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Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
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The San Pedro Sun

Officer implicated in missing guns and ammunition from San Pedro Police Dept
Have Belize City Police recovered two of the eight stolen guns missing from the San Pedro Police Station? Reliable sources have indicated to The San Pedro Sun that they may have indeed found two firearms on Cemetery Road, Belize City. The firearms were reportedly in a lot behind Atlantic Bank, and have been identified as belonging to the cache that went missing between Wednesday evening and Friday morning from the San Pedro Police Station. According to our sources, Police Constable #1332 Yannick Wade is one of the people detained. While our sources cannot confirm if PC Wade took the firearms, it is believed that he was involved in their disappearance as he was at the location where the firearms were found. PC Wade joined the San Pedro Police formation in April of 2013, after being transferred from the Criminal Investigation Branch in Belize City.

Education outreach provided by Nat'l AIDS Commission, Island Committee
The National AIDS Commission (NAC) /Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) Island Committee along with PASMO carried out several community outreach activities in the month of April. The month of activities culminated on SaturdayApril 26th with a Mobile Testing outreach. In the weeks leading up to the 26th, Dennis Craft; PASMO Educator along with volunteers from the NAC CCM Island Committee visited various sites on the island and provided sexual health education, HIV transmission prevention, Sexually Transmitted Infection education along with Risk Reduction activities. Along with health care professionals from the Dr. Otto Rodriguez II Polyclinic and a member from the Unites States Peace Corp, NAC/CCM Island Committee and PASMO tested 57 individuals on Saturday April 26th, of which 11 were females and 46 were males. Volunteer with the program and the Secretary for the NAC CCM Island Committee, Omar E. Solis Segala was more than happy to share a little about his experience during the outreach. "Sexual health education is extremely important and Saturday's outreach along with all of this month's outreaches have been very successful.

National News: PUC approves 6.9% increase in water rate
The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has approved an increase in water rates requested by Belize Water Services (BWS) Limited. The confirmation came via a press release from the PUC dated Monday April 28th and was followed by a press conference on April 29th. With the exception of Caye Caulker, water will increase countrywide by 6.9%. According to PUC, in December 2013, BWS applied for a water increase of 16.2% in the annual tariffs but were denied that increase and instead recommended a 6% increase. The reduction in the requested increase was triggered by a reduction in the company's proposed capital investment. According to Rudolph Williams, PUC Water and Water Sector Director, BWS appealed the initial decision, which triggered a review of PUC decision. "BWS made a submission to the PUC for an annual review proceeding for the approval of a 16.25% increase in tariffs to be applied during the annual tariff period of April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015. After reviewing the proposal and considering BWS's past performance and its ability to fund its investments, the proposed $25.675 million in capital investments for 2014-15 was reduced to $14.326 million.

Misc Belizean Sources

Boca del Rio park vandalized
The following pictures brings sadness to us. The Boca del Rio park was vandalized, the plant barriers were broken and removed from the ground, a swing was broken, many palm trees were broken and graffiti on the picnic tables. We ask of everyone to please take care of the parks. Lots of labor and money are spent on the upkeep of these parks for it to be destroyed. The parks are there for everyone, and for everyone to enjoy and make use of it. The Boca del Rio Park received a major "facelift" back in November of 2013 thanks to the sponsorship of Mr. Dan Listwin of Canary Coves. Help us take care of the parks, if you see someone vandalizing the parks, tell them not to practice vandalism. If they insist, report them to the town council or the police. (8 photos)

Ramon's Village Resort Thanks Mayor
Mr. Richard Headrick from Ramon's Village visited Mayor Daniel Guerrero at the San Pedro Town Council office to present him a plaque of recognition which reads: Ramon's Village Resort extends a sincere thank you to Mayor Danny Guerrero for his unselfish support, kindness and generosity shown to us during the reconstruction of San Pedro's enchanted village - Ramon's Village Resort. Signed, Richard & Gina Headrick. Dated, April 12, 2014.

Coastal Xpress Ferry Stops & Schedule
Coastal Xpress Ferry and Water Taxi offers regular taxi service to all resorts, restaurants and private docks departing from Amigos del Mar Dock, San Pedro, and travelling north to Blue Reef Resort approximately 9 miles up the Island of Ambergris Caye. Please see the schedule below for our daily hours of regular service - 5:30 am to 10:30 pm.

Local health committee listens to needs of villagers
Village Health Committee members in Santa Theresa, Belize, rotated shifts at a food stand to host the committee's first fundraiser to raise money to better people's access to health care in the area. Nominated by the people of the southern Belize villages, the committee listened to the needs of the people and is taking action to better the lives of all who call that region home. The fundraiser was held at the Santa Theresa medical clinic where Belizean, Canadian and U.S. medical care providers offered free health care to Belizean people May 1-2 as part of New Horizons Belize 2014. New Horizons includes medical readiness training exercises that provide all three countries valuable training and experience in their respective medical fields. "This is our first fundraiser because we are somewhat newly-elected," said Pedro Teul, Santa Theresa Village Health Committee chairman. The committee worked with local health care providers to determine the best sort of fundraiser. One requirement for any fundraiser was that if they sold food of any sort, it had to be healthy, said Elbia Chic, Santa Theresa clinic health nurse.

Acoustica Concert
The Acoustica concert is next Saturday, May 10th, at the Cave Garden. "An [unplugged] rock concert covering your favourite songs by local bands in Belize. Come on out with your friends and have a fun night listening to amazing songs and enjoy the cool laid back environment at Cave Garden Restaurant in Benque Viejo Del Carmen. Performing Bands are: 'In Bloom' from San Ignacio, Cayo, 'Emendo' from Guatemala, 'Bad Rabbits' from San Ignacio, Cayo and Rick Galvez doing a solo performance. Genres include Grunge Rock, Alternative, Power Ballads and Classic Rock/Blues. Tickets can be bought from Oscar (Oki) Mis, Kevin ( Guillermo) Berganza and Jose Barrera. $10.00 at the door and $5.00 in advance. Support our local Bands as we help push Belize forward on a higher global scale as it relates to arts and culture. Rock on!"

Bullet Tree Mopan River Cleanup
Bullet Tree Falls is having their annual River Cleanup Extravaganza today. Come out and join in the cleanup, and have some good food and fun at the same time.

Cayo Classifieds Issue 14
This week's issue of Buy and Sell Weekly. There's an article about the Black Hole Drop at Caves Branch, one about the San Ignacio market, and another about the Green Iguana Conservation Project.

Support Corozal's Annual East Indian Festival
Keep Corozal's Culture Alive and kicking! Sponsored by the Corozal Organization of East Indian Cultural Heritgae (COEICH).

Copa Gobernador 2014, Mahahual Mexico
The Annual Copa Gobernador Fishing Tournament is ongoing in Mahahual. Participants from San Pedro Ambergris Caye, include Team Amigos, Lady Leslie, Rojo Lara and others. Photo courtesy Dianela Hancock.

The Reporter

Police bust yields stolen guns from security firm
A search for stolen guns proved successful on Saturday night when police searched an open yard at # 2 Cemetery Road in Belize City and found three weapons. Reliable reports to The Reporter say that a tip led police to the location where they repossessed three of eight guns that were stolen from the San Pedro Police Station. The search began at 8:00 p.m. and yielded the guns and ammunition after an hour-long search. The guns were the property of KBH Security and were stored at the Police Station for safekeeping. The eight .38 revolvers and over 100 bullets were last seen on Wednesday when KBH personnel, who secured the weapons at the location discovered them missing. An on-duty guard noted that the guns were on Friday when he went to the station to retrieve the weaponds.

NICH raises the bar for National Song Competition
The National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) through the National Celebrations Commission (NCC) launched its annual song competition this week. NICH says that heavier emphasis will be placed on lyrical content this year. President of NICH and co-chair of the NCC, Diane Haylock explained that the commission has decided to make major changes in the format of the competition this year because over the past few years they have had concerns about the quality of submissions, particularly the lyrics. "We feel that the content of the songs are not as rich as it could be and part of our objective at NICH is to really see the growth and development of our music industry in Belize," Haylock said. Haylock explained that NICH intends to work with artists to help them improve the quality of their lyrics and their music. It will do so by organizing workshops to work closely with the artists participating in the competition and will provide technical assistance for them.

Children murdered in Honduras for refusal to join gangs
At least seven children have been murdered after refusing to join criminal gangs in Honduras. In the most recent incident, police found the body of a seven-year-old boy who appeared to have been tortured. Authorities found his 13-year-old brother dead a day before. The crimes took place over the last month in an area dominated by street gangs in the industrial city of San Pedro Sula. Honduras has one of the highest murder rates in the world. The constant battling between the country's main maras, or street gangs - Mara 18 and Mara Salvatrucha is the cause of the most of the violence in Honduras.

Friday night shooting leaves one dead, several injured
One man is dead and several more are injured after a gunman fired several shots at a group in an apartment after 10 p.m. on Friday on Antelope Street extension. Julian Willoughby, 21, was killed in the shooting and four other people were also wounded, including a female who was shot to the mouth. The group was reportedly in the apartment building socializing when the gunman approached firing multiple shots in their direction. Police investigations into the matter continue but the department has not yet issued an official release.

Officer Commanding Independence Police Formation dies
The Belize Police Department is mourning the passing of Assistant Superintendent of Police, Alton Alvarez. Alvarez, who headed the Independence Police Formation, died on Friday night, the apparent victim of a heart attack. Alvarez was for many years the Officer Commanding the Intermediate Southern Formation in Independence Village.

Patrick Jones

Senior police officer passes away
A senior member of the Belize Police Department has died. Superintendent Alton Alvarez died on Friday night. A cause of death has not yet been officially released, but it is believed that he suffered a heart attack. Up until the time of his death, the veteran law enforcement officer was serving as the Officer Commanding the Intermediate Southern Formation in Independence Village. The news of his sudden death has come as a shock to many of his fellow officers and the community at large. Police flags were lowered to half mast on Saturday morning as word of Superintendent Alton Alvarez' death spread across the country.

Authorities investigate theft of revolvers from inside police station
The Belize Police Department has gone mum on the theft of a cache of weapons and ammunition from inside the police station in San Pedro town. A total of eight .38 calibre revolvers and 101 rounds of ammunition were stolen from a safe inside the San Pedro police station sometime between Wednesday evening, April 30 and Friday morning, May 2. Information received today says that two of the weapons have allegedly been recovered from a place on Cemetery Road in Belize City; but this has not been confirmed officially. Information received also suggest that a police officer who was recently on interdiction is detained in connection with the theft of the forearms and ammunition. The stolen revolvers and ammunition are the property of the KBH Security firm which always deposits its firearms at the police station for safe keeping.

Murder in Belize City
A shooting incident on Friday night in Belize City as left four people injured and one dead. A preliminary report issued by the Police Press Officer said that the incident happened around 11 PM on Friday on Antelope Street Extension. Among the victims of the shooting was a 14 year old and a woman. Police say that a 21 year old man, whose name they did not released, died while undergoing treatment. A police investigation into the incident continues.


Belize agriculture show
Coming at you live from the Belize agriculture show. We are having a great time so far. Lots of San Pedro peeps here, aside from Cowboy and Monty we ran into Picasso Spirits and San Pedro Scoop. My favorite picture is the one where Cowboy's calculator saved him from a heifer who got a bit to feisty. Got lots more pics of the Ag show and Belmopan to share when I get back to San Pedro monday, off to watch the rodeo now.

Fuego the Tapir's First Birthday Party and A Close Encounter with a Puma at the AMAZING Belize Zoo
The Belize Zoo is an ABSOLUTELY must visit when you take a trip to Belize. If you live here, you should be stopping by as much as possible. All animals are native to Belize. All animals are rescued from the wild. All in small beautiful natural enclosures that, if the animal isn't busy, allow you some pretty amazing close-up encounters. Seeing Junior the Jaguar as a baby playing with his ball to him as an adult�you feel like they are YOUR animals. And they are Belize's animals. But this one is mine all mine. Take a look at my new bestie Carlos. CAN. YOU. BELIEVE. how gorgeous he is? No zoom. None. But more on him later. I was invited by my friend (a VIP guest) to the zoo for the celebration of National Tapir Day (April 27th) and for Fuego the Tapir's first birthday. This celebration has been going on for YEARS but had celebrated Belize's most famous national animal, April. Poor April, the oldest tapir in the world in captivity, passed after 30 years as Belize's tapir ambassador.

"Goin' Out of My Head" in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
As we get ever closer to the rainy season the weather this week has, at times, been somewhat muggy. Hot days, cloudy skies, periods of hardly any breeze and humidity high and the 'threat' rain for around the last three days. Not complaining, just giving you some background information. Yesterday morning (Friday that is) at around 04.00 hours (give or take ten minutes) the sky was lit up by flashes of lightening (no I wasn't at all tempted to rush to get my camera , this blogging is, after all, a fun thing for me. Now if I was taking it seriously? Well that would be a whole different matter). This continued for around ten minutes and was then joined by thunder which was followed shortly after by rain. At this time I decided to get up. No not to grab the camera but a mug of coffee and my iPad. Time for 'me' time on the veranda. It didn't rain particularly hard but it did rain -off and on - for around four hours. Enough to put a reasonable number of 'showers worth' in the rainwater collection tank beneath the house. I know that our tank holds 45,000 gallons and it was full to the brim when the rain eventually stopped in January and all of the calculations that I carried out regarding per capita usage indicated that a tank that size should be more than enough for Rose and I but it hasn't stopped me occasion wondering if we will have enough to last!

International Sources

"Bomba geoestrat�gica para EE.UU.": Rusia y China preparan el canal de Nicaragua
La colaboraci�n entre Rusia, China y Nicaragua, que est�n a punto de empezar a construir el canal de Nicaragua es "una potente bomba geoestrat�gica que explotar� cerca de EE.UU.", dice el escritor ruso, Alex�nder Proj�nov. "Como se mantiene la amenaza de la invasi�n de Nicaragua por EE.UU. en el norte, Nicaragua firm� un acuerdo con Rusia de que los buques de guerra rusos patrullen las aguas del mar Caribe. Y tambi�n que los bombarderos rusos de largo alcance pueden aterrizar en la capital de Nicaragua, Managua", explica el experto citado por 'Izvestia'. Recientemente, tras la reuni�n con el ministro de Exteriores ruso, Sergu�i Lavrov, el presidente de Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega destac� la posici�n continua de su pa�s que apoya a Rusia en la resoluci�n pac�fica de los conflictos en el Oriente Medio, Siria y Ucrania, rechaza categ�ricamente la pol�tica de sanciones y la "doble moral". Proj�nov asegura que es improbable que la presencia de los buques y aviones rusos en la regi�n provoquen enfrentamientos militares. Lo �nico que es cierto es el hecho de que el acercamiento de China y Rusia s� est� asustando a Occidente, a�adi� este escritor ruso.

Former US Army Ranger missing off coast of Belize
A 29-year-old former Army Ranger went missing off the coast of Belize Tuesday when the kayak he was in flipped over near a reef off Ambergris Caye. Wrangler Shane Leesman, of Austin Texas, was last seen about noon when he and another former Ranger pushed off from the beach on a red kayak. The kayak was seen capsizing near a reef by an American on the beach, according to a police report provided by the San Pedro Sun. Family and friends back in the states were expecting the pair, who now work as security contractors, back today. "He's just an all around good guy," said Leesman's friend David Corley. "He really opened up to me about what went on over there, I guess because I'm a veteran too."


Video: Former Army Ranger Wrangler Leesman, originally from Valley, missing in Belize, 3min.
A Mesa mother remained hopeful Saturday that her son, a former Army Ranger missing in Belize, will be rescued. Dee-Dee Leesman's heart tells her that her son, Wrangler, "is alive," she said. Wrangler, 29, has been missing since Tuesday. He was born in the Valley; he now lives in Texas. He and a friend were kayaking off Belize's coast, according to the family and The San Pedro Sun. Rough weather threw the pair into the water. The friend was found alive; Wrangler remains missing.

Video: Belize City road trip, 7min.
Belize city road trip from Placencia (May 2014)

Video: Southbound to Dangriga, Belize, 20min.
Beautiful morning driving from Belize City to Dangriga... lush farm land, beautiful greenery, and small villages along the way...

Video: Belize Tree House Villa, 2min.

Video: Snorkeling in Belize, are you Tuff E Nuff, 4min.
Snorkeling in Belize, are you Tuff E Nuff . this was my first time snorkeling here we have done many other tours with the Tuff E Nuff group they are pretty laid back but will get you some great memories like these. definitely have to do this again and sorry for the crumby dive footage I have never done this before and I did have one of the two gopros go down so its not bad ..enjoy and thanks Rico and the Boys at Tuff E Nuff

Video: Rainy Day in Belize with some flooding, 1min.
Flooding in the city of Belize from rain.

Video:Nurse Shark in Belize , 2min.
Reef fishing off the coast of Ambergris Caye in Belize. Caught this 4-5 ft nurse shark, ~ 100 pounds.

Video: Belize - Looking Back - Compress, 4min.
The Beer Diaries World Tour

Video: Tour of Miramar, 5min.
Many have asked where we are living on Ambergris Caye, so here is a tour, from Bill McDonald.

Video: Belize 2014, 3min.
A brief recap video from our team that went to Belize in February 2014. from Faith Community Media