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Today's Belize News: January 28, 2014 #484288
01/28/14 05:10 AM
01/28/14 05:10 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 81,155
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Another government Minister, Edmond Castro, embroiled in scandal
Another scandal is brewing and it involves the Minister of State in the Ministry of Works and Transport with responsibility of Civil Aviation and Area Representative of Belize Rural North Honorable Edmond “Clear the Land” Castro. A number of checks have been written by the Belize Airport Authority (BAA) to Castro and for expenses incurred by him. The checks have been surfacing in the media and are all from BAA, a statutory body that falls under the responsibility of Castro. The San Pedro Sun has gotten possession of images of nine checks. Two of the checks are made out to Bowen and Bowen, one for the sum of $5000 and the other for $5321.66. According to Channel 5 News, those checks were used to pay for beverages for political functions held by Castro. There are three checks of varying amounts made directly to Castro as well. One is in the sum of $4,000, another for $900 and the third for $5156.55. According to the People’s United Party Belize Times Newspaper, the third check was given to Castro to offset burial expenses for a family member. But there is yet another check made out to David Coye Funeral Parlour for the sum $3337.50, which is believed to have been related to that very same burial expense.

Two wheels can be better than four when it comes to police patrols
Editorial: Tamara Sniffin The ongoing problem of transportation for our San Pedro police offers has been a topic of debate for years. It seems that whatever the vehicle may be, a four-wheeler, motorcycle, Polaris or truck, it is reduced to shambles in a matter of months. We all know how hard the island environment is on vehicles, from rust to rain and ruined roads, they all take a beating, but it seems that police transportation suffers to the extreme. Is this because they have to take the vehicle to the limit in search of the bad guys or is it due to driving it without a care? I know this might be a touchy subject, but a lot of us own and maintain a vehicle here on La Isla and gosh knows they don’t look like the junk on wheels that sat on blocks in front of the hardware store on Pescador Drive for the last few weeks. It wasn’t until our Senior Reporter Jorge Aldana posted something about it on his personal Facebook page that the spectacularly beat-up police truck was removed. Ironically his post merited a call from OC Castellanos to this editor, stating that the truck had not been “crashed and abandoned” but left there with the intent of making the public aware of their less than adequate means of transportation.

nuDE architectures + interiors
nuDE architectures + interiors is a young San Pedro-based architecture company, owned by San Pedro native Javier Alamilla. nuDE(new Designers) made its premiere in 2011, offering services such as commercial ,resort and residential consultations, planning and designs. While nuDE typically delivers modern designs with rustic twists and simple warmth so as to compliment a natural environment, the company’s versatile design portfolio allows them to meet the needs of almost any clientele agenda. From a young age,owner Javier had a passion for design, and at 15 he was given the opportunity to do summer internships with established island architect Vicky Nelder. It was through this that he decided to pursue studies in architectural designs in Mexico. While enrolled in school, Javier was actively involved in several projects with his peers. After receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture specializing in Bioclimatic Design, Javier decided to invest in the start-up of his own company here in his hometown of San Pedro.

Ambergris Today

Belize/Guatemala Minister Strengthen Relations
On Friday, January 24, 2014, The Honorable Wilfred Elrington, Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize, His Excellency Fernando Carrera, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala and His Excellency Jose Miguel Insulza, signed a document entitled Roadmap for Strengthening Bilateral Relations in 2014 at the headquarters of the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C. The signing of this important undertaking took place before Ambassadors and representatives of OAS member states.

Pic of the Week: Total Relaxation in Paradise
Days off in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize are usually spent doing something like this. Locals take advantage of their free time and enjoy the island as tourists do. Well, if you are a tourist, then you can do this all day long for the length of your stay. Total relaxation at its best, seen here at Rojo Beach Bar's infinity pool in North Ambergris Caye.

Flashbacks: Building San Pedro High School
Indeed this was early 1980’s and perhaps the very first efforts by students of San Pedro High to construct their new high school building. They were tired of using the community center, now the Town Hall and were on their way to clear the bush of the property at Boca Del Rio Area to prepare for the big project. The land had been a donation of the government of Belize under Area Rep. Hon. Louis Sylvestre. The building committee was busy raising funds and the kids took the pride and the task of cleaning the high bush. As they paraded, they reminded San Pedro to co-operate under this slogan: IF IT IS TO BE, IT IS UP TO ME.

25 Years Ago: A Wealthy Living Lagoon
Today we know that this body of water right behind the town of San Pedro is void of fishes and has no economic benefits. The only purpose of this so called lagoon is for boat navigation from the sea on the east of the island to the west or back side of the island. There is no swimming, no hand line fishing, no fish traps, no casting of nets- nothing. Not so years ago in San Pedro. In this lagoon there are several sink holes (posas) where fishing was frequent and exciting. Some of the largest black snappers and even Jew fish were caught with hand line in these sink holes. Most folks disliked fishing there due to the fact that if a fish did not bite the hook would get caught on some rock or coral on the edge of the sink hole. That meant that you had to forcibly break the line and you lost several yards of your precious line and the hook.

Misc Belizean Sources

The Grand Belize Entertainment Group Announces Plans for World-Class Casino Resort and Online Casino
The Grand Belize Entertainment Group has announced plans to build a world-class casino resort and spa paired with an online casino, a concept slated to be the very first of its kind by integrating an online entity within the design of a casino resort. Casino gaming is projected to be a $390 billion industry in 2013. The online gaming segment remains one of the fastest growing in the industry with an average growth rate of 23% per year since 2003 and 32% in 2011. Michael Glauser, chief operating officer of The Grand Belize Entertainment Group, said, “we are excited to be on the forefront of this innovative concept in gaming. As one of only four licensed casinos to Belize, the launch of the online casino will attract gaming aficionados around the globe while promoting our world-class property in Belize, even before it opens.” According to Glauser, Peak Gaming Group will support the development, launch, and management of the online casino, which is scheduled to launch worldwide second quarter 2014. Blue Sky Advisory Group has been selected to assist in the development and manage the day-to-day operation of the casino resort and spa.

1 cup uncooked rice 4 cups water 1 cup milk 1 cup evaporated milk 1 can condensed milk (or to taste) 1 cinnamon stick 1 tablespoon vanilla 2 inch piece of ginger, grated ENJOY!

Western Ballaz Schedule
The Western Ballaz, who were on Sports Zone tonight, have their schedule out. Their first two games are on the road, and they'll face the Corozal Heats and Orange Walk Running Rebels. They'll play their first home game at the SHC auditorium on February 21st, and they'll take on the Dangriga Culture Warriors.

Amazing Adventures in Cayo
Arran and Alison Bevis, from Mountain Equestrian Trails, were interviewed recently, and they had a lot to say about Cayo, and Belize. Many of the great spots in Cayo are talked about in the interview, including Cahal Pech, Xunantunich, the Green Iguana Conservation Project, and MPR. "I can take any of my kiddos here: both of these places are easily accessible with small children. At Rio On, there’s a variety of depths of water and many natural pools to choose from, so it’s great for swimming with the kids and sliding down the waterfalls. The enormous Rio Frio Cave, with its huge, impressive entrance, is also a great attraction for all ages, perfect for some spooky exploration, and easy to get in-and-out-of."

Belize History Association Formed
Congratulations to the newly elected executive board of the newly formed Belize History Association. Can't wait to see what they come up with. "History was made in Belmopan on Saturday, January 25, 2014 with the formation of the Belize History Association and the election of its Executive Board. Congrats to the elected members: Mr. Francis Humphreys - Chair Mr. Gian Vasquez - Vice-Chair Ms. Myrna Manzanares - Senior Member Mr. Fred Hunter Sr. - Senior Member Ms. Ifasina Efunyemi - Junior Member"

Belikin Stout National Domino Tournament
Belikin had their domino tournament in Cayo this weekend. The 2 winning teams received beer and a cash prize. "The Belikin Stout National Domino Tournament was this weekend at the Spot Bar on Bullet Tree Road. The teams consisted of 8 players each. They had great prizes, beer and money, and trophies for the first and second place teams."

Banana Pudding with Nilla Wafers
This recipe for Banana Pudding with Nilla wafers is divine and simple to make. While waiting for the pudding to set, I got invited to a jewelry party so Jada stepped in and tasted the dessert for me. I didn't want it to go overnight before I showed you guys what the pudding looked like.

Government minister to undergo spine surgery in the USA
The Honorable the member for Mesopotamia division and Minister of Housing Mr. Michael Finnegan left Belize today for the United States where he is scheduled to undergo surgery to his lower spine. The wife of the veteran parliamentarian Diane Finnegan today confirmed to Patrick Jones that Mr. Finnegan’s stay in the USA is dependent on the success of the surgery. The five-time Mesopotamia area representative has a degenerative condition that, when it last flared up, wore down two spinal disks and caused pain in his left leg after touching a nerve root. Hon. Finnegan is a prostate cancer survivor and has lived all his life with a disability that has affected his arms.

Heavy sedimentation reported on the Sittee River
Concerns are being raised over the extraction of material from the Sittee River bed. The operation, which was photographed near the Kendall Bridge over the weekend, could be under legal permit from the Department of the Environment, although this has not been confirmed. A request for information from DOE via email has not yet obtained a response. Indications are that the activity on the Sittee River may have been going on for a while now and there are complaints of heavy sedimentation downstream. We await a response from the Department of the Environment and will post an update when that expected response is received.

Good weather and lots of sunshine in the forecast
There will be sunshine this week … lots of it. That is the general consensus of the Belize Weather Bureau where forecasters say mainly fair weather conditions will prevail over the course of the next couple of days. Today will see mostly sunny skies. Skies will be clear tonight and little or no rainfall is expected. Winds are easterly to southeasterly at 5 to 15 knots and the sea is choppy. High temperatures this afternoon will be 89 degrees Fahrenheit in Punta Gorda town, Belize City and Corozal town. It will be 84 degrees Fahrenheit in Belmopan, San Ignacio town and Spanish Lookout community. Up at Baldy Beacon, the high temperature this afternoon will be a comfortable 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

Channel 7

Despite His Police Connection, Corporal Gino Peck Found Guilty
Police Corporal Gino Peck is at the Hattieville Prison tonight - sent there by the GSU for possession of firearms and ammunition. Peck, who has been in the Department for 22 years is staring down a 5 year sentence after he was convicted of firearm offences at the Magistrate's Court this afternoon. Viewers may remember the sensational case of Peck and his wife who were busted at their home on Currasow Street on January 19 of last year with unlicensed and prohibited firearms and ammunition. Peck's case was particularly scrutinized because it divided the Police Department's Eastern Division. The Gang Suppression Unit said that he needed to be charged, while the senior rank and file refused to support the GSU on that action. As we reported, at around 6:30 a.m. on that day 53 weeks ago, the GSU raided his house, and Peck handed over his police issued glock 9mm pistol with 13 live rounds of ammunition. The officers continued their search and inside a chest of drawers, they found 8 live rounds of .45 ammunition which is prohibited.

Son Faces Murder Charges For Killing Dad
54 year old Hensley "Nick" Jones said he was shot three times in the head by his own son on New Year's Day - and tonight that son Hendley Jones is accused of patricide, killing his own father. "Nick" Jones, passed away on Saturday from complications relating to his head injury. As we told you, on New Year's Day, Corozal police responded to a report in Ranchito Village where they found Hensley Jones suffering from 3 gunshot wounds to the head. He told police that his son shot him in the head for no apparent reason. He suffered 2 wounds to the left side, and 1 to the back of the head, and police found him running out of his house, and they rushed him to the hospital. After 24 days in which he had showed encouraging signs, he passed away while undergoing treatment.

Tajah Is Surviving
And while Nick Jones was shot on New Year's Day, 19 year old Tajah Staine was shot on New Year's Eve in Belize City. The young lady was shot ten times, allegedly by her own 16 year old male cousin. But, incredibly, she survived and four weeks later is continuing to to make strides back to health. Today her mother told Monica Bodden how Tajah is doing:.. Jermaine Thompson - Mother of Shooting Victim "So far we found another bullet lodge in the wrist part of her hand. We will try to see if we can take that out tomorrow, but other from that is as we go along. The other two bullets are still lodge in the back of her neck. The doctors are still contemplating whether they should move it or leave it as it is because they say if it is not affecting any nerve then its best they leave it as is. That is where we are when it comes to the bullets." "Tajah bounced right back, I mean it surprise me, she is ready to back to school. The only thing that bothers her is the bullets that are still lodge in her. She cries in the night of pain, so she lives on pain killers until the doctors decide what they will do."

Aragon Jr. Distances Himself From Land Scandal
And turning now to politics, there was an interesting development in Orange Walk East today. That's the division where the UDP is having a convention in a few days' time on February second. And last week, aspirant Elodio Aragon Juniour was dogged by allegations that his father, former area representative Elodio Sr had snatched up an abandoned piece of public park land as his private property. Add to that the fact that the title for an adjoining basketball court is missing, and you had the key elements for a land grab scandal. The interesting part is that the Aragon attack was allegedly orchestrated by fellow UDP's - from the rival camp in this hotly contested convention. So today, Aragon had to move smartly to gain distance from a toxic political situation. But he couldn't very well renounce his own father. So how did he play it? That's what Jules Vasquez went to Orange Walk to see:... Jules Vasquez reporting Guadalupe Park, it's been in a state of ruin for decades, but recently it became the site for a different kind of sport: political football. And this morning Elodio Aragon Junior tried to score an equalizer after losing points when it was alleged that his family was guilty of a land grab with public lands.

BT Charged For George Street Shooting
Last week, 7News told you about the shooting of 19 year-old Steven Alvarez, which left him with a bullet in his left leg. Well, police believe that the shooter was 28 year-old Brandon "BT" Tillett, a well-known figure to police who lives on George Street, the same street where Alvarez was shot. Tillett was arraigned before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, on the charges of attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm, and dangerous harm. Due to the nature of the offences, he was remanded to prison until February 27, his next court date. Tilett made our newscast as recently as last year in August when he claimed that the Gang Suppression Unit brutalized him. The Gang Suppression Unit charged him for allegedly assaulting one of their officers, Detective Constable Abner Itza. He is facing charges of assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest and wounding. That case is still pending in the Magistrate's Court.

Leroy Gomez Acquitted Of Escape
26 year-old Leroy Gomez, who is currently serving a 15-year sentence dodged more jail time after he was able to beat an escape charge which was brought against him. A jury of 9 heard his case where it was alleged that on August 27, 2011 he escaped from Police Constable Jarcel Savery while being detained at the Mahogany Police Station. During that time, he was wanted in connection to rape and robbery. Savery told the court that he handcuffed Gomez, and while he was making a call Gomez escaped from custody. He says that when he returned, he saw Gomez running down Oleander Street. He fired warning shots in the air but Gomez made haste. He was caught 3 days later. Gomez, who was unrepresented, chose to remain silent, but called an alibi witness on his behalf.

Horse And Others Still Waiting For PI
30 year-old Jermaine "Horse" Garnett, his 23 year-old step-son, Cassian Bennet, and 35 year-old Kenneth Barrow will have to wait until Friday for the Chief Magistrate to determine whether or not they will have to stand trial in the Supreme Court. Viewers may remember that on last week Wednesday, the Preliminary Inquiry started for these men. The issue at this time is that the main witness is believed to have left the jurisdiction, and police can't locate her. She has fingered all 3 men as the shooters who killed 19 year-old Raheem Requena in her statement to police, the prosecution's case against the men is at a crossroads. Attorneys for all 3 accused submitted that even if that main witness could be located, the evidence she would give is flawed because in her account, there are discrepancies of line of sight and visibility.

Sugar Deliveries Moving Along Steadily
The 2014 Sugar Crop season started on Friday and tonight the good news is that deliveries have come up to speed - and everything is proceeding apace. That's a rare stretch of good news in an industry that has seen nothing but discord and discontent for months. Alfredo Ortega gave us the update:.. Alfredo Ortega - Vice-Chair, BSFCA's CoM "On Friday we were unable to achieve the six thousand. We were a little bit below; 400 tons was needed to meet the target, but as of Saturday and Sunday we have met the target which we have delivered up to this morning at 6am above 18,000 tons of cane." Jules Vasquez "From there you all are hoping to step it up. Will you all be able to step it up? Will you have the supply?" Alfredo Ortega - Vice-Chair, BSFCA's CoM "Yes, of course. Once the weather continues as is - we have seen that farmers are really geared in bringing the cane. We have seen that farmers are coming together in some areas where works were not done - they are coming in with stones and put where the trucks can pass and they are bringing the material right now to the mill."

Benque Game Was Brutal
Was It was win or go home this weekend in Premier League Football, as both semifinals series played their second and final games. In game 1 on Saturday in Dangriga, the BDF Team was unable to overcome a three goal deficit when they drew with the Belmopan Bandits and one goal apiece. So with that, it's over for BDF and the Bandits advance to the finals. On Sunday night, the action moved to a very wet Marshalleck Stadium in Benque Viejo where the home Team FC Verdes just had to score one goal more than the visiting Belize FC team to advance. But, let's just say weather was an issue, a major one at that. The game couldn't be played on Saturday in Benque because it had been raining all day, and then on Sunday the field was still too wet so the game was moved to Norman Broaster. But, it was quickly moved back because the Benque fans wanted their team on their turf.

UDP PAC Looking Into Venezuelan Housing Money
7News has been telling you about the Public Accounts Committee meetings which have been going on without PUP Chairman Julius Espat. It is the only committee which the Oppostion is allowed to chair, but Espat has repeatedly claimed that he refuses to support an inquiry that is reportedly not the mandate of this current PAC. That's because the UDP majority wants to look into public spending prior before and after 2008, when there was a change in government administration. The 2014 meetings of this UDP led PAC started up, and they looked into the spending which happened to the Venezuelan housing money in 2008, which was given away indiscriminately in the run-up to the general election. After the PAC meeting, our colleagues at Plus TV asked the Pro Tem Chairman, John Saldivar, what the PAC has unearthed so far. Here's what he told them: Hon. John Saldivar - Pro-tem Chairman, PAC "This morning we were looking at the Venezuelan Housing Project - you know the 20 million US that was granted to the country by Venezuela half of which came initially and was given out within a 30 day period by the People's United Party government prior to the 2008 election and the other 20 million which we eventually got back from them under this new government. The report of the auditor general covered that first 20 million that was spent between December of 2007 and February of 2008."

Gill Got 6 Months For A Roach
33 year-old Lyndon Gill is at court tonight serving a 6-month prison sentence after he was convicted of drug possession in the Magistrate's Court. Police on patrol, they saw Gill riding a bicycle on Vernon Street. When he spotted the mobile, he threw away a small package, which the police retrieved after he was detained. They found that it was less than one gram of cannabis, and so, he was charged with possession of controlled drugs. Normally, he would have been given a fine, but because he has outstanding fines for drug possession, Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith sentenced him to serve 6 month in jail, instead.

UB Graduates 481
481 students graduated from the University of Belize on Sunday. It's a welcome bit of good news for the University which has repeatedly made headlines because of the sudden decision of President Cary Frazer to leave his post. Our colleagues from Plus TV attended, and here's what Kay Menzies, the President of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry told the graduates as the guest speaker: Kay Menzies - President, BCCI "Often in our society we don't talk enough about success. We talk about success as achieved, like for example when you go out today and tomorrow and so on everybody's going to say you got your degree, cool, congratulations, what you get your degree. But they are not aware of what went in to getting that degree. As the master of ceremonies said earlier, early morning bus rides, long hours, missed occasions - it's been a really tough few years I am sure but today you have achieved academic success and the proof is in your hand."

Papa Mena Won Dangriga Convention
Former UDP Mayor for Dangriga Frank Papa Mena is now the UDP's new standard bearer in that division. In a convention on Sunday, he bested former UDP Area Representative Arhur Roches by almost 500 votes. The final tally was Frank Mena, 1,077 Frank Mena?and Turo Roches 581 votes. 1,676 ballots were cast which the UDP Chairman says is the largest convention the UDP has ever had in Dangriga.

Re: Today's Belize News: January 28, 2014 [Re: Marty] #484289
01/28/14 05:11 AM
01/28/14 05:11 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 81,155
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

More News: Scroll up from here

Channel 5

Belize Airports Authority stands by its minister; Board member speaks out
Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport, Edmond Castro, has been in the hot seat for some time. But this time, he came under fire after Belize Airports Authority [...]

Land Dispute in Orange Walk Town; land reverted to G.O.B.
Last Friday, we reported that a parcel of land used as a park in the Orange Walk East Constituency had ended up in the hands of the politically connected Aragon [...]

Aragon family says land issue a smear campaign by Landy Burns
According to the Aragon family, a smear campaign was prompted from within the U.D.P. camp by the constituency caretaker; Orlando “Landy” Burns, in an effort to hurt the political career [...]

Ranchito resident, shot in the head by son, dies at the K.H.M.H.
On New Year’s Day, thirty year old Hensleigh Ryan Jones allegedly picked up a gun and shot his father three times in the head. Miraculously, Hensley ‘Nick’ Jones survived, and [...]

Cop behind bars for a firearm conviction
There was a sensational conviction in court today. A police corporal was convicted this afternoon inside the courtroom of Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith in a trial that began six [...]

CCJ hands down judgment on challenge to an amendment to the Supreme Court of Judicature Act
But in the regional Caribbean Court of Justice, a judgment was handed down last Friday concerning a challenge to an amendment to the Supreme Court of Judicature Act.  The parties [...]

2013-2014 Sugar Cane Crop Season off to a good start
The 2013-2014 Sugar Cane Crop Season got off to a late start this past Friday after months of delay. The cane farmers and the Belize Sugar Industries were at odds [...]

But deplorable condition of sugar roads still an issue
The biggest setback for the industry, according to Ortega, is still the deplorable condition of the sugar roads in a number of areas. So farmers are taking matters into their [...]

Trouble brewing in the citrus industry; delay in payment to growers
While the sugar industry is up and running, there is trouble in the citrus industry tonight after a delay of payment to growers by the Citrus Products of Belize Limited. [...]

Move over xaté; gold panning by Guatemalans is new illegal activity in the Chiquibul
The Chiquibul Forest Reserve has seen increased national exposure following a symposium which drew attention to the park, its benefits and challenges. One of the biggest challenges in recent years [...]

George Street Associate remanded for attempted murder
Also in the courts, a well-known George Street associate is tonight on remand at the Belize Central Prison after he was accused of attempted murder. He is Brandon Tillett, aka [...]

The controversial EIA for NCL tourism project; 1 consultant says he didn’t work for it
Last week Wednesday, Norwegian Cruise Lines executives were part of a consultation process in Independence, seeking input on the Environmental Impact Assessment for their proposed cruise tourism port on Harvest [...]

Elodio Aragon Junior resigned as Deputy Commission to pursue political career
Earlier today when we spoke to Elodio Aragon Junior, the U.D.P. political aspirant for Orange Walk East, we also questioned him about the reports that he had been using government [...]

Belize Fishermen Cooperative receive donation from CRFM
The Belize Fishermen Cooperative Association (B.F.C.A.) on Friday was presented with a Sony laptop computer and accessories as well as significant fisheries publications. The donation is part of the Implementing [...]

James Adderley has all the weekend sports on football, cycling and canoe race
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday. The 2 finalists for the Belikin Cup emerged over the weekend and the 2 game finals begin this Sunday. First [...]


Corozal Resident Caught Stealing In Chetumal, She Is Charged For Theft
No country is speared of crime and while we normally don’t report on crimes in other places tonight there is one of interest. Reports from neighboring Chetumal Quintana Roo, Mexico is that they are seeing a continuous occurrence of theft. Now, this becomes of interest to us because among the reports made are reports against Belizeans visiting the city. According to Mexican media, on Friday, six thefts were recorded at the police department and among those arrested was Corozal Resident Marisol Cortez. According to reports, Cortez was caught trying to steal twenty-four deodorants and one box of wipes from a popular store located on Avenida Insurgentes, corner Javier Rojo Gomez. Police were called after the store’s staff had secured Cortez. The Manager Francisco Bojorquez handed Cortez to authorities and was taken to the Public Prosecutor of the Common Jurisdiction (MPFC) where she was charged for theft.

FFB, Trains Young Athletes To Become Professional Football Players
Football may be well on its way to its former glory in Orange Walk and the entire country for that matter. That’s because the Football Federation of Belize has embarked on a youth program for both males and females. That program entails organizing talent schools for under thirteen, under fifteen and under seventeen players. The program was been officially launched in the Orange Walk District last week and on Saturday young football lovers gathered at the People’s Stadium for a festival, and it was all about having fun. Dalila Ical has the story. Children as young as six up to twelve years old and all in between mingled on the football field over the weekend as they took their first steps into learning everything there is to learn about football. Jayden Michael “Good, I like football because it is fun and I get to meet with other friend too” Talent schools have also been opened in the Toledo, Corozal, and Stann Creek Districts. Executive member of the Football Federation of Belize, Chris Gamez is in charge of Youth Development and the program falls directly under his portfolio.

Guadalupe Park Returned To GOB
Last week, our news centre was first to break the story of a public space that ended in private hands; namely the lot next to the East Sports Center in orange Walk Town, supposedly the proposed Guadalupe park. As we’ve reported the land in question was registered as a private property on October 17th, 2011 to Elodio Aragon of #8 Aurora Street. This parcel #2215 was transferred from the Government of Belize. In June of 2012, the same parcel was transferred in the name of one Adin Glen Aragon, son of Elodio Aragon Sr where a land certificate verifying entitlement was issued. And while the story has been drawing a lot of fanfare from Orange Walk residents, today there was an impromptu press conference which was held by the Political aspirant for Orange Walk East, Elodio Aragon Junior. Our news team was on hand for the event and filed the following report. Former Assistant Police Commissioner turned Political Aspirant for the Orange Walk East, Elodio Aragon Junior, flanked by his father, also former politician and a few members of his political camp staged an impromptu press conference this morning at the land in question; parcel number 2215. And while the story drew a lot of attention, this morning’s conference saw a ‘hand over’ of the land in question back to the public, or in this case, the Government of Belize.

Belize Red Cross , Keeping Belize Clean
Communities keep growing in our country and with that come different needs based on their location and size. Meeting those needs however can prove a real challenge for Village Councils and therefore when that much needed assistance is rendered; it is only to the benefit of the people. In Northern Belize, at least eight communities are receiving such benefits under projects implemented by the Belize Red Cross Society and financed by the American Red Cross. These projects are all part of the Resilience in the America’s Project. Over the weekend we visited San Antonio Rio Hondo in the Orange Walk District which is benefiting from a garbage bin project currently being implemented. Reporter Dalila Ical has that story. Ian Glory – Field Coordinator “The idea is to establish garbage bins for the community, in this way improving the cleanliness, health, hygiene, sanitation programs as well as improving the waste management and drainage within the village because we know it is prone to flooding.” Ian Glory is the Field Coordinator for the Resilience in the America’s Project which was first launched in late 2012 and is being implemented in three phases until it’s conclusion in 2015. Glory says the projects implemented vary depending on each community’s need. In San Antonio Rio Hondo, the garbage bin project was most ideal.

Charge Against Ryan Jones Upgraded To Murder
Tonight, an attempted Murder charge has been upgraded to Murder as the victim has succumbed to his injuries. As we reported at the beginning of the year, around 10 pm, 30 year old Hensleigh Ryan Jones shot his father, 53 year old Nick Jones on the head while they were both standing in the kitchen of their home located in the Village of Ranchito in the Corozal District. Jones was taken to the Corozal Community Hospital where doctors discovered three bullet holes on his head; two on the left side and one to the back. Ryan was charge for attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and dangerous harm and was remanded to the Kolbe Foundation until his next court date. It was the first major crime reported in this municipality and tonight, Ryan’s charge will be upgraded to murder since his father Nick Jones has succumbed to his injuries at the KHMH after being hospitalized for about 25 days. Hensley Jones was the proprietor of Nick’s Waste management in Corozal Town.

Mayor Bernard Say's Guadalupe Park Should Have Been Reverted To The Council
And while the parcel of land has been proposed to be given to the National Sports Council, the news did not sit well with the Orange Walk Town Council who claims that the land should have been given back to the people of Orange Walk. Mayor Kevin Bernard claims that the council has faced much taxation and hardships to access the recreational spaces for Town events. Here is that interview after the press conference held this morning. Kevin Bernard – Mayor of Orange Walk Town “Well, of course it has been returned to the Government of Belize, I believe that we as a council we will try our best as well to try to get back this park. We have already spoken about it on Friday but of course we don’t want to be caught in the middle of any personal or any internal political issues that they are currently facing and as such we have decided to deal with it on our angle and so that is the reason we decided to pass that resolution. We believe that also this is a park that was maintained many years ago before and gradually deteriorated of course way back I understand way back in 2003 it started becoming aground for old vehicle and so forth because of the same issues, people were wondering ever of not this was a park again and whose hand it was in and so we have found out the truth but I believe that what is important is that we need to ensure that these places be return to the people of Orange Walk and not to a ministry of sport because if you would speak to the councilor in charge of sport the difficult he has to carry out events under the people stadium or at the Multi-Purpose Complex because it is being politicize and all we are doing is trying to promote something healthy for our young people so if this is to remain as a park let keep it as a park under the hospices of the Orange Walk Town council and we are here prepared to bring up this park as well and work with the community of the east to bring it up to standards.”

Police Break Into Dias' Home, She Alleges Money Is Missing
Last Friday we reported an incident in which police allegedly broke into a home when no one was inside. The owner of the residence, Aleida Dias told CTV-3 News that she was away late Friday afternoon and received a call informing her of what had transpired. Dias’ front door was pried open and the door frame was broken. While the house didn’t seem to have been searched, Dias alleges that money she had put away was missing. A small storage house located behind her residence was also broken into and ransacked. Dias says she was going to make an official report of the incident at the Orange Walk Police formation and by all appearances she did. Today Ctv-3 News followed up the story.


Police News
A skiff was reportedly stolen from the Placencia dock between two and four on the morning of January 23rd. The 30-foot long white fiberglass skiff with a Yamaha 250 horse power four-stroke, belonged to Placencia Eagle Ray Tours. The company is offering a reward to anyone who has useful information that leads to its recovery. People who wish to assist can call the owner at 602-9315 or the nearest police station. Police in San Ignacio removed a firearm off the streets this past weekend. On Saturday morning Police responded to reports of shots fired on Second Street. Police say they searched the home of a known drug base but did not find anything. A search in the nearby bushes led to the discovery of a loaded double barrel chrome pistol with two live round of ammunition. No one was in the area and the firearm and ammunition were labeled as found property.

Car Dealer Faces Attempted Murder Charge
28-year-old Brandon Tillett, a car dealer of a George Street address is facing a charge of attempted murder. Tillett, who is accused of shooting 19-year-old, Kevin Alvarez was charged with attempted murder when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. In addition, Tillett was charged with grievous harm and use of deadly means of harm and has been remanded into custody until February 28. The incident occurred around 9:05 p.m. on January 23. Alvarez reported to the police that he was standing on a bridge on George Street when a man rode up to him on black beach cruiser bicycle and fired several shots at him and one of the bullets struck him in his left leg. The police visited the scene and reported that they recovered 5 expended 9 millimeter shells.

Special Branch Corporal Found Guilty of Unlicensed Ammunition
A Police Corporal has been found guilty of three ammunition offences. Earlier today, 40-year-old, Gino Peck stood before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith and answered to two counts of kept ammunition without a gun license and 1 count of kept prohibited ammunition without a gun license. Chief Magistrate Smith has deferred sentencing until Friday, January 31 at which time Peck will be allowed to call in character witnesses to testify on his behalf. The charges stem from an incident that occurred on January 21, 2012 when members of the Gang Suppression Unit went to Peck’s house on Curassow Street in Belize City and conducted a search of his home. The officers uncovered a dusty kit bag under the mattress of his bed which contained twenty-two 12-gauge cartridges; five .38 rounds and one .45 caliber bullet. Peck did not have a license for the ammunition and therefore he was taken into custody and charged. The Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lynn Vidal called 4 witnesses to prove her case. In an unsworn statement, Peck admitted that found the .45 round in a gang related area and he was going to hand it in as found property. Peck, who had been a police officer for 22 years, was assigned to Special Branch. He called one witness, Sergeant Randy Sanchez, who testified that he often issued ammunition of that kind to Peck but he could not say if the ammunition found was issued by him. Peck was represented by attorney Simeon Sampson.

Jury Deliberates on Leroy Gomez’ Case of Escape
A jury of 7 women and 2 men is deliberating today in the court of Justice Adolph Lucas to see if it can reach a verdict for 26 year old Leroy Gomez, charged with escape from lawful custody. Gomez who is serving time for rape and robbery, allegedly escaped on August 27, 2011, from the Mahogany Street Police precinct where he was detained for an investigation of a rape allegation. Police constable Jarcel Savery testified that he saw Gomez on oleander Street and he detained Gomez and took him to the Mahogany Street Precinct. Savery said he left Gomez at the precinct with his hands hand cuffed behind his back and he went to make a telephone call to CIB. He said that when he returned he saw Gomez running on Oleander Street. He testified that he pursued Gomez for about 3 blocks and he fired a warning shot in the air but Gomez still managed to escape. Gomez was captured 3 days later. Gomez chose to remain silent but he called an alibi witness who testified that he was with her babysitting at the time of the incident. Gomez was not represented by any attorney. Crown Counsel Shanice Lovell represented the prosecution.


Man Allegedly Shot By Son Dies Over The Weekend
The attempted murder charge against 30 year old Hensleigh Ryan Jones, who allegedly shot his father, has been upgraded following the passing of the victim, 53 year old Hensley Jones. Jones succumbed to his injuries at the KHMH on Saturday morning. Mr. Jones was shot twice to the left side...

PAC Says Only Half of a 40 Million Dollar Grant was Properly Accounted for by the then PUP Government
Today, after almost a two months break, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) met at the National Assembly to resume discussion of the Auditor General’s report. In today’s PAC meeting, the monies for the 20 million US dollar grant received from Venezuela, which was granted through the Venezuelan Housing Project...

PM Responds to Statement Made at BNTU Rally
The BNTU is making quite a roar in its latest effort to get the attention of Government on a number of key national issues, including a salary adjustment expected in July. Indeed, they have obtained GOB’s attention – Minister of Education, the Hon. Patrick Faber and the Union have...

Private Owner Returns Park Land to the Community
Meanwhile, a land dispute in the north, seems to have been resolved quite amicably. Last week, Mr. Orlando Burns, a former UDP Standard Bearer for Orange Walk East, revealed to CTV3 News that a parcel of land, which was donated to the community, had somehow ended up in private hands...

Taxi-Men Attend a Training Workshop
Last week, the Department of Cooperatives hosted a two day training workshop that targeted registered cooperatives in the transportation sector- taxi-men and bus drivers- operating in the Cayo District. The workshop took place at the George Price Center on Thursday and then again on Friday. Several stakeholders were invited...

City Center Near Complete Demolition
The Belize City Center is to be replaced by a $30 million stadium at some time in the near future, but before that can happen the old one, which has been standing since 1992, has to disappear. Last week, PLUS News went to the site on Central American Boulevard...

Housing Minister Leaves Belize for Spinal Surgery
Minister of Housing and Urban Development (Michael Finnegan left Belize today for the United States where he is scheduled to undergo surgery to his lower spine. The five-time Mesopotamia area representative has a degenerative condition that, when it last flared up, wore down two spinal disks and caused pain...


An AWESOME Tour in Belize’s Banana Belt Or “Going Bananas in Belize”
My home island of Ambergris Caye isn’t known for agriculture. Years ago, there were coconut plantations but now tourism is a way of life in San Pedro. On much of mainland Belize though, that is not the case. Head up north and you will see papaya and sugar cane fields, to west, you’ll pass miles of cattle and farmland and when you head over the Maya Mountains towards Dangriga, the hills roll with citrus trees. I’ve passed this sign headed in and out of Placencia a few times over the past year in the small village of Riversdale, Belize and this trip? I gave these guys a call. I like bananas. I know very little about how they are grown. I’m DYING to know why they are so cheap in the states. 19 cents a pound at Walmart? And I’ve never been on a real industrial farm in Belize… had also taken this picture a few days before in the port town of Mango Creek. The port that carries all of the bananas and much of the oil out of Belize.

International Sources

Venezuela ruined mangroves for me forever. Over a decade ago, I spent an afternoon silently gliding through a magnificent mangrove forest on Venezuela’s Margarita Island. Belize: The mangrove forests here are associated with the magnificant 220 km barrier reef and is interlinked with those in Mexico and Honduras. Here in Belize, you have the opportunity to also spot matanee’s while exploring the mangrove forests. Book a five hour adventure to the mangrove forests of Swallow Caye near Belize City with Tour Belize or a mangrove snorkeling excursion to Twin Cays with Island Expeditions.

VIDEO: Epic 2 Day Journey to San Pedro, Belize
Hi! I'm Anna from The Legendary Adventures of Anna ! I took a car from Sumter, South Carolina, train from Columbia, South Carolina to Raleigh, North Carolina, bus to the Raleigh Airport, flight with a layover in Atlanta, Georgia to Cancun, Mexico-met my friend Gladys, car to Cancun central bus terminal, overnight bus to Belize City, taxi to the ferry, and finally a ferry to San Pedro Belize. This documents my journey in 38 seconds.

War on lionfish shows first promise of success
It may take a legion of scuba divers armed with nets and spears, but a new study confirms for the first time that controlling lionfish populations in the western Atlantic Ocean can pave the way for a recovery of native fish. Even if it's one speared fish at a time, it finally appears that there's a way to fight back. Scientists at Oregon State University, Simon Fraser University and other institutions have shown in both computer models and 18 months of field tests on reefs that reducing lionfish numbers by specified amounts – at the sites they studied, between 75-95 percent – will allow a rapid recovery of native fish biomass in the treatment area, and to some extent may aid larger ecosystem recovery as well. It's some of the first good news in a struggle that has at times appeared almost hopeless, as this voracious, invasive species has wiped out 95 percent of native fish in some Atlantic locations. "This is excellent news," said Stephanie Green, a marine ecologist in the College of Science at Oregon State University, and lead author on the report just published in Ecological Applications. "It shows that by creating safe havens, small pockets of reef where lionfish numbers are kept low, we can help native species recover. "And we don't have to catch every lionfish to do it."

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