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Today's Belize News: January 15, 2013 #458092
02/15/13 09:33 AM
02/15/13 09:33 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 72,064
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Where: At the San Pedro High School Teacher: Mr. CARLOS PERROTE - The Omolewa Osain Project Courses: Steel Drums, Percussion Instruments, Piano and guitar, beginners and advanced Monday to Friday 90 minutes daily during 3 weeks Class 1: 8:30–10 a.m. for participants 5-11 years of age Class 2: 10:30- 12 a.m. for participants 12-18 years of age Class 3: 3-4:30 p.m. Advanced

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize prime minister offers new debt terms on defaulted bond
Final terms for bringing Belize back on track with its debt obligations were announced by Prime Minister Dean Barrow this week as he piloted Government of Belize External Debt Restructuring Motion through the House of Representatives. According to the details within the bill, the Belize government proposes to extend maturities and cut the coupon on the country’s US$544 million of defaulted debt as part of the country’s second debt restructuring since 2007. Prime Barrow announced plans to extend the maturity on the defaulted bonds to 2038 from 2029 and lower the current coupon to 5 percent from 8.5 percent. Barrow, speaking to the lower house in Belmopan, said the agreement would provide the country US$247 million in relief over the next 10 years. “There is no reason to fear that with this massive package of debt relief, there can be any chance of Belize defaulting again,” Barrow said.

Fort Saskatchewan Rotary Club members to bring wheelchairs to Belize
The Fort Saskatchewan Rotary Club is taking the “Rotary International” edge literally. A four-year project is coming to fruition for the local sector at the end of February, when club members will be travelling to Belize to distribute 110 wheelchairs. “We are very excited about this international project,” said Robert Thomas, International Service chairperson. “The club has been fundraising for four years and raised, through donations and matching grants, the $20,000 needed to complete this project.” The wheelchairs were obtained through the Canadian Wheelchair Foundation and have been shipped to Belize, where the Belize City Rotary Club will be receiving the wheelchairs. They will assist the Fort club’s members in distributing them where they are most needed. “Belize was chosen, as District 5370, of which Fort Saskatchewan is a part, has had an ongoing literacy project in that country for over five years,” Thomas said. “We wanted to build off of those efforts.” Four club members will be making the trip down to Belize: Carol Devereux, Ellen Kranz, Jana Rowe and Terry Stacey. An added bonus is that the Belize Rotary District conference is taking place when the four local ladies are down there, so they will be attending that, as well, and will see how Rotarians work in other areas. According to the Canadian Wheelchair Foundation, it is estimated that at least 100 million children, teens and adults worldwide need wheelchairs but cannot afford one. For every donation of $150 raised by the organization, one wheelchair can be delivered to international and national distribution partners.

Europeans flocking to Central America
The number of Europeans visiting Central America totalled 747,712 in 2012, according to new figures. Data from the Ministries of Tourism of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama revealed that this was a 2.4% increase on 2011. Of these visitors, 96,039 were from the UK - an increase of 1.5% on the previous year. Costa Rica was the most popular destination in the region, with a total of 2.3m people coming to the country in the first 11 months of the year. Belize was a particular favourite with Brits, while the number of UK visitors to Panama - famous for its canal - grew by 7%. Central America is renowned for its lush jungles, diverse wildlife, incredible sandy beaches, spectacular scuba diving and Mayan ruins. Some of the most visited sites include the Mayan ruins of Copan in Honduras and the Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica.

Manatee Rehabilitation Centre
Belize is home to the West Indian Manatees (Trichechus manatus). This species ranges from Florida to Brazil, and is divided into two sub-species. The sub-species in Belize is the Antillean manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus) – Belize is the stronghold for this endangered subspecies, with a population estimated at between 800 to 1,000. The Manatee Rehabilitation Centre has been established to fulfil three primary objectives: To care for all orphaned or injured manatees found in Belizean waters To prepare rehabilitated manatees for reintroduction to the wild To raise awareness of manatees and manatee conservation With the support of a network of manatee vets and biologists, the Manatee Rehabilitation Centre has become well known for its commitment and successes and now plays an active role in the sharing of skills and experiences of its approach.

VIDEO: Carrie Bow Cay Field Station
Located in Belize on the South Water Cay Marine Reserve, the Carrie Bow Cay Field Station is the perfect place for visiting scientists to study a variety of ecosystems such as mangroves, seagrass and coral reefs. Please contact station manager Zach Foltz at [email protected] or visit us at or

St. Ignatius Visits the SIPL
The San Ignacio Public Library hosted some first form students from St. Ignatius. Reading is necessary. "First form visit the SIPL for information & activities"

Mardi Gras on Burns Avenue
Serendib's Mardi Gras celebrations went spectacularly, and they had many different types of music rocking Cayo throughout the night. The World Culture Band played in the back, as did a jazz singer. They had DJ's in the front, and a marching band played too. What a night!

Happy Ash Wednesday
Benque celebrates Ash Wednesday. "Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent in the Western Christian calendar. Occurring 46 days before Easter, it is a moveable fast that can fall as early as February 4 and as late as March 10. According to the canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke; Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the desert, where he endured temptation by Satan. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of this 40-day liturgical period of prayer and fasting. Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of placing ashes on the foreheads of adherents as a reminder and celebration of human mortality, and as a sign of mourning and repentance to God. The ashes used are typically gathered from the burning of the palms from the previous year's Palm Sunday."

Bi-national Tourism working group Belize-Guatemala border zone was formed.
On January 18, 2013, thirty-three members of the public and private sectors in Belize and Guatemala, along with representatives from the local associations and communities in the border area, were integrated into the Bi-national Tourism Working Group Belize-Guatemala Border Zone. This group function is to organize dialogue and inter-sectoral coordination and to promote and include participation of key stakeholders in the management of local development through sustainable tourism. The objectives of the working group are to promote dialogue and partnership between public and private stakeholders involved in tourism in the border zone Belize-Guatemala, to position the region as a competitive tourist destination, and to promote sustainable tourism, taking advantage of the cultural and natural heritage of this border zone. The principles of the working group are consensus, responsibility, complementarity, target approach, reciprocity, equity and sustainability. The work is focused on the implementation of the Joint Agenda for Tourism Development in the Belize-Guatemala Border Zone, which will facilitate the creation of a regional identity among the players and encourage them to develop common actions, based on tourist rates of the services, taking into account “the full experience” and not just the individual provider. Participation in this table is open and inclusive to all governmental, non-governmental and associations related to sustainable tourism and economic development presence in the border zone.

Youth Business Trust Belize
Invites you to participate in a Business Lab/Workshop March 4-8 Univ of Belize Doctoral Room

Channel 7

Moses Sulph Charged For Rape
He's scaled the heights of national prominence as a community activist, but today Moses Sulph hit an all-time low when he was arraigned for rape. 7news was in Belmopan - and Daniel Ortiz reports:.. Daniel Ortiz reporting 36 year-old Moses Sulph walked the gauntlet to the Magistrate's Court today a very quiet and reserved man, a far cry from the firebrand activist we've all come to know. He appeared before Magistrate Aretha Ford where he was read a charge for a single count of rape. His accuser alleges that on Tuesday, he forced her to have intercourse against her will. The prosecutor had no objections to his bail, and asked the court to impose conditions. Magistrate Ford ordered that he must not interfere with the victim, and he must report to the Queen Street Police Station every Thursday. With that, she granted him bail of $5,000, which his associate, Hope Amadi, signed for him to be released.

University Faculty Protests
And while today they were in court, 18 days ago, Sulph and Amadi were on the frontline for UB Student Government - demanding that an increase in registration fees be lifted. Well, they must have inspired the teachers because today, the Faculty and Staff Association had their own protests. Their issues, though, are far deeper than just an increase in fees. They are upset about an audit - which they feel has gone unheeded and has opened the door for greater abuses of the university's funds. 7news was in Belmopan for their protest:.. Daniel Ortiz reporting Teachers and Staff members from the University of Belize gathered under tent near the entrance of the campus. Instead of reporting to their different departments, they decided to make a public statement of discontent they currently have with the university's transparency and accountability mechanisms. They staged a public meeting type setup, in which speeches were made for the preservation of the national university. Allison Crawford - President, UBFCA "You all should be ready to give up a day for a cause. We are at the university level and we are the ones to set the example to this country." According to the President of the UB Faculty and Staff Association, it centers around an audit report which makes certain allegations of financial irregularities within official posts, and within the board itself.

Terminated BWS Workers Told They Were Redundant
Last night we told you about the five BWS employees terminated, basically for a nasty gossip campaign circulated by letter to the Prime Minister and other high officials. That's what CEO Alvan Haynes told employees in a memorandum sent out after the dismissals last week Wednesday. The memo says quote, "the terminations were primarily to do with confidentiality or failure to cooperate fully with the investigation, including providing false information or withholding information." But that's very different from what the employees were told in their letter. Those letters of dismissal have been obtained by 7news and they say, quote, "Due to restructuring your post has become redundant and as a result your services will no longer be required." Now there's a huge difference between redundancy and circulating gossip and confidential information - and it would seem to leave BWSL management somewhat exposed. But, more than that - the real surprise is that one of the persons sent home was the Union Vice President and another was the Union general secretary. The surprise is that their union seems to have not protested their dismissals! It's an odd case - as usually - by terms of the labour agreement - Unions have to defend their members, especially against terminations. And you might think that the union would have worked doubly hard to protect executive members.

Two Cayo Men Still Critical
Two Cayo men continue to cling to life after being struck in the head in separate incidents over the weekend in Cayo. The first is Jose Pineda -seen here on a stretcher at the San Ignacio hospital. He is a DJ who was beaten at his ex-common-law wife Mariana Galvez's bar in San Ignacio early on Sunday morning. His family says he was taken there to be killed, while Mariana Galvez told us he came there and tried to cut out her tongue. He is still in critical condition on life support. And, an hour later, Cayo taxi driver Pedro Choc, was beaten by 3 men who asked to be taken to a Bar. He also remains in a critical condition at the KHMH. No one has been charged for either incident.

Crime Down Sharply In Cayo
And despite the violence over last weekend in San Ignacio - that formation has been the most peaceful in the first month of 2013. According to statistics presented to formation commanders in Belmopan yesterday - in Cayo, crime went down by 41.5% in January. And within Cayo, the San Ignacio formation had the largest reduction. In the new performance-based police command performance assessment, that's worth money and recognition. And so, Officer Commanding Cayo, Senior Superintendent Aaron Guzman and Officer Commanding San Ignacio, Superintendent Ralph Moody were given a certificate of appreciation and their Zone received one thousand dollars to be used as they see fit. The commander says the formation will decide collectively how to use it.

The Secrets Of Santa Rita Unearthed
Belize's most famous Maya Temples are Altun Ha in the Belize District, Xunantunich in the Cayo district and Lamanai in the Orange Walk District. Corozal and Toledo don't factor into the popularity picture probably because they are too far from the main tourist hubs - and, so, sites like Lubantuun and Nim Li Punit in Toledo and Cerros and Santa Rita in Corozal don't get the amount of attention and restoration that sites in the central areas do. But that doesn't mean that they weren't important political and trading centers. That's especially true for Santa Rita which sits just outside of Corozal Town. It was once the capital of Chetumal - and now its pre-eminence is being restored through an effort by the US Government and NICH. Yesterday, Dr. Jaime Awe hosted US Embassy staff at the site and explained the newfound treasures of Santa Rita:.. Jules Vasquez reporting The Santa Rita Mayan Site on the outskirts of Corozal was once the Capital of Chetumal. But that was in Ancient Mayan history when Santa Rita enjoyed prominence as a trading center due to is proximity to the Rio Hondo River. But for the past century Santa Rita and its glorious past had been mostly buried beneath rubble - the product of raiders in the form of Caste War Refugees and amateur archeologists like Thomas Gann who dynamited the site to look for treasures of antiquity.

The Anger In Arenal
Yesterday, 7News told you about the situation in Arenal Village in which a woman's home was destroyed to make way for a football field. It sparks from an issue in which the village's only football field, which is well-known, sits on both Belizean and Guatemalan territory. The village chairman told us that whenever they've tried to organize sporting events on the field, Guatemalans living near the area cause big problems for the village. So, they've resorted to building another football field in which the entire length and breadth in Belizean territory. They had plans for years to create that field, but when they started to bring those plans to reality, they realized that one female resident of the village was squatting on public land. And when they started working on the field, they destroyed her entire development on the land, which included trees and plants, and her house which was burnt down. That's right, they burnt it down!

India Donates Computers to SJC
This morning St John's College received a generous donation from the Government of India. Fifty computers and printers were handed over to the institution under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation program. Under the ITECH program, India extends assistance to countries like Belize with which it enjoys a good relationship. And so this morning, students and teachers gathered inside the Fordyce Memorial Chapel to receive the donation. H.E. Sujan R. Chinoy, Commissioner of India to Belize "This is gift from the Government and people of India to the Government and people of Belize. It's a gift of 50 computers, printers and associated peripherals under the Indian Technical and Economic Program which is well known by its acronym ITECH and under the ITECH Program India extends assistance to friendly countries with whom we have good relations and countries like Belize which we want to deepen our engagement including people to people level. It's also under the ITECH Program that we just got a senior police officer from India on secondment and loan to the Government of Belize. Some of you might have heard that we have Mr. Chan who is also going to be here for a year on loan to the Commissioner of Belize. He will work in consultation with his superiors here. That's the kind of program we have - the ITECH Program under which its very broad-based, it ranges from outright aid and assistance of this order to for instance cricketing gear which gifted in 2010 for the people of Belize. On another occasion we have gifted medicines after the natural disaster in 2007. We have also gifted for instance 3 wheeler scooters in the past 16 of them. I see some of them between Chetumal and the Corozal area. That the kind of range we cover and there are scholarship we offer under the ITECH Program to Belize students and officials going to India." The ITECH program also covers scholarships for Belizean students.

PROFILE: Dionne Burns.
Tonight's profile is about Dionne Burns. You may not know his name, but a part of his story is familiar. He grew up in Belize city, lost interest in school and then turned to a life of crime. That landed him in jail - which is where his story took a turn. Today he's a productive citizen and a site supervisor for Cisco Construciton. Tonight he explains how he got over and how he picked up an ethic of hard work:

"Konshens" Cometh For A Concert
Like his song says, Dancehall superstar Konshens is a world citizen - and today he proved that by visiting Belize for the third time. He's here to perform at an event called Bubbling Valentine at the Riverside Tavern. He told 7news he will be performing just about everything for his fans. Konshens "This is the third time, Belize is the first place in the Caribbean outside of Jamaica that I have performed." Monica Bodden "Tell us a little bit of what your fans can expect from you at the show?" Konshens "Just none stop vibes. All the songs from then to now you will hear it." Monica Bodden "What is the show called this weekend." Konshens "I don't even remember the name of the show. Somebody give me the name, Bubble Valentine. So girl will bubble. Big up all the single girls that will come out." Monica Bodden "Tell us some if the songs that you will be performing." Konshens "Everything like from that song to that song."

Frequent Winners With Fantasy Five
Last week we showed you the 74 year old Crooked Tree man who walked away with a checque for three hundred and twenty thousand dollars from the Fantasy 5 jackpot. One week later, there is another Fantasy 5 winner. Today Sandra Garbutt travelled from Corozal Town to collect her winnings of one hundred and seventy five thousand dollars. 7news was there to capture it. Sandra Garbutt, Fantasy 5 Winner "When they played the lottery I heard the number and they said that they had a winner, so I check my ticket and that was the lucky number there." Monica Bodden "What was your reaction right away?" Sandra Garbutt, Fantasy 5 Winner "I got happy, I couldn't believe I win it." Monica Bodden "Was it a quick pick or selected numbers?" Sandra Garbutt, Fantasy 5 Winner "It was a quick pick." Monica Bodden "It's a game that you play regularly?" Sandra Garbutt, Fantasy 5 Winner "Regular, every time it plays I buy. I am planning to build my house with it and I have a child that is in school, so I have to have money to send her to college."

The Perpetual Optimists
Over the weekend, the young sailors of the Optimist program of the Belize Sailing Association had their first Regatta of 2013 in the waters off Buttonwood Bay. Under clear skies and with good winds, in each race, the top 4 sailors competed and after a close competition, Antonio Ricardez Jr. of Buttonwood Bay Nazarene displayed his dominance and placed first in all five races. With 7 points less, the silver medalist was Carlos Villatoro from the Placencia Sailing Club. Rupert Garnett from Liberty Children's Home Sailing Club won the bronze. This was Rupert's last regatta as he and his siblings are moving from Belize. Tropigas sponsored the event.

Channel 5

Moses Sulph charged for rape
Activist Moses Sulph is in the news, and this time it has nothing to do with the Belize/Guatemala dispute, offshore drilling or the dozens of other issues he’s taken a stance on. This morning, he was arraigned at the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court on a single count of rape. A woman claims that she went to [...]

UB faculty protests audit irregularities
On Tuesday, the University of Belize Faculty and Staff Association held an open forum with members and the decision was taken to demonstrate. And today, on Valentine’s Day, they did. The primary source of the discontent is the Board of Trustees. The Association alleges there are financial and managerial irregularities in an external audit released [...]

UB President says audit not complete yet
Late this evening News Five asked University of Belize’s President Dr. Cary Fraser to offer an official comment or position on the allegations being levied by the university’s Faculty and Staff Association. His position is that he was hired at the university to reform the institution academically and administratively, and reform will inevitably create conflicts. [...]

Cyclists may suffer association’s problems
Jose Manuel Pelaez Rodriguez, President of the Pan-American Cycling Confederation, left Belize today after an unsuccessful meeting with Minister of Sports Herman Longsworth on the cycling controversy. Longsworth held a press conference on Wednesday at which he revealed that the discussion with Pelaez Rodriguez had fallen apart and there was the real threat of international [...]

Varying figures for 2013’s economic growth
The Belize Central Bank has issued the latest economic update.  A perusal of the document shows inconsistent figures with previous projections from other official sources.  The most important forecasted growth is the Gross Domestic Product, (GDP). The Central Bank points out that in 2013; economic growth is expected to be two point seven percent, just [...]

Guatemala wants Belize to restore 2008 Referendum Act
  The President of Guatemala is currently on an unofficial visit to Spain. According to today’s Prensa Libre, Otto Perez Molina says that Belize should change its referendum law to level the field in respect of the October sixth referendum which will decide if Guatemala’s territorial claim should be determined by the International Court of [...]

SJC gets donation from government of India
The computer lab at Saint John’s College was enhanced today through a donation by the government of India on the occasion of the visit of its High Commissioner. Aside from the computers and accessories, the High Commissioner also announced that a senior police officer from India has been deployed to work along with the police [...]

Oceana wants to appeal Referendum case
Oceana Belize has applied for permission to appeal the dismissal of their case against the Chief Elections Officer (C.E.O.) and the Governor General (G.G.) on the basis of a technicality. In the original case, Oceana sought judicial review of the decision of the C.E.O. to disqualify eight thousand and forty-seven petition signatures collected as part [...]

Not guilty of 20 pounds of cocaine in vehicle
Fifty-two year old Franz Hamilton, an electrician, is free tonight after a jury of nine found him not guilty of drug trafficking with the intent to supply. The case goes back to April twenty-third, 2010, when police searched an SUV which Hamilton was driving.  There were two other passengers travelling to Orange Walk Town with [...]

Guilty of hiring foreigners without work permits
  Two naturalized Belizeans are facing charges of employing persons without a valid work permit. Fifty-three year old Dora Licia de Maria Prado, a resident of Ladyville and also owner of Dora Noa Noa Bar located on the Phillip Goldson Highway was accused of employing three Guatemalan nationals without a work permit. Prada appeared before [...]

6 years for burning lover’s house
  Twenty-four year old Keisha Banner, who was found guilty of arson on January twenty-second, is back behind bars.  Banner was sentenced on Wednesday by Justice Troadio Gonzalez, and handed a six year jail term. Banner was found guilty of burning down the house of Dishon Rowland, her estranged boyfriend. On January thirtieth 2011, witnesses [...]

Love is in the air on Valentine’s Day
Commerce normally picks up for most businesses at Christmas time, but Valentine’s Day is almost an exclusive economic season for florists.  And across the City today, the hustle and bustle of cash for symbols of affection was blooming in red.  Some were looking for chocolates and sweets and others for stemmed roses. News Five’s Carla [...]

Live comedy at the Bliss
Some promoters try to keep you stable in your seat in a theatre but performers at Friday night’s show hope you will fall out of your seats with laughter. “Drama meets Stand-Up” is a comedy show organized by local stand up comedian, Dillon Jones.  The event intends to merge traditional drama and stand-up comedy for [...]

Caribbean artist Konshens promises a great show
“Gyal a Bubble,” “Stop Sign” and “Represent” are among his most popular songs and today, Jamaican Artist, Konshens, arrived in the Jewel. Twenty-eight year old Garfield Spence has developed his talent and music that is world renowned with a large fan base in Europe, Japan, Guyana and the Caribbean including Belize. The reggae and dancehall [...]

Healthy Living’s broken heart episode
We’ve heard in sad love songs. We’ve seen in dramatized in movies. We’ve even heard anecdotes of someone who knew someone who died of a broken heart. While many of us can identify with the real-life heartache of losing a loved one or love loss, it seems incomprehensible that this very common obstacle in life [...]


Love FM Celebrates Its 20th Birthday
Love FM is celebrating its 20th anniversary today. The company first opened its doors on February 14, 1993 and was succeeded by Estereo Amor, More Fm and Love Television all which make up R.S.V. Ltd. The founder and owner of Love Fm, Rene Villanueva Sr. shared his feelings ...

Veterinary Association of Belize Has New President
Dr. Henry Canton is the president of the Veterinary Association of Belize. The new executive for the association was held during its 22nd Annual General Meeting. Dr. Victor Gongora is the Vice president, Secretary, Dr. Isabelle Paquet-Durand; Treasurer, Dr Jane Crawford and membe...

Two Employers Charged For Employing Immigrants Without Proper Documents
Two persons were charged with employing persons not in possession of employment permit when they appeared in Court today. They are 47-year-old Jose Linares, a naturalized Belizean originally from Guatemala who is a building contractor and 53-year- old Dora Prado, a naturalized Belizean...

American National Charged For Cannabis
Yesterday was their anniversary and 56-year-old American national Sandra Knight brought five point one grams of cannabis with her to Belize City from Florida for her to celebrate with her husband. But Knight never got a chance to smoke the cannabis and celebrate. When she got off the c...

Housewife of Corozal District Wins Fantasy Five Lottery Game
It’s not every time that someone gets one hundred and seventy five thousand dollars in exchange for two dollars. But that is what happened to Sandra Garbutt, a housewife and mother of two from the Corozal District and that’s because she bought a FANTASY FIVE ticket an...

Police Discovers Marijuana Plantation In Toledo
Police have discovered a half acre marijuana plantation in the Toledo district. According to officials, members of the anti-drugs unit carried out an operation two kilometers north east of Indian Creek village between four o’clock and eight o’clock yesterday morning.&...

Police Reveals Details On Body Found At Flag Monument
Police have released further details about the body of a man found at the flag monument at the northern entrance to Belize City on Wednesday. Initially police had named the person as 39 year old Joe Arconilla. But today’s police press bulletin identifies the victim as...

National Garifuna Council Prepares To Hold 29th Convention
The National Garifuna Council will be holding its 29th Annual Convention early next month. This year’s convention will be held in Hopkins Village from March 8 to 10. According to the coordinators the major highlights of this year’s convention will include funding oppo...

Police Officers Receive Citations For Outstanding Performance
Minister of National Security John Saldivar has given public citations to the officers commanding the Cayo district Zone and the San Ignacio formation for their outstanding performance last month. According to an official statement, the two units were recognized for best performa...

Oceana Belize Pursues Case of Disqualified Signatures
Oceana Belize is continuing to pursue the case of the disqualified signatures which resulted in the failure by opponents to meet the threshold for triggering a national referendum on offshore oil drilling. Oceana-Belize, which was later joined by Audrey Bradley and Tom Greenwood,...

Woman Gets Six Years For Setting Boyfriend's House On Fire
Twenty-three year old Keisha Banner, who was convicted of arson for setting fire to her boyfriend’s house, was sentenced to six years today by Justice Troadio Gonzalez. The maximum sentence is life imprisonment. Before he decided on the sentence, Justice Gonzalez heard...

Decrease Reported In Butane Price
The Belize Bureau of Standards today sent out a brief press release announcing that effective February, ninth, there is a small decrease in the price of a one hundred pound cylinder of butane gas. The government release did not specify if the decrease is across the board or just ...


Fire Burn Heats Up With Excitement Over Play Ground, It Means a lot To Students
If you visit many of the primary schools here in Orange Walk Town you might have noticed that most of them boast of a play ground for their students. In the Rural communities play ground sets are not very common at the schools. But that scenario changed today at least for students of Fire Burn Primary School who inaugurated their new play ground this morning. Hipolito Novelo has that story. Hipolito Novelo reporting... If you have travelled to Fire Burn Village then you already know that is in the Orange Walk District, just south from Shipyard, and that the road is extremely bumpy. The Village consists of a population of approximately one hundred persons who make up 19 families. The community also has one primary school which was founded back in 1982. To date the school has an enrolment of 32 students, students who often at times found themselves with nothing to do during break time. But as of today these bright young minds will be able to have some extra fun while at school as they make good use of their brand new play ground.

Burglars Get Away With 7K!
Tonight a man from the Corozal District is out of more than $7,000 worth in cash and items after his home was burglarized. Between the hours of 7:30pm on the 12th of February and 12:30am on the 13th someone entered the home of twenty nine year old Hensleigh Ryan Jones located in the Village of Ranchito and stole $3000.00 in cash in different denominations, one 14K Gold Ring valued at $115.00, four bottles of liquor valued at $196.00, one 42 inch flat screen television valued at $4000.00 and one black L.G. Touch Screen cell phone valued at $300.00. Police are investigating.

Traffic Mishap Leaves 3 Persons Injured
There was a traffic accident in Orange Walk last night which left three persons injured. CTV3 news understands that at around 7:30pm Raju Ranjwanie, his wife Perla and son were traveling back to Corozal from Belize City when upon reaching the round about by Establo Restaurant, Ranjwanie lost control of the vehicle and ran off the highway. We understand that while Ranjwanie was able to make it out of the vehicle on his own, the same cannot be said for his wife who suffered severe injuries. Reports are the woman’s head went right through the windshield and she was complaining of pain on her arm and stomach area. The child also sustained injuries but not as severe as his mother’s. Today we were informed that while Ranjwanie sustained a broken finger and foot, his wife Perla ruptured her liver and broke one of her feet and one of her arms. As for the couple’s son, he sustained injuries to the face. CTV3 News has received reliable reports that the police arrived at the scene approximately 12 minutes after the accident occurred and the ambulance arrived 17 to 18 minutes after. Police are investigating.

Another Consultation Meeting Turns Sour; BNTU Corozal Rejects GOBs Proposal
Yesterday evening at 5:30 members of the Belize National Teacher’s Union Corozal Town and Corozal Rural Branch convened at the Corozal Community College Auditorium. This was to meet with representatives from the Belize National Teachers Union, the Public Service Union, and the Association of Public Service Senior Managers in order to discuss Government’s salary adjustment proposal. As was the case scenario in Orange Walk, and most of the branches across the country, last night’s meeting was poorly attended. Between both branches there is a membership of 250 teachers. Nonetheless, a merely eighty plus members attended yesterday’s meeting echoing the same message, teachers were not pleased with Governments proposal. Estevan Cruz, President of BNTU Corozal Branch, preferred to speak to us off camera. Cruz says that the proposal was questioned by members. The main concern was the adjustments in fiscal years. Teachers are requesting that instead of having the adjustment in fiscal years 2014-2015, 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 that it commences from 2013. In other words teachers want to see a salary adjustment this year no if’s or buts’. Now we all know what the sentiments of the Prime Minister are when it comes to that request. In fact, in case you might have forgotten, teachers will receive a salary adjustment from 2014 to 2017 only if there is a surplus of revenues. In total BNTU has ten branches country wide. So far consultations have taken place with the Belize City Branch, two branches from Punta Gorda, two branches from Corozal and the Orange Walk and Dangriga Branch. All consulted branches have rejected the proposal. The consultation now moves on to San Ignacio, Benque Viejo and Belmopan.

Angel Cahueque Charged For Theft
While police investigate this latest burglary they have been able to arrest one man for theft. Based on their investigations, police detained 19 year old Belizean laborer of Hall’s Layout Angel Cahueque after he was accused of snatching a chain from 19 year old Belizean mason of San Antonio Village Corozal, Francis Hall. Hall reported to police that while riding his bicycle on College Road around 12:45pm on Tuesday, someone grabbed his silver chain valued at $110.00 from around his neck. Hall was able to identify the person as Angel Cahueque who he has known for more than ten years. As mentioned Cahueque has been charged for theft and is expected to appear before the Corozal Magistrates Court tomorrow.

Sugar Production Is Good So Far
Here at CTV3 News we have been following the progress of the 2012/2013 crop season since it officially got underway in the month of November last year. Today we can say that based on the reports released by the Belize Sugar Industry Limited, the 2012/2013 crop season is expected to be a bright one. The latest report speaks about the 11th week of crop. So far four hundred and fifty five thousand five hundred and one tons of cane has been milled, that’s a difference of six five thousand nine hundred and sixty nine tons compared to last year. If we take a look at sugar production, forty five thousand three hundred and fifty seven tons of sugar has been produced, that’s much more compared to last year when thirty seven thousand four hundred and 16 tons was produced during the same time frame. This week it took 9.28 tons of cane to produce a ton of sugar and overall TCTS stands at 10.04%. Last year it stood at 10.41%. Presently we are looking at a mud extraction of twenty three thousand eight hundred and four tons. That’s less than last year. As for factory performance and efficiency, the factory is grinding at a rate of 305 tons cane per hour and its time efficiency is at 94.66%.

Career Day At Belize Adventist College
Career Day often refers to a day in high school where students learn about different careers and vocations. With the objective of planning for the future, yesterday the Belize Adventist College in the Village of Calcutta Corozal hosted Career Day for 361 students enrolled at the school. Reporter Elmer Cornejo stopped by the high school yesterday and found out more about the activity. Celia Clarke-Principal BAC “Every year we have a career day in which we invited different professional to sensitive students to the different opportunities so that they can be successful.” Elmer Cornejo, reporter “Has it been successful so that it can be a yearly event?” Celia Clarke-Principal BAC “Yes it has been because usually we would ask student as to what they want to do. So they would say the profession but that opinion would change. So that tells me that the information on career day influence them. So that they can see the different people that work. So when we choose a day they can ask the question and receive their answers. I must say that so far it has been successful and being exposed to the different opportunity and we have 300 and add students.”

Happy Valentines To You!
As you may all know today is Valentine’s Day; the day to tell that special person that you love them. The history of Valentine's Day--and the story of its patron saint--is shrouded in mystery. So who was Saint Valentine? One legend contends that Valentine was a priest in Rome during the 3rd century. Saint Valentine ran into some trouble when Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, so he outlawed marriage for young men. And this is where Valentine becomes the saint of love. Realizing the injustice of the decree, Valentines defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret.

NICH Gets 100K To Conserve Santa Rita
Since 2001 the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Cultural Heritage Centre has assisted eligible countries in preserving their cultural heritage through its U.S. Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP). Last week Belize became one of those lucky recipients as the AFCP awarded BZ$100,000 to the National Institute of Culture and History’s Institute of Archaeology for the conservation of Santa Rita in recognition of its cultural importance. In sight of the donation, representatives of the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), accompanied by the U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Margaret Hawthorne and Public Affairs Officer Eric Heyden, travelled up north to Corozal today to meet with Doctor Jaime Awe, Director of the Institute of Archaeology. As the team toured the Santa Rita archaeological park, they found out more about the site’s on-going restoration.

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Teachers in Orange Walk express concerns over salary adjustments offer
Teachers in the Orange Walk District came out on Tuesday to hear the Government’s proposals as it relates to the salary adjustment. Members of the union negotiating team traveled to Orange Walk to make the presentation. Love News spoke with President of the Orange Walk branch of the BNTU, Otilio Munoz.

Teacher certification discussed in Belize City
There been enough talk about primary school teachers who don’t yet have a certificate in their field of work. While many of them do have degrees, their lack of pedagogical training prompted the Ministry of Education to introduce a certificate in primary education program. Almost five years later, four cohorts have passed through the program. Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Chris Aird told Love News that of the 850 teachers who need their certification, some 200 are left to enroll in it. Meanwhile, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, facilitated the program with funding from the Japanese Government. UNESCO’s Education Program Manager, Robert Parua, said that teacher education is one of the core areas that the organization tries to advance on. Aird says that the Ministry of Education will carry out the programme until all uncertified teachers get their certification. The Japanese Government provided 200 thousand dollars for the project.

New butane prices announced
The Belize Bureau of Standards today sent out a brief press release announcing that effective February, ninth, there is a small decrease in the price of a one hundred pound cylinder of butane gas. The government release did not specify if the decrease is across the board or just for butane imported from certain markets. According to the new price list, a one hundred pound cylinder of butane now costs one hundred and seventeen dollars in Belize City and Corozal. Consumers in Belmopan and San Ignacio are paying one hundred and nineteen dollars; while consumers in Benque Viejo del Carmen are paying one hundred and twenty dollars. In Orange Walk it is one hundred and eighteen dollars, one hundred and twenty one dollars in Dangriga and one hundred and twenty two dollars in Punta Gorda.

Ash Wednesday observed
Today is Ash Wednesday, marking the start of the Lenten Season, an important part of the Christian calendar. One visible symbol of Ash Wednesday is the marking of a cross in ashes on the foreheads of the faithful. According to a theological offered by Mary Fairchild, quote: “Lent is the Christian season of preparation before Easter. In Western Christianity, Ash Wednesday marks the first day, or the start of the season of Lent, which begins 40 days prior to Easter. Sundays are not included in the count. Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. The purpose is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ – his suffering and his sacrifice, his life, death, burial and resurrection,” end of quote. Fairchild’s explanation of Lent goes on to say that not all Christian churches observe Lent as it is mostly observed by the Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian and Anglican denominations, and also by Roman Catholics. Eastern Orthodox churches observe Lent or Great Lent, during the 6 weeks or 40 days preceding Palm Sunday with fasting continuing during the Holy Week of Orthodox Easter. The Bible does not mention the custom of Lent, however, the practice of repentance and mourning in ashes is found in five different passages of Christian.

Alleged child sex abuse reported in Orange Walk
Another alleged case of child sex abuse has been reported. A fourteen year old girl, accompanied by her mother, went to the Orange Walk police station to report that a forty one year old man from Yo Creek village has been sexually abusing her from when she was twelve years old. According to the girl, at age twelve, she visited a friend in her home village and when that friend went to buy snacks, a man in whose company she was left alone, took her into a room and had sexual intercourse with her. The girl says that the same man repeated the sexual abuse when she was thirteen years old. The latest incident is reported to have happened on Monday night. Police say they have detained a forty one year old man from Yo Creek village pending charges. On Tuesday we reported an incident which happened early Sunday morning in San Ignacio town and left a man on life support at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Today, police announced that they have arrested and charged Israel Betancourt Perez for the crime of attempted murder. The incident happened around two thirty on Sunday morning when a fight erupted at Mariana’s Bar on Back Street in San Ignacio. The brawl left Jose Santos Pineda seriously injured and police reported previously that he was on life support at the KHMH.

Woman jailed on arson conviction
Twenty-three year old Keisha Banner, who was convicted of arson for setting fire to her boyfriend’s house, was sentenced to six years today by Justice Troadio Gonzalez. The maximum sentence is life imprisonment. Before he decided on the sentence, Justice Gonzalez heard pleas for mitigation from two character witnesses and attorney Simeon Sampson who represented Banner at the sentencing. Both character witnesses testified that Banner was a nice and responsible person who was not really a trouble maker. The incident occurred on January 30, 2011. Banner set fire to a plywood house at 69 Vernon Street, the property of Deshon Rowland. Banner borrowed a box of matches from a neighbor and lit the fire. The house and its contents were completely destroyed. Rowland estimated the cost of the damage at $20,000.00. Rowland and Banner had a misunderstanding and he left the house and went up the street to a friend’s house. Shortly after that Rowland was told that his house was on fire. Crown Counsel Leroy Banner represented the prosecution.

Walk for Peace concludes in Punta Gorda
The cross country walk for peace ended on Tuesday in the Toledo District. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.


Moses Sulph appears in Belmopan Court on charges of rape
Moses Sulph has been charged for rape. Yesterday we told you about well known Belize City activist Moses Sulph who was in the custody of Belmopan Police pending the outcome of a rape investigation. Sulph was walked over from the Belmopan Police Station this morning, in the company of...

University of Belize Faculty and Staff Association calls for change
“Vote of No Confidence in the UB Board of Trustees!” – That was the tune of today’s demonstration at the University of Belize. The University of Belize Faculty and Staff Association came out with placards and force, calling for the resignation of the current UB Board of Trustees. Among...

Arenal Village Chairman tears down and burns home of local villager
Sara Marisol Laura has been living in Arenal for the past 14 years but yesterday when she returned home, her house had been destroyed and many of her items had been set on fire. Plus news traveled to Arenal and we were made to understand that the house was destroyed...

No foul play in death of homeless man
We have an update on a story we aired last night. Police have released more information on a man found dead yesterday morning in Belize City. The man, initially ID’d as Joe Arconilla is 40 year old Benito Chub Sr. Police say that sometime late Tuesday night, Chub was...

Minster of National Security awards Police Officers in San Ignacio Formation
Even though the year started off a bit rocky, as it relates to criminal activities, these last couple of weeks have seen a decrease in crime, with the Cayo District Zone seeing the largest reduction of 41.51 percent for the month of January. Within that zone, the San Ignacio...

Marijuana plantation discovered in Indian Creek Village
Early yesterday morning, while conducting a search in Indian Creek Village, the Anti-Drugs Unit came upon a marijuana plantation with about half an acre of marijuana plants – that’s 1,100 mature plants. Also discovered on the property were a shed containing 86lbs of processed marijuana and 3.25 lbs of...

Burglary in Corozal District
Tonight, Police are investigating reports of a burglary that occurred in the Corozal District. The owner of the home, 29 year old businessman Hensleigh Jones, reported to Police that sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, someone broke into his home and stole $3,000 in cash, a 14K gold...

Two vehicles were involved in a small collision
Two vehicles were involved in a small collision this afternoon near our studios. This afternoon an Astro Van was travelling on Rio Grande Avenue, when at the same time, a Toyota Hilux was exiting the 99 Cents store. The two met head first. Fortunately none of the occupants of...

Donation to NICH for development of youth
We haven’t heard anything from Belize’s Musical Ambassador Moses Michael Levi (formerly known as Shyne) since his appointment and so it came as a surprise to learn today; via a press release that The Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Foundation along with H.E. Ambassador Moses Michael Levi will tomorrow hand...

The Guardian

Cop on Trial for Perjury
It’s been more than 6 years ago since a police officer was accused of perjuring himself whilst on the stand in a case of murder involving a well-known businessman Chayben Bou-Nahra. The case got started in Supreme Court Before Justice Troadio Gonzalez on Wednesday, February 13th, 2013. A jury of 9 persons has been empanelled to hear evidence against police officer, 46-year-old Anthony Polonio. At the time of being charged, he was stationed with the Crimes Investigation Branch office in Belize City. He was one of several officers who had responded to the scene of a murder in which Shawn Copius had been shot and killed. Allegations being made against PC Polonio are that on October 24th, 2007, whilst giving testimony under oath in the case of the Queen versus Chayben Bou-Nahra, he intended to obstruct the course of justice; he testified that he would be able to identify Bou-Nahra knowing that he could not. Prosecutor in the case is newly appointed crown counsel, Leroy Banner while PC Polonio is being represented by Senior Crown Counsel, Simeon Sampson. Banner’s first witness to the case is attorney Tracey Sosa. Sosa at the time was the then crown counsel for the DPP’s office who had prosecuted the case in which PC Polonio had testified in. While Sosa was giving her testimony, Sampson objected since he did not have material which was being discussed. The objection was upheld until the material could be made available. The matter was adjourned until Thursday, February 19th, 2013 at 9:00 a.m.

From the Bizarre PUP World - Scorfulous - Morally Bankrupt
Dolores Balderamos-Garcia stood up in the National Assembly to object to the Prime Minister's use of the word ‘scrofulous’ because she considered it insulting. Word of advice Dol, if you don't know the meaning of a word there is no reason to object to its use. All you needed to do is find yourself a dictionary and look up the meaning. But then again the translation of your name from the Spanish language to the English language would explain your behavior. Said Musa got up on a point of order to clarify that the money he used to pay the Universal Health Services debt was in fact a grant (free money) and that it was not a loan. Well, all the worse for him! He actually admitted to using money that was a gift to the Belizean people to pay off a private debt. And there he was saying that he did not want to be a part of the debate because he had nothing to contribute. Admitting that you squandered the people's money is as good a contribution to the discussion on the Super Bond as we could have expected. Thanks for the honesty Said, for once the truth flows from your mouth, even it if was by mistake. Mike, Mike, Mike, the full bred Espat. The Champion defender of the Super Bond; for once there is a PUP brave enough to get up and say the Super Bond was a good thing, even if it was a good thing only for the PUP. Maybe Mike should consult with Johnny to try and find the millions stolen from the people. A report has it that 250 million dollars from the Super Bond proceeds is unaccounted for. Is this the reason why Mike was so eager to stand up and defend it? Maybe he personally benefitted from it!

Chan Pine Ridge elects UDP Candidates for Village Council Elections
On Monday, February 4th, 2013, members of the United Democratic Party gathered at the residence of Mrs. Elvia Tzul in Chan Pine Ridge Village to elect the UDP team that will contest the upcoming Village Council Elections.

What about Mahmud Francis?
The People's United Party was quick to condemn the actions of Hon. Mark King for having been involved in an incident at the Princess Casino at the Northern Border. In fact, they went to great lengths claiming that the Prime Minister was not stern enough with King; if a 3-month suspension without pay and criminal charges being brought is not stern enough, given the circumstances, then we'd say we don't know what else could have been done. The shoe is now on the other foot and now one of the PUP area representatives is involved in an incident which really pales in comparison to the one Hon. King was involved in. Would you know, there is not a peep coming from the PUP, not even a word has been said and we'd hazard a guess that nothing will ever be said about it.

Mahoganies for the City
Belize City Businessman, David Gegg, handed over 110 mahogany trees to Belize City Councilor with responsibility for beautification Roger Espejo, on Monday, February 11th. According to Gegg, the trees range in price from 5 to 50 dollars depending on their size. He added that he was impressed by the work the Belize City Council was doing in beautifying the city that he was compelled to assist. It is the second time that Gegg has made a contribution. Earlier on in the beautification project of Belize City, he donated 100 mahogany trees which have also been planted across the city. He chose to make the donation because he says the Mahogany tree is very important to our history. Councilor Espejo explained that similar to the past contribution by Gegg, these trees will also be planted across the city. He commended the gesture and said that this is the kind of partnerships with the private sector that the Council seeks to make in order to make Belize city a better place. In planting the trees, they will be done in areas designated as tourism routes and will be an added feature for tours in Belize City. Gegg says he grows mahogany trees at a far he has in Sandhill. He adds that over the years he has donated thousands of trees to various organizations, among them the Forestry Department. He also noted that he has been planting trees himself in the Peccary Hills area to embellish it with logwood features. Unfortunately, he added, a fire a few years ago burnt most of the trees and he is once again embarking to replant the area with mahogany trees. The trees planted in Belize City will be cared for by the Belize City Council. Residents will also be asked to assist in keeping them alive.

Our Middle Name
Approximately half a decade after the UDP swept the 2008 General Elections the work continues, the reversal of the PUP’s mismanagement and corruption tide progresses and as PM Dean Barrow once put it in a budget speech, “our finest hour is yet to come”. Indeed, looking at it carefully, one’s finest hour should always be ‘yet to come’ for it is in the relentless pursuit of improvement that we deliver greatness. One reason for UDP’s greatness continues to be Democracy. After all, it is‘our middle name’.

New Computers for Ministry of Health
On Thursday, February 15th, the Ministry of Health and Fultec Systems signed a contract for the supply of $59,000 worth of Computer Equipment under the Grant for Salud Mesoamerica Project. The Salud Mesoamerica Project aims to close the gap in health equity for the poorest twenty percent of the population in Mesoamerica. This will be achieved through an expansion in the coverage and utilization of reproductive, maternal, neonatal and child basic health (RMNCH) services; including, nutrition, immunization, reproductive health and maternal and neonatal health for women of reproductive age and children under the age of five years.

Parenting: The Cornerstone of Development
The Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation is collaborating with the United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF) to host a three-day parenting workshop at the Best Western Biltmore Hotel. The workshop is entitled “Parenting: The Cornerstone of Development”.

Restore Belize Improving Literacy and Numeracy in Belize
On Wednesday, February 13th, twenty-five individuals from various organizations completed a three-day training session on a computer-based literacy and numeracy software. The training is Restore Belize’s response to the Literacy Assessment (2011) conducted by the Ministry of Education which revealed that many children in primary schools are struggling to attain the basic literacy skills appropriate for their age.

San Narciso UDP Village Council Candidates ready for Elections
Supporters of the United Democratic Party held a divisional meeting in San Narciso Village in the Corozal Southwest constituency where a slate was selected to contest the upcoming Village Council elections. The meeting, which was held on the night of Sunday, February 10th, was attended by party supporters who selected 7 people to represent the UDP in the village council elections. Elected as the candidate for Chairperson was Emair Correa. Councilor Candidates selected were Laura Patt, Romel Ek, Adair Dominguez, Jesser Patt, Veronica Ortega and Leovijilda Patt Cob.

Dates for Agric Show announced
The National Agriculture and Trade Show Committee has announced that the planning an preparations has commenced for this year's show. It announced that the show will take place from May 3rd to the 5th. Also announced was the Ministry of Agriculture's commitment to make this year's show focus more on agriculture and agro-industry. There will also be zoning taking place at the grounds to have better control of the number and distribution of bars.

Remembering Celia - Celia Adeline Albertina McDougall (March 17th, 1955 – February 16th, 2003)
Henry Ward Beecher wrote these immortal and apt words: “No grief has a right to immortality. That ground belongs to joy, to hope, (and) to faith.” I would openly and candidly admit that these words have guided my family throughout these years after Mother passed.

Used a Baby to try to smuggle Weed Seeds into Prison
Santa Margaret Villager, Maria Alicia Reyes, 20, appeared in Magistrate’s Court on Monday, February 11th after she allegedly tried to smuggle weed seeds into the Belize Central Prison. She appeared in Magistrate’s Court where she was charged with possession of a controlled drug. She pleaded not guilty to the charge before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart where there was no objection to bail and she was granted it in the sum of $800. She is to put $300 up front and the balance of $500 as a signed surety. She is not to interfere with the prosecution’s witnesses. Reyes is to reappear in court on March 15th, 2013. On Saturday, February 9th at about 11:20 a.m. prison officer Tanisa Dawson conducted a search on Reyes and found nothing incriminating. She then proceeded to search Reyes’ 1-year-old baby. The search led to the discovery of a transparent plastic bag in the back pocket of the child. Further inspection revealed that the plastic bag contained suspected cannabis seeds. Hattieville Police were called and the mother and child were taken into custody where the mother was charged.

Fisherman caught with Weed
On February 11th, 34-year-old fisherman, Ramon Avila, appeared in Magistrate's court before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith where he pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges. Since he has no previous convition, he was fined 10 thousand dollars plus 5 dollars cost of court. He was ordered to pay 2 thousand dollars forthwith or in default 6 months imprisonment. The balance is to be paid by April 30th, 2013. Police say that at on Monday, February 11th, 2013, Avila was seen riding a bicycle contrary to the flow traffic on Victoria Street and when he was stopped, a search was conducted on him which led to the discovery of a bag of weed weighing 119 grams. It was inside a bag he had in his possession at the time.

Four charged for Burglary
On Monday, Febraury 11th, four people, including a minor, 16-years, were arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on charges of burglary and handling stolen goods. Lloyd Parchue, 2Cilo Cherrington, a resident of Nutmeg Street in the Saint Martin’s de Porres area, 22-year-old Kareem Yorke, a resident of Berry Street in Belize City and with a 16-year -old high School Student appeared before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer where they were jointly charged with burglary and handling stolen goods. Cherrington was additionally charged with an additional count of handing stolen goods after he was found with a gold chain and $1,800 in US currency, proceeds from a burglary in which over $37,590.00 in items was stolen from Phillip Garbutt’s home on February 5th, 2013. Bail was offered only to the 16-year-old minor after his attorney, Lionel Welch, submitted in court that his client has had no run-ins with the law until this unfortunate allegation was made against him. He also pointed out that the minor is a student with no record before the court.

Guilty of stealing a Ball of Dutch Cheese
Delia Young, 46, appeared in Magistrate’s Court in Belize City before Magistrate Dale Cayetano where she was read a single charge of theft for stealing a ball of Dutch cheese valued at $54.50. Young, who was unrepresented, wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the offense. Young, however, asked the court for leniency since she is the mother of two children. She is a first time offender for the crime of theft and as a result, Magistrate Cayetano fined her $300 plus $5.00 cost of court. She was then ordered to pay the fine by the end of April or in default she will spend 3 months in jail. On Friday, February 8th, at about 5:45 p.m., Supervisor at James Brodie and Company, Dion Brooks reported to police that he saw Young when she placed the roll of Dutch Cheese inside her sling bag, which was on her shoulder. She then attempted to make off with it but was caught and handed over to police.

Charged for Public Terror at SCA Fair
Two men and two minors were taken to Magistrate’s court on Monday, Febraury 11th and charged in connection with a fight that occurred at the Saint Catherine’s Academy (SCA) annual Valentine’s fair. Two minors, ages 15 and 17 along with 18-year-old Trevor Brown, of #69 Amara Avenue, and 21-year-old Gilbert Wade, of Ross Pen Road in Belize City appeared before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart where they were jointly charge with one count each of disorderly conduct and one count each of causing public terror. On Saturday, February 9th, 2013, at about 11:10 p.m., the four caused public terror at the SCA Compound on Hudson Street, when they wantonly engaged in an unlawful fight with the intent to cause terror to the public. The four all pleaded not guilty to the two offenses they were jointly charged with. In court, the two minors, ages were read the charges in the presence of relatives. The 15-year-old’s mother was present while the 17-year-old’s sister was present.

Woman found Guilty of Arson
A Belize City woman, who was found guilty of arson 3 weeks ago, learned her fate today in the Belize Supreme Court before Justice Troadio Gonzalez. She was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment. 24-year-old Keisha Banner was found guilty on January 22nd, 2013 of burning down her former lover’s home located at #69 Vernon Street in Belize City. The incident occurred on January 30th, 2011. During her trial, Banner was unrepresented and had to defend herself against a single charge of arson and was found guilty. In mitigation, she appeared along with attorney Simeon Sampson. He called two character witnesses including Constancio Perez, a retired teacher and priest with the Anglican Church. According to Perez, who is also her godfather, he said that Banner, whom he has seen grown from a baby, grew up with her father until age 4 when he died in a traffic accident in 1993. He said that the charge of arson against Banner shocked him since he has always known her to be a very loving person, who grew up in a family setting despite the death of her father. Before leaving the stand, Perez asked the court for leniency upon Banner as he does not know her as a trouble maker. Her second character witness was Elroy Wade, 35, a salesperson and ggent for a gas company in the south of the country. Wade told the court that Banner was once her neighbor in Hope Creek village. He said that due to an unfortunate series of events in her life, Banner was forced to leave the village when her home was taken away from her some 3 years ago. He said Banner was liked by his family as she was once a babysitter for his 12-year-old daughter and she quickly became close to their family.

Belmopan Bandits open Defence of Title on the Right Foot
PLB Commissioner Mito Perdomo presenting championship cheque to The first week of the 2013 Premier League of Belize Closing Season is now in the history books. There were 4 games played over the last weekend across the country and all 8 teams in the competition were involved. On Saturday, February 9th, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the defending champions and home team the Belmopan Bandits opened defence of its national title on the right foot when it blasted Verdes by the score of 4-0. The Belmopan Bandits got on the scoreboard when Jerome James scored the 1st goal of the game in the 1st minute of play to give his team an early lead. That lead was further extended when David Madrid scored his team’s 2nd goal of the game in the 19th minute of play to give his team a 2-0 lead. However, the scoring did not stop there as Brandon Peyrefitte scored his team’s 3rd goal of the game in the 33rd minute of play for a 3-0 lead. The first half of the game ended with the defending champions the Belmopan Bandits enjoying a comfortable 3-0 lead at the half. The only goal that was scored in the 2nd half of the game came in the 69th minute of play by Jerome James. The competition continued on Sunday, February 10th, 2013, with 3 more games on the schedule. Out at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, the Belize Defence Force edged the San Ignacio United by the score of 3-2. The Belize Defence Force got on the scoreboard first when Paul Nuñez scored the first of his two goals in the 9th minute of play to give his team an early lead. The Belize Defence Force lead was further extended when Paul Nuñez scored his 2nd goal of the game in the 32nd minute of play for a 2-0 lead.

Wesley College girls and St. John’s College boys are Central Region Football Champions
The 2012-2013 Central Region Secondary Schools Football Competition came to an end on Monday, February 11th, 2013, at the MCC Grounds. In the female championship game, Wesley College defeated St. Catherine Academy by the score of 3-0. The goals for Wesley College were Erica Milligan, Elisha Bernardez and Shanice Neal. In the male championship game, St. John’s College defeated Anglican Cathedral College by the score of 3-2 in penalty shoot out. Dimitri Fabro, Sydney Bradley and Jorge Perez all scored penalties for St. John’s College, while Sergio Luna and Devaun Zuniga scored for Anglican Cathedral College. On Friday, February 8th, in the first game of the female championship, Wesley College and St. Catherine Academy played to a 0-0 draw. In the first game of the male championship game, St. John’s College and Anglican Cathedral College also played to a 1-1 draw. The goal for St. John’s College was scored by Dimitri Fabro while the goal for Anglican Cathedral College was scored by Dejaun Thompson. Wesley College female and St. John’s College will represent the Central Region at the National Secondary Schools Football Championship this coming weekend at the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk Town.

Election for Cycling Association will be held shortly
Minister of State in the Ministry of Sports, Hon. Herman Longsworth held a press conference on Wednesday, February 13th in which he announced that elections will be held by the 28th of February for a new executive of the Belize Cycling Association. The elections, says Hon. Longsworth, will be held under the Belize Cycling Association's constitution which was submitted to the National Sports Council on January 30th, 2012. It will be headed under the guidance of an interim executive which will be composed of two members of the National Sports Council, two Members representing Emil Moreno, who says he is the president of the Cycling Federation (the National Sports Council does not recognize this as a legitimate cycling body) and two members representing Dion Leslie who wants to run as president of the Cycling Association. The Interim Committee will be chaired by a well known former president of the Association. The first order of business, stated the Minister, was to call on persons affiliated with the sport of cycling to register as part of the general membership of the association. This is the pool of persons who will be allowed to vote for a new executive who will carry the sport of cycling forward. The move, says Longsworth,will more than likely attract sanctions from the International Cycling Union but this is something he says the sport will have to go through for a properly organized cycling discipline to be established.

Nazarene High School leads in girl's softball
The Central Region Secondary Schools Softball Competition continues at the Rogers Stadium with a number of games played over the last few days. On Tuesday, February 12th, in the first of two girls games, Ladyville Technical High School defeated Anglican Cathedral College by the score of 19-2. The winning pitcher was Amber Wade and the losing pitcher was Chelsea Jex. In the second girls game, it was Wesley College winning over Maud Williams High School by the score of 17-4. The winning pitcher was Breanna Meighan and the losing pitcher was K. Robinson. On Monday, February 11th, Nazarene High School continued on its winning path when it defeated Edward P. Yorke High School by the score of 14-2. The winning pitcher was Ashley Lucas the losing pitcher was Miekah Muhammad Ali. On Saturday, February 9th there were 4 games on the schedule. In the first of two female games, Wesley College upended St. Catherine Academy by the score of 22-1. The winning pitcher was Briana Ara and the losing pitcher was Jacqueline Alas. In the second game, it was Ladyville Technical High School won over Maud Williams High School by the score of 16-1. The winning pitcher was Amber Wade and the losing pitcher was Ashley Bailey.

Belize Bank leads in Interoffice Softball Competition
The 2012 Belize City Interoffice Softball Competition commenced on Friday, February 8th, 2013, at Rogers Stadium with two games. In the first game on the schedule, Baby Ruth Baaba Shap defeated Tuff “E” Nuff by the score of 13-4. Baby Ruth Baaba Shap scored 13 runs on 13 hits. The Baby Ruth Baaba Shap offence was keyed by shortstop Brian Grnat’s 2-run homer. The winning pitcher was Jumoke Castro and the losing pitcher was Rico Black. In the second game of the evening, Belize Bank defeated BWSL by the score of 20-13. The Belize Bank scored 20 runs on 14 hits, while BWSL scored 13 runs on 4 hits. The winning pitcher was Evan Lamb and the losing pitcher was Kareem Thompson. The competition then continued on Saturday, February 9th, 2013, with three games on the schedule. In the first game of the day, KHMH defeated Kit Kat Baaba Shap by the score of 9-2. KHMH scored 9 runs on 3 hits while Kit Kat Baaba Shap scored 2 runs on 6 hits. The winning pitcher was Maria Smith and the losing pitcher was Leonora Morales. In game two, Guardian/Sports Council defeated the defending champions Telemedia by the score of 13-11. Guardian/Sports Council scored 13 runs on 13 hits. The Guardian/Sports Council’s offence was keyed by third baseman Brian “Yellowman” Audinett, who drilled an Emily Turner pitch over the left field fence for a 3-run homer in the bottom of the 4th inning. Meanwhile, Telemedia scored 11 runs on 7 hits. The winning pitcher was Joel Wade and the losing pitcher was Emily Turner.

A Short Take
Balderamos-Garcia is quickly securing the status of being dubbed the schoolmarm of the House of Representatives. Whenever the parley in the meetings gets zesty, she gets up and attempts to reprimand the representatives via a point of order, a move which dampens the entire mood of the visitors in the House. It is as if she considers herself the most senior member of the House, and, by virtue of this deluded perception, feels that she can address other members, including the Prime Minister, in a most condescending manner. For example, during this past Tuesday’s meeting of the House, she totally threw the Prime Minster off track just as he was warming up to lather the former PM on the issues relating to the bundle of loans, which make up the Superbond. I only learnt one word from that exchange, ‘scrofulous’, because Miss Lady got up and gone off, stating that this was “insulting language” and it offended her oh so much! What a spoilsport! Nevertheless, I still enjoyed the PM’s aphorism advising Musa that if he did not want to expose his behind, he should not drop his pants. This came shortly after one of the UDP’s favorite Ministers, Hon. Finnegan, told the chatterer from Toledo East that we will never forget the Superbond till we die! After the meeting, the drama continued in the hallways of the House, where several questions from the media were addressed by the elected representatives, including the issue for salary increases by the Unions. While the leaders of the Unions, BNTU and PSU, have expressed optimism for next year, the rank and file is getting antsy, encouraged by politically motivated branch presidents, like this one here in OW. He continues to prattle on TV about this not being politics, while secretly lobbying for a vote for rejecting GOB’s offer and going on strike.

No Tax Hikes! No Oil Revenue! No GDP Cut! No IMF!!! Legislature approves Restructured Superbond
On Tuesday, February 12th, Prime Minister Barrow introduced a motion in the House of Representative that he refers to as a “promise fulfilled”. That motion is the “Government of Belize- External Debt Restructuring Motion, 2013”, which features new terms to the infamous Superbond. During a speech in San Jose Palmar Village in Orange Walk East on Sunday, February 19th, 2012 Prime Minister Barrow said: “I am serving you all notice. Look out and get ready because Belize is coming. There is no doubt that the People's United Party, in terms of this Superbond, did a horrible thing to the people of Belize. But, I know from a long time that a wise man said it eons ago, 'You can't have a bad borrower, if you don't have a bad lender.' So all of you all out there, who were happy to lend the PUP this money, and burden us until thy kingdom come with this Superbond well hear this: we are coming back to you, and we are telling you that you will renegotiate that. You will take down that interest rate, and you will spread the maturity period out over a far longer time. We will stop paying that 8.5% and 80+ million dollars a year because we need that money to spend on the development of Belize for the people of this country."

Teenager ran over ny PUP Joseph Mahumud's vehicle
“When I arrived at the scene he was under a silver pickup, underneath the tire and Berry and Mahmud was standing right there watching him.” That was the lament of Augustina Molina, the aunt of 17-year-old Michael Valdez as she desperately looked on as a pickup truck was parked on top of her nephew. The front driver’s side wheel was on the young man’s back as he lay on a grassy area on the compound of the Log Cab Inn on the early morning hours of Sunday, February 10th. Valdez explained that he was attending a wedding at the establishment where one of his cousins was getting married but decided to leave sometime around 1 a.m. since there was an altercation at the event. While he was on his way home, two men began to chase him in a gray Isuzu pickup truck. He said he ran into nearby bushes hoping to get away from the men; however, that did not happen. Valdez said he fell down and hit his head; he fainted and only awoke when he felt a vehicle on his back. By this time, his aunt had arrived on the scene and she said she called out for her nephew and was in a state of shock when he replied to her from under the vehicle. She said she immediately asked the men to help her move the vehicle but they were unwilling to do so. She continued to explain that it was not until after she became confrontational with the men that they agreed. With the assistance of other people, who had arrived on the scene, they managed to drag Valdez from under the vehicle and rescued him.

UDP Convention Time
The United Democratic Party will be holding its National Convention on Sunday, February 17th at the Andres Campos Civic Center in Corozal Town. The convention is the party's largest and most important decision making body and will once again be called upon to make important decisions for the way forward for the UDP. During the convention, there will be guest speakers representing young persons actively involved within the party. There will be presentation of amendments to the UDP constitution as well as policy statements on Youth, Crime and Women. The keynote address will be presented by the UDP party leader, Hon. Dean Barrow. This convention like others before is held at two-year intervals and also features the election of officers of the party. On this occasion, the positions for which there will be elections are for the post of First Deputy in which Hon. Gaspar Vega and Hon. Patrick Faber will be contesting. The position of Party Chairman will also be open for contest and contesting that position will be Alberto August and current Deputy Party Chairman Roosevelt Blades. The third and final position up for election is that of Deputy Party Chairman and Belize City Councilor Roger Espejo and Punta Gorda town Councilor Fern Gutierrez will be seeking that post.

The Hostile Forces Women Face
Women are not only generally less physically aggressive than men but are also physically weaker in combat terms. Women and girls have, therefore, always been more at risk of physical and sexual assault. Most agrarian and pastoral cultures, based on a strict gender separation of roles, developed cultural norms that codified this physical imbalance into rules and laws that created an even greater legal imbalance. These laws were often justified on the grounds that they were protecting the “weaker” sex. The majority of current world religions have their genesis during the early development of these agrarian and pastoral peoples and reflect the same basic dominant male bias. They add an additional moral justification for inequality and frequently an unequal level of causation of gender violence. In this world view, gender violence results from the temptation that women pose and it is men who must be protected from these temptations. Thus, the emphasis in many religions for women to cover their hair (or shave it off), dress chastely and even cover their entire bodies. Modern societies are more intellectually and less physically driven, and are gradually moving away from these traditional gender roles. However, even in the most advanced societies not only do the old stereotypes remain, but many of the old safeguards are gone. A few examples suffice to demonstrate how women all around the world are being subjected to increasing levels of sexual and other forms of violence.


A Tale of Five Cities: Return to Belize
After sixteen days of travel to five cities, our last day in Mexico had arrived. It was December 20. We figured if the world was going to end on December 21, we would just as soon be back home with Paisley. (And of course I'm just joking; we never for a minute expected the world to end, but it was fun that we were traveling during the peak of interest in the Maya world and right around such an anticipated date!) We started with a wonderful breakfast in our favorite Tulum breakfast eatery, Azafran. Despite some mosquitoes in the garden, we had a delicious meal, excellent service, and some of the best coffee that we had on our entire trip. This is the only place we got whole-wheat bread in Mexico, and the freshly squeezed OJ was great too. We can't recommend this place enough if you are in Tulum. Barry ordered the same loaded omelet as before, and I tried the fruit crepes. Delish! But this day was not to be without drama and a bit of panic. We had "open date" water taxi tickets back to Belize that we'd paid for as part of the round trip. When we arrived at the San Pedro Water Jets terminal (via taxi from the Chetumal ADO bus station) at 2:15 for the 3 pm water taxi, we were informed that the boat was already full and that we should have made a reservation the day before. Although there are two water taxi companies, and since we last visited Mexico, they have changed to an alternating day schedule, so there was no other boat to take back to San Pedro that day. I strongly question the the alternating schedule since they could certainly fill both boats during high tourist season; though the schedule makes perfect sense during slow season. This was not slow season.

Birding in Belize is Becoming a Fast Growing Trend
Bird watching along the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor is becoming a fast growing trend, with countries like Belize benefiting from an increase in birders taking advantage of the wealth of avian species thriving in protected areas, according to reports from the Belizean eco resort Chaa Creek’s Natural History Centre. However, choosing the proper guide who knows the terrain is the key to a successful bird watching experience, a Chaa Creek birding expert said today. Naturalist guide Miguel Choco said that with such a wealth of avian wildlife in Belize, finding birds is easy. But finding the birds you want is where experience and expertise comes in. “Belize is definitely birding heaven, with over 308 species recorded in the Chaa Creek nature reserve alone,” Mr Choco said. “Even people not generally interested in birding soon become fans just by walking along the miles of trails and spotting the toucans, parrots, falcons and other birds that make their homes here. “But for the keen birder, or someone who really wants an education in the birds of Belize, having a knowledgeable guide with specific experience in birding is essential,” he cautioned.

Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood
Spent a little time this morning typing the ‘agenda’ for our meeting on Friday afternoon with Daniel Camal, the contractor for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. We believe that we have a far more productive and less time consuming session if we send him outline detail for the things we want to discuss with him in advance of our meeting. This way if there is a need for preparatory work on his part he has time to take care of it. The ‘agenda’ also forms the basis for an ‘agreed action points’ email from us following our meeting. Maybe a little formal for some but this approach helps us to document everything and -we hope- should result in no,or much reduced, misunderstandings between Daniel and us. When you are involved in a costly project like building your next (and we think maybe our last) home one thing is for sure, you don’t want to be misunderstood. After drafting the ‘agenda’ for Rose and I to go through later to amend as necessary I thought I deserved a treat and went to Estel’s for breakfast (I only need a flimsy excuse). Because I am generally a person of set ways it’s got so I don’t even have to order when I go there now. It just appears! When I finished I drove to Fire Coral Street to see how work on clearing our third lot was going . Still some way to go but they have made a good start.

International Sources

Family seeks answers in murder of local man in Belize
Three months after Central Florida builder Gregory Faull was found dead of a gunshot wound to his head at his home in Belize, his family in St. Johns County and other parts of the state are still without answers about what happened. A letter last month from U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., to the U.S. ambassador in Belize said the family felt the investigation into the shooting “has yet to produce anything definitive and has been painstakingly slow.” The family is looking for “some measure of justice for their son,” the letter said. A Department of State spokesman said Friday that it does not have an official role in the Belizean investigation but remains in regular contact with law enforcement there and Faull’s family. In a letter to Nelson provided by Faull’s family, the U.S. Department of State said the embassy was continuing to request updates. While there was no new information, Belizean authorities told the department they were waiting on the analysis of forensic evidence in the case. Once the investigation is complete, the family will be given a copy of the report, the State Department letter said. Police in the Central American country have not responded to a request for information about the progress of the case.

What cruise lines don't want you to know
A Carnival cruise ship was adrift 150 miles off the coast of Mexico after an engine room fire. Cruise passengers were complaining about the lack of air conditioning, hot cabins, cold food and toilets that wouldn't flush. As I watched the news broadcast, I thought it was a documentary about the Carnival Splendor, which suffered a disabling engine room fire in November 2010 off Mexico. But the story was about the Carnival Triumph, which caught fire early Sunday after sailing from Galveston, Texas, with more than 3,100 passengers. The cruise industry says cruise ship fires are rare, but they are not rare. They happen with alarming frequency. In the two years between the Splendor and the Triumph fires, more than 10 cruise ship fires were reported in the media. Several cruise ships were completely disabled, including the Costa Allegra, the Bahamas Celebration and the Ocean Star.

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