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Today's Belize News: March 21, 2013 #460665
03/21/13 08:40 AM
03/21/13 08:40 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 72,026
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Alexis Del Valle crowned SP Lions Queen 2013
On Saturday evening, March 16th, the San Pedro Lions Club hosted their annual Lions Queen pageant, with four lovely young ladies competing for the coveted 2013 title. Alexis Del Valle, who was sponsored by Fidos and The San Pedro Sun, Lynda Quintanilla sponsored by CSG by the Sea, Cecibel Cortez sponsored by Mata Chica and Lina Mazeriegos sponsored by Elvi’s Kitchen were all charming and title-worthy contenders. Masters of Ceremony Geraldo Badillo and Solani Graniel were on stage to introduce the contestants and entertain the large crowd throughout the evening. The night kicked off with a dance presentation by the four contestants, and in between their sportswear modelling and talent competition, the audience was treated to lively, choreographed dance performances by the San Pedro Dance Academy. Prior to the evening gown segment a projected photo presentation of a trip the contestants took with Belize Diving Adventures to Caye Caulker was shown on stage, with candid photos of the girls having fun while enjoying the trip.The evening gown segment followed, and each contestant wore her elegant dress with grace and poise. Next it was time for the question and answer session, where the rivals were asked Lion related questions. It was then time for the lovely out-going Lion’s Queen 2012 Shantell Pascascio to bid her farewell and take her final walk.

High school students get Reef Week outing
Some 40 students got an opportunity to experience first hand the magnificence of the Belize Barrier Reef on Tuesday March 19th thanks to Oceana. As part of its Reef Week activities, Oceana in Belize took the students from Southside Belize City high school on an excursion to Caye Caulker and its nearby Marine Reserve. Led by qualified tour guides, the students – most for the very first time ever—got to snorkel at Coral Gardens then to interact with nurse sharks and stingrays at Caye Caulker’s famous Shark-Ray Village. Since its introduction to Belize some three years ago Oceana has sought to allow as many Belizeans as possible, especially the young, to experience for themselves the wonders of the Belize Barrier Reef. Oceana’s VP Audrey Matura-Shepherd summed up the experience, “This is the first ever nationwide Reef Week, so there is absolutely no way we could celebrate this week without providing an opportunity for some students from our less well-off Southside Belize City neighbourhoods to see for themselves and come to appreciate our awesome treasure, the Barrier Reef. It is ours to enjoy and use responsibly so that like our parents passed it on to us, this generation can pass it on to Belizeans, as well as visitors, yet unborn.”

Grisel Carballo takes the crown at La Diosa Maya Internacional in Mexico
Belizean Grisel Rosseli Carballo of Orange Walk Town is the reigning La Diosa Maya Internacional 2013-2014 after winning the regional pageant in Mexico over the weekend. Carballo joined delegates from the other four Mundo Maya member countries that participated in the annual event hosted in the Mexican state of Yucatan. Carballo also won best costume in a competition leading to the final pageant. According to the 21 year old business management student of the University of Belize, she was invited by the Mayor of Orange Walk Town Kevin Bernard to be the country’s representative, an invitation she gladly accepted. “The pageant is an event where all the Mundo Maya member countries are united and an ambassador is selected to represent the Maya culture for the region. These participating countries consist of Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras and of course our jewel – Belize. We got the opportunity to get to know each other, learn about each country and we even visited various places in Yucatan in the days leading to the main event,” outlined Carballo.

Ambergris Today

“Don’t Mess with San Pedrito” Clean Up Campaign
The San Pedro Town Council carries as slogan on this drive: "Don’t Mess with San Pedrito". UNICEF (United Nations International Children Education Fund), which has partnered very generously with the Town Council, carries its own slogan: "Fulfilling Every Child’s Right to Clean Water, Proper Sanitation and Hygiene Sanitation". On Tuesday, March 19, 2013, at the San Pedrito Park, a warm and relevant ceremony was held to kick off the cleanup campaign of the San Pedrito Area. After the National Anthem and prayer by Pastor Clive Welsh, Emcee Mr. Angel Nuńez invited to the podium Mayor Daniel Guerrero for his opening remarks. Mayor Daniel Guerrero stated that the Town Council’s goal is to have all low lying areas, such as San Mateo and San Pedrito, in a good standard of living. “We have invested thousands of dollars on the roads,” Stated Mayor Guerrero. “The Council is doing its part, now it is the responsibility of the residents to their part.”

United Nations Trains Belizeans on Forensic Ballistic Analysts
The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) in collaboration with the British High Commission in Belize and the Ministry of National Security is conducting one week Training on Forensic Ballistics mainly in support of criminal investigations and the counter-proliferation of firearms and ammunition. A one day seminar entitled ‘Overview of Forensic Ballistics for Decision-Makers and Policy-Makers’ will be followed by a 4 day technical course exclusively for forensic technicians, forensic scientists and other specialized personnel. These activities form part of UNLIREC´s broader technical assistance to countries of the Caribbean and Central America focused on curbing illicit small arms trafficking and reducing armed violence.

Flashbacks: Easter in Belize Means the Caye!
Restaurants, boutiques, and gift shops abound on the island, so that poses no problem. The beaches are certainly full of children enjoying an island vacation, of teenagers sporting their latest beach wear, of entire families savoring sun, sea, music, dancing, and air along with their favorite drinks and food. There are no lifeguards because there is no need for them, but hey adults, just be around for your happy Easter Vacation in San Pedro, Belize.

Misc Belizean Sources

2013 World Meteorological Day 23rd March
Annually on the 23rd March the meteorological community celebrates World Meteorological Day with the objective to build public awareness of the services provided by National Meteorological Services. These services involve the observation, collection, processing and dissemination of meteorological, hydrological and other related data and products. Each year the day is commemorated under the banner of a particular theme that reflects the importance and relevance of these services to mankind. This year’s theme is “Watching the weather to protect life and property.” This theme focuses attention on the crucial role the meteorological services play in strengthening safety and resilience to weather events. The 23rd March marks the coming into force of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the signing of the charter establishing the Organization which is now 191 countries strong. Over the past 50 years watching and predicting the weather has become a highly sophisticated scientific activity, in particular in protecting life and property. Improved scientific weather forecasting has saved many lives and contributed enormously to sustainable development globally and Belize is no exception. Everyone from farmer, city planner, water manager, disaster manager, tour guide, to government officials has benefited from modern weather and climate services.

Restrictions on the Sale of Alcoholic Beverages on Good Friday
The following decisions have been made regarding the sale of alcoholic beverages on Good Friday, March 29th, 2013: 1. RESTAURANTS & BARS: Regardless of the type of liquor license held, restaurants and bars will be permitted to stay open throughout Good Friday; however, they will not be permitted to sell alcoholic beverages from Thursday midnight until Friday at 6 p.m. After such time, they may resume the sale of alcoholic beverages. 2. GROCERY STORES: All grocery stores on the Peninsula that sell alcoholic beverages will be allowed to open during normal business hours; however, they will NOT be allowed to sell any alcoholic beverages. They can resume the sale of alcoholic beverages during normal opening hours on Saturday.

Pallottine Sisters Visit Mount Carmel
The Pallottine Sisters re-enacted their arrival to Benque a century ago. They paid a visit to Mount Carmel High School along the way. "Pallottine Sisters re-enact their arrival to Benque Viejo 100 years ago."

SHJC Tourism Students Visit Mama Noots
The Tourism students from Sacred Heart Junior College took a trip to the Mayflower Bocawina National Park where they got to ride the longest zipline in the country, and then went repelling down waterfalls, courtesy of Mama Noots eco lodge. A big thanks to Ervin Tzib for helping with pictures. A great time was had by all! "The Sacred Heart Junior College Tourism students traveled to Mayflower Bocawina National Park to experience the longest zip line in the country and to repel down some waterfalls."

SHJC Wins at Football Regionals
The Sacred Heart Junior College Football team won at the ATLIB regionals in Dangriga over the weekend. They'll go to finals on April 14th, which will be held at the Escuela Mexico campus. Congratulations, SHJC! "SHJC's male and female teams participated in this year's ATLIB Football tournaments. The female team did a great job at representing SHJC but were unable to secure a spot to advance to Nationals. Our male team played against Independence JC and won 2-0. Their second game was against UB's male football team. The game was a really tight one. SHJC scored a goal in the first half and UB scored 2 goals thereafter. The goal to tie the game came in from SHJC the minute before the game ended. The teams then went on to play an extra 10 minutes then to penalties. The final score for penalties was SHJC 6 - UB 5. SHJC qualified for Natioanls to be held at Escuela Mexico on April 14, 2013. We're proud of both our teams! Job well done guys!"

Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge
They have the trailer out for the next Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge, which is the test of ultimate will that spans over 220 miles around Belize. Cayo is the setting in the trailer. The race will start in San Ignacio, and go all around the Maya Mountains, where the teams will hike, bike, rapel, and canoe to get to the finish line. You can see Xunantunich, Caracol, Rio Frio Cave, San Ignacio, Rio On Pools, Branch Mouth Park, the Hawkesworth Bridge, and many other sites. They interview Rafael Manzanero, from the Friends of Conservation and Develompment about the idea. They did a great job on the epic trailer.

Foam Party at Meluchi's
Meluchi's Foam Party was a hit! Talk about a wild time in Cayo! That foam machine really got a workout, although not as much as those dancing under it. Eclipse Sounds did a great job with the mixing. Thanks, Meluchi's, for another unforgettable night.

Rotaract Distributes Gift Baskets
Feelgood news of the day. Rotaract distributed food baskets around Benque. Great work, Rotaract! "In commemoration of World Rotaract Week, and in collaboration with the Help Age Center and Mount Carmel Primary School in Benque Viejo, and the Rotary Club of San Ignacio, we distributed food baskets to the elderly, single mothers and other deserving families in Benque Viejo. This is Part 1 of our project. Part 2 will be taking taking place in Santa Elena Town in collaboration with Rotary Club of San Ignacio. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who supported our Red Carpet Affair as we raised funds to distribute gift baskets to the deserving families. A big thank you to Grace Kennedy Belize Limited for donating 20 boxes of baking powder, and to Loida Pinelo for donating 20 bottles of Dilmah Tea for each gift basket."

Residents of Belmopan and surrounding areas will observe International Day of Forests on Thursday with a fair in the nation’s capital. The purpose of the celebration is to raise awareness of the important of forests throughout the world. The fair will take place on Thursday in front of the police headquarters in Belmopan, with opening ceremonies scheduled to start at 9 am. The fair will feature educational and information booths and the general public is being invited to come learn about “the importance of our forests and the creatures that live within it, and collect educational materials and information from many wildlife and conservation organizations throughout the country.”

Channel 7

"Soca Boys" Won’t Play On MCC Pitch
There's trouble in the football world tonight as Trinidad and Tobago's National Football Team, the Soca Boys won't play on the MCC Pitch. That's because they say the field is in bad condition and they risk injury to their team - which, as we noted last night - includes a number of international players who are on contract in Europe and the USA. The background to this is that the game will be played at the MCC because on Saturday, the only FIFA approved field in Belize at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan will be used for the LOVE FM Bandfest. That's a controversy all unto itself, but now it has avalanched into something much bigger - the threat of the cancellation of an international friendly and a major warm up match for the Belize Team in the run-up to the Gold Cup. Daniel Ortiz went to the team's first workout at the MCC today and found out from the Trinidad Football Team Captain and the Trinidad Football Federation representative what the problem is:

Alleged Human Trafficker Faces Huge Fines In Court
For the last 2 nights, we've been reporting on 43 year old Salvadorean Irma Hilda Alaz Azmitia, the woman who is suspected to have orchestrated a human traffic operation of mostly children through the PGIA. Well today, she was finally arraigned at the Magistrate's Court. As we reported, Alaz Azmitia is believed to have been the handler for four minors and an 18 year old who were supposed to be trafficked to the USA on a USAIR Flight on Sunday. But, a police source picked up intelligence that led to her arrest and the interception of the 4 minors and an 18 year old. The five persons comprise two females, aged 18 and 14 and the three males -boys aged, 9, 10, and 13. They are all Salvadorean and arrived in the country last week which is when false Guatemalan passports affixed with bogus US Visas which were prepared for them. This afternoon, Azmitia appeared in the Belize City Magistrate's Court before Magistrate Adolph Lucas in Court #6. She was charged with 10 immigration offenses, 5 counts of assisting another person to remain in Belize by attempting to use a falsified passport, and 5 counts of unlawful possession of documents.

Hon. Elrington Says He Wasn't Slighted By Guat Counterpart
Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington returned from Washington DC today after meetings with the OAS and a contingent from the Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As has been widely reported, that meeting did not include Guatemalan Foreign Minister Fernando Carrera, who did not attend. That meant Elrington could not participate in the meetings with the Guatemalans, because it was below his ministerial rank. We asked Elrington if he felt slighted and we also asked him to outline the proposal from the Guatemalans, which he said is actually from the OAS: Jules Vasquez "What have you returned home with?" Hon. Wilfred Elrington - Minister of Foreign Affairs "We've returned basically with proposals which the Secretary General of the OAS has put to us, as raised by the Guatemalans in relation to the referendum." Jules Vasquez "Do those proposals include proposal for the postponement of the referendum?" Hon. Wilfred Elrington "I don't want to disclose that until we have had a chance to get instructions on it from the cabinet." Jules Vasquez "Are you - much has been made of the fact that your counterpart did not show up when he was expected to show and it turns up that he was in Rome and - for the new Pope. Is this an affront, are you offended by it?" Hon. Wilfred Elrington "Absolutely not, I think that people misunderstood what happened. I was not invited to Washington by the Guatemalans; I was invited to go to Washington to see the Secretary General of the Organization of the American States, Mr. Insulza, and that meeting was arranged because the Guatemalans wanted to put certain proposals to us, We indicated to them when they came here to look for me, that the right way to put it is to put it through Insulza."

Roger Ran Down His Robbers
He may be a two term City Councilor, but this weekend Roger Espejo was just another victim of street crime. Around 7 o'clock on Sunday evening, Espejo and a friend were near Rock Park when 6 men on bicycles rolled up on them. Espejo told police that one of them had his hand under his shirt and told him to quote, "run weh yu got". Espejo said he feared that the man had a gun and he remained still. The man then proceeded to snatch Espejo's fashion chain valued at fifty dollars. The group then rode off down Princess Margaret Drive. Espejo chased after them and managed to catch one of the males who had robbed him and took him to the Queen Street Police Station. Turns out he was just a minor, and police tracked down another in the group. On Tuesday 2 minors were arraigned for Robbery and Conspiracy to commit Robbery. Police are seeking another from the group as investigations continue.

Dangriga Coastline Erosion Now An Emergency
In February, we told you about the alarming rate of erosion on the coastline of Dangriga Town. Pictures taken just five months apart, showed a substantial deterioration. Well, in the two months since picture number two it has gotten even worse. The picnic table that was toppling is now in the sea, and the fence for the park is about to be undermined. What's causing it and what can be done? The Mayor today told us that it's such an emergency, he doesn't even have time to find out - he just has to take action, now: Retired Major H. Gilberto Swazo - Mayor of Dangriga Town "The erosion situation in Dangriga is very critical, and as a council we believe that it is our responsibility to arrest that situation as early as possible. The intent is for us in the first instance, to halt the erosion, and then once we halt the erosion then that will retain what we have. And once that is completed, then we go into the reclamation phase. We have directed that anyone who is demolishing, in the first instance like those brick houses, we can utilize to form the same growing that has - that I've spoken about. Those growing will certainly halt the erosion."

City Mayor Makes Demands of Contractors
And while the Dangriga Mayor is fighting against the ever advancing Caribbean Sea in an environment gone haywire, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley is trying to keep pace with an unprecedented rate of street paving. The City has paved 56 streets, but like mother always said, haste makes waste, and more than a few contractors have been forced to do re-do's. Evergreen Street behind BWSL and Southern Foreshore are monuments to rough-shod patch up jobs, but Freetown Road has been under the most scrutiny. That's among the most heavily trafficked streets of the lot that's been paved and today we saw a team taking core samples from a patch of concrete that had already been re-done. We asked the Mayor about it: Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council "We had required the consultant - the contractor on Freetown Road to remove 3 sections of the road. That has been done, and we're doing testing currently to make sure it meets the minimum requirement for the PSI. Of course when we did the design, that street had to be 6 inch thick and it had to be a minimum 5000 PSI. The 3 sections that we've tested, did not meet the minimum PSI requirements, so we're hoping that when we do this test again it will pass the 5000 PSI, if not then we will require them to change it again."

Sexual Health Campaign Awareness Campaign For Youth
Today, the National Committee for Families and Children and the United Nations Development Programme launched a Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health Mass Media Campaign. It's built around two themes; the first is for young girls aged 11-14, and it's called "Wait and noh Worry" and it emphasizes the need to delay sexual activity. The other them is for those 18 to 24 year olds and it's called: and "Choose and Use". It emphasizes consistent condom usage and monogamy amongst sexually active youths. Both were launched today, and we wondered, with one stressing abstinence and the other encouraging safe sex, could there be some mixed messages: Martin Cuellar - Executive Director, National AIDS Secretariat "The first campaign is targeting one particular group of - that we identify as being particular vunerable and that is young girls who are pre-sexual activity, between 11 and 13 years of age. The other group is completely separate, and that campaign is also separate. Now hat second campaign is targeting young people who are more adults, those between 18 and above. So, they are indeed 2 different messages, but they're targeting 2 different groups within the Belizean population. The way that we anticipate that they will be used will reduce the chances of any kind of confusion between the 2 messages."

Jesse White And The Thrill Of Tumbling
Earlier on in this segment, you saw us interviewing the mayors of Dangriga and Belize City. That's because we ran into them at the airport, where they were greeting Jesse White, the Secretary of State for the State of Illinois in the US - but first the past 53 years, he's also been in charge of a tumbling troupe. And that is principally why White is here - touring with ten members of his 305 person troupe. They will be the featured attraction at this weekend's bandfest in Belmopan and we found out more about the thrill of tumbling: Emmanuel McGhee - Tumbler "We have a huge crowd; everyone loves our show, everyone roaring, clapping, shouting and screaming because of how high we jump. We elevate to about 20 feet sometimes; the audience loves it. It's a thrill for them, the stuff that we do; we get higher than anything that you have ever seen."

Tanya Gets A Full Page In "The Observer"
Last night, we told you about singer Tanya Carter's hook-up with Jamaican producer Christopher Birch and releasing her first international reggae single, called "Ex-Boyfriend." Well, she's getting attention in Jamaica for it. Yesterday, the Observer newspaper in Kingston gave her a full-page spread in the entertainment section. The article features an interview with Tanya and reveals that her next single will be named Secret, written by well-liked reggae artist Duane Stephenson. It reports that she will also be trying out some dancehall tunes this summer.

Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites
The European Union is providing funding for a project that should benefit communities like Rockstone Pond and San Jose Succotz. It's called the Belize Rural Development Project 2, and it is called, "Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites." That kind of says it all, and Director of Tourism Laura Esquivel explained how they will do it. Laura Esquivel-Frampton - Director of Tourism "We need to ensure that whatever we do for tourism, we're trying to do it in a sustainable manner. And so sustainability, as we say isn't only taking care of the environment, it's also taking care of the socio-economic impacts of tourism, and ensuring the people who are adjoining these great tourism sites, also have an opportunity to benefit from the tourism product. What we're doing is ensuring that because our tour guide course, as it stands right now is very knowledge heavy, you do need to have at least a high school back ground in order to get through our tour guide course. So part of this project is to create a community tour guide course, which will seek to address those communities that are neighboring these tourism destinations. So this will build the frame work, yes, for those persons who are near the archeological sites, but this frame work can also be use for other communities as well. And that way we are actively, and legally engaging those communities in being able to showcase their products." The project is in the form of a four million dollar grant. It is being divided between different agencies and the BTB will get 2.75 million dollars. The project will focus on archaeological sites of Xunantunich, Barton Creek, the ATM Caves Branch, Altun Ha, Lamanai, Nim Li Punit, Lubaantun, and Blue Creek.

The Importance Of Reading
Today the National Library Service held its 12th annual Book Fair at the Leo Bradley Library. Hundreds of students from across the city were invited to stop in and re-discover reading. The fair tries to encourage students to read more in the age of video games and 200 channels of cable TV. 7news spoke with one of the organizers who told us about the virtues of the art of reading. Sarah Castillo - Senior Library Assistant "Today is our 12th annual books fair. We usually hold the fair to promote the library services, the effectiveness of reading and to showcase what the library has to offer." Monica Bodden "Tell me about the different activities that will be happening here." Sarah Castillo "Firstly, we're going to have our coloring competition, and then we go straight into our puppet shows. We have publishers showcasing their book; we also have the Governor General here today. He will tell us some more of his marvelous stories, and we have a number of different activities just going on all around.

Re: Today's Belize News: March 21, 2013 [Re: Marty] #460666
03/21/13 08:41 AM
03/21/13 08:41 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 72,026
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

More News: Scroll up from here

Channel 5

No ICJ! Guatemala wants out of referendum
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COLA says it’s time to get out of Referendum talks
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Budget debate to begin
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International football game must be on FIFA certified field
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Belize Infrastructure Limited rivals Ministry of Works
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Raising the bar, Attorney General seeks common ground
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President of Bar vs. Foreign Minister on General Legal Council
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Human trafficking and alleged Salvadoran/Guatemalan grandmothers
  The details are just unravelling regarding the Salvadoran national who was traveling with several minors, hoping that they would reach the United States using fraudulent documents. On March tenth, Irma Hilda Alas Azmitia came on a Tropic Air flight form Flores, Peten with two children,   a ten year old boy and an eight year [...]

Chinese nationals charged for GST offense
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UNDP campaign to stop the spread of AIDS
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High schoolers compete in Sagicor Visionaries Challenge
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Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites
A four million dollar project which is partly funded by the European Union was launched this morning. The project is part of the ongoing work by the Belize Tourism Board and is aimed to benefit communities located near archeological sites.  It will be implemented over a two year period at six sites around the country. [...]


Budget Debate Scheduled For Tomorrow' PM Says this Budget Is a Difficult One
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Orange Walk High School Wins First Annual SAGICOR Visionary Challenge
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Annual Women's Summit Starts Tomorrow
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National Security Minister Says Belize Will Not Be Affected Greatly By US Budget Cut
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Bar Owner and Worker Fined On Immigration Offences
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Salvadoran Woman Fined On Immigration Offences; Deportation Pending
Fifty-three year old Salvadoran national Irma Azmitia, was fined $15, 500.00 by Magistrate Adolph Lucas after she pled guilty to 10 immigration offences, which included five counts of assisting a person to remain in Belize by attempting to use a falsified passport and five counts of un...

BELTRAIDE Introduces Entrepreneurship Development Project
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Block Factory Gets Trade Licence Approved
Tonight we have some bad news for residents of the Lower Halls Layout Area who weeks ago lodged a complaint against the owner of a block factory located in the area, at the Corozal Town Council. CTV3 News understands that based on the advice of the Department of Environment, the Town Council went ahead and issued a Trade License to the owner of the block factory which was on hold. Yesterday Mayor Hilberto Campos told CTV3 News off camera, that officers of the Department of Environment visited the Lower Halls Layout Area and after measuring the noise level coming out of the block factory gave the green light for the Trade License to be approved. This can only mean that the department determined that the level of noise produced by the factory was not as excruciating as residents reported it to be. Viewers might recall that in a letter sent to Mayor Hilberto Campos, residents expressed concern for the level of noise emanating from the block factory. The extremely loud metallic noises and heavy vibrations at all hours of the day is cause of frustration for residents and according to them, the stone dust produced is a threat to their health especially for persons living close to the business. Of note is that after receiving several complaints from residents, the Corozal Town Council instructed the owner of the business to stop operations until an investigation was carried out and completed. From what we understand the block factory is now under full operation.

Prisoner Escapes!...Is Captured! One Still On The Run
To date 38 year old Naturalized Belizean businessman of Corozal Town Abbas Khan is still at large and police have no idea of his whereabouts. On March 4th 2013, Khan escaped from the Orange Walk Police Station where he was detained in a holding area, before police could charge him for unlawful possession of passports after five passports for the Republic of India were discovered at his residence in Corozal by Belmopan Police. While police continue to hunt down Khan, word tonight is that another prisoner escaped from police custody, this time in the Corozal District. The good news; though, is that he has been recaptured by police. Yesterday 33 year old Abel Cowo, Belizean Laborer of Xaibe Village Corozal District who was remanded for burglary, appeared before the Corozal Magistrates Court for trail. While sitting on the detention bench waiting for his case to resume, Cowo ran out of the court room and made good his escape. Quick police response led to Cowo’s detention on 7th Avenue Corozal Town and immediately the 33 year old was charged for escape. After the dust settled, Cowo’s trial continued and at the end he was sentenced to five years in prison for burglary and 6 months in prison for escape.

Friends Of Pediatics Help Rural Communities With Free Medical Care
For the past two years, Friends of Pediatrics in Belize have been holding their Outreach Health Clinic benefiting hundreds of people living in rural communities. This year, the group partnered off with the Children's Hospital of King’s Daughters in Virginia, USA. So far the team has visited the communities of Hattieville and Guinea Grass and yesterday they were in Trinidad Village offering free medical treatment to children of all ages suffering from a minor cold to dental problems. In Belize, people living in rural communities have limited access to medical care specifically when it comes to paediatrics care. Friends of Pediatrics in Belize are well aware of the lack of medical treatment for children and even adults living in rural areas. In order to curb the situation, doctors of the organization, in collaboration with volunteers of Eastern Virginia Medical School offered free medical services to residents of Trinidad Village and surrounding areas yesterday. According to the President of Friends of Paediatrics in Belize, Doctor Cecilio Ek, it’s the group’s first time in Trinidad Village but not in Belize.

1 Yard, 2 Houses On Fire, 2 Families Homeless
Two separate families from the Corozal District are tonight homeless after both their homes were destroyed by fire. Around 3:00 yesterday afternoon Corozal Police visited the village of Paraiso where they observed two pimento houses engulfed in flames. Luckily, none of the occupants were inside at the time of the inferno. Both houses, measuring 18” x 15” were not insured and belonged to 69 year old Landlord of Paraiso Village Aurelio Tun. The first house, valued at $2,000 was occupied by 40 year old Manuel Novelo, Belizean Laborer of Paraiso Village while the second dwelling, valued at $2,500, was occupied by 24 year old Pedro Troches, his wife and two children. All items inside both houses were destroyed. Initial investigations by the Fire Department have revealed that the fire started from a fire heart that was left unattended. Investigations continue.

Pat The Great Cat Helps Teachers Improve
Years ago a jaguar was rescued here in Belize and taken to the Milwaukee Wisconsin Zoo in the United States. That male jaguar was named Pat and he became so popular that even a book was written about his life. That book was created with the ideas of Belizean students and students of Wisconsin. The book, named “Pat the Great Cat, has been creating a lot of buzz here in Belize and it is now being used as the main tool to enlighten teachers of the Standard 4 level on how to better educate their students. It’s a country wide initiative and today the two day workshop started at the Orange Walk District Education Office. Barbara Thummalapally, wife of U.S Ambassador to Belize Vinai Thummalapally, partnered up with Peace Corp to organize the workshop which according to Curriculum Officer at the Education Office, Lisa Carrillo, saw the participation of 27 out of the 38 primary schools that were invited to take part in the training. Barbara Thummalapally, Organizer “We are showing them how to use innovative and research based ways on how to use these books effectively so it’s not just a piece of literature but that they can bring it alive for the students by readying every single day. Some portions of the book have fantastic strategies on how to use word walls and take out words from a chapter and for math and science lesson. It has history lessons, geography lesions so there are all kinds of cross curricular applications for the story.”

BMHS Does It Again! Another National Competition In The Bag!
Bishop Martin High School is in the news again tonight after they won another national competition. It’s the Sagicor Visionary Challenge that took place in Belize City today. The competition is aimed at secondary and high school students who were encouraged to identify a challenge facing their respective schools by using science, technology, engineering and mathematics and develop effective, innovative, and sustainable solutions to the challenge identified. Bishop Martin High School is the only high school in the Orange Walk District that took up the challenge and submitted a proposal to the competition called, “Coconut for Life.” The high school’s project was selected over the 21 others submitted by schools across the country. Late this evening we spoke to Science Teacher at Bishop Martin High School, Shakira Gonzalez, who told us via phone, that the next step for the high school is competing in the regional competition to take place in Barbados. Shakira Gonzalez, Science Teacher BMHS “We won four categories. We won for the most creative project, the best presentation system- I don’t recall the other ones but it is four categories that we won. Now we are going to represent the country of Belize at Barbados. We also won science kits for the schools, computers and projectors. The students are very happy and a bit a shock so I guess when we are going to Barbados they will see that it is for real. We were very confident. We did enough research and we tried to be creative and use our creativity to solve problems using science and technology.”

Pat The Great Cat's Cub Named "Zean"
Early in March we told you about Pat the Great Cat who had two cubs. The Embassy of the United States launched a nationwide competition for standard five students to come up with a name for one of the cubs. Well, last week Wednesday, the winner of the competition was announced and his name is Jared Baeza from Grace Primary School in Belize City. A panel of judges scrutinized the 28 names that were submitted and decided that the name Zean, submitted by Baeza, was the perfect name for the baby jaguar cub. Baeza also had to submit a short paragraph of 30 words or less, explaining what the name stands for and why it was chosen. Today we spoke to Barbara Thummalapally wife of U.S Ambassador to Belize Vinai Thummalapplay, who told us how the name was chosen. Barbara Thummalapally, Pat the Great Cat “Pat the great cat and his mate Stela who now live in Milwaukee zoo had cubs last November. It was very exciting news. A few weeks ago they asked us if Belizean children could help name one of the clubs and then Milwaukee would get to name the other cub. And so we sent out this information to all the standard four classes. We got a name chosen and that was Zean. It was chosen by a little boy from Belize City but I had a panel of seven people. We had a number of interesting people on the panel. We all sat down and I was the moderator and we went through 28 names and the final choice was Zean because it is the final piece of the word Belizean and the little boy thought that that will help encompass all of Belize. So this is the name of one of the cubs in Milwaukee.”

Child Stimulation Month Ends With BANG!
Today marked the culmination of Child Stimulation Month celebrated this year under the theme “Molding Today’s Learners into Tomorrow’s Leaders”. This year all 24 pre-schools in the Orange Walk District celebrated the month by participating in activities including Cultural Day, Grandparents Day, Sports Day, Family Day and the Festival of Arts. The key aim of the month’s activities was to promote the importance of early childhood education. And from all indications the message was brought across and grasped by both students and parents. Today, as the celebrations concluded, different pre-schools held a last activity and La Inmaculada Pre-school decided to do so with a fairy tale parade through the principles streets of Orange Walk. All over the country pre-schools celebrated the end of Child Stimulation Month by holding different activities and La Inmaculada Preschool was no exception. After so many activities the school decided to end the month the same way it started, with a parade through the main streets of town, only that this time the parade was filled with fairy tale characters from the ever popular children stories.


Minister Elrington quiet on Guatemalan proposals
Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington was not in much of a mood to talk when he returned from Washington today. His immediate counterpart was a no-show at the OAS headquarters due to a family emergency and much of the gathering was with OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza...

Illinois official visiting Belize with young tumblers
The Secretary of State for Illinois in the U.S.A., Jesse White, is touring Belize this week. He was welcomed today by Mayor of Belize City Darrell Bradley as well as the mayors of Dangriga and Punta Gorda, Gilbert Swazo and Anthony Fuentes respectively and will be making donations of...

Dangriga Town battles coastal erosion
Dangriga Town is presently battling against long-standing coastal erosion that has threatened several landmarks. The Mayor, Gilbert Swazo, says it is important that something gets done immediately so a team led by the Petters Research Institute is being commissioned to look at the problem. 1. The exact acreage lost...

Salvadorean Irma Hilda Alaz Azmitia pleads guilty to immigration charges
43 year old Salvadorean Irma Hilda Alaz Azmitia was reportedly trafficking three boys ages nine, ten and thirteen, and two females ages fourteen and eighteen to teh US on Sunday. It was reported that they all had fake Guatemalan passports with false US Visas and were to board a...

BTB focuses on communities benefiting from tourism
The Belize Rural Development Project (BRDP), funded by the European Union, is targeting rural areas of Belize for needed improvements. Its second phase underlined by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) proposed to focus on communities benefiting from tourism, specifically those located next to archaeological sites. While there is planned...

Man accused of an indecent assault out on bail
A man accused of an indecent assault against a 15 year old is out on bail. The minor reported to Police that 39 year old Marlon Mangar, who resides near Mile 2 and a half on the George Price Highway, touched her inappropriately on March 10. Mangar was subsequently...

Darrell Grant’s life sentence appeal denied
The Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction of a man for a killing that sent shock waves throughout the country in 2008. 27 year old Darrell Grant was sentenced to life in 2012 for the killing of a mother of two during a home invasion. Prosecutors say that...

Health partners inform teenagers on sexual health
Various health partners are working together to inform Belize’s teenagers on the importance of sexual health. One important weapon in the fight against HIV and teenage pregnancy is the media, and there was a launch this morning for two commercials targeting specific audiences. First, here are the facts on...

Annual Book Fair held in Belize City
Reading is considered by some to be a lost art, but the Belize National Library Service and Information System are soldiers on as repository to the printed word. Today, the organization hosted its annual book fair in Belize City. Senior Library Assistant Zara Castillo told us why for them,...

Education Officer Yvonne Davis says results of PSE are important for the Ministry
Standard VI students sat the first half of the Primary School Examination in English and Science earlier this week, addressing specific skills across the school curriculum that they are expected to know at graduation. According to Principal Education Officer for Examinations in the Ministry of Education, Yvonne Davis, examined...

Emrand Henry and Sherwin Gardner here for YC Belize
YC Belize is just around the corner. This year YC Belize is being held under the theme “This Is Love” and features both local and international performers and speakers. The event is returning to Belize City and will take place on the ITVET campus. One of the coordinators Mervin...

Gospel Fest 2013 held in Belmopan
The Gospel Fest 2013 was held over the weekend in Belmopan. The event which took place at the Agriculture and Trade Show Grounds, kicked off early Saturday morning with a welcome ceremony, followed by a full day of entertainment and presentations. Christian-based ministries and organizations set up display booths...

Belize City Town Councilor Roger Espejo robbed
Belizean Businessman and Town Councilor 35yr old Roger Espejo was robbed. On Sunday March 17th, around 7:00pm, Espejo was socializing on New Town Barracks, when he was approached by a group of young men, some on bicycles. The men robbed Espejo of his chain before heading off down Princess...

Mother and daughter injured during robbery
Mother and daughter were injured during robbery in Belize city. On Sunday March 17th at around 8 pm, a 57 year old woman and her were walking on Wilson Street near the BWS station when they were approached by a male on a bicycle. The male person dropped the...

Sunday robbery in Belize City
There is also another incident of robbery to report on from Belize City which also occurred this past Sunday. A 20 year old woman of Belize City was partying at the “Thirsty Thursday” night club. At around 2:30 that morning, she was walking home on the corner of Baymen...


Kelly McGuire Packs Fido’s for An Amazing SAGA Benefit On Ambergris Caye
Kelly McGuire is back on Ambergris Caye, Belize. A native Texan whose original songs hail from the Jimmy Buffett school of rock, Kelly says it himself…when he is in San Pedro, he feels like “King of the Island” (Also a title song from his latest album). Allow me to apologize for my “I hate being in pictures” smile People flock to his concerts. And make this one doubly special? Make it a Kelly McGuire benefit concert for the SAGA Humane Society? Every seat in the house was packed to show the love, generosity and support. And this was a bit early in the evening before the bar got REALLY crowded. And the support wasn’t just from the attendees. SAGA had so many amazing donations from the town for our raffle and auction…but more details about that later.

How to Make Rum Braised Lamb Shanks
Chaa Creek’s Rum Braised Lamb Shanks with a Savory Sweet Potato Pie Serves 4 people INGREDIENTS 4 Lamb shanks* 10 cloves chopped Garlic 10 leaves diced local oregano 12 piece crushed all spice seeds 1 teaspoon crushed black pepper 1 cup dark sweet rum olive oil for sautéing 2 pieces onions 2 pieces carrots 2 pieces green pepper 10 pieces ripe tomatoes 1 piece zucchini 1 piece eggplant

You’ve Got a Friend
Up early again this morning but just after 5 am (must be slipping). Coffee, The Times and then ready to do battle with the iron on the second laundry wash. Early morning is definitely the best time of the day to get the ironing out of the way. Only two washes to go now and we are up-to-date! Then a little time catching up on my In Box where I was really pleased to find that my Pension Statement had arrived from one of my previous employers. Next job was to send a copy of this to the Belize Tourism Board for my QRP (Qualified Retirement Program) application. With our respective tasks out of the way Rose and I headed to Estel’s (haven’t been there for over two weeks) for breakfast. We deserved it! We then split up. Rose to go and buy groceries and me to Atlantic Bank to make a cash withdrawal (don’t like queuing but you avoid the three percent charge levied when you use the ATM) and pay the electricity bill. Just got home when we received a call from Peter Lawrence (Pedro’s Hotel) inviting us to lunch. When you get calls like that you know you’ve got a friend.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Homemade Caramel Sauce and …
I knoe these sauces air easilee bouite but I like t'make mah own and find t'flavour superier t' commercial brands. Isn##Q##t trayler made always bettr ? Caramel Sauce 1 cup white sugar 3 tbsp watr 6 tbsp buttr 3/4 cup whippin' creem Put sugar and watr into a small sauce pun and place on medium heat, stirrin' constantlee. T' sugar will melt, the crystallize the melt agin. Wen it melts t'sekunt time, watch it carefullee — still stirrin' until it turns a lovelee caramel colour. Be keerful nairy t'let it git too dark er it will be bittr.

March 10, 2013 - March 16, 2013 Fishing Report
As usual, it’s tough to say good bye. We had a great time this week. Marc was one of the best group leaders I have ever worked with! Thank you Marc. I was talking with Crosby and Mike before they left about what inspires me these days. We were all inspired by the young people this week. Master David has his bucket list, and at ten, he was “on point” the entire week. His father Dave follows him around – providing his son with the best of fly fishing. David doesn’t take this for granted – just making it happen. The dock kids – throwing shrimp – landing whatever, even a permit! Brothers, sons and daughters – all showed great sportsmanship this week. And then, for me, it was special to meet Simons. Simons is a guide from Spartanburg, SC. She has a great attitude and flat out loves her fly fishing. Her husband Hank told me he is her agent. We’re going to see more of Simons – the gal rocks. A very special Thank you! to Mike Lintz from True Flies. Mike shared some incredible swag with our guide team. They looked so handsome wearing their new True Flies pants! And it wasn’t just the new flats pants – add to list - visors, shorts, shirts…. Really very generous, Thank you Mike. And thanks everyone for a really fun week.

Grant Jones Photography Exhibit
The "Back in the Days" exhibit at the Corozal House of Culture was graciously donated by Grant D. Jones. An explanation of this exhibit is found on display with the exhibit. Dr. Jones says, "During 1967-1968 my wife, Mary Armistead-Jones and I spent nearly nine months in Corozal Town. During that period I carried out field research throughout the district as preparation for writing my doctoral thesis in cultural anthropology at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. The subject of my study was the impact of the sudden and rapid growth of small-farmer sugar cane production on the rural farming villages of the Corozal District. Nearly all the photographs in this exhibit were taken during this period." This explanation is found on the last two images of the gallery below. This exhibit is a valuable permanent addition to the House of Culture, thanks to Dr. Jones. Images below are of the opening of the exhibit in January, 2013.

International Sources

3 Keys to Higher Occupancy Rates on Your Website
Every effective hotel website must engage online travel shoppers in about 7 seconds or less, so the quality of your Belize hotel website really matters. Each month, over 50 million people visit TripAdvisor to consider where to take their next trip and thousands every day could be considering your Belize resort hotel. The question is: Is your website ready to engage travel shoppers and convince them to give you email permission or make their booking reservation immediately? Here are 3 important requirements that your website should address to increase your odds of winning online bookings at a higher rate: 1. Summarize your location, unique appeal and visual hook at the top of your page. If you fail to pass the 7-second test, you fail to win the attention you need to convince the online travel shopper to put your hotel on their "short list." Crystalize what your hotel resort is about and don't try to be everything to everybody. Carve your niche and communicate it with flair as the most important impression on your home page.

Investment Company Urges Americans To Stash Money In Belize, ‘One Of The World’s Top Tax Havens’
Tax havens are in many ways the liger of the financial world: everyone knows they exist, but few among us have ever seen one. They exist in a realm most of us remain blissfully unaware of, accessed only by the wealthiest in society. However, fresh off their 15 minutes of fame during Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, tax havens are now being promoted more openly as investment companies try to stoke rich people’s fears and encourage them to avoid paying U.S. taxes. Exhibit A is an investment company named Buy Belize, whose website appeals to wealthy individuals who “lose sleep over the security of [their] assets & hard-earned money” using right-wing language terminology such as “death taxes,” which they incorrectly list at 55 percent (it’s actually 40 percent). The group encourages people to take their money out of the United States and store it in Belize instead, which they call “one of world’s top tax havens — a truly safe locale for your money.” Buy Belize also offers to set up shell companies — International Business Companies — to “protect investments from taxes as well as legal judgments.” Buy Belize also advertises on The Glenn Beck Program, appealing to wealthy people who are “frustrated, nervous, and worried about change” to open offshore accounts in Belize, “one of the last tax havens left in the world.”

'Rock' group builds home in Belize
A GROUP from the Rock Christian Community heads to Central America for a humanitarian project, which will include a lot of Terrace in it. The Belize Housing Project sees 18 church members and four friends from Montreal spend eight days in San Felipe, Belize to build a house for a family there. Mike Rosenau, church pastor and project overseer, said the group had lots of help from Terrace residents and businesses, who helped the group raise more than $23,000 to pay for building supplies that will be bought in Belize. “In total, all people who gave, either a very small gift or larger ,was close to 600 in the community here with a few other donations that came from friends in different parts of B.C.,” said Rosenau, adding that every penny of that money will go toward the house building project. And the people going are skilled tradesman, unskilled labourers, parents and teenagers, who will do the work for a family chosen by its village as the most in need of a house.

Small Boost to Airline Profitability - Industry Profit Margin Improves to 1.6%
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced a modest improvement in its outlook for the 2013 financial performance of the global airline industry primarily based on stronger revenues. IATA now expects airlines to produce a combined net post-tax profit margin of 1.6% (up from the previously forecast 1.3%) with a net post-tax profit of $10.6 billion (up from the previously projected $8.4 billion). “Industry profits are taking a small step in the right direction. Against a backdrop of improved optimism for global economic prospects passenger demand has been strong and cargo markets are starting to grow again. The economic optimism is also pushing fuel prices higher. We are seeing a $12 billion improvement in revenue, and a $9-10 billion increase in costs—most of which is related to fuel,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO. Confidence in the airline industry is rising around several factors: GDP growth forecasts for 2013 have been upgraded to 2.4%, a significant improvement from the 2.1% in 2012. It appears that the bottom of the global industrial production cycle was reached in the third quarter of 2012 after which there has been six months of increasing output and improvements to business confidence. There is a structural improvement in the airline industry’s financial performance as recognized by a 7% increase in share prices since the beginning of the year, despite a 5% increase in fuel costs.

Airline Profits to Top $10 Billion on Improving Sales Outlook
Airlines will exceed last year’s earnings by about 40 percent in 2013, with net income likely to reach $10.6 billion, as sales growth outpaces higher fuel costs and improves the outlook for the industry globally. Carriers in the Asia-Pacific region are set to lead the gain with $4.2 billion in profit, followed by $3.6 billion for those in North America, the International Air Transport Association said in a statement today. Even Europe and Africa, previously expected to only break even, stand to deliver $800 million and $100 million gains, the group said. Sluggish growth and fuel costs have weighed on earnings in recent years, forcing airlines such as Air France-KLM (AF), Europe’s largest, to pursue cost cuts. Carriers have also sought closer international ties, with Etihad Airways PJSC, the third-largest Gulf carrier, investing in operators such as Air Berlin Plc (AB1), and Finnair Oyj (FIA1S) joining a trans-Atlantic joint venture involving British Airways (IAG), Iberia and American Airlines.

Comet Pan-Starrs Moonset
A time lapse video of Comet Pan-STARRS at sunset with the crescent moon setting together. Taken from Altadena, California. full-HD 1920x1080p

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