This news synopsis will be a bit more condensed than usual for a couple weeks due to time constraints.


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

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 June 30th, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

The San Pedro Sun

Tuff E Nuff wins game 2 in IBL finals
On Friday June 28th, Oceana’s No Limit faced off with Rico Black’s Tuff E Nuff at the Bird’s Isle in Belize City. As the competition enters the finals Tuff E Nuff is eager to claim a second consecutive championship title. The two teams battled out on the court, both eager to claim game 2. The teams played aggressively laying up baskets after baskets, but is was Tuff E Nuff who managed to maintain a substantial lead throughout the night, with some impressive numbers being added to the score board by jersey #8, Ashton Edwards.

The National Aids Committee holds seminar on team building and communication
The National Aids Committee (NAC) hosted a seminar on team building and communication for the local groups from the various districts. Headed by Doctor Martin Cuellar, Executive Director for the NAC Secretariat, the seminar took place on Friday June 28th and Saturday June 29th. Members of Corozal District, Orange Walk District and The Cayes committees were presented at the seminar. According to Dr. Cuellar, 2012 HIV/AIDS statistic revealed a 10% growth in infected persons from 2011. It is very important that the public is properly informed about HIV/AIDS in order to prevent more people from getting infected. The purpose of the district committees is to educate, inform and assist people on HIV/AIDS. Therefore it is important that they know how to interact with the public to reduce the impact of the virus.

Ambergris Today

Costa Maya Festival Announces Miss Honduras Contestant
Miss Honduras World 2013, Monica Alexis Elwing Gough, has been confirmed of representing her country as Miss Honduras Costa Maya at the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant that will be taking place at the International Costa Maya Festival in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Nineteen year old Monica Alexis is the reigning Miss Honduras World 2013 and will represent Honduras at the Miss World 2013 in September, immediately after her participation in San Pedro at the pageant that will take place on August 3, 2013.

Top PSE Scorers of San Pedro and Caye Caulker Awarded
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. and Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero presented checks to the Top PSE scorers of San Pedro and Caye Caulker as recognition for their excellent results on the examination. In a short, yet meaningful, ceremony Minister Heredia congratulated the students for their hard work and dedication. He stated that the money given to them was a form of acknowledgment for their excellent work in the Primary School Examination. “Congratulations students, this is really something to be proud off,” stated Mayor Guerrero. “I encourage you to continue your hard work and further your studies as education is the best gift a parent can give you.”

Pic of the Week : Hanging Out with Manatees in Belize
Whether you are cruising on the El Gato catamaran or snorkeling in the beautiful aquamarine waters of Belize, you are bound to bump into the most amazing underwater creatures. Manatees are some of the most peaceful and rare animals to bump into, but when you do, take out your camera out to capture and cherish the moment. On your next vacation make sure to keep an eye out for that unbelizeable moment.

Misc Belizean Sources

PM interviewed in England
Prime Minister Dean Barrow addresses a variety of issues during sitdown interview with Sky News in England

BAS Summer Camp Adventures
The Belize Audubon Society had a fun excursion to St. Herman's Cave this weekend. They got to hike, birdwatch, explore the cave, and even tube in the cave. The second Summer activity is a nature photography camp for kids from 9 to 17. Thanks, BAS! "Nature Photography Camp for Children Date: Thursday July 4th – Friday July 5th 2013 Time: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Cost: $50 (covers transportation for field trip and lunch for July 4th 2013) Age: 9 -17 Location: BAS Headquarters, Belize City Spacing Limit: 25 persons"

BAAS Starts Today
The Belize Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium starts tomorrow. It'll be at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel from Tuesday, July 2nd, through Friday, July 5th. The Institute of Archaeology has the schedule posted on their page, along with updates and pictures from the event setup. Looks like a lot of knowledge will be imparted this week. Dr. Jaime Awe and Dr. Anabel Ford will be presenting, along with a nice line up of other well published experts in the archaeological field.

Xunantunich and Cahal Pech in Pictures
Here's a travel article about Xunantunich and Cahal Pech, with lots of great pictures. The author correctly calls them DIY sites, and gives the overview of how to get there on one's own. "El Castillo is the second tallest structure in Belize after Caracol. This is a really impressive site and well worth the effort to get there. When you get off the ferry at the end you can walk up the river a 100yds to some rapids and take a dip to cool down. You may see local ladies washing their clothes there too."

Summer Camps around Cayo
Happy July! Summer is here, and so are the Summer camps. The San Ignacio Public Library is starting their Endangered Species of Belize camp today, while the Belize Zoo is starting their 20th annual Conservation Camp, and the George Price Centre is starting their Dance camp and Artistic Designs camp. More camps will be coming soon too. The Cayo Event Calendar for July has these, and more. If you know of any July events, just let us know.

The BBC at Carrie Bow Caye, Belize
here we are at Carrie Bow Caye (CBC) with the BBC, deep into filming these amazing hermit crab behaviors. When we arrived on-island, my jaw dropped at the sheer amount of film gear they had transported. These hermit crabs were truly going to be movie stars!

Interesting Discussion on Flights to Belize
Your guide to Belize. Visit exotic mainland cities, towns, interior, meet friendly people! See ancient historic sights, Maya cities, cayes, sea, beaches, coral reefs!

Channel 7

Pair Of Cayo Robbers Killed
On Saturday night in Santa Elena town, a security guard shot and killed two armed robbers. This comes 3 months after police shot and killed two robbers in Santa Elena, and six weeks after robbers killed a security Guard in San Ignacio. With those precedents, guns were on the ready – and this time, it resulted in two dead robbers, cousins, part of a trio who allegedly tried to disarm the security guard so they could rob the place. Our News team has been following the story since Saturday night, and Daniel Ortiz has this report. Daniel Ortiz reporting Our camera arrived 5 minutes after police finished their crime scene processing, and 2 hours after 2 men were shot to death on the premises of Anna’s Supermarket on Saturday Night. By that time, the Chinese owners of the store were already cleaning up the blood left on their pavement, where the men were gunned down. They labored to remove visible traces of the crime which almost committed against them. When they were satisfied that they could do no more, they pulled their shutters down, as if they were anxiously trying to segregate themselves the terror of what happened and almost happened. And it looked almost as if it never occurred, but the scarlet light thrown on the puddle served only to remind that the blood of 2 alleged robbers were spilled right on the doorsteps of the business place.

Marked Man Executed In City
Those shooting deaths occurred on Saturday night; this weekend started with the murder of a Belize City man. Ashley Zuniga, who is also known as Ashley Garnett, was killed at the corner of Neal’s Penn Road Extension and Baldwin Avenue. 7News was out on the scene shortly after, and we’ve been following the story of his murder, to find out if his past may have played a factor in it. Daniel Ortiz reporting The body of 23 year-old Ashley Garnett, who police know well as Ashley Zuniga laid out on the street, the last statement made as to where he was actually was when his assailants shot him to death. After police gathered all the evidence they could find on the scene on Friday night, they allowed his family and friends to come close and view his body. Angry at the tragic situation, his family member stepped away and threw down 2 personal items in frustration.

61 Year Old Was Killed By Nephew
But while police are seeking out a suspect for this murder, they say that they’ve solved the case of the shooting death of 61 year-old Michael Bucknor, the senior citizen and businessman who was killed last week Thursday. As we reported, at 8:18 p.m., he was on Faber’s Road Extension speaking to a woman when he was approached by a man who shot him in the head and rode off on bicycle. He died on the spot, and since then, police have been investigating. You heard Bucknor’s nephew, Patrick Thompson, who said that he was waiting patiently for police to confirm that it was not one of the members within the family who killed Bucknor. Well, the worse news to add to that very bad situation is that police have arrested and charged 20 year-old Sydney Bucknor with murder for allegedly killing his uncle.

Woman Car Jacked On City’s Northside
7news has confirmed that there was a car jacking on the northside of Belize City this evening. Reports say that it happened about two hours ago on Mercy Lane – behind the Belize Elementary School Compound. Reports say that a Belize City woman had gone to drop her child at a dentist’s office and when she came down a man put a gun to her head and then drove off with her vehicle – which was only a few days old. Late reports say the vehicle has turned up at mile 44 on the Western Highway where it flipped over. This is the vehicle which was car jacked earlier this evening on the northside of Belize City. It is a Toyota SUV – that was stolen from a Belize City women on Mercy Lane as she dropped her child at the dentist. A man put a gun to her head in the presence of her 3 year old daughter and drive off in the vehicle. He didn’t harm them, but he did flip the vehicle at mile 44 on the Western Highway – which is where this picture as taken a short while ago. There are no additional details at this time, but we’ll have more tomorrow.

Security Steals BTB’s Vehicle?
And our next story is not about a car jacking, but in office parlance – what would be called “taking a conveyance without authorization” – which is what a joyriding security guard at the BTB allegedly did on Sunday night. The Director of Tourism Laura Esquivel Frampton today told us that on Sunday night a staffer who returned late from the Placencia Lobster fest – handed the key for an Isuzu D-Max to the security guards – for them to pass it along to staffers in the morning. Well, the security guard seems to have gone on an ill-fated joyride – and Esquivel told us she doesn’t know what happened next but the D-Max was wrecked. It is now in the parking lot beside another BTB vehicle a Prado that caught in an accident some weeks ago when staffers had a blowout on the highway. She confirmed that Mark King’s Company, Brints Security guards the BTB building at nights and on weekends. She says the Board will have to decide what action it will pursue with Brints Security after this incident. The D-Max was comprehensively insured.

What’s the Story With Strange Plane?
The Civil Aviation Department at the Phillip Goldson International Airport has confirmed that it is investigating the report that an unidentified foreign Military plane flew into Belizean airspace without authorization over the weekend. Reports to 7news say that on Saturday, the plane – which has been described to us as either Mexican or Guatemalan – flew right over the PGIA without getting any clearance form Air Traffic Control. Multiple reports also say that they flew right above commercial jet liners like United and US Air which were landing at the PGIA – which is an air-safety “no-no”. Now, these are reports from veterans in the airline industry, but and Civil Aviation say those same reports have reached them – and so far they can confirm that indeed, planes without any known authorization were indeed in Belizean airspace. At this point, Civil Aviation cannot say what country the planes came from. We note, though, that al such flights are recorded on radar – a review of which will form part of the investigation. The Mexican Embassy could not comment and denied any knowledge of any such event. As to the reports that the planes may have been the new Guatemalan Super Tucano Airplanes, the light attack planes that will be used to patrol the border, reports from Guatemala say that those jest have not yet been delivered to the Guatemalan military.

Kim Barrow Raises 200K BZD For PICU in UK
Kim Barrow’s London fundraising Gala is being described as a major success after it raised approximately $200,000 Belize dollars for the construction of a new Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at the KHMH. The gala is the highlite of Mrs. Barrow and the Prime Minister’s recent semi official visit to the UK. It was featured Pen Cayetano and was well attended by Belizeans living in the UK and what are described in a press release as “friends of Belize.” Does that include Lord Michael Ashcroft? Well we don’t know if he made the invitation list, but speaking to Sky News In London, the Prime Minister said Ashcroft is welcome in Belize.

The Human Rights Review
The Universal Periodic Review – may sound like an oddity, but is a process where All 193 United Nations Member States are assessed periodically of their human rights records. For the review, each country must show the actions that they have taken to improve human rights situations in their countries, and the challenges they face to do so. Well, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is tasked to prepare second Belize’s UPR, and for the last few months, they’ve been in consultation. Today, the Foreign Affairs Ministry hosted a Validation meeting in Belmopan where all the members of the public who are concerned can have an opportunity to provide input on this document, which is in its final draft stage.

Getting Football Friendly
The Belize National Football Team leaves for Portland, Oregon on Friday, where they have the unenviable task of playing their first game against the United States team in its opening match before a home crowd at Jeld Wen Field. Even for the decided underdogs, the stakes are high, as Belize makes its Gold Cup debut. The team has been working hard to prepare, and on Saturday night, they played a friendly match against an all-star cast of footballers from the Premier League of Belize. 7News was there, and we asked the Team’s assistant coach about how the preparations have been going. Here’s how he explained the dedication of the team, which sees the support of the public: Charlie Slusher - Assistant Coach, Belize National Football Team "It has been very intense - the guys have been working very hard because when you watch how the U.S team plays and the Costa Rica team, those guys are actually in the run to qualify for the World Cup which means that they are at their peak. There's no doubt about it that they are at the best level that they can be because they are looking to qualify for the World Cup which means that we have to raise our level in terms of conditions and technical skills - especially condition if we're not in shape we will be blown out by these teams. It's a sense of relief for some of the guys and it's really tough when you talk about working for two months and a half - intense morning training sometimes three times for the day and being confined to Belmopan and this field and the building over that side. It's very difficult and these guys really work hard but the good thing about it is that we're happy that they are all cooperating and they are willing to prepare themselves for that journey. We have to be thankful for that."

WAVE Raises Funds For FFB
One group showing support is the staff at WAVE RADIO who, as we showed you, planned a major barbeque sale to raise funds for the public. Their intention was to meet a target of $10,000 to give to the team, and today, they called us out when they presented it to the FFB representative. Here’s how they organizers explained the success they had: Hyacinth Latchman - Organizer, Wave Radio Barbeque "It went wonderful - I just need to make mention before I go further that my boss Juliette Thimbrel came in last week Monday with the idea that if we sell 1000 plates of Barbeque for the football team then they'll get $10,000 so she called in her senior managers and we immediately went in to play. Everybody started with the logistics, who will we do what - how many plates we will need, beans, corn, chicken and we went from there. We have to say that Belizeans came out from far and some people came all the way out from Chicago to be with us just this Saturday to help FFB in their process for their event because we want our football team to win. It was hard work, a lot of dedication and serious commitment from the entire Wave Staff - everybody put in their cents and it was all in success for FFB."

Rowan Rising
And another organization who is preparing for a big first is the Belize Center for the Visually Impaired (BCVI). As we told you, Rowan Garel is planning his next great adventure where he will be diving the Blue Hole. An international facilitator, who is helping to organize the dive, was out on Caye Caulker for the 2013 Lobster Fest. He chose to sell sunglasses, at a relatively cheap price to raise funds in order to help the Garel and his planning team. He explained why the effort was going very well: David Gibson - Representative, BCVI "Today we are collecting funds on behalf of BCVI and inspired by Rowan who is doing a dive of the Blue Hole. He is currently doing his training - last year he walked across Belize and raised $100,000 and that is our aim through this initiative. BCVI provides the only backstop and the only safety net for blind children in this country - provide them with brail, with education to help them develop an independent way of life - to develop their talents so that they can live independently in Belize."

Lionfish: The Predator Becomes The Prey
A few months ago, we showed you the detrimental effects which the spiny lionfish has on the coastline and the barrier reef. This is a very aggressive undersea creature which feeds on the juvenile grazer species that usually help to keep the barrier reef healthy. Well, the Placencia Producers Cooperative Society, the Southern Environmental Association and OCEANA Belize have organized an effort to try to immediately decrease the lionfish population as best as possible. It involves encouraging fishermen to fish as much of the lionfish species as possible, and creating a market outlet, which will see immediate profit and a decrease in the fish. To launch this initiative, these organizations held a lionfish competition on Friday and Saturday, and with the help of freelance Journalist Aaron Humes, we provide you with a look into the competition.

Original Lobster Fest
Nowadays, it seems like every major tourist destination has a lobster fest but for the original, you’ve got to go to Caye Caulker. It is a major festival, and a boost in revenue for the island and 7News went out to see how the event looked. We also got a chance to ask the participants if they were enjoying their lobster dishes. Juan Garoy - Representative, Madisco "Today's special we're having the Caribbean Rum Coolers and we have them in three different flavors - Rum Mango, Rum Punch and Coco Pina." Reporter "Why do you think people must stop here and sample some of these products?" Juan Garoy "Well it's for the climate right now and you need a cooler then you need to try a Caribbean Cooler."

Channel 5

Security guard kills cousins and stops robbery
It was a violent weekend in the Cayo and Belize districts. We start with this story of two cousins from Santa Elena in the Cayo District who were shot and [...]

Another murdered on Belize City Streets
In Belize City, just before nine o’clock on Friday night, a Belize City man was shot and killed on Neal’s Penn Road, not far from where Michael Bucknor was killed [...]

Victim gets in trouble with cops following murder
But while police are still looking for one person known to them in connection with the murder of Garnet, another has been charged for the murder of sixty-one year old [...]

Missionary comatose after crashing to avoid shooters
There is other crime news from the Cayo district. A U.S Missionary is in coma tonight at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after a armed attack on Saturday night. Vicky [...]

Foreign plane in Belizean airspace
Tonight, there are persistent, but unofficial reports that planes believed to be Mexican military aircrafts were in Belizean airspace on Sunday. News Five has been told that the planes were [...]

Prime Minister gives interview to London’s Sky News
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is winding down what he has dubbed his quasi-official visit to London, which included an audience with the Queen and Prince Charles and meetings with high [...]

Media houses raise over $15,000 for football team
The Belize Jaguars is in its final preparations for football matches to be played against the national teams for the United States, Cuba and Costa Rica.  The three games will [...]

But F.F.B. believes G.O.B. can do more for National Team
Many believe that the government should do more to fund the country’s first national team to play in the Gold Cup. But last week, Minister of Sports, Herman Longsworth, indicated [...]

How low can you go? Stealing step daughter’s purse
A man who pleaded guilty to stealing his stepdaughter’s purse got a lucky break today when he was fined and ordered to perform community service rather that jail time. Fifty-one [...]

Diamond International spends day feeding homeless
The number of homeless persons is on the increase. Around the city, the underprivileged have made their home on the sidewalks or under buildings and even in the parks.  The [...]

How to catch and eat a Lionfish
The Lionfish is a threat to local fishery and up until recently, the predator fish got a bad rap. But all that is about to change because the Lionfish is [...]

Blind youth prepares to dive Belize Blue Hole
Young Rowan Garel is preparing to take on another monumental challenge to raise funds for the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired.  The young blind boy, who has scaled Victoria [...]

On the Road to the Gold Cup with Trevor Lennon
It is the countdown to the Gold Cup 2013. The national football selection heads to the United States in the next few days for their historic play against powerhouses from [...]

Major sporting highlights with James Adderley
Good evening I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday. With Belize Telemedia waiting in the wings; Fresca Lady Rebels had to roll past the Belize Bank Friday evening inside [...]

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Pic Of The Day
Today’s picture is taken by Mathew Sandoval. He just turned 13 and has gained a passion for photography. His concentration is based on landscaping and wildlife as well as sunset shots. You can check out more of his photos on his facebook page Pic Daily

Family KARATE Summer Program
Karate Lessons in Caye Caulker for kids and adults, certified instructor from Belize Martial Arts Academy. At the Community Center every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday! 3:00pm to 4:00pm. Call 602-1772 for payment and Sign up! For kids a great experience while having fun and learning discipline and a good self defense class for the ladies. Don’t miss out on this summer program !


Taste of Playa 2013 Vip Passes
Starting on the 15th of July, 2013 VIP Passes will be available for sale online for the 5th annual international culinary event ‘Taste of Playa 2013′ Taste of Playa’s 5th anniversary culinary event is open to the public and will take place on November 24, 2013 at Parque Fundadores in Playa del Carmen. Forty area restaurants, bars and caterers will participate in the day long festival, which celebrates the creativity and cultural influences of chefs throughout the Riviera Maya whom have helped make this destination one of the top travel spots in the world. In 2012, VIP Passes sold out far in advance and with Taste of Playa celebrating it’s 5th anniversary, we anticipate that VIP Passes will again be in high demand and sell out quickly.

Let’s hear it for the Belize Home Team!
In a David and Goliath match of suitably epic proportions, and for the first time in history, Belize will be going mano a mano against the USA for the 2013 soccer Gold Cup. The match, to be held July 9 at the historic Jeld-Wen field in Portland, Oregon, is expected to attract capacity crowds and millions of viewers across the Americas and Canada. The Belize Jaguars qualified to contest the Gold Cup and face off against Team USA after achieving the best result at the regional finals during the 2013 Copa Centroamericana competition. According to Soccer America Daily, “The Jaguars took advantage of Guatemala’s failure to win any of its three group games and finished second in its group to clinch a berth in the Gold Cup.” That’s some achievement when you consider that Belize only played its first international match in 1995 and did not play in a World Cup qualifier until 1996.

“A Whiter Shade of Pale” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Spent a bit of time yesterday morning trawling the Internet in the hope of finding that Arsène Wenger , the Arsenal manger, has started making some marquee signings for next season. No such luck. Plenty of speculation ( and much of it, I am sure, created by journalists just to fill space) but no actual announcements. Looks like this could be another pre-season when our transfer activity will be a conducted ‘at the last minute’. Feeling a little disappointed , and quite frustrated, I then turned my attention to thinking about what key performance indicators (KPIs) should/could reside within the contract I have been reviewing for an ex-colleague in the UK. With a brain that wasn’t functioning as well as I would like (opportunity here for my friends and ex-colleagues in the UK to post some ‘humorous’ comments) I ‘took’ myself off to Estel’s for a breakfast that I hoped would get the creative juices flowing. And it did. Just now need to draft the wording for the KPIs.

International Sources

Gig Alert: The Garifuna Collective
The Garifuna Collective, hailing from Belize, keeps alive the music of Central America’s Afro-Amerindian community. After a much loved debut release six years ago, the group unexpectedly lost its founder and bandleader. So their new album, Ayó, is both a tribute -- and a new chapter in the long tradition of music from Garifuna.