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Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association Agree to Memorandum with BSI/ASR
The Office of the Prime Minister welcomes the decision of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association yesterday to sign a memorandum with Belize Sugar Industry (BSI) providing for negotiations to fix the quantum of payment for bagasse; and providing for a start date for 2014 deliveries. The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) is pleased that the efforts of the Government in getting ASR/BSI to accept the obligation to pay farmers for bagasse, have helped with this breakthrough. The OPM also takes the opportunity to announce that the two million dollars ($2M BZD) worth of works on sugar roads that GOB promised, will commence immediately.

Jhoan Hernandez is the first Belizean to win the CA Junior Angler of the Year Award
An 11 year old student of Holy Cross Anglican School captured a regional award for his dedication in fishing. Jhoan Hernandez, a resident of San Mateo Area on Ambergris Caye was awarded the Central American Junior Angler 2013 Award by Accurate Reel, located in Costa Mesa, California. It is the first time that a Belizean was nominated and has won such an award, which seeks to recognize junior anglers in the Central American region. An emotional Hernandez received the surprising news on Thursday January 9th when he was visited at school during a small assembly. Presenting a picture plaque with the signatures of the board members of Accurate Reel was Rudy Lewis of Strike Force Belize and Roberto "Robbie" Guerrero, President of the San Pedro Game Fishing Association. In presenting the award, Lewis said that the recognition acknowledges the dedication of the person and encourages him to pursue his dreams. "Some of the people that fished with us at Strike Force Belize and use Accurate Reel products made the nomination and he was selected from among other nominees from Central America. This is the first time a Belizean has received such award and it is an honor to be presenting him with this distinction."

Sinesio Rash-Diamond in the Rough
My Beautiful Belize loves attending local art shows. Not only are there plenty of cool original pieces to be purchased, but the talented artists that create the wonderful, work are there by the multitudes from painting to sketches, carvings and other art forms that portray iconic aspects of Belize, talent abounds. It was there that we ventured upon 23 year old Sinesio Rash. Sinesio's vividly sketched canvasses quickly caught our eye and as you see for yourself the work he does, I'm sure you'll understand just why he is our newest Diamond in the Rough. Sinesio was born in Punta Gorda Town on October 4, 1990, and he is currently residing in Corozal Town in northern Belize. It was at age 2 that Sinesio started picking up early forms of art, as his older brothers introduced him to sketches which he would often try to mimic by doodling versions of his own. Sinesio would even resort to drawing on the back of labels from canned goods when he needed a surface to create his craft. Today the very talented Rash enjoys sketching, painting and tattooing.

Ambergris Today

New York Times Lists Belize in '52 Places to Go in 2014'
As Belize's popularity keeps rising, more and more magazines, websites and blogs keep highlighting the country with positive vibes and accolades. Best dive sites, best island in the world, best beaches and best places to retire are just a few of the lists Belize has been featured on. The Belize Tourism Board indicates increasing trends in the tourism industry and is working hard in keeping up the good image of the country as a top destination to visit. With this said, one of the first highlights of this year comes from the New York Times that has listed Belize in the '52 Places to Go in 2014'. How about that? "More flights and lodges in Central America's eco-frontier" says the post about Belize.

Pic of the Week: What Does the Pelican Say?
What does the Pelican say? We are not quite so sure, but this one was very quiet as it stood still perched next to the Amigos del Mar Dive Shop, in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. It was catching some rays as the early moring sun rose to a busy Saturday morning. The staff at Amigos del Mar was already preparing for a busy day of snorkeling and diving while the rest of San Pedro was just waking up.

Misc Belizean Sources

Bridge repairs well underway! One side has been completed! (4 photos)
BAD to let those BIG trucks, cars over - this bridge was NOT built for that torcher!

Nice job but when will it reach the airstrip area that is the entrance to san pedrito the 3 streets have not gotten any help!

Seventy-four-year-old Paul Nabor hails from Punta Gorda, a sleepy, coastal town of 6,000 in southern Belize. This parandero, or old master of the Paranda musical style, is also a buyei, a spirit medium and healer who attends to his congregation at a Garifuna temple he built in Punta Gorda.

Brown Street and Staine Street in Belmopan will receive it's first coat of tar and chippings (pave).
Residents are asked to park in their yards or on another street Tuesday. Residents on the neighboring three streets are asked to be on the lookout the rest of the week. Please park where your vehicle will not be an obstruction.

The legendary Belizean dance instructor, musical composer and painter Bob Reneau is not your typical kind of artist today. He was a special breed of Belizean artist that could not be duplicated ever in the history of the arts in Belize. His range varies from Belize's most brilliant Choreographer, to one of Belize's best folk music composers, to one of Belize's most colorful painters. Bob Reneau was also a skillful fashion designer and tailor who designed many of the costumes for his dynamic dance troupes that made the now National Institute of Culture & History (NICH) or The Bliss Center for Performing Arts exploded with dance and galore in the 60's and early 70's.

Back in the sixties, something strange was taking place on the verandah of the St. Catherine Elementary building near the sea. The creative process of invention was being implemented as the long iron railing became the stretching barre as budding ballerinas did their plies. These young pre-teen and teenage girls were learning the basic technique and exercises of classical Ballet under the critical eye of their dance mistress. That time was the beginning of what became the lifelong contribution to Belizean dance, culture and growth. Mrs. Mary Valdes, with her vivid imagination, commitment to excellence and positive attitude, taught dancing to girls whose physical growth was paralleled by the spiritual and ethical values of honesty, integrity, sharing, and love for fellow human beings.

DYS Logo Design Competition
The Department of Youth Services is having a logo competition for youths between the ages of 15 and 24. The deadline is January 31st, and you can download the forms at their website here. ; If you have a great idea, you might win an Ipad 4. "Belizean youths - 'Have your say!' This is a Ministry of Youth & Sports initiative. The winner of the logo competition gets an IPAD 4 and the bragging rights! Visit any of our offices nationwide and register today...."

King's Children's Home Moves to New Building
Feelgood news of the day. The King's Children's Home, which is a Belmopan based non-profit dedicated to helping and providing residential care for kids in difficult circumstances regardless of culture, race, or religion, moved into their new building.

UNIBAM says the killing of Joseph Sanchez was "inhumane"
The United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) has sent out a strong statement denouncing "the vicious, senseless and inhumane killing of young Joseph Sanchez." Sanchez, 18, was stabbed and killed early on Sunday morning on Elston Kerr Street in Belize City. The UNIBAM statement says that the organization "calls for the most comprehensive investigation to send a clear message to the rest of society that in Belize we won't tolerate this kind of hate crime." The official police report says that Sanchez' body was found around 1:50 am "dressed in a white sleeveless blouse and a short green and black skirt with an apparent stab wound to the center of the chest." While the police report states that investigations "revealed that Joseph Sanchez was walking alone on Elston Kerr Street when he was approached by two male persons who tried to rob him and before fleeing, inflicted the injuries," the UNIBAM statement explains that "the entire advocacy movement shares the family's confusion, anger, and grief." "This type of violent crime is more likely to occur in a society with established stigma against gays lesbians and transgendered people," the UNIBAM statement says, going on to explain that "laws that criminalize any part of the lives of these people help sustain this type of stigma.

PM says work on fixing sugar roads starts immediately
Prime Minister Dean Barrow today announced that BZ$2 million worth of works on the sugar roads in the north will commence immediately. The announcement of the commencement of the repairs to the sugar roads come in the aftermath of the signing of a memorandum between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and the Belize Sugar Industry (BSI) paving the way for negotiations on the amount to be paid for bagasse. A short statement from the office of Prime Minister Barrow notes that government "is pleased that the efforts of the Government in getting ASR/BSI to accept the obligation to pay farmers for bagasse, have helped with this breakthrough."

Toledo Community College gets 3D printer
The Toledo Community College has acquired a state-of-the-art piece of equipment to be used by teachers. The new 3D printer was recently installed and is now operational. A teacher at TCC Marcel Palma, spoke with our Toledo Correspondent Juan Caal about the new piece of equipment. The Toledo Community College promotes itself as "a school that prepares employable graduates with good work ethics. Further education is our student's second nature as they aspire to become nationalistic citizens in leadership positions with high moral values. A highly trained, motivated and dedicated staff will see this vision a reality."

Peter Eden Martinez was chosen to be the UDP standard bearer in the Toledo East constituency
Martinez garnered 1,311 votes in a constituency convention held on Sunday in Punta Gorda town. His challenger in the convention, Heston Wagner received 390 votes. Congratulations Peter Eden Martinez.

Remembering Julian Cho (April 6, 1962 - Dec. 1, 1998) by Jerry A. Enriquez
It was not the type of news that I was prepared to receive on December 1, 1998. But then, who can ever predict what will happen each day or any moment in life? The only permanence in life is its impermanence. We know not the day or the hour. "Hil� numada" (My friend is dead) was all I could say when the Garifuna helper at my home wondered why tears were quietly streaming down my face as I reclined silently in my living room sofa with eyes closed trying to fathom the news of passing of my friend Julian Cho. She quietly handed me a glass of water and a handkerchief. After that hour of mournful reflection I emerged with a resolve to continue supporting friend's work. It's why I became a Board member of the Julian Cho Society and supported the struggle through the courts. Julian's life was cut short at 36 years old, during the prime of his leadership in the Toledo Maya Cultural Council (TMCC). His unanimous election as Chairman of that organization in December 1995 had turned the tide of the history of his people's struggles.

Channel 7

18 Year Old Transgender Youth Killed, Was It a Hate Crime?
Tonight Belize LBGT community is reeling from the murder of one of its own. Joseph Sanchez, a Belize City teenager who identified with a transgender orientation was found dead on Sunday morning at 2:47 am in the Collett area of Belize City; he had been stabbed and dumped on the side of a street. When police found the body on the sidewalk of Elston Kerr Street at 1:50 am, they thought it was a female, because the victim wore a white sleeveless vest, a short green and black skirt, with women's underwear and matching physique, and wearing a woman's hair style, makeup and jewelry. But Sanchez, who called himself Prince Joe was known to dress in drag, and wore a weave. Police took the body to the morgue as a female, but didn't know the true sex of the victim until they found his phone and traced the number, it led them back to Joseph Sanchez, an 18 year old who was openly transgender. His murder - which is being called a hate crime has fused two burning issues: violent crime and violence against gays. We look at both in our report on the story:..

Let There Be Cane! New Sugar Deal Signed!
But first, to a story that's making national headlines tonight: the standoff in the sugar industry is officially over. The cane farmers agreed to a compromise agreement on Sunday, and both sides signed the agreement an hour and a half ago. It's only an interim agreement, but it's a very major breakthrough because it allows for the beginning of the crop season in one week. 7News was at the signing which just finished a few minutes ago, and our team is heading back - we'll have that story for you a little later on.

How The Sugar Deal Almost Went Sour
And while today's signing was delayed by more than two hours - that has nothing on the marathon session yesterday - where the farmers had to all agree to move forward, though with a very uneasy truce. Daniel Ortiz found out that the farmers almost didn't agree - even though everything was on the line. Here's the report from San Roman in the Corozal District:.. Daniel Ortiz reporting Hundreds of cane farmers attended the general membership meeting in San Narciso Village to hear from their association's executive about how far they've progressed in the bagasse dispute. The men showed major interest, as they should, after all, they have held the country's sugar industry at a crossroads, a fact that they were very well aware of. Their leaders faced them with all the cards laid on the table; they were seeking a mandate on whether to end the embargo and start to deliver the cane so that the season could start. For the latest developments, the executive of the association looked to their attorney to explain what has been happening behind the scenes since the breakthrough last week.

Father of 3 Murdered In City
Sunday morning started out with the news of a murder in the City, and by nighttime, there would be two more. One of the victims is Emerson McDonald, a 38 year old father of three known as Ras Emo. Just after 5:00 on Sunday evening, he was walking with a friend on Central American Boulevard near the corner with Neal's Pen Road when a masked gunman pulled up on a bicycle and opened fire. McDonald was shot in his back as he tried to run into a nearby yard for cover, while an innocent passerby, Joseline Maximo was shot in the leg. McDonald was rushed to the KHMH by a friend but he died a little later around 7:00 pm; the 9 millimeter bullet damaged his heart. As it turns out, he was fatally shot just around the corner from his own home on Arlington Drive where his wife was sleeping and half a block from his family home on Neal Pen Road where his mother was resting. Today, she told us they have lost a provider and a dutiful son:..

Man Killed While Walking With Aunt
That shooting happened at 5:00 pm on Sunday, and by 9:30 there would be another gun murder. The victim in this case was 25 year old Derrick Parham. On Sunday night at 9:30, he was walking with his aunt at the corner of Iguana and Curassow Street in an area known as 123rd block. They weren't far from home when a Red car pulled up and a "dark skinned" man with dread locks jumped out of the car and fired a single shot at Derrick Parham, hitting him in the back. He was rushed to the KHMH but died shortly after at 10:00 pm. Today, 7News spoke with his mother who told us that the gunmen ambushed him when he was returning home from a party, just a stone's throw away from his house. Andrea Rosales, mother of deceased "We were home in the yard and we heard 2 gunshots. My husband and one of my older sons they ran out, my daughters they ran out also. We were thinking anything of it, and then someone came and say that it was Derrick who got shot. He was coming from his aunt house. They had a birthday for her grandson, so there was eating and drinking at her house, so he was there and in the night they were coming home." "What we understand that a red car drove up from behind and pointed the gun at him and fired 2 shots."

Education Minister Still Says Teacher Rallies Should Not Cause School Closings
On Friday we showed you teachers in Orange Walk and Corozal rallying for their pay increase, and also rallying against the government. The rallies continue this Friday in Belize City, where the teachers are hoping for a large turnout - which could mean that your child's school will be closed. Today, education Minister Patrick Faber told us that he is still not convinced that the rallies need to shut down school in each district that it moves to: Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education "I still maintain the fact that schools need to be close down and that kind of flexing needs to happen. I believe that the relationship between certainly the Ministry of Education and the BNTU is a good one, but I believe that the relationship between the wider bodies that were involved in the Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations and the Government of Belize, even at the highest level with the Prime Minister, very health and continues to work well, so that if that is the issue the 30% salary adjustment or anything else that was on the table as it relates to that Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiation then I don't see the need for it."

Major Bust Of Smuggling Ring In Benque; Products Come From Bz
On Friday, Guatemalan military and police descended on Melchor in an unprecedented operation that has led to the arrest of 37 smugglers, some of them Guatemalan Customs Officials. A diagram of the group's criminal structure on the Guatemalan police website shows that they are called the Cigarettes Crew, and that's because one of the major things they smuggled was cigarettes from Belize. And we don't mean a few cartons; we mean container-fuls. This helps to explain why there was such a flare-up ten days ago about the container of Chinese Made Modern Cigarettes. According to our investigations, hundreds of containers of this are brought into Belize annually destined for the northern and western free zones - and much of it is smuggled into Mexico, Guatemala, Salvador, and into Mexico from Guatemala.

The Taking of the Palencia
Tonight the international Cargo vessel Palencia remains docked off Belize, under Port Guard. As we told you on Friday, Government seized the vessel when it landed at the Port of Belize to off load cargo on Friday. The reason is that the ship's owner owes a 9 plus million dollar fine for another ship that crashed into the reef two years ago. Today Government's attorney Denys Barrow explained how a ship can be arrested:.. Denys Barrow "It is basic that you can acclaim against a ship that you can arrest the ship which has done damage which is to say, you make an application to the court and the court issues a warrant for the arrest of the ship. The object is that since the ship is the object that has caused the damage this ship stands liable to satisfy the claim for compensation for the damage. The ship therefore should not be permitted to leave the waters until proper arrangements in the form of security almost like bail is given for the ship to leave." Jules Vasquez "However the ship that incurs the liability, the Paranga has long since flown or sailed." Denys Barrow

BAA: Castro's Cookie Jar?
More cheques have been revealed by the Belize Times showing payments paid to Minister of state in the Ministry of Transport Edmund Castro. When the first four thousand cheque was published in December, General Manager Kenworth Tillett told us that it was assistance for Castro's mother's funeral. But, now the Belize Times has published another check issued to Coye's Funeral Home for $3,337.50. The paper also published another cheque for $5156.55 - both issued in April and May of last year. Sp what are the cheques for, and what is the justification for a statutory body under the Minister of Transport to be paying the relevant Minister of State? Well, today when we reached Kenworth Tillett, he indicated that he hadn't seen the story. We emailed it to him, and he told us that he'd call us back. Up to newstime, he hadn't.

Supreme Court Opening: It Wasn't A Very Good Year
On the second Monday in January every year, the Supreme Court of Belize has its ceremonial opening. We've covered it for 19 years now, but we've noticed that while the staid proceedings still carry an air of importance, this year Jules Vasquez wondered how much of that is self-importance? Here's his report:�

Schoolteacher Sent To Jail For Impregnating Child
Tonight, 51 year-old teacher Verden Samuel Blease is at prison after he was taken court for having sexual relations with 14 year-old girl. The child, in the presence of her mother, told police that in October of last year, she went to a house with Blease, who she referred to as her boyfriend, where they had intercourse, which they had been doing for the past 8 months. She started feeling sick, and a medical examination determined that she was 11 weeks pregnant. As a result of police, investigations, police charged Blease with 2 counts of carnal knowledge, and 5 counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature. He was arraigned today before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, who remanded him to prison until February 13, his next court date. The date on the charges suggests that Blease, who told police that he is employed as teacher, had been making inappropriate sexual advances toward the child for years.

Former Police Minister Robbed
Former Police Minister and current cabinet secretary Carlos Perdomo was robbed on Saturday morning. Perdomo who lives in Caribbean Shores and has been doing his morning exercise in the area for decades had started riding. But on Saturday morning before 6:00 am he was held up by two men at the corner of Newtown barracks and Barrack Road. Reports are that they took his bicycle, his cell phone and his personal pouch. Another man who tried to render assistance, was also robbed of cash.

Sugar Roads Still A Sore Point
As we told you in the top of our newscast, for the first time since the bagasse dispute broke, there is a truce between the cane farmers and the factory owners. And Monday at 10 a.m. is the date set for the first load of cane to be delivered and milled.

BTL Park: Can You Say When?
The new BTL Park in Belize City will make history for the most money ever invested in a public space. But that's not the only extreme qualifier the park can claim. It may also be the most delayed high profile project in memory. But now, after a December of punishing rains, the Mayor told the media that they're ready to name a new date.

Man Charged For Greengold Farm Murder
Last week Monday, we told you about the first 2 murders of 2014. One of them was the brutal chopping of 41 year-old Maria Domitilia Perez, a business woman from Benque Viejo Town. Well, police say they've solved that one, and they've arrested and charged 51 year-old Manuel Ernesto Urguia Mencia, a Honduran manager of one of the Green Gold Banana Farmers. He was arraigned today for murder in the Southern Sessions of the Magistrate's Court and he has since been remanded to prison. Police have been informed that Perez and Urgia Mencia had an affair, and their disagreement that night was allegedly a dispute about money, which Mencia believed that Perez had pocketed. They'll have to investigate that information, but what police do know is that they found Perez murdered with multiple chop wounds all over the face.

A-Rod Supplier Bosch Was In Belize
Turn on any American news channel right now and the headline story is probably about Anthony Bosch - the founder of the Biogenisis Labs that allegedly supplied basbell star Alex Rodriguez with a steady stream of banned performance enhancing substances. But, what we've also learned in all the coverage is that Bosch went to medical school in Belize. The central American Health Sciences University today confirmed that Bosch graduated from their school. Due to confidentiality they couldn't say when he attended, but they did say that he graduated. The school is located at the Boom cutoff.

Channel 5

Farmers pen agreement with B.S.I.
The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association has finally signed an agreement with the Belize Sugar Industries and its parent company, the American Sugar refinery. The parties penned the deal at [...]

Cane farmers meet: sugar crop season set to begin on Monday
While there is a formal signing which ends the months-long impasse between B.S.I. and the B.S.C.F.A., it is an uneasy truce. There are farmers who support the start of the [...]

3 murders in the City: Cross-dresser killed on Elston Kerr Street
Three persons were murdered over the weekend in the city, all within proximity of their homes. The most perplexing is the murder of eighteen year old Jatnet Sanchez, a cross [...]

UNIBAM president says murder was a hate crime
As we said earlier, the police claim the murder of Joseph Sanchez was motivated by robbery. The family believes it is a crime of passion. But the leading advocacy movement [...]

Derrick "Beng" Parham killed short distance from house
The two other murders over the weekend also remain under investigation. Just before ten on Saturday night, twenty five year old Derrick Parham was shot in the presence of his [...]

Emerson McDonald, the 3rd murder victim for the weekend
The third murder occurred some fourteen hours later around five-thirty p.m. on Sunday. Thirty-eight year old Emerson McDonald of an Arlington Drive address in Belize City was shot once to [...]

�Suspect of murder, Patrick Bevans, shot by police
Police have since detained two men in connection with the murder; one of whom is currently at the K.H.M.H. following another shooting that happened just before ten that night. Members [...]

Drug baron arrested in Belize
Guatemalan national Adolfo Eribel Rodriguez Barrientos, the alleged successor of the Paredes organization, a principal drug trafficking ring in Guatemala, has reportedly been nabbed by D.E.A. agents in Belize.� Rodriguez [...]

B.S.I. C.E.O. explains agreement
Late this evening, Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and the Belize Sugar Industry signed an agreement in principle on the payment of bagasse and agreed to start the crop on [...]

Supreme Court opens with all the bells and whistles
The traditional pomp and circumstance accompanied the opening of the Supreme Court this morning. The spotlight of the event is shared between the Chief Justice, the Attorney General and the [...]

Minister of Education says there is no breakdown with B.N.T.U.
The teachers have held two successful marches and rallies in Orange Walk and Corozal and are planning similar events in the City and the rest of the country. The Belize [...]

Minister to be deliberate in its response to B.N.T.U.'s action
Minister Faber also says that the Ministry will be deliberate in how it responds to what he called the sustained interruption of classes by teachers.   Patrick Faber, Minister of [...]

B.T.L. Park soon to be opened
The launch of the B.T.L. Park was initially scheduled for December twentieth, but the rains interrupted the opening. Residents will now wait a few more days because the park will [...]

A teacher is arraigned for sexually abusing a minor
A teacher, who was accused of having sex with a minor since she was seven years of age, was today charged with seven criminal offenses including carnal knowledge and six [...]

Belizeans named to contraband ring across the western border
A sting operation recently conducted in Melchor de Mencos has resulted in the arrests of at least thirty-seven individuals believed to be operating a cross-border contraband smuggling ring.� It is [...]

Sports Monday: the weekend sporting activities by James Adderley
Good evening, I'm James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The Belikin Cup concluded regular season play with 3 matches on Saturday that produced the 4 teams to make [...]

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Woman’s Lover Charged with Her Murder
A Honduran man has been arrested and charged by Independence police for the murder of a 41 year old business woman. Correspondent Harry Arzu has the details in the following report. HARRY ARZU "Independence Police have one person in their custody for the murder of 41-year-old, businesswoman, Maria Domitilia Perez. On Sunday, January 5 around midnight, Police reported that they visited Green Gold Banana Farm located in the Stann Creek District where they discovered a body lying on a feeder road that leads to Sagitun Farm. Her body was observed with multiple chop wounds to her head, face and back. Her right small finger was completely cut off and her wrist was almost severed. As a result of police's intensive investigation they have arrested and charged 54-year-old Honduran national, Manuel Ernesto Orgilla for murder. Police say the deceased had an affair with Orgilla and reportedly stole an undisclosed amount of money from him. The accused was arraigned today in the Independence Magistrates' Court."

Murder in Belize City
"Gunshots broke the still of Sunday night at around 9:40 and the bullets found their target in the person of 25 year-old Derrick Parham, a resident of Curassow Street. The homicide occurred less than two blocks from Parham's house and his mother, Andrea Rosales, says that Parham and the relative were heading home from celebrating a family member's birthday when the killer pounced. The relative, she said, witnessed the entire incident." ANDREA ROSALES, Mother of deceased "A red car pulled up by she and my son and this person pushed out half of his body and fired two shots." MARION ALI "The fatal bullet struck Parham in the back and he died less than an hour later. Both Parham's mother and Superintendent Alden Dawson who heads the Precinct I Police Formation, said that Parham had a few nemeses but the police have no motives leads as yet."

Supreme Court Session Opens: Chief Justice Says 193 Persons Are Awaiting Trial in the Supreme Court
The ceremonial opening of the Supreme Court took place downtown Belize City this morning. After a mass held at the St. John's Cathedral, the Chief Justice of Belize, Kenneth Benjamin, along with Justices, Magistrates, attorneys and other guests assembled inside the Chief Justice's Court Room. In his speech, CJ Benjamin addressed several challenges that the Judiciary keeps on facing including low financing, institutional strengthening and inadequate case management. Love News was present for the official opening of the legal year of the Supreme Court. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING Streets in Downtown Belize City were blocked for the official ceremonial opening of the 2014 legal year of the Supreme Court. Ceremonies commenced at the St. John's Cathedral were the tone for the day's proceeding was set. Following the service, a procession of the Bench and Bar exited St. John' Cathedral and made its way to the Supreme Court of Belize. Once there, the customary Inspection of the Guards was done by Chief Justice of Belize, Kenneth Benjamin. Thereafter, CJ Benjamin along with Justices, Magistrates, attorneys and others gathered in the court room of the Chief Justice were the 2013 Legal review was read. Several challenges were faced in 2013 said CJ Benjamin including the unsatisfactory management of criminal matters leading to the inevitable development of a back-log which has left more than a hundred inmates awaiting trial.

Belize City Countsdown for Park Launch
The BTL Park is scheduled to be opened next week according to City Mayor, Darrell Bradley. Mayor Bradley told reporters today that the project has many aspects to it, including zoning the area as an entertainment and tourism district for Belize City. Next week Tuesday, Mayor Bradley said, the first of two opening will take place. DARRELL BRADLEY, Mayor, Belize City "We are having, what we call a soft launch and that will be on Tuesday, January 21 and that will be a ribbon cutting ceremony and we are going to have a very small ceremony to inaugurate the park. The park is about 95% completed to date; if you can look at it, most of the infrastructure are already in place. The contractor, IE all they are doing right now is cleaning and landscaping work; some of the trees are being planted and the stage is already done, many of the businesses, the kiosks are already done and then we expect that the substantial part of the cleaning work should be finished this week and they are going to put down the last layering which is the beach sand right next to the sea and then the park will be accessible to members of the public. People are already using it; I came out here with my family over the weekend and quite a bit of people was out here using the park. I want to make mention that we are inaugurating the park in three phases; of course, you know that the first part of this project was the land reclamation where we added forty percent more park space and as part of that also we did the seawall and the second part of it is what you're seeing going on now, the construction of the pier, the construction of the stage, the construction of the park facilities, swing sets, benches, the aesthetic quality of the park and the third part of it which is very significant which people may not be aware of, is the economic component of the park.

Football Academy Begins Countrywide Launch
The Play Big Foundation is a grass roots NGO in Orange Walk Town with a branch in the US that seeks to empower at risk youths through sports, primarily football. The foundation recently donated several pieces of equipment to the Orange Walk District Football Association for the football academy. Fernando Sanchez is the Director of Play Big Foundation. FERNANDO SANCHEZ "Over the past months our colleagues in Dallas on the Play Big Foundation did some fundraising in Dallas; book drives and dollar drives and with that they came up with some money to buy footballs, they bought thirty cones and some smaller round cones to donate to the Football Academy which will be opened here in Orange Walk under the FFB project to develop the football in Belize. We want the participation of different businesses in Orange Walk but right now it is solely a Belizeans living in Dallas/Orange Walk connection."

Police News: Robbery, Carnal Knowledge; Shooting Incidents
Belize City police are investigating two separate shooting incidents that occurred over the weekend. The first incident happened just before nine o'clock on Sunday night. Police were called out to the home of 37-year-old, Leevan Lewis, a Belizean surveyor on Arlington Drive. Lewis reported to police that he was standing in front of his gate at around 8:20pm when he observed three men riding separate bicycles in his direction; moments later Lewis says he heard several gunshots and ran for cover inside his house. Upon making checks, he observed the three men riding away towards Faber's Road Extension. No one was injured in this incident and police have recovered ten 9mm WIN Luger brand expended shells, one 9�9 S&B brand expended shell and three .22 WIN brand expended shell from the area. The second incident occurred less than two hours later just a few streets away. Police visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital on Sunday night at around 10 o'clock when they encountered 22-year-old, Patrick Bevans of a Jane Usher Boulevard address with a gunshot wound to his left leg and another to his right ankle. Reports indicate that on that Sunday night just before ten o'clock, members of the Belize Defense Force (BSAG) were on Jane Usher Boulevard conducting a house search when they noticed Bevans jumping a zinc fence and running away. Bevans was pursued and upon his capture, he managed to grab one of the soldiers weapons which he had refused to surrender. As a result, one of the soldiers fired a single shot at Bevans causing his injuries. Bevans is currently detained by the police.

UDP Holds Convention for Standard Bearer in Southern Belize
Eden Martinez remains the UDP Standard Bearer for the Toledo East constituency following a weekend convention in that municipality. According to the Chairman of the United Democratic Party, a total of one thousand seven hundred and fourteen electors turned out to cast their ballot. Of that amount, one thousand three hundred and eleven votes when to Martinez whilst his opponent, Mr. Wagner received three hundred and ninety votes and thirteen ballots were rejected. The convention was held at the Toledo Sporting Complex in Punta Gorda Town. A political convention to elect UDP Toledo East Standard Bearer was held yesterday in Punta Gorda. Indications are that the Standard Bearer convention for the Toledo West constituency will take place next month in San Antonio Village.

Sugar Cane Farmers Get Interim Agreement
Earlier in our newscast we reported that an interim agreement was signed by Belize Sugar Industries and Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. Following the meeting the media spoke with BSI Chief Executive Office Joey Montalvo. JOEY MONTALVO "I am particularly pleased that we signed today and we now must focus on getting the crop off the ground. We have a late start and we have a big crop to mill. We must also focus on negotiations coming ahead to finalize that and also, I want to say that this hasn't really slowed ASR/BSI plans for expansion; we need to boost the field and the mill. We need to focus on getting the economic pie bigger; there is great scope for expansion, there is great scope for productivity both on the farming side and the milling side and there is great scope and potential to increase cane production to about two million tons and sugar production to about two hundred and twenty thousand tons of sugar. If we are to stay in business we must look forward to both sides working together. This has been a learning experience; I think these things serve a meaningful purpose and as I said, I think we need to look ahead and move forward. We have been stuck for at least two decades at the current level of sugar cane production and so we need to move forward and that is where the focus ought to be for the future. I am particularly pleased that we have reached this stage and we can then move forward with the plans for both the field and the mill." The Government has said that two million dollars will be put into rehabilitating sugar roads. Vice President of the BSCFA Alfredo Ortega said there is a lot of work to be done.

Weekend Murder – Hate Crime or Not?
The first murder of the weekend was reported on Saturday night when the body of 18-year-old Joseph Sanchez was found on Elston Kerr Street. Sanchez' murder has raised the concern of the LGBT community in Belize. Earlier today Caleb Orosco spoke on the murder on our sister station Estereo Amor. CALEB OROSCO "This young man was unfortunate in the way he was found and sadly, lost his life and nobody, absolutely nobody under any condition deserves for their life to be taken just because of who they are and how they look. This to me, is an extreme case of hate that is undeserving, no matter what. Firstly, what I want to say is that there is a tendency for the public to blame the victim and say that they caused this upon themselves and of course, they will hurt you if you look this way or that way but most people don't realize that each individual has a right to their identity and you cannot rob, oppress or abuse somebody because you do not like them exercising their right to an identity and I feel it is unfair for the general public to go out there and blame the victim for getting killed. For me, it is a hateful moment because that area is difficult to stay for far too long; a few months ago I had some administrative issues to deal with and I was told, in no uncertain terms, to not go back in that area and so I got in my car and drove back home. So, within the context of my personal experience and the difficulty in the area, I know that the area can be hateful and it takes very little to be harmed in that area and that is why I feel very strongly that is an act of hate; others may have a different view but from my end you don't rob someone's dignity or life just because of them walking your street; that's just not right."

Prison Guards Foil Inmates Attempt to Escape
Two prisoners were shot on the grounds of Central Prison early this morning. According to prison officials Elias Lopez of Valley of Peace and Miguel Mendez of La Gracia Village both in the Cayo District, attempted to escape from prison at around 2:30 this morning. Prison guards were alerted of the attempted escape and executed a search for the inmates who were housed in the Tango 5 building. As a result, Lopez was shot in the right leg and was captured 300 yards away from the building while Mendez was shot in the right hand and was apprehended behind the building. The men were treated at the prison clinic and then moved to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for further treatment. Both Lopez and Mendez are serving five-year sentences for burglary.


Violent Belize City Sunday Claims the Life of Mr. Joseph Sanchez
It was an explosively violent Sunday that saw three men killed and a fourth injured as well as a woman in the span of 24 hours. The murder of 18 year old Joseph Sanchez took place early in the morning around 1:50 a.m. According to police, the customer care...

One Murdered and Another Injured in Senseless Shooting Incident
Another violent incident took place at around 5:30 p.m. on Central American Boulevard near Belizean Drug Store. According to police, 38 year old Emerson McDonald had just left his residence and was walking on the Boulevard where a male person with dark colored pants and a black mask over...

Shooters Apparently Return to Murder Scene
In the lone incident where no one was injured, three hours after McDonald's murder right around the corner, police visited the Arlington Drive home of surveyor Leevan Lewis who told them that around 8:20 pm while he was standing in front of his gate, he saw three men on separate...

Mayhem Spreads out to the Old Capital's Curassow Street
The mayhem spread to Curassow Street an hour and a half later as 25 year old Derrick Parham was gunned down blocks from his home at the corner with Iguana Street in the third murder of the day. Law enforcement agents say that Parham was walking with his aunt...

A Shot Ankle Tolls a Painful Lesson on Alleged Culprit
The final incident of the night took place around the same time and involved an armed struggle between members of the Belize Defence Force's Special Assignment Group (BSAG) and Jane Usher Boulevard resident Patrick Bevans. Around 9:40 p.m. the group of soldiers were searching a house in the area...

Sugar Obstacle
On Friday, we told you that at least one obstacle still stood in the way of ending the stand-off between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) and producers Belize Sugar Industries Limited (BSI): whether farmers would approve an interim agreement collated between the two sides over the course...

As GOB is to Address Sugar Roads, Progresso asks for Attention
Going back to the Government's press release, the Office of the Prime Minister announced that BZE$2M worth of works on sugar roads that GOB promised, will commence immediately. That is very welcome news for the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers' Association (BSCFA), which had intended to address the Prime Minister...


Hot Donuts and Sushi Rolls in Caye Caulker: Where Have You Been All My Life?
Saturday afternoon, I took the water taxi over to Caye Caulker and it's something that I need to do much more often. 20 minutes away on a beautiful boat ride (here we are pulling away from San Pedro)� If you have read some of my posts (like Best Dessert in San Pedro for instance), you might know that I enjoy my cakes, cookies, brownies�really anything that involves sugar. I am a devoted student of all things dessert. SO�when I heard that there was a HOT DONUT shop in Caye Caulker? Well�I had to go. HOT DONUTS. Fresh out of the oil. Like when I was a kid�at the place where we picked out our Halloween pumpkins. There are few things more delicious (are there any?) than a hot donut coated in cinnamon sugar. I set out to find the spot�my nose, I'm sure, would lead the way. But it was lunch time�and I saw something almost as intriguing first. Perched right over the VERY popular Barrier Reef Sports Bar. I walked inside and fell in love. Fresh baked bagels? Cookies and brownies? Local art? With some of my favorite artists. Like Lola from Seine Bight.

Belize - Red Hot for Preppers
People come to Belize for many reasons - the vast misty rainforests that bring you back to nature in time immemorial, the temples, cities and other remnants of the ancient Maya civilisation dotting the country, the Belize Great Barrier Reef, the world's second largest after Australia's, dotted with hundreds of tiny islands and offering the best scuba diving to be had anywhere, the incredible fly fishing on almost untouched permit and tarpon flats, and the warm friendly people are just a few. And now there's a new class of devotees - that segment of society now known as "Preppers" or survivalists. It's a growing segment, getting large enough that there's now a popular television show on the National Geographic Channel called "Doomsday Preppers" which features such people and their plans for dealing with large scale catastrophe.

Baked Spicy Meatballs
No stove top spicy meatballs are so simple to make. I added a little bit of carrots in order to make it a little bit sweet, but the spice from the pepper makes these meatballs so savory.

Expanding Economic Opportunities through Entrepreneurship & Market Development (EEOEM)
The Young Women's Christian Association held its Stann Creek District Closing Ceremony under the umbrella project of Expanding Economic Opportunities through Entrepreneurship & Market Development (EEOEM). Southern Belize residents sixty seven (67) participants benefited from courses/ training in areas such as Sewing, Basic Computers, Cosmetology, Cake Decorating, Business & Management and Hospitality Management. Zeal of the students was kept by the knowledgeable and friendly facilitators. SBDCBelize, BELTRAIDE facilitated training for Business & Management focusing on areas of Establish a Business, Marketing and Sales, Book Keeping and Customers Service etc. Belize Rural Development Project 2 was integral in funding this exercise.

"The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore)" in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up reasonably early on Thursday at 04.55 hours ((am able to be precise (presupposing that it is accurate) now because I have an alarm clock)) but didn't venture out on to the veranda. Any of the verandas. Why, you are probably thinking. Too chilly? Well it was chilly but not as chilly/cold as it had been the previous day. No the reason was that Rose and I were going to Belize City so that she could have her left cheekbone X-Rayed. The cheekbone she fractured last August when she tripped on a wire that was on the veranda of the Ground Floor apartment and fell straight on to the steps. Doctor Daniel Gonzalez of the Ambergris Hope clinic took first class care of Rose but she has still been getting discomfort from the left side of her face and although an X-Ray taken on the island suggested (( sections of the X-Ray were undeveloped (bit like some of my photos)) that the fracture had healed we wanted a second opinion and decided that we would go the Belize Diagnostic Centre (I went there when I was undergoing my dental treatment) in Belize City so there was no time for 'me time'. I still had a mug of black coffee though and did manage to scan read The Times online.

Belizeans and true friends of Belize, From the latest account, it appears as though the principles involved in the ill-fated scheme to get Belizeans to place our sovereignty at the mercy of the jurisprudence of the so-called, "learned Justices" at the ICJ, are back at it again. This comes as no surprise because they still believe their mystical hold over the psyche of Belizean citizens, especially when it involves political matters, will carry over into this critical issue. Well, I have some words of wisdom for them�"you are dead wrong". The powers that be will never concede that the reason Guatemala reneged on the once, much vaunted date of the intended referendum, was due in large part to the level of resistance demonstrated to their hair-brained scheme, by regular Belizeans and true friends of Belize. That's fine because those who met the challenge head-on did not do it for accolades. It was our duty to ensure that our nation and people didn't get taken for a ride by the OAS and its cohorts.

International Sources

Island Routes Planning Expansion to St Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Belize
Regional tour company Island Routes is continuing its Caribbean expansion, with plans to open in Belize, St Kitts and Dominica this year, according to General Manager David Shields. The company, which was founded by Sandals Resorts CEO Adam Stewart in 2009, has been on a steady Caribbean expansion, having most recently entered new markets such as Grenada, Aruba, St Maarten and the Dominican Republic. The company, which is in 11 destinations and 17 resort areas in the Caribbean, said it sold more than 600,000 excursions in 2013, a 57 percent increase over 2012, Stewart said.

New Market Research Report: Belize Electricity Limited - Power Plants and SWOT Analysis, 2013 Update
The report contains a detailed description of the power generation company's business operations, history, corporate strategy, and business structure. This report contains a detailed SWOT analysis, information on key employees (executives), and major products and services.

Climate of positive Carib economic activity
"The blacklisting of Guyana and the citation of Belize by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) could have serious ramifications for the banking industry if corrective measures are not taken," warns Melissa Marchand, publisher of Global News Matters, which produces the fortnightly Market Dynamics Caribbean. A recent edition of the newsletter reports the CFATF assailed Guyana's continuing inability to pass laws on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism. The Task Force also cited Belize for a number of deficiencies in agreed-upon standards for combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism. "This is why we are following these developments closely as they pose a significant risk to the commercial banking sectors of the two countries - and in this interconnected economy -- there could be repercussions in other parts of the region." Market Dynamics Caribbean also reports the Caribbean spends heavily paying for the importation of its energy needs but the latest edition saw some movement towards decreasing the region's reliance on expensive, imported, fossil fuel.

Crocodile scientist grabs students attention at Sparks Middle School career day
Crocodile research is an unusual career choice, but it was one of the choices offered during career day at Sparks Middle School in La Puente on Jan. 10. Scientist Marissa Tellez took a big bite out of the myths that have grown about this predator. She was one of 20 speakers taking time to discuss their chosen professions with seventh- and eighth-graders. Five speakers had actually gone to the Hacienda La Puente Unified School. The grad student is working on her doctorate at UCLA. Afterward, Tellez will become the director of a wildlife sanctuary in Belize. Meanwhile, the good doctor shared some interesting facts about these scary creatures - crocodiles. "The crocodile bite has been measured at 3,000 pounds, while a shark's bite is only about 700 pounds," Tellez said. "These 7-foot-long creatures can run 11 miles per hour." The highly intelligent animals even have their own language, using different vocal tones and body language. "They're the most loving creatures, with fathers and mothers splitting the protection of their eggs," Tellez continued. Crocodiles also have the strongest immune systems, which is why scientists are studying them to cure human diseases.

Cobia at a crossroads
Mike Urch reports on the future potential for farmed cobia. With new ownership of the former Marine Farms' cobia operations in Vietnam and Belize, plus an aggressively expanding company farming cobia in Panama, 2014 could be a milestone year for this fast growing fish. By all accounts, cobia (Rachycentron canadum), a tropical white-fleshed marine species which can grow to 5kg in weight in just under 12 months, has vast potential as an alternative to wild caught whitefish. As yet, however, this potential has not been realised. However, production then plummeted as Asian farmers switched to other species such as pompano (Trachinotus blochii), and in 2012 was thought to have been less than 5000 tonnes. According to fish farming specialist Bj�rn Myrseth who set up cobia farming operations in Belize and Vietnam when CEO of Marine Farms - this company was taken over by Morpol in 2010 which in turn was bought by Marine Harvest in 2013 - there were production problems. "Cobia is a beautiful fish with a firm, white flesh, so we had great hopes for it," he says, "but we did have some production problems. It seemed to eat a lot, but at a certain size it stopped growing, or it grew too slowly." Cobia produced by Marine Farms Vietnam were aimed at the European market, while the fish produced in Belize were flown to southern USA. "[Marine Farms] Belize used to be the largest supplier of fresh cobia into the US for several years (2007-2010) until Hurricane Richard hit us," says CEO Jorge Alarcon. Production then ceased, but the hatchery continues to produce cobia fingerlings for sale to other companies.

Freshwater fish will become more important in aquaculture
World Fishing & Aquaculture interviews Norwegian modern fish farming pioneer, Bj�rn Myrseth to discover what he believes the future holds for the fast growing industry. Fish that do not require fish protein in their feed will become important in tomorrow's aquaculture, says Norwegian fish farming pioneer, Bj�rn Myrseth. "I will continue to work with marine fish that can be grown in cages, but at the moment I am also interested in taking a look at the herbivore or omnivore fish that are sold at low prices such as tilapia and pangasius." This is far removed from the farming of rainbow trout and Atlantic salmon in Norway, which is where Mr Myrseth began his long career in aquaculture. This career has taken him all over the world and has involved the farming of many species. "We bought a cobia hatchery in Florida and managed to increase fingerling production there. But because of US restrictions we could not farm the fish in the USA, so we had to fly the fingerlings to Belize for grow-out. Belize was probably not an optimal country for this operation, but that is where we ended up. "We had some problems though. Fingerling production was very costly because of the initial setup of flying them in from Florida, so we built a new hatchery and a grow-out facility in Belize."

You Better Belize It
I did some good eating in San Pedro. There are a lot of great restaurants to choose from but by far the best meal I had was lobster tacos from a little local place. As with most places I have visited the non-fancy, dubious looking places filled with locals being served by locals always have the best food. These lobster tacos were so delicious. I would contemplate going back to the island just for one more taco. One word that is guaranteed to make me happy is All Day Breakfast! Best first meal of the day was at Estel's Restaurant on the beach with great views and a breakfast burrito the size of my leg. I am a hummus-maniac and I found some good stuff at Ali Baba's. The hummus may have been good but the owner was an absolute treat. He said the phrase, "Welcome to Belize. Ali Baba's One Stop Shop." at least 50 times during my margarita. I think perhaps he was on something a little stronger than just chick peas. One thing I have to say in my continuing gushing love poem to San Pedro, the service I received everywhere I went was excellent. The people in general were so friendly and welcoming towards me. I met many lovely people over many Belikin beers.

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