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Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

The McCords renew their vows on La Isla Bonita
After many years of travel to Belize, Joe and Debbie McCord chose to renew their wedding vows on Ambergris Caye on June 10th. Their 20th anniversary was not till June 14th, but when the moment is right, it's right! The McCords used to visit the Bahamas religiously, but after discovering Belize and Ambergris Caye, they have chosen to come back time and again. They've made fast friends here, and one of them, the wonderfully friendly Ana Pereira Ico, was honored to lead the vow renewal ceremony as a Justice of the Peace. Witnessed by their long-time traveling companions Dale and Patty Bastin, the McCords exchanged vows on the TMM Dock over the beautiful waters that keep them coming back every year.

Father's Day Canoe Challenge
Sunday, June 15th, 2014 was a wonderful day for our Father's Day Canoe Challenge co-sponsored by Black Orchid Resort and Sea Sure Real Estate. The race was from Flowers Bank Village to Black Orchid Resort in Burrell Boom. There were seven teams in six categories that participated. The race took off a little after 9 am. First overall and Intramural to complete the route in 3:06:30 was "Turd'z" - Martin Gideon, Elvis Sutherland and Glenford Sutherland - sponsored by Martin Woods. They out paddled "White Feathers" - bothers, Kenrick and Michael Daniels, self-sponsored, of the Juniors Category who finished in 3:11:53. Closely behind them by just over a minute was "Print Belize / Wrobel & Co" - Rudolph Gentle, Kaylon Hyde and Francisco Perez - they finish third overall and first Pleasure. Capturing second Pleasure and fifth overall was the "Original Turd'z" - Raymond Woods, Jarrid Thompson and Derocy Haylock clocking in at 4:01:30.

Tigersharks narrowly defeats Western Ballaz in NEBL
The San Pedro Tigersharks picked up their first win in the finals against Cayo Western Ballaz in the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) finals. The encounter between the two basketball powerhouses in the country was well attended, as the Rafael Angel Nu�ez Auditorium was packed on Sunday June 15th. Game one saw the mighty Western Ballaz dominating the Tigersharks during most of the game but in the last minute, the home team managed to secure a narrow one-point win. The visiting Ballaz opened the scoreboard with three consecutive two-point shots before the Tigersharks reacted. Cayo's Farron Louriano and Kurt Burges brought pressure on the home team, forcing the islanders to seek control of their game. When they did, the Tigersharks quickly swiftly took a six-point lead, ending the first quarter 18 - 12. At the start of the second quarter, Tigersharks' Tyron Edwards and Winston Pratt kept the momentum for the home team. Tensions were high on the court, and spectators were in an uproar when Darwin "Puppy" Leslie was pulled down by the neck by Ivan Flowers of the Ballaz team. The Western Ballaz stuck to their guns and defended their half of the court vigorously, but at the half time the Tigersharks maintained their lead with 29 - 21.

Favorite Belize treats - seafood delights!
Usually, after a heavy breakfast that's been enjoyed closer to lunchtime than at sunrise, vacationers seek something light to enjoy in the early afternoon hours. This is where ceviche comes into play. Made with fresh conch (seasonal), shrimp, lobster (seasonal: June 15th - February 14th) or octopus, or a combination of all, ceviches give you a wonderful seafood experience without the heavy saucing or buttering. Instead, bite-sized pieces of seafood are marinated in fresh lime juice, accompanied by diced fresh vegetables like tomatoes, onions, a little cucumber for added crunch, cilantro and if desired, finely chopped carrots. This mixture is seasoned with salt and pepper (no heavy seasoning), and served with crispy tortilla chips and some sliced habanero on the side for a bit of heat. Honestly, my mouth's watering just typing this. Everyone has their own way of making this seafood delight, but the basics are good enough to combine and enjoy as a snack, as a meal, all day, every day. Tons of places offer this dish, and for a truly spectacular experience, Victoria House can't be beat. Fabulous ambiance and a yummy snack? What are you waiting for?

Ambergris Today

Graduations at San Pedro High School Campus
The theme for the graduates of San Pedro High School 2014 was "Now You Can Write Your Own Story." This sentiment was expressed by Guest Speaker Miss Vilma Villanueva who challenged the graduates to use their talents, knowledge and wisdom to make the best choices in order to be able to write their masterpiece. The Mistresses of Ceremonies were Miss Alisha Cadle and Miss Vivian Noralez. A very cordial salutatory was delivered by Miss Mahe Pereira while Miss Jasmine Ritchie was honored with the Valedictory address. Every graduation has its "WOW" moment and this year it was certainly the moment that Graduate Gian Rivero received the last award of many. He took several awards to include Honor Roll, Senior of the Year, Male Athlete of the Year, and the reputable one, Student of the Year Award.

Miss El Salvador Contestant Announced for Costa Maya Festival
Ana Graciela Hasbun Boscaino has been chosen to represent her country as Miss El Salvador Costa Maya at the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant that will be taking place at the International Costa Maya Festival in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize on Thursday, August 7, 2014. At 18 years of age and standing at 5' 5" tall, Ana Graciela is a high school graduate. She has brown eyes, light brown hair, and her hobbies include dancing, painting, drama and basketball. Ana Graciela joins Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado and other Mundo Maya countries and Central American region have confirmed their participation at the pageant and the remaining six contestants will be announced in weeks to come, prior to their arrival to San Pedro, La Isla Bonita.

Cost of Living Documented in Old San Pedro Diary
The page below is a photograph of an actual page from a diary in which the Gomez family kept notes of incomes and expenses during the 1940's. This particular page shows the cost of living and prices of common groceries. 30 pounds flour $2.40 10 pounds sugar $0.90 4 pounds rice $0.44 4 pounds beans $0.72 2 pounds margarine $.50 6 cans condensed milk $0.96 1 can baking soda $0.27 1 can custard $0.45 2 packs tea $0.38 2 bottles kerosene gas $0.16 1 toilet paper $0.19 2 bars sunlight soap $0.55 3 boxes matches $.06 Total $7.98 The same diary indicates that the average earning per week was about $7.00. Therefore this bill represents a one-week earning but the commodities could easily last about three weeks for a family of four or five. Pretty interesting to note that almost the entirety of a family's shopping list was on food, with exception of kerosene and soap. Beans as you can note was pretty expensive and so was toilet paper, an import product, so I imagine it was purchased only for some members of the family. On any given week the shopping list could include pigtail, salt beef, lard, ten quarts of corn. Corned beef was a luxury and only purchased on a special occasion.

25 Years Ago: Amazing School Days of Early San Pedro
"School days are the best days of your life." This is what most people say but one does not realize it until he is out of school. Last week I mentioned some interesting facts about old school days in San Pedro, like the hot Johnny cakes for recess break, and the subject called Bible studies, but there is more. Every morning, the public bell located at Central Park was rung three times to warn students to go to school. At 8:30 a.m. with the last bell students made two lines at the foot of the stairs at the main entrance and we sang our National Anthem, "God Save The Queen." The Principal said a few words and then we all walked very orderly into our classrooms for the commencement of classes.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Uur first Sea Turtle crawl of the year
Happy Monday! We found our first Sea Turtle crawl of the year, right next to our property! Ambergris Caye Marine Turtle Program has already been alerted. We await their visit to confirm whether the nest has eggs in it or not.

Corozal Police Report
38 year old Waseem Khan, businessman of San Andres Village, Corozal District and owner of Corocell Repairs and Services located on 5th Avenue Corozal Town, reported that between the hours of 6:30 p.m. on the June 13 and 8:35 a.m. on the June 14 his business establishment located at the said address was broken into through a hole in the roof of the building.

JOB OPPORTUNITY - United Nations Young Professionals Programme
Belizeans living abroad can also apply to the programme and will be able to sit exams if they qualify in the nearest examination center to their location. Eligibility: Nationality: must hold nationality of a participating Member State at the time of application Age: 32 years or younger ( Date of Birth on or after 1 January 1982) Education: First level university degree acceptable for each job family Language: Fluency in English or French Experience: No experience required 3. The application process will be open from June 14th - August 27th, 2014. Applications will be accepted at different intervals for different areas of focus: a. June 14th to August 13th- Information Systems and Technology and Political Affairs b. June 21st- August 20th: Economic Affairs and Radio Producer c. 28th June- 27th August; Human Rights, Library Information Management and Photography.

Cayo Safety Day
The Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association had their Cayo Safety Day on Friday at the Cayo Welcome Center.  There were informational booths, along with some music, and even fun events for the kids, like hoola hoopingPics on fb.  Thanks, CNWA!

The Journey Art Exhibit
The Journey art exhibit, by Stacy Ann Rodriguez, is currently at the SISE House of Culture. She uploaded pictures from the launch party they had a few weeks ago. The exhibit will be up through June. If you see a picture you like, they are for sale, and they are well priced too.

New Sensation Band at Tabu
The New Sensation Band will be playing at Tabu this Friday.  If you haven't seen them yet, you're in for a pleasant surprise.  Tabu has been having some wild bashes since their opening 2 months ago, including their Grads and Dads Bash they had on Saturday.

"On June 20th its all about The New Sensation Band & Exclusive Sounds Entertainment Make sure to get your tickets $20 in advance or $25 at the door!  For VIP bookings link us up at 607-2954 for more details..."

US EOD works with Belizean SEALs
Navy explosive ordnance disposal technicians from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit THREE are in Belize working with the Belize Coast Guard SEALs as part of Southern Partnership Station 2014. One of the first skills the U.S. and Belizean Sailors are working on is "ground signs awareness." Ground signs awareness is, basically, looking at the ground and being able to spot anything that looks suspicious or out of place. It does not involve any scanners or fancy goggles, but it is an important skill for an operator to have. "The main tool that we're focusing on with the ground signs awareness and route selection is the eyes," said Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician 2nd Class Josh Lamm, of EODMU 3. "You can be issued everything, you can go to the store and buy whatever you want, but your eyes are your number-one tool." To practice spotting ground signs and using those signs to choose the best route to take, the EOD techs set up tripwires, buried mock pressure plates, and asked the Belizean SEALs to lead them along the safest route while pointing out, marking, and avoiding all the possible hazards.

Civil Affairs teams ensure local population needs met
Four long-term staff and five rotational teams of civil affairs members traveled the country of Belize to ensure local population needs were considered during New Horizons Belize 2014. New Horizons is a multi-faceted exercise that provides mutual training opportunities for civil engineer and medical entities from Belize, Canada and the U.S. while providing structures and services for the Belizean people. Civil affairs plays an imperative role in the execution of such missions. "Civil affairs is the unit that is specifically trained, organized and equipped to conduct civil military operations. We are tasked with the actions of the commander that establish and maintain relationships with the civilian populations," said U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Shaun Thomson, New Horizons Civil Affairs duration staff officer. "We do that by talking to the locals and studying their culture, that way we can further advise and coordinate those civil military operations that are most appropriate for that culture.

Update on Negotiations to Resolve the Dispute Between Valley of Peace Farmers' Association and Green Tropics Limited
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture wishes to provide an update on the current state of negotiations to resolve the dispute between the Valley of Peace Farmers Association and Green Tropics Limited.

Free art programs in Corozal
Summer is just around the corner and the House of Culture will be offering free art programs once again with - Summer Art Wave!! For more information and registration come in and visit us. Courtesy Corozal House of Culture.

Bird Based Tourism Launch
The Belize Audubon Society wants Bird Based Tourism to thrive here, and help with conservation and economic development at the same time.  They had a kick off meeting to discuss the subject.  Belize has close to 600 species of birds, and there are many places around the country, as Chaa Creek recently wrote about, that are known for sightings. "Kickoff meeting Bird based tourism as a conservation and economic development tool. Photography by: Dirk Francisco"

Rotaract Black and Yellow Party
The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio is having their Black and Yellow Party at the end of the month. Have a great time while helping them raise funds for their upcoming community service projects. "Black & Yellow Party By: Rotaract Club of San Ignacio. Happening at the Next Lounge, Inside Princess International San Ignacio. Saturday 28th June,2014. Admission: Ladies: $10 Gents: $15 Music BY: DJ JESSE AND DJ JUSTIN of RAS CAS Sounds!! !!DANCE COMPETITION!! !! GIVE AWAYS ALL NIGHT LONG!!"

Channel 7

19 Year Old From Lake I Claims Big-Time Landlord Raped Her
Tonight, a big time landlord and businessman is under scrutiny by police, after a 19 year old woman from Lake Independence alleges that he raped her. Normally, criminal charges would follow such a complaint, but police say a medical examination showed no signs of penetration, so they can't charge the businessman for rape. They are, however, considering charging him for aggravated assault and indecent assault. But, she is not satisfied with that - she says the physical assault and humiliation she was made to endure demands that he be charged for rape. She made her case to the media today, by explaining off camera just what she was made to endure. We cannot disclose the identity of rape victims, and we cannot announce the name of someone who hasn't been charged - so the story is lacking in some critical details - but it is compelling. We warn you that the story does deal with subjects of a mature nature, and is not suitable for minors, so if kids are around, you might want to change the channel or ask them out of the room. She explained that last week, she had a conversation with the man, because she was looking for an apartment. She gave him her number, and he called her on Friday afternoon, claiming to have apartments that she might want to consider. She then explained what happened after she got into his vehicle - Daniel Ortiz narrates: Daniel Ortiz reporting The victim tells us that once she got into the vehicle with him, he drove her up the highway under the pretence of showing her apartments he was renting in the community at 8 Miles on the Western Highway.

Audubon, "A Degree of Comfort" With Puerto Azul As Concept
In the past week, the furor over the Puerto Azul development seems to have been dialed down somewhat - after the Prime Minister made it clear that the project is just a concept, which still has to go through all the stages of regulatory and political approval. And then, on Saturday, the media went to the caye to see that, so far, nothing has happened with Northern 2 or Sandbore Caye. Today Amanda Burgos, of the Belize Audubon Society - which has endorsed letters objecting to the development - told the media that they do take some measure of comfort in the Prime Minister's declaration, yet they still want some involvement in the vetting process:.. Amanda Burgos, Executive Director - Belize Audubon Society "Yes it is a degree of comfort but also we want to be informed in the process and as the steps are taken." Jules Vasquez "Now, a lot of these big companies are opposed to what Mike Singh likes to call a "public negotiation" - if they have a project for whatever confidentiality or reasons, they might not want all the details constantly ventilated in the public."

Stillborn Baby Zayden's Family Still Not Satisfied, But Ministry Of Health Is
On Friday we told you about the disturbing case of baby Zayden. On Saturday June 7th., Doctors at the Western Regional Hospital said he was stillborn and they allowed the family to see the newborn boy - who showed no signs of life. The attendant then wrapped him up, with his hands at his sides, and dispatched his body to the morgue. But on Tuesday when Zayden's grandmother Yolanda Molina went to get the body ready for burial, she found his hand over his eye, and his leg bent. Based on that, she concluded that the child was not really stillborn - and had died in the morgue. Well, the news tonight is that the Ministry of Health has concluded its investigation into the alleged irregularity, and is satisfied that all procedures were followed and the medical information supports the fact that the baby was pronounced stillborn. The ministry says a team has also visited the 17 year old mother, who is their focus at this time. But, the newborn's grandmother, Yolanda Molina - who is the chairlady of Blackman Eddy village - said she is still not satisfied because she has not gotten any answer from the ministry. She remains convinced based on the pictures that her grandson died in the morgue. She said her daughter continues to have a very difficult time with the loss - and that the ministry has only visited once which was yesterday afternoon.

"Occupy Belmopan" Draws 40 On First Day
Lately, you've heard a lot from the R-O-C - the Rod Of Correction, a collective of 11 social partners and activist groups who are fighting government on various fronts. One strident activist who wasn't called to the table is Patrick Menzies of Belize Can. At one time, he was in the activist's circle, but his radical pronouncements, and stern ultimatums have sort of left him on the fringe, with the Belize Evangelical Association most recently saying he was on his own. Still, Menzies retains a cluster of religious pastors in his executive - mostly Spanish speaking evangelical preachers, and he relied on that to launch his latest effort - which is based on the central demand for government to withdraw the gender policy completely. It's called "Occupy Belmopan" - and like the Wall Street movement it borrows its name from, he plans to occupy Independence Plaza at the foot of the National Assembly stairs, starting at 8:00 this morning and continuing until the policy is withdrawn. Here's how day one went: Reporter "What are you really asking for? What are you asking the Prime Minister to do?" Patrick Menzies - Representatives, Spanish Arm of Evangelist Churches "We are asking for a retraction of the gender policy. If they want to work with the church, the Evangelicals and put something together so that they can agree on something that their deal, but we want all the LGBT out.

Boaters Beware! Manatees Mating On City Coast
June is manatee-mating season - and today we saw a herd of male manatees following a single female along the Belize City coastline. We found them thrashing around near Bally Gardens, that's where the female had come right up to the shore - to try and escape her many suitors. That's right, this is nature at its wildest, not a romance novel - and as manatee expert Jamal Galvez explained - during the time when she is in estrous (what we would call "heat,"), life for the female marine mammal is difficult, and physically stressful. In fact, it's perilous for the whole herd following her - and that's why boaters also have to be extra cautious:.. Jamal Galvez, Sea to Shore Manatee Pgm Coordinator "Normally the female when it get estrous "in heat" it draws a lot of males. You could find 20-30 males chasing one female at any point in time and it can go on for a week to two weeks." Jules Vasquez "All this splashing about and turbulence we are seeing here is not courtship, it's actually the males are trying to initiate pretty much by force coitus." Jamal Galvez "Correct, unlike human beings we have the privilege of who we mate or who we date. Manatees'don't get that choice, it's the dominant males, and normally the stronger males is the one that gets there. Sometimes you have more than one dominant male fighting among each other - not necessarily fighting, but trying to get closer to the female. Normally we would see this very close to shore, mainly to aid the female.

IDB Funds Belizean Bird Bonanza For Tour Guides
Belize is big for bird watchers, and now a new programme funded by The Inter-American Development Bank and implemented by the Belize Audubon Society and the BTB hopes to capitalize on that. The 2.6 million US dollar project will be shared between four countries: Belize, Bahamas, Guatemala and Paraguay. In Belize, funds will be used to introduce birding as a specialized field of study for tour guides. The programme was launched today at the Radisson, and Amanda Burgos-Acosta of the Audubon Society explains how it will work:... Amanda Burgos, Executive Director - Belize Audubon Society "We have very good birding tour guides. What this does in their cases is that they will then be certified and for new tour guides it's an opportunity because there will be a course in essence offered through the BTB to get a specialization." John Beavers, Executive Director - Int'l Alliance Programme "What we are trying to do is connect the global birding market to these important conservation areas to begin to drive the economic development of communities there, so there is that overlay of the economics, important areas for biodiversity like here in Cockscomb and Crooked Tree which are the two places that we are initially focusing on."

Education Minister: PSE Score Errors Not Unusual
Last night we told you about the major mix-up in PSE grades at Louisiana government School. Standard six student Jose Arciga was the only student in the country to get perfect score of 50 on the math paper one - but his score was recorded as 20. And so while he should have been in the top five, he wasn't even listed in the top 30. His vice Principal Enrique Ayuso explained how it was resolved:... Enrique Ayuso, Vice Principal - Louisiana Government School "He now has 365 total points and that brings him at the second place of our district ranking when it comes to the PSE and puts him in 5th place in the national 25." Education Minister Patrick Faber says Arciga's grade was a data entry error. Two other students at that same school got negative scores which is impossible. So how far reaching are the errors, and could ti affect your child? Today Minister Faber told us the results are always preliminary and the ministry will make it official when they have given sufficient time for review. He adds that there are normally a number of errors - and the ministry can't certify everything that is in the preliminary release.

Prof. Brendan Bain Will Fight UWI
Jamaican Professor Brendan Bain made headline news all over the Caribbean when he was terminated from his post at the University of the West Indies CHART program. Well, his termination was supposed to have taken effect on Sunday, June 15, but Bain got a last minute reprieve from the Jamaican Supreme Court. On Friday, Bain's lawyer applied for an injunction in the courts, which was granted; it will remain in effect until the outcome of his pending lawsuit to challenge the decision to terminate his service. Bain was issued with a letter from UWI in May after 33 lobby groups and activist organization in the Caribbean complained about his testimony he gave in the UNIBAM challenge in the Belize Supreme Court. They called it "anti-gay", and demanded that he has lost the confidence of the vulnerable groups that the CHART initiative targets in trying to deal with HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Fire In the Lake
There was a fire early this morning at the corner of Mahogany and Jasmine Streets. Nigerian Prince Nyathi reported to police that he closed his business at around 9 last night, and he was then alerted that it was completely on fire at around 3:30 this morning. The area resident who called police to respond to the fire spoke to us about what she observed at the house: Rhonda Gomez - Neighbour "After 3 this morning I heard a noise outside and I got up and I peep through the window, but I didn't see anything. I heard the dog barking and I didn't study it, so I went to lie down. I heard the noise again and my kids father was telling me that big fire over at Prince and when I look I saw the big flame of fire and then I call the fire station and nobody answered and I call the police and so they told me that they will get in touch with the fire station. I came outside and I saw the blazing fire. We couldn't do anything."

UB Graduates 408, Welcomes New President
408 students graduated from the University of Belize in Belmopan on Saturday - which is where the new President of the school Allan Slusher was introduced. Taking over from President Carey Fraser's abbreviated term, he told the gathering he hopes to transform the institution:.. Alan Slusher, President - UB "It is a happy day for me too, as I join with the staff of UB to re-energize this institution to move it towards its ultimate destiny: a first class source of information, knowledge, understanding, and wisdom; an institution of which all Belizeans can be proud. In other words, a first class university. I have a message for the graduates, It may sound trite, but it is what has guided me through many years. And it is this: No matter what your age, you are still educating yourself, because education is a lifelong process that stops only when you cease to be." Darrell Bradley, Mayor - Belize City "Recognizing that you are in permanent makes you appreciate the importance of legacy. It makes you constantly think about how you will be and want to be remembered in this world. It makes you avoid mediocrity and it forces you to spend the limited time that you have only doing big and wonderful things. It makes you avoid the so-called haters whose only objected in life is to rob you from your page in the history books."

Artist Vivar En Vivo A tBze-Mex Institute
The Institute of Mexico in Belize is opening a new art exhibit at this hour. It features the works of self-taught painter and sculptor Carlos Vivar. He's a well established Mexican stylist - and Marcelino Miranda discussed his works:.. Marcelino Miranda, Press Officer, Mexican Embassy "And he is presenting a very interesting work in which he integrates some pre-Hispanic elements of pre-Hispanic codex in his paintings. Some of the colors also are from those that are integrated and its an interesting technique. He is mostly doing oil on canvas."

Peer Education For Young Drivers
2014 has been a terrible year for road traffic fatalities - which in an unfortunate coincidence, is happening at the same time that government is rolling out the Road Safety programme. But adversity presents opportunity, and the road safety unit is reaching out to teens and young adults as peer educators - to teach their contemporaries about the hazards of reckless driving. The first day of the two-week training session facilitated by international experts was held yesterday at the George Price Center in Belmopan. We found out how it works: Crispin Jeffries, Chief Transport Officer "We believe this workshop have selected the young persons we believe that will be able to deliver a road safety training to young persons across the country." Floyd Sutton, Director - YOURS "We are going to train 18 youth leaders from Belize to be youth advocate and to be peer educators. These new trainers they will go out into the schooling systems and community centers to reach in total 2,000 young people to spread the message in a youth friendly way about alcohol during driving and on speeding and distracted driving."

Epic World Cup Match
Channel 7 viewers got to see an awesome world cup matchup this afternoon as Mexico took on host country Brazil in the city of Fortaleza. We may be partial to our northern neighbors, but the game was definitely one of the best of Cup, so far. Mexico's goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa was heroic as he made 7 saves, many of them spectacular and at close range, confounding the home crowd who wanted Brazil to win and advance with three points. Instead after 90 minutes, it was a draw, meaning that both teams got one point, leaving Brazil at the top of Group A, and Mexico in second. If you missed the epic match, it repeats tonight at 8:00 right here on Channel 7, the exclusive broadcaster of the FIFA World Cup 2014 sponsored by BTL.

Channel 5

There's a new board to the Belize Airports Authority
Months after its destitution, the Belize Airports Authority has a newly reconstituted board of directors. The former board was invited to step down in the wake of the Castro Checks [...]

Occupy Belmopan - alliance of church leaders pray plague on Barrow Administration
The Alliance of Leaders and Ministers of Belize, led by Belize Can President Patrick Menzies today initiated the first phase of a move called Occupy Belmopan. The group is calling [...]

From Harmonyville to Holy Emmanuel to Belama Phase Five - squatters to be evicted
From Harmonyville to Holy Emmanuel and now, Belama Phase Five�squatting continues to be a pervasive issue. On April third, a number of families were chaotically evicted from the Holy Emmanuel [...]

Is the judicial system is collapsing?
And our question for tonight is: Do you believe the judicial system is collapsing? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on [...]

Audubon Executive speaks on letter sent to Cabinet Subcommittee
The Italian investors of the proposed billion-dollar Puerto Azul mega tourism development project on Northern Caye and Sandbore Caye, within the Lighthouse Reef Atoll, arrived in the country this afternoon. [...]

Who holds the title to the proposed site of the Puerto Azul development?
On Saturday, the media was taken on a tour of the proposed site of the Puerto Azul Development. While the images offered a clear view of the pristine state of [...]

3 high schools to merge - some teachers stand to lose their jobs
The academic year 2013 officially came to an end last Friday for high schools across the country.� While most students are currently enjoying the beginning of their summer vacation, teachers [...]

The joint union negotiating team comments on collective bargaining agreement
The joint union negotiating team has signed off on a salary adjustment of six percent, while the increment for those public officers who are eligible will be two and a [...]

2 men acquitted of sexual crimes
A Caye Caulker businessman, who was accused of sexually assaulting a thirteen year-old student on the island more than a year ago, was today freed of the sexual offense of [...]

The story of a stillborn whose grandmother claims he didn't die at birth
An investigation is now completed at the Western Regional Hospital where a young mother was told her baby was stillborn. Allisha Bell says that before she was wheeled into the [...]

Fire guts a house in the city
A fire gutted a small concrete house at the corner of Mahogany Street Extension and Jasmine Street. Sometime around three-thirty this morning, the fire erupted and minutes later it was [...]

Cargo truck of contraband cigarettes busted by Guatemalan police
A cargo truck carrying more than fifty cartons of contraband cigarettes was busted by Guatemalan police. Today's edition of Prensa Libre reports that the cargo originated from Belize; the bust [...]

It's manatee mating season
Sightings of manatees in our coastal waters are no rare occurrence, in fact, the large sea mammals are usually spotted near the mouth of the Belize River.� What is uncommon [...]

Audubon hosts kickoff meeting to develop bird-based tourism
You've heard about eco-tourism, sex tourism, cruise tourism, overnight tourism�even medical tourism. What about bird-based tourism? The International Audubon Organization is meeting with both private and public sector partners to [...]

Art exhibit launched at the Mexican Institute
The Mexican Institute today launched an exhibition by prolific artist and sculptor, Carlos Vivar. He has studied and worked all over the world, and his art has been exhibited in [...]


Two Persons Charged For Robbery At Money Gram Agent
Last week Monday we reported on the broad daylight robbery of the Travel Concierge and Money Gram Agent located on Otro Benque Road, where robbers netted over 6 thousand dollars and made good their escape with a third person in the getaway car. But criminal's freedom was short lived since the police made a breakthrough in the case and the men are tonight behind bars. According to police, the grey in color SUV type vehicle was sighted by police on patrol on Friday about 9:45am leading to the detention of 22 year old Rigoberto Rosado, Belizean laborer of Riverside Street. Upon further investigation, police detained 26 year old Kevin Albert Flowers, Belizean construction worker of Smith Sonia Street, Orange Walk Town.

Police Confiscates Home Made Silencer
On Friday Orange Walk Police managed to get their hands on a firearm not often found in Belize. We are talking about a .22 silencer which was discovered at a home in the Village of Trinidad. The firearm was discovered on Friday morning at around 10:30 when police executed a search at the residence of 54 year old Julio Rene Amador. Present at the time of the search was 31 year-old Nayef Khodr Agha, a Lebanese National of Gentle Avenue Belize City and 31 year old Joel Armando Moh of corner Gentle and Meighan Avenues in Belize City. The .22 silencer was found with its magazine containing (4) .22 rounds. Police also discovered (2) boxes of ammunition containing a total of 59 rounds of .22 ammunition and a vehicle oil filter adapted to be used as a sound suppresser for the firearm.

Ramon Cervantes Elected As Standard Bearer For O/W North Consituency
In the month of March Hon. John Brice�o, Hon. Jose Abelardo Mai and Hon. Marco Tulio Mendez were endorsed as PUP Standard Bearer's for Orange Walk Central, Orange Walk South and Orange Walk East respectively. This means they will once again seek office in the next General Elections. And on Sunday the PUP completed the slate for Orange Walk as voters of the north constituency elected their Standard Bearer. Three men threw their hat in the political ring, Alfredo Ortega, Ramon Monchie Cervantes and Jaime Castillo. Reporter Victor Castillo has the story. Victor Castillo - Reporting The doors of the polling station at Trial Farm Gov't School were open at 8am and slowly PUP party supporters started to show up with flags, banner and T- shirts ready to support their favorite candidate.

SHINE Mission Offers Free Medical Service
A group of over twenty medical professionals are in Belize offering free medical services in Orange Walk Town. They are part of the SHINE mission which stands for Serving Him in Nations Everywhere. The group is primarily from the US and it is there first time in Belize. Ernesto Frausto - Director "Primera vez que venimos aqu� a Belice y como le digo hemos estado en diferentes pa�ses y creo que vamos a regresar nuevamente porque no han encantado la comida y sobre todo la comunidad en este lugar." Dalila Ical - Reporter "Entonces que les hizo venir a aqu�?" Ernesto Frausto - Director "Bueno normalmente nosotros nos basamos en la que pasa a nivel mundial, nuestra conferencia general en los Estados Unidos eval�a en lugares en que hay m�s necesidades y ellos decidieron tener la Campania aqu� en el pa�s de Belice. Me gustar�a que las familias de Belice vinieran para que tuvieran estos servicios completamente gratis y como vuelvo a repetir con todo el amor de nuestros corazones, venimos gente de Canad�, de los Estados Unidos, de M�xico, de Nicaragua y el Salvador, todos de la misma iglesia de Dios del S�ptimo D�a."

BelizeCan Calls On Government To Completely Retract Gender Policy
The Alliance of Ministers of Belize led by activist Patrick Menzies is back on the campaign to get government to retract the revised Gender Policy. This time the group has organized and will be staging their discontent with the policy and with government's reluctance to heed their call, tomorrow at Belmopan. "It's basically it is humongous like a church service per say where we pray, we sing, we learn about what the bible says about this gender policy, we also care and teach he people where we stand constitutionally in Belize and the fact that Belize is a blessed nation and we have a constitution that actually directs the government to listen to the will of the people and we are pushing the government of Belize to listen to the will of the people of Belize and to retract completely the gender policy, if they want to fix it in the back room later on that is fine but retract because it is already been implemented, the laws passed last December last year were part of the directive that came from that same gender policy."

Unusual Descrepancy At PSE Results
The PSE results have been issued and the top scorers have been announced but while there are celebrations there are also many concerns, at least for a select few students and their teachers. That is where the administration at Louisiana Government School is after they sighted inconsistencies in the results of at least four students. One of these results is of primary concern as the adjustments propel one student into the top five best performers in the country. He is Jose Arciga whose math grades were not consistent to his performance in school. This sent red flags way up for his teachers who made inquiries and discovered that indeed the young man is among the top performers for this year. Enrique Ayuso - Vice Principal "One grade, which is the math paper one. He got a hundred percent pass in the problem solving which is 50/50 and his paper one showed that he only got 20/50 which is 40%, so we query that and we got a respond from Friday saying that the error was corrected and in fact he did get a hundred percent pass in math paper one. Hi name is Jose Aresiga and he now has 365 total points and that bring him as the second on our district ranking when it comes to the PSE and that puts him in fifth place in the national 25."

MOE Has Been Vocal On Performance Of Students In The PSE
Queries and changes aside, the question is where do the results place the Orange Walk District compared to the other districts? The Ministry of Education has been vocal about the overall performance of student in the PSE as not being too good. In fact, Ministry officials have been open about the need to implement strategies for improved performance. In the case of Orange Walk, this year the performance was satisfactory but there are areas where there is a clear need for improvement. Carla Alvarez - District Education Manager "The initial result shows that Orange Walk continues to perform the best in terms of country wide and this has been a pattern at least for the five years that I have been here, we have been doing well but, a closer analysis will be able to distinguish where exactly we need to improve in and for us is basically the problem solving, comprehension but I haven't as yet analyzed it for this year but that has been the trend for the last couple of years."

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Mexican Artist Showcases Works in Belize
As part of a Central American Tour, 50-year-old, Carlos Vivar has brought his art canvases and sculptures to the Mexican Institute where his exhibition entitled, Contemporary Mexico will be unveiled tonight at seven o'clock. The Public Relations Officer for the Mexican Institute in Belize City, Marcelino Miranda spoke to the media to tell us what can be expected. MARCELINO MIRANDA "The Mexican Embassy is very proud to present this exhibition by a Mexican artist, who has a long career in Mexico and internationally. We are going to have an opportunity to look at his most recent works and he's presented different images of contemporary Mexico that is the title of the exhibition, Contemporary Mexico. So, the public will have this chance to look at images from the countryside, from more urban images and he's using specifically oil on canvas and he's having these big floor mats for his paintings and his style is figurative and abstract mainly. This exhibition has started in Mexico and it is now being presented in Belize then it will we presented in the rest of Central America. We are inviting the general public; I think it's going to be a very good opportunity especially for young artists and for children as well. A part of his work, he's inspired by pre-Hispanic or pre-Columbian codecs from central Mexico and at the same time, people will identify certain images of Mexico. For example, the Agave plant where the tequila comes from and also other images of Mexico like churches but especially more images about the urban areas of Mexico. People will see the reference also to schools that are incorporated into Mexican culture specifically at the time of the day of the dead."

Belize CAN Adopts The Occupy Movement
Occupy Belmopan started today with more than a hundred and fifty persons. The protest-like initiative is being led by Patrick Menzies of Belize Can with demands to the Government revolving around five key requests, most of which relate to the Revised Gender Policy 2013. Menzies explained: PATRICK MENZIES "Our main focus is the gender policy that it be retracted and once they retract it they can take off all the LGBT agenda and just leave it as a woman's agenda; we support the women's agenda. We are also asking (2) that gender be declared officially as either male or female because the gender policy has it as the role played by male or female which can be played by a transgender or anybody else; (3) we are asking for an end to victimization to a policy or law like a whistleblower's law; (4) we are asking that the preamble of the constitution be protected so that they don't change preamble to add the LGBT to the agenda or anything else; (5) we are asking that Section 60 of the Criminal Code that was changed in December that makes it illegal to spank your child or you go to jail if the child is below the age of 12; you go to jail for 15 years minimum, maximum to life and UNICEF says that if you spank your child that is called child abuse and if the child is between 12 and 17, you go to child for ten to fifteen years. We want that law clarified; what does ill treatment mean? So, that it is not a broad net to catch me when I spank my child or anybody else and the funny thing is that Patrick Faber was the very same one that told us that he would never allowed corporal punishment to come out of the home and he is the same that was the Chair that approved that mess and so we are fighting against it."

Man Stabbed Whilst Walking Home in Belize City
Fifty year old Wayne "Bomb" Jones is recuperating at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City after being stabbed last week. According to Jones, he was going home in the wee hours of Friday morning when a man came out of nowhere and attacked him on Lancaster Street in Belize City. According to Jones he was stabbed on his back with a butcher knife and left for dead. WAYNE JONES "I was going home on Thursday night about after twelve and a man just approached me out of the blue and asked me what I was doing around here. The man got off his bicycle and stabbed me in my back with a butcher knife then he got back on his bicycle and left me there bleeding. This happened after twelve last Thursday night; I was going home and he just came out of nowhere and stabbed me. I fell to the ground and I yelped out because I felt like the knife bucked but no one came out to help and I started walking to the hospital and I was yelling for help but no one helped me. I managed to walk to the stop light by Cinderella Plaza but then I passed out."

Mother of Two Cries Rape
A 19-year-old girl is alleging that she was raped at gunpoint on Friday, June 13 in Belize City. The young mother of two reported to police that her rapist was a 65-year-old man known to her family. She says that on Friday, sometime after 3 o'clock, the man picked her up as he had promised to show her some apartments that were up for rent around miles 8 on the George Price Highway. They set out on the highway and drove for a bit when the man reportedly made a left turn into Homeland Memorial Park. With a gut feeling that something was about to go wrong, the young mother reported that she asked the man where they were going and his only response was that they were going to his property. They continued down a dirt road for about five minutes when the man then made a left turn and headed to a secluded area underneath a tree where he parked his pickup truck. It was at that point the woman's nightmare began as she said the man pulled out his licensed revolver and demanded that she take off her clothes. Fearing for her life, she did as she was told and with a gun pointed at her face, the girl was forced to have sexual intercourse with the man. According to the woman, it didn't end there as the man then forced her pose nude while he took photos of her. As what can only be summed up as an act of intimidation, the man then reportedly fired a warning shot in the air. Police took a statement from the woman on the following day. The accused is yet to be apprehended as police says the investigation is ongoing.

Traffic Accident in Western Belize Leaves Child Hospitalized
A child remains hospitalized following a traffic incident on Monday in the Cayo District. We hear more in this report from correspondent Fem Cruz. FEM CRUZ "A road traffic accident yesterday evening on the George Price Highway has left 7-year-old student, Rory Datson hospitalized. According to 32-year-old, Delmar Herrera, a resident of Benque Viejo Road, on Monday, June 16 just after five o'clock, he was driving his blue Hyundai Santa Fe from the village of Camalote enroute to San Ignacio Town. Upon reaching the village of Teakettle between miles 52 and 53, a child on bicycle suddenly rode across the highway in front of him and in order to avoid hitting the child, Herrera swerved left but the child was still clipped by the vehicle. The vehicle then crashed into a culvert as it came to a stop in a nearby drain. The child was rushed to the Western Regional Hospital suffering from a large cut wound to the forehead and the back of the head along with abrasions to the left hand and foot. He remains hospitalized and is stable. A notice of intended prosecution has been served to Herrera by the Police Department."

Belize and Mexico Work on Trade Mission
Pro-Mexico and the Mexican Embassy in Belize are inviting local entrepreneurs to participate in another Mexican Trade Mission scheduled for this week. The first session will be held on Wednesday at the Mexican Embassy and on Thursday June 19, another session will be held at the Mexican Institute in Belize City. Javier Aguilar is in charge of trade affairs and tourism at the Mexican Embassy and explained the objective is to strengthen the trade relations between Mexico and Belize. JAVIER AGUILAR "On Wednesday it is going to be at the Mexican Embassy in Belmopan and on the 19th it is going to be at the Institute of Mexico in Belize. It consists of a group of companies that are coming from Mexico to offer their wide variety of products and services and also for potential partners to invest here in Belize or also find providers that might be of their interest and get imported from Mexico. There are different kinds of products; some of them are related to the food industry like jams, concentrates, drinks, wines, liquors, salsa, vinegar, vanilla and other things like that and there are certain companies that are related more to power industry like industrial solvents, chemical products, water proof coatings and there are a couple companies that are specifically related to software development like products for solutions for E-Government, CRM software and GPS. Also there is a company that specializes on chemical products for the water treatment particularly for the tourist industry for swimming pools; we are also going to be bringing water pumps and environmental sanitizers."

Fire Destroys Home In Lake Independence
Officials are investigating the cause of an early morning fire that destroyed a building in Belize City. 48-year-old businessman Bokang Nyathi told police he left his business place at the corner of Mahogany Street Extension and Jasmine Street properly secured and when he made checks just before four o'clock this morning he saw it was destroyed by fire. He said the building did not have electricity nor was it insured. One of the neighbors, Rhonda Gomez, told us that the incident might have been arson. RHONDA GOMEZ "About after three this morning I heard a noise outside and so, I got up and I peeped through the window but I didn't see anything and I heard the dogs barking but I paid it no mind and I went back to bed. Then the father of my children told me that there was a big fire over at Prince and when I looked outside I saw the big blaze and so, I called the fire station but no one answered and so, I called the police and they told me they would get in touch with the fire department. When I went over there I saw the big blaze but we couldn't do anything. My husband got on his bike and went by his house at the burying ground and he told him that his house was on fire. I believe it is arson because I heard a man who is always in the neighborhood say he would burn down his house because they had a quarrel over mango. The fire trucks came long after but it didn't take them long to put it out because when they came it was almost burnt out."

Farmers Say No To Negotiations with Green Tropics
On Thursday, June 12 we told you about the thirty plus farmers and their families from Valley of Peace who had received a letter from the attorney of Green Tropics giving them notice to remove themselves from the land. Love News has been reporting that the crops that the farmers planted were damaged by aerial spraying done by Green Tropics some months back and as a result the farmers demanded that they be compensated and after meeting with representatives from Green Tropics�.but right after that things started to take a twist as it was found out that the land on which the farmers planted their vegetables belonged to Green Tropics and now, based on this letter that the farmers received, they are officially being evicted with a deadline of July 15 at 3pm. Well, that was the story up to last Thursday�.now today, based on a release issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources, an attempt was made to bring both parties to the negotiating table with an objective of settling the matter outside of the legal purview. That attempt to resolve the matter between the Valley of Peace Farmers Association and Green Tropics Limited led to an initial meeting held last Thursday where some progress was made as there were several points of agreement that were identified and only three points pending further negotiations.


His Powerful Love for you, Endures Forever
The verse of this week is taken from Psalm 100: 5 �“For the Lord is sweet, his mercy endures for ever, and his truth to generation and generation”.

Environmentalists Ask to be Consulted on Puerto Azul
The proposed project at Northern 2 Caye in the Lighthouse Atoll known as Puerto Azul has caught the attention of environmentalists who have raised alarm bells about both the ecological and economic implications of a project on a scale that is as grand as proposed. Prime Minister Dean Barrow...

Caye Caulker Man Freed of Sex Charge
Today 42 year old tattoo shop operator Gerald Dawson, originally of Caye Caulker but now residing in Orange Walk Town, was acquitted of indecent assault against a 13 year old girl. On May 23, 2013 he was accused of biting the girl’s neck during a sexual encounter. The owner...

FFB Stadium Renovations Could Hinder Belize's Participation in 2014 CONCACAF Champions League
The 2014 CONCACAF Champions League tournament is slated to start on the 5th of August. �Belize, represented by the Belmopan Bandits in this tournament, is matched up with Metapan from El Salvador, and Leon, the National Champions of Mexico. While our own national champions are undergoing serious training, the...

Boaters, Beware! Manatee Mating Season is Underway!
Every year around this time, the gentle manatees get a little aggressive – or at least the males do, as they chase down their favorite female partner to mate. It’s going on right now at the mouth of the Belize River, and we had a front row seat today....

Belize Can "Occupies Belmopan" in Protest of Gender Policy
Belizean activist Patrick Menzies is known for his very direct approach to the Government as it pertains to the Gender Policy. His latest attempt to get the Government's attention� is not a one day event, however, it is for, and we quote ” as long as it takes”.� This...

Ministry of Natural Resources Mediates on the Valley of Peace Farmers Issue
We’ve heard from both sides of the ongoing dispute between the Valley of Peace Farmers Association and Green Tropics Limited. Today the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture, who has since been acting as a mediator between the two parties, sent out a press release to update on the...


Wayne "Bomb" Jones stabbed and left for dead
A former footballer who was recognized as one of Belize's best goalkeepers two and a half decades ago almost lost his life in a tragic stabbing incident that took place while he was making his way home early last Friday morning on Lancaster Street near Freetown Road on Belize City's northside. While the incident is yet to be reported by police, Amandala today visited Wayne "Bomb" Jones, 50, at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he is presently recuperating from his injury. He told us that it was a completely senseless incident in which he was targeted by an apparently idle-minded assailant, for no known reason. Still obviously shaken and traumatized, Jones said, "I was going home Friday morning about after 12:00 midnight and a man came out of the blue and asked me what I was doing around there, after which he jumped off his bike, stabbed me in my back with a butcher knife, jumped back on his bike, gone and left me right there to bleed out." Jones told us that when he suffered the wound, he fell to the ground and shrieked in pain, and he felt that he was going to die there and then.

Court will hear Castro's defamation claim
At the height of the Penner passport scandal that has rocked the Dean Barrow administration, a whistleblower, Alverine Burgess, came forward with allegations that she has paid Minister of State Edmund Castro for up to 200 visas for foreign nationals. But Castro has vehemently denied the allegation and has taken out a lawsuit for defamation against Great Belize Production, the parent company of Channel 5, which aired the story, and Burgess, the whistleblower. The parties were in court today. An in-chamber hearing was held this afternoon in the courtroom of Supreme Court Justice Courtenay Abel, who is preparing the way with the parties to hear the defamation claim filed by Minister of State Edmund Castro. At the last hearing, the attorney for Channel 5, Senior Counsel Godfrey Smith, had submitted an application that under the provisions of Section 35 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, the case should be struck out, because the necessary complaint was made to the Integrity Commission.

Luke must pay Belize Bank $29.4 mil!
Submissions were made this morning in the Court of Appeal in an application by businessman Luke Espat to appeal the Supreme Court decision of last November, when Justice Courtenay Abel ruled that Espat owes the Belize Bank $29.4 million for loans that he had personally guaranteed for his companies that have subsequently gone into receivership. When the court delivered its ruling in the afternoon session, the three Appeal Justices denied Espat's application for leave to appeal the lower court's decision. The refusal of the Court of Appeal to hear an appeal from Espat effectively leaves him on the hook for $29.4 million to the Belize Bank. On October 18, 2013, the Supreme Court handed down a 25-page judgment in respect of Espat's companies. The companies for which he had signed a personal loan guarantee are Indeco Enterprises for $12,166,995.48 and 1,028,347.21 million; Belize Crocodile and Reptile Breeders for $11,540,988.32 million; and Belize Ready Mix Concrete for $4,696,291.32 million.

Pregnant Alley gang member executed
At about 10:30 Friday, June 13, morning, the gun violence that has been plaguing the city claimed yet another life, this time that of Taylor Alley gang member Tulio "Pinelo" Caseres, 30, a resident of Taylor Alley, better known as "Pregnant Alley," who is a building inspector employed at the Housing and Planning Department, located on North Front Street in Belize City. Caseres was killed by a determined gunman who chased him and shot him at the junction of Majestic Alley and North Front Street, almost in front of City Hall. Caseres collapsed and died almost instantly from the many gunshots he suffered. His family members, who went to the scene shortly after he was killed, saw him sprawled on the road, and burst out crying. Superintendent Gualberto Garcia, Commander of Precinct 3 Police, which is located at the nearby Queen Street Police Station, told the media in a press brief held at about 2:30 Friday afternoon at the Queen Street Police Station, that Caseres was socializing in the park in Majestic Alley, in front of City Hall, under a plum tree with some men, who were sitting around a picnic table, when he was attacked.

Jasmine Street youth, 17, survives murder attempt
A 17-year-old young man from the St. Martin De Porres area of Belize City came face to face with death after being ambushed near his home sometime after 10:00 last night. According to police, Clinton Pou was coming from Tibruce Street, heading towards his home at #179 Jasmine Street. While walking on Poinsetta Street (which connects the two streets), a dark-complexioned man approached Pou from behind, pointed a handgun in his direction, and fired a shot which caught Pou in the right cheek and exited through the left side of his neck. Fortunately, the shooting victim was not seriously injured, and today, Amandala spoke to his mother, Dorla Foreman, who told us that when she heard the shot, her son - who went looking for his girlfriend - immediately came to mind, for some reason. Foreman said that she left Pou at home and she would normally be at church at that time, but had instead gone to make an unusual visit to the house of one of her neighbors for leisure purposes. While there, she said, she was beset by a dreadful, uncomfortable feeling.

New UB prez appointed
Former advisor to the Prime Minister, Alan Slusher, has been formally appointed president to the University of Belize (UB) with effect from June 1, 2014. In his role as president, Slusher will head the university's senior management team, currently comprising an Interim Provost, Director of Finance, and Director of Human Resources. Slusher is the sixth president to be named head of UB since 2000, and replaces Dr. Carey Fraser, who left UB abruptly. It is known that Fraser did not see eye-to-eye with the UB Board of Trustees and the Minister of Education, Patrick Faber. While Slusher's appointment is with effect from June 1, he was holding the post as interim president since April. Slusher was first appointed in the public sector as Governor of the Central Bank of Belize in 1985.

EDITORIAL: A bad state of affairs
We say that we have strong governments in Belize under the Ministerial constitution which came into effect with the general election of March 1961. We describe the various governments since then as "strong," because, no matter how narrow their election victory or how violent the protests sparked by specific crises, all our governments finish their five-year term of office, unless they themselves choose, for whatever the reason(s), as in June of 1993 and March of 2012, to seek an early renewal of mandate. The violent crises which have occurred in Belize, such as the Heads of Agreement in March of 1981 and the union-led protests of January/February 2005, do not take place along ethnic, religious, or geographical (District) lines. Our crises have a national characteristic and generally take place along party political lines. In early 2003, the United States, planet earth's only superpower, invaded a nation-state in the Middle East known as Iraq. Iraq was being ruled at the time by a strong arm dictator named Saddam Hussein. Hussein had come to power by force of arms, supported by a minority Sunni Muslim political party. In neighboring Iran, which is basically a Shiite Muslim state, forces loyal to the Ayatollah Khomeini, a religious leader, in 1979 had overthrown a monarchical dictatorship run by the Shah of Iran, a leader who had been supported by successive United States governments. The United States then supported Iraq's Saddam Hussein in a war he waged from 1980 to 1988 against Khomeini's Iran.

From The Publisher
Our overall management system at Kremandala is relatively loose. In a sense, it's as if everyone is his or her own boss. The system works well for some individuals, who flourish in the atmosphere of freedom. Every now and then, however, there emerges an individual who is afflicted with tunnel vision, which is to say, that individual only sees what he or she wishes to see, ignoring the peripheral side of things. Such an individual can get out of control when management allows too much individual initiative. At the newspaper, individual freedom is automatically regulated by the assembly line reality. What I mean is that most workers must complete their specific assignment in order for another worker to begin work on the unfinished product which will become the newspaper you read. For example, the journalist has to research and write/type his or her story before the copy editor and the proofreaders can go over the material. That material, after editing and proofreading, then goes on to the pagemaker people, who use computers to set up the page dummy. This is proofread again, following which it is photographed by the lithographer in the darkroom, developed on film which is prepared on a light table by a technician before burning on a metal plate by the printers. After the printers roll the press, the pages go to the folding room for packaging by the collators. The newspapers are picked up before dawn on Tuesdays and Fridays for delivery to the main distribution depot, where independent vendors purchase at a wholesale price and then hit the streets to sell you at a retail price.

Bain sues UWI, secures injunction against termination
Amandala has confirmed from legal sources in Jamaica that Professor Brendan Bain - the head of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training (CHART) Network whose termination was announced after a lobby by the LGBT community and their supporters, calling for his removal by the University of the West Indies (UWI) - can continue to serve as head of the regional HIV body after the Jamaica Supreme Court ruled Friday, June 13, in his favor. The court issued an injunction to halt his termination pending the outcome of a lawsuit Bain has filed against UWI. In that suit, Bain is challenging the constitutionality of his termination, which was to take effect Sunday; he is also claiming damages. Today, CHART still lists Bain as CHART RCU Director - Professor of Community Health; Infectious Disease Specialist; Lead Coordinator of the University of the West Indies HIV/AIDS Response Programme (UWI-HARP); and Principal Investigator and Project Director - Caribbean Health Leadership Institute (CHLI).

Not so fast, Agriculture Ministry tells BGYEA
In spite of being the victors in a Supreme Court ruling which went in their favor last Friday, June 13, the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA) still find themselves in a position in which they are prohibited from carrying out a proposed corn-planting project in the Harmonyville Buffer Zone at Mile 41 on the George Price Highway. In a press release sent from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture today, the Government of Belize (GOB) indicated that it wanted to "clarify" the outcome of the court hearing involving the injunction order which was recently levied against the representatives of BGYEA and their investor, Sam Patton. After reiterating the complete scope of the interim injunction which was filed by GOB on May 22, the Ministry maintained that although the injunction expired last Friday, GOB is "at liberty by law to apply for another injunction," since the "substantive claim for trespass by way of Fixed Date Claim is scheduled to be heard on June 30, 2014."

Solicitor General's error leads judge to lift injunction against BGYEA
Less than 48 hours after Prime Minister Dean Barrow adamantly stated at his press conference that the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA) would not be allowed to plant corn in the so-called buffer zone at Harmonyville, the administration suffered a legal setback today when Supreme Court Justice, Courtney Abel, lifted the ex-parte injunction against BGYEA. Late last month, the Harmonyville community halted its plans to plant corn in an area of land that the Government, through the Lands Department, has designated as a road reserve in their settlement between Miles 41 and 42 on the George Price Highway. The roughly twenty-five acres of land that lies between the highway and the 1,325 acres which make up the Harmonyville community became a flashpoint issue between BGYEA and the government, when the latter obtained a Supreme Court injunction to prevent the planting of corn in the buffer area. But today, when the matter was scheduled to be argued in court, the submissions were never made when both parties met in the Chambers of Justice Abel. After the almost one-hour meeting, BGYEA's attorney, Audrey Matura Shepherd, emerged to brief the media on the outcome of the case.

Arana orders GOB and Maya to court-connected mediation
The four Maya communities-Conejo, Midway, Crique Sarco and Graham Creek-which have been battling the Government of Belize over the manner in which it wants to proceed with drilling inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park (STNP) in Toledo did not get the court injunction they had applied for, but shortly after 3:00 this evening, Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana handed down a decision ordering the parties to "court-connected mediation." Prime Minister Dean Barrow had said in his press conference last week that his administration would not hold discussions with the Sarstoon Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM), led by Maya leader and activist Greg Ch'oc, SATIIM's executive director, on this matter, but today's ruling means that Government is expected to engage SATIIM and the four claimant communities, who had chosen Ch'oc as their representative. "The communities are extremely upset and angry at what continues to transpire. A day will come when I cease to ask them to restrain themselves and when that day comes I am hoping that we are able to contain the anger of the community. For now, my duty is to try to channel that energy in using the courts as the medium through which we find a resolution," Ch'oc told Amandala.

House in Santa Elena partially destroyed by fire
The house of Olga August, 56, of Cemetery Road, Santa Elena, has been partially destroyed by fire. Two of the four bedrooms were completely destroyed, including all its contents, but the remainder of the two rooms just suffered heat and smoke damage. The incident occurred at about 8:20 yesterday morning, on Cemetery Road in Santa Elena, Cayo. Santa Elena fire officials, in an interview with Amandala, said that they received the fire call at about 8:20 yesterday morning, and they quickly went to the area and began fighting the fire. The fire was completely out within 20 minutes, they said. The cause of the fire is not yet known, said the fire official, and an investigation is being carried out by the Santa Elena Fire Department and the police.

IDB announces US$10 mil education loan for Belize
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced today that it has approved a US$10 million loan "designed to help Belize improve its primary education and the governance of its education system." The loan is for 25 years, with a grace period of 5 years. The interest rate is pegged to the LIBOR, meaning London Interbank Offered Rate - a variable London-based benchmark which represents lending rates between leading global banks. According to the IDB, the initiative is a part of a program to enhance the quality of primary education and governance of education system. "The program aims to prepare the teachers of today and tomorrow by supporting training institutes for new teachers and by training close to half of the country's current primary education teachers," the bank said.

GSU beat down father and son, then charged them for harm
A father and son who say they were both badly beaten by police over the weekend appeared in the Belize City Magistrate's Court this morning along with their attorney to answer to a number of charges [...]

Theft reported in Belize City and San Pedro
Boat and golf cart stolen Police report that a boat valued at $55,000 has been stolen from the Conch Shell Bay area of the city, and a golf cart valued at $16,000 has been stolen from [...]

Jealous park ranger shoots at his co-worker for talking to his girlfriend
Park ranger Oscar Gordon, 30, of Caves Branch Outpost, is unhurt after his co-worker and fellow park ranger fired a shotgun at him, but missed, due to the distance between them. The park ranger was about [...]

Walter Beaton, 40, shot twice near Cumberbatch Field
Bullets were flying once again over this past weekend in Belize City as a number of shooting incidents have been reported in which there were at least three shooting victims; however, none of those incidents proved [...]

Corozal conman impersonated CIB detective
Sayyed Jaffer Koya, 46, a businessman of 6th Avenue, Corozal Town, and owner of City Light Guest House at the same address in Corozal Town, was conned out of three days' rent money and a bicycle [...]

Attempted robbery of store on George Price Highway
The owner fired at the thieves; police later nabbed one Trevor Guy, 20, a Belize City resident who is one of three persons accused by police of attempting to rob Delcid Store at Mile 8 on [...]

Burglary in Corozal Town - over $800 in goods stolen
Corozal Police are seeking the thief or thieves who burglarized Corocell Repairs and Services on 5th Avenue, Corozal Town, between the hours of 6:30 p.m. on Friday 8:30 a.m. on Saturday. Waseem Khan, 38, a naturalized [...]

Arson in San Pedro
Four San Pedro men were released on bail of $6,000 each and ordered to return to court on July 24 after they were charged with arson and damage to property. Police say that at about 1:30 [...]

Dangriga woman chopped up
A Dangriga woman's neighbour entered her house at about 3:00 o'clock yesterday morning and inflicted several chop wounds to her for reasons that are not yet clear to police. Lanesha Balthazar, 19, of the Wagierale area, [...]

4 shots fired at 2 men on Antelope Street
A 17-year-old young man of an Antelope Street address reported to police that a man whom he knows only as "Froggie" fired about four shots at him while he was walking along with a friend on [...]

"Man of the Match"
Mariano "Man of the Match" in debut with Houston Hurricanes Belize national team player Evan Mariano, who signed a contract on June 5 with the Houston Hurricanes Football Club of the Texas Premier Soccer League (TPSL), [...]

Tigersharks win
Tigersharks win nailbiter over Western Ballaz in Game 1 of NEBL Finals series The inaugural National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) tournament began its championship Finals with a thrilling Game 1 yesterday at the Roman Catholic School [...]

TIDE Junior
TIDE Junior FWC Semifinals today, Finals on Friday The TIDE Junior Freshwater Cup (FWC) 2014 football tournament has reached the playoff stage, and the semifinals for primary school female and male teams were played today at [...]

CYDP Peace Cup
CYDP Peace Cup games results for Sunday, June 15 The CYDP Peace Cup tournament had 3 games yesterday, Sunday, at the Racoon Street Field in Week 2 of the competition. In game 1, Complex Admiral dropped [...]

Patrick JonesPJ

CAPPS Elects New Executive
The Cayo Association of Principals of Primary Schools elected new executive members during their final General Assembly for this school year , Thursday, June 12th, 2014. They will serve a two-year term. President - Alfred Serano;Vice- President - Pauline Gilharry; Secretary - Ingrid Cunil; Assistant Secretary - [�]

Belizean youth get training in road safety
A two weeks training project targeting youth and road safety started on Monday in Belmopan. Young men and women from all over the country are taking part in the training which is being held at the George Price Center in the nation's capital. Facilitators of the training are [�]

Caye Caulker man freed of sexual assault charge
Today 42 year old tattoo shop operator Gerald Dawson, originally of Caye Caulker but now residing in Orange Walk Town, was acquitted of indecent assault against a 13 year old girl. On May 23, 2013 he was accused of biting the girl's neck during a sexual encounter at [�]

Greg Choc says Prime Minister has a problem with him
On Monday following the unsuccessful application for a post-judgment injunction by Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) and the four Maya communities it represents against the Government of Belize and U.S. Capital Energy, executive director Gregory Ch'oc responded publicly to comments made last week by Prime Minister [�]

IDB grants funds for bird tourism
Belize is a popular site for bird-watching, but the Belize Audubon Society and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) believe it can become another product in the Belizean tourism package. The bank has granted the National Audubon Society, based in the United States, a total of $2.6 million from [�]

Boaters asked to beware mating manatees
Manatees are known for the gentleness and the hard luck associated with being run over by boat propellers from time to time. But when it is time to mate, they get a little aggressive - or at least the males do, as they chase down a heated female [�]

Environmentalists want consultation on Puerto Azul
The proposed project at Northern 2 Caye in the Lighthouse Atoll known as Puerto Azul has caught the attention of environmentalists who have raised alarm bells about both the ecological and economic implications of a project on a scale that is as grand as proposed. Prime Minister Dean [�]

Cotton Tree Village Council takes Government to court
The first hearing of a claim by the Village Council of Cotton Tree against the Ministry of Natural Resources took place before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin on Monday morning in the Supreme Court. The village complains that its consent was not obtained before a parcel was blocked out [�]

Valley of Peace farmers need assistance says area representative
We have been following the efforts of the farmers of Valley of Peace, Cayo, to seek a negotiated solution with Green Tropics Limited over destruction of valuable crops by herbicide spraying which occurred some months ago. Recently the attorney for Green Tropics appeared to slam the door on [�]

Fight over Harmonyville land continues
A statement issued on Monday by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture attempts to, in its words, "clarify" Friday's judgment of Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel in favour of the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA). While acknowledging that the court declined to continue the interim [�]


Birding in Belize - Six of the Best Spots
Belize sits within the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor, which stretches from Mexico through Central America and is home to a diverse range of birds and wildlife, helping to make the little country a birders' paradise, with some 618 resident species and visiting migrants sharing the rich biodiversity of Belize. At Chaa Creek alone, the Birds without Borders project, conducted in conjunction with the Zoological Society of Milwaukee and Foundation for Wildlife Conservation, recorded 308 different species within the eco-resort's 365-acre private nature reserve. Since that ambitious project, Chaa Creek has supported naturalist guides who are interested in broadening their knowledge of birds, so that there are now dedicated birding guides to share their experience and lead birdwatching expeditions. We're finding that, in addition to the people who come here specifically to enjoy this richly rewarding pastime, some guests have developed a passion for birding after getting their first taste of it at Chaa Creek.

San Pedro Lobster Festival in full swing
While some people are sadly experiencing June snow as you can see from the picture below, those in Belize are hot hot hot and enjoying San Pedro Lobster Festival in full swing. If you are wondering just how hot is it? San Pedro is a balmy 29C today but it feels like it could be 37c or higher and definitely multiple rinse downs throughout the day weather. Sunday night was the special vip dinner at Pirates Treasure restaurant just across the bridge, Monday Hol Chan Marine office and museum was the place to get stamped. Monday night Crazy Canucks was the hot spot for more lobster and live music. Today you can drop by Sunrise Realty on Front Street to get your passport stamped and a lobsterfest pin if there are any left. Tonight the feasting continues with Lobster Fest '74 Grill Night at Pineapples Restaurant located at Ramon's Village Resort.

International Sourcesizz

This Is What Your Flight Used To Look Like (And It's Actually Crazy)
great article, lots of fun links off the article also with additional information and photos�.. Air travel has come a long way since the 1950s, this we know. We're deep into our bizarre affection for SkyMall, personal TV screens and in-flight WiFi (not to mention WiFi in general). But in the 50s, flying was something different. It was something magical and marvelous. Air travel exploded into its Golden Age, and airplane trips weren't just a means of getting to your vacation -- they were a vacation in themselves. Passengers dressed in their finest to fly. They lined up for group photos before boarding. Riding an airplane made them feel like a movie star because it pretty much took the salary of a movie star to do so. But not everything was so rosy. If you took a flight in the 1950s...

4 Countries That Welcome American Retirees
Belize. Just over a decade ago the government of Belize enacted legislation to allow qualified retired persons to obtain permanent residency in their country. This is a quick and efficient program. As a QRP you could become a full-time resident of the country, but you can also enjoy the benefits if you spend as little as one month a year in Belize. Belize's QRP residency program isn't only for senior citizens. It's available to anyone age 45 or older, and it grants a host of incentives designed to encourage foreigners to come and bring their money. These incentives include a permanent exemption from Belizean taxes, including income tax, capital gains tax, estate tax and import tax on household goods, automobiles, boats and even airplanes. The only requirements to qualify for Belize's QRP program are that you be 45 or older, consider yourself to be retired and have at least $2,000 a month in guaranteed income to support yourself in Belize. While pension income can be shown to meet the last requirement, the easiest way to prove financial means is simply to deposit a minimum of $24,000 per year into a Belizean bank account. In practical terms, the "consider yourself to be retired" requirement means that, as a QRP, you can't apply for a work visa. This is not to say that you can't do international, Internet or even local Belize business as an entrepreneur. You just can't take a job working as an employee of someone else in Belize.

Invest in Belize: Retirement Paradise or Real Estate Scam?
He began to build a condo, but the labor cost was high His partner stole his money, that left him high and dry His land is still a mudhole, where you sink up to your knees And he's just another gringo in Belize -Lyrics to Jerry Jeff Walker's Gringo in Belize. The "gringo in Latin America" has a certain image: A ne'er-do-well in a panama hat and a guayabera with a terrible command of the local language and money from questionable sources - a walking caricature of a Jimmy Buffett song. But Latin America - and particularly Belize - has also long been a popular retirement destination for Americans, Canadians and Europeans looking to enjoy great weather and a fantastic lifestyle for considerably less than what they might pay in West Palm Beach, Fla., or Scottsdale, Ariz. Belize also has no taxes on income or property, making it an ideal escape - for those who want to live in or just invest in Belize - in an era of bankrupt government and creeping taxation. With the baby boomers now starting to retire en masse, the Central American retirement industry is booming - but unfortunately, so is the industry of scamming unwitting gringo retirees out of their nest eggs.

From Mine Excavations to ESPN, Arch Aerial Drones Fit Any Scenario
Why pilot a drone manually when it can pilot itself? That's exactly what Ryan Baker, founder of Arch Aerial, was thinking when he designed a multi-rotor drone to take to an archaeological dig in Belize. The terrain is harsh where he was headed, so he needed something that can loiter, hover, or auto-pilot a flight path outlined on Google Maps. And when all else failed, Baker wanted a drone that still had the option to be piloted manually. What started as tool for archaeologists has morphed into something free from the strictures of definition. That is, the use case for the Arch Aerial drone isn't relegated simply to excavation sites. Vineyards can use them to check their sprawling land for irrigation leaks. Small businesses can use them to promote their company at an event like CES or SXSW. But one of the most interesting applications is football: ESPN agrees with that. So, we sat down with Baker to hear more about the drones and how they ended up on an Outside the Lines (OTL) segment on May 25.

A Boy and a Jaguar' gives voice to those with speech issues
"A Boy and a Jaguar" is the true story of Alan Rabinowitz who struggled with stuttering as a boy. The book's beautiful illustrations, rendered in acrylic and charcoal, were done by painter Catia Chien....


Video: The Ron & Fez Show 06/16/2014 - Ron's Belize Fantasy, 5min.
Caller talks about pizza in Belize, Ron fantasizes about dropping out.

Video: Cave Tubing Belize May 2014, 7min.

Video: Belize Dive, 4min.

Video: Footage : Tour of Belize, 9min.
Tour of Belize from a horse-driven carriage super educational! most interesting: almond nuts are the seed from a fruit.

Video: Ocelot at The Belize Zoo, 2min.

Video: Collared Aracari at The Belize Zoo, 1min.

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