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Today's Belize News: September 20, 2013 #472971
09/20/13 06:49 AM
09/20/13 06:49 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 77,002
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Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


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The San Pedro Sun

McClain August Wanted
McClain August, a resident of Ambergris is wanted by San Pedro police. In a very unusual wanted bulletin placed on the clock-tower jumbotron across from Central Park, the post states that August is wanted for three counts of attempted murder with a firearm. According to San Pedro police, August is wanted for the shooting that occurred on Wednesday September 18th in which an 11-year-old student was injured and another person grazed. August is considered to be armed and dangerous. If you have seen McClain August or have any information that can lead to his whereabouts you are asked to call the San Pedro police station at 206-2022 or the police hotline number 911.

Search efforts continue to locate a missing Caye Caulker fisherman
A fisherman living on Caye Caulker is missing and police and authorities on the small island have launched a search and rescue operation. Caye Caulker police are reporting that the missing man was with three others who went fishing at 8AM today, September 19th. According to police the missing person, a 55 year old fisherman originally from San Ignacio, was fishing with Donicio Edwards originally of Santa Elena – Cayo Valentin Verde of Sarteneja Village – Corozal and Jimmy Andrews (origin unknown). According to Inspector Jesus Palma of Caye Caulker Police Station, Edwards reported to the police that sometime around 9AM, while free diving for fish near the South Channel area off Caye Caulker, they noticed that one of their companions had not returned to the vessel. They immediately began searching for him but their efforts were fruitless. They returned to the island where the police were notified and a search and rescue effort was launched.

Children display patriotism at the Annual Talent Show
Children from the various schools in San Pedro Town participated in the annual Talent Show held on Friday, September 13th. The event is organized every year by the San Pedro Town Council as part of the September Celebration events. The show was held at the Angel Nunez Auditorium a little after 6PM. This year’s celebrations are being held under the theme “Belize in Me, Belize in You, Land of the Free” and the children were sure to keep that in mind. The program was hosted by none other than the recently crowned Miss San Pedro 2013-2014 Solani Graniel. Presentations included poems, songs and dances. Dancers in colorful costumes showed their Belizean pride by moving to the beats of soca music from Belizean artists such as Ernestine Carballo and TR Shine. Each presentation was unique and different to their school. A few students also recited Belizean poems and acted out moments in the history of Belize. The show was a crowd pleaser and it was evident that San Pedro truly has talent.

Remembering the Father of our Nation: Right Honorable George Cadle Price
On September 19, 2011 Belize lost a great hero and forefather of our nation, Right Honorable George Cadle Price. He was the pioneer of Belize’s political stability having fought till his death to see the betterment of his beloved country. The Right Honorable George Price was also one of the founding members and first leader of the Peoples United Party that was formed on September 29, 1950. The Right Honorable George Price led Belize to independence on the 21st of September 1981 after starting the peaceful, constructive Belize Revolution in 1950. George Price became the first Prime Minister of Belize. In October 1996 he announced his resignation as party leader and devoted his life for the betterment of Belize.

Minister of State Hon. Elvin Penner Required to Resign
The Office of the Prime Minister announces that, with immediate effect, the Hon. Elvin Penner is no longer a Minister of State in the current Administration. The Prime Minister formed the view that, with respect to a situation brought to his attention on Tuesday, Hon. Penner, as Minister of State in the Immigration Ministry, did not discharge his responsibilities with either the due judgment and balance, or the scrupulous regard for appearances, which the Prime Minister demands of all his Ministers. As a consequence the Prime Minister late yesterday evening met with Hon. Penner and required him to resign. After discussion Hon. Penner agreed with the position of the Prime Minister. He therefore tendered and had accepted his immediate resignation. In a related development, the Office of the Prime Minister also announces that the Immigration Ministry, together with the Ministry of the Public Service, has launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the issue of a Belize passport to a South Korean national. The Immigration Ministry will make a statement in the next day or so as to the results of that investigation.

Carnival brings Belize’s culture, music and color to life
Belize City was busy over the weekend as citizens from all over the country descended on the old capital to witness and participate in the national Carnival Road March. It was one of two major events; the 17th annual Expo Belize Market Place and the carnival parade. The festival spirit was present from very early in the morning of Saturday September 14th with the pre-carnival jouvert. While the jouvert is a spectacular show unto itself, the carnival is always the main highlight, attracting thousands of spectators.

Ambergris Today

Belize City Lions Club National Service Day Activity
In order to commemorate the life, work, dedication and service of the late Rt. Hon. George Price, the George Price Centre for Peace and Development declared September 19th as “National Service Day”, a day set for Belizeans to carry out community service projects in order to make a positive change through hard work and service. At 6 a.m. on Thursday, September 19, 2013, Lion Members of the Belize City Lions Club conducted a National Service Day activity by raising 20 Belizean Flags at the Flag Monument at the main Round-About in Belize City. After the Flag Raising Ceremony, the Lion members sung the Belizean National Anthem. This is the second year that the Belize City Lions Club has conducted this National Service Day activity.

Island Team Works on Alcoholics Aid Program
Our lovely town of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye is known for being a party hub, but while some of us drink for socializing others sadly have developed an alcohol addiction. Here on the island those who seek help for their addiction have the support of the Alcoholic Anonymous and the San Pedro Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute (SPADAI). SPADAI works hand in hand with Alcoholic Anonymous, the National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC) and most recently the San Pedro Police Department. On Tuesday, September 10, 2013, ASP Luis Castellanos, along with Tourism Police and Councilor Gaby Nuñez, personally delivered food to ten underprivileged persons (alcoholics).

Belize Public and Bank Holidays for 2014 Announced
The Government of Belize Press Office has sent out a press release informing about the Public and Bank holidays for 2014. It is notified for general information that public and bank holidays specified in the First and the Second Schedules to the Holidays Act, Chapter 289 of the Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2003, will be observed on the following days during the year 2014 in accordance with section 3 of the said Act:-

Did Belize Tourism Board Need to Apologizes for Song Choice on Promotional Video?
Yesterday, September 18, 2013, The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) issued an apology to all Belizeans after it came under fire from artists and other groups over its decision to use a musical track by Aurelio Martinez for the Belize Promotional video “Discover How To Be”. The general complaint is that the BTB failed to choose a song from a Belizean artist as opposed Aurelio’s who is originally from Honduras. I believe that the BTB took the high ground in issuing an apology, but I do not think that it was all necessary for them to do so or for them to be pushed to do so. There should not be any issue with them choosing Aurelio Martinez’s song for the video. Aurelio and his music are very much Belizean; he has chosen to make Belize one of his homes, has been a very productive citizen of this country and contributed tremendously in developing and promoting Belizean music through his work with the Garifuna Collective and the late Andy Palacio.

Misc Belizean Sources

This particular situation hits me personally since I have so many friends in the beautiful villages of Sarteneja, Chunox, Copper Bank, Progresso, Consejo and other surrounding villages. These are the most humble, peaceful and hardest working people, I have run across in Belize. As Editor of the Corozal Daily, I stand firm in solidarity with them as I feel their pain. It is sad and a crying shame that at a time of Belizean Patriotism/Nationalism, as we comfortably celebrate and rejoice at home our Independence Day Celebrations that for the past months, these villagers and residents have been enduring much pain and suffering in silence. Their road condition is farthest, the worse. In some areas deep ravines have carved themselves out on the road making traffic impassable and unbearable. Water is as high as 2 feet and more in some areas. This falls nothing short of the oppression, marginalization and malignity against those that don’t seem to have a voice. It is social injustice and travesty by those that don’t give a damn and those that do not stand up for them.

San Pedro Jump=up Parade Route
Happy September Celebrations everyone! You can see the route for the Jump-Up Parade for Independence Day and the various activities we will be having. You definitely can't miss out on the BLOCK PARTY and EL GRITO to bring in our Independence Day!

MCHS Patriotic Day
Mount Carmel High School students got in the festive spirit when they decorated their school for the September Celebrations. "Vibrant and Patriotic day at Mount Carmel High School, Kudos to the Winning Classes for their team work and high creativity."

The final touches are being added to the float from Georgeville that will be entered in the Independence Day parade on Saturday. The Williams family has been working on the artistic creation since August 1st. Here is a first look at the float. All the pieces on the float are hand-made by Mr. Eric Williams, Jr. The concept is an amalgamation of the family's ideas. Congratulations to the Williams family of Georgeville.

The students of Santa Elena Primary School were resplendent in their patriotic colors on Thursday morning as they participated in a hat competition. Congratulations to the staff and students for a wonderful presentation.

Channel 7

PM Forced Hon. Penner to Resign Due to Passport Irregularity
This morning rumours started zipping around that there was a major shake-up in the UDP Cabinet - and by 10:30 the news came down like an executive Sledgehammer: Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration Elvin Penner had been forced to resign by the Prime Minister. What's behind it? Well 7News has received credible information which says that Penner signed off on, or facilitated the issuance of a passport for a South Korean who is in jail. Best information is that the South Korean was being held, but when he produced a passport, which was backdated - the South Korean got bail and skipped the country. These are the sketchy details presently available, and those details say further that another elected official in the UDP facilitated the operation. That official we are told was also named in a previous investigation into 8 stolen visas. That's what we know tonight, but here's what the PM's statement said today - we'll read it verbatim: "The Office of the Prime Minister announces that, with immediate effect, the Hon. Elvin Penner is no longer a Minister of State in the current Administration. The Prime Minister formed the view that, with respect to a situation brought to his attention on Tuesday, Hon. Penner, as Minister of State in the Immigration Ministry, did not discharge his responsibilities with either the due judgment and balance, or the scrupulous regard for appearances, which the Prime Minister demands of all his Ministers. As a consequence the Prime Minister late yesterday evening met with Hon. Penner and required him to resign. After discussion Hon. Penner agreed with the position of the Prime Minister. He therefore tendered and….his immediate resignation (was accepted)."

Embattled Former SIF Exec Director Declares Innocence, Admits “Errors”
And while that corruption scandal is just starting to break - the other one at SIF is in what you might call "free-burn", a revelations continue to surface about what appears to have been a culture of corruption at SIF. Today former executive director Daniel Cano held a most unusual press conference; he did it at LOVE FM, where the 50 minute session was also broadcast live. He opened by saying, quote, "I am here because I have nothing to hide." And indeed, he took any and all questions - after an emotional opening:.. Daniel Cano, Former Executive Director - SIF "Mr. Smart, you have made many, many false accusations about me which has hurt me, which has hurt my family and that place that I have work and that I have loved for 14 years. I categorically deny these allegations and I demand that you retract each and every one of your false statements and you apologize for the damage you have done to me, to my good name, to my career that I have work so hard to build and for the pain you have caused my family."

Man Found Dead In South, Foul Play Suspected
Tonight, police are investigating the death of 24 year-old Ferris Torres, a resident of Independence Village, and so far, they have enough to treat the case as a homicide. Torres, who is a caretaker, and lives at the Michael Ashcroft Football Stadium, was discovered this morning by a fellow caretaker at around 7:45 a.m. this morning. His body was facedown, his pants were off, and his knees were bloody. These signs along with sand all over his body have led to investigators to believe that there was a struggle. The doctor who examined the body found no obvious signs of death, but the working theory is that he was choked to death. Torrres was a well-known as announcer at the stadium where he famously used the word "dispossessed" when referring to a player losing control of the ball due to the efforts of his opponent.

Cop On Cop Shooting Left One Dead, One Paralysed
10 days ago, 7News told you about the cop on cop killing of 24 year-old Police Constable Dean Yearwood, who was shot to death by his fellow officer, 32 year-old PC Glenn Grant. The Police Department says that it was not murder even though Yearwood, who was off-duty, was shot in the back by Grant, who said he was responding to a robbery in progress. The man who is central to the story is Brian Vasquez, who they say tried to rob Yearwood, which forced him to pull his service weapon and shoot at Vasquez, which, in turn, led Grant to respond and fire his weapon at both men. Yearwood ended up dead, and Grant shot in the back. Vasquez, who is now paralyzed from the waist down as a result of that shot to the back, has been at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital recovering, and he's been under police guard. While at the hospital, we were unable to approach him, but he was discharged yesterday, and he called us this afternoon to make sure that his side of the story was aired.

With PC Yearwood Dead, 2 Men Go Free
And while Vasquez continues to wait in dread to see if police will charge him, today, 2 men Police Constable Dean Yearwood allegedly caught with weed last year, were discharged because Yearwood, as arresting officer, cannot testify against them. According to police, Yearwood accompanied other officers on August 18 of last year where they conducted a search for illegal immigrants, drugs and firearms at the Happy Hour Night Club in Ladyville. Nothing incriminating was found at the bar, so they went upstairs and searched a locked room belonging to 33 year-old Chinese national, Zihai Li, and his 16 year-old roommate. Yearwood said that he found 2 grams of cannabis inside the room, and as a result, he charged both men with possession of controlled drugs.

Stake Bank Project Gets Environmental Approval; NCL Urges Caution
15 days ago, the National Environmental Appraisal committee met to consider a pair of addenda to the Environmental Impact Assessment for the Cruise Tourist project at Stake Bank Caye and North Drowned Caye. The project received tentative approval pending approval of an environmental monitoring fee and a proposals for fuel transport to one of the cayes. Well, the news tonight is that the Environmental Compliance Plan was signed today. Developer Mike Feinstein confirmed this to us, which means that his project now has full environmental compliance. We'd say that's a green light, but pending an approasial by Cabinet, it might still be yellow. Still the environmental clearance alone would seem to put Feinstein ahead of the Harvest Caye Project which is still pending environmental approval. But what does Norwegian Cruise Line think of the much larger Stake Bank project proposed for the Belize district? Yesterday we spoke the project director for NCL's Harvest Caye investment about a parallel berthing facility in Belize City competing with their plan for the south.

Assad Shoman Launches New Pro-Referendum Book
"How you can end the the Guatemalan Claim" - that's the name of a new book launched by Assad Shoman and published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The original idea was that the book by Belize's pre-eminent living historian would be used as an awareness tool, to get the public to support the referendum. But, as Shoman himself says, there's not going to be a referendum this year, or next. Still, they launched the book today in the hope that it can help to build critical mass and support for the referendum going forward:.. Assad Shoman "I can tell you that those resolutions do not in any way guarantee our borders. We never even discussed borders, not United Nations, in that struggle for independence. We were fight for the right to be independent, but they do not have the effect of defining a border. The UN resolutions on the membership of the United Nation, does not even reflect what our borders are. The only organ under the United Nation system which is qualified to define a border legally is International Court of Justice - the only one. Any decision of that court is binding and the Security Council which is the only organ of the United Nations empowers to take action including military action." "How can we achieve real safety and security not just by shouting "dis da fu we" but by having other countries and especially the one that claims us Guatemala recognize that this is for us. How do we achieve that because that is the only way we can have real security."

To Make Sure Rt. Hon. Price Is Never Forgotten
We spoke to the Opposition Leader at the wreath laying for George Price - who passed on two years ago. Here's how that went at the Lord Ridge Cemetery where they remembered The Great Man. Henry Charles Usher, Chairman PUP "He had a true sense of self, a sense of purpose that he tries to view in all of us. A large part because of his education and inspiration and vision we have an enduring national identity - a Belizean identity." "The Lord plays no favorites. He took Mr. Price from us, Yes although he did I will always be painful at least to me. Today as we gather to honor his passing let us dedicate ourselves to try to accomplish what he did." Rt. Hon. Said Musa "He gave us an identity; who are you - a Belizean right. That's what Mr. Price gave us - that identity - all of us Belizean." Hon. Francis Fonseca "If you are a market vendor or a street cleaner he was humble in your presence. That's a very important lesson for all of us especially the young people but also those of us who are leaders in our country - that humility must define our leadership."

Flash Flood Swamps Democracia, Shuts Down Highway
It's been raining for days, and we all knew that something somewhere had to give with the rivers running over their banks and the ground so inundated. And today, it did with a flash flood in La Democracia caused by the Sibun River breaking its bank. Several homes on the Coastal road ended up under water due to the fast rising waters. Our team headed out there but couldn't reach because the rushing water broke a culvert at mile 27 on the Western Highway closing down the road. Monica Bodden was there:.. Monica Bodden reporting Traffic was backed-up this morning as this pool of water settled over the road at mile 27 on the Western highway. Police officers were deployed to the area - to render assistance and to inform motorists about the current situation they were faced with - Vehicles were not allowed to cross a specific section of the highway - after one of its culverts was washed away by the force of the flooded water. If you notice closely, both sides of this particular culvert are washed away - leaving minimal support underneath the road.

And the Forecast Says
That flash flood was caused by Heavy rainfall associated with a slow moving area of low pressure over Belize over the last couple days. Our news team stopped in at the Weather Bureau to speak with Chief Met Officer, Dennis Gonguez about the current flooding situation and an update on the weather as we go into the 21st.. Dennis Gonguez, Chief Met Officer "There as a weak area of low pressure influencing our weather over the past couple of days. It has now moved offshore the Yucatan Peninsula into the bay of Campeche and it has been affecting our weather in terms producing some rainfall. Last night we had about 7 inches near the Belize Zoo and about 4 inches at La Democracia on the George Price Highway. As this system moves away we are looking at conditions will gradually improve as time goes by." Monica Bodden "Can we expect more flooding?" Dennis Gonguez, Chief Met Officer "With the rains decreasing, indications are the flooding should start to recede in the upcoming days and therefore we are not looking at any major events occurring in the next day."

Dr. Sanchez Explains Why Dulce Died
Last week, we told you about Baby Dulce Maria Coye, whose family from San Roman, Corozal was accusing the doctor at Northern Medical Plaza of contributing to her death due to medical malpractice. We've been trying to get an official position from Dr. Hugh Sanchez, the pathologist, who conducted the autopsy. Yesterday, Dr. Sanchez, who completed his report, shared it with us at a KHMH media mixer. He explained that the child died due to a post-surgical infection: Dr. Hugh Sanchez, Pathologist "It was alleged that something was left in the baby. Whether it was a needle or a blade or whatever, I would like to say that from the post mortem no such thing was found." "The child did pass on and we did the post mortem which revealed that there was evidence of Peritonitis. There was pus in the abdominal cavity which may have been a result of the initial surgery." "The risks were there and with any risk that should be told to the patient. There is a risk and you explain the risk because if you do you are damn and if you don't you are damn. So you better try and do something. The womb breaking down is a sequel of surgery - even in adult that would happen. With the mechanics some time the pressure builds up too much and it leak and once sepsis cycle begins any number can play."

Channel 5

PM drops a bombshell…Minister of State for Immigration, Elvin Penner, is fired
Elvin Penner is no longer a Minister of State in the current administration. That’s because he was required to resign with immediate effect from that post by Prime Minister Dean [...]

Investigation into a passport fast-tracked to a South Korean National in detention caused Penner’s demise
And now to the facts of the story…why was Ministry of State so summarily and brutally dismissed? Using the trail of breadcrumbs to the Immigration Department so thoughtfully provided by [...]

But is it the first time that allegations have been brought against Penner?
Ironically, this isn’t the first time Penner has been accused of being involved in the fast-tracking of documents. In 2012, just before general elections, he came under fire when the [...]

Former Executive of SIF, Daniel Cano, says he knew of Kenard Smart’s bribes but did not act
The scandal involving the Dangriga Municipal Market and employees of the Social Investment Fund continues to unravel. This afternoon, former executive director Daniel Cano faced the music and held a [...]

Cano says SIF is not responsible to compensate investors
The contention is that SIF never entered into a contractual arrangement with financiers, Lyndon Bailey or Gush and Emy Ramirez; therefore, the agency is not responsible for compensating them for [...]

But denies receiving any monies from Smart
Allegations of bribery, placed squarely at Cano’s feet, are also being passionately denied.  Cano says he had nothing to do with an alleged inducement of eleven thousand dollars purportedly paid [...]

Leader of the Opposition addresses the SIF scandal
The Former Executive Director of SIF, Daniel Cano, spoke for the first time today since his resignation following the scandal of the Dangriga Municipal Market. It’s an issue that won’t [...]

Belize/Guatemala Forum; is the ICJ the only option to settling the claim?
The referendum on whether or not to take the territorial claim to the International Court of Justice is not going to be held in October or likely at any other [...]

Fonseca responds to Assad Shoman’s comment on P.U.P. non-position on Referendum
When we caught up with the leader of the opposition earlier today we also asked him about the claim made by former Foreign Minister, Assad Shoman, that despite the P.U.P.’s [...]

Panelists question the severity of measures taken against illegal harvesting in Chiquibul
Incursions into the Chiquibul Forest, for the most part, remain unchecked despite routine patrols of its vast expanse by local armed forces.  Guatemalans caught poaching and mining gold and other [...]

Culvert near Mahogany Height caves in due to flooding
Water rose up to seven inches in the area of the Belize Zoo on the George Price Highway this morning. Students and other commutes were forced to exit their transport [...]

…while 3 flood-prone villages in Orange Walk under watch
The incessant rains also continue to fall over the north or the country, and the waters of the Rio Hondo are rising. In the municipalities that can be an inconvenience, [...]

Anthony Rancharan wins SMARTS big raffle
Today, Smart announced the winner of their latest big raffle – a trip for two to New York with spending money and all the bells and whistles included. By any [...]

2 years after his passing, the late father of the nation, George Price, is remembered
Across the country today, activities were held to honor the late father of the nation George Price, who has been described as the best Prime Minister Belize has ever had. [...]

Coping with stress…Healthy Living has useful tips on how to live stress-free
People cope with stress in many ways; some make use of healthy habits like exercise and mediation and others turn to alcohol and drugs. The common motivation behind these habits [...]


Ambassador Speaks on Ending the Guatemalan Claim
On the heels of the Forum on Belize Guatemala, Ambassador Assad Shoman has released a book entitled “How You Can End the Guatemalan Claim” and as he mentioned in last night’s forum, the book speaks of the solution being going to the International Court of Justice. He explained that the book was written at the time when the Belize Guatemala referendum was at the forefront and it served as an encouragement for Belizeans to know why it was important to have a referendum and to go to the ICJ. ASSAD SHOMAN “I think that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs feels that, in the first instance, they feel that it is possible that the referendum may be held next year but I don’t think so. I do believe whether Guatemala agrees to have a referendum or not, we have signed an agreement with Guatemala that we will take this matter to the court and I think that Belizeans have to be convinced that that is necessary for our safety and security and our future development; Belizeans must be convinced that that is necessary and we must do it so that we can fight internationally to pressure Guatemala to agree to go to court; therefore this book is still useful, they thought, at least in explaining to Belizeans why it is good and it is necessary and it is the only way to resolve this dispute and to end this dispute by going to the ICJ.”

Opposition Leader Says Urgent Attention Should Go To Dangriga in the SIF Incident
And while he spoke well of Mr. Price, the PUP Leader, Francis Fonseca, appealed to the Government to get to the bottom of the scandal at the Social Investment Fund. FRANCIS FONSECA “My main concern is that the people of Dangriga are being deprived of their market; they have longed for this project to be completed, vendors are losing money; the people of Dangriga are losing out. I would like for the government to take this matter very seriously and for the Prime Minister to get involved and whatever monies are remaining to somehow find the way that those monies are made available very quickly to the Dangriga Town Council or some other contractor that the government secures. I understand that there is a process they have to go through; the Social Investment Fund is not our money, so to speak and so there is a process they need to go through but they need to expedite this process; they need to sit down and talk to the funding agencies and explain to them the urgency of this matter and if they do that then they can move this project forward very quickly and with a sense of urgency because the only ones really losing right now are the people of Dangriga; it’s very sad and I know there are contract disputes and lawyers involved now but none of that is helping the people of Dangriga and that is what we want to see happen.”

Damage Control Continues on Roads in Northern Belize
The work continues today on the San Estevan road, or at least the areas that have been severely damaged by continuous rains over the last week or so. Our correspondent visited the area again today and while the road is still bad, heavy machinery continued to work on the road. While water has drain from some areas, the road has been left mud-covered. At other areas, the water has washed away some soil leaving huge pot holes in the middle of the road. Water continues to overflow over some parts but Love News has been reliably informed that contractors responsible for the paving of the road, Bella Vista Development Co Ltd and Lopez Equipment Co Ltd are presently filling in the worst parts. We were informed that the contractors have filled two sections and are working on two more today. In other sections, the mud is being scraped off the road and replaced with a more sturdy material. In addition, at least ten culverts will be installed as part of the emergency work being done in the area. The contractors responded to the situation yesterday after hundreds of commuters, workers and students, were unable to pass the stretch of road. Traffic flow returned to normal this morning without incident but drivers still need to take caution when passing the stretch of road as some areas are still in very bad conditions. We were told that if rains hold up, the work will be finished by tomorrow.

Prime Minister Requests Resignation From Cabinet Member
Yesterday rumors were circling about a major scandal within the Ministry of Immigration. While all the details have not been revealed, what is for sure is that area representative for Cayo North East Elvin Penner is no longer Minister of State with responsibility for Immigration, a post he has held since last June when the Department of Immigration was taken out of the Ministry of National Security. In a release from the office of the Prime Minister, after a late meeting yesterday with Penner, the Prime Minister asked Penner to resign. According to the release, a situation was brought to the Prime Minister’s attention on Tuesday. After looking at it the Prime Minister was of the view that Penner did not discharge his responsibilities with quote “either the due judgment and balance or the scrupulous regard for appearances which is required from all Ministers” end quote. The release goes on to say that the Immigration Ministry together with the Ministry of the Public Service has launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the issue of a Belize passport to a South Korean national. The Ministry will make a statement at the conclusion of the investigation which should be completed shortly.

Former Executive Director of SIF Says The Allegations are False
Former executive director at the Social Investment Fund Daniel Cano today broke his silence regarding a number of allegations made against him. Cano was forced to resign earlier this week after the Board of Directors of SIF demanded his resignation. Contractor Ken Smart had alleged that Cano along with four other employees had extorted money from him. Cano who was employed at SIF for the past 14 years explained why he took the decision. DANIEL CANO “My resignation from the post of the Executive Director of the Social Investment Fund was requested and I agreed to submit it on the basis of the findings of the Contractor General’s report where my management of the allegations was found to be less than desirable. My resignation was not on the grounds of any involvement of bribery, corruption or extortion. I stepped down for the institution to be able to move forward without the questions of my management decisions around it.

Caretaker Found Dead in Football Stadium
The family of 24-year-old Ferris Torress is looking for answers after the body of the young man was found in a room at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium sometime after eight o’clock this morning. Love News spoke with his mother Ann Elizabeth Torress who believes her son was murdered. ANN ELIZABETH TORRES “Well, you can see the struggle on the ground that he had, all in the drain because he stayed in the stadium because he took care of the stadium, he was an announcer in there and but he lived in the stadium and it’s in there that they murdered him. There were no stab marks; it looks like he was beaten then strangulated. I don’t know of any enemies he may have had; he announced in the stadium and took care of the stadium; I don’t know him to have had any enemies and we haven’t heard anything from the police or from the neighbors or surrounding areas.”

Opposition Party Remembers George Cadle Price
Today marks two years since the passing of the Father of the Nation, George Price. After a mass in his honor, officials of the political party he started, the People’s United Party, gathered at his graveside to lay wreaths, pray, and give tributes. Chairman of the PUP, Henry Usher, paid tribute to the late leader, who was also his grand-uncle. Henry Usher, Chairman, PUP “Because of his dedication, vision and inspiration, we have an enduring national identity, a Belizean identity and in all this he was mindful that he did not do this alone. He braced our history, he braced our lives with his devotion to justice and the way he faced every adversity with steadfast feet.” PUP Leader, Francis Fonseca, said that the party will have to find a way to ensure that George Price is not forgotten.

Opposition Leader Says This Is Not the PUP of the Past
Fonseca also answered a question which had to do with remarks made a forum on Belize Guatemala on Wednesday night on the Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute. The remarks made by former PUP Minister, Ambassador Assad Shoman, that the PUP does not have any position on the Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute. FRANCIS FONSECA “We respect what he has to say but I have made it very clear on many occasions that the People’s United Party will proceed on this matter at its own pace. We believe that we are taking the right course of action and I have made it quite clear from the very beginning of the process that we would participate fully, we are united as a people in ensuring that the Belizean people at the end of the day decide whether or not we proceed with this matter; yes or no; we are united in that regard but the People’s United Party, he is right in saying that we have not taken a decision as to whether as a party, we will vote yes or no and we believe that we are on the right track in respect to that matter and yes, he is right that the People’s United Party started this process and we have an obligation to respect the process and we are treating it with the seriousness that it requires and demands but we will not be pushed in the wrong direction...

Re: Today's Belize News: September 20, 2013 [Re: Marty] #472972
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Please download, read and share this set of ideas compiled by Senator Henry Gordon on improving separation of powers and increasing Checks and balances in Governance.

Investors in Dangriga market project say they want money and justice
PLUS News continues to follow the saga of the closed Dangriga Town market project managed by the Social Investment Fund (SIF), which has come under fire amid allegations of corruption and extortion that has resulted in the firing of four employees and resignation of another. While there is no...

Chamber & CitCo to address trade licenses
Trade license time is here for the Belize City Council and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry is asking Minister for Local Government Godwin Hulse to intervene. BCCI CEO Kim Aikman said elsewhere in the press that they have been meeting with the Minister since last year to forward...

BSCAP questions licensing of Aurelio Martinez song in BTB ad
Last week we brought you the controversy surrounding the usage of a song by Honduras’ Aurelio Martinez in international advertisements promoting Belize by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB). While the Board is sticking to its guns, the Belizean Society of Composers, Artists and Promoters (BSCAP)...

UB celebrates Independence
On September 21st, Belizeans at home and abroad will be celebrating the jewel’s 32nd year of Independence. Because of the valiant and unyielding efforts of forefathers, the country is today a sovereign and developing nation. So on that day, we not only recognize our Independence, but we also pay...

Battlefield Park reopens
After months of controversy, the re-imagined and restored Battlefield Park was formally reopened. Even the cloudy day could not dent the spirits of the Belize City Council which has valiantly insisted on its interpretation of the role and purpose of the park. Belize City Mayor Darrell...

Felicia Chen remanded to Central Prison awaiting inquiry
Felicia Chen, the woman accused of murdering her three small children in April, was before the Magistrate’s Court yesterday morning. The Twenty-two year old Felicia Chen faces three counts of murder for the deaths of 4 year old Triana, 3 year old Thomas and 1 year old Trinaya Teul....

Teachers and Students thank Lifeline for donations
On Tuesday we told you about the over $200,000 in donations ranging from computers to a fully stocked library to improvements to school infrastructure made by Lifeline Foundation in six schools in the Orange Walk District. Orange Walk’s District Education Manager Carla Alvarez discussed with PLUS News the importance...

Mayor Bradley explains delays in Belize City street renovations
Works have stopped on Baymen Avenue, Belize City, for weeks now, maybe a month. On Wednesday we asked Mayor Darrell Bradley why the works have stopped and he explains that the council has encountered some difficulties. Mayor Darrell Bradley: The flood mitigation project wants to...

National Day of Prayer held at Showground
This past Sunday September 15th, Church leaders and followers gathered at the main stage at Showground to host their annual National Day of Prayer. After a half an hour of praise and worship songs, the crowd bowed their heads and lifted up their prayers- their strongest weapon- on three...

Prime Minister of Dominica visits Belize for Independence Day festivities
The Prime Minister of Dominica will be making a courtesy call to Belize for the Independence Day festivities. Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, will be a guest at the official ceremonies commemorating Belize 32nd year of Independence and will also take a tour of two of the country’s tourist attractions. Minister...

NCL launches education campaign on Harvest Caye Development
Representatives from the Norwegian Cruise Line have launched an education campaign on the nuts and bolts of the proposed cruise port at Harvest Caye. The team was in Independence Village this weekend. With more, here is Harry Arzu.

The Guardian

A pregnant Felicia Chen Now Behind Bars
22-year-old Felicia Chen has been declared fit to stand trial and is now behind bars at the Belize Central Prison. On Tuesday, April 30th, Chen was charged with three counts of murder for allegedly drowning three of her four children at Belizean Beach on Saturday, April 27th. Since her arraignment she has been in a medical facility where she was being observed and treated for some form of mental disorder. Chen has appeared in the Magistrate's Court numerous times since she was arrested but was ordered to return to the mental health facility until a doctor could declare her fit to stand trial. On Tuesday, September 17th, she was escorted to the Belize City Magistrates Court once again. The press was ordered to exit the courtroom because of the sensitivity of the case. According to reports, Dr. Wesley Quimbo declared that she was now medically fit to leave the mental health institution and stand trial. Chief Magistrate Anne-Marie Smith then ordered that she be remanded at the Belize Central Prison until her next court appearance on November 8th. Chen was represented by Attorney Antoinette Moore.

Battlefield Park Resurges
The Battlefield park has seen a magnificent rebirth. On Wednesday, September 18th Mayor Darrell Bradley officially declared the park open once again. After 5 months of arduous work put in by International Environs (IE) the park was opened to the public two weeks ago. And it is quite a marvelous space to behold. Anyone standing at the center of the park can appreciate what Mayor Bradley’s intention was. According to him, the park was originally designed as a plaza to accommodate the surrounding public buildings which include the Supreme Court. The park now features a flat square with benches, a fountain, a flag pole, green spaces and the bust of the great labor movement leader, Antonio Soberanis. In opening the park Bradley described the park as the heart and soul of Belize City since it sits smack in the center of the commercial area. He noted that the park has a great historic origin having been the gathering ground for residents of Belize from as early as 1638. It was “ground stand for people to congregated and advocate for their rights,” and as such the redesign of the park was to pay respect to its history.

Heads roll at SIF
Four senior officers from the Social Investment Fund were terminated on Tuesday, September 17th. The decision was taken after allegations were made by Kennard Smart in which he provided copies of cancelled checks written out to 4 of the SIF officials. Smart contends that it is because of 'shakedowns' that he has been unable to complete the Dangriga Market project which he was contracted to do in May of 2012 with a scheduled completion date of July 2013. He has however been unable to complete the work and is now claiming that it was because of officers at SIF shaking him down for money. He provided checks to prove that he had been giving four officers money by way of check and further alleged that the Managing Director received at least one payment of 11 thousand dollars in cash which was given to him in two transactions, one which amounted to $1,000 and the other of $10,000 which he allegedly gave Cano in a black bag.

Two Rights do not make a Wrong
There will always be problems in life because even though many people are working diligently to solve problems other people are busy creating them. In addition, when finding a solution to one problem we sometimes inadvertently create a new one. Naturally individuals rank the seriousness of issues in their own way and concentrate on those that they find most compelling either because of some personal or professional experience or an emotional affinity. Some people might find a particular issue to be of the utmost significance while it barely registers on the radar of others. However, there are a few issues which are almost universally accepted as being of top priority. Paedophilia and other varieties of child abuse is such an issue. However, it is intellectually dishonest to use the widespread disgust that accompanies this issue to lambast efforts to solve other problems. The Gender Policy, for example, is tasked specifically to address gender issues while the Education Policy concentrates on education. Both policies can be expected to cover a wide range of subject matter but each will focus on its own theme. The Commercial Exploitation of Children (CSEC) Policy on the other hand deals with all pertinent issues including child sexual abuse for commercial purposes. The Ministry of Human Development and Social Transformation (MHDST) has worked diligently on both the Gender Policy and the CSEC Policy so it is puzzling that some people would add two rights and get a wrong. Undoubtedly, there are many problems in the world that these two policies do not address but that is because they do not fall within the scope of these works. It is unreasonable to attack people for addressing these issues using the rationale that they should be focussing on another issue.

Mothers and Children enjoy a day with the Zone Ten Neighborhood Watch in Cayo
Dozens of mothers and their children came out last Sunday to enjoy the newly refurbished basketball court in Santa Elena Town, Cayo. On hand for the day was the Zone Ten Neighborhood Watch Committee, comprising of residents living in all that Area between the Hawkesworth Bridge and the residence of Desol Neal, near the Santa Elena Football Stadium. Desol Neal is the current President of the Zone Ten Neighborhood Watch Committee. Children from Zone Ten were entertained with songs and given gifts in the spirit of the September Celebrations. There was also a food eating contest later in the day. As dawn enveloped the court, powerful lights were turned on. Zone Ten Committee members then handed books, markers and other school supplies to the children. Funds raised from the sale of food by the Zone Ten Committee will be returned to the Community in organizing other events to promote socialization among residents. Zone Ten, along with the Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association, have been the beneficiaries of numerous crime fighting tools from the U.S Central American Regional Security Initiative.

Belize District Football Association players’ registration is on
The Belize District Football Association is currently conducting registration of all amateur players in the Belize District free of cost. The registration process commenced on September 5 and will conclude on October 4, 2013. Registration forms are available at Infotel Limited at 53 Regent Street in Belize City. Meanwhile, the association also informs the general public and football teams in the district that the 2013 Belize District 1st Division Competition is scheduled to commence on October 12th. For further information you can contact the Belize District Football Association at [email protected]

Guest of Honour for Belize’s 32nd Independence Day
Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica, will be hosted by the Government of Belize as the Guest of Honour during Belize’s Independence Day festivities. Hon. Skerrit will arrive in Belize on Wednesday, September 18, 2013, accompanied by Hon. Dr. Collin McIntyre, Minister of Trade of Dominica. After arrival, Hon. Skerrit will make a courtesy call on Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean Barrow. During his stay, Prime Minister Skerrit will be a guest at all official ceremonies commemorating Belize’s 32 years of Independence. He will also visit two of Belize’s many natural tourist attractions. Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit’s visit will conclude on Sunday, September 22nd, 2013, when he returns to Dominica.

New British High Commissioner to Belize H.E. Peter Hughes Makes Courtesy Call on Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar
The new British High Commissioner to Belize, H. E. Peter Hughes, today made a courtesy call on Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar, in his office at the Ministry of National Security Headquarters in the Curl Thompson Building in Belmopan.

Female participants in the Five-a-side game held on Sunday at the Five-a-side stadium near the Santa Elena Public Library in images ‘Female FiveAside’
Hon. Rene Montero viewing the Five-a-side games on Sunday The Five-a-side football, which started about two weeks ago in the Cayo Central Division, is running smoothly. Some fourteen teams have participated in the Five-a-side so far. This comes as a full female teams clashed on Sunday at the Five-a-side stadium near the Santa Elena Public Library in the Cayo District. Area Representative for the Cayo Central Division, the Hon. Rene Montero braved the rains on Sunday to view the sport. The Hon. Rene Montero is providing the Jerseys, equipment as well as the trophies for all the Five-a-side games.

Jobs - a top priority for Benque Viejo del Carmen
The creation of job opportunities has become a top priority for the Benque Viejo del Carmen’s Town Council. Mayor Miguel Velasquez and his team have in the past had a meeting with the Hon. Erwin Contreras, the Minister of Trade, Investment Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection and who is the Representative for the Cayo West Divisio, on a growth plan for Benque Viejo del Carmen.

KHMH Celebrating 18th Birthday
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital is celebrating its 18th anniversary and on Wednesday, September 18th, the institution’s management team held a mixer with the press to speak about its medical advancement in the past year and how it has responded to the devastating outbreak in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

People’s Coalition of Cayo Meet
The People’s Coalition of Cayo (PCC) held its monthly meeting on September 11, 2013 at the San Ignacio Police Station. This is the last meeting of the PCC, before its soon to be announced Annual General Meeting. Present for the meeting on Wednesday was the PCC’s Chairman Albert Moore and Officer in Charge of San Ignacio Police Formation, Ralf Moody.

Crime Statistics for the Month of August, continuing trend in reduction
There were only 3 murders countrywide in August 2013, compared to 9 murders in August 2012. From January to August of 2013, there were a total of 70 murders, compared to a total of 97 for the same period of 2012.

Finally relief for San Estevan
The road from Orange Walk to Progresso has been getting progressively worse over the past few days. Despite numerous requests to the contractor to get work done on the road, it has been slow in coming. It was not until UDP Caretaker for Orange Walk Central, Denny Grijalva got personally involved that the terrible conditions of the road are beginning to be addressed.

September session of Supreme Court commences- over 100 cases on the list
The September session of the Supreme Court began on Monday, September 16th and already the court has seen a beefing up of security personnel posted at the institution. That’s because a number of murder cases are set to kick off before either Supreme Court judges, Adolph Lucas and Troadio John Gonzalez.

Deputy Prime Minister Vega concludes official visit to Petén, Guatemala
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture, Honorable Gaspar Vega, recently concluded a working visit to Petén, Guatemala as guest of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food of Guatemala.

Youth Talks - Meet the Kardashians... twerk it like Miley Cyrus
Why is it that we still wonder why our youths and our children are in the position that they are in now; lacking morals, respect and values? Have you ever sat down and watched what your children are watching? And when I mean watch, I mean have you ever sat down and put attention to what the movies, television shows and cartoons are teaching your child? I have. Once I sat down watching a television series created for young adolescent for about the age of ten to thirteen. I happened to pay attention to the plot of the series which was about two girls liking a boy and trying to seduce him in order to get a kiss. Guess which channel was playing the series? Hmm if you are thinking Disney then you got it right, the all-time favorite channel of most kids. It is of no surprise then, that to some extent these same producers encourage children to become wild. .

Dangerous Precedent
Like several of the other municipalities in our country, Orange Walk is a small town and the majority of its citizens know each other fairly well. Unlike other communities, however, the political climate in OW is always charged, no matter how far away the next elections are. Politics has become an integral part of the culture of the average Orangewalkeno; as much a part as the dozens of taco stands which dot the town at each corner. Even in such a heated atmosphere of diverse political opinions and sympathies, there is an underlying and tangible respect for each other and a calm acceptance of the outcome of each election once the ballots have been counted. Because of this familiarity between our people, we may rant and rail, but rarely take things to a personal level to bring harm to each other. But in every good story there will always be a novice, a greenhorn, who will try to stir the pot to see what develops; this Monday, 16 September being that example. This PUP Town Council triggered an incident that day which can have lasting effects here in our little town, since I am sure some UDP supporters will never forgive or forget the malice behind it.

BTB robber pleads guilty to 10 counts, sentenced to 46 years
On Monday, September 16th, 23-year-old Clarence Lamb, who is still limping from a gunshot injury to his right leg, was sentenced to 46 years in jail after he pleaded guilty to 10 criminal offenses including seven counts of aggravated assault, one count of robbery and 2 firearm related offenses for keeping a firearm and ammunition without a gun license. When he was first charged Lamb had pleaded not guilty but on his reappearance he changed his plea to guilty. The Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith who heard his plea for leniency sentenced him to 12 years for robbery, two 10 years for the firearm related offenses and two years each for the 7 counts of aggravated assault with a firearm upon seven BTB employees including a cashier. The sentences are to run concurrently with each so Lamb will only be serving 12 years imprisonment.

Teenager charge for the murder of Jamal Anthony Neal
On Friday September 13th, a St. John’s College Junior College student was arraigned for the murder of Jamal Anthony Neal who was killed on July 8th, on Banak Street in Belize City. 18-year-old, Micah Tillett was taken to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court where he was charged with one count of murder. Tillett, who was unrepresented, appeared before Magistrate, Hettie Mae Stewart. Magistrate Stewart explain to the teenager that due to the nature of the offense, no plea will be taken since the matter is an indictable offense and that he will be remanded to the prison. She also explained to him that on his next court date, he will appear before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer since the matter was assigned to that court. Tillett now joins, UB Student, Jedd Allan Burgess, who is also on remand at the Belize Central Prison. Both Burgess and Tillett will appear in Court #2 on October 15, 2013 for the first time together, for the murder of 21-year-old Jamal Anthony Neal.

Accused cop killer gets off ammunition charges
In July 2012, police investigations into the shooting death of a policeman led investigators to arrest and charge Bainsville resident, Delford Slusher for the offense of murder, and ammunition offenses. Police allegations are that on July 24, 2013, Slusher was found in possession of 2-aguila brand bullets which were found in a black suitcase inside his home. On July 25, 2012, Slusher was arraigned and remanded to prison on that charge. On Friday, September 13th, Slusher appeared in court where he was acquitted of the offense of keeping ammunition without a gun license. In a ruling, Magistrate Adolph Lucas found Slusher not guilty of keeping ammunition without being granted a gun license since there were a number of discrepancies which unfolded in the trial.

XV Central American Table Tennis Masters Championships September 13 -15, 2013
The XV Central American Table Tennis Masters Championships concluded yesterday, September 15, 2013 at the Belize Elementary School auditorium.

Baden pink balls for the XXIII National Women’s Softball Championship
The Belize Softball Federation will play host to the XXIII Edition of the National Women’s Softball Championship which is scheduled for Friday, September 27 – September 29, 2013, at Rogers Stadium the home of softball in Belize. As the premier female sports in the country, the Belize Softball Federation has dedicated this year’s National Women’s Softball Championship to the survivors of cancer especially breast cancer. The Baden’s balls that will be used in the championship are pink in colour and carry the logo of the Cancer Awareness Foundation. The ceremonial first pitch will be a dual pitch, the first time that this will be done in the country and this honours will be given to Mrs. Philippa Griffith-Bailey, ISF Hall of Fame Member, immediate past Treasurer of the Belize Softball Federation, the only Women in Sports Commissioner in the country and she will be joined by a representative of the Cancer Society.

Basketball Firms’ Competition enters Knockout round
Written by Administrator Thursday, 19 September 2013 00:00 The Belize District Basketball Association Firms’ competition will enter its knockout round on Thursday, September 26, 2013, at Bird’s Isle. In the first game on the schedule at 7:30 pm will feature Belize City Council against PUC/CBA/Fisheries. In game two, BTL will see action against Ready Call Centre. On Friday, September 27, 2013 in the first game at 7:30 pm Heritage Bank will go up against Courts and this will be followed by Belize Bank against Central Health. The competition will then enter the Quarterfinal round on Thursday, October 3, 2013 with two more games on the schedule.

Belize Rural Softball Association playoffs commence
The Belize Rural Softball Association entered its playoffs round on Sunday, September 15th, 2013. In the first game played, Easy Does It of Flowers Bank edged Lord’s Bank Sunrise by the score of 18-17. The winning pitcher was Amber Wade and the losing pitcher was Stacey Smith. In game two, UB Jaguars blasted Mel’s United of Double Head Cabbage by the score of 16-6. The winning pitcher was Herlette Clarke and the losing pitcher was Annett Morey. The competition will continue on Sunday, September 22, at Lord’s Bank Village. In the first game scheduled for 9:00 am will see Lord’s Bank Sunrise against Easy Does It from Flowers Bank and in game two it will be Mel’s United of Double Head Cabbage against UB Jaguars.

Visiting Ambassadors present their Credentials to Governor General
Ten ambassadors presented their credentials to the Governor General at Belize House in Belmopan, today. The ambassadors were: H.E. Jan Gerhard Lassen of Norway, H.E. Hristo Gudjev of Bulgaria, H.E. Polyxeni Stefanidou of Greece, H.E. Palam Mulonda of the Republic of Zambia, H.E. Leon Kalenga of the Holy See, H.E. Julio Anibal Riano Velanda of Columbia, H.E. Stuart Savage of Canada, H.E. Guy Lamothe of Haiti, H.E. Matthias Peter Sonn of Germany, and H.E. Segundo Rafael Andrango-Bonilla of Ecuador. The ambassadors all stressed the good relations between their country and Belize and offered on behalf of their country a continuance of support to Belize. Their messages included well-wishes to the Governor General as well as to the Government and people of Belize. The Governor General courteously received their presentations and warmly welcomed the ambassadors to Belize.

Pickstock Carnival Band and Mother Nature’s Creation are 2013 Road March Champions
Pickstock Carnival Band and Mother Nature’s Creation earned a year’s worth of bragging rights on Saturday, September 14th, when they were named the 2013 Junior and Senior Carnival Road March Champions. In the words of Patrick Thompson, President of the Belize Carnival Association, “All the bands were really impressive this year. It was the most colourful Carnival I have ever seen.” Thousands of Belizeans shared that opinion as they gathered in large numbers along the stretch of Central American Boulevard and Princess Margaret Drive to witness the spectacular road march. There were thirteen bands participating in the road march this year; including, one from Seine Bight and one from Dangriga. Competing in the junior band category were Pickstock Carnival Band from the Victoria Street area, Black Pearl Carnival Band from the Queen Square area, Jump Street Posse from the Albert Street area, Sunshine Masqueraders from the Yarborough (Southside) area and Irahunu Mas Band from Dangriga. Wipeout Carnival Band from Seine Bight, which has dominated the Placencia Peninsula’s competition in recent years, also participated in the junior section this year but not competitively

Survey of Drugs and Alcohol in Our Schools
The National Drug Abuse Control Council will conduct a survey of approximately three thousand high school and junior college students to gage the level of alcohol, tobacco and drug use in our schools today. According to Amelio Matura, Schools and Communities Program Unit Coordinator at the National Drug Abuse Control Council, the survey is part of a regional effort to address drug use and abuse by Caribbean adolescents. Matura says the data will be compared to those compiled in 2003 and 2008 to see if intervention strategies implemented in schools have worked. He says based on the results of surveys that are being conducted in other Caribbean countries, Belize will study and adapt intervention strategies that have worked in order to aggressively tackle drug use in our schools. The Epidemiological High School Drug Prevalence Survey of 2003 had a sample of 1,700 students and almost 27% did not believe that frequent use of alcohol was harmful. 12.8% of those who were drinkers drank more than 10 drinks daily. 22.9% of drinkers were also marijuana smokers. Belize’s sample of the 2008 Global Youth Tobacco Survey included 1,751 students aged 13 to 15 years. That survey showed that 8% of students are cigarette smokers and 1 in 5 use some form of tobacco. It also revealed that 26.6% of students have tried cigarette smoking and a quarter live in homes in which someone smokes. Three quarters of smokers have tried to quit but failed because they did not receive help doing so.

Mayor Bradley: “Trade License Act Needs to Change”
Mayor Darrel Bradley says that the Trade License Act is unfair and it needs to be amended. The Chamber of Commerce recently wrote to the Minister of Local Government, Senator Godwin Hulse, asking for him to guarantee that the Belize City Council will not raise trade license fees for the upcoming year. Mayor Bradley says that the Chamber needs to do a better job as an advocacy group in working with the council on behalf of its members. The Chamber had similar complaints last year and was encouraged to work with the Ministry of Local Government and the City Council to come up with a more acceptable trade license assessment system. Mayor Bradley says a year later “the chamber has not put forward any proposal to us.” He continues, “The only time we hear from them is around tax time, which is not a good time for us. It is after we have already made our assessments, printed the bills and issued them out that we here from central government that the chamber wants to meet.”

70 More Streets under Belize City Infrastructure Project Phase 2
The Belize City Infrastructure Project is nearing completion but Mayor Darrel Bradley says there is much more the Council wants to accomplish in terms of infrastructural development and a proposal for phase II of the project is already on the table.

New Measures to Improve Enforcement of Fisheries Laws
The Belize Fisheries Department will benefit from a new initiative being funded by the European Union to improve the enforcement of fisheries laws in the Caribbean region. Milton Haughton, Executive Director of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism, said, “A major weakness in the Caribbean region is the fact that our capacity is limited on the enforcement side, and very often offenses are not successful in the courts because the proper procedures are not followed.” He continued, “"We want to strengthen their capacities so that they are more effective at prosecuting offenses against the Fisheries Act.”

The Reporter

Cayo cops maul BDF soldier
Belize Defense Force Corporal, Keith Pinnix, 27, a seven-year veteran of the Force, is recuperating from injuries he sustained, allegedly at the hands of a few police officers.

Differences over U.S. – Russian deal focuses on possible punishment for Syria
Just days after Russia and the United States reached a deal on getting Syria to give up its chemical weapons, world powers are divided over the details.

US vows to work through tensions even as Brazil uproar over NSA grows
Even as the uproar mounts in Brazil over reports that the United States spied on President Dilma Rousseff , Brazil’s Foreign Minister continued to proceed to Washington on Wednesday.

Rural communities to benefit from Rural Health initiative
Sixteen Peace Corps Volunteers, focused on implementing a two-year Rural Family Health program, were sworn in on September 6t in Belmopan.

Belize Territorial Volunteers protest Guatemalan presence
The Belize Territorial Volunteers have written a formal complaint to the Prime Minister about Guatemalan armed forces entering Belizean Territory.

Opposition reps. leave PAC, GoB will now oversee itself!
The Government of Belize will now audit itself, as the opposition, People’s United Party’s members on the Public Accounts Committee say they’ve decided to boycott any GOB-led PAC meetings.

A Culture of Corruption
The current crisis at the Social Investment Fund brings into sharp focus the overwhelming culture of corruption that has now dominated our society.

Clarence Lamb, BTB robber, gets long prison sentence
The man who robbed the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) in January and was shot during his escape attempt was sentenced to 46 years in prison on Monday.

Living adult tissue transformed back into embryo state
A new, relatively simple way of treating heart attacks could save thousands of lives, according to specialists at a Clydebank hospital.

Byron Pope wins BCA September Criterium
Byron Pope of the Benny’s megabytes team won the annual September cycling criterium organized by the Belize Cycling Association and sponsored by the Belize City Council and Bowen & Bowen Ltd on Albert and Regent Streets in downtown Belize City on Sunday, September 15.

Belize wins gold in C.A. table tennis singles championships
Belizean Eric Stamp won a gold medal in the over-65 age division, when Belize Table Tennis Association hosted the 15th Central American table tennis masters championships at the Belize Elementary School auditorium on Saturday and Sunday, September 14-15.


Carnival 2013: Belize City Wi Bash It Up, Part Two
In first post on last weekend’s Carnival in Belize City, everyone looks clean and dry, happy, neatly pressed and well hydrated. This was before the parade really started. About 4 hours later, as we were stationed at the Belikin tent by the Karl Heusner Hospital, the crowd was just trying to keep cool. These ice salesmen were doing swift business… Tailgating of all sorts was happening up and down the road. I won’t pretend it was just tasty ices…rum bottles were being passed around freely. Thanks sir…but I’m good for right now. With his many “Rollin’ 30s” prison tattoos and half closed eyes, I certainly wanted to keep my curb-mate on my good side. Finally! The first vehicle arrived. We honestly were waiting for HOURS! And I was charged by this guy who spent a few seconds twerking on me. Obviously this is a costume that life altering night mares are made of. He stood up, conked me in the head with a bull horn and thankfully ran off to catch up with the parade.

Belizean Creole Bread 1 Loaf in the Toaster Oven
No need to be discouraged because you can't need up too much dough at once. With minimal ingredients, you can now make only one loaf of delicious Belizean Creole Bread.

Late this evening, the government announced that the Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, will be arriving this Wednesday in the country. Skerrit is a guest of the government during the remaining Independence Day celebrations which include the official Independence Day ceremonies in Belmopan. Following his arrival, Skerrit will be paying a courtesy visit on the Prime Minister Dean Barrow and will also be taking time to experience the jewel’s natural beauty. Skerrit will be accompanied by Collin McIntyre, Minister of Trade of Dominica. Their visit ends on September twenty-second September. Recently, the Prime Minister was having a bumpy ride back in Dominica. In early September, following fiery public criticism, Skerrit’s government withdrew the nomination of Alix-Boyd Knights as a candidate for the presidency of Dominca. Knights is the current Speaker of the House and the criticism over her nomination was that she was biased against the opposition.

“Movin’ On” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
A nice dry morning when I got out onto the veranda yesterday shortly after 04.30 hours. I enjoy the sound of the rain but sometimes its been known to dilute my coffee too much. I don’t like really strong coffee but I do want to know its in there. I know there’s a simple solution . Like, move the mug. But sometimes I forget its there. A by product of getting old? I prefer to think that it is because I am deep in contemplation! After taking my dose of The Times on line I decided to take the camera for a little stroll along the beach. It was a nice morning with a cooling breeze and the sun wasn’t out. I also thought that it would give me be opportunity to satisfy requests made by a number of you that I vary the photos a little.

A Trip to Belize As An AFAR Ambassador
I thank social media for knowing someone as awesome as Kirsten. If I remember correctly, I met her via twitter a few years ago - mobile photography was a new thing, and I loved her photos. But what I like the most about her is that she’s super friendly and always up for a good chat on twitter. I’m glad Kirsten was finally able to visit Belize and from the looks of it, she had a great time. A Q&A on her recent trip to Belize as an AFAR ambassador follows: Tell me a little about yourself and your travel style? Well, I hate writing about myself! Which is hilarious since so much of my job requires it. Instead, I love photographing and writing about places and about the people who make a place special. That’s what drove me to become a travel photographer and writer. I used to be a nomad, traveling from assignment to assignment and rarely pausing to catch up on work in between. Now, I have a home in New York City with my boyfriend (and sometimes travel partner) and travel a little less. Yet I think I appreciate travel more now.

A Touch of Luxury in Belize
Belize is a small country that packs a big punch for adventurous travellers who want to experience the outdoors. However, modern facilities and comforts aren’t the norm here as you’re probably used to. You don’t have to ‘rough it’ as there are some excellent luxury resorts here. Accommodation in Belize has many options from non-air conditioned hostel rooms to multimillion dollar beach front mansions. Lets take a look at three resorts from Belize’s most popular vacation destinations.

International Sources

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013
From views of the Moon and our neighbours in the solar system, to colourful depictions of the gases and galaxies which swirl in deep space. Take a look at the best images - and see the overall winner - of this year's Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition.

Ignacio Volunteers have life-changing experiences through service in Belize, Jamaica
Over the summer, 30 Loyola University New Orleans students immersed themselves in a new country, giving a whole new meaning to the word “service.” Fifteen Loyola students participated in a 10-day service trip to Kingston, Jamaica in May while another 15 students traveled to Belize from late July to mid-August. The students served as Ignacio Volunteers, a program of Loyola’s Office of Mission and Ministry. In Belize, more than 200 local primary children participated in the two-week Ignacio Volunteer 'Umadagu Lescuelana' Summer Camp—founded by the Rev. Ted Dziak, S.J., Loyola vice president for Mission and Ministry, more than 20 years ago—at Holy Ghost School, a small Catholic primary school in the town of Dangriga. The Loyola students worked with Belizean co-teachers and taught classes in English, math, and arts and crafts in the mornings. In the afternoons, the students led a sports program in basketball, soccer and volleyball.

New World Oil & Gas highlights ongoing farm-out discussion
Belize and Denmark-focused exploration and development company New World Oil and Gas on Thursday unveiled interim losses of -9.49m dollars, well ahead of the -1.4m dollars seen for the comparable period of 2012. The majority of those were the result of the write-downs incurred as a result of the dry-wells encountered during the period, in its Belize – formerly known as British Honduras – Blue Creek licence area. Drilling in Belize showed that three of the four elements required to make a commercial discovery were in place; source, migration and seal. The missing element was the trap – as a result of seismic activity in the area. Besides the aforementioned operating cost, as the firm treated those losses, the outfit also incurred in a £259m loss resulting from provisions for losses on a financial instrument.

Hottest Destinations in Belize
Known for its exemplary beauty, Belize is a small sea side nation located between Guatemala and Mexico. Whether you want to enjoy oceanic activities or jungle adventures, Belize is the ideal destination for that perfect holiday. Mentioned below is a list of some of the most interesting places that you can visit while in Belize. A visit to Belize is not complete unless you visit the Barrier Reef. Located 25 miles from the Belize coast, this reef happens to be the second biggest reef of its kind at approximately 180 miles. This can be considered as the number one tourist attraction found in Belize. While at this destination, you can enjoy snorkelling, diving and fishing.

No Stress, No Regrets—Living off the Land in Belize
Alfredo and Yvonne Villoria were just another fast-paced, career-minded couple in Los Angeles. But money-making wasn’t enough. “We felt that something was missing,” says Yvonne.

Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
Click for excellent scuba lessons with Elbert Greer!
Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
Maruba Beach Klub and Spa is the premiere Secret Beach spa and restaurant located on the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean Sea at the center of Secret Beach, Belize
First Class Accommodations for the Budget Traveler
First Class Accommodations for the Budget Traveler

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White Sands Dive Shop - 5 Star PADI Dive Facility - Daily diving, SCUBA instruction and Snorkeling
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We manage a variety of homes, apartments, condos and commercial properties here on Ambergris Caye. Our minimum lease on ALL properties is six months.
Click for Ian Anderson's Caves Branch, Welcome to a World of Adventure
Lil Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
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