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Today's Belize News: April 9, 2014 #489265
04/09/14 06:16 AM
04/09/14 06:16 AM
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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

What’s new? The Hotel Bar and Restaurant
On Friday, April 5th The Hotel Bar and Restaurant opened its doors to the San Pedro community. Previously known as Molly Malone’s Pub, The Hotel Bar is located just a short drive north of the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge, besides Legend’s Burger House. The Hotel Bar opens every day from 11AM till midnight. Be sure to visit The Hotel Bar and Restaurant next time you’re in the mood for something new!

Baby Joannie Faridi Cortes needs your help
Carmen Cortes and family are asking for financial supports from the San Pedro community to help her three-month-old child Joannie Faridi Cortes receive urgent medical attention. Joannie has been diagnosed with severe Retinopathy of prematurity, which has impaired the child’s vision. The baby girl has been referred to the Charles Retinal Institute in Memphis, Tennessee, USA, but the family has been unable to take her due to financial challenges.According to Cortes, Joannie was born prematurely, and as a result, was diagnosed with Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). ROP is caused when abnormal blood vessels grow in the retina, the layer of nerve tissue in the eye that enables sight. The growth can cause the retina to detach from the back of the eye, leading to blindness. Some cases of ROP are mild and correct themselves, but others require surgery to prevent vision loss or blindness.

The fish was HOW big?
Guests on Ambergris Caye rarely have to exaggerate about how big the fish was when bragging about their catch when fishing our clear Caribbean waters. On March 31st, while fly fishing for permit in Belize, Amy Trina not only landed a whopper but bragging rights to spare! Amy, who hails from Missoula, Montana USA, sent us this great photo and wrote, ” I caught this beauty my first time ever fly fishing for permit in Belize. It weighed between 25 and 30 pounds and took me an hour and 10 minutes to land! This was my first time to Belize and my second time fly fishing in saltwater. I live in Montana but I really truly am in love with Belize and can’t wait to come back which will be sooner than later!” Amy’s fishing guide was Darrel Smith.

Ambergris Today

FIFA Grassroots Training Takes Place in San Pedro
The San Pedro Sports Council, along with the Football Federation of Belize, held FIFA Grassroots Training in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye which consisted of physical and technical training from Wednesday, April 2, 2014 and culminated with a football festival on Saturday, April 5, 2014. This is the 8th Annual Football Academy Course that is held countrywide in Belize and this year, thanks to the San Pedro Town Council, the youth of the community were able to be a part of the FIFA Grassroots training. Coaches Renan Couoh of the FFB, along with Edward Gongora and Shinya Nabata, were on the island working with children between the ages of 6 to 17. Training included physical training with the children in three different categories and both physical and technical training with coaches. San Pedro coaches attended physical training along with the children and then had technical classes at the San Pedro Town Hall.

25 Years Ago: Virginio 'Bill' Henkis the Self-Taught Boat Builder
I have a ways maintained that I can do something by simply watching someone doing it, but that is something simple like a food recipe or fabricating a kite. This story proves me wrong- that even a complex thing like building a boat can be learned by observation as Mr. Bill Henkis did. His name is Virginio Henkis, but everyone calls him Bill. He came from a large family and being the first boy after four girls, he would accompany his dad, Fredrick Henkis, on everything and everywhere. It is from him that he learned to sail a boat. He missed a lot of classes due to this and came out of school when he was in Standard 3 or Grade 5. He recalls taking the small boat when his dad got drunk - he and his friends, Eiden Salazar Sr. and Daniel Dawson set sail to Caye Caulker causing the parents to worry and send the police to get them; but they came before the police found them at 1a.m. Hungry and penniless they ate raw conch but not in a ceviche. Bill Henkis worked with four different boat owners in their boats as a fisherman, mastering the art of sailing and fishing. They were Arthur “Ata” Bradley, Allan Forman, Romel Gomez and Milo Paz. Thereafter he obtained his own boat and worked for himself. His first sail boat was built by Maurice Bladden, who was well known for his designs, giving the vessel great shape, buoyancy and speed. It was a 28-foot long sailboat named after his sister, La Gloria! He ended up selling the boat and after going through four different owners he repurchased the boat as a wreck! He then rebuilt it together with Hector Alamina better known as Trosa. He did all the deck and cabin work on his own and Trosa did the hull and it was named after his daughter Yanira.

Misc Belizean Sources

Students lay sawdust carpets in Orange Walk town
Students from several high schools in Orange Walk were involved in a unique project on Monday in this northern municipality. The event, which included the laying of sawdust carpets, was organized by the Banquitas House of Culture. Each year during the religious procession on Good Friday, the townspeople of Benque Viejo del Carmen take to the streets to commemorate the death of Christ. Holy Week, or Semana Santa, is a weeklong celebration of colorful processions that open on Palm Sunday and culminates on Easter Sunday. The The community cooperates in creating sawdust tapestries, which involves the participation of hundreds of Benqueños of all ages, along the procession´s route. And this year, organizers of the “El Santo Entierro’ are in Orange Walk to teach interested individuals about the tradition.

Cold front approaches, temperatures to cool down
The weather has been on the HOT side in the last week or so, with temperatures in the low to upper 90’s. But the mercury will fall a bit in the next few days as an approaching cold front will bring the temperatures down. The forecast for Belize and her coastal waters starting this afternoon is for an increase in cloudiness, showers and thunderstorms. The change in weather will start in the north and inland areas and then spread to the rest of the country tonight. With the hot daytime temperatures that have dominated our weather recently, this sudden change has the potential to cause severe thunderstorms. Winds over the open sea and along the coast will be northerly to northwesterly at five to fifteen knots, increasing and becoming gusty later this evening.

Belize Botanic Gardens continues to train professional gardeners
The Belize Botanic Gardens continues to provide top-of-the-line training for persons interested in a career in gardening. According to a press release issues on Monday, students from the Professional Gardeners Training wrapped up a week of landscape design with a competition to choose the most appropriate one for the permanent erection at the Belize Botanic student garden. garden3 Belize Botanic Gardens continues to train professional gardeners According to the official release, Kayla Usher won the competition with a simple design which incorporated plants already in the area with new plants which are expected to attract birds and butterflies to the area. As winner of the competition, Usher will now get to supervise the other trainee gardeners as they construct her design. These students, according to the Belize Botanic Gardens will graduate on May 23 and be ready to enter the workforce. Before they graduate, the current group of trainee gardeners will proceed on their on-the-job training on Monday, April 14.

The don't drink driving campaign is a precursor for a road traffic monitoring exercise, which will be implemented over the Easter vacation. The monitoring for don't drink driving will be a collaboration between the Department of Transport in each district with authority for traffic on the roadways and highways as well as the municipal authorities responsible for traffic within the town and city limits. All launch activities are being held under the auspices of the respective City and Town Councils. All are invited to attend the launch to be held in the City of Belmopan at the Sir George Brown Field on Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 10 a.m. Each municipality will host their respective launches in their area on the same date and at the same time.

Another Happy Turtle Rescue (Update) from the Ambergris Caye Marine Turtle Program.
UPDATE: The health of the female loggerhead that was sent to Hol Chan for rehab in February has improved. She is now off all medication and fluids and is eating on her own. She is full of strength and will soon be ready for released. We are happy that she has recovered and would like to thank everyone that assisted in her rescue and treatment. Big thanks to the Hopkins Humane Society, Saga Humane Society, Poly Clinic, and the staff of Hol Chan.

Beware of the Pica Pica! Jellyfish in Abundance During Easter Season in Belize
Many explain it as having hundreds of mosquitoes biting you all over at the same time. Most of the time you will not be aware that you have been stung by the hundreds of Thimble Jellyfish that you have come in contact with. Spring/Easter season brings the ‘Pica Pica’ jellyfish to the shores of Belize. The Thimble Jellyfish make their appearance to the shores of Belize during the windy days between March and May, but its not uncommon to find these jellyfish from late January all the way to June. They suddenly arrive when the high winds and strong currents start making their way into the area. The Thimble Jellyfish is locally known as the Dedal and the discharge of their larvae is called the Pica Pica, although locals call the jellyfish Pica Pica. It is this discharge that contains the stinging cells that will cause a skin irritation. Many will find that playing with the actual jellyfish will not cause any skin irritation unless they are releasing their larvae. This marine animal is a small jellyfish resembling a thimble that measures about 1" in diameter and is conspicuously mottled with dark brown markings. They appear in dense aggregations which are transported by winds and current.

BHS Spay/Neuter Clinic
The Belmopan Humane Society had another spay and neuter clinic, and are trying to have them every month, on the second Sunday. San Ignacio is due for another round of clinics too, courtesy of the BWRC. "Another successful clinic. A long day, from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. We did 12 dogs, 2 cats, 1 emergency treatment, several checkups, a bunch of vaccinations. Thanks to the great team of Dr. Baptist, his assistant Joseph from Hopkins Humane Society, BHS volunteers, Mike Bracewell, Nildy Olmedo, Sonia Neal, Dewey Morison. We try to hold a clinic every second sunday of the month."

Belmopan Defeats Dangriga
The Belmopan Bandits defeated the Dangriga Warriors 66 - 54, giving them 2 wins in a row. They travel to Orange Walk to play the Running Rebels this Friday, April 11th. In related news, the Bandits will be playing the Western Ballaz in a free exhibition game tomorrow night at the SHC auditorium at 8:00pm. The Galen Eagles will play the Dangriga Warriors at 7:00. "We have won two in a row!!! We stand 4-5, Good game team!!! I love my Point Bandits!!!

When the Levees Broke Screening
April's Screen on the Green movie will be 'When the Levees Broke,' and will take place on Wednesday and Thursday since it's a long documentary. "Belize is no stranger to the devastating impact hurricanes can cause on a community. This week Belize Screen on the Green will feature the documentary, 'When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts' to look at the impact Hurricane Katrina caused in New Orleans, and start a discussion on the environmental and disaster management issues we can all learn from to better prepare for the upcoming hurricane season in Belize. We hope that you will be able to join us for this important screening. Please note this screening will show in two parts on Wednesday and Thursday this week!"

Free medical care provided to Belizean people
More than 100 people received medical care from U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force and Canadian medical professionals in cooperation with caretakers from a local health facility April 7 in Chunox, Belize. Free medical care will continue to be available 9 a.m. through 4 p.m. through April 9 at the Chunox Roman Catholic Pre-School. Available care includes optometric, general medicine, pediatric, dental, and pharmaceutical services. The care is provided as part of a medical training exercise, or MEDRETE, that offers U.S. and Canadian military doctors and nurses the opportunity to train and interact with their Belizean counterparts. "I think everything went smoothly overall," said U.S. Army Capt. Andrew Nickel, New Horizons MEDRETE officer in charge. Belizean medical professionals, community coordinators and a veterinarian are scheduled to train side by side with U.S. and Canadian medical providers.

We Were Very Lucky: Life Lessons Learned off Glover's Reef, Belize
Lloyd Nunez is a quiet guide . THE 46-YEAR-OLD Garifuna man directs mostly by discreet hand gestures and forced whispers. He’s never been to New York, but wears a shirt that declares, “Brooklyn: Only the Strong Survive.” He has an enigmatic smile and rough, work-hardened hands. He’s guided for bonefish, tarpon and permit off the coast of central Belize for 22 years, and knows the coral isles that make up the Great Barrier and Glover’s reefs well. Because he was raised on them. Nunez spent most of his youth on South Water Cay, 15 acres of coral with no running water or power (even today). South Water Cay is part of Belize’s Great Barrier Reef, the second largest in the world. The cay and its surrounding isles are skirted with shallow flats, often carpeted with turtle grass. Some have deep coves that hold pods of resident tarpon. And between them, in nondescript patches of ocean water, the reef rises to just under the surface. Here permit sometimes tail in world-class concentrations. This stretch of ocean offers one of the world’s best shots at a grand slam. And this past October, Nunez and his son, Alvin, guided me in search of one. To the east of the barrier reef, 30 miles out, rests Glover’s Reef. By stringing together angling days on both reefs Nunez promised a bounty of chrome. A true atoll, Glover’s is a ring of coral that surrounds more than 160 square miles of shallow turquoise water. The water thins to skinny as it approaches the eastern edge of the reef, where a fin of jagged coral runs the length of the reef. It’s only exposed above water for a few miles, allowing it to generate four idyllic, remote islands that are decidedly Tahitian in character. Adjacent there are vast expanses of perfect flats teeming with tailing bones.

PUP Cayo Central Committee issue clarification
The convention to elect a Standard Bearer for the People’s United Party (PUP) in the Cayo Central division will take place on Sunday, April 27 in Santa Elena Town, Cayo. But the political temperature has been ramped way up as the fateful date approaches where businessman Luke Espat will square off against former area representative Daniel Silva. Tonight, the PUP Cayo Central Executive Committee issued a release noting its concern that an attempt is being made to sidestep certain decisions that were previously agreed. The Cayo Central Executive Committee in its release, explains that 7 of 9 executive members voted in the meeting of Friday, March 21, 2014, that the venue for the Convention be the Santa Elena Roman Catholic School and that the Convention will be a closed convention. The Committee also agreed that all new voters who register by April 25th will be allowed to vote as long as they bring along the receipt from the Election and Boundaries Department on Convention Day.

Transgender man attacked and beaten in Belize City
An 18 year old man was set upon and beaten up by an angry mob in Belize City tonight. The incident happened just after 6 pm. The young man, who identifies himself as transgender, was dressed in women’s clothing, namely a long black dress. As he walked down Vernon Street, the youth who gives his name as Vanesa Champagne Paris says she was verbally harassed by a man who hurled derogatory words at him. According to Vanesa, when his attacker asked why a “f*king fagot is walking this block,” he turned around and responded to the attacker that he did not own the street. That was when, according to Vanessa, that the man picked up rocks and started to “boom” him.

5 year old boy is crushed by a forklift
A five year old boy was killed this afternoon in the Spanish Lookout community in the Cayo district when he was run over by a forklift. The victim has been identified as Kenton Kornelson. Preliminary information says that Kornelson and another small child were riding their bicycles in an area near the Reimer’s Service Station on Center Road in Spanish Lookout around 1:30 pm today when the incident happened. Forklift operator Elias Jacobs, 22, was in the process of moving tires from one place to another, when the boys reportedly climbed up on the forklift, one on the front of the heavy machine and the other sitting near to Jacobs. Exactly what transpired next is not yet known, but a loud scream was heard as the boy was crushed by the forklift.

St. Hilda Anglican Church announces Easter Services calendar
Activities for Holy Week will be held around the country by the various religious denominations. One group that has already released its calendar of events for the observation which starts on Palm Sunday is the St. Hilda Anglican Church in Georgeville. The Anglican congregation in the village will be joined by congregants of the Pentecostal and Salvation Army churches for some of the services. The priest in charge, Father David Alenski says that activities start with Palm Sunday service at 11:30 am. On Holy Thursday, there will be two services, one at 6:30 pm and the other at 8:30 pm. On Good Friday, a Spanish mass will be said at 10 am and then the traditional Good Friday service will be held at 3 pm.

Free medical and veterinary clinics offered in Corozal villages
Residents of villages in northern Belize are the beneficiaries of a series of free medical clinics and veterinary services. The services are being offered by the United States military working in conjunction with the Belize Agricultural Health Authority, BAHA, the Public Health Department, the Canadian army and Belize Defence Force. Today in Chunox village, Corozal, over a thousand inhabitants got a chance to receive free general health awareness information and services. A visiting veterinarian also provided free rabies shots for domestic and farm animals in a house-to-house visit. The medical team’s next stop is in Progresso village on Thursday and Friday. Next week, the same services will be offered to residents of Libertad village and surrounding areas.

"Think before you drink. Don't drink and drive" Campaign
We would like to invite everyone to the Launch of the "Think before you drink. Don't drink and drive" Campaign. We will have demonstrations and the presentation of advertisements, radio jingles and more that make up the campaign. See you all there! April 10 • 10:00 A.M. • Central Park

Launch of Traffic Safety Campaign
Everyone is invited to the Sir George Brown Field in Belmopan for the launching of an anti-drink and drive campaign this Thursday at 10:00am. "The Belize National Road Safety Demonstration Project in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the Belize Municipal Development Project under the Social Investment Fund launches a don't drink driving education campaign nationally. The don't-drink driving campaign was organized under the BSIF Belize Municipal Development Project to be implemented as a part of the Traffic Safety and Management component with Town and City Councils nationwide with a collaboration with the National Road Safety Project. "

BNECT Empowerment Fund
The Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust has launched its Empowerment Fund, and have signed an MOU, which will provide loans to entrepreneurs with projects that better communities. Thanks, BNE! "The BELIZE Natural Energy Charitable Trust is pleased to announce the launch of the first phase of its Empowerment Fund. The Overall objective of the Fund is to empower entrepreneurs through the establishment of revolving loan facilities to finance viable business ideas that contribute towards bettering Belizean communities. The first phase of the Empowerment Fund is being rolled-out through La Inmaculada Credit Union Limited with seed capital of $750,000 and will be implemented out of both the credit union’s Orange Walk and Belmopan offices."

Paint Up A Storm
The Winsom Foundation's Paint Up A Storm at the Cayo Welcome Center drew a crowd as the artists came up with their unique designs. "For the professional artists they were each given a surprise box ... Each box contained one kind of item which they were told they had to create a costume for their assistant ... All morning was spent doing it with help from the audience.... the designs was then showcased on the stage with the artist giving their concept for the design.... Some times designs was changed half way through the process because it was not working... Sadly some of the Artist did not show up but the ones that was there I think had fun as they were taken out of their comfort zone of their own art form......"

Sarteneja Easter Regatta - Sunday, April 20th

Dr. Arlie Petters at Purdue University.
The Corozal Daily wishes to congratulate our wonderful friend and Belizean patriot Dr. Arlie Petters of Duke University giving the "Math is Key" Lecture at Purdue University. Best wishes to Dr. Petters. Belize is proud of you sir.

ART in the PARK
Please support our local artists and artisans this weekend April 12th at the monthly ART in the PARK event. If you happen to be visiting Corozal for the Band Fest 2014, make sure you stay for the Art in the Park displays at the Corozal Central Park. Hotel rooms available.

Corozal Junior College (CJC’s) Annual Expo
Corozal Junior College (CJC’s) Annual Expo will be this Friday, April 11, 2014. There will be lots to eat, drink and learn. Come and support our talented students. More than 20 businesses from the community will be having special promotions at our Expo! Interesting and innovative science projects will be a major attraction of our CJC Expo. Everyone come out and enjoy!! See previews of what to expect!!

Belize Band Fest 2014
Belize Band Fest 2014 sponsored by Love FM moves to Corozal’s Santiago Ricalde Stadium after organizers of the event made a bold decision to relocate the entire Band Fest since the Orange Walk People’s Stadium is unfit and unhealthy for the program. The committee tried every means to mitigate the situation but unfortunately there is no other option but to move the event to Corozal. Many sponsors, participants and Band Fest fans will be inconvenienced by the decision to move the entire event at this time to Corozal but Corozal wishes to welcome everyone from all over the country to our beautiful town and hope everyone has a enjoyable and safe Band Fest celebrations. The parade will start at 8:00 a.m. and the field show at 1:00 p.m. this Saturday April 12th at the Santiago Ricalde Stadium. A total of 9 bands, three marching bands and six jump core will be participating. Come out and witness the colorful display of marching band attire and Belizean style live band music. Let’s give these kids that extra medal they deserve for soldiering this event.

The Secret Beaches of Ambergris Caye, Belize
Those of us who live on Ambergris Caye in Belize head to the north island for our beach escape days… We frequent the hidden gems few tourists find–even though it’s fairly easy to reach them. Just hop on a Coastal Express water taxi. The boat trip itself is a thrill…and you’ll get an entirely different view of the island from the water. Water taxis run about every two hours.

Video: Thimble Jellyfish in Ambergris Caye, Belize
30sec. Spring/Easter season brings the 'Pica Pica' (Thimble) jellyfish to the shores of Belize. The Thimble Jellyfish make their appearance to the shores of Belize during the windy days between March and May, but its not uncommon to find these jellyfish from late January all the way to June.

Video: Scuba Diving Belize - The Aquarium

Video: Belize My New Home on Caye Caulker 1989

Video: Lion Fish Hunting in Belize 2013

2min. Hunting lionfish in the waters of Belize 8-3-2013. A typical LionFish Hunt, diving thee canyons along the outside of the Belize Barrier Reef.

Video: Hiking the Antelope Trail at Mayflower Bocawina National Park, Belize
3min. A 30-45 minute up-and-back hike alongside a 1,000-foot waterfall culminating in a dip in a pretty bathing pool. Bocawina is off the Southern Highway not far from the junction with the Hummingbird Highway.

Video: Isla Marisol Resort diving - Glovers Atoll Belize

Video: Belize // 2013
31min. Short-term outreach to Punta Gorda, Belize.

Video: Kate Upton for Beach Bunny Swimwear Spring/Summer 2012
2min. Kate Upton for Beach Bunny Swimwear Spring/Summer 2012 2014 Go behind the scenes with Kate Upton for the very 'Bond-esque' Deep Blue Collection shoot at Sanctuary Belize (). The collection boast. Go behind the scenes with Kate Upton, Yu Tsai, & Team as they take over the white sandy beaches at Sanctuary Belize () to shoot Beach .

Video: Threatened Cave Systems In Belize
1.5min. Sewanee: The University of the South is working with Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) to help stop the spread of deforestation in the Chiquibul National Park

Video: Diving Halfmoon Caye in Belize
10min. Diving at Halfmoon Caye in Belize after diving the Great Blue Hole earlier that morning. So amazing!

Video: 2014 San Ignacio Belikin Bash Police Abuse
1min. If alcohol is causing this, then why are our celebrations and community gatherings based on alcohol? Belikin Bash... Why not Family Bash and leave alcohol out of it? We need to find ways to get away from alcohol not promote it.

Video: black hole drop belize

Channel 7

Traps Set for Killer Croc
Last night the headline news was that a crocodile had killed an unidentified man on a private property in the Ladyville/Lord's Bank area. Well, the victim was identified late last night as 47-year-old father of five Carl Michael Diaz. Diaz is from Benque Viejo, but his family lives nearby and he was fishing when the killer croc caught him. Tonight while the family mourns for this most unexpected, incomprehensible death, authorities are trying to catch the killer croc. Monica Bodden has the full story:.. Monica Bodden reporting A routine fishing trip to the back of Green Estate for 47 year old Carl Diaz turned into a tragedy when a crocodile attacked and killed him yesterday. He was spotted by another fisherman who was in the area at the time and heard a loud cry. That man told police that he saw Diaz being dragged down this channel of murky waters by what he described as a large crocodile.

27 Year Old charged For Killing 17 Year Old
Twenty-seven year old Justin Lemoth, a resident of Hattieville, was charged with murder and attempted murder when he appeared today before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Lemoth was remanded until May 8. Lemoth is accused of killing 17 year old Richard Waight Jr. and injuring his 16 year old friend. It happened at 9:25 on Friday night on the basketball court in Hattieville. Waight, his friend, and some other young men had a misunderstanding and the older Lemoth got involved. He stabbed both teenagers to the chest area and Waight Jr. died from sever bleeding shortly after he reached the KHMH. The police say that they have retrieved a knife which they believe was used in the stabbing.

Did Surge of Water From Vaca Dam Factor Into Double Drowning?
Did the runoff from the Vaca Dam have anything to do with the drowning of two teenagers in the Macal River on Friday? 7News has learned from a clothing vendor who sets up right beside the river that every afternoon at around four a surge of water rolls down the river from the Vaca dam. She said she observed when the students - who have no familiarity with the river - and could not swim were swept off their feet by the wave. As is now well known 17 year-old Egar Puck and 16 year-old Anahi Zepeda were swept off into depths where they could not touch and they drowned. She says they were wading in water up to their ankles and when it suddenly got higher, it swept them away.

Police Investigate 9mm As Stolen Weapon
The intrigues are swirling about the 9 millimeter Taurus pistol which police recovered in Belize City on Saturday. As we reported last night, it is being investigated as a murder weapon in last Thursday's killing of 18 year old Anfernee Romero. But, police are also trying to find out if it was stolen from their own department, specifically in the House of Culture Incident in October of 2013, when four 9 millimeter pistols went missing from the Tourism Police Booth. Even more disturbing is a theory being circulated within law enforcement that criminal elements within the department may have sold the weapon to their street counterparts. A senior police officer told us they are aware of this allegation and are investigating it. Meanwhile the weapon in question is at the Forensic lab for ballistics testing.

Teenager Acquitted, Police Can't Find His Cash
Businessman Vinod Chawla was robbed On January 29, 2012, of over $100,000 at his Amara Avenue Home. He told police that 3 men ambushed him and robbed him at gunpoint. 22 year-old Lloyd Valentine, and 18 year-old Christopher Hyde - who was a minor at the time - were jointly charged with robbery. Well, 7News has confirmed that both men have been acquitted of that charge on February 26, 2014. The case was thrown out because the investigators couldn't produce evidence against both men. Since his acquittal, Hyde has been trying to recover $1,000 which he said was confiscated from him by police, supposedly as evidence of proceeds of that robbery. He called us today to say that police have been turning him around for a month, and they don't seem to want to give him back his money. Hyde who has a speech impediment, tried to explain in his own words to us: Christopher Hyde "They charge me for robbery and now I won my case and they are pushing me around. I am tired of that." Daniel Ortiz "We understand that you had $1,000 with you at the time."

922-Tips Led To Gun Found On Street Construction Worker
Last night we told you about the 3 firearms Belize City police had confiscated since last week Friday. One of them was taken from 26 year old Justin Richards, a construction worker of 11 Flamboyant Street. On Friday April 4, police received a tip through 0-800-922-TIPS saying that Richards - who was working on the street construction programme on Central American Boulevard - had a weapon. They pulled up, searched his bag and found a.38 revolver with 5 live rounds of ammunition. Twenty-six year old Richards was charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a license when he appeared yesterday before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Richards pled not guilty and was remanded until June 6th.

Belize's #1 Fried Chicken Joint Goes Through Changes
Li Chee - it's only a Belize City fried chicken joint, but it's also a cultural fixture - immortalized in song and by the hundreds of patrons it once drew to line up outside burglar bars on Freetown Road. But at the end of last year, the bars were gone, and the Chinese restaurant owners seem to have hit the big time when they opened a ways down the road, in a fancy, air conditioned buffet style setting. In terms of looks and the customer experience it was a welcome upgrade, but in terms of business, apparently not. The buffet was the first thing to go - that only lasted a few months - and now, less than 6 months after it opened, the New Li Chee has closed down! Best part is, the operation has moved back down the street - to the original location - only now it is named Key Ley, not Li Chee. How do we know it's the same operation? Well, first off, we bought the chicken and the flavor is the same. And second, the workers are the same ones from the previous location. They were even wearing the same uniforms they had been using at the fancy spot. When we asked them about it, they told us that the other Li Chee down the road is only closed for remodeling.

Police Crashed Into Sidewalk, Knocked Unconscious
This morning in Belize City, a police officer on a motorbike was knocked unconscious when he crashed on the sidewalk. The police press office has not provided the details that we've requested, but we know that this morning at 10:00, 7News responded to a call about a police officer on motorbike that had crashed on Regent Street in front of the House of Culture. When we got there the officer was unconscious - and an ambulance had to be called to take him away. He appeared un responsive as he was being carted off, and an examination of the area suggests that he had crashed into the sidewalk. Reports say he lost control of the motorbike as he rounded the corner. We'll try and get more information from police about the accident tomorrow.

Cayo Cops Charged Women For River Brawl
Social media has made much of a video showing Cayo police running into the Macal River on Saturday to stop a fight between three unruly women. IT happened at an event called the Belikin River Bash where there was a fight involving three women. Six police officers were on special duty, and they went to break up the fight. But they say that during the process, they were obstructed by a man who threw water on them. He was taken into police custody - which meant more or less dropping him into the back of a pickup truck. He was later released into the custody of his father who is a town Justice of the Peace. Police say the man had been drinking. Well Cayo police have confirmed that the three women were charged for disorderly conduct, and one of them was charged for harm. They have all been arraigned in court.

A Fund For Micro Business
The Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust and La Immaculada Credit Union Limited have teams up for a novel micro-credit enterprise. The Trust has earmarked three quarter million dollars that has been set aside for micro loans through the credit union. It's called the Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust Empowerment Fund and it was launched today in Orange Walk. We found out who's eligible:.. Daniel Guttierez, TRUSTEE - BNE Charitable Trust "The interest rates on these LICU loans will remain competitive and be within the framework of what is expected of credit unions. That way the finding is not only easily accessible to those we want to empower but easily repayable. At the trust we believe that empowerment funding need not be expensive funding. It must be competitive and encouraging of the further growth and development of the individuals it serves." Ena Martinez, President - La Immaculada Credit Union "We challenge our young inventors, innovators, entrepreneurs and change makers to take advantage of this opportunity afforded by this fund to a make a positive difference that will enhance the social and environmental situation in our communities in time create employment and generate income."

Buying Into Biodiversity
Biodiversity offsets - it might not mean anything to you, but the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute is hoping that Belize will adopt it when entrepreneurs come here looking to invest. It's a principle of planning where the Government Officials try their best to encourage development, but impressing upon investors that certain projects are harmful to the biodiversity in different ecosystems. The CZMAI has been working with the Australia-Caribbean Coral Reef Collaboration to develop an offset strategy. Today, the organizers held a workshop to include stakeholder partners from the Private Sector, and we stopped by. Here's how they explained the principle to us: Vincent Gillett, C.E.O., CZMAI "The goal of the workshop is to create conditions which will allow development and conservation ideals to work together without conflict or serious conflict." Daniel Ortiz "Give us an example of where there is symbiosis between the two."

Media Poll Says 7News Most Credible
A new poll says that 7News is perceived as the most credible television newscast in Belize. Now, it's not our style to blow our own horn, but the findings do provide some compelling information, and so we'll share. The poll was conducted by Karim Berges - who has conducted a number of noteworthy polls dating back to 2008. He says this one was a selective poll where he chose 100 persons, primarily adults with a university degree or persons employed in a senior position with an established business or firm. The five question survey sought to establish quote, "media perception within the higher learning population of Belize." The first question was "Which local newscast do you think is most likely to influence change in your society?" 8% of responde4tns said Channel 5, 60% said Channel 7, while 16% said LOVE TV and PLUS TV. The second question was "Which local newscast do you think is most informative?" Again 60% said Channel 7, 12% said Channel 5, 20% said LOVE TV and 8% said PLUS TV.

FFB Stadium Undergoing Major Overhaul
The pitch at the FFB stadium in Belmopan is considered the finest in Belize - but it's been gutted because it's not really all that good. It's part of a major renovation, with a budget of $500,000 US dollars to get it done. FFB representatives tell us that the field, the locker room, the bleachers, VIP area and the Administration buildings will all get construction upgrades, and the lighting will be changed to meet international standards. The works started 3 weeks ago, and the upgrades are expected to be completed by the end of May, or the beginning of June. One of the main reasons that this renovation has become important is that the FFB is trying to become compliant with the standards set for stadiums used to play games in the CONCACAF Champions League. Viewers may remember that Belize couldn't participate in the Champions League 2013-2014 due to a list of regulations the country didn't meet, one of them being the quality of the FFB Stadium.

Few Visited Forestry Fisheries Finance Fair
When thinking of big money industries, you may jump first to tourism or oil, but as the final quarter of last year's GDP Figures from the Statistical Institute shows, there is wealth in fisheries. And if the persistence of illegal logging is any indication, there's much the same in forestry. So accepting that there is a big market from which the country can benefit, the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development held a fair on Saturday. We stopped in to see how it went: It was the first fair of its kind focusing on Forestry and Fisheries products, showing the public just how important these sectors are. Hon. Lisel Alamilla - Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development "Our forest and fisheries sector plays an important role in the social and economic development of Belize." So booths with all types of wood and marine products were showcased, highlighting innovation and entrepreneurship.

Hunting For Eggs
Easter is about a week and a half away, and some children will be expecting their basket of treats and goodies. Well, a little over a hundred pre-schoolers got an early basket from BTL, and 7News stopped in see an Easter egg hunt in action. Here's what the PR officer told us about it:

Re: Today's Belize News: April 9, 2014 [Re: Marty] #489266
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Channel 5

Benque man is mauled by a crocodile; search party combs the area for the reptile
More details are available tonight on how a crocodile mauled a resident at a pond at Green Estates in the Lord’s Bank area on Monday afternoon. It is a rare [...]

5 year old schoolboy is crushed to death by a forklift in Spanish Lookout
There is another tragic story to report tonight. A five year old boy, Kenton Kerr Neilson, was crushed to death when a forklift ran over him. The incident happened early [...]

$29 Million in marijuana goes up in flames by the B.D.F. and U.S. forces
Twenty-nine million dollars….that’s the value of marijuana that went up in smoke last month. While the destruction of the marijuana happened since then, it is only now that it is [...]

Squatters say Minister King promised them title to the land, but he says not so
Tonight, the fate of squatters along Lake Independence Boulevard remains somewhat uncertain. The contractor has done all necessary to work around homes in his way, and residents maintain that they [...]

Should G.O.B. provide land to the squatters of Lake Independence Boulevard?
And tonight’s question is: Do you believe that government should provide land to the squatters of Lake Independence Boulevard? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 [...]

Justin Lemott is arraignment for the stabbing murder of Hattieville minor
Richard Waight Sr., Father of Murder Victim [File: April 7th, 2014] “The last conversation I had with my son dah fi know how much pain ih deh ina. The last [...]

Mayor Darrell Bradley’s political future
Where his political future is concerned, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley has been dodging the question of late. Months ago, he announced his intention to throw his hat into the [...]

Illegal harvesting of rosewood on the surge
The Forestry Department has announced that it will soon be conducting a sweep of the Stann Creek District in an effort to halt illegal harvesting of precious rosewood. The operation [...]

An update on infrastructure works in Belize City
As we told you earlier, Mayor Darrell Bradley was a guest on OYE this morning. He’s been in the news a lot lately, primarily due to recurring litigation with sanitation [...]

Temperatures on the rise between SATIIM and U.S. Capital
Temperatures are on the rise between SATIIM and U.S. Capital. Last Thursday, the Mayan community, led by SATIIM’s Executive Director Greg Ch’oc, won another major legal victory in the Supreme [...]

2 contractors appear in court for immigration offenses
  Two contractors, a Belizean and a Salvadoran with permanent residency in Belize, were before the court on separate charges for employing persons not in possession of a valid temporary [...]

Mayor says CitCo’s debt is staggering
If Mayor Darrell Bradley has seemed a little frazzled lately, it’s because he is. On one hand, there has been massive works done in the city – that can’t be [...]

Norwegian Cruise Line crew member killed during a robbery in Roatan
On Monday, a crew member employed by Norwegian Cruise Line was shot and killed during a robbery on the bay island of Roatan, Honduras.  The man, of Filipino descent, was [...]

Coastal Zone Management concerned about controversial offshore developments
The Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute held a two-day workshop this week. It discussed controversial offshore developments such as the multimillion dollar project by Norwegian Cruise Lines on Harvest [...]

Marine biodiversity offset – a concept to promote sustainable development
Marine Biodiversity Offsets… it is a concept that when put into principle is to be used as a tool for the private sector and the government to work together to [...]

Biodiversity offset gives private sector an opportunity to be creative
Day-two of the workshop targeted the private sector on how the concept of biodiversity offsets can help the economic status of the country and alleviate poverty; specifically for those living [...]


Another Chinese Store Robbed In Corozal

Thousands Of Students Sit PSE
Thousands of students sat the first two papers of the Primary School Examinations today across the country. Those papers are English Language one and two and Science. The examination was taken at various secondary institutions. This afternoon we caught up with some of the students as they exited the schools after long hours of concentrating on the exams. From the look on their faces standard six students were more than happy to be out and over with the first two exam papers in the PSE. They quickly gathered into their small cliques and no doubt the discussions surrounded the exams. While some students shied away from the camera, a few were more than happy to share what their experience was. Many felt the exams were rather easy. Sophia Xia- Student “I did not find any part difficult because they have all been taught before in standard four. I prepared a lot for today and that is why I was ready and I am excepting a good grade at the end.” Emily Ma- Student “I found it to be easy only that some parts I did not understand especially in the Science paper. I prepared a lot and I am expecting a good grade.”

BandFest Moves To Corozal, Field At OWPS In Bad Conditions
News spread like wildfire today after Love FM’s announcement of the venue change for the BandFest this year. As we all know, the event was to take center stage at the Orange Walk People’s Stadium, but unforeseen circumstances got in the way and the venue was changed to the Corozal Municipality. It’s one of the biggest events in the country where marching bands and drum corp all meet in one place to showcase their talent. So why the change in venue? According to member of the Bandfest Committee, Julia Carrillo, the People’s Stadium was deemed unfit for the event. Julia Carrillo– Bandfest Committee Member “When we went there on Friday with the bands because we normally do an interview, we normally take the bands the week before the Band-Fest, we would take the band directors and we go look at the route and we look at the stadium and do all the final logistics but when we got there on Friday there was no way that we could do band –Fest there because when you walk through it, it creates like a cloud of dust and so you imagine young people dancing on the field on the sound movement you will have a fog of black dust so some of the bands were concerned because they have students who are asthmatic and there was no way they could perform under those circumstances, so we spoke to the Sport Council and we were told way until today that it seems that anything that we can do to remedy the situation and unfortunately it couldn’t be ready for Saturday so a decision has been made and we ask all the bands and they already knew that and we had agreed that we had a backup plan which would be Corozal and this morning when the call came from by the coordinator and the director saying that we will have to go to plan B the arrangements had been made and the Town has been very helpful and I just want to be thankful and fair but the only reason is that the stadium has not been in a situation that is not ready for us to put marching band on that stadium.”

The Art Of Making Sawdust Carpet
Each year during the religious procession on Good Friday, the townspeople of Benque Viejo Del Carmen take to the streets to commemorate the death of Jesus Christ. Holy Week, or Semana Santa in Spanish, is a weeklong celebration of colorful processions that opens on Palm Sunday and culminates into the weekend of Good Friday. For the celebration, the community cooperates in creating sawdust tapestries, which involves the participation of hundreds of Benqueños of all ages, along the procession´s route. And this year, organizers of the “El Santo Entierro’ are in Orange Walk to teach interested individuals about the tradition. Today, members of the Banquitas House of Culture, along with some high school students, learnt more about the tradition as they engaged in a sawdust carpet making project. Organizer, Josefina Salas, says it’s a tradition brought down from Guatemala that she has been doing for over 14 years.

Orange Walk Fire Department Prevents Catastrophe
The heat is on and according to many; the temperature we are experiencing in Belize is unlike that in previous years. With the scourging heat though, come threats of fires, much like the one that the Orange Walk Fire Department officials, monitored this afternoon along the Phillip Goldson Highway. Dalila Ical has more on what could have been a catastrophic incident. Thick smoke hovered over the Phillip Goldson Highway by Z Gas Belize. The overgrown lot was engulfed in flames. The fire ignited around two thirty this afternoon behind the butane plant. Daniel Chan – Plant Operator “They advised us to call the fire station and we called them then the fire went wild and it was going in two directions. The employees deemed it wise to call the Fire Department, and two fire fighters responded quickly and thankfully so. One of them was Miguel Medina, Second in charge at the Orange Walk Fire Station.

Health Post In San Lazaro Village Receives Facelift
Today is being observed as World Health Day and municipalities across Belize are being sensitized on the main theme, “Vector Borne Diseases”. A release from the Ministry of Health states that half of the world’s population is at risk from diseases such as malaria, dengue, lyme diseases and yellow fever carried by mosquitos, ticks and flies. In addition, these diseases affect the poorest populations particularly where there is a lack of access to adequate housing, safe drinking water and sanitation. Today, to coincide with World Health Day, residents of San Lazaro inaugurated their newly renovated Health Outpost where testing and medical checks were being carried out. Isidora Flota– Community Health Worker “Estamos con el programa de médicos en general y están los dentistas y se está haciendo popsmear pero actualmente cada mes hacemos prenatal, mobile clinic para niños y todo eso hacemos y siempre se hace popsmear. Lo remodelaron otra vez poro este programa siempre ha sido desde anos que siempre estamos aquí con el de prenatal y de los niños y todo ese inmunización y cada mes tenemos popsmear cuando hay tiempo lo hacemos con las enfermeras.”

Tragedy Hits ESTM, Fourth Form Students Will Not Sit Final Exam
Without a doubt the unfortunate incident that occurred on Friday has left the students of ESTM in shock especially those who were on the field trip and witnessed the drowning of Edgar Puck and Anahi Zepeda. Today when we arrived at the school we were informed that students are currently receiving counseling from five councilors in order to deal with the dreadful the situation. What is worse though is that fourth form students are scheduled to take their final exams tomorrow before graduation. This is cause of concern for parents who believe that students will not be able to perform well since they are still in shock. Over the weekend parents voiced their concern to the school’s faculty. Today, the good news is that in sight of the situation the school’s Board of Directors has decided that forth form students will not sit the final exams and that the daily grades will be used as final grades.

ESTM Students Laid To Rest, MOE Launches Investigation Into Their Deaths
The Macal River claimed the life of two promising students from the Corozal District on Friday. The fourth form students of Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico were returning home from a school trip at the Che Chem Ha Caves, when the group made a stop in San Ignacio near the low-lying bridge to wash themselves. That is when death came calling as 16 year old Edgar Puck from the Village of Patchakan and 15 year old Anahi Zepeda from San Joaquin, were carried by the currents and drowned. It is a sad situation, one that has prompted an investigation and has left more questions than answers for those who lost their loved ones. Victor Castillo has the story from Corozal. Sixteen year old Edgar Puck from the Village of Patchakan and 15 year old Anahi Zepeda from San Joaquin, were scheduled to graduate from Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico in a few months. Puck was scheduled to give the valedictorian speech while Zepeda, an honor roll student was to walk the aisle with the rest of her peers. But instead of planning a graduation party the families of both students are tonight mourning their death.

Fisherman Kiilled By Crocodile
Forty seven year old Carl Diaz, a resident of Benque Viejo Del Carmen was killed yesterday by a crocodile. Authorities in Ladyville report that they received a call around 3:00pm and dispatched a team 900 feet south west to Green Estate property located in Lords Bank Village. Upon arrival, they saw Diaz’ body lying face down in a water channel with his right foot almost severed and what appeared to be a huge irregular wound on the right leg and three bite marks on the left foot. A witness, who was in the immediate area at the time of the incident, reported that whilst walking in the area to go fishing he heard a noise coming from the water channel and that’s when he saw a male person being dragged down the channel by a large crocodile. Diaz’s screams apparently caused the crocodile to let go of him and the animal submerged, leaving its victim severely wounded. Diaz’s body was transported to the KHMH where it was pronounced dead at 6:02pm. Diaz was a fisherman from Benque Viejo Del Carmen in the Cayo District. The body now awaits a Post Mortem Examination. Police are treating this case as a sudden death.

Five Persons Detained For Armed Robbery In Corozal
Yesterday we told you about the robbery that took place at Jing Jing store located in the Santa Rita area of Corozal Town. Tonight there are more details into the robbery. The proprietor of the store, 52 year old Chinese National, Hui Bang Chen, reported to authorities that around 2:50pm he was inside the store attending to customers when three male persons, two described as being of creole descent and the third of Hispanic descent, entered the business establishment. The men concealed their identity by partly covering their faces with caps. Chen reported that one of the men had what appeared to be a hand gun which he pointed at him. While that took place the other criminals went over the counter and took out approximately $300.00 to $400.00 in cash from the drawer. One of the men attacked a customer and by the use of force stole his wallet containing $150.00 in cash and his I/D cards.

OW Mayor Clarifies Band-Fest Situation
As mentioned last night, the football field at the Orange Walk People’s Stadium is in no way adequate to host BandFest 2014. The field is covered with ashes and organizers deemed it unfit to hold the event hence why the venue was changed to Corozal. Since the news broke out, there is no shying away from the fact that there has been a lot of finger pointing with people wanting to know why the field was not ready and who is at fault. For clarification, the People’s Stadium is managed by the Orange Walk Sports Council, chaired by Mr. Derrick Gillette, who responds to the National Sports Council, which falls under the Ministry of Sports. Amongst those being accused for the present conditions of the People’s Stadium, is the Orange Walk Town Council, who, according to Mayor of Orange Walk, has nothing to do with upkeep of the stadium.

OWTC Continuous To Work On Guadalupe Park
The story of Guadalupe Park located in the Orange Walk East constituency first made headlines in the month of February when it was revealed that the public space had been privatized and ended up the hands of Adin Aragon, the son of Elodio Aragon Senior. After much public outcry, the Aragon’s transferred the property back to the Government of Belize. Right after, the Commissioners of Lands, Wilbert Vallejos, announced that the Ministry of Natural Resources would be taking in applications for the property. In order for the park to remain as a public space, as was first intended, the Orange Walk Town Council jumped at the opportunity and applied for the parcel of land at the Orange Walk Lands Department. Their application though, was not accepted. Instead, the council was informed that they must submit their application in Belmopan. And that they did, but to date have received no response. Standing firm in their decision to return the park in the hands of the public, the Orange Walk Town Council, in collaboration with the community has been refurbishing the park and today the work continued as a basketball rim was set up.

Norteneous Benefit From New Horizon Belize 14
New Horizons is a project that was first brought to Belize by the US Southern Command in 2001. It was implemented again in 2007, 2013 and now the project is back in Belize for 2014. This time the US Air Force and the US Army arrived in Belize on March 30th and joined forces with the Belize Defense Force, the Belize Agriculture Health Authority, BAHA and the Public Health Sector to carry out the New Horizon Belize 14. The joint exercise combines training with infrastructure projects and education, health and humanitarian works carried out in different communities across the country especially in rural areas. Today we caught up with the team in the Village of Chunox in the Corozal District and found out what New Horizon 2014 is offering to Belizeans this time around.

Corozal Police On The Hunt For Wanted Men
Tonight, the man hunt for two fugitives who are wanted by the Corozal Police Department continues. Despite a warrant for their arrest, Alex Reid, (aka cat) who is wanted for the crime of robbery and Robert Locke who is sought for rape, remain on the run. Reid, who hails from the Cayo District, is being sought for the November 18th robbery of Chong Sang Supermarket located on College Road in Corozal. He is also wanted by San Ignacio Police for a spate of robberies committed in that district. As previously mentioned, Reid is no stranger to the law. He was released from the Kolbe Correctional Facility in the month of December 2013. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of the two men is asked to contact the nearest police station.

BNE And LICU Launches Empowerment Funding
This morning the Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust in conjunction with the La Inmaculada Credit Union launched its Empowerment Fund. These funds are now available to persons especially from the north and western parts of the country that are interested in boosting their micro or small businesses or have a business idea they wish to develop. Reporter Dalila Ical has the details. Dalila Ical – Reporting The contract was officially signed this morning between the Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust and the La Inmaculada Credit Union in a brief ceremony. Chair of the Board of Trustees at the Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust says that just as the title of the fund says, they hope to empower the productive sector of the country contributing to their economic growth.

Students And Cane Farmers Benefit From Fair-Trade Funds
A general meeting was held for cane farmers in the Orange Walk branch on Saturday. Part of the meeting included the distribution of school grants for students and grants for sugar cane farmers above age fifty. Alfredo Ortega, Vice Chair of the Committee of Management at the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association told us about the initiative. Alfredo Ortega “Es de los el premio de Fair-Trade eso es parte del programa social a el cual La Asociación tiene que dar un porcentaje para apoyar en los programas sociales ya sea a nivel de educación o a niel de la comunidad.” Dalila Ical – Reporter “Para los estudiantes este dinero se tiene que usar específicamente para las escuelas o los gastos de las escuelas?” Alfredo Ortega “Bueno si porque se les pide que traigan recibos adonde han pagado al colegio y también se les pide que les traigan prueba de que están asistiendo a ese colegió particular porque sabes a nosotros todo somos auditados y entonces eso es lo que refleja si realmente la persona califico para conseguir ese o ser partícipe de ese proyecto.”


King Reneges on Promise; Squatters Will Have to Move
HIPOLITO NOVELO NARRATING “A few months ago, the Holy Emmanuel Street Squatters met with Lake Independence Area Representative Mark King and in that meeting King promised them title for the lands they occupy. However, the squatters now believe King’s promise might not be fulfilled. “ SQUATTER “When we had our meeting with our Area Representative in November, he promised us that they were going to survey this land and give us with title and leases; all that we want is for him to please touch his heart and not move us from our houses.” HIPOLITO NOVELO NARRATING “Development in the area is ongoing and sooner or later, King says that the squatters will have no choice but to move out.” MARK KING “They need to simply move their homes and stay with their friends and families until I can assist them in finding a piece of land. For years, we have allowed squatters in this country to just come and take a piece of land, they need to realize, which they have already realised they are in the wrong.” HIPOLITO NOVELO NARRATING “While the argument continues as to whether the squatters are wrong or right, most of those we spoke with said they left their mother country to seek a better life in Belize. Most of them found a bit of it at the swampy area of Holy Emmanuel Street. They have developed the lands the best they could. For years they have been cutting down trees, putting together London bridges and working together to make the area habitable. However it would appear despite his earlier assurance, their area representative has made an about face.”

A Look At the Care for Belize’s Senior Citizens
RENEE TRUJILLO NARRATING “Growing old is what is expected with the passing of time; many people spend countless hours working and saving money to try and safeguard a dignified lifestyle when they reach the retirement age or when they are no longer fully capable of taking care of themselves…..but what happens to those who don’t have the means to safeguard that future, what happens to those who once formed a crucial part of society but no longer have family members who are present or willing to ensure a good life for them in their golden years. This is the reality of many elderly persons in Belize. …. After doing an initial visit to the Sister Cecelia home last week, I went back to find out more about the way of life for these elderly people who make up about seven percent of our population. Ivorine Bulwer is the Executive Director for Helpage Belize, the parent organization for the Sister Cecelia Home located on Wilson Street in Belize City.” IVORINE BULWER “Sister Cecilia is a residential home; we have two and under the umbrella of Helpage, we have eleven branches including the two residential homes, Sister Cecelia and Octavio Waight in San Ignacio and very shortly we should be establishing a residential home in Belmopan. Quite a number of older persons may not have anywhere to stay or their loved one may be abroad or their family members might be financially challenged and they really cannot cope or they don’t have the space to facilitate their older persons or sometimes their older persons just want to be out of their residence. At Sister Cecilia, we have four private rooms and so, it facilitates those who can pay for those rooms. Others, as part of the state we have to facilitate those clients who need care and have nowhere to stay.”

Infants Go Easter Egg Hunting
The first of what is hoped to be an annual event was held for children, ages 4 – 5 this morning at the BTL Park on Newtown Barracks in Belize City. The staff of the Belize Telemedia Limited lobbied to the company for their support in hosting an Easter Egg Hunt for an estimated one hundred children. Of the five preschools that were invited to attend, two preschools participated in finding treats and sweets hidden within the perimeter of the park. In addition to that the company also presented Easter baskets to the toddlers and engaged them in some fun games. According to BTL’s PR Representative, Gail Ozaeta, the company is also exploring the possibility of having an event for the children for Halloween. This morning’s egg hunt started around nine thirty and lasted just under two hours.

Crocodile Kills Father of Five
Belize is known to have two species of crocodiles; the crocodylus acutus known as the American crocodile which can grow up to 20 feet and the morelet which is the freshwater crocodile and can grow up to 12 feet. Described as the smartest reptile, crocodiles have special pores called ISO’s that are capable of detecting pressure changes and vibrations in the water and can even detect vibrations from you when you walk near the water’s edge, using this ability is how they find their prey and that is just what happened yesterday afternoon just after two o’clock in the Green Estate proposed housing site in Ladyville Village, Belize District. Carl Michael Diaz, a resident of Benque Viejo del Carmen in the Cayo District, reportedly went fishing but how his tragic death unfolded is anybody’s guess as his body was discovered by some children who went to the area later that afternoon. Brian and I visited the area this morning and met up with Diaz’ wife and brother to get some answers. PAUL DIAZ “He was fishing; that’s his hobby, he loved to fish.” RENEE TRUJILLO “Was he familiar with the area around here to know that the ponds had crocodiles?” PAUL DIAZ “I think he was because he told my stepfather, he showed him some tracks where the animal had been around; it was a huge beast and I think he was familiar that there was crocodile in the area.” RENEE TRUJILLO “Tell me about your brother; I know that he lived in Benque, what was he doing in Ladyville?” PAUL DIAZ “Well, he came down and he said he was going to get a job with NEMO down here and he came back on Sunday and I told him the day before that we were going to link up because I was planning on starting up a little something and I want him to be a part of it and that we had to get together and chat a bit.”

Contractors Face Immigration Charges
Two building contractors were charged with one count of employing persons not in possession of a temporary valid employment permit when they appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. They are 45 year old Belizean Oscar Chan and 40 year old Salvadoran national Samuel Erazo. Chan pled not guilty to the charge. He was offered a bail of $1,000 and his case was adjourned until May 8. Erazo pled guilty to the charge and he was fined $1,000. He was ordered to pay by April 30. If he defaults on payment he will serve 6 months. Chan and Erazo were busted yesterday when immigration officers went to a construction site at Biltmore Plaza and found a Honduran national, Jose Ortiz, and a Salvadoran national, Edwin ponce, working there without employment permit. Ponce told immigration officers that he was working for Erazo and Ortiz told immigration officers that he was working for Chan. As a result, Chan and Erazo were arrested and charged.

Murder and Attempted Murder Charges Levied Against Lemmoth
Twenty-seven year old Justin Lemoth, a resident of Hattieville, was charged with murder and attempted murder when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Lemoth was remanded into custody until May 8. The charges are in connection with an incident that occurred around 9:25 p.m. on Friday, April 4, at a basketball court in Hattieville. According to police reports, there was a fracas on the court and two persons were stabbed. Seventeen year old Richard Waight Jr. was stabbed to the left side of his chest while the second person, a 16 year old boy, was stabbed to the right side of his lower abdomen. Both of them were rushed to Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where Waight succumbed to his injury. The 16 year old survived.

Corozal Police Seeks Suspects for Robberies and Rape
Corozal Police is asking for the public’s assistance in arresting two wanted men. Corozal Police are looking for 26 year old Alex Reid who is wanted for a number of burglaries and robberies in Corozal Town. Reid is being sought for his role in allegedly holding up the proprietor of Chong Sang Supermarket at gun point on November 18 2013. Reid had a partner at the time of the robbery and he is Kevin Manzanero, who has already been arrested. Reid is also a person of interest for robberies committed in San Ignacio Town. The second person Corozal Police is looking for is Robert Locke. Corozal Police have issued a warrant for Locke’s arrest who is wanted for the crime of rape. You are asked if you know the whereabouts of these men to call the nearest police station, 911 or 922-TIPS.


Child’s Head is Crushed by Forklift
A child was killed when his head was crushed by a forklift. The incident happened at Esso gas station in Spanish lookout when the 6 year old son of Mennonite business owner Melvin Cornelson of Reimer’s Service Station, was somehow run over by a forklift. The exact details of...

25 year old Man Arrested for Stabbing Two Teenagers; One Dies
25-year-old Justin Lemott of Hattieville Village was charged by police for the murder of 17 year old Richard Waight Jr. and for Attempted Murder, Use of Deadly Means of Harm, and Grievous Harm upon 16-year-old Austin Rhaburn today when he appeared for arraignment. 17 year old Richard Waight, Jr., of...

Fugitives on the Run
Corozal police are on the hunt for two fugitives who remain on the run after warrants for their arrest were issued. The wanted men are Alex Reid for the crime of robbery. In that robbery incident, Kevin Midget Manzanero has already been arrested. The robbery incident in question was...

Orange Walk Mayor Upset About Band Fest Move to Corozal
The much anticipated Band Fest 2014 which was to take place in Orange Walk Town has had a last minute change of venue and will now take place in Corozal Town. However, one very agitated Mayor of Orange Walk Town sent out a press release in which he expressed...

Crocodile Kills Man While Fishing
A man was killed by a crocodile yesterday in the Ladyville/Lords’ Bank area. The body of 47-year-old Carl Michael Diaz, Belizean fisherman of Benque Viejo Del Carmen, Cayo District, was found near a pond on a private property called Green Estate. It appears that Diaz was fishing in the...

Chinese Stores Targeted in the North
Last week we reported on the armed robberies of two Chinese stores in Corozal. There was another one last night. This one occurred at Jing Jing store located at the corner of Phillip Goldson Highway and Paraiso Village Junction. Hui Bang Chen, 52 year old Chinese Business man, reported...

Cordell Hyde Back on PUP Saddle
Plus News has been reliably informed that last night, former Area Representative for Lake Independence Cordel Hyde was vetted by the People’s United Party to be a potential candidate for the Lake Independence Constituency. Sources say Hyde’s is the only name submitted to represent the PUP in that division....

SATIIM Decries Bullying Attempt by US Capital
Last Thursday, Justice Michelle Arana ordered US Capital Energy and the Government of Belize to enter negotiations with the Maya of southern Toledo before continuing with their plans and preparations to drill for petroleum within the Sarstoon Temash National Park. The leaders of the Maya communities surrounding the park...

The Never Ending Saga of Rosewood Smuggling
Rosewood in the Toledo district is still being harvested despite a moratorium on the logging of the endangered wood. On Sunday, our colleagues at PGTV said they were called out to the Trio area to see that illegally obtained rosewood was being hauled to Bella Vista Village which is...

Millions of Dollars of Marijuana Destroyed
The United States department of defense is reporting that a marijuana eradication operation in Belize, from March 15-20, was extremely successful. It was a joint military operation involving Belize Defence Force soldiers and Belize police where the Belizean government destroyed 34 marijuana fields at an estimated value of US$29...

Men Busted for Illegal Exportation of Shark Meat
The Fisheries department has reported a large bust of salted shark meat and dried shark fins along the coast between Punta Negra to Abalone Caye. According to the Fisheries Department, the vessel was spotted and there was a boat chase but the culprits were eventually caught. The two men...

UB Students on Community Outreach
Every year for the past 4 years, UB has held its biannual community outreach in which students, enrolled in the department of education, under the guidance of their professor, Dr. Thomasine Baker, coordinate and prepare workshops and symposiums for teachers and students alike at the primary school level. This...

New Garbage Truck for Citco
The Belmopan City council has a new, state of the art garbage truck. The truck came all the way from England and was purchased eight months ago. However, it only recently arrived in the country due to health protocols in relation to shipping. The truck was purchased at a...

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Crocodile kills man in Lords Bank swamp
Police have confirmed a breaking story that a man was killed by a crocodile in the Lords Bank area of Ladyville. The victim was reportedly fishing in a swampy area of Lords Bank and was in the water when a crocodile attacked him and dragged him under the water at about 2:30 this afternoon. Police do not yet know who the victim is, because his body has not been recovered. A man who was in the area who saw what happened, quickly went to the police, and the alarm was raised.

1st leg of PSE held for primary school students
The first of a 2-part sitting of the biggest exam in the curriculum of Belizean primary school students – the Primary School Examinations (PSE) – took place today and over 7,500 primary school students faced the challenge of overcoming the first part of the nationwide exams, which included assessments in the English and Science subjects. As soon as the youngsters had put down their pens and handed in their examinations sheets, Amandala sought some of the participants to find out just how difficult the two exams were. Interestingly, most of the students whom we spoke to commented that the tests were somewhat easier than they expected and some even ventured to say that they had aced the exams and that they anticipated grades in the 80’s and 90’s. Shena Reun, a student of Belize Elementary School, told us that she began preparing from the start of the year with the help of her mother so she wasn’t nervous going in to the exams. “For Science I think that maybe I will get an 84 [percent] and for English, maybe like 95 or 98 [percent]”, she speculated. She remarked that there were only 2 questions that she found challenging while taking the Science exam.

The life of a promising and talented young student and footballer was unexpectedly cut short last Friday night after a fight on the Hattieville basketball court after 9:00 p.m., which resulted in two minors suffering different degrees of stab wounds, one of them proving fatal. The incident occurred in the jurisdiction of Belize District’s Rural Executive Officer, ASP Chris Noble, and last Saturday, April 5, he told the media what police knew about the stabbing incident, which started out as a small feud between a group of minors and unfortunately escalated into a fatal confrontation which eventually cost a 17-year-old Hattieville resident his life. Noble said, “Sometime after 9:00 last night, an incident occurred on the basketball court which is very near to the police station in Hattieville. The end result of that incident is that two minors were injured; one of them unfortunately succumbed while being treated at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), and we have one person in custody. “We’re working with the information that we’ve gathered from other persons that were around and we have contacted CIB in Belize City; and with their assistance, we are trying to cover the entire report. Our information so far is that there were several persons in the area; it is a village and persons in the village are known to each other. It is not something that was imported into the village, so the cooperation is very high.”

The fourth form students of the Escuela Mexico High School, of San Roman, Corozal, who were on a school tour to the Che Chem Ha Caves in the Cayo District, are mourning the death of two of their classmates who drowned while swimming in the Macal River near the low wooden bridge in San Ignacio, at about 3:30 Friday afternoon. The students had stopped at the Macal River to refresh themselves before travelling back to Corozal. Anahi Zepeda, 15, of San Joaquin Village, and Edgar Puck, 16, of Patchakan, Corozal District, and other students were in the water near the wooden bridge when Zepeda was dragged down by the river currents. Puck went to help her, but both of them were sucked down by the strong undercurrent. People who saw what was happening jumped in to try to help. Puck was found shortly after under the water. CPR was administered, but it was too late. Puck was then taken to the San Ignacio Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival. A further search by tour guides, police officers and people of the area was conducted and the body of Zepeda was found about an hour later in the general area where they went down. She was also taken to the San Ignacio Hospital, where she also was declared dead on arrival.

Sentencing someone to jail for stealing a phone to satisfy his or her drug addiction does not solve the problem, unless that person is rehabilitated while incarcerated to cure his or her addiction. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith told us that it is with this in mind that members of the judiciary have been meeting with community activists to set up a drug court, which, she said, will handle crimes driven by drug addiction. The steering committee, which is chaired by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, is due to meet this Wednesday. Benjamin, Smith and mental health expert Jenny Lovell traveled recently to Vancouver, Canada, to attend an intensive training, and they will be reporting back to the committee when they meet in a few days. Meanwhile, officials of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Government of Belize are reviewing a draft memorandum of understanding for the establishment of the drug court. Chief Magistrate Smith told us that there is a list of offenses which would be handled by the drug court, and a list of those which would continue to be heard in the mainstream courts. She said that the intent is to treat drug addiction as an illness, so that persons guilty of certain offenses would be committed to rehab rather than to prison.

Anfernee Romero, 18, of Central American Boulevard, lost his life in a shooting incident, and his friend, Troy Hyde, 26, also of Belize City, who was shot in the back, is recovering at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). The men were at a locksmith’s shop on Central American Boulevard at about 5:00 Thursday evening when they were attacked by the gunmen. Police say that Hyde and Romero were at the shop when two men riding on separate bicycles rode up to the shop and fired at them. Romero was shot in the right side of the head, while Hyde was shot in the back. The gunmen then rode away. The injured men were rushed to the hospital, where they were admitted in a critical condition, but Romero died at about 4:30 Friday morning. Hyde, shot three times, continues to recover at the KHMH. In an interview with Amandala, the owner of the workshop reported that he had just left the shop when he heard that the two men who were at the shop had been shot. He and Hyde were friends, he said, but Romero, who was a friend of Hyde, had just started going to the shop about four days before the shooting, and he was not well acquainted with him.

Editorial: Belizean nation
Primarily in an attempt, we suppose, to explain historical voting patterns which still hold true today in the United States of America, the historian and journalist Colin Woodard published an intriguing book entitled American Nations in 2011. He identified eleven rival regional cultures in North America, which included what he called Yankeedom, New Netherland, the Midlands, Tidewater, Greater Appalachia, the Deep South, New France, El Norte, the Left Coast, the Far West, and First Nation. For us at this newspaper, one importance of Woodard’s book is that it confirms the academic legitimacy of micro analysis within the national framework. There are historical realities which many people, including leaders, prefer to gloss over from day to day, but which help to explain the various socio-political behaviors of certain groups of citizens within the same national borders. Belize Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington got himself into trouble in 2010 when he described Belize’s border with Guatemala as “artificial.” The adjective he should have used is “arbitrary.” Africa is probably the continent where we can see the most arbitrary of national borders, because most of these states were created by various imperialists and colonialists, not by the people who had lived in these territories for centuries and millennia.

From The Publisher
In our editorial last weekend, we mentioned that our various Prime Ministers, and there have been four of them, often have behaved similarly. One of the reasons for this is that all our Prime Ministers have to take instructions from Washington and London where certain crucial issues are concerned. The most crucial issue in Belize is the predatory Guatemalan claim to Belizean territory. There are many prominent Belizeans who want for the “Guatemalan claim” to be preceded always by the adjective, “unfounded.” I understand their position, but, as a respectful student of Dartmouth’s Professor Vincent Starzinger, it does not matter to me whether the claim is founded or unfounded: what matters to me is that the claim is real. The claim exists in our daily lives. The claim exists because of the power realities involved. If Belize decided to claim the Petén, that would not be a real claim, because Belize is not in a position to enforce such a claim. Because of a superior size and military, Guatemala is in a position to enforce her claim to Belize. For me, that is what makes the claim a real and present danger. Until Belize became independent in September of 1981, the defence of the territory was the responsibility of Great Britain, British Honduras having become a colony of hers in 1862. Even after British Honduras became a self-governing colony in 1964, our defence remained a portfolio responsibility of the British.

LETTERS: “The Voice of Authority” and “The Fee”
One day awhile back, feeling restless and in the mood for a road trip, I accompanied my friend Robert from Placencia (where I had been living for a few years) to Dangriga, where he had some business to do at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Robert had no car, but he did have a small motor scooter to use for putting around the village, so the two of us hopped on a James Bus and were soon at the DMV, which was conveniently located next to the bus station in Dangriga. On the trip over, Robert explained to me that both his registration and his license had expired, but he foresaw no insurmountable problem here; a simple matter of renewing the documents and we would be on our way back to Placencia. Entering the office the first person we saw was a huge sergeant, resplendent in his crisp uniform and sitting at a desk reading a newspaper. Feeling like truant schoolboys, we stood before him until he finished catching up on the news and deigned to look up at us.

Rosewood pillaging by Guats continues
It appears that despite a moratorium on the harvesting of rosewood in Belize, and notwithstanding increased international trade restrictions, the pillaging of this prized hardwood continues. Yesterday at about 3:30 p.m., PGTV News got a call that someone was hauling rosewood from the Trio area and taking it to a secret location in Bella Vista Village, which is in the north of Toledo. PGTV crew followed the story and came upon stacks of rosewood, freshly cut. The information was relayed to the forest officer at Savannah Forest Station, and had they moved on time all of this could have been confiscated. Up to this time, we have no idea if they did or not, but what we are sure of is that there was no stamp, signifying official certification, on these logs and that they were freshly cut.

12 persons missing since 2014 began
The mystery of several individuals who went missing in the first three months of the year deepens, as another person, a Sarteneja resident, is added to the growing missing person list. So far, twelve persons have been reported missing, including the most recent disappearance, which was reported yesterday, Wednesday. Corozal police found the boat of a Sarteneja resident known as “Dean” abandoned in the Sarteneja area, and 4 expended shells were found in his boat. The year began with the disappearance of Katherine Illeana Medrano, 16, who ran away from home on Thursday, January, 13. She has not been seen since. Then Osborne Jones, of Ladyville, left home at about 10:00 Saturday morning, February 22, which was the last time he was seen or heard from. Two men of San Pedro, Vincent Crawford and Dean Joseph of the San Mateo area, have been reported missing since March 1. They went to sea in the northern San Pedro area and have not been seen since.

Maya leaders urge dialogue to end litigation
Following a favorable ruling yesterday by Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana, the Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA) and the Toledo Alcaldes Association (TAA) have stated that the dispute between the Government and the Maya can only be resolved through dialogue, on the premise that their land rights exist, and they are inviting the Office of the Prime Minister, the Attorney General, the Minister of Natural Resources, the Ministry of Forestry and Sustainable Development and the Ministry of the Environment, for talks which they say should put an end to the need for further litigation. “We want to get to work demarcating and registering our lands, so that both the Maya and Belize as a whole can focus on the more important work of improving the lives of all Belizeans with sustainable development that preserves the environment on which we all depend,” the Maya leaders said. They noted that later this year, the MLA and TAA will be going to the Caribbean Court of Justice to seek an order for the Government of Belize to recognize and respect the rights of the Maya people to their lands and resources – which they contend is an obligation that Belize has under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

Suriname’s Terrence Craig to head OAS office in Belize
Terrence Craig, who has been serving as the representative for the Organization of American States (ASO) in Grenada since October 2008, has been picked to head the OAS office in Belize, effective in May. Craig would succeed Juliet Phillip, who was assigned to Belize in January 2013. Ambassador Craig, who formerly served as head of the Americas Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Suriname, told us that he has been to Belize twice before, as a government representative for Suriname. We were advised by the OAS Office in Belize that Craig is due to take up the post on Thursday, May 1; however, Craig told us that he and his supervisor are still working out some details.

1st Forestry, Fisheries and Finance Fair happens in the City
The ITVET Campus on Freetown Road in Belize City was the venue for the first ever Forestry, Fisheries and Finance Fair which was hosted today by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) in collaboration with the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development. The event featured presentations from the Forestry and Fisheries Departments who mainly showcased sustainable forestry and fishing initiatives, as well as business people and entrepreneurs who displayed various local seafood products and cuisines in addition to wooden creations such as handicraft, sculptures, benches and other furniture, and even fully-equipped miniature children’s parks. One of the reasons for the fair, according to Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Hon. Senator Lisel Alamilla, is to showcase a snapshot of the economic opportunities that exist in the forestry and fisheries sectors. In her keynote address during the opening ceremonies, Alamilla made it clear that Belize’s natural resources need to be protected and preserved if we are to have them for future generations, and that our abundant seas and pristine forests should not be subjected to unwarranted plundering.

World Health Day Observed in Belize
The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), and the Ministry of Health have joined forces in the celebration of World Health Day today at the Belize City Lions Club parking lot on Princess Margaret Drive. According to the World Health Organization, vector-borne diseases are entirely preventable and a newly published article called “A global brief on vector-borne diseases” outlines steps that governments, community groups and families can all take to protect people from infection. Vector-borne diseases are known to affect the poorest populations, particularly where there is a lack of access to adequate housing, safe drinking water and sanitation, and malnourished people and those with weakened immunity are especially susceptible.

Belize City Council and Belize Waste Control are almost at the brink over the Council’s arrears
The Belize City Council continues to struggle to pay its arrears to the sanitation company Belize Waste Control (BWC), and the parties had one more round of litigation on Tuesday in the chambers of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. Their case has been adjourned to Friday morning, when the parties are scheduled to return to court to provide an update on the council’s plan to pay its outstanding arrears to the sanitation company. Coming out of the Chief Justice’s chamber, both parties updated the media on the continuing litigation. Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley, who represented the City Council at the hearing, said that by Friday, the council is expecting to reduce the amount it owes the sanitation company to just one month of arrears. The Mayor added,” That itself means that we do owe four weeks, but that does not constitute a breach of contract and so our position is that by Friday…. that would ameliorate some of the issue in terms of the litigation and we are making good faith efforts to try to see that we can maintain that four-week period.”

Calamity in Santa Elena – uninsured house completely destroyed by fire
The two-flat uninsured house of Augustine Martinez, 82, of Carillo Puerto Avenue, Santa Elena Town Cayo District, and his belongings, were completely destroyed by fire at about 10:45 Saturday night. Martinez lived in the lower flat of the house, while Evelyn Estell, lived in the upper flat. Martinez reported that she was asleep in her house when she was awakened by smoke and heat. She got up to see what was happening, and saw that the house was on fire. She quickly escaped the inferno. Estell also made it to safety. Martinez said that the house was not ensured.

City Council narrows its debts to Waste Control to two weeks of arrears
The Belize City Council and Belize Waste Control (BWC), one of the council’s sanitation providers, have been slugging it out in the Supreme Court of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin over the council’s hundreds of thousands of dollars of arrears to the sanitation company. But when they returned to court on Friday, the two entities appeared to have worked out their differences to an acceptable degree to avoid further litigation for the time being. Mayor Darrell Bradley told reporters, “I was able to inform the court that we were only two weeks outside of what we owe them and they are still pursuing litigation. I had impressed upon the court to consider the fact that by the terms of the contract, we can be 4 weeks in arrears and I want to make that very clear.” “What we are saying is that as long as we are within this four-week period, and at the present moment we are two weeks, we are not to be sued and the case is to be discontinued. The judge gave time for Waste Control to file a statement of facts and issues because the judge wants to be satisfied with respect to what remaining try-able issues there are and we are to return to court on the 15th April for the judge to consider that and to consider whether or not the matter has been settled or whether or not the matter is to proceed forward,” explained the mayor.

John Downard, 49, an American accused of importation of hemp seed, has no case to answer
An American man who has been living in Belize for ten years and who is the director of Vortech Limited, a company that represents newly patented technologies, was arrested and charged on December 4, 2013, after he was found to be bringing 461 grams of hemp seeds into Belize on his return from a trip to Colorado. Authorities charged John Downard with one count of importation of a controlled substance and one count of distribution of a controlled drug. The trial started in February and has been through a number of adjournments. But on Monday morning, John Downard, who resides in San Ignacio, was cleared of the two charges, when in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court, Magistrate Leslie Hamilton ruled in favor of a no-case-to-answer submission made by Downard’s attorney, Rachael Montejo.

Guatemalan man drowns in Macal, in Santa Familia
Less than two days after two high school students drowned in the Macal River near the low bridge in San Ignacio on Friday evening, a Guatemalan, Francisco Martin Juan, 33, of Huehuetenango, San Miguel Acatan, Guatemala, drowned in the Macal River, in Santa Familia, Cayo District. According to police, Jose Miguel Gaspar, 48, a Guatemalan laborer of Huehuetenango, San Miguel Acatan, Guatemala City, presently living in Santa Familia, told them that Juan, his nephew, was under the influence of alcohol when he jumped into the river and tried to swim across at about 12:30 yesterday afternoon. Strong currents, however, dragged him under. People in the area began to search for him, but by the time he was found he had already drowned. He was taken to the San Ignacio Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.

Byron Pope first, Marlon Castillo second in Pre-Cross Country race
Just over 50 cyclists took part in the first ever Pre-Cross Country race that went from Leslie’s Imports to Mount Hope and back, for approximately 115 or 120 miles on Sunday, April 6. There were no foreigners in the race, but a number of “big names” took advantage of the opportunity to further their preparation for the Holy Saturday main event. Top 5 finishers in Sunday’s Pre-Cross Country were: 1st Byron Pope (Benny’s Megabytes, 5:10:04); 2nd Marlon Castillo (BTL Cycling, 5:10:04); 3rd Henry Moreira (Predators Belize, 5:10:13); 4th Gregory Lovell (BTL Cycling, 5:11:03); 5th Brandon Cattouse (C-Ray Road Addikz, 5:11:03). We expressed some reservation about the benefits of winning such a race as the Pre-Cross Country; but then, personalities are different, and what may make one person become complacent, may instead further motivate, inspire and embolden another.

Bandits to host Houston
Belmopan Bandits FC manager Kenneth Budna informed the sports desk tonight, when we queried the reason for their previously scheduled Saturday night game vs Paradise/Freedom Fighters being moved up to this Wednesday night, April 9, at the Isidoro Beaton, that they had just confirmed an invitational match against the Houston Hurricanes for Saturday. The Bandits had held previous discussions with the League, and once the Hurricanes visit was finalized, they agreed to bring forward the Closing Season match with the Freedom Fighters to Wednesday night at the same Isidoro Beaton Stadium, where the game against the Hurricanes will be played at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Table Tennis
Primary school table tennis took center stage at the BES Auditorium just over a week ago on Friday, March 28, where the 2014 3rd Annual Dutch Lady Primary School Tournament resulted in St. Joseph Primary sweeping all 4 top positions. The hosts, Belize Elementary School (BES) fielded the largest team that included some top junior players, but that did not deter St. Joseph Primary School who walked away with the Championship Cup. Other participating primary schools were Hummingbird Elementary, St. Mary’s and Wesley, as well as first time entries St. Ignatius and Ephesus. According to the Belize Table Tennis Association (BTTA) release on the event, some 64 students from the 7 primary schools played a total of 250 matches in Friday’s event. 8 groups of 8 players took part in an Elimination Round Robin, with the top 2 players from each group advancing to the “16 Draw Double-Elimination Finals.”

Burglary in Punta Gorda
Ivan Ramclam, 19, a resident of Punta Gorda, has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison until April 30 on charges of theft and handling stolen goods. Police believe that Ramclam was the thief who burglarized the house of Stephanie Brown of Hibiscus Street, Hopeville, Punta Gorda. Ramclam was taken to the Punta Gorda Magistrate’s Court, where he was arraigned on the charges. Brown reported that on Friday, February 28, she left her home locked, and returned on Wednesday, March 19, and saw that that her home had been broken into.

Robberies on Santa Rita Road in Corozal
Two stores were robbed on Santa Rita Road in Corozal on Wednesday and Thursday, and thieves got away with cash, phone cards and an iPhone. At about 9:15 p.m. Wednesday night, two thieves robbed Bam’s Shop and got away with $1,500 and an iPhone from a storeowner and $7 from a customer and got away. Then, at about 7:15 p.m. on Thursday night, China Store was robbed and two thieves got away with $1,200 in cash from the cash register and $700 worth of Smart phone cards. In the incident on Wednesday, Jiam Bon Wu, 28, a Chinese businessman of Santa Rita Road, the owner of Bam’s Store, was robbed at gunpoint. He told police that at about 9:00 that night, two gunmen entered the store when he pulled up the shutters to allow his brother-in-law to come out of the store.

Gun found on Usher Street
Residents of the Victoria and Usher Streets area of the old capitol can breathe a sigh of relief now that a gun has been taken out of the hands of criminals. A .38 Special Revolver, loaded with 6 rounds of live ammunition, was found by police while on patrol on Usher Street at about 9:00 Saturday night. A newly formed unit called the Quick Reaction Team said that they were on anti-crime patrol and went to the Usher Street area, where they conducted random searches for drugs, guns and ammunition.

Man charged with 3 counts of aggravated assault upon policemen, claims police brutality
A Ladyville man who spent four days in the hospital because of an alleged beating by Ladyville police officers was arraigned on a string of charges when he appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer this morning, Monday. Henry Pleytes, 25, was escorted up and down the stairs at the court by his sister and another relative, because he says that he is still unable to walk on his own, without assistance. Pleytes was slapped with three counts of aggravated assault on three police officers. The allegation against Pleytes is that on Sunday, March 30, he assaulted PC #411 Mathias Cholom, Corporal #347 Luis Quixaj, and PC #964 Diego Pech, who are all attached to the Ladyville Police Station. In addition, police charged him with harm upon Cholom and resisting lawful arrest from Cholom, while in the execution of his duties.


Two Very Funky Businesses in Hopkins, Belize Producing Great Stuff
Hopkins, on the southern coast of Belize, has a feel all it’s own. The landscape is beautiful…beach to mountains. And the village proper is tiny, friendly and colorful. (You can look at many of my pictures here.) I really enjoyed my four nights in Hopkins and was busy the whole time. There are PLENTY of tours to keep you more than busy but I found that just a slow walk or lazy bike ride through town was interesting too. I met some very cool people, both transplants and locals, who are starting small businesses, making a little bit of money and just doing their own thing. The first is Caitlin’s bakery. Caitlin is a American expat turned local who has been in Belize for over 15 years…since her college days. She owns a small piece of land back by the school in the center of town. Look for her handpainted signs…

“Just Can’t Get Enough” from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye,Belize.
In Sunday’s edition I tried to provide you with a flavour of what Mérida Centro is like at the weekend and especially on a Sunday. Hopefully – even though I forgot ((have mentioned repeatedly (well I think I have!) that advancing age may be getting the better of me))to crop a fair number of the photos – I managed to give you a reasonable insight as to what a fun place it is for people that live there and tourists alike. In today’s edition, the last in this scintillating (who do I think I am kidding) series, I primarily focus on the trip that Rose and I made to Chitchen Itza on our penultimate day. During our travels around Central America Rose and I have visited quite a few Mayan sites and although there are (quite obviously I suppose) distinct similarities there is always something different to see and be amazed by. And I’ll never cease to be impressed by how clever and ‘ahead of their time’ they were. I could fill up a fair amount of space and ‘pad’ this edition out with Interesting facts (for some of you anyway) about the Maya and specifically those that constructed and lived at Chitchen Itza but I’m not going to. There’s loads of interesting facts about the people and the archeological site by just clicking on the links I have provided (I’ve only provided two but there are many, each with interesting information). Instead I am going to have a relatively easy time with this edition and let the photos ‘do the work’ (I deserve it, I’ve ‘knocked out’ so many editions in the last few days it’s been like being at work. I mean it’s not as if I’m doing this for a living!).

Guatemalans Illegaly Entering Belize
The situation on the Belize Guatemala border has become very dangerous and threatens the national security of Belize. The “authorities” informed local media house that there was only one truck that passed to Guatemala and it did not open fire on the SAT check point but was fired on by Guatemala military. Our further investigations have revealed that this claim by “Belize Authorities” is false. Eye witnesses to the event state clearly that there were two vehicles that approached the SAT checkpoint at the border. The occupants of the first truck disembarked and fired over the heads of the SAT officers and then both trucks crashed the checkpoint. The Guatemala military base is on the west side of the bridge at least 100 yards from the SAT check. The Guatemala military was alerted to the forced entry and were able to get off only a few rounds as the trucks sped by. The trucks did not fire on the military but did fire at SAT as they forced across the border. Following this the Guatemalans formed an armed detail who proceeded to the entry of the Benque Viejo Free Zone where they demanded the guards on duty produce the documentation for the two trucks that had just crossed. The guard had no paperwork or records of any kind. The armed Guatemalan detail proceeded into the Free Zone which is Belize territory and started to make their way down the road looking for the source of the contraband. It was at this point that Supt. Thompson arrived on the scene and the armed Guatemala detail agreed to leave Belize territory. This was by any definition an invasion of Belize by armed Guatemalan detail even though the Guatemalans appear to have right on their side. Let those who do not believe that this government sanctioned contraband is a treat to our sovereignty should take note. On 29 March the Guatemala government intercepted a load of cigarettes leaving Melchor for the interior. This shipment was of approximately 3 Million cigarettes. Last year Mexico busted around 200 Million cigarettes all from the Belize Free Zones.

Best Beach Resort for 2014
Outside Magazine just named South Water Caye, Belize the best beach in 2014 and Pelican Beach Resort the best place to stay while you're there. From the Belizean styled wooden cottages to the breathtaking views, Pelican Beach Resort on South Water Caye is a the perfect spot for everyone looking to escape the chaotic city life and go wild on their Belize beach and active adventure. Find peace and tranquility surrounded by the crystal clear turquoise waters of the Caribbean. Families love the safe sheltered beach for swimming, where kids can even have their first snorkeling experiences. Adult travelers love this piece of paradise because of the flexibility to either join a guided excursion or just get kayaks and snorkeling equipment and ‘get lost’ on a short adventure. Not to mention this is the perfect place for couples looking for a romantic getaway. Don't just take my word and Outside Magazine's word, check out what resent travelers have shared with us: "We loved the Pelican Beach Resort. Being right in the middle of the ocean is magical. It was clean and comfortable. We had an eagles nest platform right above our room and the stargazing was incredible. We watched both sunrises and sunsets on the beach. The snorkeling was superb and we could do it right from the beach at the resort. All the people there are great and really took care of me. I asked to meet the two women who cooked for us because they did such a wonderful job for me. Every place in which the food was prepared, especially at Pelican Beach Resort the managers, servers, and chefs knew what my restrictions were and were careful that what I was served was correct for me. I give it a 10!" - Tina Straley and Joy Reed, March 2014

What Expats moving to Belize need to know
There are many reasons why Expats choose to move to Belize. Its warm climate, diverse cultures and the overall relaxed lifestyle of the country are just a few of the reasons. Moving to Belize, however raises several questions for expats and the whole process appears daunting especially when you may not know what to expect when it relates to the health care system, the education system, cost of living and other aspects of your new life in Belize. Here, we will provide you with a guide that we believe all expats moving to Belize should know. Healthcare in Belize Belize has a relatively well established medical care system both at the private and public sector level. In Belize, there are hospitals or poly clinics in every major city and town in the country with eight public hospitals and approximately 70 public health facilities that you can have access to. Anyone can attend these clinics or hospitals. Having medical insurance is recommended but not mandatory, for expats that are moving to Belize to gain access to healthcare.

Suspicious Activities in Belize’s Western Border Area
For months reports have been pouring in of suspected illicit activities near Belize’s western border with Guatemala. Strong allegations have implicated even Minister of Trade Erwin Contreras and his senior person at the Benque Viejo Free Zone, Alfred Satler. According to sources the two along with others have colluded in the smuggling of contraband in and out of Belize. NBZLive was recently contacted with reports that children are being used as mules to ferry contraband cigarettes into Guatemala. The rationale for all this is still unknown however there have been reports in the media of busts in the area of illicit cargo either destined for Guatemala or for the free zones in Belize. A recent activity was captured on video by an alert observer.

International Sources

Off the Eaten Path: Expect the unexpected
Anita Martinez fished through the refrigerator, pulling out a plastic container. She popped off the lid and took a whiff of the peppery, deep red paste. “That smell,” she said of her annatto paste. “I grind this myself — every week.” Martinez grinds it the old-fashioned way, as she did in her native Belize; with a hand-cranked grinder that crushes the corn-like nibs against a stone. She mixes in her secret blend of spices and a little water to get that thick, buttery consistency. Hand-ground annatto paste might be the last thing you’d expect at a restaurant called The Gathering Place. But nothing about this funky little breakfast-lunch spot is expected. “You get hints of her flavor throughout our menu,” co-owner Tony Clark said, “in the chicken salad and in the Cordon Bleu sandwich. She’s our secret ingredient.” Clark opened The Gathering Place in February with partner Shawn Leiva, Martinez’s son. The restaurant is hidden away in the guts of the Beacon Executive Suites, a nursing-home-turned-business-park sandwiched between Beacon Boulevard and U.S. 41 in south Fort Myers. Clark and Leiva originally envisioned a Belizean food truck. But when this out-of-the-way café — the space used to be a nursing station — opened up they saw an opportunity. Clark spent his life in restaurants, cooking and serving and bartending. Leiva grew up at his mother’s side, making food of all kinds from scratch.

Exploring Belize with the Moon Travel Book as Your Guide
Moon Travel Book Belize - Travel writer, photographer, and Belize expert Lily Girma knows the best ways to experience Belize. Packed with information on dining, transportation, and accommodations, Moon Belize gives travelers the tools they need to create a more personal and memorable experience. Listen to the interview below or download it from the link;

LISTEN: Pitbull & Jennifer Lopez Debut "We Are One (Ola Ola)" For Brazil World Cup!
Pitbull released the 2014 FIFA World Cup official song... and it's hot, hot, hot! The Cuban-American rapper dropped "We Are One (Ola Ola)" on Tuesday, two months ahead of the Brazilian games. The anthem, which features Jennifer Lopez and Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte, will be performed by the Latin trio during the soccer tournament's opening ceremony on June 12 in Sao Paulo, the Huffington Post reports. Pitbull tweeted an iTunes link to the track and posted the song to his official YouTube account. Listen to the song! Do you love it?

Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
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Maruba Beach Klub and Spa is the premiere Secret Beach spa and restaurant located on the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean Sea at the center of Secret Beach, Belize
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