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 San Pedro Sun

The sun will shine again!
We won’t lie, we are missing the sunshine these past couple of days. As the rain pours down hard on La Isla Bonita, it’s hard to believe that just a few days ago this was the view from the beach. Let’s all go to our happy place, shall we? Jessie Sosa, is interning at our office for a few weeks during her school vacation, and she was promptly set up with a camera and sent out for photos of what she saw.

Under the Stars: Golden Couple Samuel and Maria Gonzalez
Golden couple Samuel and Maria Gonzalez celebrated 50 happy years of married life together on Saturday, June 22nd. The golden wedding anniversary was celebrated in an intimate traditional ceremony and followed by a grand reception complete with mariachi music, surrounded by family and friends in Merida, Yucatán, Mexico. Samuel and Maria Gonzalez were married in 1963 and are a well-known native family of San Pedro. Samuel and Maria have four children: Samuel Gonzalez Jr., Marco Gonzalez, Jocelle Gonzalez and Ilda Cabrera Gonzalez.

Sherylee Dawson is Caye Caulker’s Miss Lobster Fest 2013-2014
Miss Caye Caulker Lobsterfest-4The 2013 Lobster Festivities culminated with the Caye Caulker and Placencia Lobster Fest this past weekend. In Caye Caulker, the activities started off with the 2013 Miss Lobster Fest Pageant on Friday, June 28th. The much anticipated event gathered a large crowd from near and far. Five lovely contestants graced the stage as they competed for the coveted title of Miss Lobster Fest 2013-2014. The contestants were Sherylee Dawson, Jacqueline Riveroll, Sasha Jimenez, Annaelli Marin and Mercedes Requena. The audience was treated to a dance presentation by the contestants, talent competition, traditional Maya costume and of course the ever important evening wear and question and answer segment.

Coral Reef Ed-ventures summer program is back
The Hol Chan Marine Reserve Coral Reef Ed-ventures is back and providing children with an educational summer camp on the marine ecosystem of Ambergris Caye. The camp works in collaboration with students from Smith College in Massachusetts, USA. This year, six students have travelled to San Pedro to be counsellors for the two-week summer program. The Coral Reef Ed-ventures program started 14 years ago as a result of Smith college professors working along with Hol Chan on conducting studies of the Belize coral reef. The camp started on Monday, July 1st with 63 registered children between the ages of 7-12. The Coral Reef Ed-ventures counsellors will be teaching the children about the conservation and development of four major ecosystems: the mangrove, coral reef, shallow sea and deep sea ecosystems. According to Alyssa Stanek, a three time program volunteer, the camp is also filled of fun games for the children to enjoy. “The most significant thing is that the children are the future and it is important to educate them from a young age about the conservation and preservation of the ecosystems of their home,” said Stanek.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Town Library Receives Book Donations
Being literate, having an education is one of the best things in the world. Books hold lots of information and knowledge that we can put to great use in our lives. For this reason we should encourage our children to pick up a good book and indulge in the greatness of words that books hold. The San Pedro Town Library received a wonderful donation of books for the entire community to enjoy. Sharon and Rudy Lewis residents of Grand Caribe, along with their son and daughter-in-law Darryl and Wendi Lewis, presented to Head Librarian Iracela Acosta 15 boxes with over 800 books for the San Pedro Town Library, on Wednesday, July 3, 2013.

Misc Belizean Sources

Works on the paving of Trigger Street have begun and well under way!
The next very important link or connection is the connection of downtown main road to San Pablo. from Caminantes Store to Mr. Nunez home. This is a very busy link and a problem in rainy season. Could be nexxt best slab project.

Orquidea Negra at BAAS
Orquidea Negra is everywhere right now! They were at the Belize Archaeology and Antrhopology Symposium for their opening night. They'll be at Cancha Marshalleck tomorrow night for the Benque Noche Cultural. Great talent, excellent props, innovative dress, and cool dances.

Feed the Children Fashion Show Promo
The Cornerstone Foundation is having their 2013 Feed the Children Fashion Show on July 13th, at 6:00pm. They have been posting up pictures of the models that will be there on their page. The venue this time is the Octavia Waight auditorium. The fashion show is fundraiser for their feeding program. You can get tickets for the event at their office starting in the middle of next week. Have a fun night while supporting a great cause at the some time. Another shout out to D Russell Photography for the promo shoot.

Seniorita Flor de la Feria Pictures
The Seniorita Flor de la Feria pageant will be on the 11th of July, but if you want to see some pictures of the contestants, and some behind the scenes pictures, they have been posting hundreds of them today. D Russell Photography really got some great shots over the last few weeks. They will be having their second presentation at Benque's Noche Cultural tomorrow night at the Cancha Marshalleck.

Benque's Noche Cultural
Benque will be having their Noche Cultural tonight. Orquidea Negra will be performing, and the Seniorita Flor de la Feria contestants will also be there. The event will be at the Cancha Marshalleck, and will start at 7:00pm. In related news, the Benque Fiesta is next week, and Thursday night will be the Seniorita Flor de la Feria pageant. "Book it on your Calendar and Don't miss out on Orquidea Negra's Special Performance in Benque Viejo (our hometown) on JULY 5 2013!"

Channel 7

Jaguars Assistant Coach: Charlie Slusher Suddenly Sent Home!
Tonight, the Belize Jaguars National Football Team members and coaches are making final preparations to go to the USA where Belize will make its historic first appearance in the Gold Cup. And, there’s a big pep rally being planned for tomorrow at the airport to give the team a fitting send-off. But even as excitement is at a fever pitch, all is not well in the Jaguars camp, and on the cusp of departure, the team faces a major distraction. That’s because the FFB Executive decided last night that Assistant Coach Charlie Slusher will not accompany the team to the Gold Cup. What effect – if any - this decision will have on the team is yet to be seen, but Slusher has been a major part of the coaching staff since the Copa Centroamericana. For a while, he was even interim head coach. But now, he’s in the rearview mirror, and today, FFB president Ruperto Vicente explained the rationale behind the decision.

Slusher Gives His Side Of The Story
It’s a sharp change of direction because up until yesterday, the team – and the entire country for that matter – was expecting that Slusher would be part of the coaching staff leading the team in the US. And, you heard in the interview where Vicente left the opportunity open for Slusher to return to the team after the Gold Cup. Well, we had a chance to speak with him this evening, where he told us that he has turned down that offer. Here’s how he explained it: Charlie Slusher - Assistant Head Coach "I spoke to the president a while ago and he said the same thing that I'm not going to the Gold Cup but he will want to work with me in the future and thanked him for the offer but as far as I am concerned - this is it for me when it comes to working with this federation and this executive. I told him that I don't have any more intentions of doing it because as a head coach, it's not just about me, if the players are not treated the right way and you as a coach have to fight for your players. How could I want you to go on the field and perform to your best and I'm watching them taking advantage of you?" Daniel Ortiz "How do you think that the refusal to allow you to go on the trip will affect the players? I know that when coach Sherrier departed, you took a very big leadership role becoming the interim coach."

FFD Pres Denies The Team Threatened To Call Off Portland
And while that issue is now in the foreground, shadowing it in the back is what we reported last night: that the team refused to play the final international friendly against a selection from Melchor until certain matters were settled – eventually taking the field over three hours late. And reports are that they only agreed to play after an agreement was reached between them and the FFB executive. Additionally, we got credible reports saying that that the team threw out the suggestion that they were prepared to go as far as not getting onto the plane tomorrow. We still don’t know how strong that threat was, but today, FFB President Ruperto Vicente was asked about our report. He categorically denied it, saying that the players never intended to endanger this very major opportunity. Here’s what he said: Ruperto Vicente - President, Football Federation of Belize "We had a meeting with them yesterday because they were concerned about their finances and so we have assured them that they are going to be getting their monies and they have asked for a little bit more, they were going to get $50usd per day and now they will be getting a stypen of 75US dollars per day and at game time we have gone up from 200USdollars per game to 250US dollars per game. Then if we move on to the second round of tournament there's additional monies that is going to come to the federation as a result of qualifying to the second round, we have agreed with the players that we will give them 50% of that extra monies, once we qualify to the second round.

Slusher Lifts The Curtain On Hardball Negotiations
That same topic came up today in our interview where Slusher confirmed our report; and he should know what he’s talking about because he was in the meeting between the players at the executive. He explained to us that he sided with the players during the discussion, and he now feels that’s why he’s being penalized with such suddenness: Charlie Slusher - Assistant Head Coach "So all the information he got was second hand information from Sergio Chuc but I believe the real reason why they let me go because there was a meeting yesterday because the team had said that they would not go to the practice game if nothing was solved - they even went further to say that they would not board the plane if a decision or an agreement had not been made with them and the FFB, it went to that extent. We as the coaching staff do not want that - what we wanted was that this matter should be settled so that when we go abroad, it's just about focusing on the game and that's what we did in UNCAF. When we went there, we didn't have issues about money - the guys were focused, the agreement was made long before so everybody didn't even have issues about money and the guys were happy and contended -and that is what makes a player perform when you don't have to worry about that. All the disastrous trips that the National Team has had in the past was because of the issue of money when it was trying to be solved abroad during that process.

“Vinny” Found Dead In Vista
Two days ago, rumours started circulating in Belize City and Ladyville that 20 year old Alvin “Vinny” Pascascio had been killed. His family held out hope against hope, even when he didn’t come home for 48 hours. But all hope was dashed this morning when his mother got the call that she feared the most: it was the police telling her to go out to a crime scene in Vista Del Mar. 7news was there and here’s the story. Jules Vasquez reporting This morning, Alvin Pascascio’s mother, Deseree Flores stooped down in a semi circle of relatives, inconsolable as her son’s body was found in the bushes right behind her. Supt Christopher Noble - O/C Ladyville, Regional Executive Officer "We found the body of a male person in decomposed state, at present we are looking at what may have caused his death and who may be responsible. Our investigation into this matter has been for a couple of days now so it is only ongoing."

Another Ladyville Man Missing
And while that case is being treated as a homicide, there’s another missing person in Ladyville. He is 20 year old Jared Bainton and he too was reported missing earlier this week. Today the officer commanding says he is the one holding out hope in this case. Jules Vasquez "We know that there is another missing person's report as well for another 20 year old, I believe." Supt. Christopher Noble - O/C Ladyville, Regional Executive Officer "Yes that other missing person - we're looking in the possibility of his whereabouts and as it relates to him - we're hoping for the best not to have it conclude in this manner." Jared Bainton had no known connection to Vinny Pascascio and the two disappearances, though happening around the same time in the same area are not believed to be related.

To Live And Die In L.A.
Last night, we showed you the tragic killing of 27 year-old Belizean American Yolanda Smith Major, who was shot to death in front of her 2 year-old daughter in LA on Tuesday. Detectives from the Sherriff’s Department in LA are still not completely sure what the motive was, and why the assailants targeted her group. Well, while that investigation continues, her family is starting to make preparations for her burial, and today 7News caught up with her father in Belize. According to him, he intends to be in the US for her burial: Joseph Smith - Father of Deceased "My daugher is in California - she called me a little while ago so they are trying to arrange the flight for me to go." Daniel Ortiz "So you plan to be there when she's being buried." Joseph Smith "Yes, I'm planning to be there."

City Talks Disaster Management With Stakeholders
The Belize City Council hosted a major disaster preparedness conference today at the Biltmore Best Western. It’s called “Comprehensive Disaster Management For Municipalities” and it assembles representatives from all relevant stakeholders to put them all on the same page to talk about what to do in the event of a disaster. In his opening address Mayor Darrell Bradley explained the importance of the big picture. Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City "In times of emergency there are people who risk their lives to ensure that others are safe and that needs to be recognized. The importance, functions and roles needs to be appreciated and their needs to be more synergies developed so that we are supporting the structure and that we are able to ensure that in times of emergency that there is coordination. But it is to ensure that we are very efficient and we all well coordinated and that in times of a disaster - every single entitiy knows what they are supposed to do; every single person knows what he or she is supposed to do so that we are able to save lives. If there is not activities like this symposium then within that response structure, persons will not know what to do and we will have a situation where further lives are lost and further property is put at peril."

City Struggling To Keep Up with Sanitation Costs
And while the City is pioneering with the disaster preparedness conference, they’ve also got ongoing issues with the Sanitation Companies contracted to keep the city clean. Belize Waste Control is grumbling that the city has once again fallen behind in its current payments – and then there’s the 2 plus million dollars that City Hall owes the company form years ago, which is presently before the Supreme Court. Today Mayor Bradley said that – as much as it lays waste to the Council’s revenue base – they’re trying to keep up:.. Reporter "The council is 6 weeks or multiple weeks behind payment to Belize Waste Control" Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City "No, every single year the City Council falls behind in realtion the payments. I have always said and I maintain that the contracts are major - they're substantial. Both sanitation contracts operate as a 45% drain on the city - it costs us 45% of our revenues that we spend on these two contracts; that's an unsustainable thing. Any period at any year - this has been done before me and it will likely be done after me if something cannot be done - that certain periods of the year that we deem as our slow season, we fall behind in the contracts. We have not fallen behind - we usually are a week or two behind, I don't know the exact accounting in where we are but we catch up in January and February. We have to go back to court - the court gave us an opportunity to present a payment plan to them - we are going to present a payment plan, I have already maintained that the city is doing well. We are building streets, we are right on target in terms of our commitment, we are meeting our commitment with relations to the municipal bond and that is even though we have not put in place the residential garbage fee yet. So even though we have not brought on stream that additional tax revenue, we're still meeting our obligations and we're doing well but this is a $2.4 million dollar judgment and I don't have any account that that money is in. If I had the money I would pay them - so what we're going to do when we go back to court is that we are going to put forward a payment plan and if they don't accept the payment plan then we will see what else we will have to do."

Accused As Teenagers, Two Men Get Off Double Murder Charge For Killing American Couple
20 year-old Jodean Vidal, and 22 year-old Michael Lamb have been acquitted of the double murder of Americans Michael and Donna Hill which occurred in Cayo five years ago. Viewers may recall that the couple’s bodies were found in the bushes behind their home in Cristo Rey Village in the Cayo District. They died from shotgun injuries to the head, which police believed were inflicted at close range. One of their vehicles, their laptop computers, some of their personal items, and money were stolen. Police investigated and they eventually detained both men, who were only 15 and 17 years-old respectively. While he was being interviewed by police in the presence of his mother, Vidal reportedly confessed to the crimes, and he took the officers to the area where the stolen items were located.

Finnegan Makes It Back To Clinic, Hobbled
The Wednesday political clinics aren’t what they used to be in the George Price days, and it’s a practice that the UDP has never seemed quite at home with. But one UDP who’s stayed with it is also the party’s most successful – in terms of his margins of victory in successive elections. That’s Michael Finnegan – but for the past two months or so – he hasn’t been holding his clinic on Amara Avenue. And that’s because Finnegan went to Houston for spinal surgery. He has a degenerative condition that wears out his spinal disks – making it difficult for him to get around. And so, today, still recovering from that surgery, the five term representative hobbled to his office for his first political clinic in weeks; he had to be helped up the stairs. Finnegan, who boasted only 18 months ago that he saw 764 constituents at one clinic, told us he saw 150 people today and wrapped up the clinic in the early afternoon. He says most of the requests were for school assistance, and he will hobble back to the office next week.

FFB Gets Another Donation, But It’s Not Enough
As we showed you at the top of the news, the Football Federation of Belize will not allow Assistant Head Coach Charlie Slusher to leave with the team for the Gold Cup. That decision and the attendant controversy has overshadowed the positive development of the day in relation to the team. And that was the donation of $3,000 that the Belize Water Services Limited made to the FFB. There was a small handing over ceremony and 7News was there. We found out that the company is proud to make the donation because of Michael Salazar, footballer extraordinaire and son of Mellissa Salazar, a Supervisor at BWSL. The company executives explained today that the pride they feel for Michael is as if one of their own sons or nephews got selected to represent Belize: Alvan Haynes - CEO, BWSL "Football and BWS have been closely inter linked. We are suffering from financial constraints due to expansion, cost increases and so on and Mr. Brown, our PR Manager put in a special request to the board for approval to give some additional funds. When we heard that national football team and the federation were having problems trying to meet the targets in order to make this thing happen. From our point of view Belize is our country, Belize is part of the name of our company and we are committed to doing whatever we can to help the national team and so we are glad to be here to give this relatively small donation hoping that it will be one of several that will help to make things happen for the FFB and the national team."

Can Belize Be Resilient To Climate Change?
In our last segment we told you about the City Council’s “Comprehensive Disaster Management Workshop.” A lot of the talk at that event was about effective structural and infrastructural planning to mitigate disaster risks. That’s the same thing they were talking about in Burrell Boom at the Black Orchid Hotel and Resort. It was a public consultation workshop for a National Climate Resilient Investment Plan – a World Bank Initiative to come up with a comprehensive set of projects that will be largely resilient to climate change and the increasingly frequent extreme weather events that we face. Dr. Kenrick Leslie from the Caribbean Climate Change Center explained how it’s really about effective planning. Dr. Kenrick Leslie - Executive Director Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre "What we want to put in place in the region and in particular Belize is to ensure that in our plans we factor in anything that can impact us. For instance we have all lived here for a long time and we know between Haulover and Belize City - they build a road and after five years, it's gone. It means that we have not taken into account the factors that will cause a road that was supposed to be designed for 15 years to be destroyed in 5. So those are some of the things when we talk about Climate Resilience is that you factor in those things that can impact us. We know - this is not a question of guessing - that the sea level is rising at about 3 millimeters per year. You might ask - what is three millimeters - but in ten years three millimeters is 30 millimeters and 30 millimeters is over an inch. Now we are already at sea level so if the water comes up permanently another inch then that flow of water between the north side to the Western road will increase which means that the design engineers must factor that into their program.

Ministry of Health Says Dengue Not That Bad
Yesterday CTV3 News in Orange Walk and LOVE FM reported that there had been an outbreak of dengue in the Orange Walk district with the appearance of 16 confirmed cases. They got that information from Felipe Magana the Malaria evaluator for the Orange Walk Department of Public Health. But by the end of the day the Ministry of Health had stepped in to rebut that claim. Today we spoke with Kim Bautista, the Vector Control Chief of Operation in the Ministry of Health who claims that the numbers this year are actually down. Kim Bautista - Vector Control Chief of Operation "If you look at the number of clinical cases which he spoke of coming out of that region in the entire year - it cannot be considered an outbreak. This year if you look at the entire country - it's way below the normal, even if you look in terms of the testing that is being done by the lab - the testing has increased tremendously and what we are seeing is less than 5% of the cases that are being tested within our health facilities as positive. So compare to the regional situation that are seeing, I believe that we're in good stance right now. What we have done, I believe it was 2011, because the Vector Control Staff is so small - countrywide we only have 40 field staff - what we do is we hire seasonal spray men and they join forces with us and they go out to treat even drains where we see mosquitoes breeding in now. We do premises inspection, we increase the fogging and so what we try to do at this time of the year is increase our work force and target certain hot spots throughout the country. As it is right now we have these persons employed in the Cayo district and we also have a team employed here in Belize City as well. What we are doing is our usual ULV spraying countrywide and so far it has been more to give the public some relief in terms of nuisance mosquitoes."

Channel 5

No Gold Cup for Assistant Coach Charlie Slusher
A rally is being planned at the Phillip Goldson International Airport to send off the Belize Jaguars this Friday morning, but retired football star and assistant coach of the Belize [...]

Slusher parts ways with F.F.B. after suspension
Late this evening, News Five spoke to Charlie Slusher who told us that he has been pulled from the trip because of the meetings held on Wednesday between the players, [...]

Calls for help as Placencia resident flown out of country for burn injuries
A Placencia electrician is tonight fighting for his life at the Belize Medical Associates. Dwayne Flowers, who is unquestionably a well liked resident in the peninsula, was seriously injured in [...]

Vinnie Murdered….family confirms relations to gangs
While Flowers clings to life, the body of twenty-eight year old Alvin “Vinnie” Pascasio was found this morning. Pascasio was last seen by his family last Monday and this morning, [...]

K.H.M.H. Board meets on neonates deaths…C.E.O. not invited to meeting
The Board of Governors of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital held a meeting today in the Capital. The meeting ended at about three p.m.  Of note is that the hospital’s [...]

F.F.B. president says players’ concerns over money resolved
Earlier in the newscast, we reported on the suspension of Team Belize’s assistant coach on the eve of the Gold Cup. But there are bigger problems facing the team. Despite [...]

BWS donates to Team Belize
F.F.B. President Ruperto Vicente has confirmed that he will likely not be going to the Gold Cup with the Jaguars because the team has not been able to raise the [...]

Haitian man walks free of sex charges on technicality
A Haitian national accused of having sex with an under-aged girl on three separate occasions is tonight a free man. Thirty-two year old Patrick Laurent’s trial began on Monday and [...]

In spite of detailed confessions, murder suspects found not guilty
On the morning of July sixth, 2008, the bodies of Michael and Donna Hill were found in bushes close to their home in Cristo Rey Village, Cayo District. They were [...]

Testimonials from Malta about student who died in Belize
International students attached to the Archaeology Department were heading to the Philip Goldson International Airport on July third, when their cab collided with a passenger bus. The cab driver, Eliseo [...]

13 cases of suspected dengue in Belize
There have been thirteen reported clinical cases of dengue fever across the country since the start of the rainy season a few weeks ago.  We say clinical because that number [...]

Road to the Gold Cup features Deon McCauley
A strong defensive wall that cannot be penetrated—a statement that many would correlate with the national football team, the Belize Jaguars, who will represent Belize next Tuesday in a historic [...]

Healthy Living is ready for chronic stress management
Everyone has to deal with stress. If you are good at managing your stress levels then most times you’re okay with a bit of added pressure; in these cases some [...]


Residents Near Graveyard Witness Remnants of Tombs Discarded In Bushes
Marion Ali, Reporting The obsolete Lord Ridge Cemetery has once again surfaced in the news. This time, it is former City council employee, Philip Henry, who has brought concerns to the fore of the re-opening last week of a tomb for new burial. Henry provided video and pictures of ...

Burnt Victim Appeals For Assistance
There was a tragic accident in Placencia yesterday when a gas tank exploded in front of a man injuring him. Twenty eight years old, Dwayne Flowers was at his home in Placencia trying to repair a gas tank that was leaking. In a matter of seconds, what was intended to be a quick solution turned out...

Delta Flight Experiences Turbulence, Injuring Passengers
There was a scare on board a Delta Airlines flight today. One of its planes, which landed at the Phillip Goldson International Airport, experienced turbulence which resulted in several of its passengers being injured. A press release issued by Delta Airlines explains that the plane, Delta flight ...

Following Several Death Threats, Decomposed Body Found
20 year-old Alvin Pascascio, whose family reported him missing on Monday, was found murdered this morning on the access road to Vista del Mar, a residential community some eight and a half miles from Belize City off the Philip Goldson Highway. Pascascio’s mother, Deseree Flores told r...

Belize Water Services Donates To The National Team
The Belize National Football Team, the Jaguars, will leave to the United States tomorrow where they are scheduled to play against the United States team in Portland Oregon on the 9th of July. But although the team is ready for lift off, the fundraising continues because there is much more t...

Stakeholders Gather To Develop Framework on Disaster Management
Emergencies don’t only manifest itself in the form of hurricanes and the City Emergency Management Organization, CEMO, has to be prepared for any sort of emergency that may put the lives of Belizeans at risk. In an effort for better preparation, CEMO along with various stakeholders is hosti...

Primary School Students Awarded Education Grants From Scotiabank
Scotiabank yesterday presented over seventy seven grants to primary school students as part of their Scotiabank Education Fund which was established in 2006. The grant was for three hundred dollars to each student. The funds will assist students with purchasing books and also wi...

Environmental Agency Holds Junior Football Tournament In Southern Belize
This year’s TIDE junior freshwater cup environmental and football tournament recently concluded in the Toledo District. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports. PAUL MAHUNG “The TIDE Junior Freshwater Cup closed off it 2013 season with its championship games and award ceremony...

Minor Says She Was Sexually Active with Haitian National; Man Escapes Charges
Thirty-two year old Haitian national Patrick Laurent, charged with one count of carnal knowledge of a child under the age of 14 and two counts of carnal knowledge of a girl over the age of 14 but under the age of 16, was acquitted of all three charges yesterday in the court of Justice Adolph Luca...

Unrepresented Defendant Pleads Guilty to Attempted Murder
Thirty-eight year old Francis Ramos, charged with attempted murder, pled guilty to the charge yesterday in a trial that was held without a jury. The trial judge, Justice John Gonzalez has deferred sentencing until July 17 in order to give Ramos time to prepare pleas for mitigation. Ramos, who...

Acting Coach Will Not Travel With Belize Jaguars for Gold Cup 2013
The news broke this morning that Charlie Slusher will not be a part of the Belize delegation travelling to the Gold Cup. Earlier this year Slusher was named acting coach after the resignation of Coach Leroy Sherrier Lewis and then Acting Coach under Coach Ian Mork. Ruperto Vicente President...


The management and staff of the Lodge at Chaa Creek join many people in Belize in wishing our neighbours to the north (and the many Americans living in Belize) a most happy Independence Day 2013. The US has come a long way since that heady day in July 1776 when the American colonialists formally declared themselves independent of England, with Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Ben Franklin and the other rebels signing the famous Declaration of Independence that began America’s remarkable journey towards becoming the world’s foremost superpower.

Homemade Coconut Ice Cream
Nothing like homemade ice cream to cool off the 4th of July. This recipe uses real coconut milk and no preservatives. I love my new Sunbeam Ice Cream maker because is was simple as this recipe.

“Rub It In” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
A sad start to today’s edition. On Tuesday evening Rose and I heard the sad news that “Drummer Dan” (Dan Van Patten) had sadly passed away earlier in the day. Those readers of this blog that either live on Ambergris Caye or visit it will have undoubtedly come across “Drummer Dan” during his many years (he relocated here in 1997) on this island playing music in most, if not all, the bars. Rose and I do not profess to have known Dan that well, more like nodding acquaintances, but we always found him to be a quiet and somewhat reserved man. A gentle man. For those of you not aware, Dan was a founding member of the group Berlin. Rest in peace Dan. Belize is currently in the midst of a tropical depression ( no this is not something that is caused when I have just finished washing the golf cart and the rain pours down) and on my way (gave up trying to write this edition on the veranda because I was getting soaked) to Estel’s for breakfast (the only one there as I write this) the drainage was struggling to cope with the heavy rain and puddles (!!) were heading to over six inches deep (even in front of the Tropic Air terminal).

International Sources

Gold Cup: USMNT's Jurgen Klinsmann expects "tricky" test from Guatemala friendly
Guatemala did not qualify for this year's tournament, due in large part to a 0-0 draw with Belize in the group stage of the 2013 Copa Centroamericana, which doubles as Gold Cup qualifying. That disappointment could prove motivational against the US. “They have a new group of players as well, that are getting introduced to the senior group," he said. "They have a change in leadership there, and they have basically nothing to lose coming here. They will give it everything they have, and therefore for us it’s a challenge.” The coach also stressed that the Americans’ first opponent at the Gold Cup, Belize, are no pushovers, despite their lack of familiarity on an international stage. “If you look at Belize, you know that Belize is not the big name that you want to hear, you would rather hear Brazil or Argentina,” Klinsmann explained. “But Belize, the way they played in qualification, we watched all their games, will give us a lot of issues as well.

UW-EC student helps dig for Mayan artifacts in Belize
Emily Albrent was determined to make her summer anything but ordinary. Uncertain about her summer plans and seeking an adventure, Albrent, a 21-year-old UW-Eau Claire senior, turned to the Internet at 3 a.m. one morning for an answer. She decided to take part in an archaeological dig in Belize, a country along the northeastern coast of Central America, from May 27 to June 9. “I spent an hour or two learning about the program, and in a matter of two days I did this crazy thing,” Albrent said of the dig in the Mennonite community of Blue Creek, Belize. The dig was organized by the Maya Research Program, a U.S. nonprofit corporation that sponsors archaeological and human cultural studies in Central America. The program offers two-week courses for students, professionals and retirees in exchange for a tax-deductible donation, program executive director Tom Guderjan said.