FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE
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
San Pedro to celebrate Belize’s rich culture on Pan-American Day
The event will include a wide variety of Belizean folk and cultural dances, representative of the various cultural groups in Belize. In addition, visitors and residents will have the one of a kind opportunity to savor the various authentic cultural dishes representative of Belize’s cuisine. “This event is in accordance with our municipality’s commitment to strengthen the cultural fabric of the island. Belize is so small, but we are able to appreciate it various ethnic groups. If there is one thing that can bring Belizeans together, it is our culture. This is a perfect opportunity to display what makes Belize different from other countries in this region. We are a mix pot of various cultures in one single country,” commented Guillermo “Mito” Paz, Deputy Mayor of San Pedro with responsibility of tourism and culture on the island.
2013 World Mental Health Day
The Ministry of Health joins the international community to once again celebrate World Mental Health Day this Thursday, October 10th, 2013.
This year, the theme selected is, “Mental Health and Older Adults” which aims to promote healthy and active ageing through the participation of meaningful activities, maintenance of strong personal relationships and good physical health. The theme also advocates for broader interventions to address the growing concern of mental health of persons 60 years and older who many times contend with loss of ability to live independently because of limited physical mobility or mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. Additionally, many older persons worldwide contend with the effects of dementia which generally is unique to this population.
Completion of Police Barracks delayed
Initially Gricel Graniel from Matachica Resort, Mukul Kanabar from Phoenix Resort, Brent Kirkman from Victoria’s House Resort and David Hess from Las Terrazas Resort pledged a total of $20,000 towards the construction of a unit that would comfortably house eight officers. Contractor Gabriel “Gaby” Nuñez estimated the project to be completed in about six weeks and would cost an approximately $60,000 more.
With the help of further donations from Tropic Air, Seaside Real Estate, Seaside Real Estate, Mary Beissner, Holiday Hotel, Grand Belizean Estates,Pelican Reef Villas, Sol Spa, Searious Adventures, The Palms, Carts Belize, Xanadu Island Resort, and Scott Richmond, the foundation, framing and roofing of the structure was completed but no further work has been made to the building. The building is still lacking details, interior and exterior walls, not to mention necessary interior details. $70,000 is still required for the project’s completion which includes furnishing costs which was not included in the initial estimate. Anyone interested in making a donation can visit the San Pedro Police Station during normal working hours.
Marijuana Eradication Operation in Belize
The U.S. Embassy Military Liaison Office in Belmopan and Joint Task Force-Bravo partnered with Belizean military forces in a successful marijuana eradication operation in Belize from Sept. 25-28, 2013.
The operation resulted in the Belizean forces destroying 22 marijuana fields and approximately 37,970 mature marijuana plants with an initial estimated value of $13 million. In addition, the team also found and destroyed four pounds of marijuana seeds.
Joint Task Force-Bravo provided aviation support, on-call casualty evacuation and tactical assault on objective insertion and extraction training for 38 Belizean military and law enforcement personnel who participated in the operation. This training involved the use of a caving ladder, which is lowered from the helicopter in order to insert ground forces into an otherwise inaccessible area.
Belize Infrastructure Limited Opens Office
We are pleased to announce the opening of the office of the Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL) in Belmopan City on October 1, 2013.
The office will be headed by Christy Mastry who is serving as the interim General Manager. Ms. Mastry is a licensed architect in Belize with over 15 years of project management experience. She is wrapping up as the Project Director of the Sustainable Tourism Project where she managed $30 million of direct infrastructure and construction projects throughout the country.
Belize Infrastructure Limited is a private company formed by the Government of Belize to act as a public sector agency of the government to undertake the design, construction and management of capital projects in Belize with particular emphasis on sporting and other multipurpose facilities.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month Activities in San Pedro
1. Breast Exams and Pap Smears Courtesy of the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic and Ministry of Health. (Monday to Fridays After 1pm and ALL DAY Campaign on October 19th, 2013)
2. Food Sale (Tamales 3 for $10)Behind the Primary School Next to Boaz Golf Cart Rentals and Island Adventures (October 19th, 2013 all day)
3. Now taking orders for T-shirts. $20 Each. Deadline is on October 15th, 2013. Design will be made available via Facebook or any of our members.
4. Hair Day (In Collaboration with councillor Carlos Barrientos). Behind the Primary School Next to Boaz Golf Cart Rentals and Island Adventures. On October 19th, 2013. We will be shaving or dying hair with a pink streak for a small fee.
Education in Belize: From Discipline to Engagement
This past week I saw electronic media postings by educators who complained that, and seemed to know why, students today are failures. As is usually the case, whenever anyone (parent or teacher) complains about students, whether today or a hundred years ago, the overwhelming reason always is: “they no longer (are allowed to) teach the way they used to”, in other words, “the best way to learn will always be the way that I learned”. How very egocentric. The postings also triggered many memories in me! That very old school line of thinking had originally inspired me to write my first article (Education in Belize) back in October 2011: Wake Up and Smell the Coffee.
Eldridge and Badillo Nuptials
Congratulations go out to Jason Eldridge and Angella Badillo who tied the knot in Lafayette, Louisiana on Saturday, September 21, 2013. The happy couple exchanged vows and then celebrated their union with their friends and family inside the Juliet Hotel. Congratulations to the beautiful couple!
Old School vs. New School in San Pedro
I think I can say, and with pride, that I am from the old school. This old school built me as I am and I am quite proud of it. Though I can accept the new school, I still do have my preferences as it happened or existed Years Ago in San Pedro.
My curfew was the setting sun and the first shadows of the night. I did not have to wait for any siren to be blown to head home in a rush.
I played outside on the streets or beach with my friends, not online. The only game that I played on line or rather with a line was the telephone with a line between two tin cans.
Pic of the Week:
Yoga In The Park
Watch out these new yogis who are spreading the love for yoga in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Many youngsters gathered for "Yoga In The Park" to learn how to unwind, refresh, and connect, but most importanty have a great time. Kudos to the team at Zen Arcade Belize for organizing such a fun activity every month for everybody to enjoy.
Manelley's Ice Cream
I bet you don’t know the origin of the name Manelly’s Ice Cream. I am sure I can pause for five minutes and you stop reading momentarily and you still cannot figure out how the name Manelly’s came about. Okay, bet won so here it is. The clue is that the owners of this very popular ice cream place are Manuel Delvalle and Shelly. Take ‘Man’ from Manuel and ‘elly’ from Shelly, put them together and you get Manelly. These two San Pedranos have dedicated almost their entire lives to bring Manelly’s to what it is today- the best ice cream on the Island. Actually they took it over from Shelly’s dad, the late Seferino Paz Sr. who used to sell paletas and ice cream. Pop corn and icy smoothies, sundaes, banana boats, cheese dip and chips and other delicious snacks are only some of the latest ideas of Manuel and Shelly Delvalle. Visitors to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye cannot leave the island without first having visited and enjoyed the goodies at Manelly’s Ice Cream Parlour.
Misc Belizean Sources
SBDCBelize Establishing A Business Workshop
Workshop Date: October 10th, 2013 9am to 12pm
So, you have an idea? You want to start a business? GREAT! What next?
Most people who are setting up there own business have grandiose ideas about their business, but not much thought is gone into the process of formalizing the business.
The session will:
Assist you in understanding how to formalize your business.
Introduction of your Business Plan
Provide you with information on registering/licensing of your business
Will prepare you FULLY on making your dreams into REALITY
University of Belize, Faculty of Management and Social Sciences, West Landivar
Cancer Walk T-shirts
It's Breast Cancer Awareness month, and the San Ignacio Branch of the Belize Cancer Society is raising funds by selling t-shirts. The shirts are only $20, and they go to a great cause. You can get them at the BFLA office infront of Sacred Heart Church. They are having a Cancer Walk on October 26th that will start in Esperanza, and end in Cayo. Join the Paint Belize Pink campaign.
"$20.00 per T- Shirt. Available for men in white, grey, blue and yellow. Available for women in purple, blue, pink and yellow. All of the colors have the same back and front logos. Order yours now, limited supply."
Boxing at the Cayo Welcome Center
The SISE Town Council is having a boxing tournament Saturday night, October 12th, and the Cayo Welcome Center. There will be boxers from all over Belize, and Guatemala too. As an added bonus, Airbender Ashanti Garcia will perform. Another fun weekend event at the Cayo Welcome Center.
World Culture Band Rocked Soul Project
The World Culture Band rocked the Soul Project Saturday night. Emmanuel Mangar and Eddie Allen rocked out with the WCB, and together.
"For first time the World Culture Band did a gig without leader Sam Harris. Sam is on tour with The Garifuna Collective. show went great Sam would be proud, the gig was produced by Venessa Who also played drums."
Sacred Heart Fair and Business Expo
Sacred Heart College is having their annual fair and Business Expo at the end of the month. They'll have the talent show on Friday the 25th, starting at 6:00pm. Saturday the Business Expo and fair start at 10:00am, and they'll have a disco starting at 7:00pm. There will be games for all ages, along with trampolines, a dunk tank, a wide selection of food and drinks, and there will even be a 'Car Smash and Cut' fundraiser, where you can break the windows out, paint, drill holes, and cut up an Isuzu Trooper.
Orquidea Negra UNA Performance
Orquidea Negra performed at the Benque HoC for some lucky visiting Costa Rica students.
"The students from Universidad UNA, Region Abrunca from Costa Rica visited the Benque House of Culture and Orquidea Negra Dance Company was honored to perform and showcase the Maya/ Mestizo Culture in the area."
Belize and Guatemala election officials meet in San Ignacio town
Electoral officials of Belize and Guatemala met on Sunday in San Ignacio town.
President of the Election and Boundaries Commission Bernard Q. Pitts headed the Belize delegation while the Guatemala delegation was led by the president of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal Maria Eugenia Villagran de Leon.
A statement from the OAS, under whose auspices the meeting was held, says that the purpose of the meeting was to “exchange information, experiences and best practices in electoral management; identify areas for the inter-institutional collaboration; and further learn about the norms and processes in each country to conduct referendums.”
The meeting was held on the same day on which Belize and Guatemala were due to hold simultaneous referendums so that the people of the respective countries could determine whether or not the centuries old claim by Guatemala to Belizean territory should be submitted to the International Court of Justice for final resolution.
UK government urges Belize and Guatemala to set new referendum date
The government of Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom is urging Belize and Guatemala to work towards a new date for a simultaneous referendum on submitting the Guatemala’s claim to the International Court of Justice for final resolution.
The joint referendum was to have been conducted on Sunday, October 6 in Belize and Guatemala.
Earlier this year, however, Guatemala pulled out of the agreement to hold the referendum, claiming that Belize’s referendum law requiring 60% participation to be effective was too stringent.
In a statement given to Guatemala’s Prensa Libre newspaper, the Charge d’Affaires at the British embassy in Guatemala City David McNaught is quoted as saying that the UK is “disappointed that the referendum in both countries was postponed and did not happen on October 6.”
Saldivar Says He Has 150 Suspect Penner Immigration Files
Tonight, UDP Cayo Northeast Representative Elvin Penner remains under intense scrutiny and public pressure. The effort to subject him to a recall vote is one thing - while the revelations about his conduct as minister of state keep coming.
Tonight his accuser is PUP politician Arthur Saldivar. Saldivar claims to have 150 suspect nationality documents which Penner signed. Now, Saldivar, who is known to be a little dramatic says these documents were about to be disposed of a by a third party when he acquired them. Today he came to the media with only one, a nationality certificate for a 37 year old man, born in China, living in the Las Flores area of Belmopan. His name is Bo-Jie Shan his certificate was issued in May of 2013, but the receipt for his application wasn't issued by Immigration Officer Ady Pacheco until July of 2013.
Saldivar pounced on that glaring discrepancy in an interview with the media today at the KREMANDALA Compound:..
No Resignation, Let’s Get Ready for a Recall
So while that new revelation is one leg of the story - the other is whether Elvin Penner will resign or face a recall election - the terms put to him in an ultimatum from the Opposition. As the Prime Minister and Party leader Dean Barrow alluded to on Friday, Penner won't resign. Today's 5:00 pm deadline came and went without any word from Penner or the UDP camp. We take that to mean that they're paying no attention to the Leader of the Opposition's ultimatum - which came and went without comment from either political.
So, then recall it is - and this weekend in the 7 villages of Cayo northeast the PUP were out gathering signatures to make it to that 30% threshold - which would be about 1800 registered voters. 7news went to Cayo northeast for that story - and here's what Daniel Ortiz found:...
Daniel Ortiz reporting
The Posters up in The Cayo Northeast Constituency continues to announce Area Representative Elvin Penner as "Humble", "Dedicated", and "Honest". These are remnants of the 2012 General Election, but the PUP hopes that his constituents no longer look to him as the man who best represents to these ideals on their behalf.
FIU Director Says She Has Launched Penner Investigation
So far we've dealt with the political angle of the Penner story - and the other side of that is the investigation. The DPP has said that she feels there is enough to warrant a police investigation. The Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit - which would watch for suspicious movements of money feels the same way. In fact, Director Marilyn Williams told us today that she has already started her investigation:..
Marilyn Williams, Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit
"The FIU based on the laws under which they are mandated will in fact actually have already started the process of an investigation. Unfortunately I am not in a position to give any details whatsoever. The type of investigation that we do must be done - I wouldn't say in private but certainly not open for public discussion."
Marisol Amaya, KREM Radio
"You can't say what say exactly the investigation was launched?"
Marilyn Williams, Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit
"It was launched a week ago."
First City Murder In Three Months Is a PG Man Working In City
Belize City had not seen a murder since July 9th. up until Friday night, October fourth. It happened on Antelope Street Extension where just after 10 on Friday night 28 year old Gary Pratt was killed inside a yard. Thing is, he wasn't even the target! Pratt had come to Belize recently to start working, plus he was working on a book of poetry. But on Friday night, trouble found him - with a bullet that had someone else's name on it. The Police investigator from Precinct two told us more:...
Insp. Calbert Flowers, Investigator Precinct 2
"On Friday 4th October 2013, sometime around 10:15 pm police officers from Precinct 2 visited the KHMH where they observed the apparent lifeless body of a male person later identified to them as Gary Pratt, a 28 year old male Belizean of a Punta Gorda Town address."
"He was suffering from 2 apparent gunshots to the back. Initial investigation reveals that Pratt was standing in a yard on Antelope Street Extension with some other people when he was approach from behind by a male person who fired several shots in his direction; two of which hit him in the back causing the fatal injury. He was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, however, he was pronounced dead on arrival."
Norales’ Alleged Killers Remanded
A little over a month ago, 7News told you about the progress of the preliminary inquiry for Tyrone Meighan, Orel Leslie, and Brandon Baptist, who are all jointly charged for the murder of 28 year-old James Norales.
All indications from their attorneys, Ellis Arnold and Arthur Saldivar, were that the police did not have evidence to present against these men, and they made no case submissions to the sitting Magistrate. The prosecution was given more than one adjournment to present its full bundle of evidence, and they kept asking for others, telling the court that their file wasn't completed.
Well today, the Chief Magistrate after perusing all that was presented to her, gave a ruling that the no case submissions were dismissed. Chief Magistrate Smith told the court that the men do have a case to answer to, and they must stand trial in the Supreme Court for murder.
PLUS TV Apologizes to Hon. Saldivar
In April, it made major news when Belmopan Area Representative John Saldivar initiated a lawsuit against PLUS TV - his hometown TV station. The suit was based on remarks made on PLUS TV's morning show, "Rise and Shine" - where co-host Patrick Jason Andrews suggested that Sadivar had misused public funds. Saldivar initiated a law suit - and there were hard words thrown all around in what became a highly politicized issue - especially when it became known that Andrews wanted to challenge Saldivar in the Belmopan Constituency as a PUP Candidate.
But, today the tone and pitch of the dispute calmed down somewhat when the matter went before the Supreme Court. Lawyer for Saldivar Priscilla Banner and Lawyer for PLUS TV tried to agree on a settlement - and after about an hour for discussion in and out for the judge's chambers - PLUS agreed to apologize with no monetary damages paid. We spoke to both sides as they left the courtroom:...
Hon. John Saldivar
"We came to an agreement in court where the two defendants; Plus TV and Mr. Andrews have agreed to do an apology for the words that were uttered by Mr. Andrews on the Rise and Shine Show and we have agreed to accept that apology."
Tourism Numbers Keep Going Up
The Belize Tourism Board released the tourism figures for the January to August, and they show that overnight visitor arrivals for this year have improved over last year. For January, February and March, the increase was 17.2%, 14.3%, and 13.0% respectively, and 8% for both July and August.
For the entire 8 months, 17, 228 more tourists arrived this year as compared to last year, and the BTB is confident that country will reach the three hundred thousand visitor overnight mark.
In cruise tourism, as we told you, the numbers lagged behind last year's for May, June, and July, but according to the BTB, August saw a substantial increase of 30.2%, putting the total 8 months for 2013 at an increase of 5.3% when compared to last year.
SICA In Belize to Talk Money Laundering, Drug Trafficking
Money laundering and drug trafficking go hand in hand - and today in Belize, SICA, the Central American Integration System convened a meeting of judges and judicial officers from Belize, Nicaragua, Guatemala, el Salvador, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. They were being educated on the nefarious ways of money laundering and drug trafficking - which are prominent in Central America. Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin presided:...
Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin
"In the last few decades trafficking in illicit drugs has become a plaque in our societies in Latin America and the Caribbean. Belize has certainly not escaped this pestilence. Although each of our respective countries has deployed individual strategies to combat this state of affairs, there has been (if we wish to be frank) limited success."
"Indeed following at heels of drug trafficking have been the crimes often associated with money laundering. The judiciary of Belize has recognize the need for training in these areas of concern."
PACT Gives Out Three-Quarter Mil In Grants
Today PACT, the Protected Area Conservation Trust gave out nearly three quarter million dollars in new project grants! Research Grants as well as Small, Medium-Sized and Large Grants were awarded for projects under the themes of Protected Areas Management and Conservation, Protected Areas Promotion and Development, and Environmental Education and Awareness.
We spoke to a few of the recipients:...
Vincent Gillett, Chair, PACT Advisory Council
"As it celebrates the culmination of many hours of hard diligent work done by applicants for PACT's grant and those dedicated persons who process, review and finally approve proposals for support."
Recipient - Roaring Creek Nature Reserve
"I work in Roaring Creek Nature Reserve which is very close to the Belize Zoo along the Coastal Road. The title of my project is "The ecology and conservation of tapirs in central Belize." This is the centerpiece of a master's program from Mexico."
Jose Perez, APAMO
"Through this particular project of approximately three hundred and eighty-four thousand dollars, the strengthening of the organization as an institution continues by focusing on our community base organizations; by strengthening their capacities and in so doing we are also strengthening and building the capacities of the organization."
In May of this year, 7News told you about that survey of the Caribbean which said that Belize's internet is among the slowest and most expensive in the region. Well, there is a new survey out, which was released last week. This new survey says that Belize's Broadband access, which puts a 2 meg connection as the standard, is still the most expensive.
Belize is among the 134 countries which has a national policy to increase availability of internet to its citizens. But Belize is called out as the country at the bottom of the list when trying to make broadband access more affordable. The organization, Broadband Commission for Digital Development, sets the standard of affordability as 5% of the average person's monthly income. The Cayman Islands passed with flying colors costing the average person of around 2% of that income. Of the countries who are still outside that affordability standard, Saint Vincent's is just above Belize with just over 12% of the average person's income. Belize is last once again, doubling St. Vincent with a total of over 30% of the average person's monthly income. Again, the standard set is a connection line of 2 megabits per second.
New allegations surface of illegal passports authorized by Elvin Penner
The passport scandal that started to unravel on September nineteenth is not going to go away anytime soon. Tonight, former Minister of State Elvin Penner is out of the hospital [...]
Evidence shows that passports were issued to Middle Eastern and Asian nationals
According to Saldivar that is only one inconsistency on the documents, all signed by former Minister of State Elvin Penner. Those nationality applications were signed primarily for Middle Eastern and [...]
The Financial Intelligence Unit says it’s investigating passport scandal
There is huge public outcry on the issue of a criminal investigation in the passport scandal to determine what extent of wrongdoing took place when South Korean national, Kim Wonhong [...]
Director of Public Prosecutions says there is enough to warrant a criminal investigation
If there would be a criminal investigation, the Police would then enter the picture, and so would the Director of Public Prosecutions. Both those entities will only act if summoned [...]
Minister of Immigration, Godwin Hulse, gives update on internal investigation
The Financial Intelligence Unit will be looking into the financial aspect of the passport scandal. That’s important, but not as important as the criminal aspect. The public outcry has been [...]
Cayo North East prepares to trigger a recall
Former Minister of State and the disgraced Elvin Penner had until five p.m. today to bid his office adieu. That’s the ultimatum sent his way by P.U.P. leader Francis Fonseca. [...]
John Saldivar and Plus TV reach a settlement
Tonight, there is an out of court settlement agreed to between Minister John Saldivar and Plus TV’s owner Louis Wade and co-host of the Rise and Shine Morning Show, Jason [...]
Punta Gorda man killed in Belize City
After months without a murder in the Old Capital that spell was broken on Friday night. A twenty-eight year old Punta Gorda resident who had just relocated to the City, [...]
Foreign Minister Elrington gave an update on Guatemala’s 9-point letter of protest
Last week, the government of Guatemala wrote to the Secretary General of the O.A.S., to protest the language used by Foreign Minister Ellington at the United Nations in the context [...]
3 Belize City youth to stand trial for 2012 murder of ex-B.D.F. soldier
Three Belize City men who were accused of the 2012 murder of ex-BDF Soldier, James Noralez appeared in court this morning for a preliminary investigation. Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith [...]
6 N.G.O.s split over $700,000 courtesy of PACT
A number of environmental agencies received grants today from the Protected Areas Conservation Trust, PACT. Over seven hundred and thirty six-thousand dollars were disbursed for new projects to small, medium [...]
Football, cycling and basketball featured in Sports Monday
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday. Week 2 of the PLB Belikin Cup found San Ignacio United invading the Isidoro Beaton Stadium Saturday night for [...]