Today's Belize News: June 20, 2014
06/20/14 05:50 AM
06/20/14 05:50 AM
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The San Pedro Sun
Two persons arrested in drug operation in San Pedro Town
Two San Pedro Town residents have been arrested and charged for drug trafficking by the San Pedro Police Department following a drug operation on the island. They have been identified by police as Karim Gonzalez and Reina Galdamez. The couple was at home on Tuesday June 17th when police executed a drug search on their premises.
According to police, during the search officers found four parcels of compressed cannabis in a transparent bag, along with several other small transparent Ziploc bags, containing cannabis that all amounted to 16o.9 grams. Police said that the drugs were found concealed inside a locker inside the house.
Injunction served on Tropic Air’s $10 million expansion project; GOB erroneously grants a second title to a portion of Tropic Air land lease
The claim of ownership by Construction Depot Limited is for a quarter of parcel 5621, which is about one-third of the total construction that is in process. The $10 million investment has been in the pipeline for Tropic Air since 2006 and according to Schulte, the maintenance facility is necessary since their company continues to grow annually. Now, not only are over 75 people displaced from their construction job because of the injunction, but the loss to the company and the tourism sector can be in the millions if the construction is stopped completely. If completed the expansion to Tropic Air will create between 50 to 100 new highly skilled jobs for Belizeans. “If somehow our lease is cancelled, we have over $1 million invested already in construction, but the entire project would be in jeopardy because the portion that is in dispute is integral to the company. If our project is cut it would not cater to our expansion needs. With a fleet of 15 airplanes going into the next tourism season, we require the ability to service five airplanes under shelter so that the elements of the weather cannot stop us. The economic impact would add up to the millions in tourism dollars and in revenue lost and so it can seriously hurt Belize. Stopping our project is like putting a cap over tourism in Belize.”
Rejuvenating and Staying Healthy at Zen Arcade
At Zen Arcade you can have a good time, rejuvenate in a fun, easy-going, uplifting and professional environment. At the center you can enjoy calming yoga classes, energetic dance classes at their Tree Top Studio, plus get pampered at the Beauty Bar by prettying up from head to toe, enjoying a healing acupuncture session, a relaxing massage by a professional masseuse or get some aesthetic Botox work done. Mothers can rejoice because they even offer child care services!
After showing you what the new Chaya Café is all about at Zen Arcade, now Dorian’s Angels recap the wonderful afternoon of pampering and relaxation they were treated with at the center. Vicki Ellias graduated from the Massage Therapy Program at Fox Valley School of Massage in Appleton, WI, USA. She is a Licensed Massage Therapist in the State of Wisconsin, USA. Vicki is a member of Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP) and maintains current certification in Community First Aid and CPR. She practices traditional and Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, pre-natal/postpartum massage and the Muscle Release Technique.
Black Orchid Resort Burrell Boom, One Belize Resort to See Everything
Probably the most active location in the small and quaint village of Burrell Boom is at the Black Orchid Resort. It is ideally located in the sleepy village just outside the Belize City limits where you can choose to immerse yourself in as many Belizean adventures of your heart’s desire or simply do nothing at all lounging next to the Belize River.
It is not nestled deep in the middle of the jungles of Belize, but Black Orchid Resort’s location provides an ideal access to the jungle, inland attractions and a quick lift to the Caribbean coast without being shuffled around from resort to resort. This makes Black Orchid a very popular location for visitors seeking adventure around the country.
Misc Belizean Sources
SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY - OAS-GCUB 2014 SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
The Organization of American States in collaboration with the Government of Brazil herein offer Masters and PhD Scholarships, deliverable onsite.
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The application deadline has been established at August 6, 2014.
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The Organization of American States in consort with the Rochester Institute of Technology herein offer partial scholarships for Masters Degrees, online with the language of instruction being English.
The admission deadline has been established at July 1, 2014, the scholarship deadline being July 25, 2014.
Further queries can be directed to email@example.com and copied to firstname.lastname@example.org .
San Antonio Community Animal Clinic
The Institute for Sustainable International Studies is teaming up with Dr. Edwardo Tesecum to bring another free spay and neuter clinic to San Antonio this weekend. Their vet students are getting some great training while in Belize, and the Cayo communities are getting helped at the same time. The clinic will be Saturday morning, starting at 9:00am. Thanks, ISIS!
"Spread the word that ISIS and Dr. Tesecum will be offering a free Animal Health Clinic in the village of San Antonio this coming Saturday. Come early if your animal needs a spay or neuter surgery."
BEL to Hold Annual General Meeting of Shareholders Highlighting Successes over the Last Three Years
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) will tonight host its Annual General Meeting of Shareholders for the year ended December 31, 2013. BEL has maintained focus over the past year on fulfilling its Mission “to provide reliable electricity at the lowest sustainable cost, stimulate national development and improve the quality of life in Belize.”
“2013 was a high performing year for BEL and we thank our employees for maintaining a high level of commitment to the Company’s focus on “keeping the lights on,” says Senior Manager, Finance & Human Resources, Betty Tam. “This was displayed through achievement of the best system reliability, improved service delivery and increased participation in community involvement initiatives. The Company is also reporting net earnings of $18.7 million or $0.27 per share in 2013 and $5.5 million in dividend payment to shareholders.”
Feed the Children Fundraiser
Cornerstone had their Feed the Children fundraiser earlier this month at Falcon Field. In related news, Falcon Field is getting refurbished.
Cayo Classifieds - Issue 21
This week's Buy and Sell Weekly. Cockcomb Basin is highlighted is this issue.
Businessman/Landlord Charged For Rape, Denies Charges
For the past 2 nights, we've been telling you about the case of the businessman who has been under police scrutiny after a 19 year-old female accused him of abduction and rape. Well, tonight we can reveal that the man she's accusing is 65 year-old Adil Abdullah Bishop, a bail bondsman and landlord from Reggae Street.
He was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, but no plea was taking from him because the offence is indictable. He was released on bail of $7,000, which he was able to meet.
After his hearing at the Magistrate's Court, Bishop was trying to avoid encounters with the press, but after he realized that the story of his arraignment would hit the news, he called the court reporters aside and granted a 1 one 1 interview with each of them. For context, we note that because he didn't grant the interview to us directly, there will be a few technical glitches. He told the freelance journalists that this young woman's accusation is nothing more than an attempt at blackmail and defamation:
Adil Abdullah Bishop
"This young lady text me and threatened me and tell me that if I don't give her $400 she will mess me up with the police. You see her text right there."
Roy Davis, reporter
"So Abdullah, that is the reason why she made that report that you raped her?"
Adil Abdullah Bishop
"Yes, that is the reason why she made that report, because I said that I will not give her any $400 to take her out of her man house because she told me that she wanted to move out because her man treats her very bad and she is not messing around with her man."
Man Charged For Raping 12 Year Old
Another man who was taken to court today for rape charges was 25 year-old David Gonzalez. He wasn't so fortunate as Adil Abdullah Bishop because he was denied bail.
The complainant, a 12 year old girl, told police that in January 2014 and then on last week Friday, Gonzalez had intercourse with her against her will both times. Police investigated her report and charged him with 2 counts of rape, and he was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer.
No plea was taken because the offences are indictable, and Senior Magistrate Fraser told Gonzalez that she cannot offer him bail because of the second count. She remanded him into custody until August 5.
Money and Power Clash In San Pedro Land Dispute
Tropic Air may control the bulk of the local traffic in the skies, but back here on earth, the Lands Department has the control and, tonight, the leading local airline says that Lands is dispossessing them of a prime piece of real estate. The land adjoins the San Pedro runway. Tropic air had hoped to use it to invest substantially to expand their operations since San Pedro is their base. But, then, their lease was cancelled - and it emerged that two private landowners, Breth Feinstein and Marilee Pou had separate titled lands within the leased area - though their titles were also mixed up. Today, Minister of Natural Resources Gaspar Vega told 7News that Tropic Air ended up with the lease as a result of human error - and the Department had to correct the error:..
Hon. Gaspar Vega, Minister of Natural Resources
"Yes the lease has been cancelled. It's an error that the ministry made. It's an error coming long before 2008 and instead of rectifying - we try to rectify the problem and another problem gets done. I am going to be honest and say it's a problem created by the ministry. The errors were not calculated, it was just a human error and it has compounded problems."
Belize Public Health On High Alert after Chick-V Detected In Salvador
Tonight, Belizean health officials are on high alert after Chikungunya, the virus called Chik-V has been detected in Salvador. Regional news reports quote Salvadoran Health Minister Violeta Menjivar as saying that her nation has reports of at least 1200 cases of the debilitating virus. Panama has also reported cases and Costa Rica has suspected cases.
We stress that test results have not confirmed any of those cases. But, clinical assessments and the proximity to Belize is enough to trigger major concern in Belize since there are close ties between Salvador and Belize - and travel between both countries happens on a daily basis.
On Monday, June 16th, the Caribbean Public Health Agency confirmed that to date, cases of Chikungunya have been confirmed in 23 countries or territories. They say that the total number of confirmed/probable cases has reached 4,805.
Man Injured in 2012 Accident Dies
The toll that Rosewood has taken on the environment and social ecology of southern Belize probably won't be known for decades - but tonight Rosewood opponents are saying that it has led to a death, however inadvertent it may have been. In January of 2012, Jacintoville Resident Antonio Edwards and his 3-year-old son were returning home from church when a flatbed pickup truck carrying Rosewood barreled around a corner and a rosewood flitch came flying his way. The flitch struck Edwards on both his legs and shattered several bones in different places. His 3 year-old child who he was carrying was flung off his shoulder, but luckily the toddler escaped unhurt.
When we met him in February, he was awaiting a costly surgery.
Scarlet Macaw Being Poached In Chiquibul
Tonight, there are more disturbing reports coming out of the Chiquibul once again - and it involves poaching of the prized scarlet Macaw.
This year in April during the bird's breeding period, Friends for Conservation and Development documented high activity by Guatemalan poachers in the nesting area and subsequent loss of macaws. On May 5th., a Guatemalan was intercepted with a a young scarlet macaw chick (less than 7 days old), a rifle and 43 .22 gauge rounds. Unfortunately the chick died and the Guatemalan escaped.
New Rules At BAA, No More Free Paper Cheques
Who can forget the cheque scandal at the Belize airport Authority. In December and January, it rocked the Authority - and the shockwaves reached all the way up to cabinet where Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport Edmund Castro was stripped of his civil aviation portfolio. In total 76 cheques were released to the media and the explanation we got is that only a few of them were directly linked to Castro - in many of them the board claims to have issued social assistance of its own volition.
But, while it may have been business as usual for any statutory board - the Prime Minister declared it ill-advised and wrong. And so, he sent the board and the General Manager home. The New board and GM have come up with new rules:
A management reporting system, and a strategic plan and tied to a tightly managed budget. The New GM laid out the rules for us today:..
John Waight, General Manager - BAA
"The first thing we did, the board and I in light of what has happened in the past we I guess you could say things were not in the best of taste and we felt that this cannot ever occur again and so we did an organizational assessment, look at all our weaknesses and strengths and so on and then we came up with a number of measures. We thought it best that we create administrative policies, even the board of directors has a manual to be guided by."
OW Will Get Refurbished Runway
And while they are saying "no-mas" to the free-paper cheque policy, the airports authority is saying "mas, mas" to upgraded runways. We found Waight and his board in Orange Walk today, at a groundbreaking for the tower hill airstrip in Orange Walk. Now, if you're not familiar with the whole tourism matrix - you might not be able to figure out why an upgraded airstrip in Orange Walk is opportune. We found out why this morning:
Jules Vasquez reporting
In an area dominated by canfields, the runway at Tower Hill doesn't look like much, just a strip of clear earth in an abundance of green.
But today the UDP political brass came out to ground break for a re-fitted air-strip. Leading the way was UDP hopeful for Orange Walk East Elodio Aragon Jr. He's also a member of the newly reconstituted Board of the Airports Authority:
Elodio Aragon, Jr. - Standard Bearer OW East
"Since the new board has taken over we have done a new strategic plan as to where we want not only in Orange Walk but across this country to say where we are and where we want to go. Orange Walk was a strategic place because that is the next place that needs to develop."
Juniour Herredia Says The Dog Wasn't His
ON MONDAY WE TOLD YOU ABOUT 33 year-old San Pedro resident Byron Evans, REMANDED FOR discharging a firearm in public. His attorney, Oscar Selgado, explained that on June 10, Evans was walking on Tarpon Street in San Pedro going to pick up his wife when he was attacked by Pit Bulls - allegedly owned by Minister and area representative Manuel Heredia. Today Herredia told us the problem dog isn't his:
Hon. Manuel Herredia, Minister of Tourism
"Well first of all Jules I don't even have a do at home. My yard is well fenced, but I dint even have a dog. The dog in question was my neighbor's dog and indeed the dog has always been out of the yard and so I think If I recall it has bitten about 4-5 persons.
Steeno Appeals Verdict Or Trial Without Jury
In November of last year, 49 year-old Vincent Tillett Sr., aka "Steeno", was convicted of stabbing his ex-common-law wife's new boyfriend, 22 year-old Darwin Phillips. He was sentenced to 12 years for manslaughter after he stood trial without a jury, but today, he appealed that outcome in the Court of Appeal.
His attorney, Anthony Sylvestre, pressed the case on his behalf on the ground that Justice Adolph Lucas was presented with evidence from the Crown in which 2 witnesses who gave conflicting accounts. At the adjournment of hearing, Sylvestre explained the importance of this appeal and the effect it could have on future cases which are tried without a jury:
Anthony Sylvestre, attorney
"Mr. Tillett was tried before a judge alone and at his trial he was convicted based on two statements that were given by two witnesses. At the trial they didn't testify in accordance to that previous thing that they gave but, he is one of the first person to have been tried where statements of a previous inconsistent witness was admitted into evidence. As you may know this is one of the new laws that were passed since this government came to power.
Vega Not "Losing Weight" Over PUP OW North Turnout
On Sunday, PUP in Orange Walk North elected a new standard bearer. He is Ramon Munch Cervantez and he easily beat out Alfredo Ortega for seat. What's interesting is that 1,844 voters came out, and Cervantez got over 1,300. That's considered a high turnout for what should be the UDP's safest seat in the north - the home base of Deputy Party Leader Gaspar Vega. Today, Vega gave us his impressions of the turnout:..
"Is this something that concerns you?"
Hon. Gaspar Vega
"I don't get involved with the P.U.P. politics. Truthfully I didn't wish either one good or bad. That is not my business. I don't think it was a low turnout. It was a fair turnout. But you have to realize that Orange Walk North is a very active constituency. In other words we have one of the highest turnouts in any election. Last election two years ago we had I think 82% turn-out. Briceño at that time two years ago got two thousand three hundred votes. I got three thousand four hundred plus. So that tells you that…I'm not saying it's a poor turnout, but it's not a turnout that's going to make me lose weight."
Things Sweet In Sugarland
And while he won't lose weight over it - he might gain weight with all the sweet news that's coming out of BSI. After a season that started very late due to weather and labour agitation, the 2014 sugar crop looks like it won't be so bad after all. Vega told us about it today:..
Hon. Gaspar Vega
"The quota for the sugar has already been met or just about. So we are going to be able to supersede the quota. We are really having an extremely good crop this year. That is because of the investment that ASR has done in the factory because in such a short time, we have been able to mill an average of twenty percent more than what we used to mill just last year. They have invested something like twenty-five million dollars just in the last year in introducing some evaporators so that the factory doesn't have to close down every two weeks to service and stuff like that and it has really improved the milling capacity. And also the cane farmers, they have improved their fields, they have invested in replanting; they have changed attitudes especially habits in harvesting. They are ensuring that they deliver clean cane; they've been able to create this competitiveness in seeing which branch gets the highest paid for their cane. All of these things have enhanced the crop for this year."
Mexicans On A Mission
Yesterday, a delegation of officials from the MEXICAN Trade and Investment Agency - ProMéxico have been in Belize on a mission to improve trade relations between Belize and Mexico.
They're identifying markets in each of the countries so that merchants and service providers can do business with customers across the border.
With a wide range of products that the Mexican companies are offering to Belizean customers, the media was invited to a meeting of the officials at the Mexican Embassy today. We stopped by and spoke with the Director of the Trade organization about the importance of this relationship between both countries:
Jose Manuel Rodriguez, Director - ProMexico
"We started yesterday in Belmopan, we had around 30 different meeting between Mexican and Belizean companies and we are going to finish today here. We expect about 40 meetings because this is a larger city, the base of companies are bigger. We are having also several meetings with customs, with the broker association, we had a meeting with BELTRAIDE which is our counterpart in Belize and we have also a meeting with the chamber of commerce. The goal is to make business links between Mexican and Belizean companies, both sides. We are presenting our products; we also receive feedback with the Belizean companies and what they have to offer, so that an alliance can be established. We have two companies for food products which are based products like mayonnaise, ketchup, sugar, vinegar - we have also sauces and also companies in the timber sector. We have two companies from the software sector IT telecommunications."
Today, the Occupy Belmopan protest continued in Belmopan with 25 participants. They are demanding that government withdraw the gender policy - but, so far, the protest has fallen on deaf ears. But while the police doesn't seem to be going anywhere, its architect and chief proponent is - just for a while, though.
Today, the US Embassy announced that Ann-Marie Williams, the Executive Director of the National Women's Commission, has been selected to participate in a prestigious 1-year study program in the US.
That program is called the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows Program, and it's purpose is to bring young and mid-career professionals from around the world to the US for an entire year of non-degree graduate level study. While there, Williams will also get the opportunity to increase her capacity in leadership, and she will collaborate professionally with her US counterparts. She will spend the Academic year of 2014-2015 at an American University to participate in the "Trafficking in Persons, Policy, and Prevention" Humphrey Fellowship.
She will start her study in August.
Land dispute in San Pedro – $6 Million project by Tropic Air comes to an abrupt stop
A six million dollar project on the island of San Pedro has come to a complete stop, and Minister of Natural Resources Gaspar Vega says the reason is human error [...]
Minister says San Pedro land dispute due to glitches at Lands
That story was done in San Pedro at around midday today. At almost exactly the same time in Orange Walk, Minister of Natural Resources, Gaspar Vega, broke the news that [...]
Bondsman Adil Abdullah charged for the rape of 19 year woman
For days police have been investigating an allegation of rape made by a nineteen year old woman against a well-known bail bondsman. Well tonight, sixty-five year old Adil Abdullah, who [...]
Accused rapist refutes the allegation
While Abdullah is refuting the claim made by the young woman, the police believe they have the evidence. This afternoon, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Christopher Noble, spoke briefly to the [...]
More contracts to Imer Hernandez – D.P.M. says it helps to be his relative
Ground was broken for a new runway at Tower Hill this morning and we’ll have that story coming up. But the contract for the works was awarded to Imer Hernandez, [...]
Minister of Civil Aviation says B.A.A. members had to be U.D.P.s
The names of the members of the new Belize Airports Authority Board were revealed this past Tuesday and by today, the Board along with its new minister, Manuel Heredia Junior, [...]
Elrington’s move to remove mandatory membership in the Bar Association
On Wednesday, Attorney-General Wilfred Elrington was asked his opinion on the reappointment of Justice Samuel Awich. He expounded at length, but he also took the opportunity to vent on the [...]
Minister Gapi Vega says sugar production is on target
Earlier this year, there was a threat that the sugar production target of one point two million tons would not be met because of a dispute between cane farmers and [...]
Tower Hill airstrip to get a facelift
As we told you earlier, work will soon begin on the rehabilitation of an old dirt runway that will become a modern airstrip to accommodate domestic flights to the Orange [...]
P.U.P. Convention in Orange Walk north, DPM says he is not worried
There were all manner of state matter to ask Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega about today, and we did. But we also asked him to don his party hat for [...]
Tourism Village vendors prohibited from selling in certain areas
There was commotion at the Tourism Village this afternoon when a man attempting to sell his wares was roughed up by the police and taken in custody. His detention was [...]
Kenrick Major freed of wounding a police officer
A Lord’s Bank man, who was facing prison time for allegedly beating up a man while on a local bus then damaging his shirt, was today reprimand and freed of [...]
Healthy Living looks at burnout and how it severely impacts your life
It’s expected that we will experience stress every day in our lives for many different reasons. But when your responsibilities at work or home, or in some cases both become [...]
All Is Good With Crop Season 2014, Says DPM
Executive Director of the National Women’s Commission, Anne-Marie Williams has been selected to participate in the US Embassy’s 2014-2015 class of Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows Program. The program brings young and mid-career professionals from around the world to the U.S. for a year of non-degree graduate-level study, leadership development, and professional collaboration with U.S. counterparts. Williams will spend the next year at American University beginning in August 2014 to participate in the “Trafficking in Persons, Policy, and Prevention” Humphrey Fellowship.
We have been following the progress of the 2013/2014 sugar cane crop which has been riddled with challenges. First with a late start following by inconsistent weather patterns, stakeholders have been hoping for the best. This crop, there was an estimate 1.2 million tons of sugar cane to be harvested for delivery but presently, the weather will be a deciding factor as to whether that goal will be met.
The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and farmers have been battling with the weather and the fear is that a few hundred thousand tons of cane will remain unharvest. Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture Gaspar Vega however says that things are running rather well.
Mother Reports Her Daughter and Boyfriend For Having Sexual Intercourse
Another report on unlawful sexual intercourse has emerged and this time it involves two teens. According to a 15 year old female student of Corozal Town, she left home on Tuesday around 10:00pm and went with her 16 year old boyfriend where she had sexual intercourse with him on her own free will.
A medical examination was conducted on her where it was certified that she was sexually active.
The 16 year old male was released into the custody of his parents. The investigation file will be prepared and forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecution for directives. The age of consent for a female is 16 years.
Government To Upgrade Airstrips Country Wide
As we mentioned before, the rehabilitation of the airstrip in Orange Walk is part of a larger plan for the country by the Belize Airport Authority. The work says Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia, is for increased safety for the travelers.
Manuel Heredia – Minister of Tourism
“There are plans in the near future for Caye Caulker there is not much deterioration on the surface itself but it has several dents which when the airplanes are landing or taking off it is not so safe so hopefully early in the new year we will be working on that one. There are also plans for the Pine Ridge, we have serious problems in the Caracol archeological site, by road many times they cannot access by road so if we do an airstrip that had been planned before then we believe that a lot of tourist will be going to that area and we have plans already looking already with Cosesna, they are the central regional institutional that where Belize is part and every year we get funding from them for different aspects of the industry so we are looking at them to make sure how we can finance both Caye Caulker and the Pine Ridge one.”
Vega Reacts To PUP Convention In The North Consituency
The People’s United Party held its convention to elect a Standard Bearer for Orange Walk North on June 15th. The turnout of voters was 1,863, which was relatively well. At that convention, Ramon “Munchi” Cervantes was elected as Standard Bearer, completing the slate for Orange Walk by the PUP. At the polls, Cervantes raked in the majority of the votes which was 1,394 to be exact. It was a landslide win and could be interpreted as Cervantes being a favorite of the constituents. However, despite the numbers, Area Representative Gaspar Vega says he is not moved.
Gaspar Vega – Minister of Natural Resources
“It was a fair tour out but you have to realize that Orange Walk North is a very, very active constituency in other words we had one of the highest turn outs in any elections, last election two years ago we had I think 82% turn out, Briceno at that time two years ago got 2300 votes, I got 3400 plus so that tells you that I am not saying it is a poor turnout but it is not a turn out that it is going to make me lose weight.”
Young Micro-entrepreneur Honored By LICU
Seventeen year old Eider Romero, Eliel Reynoso and Eved Corado were nominated by the La Inmaculada Credit Union for the third annual Citi-CMFA Caribbean Microfinance Awards in three categories, Best Rural Microentreprenuer, Best Young Microentrepreneur and Best Technology Microentrepreneur. The names of the winners were reveled at a ceremony held on June 3rd in Jamaica which the three nominees attended.
In total six awards were presented and Belize took three as Eider Romero, Eliel Reynoso, and Eved Corado were each bestowed an award. While the three individuals were awarded in Jamaica, their hard work and great accomplishment was also recognized here at home during a special ceremony held last night in their honor by LICU.
Carmelita Perez – Reporting
“It feels great to be the boss” those were words used by Eved Corado, one of the three Micro entrepreneurs’ that were nominated and won an award for the third annual Citi-CMFA Caribbean Microfinance Awards. Corado, who is the proud owner of E-Tech Services, won Best Technology Micro entrepreneur in the Caribbean. As for Eliel Reynoso, he won second best young entrepreneur in the Caribbean. As the founder of Hawaianas, his struggles have thought him to appreciate his business even more.
Another Contract Issued To Imer Hernandez
If we take another look at the upgrade of the airstrip project here in the Orange Walk District, we have to note that the contractor for the work at the airstrip is the infamous Imer Hernandez, nephew of Minister of Natural Resources, Gaspar Vega. Hernandez was recently announced to have won the contract for the paving of the first mile of road work on the Phillip Goldson Highway that passes within the town; therefore, the question had to be made to the Minister about why Hernandez has once again been awarded another contract within the Orange Walk District. It is hard not to suspect that it is due to his family ties with the contractor. Here is what the Minister responded.
Gaspar Vega – Minister of Natural Resources
“I think him being my relative most naturally helps but not just because he is my relative he is getting the job, I am certain that he gets the job because he gets the capacity, he has proven to deliver good work, it is as simple as that.”
“But, are the people who issued the contracts compelled to choose him, is there a directive that says that you have to give this job to Imer because he stays in my backyard?”
MOT Speaks About Land Error That Should Have Been Leased To Tropic Air
The Government of the day has constantly been chastised for the land corruption at the lands department. The situation has gotten is so bad that even the Prime Minister of Belize has openly stated that the Ministry of Lands is quote a “hot bed of corruption”. And tonight it’s no different only that this time the Minister of Natural Resources himself is admitting that his department messed up one more time. The most recent case is surrounding a parcel of land adjacent the Tropic Air airstrip in San Pedro. It appears that two leases and one title were issued for the same parcel of land. One of the leases was given to Tropic Air after the company submitted a proposal for the expansion of the airline, a project that would see the investment of millions worth of dollars. There was one problem though. The land they had leased was also being claimed by two other individuals. Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia, says he had stepped in to help sort out the mess made by the lands department and he explains how the dispute surfaced.
Manuel Heredia – Minister of Tourism:
“After they were about to start their project, it was found out that there was not one but two persons that owned land inside of what was supposedly what should have been leased to Tropic Air; one is Bret Finesteins and the other is Marylin Pau. When I learnt about Bret owning over there is because Mrs. Marylie Pau who might know very well and from my constituency and asked me if I can help her to get her title, she has all the receipt where she has paid under the previous administration but didn’t manage to get her title and she said fine I know you well and that is when I found out that Bret owns a particular parcel of land also over there and that by mistake he was given the parcel number that belongs to Mrs. Marylie Pau so I said that she cannot get her title until this is resolve so that was ongoing until around January I understand that Mr. Finestein was given proper title to the proper parcel number that he paid for. An injunction has been put over there which to me injunctions can last up to three years over there in the meantime there will be an eye swore in the airstrip which was what I was trying to avoid and that is the only reason I got involved.”
Circus Ponce Passes Health Inspection
The circus is coming to town! This familiar phrase conjures vivid images of amazing acrobats, capering clowns and exotic animals. Unlike the human performers who choose to work in circuses, however, exotic animals are forced to take part in the show. While many circuses are quick to advertise good old-fashioned family fun, the fine print tells a different story: the needless suffering of animals. With that said, it has been several years since the Circus has made an appearance in Orange Walk Town and the Ponce Hermanos Circus has set up their ‘big top’ tents at the Barracks of Town. As with any ‘foreign’ entities entering our borders, check- ups and inspections are conducted. Today, our news team tagged along with members of the Belize Agriculture health Authority (BAHA), Public Health inspector and officials of the Forestry Department as they conducted their second inspection. Reporter Maria Novelo and Video Journalist were on site and filed this following report.
Maria Novelo – Reporting
Common sense tells us that a 1000 pound Camel or a tiger with 3-inch-long razor-sharp teeth would naturally dominate a human being, and that he could not be forced into doing something he does not want to do. But the circus maxim is "The show must go on," and so it does, whether or not the animals are willing or even able to participate. Today, the final touches of setting up for the weekends biggest spectacle, that will draw throngs of people to the ‘Big Top’, was met with a second inspection conducted by officials of BAHA, Forestry Department and Public Health. Their main goal was to ascertain if the operation is safe from harmful, unsanitary practices and over all well-being. Karel Heredia is the Public Health Inspector in the Ministry of Health.
Zenobia Meggs Helpage Centre Holds Mission Group
A mission group from San Diego, California are visiting with students, community members and the elderly as part of their trip to Belize. Today we caught up with the worship group who were brightening the smiles of the elderly at the Zenobia Meggs Helpage Centre. It was the centres’ monthly game day and the group added an extra loving touch with their guitars, drums and sing along. Worship Director, Dylan Voelker says they are here to serve in any aspect that they can.
Dylan Voelker – Worship Director
“Right now what we are going to be doing vacation bible school at teacher life changing ministries and we are going to be serving there and leading games and leading the lessons and things like that and we also been doing cleaning at the church and another thing that we are going to be doing is in home ministries where we go inside families homes and we minister and we pray over them, we teach the gospel and any and everything that we can do to serve and love to do. Maybe a couple hours ago, we are happy to do and we just got right over here and so we have an opportunity, I don’t know if you can see the instruments, to play the guitar and sing with them and they make us feel very welcome and we also have a heart towards the elderly and so we also had a lot of fun too.”
Dawson Free From All Charges
Yesterday, 42 year Gerald Dawson, who is originally from Caye Caulker but was residing in Orange Walk Town, was acquitted of indecent assault against a 13 year old school girl. On May 23rd of this year, Dawson was accused of biting a girl’s neck during a sexual encounter at a local basketball court. The case fell part yesterday at trial when the complainant admitted that she lied in her first statement to police. The arresting officer, under cross-examination, told the court that he disbelieved the complainants’ statements.
Allegations from the complainant were that the two had conversations over Facebook but no evidence of this was presented in court. Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith upheld the submission of no case to answer by Lewis, ruling that there was “difficulty and inconsistencies” in the prosecution’s case, especially with the complainant, who she said was not credible. Dawson walked out the court free from any charge.
Fourth Estimate Shows An Increase In Value Of Sugar
The fourth estimated average cane price for the 2014 crop has been issued to cane farmers. The estimation stands at $61.06 per ton cane. Today we spoke with Vice Chair of the Committee of Management Alfredo Ortega who told us more about the fourth estimated price.
“Hay un aumento de noventa y tres centavos por tonelada en esta cuarta estimación, la tercera estimación salió a $60.13, esta cuarta estimación salió a un $61.06 pero hay una diferencia también que muestra de que subió punto uno porque el TC/TS que estaban utilizando anterior era de nueve punto cinco y hoy el punto que están usando es de nueve punto cincuenta y uno así es de que subió con un punto y aun así tenemos un alce de noventa y tres centavos en esta cuarta estimación, y es muy importante este precio y también es muy importante de que cuidemos la calidad de cana que estamos entregando el ingenio.”
Ortega says that this will positively impact sugar cane farmers especially at a time where their cost of production is heightened. These costs are compounded by the need to hire more hands and machinery to harvest cane in low lying areas that are flooded after the recent rains. And speaking of the rains, Ortega says the quality of the cane is already being affect.
Duo Charged with Drug Trafficking on Ambergris Caye
San Pedro Police have arrested and charged 26-year-old Karim Gonzalez and 25-year-old Reina Galdamez with drug trafficking. Police say on Tuesday they visited a house on Laguna Drive in the Boca del Rio area of San Pedro. A search was conducted which resulted in the discovery of four small compressed parcel wrapped up in transparent plastic which each contained green leafy vegetable substance suspected to be cannabis, a transparent zip lock plastic bag with two small transparent zip lock plastic bag each containing green leafy substance suspected to be cannabis and a black and transparent case which contained seven small transparent zip lock plastic bags which each contained green leafy substance suspected to be cannabis. Gonzalez and Galdamez were escorted to the station. The suspected drugs were weighed in their presence which amounted to 160 point nine grams.
Gapi Says His Nephew Was Not Contracted Upon His Directive
As we heard, the contractor for the rehabilitation will be done by Imer Hernandez Company Ltd. Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega was present at the ground breaking and we asked him why another contract to Imer Hernandez Company Ltd., company of his nephew.
Deputy Prime Minister
“I think him being my relative, most naturally helps but not just because he’s my relative he’s getting the job. I’m certain he’s getting the job because he has the capacity and has proven to be able to deliver good work, it’s as simple as that.”
“But are the people who issue the contract compelled to choose him. Is there a competitive process or is there a directive, you have to give the job to Imer because this is in my back yard?”
Minor Reports Cases of Rape
25-five-year old, David Gonzalez, a messenger employed by Home Protector Insurance Company was charged with 2 counts of rape when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. No plea was taken because the offences are indictable. Senior Magistrate Fraser told Gonzalez that she cannot offer him bail because of the second count. She remanded Gonzalez into custody until August 5. The virtual complainant, a 12 year old girl, reported to the police that the first rape occurred sometime in January 2014 and the second rape occurred on June 13, 2014. She said that on both occasions Gonzalez had sex with her against her will.
Bishop Charged With Rape of Young Woman
Earlier this week Love News reported the story of a 19-year-girl who had reported to the authorities that she was raped by a 65-year-old businessman of Belize City. Things seemed to have gotten off to a rocky start in that investigation as the medical authorities had verified that there were no signs of forcible entry on the woman. That report from medical personnel delayed the movements on the case but today, we can tell you that progress has been made and the accused, Adil Abdullah Bishop has been charged with rape. (VO) The resident of a Reggae Street address in Belize City was arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser with an adjournment set for August 5, 2014. Bishop was offered and met bail of seven thousand dollars but no plea was taken from him since the matter is an indictable offense. The media spoke to Assistant Superintendent of Police, Christopher Noble to find out how they got to this point in the case.
ASP CHRISTOPHER NOBLE
“Firstly the female did make a report some days ago. We took her report and we looked into it. Based on the information we gathered we ended up submitting that information for instructions. We got back those instructions and subsequently the gentleman has been charged. He is, to my knowledge, before the courts this morning and that is a matter for the court to decide. The relevant information for that file is being put together so that we can put it forward.
New Board Installed for the Belize Broadcasting Authority
It was a moment for celebration this morning at the ground breaking of the Orange Walk airstrip but at the same moment a time for the Civil Aviation Authority to gain back confidence after the alleged misappropriation of public funds under the former BAA. Recently it was reported in the media that most of the newly appointed members of the Belize Airport Authority are well known UDP supporters. We asked Minister of Tourism, whose ministry is now responsible for civil aviation and overlooks the new BAA, to explain the naming of these members persons to serve on the board.
Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation
“My name speaks for itself you know. I think the whole country knows me very well that I am a person that believes in principles, I live by principles, I will die by principles. I am not the type that I elect a board and I put a General Manager and I will be running this person down. I allowed all my people at the Tourism Board, at NICH, at BMA and BAA to do their job. If you trust someone, allow him to do the job and I am not the type that every minute I will be requesting assistance for my constituents. I don’t believe in that type of thing. I believe that monies that are generated from an industry as much as possible is supposed to go back to that industry. Speaking about cronies, I make no apologies for people that I appoint because when P.U.P. was in power, they used their people. I make sure that it is my people but that they are honest and hardworking people but it has to be UDPs, that’s for sure. It is our government; we have to take care of our people.”
Airstrip In Orange Walk Undergoes Rehabilitation
A little over a year, the Orange Walk airstrip was opened to the public. For the past 12 months the facility has been in demand, but the inadequate landing runway did not allow for much growth. This is set to change in the next four months as work is set to start for the rehabilitation of the runway at the airstrip. Arturo Cantun reports.
ARTURO CANTUN REPORTS
“Ground was broken this morning to symbolically mark the start of rehabilitation of the Orange Walk air strip near Chan Pine Ridge village.
It has only been a year since the facility is being used for commercial purposes but the dirt runway has been of concerned for the safety.
Minister of Tourism and in charge of civil aviation Manuel Heredia was present.
Minister of Tourism
“We had decided not long ago to open this airstrip to the public where we envision that tourists will have easier access to the archeological sites and then we have a lot of people particularly living in San Pedro that on weekends want to come visit with their families, this one is much closer than Ranchito. So, hence the reason for that but looking at the serious rains that we had last year, we noticed that the airstrip was not built to that standards that it will be safe enough to be able to accommodate this type of weather because it was done as a provisional airstrip; being a commercial now, as Minister of Tourism and government priority for tourism we decided that we have to look at the safety of our tourists and the safety of the residents of Belize and hence the reason that we had some monies that was accumulated by the riders’ fee that we introduced a few years ago, we have sufficient money to do a first class airstrip.”
Court of Appeal Upholds Manslaughter Conviction
49-year-old, Vincent Tillett was back in court today after he appealed his conviction of manslaughter of 22-year-old, Darwin ‘Darmu’ Phillips, which was handed down to him on November 15, 2013 by Justice Adolph Lucas….but the Court of Appeal decided to uphold Tillett’s conviction and 15-year sentence. Tillett’s plight resulted from an incident in February 2011, just before Valentine’s Day when he went to the home of his former girlfriend, Denise Stuart to drop off their two sons. Reports say that when he got to the house, he encountered Phillips at the home and stabbed him in the left side of his chest. Tillett reportedly then left the house and drove off. According to accounts from witnesses, Stuart was having a celebration at her home when the incident occurred between 7 and 7:30pm. The following day Tillett surrendered by notifying the police that he could be found by the Haulover Bridge. Police collected him and during an interview with the police, he reportedly admitted to stabbing Phillips, saying Phillips had threatened to kill him. Tillett’s attorney, Anthony Sylvestre had appealed on the grounds that the trial judge should not have allowed statements from Angela Hyde and Oran Young to be admitted as evidence. The respondent was represented by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lyn Vidal. Tillett’s trial was one without a jury.
Mother Pleads Guilty For Murder of Her Three Children
23-year-old Felicia Chen who allegedly drowned three of her four children at Belizean beach will have to wait until October of this year for her trial to commence. When the three counts of murder were read to her this morning before Justice Troadio Gonzalez, she pleaded guilty bit Justice Gonzalez rejected her guilty plea and traverse her matter to October 7. The guilty plea was rejected as Chen had no legal representation present today in court. She told Justice Gonzalez that her attorney remains Attorney Antoinette Moore who has now been appointed to be a temporary judge with the Supreme Court and who is now posted at the Southern Regional session of the Supreme Court in Dangriga doing cases in that jurisdiction. But the appointment now of Moore as a judge, could and may cause a conflict of interest so it is yet to be seen if Chen will have to be appointed or retain the service of another attorney to defend her in her murder trial. Judge Gonzalez advised her to retain another attorney. In April, 2013 Chen was charged with three counts of murder. While it was necessary for a psychiatric evaluation to take place, in September she was declared fit to stand trial for murder.
Charged for 93 Grams of Cannabis
31-year-old, Marvin Espinoza has been charged with drug trafficking and possession of controlled drugs. Police say on Monday they were on mobile patrol on Haulze Street when they saw Espinoza putting his hand in a drain and taking out a black plastic bag. They say when he saw them he dropped the bag. He was apprehended and Police retrieved the bag which contained eight grams of suspected cannabis. Police conducted a search in the drain which led to the discovery of a pan which contained 93 grams of suspected cannabis. Espinoza was arrested and charged. Meanwhile Police in San Ignacio conducted a search on an empty lot on George price Avenue in Santa Elena Town on Monday which led to the discovery of black plastic bag containing 87 grams of cannabis. No one was found in the area and the item was deposited as found property.
Re: Today's Belize News: June 20, 2014
06/20/14 05:51 AM
06/20/14 05:51 AM
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Luke must pay!
Failed PUP Politician Luke Espat must find 29.4 million dollars to pay to the Belize Bank for debts that he personally guaranteed for his companies which have all gone into receivership. That’s because he’s exhausted all appeal avenues to the Supreme Court decision that he must be held liable for the recouping of that debt.
In November of 2013, Justice Courtney Abel ruled against Espat in the case brought by the Belize Bank. He found that Espat unconditionally and irrevocably guaranteed his companies' debts to the bank. The bank claimed that he signed a "Guarantee and Postponement of Claim Agreement" in which he personally guaranteed to pay the debts of those companies if they defaulted.
His counter to that claim was that the Bank’s principals induced him into that guarantee by making false representations, and so he appealed the decision to the Court of Appeal. That case was heard on Monday, June 16. His attorney, Said Musa, presented his case, and Godfrey Smith responded on behalf of the bank.
PUP Land Galore in Valley of Peace
Julius Espat has been trying to create mischief with the Valley of Peace farmers who have been farming on land which belongs to Green Tropics Limited. He has been the guiding hand instigating the farmers to take Green Tropics to court for them to not only get compensated for damage which was done to their crops by Green Tropics when they were conducting spraying in their property but to also get the land itself.
While it would seem like Espat is doing a hero’s job, what he does not tell people in the community is who the original owner of the land was. By our quick research, the land was purchased by Green Tropics from a company called Cresswell Ventures Ltd (the name does ring as an Aschcroft affiliated company and by extension a Belize Bank affiliated company). Further research has determined that Cresswell Ventures came in possession of the land after it got it from Gulf Atlantic Company Ltd. (the name does ring as a Luke Espat Company) which must have lost it to the Belize Bank. It must be noted that Luke Espat and Julius Espat are related to one another. Now if Julius were so interested in the people of Valley of Peace, he would have instigated for them to move on the land when it was in possession of his family member. But playing a malicious PUP politician, he did not do so. Instead he is instigating people in the village when he and his family member no longer have vested interest in the land.
$20 Million for DFC to Lend
The substantive issues dealt with at the House of Representatives on Friday, June 13, were completely ignored by the local press. Because of that, Belizean business owners may not be aware that the Development Finance Corporation is entering into a loan agreement with the Social Security Board for $20 million.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow introduced the Development Finance Corporation Credit Motion, 2014 on Friday to request permission from the National Assembly to enter into the $20 million agreement. The credit will be used by the DFC to lend to various sectors of the economy; specifically, productive, micro, small and medium enterprises. The loan will be repaid in 14 years (including a two year grace period on the principal). Principal and interest will be paid quarterly at a rate of five and a half percent interest on the outstanding principal loan balance.
Unions cream off BTL
The Government of Belize under Prime Minister Dean Barrow has opened the books to the Union negotiating team who have been seeking a salary increase for public officers and teachers. Everything has been afforded them, the Microscope, the tweezers and even the scalpel. And while the Unions have been able to peer into the financial affairs of the government, there are those who wonder, who peers into the financial affairs of the unions.
Very little if anything is known about their finances, anyone would be hard pressed to find any financial statements by any of the unions. With the exception of revenues derived from BTL shares, very little is known about how much money the unions have.
Well if the BTL revenue is any indication, the unions are quite well off, that is, if the money they collect is available to the membership. The Guardian has been able to secure information as to how much the unions, both the Public Service Union and the Teachers Union have been collecting over the years as dividends from the telecommunications company.
Puerto Azul a Billion Dollar Gem
There is no Puerto Azul project at the moment- there is not even a Puerto Azul proposal. All that exist is a Puerto Azul idea and opponents have already turned up their fourth quarter blitz attack. There was once a time when local environmentalists believed in sustainable development – a time when it was okay to develop as long as the environment would not be injured. They would open a dialogue with aspiring investors to ensure that they are mindful of the environmental risks associated with development in a particular area. Unfortunately, it appears environmentalists have developed a habit of opposing every development without even discussing an environmental compliance plan. Puerto Azul is the latest development idea being rejected and it is being rejected even before it has been proposed. The aspiring developers are now making the rounds to share their idea in an attempt to prevent a D.O.A.
Representatives of the local press were invited to the proposed project site, Northern Two Caye, on Saturday, June 14, to see the state of the islands. It is a 25 minute flight from the Belize City Municipal Airport to the island formerly known as Lighthouse Reef Resort. Though it is still surrounded by the most incredible turquoise shaded sea water in the Caribbean, the island is not as beautiful as it once was. The first thing that stands out as the plane approaches are the hundreds of infected coconut trees that have been left untreated. The beach is covered with dead seaweed and garbage that floats in from the Southeast. Garbage that is collected is also torn apart by what is believed to be a very aggressive rodent population. Even in the state it is in now, the obvious potential for greatness is very evident. And with a couple billion dollars at their disposal, the developers will spare no expense to make Northern Two Caye the envy of the world.
First loss for Alvarine Burgess and Channel 5
In November of 2013 Alvarine Burgess came out like a whistleblower on Channel 5 against Hon. Edmund Castro. At the time, she was claiming that she took visa applications for him to give recommendations and in exchange she brought thousands of dollars to the minister. Well she was asked to prove what she was saying but she never did. Despite multiple warnings for her and the TV station who was entertaining her to desist, they continued to impugn on Hon. Edmund Castro.
Because of their obstinate stance, they were met with a lawsuit by Hon. Castro; both Burgess and Channel 5 were taken to court. The matter went into case management and on Monday, June 10, Justice Courtenay Abel heard Channel 5 and Burgess’ attorney, Godfrey Smith, as he attempted to have the matter struck out.
Godfrey Smith submitted that the news station was insulated from the law suit under the prevention of corruption in public life law; specifically section 35 of the act which gives immunity to anyone who make a complaint to the integrity commission about wrongdoing. While the report was indeed made, attorney for Hon. Edmund Castro, Rodwell Williams, pointed out that the report was made after Burgess and Channel 5 had aired the offending remarks.
Belize Elementary girls and Chan Pine Ridge boys are National Champs
The National Primary Schools Volleyball championship came to an end on Friday, June 6, 2014, at Bird’s Isle.
In the girls’ championship game, Belize Elementary School representing the Belize District defeated Holy Angles Roman Catholic from the Stann Creek Valley by the score of 25-12 and 28-26 to capture its first National Primary Schools Volleyball Title.
In the third place game, Louisiana Government School representing the Orange Walk District eliminated Blue Creek representing the Toledo District by the score of 20-25, 25-23 and 15-10 to take the Bronze medal.
In the first game in the semi-final round, Belize Elementary School defeated Louisiana Government School in two sets by the score of 25-10 and 25-5. In the second game, Holy Angels defeated Blue Creek in two sets by the score of 25-18 and 25-11.
In the first game of the girls’ championship played earlier in the day, Belize Elementary School defeated Our Lady of Guadalupe Roman Catholic School representing the Corozal District by the score of 25-2and25-4. In the second game, Louisiana Government School defeated Garden City Primary from Belmopan representing the Cayo District by the score of 25-15 and 25-23.
Midmorning murder in front of City Hall
Tulio Caceres, a 30 year-old man from Taylor’s Alley, was killed in broad daylight on Friday, June 13, in front of City Hall, one of the busiest locations in the City.
At around 10:30 a.m., Caceres was in the park across the street from City Hall, and he was playing cards with 3 other companions when a gunman came up Majestic Alley (also known as Pinks Alley) and shot him at close-range. Caceres realized that the gunman had come to execute him, and so he tried to flee, and that’s when the gunman set chase. He only managed to escape a short distance away at the corner of Pinks alley and North Front Street. When he collapsed on the ground, the gunman reportedly stood over him and fired several more shots to ensure that Caceres was dead. He was injured more than 4 times in the upper body, and he died on the spot.
He was the father of one child, and very recently, he was one of the main organizers of the Days of Healing which took place in Taylor’s Alley. The Days of Healing is a grassroots program done by community activist Perry Smith, to try to curb the violence in the City’s crime hotspots.
First loss for Alvarine Burgess and Channel 5
In November of 2013 Alvarine Burgess came out like a whistleblower on Channel 5 against Hon. Edmund Castro. At the time, she was claiming that she took visa applications for him to give recommendations and in exchange she brought thousands of dollars to the minister. Well she was asked to prove what she was saying but she never did. Despite multiple warnings for her and the TV station who was entertaining her to desist, they continued to impugn on Hon. Edmund Castro.
Because of their obstinate stance, they were met with a lawsuit by Hon. Castro; both Burgess and Channel 5 were taken to court. The matter went into case management and on Monday, June 10, Justice Courtenay Abel heard Channel 5 and Burgess’ attorney, Godfrey Smith, as he attempted to have the matter struck out.
Felicia Chen’s Guilty Plea Rejected
Felicia Chen 23, who is accused of drowning 3 of her 4 children at Belizean beach, appeared in Supreme Court on Wednesday, June 18. She appeared before Justice Troadio John Gonzalez where upon hearing her charge of 3 counts of murder, pleaded guilty.
She was unrepresented when she appeared in court and Justice Gonzalez did not accept her plea. He instead traversed her case to the next session of the Supreme Court which is set to commence on October 7, 2014.
In court, Chen told Justice Traodio Gonzalez that her attorney is attorney Antoinette Moore who has been appointed as a temporary judge with the Supreme Court and who is now posted at the Southern Region of the Supreme Court in Dangriga doing cases in that jurisdiction.
Chrisdale Alexander Courtney on Remand for Robbery
A teenager is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after two sisters claimed he robbed them on Sarstoon Street in Belize City. 21-year-old Samantha Abigail Portillo, a Cosmetologist of Belize City, reported to police that she was walking on Sarstoon Street with her sister, Xenia Garcia, at about 1:15 p.m. on Saturday, June 14, when a dark skin man approached, held her by the neck and demanded that she and her sister hand over their belongings. They complied and handed over their belongings, which include cellphones and cash. The attacker then rode off on a bicycle.
The women went to report the matter to police and gave a description of their attacker who was wearing a blue shirt and a blue camouflage hat with the inscription ‘MIAMI’. While the women were at the police station making a report, 18-year-old Chrisdale Alexander Courtney was brought in and both women identified him as their attacker. He was wearing the same clothing described by the women. Courtney was arrested and charged with two counts of robbery.
Teenage Girl lied on Jerod Dawson
On Tuesday June 17, Caye Caulker tattoo artist, Jerod Dawson was acquitted of sexually assaulting a 13 year old girl. Dawson was accused of putting a hickey on the young girl’s neck on May 23, 2014 whilst she was on the island’s basketball court
The trial started before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith where Dawson was represented by Kathleen Lewis. In the trial the child gave evidence alleging that it was Dawson who placed a hickey on her neck. In cross examination however, Dawson’s attorney managed to extract from the victim, who is now 14, that she had fabricated the entire story. Lewis was able to have the girl admit that when her mother saw the hickey and began to administer a beating on her that she yelled out the name Dawson saying it was he who put the vamp on her. The child’s mother also testified that it was when she was beating her daughter that she said it was Dawson.
Drugs in Cayo to be destroyed by fire
San Ignacio Police was seeking permission from Police Headquarters in Belmopan on Tuesday of this week to destroy a number of drugs in their possession, which had been confiscated by the local Court. A total of 134,136.64 grams of cannabis, 101.80 grams of crack cocaine and 0.5 grams of cocaine are expected to be destroyed by Police at a remote location in the Cayo District by the end of this week.
Siblings Caught Living in Belize Illegally
A brother and sister have been deemed prohibited immigrants and though the brother is out on bail the sister has been kept on remand since she is believed to be a flight risk.
33-year-old Giovanni Gonzalez Franco and 27-year-old Jessica Gonzalez Franco appeared in the Belize City Magistrates Court on Friday, June 13, to face a charge of staying illegally in Belize. Allegations are that Jessica arrived in Belize in November of 2013 and her last extension was up to January, 2014. Giovanni arrived in December of 2013 and was given permission to remain in Belize until May 14, 2014. They were picked up after police responded to a dispute at a Belize City residence. During their investigation into the dispute, police spoke to the siblings and asked for documents which they could not produce. Checks with the Immigration Department proved that they had both overstayed their time. The siblings were arrested and charged after being deemed prohibited immigrants.
Galindo Father and Son Claim Police Brutality but Charged for Assaulting Police
A father and son are claiming that police officers physically abused them on Saturday, June 14, but it was they who appeared in the Belize City Magistrates Court on Monday, June 16, to face charges of assault.
Nestor Galindo Sr, 40, and Nestor Galindo Jr, 21, were arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser on Monday to answer to numerous charges. Galindo Jr. was charged with one count of assaulting a police officer, one count of using indecent words, one count of harm and one count of resisting arrest. Galindo Sr. was charged with one count of harm and one count of assaulting a police officer. The complainant in all charges is a GSU officer, PC Harold Garbutt.
George Reneau Convicted of Firearm Offense
Plues Street resident, George Reneau, 49, is behind bars after he was convicted of being in possession of a firearm and ammunition without a gun license.
According to police, a Chinese man was robbed across from the Beauty Plaza parking lot on Church Street on January 24, 2012. A security guard in the area heard when the victim cried out for help. He went to assist and saw Reneau riding away on a bicycle with a bucket in his hand. When Reneau passed him he saw that Reneau was carrying a firearm in the bucket. The security guard held Reneau until police arrived at the scene. PC Gregory Witty was the first police to respond to the robbery scene. When he got there, the victim pointed out Reneua who was found with a loaded .32 pistol. Reneau was not charged with that robbery but he was later charged with keeping a firearm and ammunition without being granted a gun license by the Commissioner of Police.
Carla Reyes Spared Jail Time after Beating Drunk Woman
Carla Reyes is the beneficiary of a very lenient sentence by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser after she pleaded guilty to a charge of wounding upon Melanie Swasey.
Swasey was drinking on March 11, 2013 and bumped into Reyes outside of Oasis Bar on Central American Boulevard. Liquor spilled out unto Reyes and for this she placed a beating on Swasey who was too drunk to even defend herself. Swasey admits that she was intoxicated and says she remembers that as she was standing with two friends in front of a hotdog stand where she was attacked by a vendor, later identified as Carla Reyes. Reyes grabbed her by the hair and dragged her to the ground. While on the ground, Reyes punched her repeatedly in the face. Swasey sustained a cut wound to the upper lip, abrasions to the left knee and complained of pain to the head. A medical doctor classified her injuries as wounding.
Shootings continue in Belize City
Three men had to be hospitalized for weekend shootings in Belize City which happened over the weekend from June 13 to June 15.
The first one took place at around 9 p.m. on Friday, June 13. 40 year-old Walter Beaton was riding his bicycle on Kraal Road, and he was heading toward Fabers Road. When he arrived at the Ross Penn Road intersection, a gunman approached him from behind and fired several shots at him. Luckily, he was only injured by 2 of the shots in his left hand. He jumped off the bike and ran into the Cumberbatch Field, and the gunman fled the area shortly after.
24 hours later, on Saturday night, 22 year-old Efrain Assi was sitting on the basketball court on Alicia Street with 4 other friends when a gunman arrived and opened fire on the group. Assi was injured multiple times, and he had to be rushed to the KHMH for medical treatment.
Government Guarantees BEL’s Loan Agreement with CDB
The Caribbean Development Bank has agreed to lend the Belize Electricity Limited US$11,231,000. BEL plans to use the credit to upgrade and expand its sub-transmission and distribution systems across the country in order to improve the reliability of the company’s power supply to customers.
The loan will be repaid in 48 equal and consecutive quarterly installments. The first payment will be due three years after the agreement date. The interest rate is set at 4.1 percent per annum on the outstanding portion of the loan. In order for BEL to enter into the loan agreement with the Caribbean Development Bank, the loan must be guaranteed by the Government of Belize.
Injunction lifted against BGYEA
The Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA) managed to win a minor victory against the Government of Belize in the push to stop anyone from using the road reserve for corn farming. Nevertheless, the Government believes that their resistance is a reasonable position which serves the public.
As has been widely publicized, BGYEA wants to use the road reserve, which was designated as a buffer zone in the Harmonyville land subdivision, to plant corn with their business partner Sam Patton. They’ve opted to change the terms after they initially agreed that the 29 acres of buffer zone was to be left without any kind of development.
Government was successful in getting an ex-party injunction issued against BGYEA to ensure that they didn’t trespass into the buffer zone, since all indications were that they intended to ignore the Lands Department’s cease and desist order.
BIL to build two more facilities
The Belize Infrastructure Limited signed two contracts this week to construct sporting facilities in Belize City and in San Pedro. The first contract was signed on Monday, June 16, and it is for the San Pedro Football Field and facilities. The contract signed was for the design of the field which will include the possibility of having a synthetic turf installed for its durability as well as the difficulty to have natural grass grown on the island. The contract was signed with International Environments for $165,000.
The second contract signed was for the Belize City Multipurpose Facility which was for the design and feasibility of a fully equipped facility in Belize city. The contract was signed with Anthony Thurton & Associates for $265,000 BZD. It will include a sporting facility to host national, regional and international court sport competitions primarily basket and volleyball as well as hosting of cultural and entertainment events with all supporting amenities.
Minister Elrington Delivers Boxing Equipment from Diaspora
Leopold Smart of Smart Boxing Gym in Belize City and Frank Martinez of Lions Den Boxing Gym in San Ignacio received some much needed equipment on Wednesday, June 18. Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs, handed over the equipment to Leonard Yssaguirre of the Belize Boxing Federation at the Samuel Haynes Institute for Excellence.
The donation includes eight jump ropes, two speed bags, six guard belts, six red gloves, five black gloves, one brown gloves, one trainer gloves, three packs of elastic hand wrap, five classic hand wraps, one yellow trainer mit, one grey trainer mit, two latex bags, five boxing shoes, six head gears and thirteen mouth guards. The gears were purchased by Belizeans living in California and shipped to Belize by the Consular Representative in California, Mr. Roland Yorke.
Minister Elrington says he is glad that the Diaspora continues to pitch in to aid in the development of their home country. He says the Diaspora has assisted in several areas, especially in healthcare. Minister Elrington says this donation provides opportunities for young Belizeans to train and develop their boxing skills because “boxing was once very popular in Belize and can be once again”.
The Boxing Federation will share the gears between the two clubs.
Cayo Safety Day held
The Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association (CNWA) reached out to the community on Saturday of this past weekend at the Cayo Welcome Center in San Ignacio Town in an all out effort to spread some personal safety tips. Coming out to assist the CNWA were San Ignacio Police, the Fire Department, Crime Stoppers Belize and the Belize Emergency Response Team (BERT). All teams paraded down the George Price Highway in San Ignacio and across the Hawkesworth Bridge to Santa Elena on Saturday, with the local Scouts group at the lead; holding the Belize, Police Force, Scouts and the United States of America Flag.
The parade ended at the Cayo Welcome Center where the CNWA’s Cayo Safety Day began in earnest. BERT personnel were on hand to show the public how to administer Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation as well as how to assist a choking victim. The Spanish Lookout Rescue Team shared that for traffic accidents, assistance is provided free of cost. For private transfers, the BERT marked ambulances would charge $275.00. The BERT Ambulances can be reached via BTL at 6000-911 and via SMART at 6770-911. From one of the three of BERT’s ambulances comes the capability of extricating passengers from a crumpled car with the powerful ‘Jaws of Life.’
Graduation Address by UB’s President Alan Slusher
Today is a happy day for a lot of people in Belize, and particularly here in Belmopan. In many cases, however, the happiness is mixed.
First, more than 400 former students are in the final stages of saying goodbye, at least for now, to the University of Belize. For some of those graduates the happiness is mixed with relief: the grind is over for the time being; the last assignment has been handed in and graded; and there will be no more late nights wondering whether sleep will come before dawn. Now the wondering is: when am I going to start earning some real money. For others, the happiness is mixed with a bit of sadness and regret: losing contact with mentors and good friends, and wondering when and where they will meet again (I want to tell you that those campus couples who don’t want to risk anything get married very quickly).
For parents and guardians, happy that the sons and daughters have finally graduated, the hope is: now that some of the strain has been removed from the household budget, the issue is how to persuade the new graduate, as soon as he or she finds employment, to start making a substantial contribution to the house money before the marriage talk starts.
Clarification on lifted injunction on Harmonyville Subdivision
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture is compelled to clarify the outcome of the court hearing in relation to the interim injunction order against the representatives of BGYEA and Mr. Sam Patton.
On May 22nd, 2014 the Government of Belize filed for an interim injunction restraining the Respondents by themselves, their servants or agents or whosoever from trespassing, entering and possessing, clearing, planting crops, placing or projecting any object on or over the land, encumbering or dealing with the reserve buffer zone situate at Mile 41 of the George Price Highway in respect of the area known as Harmonyville.
This interim injunction expired last Friday June 13th, 2014. The Honourable Court did not continue the injunction; however the Government of Belize is at liberty by law to apply for another injunction. The substantive claim for Trespass by way of Fixed Date Claim is scheduled to be heard on June 30th, 2014.
New Building in Belmopan for better mental health
Persons who relapse or become stricken by the sudden onslaught of a mental disorder can now find respite at a newly built specialized facility in Belmopan, built just for that purpose. Belize Ministry of Health Officials, the U.S. Embassy’s Charge’d’ Affairs, Belize Defense Force personnel as well as the U.S Military cut a ribbon for the acute mental health unit at the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan last Friday.
The new mental health facility building was built at a cost of about a million dollars, during a 63 day period. The new unit that will function under the Ministry of Health’s Mental Health Program is product of collaboration by Belize Defense Force engineers with the U.S Military New Horizon 2014 members.
Mexican Trade Mission visits Belmopan
The Trade and Investment Mexican Agency (ProMexico) and the Embassy of Mexico played the role as host to their Belizean business counterparts at the Mexican Embassy in Belmopan on Wednesday of this week. Leaders of Mexican Companies had an opportunity today to also meet with Government Officials at the Mexican Embassy in an effort to strengthen the commercial ties between the two countries.
Joint ventures between businesses from both Belize and Mexico were also being encouraged today.
“The purpose is to make a link between Belizean Companies and Mexican Companies in order to increase our bilateral trade, so that means that we are not only interested in selling products, but also in making strategic alliances and joint ventures,” says Jose Manuel Rodriguez, the Director of ProMexico in Merida, Yucatan and who is responsible to the State of Yucatan, in encouraging Mexican Companies to export to different countries and also attract foreign investment.
One of those Mexican companies being represented in Belmopan today and with a huge potential for Belize is Blue Ocean Technologies, which produces computer software to enhance transparency in Government at both the Municipal and National Level. Blue Ocean renders information as e-government on a Microsoft based platform that is 100% web based and is achieved with just a few clicks. Mauricio Menendez, Director of business at Blue Ocean told us that his company employs some 60 programmers that build software to make Governments more efficient.
Summer Camp to begin at Belmopan Library
The Belmopan Public Library will be holding its annual summer program starting June 30th to July 4th 2014. For this year the topic for the summer program will be water. Children between the ages of 5 to 12 years old are now being invited to visit the library and register for this program.
“We can’t be without water…so there will be lots to discuss,” writes Mary Vivas Palacio, Librarian at the Belmopan Public Library.
Some four volunteers will be assisting with the Summer Program to cater for fifty kids, just one week after school closes.
The Belmopan Public Library opens 9:00 am until 7:00 pm, Mondays to Fridays and 9:00 am to 10:00 pm on Saturdays.
Queen’s Birthday honors
In a News Release from Belize House in Belmopan, the Office of the Governor-General announces that Her Majesty the Queen has been graciously pleased to make the following appointments to the Most Distinguished Order Of Saint Michael And Saint George And The Most Excellent Order British Empire on the occasion of Birthday Honours 2014.
To be a Knight Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George, The Hon. Mr. Justice Manuel Sosa OB, CBE, SC, LLB (Hons), for contribution to the Judiciary.
To be an Ordinary Commander of the Civil Division of the said Most Excellent Order of the British Empire:
Dr. Ellsworth R. Grant, for contribution to Medicine.
To be Ordinary Members of the Civil Division of the Said Most Excellent Order of the British Empire:
Pat Andrews, for Contribution to the Community and Banking.
Stephen A Duncan, for contribution to the Community and Banking.
Crystal Yvonne Vernon, for contribution to the Community.
Francis Paul Woods, for contribution to the Community and Business.
The Date for the presentation of awards will be announced later.
SATIIM Fails yet again
For the past 2 months, SATIIM made the media rounds claiming that they were adamant to block the Government of Belize and US Capital Energy from continuing oil explorations inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park. That attempt came in the form of an injunction application before Justice Michelle Arana on Monday, June 13, and when it was done, it was a major anti-climax. The company is allowed to continue its operation unhindered.
Before the application for injunction was heard, Government attorney Denys Barrow applied to have it struck out on the grounds that the court was “functus officio”, meaning that this case was closed before the judge because her decision was handed down and finalized. Barrow reasoned that because of this, the court didn’t have jurisdiction to grant this injunction that SATIIM and the Mayan Communities were requesting.
Eamon Courtenay, attorney for the Mayan Communities, rebutted that argument on the grounds that according to the Civil Procedure Rules of the Supreme Court, Justice Arana was allowed to grant this injunction even though the judgement was already handed down.
Preparations for Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium now underway
Experts from the fields of both Archaeology and Anthropology will soon be converging in San Ignacio Town for four consecutive days to discuss cutting edge topics in their fields; to become the 12th Archaeology & Anthropology Symposium. The dates selected for this once a year event are from July the first to the fourth 2014 at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. Experts have already been booked to discuss central topics related to the Ancient Maya Domestic Economy as well as Subsistence, Commerce and Industry. In the Anthropology section, presenters will be discussing topics on how to safeguard our cultural heritage, traditional medicine and other emerging issues relating to social and cultural research.
It was during a period of ten years that the Belize Symposium centered on Archaeology, but that has changed during the last three years as Anthropology was incorporated into the presentation series.
“That has happened because we have given more priority and attention to the institutionalization of the Institute for Social and Cultural Research ISCR,” says Diane Haylock, the current President of the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), one of the partners organizing the National event and whose important task involves providing a window to Belize’s cultural past, present and future.
Valley of Peace Farmers want Green Tropics Land
In March 2014, 30 small farmers from Valley of Peace accused the multinational company Green Tropics of destroying their crops with pesticides. Well months of negotiation has been fruitless, and the farmers have decided that they want their attorney present at all meetings now.
The destruction of the crops happened on March 15, in which crop dusters doused an area of their farm with pesticides. The problem is that in the process, there was some drifting of the chemicals, and it was deposited on some 150 to 200 acres of farm lands that these farmers were using. They claimed that they lost a value of over 100 thousand dollars in product. The company countered their dispute claiming they shouldn’t have been there in the first place because these farmers were squatting on Green Tropics land, the land which they used to plant their crops.
After weeks of intervention from the Ministry of Agriculture, acting as mediator to try to reach an amicable resolution, no compromise was reached. The company got their attorney, Mikhail Arguelles, to write each and every one of the farmers on June 9, that they needed to vacate the land, or else they risk criminal and civil court proceedings. The farmers got their attorney, Andrew Marshalleck, to write back to the company that they have been farming the land for over 30 years, and so they are not liable for any criminal or civil consequence of squatting on the lands.
GOB and CDB launches Youth and Road Safety Capacity Building Project
2,000 Belizean Youth between ages 16-29 are expected to benefit from this USD$157,000 the Youth and Road Safety Capacity Building Project jointly funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Government of Belize (GOBZ). The project will be executed by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Road Safety Unit and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. The road safety capacity building programme for teens and young adults will be facilitated by Youth For Road Safety , an international youth-led and youth-oriented, not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation focused on youth and road safety. The programme will utilise a train-the-trainer approach, while incorporating peer education and active learning. It is expected that the project will also enhance the benefits to be realised from the ongoing USD8.844 million CDB and GOBZ funded Road Safety Project launched in March 2013.
Road traffic injuries are the fourth leading cause of death in Belize. Of these, youth comprise 30% of road crash fatalities, with young males specifically, accounting for approximately 90%. Through this project we aim to increase youth’s understanding of road safety, and create the awareness for young men and women to become advocates and peer-facilitators for road safety. The first phase of the project will commence from June 16-27, 2014 over a two-week period. YOURS will take the selected young leaders through an intensive road safety programme and train them in all aspects of youth and road safety issues as well as key skills on running their own workshops with young people in the country. The training combines theory with practice and will give hands on experience as well as life-long transferrable skills and an unforgettable experience.
Sagitun leads FFB President’s Cup Tournament
The FFB President’s Cup Tournament continued over the last weekend with a number of games across the country.
On Sunday June 15, at the Toledo Union Field in Punta Gorda Town, Estrellas FC and Progresso FC played to a 1-1 draw. The goal for Estrellas was scored by Sony Wade in the 47th minute of play, while the goal for Progresso FC was scored by Aduan Usher in the 70th minute of play.
On Saturday June 14, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the visiting San Antonio FC and the host team Roaring Creek United to a 0-0 draw.
In the game played out at the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga Town, Benque D.C. United edged out Pomona United by the score of 3-2. The goals for Benque D.C. United were scored by Auner Cariass in the 51st minute of play, Victor Tut in the 87th minute of play and Owen Nunez an own goal in the 69th minute of play. For Pomona United, the goals were scored by Elias Pelayo in the 75th minute of play and Otis Smith in the 77th minute of play.
Primary schools basketball competition enters semi-final round
The Belize City Primary Schools Basketball competition entered its semi-final round on Tuesday June 17, at the Bird’s Isle in Belize City.
In the first game of the girls’ semi-final round, Holy Redeemer School eliminated St. John’s Primary by the score of 18-7. The top scorers for Holy Redeemer were Zaria Jenkins with 9 points and Leeza Russell with 4 points. For St. John’s Primary, the top scorer was Kelsy Bradley with 5 points.
In the second semi-final game in the girls’ competition, Belize Elementary School eliminated Wesley Upper School by the score of 10-5. The top scorer for Belize Elementary School was Allyana Musa with 9 points, while the top scorer for Wesley Upper School was Keyla Melvin with 4 points.
Wesley Upper School captures Fiona Stevenson Swim Meet
The Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) held its 7th Annual Fiona Stevenson Learn to Swim Meet at the WCA Swimming Pool in Belize City. The Swim Meet saw the participation of ten (10) primary schools which included Bethel, Wesley Upper School, Holy Redeemer, Buttonwood Bay Nazarene, Queen Square Anglican School, Central Christian School, Friends Boys School, Ebenezer Methodist School, Ephesus Seventh Day Adventist and the Salvation Army School.
Two students from the girls and boys category from each school participated in either the Short or Long Distance event.
Forty eight medals which were donated by the National Sports Council and they have been doing the donation of medals for the past three meets, were awarded to the top three finishers in each of the respective categories. Five trophies were awarded to the first, second and third place schools, Most Improved Swimmer and the Most Outstanding Swimmer.
San Pedro Tigersharks a win away from capturing national basketball title
The National Elite Basketball League commenced its championship round for the 2014 season on Sunday June 15, at the R Angel Nunez Auditorium in San Pedro Town between the number one seed and the tournament’s favourites the San Pedro Tigersharks and the Cayo Western Ballaz.
In the first of the best of three games championship series, the home team the San Pedro Tigersharks edged out the visiting Cayo Western Ballaz by the score of 53-52. The top scorers for the San Pedro Tigersharks were Winston Pratt with 14 points, 10 rebounds and one assist, Jamal Kelly with 10 points, and 3 rebounds and Ashton Edwards with 9 points, 2 rebounds and 2 steals.
For the Cayo Western Ballaz, the top scorers were Farron Louriano with 20 points, 8 rebounds, and a steal, Richard Troyer with 12 points, 12 rebounds, 1 assist and a steal, and Travis Lennan with 10 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals.
The second game in the series is scheduled for Friday June 20, 2014, at 9:00 pm at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town.
Primary schools basketball regular competition ends
The Belize City Primary Schools Basketball Competition is fast winding down at the Bird’s Isle with the last game in the regular season played and the commencement of the semi-final round.
In the last game of the regular competition played in the boys’ competition on Tuesday June 17, 2014, St. Martin De Porres defeated St. Luke Methodist School by the score of 26-24. The top scorers for St. Martin De Porres were Ivan Cacho with 12 points and Collet Moter with 5 points, while the top scorers for St. Luke Methodist were Chervin Tench with 13 points and Julian Luna with 7 points.
On Monday June 16, in game one of two games in the boys’ competition, Holy Redeemer School defeated Trinity Methodist School by the score of 19-5. The top scorer for Holy Redeemer School was Luciano Novelo with 4 points.
In game two, St. John’s Primary defeated Salvation Army School by the score of 43-3. The top scorers for St. John’s Primary were Tyrone Flowers with 16 points, Stephone Tablada with 6 points and Denroy Lopez with 5 points.
Thirty six days before the opening of the XX Commonwealth Games
The citizens of Glasgow, Scotland, await the arrival of the Commonwealth to their city for the XX Commonwealth Games, which is scheduled to commence on July 23, with the Official Opening Ceremony at Celtic Park and the Official Closing Ceremony on August 3, at Hampden Park.
Belize will have participation in the games with a contingent of 20 athletes and officials in five disciplines. Belize will participate in Athletics which commences on July 27 and concludes with the traditional Marathon on August 2; Cycling (Road and Individual Time Trial) commences on July 31 and concludes on August 3; Shooting commences on July 25 and concludes on July 29; Table Tennis commences on July 24 and concludes on August 2; and Triathlon which commences on July 24 and concludes on July 24, 2014.
Athletics will be held at Hampden Park where the Official Closing Ceremony will be held; Cycling road and Individual Time Trial will be held on Glasgow City roads; Shooting will be held at Barry Buddon Shooting Complex; Table Tennis will be held at Scotstoun Sports Complex and Triathlon at the Strathcylde Auditorium.
Felicia Chen appears in Supreme Court accused of killing her children
On Wednesday morning in the Supreme Court, accused killer of her own children 23 year old Felicia Chen attempted to plead guilty to the deaths of her three children. But Justice Troadio Gonzalez declined to accept the plea because Chen was without her lawyer. Attorney Antoinette Moore is […]
Businessman charged for rape of teenager is released on bail
Businessman Adil Abdullah Bishop, 65, was read a single count of rape by Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer in court today. The Reggae Street businessman met bail of $7,000. According to police, a 19-year-old woman of Belize City reported that Abdullah picked her up on June 13, 2014 around […]
COLA fires back at Ministers Hulse and Elrington
A pair of press releases from Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) lambasted Ministers Godwin Hulse and Wilfred Elrington for separate statements made on Wednesday. COLA, which is leading the private prosecution of ex-Minister of State Elvin Penner, believes the Minister of Immigration contradicted himself when he […]
Man accused of raping pre-teen
A 12 year old girl is accusing a man twice her age of forcing her into sexual intercourse not once, but twice in the last six months. David Gonzalez, 25, a messenger employed by Home Protector Insurance Company, was read his charges before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer and […]
Court dismisses appeal of Vincent Tillett
The Court of Appeal has dismissed the appeal of 49 year old Vincent Tillett and upheld his sentence of 15 years in prison for manslaughter. Tillett was accused of the murder of Darwin Philips on February 13, 2011 but was convicted of the lesser charge. Tillet’s attorney, Anthony […]
Tower Hill airstrip to undergo renovations
Ground was broken today marking the start of rehabilitation works on the airstrip located in the Tower Hill Area of Orange Walk town. Belize Airport Authority executives flanked by other government officials announced that the upgrade of the airstrip is part of the larger plan of the […]
Octavia Waight Center gets donation
The Octavia Waight Center in San Ignacio town is the recipient of some much needed equipment to help in the care of the elderly in the institution. The Usher family of Santa Elena town recently handed over a set of walkers and a couple of wheelchairs to the […]
San Ignacio Rotary Club undertakes renovation of Santa Elena park
The Rotary Park in Santa Elena town, Cayo is undergoing some major upgrades.
The San Ignacio Rotary Club is spearheading a project that will see some significant upgrading of the facilities, including a perimeter fence to make the space more safe for users, installation of a water fountain and other amenities for area’s children and the general public at large.
The Rotary Park upgrading has already started, even though full funding for the major part of the work has not yet been secured.
Members of the San Ignacio Rotary Club and members of the Rotaract Club turned out last weekend to complete the erection of the chain link fence around three quarters of the perimeter of the park.
At the completion of the renovation project, the park, which is located next to the fire station and bordered by the Loma Luz Boulevard, will be an important public space in the area for residents and visitors alike.
Belize City businessman charged for the crime of rape
Belize City police have arrested and charged businessman Adel Abdullah [Bishop], 65, for the crime of rape.
The charge against Abdullah arose out of a report made by a 19 year old woman who told police that the alleged rape happened on Friday afternoon, June 13.
According to police, the woman says that Abdullah [Bishop], whom she met on Marine Parade Boulevard, was supposed to have taken her to see a house that she was supposed to have rented, which is located at Mile 8 on the George Price Highway.
But instead of going to the previously agreed location, the woman said that Abdullah [Bishop] turned off the highway and into a road leading to Homeland Memorial Park.
When she questioned where the property was located, the woman said that Abdullah [Bishop] took out a firearm and asked her is she wanted to hold it.
Police say at that point, the woman asked to be taken home, but instead, alleges that Abdullah [Bishop] stopped the vehicle and raped her.
Police say they have since recovered the firearm which the woman spoke about in her report.
Running Around the Island Plus San Pedro Lobsterfest Gets Chocolatey
I’ve just started putting together a daily schedule for myself the night before and, get this, actually writing it down. This running your own business thing is tricky for me – the die-hard procrastinator and queen of no organization. I figure that something basic like a schedule can’t be THAT difficult to do.
Just like throwing dirty laundry in the hamper is just as easy as throwing it on the floor. (Pffft….yeah right.) I give this schedule thing a week but I am sincerely hoping for the best.
Yesterday it was pretty full. It is still World Cup mania, we are in the midst of San Pedro Lobsterfest and well….I just had quite a few errands to run. So here are some pictures of some of the things I did yesterday. I have no profound way to present this subject matter so…here it is.
After a brutal week back at Crossfit San Pedro (after 3 weeks of gluttonous and slothful vacation), I am seriously hurting and needing some yoga and zen. Best to head to my new “happy place” – the Zen Arcade.
More Belize Birding News
Funded by the IDB and delivered by the Belize Audubon Society, the USD$ 2.6 million project budget will be shared by Belize, Bahamas, Guatemala and Paraguay.
Speaking at the project launch at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City, Amanda Burgos, Belize Audubon Society’s Executive Director said that the Belizean funds are earmarked for introducing birding as a specialized field of study for tour guides.
“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 specialisation,” Ms Burgos said.
Chaa Creek guides have been fortunate that since the Birds Without Borders project we mentioned in the blog, there has been ongoing, specialised support for Chaa Creek guides to increase their knowledge of the almost overwhelming number of resident and migratory birds here.
“Have a Nice Day” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up at 03.50 hours yesterday morning. I do sleep very well – it would probably take a cannon to wake me- but when I wake I just have to get up. Try as I might I find it exceedingly difficult, if not nigh impossible, to go back to sleep again. Some people can, I just cannot. But looking at it on the positive side I get so many more conscious hours than a lot of people.
It didn’t take but a few minutes to make my mug of black coffee, unplug the iPad and seat myself comfortably in my chair ((you might be interested to learn that one chair is looking decidedly more used (and worn) than the other three)) on the lagoon facing veranda.
I whiled away a few hours catching up on the news via my subscription to The Times online, a bit of time on Facebook and reading and responding to emails by which time it had got light and time for me to get cracking.
Do you have a startup that could change the world?
Apply to be selected among the most innovative startups in Latin America and the Caribbean!
This year the idb will be selecting a group of 15 startups, to participate, from December 1st to the 3rd, 2014, in one of the most innovative events at the IDB in Washington, DC. The goal is to raise awareness and connect innovative solutions, creative ventures from Latin America and the Caribbean to the world.
SAN PEDRO IN A POSTIVE LIGHT
Ambergris Caye is a beautiful island off the coast of Belize that many expats call home. The San Pedrano people are blessed to have born here on this tiny island and have had the life we all dreamed of one day having. There are beautiful beaches, brilliant snorkeling and amazing diving and fishing. The locals are unforgettable with their helpfulness and smiles. Most everyone speaks English and will help you find your way where you are wanting to go…. no problem. Businesses here, for the most part are hard working honest folks just trying to make their way. There is amazing food, great atmosphere and lots to see and do. San Pedro has been voted the number one island in the world! That alone should tell people something. It has charm and character unlike no other. If you are looking for a place to relocate or just to vacation. Ambergris Caye is the place to be!
Warm Weather and Ocean Views in Belize
Two years ago Duane and Judy Allen moved full-time from Tampa, Florida, to Ambergris Caye, Belize. “I always wanted to live right on the beach, but not in a condo,” says Duane. “I wanted a home, and space around me to roam. For years I scoured Florida’s coasts, looking for an affordable property. But everything was out of reach.”
Just Back: the Crystal Maiden of Belize
The skeleton glistens in the torchlight, years of calcite deposits decorating the skull and cementing the bones to the cave floor. This young man once made the same underground journey we have just completed. But when he got here, he was sacrificed to Chaak and his body left where it still lies.
The river that formed Belize’s Actun Tunichil Muknal cave still flows, pooling as it emerges into the dawn sunlight and necessitating a swim to start our journey into the Mayan underworld. Our guide has insisted on an early start and no one else is around as we take the plunge. The view back from inside is amazing, the rock arch framing a view of water, jungle and sky; the view the other way is black.
That river is always with us. The water is strangely warm, sometimes around our ankles, then about our necks, but always pushing against us. Above, bats hang in their holes and tiny seedlings grow from their droppings, atrophying in the dark.
Airman, first-generation American behind the scenes for New Horizons
Growing up, Eric Gazola was encouraged to have an open mind and a worldly view. As a U.S. Air Force first lieutenant he has been able to continue his worldly education working as the New Horizons Tactical Operations Center officer in charge in Belize.
"I was born and raised in the U.S., but I was always encouraged to have a global perspective," said Gazola, deployed from the 820th RED HORSE Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. "My undergraduate degree is in International Relations with a concentration in Middle Eastern Affairs, and my masters degree is in Diplomacy with a concentration in Terrorism Studies.
"We may be the greatest country in the world, but there's another side to the story than just the American side," he said, and it's important to learn both.
Drones taking a birds-eye view of our ecosystem
Max Messinger, a biology graduate student at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and a group of scientists are using tiny robots to see Earth's landscape like never before.
“What we use [the drones] for specifically is to look at forest ecology, so we look at the way forests function,” explained Messinger.
The researchers say that the drones can sail over different regions and take hundreds of images from various vantage points. Within minutes, they can capture large areas or zoom in on an individual tree.
“The biggest thing that we can get from the drone is a higher level of detail,” said Messinger.
Once the drones capture the images, scientists use the pictures to build 3-D models that can be studied in the lab. For example, the images were able to help scientists build a model of a tree plot within a forest in North Carolina.
JCSE embarks on USNS Spearhead for mission supporting USSOUTHCOM area of operations
On May 29, four members of the Joint Enabling Capabilities Command’s Joint Communications Support Element (JCSE) departed Naval Station Mayport, Florida, embarked on the USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) to provide communications expertise during the ship’s maiden voyage to the U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) area of responsibility (AOR).
JCSE members are participa
Re: Today's Belize News: June 20, 2014
06/20/14 05:53 AM
06/20/14 05:53 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Video: Belize, 5min.
10 days spent in Belizean rain forest and coral reefs with Dr. Evans and Jordan Casey.
Video: Manatees mating in Belize, 2min.
Manatees do not form permanent pair bonds like some animal species. During breeding, a single female or cow, will be followed by a group of a dozen or more males or bulls, forming a mating herd. They appear to breed indiscriminately during this time; however, age experience of some males in the herd probably plays a role in breeding success. Although breeding and birth may occur at any time during the year, there appears to be a broad spring-summer calving peak. We are pleading to boaters to please be on the look out for manatee mating herds while on the waters. If seen contact the Coastal Zone Management at 501-223-0719
Video: Nim Li Punit A Glimpse of Southern Belize's Ancient Maya 6-19-2014 Belize, 3min.
Nim Li Punit is one of the smaller Maya sites well known for the large amount of stele found here. The site inherited its name from a carving on the site's 26 stele, showing a figure wearing a large headdress. In the Maya Kekchi language, Nim Li Punit means 'the big hat.' Nim Li Punit lies about 5 kilometers off the Southern Highway, near the villages of Indian Creek and Golden Stream. Access to the site follows a fairly steep, hilly, dirt road bordered by tall cohune palms and towering trees draped with flowing vines.
Video: The Top 5 Bird Watching Hotspots in Belize 6-19-2014 Belize, 3min.
With more than 500 species of birds, this country is a bird-watcher's paradise. There are also numerous animals, which can be observed in wildlife refuges. The extensive limestone system gives rise to really fascinating and unexplored cave systems, often with evidence of use in the dim past by the Mayas.
Video: UWRF Belize Study Adventure 2014, 11min.
This video is from my study abroad class to Belize. I had a blast and would encourage any UWRF student to go if they get the chance.
Video: Altun Ha's Jade Head The Crown Jewel of Belize 6-20-2014 Belize, 3min.
The Maya Sun God. Ever since its discovery, the jade head has been the subject of much controversy among Belizeans. For years most of us have believed that, shortly after its discovery, this unique Maya masterpiece was spirited out of the country and never returned to its rightful home.
Video: a look at Xunantunich, 5min.
A Tour of Xunantunich Mayan Ruins, By Belize True Adventures
Video: Ambergris Caye, Belize 2014, 7min.
Scuba Belize 2014, Hol Chan Park and Tuffy's Reef.
Video: Baby manatee in Belize, 1min.
Baby manatee on searious adventures with Junior as our tour guide in June 2014. Shot with gopro hero 3 black.
Video: HARPER'S BAZAAR INTERIORS May/June 2014 Issue : First Lady Kim Simplis' Belize, 5min.
Take a look Behind- The-Scenes at HARPER'S BAZAAR INTERIORS: KIM SIMPLIS' BELIZE April 2014 Photo shoot produced by Harper's Bazaar International Style Editor LUIGI IRAUZQUI and be part of this breathtaking pictorial adventure: from the tropical Central American jungles to the turquoise waters of the Belizian Caribbean Sea.
A design, architectural and touristic journey of a lifetime hosted by the First Lady of Belize Kim Simplis-Barrow: from Creole and Victorian Colonial architecture seafront hotels to picturesque thatched Balinese inspired beach Cabanas to uber luxurious private boutique resorts, Belize has it all in terms of luxury, comfort and amenities.
With 175 miles of unbroken barrier reef, Belize is rustic, breathtaking, full of Caribbean flavor and adventure but also sophisticated, exclusive and surprisingly glamorous.
Video: Belize Barrier Reef, 7min.
Video: Wandering, 6min.
Material for this video was taken on during my travels in central america (Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Belize). Folks from the video are mostly my friends or guys I've met on my way. I've used my apple Ipod touch and GoPro Hero 3 for surfing scenes :)
Video: Choosing a Bonefish Line, 4min.
If you are new to tropical saltwater fly fishing, it can be a bit daunting trying to choose the right fly line for your trip. Filmed in Belize, this short film describes the RIO bonefish fly line options and breaks down the advantages of each one, enabling you to choose the perfect bonefish line for your next trip.
Video: SP and D wedding, 22min.
Wedding ceremony of Shirley Pat and Dwayne on the beach in Belize
Video: The Night Shift, 5min.
What happens at night in the ocean when the lights go out...
Shot in San Pedro, Belize June 2014.
Scuba diving & fishing are most famous Things to do in Belize, 6min.
Under the water is truly breathtaking here on Ambergris Caye. This is the diving that brings divers back again and again. So, take pleasure in blue hole diving in Belize at cheap packages offered by Caribbean Villas Hotel.
Video: Sugar Cane Factory Tour, Belize, 11min.
Sugar cane factory tour in Orange Walk Town, Belize, on June 14, 2014
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