail. As a result, both were offered bail in the sum of $2,000 each. The Chief Magistrate ordered that they pay $500 in cash forthwith and the balance of $1,500 in a signed surety. They were both ordered to surrender all travelling documents and stay away from the virtual complainant. Their case was adjourned for April 9th.

Eight charged for 62 Grams of Weed
Eight members of a family that were found in possession of 62 grams of weed on Saturday, February 2nd, were before the court on Monday, February 4th, to answer to the charge of drug trafficking with intent to supply another. They include Patricia Anne Wayne, Mark Anthony Wayne Betson, Clifford Betson, Ludrick Wagner, Giovanni Barrella, Natasha Gilbert, Gilbert Lightburn, and Stafford Young. Police say that at about 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, they conducted a search at #52 C Dean Street where all the defendants were present. A search on top of a wooden table, which was being supported by pint bottle crates inside the yard, resulted in the discovery a black plastic bag which contained some green leafy substance which proved to be cannabis. In court, Mark Betson claimed the cannabis and pleaded guilty with an explanation to drug trafficking while the others pleaded not guilty. Betson told Magistrate Adolph Lucas, “The drugs was not for distribution. I had it for my own use. My family did not know it was there so I beg the court for leniency.” He claimed the weed was for medicinal purpose since he had lost a foot. Betson, who already has a conviction before the court for possession of a controlled drug, was spared from going to jail when Magistrate Lucas imposed a non-custodial sentence and fined him the minimum sentence of $10,000 fine plus $5.00 cost of court which he has until December 31st, 2013 to pay or serve 3 years imprisonment. The charge was withdrawn from the rest of the family.

Extortion Charge dropped against PC Norman Bol
On June 14th, 2012, Police Constable Norman Bol was charged with extortion upon Marilyn Matus. According to police, Matus claimed that on June 3rd, 2012 her husband, Roberto Matus, was being held pending charges of threatening words. However, PC Bol approached her and told her that if she paid him $400, he would release her husband and no charges will be levied against him. Matus paid the $400 in exchange for her husband’s release but later reported the incident. On Tuesday, February 5th, the charge was withdrawn against PC Bol when Matus sent a letter to court stating that she does not want further court action. Bol’s attorney, Kareem Musa, told court reporters that he plans to file a civil suit against the Belize Police Department for “malicious prosecution” against his client.

Rudy Faber, charged for Attempted Murder
A man was stabbed whilst at a local bar named Carmita’s Bar also known as “Bucket Bar”, located at the foot of the Swing Bridge, and police have charged 29-year-old Rudy Faber for attempted murder.

Charged for Tax Evasion
Businessman, Thomas Gomez Jr., who is the owner of a lumber yard in the Faber’s Road Area, was picked up on the strength of a bench warrant on Tuesday, February 5th, and escorted to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court where he was read 8 counts of failure to file General Sales Tax. The Department of GST claims that Gomez has yet to file his taxes for the lumber business from April to December of 2012. In court, Gomez pleaded guilty to the charges and Magistrate Adolph Lucas, Jr. ordered him to pay $700 for each offense, totaling $5,600. He is to commence payment on the fine with 8 monthly installments of $700 starting at the end of March 2013. However, GST legal representative, Jaqueline Meighan, pointed out to the court that Gomez already has a previous conviction for tax evasion in which he pled guilty to 17 counts on February 22nd, 2012. He was ordered to pay $8,500 and has not paid a cent of the fine. To avoid jail time, Gomez requested an extension to pay the fine but offered to pay $5,000 immediately. Magistrate Lucas granted his request but warned of a prison sentence if payments are not made consistently.

Shaquille Jones walks from Double Murder charge
On Tuesday, February 5th, 21-year-old Shaquille Jones, who has been on remand since he was 17 years old, was acquitted of charges of murder upon 29-year-old Jermaine Trapp and 18-year-old Cameron Blease. Jones was accused of killing Trapp and Blease shortly after 3 a.m. on December 26th, 2008. According to reports, the men were just leaving Club Next located inside the Princess Hotel and Casino when they were ambushed by a gunman while heading to Trapp’s vehicle, which was parked in the hotel’s compound. The gunman opened fire at the men. As Trapp tried to drive away, one of the bullets struck him in the shoulder and the other to the back of his head. Blease was shot once to the hand and once to the chest. Trapp immediately succumbed to his injuries while Jones died ten days later. Police later arrested and charged 17-year-old Shaquille Jones for the murder of both men. According to police, it was Blease, who identified the gunman while on his hospital bed. The murder case began on Monday, January 28th, 2013 before Justice Troadio Gonzalez in the Supreme Court and prosecutors Kayshia Grant and Leroy Banner called 6 witnesses to testify. There was no witness to point out Jones as the gunman; therefore, the prosecution relied heavily on the statement allegedly given by Blease from his hospital bed. When the prosecution closed its case, Jones' attorney, Arthur Saldivar, made a no case submission to the court. He argued that Blease never signed the statement since there was only an “X” marked for the signature. Saldivar pointed to Blease’s mother’s testimony in which she said that she was with her son while police came to speak with him and she didn’t see him sign any statement. After considering the entire case before him, Justice Gonzalez upheld Saldivar's submission, and directed a jury of 12 to return a verdict of not guilty. Jones was allowed to leave the court a free man.

Romel Palacio, Jr. found in a Shallow Grave
On Thursday, January 31st, about 5:00pm acting upon information received from the Hattieville Police Station, Crimes Investigation Branch personnel visited Mile 12 on the George Price Highway, Belize District, where they excavated a shallow grave situated about 30 feet off the right hand side of the road when travelling from Belize City to Hattieville Village. In the grave, police discovered suspected human remains including flesh and bones. Also found in the grave were a sock, a pair of boxers, a glove and a black wrist watch. The remains along with the other items were collected and transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital morgue. Upon examining the remains police determined that the body was that of Romel Palacio, Jr. who has been missing since December 6th, 2012. Investigators found a piece of flesh which had a cannabis leaf tattooed on it along with the word 'Jacqui'. This verified that the body was that of Palacio, Jr. who had the tattoo on the left upper arm. The wrist watch was also identified as one which belonged to Palacio. Romel Palacio Jr. had been missing since December 6th of 2012. At the time family members suspected that he had been kidnapped, killed and buried but could not confirm their theory. They reported the matter to the police who have been investigating the missing person report since then. Speculation at the time was that he was killed because he was a main witness in a murder case in which Mitchum Heredia was killed on April 10th, 2006.

Gary Bowen Gunned down on Partridge Street
Three days after celebrating his 33rd birthday, Gary Bowen lay dead on the Partridge Street sidewalk in Belize City on Monday morning, February 4th. According to reports, Bowen left his home on Morning Glory Street to purchase food for him and his family to have breakfast. It was on his return at about 8:05 a.m., that he was riding his bicycle on Partridge Street when a gunman rode up beside him, pulled out a handgun and fired three shots at him. Bowen fell to the ground and the shooter rode away from the scene. Two of the bullets struck Bowen in the head and one in his left foot. He died on the scene. Gary’s parents, siblings, common-law-wife and 8-year-old son are left to wonder why would anyone so ruthlessly kill their loved one. He is remembered as a jovial individual who doesn’t give trouble or hang with trouble makers. Information suggests that Bowen was killed because of a petty dispute that took place minutes before his murder. Police investigation continues.

Nicholi Rhys tried for Andre Trapp’s Murder
On Monday, February 4th, Nicholi Rhys’ attorney, Simeon Sampson, presented a no case submission on his behalf who is being tried for the murder of Andre Trapp. On June 10th, 2010 Trapp was gunned down in broad daylight just after exiting the Belize City Magistrate’s Court. The case against Rhys is being tried without a jury and his fate will be decided by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. In response to Sampson’s no case submission, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lynn Vidal maintained her position that while the evidence against the accused is circumstantial, the sequence of events that occurred leading to the execution style death of Andre Trapp points to Nicholi Rhys. In his no case submission, Sampson submitted that the identification of his client by PC Alrick Arnold should be classified as a fleeting glance because in his testimony, Arnold told the court that he had only seen Rhys for a few seconds. Sampson further stated to the CJ that there is no evidence that Rhys was seen with a gun at the material time and that the Crown failed to prove the identity of the shooter.

Family flees after 17-Year-Old Eddie Soriano’s Murder
Seventeen-year-old student and resident of #27 Banak Street, Eddie Nelson Soriano, was shot dead on the street just outside of his house at about 7 p.m. on Monday night, February 4th. According to police, Soriano was walking on Banak Street when two men rode by on separate bicycles. One of them pulled out a handgun and opened fire at Soriano. He was shot four times to the upper part of the body, including the head and chest. The men then rode off but quick police response resulted in the detention of four suspects, who police believe can assist in the investigation. Immediately following the incident, Soriano’s family moved to a temporary location with plans to move out of the neighbourhood permanently. They said that they always knew they were living in a bad area but Eddie did not deserve to die because he was not a bad person. The family wanted to move out a long time ago.

Interdicted Police Officer escapes Carnal Knowledge Charges
Interdicted police officer, Yannick Wade, a resident of the Faber’s Road area of Belize City, was told he was free to go at about 1:48 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon when the DPP withdrew 6 counts of carnal knowledge against him after entering a nolle prosequi. The defendant was informed though that since the case against him ended in a nolle prosequi, it is possible that at any time, the charges can be brought back against him Back in 2011, the officer was accused of having sex with a then 13-year-old girl on six different occasions between the period of June, 2009 and March 2011. The sexual encounters is allege to have begun back in 2009 when the female was only 13 years but no report was not made until 2011. By this time, the girl was 15 years and allegedly pregnant, carrying a child for the officer. It was not until days prior to her giving birth, that charges were levied against the officer. The case ended in nolle prosequi for newly appointed Prosecutor, Leeroy Banner who informed Justice Troadio Gonzalez that the prosecution and police were unable to locate the crown’s two main witnesses being the minor and her mother. He informed the court that he believes that these witnesses have deliberately been hiding from the police hence they were not served their summons to appear in court today. In light of that, he was force to enter a nolle prosequi, concluded Prosecutor Banner. A jury of 9 persons, 4 men and 5 women had already been empanelled to hear the case.

Who are You to point Fingers?
Minister of State Hon. Mark King has been suspended for three months without pay from his duties as Minister of State. An incident at the Princess Casino at the Corozal border prompted this decision by the Prime Minister. Charges are also being brought against Hon. King for aggravated assault, threatening words and disorderly conduct which he is prepared to defend.

General Jones assumes Command of BDF
Minister John Saldivar promotes David Jones to Brigadier General On Friday, February 1st, military commanders from numerous countries assembled at Price Barracks for the change in command of the Belize Defense Force. After four years as Commandant of the BDF, Brigadier General Dario Tapio transferred leadership of the force to 22-year veteran, David Jones. Jones became familiar to the public in recent years for his work as an explosives expert dealing with grenade attacks or discoveries. However, he has long been held in high regard by soldiers of the BDF for his communicating and organizational skills. Jones will be responsible to lead the force through a time of transformation.

New Logo for Belize Bureau of Standards
The Belize Bureau of Standards is pleased to introduce its new logo to the public. As the Bureau enters a new stage in its development, it wishes to re-emphasize its commitment to serving as a lead institution in establishing a national quality infrastructure for the country. In its resolve to drive a culture for quality in Belize, one which it expects will unflinchingly meet the challenges of a competitive global market and fulfil consumer expectations on quality, health, safety and the environment, the department, through this design, aims to feature the corporate interplay between the key elements of quality infrastructure: Metrology, Standards, Testing and Quality (MSTQ). With a positive outlook on its future development, the Bureau believes its new logo will set the stage for this new chapter in its existence, as it charts a new course which it envisions will improve the socio economic well-being and quality of life for all Belizeans.The Bureau hereby informs that the old logo will run concurrently for a period of 18 months and until such time will remain in circulation.

Minister Joy Grant’s Address at Private Sector Forum on Renewable Energy Initiatives
My Ministry is a young, multi-faceted organization, which has been entrusted with responsibility for the areas of energy, science and technology and public utilities. Although distinct, these are all inter-related in that they are central to the future economic and social development of Belize, and play, or have the potential to play a significant role in the daily lives of our people. Today, we are focusing on energy in view of its importance as the driver for all sectors of our economy and thus of the economic and social development of our country. Improving our energy security and ensuring access to affordable and reliable energy are critical prerequisites to securing the future well-being of Belizeans.

Corozal Free Zone Incident Involving Minister
Cabinet was briefed on an incident that occurred early Tuesday morning, February 5th, 2013 at the Princess Hotel & Casino in the Corozal Free Zone, and it was reported that the Hon. Mark King was involved in behavior not consistent with his obligations as a Minister of State.

Oceana’s Moral Victory?
On Tuesday, February 5th, arguments were concluded in the court room of Justice Oswel Legall on Oceana’s challenge against six Production Sharing Agreements (PSA) granted to various oil exploration companies between 2005 and 2007.

Unions consider Salary Adjustment Proposals
On Friday, February 1st the Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow met with union representatives to discuss a way forward in their request for salary increases for members of the public service which includes the membership of the Association of Public Service Senior Managers (APSSM), the Belize National Teacher's Union (BNTU) and the Public Service Union (PSU). The meeting was a cordial one in which there was a proposal for salary adjustment.

Three-year-old burns to death
A 3-year-old toddler lost her life in a house fire which took place in the early morning hours of Monday, February 4th. According to fire authorities, they received information of a house fire sometime around 4:10a.m. on Monday in the village of San Narciso in the Corozal district. Upon their arrival, they saw a wooden house with zinc roofing measuring approximately 22ft by 26ft which had been completely burnt. What remained of the fire was extinguished and fire personnel conducted a search inside the remains of the house where they found the charred body of a 3-year-old baby girl identified as Danely Shaniri Guadalupe Cabrera. The child's body was found under a metal crib and was later transported to the Corozal Community Hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival.

Holy Redeemer, St. John Vianney, Salvation Army and St. Martin De Porres win in Primary Schools Softball
The Belize City Primary Schools Softball Competition continued at the Rogers Stadium over the last week of play with a number of games on the schedule. On Friday, February 1st, in the first of two games played in the girls’ competition, St. John Vianney School defeated Salvation Army School by the score of 16-4. The winning pitcher was Princella Samuels and the losing pitcher was Britney Meighan. In the second girls’ game, Muslim Community School defeated Buttonwood Bay Nazarene by the score of 17-1. The winning pitcher was Essenie Ciego and the losing pitcher was Shenelle Magandi. In the first boys’ game played, St. Mary’s School defeated Salvation Army School by the score of 10-3. The winning pitcher was Gilbert Cal and the losing pitcher was Keron Patnett. In the second game, it was St. Martin De Porres won over Queen Square Anglican by the score of 30-0. The winning pitcher was Derrick Martinez and the losing pitcher was Ashton Lawrence. The competition continued on Thursday, January 31st, in the first girls game played, Unity Presbyterian blanked Wesley Upper School by the score of 7-0. The winning pitcher for Unity Presbyterian School was Alison Arnold and the losing pitcher was Brianna Gillett. In the second girls’ game, Salvation Army School edged Central Christian School by the score of 14-2. The winning pitcher was Britney Meighan and the losing pitcher was Hannah Usher.

Wesley College Girls to play for Central Region Football Title
The 2012-2013 Central Region Secondary Schools Football Competition is fast coming to an end at the MCC Grounds. The semi finals series continued at the MCC Grounds on Tuesday, February 5th, 2013 with game two in both the female and male series. In the female series, Wesley College eliminated Excelsior High School by the score of 3-1. The goals for Wesley College were scored by Imane McKenzie, Kimberly Garcia and Shanice Neal. Meanwhile, the scorer for Excelsior High School was Dayna Miguel. In the male game played, Excelsior High School defeated St. John’s College by the score of 3-2. The goals for Excelsior High School were scored by James Fitzgibbon while the goals for St. John’s College were scored by Tarique James. On Friday, February 1st, in the first female game in the semi-final round, Wesley College blanked Excelsior High School by the score of 2-0. The goal scorers for Wesley College were Erica Milligan and Elisha Bernardez. In the male game, St. John’s College defeated Excelsior High School by the score of 5-3. The goals for St. John’s College were scored by Dimitri Fabro (3), and Raheem Flowers (2). Meanwhile, the goals for Excelsior High School were scored by Kareem Flowers (2) and Tyrone Gabriel.

Telemedia to defend Interoffice Softball Title
The Regular Season for the 2013 Belize City Interoffice competition is scheduled to commence this Friday night at Rogers Stadium with 2 games on the schedule. The regular season will utilize the Double Round Robin Format with the top four teams advancing to the playoffs. The Playoffs will utilise the internationally used “Page System.” The teams participating in this year’s competition are Telemedia (defending champion), Baby Ruth Baaba Shap, Kit Kat Baaba Shap, KHMH, BTL, Guardian/NSC, Tuff “E” Nuff, Belize Bank and BWSL.

Orange Walk Football finals this weekend
The 2012 Orange Walk Football Association 1st Division Opening Tournament will enter its championship round on Sunday, February 13th, 2013 at the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk Town. In U-17 division championship game which is scheduled to commence at 1:30 pm, it will be White Eagles FC going up against San Lazaro Young Stars FC. In the main match of the day, it will be Guinea Grass United FC against the San Estevan FC. In the semi finals round that came to an end on Sunday, February 13th, in game one, San Lazaro Revolution FC and San Estevan FC played to a 4-4 draw. The goal scorers for San Lazaro Revolution FC were Aris Serrano in the 20th minute of play, Carlos Jones in the 40th minute of play via a penalty kick, Darwin Sosa in the 65th minute of play, and Edil Tzi in the 73rd minute of play. Meanwhile, the goals for the San Estevan FC were scored by Edwani Munoz in the 17th, 46th, 78th and 83rd minutes of play. In game two, Guinea Grass United FC defeated Progresso FC by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Hugo Canul in the 24th minute of play.

Premier League Competition begins This Weekend
The Premier League of Belize announces that its 2013 Closing Season Tournament is scheduled to commence on February 9th, 2013, with eight teams participating in this year’s competition. The teams participating are the Belmopan Bandits (National Champions), Police United (National sub-champion), Placencia Assassins FC, Belize Defence Force FC, FC Belize, Verdes FC, FC San Felipe Barcelona and San Ignacio United FC.

High schools softball competition opens
The Central Region Secondary Schools Softball Competition opened on Wednesday, January 30th at the Rogers Stadium. On Wednesday, January 30th, in the female game played, Nazarene High School upended Pallotti High School by the score of 28-0. The winning pitcher was Ashley Lucas and the losing pitcher was Marlette Martinez. On Thursday, January 31st, in the only male game played, Anglican Cathedral College edged Maud Williams High School by the score of 9 - 7. The winning pitcher was Devaun Zuniga and the losing pitcher was C. Olivera. The competition then continued on Friday, February 1st, 2013 with two more games in the female competition. In the first game played, Maud Williams High School forfeited to Edward P. Yorke High School. In the second female game, Ladyville Technical won over St. Catherine Academy via the forfeiture route. On Saturday, February 2nd, in the only game played in the female competition Wesley College defeated Anglican Cathedral College by the score of 14 - 4.

What’s with Castellanos?
He rose to prominence in the collective bargaining agreement negotiations as the 'numbers' man for the unions. He could calculate GDP, and projected revenue from GDP growth faster that the smartest among us, but there was something that simply was not adding up with the President of the Association of Public Service Senior Managers. On Thursday of last week, he fired off a letter to the Prime Minister, before the a scheduled meeting between the PM and the union leaders. In the letter, he claimed that he was being intimidated and alluded that his two-year tenure with the APSSM would be difficult. Lo and behold, there was something amiss; months before he even became the president of the APSSM, he had applied to be declared medically unfit. The request was done in August of 2012 and by September the Ministry of Agriculture and its CEO had looked favorably at the request. Then in October, he became the President of the APSSM. During this tenure, a medical board had approved his request and it was recommended that he be allowed to collect his benefits.

Massive Erosion in Dangriga
A concerned resident of Dangriga Town forwarded to The Guardian newspaper pictures of what appears to be massive erosion taking place in that town. According to the resident, he casually took the first picture of the beach in front of the Grace Ramirez Park in Dangriga Town on July 22nd. At the time, he thought nothing of it but was shocked and concerned when he visited the very same park at the very location and realized that the sea had eroded a significant chunk of beach, so much so that a park table which was once on solid land ended up being washed into the sea. One hydrologist, whom we forwarded the images to, indicates that the damage being done to the beach was considerable considering the space of time. Since the erosion has been taking place, there has been some level of intervention taking place to minimize the amount of damage that is being done to the beach. Residents have taken it upon themselves to begin to throw old car tires at the point of erosion in an effort to prevent any more from taking place.


A Tale of Five Cities: San Cristobal at night
Although we tend to turn in pretty early (especially by Mexican standards!) we actually did venture out after dark in San Cristobal, Chiapas, Mexico. It's a very lively city at night, and the lights for the holiday season made it especially festive. This building with its colored lights, rotating through a rainbow of colors, was one our favorites. One of the highlights of our time in San Cristobal, and indeed on our entire sixteen-day Mexico trip, was happening upon a paper lantern ceremony purely by chance. I'd seen pictures and video of such ceremonies in Thailand, but never dreamed of seeing one in person in Mexico. It was a small gathering and not very organized as the lanterns were sent up at all different times, but it was still beautiful and magical. I can only imagine what a very large lantern ceremony would be like (for example, see these amazing images). Our pictures are not very good quality, but hopefully you will get the idea. It was much better in person with everyone cheering and pointing. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Texas Tech Independent School and San Pedro Sailing Club news
Homeschooling abroad is an option many expats who move to Belize consider for their kids. A group of people on the island decided to come together and form a new kind of high school for kids who are taking courses from Texas Tech Independent School. The kids will be supervised and socialized getting the ‘high school experience’ but in a smaller group setting. The Board of Directors for the newly formed Ambergris Caye High School invite you to a Parent/Student information meeting; Monday, 25 February 2013 at 7:00 PM upstairs at Fido’s. Ambergris Caye High School is a private, Texas Accredited, Online School. Enrollment for the Fall semester is limited to 15 and spots will fill up fast. ACHS has a longer school year, 208 days, and a longer school day, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM. In addition to offering all of the academic courses necessary to receive a diploma from the Texas Tech Independent High School District, students will have ample opportunity to participate in sports (sailing and SCUBA diving) and community service. If you are looking for an alternative high school for your child, come to the meeting and get all of your questions answered. Ambergris Caye High School could be just the solution you are looking for.

Top 13 Places to Visit in Western Belize
Jungle Rivers, hidden waterfalls, mysterious ceremonial caves, ancient Maya cities, picturesque mountains, easy living and quaint villages are all tucked into the beautiful Cayo District in Western Belize. With an estimated population of about 75,000 people, one of Cayo District’s most important industries is eco-tourism. To experience Cayo you can Hike, Canoe, travel by Horseback, or tour in a comfortable air-conditioned van. Whatever your preference, prepare yourself for the ultimate in an “up close and personal” experience. Below are the top 13 places to visit in the area:

Belize-Guatemala Diplomatic Incident
Guatemala has provoked a diplomatic incident by using a map of Guatemala showing Belize as a part of their territory at an Organization of American States (OAS) Forum on Wednesday. At the OAS headquarters in Washington, D.C., Belize's Ambassador to the OAS Nestor Mendez objected strongly to the use of the map and indicated to the forum that Belize plans to file a formal protest before the OAS general assembly over the continued use of the erroneous map by Guatemala. Belize has fired off a strongly worded diplomatic note to the OAS and circulated to member nations of the hemispheric body, protesting Guatemala's use of an erroneous map showing Belize as a part of Guatemala.

When we arrived at our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize on Wednesday afternoon the first thing we noticed ( one of the problems of a muddy building site is that you spend a lot of time looking down to make sure you obtain safe footing) was a hoist at the top of a scaffold tower from ground level to the First Floor. We saw very quickly that they were using this to lift concrete blocks and cement and Daniel Camal, our building contractor, was supervising things. I was going to continue this edition by including more of the photos we took when we went to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize on Wednesday but when we went there today I decided to go for the more up-to-date news. We saw the early signs of walls yesterday but as we got closer to the house we wonder(ed) how big the walls had grown. A quick walk up our new stairs and we saw just how much.

Belize Bird Video: Collared Aracari family at Lower Dover Jungle Lodge
Since we posted the bird pics of the Social Toucanettes eating last week, we decided to try our hand at some video. I was watering the garden in the afternoon and the birds flew so close to my head I could hear their wings. They were hungry! You can hear me sneaking off to turn the water off 30 seconds into the vid…I’m not sure they even cared.

International Sources

VIDEO: Boating Fail
Dedicated to my mom who suggested I should that I should make this video.

Belize protest Guatemala video
You should watch this very short clip of the Belize Ambassador in Washington lodging verbal protest to the Guatemalan Delegation to the OAS video that shows no border between our two countries. Listen from 2:13:00 to 2:32:00 to the protest by the Belize Ambassador Mendez. You cant say you didn't know. This clip isn't even 24 hours old. It was yesterday.

New World chief Kelleher still confident of Belize oil discovery
New World Oil & Gas (LON:NEW) chief executive Bill Kelleher remains confident that the company will discover oil within its Belize acreage. The shares plummeted last week as the Blue Creek 2 well was determined to be non-commerical. The well did, however, confirm that an active hydrocarbon system exists within the acreage. And live oil shows were measured in both the Y3 and Hillbank reservoir targets. This was not enough to prevent a sharp drop for the New World shares, which at one stage had halved in value. But, Kelleher remains undeterred. “I’m not hanging my head, in fact I’m encouraged,” he said in a call with Proactive Investors. “I’m incredibly positive [about the project]. We now know that oil has moved through this area, and We know it has accumulated in massive amounts – I’m talking about hundreds of millions of barrels. “And I believe it is just a matter of time before we crack the code on locating traps, and indentifying the differences [in our data] between the sealed and the breached traps. “We’ve learned a lot. And the key thing to take away from this result is that we will make a discovery and we will be producing oil - so sit tight.”

New World Oil & Gas CEO: Belize still ‘extremely exciting’
New World Oil & Gas (LON:NEW) chief executive Bill Kelleher still has high hopes for Belize despite the recent well disappointments there. Last week, the stock took a pounding, down as much as 45% as investors reacted to the news the Blue Creek 2A ST well in Belize had been plugged and abandoned due to insufficient quantities of moveable hydrocarbons. In a conference call with investors today, chief executive Bill Kelleher stressed that the well confirmed his belief of an active hydrocarbon system, while live oil shows were measured in the Y3 and Hillbank formations. “Although we are disappointed with the results we have confirmed that there is a working hydrocarbon system in Blue Creek and the West Gallon Jug licence blocks,” said Kelleher. The chief executive had said that it is only a matter of time before the company locates a trap of significant size in north-west Belize, which he believes is the key element for success there. “Trap development and timing of trap formation relative to the timing of oil migration remains an open issue and will remain an open issue until we drill the well,” he told investors today.

Bahamas Sees Off Belize
The Bahamas moved to 2-0 in the International Cricket Council’s Tournament of the Americas Division II competition. #After they survived with a 14 run victory over Argentina to highlight day one action, the Bahamas returned yesterday to top Belize at Haynes Oval. #The Bahamas batted first and scored 149runs in 20 overs. #“The team played exceptionally well, better than yesterday and they seem to be improving a lot more,” BCA Executive Greg Taylor said, “They still need to improve the batting and they should be alright as they progress in the tournament.” #The Bahamas will have the day off and return to competition tomorrow at 2pm. #The Bahamas previously captured the ICC Americas Division II title in 2010, despite losing a thrilling final match to Suriname by three wickets, so the Bahamas looks to be one of the major players, and are thus far living up the expectations as favorites in the tournament.

Mexico Expands Inspections on Belize Border Amid Equine Encephalitis Outbreak
Inspections of horses are being stepped up along Mexico’s border with Belize to prevent animals infected with equine encephalitis from entering the country, the Agriculture Secretariat said. The “preventive measures are being taken on the southern border strip” due to outbreaks of the highly contagious disease in two areas, the secretariat said. Officials have sent National Food Health, Safety and Quality Service, or Senasica, specialists to the border region to help identify the viral strain involved, the secretariat said. Animals susceptible to infection will be vaccinated under the Binational Strategic Cooperation Plan for Health Matters and Trade, the Agriculture Secretariat said. Epidemiological monitoring in the region has been expanded and horse owners have been asked to notify officials if any animal begins exhibiting neurological problems, the secretariat said. Suspicious cases in vulnerable equine populations are being investigated in southern Mexico, the secretariat said. EFE

VIDEO: Protecting Reefs, Protecting Economies
Marine Protected Areas are an important management tool that can be used to not only preserve rich marine habitats, but also to protect local economies. Established in 1996, Belize's South Water Caye Marine Reserve functions to protect the rich habitats and biodiversity of the Belizean Barrier Reef and the researchers at the Smithsonian Institution's Carrie Bow Cay field station have been studying the changes in the marine life since the establishment of this reserve. The knowledge gained from this research could help enhance our understanding of marine ecosystems globally and aid management in making more successful marine protected areas.

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