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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

This Thursday: A great new comedy you've never heard of
This Thursday (Oct. 16), the Paradise Theater will be showing another movie in their series "THE BEST NEW MOVIES YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF." This month's installment is an R-rated comedy called "Obvious Child," about a young New York comedian dealing with an unexpected and unwanted pregnancy (it's funny, we promise).

Tropical's Coffee Baristas offer tasty brews at Ramon's!
After sufficiently butchering all that is good and holy about Dr. Seuss, I can just hope that you grasp the seriousness of our love of coffee. And why we're so excited to tell you that Ramon's has three newly certified baristas. Oh yes. Tropical's has stepped it up, hiring barista training Alexa Baehr from Seattle Barista Academy to train Alexis, Kareem and Ron in the fine art of pouring that perfect espresso, steaming that milk just so, and making the foamiest of foams to top your latte or cappuccino. We got a cup to go thanks to the wonderful Einer, and well, let's just say we were MORE than thrilled to savor some caffeinated goodness. The verdict? My caramel flavored, double cappuccino, wet (that is, with steamed milk) - was glorious. It was the perfect 'wake-me-up before I go-go' on Seaduced's Caye Caulker sail.

Superstar Josh Nunez to headline saga humane society Halloween Spooktacular
Telenovela star and San Pedro native Josh Nunez will headline the 11th annual SAGA Humane Society Halloween Spooktacular Party on Sunday October 26, 2014 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. at Carlo & Ernie's Runway Bar & Grill. The Telenovela star, and animal lover will join San Pedro Police Chief Jemmott and Miss San Pedro Michelle Estrella Nunez as a contest celebrity judge at this year's event. All proceeds from the event will directly benefit the shelter. Silent auction items, including resort packages, massage and dining certificates, and more will be available for bidding on line beginning Wednesday October 15th and will remain open until Monday October 27th.

BTB reports an increase in tourist arrivals
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) has announced an increase in tourist arrivals for the third quarter of 2014. In a press release dated Friday, October 10th, BTB stated that both overnight and cruise ship arrivals have increased, and even exceeded, the forecasted numbers. The third quarter refers to the months of July, August and September, and is generally considered the slow season in the tourism industry, usually registering a low influx of tourist arrivals. When compared to 2013, airport arrivals for the third quarter of 2014 saw a 3.9% increase. According to BTB, each month of the slow season registered an increase in arrivals through the Philip Goldson International Airport. The highest increase in airport arrivals for this year was in the month of July which saw a 6% increase as compared to July 2013. Overall airport arrivals went up 9.2% in the first nine months of 2014.

Ambergris Today

Ebola Scare in Belize On Board Carnival Magic Cruise Ship
News 5 Live in Belize City has posted on its Facebook Page (at about 9p.m. local Belize time) that it has confirmed with representatives of Belize's Ministry of Health that they have indeed received a report that there is at least one passenger on board the cruise ship, Carnival Magic, showing symptoms similar to that of the Ebola virus. The post on News 5 Live continues to read as follows: "According to the report made to MOH, the person exhibiting the symptoms did not come ashore today. The ship is reportedly carrying 3652 passengers and a total population of 4633 persons. The Carnival Magic departed from Galveston Texas on Sunday, October 12 arrived in Mahogany Bay, Honduras on Wednesday October 15 and arrived in Belize this morning, Thursday October 16. The ship was scheduled to leave Belize en route to Cozumel this evening at 5pm. However, it is still anchored in Belizean waters near State Bank Caye. We have also have confirmed that the Coast Guard has been deployed to prevent anyone from leaving the ship; including the Belizean pilot on board."

Belize Signs $67.5 million Agreement to Alleviate Rural Poverty
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Hon. Dean Barrow has signed a 27 million Euro/BZ $67.5 million National Indicative Program (NIP) for the period 2014 to 2020 with the European Commission designed to advance the activities of the Government of Belize in alleviating rural poverty in Belize. Signing on behalf of the European Commission was the Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs. The Prime Minister indicated at the signing held in Washington, D.C on Friday October 10th that this agreement funded under the European Development Fund (EDF 11) is a signal of confidence by the European Union in the Government of Belize with respect to its development agenda. Belizeans will benefit from the EDF 11 National Indicative Program in the sectors of Energy and Health.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Thunderbolt water taxi off for two weeks
The management and staff of the Thunderbolt water taxi ANNOUNCES that their daily services to Sarteneja and San Pedro, Ambergris Caye will be suspended effective Wednesday October 15th for 2 weeks. This is due to their yearly maintenance. Services will resume at a later date to be announced. The management and staff apologize for any inconvenience caused.

Usually, we post something more orchids or bromeliads related
But part of our job is to plant around the pool and to maintain the beautiful environment for the enjoyment of fantastic groups like this one!! BTW, the little noise on the background is actually coming from the waterfall between the bougainvilleas. Please watch the video and enjoy!

The following Archaeological Reserves are CLOSED:
The IA would like to inform all Tour Guides, Tour Operators and the General Public that as of 6:00am Friday 17 October 2014, the following Archaeological Reserves are CLOSED: NOHOCH CHE'EN XUNANTUNICH ACTUN TUNICHIL MUKNAL (ATM) and BARTON CREEK are OPEN. Caracol remains CLOSED. ALL OTHER ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESERVES ARE OPEN.

Channel 7

Ladyville Man Killed On a Dark Stretch of Boom Road
Last night, a Ladyville resident was murdered, the second villager to be killed in 4 days. This time, the victim was 22 year-old Gregory Richard Goodfellow, a resident of Perez Road. Goodfellow has has a number of police encounters in the past, but the circumstances surround his death would suggest that he was lured, and then executed on a dark stretch of the Hattieville/Boom Road at mile 13 on the Northern Highway. It happened at around 8 last night, where Goodfellow was reportedly picked up, and then dropped off to the area, where his killer or killers shot him as many as 8 times to different areas of the body. Daniel Ortiz has been following that story, and here's his report: Daniel Ortiz reporting Seen here as the man in the maroon coloured t-shirt, surveillance footage captured at the at the Vin Li Shopping Center in Ladyville puts Gregory Goodfellow there at around 7:30 to about 7:50.

Two Ladyville Men Killed In Less Than A Week, Connected
As we told you, Goodfellow's murder happened less than a week after 21 year-old Brandon Lyndon Flowers was stabbed and killed. There has been some speculation that the two murders may be connected, but according to police there are no concrete leads. For the residents from Ladyville, Flowers' murder is particularly abnormal because he was known as young man who kept away from the street life. There has been much discussion amongst villagers that he simply became the target of a group of young men terrorizing the village, and who are starting to behave like an emergent gang. Today, Inspector Gordon spoke about Flowers' murder and the connection that some have made to the group of troubled youths:

Woman Shot Up In Mango Creek, Abusive Boyfriend Detained
A brutal murder on Sunday in Independence has left 5 children without a mother. On Tuesday at 9:00 in the morning police found the body of 33 year old Ilda Aldana near the Texmar Shrimp Farm Road. Aldana had been shot 8 times - including twice to the stomach, once to the chest, and 4 times to the left side of the temple. A brutal and excessive end - but her friends say it is the culmination of a violent, possessive and abusive relationship she had with an ex cop who'd already served time for manslaughter. Courtney Weatherburne spoke to them in Mango Creek today:.. Courtney Weatherburne reporting 33 year old Ilda Lizette Aldana was shot to death on this abandoned feeder road near the Texmar Shrimp Farm in Independence. The alleged culprit is her boyfriend and father of She lived with her 5 children and common law husband, upstairs of this house. Apparently, Aldana was having a stormy relationship with the suspect in her murder and some of her close friends say that her demise was foretold.

Soldier Says Cops "Chanced" Him
The quality of life crimes, those offences, which included bicycle crimes, such as not having a bell, a light, or riding up-stop, hasn't made our newscast for at least 2 months. But, it's back in the news tonight because former BDF soldier Leonard Lewis says that police officers used the offense to abuse and unlawfully detain him. His ordeal unfolded over the long weekend and started on Friday when he rode his bike against the flow of traffic. He broke the law, but told us today that while he acknowledges this, the officer who arrested him unfairly locked him down for an inordinate amount of time. Lewis says that when he protested, the officers on duty gave him a hearty dose of beatdown while he was behind the bars of the cell, where no one could see.

Man Cops To Weed Charge, To Let Wife Go Free
Belize City resident Jose Castillo has to come up with $10,000 to pay the Magistrate's Court by March of next year because he was caught with a large quantity of weed at his house. The bust happened today at his Buttonwood Bay house where officers search and found 361.2 grams - or 12.7 ounces - of cannabis was found in their possession. Castillo and his wife were jointly charged with drug trafficking, and when they were arraigned today before the Chief Magistrate, Castillo accepted guilt, explaining that his wife knew nothing of the drugs. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith sentenced him to pay a fine of $10,000, half of which he had to pay upfront. He must finish paying the entire fine by March 2015, or he will serve 2 years in prison if he defaults. Because he couldn't pay the first half of the fine, he has to serve 2 years in jail.

Senior Citizen Gets 2 Months for Tenth Of An Ounce
62 year-old Cecil Tillett, who had a substantially smaller amount of weed that Jose Castillo, will also have to spend 2 months in jail for it. He was also busted by a police officer who was on mobile patrol today. The officer says that he spotted Tillett, and when he searched him, he found 3.2 grams - or 0.1 ounces. He charged Tillett with drug possession, and he was also arraigned today before the Chief Magistrate. He was sentenced to pay a fine of 200 dollars, but because he couldn't pay immediately, and so, he defaulted.

Greenhouse Gases Pose Biggest threat For Climate Change
Tonight we continue our look at Monday's launch of the climate change report in Bridgetown, Barbados. We've told you about the major threats posed to the region by climate change, but mostly, we've stayed away from the heavy stuff, the science. And that's really the basis of the report: that "the scientists consulted have 95% certainty that human activity, by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, has been the dominant cause of observed warming since the mid-20th century." And as the speakers discussed at the launching of the report, the real challenge to combatting climate change is reducing those greenhouse gas emissions which come from large countries like the USA, China and India:..

Caught With Conch
51 year-old Pablo Castillo was fishing undersized conch, and last week Tuesday, the Fisheries Department caught him with a batch of the illegal fisheries product. It happened at around 7:30 a.m., when Castillo reported to the Northern Fishermen Cooperative. Fisheries Officers found him with 41 undersized conch, and so, they charged him with fisheries offences. He was arraigned today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano, where he pleaded guilty and was fined a total of $1,730, which he must pay by January 31, 2015.

Karl H., The Legend Lives On...
The mass in celebration of the life of Karl H. Menzies was held today in Belize City. The 86 year old passed away on Saturday. His story is that of a self made businessman - that came from a hardscrabble upbringing in the Mesopotamia area of Belize City. We first aired his profile in March of 2012 - and tonight in remembrance of Mr. Karlie, we repeat it:.. And while he made his name in business, Menzies was probably best known as a great raconteur and one of the wittiest persons whom you could ever meet - and that is what his friends will most miss him for.

BREAKING: Carnival Cruise Passengers Flagged For Ebola
There is a major developing story in the Belize harbor this evening - and it is that two cruise ship passengers who have been flagged as possible Ebola cases - are on a boat tender trying to come into Belize City tonight for movement to the PGIA where an air ambulance is reportedly waiting. But, our information says Belizean authorities are currently refusing them entry to Belize so that they can get to the airport. Those authorities are asking that they be sent back to the cruise ship. That's where it is at this hour - and there is no official information - though we have been trying to reach multiple senior persons in the ministry of health. The tender reportedly remains in the harbor - between the cruise ship and Belize City - with US authorities seeking assistance of Belizean authorities to grant them passage. It is reportedly a couple. Again, no confirmation at this hour but more than one credible report. We'll keep following this and have more tomorrow... UPDATE: US STATE - LEVEL REQUESTS FOR DISEMBARKATION AND TRANSFER TO AIR AMBULANCE WERE DENIED AND THE CRUISE SHIP HAS LEFT BELIZE'S WATERS. THE SHIP TURNED AT 9:00PM, AND AIR AMBULANCE LEFT PGIA AIRPORT.

Channel 5

Gregory Goodfellow Executed On Boom/Hattieville Road Overnight
Just before nine Wednesday night, the body of twenty-two year old Gregory Goodfellow was discovered on the side of the Boom/Hattieville Road. The Ladyville youth was lying in a pool [...]

Are the Murders of Brandon Flowers and Gregory Goodfellow Related?
Twenty-one year old Brandon Flowers was stabbed Sunday morning in Ladyville, which means that this is the second murder in that community in four days. But is there a connection [...]

Julius Says G.O.B. is Spending Millions on Political Gimmicks While Border is Infiltrated
The Chiquibul has been in the news since Danny Conorquie was executed at the Caracol Archaeological Site.� On Wednesday night, we showed you the concerns and recommendations coming out of [...]

B.D.F. Chief of Staff Speaks on Caracol Closure and Camp Valentin
As we said, the Chiquibul has been on centre stage - or perhaps we could more accurately say that all territorial and border issues have become the ten thousand pound [...]

Sedi Urges for Peace and Harmony Amid Anti-Guatemalan Sentiments
Since the murder of Special Constable Danny Conorquie, and the ensuing hostilities between B.D.F. personnel and residents from the border community of San Valentin, there have been strong public sentiments [...]

Joint Belize-Guatemala Commission Discusses Security and Environmental Protection
As we reported earlier this week, a high-level delegation led by former C.E.O. Alexis Rosado, including representatives of the Opposition, the Belize Defense Force and the Police Department, left for [...]

Guatemala Willing to Assist in Agricultural Initiatives for Border Residents
According to Elrington, despite the fact that Guatemalan authorities were unable to prevent the despoliation of natural resources on their side of the border, they are prepared to work with [...]

O.A.S. Office in Adjacency Zone in Need of Financing
While former C.E.O. Alexis Rosado is just getting his feet wet as Belize's ambassador to Guatemala, he attended a diplomatic meeting this past Wednesday where he sat with Guatemalan Foreign [...]

Ladyville Man Beats Attempted Burglary Charge, Guilty of Trespassing
  A Ladyville resident who was on trial this morning before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith beat an attempted burglary charge but was found guilty of trespassing his neighbor's yard [...]

Elderly Fisherman Busted With Undersized Conch
  An elderly Honduran fisherman was shocked when he was fined thirty dollars for each undersized conch he was caught with by Fisheries officials while he was in the area [...]

Quality of Life Offences Catch Up with Ex-BDF Soldier
Thirty year old ex-B.D.F. soldier and father of four, Leonard Joel Palacio, spent four nights in lockdown for riding a bicycle contrary to traffic. Palacio, who is an epileptic, is [...]

World Food Day Observed in Belize
Around the world today, World Food Day was celebrated. In Belize at the ITVET, activities took place to highlight the importance of family farming which is a main component of [...]

BELIPO Holds Seminar on Intellectual Property
You may have heard about patents, trademarks, industrial designs and copyrights�they're terms used by companies and businesses to brand their products in the local and international markets. A two-day sub-regional [...]

Inga Woods Launches Art Exhibition at Image Factory
Belizean artist Inga Woods is launching an art exhibit at the Image Factory on Friday.� Her collection of various pieces showcases the beauty of the female form but, most importantly, [...]

Boxing Seminar for Fans, Coaches and Fighters
Fans of boxing, coaches, referees as well as the pugilists themselves are being invited to attend an upcoming seminar to gain a better understanding of the sport and expectations that [...]

Healthy Livings looks at the importance of washing your hands
The seventh Global Hand Washing Day was commemorated on Wednesday, October fifteenth. The focus on this basic good hygiene practice may seem immaterial to some but, in reality it is [...]


Progress Brings Problems As Rehabilitation Works On Phillip Goldson Highway Continues
It's no secret, maneuvering through blocked roads and detours is causing much frustration to all commuters, motorists and pedestrians due to the on-going rehabilitation works on the Philip Goldson Highway. And while they say 'progress brings problems', just before midday today, traffic on Progress Street was temporary interrupted. That is because this beige Geo Prism bearing licence plate D00354 ran into this red pickup truck bearing licence plate C05677 that was moving off from in front of Triple A Agrochemicals. Fortunately no one was injured. Orange walk Police immediately assisted both drivers to sort out the mishap. Motorists are advised to drive with extreme care.

European Commission Has Lifted Sanction Over Illegal Fishing Practices
Viewers may recall in March of this year we reported on the European Commission's ban on Belize for its illegal fishing practices, and a little over six months later, the sanction according to the EC has been lifted over non-cooperation in fighting illegal, unregulated and unrestricted fishing. According to the commission, quote "Belize has demonstrated its commitment to reforming its legal framework and adopting a new set of rules for inspection, control and monitoring of vessels (Unquote). Of note and may be a contributor to lifting of the ban was after government passed a new High Seas Fishing Act this year as a measure to become compliant.

Another Outstanding Local Artisan
Last week we spoke with an artist with an unconventional combo of talents and tonight we continue with our chats with persons within our community who have outstanding aptitudes. Tonight we feature the work and passion of a creative artisan who works solely with materials gathered from nature itself. His name is Susano Blanco and resides in August Pine Ridge Village in Southern Orange Walk District. Here is his story. Susano Blanco - Artisan "Uso caracol, semillas, cascaras. Bamboo. Corozo y puras cosas naturales." This is what separates Susano Blanco's work from many - his use of materials obtained from trees and animals. His creations have evolved into some of the finest locally made jewelry in Northern Belize in the twenty-two years he's been working with these materials.

Corozal Police In Search For Two San Roman Villagers
Corozal Police are tonight looking for Ezekiel and Rony Pech both from the village of San Roman Village in the Corozal District. According to authorities, on Saturday October 11th, around 8:30 pm police visited the emergency ward at the Corozal Community Hospital where they saw 48 year old Juan Carlos Ramirez Belizean Cane Farmer suffering from a large cut wound to his forehead and complain of pain on his body. Initial investigations revealed that on the same date Ramirez was socializing in front of Palacio's Bar located within the Village where he had a misunderstanding with Ezekiel Pech, known as "Robot" and a struggled ensued. Ramirez overpowered Ezekiel by having him on ground and there is when Rony Pech approached Ramirez, hitting him on his head with an object believe to be a steel knuckle causing said injuries to Ramirez's head. Despite his injuries, Ramirez was treated and released yesterday. Anyone with information leading to the detention of Ezekiel and Rony Pech are asked to contact the nearest police station.

PM Signs Agreement With EU For Rural Poverty Alleviation
Government announced today that Prime Minister Dean Barrow signed a $67.5 million dollar Agreement with the European Union. A release from GOB states that the monies is being allocated for the National Indicative Programme (NIP) for the period 2014 to 2020 with the European Commission designed to advance the activities of the Government of Belize in alleviating rural poverty in Belize. The release states that Belizeans will benefit from the EDF 11 National Indicative Programme in the sectors of Energy and Health. The Energy programme is aimed at the provision of energy and supporting services in rural areas. The Health programme is designed for improving the organization and management of the health services and the development of disaster resilient health infrastructure.

Founder Of Wal-Mart Stores Offers Scholarships For Belizean Students
For over 28 years, Sam Walton founder of Wal-Mart stores in the US has been providing Belizean students with full scholarships to pursue studies at three main universities in the U.S. and this year is no different. With over a hundred Belizeans receiving a life time opportunity to further there Bachelor's Degree since 1985, today the Sam Walton Foundation has launched its application for newly interested Belizeans between the ages of 17 and 24 who are interested in achieving their Bachelor's Degree in their field of choice. All that is needed is to follow the procedures. Must be single and without dependents. Must have a GPA of 3.0 or better from the last educational institute. Must be able to provide genuine economic need and must possess a high school diploma.

O/W Police Working Hard To Gain Back Public Confidence
Every law enforcement station faces the possibility that one or more of its officers could engage in police actions that are found to be improper or incorrect in the public eye. Some have resulted in complaints alleging misuse or abuse of powers by officers and since we have been getting a number of reports from residents of police mistreatment to abuse of powers on the general public, today we sat down with Deputy in Command at the Orange Walk formation, Assistant Superintendent of Police Selvin Tillett who explained to us the protocol used when visiting a detainee or inmate. ASP SELVIN TILLETT - Deputy Commanding OW Police "There is a time frame, you must bring an ID and must be in plastic and no metal and no bottles allowed, no minors allowed and we won't accept more than one food person per meal. At times when someone is under investigation we won't allow them to see no one because it can hinder the ongoing investigation so once you are under investigation we might not allow to see him or talk to him/her."

Five Distinguished Belizeans Honored
Today, five distinguished Belizeans were honoured by Her Majesty the Queen for their contributions towards community service. Receiving the insignia for Commander of the British Empire Award was Dr. Ellsworth Grant for his contribution to Medicine. Patrick Andrews and Stephen Duncan received insignias for their contributions to community and Banking. Crystal Vernon received insignia as Member of the British Empire for her contributions to community service and Francis Woods received insignia as Member of the British Empire for his contributions to community and business. These awards were presented by Governor General of Belize, His Excellency Sir Colville Young on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen.

Another Firearm Removed From Streets
San Pedro police came up unto an unlicensed firearm and have removed it from the streets of Ambergris Caye. According to the island cops, On Tuesday around 2:30 p.m. an unlicensed black 9mm Luger (Model C9) pistol with its serial number not visible containing an empty magazine was found in the San Pablo Area, San Pedro Town. The firearm was labelled as found property


Hon. John Saldivar blames PUP for Guatemala contracts
In the last House of Representatives meeting, the Opposition brought up the issue of the Hunting Caye Coast Guard Facility being built by Guatemalans. Hon. John Saldivar, the Minister of National Security had stood up and said that the facility is a gift from the US, and the Guatemalan company building the structure was stipulated by the US. The Minister further said that it is a matter of looking a gift horse in the mouth. That hasn't set well with most Belizeans, including the Prime Minister who said in the house that some gifts may need to be rejected in the future with those types of strings attached. On Thursday, Hon. Saldivar further commented on the matter , posting on Facebook that "I was briefed on these projects when I became the Minister of National Security and of course it was of concern to me when I learnt that a Guatemalan company had been awarded the contracts. However, there were at least two things I had to consider.

Senators want to know from PM; Where's the 13th Senator?
The Senators for the social partners wrote a letter to Prime Minister Dean Barrow, seeking clarity as to why the promised 13th Senator has not been delivered. In a letter dated October 2, 2014, and signed by Business Senator Hon. Mark Lizarraga, �Church Senator Hon...

Belize recommended to be removed from EU Council black list
The European Commission has announced that it has proposed to the EU Council of Ministers that Belize be removed from the list of 'non-cooperating third countries' in the international fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. Belize was identified as a 'non-cooperating third co...

Double jeopardy for Social Security contributions saves businessman
Magistrate Dale Cayetano spared 46 year old Walid El Sayed, the owner of American Closeout store on Freetown Road, Belize City, from penalties over a charge of failure to pay Social Security contributions no later than 14 days after the end of each calendar month. Mr El Sayed is accused of not payin...

Fisherman fined for undersized conch
Fifty-nine year old Honduran fisherman Pablo Castillo must pay a total of $1,730 in fines handed down by Magistrate Dale Cayetano, after he pleaded guilty to possession of 41 undersized conch. Mr Castillo was given until January 31, 2015 to pay...

Hope Dwindles in Finding missing man at sea
A man missing at sea since Monday October 13th� is believed to have� perished . 22 year old Erick Garcia of Boca Del Rio Area, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, went fishing along Joseph Hernandez and Jamal Martinez...

Motorcycle accident in Belmopan
There was a minor traffic accident on North Ring Road in Belmopan where road meets Floriana Avenue. The accident occurred at around 9:30 on Thursday morning, where Albert Oh, a 27 year old resident of St...

PUP recommends greater attention for Chiquibul
On Wednesday evening the People's United Party (PUP) held a press conference at Independence Hall, to report on party leader Francis Fonseca's Sunday tour of the Chiquibul Forest Reserve and Caracol Archaeological Reserve. According to PUP leader Francis Fonseca, the tour has underscored both the grave dangers faced by Belize's frontline personnel in the NGO community and national security leadership, as well as the importance of a united front on the issue. Mr Fonseca and Deputy Party Leader Julius Espat saw firsthand the effects of illegal logging, agriculture, looting of cultural and historical pieces and other activities in the area. They presented a list of recommendations, chief among them the establishment of a budgetary allocation for Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) to boost the ranger program for which only limited funds are currently available.

Third Party slate for Belmopan Municipal Elections
In Belmopan, we already know who the PUP and UDP candidates for Municipal elections are, but one party which usually contests the municipal election in Belmopan is Vision Inspired by the People. We haven't heard much from them lately, but on Wednesday morning on Rise and Shine, VIP announced that they will be contesting the 2015 elections in the capital city. Paul Morgan, Secretary General of VIP, says they are putting together a very good slate of candidates. 3Paul Morgan - VIP Secretary General "I want to assure Belmopan that the VIP have been working, we continue to work, and we intend to keep working. We will offer persons in the City Council, and persons of integrity. We're building a strong team, and very soon you will hear from us as to who we are offering to you for representation on the City Council.

Belmopan Citco planning for next 15 years
The Belmopan City Council will be presenting the final draft of the Municipal Development Plan, projected for the next 16 years. The presentation takes place on Thursday October 16th, at the Belmopan Civic Center at 7:00 pm, and all residents of Belmopan are invited. Simeon Lopez - Mayor of Belmopan "Belmopan means Las Flores, San Martin, Maya Mopan, Salvapan, Belmopan itself. Everyone is invited, because everybody's lives will be affected over the next sixteen years. It's a draft. It's being presented, and people will have an opportunity to make their comments, and make their suggestions, electronically if possible, so that we can finalize this draft and get implementation. The Development Plan includes a number of things that will occur in Belmopan. For example; Infrastructure Works, mainly streets and drains; Population Growth; zoning, as Belmopan grows; the Economy of Belmopan; Tourism; and other things that might come up; the aging population; the youth population; how they all will be affected by this growth plan."

No date for Belmopan Market move
The Tuesday / Friday Market Vendors continue to have their stay extended at the Cardinal buffer zone in Belmopan. We asked Mayor Simeon Lopez if there was any new update as to when the Market Vendors will be relocated to the Civic Center, but he told us there is still no definitive date. Simeon Lopez - Mayor of Belmopan "I can't really tell you a definite date. I just spoke with an official, this morning, from the Ministry of Economic Development, and they are working on the unofficial handing over, first of the building, and then we get the Parking Lot, because this building is still not handed over to us. The contractor still has a security in place here.

Homes in the south affected by flooding
Heavy rains experienced in the South Tuesday night resulted in overnight flooding in the Toledo District, where at least 20 homes were affected by the rising waters. Several communities were affected, however the most affected community was the Golden Stream Community, located about 28 miles south of Punta Gorda on the Southern Highway. The community is an area prone to flooding; the last flood at Golden Stream was about 3 years ago. NEMO District Coordinator for Toledo Kenton Parham gave us more details of last night's flooding. Kenton Parham - NEMO District Coordinator for Toledo "There was a flash flood in Golden Stream area, where we had some homes that were affected. We activated the NEMO response team, and we went out there early this morning. We discovered that there were twenty homes that were affected. As a result of that, we have activated the Relief Supplies Management Committee and the Housing and Shelter Committee, and NEMO sub-committees, to respond to that incident.

Daylight armed robbery in Griga
An armed robbery in broad daylight, at a poultry store in Dangriga - namely Fiesta Chicken Hi-Line Poultry Ltd, located in the North River Side area - has cost the business establishment over $2,000. According to reports, sometime after 11:00 am on Tuesday, a man of dark complexion entered the store, posing as a customer, took out a .38 revolver firearm and held up the cashier, while his accomplice waited outside. Fortunately no one was injured during the incident. Edgar Alvarado is an employee at the store, he recounted what he saw.

Police investigating shooting death of Independence woman
The village of Independence is in a state of shock, after the dead body of a woman was discovered somewhere on the Texmar Shrimp Farm Road, on Wednesday morning. Reports from Independence are that the female body, identified as 33 year old Ilda Lizette Aldana, a resident of Independence, was discovered with what appeared to be multiple gunshot wounds all over her body. Plus News has received information that the woman was believed to be pregnant.

Palacio's Bar fight
A fight between three men in front of Palacio's Bar located in San Roman village, Corozal, on Saturday October 11th., has landed one man in the hospital and left two others on the run. Police investigations revealed that around 7:30 pm, 48 year old Juan Carlos Ramirez, a Belizean Cane Farmer of San Roman village, was socializing in front of the bar, where he had a misunderstanding with Ezekiel Pech also known as "Robot". A struggle ensued between both men where Ramirez was overpowered by Ezekiel.

Gun found
On Tuesday October 14th, at around 2:30 pm, San Pedro Police found an unlicensed black 9mm Luger (model C9) pistol containing an empty magazine. Police made the discovery in the San Pablo Area, San Pedro Town. No one was around the area at the time and so the firearm was labelled as found property.

Gang member renounces criminal lifestyle
Roger Anthony, a 20 year old Belizean laborer of Mayflower Street, Belize City, lives in the neighborhood of one of the most feared gangs in Belize- the Ghost Town Crips. Anthony has for a long time, been identified, by numerous individuals, as the leader of that particular gang. In the past few days however, he has been seen in the open and even made a few media appearances as the leader of the Mayflower group of workmen, and on Tuesday, to the surprise of many, renounced his former life as a gang member on National TV.

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The Guardian

PUP Signed Agreement Allowing Guatemalan Company to Build Military Base
The Guatemalan company and Guatemalan workers building our Coast Guard facility. Man, there must be some national security risk in that taking place. Somebody has to be awake man, we can't all be sleeping over there in the Government. Who is looking after these matters?" - Francis Fonseca, Leader of the People's United Party. Since it was discovered that a Guatemalan company, BINARQ, had built the Belize Coast Guard's San Pedro Operating Base and is building the Hunting Caye Operating Base, a lot of criticism has been directed towards Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security, and the UDP Government. "Why would they allow this?" "They are selling out Belize?" The usual suspects, members of ROC, have expressed their disbelief and disappointment and those in COLA have even charged this administration with treason. What difference a day makes! Admiral John Borland, Commandant of the Belize Coast Guard, held a briefing with the press on Tuesday, October 14, to give an update on the Hunting Caye project. Borland confirmed that a stop order had been issued to BINARQ from the US Southern Command Army Corp of Engineers which will remain in effect until a way forward is agreed upon.

PM Barrow secures $67.5 million dollars for Health and Infrastructure from European Union
Prime Minister Dean Barrow was out of the country last week attending the 2014 Annual Assembly of the International Munitary Fund and the World bank Group. As part of his visit to Washington PM Barrow signed on to an agreement with the European Union securing $67.5 million dollars in aid for Belize over the next 6 years. Prime Minister Barrow signed a 27 million Euro/BZ$67.5 million National Indicative Programme (NIP) for the period 2014 to 2020 with the European Commission designed to advance the activities of the Government of Belize in alleviating rural poverty in Belize. Signing on behalf of the European Commission was the Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs. The Prime Minister indicated at the signing held in Washington, D.C on Friday October 10th that this agreement funded under the European Development Fund (EDF 11) is a signal of confidence by the European Union in the Government of Belize with respect to its development agenda. Belizeans will benefit from the EDF 11 National Indicative Programme in the sectors of Energy and Health.

Telethon to Protect the Chiquibul
The Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) need to increase the number of Rangers in the Chiquibul National Park in order to protect the forest's wealth of resources from Guatemalan encroachers and local exploiters. In order to do this, FCD will be having a telethon on Saturday, October 18, to raise funds for its Ranger force. The Chiquibul Forest has an area of almost five hundred thousand acres of land. FCD has seven Rangers total and four on the ground at any one time. Raphael Manzanero, Executive Director of FCD, sums it up appropriately when he says, "We are looking at 7.7 percent of Belize, so in practice we can claim that each one of my rangers have 1 percent of Belize that they can represent in the jungle." The Rangers depend heavily on soldiers of the Belize Defense Force for support and protection. Manzanero says the Rangers have been extremely effective "because of the Belize Defense Force, because of the police, because of the customs department, because of immigration, customs and many other people."

Miguel Choco charged for murder of Agripina Coc
A 24 year-old man from the village of San Pedro Colombia has been charged with the grisly rape and murder of one of his fellow villagers, 61 year-old Agripina Coc. Readers may remember how her family and friends found her body in the late evening hours of August 30. The senior citizen left to go visit a relative, and to buy groceries at a nearby shop. Normally, she should not have taken so long to return, and so, they became worried about her well-being. They found her about 3 or 4 hours later; she had been raped and then chopped in the middle of the head. Residents of San Pedro Colombia were incensed by the cruelty Agripina Coc was made to suffer, and so, they immediately formed up into search parties armed with sticks and machetes. These search parties were looking for Miguel Choco, the man who they believed to have been her killer. Different members spotted him around the village, and there had been allegations that he was watching the elderly women of the village as they did their chores down the riverside.

Kevin Bodden sentenced to 3 years for shooting cop
On Friday October 10, 21-year-old Kevin Bodden was sentenced to 3 years in prison after he was found guilty at the Supreme Court by a jury of 9 persons. The jury had gone in to deliberation at 11:57a.m. and by 2:27p.m. they came out with their verdict. Bodden's trial took place before Justice Troadio Gonzalez where he was facing a charge of grievous harm upon police constable Abel Martinez on September 7 of 2012. Bodden, along with Lloyd Elijio were jointly charged back in 2012 for attempted murder upon PC Mendez who was shot on his left shoulder with the bullet exiting the back of his neck whilst he was at the corner of Partridge and Morning Glory streets in the Saint Martin de Pores area in Belize City. Both men were committed to stand trial but the charge was later withdrawn from Elijio due to insufficient evidence. On indictment, Bodden was read a single charge of grievous harm and not attempted murder.

Ladyville argument leaves Brandon Flowers dead
The third homicide victim for the long weekend was 21 year-old Brandon Lyndon Flowers, who was attacked and stabbed in what looks to be a street-side brawl. The attack on Flowers happened sometime before 4 p.m. on Stork Street. Police believe that he was socializing at a party in the village, but his family has since said that he never did attend. Whatever the circumstances are, police were informed of a fight happening, and when they responded a short while later, found Flowers in the drain with multiple stab wounds in the chest. It is believed that he died on the spot.

MJ's business manager pleads guilty to employing Honduran without worker's permits
The Business Manager for MJ's Bar, Ray Herrera, appeared in court on Friday October 10 to answer to two counts of employing a person not in possession of an employment permit. He appeared before Magistrate, Herbert Panton in Court #3 and wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the two counts. Since it was his first offence of this nature he was imposed a fine of $2,000 for each of the offenses. There was the possibility of him having been fined up to $5,000 or a jail term of 2 years. According to the Immigration Department, Herrera employed two Honduran nationals, identified as Keira Sirey Pineda Martinez, 24, and 30-year-old Irma Isabel Arita Portillo. The women are living in Belize legally, but they did not have a temporary employment permit to allow them to work in Belize legally.

Stay of execution granted to ACP's son
On Wednesday, September 17, 2014 the case of the Noel Leal Jr. was to commence before Justice Troadio Gonzalez but it did not do so after Gonzalez recused himself from hearing the matter. Leal was then sent back to jail. The matter was then brought up again before Chief Justice, Kenneth A. Benjamin, who heard submissions regarding an application for a stay of execution and bail on behalf of Leal Jr. In the end CJ Benjamin granted him the stay and bail was offered in the sum of $20,000 plus two sureties of $10,000 each. On July 31, 2014, Leal was convicted in the Benque Viejo Magistrate's Court before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith for the offense of drug trafficking. He was sentenced to three years imprisonment and fined $10,000.

"Robbery" granted 10 thousand dollar bail
George Street associate, 27-year-old Kareem Lopez, the gang member who police claimed caused public terror on September 13 when he allegedly discharged a firearm in a public place whilst on Douglas Jones Street was granted Supreme Court bail. Bail was granted in a written ruling on Wednesday September 8 but it was not until Friday that attorney, Kathleen Lewis was given the ruling. Lopez was granted bail in the sum of $8,000 plus one surety of the same or two sureties of $4,000 each. His bail was granted with conditions in which he was ordered to report to the Queen Street Police Station, twice a week on Mondays and Fridays. In court, there was heavy objection to Lopez being granted bail by the DPP's office, which was represented by Crown Counsel, Porshia Staine. She submitted that the prosecution's case against Lopez is very strong and that a prima facie case has been established against him in the matter. However, the Counsel for Lopez, attorney, Kathleen Lewis submitted that the prosecution's main witness statement, was indicating that the shooter in the incident was not Lopez rather it was someone else.

Vildo Spain Fined $500 for a "30's" Tattoo
Belize City resident Vildo Spain, 25, must pay a fine of $500 by December 15 or spend six months at the Belize Central Prison for a tattoo on his left upper arm. Police was on mobile patrol in the area of Complex Avenue at around 6:10 p.m. on Tuesday, October 14, when an officer claims he saw Spain acting suspiciously. Spain was ordered to stop and the officer conducted a search on him. No illeggal substance was found but police saw a tatto on his left upper arm, "30's". He was informed that this was an offense for displaying gang membership and arrested by the officer.

Teenager charged for murder
A 16 year-old minor from Belize City has been charged with the murder of 33 year-old Jose Luis Umana which happened on Saturday, October 11, just before 9 p.m. Umana, who is a Salvadoran national living in Cards Alley, was at the corner of New Road and Hydes Lane. Police have difficulty establishing how the murder happened, but the shooter fired shots at Umana, who took a bullet in the center of his head. He died at the KHMH after 55 minutes of treatment from the doctors.

Belize Bank Bulldogs National Softball Champions of Belize
The XXIV National Women's Softball championship, which was played from October 3-5, 2014 at Rogers Stadium, is now history. A total of twelve games were played over two and a half days of competition. On Sunday October 5, 2014, in the twelfth and final game, which was the championship, the Belize Bank Bulldogs defeated Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy who was playing from the losers' bracket by the score of 7-3 to capture its first national title. Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy batting in the top of the 2nd inning scored the 1st run of the game when shortstop Shadalee Ho opened the inning with an infield single to shortstop Sharette Vernon, Ho later scored to give her team a 1-0 lead. The Belize Bank Bulldogs batting in the bottom of the 2nd inning scored when the Designated Player, Nicole Arnold reached on the second baseman fielding error and later scored when right fielder Kiri Lizama reached on the third baseman error. The pitching of Ashley Lucas held the bats of the Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy until the top of the 7th inning when it scored 2 more runs. The inning opened when shortstop Shadalee Ho reached on a fielding error by the second baseman, and scored on consecutive singles by Karlee Bradley and Lisandra Guy.

Sueing against Belize's gun law
Belize City resident Allyson Major has started a private lawsuit against the Government of Belize and the police department claiming wrongful imprisonment in April of 2012. Readers may remember Major's case, he was one of 7 people who were charged when police found unlicensed weapons in a house on Peter Seco Street. Days before, Armead Logan-Thurton reported to police that someone had broken into her Baker's Ranch warehouse and stole a double-barrel shotgun and a lawn mower. This led police to act on intelligence that illegal items were at the Peter Seco Street house, and that's why they searched the house. Present at the time were Kent Lynch, Errol Lynch, Woodrow Reyes Jr., Leroy Gomez, and Virginie Alvarez. After a thorough search, police ended up finding the stolen shotgun, the stolen lawn mower, another unlicensed 16-gauge shotgun, and 2 cartridges.

Fight in Unitedville leads to murder
Brian Belle, 25, and 32 year Tyrone Gongora Rushford were arrested and charged with murder for the stabbing death of 21 year-old Kevin Andrew Taylor Jr., who was stabbed and killed in Unitedville, Cayo, during the long weekend. It happened at around 9:30 p.m. when Taylor was involved in a fight at a shop in the village. During that confrontation, he received 2 stabs, one to the chest, and another to the back. Persons on the scene rushed him to the Western Regional Hospital, but the injuries were too severe. He died while undergoing treatment. The investigators detained persons following the stabbing, and after their investigation, Belle and Gongora were formally charged on Monday. Police believe that they have enough evidence to prosecute this case whenever it is called up.

Belizeans Honoured by the Queen
ive distinguished Belizeans were honoured for their dedicated and outstanding services to their community. The presentations took place today at the Belize House in the City of Belmopan. The insignias were presented by the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen. Receiving the insignia for Commander of the British Empire Award was Dr. Ellsworth Grant, for his contribution to Medicine. Mr. Patrick Andrews and Mr. Stephen Duncan received the insignia as Members of the British Empire for their contribution to Community and Banking. Mrs. Crystal Vernon received the insignia as Member of the British Empire for her contributions to Community Service; and Mr. Francisco Woods received the insignia as Member of the British Empire for his contributions to Community and Business.

Final elected convention for UDP held in Benque
The United Democratic Party held its final elected convention to have candidates represent the party in the upcoming municipal elections. That election took place on Sunday October 12 at the Marshalleck Field in Benque Viejo. The process began at 10 in the morning and by 6 in the evening 1072 persons had cast their ballots. There were 16 candidates contesting the 6 positions as councilor candidates and when all ballots were counted Alvaro Gongora came out topping the polls with 696 votes. Manuel Contreras received 507 votes; Miguel Gonzalez, 497; Errol Coleman, 456; Elmer Guerra, 451; Marcos Koch 420. The convention was held to select only councilor candidates as the mayoral candidate, Heraldo Ramcharan was endorsed. Current mayor Miguel Velasquez will not be contesting the next election. At the swearing in of the candidates he gave the people of Benque thanks for having elected him and pledged to continue to work with the UDP to make Benque Viejo del Carmen a better community. Also speaking at the end was Ramcharan who thanked the people of Benque for coming out to the convention and assured them that the UDP will win the upcoming municipal election. For his part Area Representative of Cayo West, Hon. Erwin Contreras committed to continue to work in the division and especially in Benque to make improvements in infrastructure as well as to promote activities for employment creation.

Retraction & Apology
The Article "Two faced Lisa Shoman speaks against Lisa Shoman and condones domestic violence" published on page Insert 'E' of the Guardian Newspaper dated 21st September 2014 was based on allegations made to the Editor of the Newspaper which the Editor considered credible. The allegation was that Ms. Shoman and Hon. Dolores Balderamos Garcia both visited complainant Magdalena and persuaded her to drop her complaint of domestic violence against Gilroy Usher, PUP caretaker for the port Loyola Division. Both Ms. Shoman and Mrs Balderaos- Garcia, through her respective attorneys, have categorically denied those allegations and after consultation with our own attorneys, the Guardian Newspaper hereby withdraws both the allegations and criticism contained in the said Article and apologizes to Senator Shoman and Honourable Dolores Balderamos Garica for the publication of the said allegations and criticism.

Belize-Guatemala Joint Commission Met to Discuss Framework for Negotiations and Confidence-Building Measures
The Belize-Guatemala Joint Commission, with the participation of the General Secretariat of the OAS, met to comply with Articles 17 and 20, paragraph l, of Section D of the Agreement on a Framework for Negotiations and Confidence-Building Measures between Belize and Guatemala dated September 7, 2005, as well as with the Roadmap signed on January 24, 2014, which provides for the expansion and strengthening of cooperation mechanisms, including coordinated operations among security agencies to combat illegal activities and transnational crime. Agreed as follows: 1. Improve existing patrols and include joint coordinated military patrols. 2. Establish intelligence sharing mechanisms among the various security agencies. 3. Hold joint and periodic cross-sectorial meeting to address security issues. 4. In view of the success of the development projects in Monte de los Olivos, foster and promote similar projects in other communities. 5. Conduct joint visits to neighboring communities in Belize and Guatemala to convey the commitment of both parties to improve the quality of life and community safety and to strengthen the friendly relations between neighboring towns as well as to protect the environment. ...

Government to cover cost of 6 CXCs
There have never been litmus tests associated with this Government's social programs to determine political affiliations and once again the initiative by the Ministry of Education to cover the cost of sitting the CSEC/CXC examinations will benefit all needy Belizeans. As the Ministry rolls out another stage of the Secondary School Finance Reform, initiatives such as the capping and standardization of secondary school fees and subsidizing of CSEC/CXC examinations are now on the table. The Secondary School Finance Reform is being phased in over a seven year period to level the playing field for secondary education institutions in the country by allocating government funds to schools based on student enrollment rather than number of teachers. Schools will receive a set amount of money per student. They will receive more if they enroll students with less financial resources and those who need more academic assistance. The Government of Belize is also expected to spend almost $2 million to cover the cost of sitting six CSEC/CXC examinations for Belizean students. Minister Patrick Faber says the reason for covering six examinations is to encourage enrollment in tertiary level institutions because when a student passes six CSEC/CXC exams they automatically qualify for a university tuition scholarship.

Dumb and Dumber's expedition to Caracol
Francis Fonseca and his nemesis, Julius Espat took a trip to the Caracol archaeological site and they are somehow claiming to be heroes because of this. We are not sure if Francis was leading and Julius following or the other way around but either way, both seemed to have rather enjoyed their outing over the weekend. They are now claiming some kind of victory for having visited Caracol, well they along with thousands of tourists and thousands of Belizean children can now tell us what Caracol looks like. What they cannot tell us is what the solution to the problem of Guatemalan incursions into Belizean territory should be. You see, Francis Fonseca is as clueless today as he was when he was part of the PUP government as it relates to the Guatemalan issue and Julius tagged along on the journey perhaps thinking that somehow on the road there Fonseca would have handed him the leadership of the PUP.

New Era at Karl Heusner Memorial
The Belizean who gave up the opportunity to make a fortune as a heart surgeon in developed countries in order to improve the health system of his own country, Dr. Adrian Alexander Coye, will be the next Chief Executive Officer of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Dr. Coye was selected by the Board of Directors of the nation's flagship hospital on October 9. Dr. Adrian is Belize's first cardiothoracic surgeon and on Monday, July 16, 2012 he performed the first open heart surgery in Belize. It was a dream come true for the impressive young doctor who said after the surgery, "This has always been what I wanted to do. My life's ambition has been to come home and do these types of surgeries for my Belizean people." Since he became Director of Medical Services of KHMH, the hospital has seen its first open heart surgery and first scoliosis (spine) surgery. Under his watch the KHMH introduced the use of a Laparoscopic equipment to deal with one of the most common ailments in Belize, cholecystectomy (the removal of the gall bladder).

Improving service delivery at lands department
Last week the Ministry of Natural Resources conducted what they call an inspection sweep in the Belize District. This is in an effort to clear up backlogs that have accumulated at the lands department over some time. The Inspection Sweep last week saw officials from the Lands and Survey Department make field visits and inspections for 331 lots and properties for residents in the targeted area. Areas where these inspections took place were Belize City, Lord's Bank, Burrell Boom, Scotland Halfmoon, St. Paul's Bank Area, Rancho Dolores, Willows Bank, Gales Point Manatee, Coastal Road, the 8 Mile Area, Hattieville, Maskall, Santana, Sand Hill, Biscayne, St. Ann's Village, Rhaburn Ridge, and Bomba. Land inspections are a prerequisite for the lands department to process applications for leases and titles and are one of the primary reasons for bottlenecks at the department.

New Board for People's Coalition of Cayo
A new Board of Directors has been voted in for the People's Coalition of Cayo PCC; bringing into focus another organization reinvigorated to fight crime. The elections were held on Wednesday night of last week at the San Ignacio Police Station. Eduardo 'Dito' Juan was elected to serve as Chairperson, for which he brings much management skills to the table. Also elected as Vice Chair was Sherry Gibbs from Galen University, who has given much time to the PCC in previous years. The new treasurer for the PCC is Mary Loan from Cristo Rey Village. "I would like to thank everyone here for the confidence, this will not be a one man show; we must work as a team," said Dito Juan on being elected. The PCC has been designed as a forum for the police, citizens and members from a variety of social partners to come together to identify, discuss and solve local problems and concerns affecting the Cayo communities. This organization has worked in the past to develop better police and community relations and make Belize a much safer place.

PACT approves over $1.19 million in project grants
As part of PACT's regular grant cycle for 2014, the following five grant applications totaling $1,195,356.35Bze will be awarded later this month: Small Grants Steadfast Tourism and Conservation Association (STACA) - $36,355.10 for the project entitled 'Management Plan and Water Quality Monitoring program development in the Billy Barquedier National Park'. The project seeks to develop a water monitoring program, establish water quality baseline data, and develop a management plan. Rio Blanco Mayan Association (RBMA) -$59,866 for the project entitled 'Increasing visitation to Rio Blanco National Park'. The project seeks to market and promote the National Park, upgrade infrastructure and improve security. Medium Grant Southern Environmental Association (SEA) -$183,225 for the project entitled 'Cultivating sustainability of two protected areas in southern Belize'. The project seeks to increase sustainability efforts and improve facilities and infrastructure at the Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve and Laughing Bird Caye National Park. Large Grants Ya'axche conservation trust (Ya'axche) -$316,202.25 for the project entitled 'A holistic Approach to Protected Area Management in the Maya Golden Landscape'. The project seeks to develop and implement a comprehensive financial sustainability strategy, increase income generating mechanisms, and maintain the protection, monitoring and enforcement of the MGL.

Improved access to Vocational Education for 200 students from 11 remote Rural Communities in Toledo
Over 200 students from 11 remote villages in the Toledo District will now have easier access, and enhanced quality Secondary Vocational Education thanks to the construction of Corazon Creek Technical High School Extension built by the Government of Belize at a cost of $595,895.00 with funds financed through a grant from the Caribbean Development Bank under the Basic Needs Trust Fund Sixth Programme (BNTF 6). Students from the 11 remote villages - Corazon Creek, Graham Creek, Mabilha, Dolores, Crique Sarco, San Benito Poite, San Lucas, Santa Teresa, Conejo Creek, Otoxha, and Sunday Wood will now have the opportunity to obtain a quality secondary education in Business, Academics/Sciences of Vocational Training in their new three-classroom single storey ferro-concrete school extension which provides a unique teaching and learning environment.

SIF Expanding Access to Primary Education in Rural Communities across Belize
Over 110 school children of Aguacate Primary School in the village of Aguacate, in the southern district of Toledo will no longer have to attend classes in churches, community centre, and health outpost thanks to the construction of the new School Extension and Rehabilitation built by the Government of Belize at a total cost of $555,611.00 with a grant from the Caribbean Development Bank under the Basic Needs Trust Fund Sixth Programme. The new school project underscores Belize's commitment to excellence in primary education and is aligned with United Nations Millennium Development Goal 2, to "Achieve Universal Primary Education," and Target 5 i.e. Ensure that by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling up to Standard 6. In this context, Belize is on the travel path to embrace such achievement. Executive Director of SIF, Mr. William Lamb Jr. says the expanded school building will offer a better teaching and learning environment for both students and teachers, alleviate over-crowding, and provide adequate classroom spaces to meet the increasing demand of enrollment for students in the rural village.

Strange Laws of Belize
Belize and Belizeans are governed by a set of rules called laws. The original set of rules from which these were derived was known as Barnaby's Codes. There are sections in these laws that due to the fact that they are seldom used we don't even know they exist and as strange as some of them may sound, these are our Laws� Criminal Damage to Property 132.-(1) A person who without lawful excuse destroys or damages any property belonging to another intending to destroy or damage any such property or being reckless as to whether any such property would be destroyed or damaged shall be guilty of a crime. (2) A person who without lawful excuse destroys or damages any property, whether belonging to himself or another- (a) intending to destroy or damage any property or being reckless as to whether any property Would be destroyed or damaged; and (b) intending by the destruction or damage to endanger the life of another or being reckless As to whether the life of another would be thereby endangered, shall be guilty of a crime. Punishment A person who is guilty of any other crime under this Title shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years and on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year. So you may want to think twice before you walk into your home and destroy your television set even if you have a receipt in your name for it.

Tourism arrivals keep rising
Tourist Arrivals for 2014 are up in the 3rd quarter of the year, when compared to last year, a very welcomed turn of events especially since statistically the 3rd quarter falls in the industry's low season. The Belize Tourism Board's counts that Airport Arrivals for the last 3 months up to September 2014 totaled at 7,692; that's 76 more than last year. For the total 9 months, there have been 45,862 tourists who have arrived at the PGIA, 1,729 more than last year, or an increase of 3.9%. Overnight arrivals for September were 11,943, which was more than September 2013 by as much as 1,289. Overall, for the first 9 months of this year, 64,598 tourists arrived overnight; that's 5,248 more than last year, or an increase of 8.8%.

Belize Elementary girls and boys are leaders in primary schools volleyball competition
The Belize City Primary Schools Volleyball Competition continued on Wednesday 15 October, 2014 with three games on the schedule. In the girls' competition played, Belize Elementary School defeated Queen Street Baptist School in two sets by the score of 25-1 and 25-5. In the first of two games played in the boys' competition, St. Ignatius School won over Queen Street Baptist by the score of 25-23 and 25-16. And in the final game of the day, St. John Vianney School defeated Ephesus SDA in three sets by the score of 25-23, 28-30 and 17-15. On Tuesday 14th October, 2014, in the first of two girls' competition games played, Holy Redeemer School defeated Queen Street Baptist School in two sets by the score of 25-11 and 25-6. In game two, it was Belize Elementary School, the current leaders in this year's competition winning over St. John's Primary School by the score of 25-13 and 25-9.

Old School keeps pressure on opponents
The 2014 Vega Cup Tournament continued on Sunday 12 October, at two different venues in the Orange Walk North Constituency. At the Trial Farm Football Field there were four games on the schedule. In game one, San Antonio FC edged out Rising Stars by the score of 3-1. The goals for San Antonio FC were scored by Wilber Teyul in the 42nd minute of play, and Alexis Cowo in the 57th and 67th minute of play. Meanwhile, the goal for Rising Star was scored by Jose Casanova in the 80th minute of play. In the second game of the day, Old School continued its dominance of its opponent when it blasted A.C, Aliari by the score of 7-1. The goals for Old School were scored by Eliazar Itza in the 2nd and 37th minute of play, Christopher Hendricks in the 35th, 42nd and 81st minute of play, and Oliver Hendricks in the 49th and 54th minute of play.

St. Catherine's Academy and Belize High School boys maintain lead in high school volleyball competition
The Central Region Secondary Schools Volleyball Competition continued on Tuesday October 14, 2014, at Bird's Isle in Belize City with two more games. In the female competition, Maud Williams High School defeated Sadie Vernon Technical High School in two straight sets by the score of 25-15 and 25-9. In the male game, Sadie Vernon Technical defeated Maud Williams High School in two straight sets by the score of 25-10 and 25-20. On Saturday October 11, 2014, in the female competition, Belize High School defeated Sadie Vernon Technical High School by the score of 25-9 and 25-1. In the male game, Anglican Cathedral College defeated Maud Williams High School by the score of 25-23 and 25-18.

Belize Softball Federation to host VII Annual Charles Solis Memorial Tourney
The Belize Softball Federation is pleased to announce that the VII Annual Charles Solis Memorial Softball Tourney is scheduled for Sunday 26 October, 2014, at Rogers Stadium the home of softball in Belize. The tourney will include the Belize Bank Bulldogs the newly crowned National Softball Champions of Belize, Beacon from Belize City along with Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy and Camalote from the Cayo Softball Association, and Sunrise of Lord's Bank, the Belize Rural champions The Charles Solis Memorial Tournament will utilise the Double Elimination Format and will commence at 9:00 am. At the end of the tourney, one of Mr. Charles Solis' sons will present the championship cup and the individual medals to the teams that finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

Premier League of Belize Opening Season is set to commence this coming weekend
The 2014-2015 Premier League of Belize Opening Season is scheduled to commence on Saturday 18 October, 2014, with one game on the schedule. The competition will then continue on Sunday 19 October, 2014, with three games on the schedule. The teams that are participating in this year's Opening Season are the defending champions the Belmopan Bandits, national sub-champions Police United, the Belize Defence Force, Paradise Freedom Fighters, Wagiya, Verdes Football Club, San Ignacio United, Football Club Belize and the Placencia Assasins.

Sugar City Girls and Toledo Girls leads in Women's Football Cup
The Football Federation of Belize Women President's Cup Tournament continued on Sunday October 12, 2014, with two games on the schedule. At the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, DFC Gentle Touch blasted Smart Millennium by the score of 6-0. The goals for DFC Gentle Touch were scored by Shanel Gentle in the 18th and 40th minute of play, Ethlen Gentle in the 24th minute of play, Kimberly Perez in the 30th minute of play, Abbe Halliday in the 53rd minute of play and Cynthia Salazar in the 89th minute of play. Meanwhile, out at the Toledo Union Field in Punta Gorda Town, the home team Toledo Strikers clipped Triple B's by the score of 3-1.

Health Hookup
Acne: The Basics What is acne? Well besides being an annoyance that most of us had to endure during our younger years, it is also a dermatological condition. The condition is a result of the inflammation of the pilosebaceous (oil producing unit of the skin) unit of certain body areas. Oil exits the skin via a tiny opening called a pore. A combination of oil and dead skin creates a clog that plugs up the pore leading to it being red and inflamed. It often affects girls between the ages of 10-17 years old and boys between 14-19 years old. Causes of acne include endocrine factors, emotional stress, oral contraceptives, and pressure on the skin i.e. leaning face on hands or on a phone. It is important to note that food is NOT a cause of acne. During the teenage years hormones are a big factor that promotes acne formation. As the levels of hormones rise in teenagers, the amount of oil being released also increases. This allows for a greater interaction between oil and dead skin cells increasing the number of acne formed. Pus that results is from the interaction of the oil and a bacterium that resides on the skin (Proprionibacterium acnes). Some of the more common locations for acne formation are face, neck, upper arm, buttocks, back and chest. Acne lesions can be classified as:

Community Vote
The other day one of my work colleagues was telling me that his mom was receiving urgent medical attention for a sudden condition and his family was having him bear all the expenses related to her treatment. I muttered the usual sympathetic remarks, but truly, and I don't want to sound mean here, based on the angle this conversation was going I knew that there was going to be an earnest solicitation sooner than later. Without delay, and in my best reassuring voice, I suggested that he do some fundraisers at his house, and I even promised to purchase tickets from him. He did the usual BBQ sale that weekend, but later told me he was still short by about $500 to complete his mom's treatment. Again to the rescue, I suggested he seek assistance from his area representative, who was of the same shade of dark blue that my acquaintance was. I later heard him cursing that the PUP House Member gave him all of $25 to help his mom. My final advice to him was, warm up back the BBQ grill, brethren!

Is it an illusion?
The mind or inner consciousness is a mystery to everyone in this world. It is like an inner voice that speaks to you. Everyone has this voice within them. We just do not know whether it is real or an illusion. Some of us might even think that we are insane when we hear voices in our head, and we take a visit to the psychologist. Other times we do not even know if it is another "being" residing within us or probably our inner self that is trying to communicate with us. Nevertheless, everyone has their own interpretation of their inner consciousness. This interpretation might come from their religious perspective, experiences, and their cultural background such as the beliefs that individuals were raised with or the level of knowledge that they possess about their inner consciousness. In the religious perspective, Christians believe that the inner consciousness is real. It dictates to us what is right or wrong. Somewhere in the bible, we can infer that God gave us freewill and judgment, yet he created this inner being to reside within us and guide us in our paths of life. This spiritual being is connected with our minds and it tells us what is morally right or wrong. The bible also states that it is our physical bodies that prevent us from doing what the inner being wants us to do; there is a constant battle between our inner beings and physical bodies occurring every day. For example in cartoons or animated movies, there is always a good angel and a bad demon.

Three Rescued at Sea Search for Eric Garcia Continues
The Belize Coast Guard was called as three individuals were in distress out at sea in the San Pedro area around 1 p.m. on Monday. This was around the same time that the rescue operation was ongoing for Roland. The Coast Guard was informed that three men were canoeing near Grand Caribe when the canoe capsized and they began to drift. One of the three, identified by Soberanis as Mr. Martinez, was rescued by a local who was passing by in his vessel. The other two canoers were caught in the main channel east of Boca del Rio and drifted further out to sea. The second of the three, identified as Mr. Hernandez, was rescued by the Coast Guard at approximately 2 p.m. He was found holding on to a mooring buoy. The search for the third individual, Eric Garcia, continues. Lt. Soberanis updated the media on the search for Garcia sometime around noon on Tuesday, October 14. The search team was now diving in a location labeled as "Area 2" as the mission was about to change from one of rescue to that of recovery. Up to print time, Garcia has still not been found. As the operation to find Eric Garcia continues, Soberanis wishes to advise kayakers and canoers "not to venture out to sea in adverse weather conditions as this can result in serious bodily injury or loss of life".

Dawn Phillips' house fell down...
During the strong storm which hit Maskall and caused major damage (see story on page 21), the rains affected different areas all around the country. In Belize City, Port Loyola resident, Dawn Phillips, was quite unfortunate to have her house fall down after several years of living on McKenzie Lane. Belize City also experienced that heavy wind and rain from the weather system which passed over the country on Wednesday, October 8. Phillips, who claims that she rebuilt her home two years ago, was sleeping, and in the early hours of Thursday, the strong wind and rain sent caused her house to collapse. Fortunately for Phillips, she had woken up a few minutes before it happened, and she and her daughter avoided serious injury.

Six year old falls into pit and dies in Cayo
A six year old boy has died as a result of falling into a pit on Monday of this week in Spanish Lookout. Elam Penner was along with three other close relatives, and his father Walter Penner, when he fell into a pit and died. Walter Penner had left home driving a trailer to deliver corn at the Central Grain dryers in Spanish Lookout. Upon arrival at the grain dryer, he was shown by the owner of the establishment where to unload the corn. He then parked the trailer on top of a pit and went outside to open the holes that the trailer has underneath. At the time when he was opening the seventh hole of the trailer, the 35 year old naturalized Belizean farmer heard a cry and noticed that his son had fallen into the pit. Walter Penner shouted for help and that was when others came to his assistance and he was able to retrieve his son from the pit, who was still breathing. Elam Penner was rushed by ambulance to the Belmopan Regional Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.

Author on Whirl Wind Tour of Belize
Author Ted W. Cox continues his tour of Belize this week after having arrived in Belize last week Wednesday, thanks to the Institute for Social and Cultural Research ISCR and the Belize National Library Service and Information System BNLSIS. In keeping with the BNLSIS momentum, Ted Cox gave a lecture at the San Ignacio Public Library last Friday. It was also an opportunity for the U. S author to promote his book entitled 'British Honduras became Belize 1971 to 1773' and with secondary title 'A Peace Corp Memoir'. The book by Ted Cox is now available at popular stores around Belize and is a summary of the work he did as a track and field coach. Chapters in the book are dedicated to what other Peace Corp Volunteers were doing as well as documenting the National Movements towards Belize's Independence. In his presentation Friday, Ted Cox revealed that he had been assigned to early British Honduras to establish a track and field program. During his time here, he trained counterpart coaches to ensure the continuation of the program as well as organized competitions on the inter-school basis and organized sports clubs at both the primary and high school levels. While on these tasks, Ted Cox told his audience in San Ignacio that he was able to enjoy the many cultures and the natural beauty of Belize.

Desperation Squared
I make it a point to steer clear from commenting on the different practices and traditions of the several religious denominations that exist in Belize today. This is because many scholars hold firm the opinion that religious intolerance between differing faiths has sparked the most appalling conflicts in our world's civilized history; several of these deadly conflicts continue without abate even to this day. That said, and I say this tongue in cheek, I will risk one comment here on a ritual which I thought was pretty uncommon and bizarre, especially coming from a nationally recognized organization who participated in this ceremony. Last week Wednesday January 15 the leadership of the People's United Party went to sing "happy birthday" songs at the tombstone of the late Rt. Hon. George C. Price, and then later went on to sponsor a press conference at Independence Hall, evoking the former PUP leader's name several times during the in-house political rally.

Failing Grade
Imagine teachers in Belize entering their classrooms one morning to find them half empty. The Ministry of Education does not have any information to explain the empty classrooms but enquiries reveal that a letter had been sent to the various Managements informing them that students would be attending rallies on designated Fridays to learn more about their rights. The rallies are being organised by a group of concerned parents who have read reports showing that high repetition and drop-out rates can be largely attributed to poor teaching and school administration. The Management Authorities appear ineffective in weeding out poor teachers, the Teachers' Union mandate is to protect teachers and so the full brunt of this institutional failure falls on parents and students. Some parents therefore decided to take matters into their own hands and hold sessions in every district to teach the students and their parents how to monitor the quality of the education they are receiving, rate their teachers and school administrations as well as report instances of inappropriate or inequitable behaviour and poor educational practices.

Living with Schizophrenia
World Mental Health Day (WMHD) is celebrated every year on October 10 and the theme for this year was "Living with Schizophrenia". Schizophrenia is one of the most devastating mental illnesses and afflicts approximately 1 in 100 persons worldwide. A caregiver shared these thoughts at the WMHD ceremony in Belize. Schizophrenia is a soul stealer - it takes over the personality of someone we love and care for, sometimes leaving behind someone we scarcely recognise. The child or sibling that we knew from childhood takes on a new and often frightening persona as they enter young adulthood. The signs are often missed at first or if noticed assumed to be part of the normal turbulence of adolescence. It is often difficult for family members and friends to come to terms with the diagnosis when it is finally sought. There are those who want to know what "caused" the illness. Was it the hurricane when he or she was a child? Was there some fault in the parenting skills of the mother or father? Is it due to a family weakness? Is there a curse? Did the person bring it on him or herself through drug and alcohol use? Who or what is to blame? Families react in many different ways. Because of stigma, some families hide their relative, making them virtual prisoners in the home. Others, unable to deal with frightening acute episodes, abandon their responsibility and evict the person from their home and their lives. But most families try their best to offer as much support as they can.

Patrick JonesPJ

Police find pistol under Belize City bridge
Police have removed another weapon from the streets of Belize City. A .380 pistol was found under a bridge in the Belama Phase 4 area of Belize City late on Wednesday night and is now in police custody. According to a report sent out today, the pistol, [�]

Cahal Pech Village Resort is Now Offering the Pontoon Nature Tour
Cahal Pech Village Resort, one of the largest resorts in western Belize has just launched a spectacular adventure tour called "The Pontoon Nature Tour". According to CEO Peter Tonti, the new tour is an addition to the list of tours and activities that the resort offers [�]

Flooding closes Iguana Creek Bridge and Baking Pot Ferry
Vehicular traffic was interrupted on the Iguana Creek Bridge and the Baking Pot Ferry this morning following heavy rains in western Belize overnight. Early this morning, the Iguana Creek Bridge leading to Spanish Lookout was impassable as the water level had risen above the deck of the bridge. [�]

Ladyville man murdered
Police in Ladyville village, Belize district are investigating and apparent murder late Wednesday night. The body of 22 years old Gregory Richard Goodfellow was found around 8:36 pm on the Burrell Boom/Hattieville road after gunshots were heard in area. A police report issued this morning said that "at [�]


Wildtracks, as defined by Kate - escapee primary teacher, UK
Something different!! At the end of my month volunteering at Wildtracks, Zoe has asked me to write the next blog....has anyone done an acrostic before?! Here are some of my memories: W is for warm manatee breath as Mitch or Lucky come up for air and you are up close with their beautiful whiskery faces. Having never met a manatee before, I fell in love at first sight with these gentle, affectionate animals and my swims with Khaleesi, Rhameses and the babies were the highlight of my time here. A unique experience I will never forget. I is for interesting monkey behaviour, (Charlie's kisses, Matty's hugs through the cage with her tail, grateful chirruping from Panchita when I brought her food, Duma's meaningful looks through the cage). I enjoyed getting to know the spider monkeys on my daily feeding rounds and watching their impressive acrobatics. L is for laughing with the other volunteers, meeting like-minded people and making new friends. Although we are from all corners of the globe I hope to meet up with at least some of you again somewhere!

Belize is no longer Mother Nature's Best Kept Secret and here's why!
New reports from the Belize Tourism Board show that tourist arrivals for 2014 continue to increase, with this year's third quarter numbers showing a significant rise compared to last year. And when you consider that the third quarter contains the traditionally slow months for tourism, the figures seem to indicate that Belize is maintaining its upward trajectory as one of the world's most desirable locations. Seven News Belize reports that airport, overnight and cruise ship arrivals for the three months up to September 2014 are all higher compared to last year, giving the first three quarters of this year a healthy increase of 3.9%, according to BTB figures. The figures also indicate that overnight arrivals are up by 5,248, or an increase of 8.8%, while cruise passenger arrivals increased by 73,409, or 77%. Calling the figures "� a tremendous indication to us how well the country is doing, how interested people are." BTBMarketing Director Alyssa Carnegie said she believed the Board recorded a 12.1% increase in arrivals this September compared to September 2013, with an over 90% for cruise arrivals for the same period.

"Move Closer" in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Out on the veranda this morning at around 05.40 hours ((obviously I had my mug of black coffee (sugar-free) and iPad (Air if you must know) with me)) the sky suddenly started to turn red. This as the darkness started to disappear as the sun came up. But this morning it just felt different. I don't know if it was because it had been raining heavily. I doubt it because it's rained before just as the sun was rising. Whatever caused it though created a sky with a rich red hue. I should have stirred myself (not the coffee obviously - no milk, no sugar!), got up and grabbed the camera. I didn't though - I was enjoying it too much. You'll just have to believe me (or not if that is your inclination) that it was a sight to behold. If it happens again though I will take a shot - I'm now going to take the camera out on to the veranda first thing in the morning! Anyway enough of today for the moment, I want to take you back in time. To yesterday! After spending my 'me time' on the veranda I showered, shaved, dressed and headed off to take the golf cart to Giovanni's (its in Sea Grape Drive if you're interested) for a service and oil bath. I also wanted him to take a look (stupid thing to say actually) at a squeak that's been coming from the rear off-side wheel.

18 Solid Reasons why Belize should not go to the ICJ
By: Joaquin Maga�a Sr. The ICJ does NOT guarantee that Belize will remain with all its territory intact as it is since Belize became a crown colony in 1862 and after it became Independent in 1981. Going to ICJ is like buying lottery (Boledo). We may win but we may LOSE. We have proof of many court cases where injustice prevails; the innocent are found guilty and the guilty walk away free. We stand a good chance of winning, however, IF WE LOSE, WE WILL LOSE OUR LAND. Our country is too much to lose. We simply cannot, and will not take that chance. Belize is a sovereign nation member of United Nations. Even Guatemala accepted this fact although reluctantly. Guatemala cannot be trusted because they always change their position in their claim with time. The determination of the Belizean people WAS, IS, AND WILL always be: To be a Sovereign and Independent Nation with ALL ITS TERRITORY INTACT. Neither Guatemala nor Spain ever occupied nor settled in Belize, NEVER. Guatemala has NEVER EVER had legal rights over the territory, nation of Belize. Whenever Spain attacked to expel the British from this land, all 5 attacks (including the last, which was called The Battle of ST. George's Caye in 1798) came from The Captaincy of Yucatan, Mexico; NEVER from Guatemala. If they didn't bother to defend this land is because it DID NOT BELONG TO THEM. Belize is not a piece of barren land. Belize is a country of people. These people, BELIZEANS, have always owned this land. Belizeans DO NOT WANT TO BE A PART OF GUATEMALA. Probabilities are so high that Belize has a large reserve of petroleum, for that reason Guatemala started with their nonsensical, unfounded claim once more.

Attention Government and People of Belize
What Everyone, Especially Mr. Elrington And GOB Should Know: That History Discards The Unfounded And Void Guatemalan Claim Over Belize!!! In 1838 - 1839 the United Provinces of Central America broke up giving rise to the new countries of Central America. Guatemala Claimed that Belize was administered by Spain as part of the Captaincy of Guatemala and that they had inherited this sovereignty, as a result of the breakup of the federation. They say Belize was passed to Guatemala, since Belize had been considered part of Peten or Verapaz region of Guatemala. The fact is that there is by far more convincing historical evidence, however, to strongly suggest that Belize was considered by Spain as part of Yucatan (Mexico) NOT of Guatemala; but in any case, Spain NEVER EVER occupied Belize. During the 18th century the Spanish attacked the settlement of British Honduras (now Belize) many times, in 1717, 1730, 1754, and 1779 forced the settlers to leave; some were taken as prisoners to Yucatan. However, the Spanish NEVER settled in Belize, and the British returned and expanded their settlement and trade. On September 10th, 1798 was the last time that the Spanish attacked. The British side won what became known as the Battle of St. George's Caye. The Spanish retreated and NEVER again tried to control the settlement of British Honduras (now Belize). The truth of the fact is that all attacks on the settlement came from the Captaincy of YUCATAN (MEXICO) NOT from Guatemala.

International Sourcesizz

Pick the 2014 Rubber Dodo Award Winner -- Vote by Midnight, Oct. 30
It's time to pick the most outrageous eco-villain of 2014 -- fill out the form at the bottom of the page to cast your vote. The Center for Biological Diversity established the Rubber Dodo award in 2007 as a way to spotlight those who do their very best -- that is, their worst -- to destroy wild places and drive species to extinction. The award, named after one of the most famous extinct species on Earth, is given out every year. Previous recipients of this prestigious faux-accolade include the infamous Koch Brothers (2013), climate denier Sen. James Inhofe (2012), BP CEO Tony Hayward (2010), polar bear foe Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (2008) and Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne (2007), who set a record low in the number of plants and animals he placed on the endangered species list.

Ebola scare on Caribbean cruise ship: Woman quarantined in her cabin after coming into contact with infected specimen from 'patient zero' at Texas hospital
A healthcare worker is in quarantine aboard a Caribbean cruise ship after it was revealed she handled a lab specimen from America's Ebola 'patient zero'. The woman, who is an employee of the Texas Presbyterian Hospital, has agree to remain isolated while on the vessel and is is being monitored for any signs of infection. Although she did not come into direct contact with Thomas Eric Duncan - the Ebola-infected man who died of the disease - she may have had contact with clinical specimens collected from him.

Health Worker Who May Have Had Contact With Ebola Is on a Cruise Ship
Adding a new and troubling dimension to the search for Americans possibly exposed to the Ebola virus, the State Department said Friday that an employee of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who may have had contact with specimens of the disease had left the United States aboard a cruise ship. The employee and a traveling partner, who were not identified by name, had agreed to remain isolated in a cabin aboard the vessel, the State Department said, and "out of an abundance of caution" efforts were underway to repatriate them. A physician aboard the cruise ship had said the employee was in good health. News reports quoting an official statement from the government of Belize said the ship was still in that country's waters, but the authorities there refused to allow American officials to evacuate the passengers through their territory. While United States officials "had emphasized the very low risk category in this case," the statement said, "the government of Belize decided not to facilitate a U.S. request for assistance in evacuating the passenger through" an airport.

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More News: Scroll up from here

Belize's Chocolate Revolution
We have a chocolate problem. And it's not just about the impact it will have on our waists this Halloween. It's even bigger than that. Here are the top three most important things chocolate lovers need to know: Smallholder cocoa farmers are underpaid and impoverished: Ninety percent of the world's cocoa is produced by five million small-producer farmers in West Africa, Latin America, and Asia. These farmers are getting minimal pay, with the majority of cocoa farmers globally living on less than $2 per day. Farmer poverty is widespread, while big manufacturers are capturing the vast majority of profits from the nearly $100 billion global chocolate industry. Demand for cocoa is growing, but farmer income isn't improving: An estimated 4.4 million tons of cocoa (or cacao) are produced every year. That demand is expected to grow over 30 percent in the next five years as countries like China, India, and Brazil start eating more chocolate. The majority of farmers are unlikely to see the benefit of this growing market. In fact, many farmers have given up on cocoa and switched to other more lucrative, often environmentally destructive crops like palm oil. The average age of a cocoa farmer in West Africa, which produces about 70 percent of the world's cocoa, is 51-which means farmers' kids are abandoning the crop. So unless you're paying more for your chocolate bar and know where your chocolate maker is sourcing their cocoa, unfortunately you're probably just feeding (and eating) the problem.

Honeymoon Adventures in Belize - Part 2
In Pam's second email it was clear that survival had taken a back seat to enjoying less traumatic honeymoon happenings. Finally, the "kids" got to relax - and eat the wildlife. Just want to tell you all some of the cool things we've been doing here. The first day we rode around town on our bikes and met the very off-beat lady who runs the Kismet Inn Cafe. Bought food, went home and cooked, and had a quiet evening. Had to throw out the rice we just bought because it was full of bugs. Yesterday morning at 9 a dude and his son came to pick us up in front of our house to go snorkeling. A note on race/ethnicity: these guys were black, as are many people in town, and are Garifuna. Garifuna are descendants of West African, Carib and Arawak peoples. Others are Creoles, descendants of African slaves and European settlers, and they have different faces and lighter skin. Then there are the Maya, who have three different groups, each with a different language. And the Mestizo, who are descendants of the Maya and Spanish settlers. We have met people of all of these groups here. There are also tall, white Mennonites, who are descended from German settlers - saw them, too.

Dishy celebs who escape to their own islands
The social media mogu and other big stars love their private getaways in exotic locations. Here, we look at the very best that luxury island living has to offer... Who: The eco-friendly actor Leonardo DiCaprio (39). Where: The colourfully named Blackadore Caye off the coast of unspoilt Belize in South America. How much: Purchased in 2005, reportedly for �1.4m. Luxury: A combination of white sandy beaches, coconut trees and tropical vegetation, the island totals 104 acres. At 3.5km long and up to 200m wide, it is one of Belize's larger islands. Manatees are abundant in its surrounding waters. Privacy: Accessible only by boat, it takes 20 minute to reach. It's also just 25 minutes from the Belize Barrier Reef, a World Heritage Site. Guests: Leonardo's many supermodel girlfriends. He's now single again having split from 22-year-old Toni Garrn, so another lucky lady may soon enjoy a vacation there.

Texas health worker isolated on cruise ship over possible Ebola contact
A Texas health worker who may have had contact with specimens from the first patient diagnosed with Ebola in the United States has been isolated on a cruise ship despite showing no symptoms of the disease, the Department of State said on Friday. The Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital worker, who did not have direct contact with now deceased Liberian patient Thomas Eric Duncan but could have processed his bodily fluids 19 days ago, left on a cruise from Galveston on Sunday, department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement. U.S. concerns have intensified after two nurses from the Dallas hospital who cared for Duncan contracted the virus, which has killed nearly 4,500 people, mostly in West Africa. President Barack Obama's administration is facing sharp criticism from lawmakers over its efforts to contain the disease at home.

UCF archaeological duo in international competition
A husband and wife team of archaeologists from UCF needs help to win an international competition for the work that they've done at a site in Belize called Caracol. Arlen and Diane Chase are both professors at UCF's Department of Anthropology and have been working on the site for the last two decades. The Caracol is competing in a month-long tournament called ArchaeoMadness, where sites from all over the world go head-to-head to compete for a grand prize in celebration of International Archaeology Day on Oct. 18. The UCF-assisted site will be going up against a formidable competitor called Angkor Wat in the championship round on Friday. The Angkor Wat site, found in Cambodia, has been excavated and worked on by universities from Australia, Europe and the U.S. Its international standing means it will have a wide range of voter support from all over the world.


Video: Belize Shark Dive, 3min.
In 2013 diving in front of Ambergris Caye we encountered a huge amount of nurse sharks and turtles. The dive master carried with him a small tube of chum and the sharks came in for the entire duration of both dives sucking the chum out of the holes.

Video: Central America - Mexico, Guatemala and Belize, 6min.
We had 5 weeks to explore Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. We started in Cancun, heading south to Playa del Carmen, Tulum and then into Belize City from there out to Caye Caulker. We sailed 3 days down the Belize barrier reef, stopping in Placencia and then boating across to Guatemala where we did Rio Dulce, Flores (Tikal), Semuc champey, Antigua, Lake Atitlan, Chichitenago. We then headed back up North to Mexico arriving into San Cristobal de las casas. From here we headed back up to the Yucatan via Palenque, stopping in Merida. Our final destination was Isla Mujeres.

Video: Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge in Belize!, 4min.
Welcome to an authentic Belize Jungle Lodge where you will experience the adventures of a lifetime in lush rain-forest surroundings. Rappel waterfalls, explore Mayan sacrificial caves, go cave tubing and much, much more.

Video: TIDE YCC - University of Belize, 12.5min.
Elvira Coleman talent presentation representing University of Belize in TIDE's 2014 Youth Conservation Competition

Video: Belize, 29min.
Another day in paradise under the ocean having fun with the fish and enjoying the serenity.

Video: Belize - Snorkeling Shark Ray Alley, 2.5min.
Snorkeling in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve off the coast of Ambergris Caye, Belize. Stop #3. (Shark Ray Alley)

Video: Belize - Shark Ray Alley Boat, 3min.

Video: , min.
Back on the boat after snorkeling at Shark Ray Alley in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve off the coast of Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Video: Belize - Snorkeling Conch Graveyard, 4min.
Snorkeling in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve off the coast of Ambergris Caye, Belize. Stop #2. (Conch Graveyard)

Video: Belize - Snorkeling Hol Chan, 6min.
Snorkeling in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve off the coast of Ambergris Caye, Belize. Stop #1.

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