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Today's Belize News: December 5, 2014 #498674
12/05/14 04:45 AM
12/05/14 04:45 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,291
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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

Town Christmas Tree lights up for the Holidays!
While enjoying the glow of the tree, those in attendance also got to listen to classic Christmas carols as harmoniously sung by Heaven’s Voices Youth Choir and by Natalie Arceo. In the spirit of giving, excited children were offered cupcakes and refreshment. Everyone was also invited to snap a picture with Santa and Miss San Pedro Michelle Nuñez. The San Pedro Town Council would like to thank Lady Dixie Bowen and her family on the kind donation of the Christmas tree. May all island residents and visitors have a happy Christmas season!

Two Belizeans to receive training in clinical management of Ebola
The World Health Organization (WHO) and Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) will be offering workshop training to doctors and nurses from across the Caribbean and Latin America in the clinical management of Ebola. More than 30 countries, including Belize, will be benefiting from this free training to be held in Antigua and Barbuda and Chile. Representing Belize at the workshop will be Doctor Pedro Arriaga and Nurse Madona Vicente, who upon their return, will train other medical professionals in the country. The workshops are part of a series of PAHO/WHO actions intended to help countries strengthen their preparedness for potential cases of Ebola. The workshops are scheduled to take place from December 1st to 3rd in Antigua and Barbuda for Caribbean participants including Belize, and on December 3rd to 5th and 9th to 11th in Chile, for participants from Latin America. Dr. Marcos Espinal, Director of PAHO/WHO’s Department of Communicable Diseases and Health Analysis, participants in any of the three workshops are expected to train other health professionals in their home countries upon their return, with the support of their regional PAHO/WHO agency. “The goal of the workshops is to strengthen the clinical response capacity of doctors and nurses who have been assigned to treat Ebola patients. After this training, we’ll have health staff who are better prepared to rapidly detect cases, isolate and treat them, and prevent the virus’s spread,” said Espinal.

San Pedro Town Observes World AIDS Day
On Sunday November 30th, The San Pedro AIDS Commission and National AIDS Commission/ Island Committee (NAC Island Committee) collaborated in hosting a World AIDS Day Fundraising Fair at the Central Park. International AIDS Day is observed on December 1st and the groups promoted activities such as free HIV rapid testing, information and counselling, condom distribution, and of course some pastry and food sales. With two HIV/AIDS Awareness groups on the island, activities got underway at 10AM, and saw a host of visitors stopping by the various booths. Among the visitors were Miss San Pedro Michelle Nuñez, who, like many others, decided to “Know Your Status” and get tested. Despite the rainy weather conditions, Rompe Raja struck up the live band and kept the entertainment coming steadily throughout the day. The San Pedro AIDS Commission sold delicious pastries, rice and beans, and cold drinks, while the NAC Island Committee offered free testing, education and counselling.

San Pedro athletes take on CrossFit Chetumal Challenge 2014
Over the weekend of November 29th-30th, a delegation of athletes from Ambergris Caye travelled to Chetumal, Mexico where they competed in the CrossFit Chetumal Challenge 2014. CrossFit Chetumal hosted the competitive event, and saw a total of 40 competitors, which included five athletes from Sun and Sand CrossFit and two from San Pedro CrossFitCFS on Ambergris Caye. Competitors from Sun and Sand CrossFit included James Sanchez, Ernie Longsworth, Alex Garcia, Jennifer Maher and Chandel Rodriguez. CrossFitCFS competitors were Freddy Gonzalez and Gian Rivero. The two-day event included three workout events per day, and saw both males and females competing in intermediate and advanced divisions. While none of the San Pedro athletes competed in the advanced category, each worked hard in gaining a place in the intermediate finals.

Daniel Gregorio graduates from the Belize Coast Guard Academy
On Friday, November 28th the Belize National Coast Guard held commencement ceremonies for intake number five. Held at the Williamson Complex in Ladyville Village, Belize, the ceremony saw 44 recruits officially joining the Coast Guard. Among the recruits was 21-year-old island resident Daniel Gregorio who not only completed the course but received the Champion Physical Training Award. Family, friends and members of the diplomatic corps gathered at the complex to honor the young recruits. Operations Officer, Lieutenant Greg Soberanis welcomed those in attendance and congratulated new members of the Coast Guard. “Today, I am standing in front of these thirty-nine males and five females who, through intestinal fortitude, blood, sweat and tears decided to endure hardship through mental toughness,” said Soberanis. The recruits had to endure a 13 week course of both high level physical training and theory lessons.

Ambergris Today

Man Wounded Attempting to Capture Store Robber
An employee of Coral Cable Vision (CCV) was wounded this afternoon, Thursday, December 04, 2014, in downtown San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, as he attempted to detain a robber who had just stolen items from World Class Fashion Store on Pescador Drive (middle street). According to eye witness reports, four persons were sitting across the store when one of them entered the store around 1:30p.m. and stole some items. As the robber attempted to leave the area, an employee of Coral Cable Vision, located two doors down from the store, was made aware of the robbery attempt and was able to detain the robber. It was during the struggle that the robber was able to retrieve his gun and shoot the CCV employed on the leg, just above the knee.

Tropic Air Plane Runs off Belize City Runway into Water
A press release from Tropic Air has issued information this afternoon that one of its aircrafts ran off the runway in Belize City Municipal Airport and landed a few feet away in shallow waters. On Thursday December 4, at approximately 2:20 PM Tropic Air flight #281 was going from San Pedro to Belize City Municipal and upon landing went off the runway and into the water. There were five passengers and a pilot on board; no injuries incurred. Ambergris Today received information that one of the passengers onboard the plane was Carlos Najera, who was just injured in a shooting incident in San Pedro, an hour before. Najera was being transported to Belize City after he was shot on the leg while he attempted to apprehend a robber coming out of a local store in downtown San Pedro, Ambergris Caye.

With a very short ceremony headed by Mayor Daniel Guerrero, a giant Christmas Tree was lit at Central Park last night, Tuesday, December 3, 2014, to help bring in the holiday season to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Together with Santa Claus taking pictures with the children and the Roman Catholic Church Choir showcasing Christmas Carols, Mayor Daniel Guerrero hit the switch that brought the Christmas Tree to life in downtown San Pedro, Central Park. Everybody took out their cameras to take pictures by the tree and the San Pedro Town Council distributed cupcakes and soft drinks to all the children present. The Christmas Tree is a gift to San Pedro Town by Lady Dixie Bowen and Family.

Belize Special Olympics Torch Comes to San Pedro
The annual Law Enforcement Torch Run that travels the world every year made it to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, on Wednesday, December 3, 2014. This torch is paraded around the country by the police and other law enforcement officers in an effort to garner special attention to children with disabilities and the Belize Special Olympics, raising funds for the same organization. The torch arrived into Belize via the Santa Elena Border and in its route throughout Belize, arrived on Ambergris Caye. The historic torch was set up at Central Park by founding members of Camp Starfish and the San Pedro Police Department for public viewing and photographs. The public was invited to make their donations towards Special Olympics.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

2014 Holiday Lighted Boat Parade
The traditional lighted boat parade will be held this saturday night, December 6th! Starting at 6pm the parade will leave Wayo's in Boca Del Rio and begin its voyage south to Caribbean Villas. The parade will then turn around and assemble in front of Central Park. There will be a block party at Central Park starting at 6pm also. Food and drink sales, photos with Santa, a Christmas Carols competition and more will be there for your entertainment pleasure. Bring your family and friends out to enjoy the fun. We look forward to seeing you there. San Pedro Business Association

Sugar cane farmers of the north continue to be anxious and overshadowed by a bitter sweet deadlock crisis in the sugar cane negotiations between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA which represents over 5,000 plus cane farmers of the North) and the multinational company ASR/BSI. Uncertain whether the Sugar Cane Crop Season will begin December 8th, cane farmers have been diligently seeking to negotiate and come to terms with ASR/BSI on a least the date for this crop (taking into account conditions of the rainy weather and proper access to their cane farms). Though a breakthrough in coming together to the table occurred yesterday, no substantial agreement relating to the 3 points of contention has conceded. According to BSI's Belizario Carballo yesterday, both sides are clearer on the three major areas they have not been able to agree on. It can take as little as 3 days from the signing of an agreement to commence delivery of crop. BSI has asked for time to consult BSFA's recent proposal.

A Season's Feast is All Natural In Belize
This small country in the Caribbean features big natural attractions and plenty of locally farmed food, considered outstanding as organic diets gain favor to extend health and increase vitality. While tourists must eventually bid goodbye to 100% fresh pina colada ingredients and sushi made from fish caught along the world-renowned Belize Barrier Reef, international homeowners enjoy a delicious and dynamic daily diet. Tropical colorful foods considered ‘exotic’ in most northern supermarkets are available every day in Belize. A current world-wide health-drink favorite is a green coconut brimming with healthful water, containing simple sugars, electrolytes and minerals such as potassium, decanted with a straw! Local coconut tree climbers harvest coconuts and serve with a whack of the machete wherever beachcombers may be in need of rehydration. Coconut trees line the beaches of Ambergris Caye, the most popular destination for Belize beachfront property available.

Residential Mortgage Payment Program: Frequently Asked Questions
Government of Belize Press Office

THE GIANT HAS AWOKEN! by Bilal Morris As the National Convention of The People of Belize head towards Belize City, (Ibo Town) to hold its next meeting in advancing the cause for justice and reparations of Belize's indigenous peoples after an outstanding and breathtaking performance at the University of Belize, on October 10, 2014, and later in Punta Gorda in November, 2014, the movement of a people that finally begins to look like a people's movement in Belize, stands tall for the rights of the marginalized peoples of Belize in conjunction with the Caribbean Community, (CARICOM). In this noble endeavor, it is hopeful that this will be a wake up call, and catalyst for something bigger that is to come.

Channel 7

Engine Failure: Tropic Air Takes A Plunge
A Tropic Air Cessna Caravan plunged into the waters adjoining the municipal airstrip in Belize City today. It happened at 2:20 pm when the turbo prop launched off the runway - reportedly after its engine inexplicably cut off. Five passengers and a pilot were on board - but none of them were hurt. The plane was flying from san Pedro to Belize City when - unofficial reports say - the engine died - and it could not apply the reverse thrust that is necessary for deceleration when landing. With that, it barreled off the runway into the sea. And while details of the incident are still sketchy, 7news spoke with one eyewitness who said it all happened in the blink of an eye.

Gunshot Victim Was On Plane
One of the passengers on that flight was a man who had been shot a few minutes earlier in san Pedro. Carlos Najeras, was shot when he tried to stop a robbery in progress. Police believe the robbers were from Belize City and that they used a 38 revolver which may have been used in other recent robberies on the island. Najeras was passing by when he saw a storekeeper bring robbed. He tried to stop the crime and was shot in the foot. His injury is not considered life threatening.

The Long Delayed Murder Arraignment Of Echeverria
Last night, we told you how the Director of Public Prosecutions signed off on a murder charge for 19 year-old Wilser Echeverria. Tonight, he's at the Belize Central Prison after being taken back to court today before the Belmopan Magistrate's Court. He was arraigned today on the charge of murder, and due to the nature of the offence, no plea was taken. He was remanded by Magistrate Aretha Ford until January 27, 2015, when he will be brought back for an adjournment.

The Mayor: Words And Meaning
Last night, we showed you our interview with Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley in which we asked him directly if recent differences inside his council had him considering resignation 3 months before municipal elections. As we told you, he's been waging a public and private battle resisting the Government commitment to hire those 170 BML workers next year at the end of the contract with the sanitation company. Bradley says that taking on of these employees will excessively burden the council's finances. Then, there is the outcome of the City Administrator's contract which was renewed against his wishes when he was outvoted by his council members - which we are told is a first, though he says otherwise. Also, there is difficulty he has been having with getting Central Government support to renovate the Commercial Center in Downtown Belize City.

What Was Behind BTL's System Wide Collapse?
At least 144,000 thousand customers on BTL's network experienced interruption of cellular and internet services yesterday from about 2 a.m. until 7:00 a.m. or later in some areas. BTL says it was a critical system failure from within their network. Technicians explain that it was caused by scheduled maintenance and upgrades designed to improve the 4G wireless. The problem is that this maintenance had unintended consequences and it caused major inconveniences to those customers who depend on BTL, not to mention the loss of business which happened during that countrywide interruption. Today, the General Manager of the company's Customer Services Department sat down with the media and discussed what happened:

KHMH Supplier Spring (HK) Holdings, Just A Shell Company
For the past two nights we've been looking at the Auditor General's special audit of the KHMH. It is just a snapshot really - one designed to examine three transactions: the first to acquire X-Ray units, the second to purchase Medical Supplies, and the third to buy pharmaceutical products. We're spending days taking apart the report, because there were a lot of irregularities - not least of which was the sourcing of an X-Ray machine from a mystery company in Hong Kong. Very unusual because typically medical equipment is bought refurbished from clinics or other legitimate suppliers right here in the Americas. So why did they go to the far east? That's what we have been trying to find out:.. Jules Vasquez reporting Spring HK Holdings Ltd - that company name comes up many times in the audit. The HK stands for Hong Kong, and their address says they are headquartered in this towering building, the Trend Center.

Things Still Sour In Sugar, Sweetening In Citrus
Last night, we told you how the Sugar Industry's immediate future remains uncertain. While that situation in the north remains fluid, in the South, things are taking a positive turn for embattled citrus industry. Yesterday, the Citrus Products of Belize Limited, the company which buys citrus products from the farms, released a statement congratulating the major shareholders in reaching an out-of-court settlement. As viewers may know, the ownership of CPBL is made up of the shareholders, Banks Holdings Limited, the Barbadian Beverage Giant; and the well-established Citrus Growers Association - which represents 90% of the citrus farmers. The release does not go into detail as to what the out-of-court resolution looks like, but it congratulates both sides for quote, "the understanding by both parties of the need for their collaboration in the best interest of… the overall industry."

The Many Trials of "Brother B"
You've often seen Prime Minister Dean Barrow's younger brother, Denys, on the evening news as the Government attorney discussing the nature of the court cases that the Barrow Administration is involved in. The lesser-known fact is that he continues to sue the Government of Saint Lucia for pension he is claiming after serving as a judge of Court of Appeal in the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court for 3 and 8 months. The Judicial and Legal Services Commission of Saint Lucia's position is that Barrow did not meet the minimum requirements to qualify for pension, but Barrow disputes that position. He has litigated it in High Court, which has ruled against him, and in April of this year, he went to their Court of Appeal.

Found Live Rounds
Officers operating a Christmas anti-crime patrol found ammunition in the city on Tuesday night. At around 7:10 the team found 5 silver .38 special live rounds in an abandoned yard on Dolphin Drive in Buttonwood Bay. No one was in the area so the items were labeled as found property.

The Powerhouse Combo Coalesces
Small Business Development - it has been one of BELTRAIDE's flagship projects - and now they are partnering with the La Immaculada Credit Union to carry the programme further. These small scale businesses are one of the major drivers of economic development and the new pairing of strategy from BETRAIDE and finance from La Immaculda is described as a powerhouse:.. Melanie Gideon, BELTRAIDE "There is a reason we ae partnering with the credit union, you are good at what you do - lending. We are good at what we do - capacitating, put two of us together, we are a powerhouse."

Fine Finger Spellers
Today the 19th Annual Finger Spelling Bee was held at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium. It takes countless hours of studying and recitation to prepare for a spelling bee competition but these participants pulled it off with sign language and video aids. Courtney Weatherburne has more. Courtney Weatherburne reporting Sign language: to the uninitiated, it might seem bizarre and confusing given the swift and fluid hand gestures, but for these young finger spellers, it's pretty easy. And while they form words with ease, it is challenging for the teachers and facilitators who are tasked with preparing the students for the competition. Earlett Thomas, Manager, NaRCIE "It's a long process. We usually have to select the words, make sure that we find a sign for the word. We do a video and then we distribute it to the districts and then in the districts they have their elimination and their best candidate to participate in the spelling B. It is extremely challenging because you know you can listen by sound and you can learn to pronounce a word, but if you don't get the sound or if you sign it wrongly, a little twitch in the hand can make a difference and then the child won't know which word you are signing and it's also difficult because our children, we don't have parents who can sign, so the only time they get to practice is at school."

Convicted For Firearm, Spared Jail Time
25 year-old Julio Ardon is lucky to be out tonight after being convicted of a firearm offence but being spared jail time. The incident occurred around 8:30 p.m. on March 28, 2014. The complainant, Inmas Espinal, testified that Ardon went to his house and threatened him with a firearm to his head. In his defence, Ardon testified and denied that he committed the offence. Ardon said he went to his uncle's house and he saw Espinal and his girlfriend in the yard. Ardon said it was Espinal who threatened to shoot him and he challenged him to a fist fight.

Toys For Tots At 13
The Toys for Tots programme today hosted a hundred underprivileged primary school children at its annual Christmas party. The kiddies' party was held at the Memorial Park this afternoon - where these six and seven year olds were entertained by the clowns Burger and Fries and even got a special visit from Santa Claus. It's the organization's 13th annual Christmas party and 7news was there. Indira Craig, Country Manager - United "This year with partnered with SBK International and we find that whenever it is that we work with other sponsors it gives us an opportunity to do an even bigger production in terms of what we get to provide and what we have for the kids. We've been raising funds through United's sponsorship of a ticket throughout the year, one that will be raffling tomorrow and in addition to that like I said we have a couple sponsors that has come onboard to help us with the party this year. The initiative started as an employee initiative and it started with Continental Airlines 15 years ago.

Channel 5

Crash Landing at the Municipal Airstrip
A single engine Tropic Air plane left San Pedro this afternoon and crash landed on arrival at the Belize Municipal Airport. While the pilot was able to land the plane, [...]

Good Samaritan Shot During Robbery in San Pedro
As we said, Carlos Najera is the Good Samaritan who almost became a dead Samaritan after he was shot by a robber in San Pedro. At around one-twenty this afternoon [...]

Echevarria Finally Arraigned for Murder
Following the directive of Director of Public Prosecutions on Wednesday, this afternoon Belmopan Police charged eighteen year old Wilser Echevarria for the crime of murder. Echevarria was on remand at [...]

Physical Altercation in Coast Guard Goes to Court
A pair of coastguard officers who reportedly have had a history of enmity with each other is heading to court to resolve a criminal matter resulting from a physical assault [...]

A Closer Look at the KHMH Audit
As we promised you, tonight we take an in-depth look at a special audit of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, requested by the Financial Secretary in the Ministry of Finance. [...]

No Suspects or Leads in Latest Homicide
On Wednesday morning, twenty-eight-year-old Robert Tracy, a resident of Holy Emmanuel Street, was gunned down as he sat on a stool inside a yard on Wagner’s Lane.  A single shot [...]

Two Year Old Marijuana Case Concluded
The trial for a family of four, Olympia King, her son, Tyron King, daughter, Sherin King and family friend, Harrison Smith, who is now deceased, concluded today before the Senior [...]

Cayo Deaf Institute Tops Spelling Bee
Students from the Cayo Deaf Institute are among the brightest spellers. Elizabeth Shub and Brenda Coc won in the junior and senior categories, respectively, of the Spelling Bee for the [...]

Duane Moody Live at Public’s Supermarket
Get into the groove because Duane Moody will be live at the Public’s Supermarket for tonight’s episode of our extremely popular Gimme Five show. Spectacular prizes will be won by [...]

Toys For Tots is bigger and Better
It’s that time again…the annual Toys for Tots Christmas Party hosted by United Airlines. This year, the event was held at the Memorial Park in Belize City and like in [...]

Former OW Mayor Passes Away
Orange Walk’s first and only female Mayor to date, Agripina Espejo, passed away in Belize City on Wednesday afternoon. Espejo had served as the United Democratic Party’s Mayor from 1994 [...]

Healthy Living takes a look at the Hearing Impaired
Various activities are taking place around the country to mark Disability Week. It is estimated that there are about three thousand five hundred persons countrywide living with disabilities. Healthy Living [...]


CCCCC Says Increase In Acidic Oceans Reduce Marine Populations
Ocean acidity is affecting the Belize Barrier Reef according to news reports from Caribbean Community Climate Change Center, CCCCC. Again, the big malefactor here is the ever progressing climate change that according to an international report, is weighing heavily on the fishing and tourism industries in the country. The CCCCC says that increasingly acidic oceans reduce marine populations causing adverse effects on exports and foreign exchange earnings. The situation, it adds, is compounded by illegal overfishing and premature harvesting of conch and lobster during the country’s enforced closed seasons. In the article, ocean acidification is explained as, quote, “when greenhouse gases, GHGs, in the atmosphere are trapped and stored in the ocean as carbonic acid.

Our Lady Of Guadalupe R.C. School Celebrate 25th Anniversary
While Astrid Clavel from Our Lady of Guadalupe Primary School in Corozal Town puts her school on the spotlight, preparations for the 25th anniversary of that educational institute is in full swing. Today on our visit at the school we caught up with one of the organizers who gave us a sneak peak on the event. Yarely Pol – Teacher / Organizer. “This year is our 25th Anniversary and we are starting celebrations today with the Novenas, nine days of Novenas which starts today the 4th of December at 4:00 and then on the 12th the last Novenas we are going to have the two days activities for our school this year and the last Novena will be at 5:00 and then at 6:30 the mass where we will also be having some children that will be baptized on that day then on the 13th the Saturday we will have the whole day fair where we will have the business Expo where we want to not only work towards the school but also invite the business community and let them also be a part since they have been helping the school as well and so they will be having there discounts and so on and their different promotions here in school.”

Bishop Martin High School Wins SAGICOR Visionaries Challenge
After yielding much success through a pilot competition last year, Belize had once again signed up to participate in the region’s most exciting science competition – the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge. The Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF), the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) and Sagicor Life Inc teamed up in 2012 to launch the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge Competition, which engages secondary school students in the Caribbean to develop problem-solving skills. This year at national level, 32 projects from 28 highschools was entered in the second annual challenge and there is much to be excited about since Orange Walk’s Bishop Martin High School has once again won bragging rights and bested high schools from all across the country. Our newsteam caught up with the defending champions this morning to find out more on their winning entry, Maria Novelo reports……

Our Lady Of Guadalupe R.C. School Wins BNLS Reading Competition
Over 100 students from across the country gathered in Belize City on November 28th for the Belize National Library Service Reading competition. The good news tonight is that the north has proven to have some of the best readers in all of Belize and we met with one today. Meet Astrid Clavel, student of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the Corozal district who excelled at the end of the competition. “It makes me feel proud of myself because I know I am capable of very good things and at the same time happy because I know that my level of reading is very good and that it will help me a lot in college.” Victor Castillo – Reporter “You sat among some of the best reader’s country wide and you came up on top, now how that makes you feel, was it challenging?” Astrid Clavel – Student. “Yes because there was a little girl from Belize and she came out second and I thought that she was going to win it but I was so confident about myself.”

Memorial Service Held For Panamanian Dipomat
A memorial service was held this morning for José Rodrigo De la Rosa, Career Diplomat and Consular, and who served as Charge d'Affaires of the Embassy of Panama in Belize. The service was held at 10:30 am at the National Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Mary, located on Avenida Samuel Lewis in Panama City. De la Rosa’s remains arrived at his home country on November 28th. The Panamanian government is reported to have sent a delegation consisting of a representative of the Foreign Ministry and two deputy commissioners of the Judicial Investigation branch of the National Police to conduct the corresponding diplomatic process and coordinate investigations with Belize police. De la Rosa was found dead on November 23rd in the La Choza Area in Belmopan and his body displayed cut wounds to the neck and head. Since his murder, police have arrested eighteen year old Wilser Echevaria and later charged for murder. The vehicle Del la Rosa was using was found in a separate area in Belmopan. Some of his personal belongings were also missing and according to reports, the eighteen year old Echevarria was also charged of theft for De la Rosa’s cellular phone.

Tropic Air Plane Plunges Into The Sea
No injuries are reported after one of Tropic Air’s planes ended up in the sea as it tried to land at the Belize City Municipal airstrip. The incident happened at two twenty this afternoon. According to a short statement posted by Tropic Air on its Facebook page almost two hours after, and we quote, “Tropic Air flight #281 was en route from San Pedro to Belize City Municipal. Upon landing on the rain soaked runway, the aircraft slid off into the shallow water at the eastern end. There were 5 passengers including a medevac patient and pilot on board. While we continue to investigate the incident, our primary concern is for the safety of our crew and passengers. No injuries were reported,” end of quote. Minister of Civil Aviation Manuel Heredia has declined giving any interviews since he says he knew little details about the incident. Not much detail has been released into the matter but as far as we understand, the aircraft was taken out of the water sometime around six using a crane.


BES Held Annual Crystal Spelling Bee at Gymnasium
The 19th annual Crystal Finger Spelling Bee was held today at the Belize Elementary Gymnasium and Cayo Deaf Institute won first place in both the Junior and Senior Category in the persons of Brenda Coc and Elizabeth Chub, respectively. We spoke to the Manager of the National Resource Center for Inclusive Education, NARCIE, Erlett Thompson ERLETT THOMPSON “First we had the junior competition; those are students from five to nine years old and for those children we selected words that are a bit smaller to practice since they learn through practice by memorizing it and for the seniors, we have six participants for seniors. They’re from Orange Walk, St. Peter’s, Stella Maris School and Cayo Deaf Institute. It is similar but it is different and it is different because of the skills you need to practice to learn the sign language. You know that when you are doing a regular spelling bee, you can just listen and put phonetics together and you can get your words. When you are doing sign language you have to memorize, you have to visualize and you have to connect it to something that you know so you remember it, so it’s different.” Crystal Water has been sponsoring the event for the past 19 years and Brand Coordinator, Jason Soliz, told us why Crystal always makes the competition possible.

Craig Speaks On United Airlines Direct Flight
With a large base of Belizeans living in Chicago, Illinois, USA, United Airlines Company is preparing to introduce its direct flight from the Philip Goldson International Airport in Belize to the Chicago O’Hare Airport. Love News spoke with United’s Country Manager, Indira Craig, who says that the direct flights between both locations will be available on Saturdays beginning December 20, 2014. INDIRA CRAIG “We have our direct to Chicago starting on the 20 of December; we are very excited to be able to offer that service. United flies to Houston, ten years ago we started flying directly to NEWARK, New Jersey and so this for us in monumental, being able to service the Chicago Diaspora and doing direct flights to that area in the US.” As of this month, Belize now boasts non-stop services from Miami, Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, California, Dallas, Charlotte, Newark, Chicago and San Salvador.

Belize Municipal Airport; Plane Crash Landed
The Belize Municipal Airport was shut down this afternoon after a Tropic Air plane crash landed. It happened at about twenty minutes passed two o’clock and we understand that the four persons that were in the plane did not suffer any serious injuries. Still, they were rushed to the hospital to be sure that they don’t have any internal injuries. We are not sure what went wrong and but there were several reports coming from eyewitness. We spoke to one who told us that the engine suddenly stopped functioning. EYEWITNESS “I was there when the plane came down from the airstrip and I noticed it hit in the middle and then it came down. The machine was not working because the propeller had stopped and when he notice that, he started to make a turn in order to brake and therefore the plane hit. As you notice one of the wheels were bent. No passengers were injured so..” HIPOLITO NOVELO “How many passengers came out of the plane?”

Environmental Organization Representatives Completes Three Day Training
Representatives of a number of environmental organizations yesterday completed a three day creative collaboration training program in Punta Gorda. We hear more in this report from correspondent Paul Mahung. PAUL MAHUNG “One of the facilitators was Art Corp Training and Curriculum Officer, Arie Shell.” ARIE SHELL “Art Corp is an organization that believes that creativity is an essential and important resource that is inherent in everyone and every organization and so we work with social and environmental organizations to equip them with more creative and innovative tools and strategies to strengthen the work that they do. We have been partnering with the leading conservation organization here in Belize and the Gulf of Honduras to provide training for their staff, to learn new creative methodologies and tools that they can use to strengthen their work internally and the work they do in communities.”

Bowen & Bowen; Belize City Man Complains of Foul Odor
Bowen and Bowen is an establishment well-known country and worldwide for its mouthwatering soft drinks and beers. With several branches station country wide to meet the expectations and needs of the Belizean population and those of neighboring countries abroad, the company manages to live up to their standards with positive remarks. A business man spoke to Love News and told us quite different and his experiences with the company. According to Miguel Zyden, he purchased a bottle of beer which gave off a foul odor at his employer store, Quan Sing Super Market. Here’s what he said: MIGUEL ZYDEN “The problem is that I had a beer that I purchased right here at the establishment, I also work here and it came with some substance in here that made me sick. It wasn’t beer, it smelled renk. I didn’t know because I just opened it, I took a drink of it and it made me ill after that. I have been to the company to claim about it, I have been to BAHA to find out what it is and I have been run around by the company. I would like them to attend to whatever they need to attend to and get to me if not I will seek legal help; whatever it takes, I don’t mind if it takes me a year or two years, I will find a way for me to get compensated anyway possible.”

Toys For Tots; United Airlines Christmas Initiative
For over a decade, we have been hearing of the Christmas initiative, dubbed Toys for Tots. It is a program that caught on in Belize, so much so, that even when other offices of Continental discontinued the program, Belize held on to it and continued gathering toys for tots each Christmas. Today, the staff of United entertained some sixty children from ten different primary schools via a program coordinated especially for them. Love News was out at the Memorial Park in Belize City to catch some of the entertainment for the children. We also spoke with Country Manager for United, Indira Craig. INDIRA CRAIG “ Toys for Tots originally started originally started off as an employee initiative, about fifteen years now and we’ve continued the program even though it has been discontinued in a lot of the stations. It started off as a Continental initiative. In Belize we’ve continued doing it because it is just such a fun program. We enjoy coming out here during the holidays with the kids, sending them off and just enjoying the whole feel of Christmas and giving back. We kind of go with the Southside kids, we try to look for kids who we know would be living under the margin and try to have the school focus on giving them the opportunity to come out and so we ensure that they have a gift for Christmas and they have a good time just going off into the holiday season.

Miranda Speaks on The Fluctuation of BTL’s Services
If you are a subscriber of Belize Telemedia Limited, you might have been frustrated on Wednesday when you realize that services such as 4G. 2G, Internet and text messaging services were either down or not functioning properly. At one point subscriber from across the country were affected simultaneously. Yesterday BTL’s Marketing Director, Dr. Dionne Miranda, told the media what went wrong and what is being done. DR. DIONNE MIRANDA “At approximately 1:45 am yesterday morning we received our first set of calls into our call centres, I am sure that you know we run a twenty four hours a day call center, where we received different messages saying that customers were unable to browse DSL, they were unable to dial out on their 2 G and 4 G devices, send text and at the same time receive their mobile data.; At that point we called out our standby technicians and they started to look into the matter. What had occurred the night before, we had a scheduled maintenance window and that maintenance window was based on the fact that we’re upgrading our systems. I am sure that you can recall that we have been having some congestion within the country with reference to our 4 G services and so we’ve been having a massive campaign in order to maximize services and improve the level of coverage and the ability for customers to be able to browse and speak freely on the service.

CIBC Donations To Cancer Society
Last week we brought to you the story of Fort Point Security making a donation of a security system to the Belize Cancer Society following several burglaries that occurred. The most recent being in November when thieves took the Christmas presents for children living with cancer. It was a tough break for the Belize Cancer Society but the blow was cushioned when generous business houses and individuals began coming forward to donate to the cause. Today, Love News was on hand to witness a donation from the CIBC First Caribbean International Bank on Albert Street in Belize City. Dianne Finnegan, the Society’s Vice President was on hand to receive the donation from the bank’s country manager, Glen Smith. GLEN SMITH “I must say with every disappointment comes great reward because just last week we spoke about the contribution we got from the Feinstein family who gave us the full security system because of the recent break in and now to receive over eight thousand dollars as another donation for the efforts of the Cancer Society, I think it’s awesome, it’s a blessing.

Diplomats Death; Victim’s Brother Speak in His Behalf
19 year old Wilser Echevarria has been charged for the murder of 64 year old Panamanian Diplomat, Jose Rodrigo De la Rosa. Echevarria was charged with murder and theft- one count in regards to the motor vehicle and one count in regards to a cell phone. Two weeks ago, Echevarria family and friends were out in front of the Belmopan Police Station displaying their support for what they believe is an injustice. Love News spoke to the brother of the accused victim, Allen Echevarria, told us more. Correspondent Fem Cruz tells us more. FEM CRUZ “Allan Echeverria brother accused in the case of the diplomat, share with us the concern of the family on new information gathered.” ALLAN ECHEVERRIA “Wilson Echeverria an 18 year old teenager who had previously known the diplomat at a recent job institution. He got in touch with the diplomat at Central Belmopan. The man offered him a drink, got Wilson under the influence of alcohol. Wilson socialized with the diplomat like he would any other friend but unexpectedly the diplomat wanted to take advantage of him. Wilson got nervous and was in a state of shock.

Construction Worker Receives Chop Wounds
Police are investigating a chopping incident in Lemonal Village. According to Police reports, they were called to the village where they saw 38-year-old Wayne Anthony, Construction worker of Lemonal Village in a yard with multiple chop wounds. He had been chopped to the finger and knee. He was transported to K.H.M.H where he remains in a stable condition. Police has since detained 55-year-old man of the same village pending Charges.

Shot Gun Stolen From Watchman
A 16 gauge H&R brand single action shot gun was stolen from a store room inside the Belize Adventist College in the Corozal District. The watchman for the school, 51 year old Noel Mazanero Senior told police that the crime happened between the hours of 5:30am on Tuesday and 9:30 on Wednesday morning. Police are investigating.

IDB Commence on Initiatives With MOE
The Inter American Development Bank has been providing loans and grants to Belize for a number of years. The funds have been concentrated in the areas of education, tourism, transport and trade and tax. IDB Country representative, Anneke Jessen spoke of one of the new initiatives they have undertaken with the Ministry of Education. ANNEKE JESSEN “You know that the government spends a lot of money on education about 6 or 7 GDP which is very high compared to what other countries spend; they’re not really getting enough bang for their buck, the quality of learning or the learning outcomes in schools is not what we would want to have in Belize and so this program; the EQUIP (EKeep) program focuses very much on education quality to improve the quality of education, to improve what you get for your investment in the education sector.

Re: Today's Belize News: December 5, 2014 [Re: Marty] #498675
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Echeverria arraigned for murder
Wilser Echeverria, accused murderer of 64 year old Panamanian diplomat Jose Rodriguez De La Rosa, was arraigned in court On Thursday. On November 26th Belmopan police took 18 year old Echeverria, of Salvapan area, Belmopan, to have him arraigned on charges of murder...

Plane Crashes in Caribbean Sea
The skies over Belize City were unfriendly for Tropic Air Flight 281 on Thursday afternoon, as it attempted to land at the Belize City Municipal Airstrip. Authorities are yet to confirm, but reliable information to us is that Flight 281 was coming in around 2:20, and appeared to have overshot the ru...

Chopping in Lemonal
There was a chopping incident in Lemonal Village. 38-year-old Wayne Anthony, a Construction worker of Lemonal Village, was  in a yard when he was chopped multiple times. Police say Mr Anthony’s  middle finger was severed, and he had a huge chop to the left knee. Wayne Anthony was transported to K...

Worker spared fine for assault
Twenty-five year old Julio Ardon, a construction worker charged with aggravated assault with a firearm, was spared a custodial sentence on Thursday by the Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, when she found him guilty of the charge...

Cannabis bust nets charge
Leonard Mejia, a resident of Belize City, who the police reported they busted with 60.4 grams of cannabis, was charged with drug trafficking when he appeared on Thursday before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Leonard Mejia was also charged with possession of .4 grams of cannabis...

Teenager may face burglary charge over stolen computer
Nineteen year old Jiovanni Augustine, a resident of Biscayne Village, was charged with burglary and handling stolen goods when he appeared on Thursday before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Jiovanni Augustine wanted to plead guilty to handling stolen goods, but Chief magistrate Smith remande...

Police probing shooting death of Robert Tracey
On Wednesday morning there was a broad daylight shooting on Wagner’s Lane near the center of Belize City. The victim has been identified as 28 year old Robert Tracey, a resident of Holy Emmanuel Street, far across town to the west. No one saw the assailant and the police have no description of him. And that is just the start of the puzzling questions surrounding the death of a man who was no stranger to police, but a stranger to residents of the area. Superintendent Hilberto Romero took questions from the press as to what investigators believe, know, and are trying to find out in the as-yet still young investigation. “The information we’ve gathered is that he frequents different areas of the city. Again, he is from the area of Holy Emmanuel Street, and for some reason he was sitting on a stool at Wagner’s Lane inside that yard. We are working on canvassing the area to see what he was doing in that particular area but like I mentioned he frequents different areas of the city and not one particular area. The murder happened aroud ten, and we’re working to establish any sort of motive at this time. Our detectives are at the scene and they are working on trying to gather information and see if we can solve this case.”

Housing demonstration in Port Loyola
The demonstration was sponsored by the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) and its standard bearer, Gilroy Usher, Sr., who hit rival Anthony “Boots” Martinez for creating different standards for himself and his constituents. Gilroy Usher Sr. – PUP Standard Bearer, Port Loyola “Today we are being forced to live in slum housing, not because our country does not have money to address our concerns. We’re being forced to live in slum housing, because of massive corruption in government and its unconcern about the welfare of the Belizean people. Despite millions of dollars for home restoration after Hurricane Mitch, the majority of those persons affected by the storm in Port Loyola have not received any assistance. Belizeans, if tax payers’ money is good enough to build over a dozen large yellow concrete houses for Boots over Belize City, tax payers’ money is also good to build proper low income houses for the people of Port Loyola.”

Stephen Okeke still not paid for TV Ramos Bust
When last we heard of Stephen Okeke and his T.V. Ramos sculpture, it was because he had finally, after countless efforts, found a buyer for the bust, which was unveiled at the September 19th celebrations in Dangriga. The bust was given to the Dangriga Town Council on a credit basis, and now sits at the temporary Dangriga Town Hall. The arrangement was that Mr Okeke would be paid a down payment for the bust by mid November, or the end of November at the very latest. November has come and gone and, according to Stephen Okeke, he has still not been paid, even though he gave it to them at a discounted price. Stephen Okeke – Sculptor “So far there has not been any progress. we had an understanding that some payment wouuld be made in the process of the celebration, and of course the nineteenth would have been used as a vehicle to facilitate payment. Then worst case senario, by the end of November that a substantial amount of money would ave been paid, but so far no payment has been made, and no communication so far. That’s where it stands right now. No payment has been recieved, and there was no down payment anyway.

Disability Week focuses on technology
It would be erroneous to think of persons with disabilities – some call them “diverse abilities” – as being somehow less than deserving of opportunities and a proper life. That is because, especially in recent years, persons who have lost one of their senses or functions can make up for it with other enhanced senses or functions. Modern technology is an important tool for disabled persons to keep up with the able-bodied population, and it forms part of the theme for Disabilities Awareness Week which kicked off on Sunday. At a rally in Belize City on Wednesday, manager of the National Resource Center for Inclusive Education (NARCIE), Earlett Thomas, spoke to us about the ways technology helps make disabled persons more able.

SAGICOR Visionaries Challenge seeks best and brightest
32 projects were on display from 28 of Belize’s high schools, in the second edition of a highly competitive challenge established by Caribbean regional insurance company SAGICOR, in conjunction with the Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF), and the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), to find the students best able to implement principles of the STEM disciplines – sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics. These students are not only competing against each other but with rivals from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Guyana, Hillsborough County – Tampa, Florida, St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago, where SAGICOR has its offices. We spoke to contest organizer and SAGICOR Belize Sales and Marketing Executive, Abel Simpson, about where the challenge will take students.

The Guardian

Johnny Briceno’s driver died leaving behind 7 Million Dollars?
For a working man who punches the clock 8-5, it does not matter how much money you save, even if it is all your money you save, it is virtually impossible to amass 7 million dollars. But that is an approximation to the quantum of money that Anthony Gillett, the former driver of Johnny Briceno, had accumulated in various bank accounts before he died. The story of how he got the money is really unknown but what is known is that for years now there has been legal wrangling to determine who will control his estate. The situation started a few years ago, when the former driver of Briceno passed away. At the time of his death, Gillett’s mother became the administrator. She would later die and an invisible hand began to move in the background to get to administer the estate. From the information that is floating out there, that estate is well endowed as Gillett is reported to have had a number of accounts with significant amounts of money in them. All told it is somewhere in the region of 7 million dollars.

PUP will take half million in Petro Caribe money for Christmas Cheer program
After being so sanctimonious about the spending of Petro Caribe funds and even going so far as to taking the matter to court to stop the Government of Belize from spending the money in social and development projects, the PUP say they will be taking the money which will come to them by way of the Christmas Cheer Program. The Secretary General of the PUP, Myrtle Palacio, has written to the Government to say that the 13 area representatives of her party will be taking the $35,000 dollars which will be given to them to be used in assisting residents in the constituencies they represent. It must be quite a bitter pill for them to now be swallowing especially because of their staunch opposition to the use of the money. Julius Espat and even Francis Fonseca have publicly stated that they have taken and used the money in the past. They then took some form of hypocritical high ground saying that while they had taken the money it was wrong to be spending it without it going to the House of Representatives for approval.

Chetumal Street Bridge almost complete
The Chetumal Street bridge is now a reality. In September, it was announced that a new bridge would be constructed over the Haulover Creek which would connect Belama and Fabers Road. This was deemed necessary to alleviate the traffic which flows through the city. At the time naysayers and doomsday peddlers seeped out of the woodwork and tried to condemn the idea. “Criminals will have easy access from the ghetto to the north-side” – crap. Every possible negative criticism under the sun was thrown at the project. Those dark days for hundreds of Belizeans entering and leaving Belize City are now being illuminated by the very real prospect of a new bridge. A state of the art, locally constructed ferro-concrete bridge now spans the Haulover Creek.

Harrison Holding Over for Louis Wade?
After slamming his party on Facebook for their undemocratic practices, Richard Harrison was appointed the PUP Standard Bearer for Cayo North. He was forced to quickly swallow his own vomit and tried to deflect the proverbial “puppet master” bullet he launched at his party. Unfortunately for Harrison, he is too slow to realize that he is being spread on top of the political altar. The PUP knows they have no chance to win the January 5 bye-election; therefore, they have chosen their least favourite and most expendable candidate in the pool. Their most desired candidate continues to be the Big Mouth of Plus TV and if Wade answers the call then Harrison will simply be a seat holder until shortly after January 5. As we’ve reported previously, senior PUP officials in the Western Caucus want Plus TV’s Big Mouth to take over as PUP Standard Bearer for Cayo North. They believe his television station’s popularity in the Cayo area can benefit the entire PUP Western Caucus. However, they do not want him for January 5 as they have already conceded to Omar Figueroa. Immediately after January 5 the Western Caucus will resume courtship of the self proclaimed pastor who raised over $50,000 in one campaign fundraiser and refuses to publicize who were the biggest donors and how much tax he paid, if any.

Kenroy Parham killed near to his house
Kenroy Parham, a 25 year-old resident of the Mahogany Heights housing community, was found dead early on Saturday, November 29. He had been shot to death a stone’s throw away from his family’s residence. Police don’t know much at this time, but what they found was that Parham had been left for dead after being shot 3 times to the back and head. Neighbours told the press that they heard gunshots sometime after 9 p.m. the night before, but absolutely no one went outside to investigate what had happened.

Man Appeals “Harsh” Sentence for 1.3 Grams of Crack Cocaine
In February of this year, Edwin “Malantee Man” Bowen was convicted of drug trafficking for 1.3 grams of crack cocaine. He was fined $10,000 and sentenced to prison for a term of three years. However, Bowen’s attorney, Ellis Arnold, applied for a stay of execution in March and applied for bail as he waits for the appeal. On Friday, November 28, the stay of execution was granted by Justice Shona Griffith. Anthony Sylvester substituted for Arnold and presented the submission for bail. The defense is not arguing guilt or innocence but that the sentence handed down by Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith is “too harsh”.

Belizeans Charged for Smuggling Cubans
Belizean mechanic of Mahogany Street, Noellwyn Lester Ramclam, 50, and Cuban permanent resident, Alberto Quintana, 49, are facing charges for aiding two Cubans to remain in Belize illegally. According to reports, on Friday, November 28, Yoelkis Garcia, 29, and Jaema Manuela Iglesia Aldana, 27, entered Belize illegally through the Mopan River in the Cayo District. There they were allegedly met by Ramclam and Quintana who used a grey Toyota Corolla with taxi license plate to transport them to Belize City. Garcia and Aldana were arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser on Monday, December 1. They were read a single charge of entering Belize illegally. They pleaded guilty to the offense after first disputing the meaning of being illegal. Both took offense to being linked with the word “illegal” but when explained that they were being charged for entering illegally from the Mopan River they conceded. Both were fined $1,000 for the offense and ordered to pay immediately or serve six months in prison. An order for their removal was requested and granted; therefore, after they pay the fine or serve the time they will be deported back to Cuba.

Guatemalan Women Busted after Entering Belize Illegally
Two Guatemalan waitresses are in prison after they pleaded guilty to entering Belize illegally on Monday, December 1. Silvia Liliana Cayax Arias, 33, and Rosa Delmy Sanchez Velasquez, 25, were on a bus heading from Cayo to Belize City when police boarded at a checkpoint on the George Price Highway. The women looked suspicious to police and when they were approached they could not speak English. An officer then spoke to the women in Spanish and asked that they present travel documents. The women were unable to do so; therefore, police took them off the bus and handed them over to Immigration Department.

Ensfield Reyes gets 18 months for pulling gun at wife
Ensfield Reyes, 31, will spend the next 18 months in prison after he was convicted for pulling a gun at his wife, Bernadette Reyes, 29. According to reports, Reyes got into an argument with his wife at their King Street residence on Sunday night, April 13th. The argument got heated and as his wife was trying to leave the house Reyes pulled out his licensed firearm and fired a single shot. Fortunately for the wife, the shot missed but the incident left her traumatized and forced her to apply for a restraining order immediately after. At the time of the incident, the couple was at home with their two-year-old daughter. Police responded to the incident and arrested Reyes.

Belize observes World AIDS Day with goal of getting to Zero
Belize joins the rest of the world on December 1 to celebrate World AIDS Day with a single goal of “Getting to Zero: Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS- related deaths.” To raise awareness on World AIDS Day the National HIV Programme of the Ministry of Health partnered with the National AIDS Commission (NAC), Pan American Social Marketing Organization (PASMO Belize) and other partner agencies to host art and health fairs in eight locations countrywide. In Belize City the fair was held at the center of town, the Battlefield Park.

Is Belize a better place for children today?
It was some 25 years ago that countries all over the world made a promise to children to do everything in their power to protect and promote the rights of children to survive and thrive, to learn and grow, to make their voices heard and to reach their full potential. Over the last two and a half decades, 192 countries have signed on the to the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC) and it has been recognized as the most rapidly and widely ratified international human rights treaty in history. As Belize and countries all over the globe celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Convention, it is most appropriate to reflect and analyze where Belize has come from and where the country is going in relation to children’s rights. Belize is definitely a better place for children today than 25 years ago but while there is much to celebrate, there is still much more to do.

New Coast Guard officers graduate
The Belize Coast Guard officially welcomed 44 new officers to their ranks on Friday, November 28 at the Williamson Complex in Ladyville. They were applicants who signed up and endured 13 weeks of training as part of recruit intake number 5. These 44 recruits were put through the intense basic training in which they spent most of their days being put through the punishing physical tasks designed to improve their levels of fitness. Aside from the physical training, the recruits had to take classes where they were taught matters of theory which they will have to employ as full officers. Also, the Belize Coast Guard is a military organization, and so, the Intake 5 recruits were also put through training designed for tactics, strategy and combat. After the 3 months of training, 5 officers distinguished themselves from the rest of their recruit peers, and they were each awarded for it at the graduation ceremony. Those individuals were recruits, Loani Ruiz, Best Female Officer; Kliuvert Cal, the Best Swimmer; Mario Chan, the Champion Shot Winner; Daniel Gregorio, Best Physical Training; and Filberto Pop, the Champion Recruit. Each of these 5 officers managed to distinguish themselves in these 5 categories, and so, they were chosen to receive awards on graduation day.

Belize Officially Hands Over Pro-Tempore Presidency of COMISCA to Guatemala
Following two days of regional discussions at the XLI Ordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers of Health of Central America and the Dominican Republic (COMISCA), Minister of Health, Hon. Pablo Marin, today officially transferred the Pro-tempore Presidency of COMISCA to the Minister of Health of Guatemala Luis Enrique Monterroso, who will now serve for the next six months. Minster of Health, Hon. Pablo Marin, expressed his appreciation for the cooperation received during his time as Pro-tempore President. Minister Marin commented, “Enormous strides have been made in Belize and the region and we look forward to further progress in the next year.”

Mark Lizarraga is really a PUP Senator
The matter of the use of Petro Caribe Funds by Government of Belize was taken before the Senate last week Wednesday. It was passed in the House of Representatives on Tuesday the 18th November. When it reached the senate for ratification, all senators were asked to vote individually. Everyone voted for it except the Opposition Senators and surprisingly or maybe not so surprisingly the Senator representing the business sector – Hon. Mark Lizarraga. The question on any reasonable person’s mind would be: Is this gentleman out of his mind? He voted against the very thing that makes business happen. He represents the business community in the Senate. Senator Mark you need to snap out of it. The business community put you there to look after their BEST interests. What are you doing? Everybody knows you are a PUP but in the Senate you must represent your people not the interests of the opposition.

Mortgage payment program rolls in
Through the Residential Mortgage Payment Program, the Government of Belize will assist qualifying Belizeans by reimbursing December 2014 interest and principal payments on all residential mortgages with an original value of up to BZ$100,000.00. Borrowers from the National Bank, Commercial Banks, Credit Unions, the Development Finance Corporation and the Belize Social Security Board can apply for assistance; however borrowers must meet the following criteria approved by Cabinet: 1. Must be residential mortgages of original value of no more than BZ$100,000.00; 2. Must be residential mortgages for new home construction. Mortgages for home improvement will not qualify; 3. Mortgages taken out solely for the purpose of refinancing prior mortgages for the construction of new residences will also qualify for the program. 4. Must be legally registered mortgages and not merely the deposit of title deeds called “Equitable Mortgages.”

Orange Orchard Park opened in Santa Elena Town, Cayo
A place of leisure and tranquility for the people of the Orange Orchard and Bradley’s Bank Area in Santa Elena Town was opened on Sunday of last weekend. Residents from these areas came out for a short ceremony to show their happiness, for their children will now be able to play at the newly opened Orange Orchard Park, a community project built together with funds from both the Government of Belize and the Private Sector. To mark the occasion, both Alberto August, Chairman from the Belize Natural Energy (BNE) Trust, and the Hon. Rene Montero, Minister of Works and Transport and representative for the Cayo Central Division, did the ribbon cutting. Also present for the ceremonies was the team of councilors from the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council and Victor Alegria the General Manger of BNE. The newly opened Orange Orchard Park had an estimated total cost of $75,000.00, with the BNE Trust Fund coming up with $50,000.00 The Government of Belize’s contribution towards the park is $25,000.00, and came in the form of labor.

PUP stalwart scolds Francis Fonseca
It is indeed a sad time for the P.U.P. Party. Mr. George Price would be sickened to see the mockery that is being made of a once great party. Party Leader, Francis Fonseca and his crony Julius Espat are screaming Sabotage!! Incredible!! It does not take a rocket scientist nor an Einstein to see why not only fanatical supporters, but also members of the Executive and of the House of Representatives are discontented enough to do an about turn. The resignation of Joseph Mahmud should not have come as a shock. Mr. Francis Fonseca should have paid closer attention to the Hon. G. Price and also his father Mr. Fonseca Sr. He would have learned the most important lesson a politician could learn. That lesson is PR Young Mr. Fonseca believes that by ignoring and ostracizing the older and wiser members of his party and listening to the select few that are his bosom buddies is more important than reaching out and listening to the voice of the people.

Roger Anthony and Kendis Flowers Granted Bail
After spending 31 days on remand at the Belize Central Prison for allegedly shooting at the Meighan’s Banak Street home, reputed boss of the Ghost Town Crips, Roger Anthony, 37, is out on bail through the assistance of his attorney Kareem Musa. Sheldon Meighan, mother of Tyrone and Ellis Meighan Jr., reported to police that on Saturday, October 26, she was inside her house on Banak Street when she saw Anthony wearing a camouflage outfit and a warm cap. They allegedly exchanged harsh words and immediately after Anthony allegedly opened fire on the Meighan’s residence; breaking four window louvers, piercing a bedroom door and the cement walls with the spray of bullets.

Tony Rowland, 57, Caught Shoplifting at Uno Gas Station
Water Lane resident Tony Rowland, 57, is facing a charge of theft after he was allegedly caught shop lifting at the Youth for the Future Drive Uno Gas Station on Monday, December 1. A female cashier at the gas station reported to police that at about 10:55 a.m. a man walked into the convenience store and went to the back. She saw the man take four bottles from the shelf and placed them into a bag that he had. The man then started walking towards the door at which time she ordered him to stop. According to the cashier, the man refused to stop; therefore, she locked the door and trapped him inside the store. She then called the police for assistance. A police mobile unit came shortly after and detained the man, who was identified as Tony Rowland.

Jason Sanchez Arraigned for Murder of Emerson Arnold
Police have arrested and charged Jason Sanchez, 19, for the murder of Emerson Arnold, 35, who was gunned down on Gibnut Street on Friday, November 28. Arnold was riding his bicycle to work, the Belize Water Services Limited, when a gunman wearing a hoodie rode up to him and fired numerous shots from behind. Seven bullets reportedly hit the back part of Arnold’s body and he fell to the ground clinging to life. A few minutes later police transported him to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Police detained Jason Sanchez, also known as Jungle Rat, shortly after the shooting. He was held over the weekend and on Monday, December 1, police escorted him to the Belize City Magistrates Court to be arraigned for murder. Sanchez was unrepresented when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. He was read a single charge of murder. Due to the fact that the matter is indictable no plea was taken.Police have arrested and charged Jason Sanchez, 19, for the murder of Emerson Arnold, 35, who was gunned down on Gibnut Street on Friday, November 28. Arnold was riding his bicycle to work, the Belize Water Services Limited, when a gunman wearing a hoodie rode up to him and fired numerous shots from behind. Seven bullets reportedly hit the back part of Arnold’s body and he fell to the ground clinging to life. A few minutes later police transported him to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Police detained Jason Sanchez, also known as Jungle Rat, shortly after the shooting. He was held over the weekend and on Monday, December 1, police escorted him to the Belize City Magistrates Court to be arraigned for murder. Sanchez was unrepresented when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. He was read a single charge of murder. Due to the fact that the matter is indictable no plea was taken. However, before the Chief Magistrate could finish reading the charge, Sanchez shouted out “not guilty”. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith told him that she will not take a plea from him but all she wants to know is that he understands the charge being read to him. Due to the nature of the offense, bail was denied and Sanchez was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until February 2, 2015.

The Twin Towns have never looked better, the choice is clear!
Residents of San Ignacio and Santa Elena will very shortly be choosing one of the two political parties to represent them. It is of the greatest importance that when the time comes each voter takes the time to think about the decision he or she is about to make. Let us consider these truths. The Twin Towns have never looked better! Strolling downtown reminds one of Europe. Little bistros and cafes are everywhere. The Welcome Center has added so much to the town. Not only does it provide needed information to visitors, it is the home of much needed entertainment. The young and old enjoy concerts, cultural events or just hanging out in and around the area. The youth can now enjoy their new basketball court that was so needed. The Joseph Andrews Drive is now looking like a real boulevard.

Xunantunich Education Centre opened in the Cayo District
The Xunantunich Education Centre was opened on Thursday of last week within the Xunantunich Archaeological Reserve near San Jose Succotz Village in the Cayo District. The 950 square feet facility is a product of the Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites MTBCAAS Project, which had targeted nine other archaeological sites in Belize. Funds for the education center came from the Belize Rural Development Program Two (BRDP11), with support from the European Union EU and the Government of Belize. In his address, the Minister of Tourism and Culture the Hon. Manuel Heredia, Jr. stated that Xunantunich has been the focus of many strategic undertakings by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and Civil Aviation in recent years, including the replacement of the access site as well as the establishment of a new visitor center. “Today’s event reflects the critical importance of Xunantunich as it relates to the preservation, promotion and conservation of the Mayan Civilization in Belize,” he said.

Belize City Primary Schools Basketball competition opens
The 2014-2015 Belize City Primary Schools Basketball Competition commenced on Tuesday, 2 December, 2014, at Bird’s Isle in Belize City. They are 15 boys’ teams and 6 girls’ teams in the competition. The schools that are participating in the boys’ competition are Wesley Upper School, Buttonwood Bay Nazarene School, St. Mary’s Anglican School, St. Luke Methodist School, Queen Square Anglican School, St. Ignatius School, James Garbutt SDA School, St. Martin De Porres School, Belize Elementary School, Ephesus SDA School, St. John Vianney School, Trinity Methodist School, St. Joseph RC School and Holy Redeemer School. Meanwhile, the schools in the girls’ competition are St. Luke Methodist School, Belize Elementary School, Buttonwood Bay Nazarene School, Holy Redeemer School, Ephesus SDA School, and St. John’s Primary School.

East Sports Committee to sponsor Aragon’s Basketball Tournament
The Orange Walk East Sports Committee is sponsoring the Aragon’s Basketball Tournament at the East Sports Centre that is scheduled to commence on Friday 12th December, 2014. Teams that are interested in participating in the tournament must have 10 players, 2 coaches and a manager. According to the organisers, teams must wear uniforms. The championship team will receive $1,000.00 cash, individual medals and a team trophy the 2nd place team will receive $500.00 cash, individual medals and a team trophy. Also there will be the individual awards which include MVP and Most Discipline Team.

Belize Athletics Association to host 2014 National Track and Field Championship
The Belize Athletics Association invites all athletes and track enthusiasts to be a part of a National Track and Field Championship event. This event will be held at the Marion Jones Sports Complex on the 6th and 7th December, 2014. All athletes 16 years (born 1998 and older) can participate in the events. Registration forms can be obtained from and returned to the BAA via email ( [email protected]) or from our Facebook page (Belize Athletics Association). Registration forms can also be obtained from and returned to the National Sports Council’s offices throughout the country.

Norwegian Brings Christmas Cheer to Belize City children
Santa Claus was late to the party this year because of an emergency drill on one of Norwegian’s cruise ships but his tardiness did not weigh down the excitement of over 200 Belize City children eager to start the Christmas season with some much needed cheer. On Tuesday, December 2, over two hundred children from Belize City received Christmas gifts from Norwegian Cruise Line at the Belize Tourism Board’s 11th Annual Children Christmas Party on the grounds of the House of Culture. Alro Cansino, Destination Planning and Development Assistant of the BTB, says many of the children are from the Dorothy Menzies Child Care Center and Wesley Primary School. Organizers invite children from Dorothy Menzies and a different primary school each year. This year a number of invitations were also given to community organizations in Lake Independence, Queen Square, Port Loyola and Collet constituencies. Cansino says the organizing committee was granted a waiver by the Ministry of Finance to bring in the gifts from Norwegian free of duty.

Hon Rene Montero Christmas 8 ball tournament in Santa Elena, Cayo
Hon. Rene Montero Christmas 8 ball tournament being organized by Link-Up Bar in collaboration with the Cayo Billiards Association continued on Sunday, Nov 30 at Link-Up Bar in Santa Elena, Cayo. We are happy to share the following updates with you. Match 1: Rookies came out with their “A” game and hurt tournament leader Link-Up, 2-1. For Rookies , Erwin Fernandez shot without fear as he dropped top shooter Jimmy Rudon who was the player with most wins and was undefeated until this game. Then, Wallace Chu kept it going as he bested Juan Villanueva also by 3-2. Erwin Woodye, Jr of Link-Up got the win for his team by defeating Hector Ortiz at 3-1. It must be noted that this was the first loss for Link-up, so, much respect goes to Rookies especially Erwin Fernandez and Wallace Chu who surely didn’t play like any rookies. Match 2: Shooters came out with blood in their eyes and zipped Team Ranza 3-0. For Shooters, David Fernandez won Frederick Jones 3-1, Gilbert Luna won Armin Lopez 3-2, and Luis Usher won Hon. Elvin Penner 3-0. This was Mr. Penner’s first match played in a tournament, so we say respect to him as he was welcomed by Cayo’s top shatta.

Old School prevails in penalty shoot out
The Vega Cup Tournament entered its semi-final round on Sunday, 30 November, 2014 at the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk Town with 2 games on the schedule. In the first game played Jaguars United blanked San Antonio FC by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Orlando Castillo in the 44th minute of play. In the second semi-final game played, the competition’s favourite Old School FC eliminated Awe V. United by the score of 4 -2 in penalty shoot out to advance to the championship game. The goals for Old School were scored by Alfred Jesse, Marlon Miranda, Eleazar Itza and Oilver Hendricks.

Belize Defence Force still a top of the Premier League standings
The Premier League of Belize Opening Season Tournament continued on Saturday, 29 November, with two games on the schedule. In the game played out at the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk Town, the league leading Belize Defence Force blanked the defending national football champions by the score of 1-0 to maintain its lead in the on-going competition. The only goal of the game was scored by Carlton Thomas in the 10th minute of play. Meanwhile, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the host team Police United won over Wagiya by the score of 6-4. The Police United was able to get onto the scoreboard first when Harrison Roches scored his 1st goal of the game in the 27th minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. The Police United team took that lead well into the closing minutes of the first half of the game and it was not until the 46+minutes of the half that Abraham Chavez scored the equalising goal for his team. The visiting Wagiya then took the lead when Abraham Chavez scored his 2nd goal in the 48th minute of play for the 2-1 lead. The Police United team was back unto the scoreboard when Harrison Roches scored his 2nd goal of the game in the 51st minute of play when he tied the score at 2-2. Roches then untied the score for good when he scored his 3rd goal of the game in the 53rd minute of play to give the Police United a 3-2 lead.

SICA’s 20th Meeting of Ministers and General Directors of Culture held in Belize
The 20th Meeting of the Council of Ministers & General Directors of Culture of the CECC/SICA (Central American Education & Culture Coordination/Central American Integration System) was held at the Grand Caribe Resort on San Pedro, Ambergis Caye, on 20th November 2014. The meeting was hosted and chaired by Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation – Pro Tempore President for Culture during the period that Belize holds the Presidency of SICA (July – December 2014). Minister Heredia was joined by other Ministers, Vice Ministers and Directors of Culture of these countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic.

Sugar Crop Now Looks Possible
The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers’ Association (BSCFA) and Belize Sugar Industries Ltd (BSI) met for 5 straight hours on Wednesday 3 December to continue discussions on a new commercial agreement, as facilitated by the Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow. Of the five issues of contention, two were disposed of quickly, but three core areas of disagreement were discussed at length. These three areas are: the length of the new agreement, the payment for bagasse, and the ownership of the sugar cane. At the end of the discussions, the BSCFA presented proposals to settle these three contentious issues, and a response to these proposals from ASR/BSI should be given by Friday, 5 December. This response will be taken by the BSCFA to its membership this weekend, where, if there is consensus, an agreement could be signed by Monday 8 December. The 2015 crop could then start within three days of the signing.

Patrick JonesPJ

Man spared jail sentence, gets fined for assault
Twenty-five year old Julio Ardon, a construction worker charged with aggravated assault with a firearm, was spared a custodial sentence today. Ardon was found guilty by Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. The Chief Magistrate told Ardon to count himself lucky that he is not going to Kolbe Foundation. On conviction for the offence of aggravated assault with a firearm, a person is liable to a sentence of 2 years.

Cannabis bust results in charges
Leonard Mejia, a resident of 16 Pickstock Apartment who the police reported they busted with 60.4 grams of cannabis, was charged with drug trafficking when he appeared yesterday before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Mejia was also charged with possession of .4 grams of cannabis. He pled not guilty to the charges. He said that the police put the cannabis on a scale 3 times. The first and second times the cannabis weighed 59.6 grams and the third time when they put the cannabis on a different scale it weighed 60.4 grams.

Teenager may face burglary charge over stolen computer
Nineteen year old Jiovanni Augustine, a resident of Biscayne Village, was charged with burglary and handling stolen goods when he appeared yesterday before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Augustine wanted to plead guilty to handling stolen goods but Chief Magistrate Smith remanded him into custody until Thursday, December 11 in order for the prosecutor to decide whether the prosecution will accept handling stolen goods or go for a burglary conviction. According to the allegation, on December 2, Augustine broke into the home of John Oliver, located in West Landivar, and stole one laptop computer, which has a value of $400.

Plane ends up in the Caribbean Sea in Belize City
A plane belonging to Tropic Air appears to have overshot the runway at the Municipal Airstrip in Belize City this afternoon and landed in the Caribbean Sea. Details are slowly starting to emerge, but confirmed reports are that the incident happened around 2:30 pm when Flight 281 […]

Bishop Martin High School repeats as Visionaries Challenge winner
For the second year in a row, the Bishop Martin High School from Orange Walk has come out victorious as the National winners in Sagicor’s Visionaries Challenge. The event was held on Wednesday at the Princess Hotel and Casino in Belize City. […]

Belizean to take part in Miss Global International
Belize will have participation in the Miss Global International pageant this weekend in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Audralee Enriquez traveled to Jamaica on Monday and has been taking part in pre-pageant activities, with the main event scheduled for Saturday, December 6. The pageant was first held in 2004 […]

Galen University to hold Open Day
Galen University has announced it will be holding an Open Day at all of its campuses on Saturday. Stating at 8:30 am and continuing through to 4 pm, the Open Day will give potential students a chance to learn about all of the University’s programs being offered. In addition to learning about available programs, prospective students will get a chance to apply and register for any of the programs commencing in January, 2015. According to a press release from Galen University “successful applicants for the that day will qualify for a tuition grant of up to 20% and will receive a 50% discount on their application fee.”


Pictures of Riot Control Training in Belize
It’s not that the U.S. military trains for this, which is necessary and recommendable. It’s not that they seem to enjoy it so much, which is stupidly understandable. It’s that they are often being trained to detain and dispel rioters that are engaging in legally protected activities. Some of the situations include environmental protesters holding signs that say “Save the Halibut” and “Stop the Violence”, as well as antiwar protesters holding signs with peace symbols and “No more war” written on them. The following set of pictures from a training exercise for the military of Belize shows protesters holding signs that read “Freedom 2 Worship”, WE DEMAND MORE MONEY and “No More Taxes”.

What an incredible recognition to digest that the ancient Maya, the people who built those overgrown cities in the jungles of Mesoamerica and abandoned them at the end of the classic period (900AD), were still living in and around the great city of Tikal in Peten, in the 18th century! Guatemalan archives have this information. What we know historically contemporary is that a group made an expedition to find this site in 1848 and they introduced to the world their findings in 1853. The Governor and the commissioner of El Peten, Francisco Tut and Modesto Mendez were the ones who brought the attention to the site of Tikal. After the information came out on the city, everyone wanted to touch the walls of what we now recognize as “the place of voices”; one of the most magical ancient Maya Cities in the Maya world that rivalled cities such as Copan in Honduras, Palenque in Mexico and Caracol in Belize. If you have never been there, allow us to introduce this City to you by offering 5 things you should know of what is the “downtown” of the “place of voices”.

The Necropolis of Tikal
Many who visit ancient sites want to know how the people lived in the particular cities and they also want to know what truly made the people who lived within them great. While people will find a multitude of great stories of how the people of the ancient cities lived, they may probably ask where those people who built those cities go. At Tikal, the truth is, while the ancient Maya descendants are still alive and scattered all over Mesoamerica, the people who collaborated to make the ancient city what it was are still there – not only in spirit but interred in some of the most beautiful tombs ever designed for kings anywhere. The entire North Acropolis in “downtown” Tikal is evidence of this. The North Acropolis earliest date goes back to c. 350BC. This was located on a platform that hosted a few temple buildings early but it eventually became the resting place of many kings in the classic period (250AD-900AD). Archaeologists have uncovered that this particular area was redecorated with beautiful tall pyramids around 400AD. Building after building, one over the other have been uncovered suggesting that the ancient Maya used a process of superimposition as a way to use the tight spaces within particular plazas and the North Acropolis at Tikal is a shining example of that.

Four Great Kings and a Queen of Tikal
The state is a reflection of the leader of every company or institution. To make a city unbelievable great, like Tikal, whose history started as far back as 900BC it had to have great leadership. There was failure certainly, but for the most part, the city was embellished with much success over the years. It defeated Calakmul, a super power and contemporary of Tikal. This defeat alone gave it abundance in the world of bragging rights. These leaders were called kings; living gods who managed the middle of the tripartite world of ancient Maya cosmology. Epigraphers, archaeologists who literally know to read the writing on the walls of the ancient Maya, have made great strides in the interpretation of royalty and their activities throughout the Maya area. They have also been able to read the names of great men and women and the dates of their accession to their thrones and death. Some of the names, when translated to the English language, are quite unusual and at least, interestingly funny!

Belize, Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

SBDCBelize BELTRAIDE and La Inmaculada Moving Forward
On the 3rd December, 2014 the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), through its Small Business Development Center, SBDC Belize signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to benefit local Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in the areas of credit facilitation and credit management with La Inmaculada Credit Union Limited. This collaboration is expected to better connect our clients to much needed start-up or expansion capital and better prepare them to actively participate in a competitive environment. In addition to assisting new clients, the collaboration will also benefit existing clients of the La Inmaculada Credit Union Limited, who may want to enhance their business management practices.

Belize weather: the best on the planet!
Blink and you might miss it was a pretty good description of this year’s calm hurricane season, which officially ended at the beginning of December. Yes, it’s a great feeling when the season comes and goes without anyone really noticing it, and this year’s had that mellow quality we all love. As visitors to Belize quickly learn, we are blessed with some of the best weather conditions on the planet, with average yearly temperatures of 84° F (29°C) and not much of a difference between seasons. Just one more factor in Belize’s growing reputation as a true tropical paradise. However, all tropical paradises the world over have one thing in common – the warm weather and surrounding seas are perfect breeding grounds for tropical depressions which can grow into full fledged hurricanes. Belize, like most countries that are affected by these cyclonic storms, has developed sophisticated systems for predicting, recording and dealing with severe weather, so over the years the effects have been mitigated to an impressive degree.

Waking Up To Rain But…YESTERDAY? It was GORGEOUS in Belize
The rainy season in Belize is not what you might picture – non-stop drowning monsoons of rain keeping the sky dark and road impassable for weeks at a time. Whoops…I did see this picture. Stuck on a back street last week, in a golf cart, in a giant puddle…someone’s got to get out and push? Right? Ok sure, we will have one three or four day period of rain (and I think we may have gotten that out of the way already- see photo above!) and it will take a while to dry out. The back roads (like the one above) in particular. But what I am TRYING to say is that we usually get a pretty mixed bag when the rainy season comes in earnest. A morning of rain, an afternoon of brilliant sun.

International Sourcesizz

Wareham High students heading to Belize, Caribbean
The School Committee Wednesday approved a trip for Wareham High students to Belize in February 2016, and authorized the Class of 2016 to sponsor a Carnival Cruise to the Caribbean in April 2016. Science teachers Joy Higgins and Craig Berriault proposed an eight-day scientific excursion to Belize for students in all four high school grades through International Zoological Expeditions, including excursions to rain forest and coral reefs and various cultural experiences. The estimated cost of the trip is as high as $2,500 per person, which they said will be subsidized primarily through fundraising. The committee unanimously approved the trip. “Any time our kids can get an experience like this one is worth it,” Chairman Clifford Sylvia said.

Fort Collins cacao importer launches first product
Fort Collins-based importer and wholesaler of premium chocolate products Madre Cacao has begun distributing its first product, Cacao Body Butter made of 100 percent cocoa butter. The bulk butter produce is processed from cacao beans in Ecuador, and is then shipped to Colorado for packaging. In 2006, owner Eric Foote worked in the oil and gas industry with four weeks on and two weeks off. During his time off he would travel south of the border. During a backpacking trip through Belize he met a family that made chocolate from cacao beans, an event that led to a quest to find world-class chocolate, he said.

Norwegian cruise ship to feature Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurant
Norwegian Cruise Line’s next ship, which will be based in Miami, will have Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurant and the 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar on board, the company announced Thursday. Margaritaville will be a complimentary restaurant on the Norwegian Escape, which will debut in Europe next October and begin week-long Caribbean cruises out of Miami starting Nov. 14. The 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar will be an outdoor bar on the ship’s Waterfront zone and will feature live music nightly. Norwegian’s port at Harvest Caye, Belize, will have a Margaritaville when it opens next fall, and a 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar will open next year on Norwegian’s Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas. Margaritaville eventually will be expanded to the rest of the fleet, but details haven’t been set yet, said Vanessa Lane Picariello, Norwegian’s director of public relations.

Professor David Stoddart: Geographer who championed the conservation of ocean reefs and stopped military bases wreaking ecological havoc
It is now conventional wisdom that reefs are of huge importance in the ecology of the oceans. It was not always so. If any one scientist can be said to have alerted the world to the significance of oceanic reefs it was David Stoddart. Stoddart left his Faculty in Cambridge University, part of the brain drain, for much, much more money – in order to fund his various projects, rather than for any personal recompense – and became a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. As Sir James Wordie, the Arctic and Antarctic explorer, and Stoddart's Master during his time at St John's College, put it to me sadly: "The Americans poached him. The money available for David's expensive field work and diving in San Francisco was simply not available in Cambridge." After graduation, Stoddart began his studies of coral reefs and islands in 1959 in the western Caribbean; he pioneered much of the work on the Belize reef, then the responsibility of British Honduras. He returned there to do more work on corals and plants, working for Louisiana State University before and after a major hurricane, tracking its effects on atolls and reefs. He gained a PhD from Cambridge for this work in 1964.

Scotiabank Reports Fourth Quarter and 2014 Results
Scotiabank's 2014 audited annual consolidated financial statements and accompanying Management's Discussion & Analysis (MD&A) will be available today at, along with the supplementary financial information and regulatory capital disclosure reports, which includes fourth quarter financial information. All amounts are in Canadian dollars and are based on our audited annual consolidated financial statements and accompanying MD&A for the year ended October 31, 2014 and related notes prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), unless otherwise noted. Reported Basis: Fiscal 2014 Highlights -- Net income of $7,298 million, up 10% from last year -- Earnings per share (diluted) of $5.66 versus $5.11, up 11% -- Annual dividends per share of $2.56, compared to $2.39, an increase of 7%


Video: Belize Melting Pot of Cultures, 2.5min. The people of Belize have an array of traditions and customs that represent more than 10 diverse cultures. This is truly a melting pot of colorful personalities, making the 314,000 residents of Belize the countrys greatest resource on the tourism front. The Belizean people are comprised of a harmonious combination of Maya, Mestizo, Creole, Garifuna, East Indian, Mennonite, Arab and Chinese, as well as a number of European, American and other expatriates, a combination which has resulted in one of the happiest and most peaceful countries in the region and a widespread reputation as one of the friendliest tourist destinations in the world!
Video: Belize and the Sea, 3.5min. The longest Barrier reef in the hemisphere, the most extensive cave system, the greatest percent of land mass in the region under protected area status, all in one tiny country? How fortunate can one destination be? In the protection of our marine and terrestrial resources coupled with active environmental awareness programs, Belizes vibrant tourism industry was unwittingly born.
Video: Belize Jungle's and Wildlife, 3min. Private waterfalls, jungle canopies teeming with birds and exotic flora, hiking trails following the footprints of the elusive jaguar, iguanas splashing into crisp clear rivers these are only a few of the options visitors have to Be One with the beauty of Belizes rainforest.
Video: A Glimpse of Belize HD, 4min. Belize, the only English-speaking country in Central America, offers a unique combination of richly, rewarding experiences that make it unlike any destination on the planet. Swim with the exotic sea life along the Western Hemisphere's largets barrier reef. Explore the fascinating mysteries of the largest concentration of Maya sites in the region.
Video: Belize and the Maya History, 3min. Although Belize's Maya occupation began as early as 1500 BC, it was during the Classic period of 250 AD to 900 AD that the population is thought to have exceeded one million people. Archaeological remains of the ancient Maya include pottery, skeletons, stelae, and tall palaces, temples, and ceremonial centers.
Video: Sean Paul in Belize, 3min.
Video: Plenty Belize NGO, 7min.
Video: Del Mar, 6min. This is a video documentary on Belize Flyfishing, for a film class, hence the explination of simple fly fishing concepts. -Went down for three days of fishing and got dished some not so optimal weather for the better part of the trip, wish there were more fish shots, but theres always the next trip.

Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
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