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Today's Belize News: November 19, 2014 #498116
11/19/14 03:30 AM
11/19/14 03:30 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
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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

Dia de los Muertos: Scaring up Some Fun in Merida!
The beauty of Belize does not end at her borders, and on occasion we find ourselves venturing beyond our mother land to explore our remarkable neighbors. For those who prefer to spend their time at their destination, rather than half of it traveling by land, Tropic Air has made getting there much easier. Dia de los Muertos is observed throughout Mexico where the day is a public holiday. In Mexico the tradition is a mixture of Catholic beliefs with the religions of indigenous Mexican people and focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. Prior to Spanish colonization in the 16th century, the celebration took place at the beginning of summer.

Kenisha Avila wins Garifuna Translation Contest
Young Kenisha Avila emerged as the winner of the Garifuna Translation contest hosted by the San Pedro Branch of the National Garifuna Council and the Ministry of Education. The event was one of the many events that were planned leading up to the Garifuna Settlement Day Celebration, and took place on the night of Monday November 17th at the San Pedro Central Park. Avila, a student of New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist School was amongst three other students who competed in several rounds to finally emerge as winner. In addition she entered into the competition at the eleventh hour along with two other students after the representatives of two schools failed to show up. Notwithstanding, she took up the vacant spot and following several rounds of competition, managed to top the other students.

Ambergris Today

Cultural Day Extravaganza at San Pedro High School
San Pedro High School hosted its annual Cultural Day at the R. Angel Nuñez Auditorium today, Novermber 18, 2014, with colorful and festive booths. Students showcased different ethnic groups from Belize including their delicious food and impressive cultural performances. This year they featured international countries such as Spain, Italy, Hawaii and much more. Kudos to the student body for another successful Cultural Day.

25 Years Ago: The Procession of Las Animas on the Streets of San Pedro
Where does the soul of a dead person go? Some believe that it goes to Heaven. Others argue that it goes straight to Hell if the person led a pernicious life while alive. Still others argue that the soul goes to a place called Purgatory where it remains until it is time that it qualifies to step up to Heaven. It is these souls that are in Purgatory that re-join the dead bodies buried in the cemetery that come out every Midnight during the entire month of November. They are called Las Animas. Each ghostly body represents a deceased resident of San Pedro. Here is the full story behind Las Animas. “Dios te salve Maria, llena eres de gracia, el Señor es contigo, bendita tu eres entre todas las mujere…” The words of the prayer Hail Mary echo and fade away as Las Animas are in procession around the two main streets of San Pedro. They are dressed full white, each carrying a lit candle and instead of walking, they are floating about two feet in the air. The two main streets of San Pedro are desolate and dark giving the Animas the somber silence and peace that they need to come out in prayer.

San Pedro Red Cross Revs Up Activity on Island
The San Pedro Red Cross spearheaded a successful blood drive this past weekend on Ambergris Caye and with various activities on hand and planned for the future, the organization is showing signs of momentum in their objectives. This week the San Pedro Red Cross highlights the fact that many island businesses and individuals have stepped up to purchase their First Aid Kits and making Ambergris Caye just a little safer. Businesses taking the initiative include: Caribbean Villas, Aimee Fearneyhough Sunrise Realty, Caye Coffee, San Pedro Sailing Club, Ambergris Seaside Real Estate, Xanadu Resort, Josh Beuttner, Licks Beachside Cafe, El Divino and Banana Beach Resort. The Red Cross will have some deluxe first aid kits available for sale to any interested party.

Galen University Introduces New Online Programs for Spring 2015 Semester
Galen University has introduced two new online/hybrid undergraduate programs and one graduate program to its list of online programs for the upcoming Spring 2015 Semester. The new undergraduate programs are Accounting and Sustainable Tourism Management and the new graduate program is Public Administration. A Master of Education in Leadership and Administration is also being offered in Spring 2015 by Galen University through its partner institution, The University of Nicosia. Galen University’s existing hybrid/online programs offered in ten centers countrywide include: * Undergraduate -- Business Administration, Banking and Finance, Criminal Justice, and Primary Education. * Graduate - Accounting, Business Administration, Economics, and Secondary Education. Interested students who apply by November 30, 2014, will be eligible for a tuition grant of up to 20%. This 20% tuition grant is a part of the University’s contribution towards increasing the availability of tertiary level education for all Belizeans.

San Pedro Police Food & Clothing Drive
The San Pedro Police Department is inviting the island community to participate in its end-of-the-year Holiday Food and Clothing Drive which will benefit selected families in need on Ambergris Caye. Non-perishable food items and clothing can be dropped of at the San Pedro Police Station up until December 9, 2014. The following day, members of the Police Department will visiting selected families and individuals, sharing with them some of the generously donated items from the community. For More information you may call 206-2022.

Belize Bodybuilder Cricel Castillo Wins Big in Miami
Belizean bodybuilder Cricel Castillo made her mark over the weekend and placed Belize in the spotlight when she went on to win her first Pro Card at the World Beauty Fitness and Fashion Competition that was held at the Hyatt in Miami, Florida on November 15 and 16, 2014. Cricel went on to win her first Pro Card in the Diva and Fitness Model Short Category, including the Best Costume category which was designed by local Belizean designer Gabriel Garcia. The competition is a major event for amateur fitness models and bikini divas. Cricel proved to have what it takes and outshine her competitors.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Petrocaribe Rally (A Musical Review
Today is the second reading the Petrocaribe motion in which House approval is being sought for loans amounting to two hundred and forty million dollars from Venezuela, of which sixty million dollars has already been spent. The Opposition People's United Party (PUP) accuse the Government of not seeking approval of the National Assembly to get the loan from the Alba Petrocaribe or to spend the funds. The PUP intends to take the UDP to court because they say this did not happen and there is no accountability. When the PUP was in power, the UDP accused the PUP of not seeking approval from the House and for lacking in accountability as well. So both parties accuse each other of the same thing while they were acting as the Government of Belize. Nonetheless, as far as the international observers are concerned, these are actions of the Government of Belize, not political parties.

Letter: '...Just follow the money' to Garifuna Settlement Day in Belize
Garifuna in Belize founded the town of Dangriga, Hopkins Village, Seine Bight and Georgetown villages, all in the Stann Creek District. Additionally, Garinagu also settled some areas of Belize City. Are there Garifuna restaurants in Stann Creek and Hopkins and Seine Bight that benefit? Practically nonexistent and this is the same situation after more than twenty years. NGC minimum support by beverage companies and Garifuna people gain zero. Work done by Garifuna to bring crowds to Dangriga. Gain by Garifuna? Nothing! Newspapers and radio blast ads in Belize, wishing everyone a happy Garifuna Settlement Day from many different companies offering a variety of products! The ads are many and the ads are not free. How much do they contribute to any of the activities during this time? How much do they support Garinagu throughout the year? Probably negligible to none. Garifuna do the work and they gain nothing here!

Outside the National Assembly Building Today - 18.11.14 (5 photos)

Channel 7

UDP Shows Mass Party Muscle, Mobilization and Multitudes in Belmopan
Greek mythology tells us that Helen of Troy had the face that launched a thousand ships...,well our question to the Prime Minister at the end of August about Petrocaribe spending may be the question that sent a few thousand protestors to Belmopan today. At that time, we asked why hadn't the Petrocaribe indebtedness gone to the House as is required by the Finance and Audit act? And, since then, so much has happened as a result of that single question….and it culminated today in a massive show of support for Government's Petrocaribe spending programme in Belmopan. The event was timed by the ruling party to coincide with the debate and passage of the loan motion in the House of Representatives. But, a strange thing happened: the UDP rally became the first every mass protest against the opposition in the House: the PUP opposes the motion, and are at the Supreme Court trying to freeze the Petrocaribe funds.

Opp. Leader To PM: "Roll The Election!"
So, it's an enormous outlay of party funds and organizational resources for what would have to be considered the political pre-season; municipals are, after all, months away - and any momentum gathered here will have long faded by the time those roll around. But, as we said at the top of the story, for the UDP, the crowd which stood, and sang, and danced and honked horns were unleashed as a strategic maneuver: to bolster the Barrow Administration in its embrace of the Petrocaribe money as an article of faith, and to intimidate the PUP leadership - which has proven unable to roll out that kind of a crowd since 2010. But in the House Chamber - the roar of the crowd was only a faraway din - and on the House floor, the PUP went shoulder to shoulder with their UDP colleagues - even employing the UDP slogan of "roll It" - here's the exchange on that:..

PM Says PUP "Bad-Minded"
And while the "roll-it" thing certainly caught on - the debate went deeper than that - the Prime Minister accused the PUP of being bad minded - by trying to stop a programme which has been working for the common good - here's how the back and forth on that went:.. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "That indeed they would want to stop the Petrocaribe financing because that Petrocaribe financing is as those people outside are making clear welcome by the vast majority of Belizeans. That is what they are about with respect to this issue; grandstanding, bad mind and trying to deprive the nation of the UDPs hard one infrastructural and quality of life programs. They also pour scorn and burn fire on this PUP Opposition. Denounce them for their screw face and bitterness and bile for the jealousy, spite and envy and downright stupidity of a party that has adopted a scorch-earth policy against the country. A party that would stop Petrocaribe and thereby fundamentality damage the national interest and kill off the unprecedented advance of the people of Belize."

Some Good Ole' PUDP Finger Pointing
The debate went a little deeper on the history of Petrocaribe. Both parties have operated the program while in government and it is the PUP, which first signed unto it in 2005. The other thing they have in common is that - until now - none of them had taken it to the House as is required by law for all public borrowing over ten million dollars. And so that made for a lot of that most common of political practices: finger pointing across the floor. Here's some of it:.. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "They gave that fuel and the importation of that fuel to a company headed by one Antonio "Tony" Zabaneh, a PUP who special relationship with the then Prime Minister is well known by all of this country. That company never would, never could gain the kind of traction needed, never would be able to import the volume of the fuel necessary to take advantage of Petrocaribe because at the same time Esso continue to be the principal importer, sourcing the fuel from elsewhere. So in order to privilege their crony and arrange no doubt for party and ministerial kickbacks they shafted the Belizean people. So Mr. Speaker after a while of course Petro Fuel as the Zabaneh was named folded, but not before their administration collected. The finance portion of the Petrocaribe proceeds amounted to 10.63 million US dollars. The trigger under the Finance and Audit Act is 10 million Belize dollars. Why you never bring Petrocaribe to the National Assembly if you are so concern about transparency and doing the right thing?"

Shyne Put In Work For UDP
One face that almost got lost in the crowd is Shyne Barrow. Minus the "Payot" he was there front and center, handing out noisemakers and t-shirts to the supporters, and generally joining in the show of support for his father. And one more small note - we saw the contractors working on Petrocaribe projects also rolled out their own buses filled with their workers in support of the spending.

Coast Guard Officer Charged Again
2 and a half months ago, we told you about 49 year-old Coast Guard Officer Whaine Williams, who was charged for the death of Benjamin Gentle in one of the worst boating accidents in memory. Well tonight, he's facing additional charges after being taken back to court today. Police say that they have enough evidence against him for injuries to Anthea Garbutt, Gabriel Cruz, and Jair Tillet, 3 of the other accident victims. He was charged with 2 counts of grievous harm, and 1 count of wounding, and he was arraigned today before the Chief Magistrate, Ann Marie Smith.

Cruise Ship Visitor Pleads Guilty to Weed
Last night we told you about a retired American who was busted for 5 ounces of weed, and tonight the news is about an American cruise ship visitor who was also caught for weed. 35 year-old Jon Johnson tried to buy weed - of all places - in front of the police prosecution branch. He was busted by an on-duty officer - one of the many who populate that office. The arresting officer says that he was looking through a window from the Prosecution Branch office when he saw Johnson trying to buy weed from a local man. He detained Johnson and found him with 0.2 grams of cannabis - less than 1% of an ounce. Johnson was subsequently charged with possession of a controlled drug, and he was arraigned before the Chief Magistrate.

Alleged Weed Pusher At School Gets Bail
And in other marijuana news. 28 year-old Nigel Williams is facing a drug trafficking charge after he was reportedly caught on the Gwen Lizarraga High School compound trying to sell weed to high school students. Acting on intelligence, Police visited the compound yesterday, and detained Williams. He reportedly had 4.8 grams - or 0.1 ounces - of marijuana on him. That should have been a drug possession charge because it's much less than the 60 gram quantity for it to qualify for drug trafficking. But The arresting officer charged him with drug trafficking instead of drug possession. That's because their information says that he was there to sell it to high school children.

Justin To Jail For Revolver
27 year-old Justin Richards who was busted with a gun 7 months ago based on intelligence from a 922-tips user, is in jail tonight serving a 5-year sentence. That's after he was convicted today in the court-room of Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith. Corporal Samuel Bonilla testified that on April 4, just before 5 p.m., he received information of a construction worker on Antelope Street who reportedly had a weapon in his possession. He said that he responded, and spotted Richards who had a knapsack on his back. Bonilla confiscated the bag and searched it; inside, he discovered a .38 revolver which was loaded with 5 live rounds of ammunition. Richards was then charged with keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition.

Supal Street Man Stabbed In Belmopan
With all the thousands in Belmopan for the UDP rally - and so many gang affiliated persons employed in Petrocaribe projects - it would have been a miracle if something didn't jump off today. One man from Supal Street was stabbed - reportedly by a woman. Police say It happened on the road to the Western Regional Hospital when Lincoln Robinson Junior was stabbed. He refused to cooperate with police so no report was made. He has reportedly been treated and released from the hospital.

Igniting The Entrepreneurial Spirit
The bold innovators of the world are being highlighted during Global Entrepreneurship week. Activities began yesterday with an Entrepreneurship Symposium at the UB Jaguar Auditorium. Today activities continued with a National breakfast for Entrepreneurs. Enterprising Belizean business-persons got a chance to discuss the plans for the future of their businesses and to receive advice on how to accomplish those goals. The Founder of The Institute of Sustainable Livelihood Leadership and Exchange, UnaMay Gordon shared the importance of this observance to the success of entrepreneurs. UnaMay Gordon, Founder, ISLEx "It is just putting a focus on entrepreneurship in development and the development of the countries all over the world. The ecosystem is alive and well here in Belize. As I said one of the great things about Belize is at the enabling framework is being put in place at the same time that the development of the entrepreneurship culture is taking place. Excellent because they are marching hand in and hand and that's a great way to start."

Money For Garifuna Communities In Central America
Tomorrow is Garifuna Settlement day and today the Central American Integration system, known as SICA held a timely meeting in Belize to discuss a food security project to be implemented among Garifuna communities in Central America namely Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. It's called the "revitalization of the form of production and promotion of local agro-industry for food security of the Garifuna people of Central America." President of the National Garifuna Council in Belmopan, Sandra Miranda told us how this project will promote the richness of the culture as well as contribute to poverty alleviation among these communities.

Burglar Gets Eight Years For Stealing Children's Game
34 year-old Roger Bradley is spending the first night of an 8-year sentence after being convicted of burglary by the Chief Magistrate. The incident occurred around 10 a.m. on March 25, 2014, at the residence of Luana Sosa, located at 67 Freetown Road. Marva Williams, a babysitter employed by Sosa, testified that she took the children to school and when she returned to the house she saw a shadow. She said that she heard a noise and when she investigated she saw Bradley standing in the living room. Bradley ran, she chased him and when she caught up with him a struggle ensued. They fought over a knapsack that Bradley had on him, and that's when she realized that he stole 2 leap frog games from the house. She said Bradley managed to get away but he was apprehended by several persons at Cinderella Plaza and the knapsack was wrested away from him. Bradley testified and denied that he committed the offence. He said he was on Freetown Road when he saw a woman running towards him with a bag in her hand. He said the woman began to accuse him of taking the bag, then two men with machetes attacked him and about 14 men held him down on the ground and beat him.

Petrocaribe Funds: "A Strange Creature"
And so the Petrocaribe Loan Motion has now passed the House of Representatives. It still faces a challenge in the Supreme Court, but for now, the House has approved 114 million US dollars loaned to Belize from Alba Petrocaribe Belize Energy Limited between 2012 and 2014. But, that figure is going up every month - and it varies depending on the world price of fuel and the rate of local consumption. That makes it unusual - because it increases monthly - but Government can't ask for House approval in advance, because no one knows what the figure will be on a month to month basis. The Prime Minister discussed this today:... Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "Now I earlier indicated that I had brought this motion to the House after I asked a public question by Channel 7's Jules Vasquez and it was a question that fairly arose as to why I hadn't done so before. Well the requirements of our Finance and Audit Act mandate parliamentary approval for any GOB borrowing that's upwards of 10 million dollars. But this Petrocaribe arrangement is and must have become clear from my description a strange creature, almost what the lawyers called sui generis, peculiar unto itself.

Fundraising For Cleyon
7 weeks ago, we introduced you to 10 year-old Cleyon Marage, whose family is under intense pressure to come up with hundreds of thousands of dollars for his medical bills. He's been diagnosed with acute myloid leukemia, a blood cancer which develops in the bone marrow, This cancer is deadly, and it affects his immune system. Since we aired the story, different members of the public have been trying to assist him, and now, 2 students from the University of Belize are trying to conduct a fundraising event to help his parents. It's a variety show called "Kick Off Your Talent" Benefit show, and the UB students organizing it dropped by to tell us why you should support it: Tickets are on sale for $5, and the winners will get cash prizes.

Settlement Day For All Cultures
Tomorrow is Garifuna Settlement day - first observed only in Stann Creek as Carib Disembarkation Day in 1941. But it became a national public and bank holiday in the 70's and that has transformed it over time from a localized ethnic observance to a unifying national celebration. Now, all the excitement happens tomorrow, but the students at the Unity Presbyterian School in Belize City got a taste of that excitement today right in their classrooms. The teachers organized a Garifuna cultural Day for the students with the full works from food to music. Standard 3 teacher Natalie Flowers told us why this event is crucial to keep the Garifuna culture recognized among youth from different ethnic groups.

Channel 5

Thousands Converge on the Garden City for Petrocaribe Rally
The main business of the day was inside the House, where representatives from both sides debated the Petrocaribe Loan Motion of two hundred and twenty-eight million which has grown, at [...]

Do You Believe G.O.B. Has Acted Illegally With the Petrocaribe Funds?
And our question for tonight is: Do you believe G.O.B. has acted illegally with the Petrocaribe funds? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post [...]

House Passes Petrocaribe Loan Motion after Marathon Debate
As we said earlier, the Special House meeting, called on the eve of Garifuna Settlement Day, centred around the Petrocaribe monies. The opposition is taking the government to court on [...]

Faber Says Accountability of Petrocaribe Funds Can Be Seen on the Streets
Minister of Education and Collet Area Representative, Patrick Faber has gone on record to defend the use of the Petrocaribe monies saying accountability of the funds can be seen on [...]

John Briceño Comes Out Swinging Against G.O.B.
The Opposition has waged war on the Petrocaribe issue, condemning the government for accessing the funds without going to the House for approval. So it was open season today, and [...]

John Saldivar lashes out at the P.U.P.
Minister of National Security John Saldivar toed the party line today, claiming that because of the Petrocaribe monies, Belmopan has benefitted tremendously.   John Saldivar, Area Rep., Belmopan “What you [...]

Julius Espat Lambasts G.O.B. For Spending Petrocaribe Monies Without Approval
The firebrand from Cayo South closed off the debate on Petrocaribe today, lambasting G.O.B. for its accessing and spending of the Petrocaribe monies without approval. Espat, as Chairman of the [...]

A Market Expo Showcases Ingenuity and Creativity of UB Students
More than twenty booths were set up inside the Ramada Belize City Princess today where marketing students of the University of Belize showcased products and services they developed as part [...]

Dangriga Nurse Claims She Was Raped By a Knife-Yielding Predator
There is a disturbing report of rape made by a nurse in Dangriga. The nurse was fast asleep when she was awoken by a man who was on top of [...]

Roger Bradley Guilty of Burglary
Thirty-four year old Roger Bradley picked up his third conviction for crimes of dishonesty when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith today.  He was sentenced to eight years [...]

26 year old Woman Arraigned for Stabbing Another
In April of this year, nineteen-year-old Silvia Waight, a resident of Sandhill, was stabbed once to the stomach during an altercation outside of a bar which resulted in another person [...]

SICA Seeks to Promote Food Security for the Garinagu
Across the country, Garifuna Settlement Day is commemorated on November nineteenth.  Today, on the eve of national celebrations, Garifuna communities in Central America are launching a regional project which aims [...]

Sarteneja Villagers Get Potable Water
In many remote areas and villages, potable water is still unavailable due to the lack of infrastructure or water systems. For years, residents of the village of Sarteneja in the [...]

Immigration Officers Receive Training on CSME
The CARICOM Single Market and Economy was adopted by the CARICOM Heads of State to allow the free movement of goods and services, labour, as well as a common trade [...]


House Of Representatives Debate On Alba PetroCaribe
The main highlight of today’s sitting of the House of Representatives was the debate of the Alba PetroCaribe Belize Energy Limited Loan Motion. Prime Minister Dean Barrow in the beginning, debate responded to questions that arose as to whether the motion should have been taken to the House prior to spending. DEAN BARROW “Well the requirements of our finance and audit act mandate parliamentary approval for any GOB borrowing that is upwards of $10 million dollars. But this PetroCaribe arrangement is as must have become clear from my Hon. Dean Barrowdescription a strange creature, almost what the lawyers call sui-generis, peculiar onto itself. It is no straight forward loan from a bank or other financial institution with a known principal amount borrowed for a fixed period at a determined rate of interest. As I have set out, this purchase of fuel principally on credit is kind of a movable feast. The amount of the finance portion the sum being borrowed since we are now putting it in those terms can never be known beforehand. It clearly depends on the volumes of fuel shipments we receive in any given period and the volumes fluctuate from month to month.

Minister of National Security Update On Operating Base At Hunting Caye
The Government of Belize has opted to finish building the Forward Operating Base at Hunting Caye. At a recent Cabinet meeting, it was decided that GOB will finance the completion of the base and hire Belizeans to do so. Originally the base was being funded by the US Corp of Engineers and built by BINARQ- a Guatemalan company. This latest moves comes as a result of much public outcry. Today we got the update from CEO in the Ministry of National Security, George Lovell. GEORGE LOVELL “There was a compromise proposal that was made by the US Corp of Engineers and BINARQ. Cabinet at its sitting a week ago had a look at that proposal and I can report that they have reaffirmed their initial decision of Government of Belize taking on the cost of completion of that forward operating base.” MARISOL “That being the case in terms of timeline for completion, putting into effect the practice the works and so, how is that coming along?”

Flooding In Northern Regional Hospital Disrupted Services
Reports were made to Love News this morning that as a result of rain last night in Orange Walk, a section of the Northern Regional Hospital flooded and disrupted services. Love News spoke with acting manager of the NRH, Guadalupe Longsworth who clarified the information. GUADALUPE LONGSWORTH “We had some other water issues concerning an addition that we are putting to the land and we had some water issues coming in from the rain.” ARTURO CANTUN “How major would you describe the condition was this morning?” GUADALUPE LONGSWORTH “It’s nothing major Mr. Cantun. It’s mostly the OPD area that the water is in and we have already dealt with it and it’s already taken care of.” ARTURO CANTUN “Was anything damaged or destroyed because of the water?” GUADALUPE LONGSWORTH “No we don’t have any destruction so far”

Cansino Speaks On Audit Update
Last week we told about the Auditor General report on the Karl Heusnor Memorial Hospital. As we reported, two very large sum payments for x-ray equipment have raised eyebrows of the Board of Governors. A letter to the Ministry of Finance was sent to the KHMH requesting for an audit to be conducted and specifically look into the purchase of two x-ray machines; both totaling more than half a million dollars. The man in the middle of that controversy was the Former Financial Director, Carlos Perrera, who had promised to give us a comment but change his mind for reasons we do not know. As we said last week, the audit has been completed and handed over to the Board of Governors. Chairman, Chandra Nisbet-Cansino, told us that she has read the report and copies were sent to the members of the board. So we asked Nisbet-Cansino if there were financial malpractices being conducted at the KHMH. Here is her response.

American National Plead Guilty For Possession of Cannabis
Thirty-five year old American national Jon Johnson, who was a passenger on a cruise ship that arrived in Belize City today, was fined $200 today by the chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith after he plead guilty to possession of 0.2 grams of cannabis. Johnson paid the fine forthwith and he was released. Johnson was busted this afternoon when a police officer saw another man hand him the cannabis in front of a restaurant on North Front Street. The officer was watching through a window upstairs of Police Prosecution Branch, located on the second floor of the Center Point Building on North Front Street.

Man Convicted For Three Previous Theft; Bradley Sentenced To Eight Years
Thirty-four year old Roger Bradley was sentenced to 8 years today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, after she found him guilty of burglary. Before she passed sentence, Chief Magistrate Smith noted that Bradley had three previous convictions for theft and one for burglary. She told Bradley that he was nothing but a career criminal steals from people. The incident occurred around 10 a.m. on March 25, 2014, at the residence of Luana Sosa, located at 67 Freetown Road. Marva Williams a babysitter employed by Sosa, testified that she took the children to school and when she returned to the house she saw a shadow and she heard a noise and when she investigated she saw Bradley standing in the living room. She said Bradley ran and she pursued Bradley and when she caught up with him a struggle ensued between them for a knapsack with 2 leap frog games that were in a knapsack that Bradley had stolen from the house.

Employee of ReadyCall Center Charged With Drug Trafficking
Twenty-one year old Nigel Williams, an employee of Ready Call Center, was charged with drug trafficking for 4.8 grams of cannabis when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Williams plead not guilty to the charge. He was offered a bail of $5,000 and his case was adjourned until January 21, 2015. The charge was drug trafficking although the quantity was much less than 60 grams. That was because Williams was busted in the yard of Gwen Lizarraga High School. Police reported that acting on information they received they went to the school and when they searched Williams they found the cannabis in the pocket of his pants.

Construction Worker Found Guilty For Kept Firearm And Ammunition
Twenty-seven year old Justin Richards, a construction worker of 11 Flamboyant Street, was sentenced to 10 years today by the Chief magistrate, Anne Marie Smith after she found him guilty of kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license. Richards was sentenced to five years for each offence but he will only serve five years because the sentences are to run concurrently. Richards was busted with a ,38 revolver and 5 rounds of ammunition around 4:45 p.m. on April 4, 2014, while he was working at the corner of Central American Boulevard and antelope street. Acting on information received, Corporal Samuel Bonilla, who was on mobile patrol on Central American Boulevard, approached Richards and asked him to hand over a knapsack he had on his back. Richards handed over the bag and when Bonilla searched it he found the firearm and ammunition. Richards testified and denied that he had the bag with the firearm and ammunition. He claimed that it was Bonilla who told him to get the bag from across the street and when he refused Bonilla went and got the bag himself and pulled the firearm out of it.

Charged With Manslaughter; Whaine Williams Receives Three More Charges
Forty-nine year old Coast Guard Whaine Williams, who was charged with manslaughter by negligence and causing death by careless conduct for the death of Benjamin Gentle who was killed in a boat accident, was given three more charges when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. The new charges were 2 counts of grievous harm and 1 count of wounding. The charges of grievous harm were for Anthea Garbutt and Gabriel Cruz and the charge of wounding was for Jair Tillett. For the new charges, Williams was released on a bail of $5,000, $500 cash and $4,500 surety. His case was adjourned until January 21.

Lions Club International Vice President Visits Belize
The Vice President of the Lions Club International is in Belize on a working and familiarization visit. Bob Corlew arrived in the country this past weekend and has concluded his visit to Belize. Love News spoke to him prior to his departure. BOB CORLEW “I have been here in Belize to look at some of the work the Lions clubs have been doing. We have four very important Lions clubs, one here in Belize, one in San Pedro, one in San Estevan and one in Belmopan so we have four clubs that have been working really hard and of course lions are trying to serve the people, to try to make the world a better place to live. I’ve been looking particularly at some of the work that the Lions clubs have been doing and one of the things that has been of particular interest to me has been the work that the Lions have done with the vision clinic here, the BCVI here in Belize and Lions has a foundation and our foundation has actually provided about $800,000 Belize to projects here for the expansion of BCVIA and that the work of that facility. I am so impressed the Lions here are so dedicated, they are so sincere and so friendly. It has been just a pleasure for me to see the work that the Lions Club has been doing. Over at BCVIA we have a new piece of equipment which is there to assist those who have diabetic retinopathy, which of course is an eye problem that people suffer from having diabetes that was purchased from a grant from Lions club international and I was so glad to see that and to see that working and operation and to see that we are providing service to people who need that diagnosis and hopefully get them the treatment that they need.”

NTUCB CongratulatesThe Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize issued a statement this evening congratulating the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association for its stalwart representation for its membership to date and for staying the course, over time. In the release the NTUCB, unequivocally denounces the current stand, being taken by American Sugar Refinery (ASR), to seek out individual cane farmers to negotiate with; for purchase of sugar cane. In fact, the NTUCB says quote, “ it views this move as downright undermining of the bedrock of collective representation/bargaining that the foundation of labor and laborers’ rights is built on,” end of quote. The NTUCB says that it will not allow this. The release further stated that the quote, “ it is a blatant disrespect by ASR to the duly established agent (BSCFA), of the cane farmers of Belize; ASR must not be allowed any room; to gain “even a little” traction…”end of quote. The NTUCB finishes by declaring its support for the BSCFA and commits to ensuring that the proper representation/negotiations be restored.

Re: Today's Belize News: November 19, 2014 [Re: Marty] #498117
11/19/14 03:31 AM
11/19/14 03:31 AM
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More News: Scroll up from here


Stabbing incident in Belmopan
There was a stabbing this morning in Belmopan just in front of Friendly Pharmacy near to the Bus Terminal. As Belmopan swarmed with activity due to the UDP rally, police could be seen patrolling the areas by the bus terminal and markets. Plusnews was informed of near riotous behavior by the bus term...

Woman raped in her home
A woman was awakened by an intruder who raped her. Sometime around 2:00 this morning, Tuesday November 18,  a woman who resides in the  New Site area in Dangriga was asleep in her room and awoke to find a man on top of her. That man placed a knife on her and demanded sex...

Men dressed as soldiers try to rob truck on Hummingbird Highway
There was an attempted robbery of a cargo truck belonging to a Belmopan business. The incident happened at the junction heading to Placencia on the Hummingbird Highway. According to reports to Plusnews,  two men dressed as soldiers flashed and blinked the lights of their trucks as police officers wo...

Burglar beaten by neighbours and sentenced to 8 years
Roger Bradley, a 34 year old driver, picked up his third conviction for crimes of dishonesty and a second burglary conviction. Today he was sentenced to eight years imprisonment by Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Roger Bradley was found guilty of burglarizing the home on Freetown Road, Belize Ci...

Woman charged for stabbing 19 year old
A woman was today arraigned for a stabbing incident which took place in April of this year. 26 year old Lorna Jones was read a single charge of one count of use of deadly means of harm upon Sylvia Waight. This stems from an incident which happened  outside a bar back in April of this year in the vil...

City streets flood after overnight rain
The approaching cold front crossing Belize at present dumped rain on the Old Capital last night and this morning, causing several recently repaired concrete streets to flood...

Knowing Jesus Christ
Our verse this week is found in Philippians 3:8 “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ”.

Fatal traffic accident claims life of elderly woman
There were three traffic accidents on the George Price Highway over the weekend, two of which proved fatal. The first traffic accident occurred on Friday at around 9:00 pm in the Roaring Creek area, where 63 year old Maria Wright, a resident of Roaring Creek Village, was hit by an oncoming vehicle.

Fatal Traffic Accident on George Price Highway
On Saturday another fatal traffic accident occurred on the George Price Highway, somewhere between miles 41 and 42, and caused the death of one individual. Police suspect that the driver of the vehicle, Selvyn Reyes, was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident. Seargent Denroy Bar...


“Wheel and come again” Cañeros tell BSI/ASR!
The agreement that BSI/ASR has put forward has come to an end today!” That was the sentiment among the members of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) after an emergency general meeting that was held with over 1,000 local cañeros this past Saturday, November 15, at the Escuela Secundaria High School Auditorium in San Roman, Corozal. Our readers would know that the agreement being referred to is in the form of an unprecedented side-stepping move on the part of the factory owner, Belize Sugar Industries (BSI), and its parent company, American Sugar Refineries (ASR), a full-fledged multinational, to emasculate the 55-year-old cañeros association by attempting to get small reaping groups and individual farmers to sign contracts with them in hopes of heading off a late sugar crop season in the absence of a new commercial agreement between the cultivators and the millers.

Smart and BTL battle over “10,000” customers
Since the cyber-attacks against Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) made the headlines four months ago, in July 2014, things have been relatively quiet on the telecommunications front, but customers in southern Belize, primarily those connected to SpeedNet/Smart, have been grappling with major connectivity issues, particularly over the span of the last two weeks, following a decision by the dominant provider – BTL, to slash the capacity provided to the company by 75%. Ironically, Smart had entered into the agreement with BTL in July after it had problems with a former provider which had not built in redundancies in the system to ensure uninterrupted service to customers. It is against this backdrop that Smart said it decided to buy interim services from BTL until it could set up its own infrastructure in the south – an initiative it hopes to conclude by February 2015. According to BTL, it had given Smart the requisite 30-day notice of its intention to terminate two 16-megabit links provided to SpeedNet, Smart’s parent company.

Apologise or face lawsuit! – Gapi to Monchi
Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Gaspar “Gapi’ Vega, has instructed his attorney, Rodwell Williams, S.C., Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s law partner, to write his political opponent, Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) standard-bearer for Orange Walk North, Ramon “Monchie” Cervantes, Jr., demanding that he either offer a retraction and an apology, or face a libel claim for statements that were broadcasted on LOVE FM in a recorded conversation purportedly between Vilma Cervantes and Manuel “El Pelon” Castillo on Wednesday, November 5, during a memorial ceremony for Ramon Cervantes, Sr., who was kidnapped and murdered in July. Vilma is the wife of the late Ramon Cervantes, Sr. In Williams’ letter, dated Sunday, November 9, 2014, he states that he had been “instructed by the Hon. Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources & Agriculture and the area representative for the Orange Walk North” to send the subsequent statements in the missive.

A UDP show of strength for Tuesday!
The ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) apparently intends to flex its multi-million-dollar muscle tomorrow, Tuesday, in mobilizing what it says could be the biggest throng of demonstrators ever on Independence Hill in what it anticipates will be an unprecedented turnout for or against any national issue. “If you need to amass 10,000 people and spend $2.2 mil on ads [attacking the PUP], just because we are asking the Government to be accountable, transparent and give good governance, that shows you that something is wrong,” said Julius Espat, Cayo South area representative for the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), who recently filed a Supreme Court motion challenging the Government on the PetroCaribe agreement and spending. Last month the UDP introduced a $228 million loan motion for financing under the PetroCaribe initiative with Venezuela – the largest such motion since the refinancing of the Super-bond in 2013.

Bullets fly in afternoon shootings on North Front Street
A number of persons were walking on North Front Street around 2:15 p.m. yesterday, Wednesday, when a lone gunman began firing at another man from point blank range, hitting his target once in the head, before being chased and shot in the leg by police. A woman who works on North Front Street and spoke to Amandala on condition of anonymity told us that she was never so terrified in her life. “This was a very traumatic experience for me,” said the woman. And a man who was visiting Belize City from one of the districts described hearing a popping sound, and when he turned around, he saw a man with a gun blasting away at another man who was running towards the Swing Bridge, holding his ears.

Cooler heads prevail in NICH/FECTAB flare-up
There is some good news coming out of the cruise tourism industry today after the Institute of Archeology, a subsidiary of the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), issued an official notice which advised all tour operators, tour guides and the general public that an amnesty has been granted for the 48-inch height requirement for children to enter caves for cave-tubing, until December 31, 2014. The announcement was made after tour operators, primarily from the Federation for Cruise Tourism in Belize (FECTAB), lashed out at NICH and its director, Diane Haylock, over rules that, according to FECTAB, were not only detrimental to their business, but were also being implemented without the benefit of consultation. The rules were laid out in a new policy handbook that NICH put out, known as the Health and Safety Policy Manual for Archaeological Sites — dated July 2014 — which detailed proposed requirements for cave-tubing safety, one of which stipulated that all children who go cave-tubing must be at least four feet tall, or 48 inches in height.

Another missing person
Zakir Escalante, 20, of Corozal Town, a student at Corozal Community College, has been reported missing. Escalante was reported missing on Friday after he failed to return from Santa Clara, where he had gone to visit. At about 1:30 Friday afternoon, Rosa Escalante, 42, a domestic of Finca Solana, Corozal Town, went to the police and reported that her son, Zakir Escalante, told his sister that he was going to Santa Clara and left. Since then, he has not returned home. According to the family, Zakir was last seen by the park in Santa Elena, near the northern border. He is described as being of Mestizo descent, about 5 feet 5 inches tall and slimly built, with brown complexion, black hair, brown eyes, a pointed nose, moles on his back, skull tattoos on his left calf and a star tattoo with the word “Tribal” on the left side of the chest. He was last seen wearing an orange shirt, a pair of ¾ white pants, and a pair of black, grey and white tennis shoes.

Make your choice – a home field, or your top striker; FC Belize got neither
FC Belize will most likely not make the playoffs in this PLB Opening Season, but it is not because the team has not played good football. In fact, in all 4 games they have lost so far, FC Belize was 1 goal away from a draw. Present front runners in the standings, Texmar Assassins, BDF and Verdes all won by a single goal over FC Belize, as did Paradise/Freedom Fighters yesterday, who came from behind in the last 15 minutes to clinch a 2-1 win on their home field in Toledo. With transportation difficulties, the team arrived in P.G. with little time to loosen up after the long journey. Sponsorship has been a problem for FC Belize this season, due to a prolonged, and only recently resolved, ownership squabble following the death of former owner Lionel Welch earlier this year; and their situation was made much worse by the Sports Council’s closure of the MCC, their home field, for renovations on June 1.

Dangriga sports stats – T.V. Ramos Classic a big success; 18th night friendly – Wagiya vs Verdes
T.V. Ramos Cycling Classic The T.V. Ramos Cycling Classic yesterday in Dangriga was a big success. In an exciting sprint to the finish in the Open race, which went from the Wadani Shed to Placencia and back, the T.V. Ramos Classic Champion was Brandon Cattouse (Team C-Ray), who defeated Byron Pope (Benny’s Megabytes) by a bicycle wheel. 2nd place went to Byron Pope; 3rd was Joel Borland; and 4th Tarique Cano (Western Spirit). There were 5 teams that took part in the race – Benny’s Megabytes, C-Rays, Team Smart, C-4 Police Cycling Team, and Western Spirit, along with individual Cross Country riders. In the Junior results: 1st was Wilson Aciencio (Belmopan Cycling Club); 2nd Kaydine Pinelo (Belize City); 3rd Joel Vanegas (Belmopan); 4th Patrick Williams (Team Smart); and 5th Darien Anderson (Team Smart)

FFB Women President’s Cup Championship down to final game this Saturday
Game 1 in the best-of-2 games championship series in the FFB Women President’s Cup Tournament 2014 ended in a 1-1 draw on Saturday, November 15, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium, home field of defending champion Triple B’s, who are the #2 seed in this Finals series. Yamili Herrera gave Triple B’s the early lead at the 5th minute, but Cynthia Salazar equalized for #1 seed DFC Gentle Touch at the 17th minute, and that’s the way it ended. The decisive Game 2 for the championship is this Saturday at the home field of DFC Gentle Touch. Championship Final Game 2: Saturday, November 22 3:30 p.m. – #1 seed DFC Gentle Touch vs #2 seed Triple B’s – Norman Broaster Stadium

Texmar Assassins and Police United only undefeated teams at Week 5 of PLB Opening Season
It’s getting near to “crunch time” in the Premier League of Belize Opening Season 2014-2015 race to the playoffs, and at the end of Week 5, two teams are still undefeated – Placencia’s Texmar Assassins and pre-season favorite Police United FC. The Assassins, who are yet to concede a single goal after 4 games played, are at the top of the standings; while Police have drawn 3 times and are presently in sixth place. In the only Saturday night game this past weekend, back-to-back champion Belmopan Bandits FC defended their home turf at Isidoro Beaton Stadium with a 3-2 win over previously undefeated Verdes FC. Bandits’ goals came from Elroy Kuylen (3’), goalkeeper Woodrow West (54’ PK) and Highking Roberts (79’); while Verdes got a goal from league leading “goleador” Jarret Davis (52’) along with the benefit of an own goal by Bandits defender Dalton Eiley (84’ OG).

Editorial: 2004 and 2014
Frankly, we have not been paying a lot of attention to the technicalities of the issues being raised by the Opposition PUP with respect to the Petrocaribe money being spent by the ruling UDP. As we understand it, the Petrocaribe money is really loan money, and should therefore have been processed through the National Assembly according to the requirements of the Finance and Audit Act 2005. It appears that the Opposition is right, and so the UDP administration, in response, may be about to “post-date the Petrocaribe checks” through resolutions in the House this Tuesday, November 18, 2014. More than that, the UDP is spending big bucks to have a party show of support and force in front of the National Assembly before and during the Tuesday House meeting. In other words, the UDP may be using this opportunity to fire the first shots of the campaign for the national municipal elections which are scheduled for March 4, 2015.

Letters: True freedom is taken, not given …
A country is not truly free until it takes its freedom. This is something basic all Belizeans must come to understand. I borrow this gem of wisdom, insight and foresight, from the late Frantz Fanon, born on the Caribbean island of Martinique, trained as a psychiatrist in France, and who worked in French colonized Algeria where, in the 1950’s, he joined the Algerians in their efforts to evict the French. When I, as a young 20- something year old, first entered business school, I was shocked to the core to hear in one of my first class sessions that “a business (is an entity that) exists to make a profit.” Business’ sole purpose for existing is to make a profit! Now, even the untrained understands profit. But my instincts resisted that definition. My instincts detected something that went against all that is just and good, something totally unnatural.

Letters: The power of one
Community activist Yaya Marin Coleman proves to one and all that if you see a wrong, you cannot be silent; you must make your position heard, loud and clear, even if you are the only one. She has chosen to take to the streets with signs declaring that things must change. In October, Yaya protested the hiring of a Guatemalan company to build a military outpost on Hunting Caye. First in front of the U.S. Embassy because it was the US Army Corps of Engineers responsible for the construction, and then in front of the Prime Minister’s office. She declared she would be there, even if she were by herself, which for the majority of the time, she was.

Douglas Jones Street project reopened
Today, the crew of 40 street workers at Douglas Jones Street was literally knee-deep into their work, removing sludge from the canal which runs beneath the street. Up until yesterday, however, the operations being carried out in the area as part of a municipal drainage scheme known as the Flood Mitigation Project had been at a standstill after the Ministry of Works sent a cease-and-desist letter to the company in charge of the trenching, Medina’s Construction Ltd., on the morning of Tuesday, November 11, ordering the contractor, David Medina, to shut down the project until certain health and safety measures were reinforced. Those measures included providing personal protective equipment to workers along with a cleaning works methodology, in addition to the proper monitoring of the workmen, since the letter stated that businesses had also been complaining about loitering.

14 Benqueños dragged to court for “rioting”
Earlier this week, twenty residents of San Jose Succotz and Benque Viejo were summoned to court following a show of civil disobedience that unfolded on August 19, 2014 when a mob of villagers blocked the junction of the San Jose Succotz and Benque Viejo road for over 7 hours with burnt tires and, at the height of the protest, threw missiles at police who were trying to dismantle the standoff and open the road. They were all supposed to be arraigned in the Benque Viejo Magistrate’s Court today; however, only 14 of them answered to the charges before Magistrate Herbert Panton after two had their charges withdrawn and four others did not show up because we understand that they were not properly served with the summons by police. The 14 persons were arraigned for “rioting” and “unlawful assembly” for their involvement in a memorable all-day unrest (which erupted after a car collision involving Deputy Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura that resulted in the death of a woman and the injury of a taxi driver), which effectively closed down the George Price Highway between Miles 72 and 73 three months ago.

Convicted cop gets bail after serving 6 weeks of 18-month sentence for attempting to corrupt a public officer
A police corporal who was convicted of attempting to corrupt a public officer and who was sentenced to 18 months in prison was released on bail today after his attorney secured a stay of execution and obtained bail from the Supreme Court. Darius Martinez, the interdicted police officer, has served only six weeks of his prison sentence because his attorney, Anthony Sylvestre, successfully argued that the likelihood was great that Martinez would serve the 18-month sentence before his appeal is heard. After more than one hour of arguments, Supreme Court Justice Herbert Lord granted the stay of execution and offered bail to Martinez in the sum of $6,000 plus one surety of the same amount or two sureties of $3,000 each. The condition that Justice Lord imposed on Martinez is that he is to surrender all travel documents and he is to report to the Dangriga police station twice per week, on Mondays and Fridays.

New Caribbean Regional Framework for HIV/AIDS adopted
Caribbean leaders have committed to a new agenda for battling HIV/AIDS in the post-2015 era. Dr. Marvin Manzanero, head of the Epidemiology Unit in the Belize Ministry of Health, said that regional officials have committed to the Caribbean Regional Strategic Framework (CRSF) 2014-2018, which has been formulated to address the HIV situation beyond 2015. The framework, he said, is a regional policy document and a planning tool, and it emphasizes equality in access to healthcare in the Caribbean. Manzanero was among leaders and key decision-makers who recently met to strategize and to identify the actions needed to achieve the goals set out by the recently adopted framework, formulated under the auspices of the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP).

Remains of unknown person found between Maskall and Santa Martha
The skeletal remains of a male person were found at about 1:30 Friday afternoon near the side of the Old Northern Highway in an area between Maskall and Santa Martha in the Belize District. The skeleton was discovered by people working in the area. Police have recovered the bones. Douglas Hyde, media coordinator for Eastern Division police, told the media that the remains were found 100 feet off the road, near a garbage dump, and the body was partially burnt.

House to debate PetroCaribe motion tomorrow
The Opposition People’s United Party and the ruling United Democratic Party have been at loggerheads over $228 million in unapproved borrowing by the Barrow administration from funds which the Government has obtained under the Alba PetroCaribe initiative with Venezuela, and a fierce debate is expected to unfold inside the National Assembly tomorrow, Tuesday, when the loan motion presented in October is submitted for second and third reading. The Opposition contends that the Government has acted illegally in securing financing which exceeds the $10 million limit beyond which parliamentary approval is required. The Opposition has, therefore, gone to the Supreme Court seeking declarations from the court that the spending was a violation of the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act. Tomorrow, the ruling United Democratic Party is also expected to table two supplementary appropriation bills, seeking parliamentary approval for spending since 2013, including $5 million to be spent under Capital II and $25 million to be spent under Capital III by the end of March 2015.

Patrick JonesPJ

University of Belize students host marketing expo
The future of Belizean business was on display at the Ramada Princess Hotel, as students of the University of Belize displayed the fruits of a semester’s worth of work in marketing and business development techniques. The annual Marketing Expo features two divergent initiatives, with the marketing class designing businesses from the ground up and trying their best to convince visitors to buy their product or service, while small business students displayed their efforts to develop and reposition an existing business in a fierce competitive market. Sylvia Trapp is a small business development student whose brother owns an electrical supply company, Supplies Plus Distributors on Central American Boulevard.

UB students hold Expo in Punta Gorda town
The Toledo campus of the University of Belize today hosted an exposition in Punta Gorda town. The venue for the UB Expo was the Fr. Francis Ring Parish Hall and organizers say the purpose of the day’s event was to foster an exchange of ideas and experiences. According to UB Lecturer Dorla Bowman the Expo was designed to give students an opportunity for practical experiences of the theory in their business studies from the classroom. During the course of the Expo, students displayed products and items they have created as group assignments.

Preschool children parade in Punta Gorda for Garifuna Settlement Day
The students of the St. Peter Claver Preschool paraded in Punta Gorda town this morning. The parade which went from the school to the PG Central Park was part of Culture Day activities on the ever of Garifuna Settlement Day. Parents accompanied the kindergarten children on this morning’s parade. Other schools in town are also holding cultural activities today as the country prepares to celebrate Garifuna Settlement day on November 19.

Police investigate rape in Dangriga town
Police in Dangriga town are looking for a man who raped a nurse early on Monday morning. The woman, a resident of the New Site area in Dangriga town, told police that she awoke around 2 am on Monday to find a man in her bedroom. She says that the man proceeded to place a knife on her and demanded sex.

UDP supporters gather in Belmopan for House Meeting
A large crowd of supporters of the United Democratic Party (UDP) has traveled to Belmopan for today’s Special Sitting of the House of Representatives. The crowd is supportive of a Loan Motion on Petrocaribe funds which is being debated in the House today.


The Last Few Days – Bringing a Dog Home, Fishing at El Pescador, Some RubiMoon & Lunch at Ramon’s Village
I traveled back from Hopkins Village to San Pedro with One Incredible Dog Perhaps the sweetest most deserving tender loving humble dog I’ve ever met. Her name, as she is a cow-dog, is Elsie. And, after one month of love and rehab in Hopkins, she valiantly travelled by car from Hopkins to Belize City and by boat to Ambergris Caye and then another boat to her new home at Rojo Beach Bar and Azul Resort. Where she will live out her days in comfort and safety. I had lunch at Pineapple’s Restaurant At Ramon’s Village For some strange reason, I had never eaten at the popular restaurant at Ramon’s. Late last week, I stopped in to try it out and have lunch with Einer, the resort manager. The place is beautiful, as always and I took a quick look around… A Bit Of Shopping at RubiMoon Boutique This fantastic shop on Front Street has tons of unique and beautiful items. Here. I’ll show you a few. Love these new bags. Fun Fly-Fishing Casting Tournament and Just a Lovely Day at El Pescador Resort Okay, this isn’t exactly my niche but with an invite from the lovely Ali at El Pescador and a fly fishing aficionado friend (F.F.A.F) in tow, we drove up to the resort.

Pay Attention, Belize! Travel trends for 2015
I don’t spend as much time researching travel behaviours as I once did when I was completely involved in the Belize tourism industry but I have not stopped being conscious of how travel is changing and where things are heading. I’ve been able to single out a few trends that will be king in 2015 and from all these trends, below I will be sharing six that I believe Belize tourism stakeholders can easily take advantage of. 1. Small guys will beat big guys 2. Will travel for food 3. Fancy restaurants will be empty 4. Vacation rentals vs hotels 5. Internet is a must 6. Local travel is on the rise

International Sourcesizz

Back from Belize - teen's life-changing gap year
A NORTH-East student says she learned invaluable life lessons during a year volunteering overseas. Catriona Duffy, a Durham University student from Stokesley, North Yorkshire, spent a year teaching music and helping with youth work in Belize City. The 19-year-old travelled with the Journey With Us programme run by the international Christian charity Us. She said: “Everyone I met, especially my host family, showed me so much grace and kindness. “They truly showed me how to live out a Christian faith day by day.

Using science to open way to 'blue economy'
Today, scientists at the Natural Capital Project share new science and open source software that can calculate risk to coastal and marine ecosystems. These novel tools, described in the journal Environmental Research Letters, were used to design the first integrated coastal zone management plan for the Caribbean country of Belize. Conducted with the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute in Belize and the World Wildlife Fund, the study offers a comprehensive explanation of the process used to calculate risk of habitat degradation in marine spatial planning. With historic expansion of coastal and ocean development, ecosystems like coral reefs and mangrove forests are put at unprecedented risk. Yet, planners often lack good information about how human activities will impact shoreline and ocean habitats now and in the future. This study developed the information the Belizean government sought to make informed management decisions. The resulting science and software, which are free and accessible to anyone with a connection to the Internet, are useful to coastal planners anywhere.

Drier rainy season puts Cayman under a drought warning
In spite of the showers on Tuesday, Grand Cayman has experienced a much drier rainy season this year than average and the situation is likely to get worse before it gets better. This week, the Caribbean Drought & Precipitation Monitoring Network issued its November bulletin expressing concern over an evolving drought in the western Caribbean in the vicinity of Belize and the Cayman Islands. The network’s drought outlook map through the end of January 2015 puts the Cayman Islands under a drought warning and suggests an action level of “be prepared, conserve water, protect.”


Video: Museum of Belize: Social Studies, 8min.
A virtual tour of the Museum of Belize. We mainly focused on the Jades of Belize, which was a section found in the museum itself.

Video: Belize I 2014, 9min.
by Eric Koppen

Video: Belize Goff's Caye, 1.5min.
1.2 acre island.

Video: Children's Voices - What I love about Belize, 2min.
Children filmed in different parts of Belize, sharing what they love about the country. :)

Video: Children's Voices - What I don't like about Belize, 2min.
Children filmed in different parts of Belize, sharing what they don't like about their reality in the country.

Video: Children's Voices - What I want for the future, 2min.
Children filmed in different parts of Belize, sharing what they want for their future. c UNICEF Belize November 2014.

Video: Sowing Seeds of Joy You Betta Belize It, 19min.

Video: Belize birding at duPlooy's jungle lodge San Ignacio, 10min.

Video: Diving Belize Preview, 1min.
A preview of the diving video collection by Bob Shaefer taken in Belize in 2011.

Video: Preserving the Rich Gra Gra Lagoon National Park, 2min.
Covering almost 1,200 hectares, the Gra Gra Lagoon National Park includes a lagoon and a mangrove system. The national park hopes to develop tourism, one way is with guided canoe tours. Gra Gra Lagoon National Park is located near the coast just below the seaside town of Dangriga, the capital of the Stann Creek District. In Belize, national parks are areas designed for the protection and preservation of natural and aesthetic features of national significance for the people. Therefore, these are areas of recreation and tourism, as well as environmental protection. They are administered by the Forest Department and managed through partnership agreements with community-based non-governmental organizations.

Video: Diving in Belize 2014, 9min.

Video: Goff Cay - Belize Nov 2014, 7min.
Video shot in Belize at Goff Cay Reef, not many tropical fish in the area I was dropped at, current was strong making for a shaky video

Video: GIS Day University of Belize, Belmopan City 2014, 12min.
Video Clips taken from ESRI Ireland & Plus TV. Photos taken by Devon Saldano, Pio Saqui, Antonio Cano, Zana Kristen Wade, Dr Hawthorne.

Video: Snorkling in Caye Caulker, Belize on Caveman's boat, 3.5min.
Crystal blue water, sharks, sting rays, and feeding ocean carp fish.

Video: Belize Cultural Celebrations Series Vol. 1: Garifuna Settlement Day (Yurumein), 14min.
The Belize Cultural Celebrations Series comprises of educational posters and short videos produced by the National Institute of Culture and History through the Institute for Social and Cultural Research. Yurumein is the first in the series, featuring images, video footage and interviews that were collected by a team of cultural activists. The materials were gathered from the communities of Libertad, Belize City, Hopkins, Dangriga and Punta Gorda on November 19th, 2013.

Video: Livin' in America!, 2min.
family members in the caribbean always think you live some fancy life once you come america

Video: Driving from Sarteneja to Corozal, Belize, 10min.
This drive through Belize is not for the faint of heart. Most people take a boat to and from this northernmost village of Sarteneja. During rainy season, road is typically impassible.

Video: Garifuna Settlement 2014 - Junkanoo, 3min.
Garifuna Settlement Day is a public holiday in Belize, celebrated each year on November 19. The holiday was created by Belizean civil rights activist, Thomas Vincent Ramos, in 1941. It was recognized as a public holiday in the southern districts of Belize in 1943, and declared a national holiday in 1977. The holiday celebrates the settlement of the Garifuna people in Belize after being exiled from the Grenadines by the British army. The major festivities for the holiday occur in the town of Dangriga, including parades, street music, and traditional dancing. The dance you will find on Garifuna Settlement Day is called Junkanoo where you can see dance and costumes in many towns across The Caribbean such as the Bahamas every 26 of December, New Year's Day and, more recently, in the summer on the island of Grand Bahama. The largest Junkanoo parade happens in Nassau, the capital. There are also Junkanoo parades in Miami in June and Key West in October, where the local black American populations have their roots in the Bahamas. In addition to being a culture dance for the Garifuna people, November 19 is Garifuna Settlement Day, a day to be sure to hear drums and see Junkanoo dancing. Also, Junkanoo dancing is performed in Jamaica on Independence day and other historical holidays. Dances are choreographed to the beat of goatskin drums and cowbells.

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