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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
SPHS volleyball and basketball teams to travel to North Carolina
The San Pedro High School (SPHS) volleyball and basketball teams are holding a series of fundraising events to raise money to travel to Jacksonville, North Carolina, USA. The trip will enable the students’ participation in a sports exchange program with Northside High School which will be held from April 16 to 25, 2014. A total of 25 students will be travelling and the estimated cost for travel expenses is $10,000. On Friday, April 4th the students and teachers of SPHS held a radio-thon and dollar-drive in front of Reef Radio on Pescador Drive. The Radio-thon brought in an estimated $4,000.
Message on World Health Day
world-health-day-2013Every year more than one million people die from diseases carried by mosquitoes, flies, ticks and other insects, such as triatomine bugs. These vector-borne diseases – which include malaria, dengue, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, Chagas disease and leishmaniasis – cause chronic illness and immense suffering for hundreds of millions more. Climate change, altered habitats and increased international trade and travel are exposing more people to the vectors that transmit these diseases. They present a risk in all regions, including countries where the threat had formerly been eradicated, but the most affected are the world’s poorest people, especially those who live in remote rural communities far from health services or in urban shanty towns. By profoundly affecting people’s health, vector-borne diseases are a serious impediment to poverty reduction and sustainable development.
Saga Humane Society presents 2013 Annual Report
Since 1999, Saga Humane Society has been assisting Ambergris Caye with the abuse, neglect and overpopulation of island pets. Throughout 2013, Saga implemented several projects aimed at reducing strays and unwanted pets on the island. These projects included Operation SNIP (spay and neuter campaign) and mobile clinics to provide vaccinations to pets whose owners are unable to take them to the clinic. Saga reports that 170 dogs were taken off the streets and into the shelter in 2013, a 5% decrease as compared to 2012. Out of 170 dogs picked up, 32 were returned to their owners. Unfortunately, Saga reported a 2% increase in euthanization, as 101 of the dogs that were roundup had to be humanely put down, due to age and other medical reasons. Owner surrenders also saw a decrease as only 266 pets were given up to Saga, out of which 178 were euthanized. Sadly, adoption figures were also down, with only 108 animals adopted into new homes. This 36% decrease in adoptions is believed to be a result of the buying and importing of full breed animals.
Lazy Croc – Southern style food, BBQ, and PLENTY of it!
I think it’s safe to say that barbeque is a staple around here. There’s just something about grilled and smoky meats that has us licking our chops! One place that offers a taste like no other is Lazy Croc BBQ Smokehouse. I might even be so bold to as to say it is one of the best on the island- especially when it comes to good ole Southern style BBQ! Located just a couple miles north of the bridge, Lazy Croc serves up some true, finger-licking smoked dishes: baby back pork ribs, BBQ chicken, smoked fried chicken (yes, I said smoked), and plenty more. As a matter of fact, my mouth is watering just thinking about all the yummy goodness. Owner Christiano has really added to Lazy Croc’s menu, and its location! With two wooden patios overlooking one of the island’s many salt water lagoons, which is also home to Jaws the resident crocodile, Lazy Croc is the perfect place for both a great meal and sightseeing. Unfortunately, my partner in crime, Monique, and I didn’t get to see the croc Jaws; regulars say he’s a bit shy with newcomers. Nevertheless, we got our wildlife fix spotting several green iguanas and various birds; however don’t bother asking me the names because I’m not a birder like some people (side-eyes the boss). We enjoyed the atmosphere and the sightseeing from the comfort of our reserved seating on the “Huckleberry Ferry.” Yes, the Huckleberry Ferry – I swear that’s what it’s really called! It’s a picnic table set atop a floating platform that takes customers on a smooth ride from one end of the lagoon to the other, all while they enjoy their meal and take in the scenery. Very idyllic and indeed, unique and fun.
Pic of the Week:
Touch the Horizon in Belize
Nothing short of spectacular sunset viewings in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize where you can touch the horizon. Sit on the shore line as the waves creep up to your feet or step into the water and head for the horizon. Enjoy these and many more amazing sunsets that can only be found in Belize. - picture by Gerry Badillo
Oceana and Maya Community Win One Against Oil Drilling in Belize
SATIIM and Indigenous Mayan Communities Supreme Court Victory is a Victory for all Belizeans - The Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage and Oceana in Belize salute the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) for its ongoing efforts to have the indigenous rights of the Maya of Southern Belize respected.
Madam Justice Michelle Arana's historic ruling on April 3rd 2014 affirmed those rights when the Supreme Court found that while the Government of Belize has the right to issue permits to explore for oil and even drill, they must consult with the members of the affected indigenous communities to determine what activities can happen on their lands as well as the forms of compensation to follow.
The lesson all Belizeans should take away from this issue is that we all have the inherent right to be part of a consultative and participatory process in the management of our resources - especially when political policies have the potential to cause irrevocable damage.
University of Belize Sports Delegation Heads to Central American Games
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.
In 2012 at JUDUCA IV held in Guatemala City, Guatemala, UB Black Jaguars team won gold for male basketball and two bronze medals for track and field. Irice Reyes finished third in the female long jump (4.95 m) and Mark Anderson also finished third in the Male 200 m clocking 11:01 seconds. In basketball, UB Black Jaguars defeated University de San Carlos de Guatemala to take the gold with an undefeated record after overpowering Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. UB Black Jaguars finished fourth in male volleyball and soccer/football.
Easter's Traditional Religious Celebrations in San Pedro
San Pedro, Ambergris Caye is the place to be for Easter Break, the mainland folk flock to the island and the tourists come to enjoy their spring break. Nothing like spending some great time on the beach, soaking up some sun, sipping on cool cocktails partying on endless night…but one aspect of Easter in San Pedro goes pretty much unnoticed by the masses.
Amongst all the chaos of parties there is also the religious celebrations that take place during Easter. The San Pedro Roman Catholic Church is responsible for conducting a Lenten Schedule every year. The staff of Ambergris Today took turns in participating on the highlights of the schedule and discovered the rich and traditional celebrations of the Catholic Church for Easter.
Misc Belizean Sources
FISHING REPORT: Week of March 30th– April 6th, 2014
The Fly Shop of Redding brought a great group of anglers down this week that made our lodge an even better place to live and work. My heartfelt thanks to Kara (of The Fly Shop in Redding CA) for her undying enthusiasm for our sport that made all of us here at El Pescador a little happier each day..
Students who drowned have been laid to rest
The two high school students from Corozal who drowned in the Macal River on Friday afternoon have been laid to rest.
They have been identified as 15 year old Anahi Zepeda and 16 year old Edgar Puck, both Fourth Form students of the Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico in San Roman village, Corozal.
Zepeda and Puck were with classmates on a field trip that earlier in the day had visited the Che Chem Ha Caves. On the return journey, police say that a teacher told them that they stopped so that the students could wash themselves in the river near the low-lying wooden bridge.
While in the river, police say Anahi Zepeda was dragged down by the currents.
Seeing that she was in trouble Edgar Puck reportedly tried to assist Zepeda when they both went under the water and did not resurface.
Guatemalan man drowns in the Belize River
The body of Guatemalan man has been retrieved from the Belize River in Santa Familia village, Cayo.
The victim has been identified as 33 year old Francisco Martin Juan who is from Huehuetenango, Guatemala.
Police say that Juan’s uncle Jose Miguel Gaspar, also from Huehuetenanco, Guatemala, reported to them that around 12:30 on Sunday afternoon, he and his nephew went to the river to swim.
Gaspar told police that at the time he entered the water Francisco Juan was “highly under the influence of alcohol.”
The police report says that as Juan was attempting to swim across the river, the current pulled him under and he did not resurface.
Fire guts house in Santa Elena Town
A late Sunday night fire in Santa Elena town, Cayo, has left at least two people homeless.
Just before 11 o’clock last night, fire officials were called to a house on Carrillo Puerto Avenue in Santa Elena town where a two storey building was engulfed in flames.
Preliminary reports indicate that Evelyn Estelle was asleep in the lower flat of the building, made of concrete, when she smelled smoke.
When Estelle went to investigate, that was when she found out that the building was on fire.
The upper part of the building, which was made of wood, was being occupied at 82 year old Augustine Martinez.
Residents accuse San Ignacio police of abusive behavior
A group of women is expected to be charged in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court today following a melee at an event over the weekend. A scuffle broke out among patrons of the event which was taking place at the Macal River Park but the police is taking heat for the way officers handled the situation.
As a third-party video – which is used with permission – shows, police officers pushed a handcuffed man into the pan of a pickup truck.
He had apparently been detained.
An officer then got into a verbal exchange with another man who was concerned for the way the man was being handled.So far there haas not been any response from the Police Department pertaining to accusations of excessive force being used by the officers in apprehending the man who was taken away from the scene in the back of the vehicle.
Toledo farmers discuss food security
The Inter American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, IICA, is facilitating a discussion in Toledo on the issue of family farming and how it can contribute to Food Security.
Farmers from different communities are taking part in the discussion which is looking at the topic of “the role of family farming in food security.”
The forum is being moderated by IICA’s country representative Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim, with inputs from the Chief Agriculture Officer Roberto Harrison.
Organizers of the discussion are hoping that through networking, farmers in the Toledo district will come to realize that they can contribute effectively to food security.
Coming out of the discussion were ideas on how the individuals and their families can become self-sustainable and by extension, help in the development of their communities.
Orquidea Negra with BNDC and Friends
The Orquidea Negra Dance Company represented Cayo by performing at the Bliss Centre with the Belize National Dance Company in their 'BNDC and Friends' production this weekend. Awesome photographer Will Moreno was there, and he got some amazing shots. Well done, BNDC and Orquidea Negra!
"We are proud of all the wonderful performers who graced the Bliss Stage last night and tonight for 'BNDC & FRIENDS' Dance and Music/Dance Concerts. You were all amazing! and THANK YOU!"
UB's Evening of the Arts
The University of Belize is having their very first Evening of the Arts tonight, Tuesday, April 8th. They'll have art from the famous Carolyn Carr, and also Valerie Penner, an up-and-coming artist, who did an exhibition at the Soul Project recently. The event will also have music and poetry from the talented UB family.
"The upcoming Evening of the Arts, which will take place on April 8th from 5 to 7 p.m., will feature the works of two visual artists: Valerie Penner, an Associate's degree student here at UB whose work is presently on display at the Bliss, and Carolyn Carr, a well-known, very accomplished Belizean artist. The evening's line-up will also include about a dozen sensationally gifted vocalists, pianists and poets who are students, faculty, and esteemed friends of UB. The event is free of charge, so bring your family and friends, and let's make it a lovely, fun-filled evening."
$29 million of marijuana destroyed in Joint Task Force-Bravo supported marijuana eradication operation in Belize
Joint Task Force-Bravo and the U.S. Embassy Military Liaison Office in Belmopan partnered with Belizean military and police forces in a highly successful marijuana eradication operation in Belize, March 15-20, 2014.
The operation resulted in the Belizean government destroying 34 marijuana fields and approximately 57,283 mature marijuana plants for an initial estimated value of USD $29 million. In addition, the team also found and destroyed 25 pounds of marijuana seeds.
Joint Task Force-Bravo provided aviation support, on-call casualty evacuation and caving ladder training for 52 Belizean personnel who participated in the operation.
Face of Defense: Marine Connects Using Sign Language
Hands wave through the air in an organized fashion, and children follow the movements as they enjoy the children's story "A Day at the Farm." Marine Corps Cpl. Parnell Sararana put his Universal Sign Language skills to use here April 4 as he translated while Air Force Staff Sgt. Jon Espinoza read aloud at the Stella Maris School Belize Academy for the Deaf.
Sararana is deployed from the 1st Civil Affairs Group at Camp Pendleton, Calif., in support of New Horizons Belize 2014, an exercise in which U.S. service members train with Belizean professionals in engineering and medical care. The civil affairs role in the exercise is to engage with the local population, as well as government and nongovernment organizations, to facilitate the best possible environment to build educational and health facilities and provide medical, dental and veterinarian care throughout the country.
Millions of dollars worth of marijuana goes up in smoke
The United States department of defence is reporting that a joint military operation involving Belize Defence Force soldiers and Belize police has resulted in the destruction of twenty nine million dollars worth of marijuana.
The operation was carried out during the week of March 15 to March 20. According to a news report compiled by Captain Steven Stubbs and published on the department of defence website, a total of “34 marijuana fields and approximately 57,283 mature marijuana plants” were destroyed.
The exercise was carried out by Joint Task Force-Bravo and the U.S. Embassy Military Liaison Office in Belmopan in partnership with Belizean military and police.
According to the online story “Joint Task Force-Bravo provided aviation support, on-call casualty evacuation and caving ladder tr
World Health Day celebrated
Today is World Health Day and the focus is on control of vector-born diseases; that is, diseases caused by insects such as mosquitoes that carry deadly viruses and bacteria.
Common examples include dengue fever and malaria.
A formal ceremony was held in Belize City and we spoke with CEO in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Peter Allen, who reports that the Ministry has made great strides in certain areas, reducing the number of malaria cases in Belize to 26 last year, as well as a consistent spraying and eradication program.
He notes that there is still much work to do to completely eliminate diseases like these and reminds Belizeans to get rid of possible breeding sites for mosquitoes and insects carrying malaria and dengue fever.
Following the ceremony there was an informational health fair.
Man shot near bar in Ladyville
An altercation inside the Blue House Bar on the Philip Goldson Highway, a stone’s throw from the police station, early on Saturday morning led to injuries for two men.
Dennis Burke, 47, apparently got into an altercation with one Edwin Perez and both had to be escorted out.
They continued to brawl and Perez’s brother, Oscar Perez, a construction worker of Airport Road, intervened.
He, it is alleged, pulled out a folded five-inch pocket knife and stabbed Burke in the chest. Burke retaliated by shooting Oscar Perez with his licensed 9mm handgun in the abdomen.
Both men were treated at the BDF hospital at Price Barracks before being transported to the KHMH.
Hattieville youth stabbed during fight
Promising youth athlete Richard Waight Jr of Hattieville died this weekend after being stabbed in the chest in a late-night melee on the basketball court next to the police station.
Two men, an adult and a minor, have been detained as part of the police’s investigations. A second teenager, aged 16, was also stabbed during the assault.
Police report that a fight had broken out on the court between two Hattieville teenagers and an older man was trying to part it. That man was then assaulted and this was when the teenagers were wounded.
Corozal families say sad goodbye to fallen students
Two promising lives were cut short on Friday afternoon when two fourth form students of Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico drowned in the Macal River.
16 year old Edgar Puck a resident of Patchakan village and 15 year old Anahi Zepeda from San Joaquin were scheduled to graduate in a few months time.
But instead on Sunday, their families were bidding sad goodbyes as they were laid to rest in their respective villages on Sunday. Puck was to have been the valedictorian at his graduation, while Zepeda, an honor roll student herself, would have taken her place among the graduates; but instead their bright smiles will be missing from the class of 2014 graduation.
Armed robbery in Corozal town; police investigate
A broad daylight robbery in the Santa Rita Area of Corozal Town this afternoon has left police searching for three suspects.
Around 4 o’clock this afternoon the proprietor of Jing Jing Store reported to police that three men entered the store, one armed with what appeared to the a fire arm.
Fearing for her life the proprietor says she handed over an undisclosed amount of money.
According to reports one of the customers who was inside the store at the time of the holdup was pistol-whipped by the assailants.
Police have processed the crime scene and continue investigate the armed robbery.
I am Kenny Jacobs, Executive Director of Teens Belize Organization and television host of Developing Toledo TV Show aired on PGTV. First of all, our education system needs to change its ways of teaching. Students are enrolled in an institution and are fed with materials daily, all of which, I agree, is important to their learning. The question remains, are they being taught to graduate and look for a job? Or are they being taught to construct their own business after graduation?
Every year there are thousands of graduates from high schools and tertiary institutions countrywide who are unable to move on, due to financial and/or other constraints. These students have been taught by our education system to seek employment at a company/business after graduation. We cannot allow our system to continue doing this. Our students deserve an utmost challenge from primary school or high school to be bred with the relevant knowledge and skills to start their own business, once they graduate.
Businessman released from drug trafficking charge
The difference between cannabis and hemp proved vital to a San Ignacio businessman who walked away today from charges of drug trafficking and importation of a controlled substance. 49 year old naturalized Belizean John Daniel Downard, who is director of a company called Vortech which is researching the potential of pulverizing hemp seed, was busted with 460 grams of hemp seed in his luggage at the Philip Goldson International Airport last December. The item was declared but investigators pressed charges even after tests run locally came back negative for cannabis resin. Hemp seeds are not banned under the Misuse of Drugs Act and thus, according to attorney and former Magistrate Rachel Montejo-Juan, the prosecution had not proved that Downard was trafficking or importing a controlled substance, which cannabis is. Magistrate Leslie Hamilton agreed that Downard had no case to answer and dismissed the charge.
High hopes for good 2014 PSE performance
Teachers across the country are holding out high hopes for their students to do well on the first part of the Primary School Examination which was administered today.
Students wrote papers in Language Arts and Science.
Thousands of Standard 6 boys and girls across the country took the PSE today. In Toledo, there were three testing centers; namely Toledo Community College where 266 students sat the PSE; Corazon Creek High School where 338 students took the PSE and Julian Cho Technical High School where 97 students sat the PSE.
Dr. Carmen Lopez who works with the Ministry of Education in Punta Gorda town says that no matter what the outcome, the Ministry will continue to work hard with teachers, students and parents in providing quality education for the children.
“I believe we have done out part and it is now for the students to show us that yes indeed we have done an effective job,” says Dr. Lopez.
Clayton Williams - Bibagari
Musical interlude. Clayton Williams, a promising Garifuna musician, has released Bibagari, proving yet again that Belize has some of the best music in the hemisphere. Clayton's Canadian tour with the Lebeha Drummers last year has inspired him to create some really touching music. Thanks for the music, Mr. Williams!
He has a behind the scenes video on Youtube.
"Here is my new single Bibagari (your life) written by me and produced by Juni Mar. I like to apologize to everyone for the delay releasing the song but its here now,tell me what you think, like it and most of all don't forget to share. The song is also available to download on Soundcloud.
Purchasing Belize Real Estate
Purchasing Belize real estate is very simple and extremely secure. The extensive documents that are common with a property purchase in the USA, Canada and/ or Europe are thankfully not part of the buying process here. There are no barriers to foreign investment and, as a member of the British Commonwealth, Belize has a legal system based on British law and is the only English speaking country in Central America.
Understanding your documents will be much easier than in other countries in Central America. Title is fee simple absolute title so is extremely secure. Title insurance is available yet rarely utilized. Foreigners have the same property rights in Belize, as do local citizens. Foreigners can own beachfront property in Belize.
In addition, Belize has no capital gains or inheritance taxes and a growing private offshore banking sector. Corporate income taxes are also quite low and can be as low as 1.75% of gross sales! Property taxes are extremely low (normally below $US 100 annually) so holding costs are very low.
Lincoln Jones, renowned minister in Belize, dies at 56
Lincoln Jones, a renowned evangelist among Churches of Christ in the Central American nation of Belize, died April 3 after suffering an apparent stroke. He was 56.
Jones was baptizing new souls into Christ as recently as March 23, according to members of the Burrell Boom Church of Christ, who posted photos of the event on the congregation's Facebook page. "He was such a pillar in the church in Belize," said Barbara Kee, a longtime friend of Jones who served, along with her husband, Windle, as a missionary in the African nation of Cameroon. The Kees, who now live in Texas, made regular mission trips to Belize, a nation of 324,000 souls south of Mexico and east of Guatemala. The couple worked alongside Belizean ministers — including Jones and Andrew "Tex" Nunez — and U.S. missionary Bill Amason, who died in 2011.
SATIIM And Indigenous Peoples - Another Legal Victory
SATIIM, the foremost environmental and human right organization in Belize along with four indigenous Q’eqchi’ Maya communities have achieved another monumental legal victory yesterday. The Belize Supreme Court Justice, The Honourable Michelle Arana declared:
That the decision of the Government of Belize to allow oil drilling and road construction in the National Park is irrational and Wednesbury unreasonable, that decision having been made without the free prior and informed consent of the indigenous Maya communities;
That the decision of the Government of Belize to allow oil drilling and road construction in the National Park is in breach of the legitimate expectation of the indigenous Maya Peoples, that the Government of Belize would comply with their obligations under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to respect the rights of Indigenous Maya Peoples to their lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired;
ORDER directing the Government of Belize to obtain free, prior and informed consent from the indigenous Maya peoples with respect to any contract permit or licence that falls within the National Park.
Corozal Family Fun Day
Youths from San Pablo Presbyterian "Emmanuel" Church will be hosting this activity. Kite Flying, Games and Music for the entire family!! April 26th at 2:00 P.M.
On April 4th, two fourth form students of Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico (ESTM) tragically drowned while on a field trip to the Cayo District. Today was a sad day for the family of the late Anahi Zepeda as she was laid to rest on Sunday April 6th with special honours from her alma-mater. Thanks for supporting the ESTM Family on a difficult day! Photo shared by Modesto Cano.
Video: Belize City Tourist Guide
5min. I make a short video in Belize City about why I believe it is worth seeing when one visits Belize. It represents a country in the infancy of independence and all that is good and bad in these early stages.