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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

BC's Beach Bar to relocate
After 16 years of operating in one of San Pedro's prime locations, the lease is up for BC's Beach Bar and the island icon will be relocating to a surprise location. Owner Charlene Woods is not yet releasing the new location for BC's, but she assures her beloved patrons that it will be on the beach. Charlene explained that the lease may be up, but it's not the end for BC's. As a matter of fact, this is BC's fourth move. The bar was originally located at Mata Rocks resort. In 1995 BC's relocated to Coconut's Resort, and just three years later it moved to its current location. BC's, which is located on the beach front directly south of the Blue Water Grill, is a well-known and beloved bar for locals and tourists alike.

Christopher Newport University teacher-students collaborating with Ambergris Caye educators
A group of 15 students from the Christopher Newport University (CNU) from Newport News in the State of Virginia, USA are on Ambergris Caye collaborating with teachers. The students are in their final semester in the Teacher's Education Masters Degree program and their visit to Belize is part of their program's requirement. They have been on the island for the past two weeks and are exchanging teaching methodology with teachers at both the primary and secondary school levels. The students are being led by Professor Rita Kohr and Doctor Judy Pantelides, both professors at the US based university. When speaking with The San Pedro Sun, Professor Kohr indicated that they are happy that their teacher students are able to partner with Belizean teachers and share ideas. "We are with a class from CNU which teaches cross cultural education in that we learn from other countries and other countries can learn from us. What we do every year is that we come and work together in the classroom, bringing new strategies that we've learned. We share with the Belizean teachers and also work with the children and we in turn learn from them. Teaching now requires us to share and learn new ideas. It is a very effective way of learning from each other," said Professor Kohr.

San Mateo electrification project underway
After 16 years of neglect residents in the San Mateo area of San Pedro Town are finally about to get direct electricity from the national grid owned Belize Electricity Limited (BEL). For years residents have had to live in the area with limited infrastructure, especially electricity, and they had to resort to unsafe hazardous connections. However, according to the Mayor of San Pedro Town, Daniel Guerrero, after much backlash from the island residents and the media, works have begun on the San Mateo Electrification project. He said that all residents will have access to connect directly to BEL before the Easter holidays. The Mayor also indicated that not only will residents soon enjoy direct connection to BEL, but they are now also connected directly to the Belize Water Service Limited (BWSL) water system. For many years, residents have been paying for water to the council at a rate far higher than the rest of the island. That was because all residents in that area were connected to one meter registered under the San Pedro Town Council. The amount of water the council was consuming through that water meter fell under commercial usage and rate, which was far higher than that of household and business usage rates.

Ambergris Today

H1N1 Influenza A Cases Confirmed in Belize, Kills One
Although there have been three confirmed cases of the swine flu in Belize, the Ministry of Health says that there is no need to panic as it is not pandemic in the country yet, but Belizeans need to be cautions as there is an increase of influenza activity. In 2009 there was a swine flu scare due to outbreaks in Mexico and other neighboring countries, which caused many deaths. That particular strain of influenza was confirmed in Belize in 2011 and 2012, but that is not the strain of virus to be affecting Belize during this flu season.

Misc Belizean Sources

The Business Chamber of Spanish Lookout
The Spanish Lookout Business Chamber is organizing its biannual Spanish Lookout Commercial/Industrial Expo on Friday and Saturday, February 28 and March 1, 2014 from 9:00a.m. - 5:00 p.m. on each day to be held at the Country Side Park in the Spanish Lookout Community. We hereby extend an invitation to the wider Business Community in Belize to be a part of our highly anticipated expo. Kindly note the floor plan attached. Booth in Building $400.00 Booth in Tent $300.00 Booth Outdoor $700.00 (20x30) For booth reservations call Norman Dueck at 610-2238. Expo Sponsorship:

Long-standing US extradition request finally denied by Belize
At 11:30 am on Thursday, Belizean Rhett Fuller's 15-year fight against extradition to the United States to stand trial for his alleged participation in a 1990 murder in South Beach, Florida, came to end. Belize's attorney general and minister of foreign affairs Wilfred Elrington on Thursday formally denied the US extradition request following a brief hearing. Elrington said that he was swayed in his decision by the hardship that Fuller's family would have to endure if he had upheld the extradition order. Fuller is the father of an autistic child. The US formally made its extradition request in 1998, and Belize's chief magistrate gave the order to proceed in 1999, but Fuller appealed to the Belize Court of Appeal. His appeal was not heard until 2008 and a judgement rendered in 2009 dismissed his appeal. He was subsequently imprisoned. He then appealed to the Judicial Committee of Privy Council in London and that appeal was dismissed in 2011. The Privy Council ruled that the court had no jurisdiction in the matter and only the minister of foreign affairs had the discretion to discharge a person committed in an extradition proceeding on the grounds of abuse of process.

Mayor Daniel Guerrero and the San Pedro Town Council have been battling the littering issue for quite some time now but it seems that it is still a problem. It is really sad to see that people are throwing garbage on private properties and on the streets. We should all realize that this little piece of paradise is our HOME, and we should ALL take care of it and always maintain it clean. We are asking for every one to be more aware of your surroundings. Let us all make an effort to make this place a better place for all - residents and visitors. If you see people dumping garbage on a private property or on the streets, please call the San Pedro Town Council office at 226-2936 and report it. LITTERING IS A CRIME!

Sir Barry Bowen Bridge REOPENED to all vehicular traffic EXCEPT DELIVERY TRUCKS AND HEAVY MACHINERY!
(7 photos)

Lost dog in Belmopan
Attention BELMOPAN residents, this lost dog could be from behind A&R area, Tiger Town, Police Housing....that general area. Please call BHS 602-7947 for info.

The University of Belize continues to be on life support as the Ministry of Education and an incompetent Board of Trustees lock horns with yet another President of this faltering Institution. Given the present uneasy state of affairs and the repetition of conflicts between the Ministry of Education and successive Presidents of UB, one needs to again question the competence of the Minister of Education and the Ministry in manipulating the functions of the University with political dictates rather than guiding its role to meet the developmental needs of the country. There are evidently no guiding policies established by the government as to how it perceives the role and functions of this State-owned Institution to prepare a high caliber cadre of young men and women that will be able to fill the demands across the board to meet the development expectations of this nation. MISGUIDED Misquided as they are by the Ministry of Education and the University's unqualified Board of Trustees, there is also a serious divide among the faculty, some of whom have been politically appointed and with questionable credentials, while others have passed the professional litmus test for the delivery of higher education. As was envisioned by the Musa Administration which gave birth to the Institution, the vision was that the University of Belize was to become the premier centre of higher learning and to provide the opportunity for more young Belizeans to attain a high quality of tertiary education to prepare for the professional world of work.

Today, we continue our tribute to Belizean women in DANCE with Miss Althea Sealy.
Althea started her dance training in the 1960s under the tutelage of the legendary, Bob Reneau, and have received training in classical, modern, contemporary and Belizean Folk dance in the decades that follow. She has also taught dance in the schools and has trained, performed and travelled extensively on behalf of the country. Her formal training encompasses structured classes at the Edna Manley School of Dance in Jamaica, the Sarasota Ballet Arts School in Florida, the Compania Danza del Caribe in Cuba and numerous workshops and cultural exchange programs in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe. She has represented Belize in DANCE at numerous CARIFESTAs (Caribbean Festival of Arts) and Dance Festivals held all over the world. Althea is a founding member and currently the Artistic Director for the Belize National Dance Company and continues to perform, teach and pass on the "Spirit of Dance" in Belize.

Reach Variety Show at GPC
There will be a variety show, the 'Reach Show,' at the George Price Centre, at 4:00pm on Friday. "Come hear how to make your dreams a reality."

Rosita's Restaurant Relocates
Rosita's Restaurant has relocated to Joseph Andrews drive, right next to Vivian's Coffee Shop. They'll have the same great food that they had when they were downtown. They've got indoor and outdoor seating, and they have a mini snack shop and gift shop too. "Rosita's Restaurant has moved from downtown to Joseph Andrews drive, right next to Vivian's Coffee shop."

Blue Hole National Park
While many of the caves are closed due to rains, the Blue Hole is still open. The Audubon Society went there, and got some great pictures of the visitor's center. "A quick look around St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park, January 15th, 2014. Have you visited lately? Cellphone photos by: Dirk Francisco"


Channel 7

Rhett Fuller Beats His Extradition After 15 Years In Court
Rhett Fuller is at his Belize City home with his family tonight - and after 23 years of being a wanted US fugitive, and the main suspect for a murder, he can rest easy because the Government of Belize says they can't have him. Fuller had been on remand since August of 2011, and today Attorney General Wilfred Elrington heard second his appeal. But he did so this time with specific instruction from the Court of Appeal, and after 5 months, Elrington gave his decision. It's a major outcome for Fuller and his family who have resisted the extradition in the courts for 15 years -where they've lost in every court at every level. But with their attorney Eamon Courtenay, they kept fighting, exhausting all options, not once, but twice. And finally it worked out...tonight, Daniel Ortiz looks back at the last 2 years of the Fuller saga, leading up to today's release: Hon. Wilfred Elrington - Minister of Foreign Affairs "I informed Mr. Fuller that I had agreed to his application not to be surrendered to the United States authorities under the provisions of the extradition act of Belize."

Triple Car Pile Up End In Fatality
Corozal police continue to investigate a terrible three car pile-up on the Northern Highway near the Belize Mexico border which claimed the life of a resident of Concepcion Village in the Corozal District. Sometime before 8 o'clock last night, 28 year-old Marcelo Damien Aguilar was driving his gray Toyota van, accompanied by a 16 year-old and 21 year-old Nelson Pech. They were heading south, away from the Corozal Freezone, and between miles 87 and 88, he lost control of the vehicle. He tried to avoid a head-on collision with a 10-wheeler truck, but his van slammed into one of its rear wheels. That sent the truck and it's trailer careening out of control and it completely flipped with its wheels ending up in the air off the side of the road.

Health Ministry Still Vigilant About H1N1
Last night we told you about Belize's first h1n1 death, Shahera Bodden, the 29 year old mother of a 12 year old daughter. Her death has puzzled and worried health officials because she was a healthy female with no underlying illnesses. Yet when she was taken to the KHMH emergency room on January 2, 2014, she was in very dire condition. She had to be admitted to the intensive care unit and within four days she was dead. And that's why there are concerns for a 14 year old buy who's now in the intensive care unit. New information is that he has tested NEGATIVE for influenza, but he still has respiratory distress and kidney failure. He is an induced coma, and the good news tonight is that Doctors report he is doing a bit better. They stress that he's not off the hook yet, but with dialysis he is improving slowly and the prognosis appears slightly more positive tonight. We'll keep following it.

Activists Want Gun Law Reform
Russell Roberts has been in the media for two weeks making noise about the Reynaldo Verde case where an unlicensed firearm was found in the senior sales tax collector's home but he was never charged. The file is with the DPP who has told the police to gather more information, and while they do that, Russell Roberts is gathering momentum. Other grassroots activists are latching unto his cause which has swelled into a gun law reform movement. Today at a Press Conference at the Radisson, COLA jumped on the bandwagon. Roberts made a public call to all those who've suffered because of the laws which impose mandatory remand for all offences. Russell Roberts, gun law activist "We are looking towards finding some of the victims that are affected by this law. I would offer my number to them, 620-7828 so that they could contact me. I could go and interview them and get some of their information and pass it on to the law. I want them to understand this is pro-bono; nothing will come out of their pockets for this." "We are going to look into their cases and try to see how best we could assist them in their cause."

Innocent Belize City Man Gunned Down
29 year old Belize City resident James Elijio is in critical condition after he was shot last night. Monica Bodden visited his home in the Lake Independence area today and found that it isn't the first time that violence has been visited on his yard, but this time the victim was truly blameless. Here's the story:.. Monica Bodden reporting It was inside his yard that 29 year old James Elijio was shot once behind the neck. It happened at his Flamboyant Street address just before 10 last night. The mentally challenged man woke up and went outside to urinate - That was when 2 men came walking from the direction of Causarina Street and fired 2 shots at him. Tanya Elijio, sister of James Elijio "What happen is that I was at home in my bed when my father brought to the news to me that my brother got shot. He said that my grandmother had just given him food to eat and after eating, he (James) exited through the back door whereby he went to urine and on his way coming back inside the house from backwards a gun man passed and fired two shots at him which one caught him at the back of his neck."

Reports Of A Second Identify Theft At SSB
Last night, we told you about the frightening forgeries which were revealed when Tanzanian Tina Iron Isaac tried to use the stolen identity of a Belizean woman to acquire a Belizean passport. It was only the vigilance and the alert thinking of officers at the Immigration Department which caught her in the act, after she had already gotten a fake birth certificate and a Social Security Card. Well, information to 7News today is that the Immigration Department will start to investigate the Belizean guarantors who forged information on her behalf so that she could fly under the radar of the new passport regulations. They are working on building a case against these persons. While they continue to do that, there is a report that there was another irregularity at the social security board which allowed a US fugitive to get a fake social security card to be processed using a stolen identity. We've been reliably informed that this fugitive used the stolen identity of a David Cruz to get a social security card issued in Belmopan.

CFS Palencia Still Under Arrest: Causes Shipping Delays
Tomorrow will make it one week that the international Cargo vessel CFS Palencia has been anchored in Belize, under arrest as a sister ship to another that damaged the reef near English Caye and sailed out of Belize waters, on a false promise that it would return. But it never did, so now the government won't let the Palcencia go, until some commitment is made to pay the over 9 million dollar environmental fine arising from damage to the reef. And while government seeks to vindicate its rights, the shipping industry is in a state. You see, the CFS Palencia is one of the ships that makes call in Belize almost every week bringing cargo out of Jamaica which originates in the far east, EUROPE, the Caribbean and Panama.

Teachers Didn't Show Up For Bike Rally
Belize District Teachers are having their pay-raise rally starting at 7:30 tomorrow morning, and today they planned a warm up event, in the form of a bike rally. It was advertised on facebook, but it didn't draw the expected crowd. We asked one of the five bikers who gathered what went wrong:.. Joel wade, teacher "We are trying to bring awareness to the general public. We want them to be conscious of the fact that we will be having a rally tomorrow." Daniel Ortiz "We understand that the teachers were supposed to assemble on Cemetery Road in mass to try to make the effort as visible and vibrant and effective as possible. What happened?" Joel wade, teacher "It was supposed to be a bike ride and like for me I had to go and borrow a bicycle to be in this. I know we have some teachers who I guess can't ride and I guess at some point there had to be a miscommunication, but like we are out here and we are not looking behind to see who is not with us but we are just pressing forward and just basically doing what we were supposed to do; bring awareness and distribute some flyers."

Caye Caulker Police Continue Drug Crackdown
Caye Caulker police continue to clamp down on drug pushers. Yesterday, 30 year old Hubert Palacio was arrested and charged for (2) Counts of Possession of Controlled Drugs and Possession of Pipe after police took him off his bike and found cannabis, a pipe and crack cocaine. It weighed in at a negligible 2 grams of cannabis and 0.6 grams of crack but he was charged for 2 Counts of Possession of Controlled Drugs and Possession of Pipe. And this morning at around 5:30am, Caye Caulker police conducted an Anti-Drug Operation on the island which took them to the residence of 37 year old Shawn Bennett on Traveler's Palm Street in Caye Caulker Village. They found a black plastic bag with 66.9 grams of cannabis. They were formally arrested and charged for the offence of Drug Trafficking and will be escorted to San Pedro Magistrate Court on Friday January 17th for arraignment.

OAS To Visit Belize For Anti-Corruption Convention
For the last few months, the VIP party has been campaigning hard for the Government of Belize to sign on to the OAS anti-corruption convention. The issue, along with the actual convention, has gone mostly ignored by Government, but now the OAS intends to send delegates to the country to see how far along the process to implementation is. It's called the MESICIC (the Mechanism for Follow-Up on the Implementation of Inter-American Convention against Corruption) and delegates will be coming to Belize between September 22 and October 17, 2014. They also intend to visit Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname, in the framework of the Fourth Round of Review of the mechanism.

Geon Hanson Improving
22 year old Geon Hanson is at home in Belmopan recovering. The cyclist was knocked down on Christmas Eve and suffered substantial injuries including a ruptured spleen and small intestine, eight broken ribs and a fractured vertebrae in his spine. Well, doctors say due to his youth and physical fitness, he recovered and is expected to make a full recovery. He still has difficulty walking and due to his collapsed lung, he is trying to defer a scholarship opportunity to go study in FIHI until he is fully healed.

Inga's First Art Exhibit
We always feature Francis Woods on the news -and he's known for his socially progressive civil works projects. But while he oversees a construction empire, his daughter Inga Woods is a self-styled artist. She's mounted her first exhibit at the Bliss center and she gave us a preview today:.. Inga Woods, artist "My exhibit is a lot about expressing yourself and it has a lot about colors and a lot of movement. A lot of them range from like either 15 minutes or just like a whole day of doing the wall paintings or all of the varied." Monica Bodden "You have any specific piece that you enjoy doing the most?" Inga Woods "The glass crowns that I did. Definitely those are like my most prized possessions right now."

Butane Prices Going Up
The price of LPG gas, or what we call "butane" is going up again - this time by five dollars. The supplies control unit today announced that Central American Gas - which is less efficient - will sell for 121 dollars per hundred pound cylinder undelivered din the city. And Mexican butane which is more efficient, will sell for 125 dollars. The difference? Mexican LPG has 60% propane to 40% butane while the Central American version sold by BWEL, Southern Choice Gas, Zeta and Tomza is 90 percent propane and 10% butane, which is less efficient, but cheaper.

Channel 5

After fighting extradition for 15 years, Rhett Fuller is finally home free
His legal struggle against extradition to the United States lasted fifteen years, but tonight, Rhett Fuller is finally a free man. Following a decision handed down by Minister of Foreign [...]

Attorney, Eamon Courtenay, speaks on client's ruling
The decision by Minister Elrington was based on a submission to him by attorney Eamon Courtenay, which made the case that Fuller's family would have disintegrated without his presence. He [...]

Taxi driver is killed in a traffic accident in Corozal…five others are injured
But while the Fuller family has every good reason to celebrate, a family up north is grieving the loss of one of their own. On Wednesday night, there was a [...]

Butane prices go up
Consumers of butane, that's just about every household, restaurant or hotel in the country, are bracing for an additional increase in the cost of fuel.� Earlier today, the Belize Bureau [...]

Outrage at attempt to terminate public officers named in immigration scandal
The Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, better known to as COLA, held a press conference today at the Radisson Fort George. The briefing had dual purposes and started with [...]

Teachers plan to take to the City streets
On Friday, teachers from the Belize District and the Cayes will march in Belize City before holding a rally in Battlefield Park. That move is part of a series of [...]

LGBT Party hosted at Belize's High Commissioner's London House
On December sixth, Belize's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom hosted an LGBT party at the official residence in London, Belize House. The event was reported recently in the media, [...]

COLA condemns 'archaic' gun laws
Last week, the firebrand activists at COLA issued a statement recording their concern over the "archaic gun laws" that result in the unlawful detention of persons. COLA also condemns those [...]

Activist calls for the immediate detention of Reynaldo Verde
As we said, COLA is now putting its full support behind Russell Roberts, who is championing this move to have the law removed or revised. Since then, Roberts says that [...]

Belize City man in critical condition following shooting
A Belize City resident is tonight in critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The family of twenty-nine year old James Elijio is hoping for the best because Elijio [...]

Caye Caulker police continue to crack down on drug trafficking
Caye Caulker Police continue to rack up impressive statistics in the fight against drugs on the island. During a pre-dawn operation today, Police visited the home of thirty-seven year old [...]

FIFA instructors in the jewel to train local referees
With the World Cup to be played in June and July this year in Brazil, football fever is expected to be pitch-high. Billions are expected to view the games on [...]

Survey of economic freedoms ranks Belize at 115
A recent survey indicating the economic freedoms of countries around the world ranks Belize at number one hundred and fifteen of one hundred and seventy-eight reviewed.��� With a score of [...]

Healthy Living looks at good practices for a healthy lifestyle
It is the beginning of the year and many of us surely over indulged in food and other goodies over the holidays so it is time to get back to [...]


Another Price Hike for LPG
Liquid petroleum or butane, as it is commonly referred to, has become a daily necessity in the lives of Belizeans. Currently, there are several providers around the country who either import LPG from Mexico or from other Central American companies with a difference in prices and the ratio of butane to propane. Today, the Belize Bureau of Standards issued a release announcing the increase in prices for butane effective, Friday, January 17. But before we tell you how much more you will be paying for butane, it is important that we explain to you the difference between the two choices of LPG that is now available in Belize. As we mentioned earlier, there are companies in Belize who get their butane directly from Mexico. The Mexican LPG is the more expensive gas because it has a ratio of sixty percent propane to forty percent butane which in truth makes this butane more efficient due to its higher butane content. This Mexican LPG is carried by providers such as Belize Gas Limited and Western Gas and has now gone up by seven dollars in each district. Belize City and Corozal will now pay one hundred and twenty seven dollars per cylinder; Belmopan City and San Ignacio will now pay one hundred and twenty seven dollars per cylinder with Benque Viejo del Carmen paying one hundred and twenty eight dollars, Orange Walk - one hundred and twenty six dollars; Dangriga - one hundred and twenty nine dollars and Punta Gorda - one hundred and thirty dollars. Meanwhile, the less efficient LPG which is imported from other Central American countries has seen an increase in prices ranging from two dollars to three dollars. This particular LPG carries a ration of ninety percent propane to ten percent butane and is distributed by companies such as BWEL, Southern Choice Gas, ZETA and Tomza. With this increase, Belize City and Corozal carry the lowest cost for a hundred pound cylinder at one hundred and twenty one dollars with Punta Gorda being the highest with one hundred and twenty six dollars per hundred pound cylinder. It is to be noted that the last increase in LPG took place in the latter part of October 2013 and was by one dollar across the board.

Deputy Prime Minister Says He is Relieved by The Interim Agreement
BSI and BSCFA signed an interim agreement on Monday which finally gave way for a date for the start of the sugar crop season. In speaking with Minister of Agriculture Gaspar Vega today he told us it's a relief knowing the two stake holders in the industry are on the same page once again. HON. GASPAR VEGA "It's a great relief truthfully; I believe that we will come out ahead. Both parties understand that we need to do a lot of confidence building where they will be able to trust each other. A lot of our problems are sometimes because of the limited trust that we have for each other and I am hoping that the negotiations will bring more interaction between them so that there is always this cooperation and to show each other that both parties wellbeing depends on the cooperation of both of them." ARTURO CANTUN 'One of the reasons this took long to sign is because the cane farmers were reluctant and doubtful that BSI was actually acting on good faith. How is the Government involving itself in ensuring that the confidence is built between the two parties?" HON. GASPAR VEGA "We only can serve as arbitrators or facilitators because at the end of the day, they are two private entities and no one can dictate to them. Our role is to ensure that we create that conduit of communication for them so that they can talk to each other without disrespecting each other. So, therefore have an increase in confidence. I believe that the attitude will get belter for both players because in the past weeks they have realised that we don't have to have riots or these kinds of manifestations to get some kind of agreement. People have to learn to come to the table, be firm, be sincere and say what they mean without hurting each other and at the end of the day, the same negotiations will help them to start building the foundation for trust."

Police News: Shooting, Robbery, Attempted Robbery
Police in Belize City are looking into a shooting incident that occurred last night at around 10pm. While Police were at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital last night doing their regular checks, they came across 29-year-old, James Elijio, a resident of Flamboyant Street in Belize. Elijio was being treated for an apparent gunshot wound the he received in the back of the neck Initial investigations have shown police that Elijio was standing at the front of his home when two men, one of dark complexion and the other one with a clear complexion walked in his direction fired two shots at him. The men, reportedly, ran off towards Black Orchid Street. So far, one man has been detained Police are seeking another. A Belizean contractor, Berisford Bowen of Ladyville Village in the Belize District has told Police that he was in his office in Belize City on Raccoon Street Extension on Tuesday, January 14, in the company of Leonard Wright when two armed men entered his office at around 3:30pm. One of the men, bearing a dark complexion, proceeded by searching 49-year-old, Bowen and relieved him of a gold Cuban linked chain along with a medallion of an elephant, a gold esclava engraved with the initials, BRB, a gold lodge ring bearing a square and a compass and the letter,'G', one black 9mm Luger brand pistol with serial number A2802 and five hundred dollars in cash. Meanwhile the second assailant searched Wright and both made good their escape.

24 Years Later – Rhett Fuller is Freed; No Extradition Ordered
This morning, Belize City Businessman Rhett Fuller finally became a free man after spending fifteen years evading his extradition to the United States. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, made his decision to release Fuller and not extradite him to the US where he is wanted for his alleged involvement in the murder of Larry Miller in 1990. Fuller began fighting his extradition order in 1998 and after more than 15 years of legal challenges, Fuller walk out of Elrington's office this morning as a free man. Fuller fight for not have himself extradited is one of the longest seen in Belize. Fuller became a free man after Elrington weighed the pros and cons of having Fuller extradited to the US. A key factor that played into Fuller's release, is his family, who Elrington says would have suffered is Fuller was sent to the US. Love News spoke to both Elrington and Fuller's attorney who stuck by him side for many years, Eamon Courtenay. EAMON COURTENAY "As you know, the Extradition Treaty and the Extradition Act between Belize and the United States gives to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the right to decide whether or not he is going to extradite someone who is requested by the United States. In this particular case, the American Government had requested the extradition of Mr. Fuller in 1998 and after many legal fights, the Minister finally decided today that he will not extradite Mr. Fuller. We had appeared before the Minister on December 20, 2013 and we made submissions to him to justify to him why he should not extradite Mr. Fuller and his decision today was to confirm that he agreed with our submissions and he will not extradite him."

COLA President Says Union Needs to Find Testicular Fortitude
The Immigration scandal of 2013 is still very much alive and at the forefront of discussions in 2014. That was COLA's second point of contention with the Government. And President Geovanni Brackett was not a happy man. He said that COLA will not stand for the dismissal of the three suspended Immigration officers while former Minister of State in Immigration, Elvin Penner, remains in his words, an untouchable. Geovanni Brackett, President, COLA "It is sad to see that you can throw a bullet in somebody's yard and if they cannot afford three or four attorneys, they would be thrown into jail. It is sad to see and appalling that you have families who have been torn apart because of this barbaric law and so, we at COLA strongly condemn both this law as it is and we strongly condemn selective justice. What we mean by selective justice is that someone who is not of affluence or who is not politically gave the story that Mr. Verde gave, they would not have been treated in a similar fashion. But we also caution that we note that the way how the law is set up, people can be set up including Mr. Verde as COLA is not here to pronounce guilt on anyone but we are also here to state categorically that the Police are not to be the judge or the jury."

Father Says His Son Got Shot By Mistake
Police in Belize City are looking into a shooting incident that occurred last night. While Police were at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital last night doing their regular checks, they came across 29-year-old, James Elijio Jr., a resident of Flamboyant Street in Belize. Elijio was being treated for an apparent gunshot wound the he received in the back of the neck Initial investigations have shown police that Elijio was standing at the front of his home when two men, one of dark complexion and the other one with a clear complexion walked in his direction fired two shots at him. Elijio's father, James Elijio Sr., told Love News that his son has no enemies and it might be a case of mistaken identity. JAMES ELIJIO SR. "I was here last night when I heard two gunshots and then he ran inside and said that he got shot. So, his cousin and I took him to the hospital when the Police vehicle came. He didn't see any faces because he was coming in the house and it was in the back he got shot. My son isn't too correct and so he doesn't have any enemies because he doesn't fool around with anyone. I don't why anyone would want to hurt my son; I think it was a mistake. He received injury to his lower back; when I went to hospital earlier he was still in surgery and I will be going back to the hospital shortly to check on him. This happened around eight or nine o'clock. I didn't see anyone and he ran inside and we held him up. I am not sure if he has given the police a statement but I will find out when I go to the hospital to talk to my son."


Mr. Rhett Fuller's Imprisonment in Belize is Over
The long personal nightmare of Belizean businessman, Rhett Allen Fuller is over, after Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington today ordered his immediate release from the Central Prison, where he was remanded under the threat of extradition to Miami-Dade County, Florida, U.S.A. on a charge of murder....

Minister says Extradition Law and Process to be Reviewed
The case of Rhett Fuller has made for compelling television at times, and while he will never get those years back, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington, who is also Attorney General, says they will do something with the archaic English-based law which dates back to 1870. Hon....

Level Gun Law Across the Board or Revoke it Completely
And joining in solidarity with COLA and other concerned citizens is the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA). BYGEA states: "This law is contrary to the spirit and integrity of our Constitution, which allows that no person should be unlawfully deprived of his personal liberty save and except where it...

Severe Accident Causes one Death and Various Persons Injured
Yesterday, January 15th at around 8:00 p.m, a three way collision in the Corozal District claimed the life of one man and left several injured. Police investigations have revealed that a ten wheeler with license plate OW-A-00282 was being driven by 44 year old Servando Salazar of Orange Walk Town...

The Guardian

Eden Martinez takes UDP Toledo East Convention
UDP Caretaker for the Toledo East constituency, Peter Eden Martinez, was resoundingly elected as the new UDP Standard bearer in that constituency on Sunday January 12th. The party has commenced the process of selecting 13 standard bearers and Martinez's convention was the first to be held. The voting process started promptly at 10 in the morning and it carried along until 5 in the evening. The voting was brisk and enthusiastic as the constituents chose between Peter Eden Martinez and UDP stalwart in the constituency, Heston Wagner. By the time the polls closed 1,714 persons had cast their ballot with Martinez receiving 1,311 votes while Wagner received 390 votes. There were 13 spoilt ballots. | At the end of the convention, Martinez addressed the gathering during which he pledged to continue to work for the people of his constituency. Since we are now moving into an election year, next year, Martinez added that his efforts will even more so be concentrated on doing more work in Punta Gorda town. As the crowd of supporters cheered and applauded, Party Chairman, Alberto August administered the oath of office as standard bearer while the UDP Secretary General, Pearl Stuart observed.

Government Saves Sugar Industry Again!
After the long weeks of delay, and about 10 million dollars lost in revenue to the sugar industry, a date has been set for its start, and the factory owners will carefully negotiate with the farmers for a payment for bagasse. It has been widely covered by all the major media houses that the farmers had placed an indefinite embargo on the deliveries of cane to the sugar mill. Without the cane from the farmers, the 2013/2014 crop season has not been able to begin. It should have started sometime around November 15, but it has not, principally because of the bagasse dispute between the farmers and the factory owners. The dispute was continuing on with no clear end, and the country was losing revenue because of it, but the first big step to a temporary resolution came on Wednesday, January 8, when the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association tabled an interim agreement in their negotiations with the Belize Sugar Industry. BSI and its principal investor, ASR, continued to refuse giving a commitment to pay for bagasse, even after the Prime Minister Dean Barrow showed his support on behalf of the farmers based on the merit of their claim. He has made interventions in the dispute, and it would seem that his efforts, and that of the Government, has assisted. The interim agreement was supported by the cane farmers, after hours of discussion with their association's executive on Sunday, January 12. Both sides signed the interim agreement the next day.

2M for Drains in Belize City and 50 more Streets
Mayor of Belize City, Darrell Bradley, is continuing his aggressive infrastructure campaign in the city. Bradley told the Guardian Newspaper that a 1.8 million dollar contract has been signed with CISCO construction to build drains alongside 21 streets across the city. Work crews began to be deployed in work sites across the city on Monday January 13th. As the work program rolls out, employment will be created for an additional 200 more young men in addition to those already employed in the street construction project. Mayor Bradley says that 1.8 million dollars had been scheduled for the drain works however that has been expanded to 2.5 million dollars. CISCO will be doing the work on 17 of the streets which will include the digging and concreting of the drains as well as placing of culverts and driveways to home entrances. Bradley said that the drainage work will see great improvement in the flooding conditions on the streets in particular the streets on the Southside of the city. The drainage program aside, Mayor Bradley also explained that the street concreting program will also continue where at least 30 more streets will be paved. Additionally 20 other streets will be upgraded to just before paving standard. In these works, residents of the city will see installation of drains, culverts, walkways and driveways. The work plan includes upgrading of streets in the Belama phase 2 and 3. Councilor in charge of the roadwork is Dean Samuels who has already completed work on Lord Rhaburn Street where it was elevated to about 6 to 10 inches from where it was before.

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National Primary Schools Football championship this Friday
The 2013-2014 National Primary Schools Football Championships which was scheduled for last Friday January 10 that had to be postponed because of the wet conditions of the football fields will now be played this Friday January 17, 2014 at the MCC Grounds and the Queen's Square Football Field. The Official Opening Ceremony is scheduled to commence at 8:30 am at the MCC Grounds and this will be followed immediately with the first games in both the boys and girls competition. The National Primary Schools Football Championship features the champions in both the boys and girls category from all six districts of the country. The schools that will participate in the championship are from the Belize District - San Pedro Roman Catholic boys and girls; from the Cayo District - Santa Elena Primary School boys and girls; from the Corozal District - San Narciso Roman Catholic girls and Copper Bank Roman Catholic boys; from the Orange Walk District-Trial Farm Government boys and girls; from the Stann Creek District - Richard Quinn Roman Catholic girls from Georgetown and Sacred Heart Roman Catholic boys from Dangriga Town and from the Toledo District - San Jose Roman Catholic girls and Golden Steam Government School boys.

Usual Complaints at 2014 Supreme Court Opening
The annual Opening of the Supreme Court provides an opportunity for the Chief Justice, Attorney General and President of the Bar Association to speak on matters affecting the justice system of the country. There is one point of agreement among all parties; the criminal justice system is in crisis; however, rather than offering solutions to the challenges this year's opening was another finger pointing exercise. The opening of the Supreme Court session is held on the second Monday in the month of January so that the court can render an account of its performance in the previous year to the people of Belize. This year's ceremony began with an ecumenical service at the St. John's Anglican Cathedral. Immediately following the service, the Belize Defense Force band led a procession which included the Justices of the Supreme Court, Attorney General, Magistrates, members of the Bar Association of Belize and officers of the Court. The procession ended at the steps of the Belize Supreme Court. There was a small crowd gathered in the Battlefield Park to look on as the Justices of the Supreme Court arrived and were escorted before the Guard of Honour. Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin then came down from the Supreme Court building to inspect the Guard of Honour. Following the inspection, Chief Justice Benjamin made his way to his chambers to give a report on the state of the Judiciary.

Teachers Led Astray
About 500 teachers from the Orange Walk and Corozal Districts took to the streets in a parade and rally, supposedly in an effort of advocacy on behalf of the different social issues facing the country. This newspaper says "supposedly" because while their National President, Luke Palacio, spoke on some of those issues, he spent quite a lot of time on their disputes about their salary increase, which the Government of Belize has already approved after extended negotiations. On the morning of Friday, January 10, approximately 250 teachers from the Orange Walk branch of the BNTU marched a short route through the streets of the town, and then gathered at the Queen Elizabeth Park. The main address was given by Luke Palacio who spoke about corruption in public life, social security concerns and public insurance, to name a few, but he also spent a large portion of his time talking about the salary increase. They were mostly philosophical differences in opinions on how the salary issue is viewed, but the biggest tell on what it really was about came when the media asked the teachers supporting their union. Yes, they gave the advocacy answer, but quite a few of them said that it was about their pay increase. Even if they didn't list it as their primary reason for supporting, they did at least offer it as one of the reasons. Their Minister, Hon. Patrick Faber, still isn't convinced that important school hours need to be used to conduct these rallies. Speaking briefly on the logistics, Faber told the media that if the teachers, really wanted to, they could use a small amount of those Friday hours and still conduct classes accordingly. That could be a reasonable compromise, since the teachers have completely rejected the idea of conducting the rallies on the weekend.

Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association Agree to Memorandum with BSI/ASR
Belmopan. January 13, 2014. 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.

BTL Park almost ready
Over the months, the BTL Park has undergone a monumental transformation where it was basically leveled to the ground in order to give way to a bright and spanking new facility such as has never been seen in Belize City. Now the park is nearing completion and it is living up to all the hype. According to Mayor, Darrell Bradley, it is now 95 percent complete and the council will be launching the park on January 21. On that day there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony along with some entertainment to officially inaugurate the park. As it is work crews are working on the final touches of cleaning and landscaping and getting ready to place beach sand along the seawall of the park. Mayor Bradley added that already the pier has been built and other facilities including a amphitheater, benches, kiosks, swings, walkways, a police booth and other amenities have been put in place. The park said Bradley is to be an economic area for the city where it will be a major tourism and entertainment area for Belize. Plans are already underway to retrace the history of the park and even going so far as placing a replica of Lindbergh's plane "Spirit of St. Louis" placed in the park to recall that it was in that very area that the famous landing took place. The council is currently looking at zoning it as such. More than this however, the park will be an area where 28 new businesses will be established. Through financing from CARILED, the entrepreneurs who will occupy the park will be given incentives such as a $1,500 grant to get them ready and started.

Catholic Principals applaud Government
The Belize Catholic Association of Principals of Secondary Schools (BCAPSS) notes with great appreciation the decision of the Government of Belize to support, based on economic need, eligible Belizean secondary school students by paying for up to six CSEC exams as of the 2014-2015 school year. This new policy will not only make the CXC regional exams more accessible to students, but it will also increase the number of students that will be able to access junior colleges, as success in six CSEC exams (including English A)guarantees a tuition grant to the tertiary school of the student's choice. We especially applaud the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, the Honorable Patrick Faber, and his management team, for this massive investment which signals their commitment to development of the young people of this nation. We urge qualifying students to utilize this opportunity to develop their potential for the benefit of Belize.

Belize City Council sets up Infrastructure Fund
The Belize City Council is in the process of setting up mechanisms to finance an infrastructure fund. According to Mayor Darrell Bradley, when the council floated the 20 million dollar bond, it simultaneously set up an Infrastructure Fund at the Central Bank of Belize where the bond's proceeds were deposited. These moneys however have already been invested with the council using the last half million dollars that were available. Now the council is seeking to capitalize the fund permanently and as such, the council is looking to enact legislation to allow for revenue that is collected by the Belize City Traffic Department to be deposited in the Infrastructure Fund. This fund says Bradley will be a non-discretionary one where the finances will be used exclusively for road construction and repairs. According to the mayor, as part of the Traffic Department's revenue streams it had always been empowered by law to collect a 10 dollar fee for vehicle inspections. That fee however has never been put into effect and now with the move to finance the Infrastructure Fund, the council has begun to now collect that fee.

New Age: Belize City Drivers Now Renew Licenses Online
One of the qualities that made Deputy Mayor Bernard Pitts a key part of the UDP 11 team for Belize City was his background in Information Technology. The team already comprised of legal experts, a medical doctor and community activists and with a city ready to turn the page to a modern era Pitts's expertise in information technology was a key part of the formula for effective governance. On Tuesday, January 14th, Deputy Mayor Pitts introduced an online drivers license renewal program for the Belize City Council. Drivers whose licenses are expiring can now complete the renewal process from their couch at home. It means no more trips to the Traffic Department's main office where lines can require more than 30 minutes of patience. Drivers can visit the Council's website at then go to the subheading "Web" and click "Driver's License Renewal". There you will be asked to fill out a form which asks for license number, issuance date, expiration date and other identification information. The process takes less than ten minutes. Presently the program is only available for individuals with Atlantic Bank credit cards since the institution has been the main sponsor of the initiative. Pitts says the Council hopes to open payment options to debit card and account transfer transactions. Pitts says other banks are welcome to approach the Council to speak about expanding the program to their institution if they are willing to sponsor development of the program. The Council is also offering delivery service to individuals renewing licenses at $10 within city limits. Delivery services will be extended to holders of Belize City driver's license countrywide in the next few months then eventually to Belizeans living or studying abroad.

Julian Cho High School wins Toledo District Competition for National Secondary School 'Oil in Belize' Debate
Today, The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage hosted the 3rd debate in the National Secondary School Debate Competition on 'Oil in Belize'. Julian Cho High School and Toledo Community College competed for the chance to represent the Toledo District in the semi-final competition. At the end of the debate, Julian Cho High School was victorious in their arguments for the affirmative of the debate resolution: "Indigenous Mayas should be consulted on all oil exploration in communal lands and deserve 5% royalty." Following their win, Julian Cho High School now advances to the semi-final competition where they will meet the Belmopan Comprehensive High School in Dangriga Town on February 17. The next debate competition takes place in Belmopan on January 29 at the UB Jaguar Auditorium between Belize High School and Stann Creek Ecumenical High School. The National Secondary High School Debate Competition on 'Oil in Belize' is one of the many initiatives that The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage is carrying out to keep Belizeans informed and engaged on issues related to oil in Belize. The debate took place at the Fr. Ring Parish Hall in Punta Gorda Town

PUP demonstrates against PUP
The howls of complaints have already begun against the leadership of the People's United Party after they took the decision that no sitting area representative or anyone who ran in the last election can be challenged. This of course goes against their own constitution and their entire party now stands on the brink. The decision was not taken lightly and the PUP's in Cayo North East have made the clear point that they will not stand idly by as this happens. The PUP in that division took their stand and demonstrated against Myrtle Palacio making it clear that they did not want Habet to represent them in that division. No matter how much they protested however, in the most arrogant of ways, the leadership went ahead and endorsed Habet in that division. This latest act only proves that the PUP are just a bunch of self serving individuals who are willing to go even against its own constitution in order to serve themselves. To get a better understanding of what is taking place with the PUP, imagine that the government of Belize passes a Statutory Instrument which puts the constitution of Belize on hold. That of course, is completely and totally illegal, but that is what the PUP has done. We are sure that the demonstration by residents of Cayo North East will not be the only ones to rail hell against Myrtle and Henry Charles. There is much, much more of these to come. We will simply stand by and wait as this unfolds.

The PUP's Rebranding Gimmicks
The People's United Party recently announced that it is returning to its "Social Justice Roots". Apparently, they lost their way during the Musa Led Era. They seem willing to concede the fact that with Said Musa as leader they operated solely in the interest of multi-millionaires and billionaires. As they rubbed shoulders with the rich and infamous they crafted numerous schemes to enrich themselves. As a result, the PUP of the Musa Led Era will be remembered for bloated contracts, irresponsible loans from the public purse, plundering of government assets and pillaging of the country's resources and who can forget the Superbond. Since 2008, the PUP has been trying desperately to pass itself off as a "new" party. Meanwhile, Belizeans are looking at them, seeing the same old crooks, and asking themselves, "What is so different about them?" This new branding scam is the PUP's latest attempt to convince Belizeans that it is a new party. They proclaim to be no longer slaves of the billionaires but rather champions of the people. Not even Deputy Leader Ferguson is inspired by the return to roots. As the party leader delivered his "great" speech at the rebranding launch, Ferguson was in the background snoring-dreaming of the good old Musa days of plenty.

Concrete Roads now in Dangriga and PG
Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow announced a few weeks ago that the government will be investing $500,000 in Dangriga for the upgrade of streets in that municipality. It has become painfully apparent that the town board does not have the capacity to do the work that they were elected to do, so the UDP central government has had to step in to fill the breach. On December 9th, CISCO began work to repair the streets in Dangriga, these include Church, Isla and Benguche streets. As it is, the work on Benguche is nearing completion and according to CISCO's Francis Woods, they will be moving on to Isla street as soon as BWSL completes its work. So far there are some 25 workers employed with the company and that number is expected to be expanded to 40 workers within the next few days. Work is to also commence on roads in Punta Gorda on Thursday January 16th on West Street. On this project 30 workers will be employed.

Taiwan Scholarships Available
The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) is pleased to announce that on Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 at 10:30AM at the Chateau Caribbean Hotel, Belize City, this Embassy and Belize-Taiwan ICDF Alumni Society in Belize will host the 2014 Scholarships Programs Briefings for this year's scholarship applicants. Started from 2002 and 2004 respectively, this Embassy has accepted and recommended hundreds of applicants to apply for the Taiwan Scholarship and Taiwan ICDF Scholarship annually to pursue their degrees from Bachelor, Master to Ph.D programs in Taiwan in various fields such as public health, agriculture, business administration, engineering and information and communication technology. Until 2013, there are a total of 232 recipients accepted and around 100 persons had finished their study and returned to Belize to contribute their learning to this country. There are 21 Universities and 32 programs provided by Taiwan ICDF this year, including 11 Bachelor programs, 19 Master programs and 2 Ph.D programs. The application deadlines for Taiwan ICDF Scholarship and Taiwan Scholarship will be March 14, 2014 and March 31, 2014 respectively. For more detailed information, please visit the Embassy's website:, or contact the Embassy by telephone: 227-8744, 223-1862 or e-mail: [email protected]

Tanzanian Woman charged for Identity Theft
On Wednesday, January 15th, 55-year-old Tanzanian national Teena Isacc was escorted to the Belize City Magistrates Court to face criminal charges for trying to steal a Corozal woman's identity. According to reports, Isacc visited the Immigration Department in Belize City on Tuesday morning, January 14th, to apply for a Belizean passport using the identity of Carmen Cantun, a resident of San Narcisco Village. She presented a Social Security card and birth certificate as Cantun but Immigration officials were suspicious of the document. They executed a quick investigation into the documents and found that Carmen Cantun was not the woman applying for the passport. Isacc was detained and eventually handed over to police. In Court Isacc appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano where she was read four charges: one count of using a document she is not entitled to use (Social Security card number #514140), one count using a birth certificate not entitled to, a third count for fabricating a document in applying for a Belize passport (passport form) and a fourth count for failure to comply with a visitor's permit. Isacc arrived in Belize on July 22, 2012, and was granted stay in the country for one month. She has no proof to show she was ever granted an extension. In court Isacc was unrepresented and wasted no time by pleading guilty to all charges. Magistrate Dale Cayetano imposed four $1,000 fines plus four $5 cost of court fees. Being unable to pay the $4,020 fine, Isacc will have to serve a year at the Belize Central Prison in default.

Indians caught illegally beg not to be send back home
Indian brothers, 31-year-old Kuldeep Singh, and his younger sibling 28-year-old Manjimdes claim they left their home country because they fear for their lives. The two men were caught by their own admission when they slipped up and spoke to a police officer telling him they were in Belize illegally. They were promptly arrested and were taken to court on Tuesday January 7th. Allegations are that on Sunday, January 11, they were found on board a local bus heading from Benque Viejo to Belize City. Immigration Personnel said that the officer after speaking with the brothers on board the bus took them into custody and were later handed over to the Immigration Department.

Transvestite stabbed to death
The popular cross-dresser, 18 year-old Joseph Sanchez, was stabbed to death early on Sunday, January 12, and the local gay community is outraged by the crime. Police found Sanchez motionless body on Elston Kerr Street, behind Gwen Lizarraga High School. He had a single stab wound to the chest. They've since reviewed camera footage of the attack which reveals that Sanchez was walking on the sidewalk when two men on bicycle rode up to him. He realized that the men intended to rob him, so he threw his phone away. At knife point, they frisked him, and he didn't resist them in anyway. After taking what they wanted from him, the man with the knife inexplicably stabbed Sanchez in the chest. Investigators are puzzled as to why the assailants decided to murder Sanchez, since he cooperated completely. Local gay rights organization UNIBAM has come out strongly against the attack, calling it a hate crime against the LGBT community. Their sentiments join with those of his family who believe that someone may have lured him to his death. Sanchez is openly transgendered, and he has attracted a lot of enemies simply because of his physical appearance. His family says that in the week leading up to his death, he received numerous death threats which he didn't share with anyone except his closest friends. Sanchez has made a lot of friends but he is best known as a participant in the annual Carnival King and Queen competition. He entered 2 years in a row, and he came in third in the 2013 competition. Police have no leads at this time, and they have no suspects.

Two tourists kidnapped in Cayo
There was a kidnapping of two Americans for at least forty five minutes in various locations of Bullet Tree Falls and Paslow Falls in the Cayo District on Thursday January 9th. But the well coordinated actions of a Bullet Tree Falls Special Constable, Police and others resulted in the release of the kidnapped persons and no physical harm to them. Two siblings, 18 year old Kathen Kotay and 22 year old Manisha Kotay from Saint Paul Virginia, USA were accompanying Theo Cocchi, the owner of Parrot Nest Hotel in her vehicle about 8:00 am. The Businesswoman, Theo Cocchi, was coming out of her driveway when they were ordered to stop by two armed Hispanic men. The men then went inside the vehicle and drove off, stopping at a secluded area in Bullet Tree Falls where two additional male persons boarded the vehicle. After relieving her of a Smart Cell phone and jewellery, Theo Cocchi was released by the Kidnappers but ordered to come up with US $75,000.00 within two hours for the release of the two tourists. Theo Cocchi then proceeded to San Ignacio Town and called the Police. Quick actions by Police lead to the discovery of Manisha Kotay later on that morning.

Two men killed in one weekend
Cross-dresser Joseph Sanchez was but one of three murders which happened over the weekend. 38 year-old Emerson "Ras Emo" McDonald and 25 year-old Derrick "Beng" Parham were gunned down in two separate shootings over the weekend. McDonald, a father of 3, was walking with a friend on Central American Boulevard on Sunday, January 12, at around 5 p.m. He was a short distance away from his home when a masked gunman pulled up on bicycle and shot him in the back when he tried to run. An innocent bystander, Joseline Maximo, was shot in the leg by the spray of bullets. Both of them were rushed to the KHMH, but McDonald succumbed to his injuries while undergoing treatment 2 hours later. Two and a half hours after McDonald passed away, (at around 9:30 p.m.) Parham was walking home from a party at his aunt's house. His aunt was with him, and he was a block away from his house, but that didn't matter at all when a red car drove up suddenly. A gunman, who was described as being "dark-skinned with dreadlocks" jumped out of the car and shot him in the back. He died half hour later at the KHMH while undergoing treatment. Both families don't understand what motivated the attacks on the men. They were both described as family men. Parham's family told the media, however, that he had enemies because he stood up to anyone who tried to take advantage of his family members.

Verdes FC top team into Belikin Cup playoffs
clifton west scoring for police united.jpg - 80.71 KbThe regular season for the 2013 Premier League of Belize Belikin Cup Opening Season came to an end on Sunday January 12, 2014. There were three games on the schedule. In the game played out at the Marshalleck Stadium in Benque Viejo between the number one seed into the playoffs Verdes FC and former champions the Belmopan Bandits ended in a 0-0 draw. At the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga Town, the Belize Defence Force and the Paradise/Freedom Fighters played to a 1-1 draw. The visiting Paradise/Freedom Fighters got onto the scoreboard first when Alexander Peters scored his team's only goal of the game into the 50th minute of play to give his team a temporary lead. However, the Belize Defence Force got onto the scoreboard when Carlton Thomas scored the equalising goal in the 80th minute of play for the draw. And in the final game of the day played out at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the host team Police United won over San Ignacio United by the score of 3-1. The goals for Police United were scored by Clifton West in the 5th, 54th and 67th minutes of play, while the lone goal for the San Ignacio United team was scored by Eric Guzman in the 53rd minute of play.| On Friday January 10, in a backmatch game played out at the Marshalleck Stadium, Police United and Verdes FC played to a 1-1 draw. The goal for Verdes FC was scored by Richard Jimenez in the 33rd minute of play, while the equalising goal for the Police United was scored by Clifton West in the 53rd minute of play. Clifton West has captured the Most Goals scored trophy with a total of 8 goals in the 2013 Opening Season. The playoff round will commence this coming Saturday January 18 at 7:30 pm out at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium between the Belmopan Bandits #3 seed and the Belize Defence Force # 2 seed. It will then continue on Sunday January 19 at 4:00 pm at the MCC Grounds between FC Belize #4 seed and Verdes FC # 1 seed.

BAA to hold Athletic Training and Cross Country Trials
The Belize Athletics Association will be holding a Training session for persons wishing to become officials in the discipline of Athletics. This training will take place at the ITVET on Saturday January 18, 2014 commencing at 9:00 am. The training will consist of both theory and practical. Persons wishing to participate in the training can register with Hugh Staine on the day on the training or he can be contacted at 623-1335. Meanwhile, the Athletics Association will be holding a Cross Country Trials also on Saturday January 18, commencing at 1:00 pm in the vicinity of the Governor General Field and the surroundings. The event will be used to select athletes to represent Belize at the Central American Cross Country Championships (CADICA) to be hosted by the Costa Rican Athletics Federation in February. Persons wishing to participate can register on the day of the event or with any member of the association. According to the association registration is free. The categories and distances are listed to the right:

189 days to the opening of the XX Commonwealth Games
The XX Commonwealth Games is only 189 days away from its opening in Glasgow, Scotland, on July 23, 2014. As we go to press, the Queen's Baton Relay, which has been the curtain opener to all of the Commonwealth Games since Cardiff, Wales, in 1958 has only just arrived in Rwanda. The first Commonwealth Games were held in 1930 in Hamilton, Canada, where 11 countries sent 400 athletes to take part in 6 sports and 59 events. Since then, the Games have been conducted every four years except for 1942 and 1946 due to World War II and the event has seen many changes, not least in its name. From 1930 to 1950 the Games were known as the British Empire Games, from 1954 until 1960 the British Empire and Commonwealth Games and from 1970-1974 they took on the title of British Commonwealth Games. It was the 1978 Games in Edmonton that saw this unique, world class, multi-sports event changed its name to the Commonwealth Games. The Games are often referred to as the 'Friendly Games' only single competition sports had been on the programme from 1930 up to and including the 1994 Games in Victoria. The 1998 Games in Kuala Lumpur saw the introduction of team sports with nations taking part in cricket, hockey (men and women), netball (women), rugby 7's (men). At the 2006 Games in Melbourne basketball accompanied hockey, netball and rugby's 7 on the programme.

National Primary Schools Football championship this Friday
The 2013-2014 National Primary Schools Football Championships which was scheduled for last Friday January 10 that had to be postponed because of the wet conditions of the football fields will now be played this Friday January 17, 2014 at the MCC Grounds and the Queen's Square Football Field. The Official Opening Ceremony is scheduled to commence at 8:30 am at the MCC Grounds and this will be followed immediately with the first games in both the boys and girls competition. The National Primary Schools Football Championship features the champions in both the boys and girls category from all six districts of the country. The schools that will participate in the championship are from the Belize District - San Pedro Roman Catholic boys and girls; from the Cayo District - Santa Elena Primary School boys and girls; from the Corozal District - San Narciso Roman Catholic girls and Copper Bank Roman Catholic boys; from the Orange Walk District-Trial Farm Government boys and girls; from the Stann Creek District - Richard Quinn Roman Catholic girls from Georgetown and Sacred Heart Roman Catholic boys from Dangriga Town and from the Toledo District - San Jose Roman Catholic girls and Golden Steam Government School boys.

Failing Grade
Imagine teachers in Belize entering their classrooms one morning to find them half empty. The Ministry of Education does not have any information to explain the empty classrooms but enquiries reveal that a letter had been sent to the various Managements informing them that students would be attending rallies on designated Fridays to learn more about their rights. The rallies are being organised by a group of concerned parents who have read reports showing that high repetition and drop-out rates can be largely attributed to poor teaching and school administration. The Management Authorities appear ineffective in weeding out poor teachers, the Teachers' Union mandate is to protect teachers and so the full brunt of this institutional failure falls on parents and students. Some parents therefore decided to take matters into their own hands and hold sessions in every district to teach the students and their parents how to monitor the quality of the education they are receiving, rate their teachers and school administrations as well as report instances of inappropriate or inequitable behaviour and poor educational practices. Managements, Unions and the Ministry of Education would be outraged and the students who missed school would be subject to demerits, suspensions and even expulsions even if they brought letters from their parents supporting their actions. Some voices would query whether the parents were not overstepping their authority and these issues should more properly be dealt with by the government and managing authorities. However, many people would agree that the sessions were an important component of raising educational standards. Regardless, almost everyone would be concerned that the sessions had been scheduled for a school day. They would want to know how students who missed school would catch up with the work covered during their absence. Most teachers would reasonably be unwilling to hold extra classes after school or on weekends to teach the missed material. Re-teaching it during regular sessions would not be fair to the students who had gone to school and ignoring it would leave the absent students at a disadvantage for tests and examinations. Other concerned persons would also reasonably ask if any roll call was taken to show which students had actually attended the full sessions, who had gone for only a short time and then left and who had just taken the day off.

Accident on Arenal Road in Cayo
Benque Viejo del Carmen Police responded last Friday to an accident at Mile Seven on the 'Hydro Road' in the Cayo District. Police were called to the scene of a collision between a van and an 18 wheeler truck, which was coming from Arenal; leaving some eight persons injured. Benque Police have thus far recorded a statement from a male driver of the truck, whose outlook was favorable and as a result came out of the hospital on Monday of this week. Police are now awaiting a report from the driver of the van, who was more seriously injured, while being accompanied by six other Belize Electric Company Limited BECOL co-workers. "At present all occupants (of the van) are at the hospital and we are continuing our investigation", reports Dinsdale Thompson, Officer in Charge of Benque Viejo Police.

Book Launched in Belmopan
A colorful children's book depicting the Garifuna Culture was launched on Wednesday of this week at the National Heritage Library on Mountain View Boulevard in Belmopan. Present for the occasion were staff members from the Belize National Library Service and Information System, the National Institute of Culture and History - NICH as well as primary school children from the Belmopan Area. Felicia Pelayo from NICH told the children that a book is a work of art awaiting reception. She encouraged the children to make reading a part of their lives. There was an opportunity to learn via video from Mali Cayetano, the main illustrator of this second book, 'Wanaragua' that the dance Wanaragua or Jankunu Dance is celebrated in Belize, Honduras and Nicaragua. According to Mali Cayetano some of the dance's features are shared with German and European traditions. This is the second book produced by the family of well known artist Pen Cayetano and author wife Ingrid Cayetano. Their first book, 'We are Free', tells the story of the journey of the Garinagu from Africa into the Caribbean.

Desmond Lewis Buys a TV and Drives Home with a Truck
Garden City Primary School teacher, Desmond Lewis, 25, went to Courts to purchase a television for Christmas and because of that he is now the owner of a 2012 Great Wall Wingle pickup truck. Lewis went to Courts on December 10th to purchase a television as a Christmas gift to himself. There he was informed by the sales representative that there was a brand awareness promotion on 32" TCL (The Creative Life) televisions. Lewis was told that if he purchased the 32" TCL television he would receive a ticket to win a 2012 Great Wall Wingle pickup truck. He bought the television but was not really concerned about the raffle because he "has never won anything before". After he wrote his contact information on the raffle stub, that was the end of it in his mind. According to Kovenka James, Marketing Officer at Unicomer Belize, "the promotion was held from November 8th to December 31st and during that time lots of TCL TVs were sold and customers learned a lot about the brand."

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Liquor License meeting set for Jan 22nd

Catholic Principals applaud Government
The Belize Catholic Association of Principals of Secondary Schools (BCAPSS) notes with great appreciation the decision of the Government of Belize to support, based on economic need, eligible Belizean secondary school students by paying for up to six CSEC exams as of the 2014-2015 school year. This new policy will not only make the CXC regional exams more accessible to students, but it will also increase the number of students that will be able to access junior colleges, as success in six CSEC exams (including English A)guarantees a tuition grant to the tertiary school of the student's choice. We especially applaud the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, the Honorable Patrick Faber, and his management team, for this massive investment which signals their commitment to development of the young people of this nation. We urge qualifying students to utilize this opportunity to develop their potential for the benefit of Belize.

Government may pay for up to 6 CSEC exams per student
According to a news items in the UDP Guardian, the government may pay for up to 6 CSEC exams per student. A student who passes 6 CSEC exams are eligible to receive a tuition scholarship to a 6th Form of their choice. The Belize Catholic Association of Principals of Secondary Schools (BCAPSS) notes with great appreciation the decision of the Government of Belize to support, based on economic need, eligible Belizean secondary school students by paying for up to six CSEC exams as of the 2014-2015 school year. This new policy will not only make the CXC regional exams more accessible to students, but it will also increase the number of students that will be able to access junior colleges, as success in six CSEC exams (including English A)guarantees a tuition grant to the tertiary school of the student's choice.

For those graduates of SCA�
The Office of Alumnae Relations takes this time to extend its wishes at the start of a new year. In doing so the attached invitation is yours to join in the celebration of Foundation Day Mass 2014. The event will be held on the Campus grounds on Monday, January 20th at 8:00am. The celebration of 130 years of service is a milestone paying great tribute to our founding Sisters whose mission has only manifested in the great successes of all our graduates. In addition, we call on all Alumnae to join with the SCA student body, faculty and Sisters of Mercy as together we can only continue to BUILD up, a STRENGTHEN the MERCY family. Best wishes to you, your families, and loved ones during this New Year. Regards, Ms. Adelaide A. Sabido, BSc. Director SCA Alumnae Relations

Tourism development plan for Caye Caulker?
On Jan 15, 2014 in a Channel 7 interview, Director of Tourism, Laura Esquivel-Framption made mention of a "�tourism development plan for Caye Caulker�" "Laura Esquivel-Frampton - Director of Tourism "We plan to look at the development of waterfront strategy for Punta Gorda, a tourism development plan for Caye Caulker, and since one of the reasons we also chose Corozal was to also announce that we plan to work with the residents of Corozal for the development of a waterfront strategy for Corozal Town." Does anyone know what this entails?


The last hurrah at BC's beach bar and a bit of it's history
Last night marked the end of an era, BC's beach bar final night in it's current location. I was planning to go with Mary bad weather had her deciding to cancel. I texted tacoboy for a plan b option and he was willing to stop by and get me from the land of lakes :) when he was done work. We agreed we would go for one drink and call it a night. It was pretty packed when we got there and of course we decided to stay longer, enjoy everyone's company and remember all the good times spent there. One of my favorites was the Gringo's Gone Wild party that Charlene agreed I could host there. We packed the house that day, so many good pics of the message board gang in that post. As I was looking it up, I even found the old thread 10 page thread about the party on

Caye Caulker: Checking out A Few Hotels
Caye Caulker is absolutely teaming with people. And it's a hot spot for lots of reasons. One is the definitely the affordable hotels. They have a wide range of spots to stay starting with a bunch of hostels and rustic cabins to smarter hotels. There are so many to check out so I decided to just start with a few to beef up my hotel listing (Hotels in Caye Caulker)� First� one that I've heard good reviews about for a while. De Real Macaw Guest Rooms and Apartments. Situated on the main road just across from the beach, the pretty painted fence always catches my eye. Behind the gate, they have cabanas/small two story buildings and on the top floor on the main house, with the very cool front porch that would be an IDEAL spot to watch the Caye Caulker world go by while sipping a Belikin, I checked out an apartment that you can rent for your stay.

International Sources

"Dramatic" New Maya Temple Found, Covered With Giant Faces
Archaeological "gold mine" illuminates connection between king and sun god. Some 1,600 years ago, the Temple of the Night Sun was a blood-red beacon visible for miles and adorned with giant masks of the Maya sun god as a shark, blood drinker, and jaguar. Long since lost to the Guatemalan jungle, the temple is finally showing its faces to archaeologists, and revealing new clues about the rivalrous kingdoms of the Maya. Unlike the relatively centralized Aztec and Inca empires, the Maya civilization-which spanned much of what are now Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico's Yucat�n region was a loose aggregation of city-states. "This has been a growing awareness to us since the 1990s, when it became clear that a few kingdoms were more important than others," said Brown University archaeologist Stephen Houston, who announced the discovery of the new temple Thursday. El Zotz, in what's now Guatemala, was one of the smaller kingdoms, but one apparently bent on making a big impression. By 2010 archaeologists working on a hilltop near the ancient city center had discovered 45-foot-tall (13-meter-tall) Diablo Pyramid. Atop it they found a royal palace and a tomb, believed to hold the city's first ruler, who lived around A.D. 350 to 400. Around the same time, Houston and a colleague spotted the first hints of the Temple of the Night Sun, behind the royal tomb on Diablo Pyramid. Only recently, though, have excavations uncovered the unprecedented artworks under centuries of overgrowth. The sides of the temple are decorated with 5-foot-tall (1.5-meter-tall) stucco masks showing the face of the sun god changing as he traverses the sky over the course of a day. One mask is sharklike, likely a reference to the sun rising from the Caribbean in the east, Houston said. The noonday sun is depicted as an ancient being with crossed eyes who drank blood, and a final series of masks resemble the local jaguars, which awake from their jungle slumbers at dusk.

52 Places to Go in 2014
50. Belize More flights and lodges in Central America's eco-frontier. Twenty years ago, when Francis Ford Coppola opened Blancaneaux Lodge in western Belize, relatively few travelers had ventured into this small Central American country. Slowly they arrived, many of them curious to witness the scenery that had captivated the film director, which he described in an email as "completely remote, with a beautiful pristine river you could drink the water out of and the most star-studded night sky I had ever seen." Since then, upscale rustic hotels have cropped up all over Belize - there's the one-year-old El Secreto in Ambergris Caye, for example, and Belcampo, an eco-lodge and sustainable farm in the south that's about to unveil a sophisticated redesign - adding to the lure of rain forests, Mayan ruins and coral reefs. It helps that Belize is easier to reach: Delta recently announced nonstop flights from Los Angeles to Belize City, and regional carriers like Tropic Air have expanded their routes, connecting Belize to resorts like Canc�n and making remote towns like San Ignacio more accessible.

CARIBBEAN VIEW: The Harsh Effects of Being Less Well-off
Throughout the Caribbean, people feel less well off. The only people who may be exceptions to this general sentiment are those in Guyana whose per capita income (now US$3,410.00) has increased in recent years. But even in Guyana, the per capita income level is so low -- higher only than Haiti (US$760.00) in the Caribbean Community -- that any perception among the majority of doing better is marginal. Unemployment has risen in several countries affecting families across the board. They either have less collective income or those fortunate enough to be employed have to contribute to the survival of those without jobs. Disposable incomes for all have declined as higher costs for utilities and higher income and value added taxes devour increasingly larger portions of wages and salaries. Again with the exception of a small number of countries, the decline in real family incomes has adversely affected the construction industry with a decelerating effect on economies. The construction of individual homes or housing schemes is a provider of jobs and has a multiplier effect on economies stimulating economic growth.

Hear the Surprising Sounds of Ocean Life
Most people know what a whale or a dolphin sounds like, but have you ever heard a toadfish grunt? Or a sea lion talking to its mother? Thanks to a team of ocean conservationists, now you can. And soon all these natural sounds will be used to tell the stories of ocean life through creative interpretations of leading artists. Francesca von Habsburg is the founder and chairman of the Vienna-based foundation Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21). The foundation's TBA21-Academy integrates art, science and sustainability, a fellowship bringing artists, scientists and thinkers together at sea. The Academy's vessel, Dardanella, places them in unique geographical contexts that raise ecological, economic and social issues. Francesca gathered a small team of experts to go on a four-year expedition initiated by her foundation and its academy program, to record ocean life using its unique underwater techniques. She plans to share the sounds through a series of opuses and art installations by leading artists and composers in hopes of bringing attention to the importance of fragile marine life. "We wanted to bring the art world to the rescue of the marine world," Francesca said in an interview from the expedition ship in the Galapagos.

Hurricanes & Risk of Exposure to Parasites
Howler monkeys in Belize suffered from more parasite infections as a direct result of hurricane damage to the forest where they live. Biological anthropologists found that the monkeys caught the parasites in the wake of a category four hurricane from eating Ceprocia, a plant that blooms in forests after natural disasters. The plant houses many parasite-hosting ants, which the monkeys accidentally consume along with the Ceprocia leaves. The research highlights the dangerous effect that climate-related disasters can have on animals' diets and behaviours, and therefore on the structures of ecosystems. It is well documented that when wild primates are found in disturbed forests they tend to have higher levels of parasitism. This is generally thought to be due to the fact that in such forests food is less available and often of lower quality, which can lead to nutritional stress. This sort of stress can have negative implications for many body systems including the immune system, potentially making animals more susceptible to contracting diseases, including parasites. This synergism between nutrition, stress and parasites was the topic of my PhD research, which documented the impact of a major hurricane on a wild howler monkey population in Belize. As co-author, Dr. Mary Pavelka, had been running the monkey River study site prior to the hurricane, I was able to use this natural experiment as a means to investigate how changes in diet and activity following severe habitat alteration affect the nutritional intake, stress levels and parasite load of the population and in turn how that related to patterns of population recovery.

OAS Anti-Corruption Mechanism to Visit Six Caribbean Countries
The Anticorruption Mechanism of the Organization of American States (OAS) will hold on site visits in April to Belize, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname, in the framework of the Fourth Round of Review of the mechanism. The process of on site visits to the six Caribbean countries, which are carried out with their consent, began last December, when the governments of these nations sent their replies to the questionnaire sent by MESICIC (Mechanism for Follow-Up on the Implementation of Inter-American Convention against Corruption) delegates as a prior step to the visit of the delegations. Each subgroup is composed of representatives of two member countries, with the support of officials from the OAS Department of Legal Cooperation.

Trinidad Oil Spills Leave State-Owned Energy Company Scrambling To Clean Up
At least 11 oil spills have crippled parts of Trinidad and Tobago, coating miles of beach with crude as the state-owned energy company scrambles to control what's being called one of the country's worst environmental disasters. Petrotrin, Trinidad's state-owned oil company, first responded to an oil spill near La Brea on Dec. 17, according to a report from the Trinidad Guardian. Over the past month, the company has confirmed at least 11 spills and was slapped with a $3.1 million fine from the country's Environmental Management Authority last week, which the company's president, Khalid Hassanali, called "harsh." Here's where it gets weird. The pipeline responsible for the first of the leaks at Petrotrin's Point-a-Pierre facility, which resulted in an initial spill of more than 7,000 barrels, may not have undergone any inspections for the past 17 years, according to a confidential report commissioned by the company and obtained by the Trinidad Guardian. Of the other 10 leaks, Petrotrin has accused saboteurs of causing at least 2 while releasing a series of media releases praising what they describe as "significant progress" during clean-up efforts, saying the beaches would be clean one to two weeks after the spill.

The Land of Make Belize
My last day on San Pedro was my favorite day. I went on an adventure with my new friend Joey. We got bikes from our hotel and under my yoga teachers instructions were going Over The Bridge. I didn't know where the bridge was or what was over it but that was were we were heading for the day. We cycled through town on our snazzy bikes and crossed over the bridge. The other side of the island is so different from San Pedro Town. A few minutes on a bike but it feels like another World. It is even more beautiful and peaceful there. First stop on our adventure was a photo opportunity at an abandoned cinema followed by lunch in a hotel bar. Outside was a warning sign advising us to show caution as the island was under dispute of ownership. Well fear not. It WAS under dispute, I own it now. Everyone is welcome, clothing is optional. I had heard around town about a place called the Palapa Bar. We stumbled on it by accident. The Palapa Bar is without a doubt the most beautiful bar in the World. Over looking water so clear that from our stools we could see sting rays and octopus playing below. I drank several kiwi cocktails, which I can tell you from my expert opinion were phenomenal, followed by some chicken nachos. If there is a paradise here on Earth it is the Palapa Bar. So nice in fact I don't want to tell people about it. I want it to be my little secret so I can live there with the cocktails and sting rays alone forever.

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