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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

DFC hosts business detailing its many financial offers
The Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has been operating in Belize since 1963. With 50 years as a financial institution, and once owned by the private sector, DFC is now a government of Belize entity. Over the years DFC has been helping Belizeans toachieve personal milestones and develop businesses through their financial aid services.On Thursday March 27th, DFC held a business mixer at Hidden Treasure Restaurant in San Pedro Town. The mixer was the first of its kind for Ambergris Caye and saw a sufficient turn out from members of the small business community who came to be informed on the different finance plans and loan options DFC offers. Fredrick McGlore of DFC was the presenter for the night and gave a concise presentation on all that DFC offers, primarily focusing on plans that can benefit the island's business owners. For the productive sector, the DFC aims to invest in the following: construction of buildings, the purchase of furnishings and fixtures, purchasing of machinery, equipment and vehicles, the upgrade of existing facilities, alternative and renewable energy plans (solar/wind), working capital (as part of a wider plan), refinancing (as part of a wider plan), feasibility/ market studies, and Retool (Retrain workforce).

Tigersharks on a winning rampage
In their second face-off on Saturday March 28th, the Corozal Heats succumbed to the basketball powerhouse the San Pedro Tigersharks. Week eight of the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) saw action at the Andres Campus Civic Center in Corozal Town before a packed venue. However, the home team suffered a disappointed loss of 68 -86. The uninterrupted win by the San Pedro Tigersharks places the island's team ahead, taking the overall lead in the NEBL. Opening the scoreboard was Tigershark's Tyron Edwards with a beautiful three-pointer that set precedents for the game. A foul on Jason Grant awarded the Heats two free throws, but Grant was only able to capture one of the shots. Darwin Leslie of the visitors had the same fate as Grant when he was fouled a few seconds after. The Heats took a lead five minutes into the game when Marcel Richard's combined three and two-point shots found their target. Teammate Alton Herrera also made a spectacular three pointer, and the Tighersharks were shaken out of their comfort zone as they trailed by six points. A determined Edwards responded by capturing another three-pointer narrowing the gap. At the end of the first quarter, the score was 19 to 17, in favor of the Heats.

8,887 square miles of Belize adventure awaits!
Right around the time the heat sets in, and the March winds start coming in full force, that itch starts back up. The need to pack a bag or two, jump on a boat or plane, then a bus or private vehicle and leave the structure of home and office - all to venture into the unknown for a little exploration. It's like the breeze calls our name, insisting that we leave our worries and cares where they are; "Run away, even if just for a little bit" it seems to say, and like hummingbirds to nectar, we are drawn. No doubt there are many like me who are scattered in offices like mine, longing for that holiday to escape the confines of the jungle or the concrete of the city, ready to head out to sun, sand and sea. Wherever we are, the grass or sea is certainly greener/bluer from where we stand. But guess what? If you're in Belize, it's ALL better no matter where you look! Adventure is available in abundance, whatever your definition of fun is! As part of the My Beautiful Belize family, I've had the good fortune of traveling to many great places in my country. As I write this story however, I'm in the least glamorous setting: the office. To get in the zone, I've been browsing through our extensive photo library, pulling up the great shots of the places I've been, and clicking online to places I want to go. I could spend a lifetime chasing after each little corner and slice of this haven, yet I'll probably not make it everywhere. But that's okay; the fun is in trying and taking on the challenge and #adventure of exploring this country.

Front page news on the Coconut Wireless, December 21, 1987: Mystery Plane, "A dangerous and highly suspicious incident occurred on the evening of December 4th at the San Pedro Airstrip, resulting in two Americans being arrested and jailed in Belize City." Other news - Airport Improvements and Cat Burglar Catnaps, "found sleeping in the room of a female guest at Ambergris Lodge in San Pedro with property belonging to the woman on his person."

Ambergris Today

Karen Bevans Appointed New Belize Director of Tourism
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is pleased to announce the appointment of the new Director of Tourism, Mrs. Karen Bevans. Mrs. Bevans joins the BTB after 25 years of service with the Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL). She began her career at BTL as an Administrative Officer, then, was promoted to Manager of Administration, Human Resources, and Public Relations, followed by General Manager of Marketing and Administrative Services, which later changed to include further responsibilities of Business Development, Marketing and Sales, and then named the Head of Business Development, Marketing and Public Relations. After a reorganization of the company, she was appointed the General Manager of Business Development and Marketing, and then became the acting Chief Operations Officer, before her latest position as the Chief Operations Officer.

Saga Humane Society Has a Handful of Work on Ambergris Caye
When issues are raised about the problematic stray dog population on the island, many are quick to point fingers to the Saga Humane Society of San Pedro for not doing a proper job at controlling the situation. But did you know that the organization conducted 639 Spay/Neuter procedures, vaccinated 503 animals, treated 335 animals free of charge and facilitated the adoption of 108 pets to new homes? These staggering numbers can give you a pretty good idea on how much pets are on the island and how out of hand the stray pet/animal population is. The Humane Society clearly has its hands full. And this is an organization that runs from voluntary donations, grants, and from services by its veterinary employee and sales from drugs and medications for domestic animals. They are doing a great job with the resources and volunteers that they have.

Make it a date & visit The Hotel's Restaurant & Bar for their Grand Opening

What's Up Today, Gerry? Guide to Easter Holiday Weekend in San Pedro (Belize)
Whenever I hear people say "Easter is coming", immediately my mind takes me to the beach. It is one of the busiest and popular times of the year in Belize. Easter is the weekend that locals and tourists head out to the Cayes for some well deserved down time and fun under the sun. Not everybody is fortunate or wants to travel to the Cayes. No worries, Belize has many other places for you to unwind. For example: going on a fun tour in the mainland or Family BBQ alongside the riverside. That is lovely too, but I'm a young, energetic and outgoing islander. Let me inform and guide you on how to spend the Easter Holidays on Ambergris Caye.

Misc Belizean Sources

Temperature Graphs for Belmopan, Belize 2003 -2014
Some find it easier to see and compare in visual form. I have put together all the Annual Temperature Graphs I have for 2003 to 20014. .. . You can see how different many of them are : This is the Average Temperatures and the Extremes Red, Monthly Average Max. each Day, over 10 years, Blue, Monthly Av. Min. Green, the 24 hour Medians. Orange, Month Max. Light Blue, Month Min. - The normal annual extremes are shown here as Dotted extremes - Rain Triangles..are the Monthly Rain Averages. . . .On this graph, they are the typical or average figures. . . Unfortunately I was not recording Rain for the earlier years, but Rain, is even more variable, than the Temperatures.

�mu�eg�; In Times To Come
This video vividly encapsulates the tensions between development and conservation in coastal mangrove habitat in Belize. Highly recommended. �mu�eg�, is a story told through the eyes of two communities, Placencia and Seine Bight, trying to defend a balance they have maintained for generations. The Placencia Lagoon is home to many species and is the nursery for local fish stocks, manatees, rays and dolphins, and is also the livelihood of several regional communities including people of Garifuna, Creole and Mayan desent. In recent years, a rise in unregulated development has damaged much of the Lagoon. Our documentary will follow community leaders and fishermen who are trying to protect what makes Placencia unique, culturally rich and self-sustainable. We will share their story at film festivals internationally because we believe that their struggle is echoed in other communities around the world. The villages of Placencia and Seine Bight, Belize, are not alone in defending sustainability and community autonomy, but they are unique. With such a diverse cultural background spanning from Garifuna, Creole, Mayan, and ex-patriots from around the world, the communities of Placencia and Seine Bight are an inspiration, and recently stopped efforts by a large cruise ship company to set up a cruise village within Placencia Village. With that momentum, both communities are now looking to make the Placencia Lagoon a protected area. This Lagoon has been a part of the culture, economic livelihood and environmental equilibrium for countless generations and recent unregulated development in the Lagoon is threatening all of that. My goal for this documentary is to share the story of these villages with a wide audience to inspire other communities around the world.

US Capital Energy says it plans to proceed with drilling in Toledo
Preliminary response from US Capital Energy to the decision handed down this morning by Justice Michelle Arana has been that the company will proceed with drilling at its site in Toledo. This is, according to attorney Michael Peyrifitte, is because the judge did not give "injunctive relief" which in layman's terms means that Justice Arana did not explicitly order a stoppage of works at the drill site. Peyrifitte and US Capital Energy's country representative Alistair King say they will review the judge's decision but at first glance see no reason to discontinue drilling activities. Meanwhile, the Executive Director of the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, (SATIIM) Greg Choc, says that he has not abandoned the application for an injunction to stop US Capital Energy from commencing drilling.

Judge rules in favor of SATIIM
Supreme Court judge, Justice Michelle Arana had ruled in favor of the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, SATIIM in a case challenging the government of Belize to affirm customary land rights held by the indigenous communities. The judge's decision was handed down a short while ago in Belize City. SATIIM has bussed in a group of supporters for today's court ruling and plans a public briefing at the Radisson Hotel. We will have more on this story shortly.

Belize Forms Education Excellence Society
"A founding committee has been formed to set up the Belize Education Excellence Society". This initiative has two general objectives: 1. To provide a PULL-UP on general performance in education, by providing motivational, networking and material incentives, facilities and rewards for high performers, such that all others in our education system will want to perform higher as our wider society start to place higher value on high performance and performers in education. 2. To provide incentives and facilitation for socialization of the best minds in Belize�starting at the high school and sixth form level�so that high performers get to meet frequently and know each other better, to build their networks with each other and the wider professional community, and with continuous professional team-building exercises, develop a culture of cooperation, collaboration, coordination and cohesion. The group hopes to pool efforts and resources at home and abroad to meet its objectives.

Bandits Host Warriors
Tonight, the #1 Western Ballaz will host the Orange Walk Running Rebels. "Come out and Support our boys. Spread the the word. We want a full house. See you there!!!!"

Mount Carmel Painting Project
The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio had a painting project at Mount Carmel primary school. Cornerstone donated the paint. Thanks, Rotaract and Cornerstone! In related news, Rotaract is having a Grand Easter Raffle to raise money for a cancer patient's medical expenses. They have some nice prizes. "The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio embarked on a painting project at Mount Carmel Primary School in Benque Viejo Town on Saturday, March 15, 2014 in commemoration of World Rotaract Week 2014 celebrated March 10-16, 2014. The club painted concrete benches in the Infant Division around the children's playground and other areas that they utilize. The Cornerstone Foundation donated the paint towards this project in August 2013 but due to inclement weather late last year we had been unable to complete the project. Kudos to finally completing this project!"

Senior Counsel says Justice Arana's ruling is "enlightened"
The attorney for the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indegenous Management, SATIIM, Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay describes this morning's judgment by Justice Michelle Arana as "enlightened." According to the Senior Counsel what will happen now is that before applying for a renewal of their permit which expires on April 30, 2014, US Capital Energy must now get the informed consent from Maya people. Senior Counsel Courtenay further makes clear that SATIIM did not go after injunctive relief because in his opinion, Justice Arana's decision makes clear that the Maya people should not have to go to court to enforce their right; but that it is the duty of the state, the government, to provide a framework for how the issue is to be approached.

Total eclipse of the moon coming later this month
Mark your calendar for Tuesday, April 15, not because it is a payday; but because that is when there will be a total eclipse of the moon. Incidentally that is also the full moon. The eclipse will be visible in Belize starting at from just after midnight, with the total eclipse starting at about 1 o'clock in the morning and lasting for a short time. The last eclipse of the moon was on October 18, 2013. An eclipse of the moon occurs when the earth shadow blocks the light of the sun from reflecting off the moon.

Maya communities win judgment in court
This morning the Maya of southern Toledo descended on the Supreme Court to hear the latest decision in their ongoing fight to gain respect from the Government of Belize and U.S. Capital Energy, whom they say have invaded their communities without their consent while seeking petroleum in the Sarstoon Temash National Park. And it was another victory for them, as Justice Michelle Arana handed down her decision in their favour. Madam Justice Arana ordered the Government of Belize and U.S. Capital Energy to enter "good faith negotiations" with the Maya communities of southern Toledo before continuing to prepare to drill for petroleum in the Sarstoon Temash National Park.

Lake I Boulevard squatters fight to survive
It made national headlines in June of 2011 - a group of Belizean citizens squatting, or occupying, land in the area then known as Chetumal Street South. They were evicted by Police who were clearing the way for the Lake Independence Boulevard to be constructed through the area and joined to Chetumal Street in Belama on the Northside along with a bridge. It is now nearly three years later and the Boulevard is under construction. The problem is getting much closer to their homes, and the squatters face a fight to survive. Residents such as Alirio Zavala, Karen Henriquez, and Jorge Velasquez say they have nowhere else to go and have not been told officially that they have to move, nor promised land elsewhere because they are squatters.

Two injured in late evening shooting in Belize City
A shooting incident in Belize City this evening has resulted in the injury of two men. It happened around 5 o'clock on Central American Boulevard. Those injured have been identified as 18 year old Anfernee Romero and 26 year old Troy Hyde. The shooting happened at a locksmith's workshop.

Urban Budget
By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez Trick or treat money or sweet I got a headache listening to Shakespearian budget speech This clearly has no teeth! With a billion dollars being proposed to be spent Was there due consideration for the country's development? Clearly it's all about the UDP government Still trying to win the people's confidence Mesmerizing Belizeans with so called infrastructural development Belizeans don't need to be economists to see it This budget is just to ensure that UDP supporters continue to eat "Better cannot be done!" Remember! These were the words of the prime minister He forgot to say, "Then let worst continue!" Since this is the best that he and his technocrats can do Poor people's punishment will surely continue

Mr. and Ms. SHC 2014
Congratulations to Emil Waight and Keisha Chavarria, for winning the Mr. and Ms. Sacred Heart College pageant!

Black Jaguars Head to JUDUCA V
The UB Black Jaguars are heading to Nicaragua to represent Belize in the 5th JUDUCA, which is a small olympiad for Central American universities that consists of many different sports and games. Good luck, UB! "On Friday, April 4, 2014 a contingent of more than 80 persons-including athletes and coaches-will represent the University of Belize (UB) and the jewel in the V Juegos Deportivos Universitarios Centroamericanos (JUDUCA V)-translated in English (The Sport Games of Central American Universities 5). 'Brotherhood, Solidarity and Integration' is the theme for this fifth edition of JUDUCA scheduled from April 07 - April 12, 2014 in Managua, Nicaragua. The delegation from UB will join counterparts from 21 other Central American universities to compete in the disciplines of chess, soccer/football, basketball, track and field, futsal, table tennis, swimming, karate, and volleyball. "

CACHE Lecture Series Starts
CACHE, along with the Benque HoC, is starting its lecture series tomorrow night at Benque's Centennial Park. The lecture will be given by Mr. Giovanni Pinelo, and it'll start at 8:00pm. "Come join us on Friday night at the CACHE cafe at the Centennial Park for the first of a series of lectures and discussions about our Community! First up is our local historian, Mr. Giovanni Pinelo presenting: 'Escaramusa al oeste de Belize a principios del siglo XX' ('A Skirmish in West Belize in the Early 20th Century')"

Cayo District BNYC Consultations
The Department of Youth Services is having their Cayo BNYC consultation next Thursday, April 10th, at CET, starting at 9:00am. They have a video out that explains more, and where to catch the buses to the event. "Please be informed that the Department of Youth Services (DYS) is presently working towards the establishment of the National Youth Council of Belize; a representative youth body that will serve as a platform for youth voices to be heard and will append to the development of Belize through the execution of youth lead programs... Transportation is being provide for the youth coming from Belmopan and Benque Viejo and surrounding areas who wish to participate and give their input at the consultation."

Earth Day Art Contest
Earth Day is on the 22nd, and the U.S. Embassy is having an art competition to celebrate. This year's theme is 'green cities.' You can submit any artwork to the U.S. Embassy, and the deadline is April 15th. "Calling all Environmentalists and Artists! Earth Day is on April 22nd, and this month's theme is Green Cities. In what simple ways can you make your home, town, or city a better, safer, healthier and more environmentally sound place to live? We ask that you identify an environmental challenge in your community and suggest a solution. We will turn the winning submissions into posters for Belize Earth Day 2014. Send us your ideas in a beautiful work of art. The deadline is April 15. "

Top 9 Reasons to bank offshore
Over the years Offshore banking has been sensationalized and represented as being illegal and immoral. It has been publicized by the media and others as banking for those who are trying to evade taxes. All this negative publicity surrounding offshore banking has discouraged many from taking advantage of the offshore banking benefits that are being offered. Before going into the offshore banking benefits, we would like to answer the question "What is Offshore?" Offshore is simply any jurisdiction being country, state, crown dependency or island, other than the one in which you are living in. Offshore banking provides flexibility, security of funds and assets. It gives you the opportunity to benefit from better interest rates. It also gives you access to diverse products that may generate better yields. It's simply an international approach to managing your funds. Offshore Banking is about having an account in a jurisdiction, such as Belize, which is politically and economically secure. A jurisdiction where the Belize Government has placed an emphasis on the Offshore Financial Sector by introducing progressive legislation to attract international business and investments. Thus below are the top nine reasons to take advantage of the offshore banking benefits.

12 Surprising Things You Might Not Know About Tikal Maya Ruins
Tikal is just two hours away from the Belizean border and remains one of the most popular attractions in Guatemala. Almost any traveler who visits the western part of Belize (San Ignacio Town) travels to Guatemala for the day to visit this majestic Maya site. Located in the Peten Region of Guatemala, Tikal is an early classic to late classic Maya City. Here are 12 surprising things about Tikal: 1.) Tikal is one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centers of the pre-Columbian Maya Civilization. 2.) The name Tikal may be derived from ti ak'al in the Yucatec Maya language; and it is said to be a relatively modern name meaning "at the waterhole". 3.) The Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes passed within a few kilometers of the ruins of Tikal in 1525, however he didn't mention them in his letters.

Online Marketing by SBDC Belize & BELTRAIDE (Getting started with Constant Contact)
Date: April 10th, 2014 Location: University of Belize, Faculty of Management and Social Sciences - Time: 9am to 12pm Whether you're just getting started, or fine- tuning the basics, you'll learn to create branded professional looking emails from start to finish. We will help you design an email to increase engagement, grow and target your contact lists and capitalize on reports. This workshop is limited to 7 attendees Computer is necessary Cost of workshop: $20.00bze For more information contact: Ms Helen Frampton, Small Business Development Center, Tel: 223-3195 or email: [email protected]

Lionfish statistics Year to Date 2014
2,340 invasive lionfish removed from our waters!! 200 of which have been dissected, analysed and data recorded. The battle continues� Come join us!!

Support Belize Delegate Miss Yadira Argueta for MISS PJD2 CARIBBEAN QUEEN PAGEANT by liking the YouTube video
Please make sure to click on the link for the video and like the video on YouTube. These likes are being counted for a popular vote and it will count towards her final score. Let's go Belize!

Video: 7 Year Old's First Belize Snorkeling Trip
30sec. After practicing snorkeling in the pool in the previous video, here is a short clip of our seven year old son's first time snorkeling trip to the Barrier Reef in Belize. It was a beautiful day on the reef. The water was so crystal clear..This is over a sand patch as you can see and there were few fish . As we moved to a bit deeper water (another video), we snorkeled over a coral and rock bottom with a nice abundance of fish. The kids were excited.

Video: 7 Year Old Boy Snorkeling Saltwater Caye Belize Barrier Reef
30sec. After practicing his snorkeling in a pool and rivers in the states, our 7 year old boy is excited to do some snorkeling and diving on some corals at Saltwater Caye which is on the Barrier Reef in Belize. The waters of the Caribbean are nicely warm and protected from the open sea. For those that may not know, a "caye" is a low-lying, sandy island on the surface of coral reef. As the coral grows older the sand begins to cover the corals from the wave action and a small island is formed. Belize has hundreds of cayes.

Video: Towntrip, Ambergris Caye
4min. outta breath after 3 rd block , cool vid

Video: Shark and Ray Alley - Caye Caulker Belize
4min. Brown nurse sharks and Atlantic sting rays on Belize's barrier reefs

Video: Testing An Old Kawasaki Jet Ski In Belize
2min. Our neighbor had an old Kawasaki Jetski that did not run. He asked if I thought I could make it run. So I messed around with it for a while and actually got it to run. I took our son our for a quick test run. Boy, that old style of Jet Ski is sort of hard to handle. Perhaps I should mention (although it is probably pretty obvious) that I had never run a Jet Ski before... But we had fun, the owner was excited and a lot of the village kids had a lot of fun riding the jet ski up and down the bight. This is in Belize which is on the Caribbean.

Video: TIDE Tours & Ridge To Reef Expeditions
Ridge To Reef Expeditions partners with TIDE Tours to show you Belize and involve you in conservation while working for a great cause!

Video: Ray & Sea Turtle - Silk Cayes, Belize
Footage from the ray we saw briefly and a cool sea turtle that we saw while snorkeling on our honeymoon.

Video: Ridge To Reef Expeditions - Belize
Ridge to Reef Expeditions - Belize offers unique opportunities to reconnect with nature and play a genuine role in the future of one of the most pristine parts of the Mesoamerican Biodiversity Hotspot.

Channel 7

Mayans Claim Victory In Court, US Capital Clings To Status Quo On The Ground
In September of last year, SATIIM took the entire media to the Toledo District on a tour of a small section of the Sarstoon Temash National Park to see first-hand the oil exploration that US Capital Energy was building inside the park. As we showed you, the oil company built a road 10 meters into the park, where they a drilling platform was mounted for exploration. The organization along with the Buffer communities of the South argued that the company violated environmental laws set in place to protect the national park, and that there was also a violation of their customary land rights, affirmed by the courts in previous cases. That case began before Justice Michelle Arana in October, and today, almost 6 months later, the decision was handed down. 7News was present when the decision was handed down, and also when the Mayan Communities held a 2-hour press conference to discuss it. Daniel Ortiz spoke to both sides and has this report:

City Shooting Late In The Evening
At 5:00 this evening there was a shooting at the Eastern end of Central American Boulevard heading to the Port of Belize. At least two men were shot - one of them reportedly to the head. They were both rushed to the hospital and are reported to be alive - further details on their condition are not known. We have learned that they are 26 year old Troy Hyde from nearby Curl Thompson Street and 18 year old Anfernee Romero from Central American Boulevard. They both suffered multiple gunshot wounds.

Tourists Survive Head On Collision
Two cruise tourists and their driver were involved in a serious collision within Belize City limits this afternoon. This picture provided to us by a viewer shows the tourists slumped over on the side of the road in front of the mashed up and overturned tour van they were in. The collision happened at around 2:30 at mile three and a half on the Western Highway - right at the spot where a new speed bump was installed just last week. The circumstances of the accident are unknown but it seems two mini-vans collided at the speedbump and the impact sent the gold van spinning across the highway, causing it to violently flip. The tourists were taken to a private hospital for treatment, while the condition of the driver is not known.

So Lawless, It's Laughable
Presently in Belize City traffic congestion is especially bad at rush hour because Central American Boulevard is under construction, so there's no free flow of traffic. And it seems one Haylock's bus just didn't want to have to deal with it during the morning rush. This video provided to us by a viewer shows how he cut straight across from Captain Eiley Street, across the flow of northbound traffic on the northern highway, gently mounted the median and then nicely cut into the backed up lane of southbound traffic. It's so lawless, it's laughable. The driver could have easily driven half a mile more to get to the roundabout and make his u turn into the southbound lane there, but that would have gotten him stuck in traffic - and who wants to deal with that, right?

The Bridge Cometh, The Squatters Goeth
In June of 2011, we told you about the mass removal of the squatters off the area which was called Chetumal Street South. It was to make way for the building of a road which would join the Western Highway with Belama's Chetumal Street. Since then, it has now become known as the Lake I Boulevard, and as we showed you the Government turned it into a pro-poor initiative where the contractors used 200+ Belize City men to spread the loads of sand by hand to provide employment while building the road. The project is fast approaching the area of the road where a new bridge will be built, but there's just one problem. There have been squatters living in the area, and now, they are being told that they need to move to make way for the development.

US Deputy Assistant Secretary Visits
The U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Caribbean and Central America Francisco Palmieri arrived in Belize this afternoon for a two-day visit. His first meeting was with the commanders of the BDF and the Coast Guard General Jones and Admiral Borland. After that he was whisked across to the Leo Bradley Library to inaugurate a Education USA Resource Center - which is an information resource to help Belizeans who are interested in studying in the US. Today we asked him what the visit and the center is about:... Francisco Palmieri, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State "It is very important to me to come to Belize because is really a key country is that it's the bridge between both regions; the Caribbean and Central America. I want to come here first hand. I knew that it would be a great opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of how Belize is developing its role in the region and to see how we can do things like this; donate some books to the library and help people start thinking about what they might want to do if they would like to study in the United States. Belize is a strategic partner in the effort to combat all kinds of trafficking - not just drug trafficking and because there such an important partner along the transit route of drugs leaving South America. We are looking at how we can continue to cooperate with them and expand our program of assistance."

CPBL Board Votes For Singh As Chairman
The newly reconstituted board of the Citrus Products of Belize met yesterday at the company's headquarters on the Stann Creek Valley Road in Stann Creek. It was the first meeting held under the terms of a new Memorandum of Understanding hammered out by government with the stakeholders to move the company out of an impasse. The new board is comprised of Social Security Representative Douglas Singh, two Directors from Banks Holdings, Richard Cozier and Henry Canton, two representatives from the Citrus Growers Association, Henry Anderson and Denzil Jenkins, representative of Heritage Bank, Karen Bevans, and Representative of the Ministry of agriculture Jose Novelo. Canton was represented by an alternate Allan King. The first business of the new board was to elect a chairman and Banks Holding nominated Doug Singh, which was seconded by the Citrus Growers Association - probably one of the few things the often feuding parties have ever agreed on at the board level. Singh's nomination was unanimously supported, so he is the new Chairman of CPBL.

The Ghost Of Novelo's Past Still Haunts SSB
It's hard to tally how much the Novelo's debacle cost the public purse in total - but when the company buckled under 48 million dollars in debt in 2004, it left a long trail of debt, and the ghosts are still haunting the Social Security Board. Apparently, the Novelo's group of companies had some social security arrears which totaled ninety three thousand eight hundred and twenty eight dollars ($93,828) spread across three companies, Novelo's, Belize Transit and Northern Transport. SSB Chairman Doug Singh told us it was written off because the money was an uncollectible bad debt that was either statute barred or the companies did not have any securities from which to recover the arrears. He says judgments exist to enforce collection of the debt, but there was nothing there to get from the bankrupt companies. He said the decision was taken to write off these and debts of other companies but not to forgive those debts.

Insurance Man Summoned By Magistrate
He sells insurance, but Phillip Gallaty needed more than that after he crashed into a judge's car! The 56 year old insurance executive was arraigned today after he crashed his pickup into a Magistrate's Vehicle. According to police, the incident happened on Saturday March 22 at Mile 2 and a half on the Northern Highway. Magistrate Stephanie Gillett says that Gallaty backed his white Toyota Hilux into her vehicle which was parked on the side of the road. Because of the report, he was charged with charged with drove motor vehicle without due care and attention, and he was arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, where he pleaded not guilty.

Dredging Dispute In Marine Reserve
The South Water Caye Marine Reserve is one of the biggest in the country. 15 miles southeast of Dangriga Town, it is also a spawning ground and habitat for many of the marine life that make Dangriga's waters some of the most abundant in the country. And that's why the Stann Creek Fisherman Association is publicly complaining about a dredging operation that's happening within the Tobacco Caye Range. It's a private residential project spearheaded by locals but the president of the association told us it is contaminating their sea:.. Mark McKenzie, Chairman - Stann Creek Fisherman Association "When you dredge in that area, the currents in that area - right now there is not even any supervision as we took out the reporter yesterday. Imagine somebody sitting on the street side in your neighborhood where dust blowing in your face every - that's what the dredge is pretty much doing to all marine creatures in that area; the manatees, the habit areas as far as marine life. Imagine dust and mud coming on your head top, either you will die or you will move right. Yes we can say that after a certain time everything will settle down, but you will kill what's already there. The SI was signed by government since 1996; nobody can't say that they didn't know this is a marine reserve.

A Teacher Who Truly Tries
Tonight's profile is about Alberta August who is the principal and Std 6 teacher at Buena Vista Government School. Now, anyone with a child in school knows that all the pressure is on standard six teachers to make sure their students get high grades on PSE. Well, her school has moved from an average grade of F on PSE to a B. More than that, she has increased the number of students enrolling in high school from two to 25. And she did all that in just five years. Here's more in tonight's profile:..

Channel 5

A late evening shooting; 1 dead and another in critical condition
A shooting late this evening in the city has left one man dead and another in critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Twenty-six year old Troy Hyde of [...]

Major court ruling in favor of SATIIM, but oil company says it will continue drilling
Representatives of Maya communities poured into the courtroom of Justice Michele Arana this morning where the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, SATIIM, was awaiting a decision in its latest [...]

SATIIM's Attorney calls on U.S. Capital to denounce disparaging remarks made by its attorney
A week ago, while awaiting judgment in the suit brought against government and U.S. Capital by SATIIM, attorney Michael Peyrefitte candidly told the media that the argument between the parties [...]

Attorney Michael Peyrefitte maintains that SATIIM wants money
Despite being censured, Peyrefitte firmly stands his ground.� According to the lawyer, what was said a week ago is the truth of the matter, a position to which he remains [...]

Squatters at Holy Emmanuel threatened by massive infrastructural works
Progress brings problems, and in a city which is undergoing massive infrastructural works, those problems are cropping up frequently. Today, it was Holy Emmanuel Street, the site of a significant [...]

Green Tropics says they are not to blame for damage of crops in Valley of Peace
The verdict is in on the crops damaged near Valley of Peace in the Cayo District. Actually, it's more accurate to say that Green Tropics' verdict is in. The huge [...]

San Ignacio residents concerned about murky running water in their homes
Residents in San Ignacio are concerned about a recurring problem in the western municipality. It has to do with the supply of running water inside homes. On Wednesday for about [...]

Man freed of firearm offenses
A Belize City man who police had charged for Keeping an Unlicensed Firearm and Ammunition was set free today in the court room of Magistrate Dale Cayetano. Police claimed that [...]

Dangriga Market Project - what of the 2 investors who stepped in when project was faltering?
The Social Investment Fund has turned a new page in respect of the Dangriga market. On Tuesday, it penned a new agreement with a new contractor to resume work on [...]

15 year old student hospitalized after jumping off a moving truck
This morning, a student of the Tubal Trade and Vocational Institute near Lord's Bank on the Phillip Goldson Highway was involved in a traffic mishap. The incident, however, was caused [...]

LGBT groups address Inter-American Commission for Human Rights
The United Belize Advocacy Movement, UNIBAM, and Belize Youth Empowerment for Change both made joint presentations before the Organization of American States earlier this week citing a list of violations [...]

Belize's Ambassador to the O.A.S. speaks on behalf of G.O.B. on LGBT issue
Speaking on behalf of the Government of Belize was Belize's Ambassador to the O.A.S., Nestor Mendez.� In making his presentation, Ambassador Mendez quoted from P.M. Barrow's 2013 Independence Speech in [...]

Healthy Living has the tips on how to treat an embarrassing health condition for women
There are some bodily functions that - as adults - we are just expected to always be in control of. In fact, once you are passed the toddler stage, it [...]


Rivero Found Not Guilty of Two Charges
After three days of trial, today Corozal resident, Javier Rivero, was found not guilty of assaulting and wounding former UDP Chairman Carlos Arana and Jorge Luis Que, both from the village of Consejo. The verdict was handed down after Rivero's attorney, Marcel Cardona, filed for a case of no submission to the court. Marcel Cardona - Attorney "A no case submission was duly made to the court and it was duly accepted by the court that from the evidence presented so far by the Prosecution, the evidence was so inconsistent and the evidence was so tenuous in fact, against the defendant Mr. Jorge luis Rivero that is made absolutely so sense to proceed with the matter at this point in time so the court exercise its inherent right to strike out the matter and to declare Mr. Jorge Luis Rivero not guilty of both charges against him and that was the charge of wounding upon Mr. Carlos Arana and the separate case of common assault against Mr. Jorge Luis Que."

Police Investigate Another Case Of Carnal Knowledge
The rising statistic of unlawful carnal knowledge cases around Belize is astounding. Every week we hear of such cases and this week there is another to report. Authorities in Corozal report that a 32 year old resident of Altamira Corozal, accompanied her 15 year old daughter to the Corozal Police Station to report that she had been molested. The incident dates back to October 2013 when the minor reportedly had sexual intercourse with a 21 year old Belizean construction worker. A medical examination conducted on the minor revealed that she is carnally known. Police have since detained the man pending an investigation.

Counsellor Assists Traumatized Students At Guinea Grass R.C School
Following the discovery of a deceased male person in the girl's latrine on Monday, on Tuesday, classes resumed as per normal for faculty and students of the Guinea Grass RC School. And while the event is still fresh in the minds of students and teachers, today we caught up with principal of the school for an update. According to Principal Cano, since the incident, they have rendered the services of the catholic primary school counselor who has been in sessions with the traumatized students and the teachers. This evening when we visited the school, a counseling session was in progress amongst the faculty. We understand that management is still deciding whether they want to abolish the restroom facility or seal it off from students. In the meantime, students are utilizing the bathroom facilities at the Preschool, which also sits at the school's campus.

How To Avoid Heat Stroke
The days when one could sleep without air-condition are over, well, at least for those who can afford to pay a high electricity bill. Those who can't, have to rely on the breeze provided by the fan to cool their days and nights. Without a doubt, during this time of the year, the heat is unbearable and while most of us look forward to the days at the beach and fun in the sun, the heat also brings along negative experiences, including heat-related illness. During a heat wave, it's important to know and be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of these illnesses. There are different types of heat-related illnesses, ranging from those that cause temporary discomfort to the generally fatal condition known as heat stroke which we take a look at tonight. Carmelita Perez-Reporting Heat stroke is a form of hyperthermia, an abnormally elevated body temperature with accompanying physical symptoms including changes in the nervous system function. Unlike heat cramps and heat exhaustion, two other forms of hyperthermia that are less severe, heat stroke is a true medical emergency that is often fatal if not properly and promptly treated.

Sugar Industry On The Right Track
March 30th 2014 marked the end of week 10 of the 2013/2014 sugar cane crop season. The report, provided by the Belize Sugar Industries Limited, shows that for week 10 the factory milled fifty eight thousand four hundred and eighty one tons of cane. To date, the factory has milled a total of five hundred and four thousand one hundred and forty one tons of cane. This is one hundred and twelve thousand seven hundred tons cane more than what was milled last year during the same period. Taking a look at sugar production, six thousand nine hundred and twenty nine tons of the sweetener was produced for week ten. An overall of fifty two thousand eight hundred and sixty five tons of the product has been produced so far. Last year the factory produced thirty eight thousand five hundred and seventy seven tons of sugar. This week the factory worked at a grinding rate of eight thousand three hundred fifty tons cane per day. Overall, for the ten weeks of crop, the grinding rate per day stands at eight thousand three hundred and fifty four tons cane. Last crop it was at seven thousand six hundred and thirty eight tons cane per day.

Former Golden Princess To Reopen Under New Management
In the Month of February, over fifty seven employees were terminated from the Golden Princess Casino located adjacent to the Corozal Commercial Free Zone and ninety six were relocated to the mother Princess Casino, also located near the free zone. Employees were terminated and management decided to close shop due to financial difficulties. The high cost of rent and moreover, the decrease of clientele from across the border, also contributed to the decision. Tonight news reaching our newsroom indicates that the casino may be reopening soon under new management. Early this year, Grand Belize Entertainment Group announced its plans of building a world class casino resort and spa. Reports are that the group has been granted a gaming license and has secured the location of the former Golden Princess Casino. Grand Belize Casino Hotel has said that it plans to operate approximately five hundred slot machines, twenty table games, a brand new fifty-room hotel, over twenty thousand square feet of event space, and multiple first class food and beverage offerings.

Belize's Female Team To Compete In Central American Cup
Competition for the first time in Female football history, women's football will finally have its own tournament in the adult level in the Central American Cup, which is scheduled to kick off from May 30th to June 6th in Guatemala City. Group A comprises of teams such as Honduras, Panama and Belize. Nicaragua, El Salvador and Costa Rica will fight for the two spots in the semifinals in group B. The calendar of games being played is yet to be issued to the media but is expected to be announced during this week. Will follow this story and bring more on the dates that team Belize would play.

BEL Seeks Reduction In Electricity Rates
Today the Belize Electricity Limited announced its submission for the 2014-2015 Annual Tariff Review Proceeding Application to the Public Utilities Commission for the period July 1st, 2014 to June 30th 2015. A release issued by BEL states the application requests a reduction in the Mean Electricity Rate from 44.65 cents to 43 cents per kilowatt hour. BEL's proposed reduction takes into consideration the most recent forecast of cost of power and the opportunity to pass on savings to customers, by continuously seeking ways to lower the cost of electricity in Belize in the short term and long term. It is also in line with the Company's Mission "to provide reliable electricity at the lowest sustainable cost, stimulate national development and improve the quality of life in Belize."

Queen Victoria Avenue Upgraded
If you managed to drive through town today you may have noticed that work is currently being carried out on Queen Victoria Avenue. The much anticipated work is being conducted by Central Government through the Ministry of Works who is in charge of elevating, scraping and grading the road. But while that takes care of the pot holes, the complete paving of the main road from the Bowen and Bowen Roundabout to the Establo roundabout won't commence until after Easter, we were told.

Corozal Police Continue To Investigate Dennis Waltz Murder
Tonight, the murder of 77 year old American National Dennis Waltz continues to be investigated by Corozal Police. CTV3 News was made to understand that a team of investigators have been dispatch to the village to further gather evidence from the crime scene. As for Waltz neighbor who went missing on the day Waltz's body was found, his vessel was found abandoned in the area of Consejo Shores. Police conducted further checks today on the vessel which led them to the discovery of (22) .44 live round of ammunition which are now in police custody.

Standard Six Students Preparing For PSE Exams
For standard six students, the Primary School Examinations or as we call it the 'PSE' can be frightening to some and a welcomed challenged for others. And on Monday, students across the country will be sitting part one of the examination, those are the Science and English papers. And while many schools have been preparing their students from the very onset of the school year, we felt it imperative to highlight their academic preparations for the big day. Reporter Maria Novelo and Video journalist Jesus Melgar followed the story and filed this extensive report. Maria Novelo - Reporting Thousands of standard six students across the country will be sitting part one of the primary school examinations on Monday. The examinations serve as a grading scheme and reflect the effectiveness of the National Curriculum, and for the teachers it is an important assessment of what students have learned in 8 years. Today, we visited with several schools and got insight on the preparation process.

OWTC To Launch Civic Pride Campiagn
The Orange Walk Town Council in collaboration with the Belize Municipal Development Project is embarking on a civic pride campaign in the town. The first part of the campaign is an educational one where the public will be encouraged to be more conscious of where and how they dispose of their garbage. Counselor Ian Cal who is in charge of the Civic Pride portfolio told us more about the initiative. Ian Cal - Deputy Mayor Orange Walk Town "The amount of garbage that we see that it is disposed on the streets and in public areas so as a council we feel that it is necessary for us to launch a campaign, a civic pride campaign, we did not wanted to do it alone as a council initiative and so we decided to invite different groups. On Tuesday we had a meeting and we invited BTIA, JICA a representative from Japan, we had Ministry of Education and those were some of the members that were present at that meeting and together we will be moving forward on a plan of action to start the civic pride campaign mainly to educate the public on what to do and what not to do when it comes to disposing of your garbage."

Chapel's School Celebrates Family Fun Day Flying Kites With Students
Today, the BSI field was the venue for the Chapel School's family day. Children along with their parents and class teachers enjoyed a nice outing where they flew kites in a competition hosted by the school. Our news team's attention was captured by the many colorful kites that adorned the blue sky. It was a great turnout said Principal Julian Chi. Agreeing with him was one of the many students who took part in the event. JULIAN CHI - Principal, Chapels School "We have the infant, the middle division and the upper division, and the purpose of it is that this is fun day and we will have local made of homemade kites which we are inculcating in our students to use our resources and get their parents involve because this is a family day. They can get a family member, a friend and neighbor or anybody and as a matter of fact we recommend that the teacher would take an art class and do some kites. We are giving away some prizes and some very good prizes like speakers for laptops and computers, we have food at the restaurant and we have different things and other articles that were donated and this is chapels' School family day and this is part of what we do and we have ten prices; in the infants we will have three prizes which includes the most beautiful, the largest and the one that flies the highest, in the middle division likewise and in the upper division and finally for those ready made one we have a prize also and the one who flies the highest on that ready-made one."

Another Case Of Police Brutality Claims Resident Of Progresso Village
There have been countless reports on police brutality and abuse of power and there will be many more ahead of us and tonight we have another incident of alleged abuse of authority by police. This time around however, a couple alleges that they have been unable to find help even from the higher ups. Twenty six year old Maricruz Heredia, a resident of Progresso Village, says that their ordeal began on the morning of April first. She says the officer attached to the Progresso Police substation entered her house around five in the morning armed and furious. Maricruz Heredia "Yo estoy durmiendo cuando o� que est�n golpeando la puerta y se abri� y cuando yo me levante ya estaba abierto mi puerta y el entro y yo Sal� con solo calz�n y bracea y yo le pregunte qu�, que hace ac� y �l me dice que adonde esta mi marido y le dije que mi marido no est� porque �l no queda ac� y despu�s de haya �l dice que �l tiene que rebuscar mi casa y le dije que �l no puede registrar mi casa si el no trae un search warrant y �l me dice que �l no necesita un search warrant."

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Maya Leaders Claim Victory Against Government and US Capital Energy
Justice Michelle Arana handed down a verdict in favor of SATIIM in a suit brought against the Government of Belize and US Capital Energy Belize Limited. Executive Director of SATIIM, Greg Choc, says that Justice Arana's ruling is a reaffirmation of their right to work the land of their ancestors and a rebuke to a government that has not shown any sort of respect to the Maya Community. GREGORY CHOC "The Government consistently disrespect our communities, disrespect us and we must now know that we have rights and we continue to challenge those violations before the court and consistently the court has affirmed those rights." Justice's Arana judgment speaks of two crucial issues; one, was the permission granted by GOB to US Capital to conduct road construction and commercial oil drilling within the Sarstoon Temash National Park ultra vires the National Parks System Act and the Petroleum Act? And is the decision of GOB to permit US Capital to conduct commercial oil drilling in the park unlawful? Senior Counsel Eamon Courtney represented SATIIM. EAMON COURTENAY "Two declarations: the first is that the decision to give the permission to do the road construction and the commercial oil drilling was irrational and unreasonable and it follows that it was unlawful. The second declaration is that the decision to allow the road building and commercial oil drilling was in breach of the legitimate expectations of the claimants based on their rights under the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People and the International Law and the cases that have already been decided in Belize - that is their right to free, prior and informed consent to this type of activity; it consequently means that the decision is unlawful. Then the judge ordered that the Government engage the claimants, the Mayas in this case, in consultations and negotiations in respect to any license, permit or permission in the Sarstoon Temash Park."

Teenager Hitches Ride on Beer Truck and Gets Injured
A 15 year old student of Tubal Technical and Vocational Training School fell off a Bowen and Bowen delivery truck this morning and is at the KHMH recuperating from a broken leg and serious head injuries. The student, Alexander Willoughby decided to catch a ride by jumping behind the truck and jumping off while the truck was passing by Tubal. Willoughby miscalculated and the jump nearly proved fatal. Director of Tubal, Lyndon Bailey told us what happened. LYNDON BAILEY "This morning on his way coming to school, apparently, he hopped on a Belikin truck at the speed bump and when the truck was reaching Tubal he tried to jump off but apparently, the truck was going too fast and he fell and hit his head and broke his feet. Apparently, when the truck slowed down to cross the bump, he hopped on the back of the truck and I believe that the driver didn't know that he was behind the truck and by the time the truck moved from the bump to where Tubal is he tried to jump off but I believe the truck was going too fast and he received a lot of injuries."

Two Tourists Caught Up in Traffic Incident
A traffic incident occurred just before three o'clock this evening in the vicinity of mile four and a half on the George Price Highway in the Belize City jurisdiction. It involved a white Toyota Previa van that was traveling west heading towards Sunset Park at mile eight while the gold sedan was heading to Belize City. Renee Trujillo and cameraman, Brian Castillo were at the scene just minutes after it occurred and they managed to speak to both drivers of the vehicles involved in the incident. Edmond Carter was the driver of the white Toyota van. EDMOND CARTER "I was traveling going home to eight miles and the vehicle was coming from Belmopan and it ran into me by the speed bump. Another vehicle was in front of it and it cut out so it could overtake." The gold sedan which was being driven by Orlando Arnold of a Maskall Village address in the Belize District was carrying two tourists. They were taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Boulevard Shooting Leaves Two Critical
Two young men were taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital just after five o'clock this evening as their bodies were riddled with gun shots at a locksmith's workshop on Central American Boulevard in Belize City. As we arrived on the scene, Police had just begun cordoning off the scene but the two victims had already been transported to the KHMH. The authorities on the scene were tight lipped about the incident but Love News has learnt that the two victims are 18-year-old, Anfernee Romero of a Central American Boulevard address and 26-year-old, Troy Hyde of a Curl Thompson Street address, both in Belize City. We have been reliably informed that both men are listed as critical up to news time tonight.

Magistrate Takes Businessman to Court for Fender Bender
Fifty-six year old Phillip Gallaty, the manager of Victor Bryant and Company who allegedly caused damage to a vehicle owned by Magistrate Stephanie Gillett, was charged with driving without due care and attention when he appeared today before Senior magistrate Sharon Fraser. Gallaty pled not guilty to the charge. He was allowed to leave without bail because he was summoned to court. He is to return to court on June 26. The incident occurred on Saturday, March 22. According to the allegation, Gallaty reversed his white Toyota Hylux pick-up truck into Gillett's vehicle while it was parked at mile 2 and a half on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Gallaty admitted that he was at the scene but he said that he was not aware that an accident had occurred. Gillett's vehicle received minor damages.

Businessman Says He Can’t Make Social Security Payments Due to Bankruptcy
Forty-five year old Jose Gomez, the owner of Belize Logistics Services Limited, was fined 500 dollars today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser after he pled guilty to failure to make contributions to Social Security Board from August 2013 to February 2014. Gomez was given until May 31 to pay. If he defaults on payment he will serve five months. Senior Magistrate Fraser told Gomez that he has to clear arrears in payment to Social Security board because he was brought to court before for failing to make payment to Social Security Board. Gomez said he has four employees and he has arrears because his business has gone down to the point of bankruptcy.


Late Evening Shooting in Belize City; Man Shot to Head
A man was shot to the head this evening in Belize City. Information is sketchy at this time but reports are that the incident happened at the Port Loyola area. Police have been processing the scene. We will have more information on this latest Belize City murder as it...

Belize LGBT Push for Hate Speech and Hate Crime Legislation
The Caleb Orozco Vs. Government of Belize over the constitutionality of section 53 case has still not received a ruling as yet. It is almost a year since arguments were wrapped up and the Chief Justice decision was expected. While that judgement is still in the air, Orozco and...

Where in Belmopan is Saldivar's Mytheon Solutions?
Mytheon Solutions; the existence of this company was brought up by the Former Prime Minister, Hon. Said Musa, at the budget debate last week in reference to comments by Area Representative for Belmopan Hon. John Saldivar's as he announced his favoured candidate for Mayor of Belmopan, Khalid Belisle. While...

Lake I Boulevard Squatters; Time to Move Drawing Nearer
It made national headlines in June of 2011 - a group of Belizean citizens squatting, or occupying, land in the area then known as Chetumal Street South. They were evicted by Police who were clearing the way for the Lake Independence Boulevard to be constructed through the area and...

Businessman and Magistrate in Fender-bender
Victor L. Bryant and Company Limited manager Philip Gallaty, Jr., 56, was in the Magistrate's Court today answering to a charge of driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention. Normally, such matters would be handled by the Civil and Traffic Court Magistrate Stephanie Gillett across town at...

Employer Can't Pay Social Security
Social Security contributions are typically paid jointly by employers and employees to ensure maximum coverage. But business is reportedly so terrible for one Albert Street businessman that he could not pay what was owed for four employees from August of 2013 to January of 2014 - and it is...

The Guardian

Two Mega Sporting Facilities for Cayo
The Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL) has signed contracts for the design and construction of two first class sporting facilities for the Cayo District. On March 31st contracts were signed with International Environments Limited and LAR Architects and Associates. International Environments Limited is a Belize City based firm that will be responsible to execute the Falcon Field Recreation Rehabilitation Project in San Ignacio Town. The contract includes consulting services, architectural designs and infrastructure construction at the facility. Lead architect Daniel Arguelles signed the contract on behalf of International Environments Limited. LAR Architects and Associates is a Benque Viejo Town based firm that will be responsible for the execution of the rehabilitation of the Benque Viejo Del Carmen Football Complex and Facilities. The firm will provide consulting services and architectural designs for infrastructure. The scope of works includes a feasibility study inclusive of public and one-on-one consultations with residents of the area, socio/environmental studies as it relates to environmental management, approved design plans, bidding documents inclusive of cost estimates and operational recommendations for the Benque Viejo Del Carmen Football Complex and Facilities. Consulting architect Luis Ruiz signed on behalf of LAR Architects and Associates.

Guardian Bombers are National Male Softball champions
The Guardian Bombers are the National Male Softball Champions of Belize. The 2013 National Male Softball Championship was played on Saturday March 29 and Sunday March 30, 2014 respectively, at Rogers Stadium the home of softball. The championship featured the champions Guardian Bombers and sub-champions Oceana Strikers from the Belize City Association and the Belmopan Bombers from the Cayo Association. The Esperanza Wolverines also from the Cayo Association were also scheduled to have played in the championship, but for unknown reason the team was a no-show to the championship. On Sunday March 30, 2014, in the championship game, the Guardian Bombers playing in the national championship for the first time, scored first and never looked back from the bottom of the 1st inning, when it established its supremacy as the best male team in the country by defeating the Oceana Strikers quite handily by the score of 9-4. The budding champions, the Guardian Bombers, batting in the bottom of the 1st inning scored 4 runs on 4 hits when it sent a total of 8 batters to the plate for an early 4-0 lead. The lead was extended when in the bottom of the 2nd inning it scored 4 more runs for a commanding 8-0 lead. The 4 runs in the inning were keyed by pitcher Milton Flores' 2 run homer and short stop Nelberth Flowers' solo blast over the centre field fence. The Guardian Bombers in two innings sent a total of 16 batters to the plate where it bombed the pitching of rookie Jerome Carr for an assortment of hits including 2 home runs and 2 runs producing doubles.

Quick Response after November Floods
Calbert Thompson and Delio Requena could hardly contain their happiness when they were handed the keys to their brand new homes in the Hillview area of San Ignacio on Wednesday April 2. The houses were handed over after the two families lost everything they owned during the floods that affected the Cayo district in November of last year. Immediately after the unfortunate incident, Area Representative for Cayo Central, Hon. Rene Montero made an appeal to the Prime Minister for assistance and it was quickly granted through the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO). On hand to do the presentation were Minister Rene Montero; Minister of NEMO, Hon. Godwin Hulse; Mayor of Santa Elena/San Ignacio John August and other officials. Minister Hulse noted that the assistance was one that was urgently needed by the families and had to be executed without delay. The houses came at a cost of $17,500 each and are a part of the government's response to assist those who were affected by the floods late last year. While the buildings were being constructed for the two families, NEMO took up the responsibility of paying for accommodations for the families.

Equipment for St. Luke's Marching Band
Minister of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation Hon. Anthony Boots Martinez along with his deputy, Hon. Mark King, handed over just over 14 thousand dollars worth of band equipment to St. Luke's Methodist school for them to be able to participate in this year's Band Fest. The equipment includes 4 metal cowbells, 5 cymbals, 4 guiros, 6 bass drums with carriers and 5 snare drums with carriers. According to Hon. Mark King, the donation is part of an initiative by the IDB called Community Action for Public Safety project (CAPS). Minister Martinez added that the project focuses on helping young people including schools to get involved in positive activities. Hon. Martinez adds that under the 10 million dollar CAPS project which will be spread over 4 years, construction of new building at Gwen Lizarraga High School as well as the Youth Hostel are underway.

New Contractor for Dangriga Town Market
On Wednesday April 2, the Executive Director of the Social Investment Fund (SIF), William Lamb Jr. handed over the Dangriga Town Market project site to CB Construction. The handing over took place after the company was selected as the contractor to complete the works which had been commenced but came to a halt after the former contractor alleged improprieties by some executives at the SIF. Since the allegations, the project had come to a standstill but has now been reanimated after CB Construction won the bid for completion having had no objections from the World Bank and the Contractor General. The completion of the project is valued at BZ 1,228,310.95 the contract for which was signed on March 24. The refurbished market is scheduled to be completed within six months. It will enable vendors to operate in a more pleasant and safe working environment, foster and enhance their livelihoods, offer better service to consumers, and provide a modern facility for residents to interact. Construction works will entail the rehabilitation of the existing ferro-concrete market building including the fish section, extension of approximately 2,000 square feet for additional stall space for some vendors who are occupying the market's parking-lot. In addition, this refurbished market will provide over 40 stalls.

Accountability Seminar held in Belmopan
Both the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture IICA and the Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute CARDI held an accountability seminar on Wednesday of this week at the George Price Center for Peace and Development in Belmopan. It was an opportunity for both partners in development to review their programs of activities since 2013 and meet with a large list of stakeholders, seeking to guarantee food security for Belize. Representing IICA Belize and doing so since October 2012, was Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim. While CARDI, was represented by Dr. Anil K. Sinha, an agronomist who has been working in Belize since January of 1983. IICA operates in 34 Countries around the World providing assistance in such areas as technical cooperation for agriculture and food safety. Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim told the attendants today that the accountability seminar was being held in partnership with CARDI to show the "�challenges, opportunities and partnerships; to provide farmers with solutions to be more productive." Such examples of partnerships are like the one IICA Belize has had with the Ya' axhe Conservation Trust to improve crop yields in the Toledo District. Bartolo Teul from Ya'axhe described the cropping technique now in use by his group in which legumes are planted on slopes to add Nitrogen to the soil and at the same time decrease the incidences of landslides. Other areas of cooperation that IICA now has in Belize is the assistance given to farmers to increase their corn production. Yvette Alonzo, Agriculture Economist and Policy Analyst at IICA described how farmers in Jalacte and San Vicente in the Toledo District now use post harvest technologies. She added that farmers in those two villages are now using 'shellers' capable of producing some 440 pounds of corn per hour.

BEL seeks rate reduction
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) submitted an application on April 1, 2014, to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) under the Annual Tariff Review Proceeding (ARP) for the period July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015. BEL's application requests a reduction in the Mean Electricity Rate from 44.65 cents to 43 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). BEL's proposed reduction takes into consideration the most recent forecast of cost of power and the opportunity to pass on savings to customers, by continuously seeking ways to lower the cost of electricity in Belize in the short term and long term. It is also in line with the Company's Mission "to provide reliable electricity at the lowest sustainable cost, stimulate national development and improve the quality of life in Belize." In December 2013, BEL applied for a reduction in electricity rates after revisiting its Value Added of Delivery in consideration of an increase in hydroelectricity production in Belize and Mexico and subsequent reduction in the cost of power. A 4 cents per kWh decrease in the Mean Electricity Rate was approved by the PUC for the period January to June 2014.

Brackett Coming out the Closet
The Plus TV crew seems to be peeking out of the closet more and more each passing day. After a few years of hiding in the dark with his PUP flag, Patrick Andrews was the first to fall out. Louis Wade is leading the smear campaign against Julius Espat's opponent and it now appears that Geovanni Brackett also cannot hide who he is anymore. He now attaches himself to the hip of Said Musa's son (the Musa one) on every public appearance. It is also known that Brackett now relies on the arrogant young Musa for lunch money. It is not surprising that the leader of COLA, who is known for his love of the spotlight, has easily taken a backseat to Kareem Musa in the Penner witch hunt. After all, Musa fed him well in Belmopan that day. And after Brackett is thirsty and his throat is hoarse from shouting empty threats into the video camera, he frequents Hour Bar where his looty PUP friends buys anything he wants. Brackett has been seen at Hour Bar on occasions with Winston Smiling. He has been seen socializing at the establishment with Troy Gabb. And, he has been knocking back drinks with the $30 million man himself, Tony Novelo.

Closing days of the Honorary Consulate of Mexico in Corozal
The Embassy of Mexico informs that the Honorary Consulate of Mexico in Corozal will close temporarily from 7 to 23 April 2014. During that period of time and in case of emergency, Mexican nationals can request consular assistance at the following telephone number or directly at the office of the Embassy in Belmopan or at the Consular Section in Belize City: + (501) 602-8677 In order to request any other information, Mexicans and the general public can address the Embassy of Mexico's consular section in Belize City at the telephone number 223-0193 or 223-0194, Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm or write to [email protected] or visit the consular section office at the Institute of Mexico, located at the corner of Newtown Barracks and Wilson Street, Belize City, Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm (noon) and from 3:00 to 4:00 pm.

Evan Cowo is Corozal South East's Standard Bearer
The final UDP convention to select standard bearers for constituencies that do not currently have sitting area representatives was held on Sunday March 30 in the Corozal South East Constituency. Being the last convention of the season, it was not in the least bit disappointing to have 2,463 voters come out to cast their ballots. In the end it was Evan Cowo who emerged victorious with 1,338 votes while Alexander Ortega received 665 votes. Daisy Maroquin received 316 votes and Alexander Cruz received 119; there were 25 spoilt ballots. The election took place at the Calcutta Community Center and residents from across the entire constituency came out to select their standard bearer. The final convention was the largest recorded by the United Democratic Party as there was a constant flow of voters from the start of the polling at ten. The voting continued well past the deadline of 5 p.m. being the longest one to be completed as well as the longest one to be counted.

New Director of Tourism
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is pleased to announce the appointment of our new Director of Tourism, Mrs. Karen Bevans. Mrs. Bevans joins the BTB after 25 years of service with the Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL). She began her career at BTL as an Administrative Officer, then, was promoted to Manager of Administration, Human Resources, and Public Relations, followed by General Manager of Marketing and Administrative Services, which later changed to include further responsibilities of Business Development, Marketing and Sales, and then named the Head of Business Development, Marketing and Public Relations. After a reorganization of the company, she was appointed the General Manager of Business Development and Marketing, and then became the acting Chief Operations Officer, before her latest position as the Chief Operations Officer. She, therefore, brings with her a wealth of knowledge in administration, marketing, public relations, sales, and management, having held the various positions in her ascension to Chief Operations Officer. She holds a MSc degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, and a BSc degree in Management and Psychology from the University of Ozarks in Arkansas. Her past position allowed her to attend several international training sessions in Executive Management, Leadership, Public Relations, Business Development, and Marketing, which gave her vast exposure and allowed her to network with international firms.

Belize - European Union Political Dialogue
The first ever Belize - European Union Political Dialogue, as provided for under Article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement was held in Belize. The objective of the dialogue was to engage in discussions on issues of mutual interest and share information on the actions and initiatives that both Belize and the European Union are undertaking in the economic, social and political areas. Ambassador Paola Amadei, accompanied by the resident British High Commissioner, led the EU delegation; the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Wilfred Elrington, led the Belize delegation. High on the agenda for the dialogue were issues relating to Economic and Political Developments; Border Issues, International, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing; Visa arrangements for EU and Belizean Nationals; Promotion and Protection of Human Rights; Crime and Security; Regional Integration and Cooperation; and Climate Change and Natural Disasters.

Another incursion, another Guatemalan killed in Chiquibul
The Belize/Guatemala relations is once again being tested following the death of another Guatemalan man who was killed by Belizean Law enforcement personnel on Saturday, March 29. It happened inside the Chiquibul National Forest Reserve on the Belizean side of the border, and according to the BDF officers, the man fired at them first. At around 4 on Saturday afternoon, the BDF and police officers were on patrol along with FCD rangers. They were about 4 miles north of Rio Blanco, and 2 miles within Belizean territory when they found a clearing. As they moved in to investigate they found 2 huts along with food as well as some 50 marijuana plants and seeds. The lawmen quickly assumed that they had come up on an illegal operation and took precautionary measures while they investigated the find. They would soon come up on two armed men who were ordered to put down their weapons. Instead of complying the men opened fire on the officers forcing them to return fire. In the aftermath of the gunfight 26 year-old Tomas Desdicho Ramirez, a resident of the village of San Marcos in Peten, Guatemala was fatally injured. When that happened, the other man ran off, and shortly after, the Belizean law enforcement team recovered a 12-gauge pump action shotgun from the deceased. In the near vicinity, they found a live 12 gauge cartridge and 5 expended 12 gage shotgun cartridges.

Outstanding Women of 2013
The Women's Department of Belize recognized 22 women on Thursday, March 27th, at its 9th Annual Outstanding Women's Awards Ceremony. In each of the last nine years the Department has honoured women from all districts who have made significant contribution to their communities and stand as role models to younger girls. The 22 women honoured this year is another impressive group. The Women's Department honoured two women from each district, an older and a younger woman. In the Belize District the Department recognized Tanya Thompson and 20-year-old Hydea Golanche. Thompson is the President of the Rotaract Club of Belize. She has volunteered in numerous community agencies; including YWCA, National AIDS Commission, Help Age and the KHMH Pediatric Ward among others. Golanche is pursuing her Bachelor's degree in English Education at the University of Belize. She also serves as a youth ambassador for Belize and member of the Youth Advocacy Movement of the Belize Family Life Association (BFLA). She volunteers at the Belize Theatre Company and as a facilitator at the Caribbean Shores Resource Center.

New Playground for St Martin De Porres Primary
The infant students of St. Martin De Porres Primary School are enjoying a fancy new playground that was donated and assembled by the Rotary Clubs of Edmonton Glenora and Edmonton Downtown from Canada. On Wednesday, April 2nd, Rotarians from Canada and Belize gathered at the school to witness for themselves the joy on the faces of the kids who will enjoy the many attractions of the playground. The structure includes several differently designed slides, monkey bars, ring tossers, a track rider and a talking tube. The last three may be unfamiliar to most Belizeans. The ring tossers are pairs of metal rings that the users grip, use to swing and release to fly through the air. The track ride is a handle extended down from a pipe that the users grip and rides from one side of the bar to the other. The talking tube is a fun piece of equipment. It is basically a megaphone, a device consisting of a pipe stretching from one side of the playground to another. An individual can say something into the megaphone at St. Martin on one end and the other person hears it clearly at the other end. The children are not yet familiar with the three new attractions of the playground; therefore, the various slides are currently the most popular attractions of the playground.

PUP Stuck on Penner
The PUP is back on the prowl to try to recall Elvin Penner from his seat as Area Representative in the Cayo Northeast Division. On Monday, March 31, a mere 4 days after Penner's arraignment in the Belmopan Magistrate's Court, Lisa Shoman, acting as attorney for Orlando Habet and 4 other residents of Cayo Northeast, filed an application in the Supreme Court. They are trying to get the court to grant a judicial review of the decision of the Chief Election Officer, Josephine Tamai, to reject 337 signatures when their recall effort was formally presented. Tamai explained the different issues which presented themselves when they were vetting the signatures to see if the threshold has been met, and in her opinion those signatures were irregular that's why they were disqualified. In January, almost immediately after the recall petition failed, the PUP claimed that they intended to take this matter to court, but it took them some 2 months to finally work up to it. It's a rather interesting coincidence that in the short time following Penner's highly publicized criminal charging, that this maneuver is put into motion.

Another successful Fair in San Jose Succotz
A three day fair to celebrate the cultural life of San Jose Succotz Village in the Cayo District was successfully held. The San Jose Succotz Fair began with much fanfare last Friday at about 8:00 p.m with the visit by Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega and his team. It was a night where outgoing queen Rochelle Patt gave up her crown to the entrant queen Julie Valdez. This was followed by music from the Gilharry 7 Band and 'Sonido Majico', only to be stopped by a brief blackout at 12:30 p.m. The fun filled activities continued on Saturday with tube races in the rushing Mopan River that cuts through San Jose Succotz. Then on Sunday, there were pig head dances, greasy pole and musical entertainments from cultural groups. Chairman of San Jose Succotz, Emigdio Manzanero, says that funds from the Succotz Fair will be used to acquire weed eaters to keep his village as clean as possible. San Jose Succotz is near Benque Viejo del Carmen and the Xunantunich Archaeological Reserve. Manzanero says that much garbage is generated from visitors going to Xunantunich and he is currently seeking more assistance to address the garbage issue.

Bad Card, robbed and killed
Hector Dean Lyons, a well-known Belize City resident, was murdered in an execution-style slaying on Sunday evening, March 30, at around 7 p.m. His shooting death happened a few hours before his 57th birthday, and a few hours after he had won big cash from the Boledo Lottery Draw. He was sitting on the steps of a house on West Canal Street, a short distance away from his favourite hangout spot, Mike's Club, and he was talking to a friend when a gunman ambushed the pair. The man rode up on bike, held Lyons up at gunpoint, and robbed him of his wallet. With no regard for the elder man's life, the gunman then mercilessly executed him with a single shot to the right side of his head, which sent Lyons' friend running across the street for cover. Lyons died almost instantly, and the gunman rode off and escaped.

Prisoner gets ear bitten off on prison bus
Convicted prisoner Cruz Allen had to be rushed to the KHMH on Wednesday April 2 after he got into an altercation on a prison bus and had a portion of his ear bitten off. The fight took place onboard the prison bus sometime between 8a.m. and 9a.m. when prisoners were being brought to court from the Belize Central Prison. By the time the bus came to a halt at the Court Parking Lot area at around 8:50 a.m., Cruz had already been badly injured. We understand that there was a misunderstanding onboard the bus just before they arrived at the parking lot where someone bit off a piece of his ear. Only Cruz knows who bit off a piece of his ear but he is not saying much to authorities. After receiving medical attention Allen was escorted back to court sometime around 11:50a.m but his case was put on hold because of his injury.

Marquin Antwon Drury Charged for Shooting in High Speed Chase
A police mobile unit chased a group of men in a maroon Astro van at high speed within the city on Friday afternoon, March 28th, following a shooting on Mahogany Street. The sequence of events have led to the arrest and charge of 22-year-old Marquin Drury. According to police report, at around 1:30 p.m. on Friday, officers of the Gang Suppression Unit intercepted a maroon van which was heading from the Complex area on Mahogany Street where someone had just shot at Joshua Lewis. The officers fired shots at the vehicle and when it came to a stop one man had already jumped out and another was seen fleeing the vehicle. Inside the vehicle was the driver, identified as Drury. By the time officers caught up with the van, Drury had already called for his attorney, Bryan Neal. Neal was at the alleged scene where police searched the vehicle and nothing incriminating was found. Drury was detained by police.

Man in Cayo charged for Murder
Gabino Garnett Junior was arraigned on Thursday of last week before magistrate Nardia Morgan in San Ignacio Town, where he was charged for murder. He was wanted in connection with the murder of 20 year old Stann Creek resident Earl Baizer, which had occurred on March 14, 2014. At about 12:30 am on that Friday, San Ignacio Police had received a report of a male person that had allegedly been stabbed and as a result had been taken to the San Ignacio Hospital on Bullet Tree Road. On arrival at the Hospital, Police noted that the dark complexion male person had received stab wounds to the left side of his chest and a cut wound to the left hand, left under arm and right thigh. The male person was later identified to be Earl Baizer, who succumbed to his injuries at about 12:50 am that same morning while undergoing treatment at the hospital.

Gregory Goodfellow Charged for Ladyville Shooting
No arrest has been made for last weekend's shooting incidents that took place in Ladyville Village; however, police believe they have solved a shooting incident that occurred on the night of February 16th. According to police report, Alfred Smith and Gregory Goodfellow were on the Ladyville basketball court when they had an argument which led to a fistfight. Goodfellow then left the area but returned with a shotgun. According to Smith, he had just moved his head when he heard a loud bang. He then realized that he was shot at but was missed. Smith escaped unharmed. Police arrested Goodfellow over the weekend. On Monday he was escorted to the Belize City Magistrates Court where he was read a single charge of aggravated assault with a firearm upon Alfred Smith. In court, Goodfellow pleaded not guilty to the charge. No bail was granted since the offense was committed with a firearm. He will be remanded at the Belize Central Prison until his next court appearance on May 20th.

Elvin Penner goes to court
Former Minister of State Elvin Penner, and a sitting member of the House of Representatives, was arraigned on Thursday, March 28, on 2 criminal charges for his role in the passport scandal involving South Korean fugitive Won Hong Kim. At this time, he is out on bail, awaiting his next court date. It has widely been reported in all sections of the media that in September 2013, South Korean Won Hong Kim tried to use a bogus Belizean passport to avoid being extradited from Taiwan back to his country where he was wanted in connection with embezzlement in one of the country's biggest enterprise, the SK Shipping Company. It caused the Taiwanese authorities to investigate how he managed to travel to Belize to even get the passport because he was in jail the entire time. So, they made diplomatic requests of the Belizean Government, to offer an explanation, and when Godwin Hulse, the Minister of Immigration, did his digging, he found that Penner, who was the Minister of State with responsibility for Immigration, was somehow connected with it. He informed Prime Minister Dean Barrow of the situation, who took swift action asking Penner to resign from Cabinet because he didn't discharge his duties in a manner above board. PM Barrow even made the matter public.

Eugene "Portion" Reneau Charged for Rape
Police have arrested and charged 51-year-old Eugene Reneau for the crime of rape. According to a police report, they acted on information received and visited an area at Mile 10 � on the Phillip Goldson Highway at around 2 a.m. on Friday, March 28th. About ten feet from the side of the road, in a swampy over grown area, police saw a man and woman of creole descent. According to police, it seemed as if the man was covering the woman's mouth and holding her against her will as she struggled to escape. Police ordered them to come out of the swamp and the woman ran to police and told them that she had been raped. The 26-year-old woman told them that the man held a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her if she did not have sex with him. Fearing for her life, she complied with her attacker. The alleged rapist was detained and the woman was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where she was examined by a medical doctor.

100 Hours Community Service for Weed Charge
At around 11:55 on Friday morning, March 28th, Jason Reyes of the Jane Usher Boulevard area was busted by police with 3.5 grams of weed. Police officers were on mobile patrol on Holy Emmanuel Street in the Port Loyola area when they saw Reyes and stopped him to conduct a search. During the search, PC Leal found some weed in one of his pocket and a second amount in another pocket. The weed in the first pocket amounted to 1.5 grams and the amount found in the other pocket weighed 2 grams. Reyes appeared in the Magistrates Court before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith where he wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the offense of possession of a controlled drug. Instead of a fine or confinement, Chief Magistrate Smith ordered Reyes to complete 100 hours of community service. Reyes was employed working on the city streets infrastructure project. However, he did not inform the court at the time of sentencing. If he fails to complete the community service, Reyes will have to serve three months in prison.

Stole a chow mein and fried chicken
On Wednesday April 2, Sherman Rodney, appeared in Magistrate's Court to answer to charges of theft and threatening words. He appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano where he pleaded not guilty to both charges and bail was offered to him in the sum of 1 thousand dollars and one surety of the same amount. Rodney was arraigned after allegations were made that on March 24, 2014, at around 11:40a.m. on Farber's Road he stole from Rupert Lopez, a bag containing a $3.00 fried chicken and a $5.00 chow mein. Allegations are that after he jacked Lopez of his bag of food, he also threaten to kill him when he allegedly uttered the following words, "If yuh go to the police ah wah kill yuh.".

Joshua Smith Charged for Burglary of Biscayne Primary School
Sometime between March 17th and 18th, the Biscayne Government Primary School was broken into and numerous electronic devices were stolen. According to a police report, the take from the burglary included three Dell laptops valued at $1,000 each, another laptop valued at $1,400, a Sony projector valued at $500 and a Panasonic stereo set valued at $340. Police investigations led to the arrest of 18-year-old Biscayne Village resident Joshua Smith who was allegedly found in possession of items stolen from the school. Joshua Smith was escorted by police to the Belize City Magistrates Court on Friday, March 28th, where he appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith to answer to two criminal offenses. He was charged with one count of burglary and one count of handling stolen goods. He pleaded not guilty to the offense and the prosecutor in the case, Inspector Hector Rodriguez, objected to bail on the grounds that the police investigation into the burglary is ongoing and some of the stolen items have still not been recovered. Chief Magistrate Smith upheld the objection and Smith was ordered to be remanded at the Belize Central Prison until his next court appearance on April 11th.

Viola Pook to get a murder retrial
Viola Pook, 56, appeared in Supreme Court on Wednesday April 2, where she was informed that a trial date has been set for May 20, 2014. Pook had been convicted of setting her common-law-husband, 48-year-old Orlando Vasquez, whom she lived with for 23 years on fire, killing him. Pook appeared before Justice Adolph Lucas who gave her the trial date. The Court of Appeal a few weeks ago had ordered that Pook should undergo a new trial. After being given the news, Pook told us briefly that she was very happy with having a date set for her retrial. The only thing she lamented was that no relative was with her on this day. She however said that she is confident that on a second trial she will go home free of all charges. Vasquez was set on fire with second degree burns to 70% of his body killing him after he was rushed to the hospital back on December 31, 2008 from the village of Rancho Dolores.

Muslim Community girls and Crooked Tree Government boys are Belize District primary schools softball champions
The 2013-2014 Belize District Primary Schools softball championship came to an end at Rogers Stadium on Tuesday April 1, 2014. In the girls' championship game, Muslim Community School edged St. John Vianney School by the score of 7-6 to capture the Belize District Title. The winning pitcher was Essenie Ciego and the losing pitcher was Camryn Hinds. In the first game in the girls' competition, Muslim Community defeated Holy Cross Anglican School by the score of 20-1.The winning pitcher was Essenie Ciego and the losing pitcher was Sayuri Novelo. In game two, St. John Vianney defeated Pancontto Primary School by the score of 4-3. The winning pitcher was Camryn Hinds and the losing pitcher was Shanna Bood.

Keion Robateau is Junior Cross Country Champion
The Cycling Federation of Belize held its 15th Annual Junior Cross Country Cycling Classic on Sunday March 30, 2014. The event started from the Succotz Ferry in San Jose Succotz Village to Leslie's Imports on the George Price Highway. Some 20 junior cyclists started the race and at the end of 3:41:27, it was Keion Robateau of BELCOL Uprising cycling Team that captured 1st place. Robateau was then followed by his team-mate Delon Gentle, who completed the race in a time of 3:46:00. The third rider to cross the finish line was former champion Zamir Guerra of Cayo High Road, and he was followed by Philip Mencias of Mando's Cycling Team, and then followed by Tarique Flowers of Benny's Megabytes Jr. to round off the top five finishers in the race. The other finishers in the race included, Delawn Abraham of Benny's Megabytes, Zahir Figueroa of BELCOL Uprising, and he was followed by Devin Azueta of Cayo High Road and he completed the course in a time of 4:03:41, followed by Darien Anderson, who is unattached and he finished in a time of 4:06:32, and then followed by Dennis Arnold unattached in a time of 4:07:33 to round off the top ten finishers in this year's Junior Cross Country Classic.

Police United are the sole leaders in the Belikin Cup Tournament
The Premier League of Belize Belikin Cup Closing Season Tournament continued over the weekend with three games across the country. On Saturday March 29 at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the Police United defeated the Belize Defence Force by the score of 4-1 to take sole first place position in the tournament. The host team Police United were the first to get onto the scoreboard when Amin August scored the 1st goal of the game in the 60th minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. The lead was further increased when Danny Jimenez scored his team's 2nd goal of the game in the 67th minute of play for a 2-0 lead. The lead was once again extended when Clifton West scored his first of two goals in the 69th minute of play for a 3-0 lead. The Police United's final goal of the game was scored by Clifton West in the 84th minute of play for a 4-0 lead.

San Pedro Tigersharks maintain lead in Elite Basketball League
The National Elite Basketball League Competition continued over the last week with a number of games across the country. On Thursday March 28, at the Orange Walk Multi-Purpose Complex in Orange Walk Town, the Belize City based Smart "No Limit" edged the Orange Walk Running Rebels by the score of 76-75. The top scorers for the Belize City Smart "No Limit" were Akeem Trapp with 23 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals, Gregory Rudon with 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists, and Andrew Ortiz and Brandon Rogers with 8 points each. For the Orange Walk Running Rebels the top scorers were Randy Usher with 16 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 assists, Omar Tesecum also with 16 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal, along with Ian Carcamo who contributed 15 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals, and Shemar white who also contributed 10 points, and 1 rebound.

Females Win 36th Annual UB Relathon
6 hours 29 minutes is the cumulative time that it took UB's speedy females to reach the Engineering Department in Belize City, winning the 36th Annual UB Relathon on Sunday, March 30, 2014. The females started in Belmopan at the Market Square, while the males began in front of the Police Station in San Ignacio but both embarked on their journey at 8:30 a.m. The females ran with a singular goal in mind: 3-peat as champions. Their effort paid off when they crossed the finish line at 2:59 p.m. The males tried their best to win and closed the 20 mile handicap to only 3miles but fell short and finished 18 minutes later. While it might appear to merely be a race to underscore the battle of the sexes, and the females are given a sizeable head-start to compensate for any physical differences, the premise is actually based on a mathematical principle of vectors and the average speed and time that females and males utilize to cover a mile. So let's talk the history: The year is 1977, and Belize Technical College (BTC) student Dudley Marshall-athlete and member of the student union-is working on a novel idea to use as a fundraiser. Being an astute student, he is constantly looking for practical ways to use new educational theories and prove that education is always relevant and real-world. He spends countless hours brainstorming, eager to maximize the impact of his latest initiative while garnering support from all corners of life at BTC.

Mexico daylight saving time starts on Sunday, April 6th 2014
The Embassy of Mexico informs that on Sunday, April 6th Mexico will begin Daylight Saving Time (Horario de Verano). On that day, clocks in Mexico will go forward one hour. That means that Mexico's local time will run 1 hour ahead of Belize's local time until October 26th, 2014. For example, 9:00 am in Belize local time will be in Mexico 10:00 am local time. For those traveling within Mexico, the Embassy reminds that the Mexico Daylight Saving Time applies to most of the Mexican territory, including Chetumal, Cancun, Merida, Campeche, Mexico City and Veracruz. If you are in transit through Mexico, please check your flight's local time.

Police Sergeant dies unexpectedly
The Police Department continues to mourn the death of one of their own, 42 year-old Woman Sergeant Kimari Tucker, who died on the morning of Tuesday, April 1. On Saturday, March 28, she attended a reggae Concert at the ITVET Compound at which 2 Jamaican artists were scheduled to be the headline performers. While enjoying herself, she suffered a stroke and passed out amidst the other concert goers. She had to be rushed to the KHMH, where the doctors were able to resuscitate her, but by that time, the bleeding in her brain caused its higher functions to stop completely. Her family says that she was declared brain dead, and that she was being kept alive by ventilators and other machines. A few hours after the doctors recommended that it might be time to consider removing her from those machines and let nature take its course, Tucker's organs started to fail. She passed away without having to force that difficult decision on them.

Ms African Queen 2014-2015
The sixth annual Ms African Queen 2014-2015 was held on Saturday, March 29th at The Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts. Six beautiful, intelligent and elegant ladies competed for this title and after showcasing their Talent, Visual Poise and Platform Statements, Ms. Maryam Abdul-Qawiyy was crowned Ms African Queen 2014-2015. Although only one could walk away with the crown, they were all winners. First Runner up was Ms. Nicole Hamilton who also won Ms. Congeniality and Second Runner up was Ms. India Camiel. Other prizes awarded were: Best Talent & Miss PR (person who sold the most tickets) - Ms. Maryam Abdul- Qawiyy

Women in Arts fair held in San Ignacio Town
A "Women in Arts Fair" was held at the Cayo Welcome Center on Saturday of this past weekend as part of Women's Month. Organized by the San Ignacio and Santa Elena House of Culture in collaboration with the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Board, the fair was an opportunity for female artists to showcase their fine skills in pottery, jewelry, paintings and culinary products. There was much to be learnt about pottery, especially at the hands of Ruby Dirks and Byron Evans from Dragonfly Studios. The couple from Blackman Eddy Village told us that their electric kiln transforms clay into beautiful pieces under extremely high temperatures. Coming out to entertain the crowds was the Santa Elena Town based Indigenous Maya Marimba Band and the Cayo Flute group. Ms. Natalie Williams was also present to read some moving poetry.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Flyboard Day Again!!!
If you missed the first flyboard day no need to worry. Reef Watersports is at it again!!! Don't get left out! Check out their facebook page at Reef Watersports for more pictures


My Tour Around the Sanctuary Belize (or Mega-Project: Part Two
Sunday, I travelled with the sales staff, a rep from Atlantic Bank, some builders and the potential investors to Sanctuary Caye. One of the more beautiful places on earth. I wrote all about that. And took one thousand pictures. Saturday was the main day. To show the visitors around Sanctuary - the mega-tour (and a bit adventure tour) of the HUGE project. Yesterday I wrote about the morning tour�of the marina and some of the land closer to the waterfront. We ended the morning at Sanctuary's pool club on the common beachfront. There is not a huge amount of land on the Caribbean sea as part of this project but they've done pretty nicely with this area. The views and the green pool are gorgeous. Behind the pool club is a mangrove lagoon and a view of the Mayan mountains�

The Iguana Fest
Here is a little, not so happy, story about what happens to female iguanas to get their eggs... I have tracked my path to my nest site: the location good, the soil moist, the river clear and swift-flowing. My excavations are almost complete. The eggs weigh heavy; it is time. My tail is caught, I am hauled from my tunnel. There is strength; too strong for my writhing and flipping. My bite fails to connect, my thrashings ineffective.

"Fools Rush In" from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Rose and I though do occasionally compile joint lists. And the one that we pulled together a short while ago included 'arrange trip to Merida'. And not long after it was on the list Rose added 'SOON'. With that kind of statement (instruction) what else could I do? Arrange it, that's right! So last Wednesday I booked two return tickets (well we also intended to return to Ambergris Caye) from San Pedro to M�rida (via Philip Goldson International Airport) via withTropic Air on the Friday service (the service also operates on a Monday and Wednesday). We could have made the journey in a number of ways - water taxi to Belize City and then bus, water taxi to Corozal and then bus, fly to Corazal and then bus, water taxi to Chetumal and then bus (there may be other ways but quite honestly I'm bored now and it's not as if this is a travel blog!) - but decided to take advantage of the discounted price (there's still time to book because the offer runs until 15 April) offered for the expansion of routes by Tropic Air on 3 March.

General Assembly 15th Session - The Question of Belize
The General Assembly Having considered the question of Belize, Having examined the relevant chapters of the report of the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, Recalling its resolutions 3432 (XXX) of 8 December 1975, 31/50 of 1 December 1976, 32/32 of November 1977, 33/36 of 13 December 1978 and 34/38 of 21 November 1979, Having also heard the statement of the representative of Belize, Recalling that the Sixth Conference of Heads of States or Government of Non-Aligned Countries, held at Havana from 3 to 9 September 1979, reiterated its unconditional support for the Belizean people's inalienable right to self-determination, independence and territorial integrity and condemned all pressure or threats to prevent the full exercise of that right,

Recipe: Amish cinnamon breed
I'm nairy shure perzackly whut makes thishere Amish. My fambly is ackshly good fambly friens wit un Amish fambly n' Indiannie whar my moth'r is frum. I've ett nuff o'breed, cookies, pies an' uther treets made by t'Amish n' thems parts o't' kuntry. I've ett Amish haystack, a combinashun o'salad, meat, cheez, condimants an' chips. But I've nev'r bee offerd cinnamon breed. Here's a'hopin thems fambly friens are't holdin out un me! At leest noe, I a'ken make it un my own. Amish Cinnamon Breed frum Redflee Creetyuns

Asbestos in Drinking-water
One of the primary goals of WHO and its member states is that "all people, whatever their stage of development and their social and economic conditions, have the right to have access to an adequate supply of safe drinking water." A major WHO function to achieve such goals is the responsibility "to propose regulations, and to make recommendations with respect to international health matters �." The first WHO document dealing specifically with public drinking-water quality was published in 1958 as International Standards for Drinking-Water. It was subsequently revised in 1963 and in 1971 under the same title. In 1984-1985, the first edition of the WHO Guidelines for drinking-water quality (GDWQ) was published in three volumes: Volume 1, Recommendations; Volume 2, Health criteria and other supporting information; and Volume 3, Surveillance and control of community supplies. Second editions of these volumes were published in 1993, 1996 and 1997, respectively. Addenda to Volumes 1 and 2 of the second edition were published in 1998, addressing selected chemicals. An addendum on microbiological aspects reviewing selected microorganisms was published in 2002.

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