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Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Get Your Teams Ready: SP Volleyball Association to host tournament
The San Pedro Volleyball Association is gearing up to host a local six-by-six tournament on December 27th and 28th. The tournament is to take place at the Angel Nu�ez Auditorium, and will serve as a qualifier match, so that a local selection can participate in The Belize Volleyball National Championships on January 30th-31st and February 1st. The Association is seeking at least four teams with a minimum of 6-8 senior players per team, to partake in the competition. Teams will be receiving trophies for first and second place, medals for the top three teams, as well as awards for the Best Spiker, Best Blocker, Best Server, Best Libero (Defense) and the tournament MVP. Teams are asked to register with Erick Santizo Nu�ez no later than December 20th. Upon registration, a fee of $100 will be required, along with a complete team roster. For more information on the tournament and registration contact Nu�ez at 605-0963.

Glorious, Fiery Sunsets
Aren't sunsets beautiful?! Our headquarters provides us with a great viewing spot to take in the show daily. As soon as the evening starts nipping at the day, we run upstairs to the rooftop and check out what kind of colorworks we'll be getting. Some days, it's a straight on blue to navy to pitch dark with slight shades of pink and red, then there are times when the sky seems to explode in all shades!

Raquel Badillo ready to take the stage at the 2014 Miss World Pageant
Since Thursday, November 20th, Miss World Belize 2014 Raquel Badillo had been in London, England participating in the 64th Miss World Pageant. The island beauty joined 122 other contestants from across the globe in several sub-competitions leading up to the big pageant date scheduled for Sunday, December 14th at the EXCel ICC Auditorium. On that night, one lucky lady will be crowned Miss World 2014 by current Miss World 2014 Megan Young. Since arriving in London, Raquel has participated in the Sports and Fitness Challenge, Miss World Top Model, Tradition Dance Challenge, Talent Segment, Oxford Debate and the Miss World Charity Gala. The several challenges and events that the beauty ambassadors partake in allow them the opportunity to express their skills, talents and personality to the judges and organizers.

Kent "Bob" Gabourel places second at the End of the World Marathon
The third annual End of the World Marathon took place on Sunday, December 7th at the Placencia Peninsula and this year saw hundreds of national and international runners competing. The marathon is one of the biggest races in Belize, and without fail, San Pedro athletes were there to represent. Once again, star athlete Kent "Bob" Gabourel didn't not let his island home down, as he brought home the second place trophy in the competition's main event: the full marathon. The marathon is divided in to several sub races, all equally challenging. The End of the World Marathon began back in 2012 as a homage to the Maya Calendar that ended in 2012. Since its inception the race has been challenging athletes of all ages as one of the self-proclaimed "toughest races" in Belize.

Belize's sugar crop season in limbo as ca�ero and BSI/ASR butt heads
One of Belize's largest agriculture sectors, the sugar industry, is in limbo as there is no clear sign when the crop season will be opened. Thousands of tonnage of sugarcane remains in the plantation and the economic ramifications due to the delay in the crop season is mounting. The impasse between Belize Sugar Industry (BSI)/American Sugar Refinery (ASR) and the members of the Belize Cane Farmers Association (BCFA) remain at a standstill as they have not been able to reach a compromise on key areas of negotiations. The main areas of contention between the two parties are over the ownership of the sugar cane, the terms of payment and the formula that will be used to pay for the bagasse (by product) used by BSI to create energy. In the past, farmers have been paid for sugarcane only, based on the world price of sugar, but now that the bagasse is being used locally, they also want a piece of the economic benefit from such by product.

Ambergris Today

Ma�anitas to the Virgin Lady of Guadalupe
Residents of San Pedro Town, Belize, came together during the eve of commemorations to La Virgen de Guadalupe (Our Lady of Guadalupe) to celebrate the date in which Saint Guadalupe appeared before Saint Juan Diego at the hill of the Tepeyac, Mexico in 1531. The Catholic Church has set aside December 12 to celebrate the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe and countries worldwide pay honor to the saint, especially Mexico that has adapted her as its patron saint. The Ma�anitas to the Virgin of Guadalupe took place on Tuesday, December 11, 2012, at the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church were a ceremony took place; it included prayer, songs performed the San Pedro Youth Group and poems dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

U.S. Embassy WAE/Rover Administrative Assistant-Vacancy Announcement No. 2014-21
The U.S. Embassy Belmopan has an opening for a When Actually Employed (WAE) Rover/Administrative Assistant position. The successful candidate will be required to obtain a top security clearance and undergo a medical examination. BASIC FUNCTION OF THE POSITION: � Provides office clerical/administrative support to the mission (both Management and non-Management sections) when required. This includes making appointments; drafting and formatting routine correspondence; typing and formatting reports, cables, and other written materials, filing and provides other secretarial/administrative support. � Requests Embassy access for visitors and provides security escort services for Controlled Access Areas as needed. � Prepares and processes information for certain reports and surveys, as required and appropriate. For more information, please see the full Position Description.

St. Francis Xavier Primary School and Pre-School Christmas
St. Francis Xavier Primary School and Pre-School spread much anticipated Christmas Cheer to Corozal. Teachers, parents, students and invited guests joined in the annual Christmas Parade and Show yesterday December 11, 2014. Great show! We take this opportunity to wish each and every teacher and family in Corozal a warm and special Christmas Cheer.

Neidi L. Rosado of Corozal Town attends Sistema de la Integraci�n Centroamericana (SICA) Youth Conference
Held Nov. 24th in San Salvador, Central America. Ms. Rosado currently sits as the, Youth Empowerment Coordinator in Corozal Town. As part of SHARE-BZE she is also the National Communications Secretariat Coordinator. Also attending from Corozal was Henry Castillo, the National Project Formulation Coordinator for SHARE-BZE. Attending the meeting were heads of Youth of Central America and Minister Herman R. Longsworth - Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. Over 200 youth, representing 60 Youth Groups and Organizations of the region (including Belize) presented the Central American Heads and Ministers of Youth their proposals made in their 2015-2025 Central American Youth Agenda. The agenda states - "We, the young people of Central America, presented this Youth Agenda to The ministers and youth representatives of Central America, And made emphasis on its importance. We Demand that these strategies are taken in to consideration when they are doing decision making for the countries. Young People are often left aside and not taken into consideration. I had to fight for the health of young people. Mental Health, Prevention and Sexual Reproductive Health amongst all youth)".

Significant revisions to the Residential Mortgage Payment Program
Please be advised that the Ministry of Finance has made some significant revisions to the criteria relating to borrowers who can qualify for the Residential Mortgage Payment Program. Accordingly, kindly note the links below in relation to the program: Revised Notice and Application Forms- GOB December 2014 Residential Mortgage Payment Program: Frequently Asked Questions- GOB December 2014 Residential Mortgage Payment Program:

Making The Perfect Pitch
Before the break we told you about Finpyme (FIN-PI-MEH) Export Plus, a programme where producers get to pitch their product before a panel of prospective money lenders. The idea is to get financing for products that can break into the CARICOM market. If it sounds familiar, it should; it's like the TV show shark tank:.. Mike Singh, CEO- Ministry of Trade "Think about it - you know the show the "Shark Tank" - it's along the line of where they come up, present their project, talk about what they are looking to do and they get feedback and advice and possibility of financing as well." Shahera McKoy, Export Belize - BELTRAIDE "The idea was to take the idea that the companies had to look at a specific project that they wanted to develop that would lead to them accessing export markets or developing systems in place to make them more export ready."

Power interruptions, 8:00 a.m. to 8:10 a.m. and 3:50 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Sunday, December 14: entire Orange Walk and Corozal Districts
BEL to accommodate works on CFE's power distribution system.

Power Interruption 6:00am to 8:00am, Sunday, December 14, San Pedro Town
North San Pedro, from Boca Del Rio to Tranquillity Bay Resort. BEL to energize new high voltage line in San Mateo Subdivision.

Holiday Hotel's Glowing NY Eve Party!
Always the innovator, never the imitator - This year's New Years Eve Celebration promises to be the best yet.

Cancelled: outage previously scheduled for San Pedro
from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, December 14, 2014.

Channel 7

Finally, A Sugar Solution, But Will Cane Farmers Accept En Masse?
Finally, tonight, there is the promise of peace in the sugar industry: the cane farmers and BSI have come to an agreement. But it is a fragile truce at this time - because the agreement must still be approved by the larger body of cane farmers. But, that will or won't come on Sunday - today the story was about how both sides came to the table in a spirit of compromise. Jules Vasquez was at the Radisson:.. Jules Vasquez reporting This morning the leaders of the cane farmers association and the Sugar Industry Control Board arrived at the Radisson. The 18 directors crowded to elevator to capacity as they headed up to the fifth floor for a meeting.

Hon. Julius Plays Scrooge Rejects GOB Christmas Cheer
It made big news 9 days ago when the PUP Secretary General wrote to the Financial Secretary accepting the Christmas Cheer program. Since then the leader of the opposition Francis Fonseca has praised Christmas Cheer, calling it transparent and accountable. But, it's funded by Petrocaribe Money and, in November, the opposition has taken government to court, to block spending of those funds. The man leading that charge is PUP Cayo South Representative Julius Espat. He's also chairman of the public finance committee and today he took the high road by announcing that he wouldn't take the Cheer money. Now this is a sharp divergence from his party leader who seemed quite happy to take the Cheer funds. So what accounts for the reversal? That's what we asked him today at his office in Belmopan:.. Hon. Julius Espat, PUP Cayo South Representative "It was a decision based on principle. It was a decision when you have needy people in your constituency and so it was a balancing act trying to weigh the positive and the negative. But at the end I consulted with my local executive, the Cayo South executive, I spoke to each one of them. I called in our village leaders and I spoke to some of the villagers and then I spoke to my friends, my advisors and my family - that's how we normally do things in Cayo South.

Compol Whylie Tells Cops to Ease Up On The Checkpoints
Tonight, 7News is in possession of an unusual memo from the Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie. Dated 10th. December, it tells all commanders of all operational units how to conduct vehicular checkpoints. Now, it would seem that this is pretty much common knowledge in the police department - but the commissioner wants business as usual to change. His memorandum says the police department has received numerous complaints about police checkpoints blocking traffic. He refers specifically to checkpoints on the George Price Highway, quote, "where buses are pulled to the side of the road and all passengers are ordered to disembark with their personal belongings in order that the officers can conduct searches on them.." The memorandum, says, quote, ""All personnel are hereby directed that effective immediately, this practice of having passengers disembarking the bus must stop. " End quote.

Leon Got Shot On Victoria
There was a shooting in the city this morning. It happened at around 9:30 on Victoria Street. 27 year old Leon Garcia - a construction worker who lives on that street was shot to his left shoulder. According to his mother - Judith Bernard- her son had just left home and was walking up the street when she heard about 5 shot ring out. She spoke to Monica Bodden off camera. Voice of: Judith Bernard, Mother of Leon Garcia "I was in my room because I wasn't feeling well and I heard the gunshots and right away my daughter ask me where is Leon and I told her that I don't know where he is and then she ran up the street and then shortly after that she back crying saying that Leon got shot." Reporter "It happened around what time?" Voice of: Judith Bernard, Mother of Leon Garcia "This morning about after 10am."

Sewell Shot In Mahogany Heights Holdup
There was a shooting yesterday evening near Mahogany Heights Village at mile 31 and a half on the Western Highway. According to police, it happened through a picado road that leads from the highway to Mahogany Heights. At 5:30, five persons came off a bus and were walking through a shortcut to the village- when they were held up by a man wearing a hooded shirt. They five tried to escape and that was when the armed assailant opened fire on them. 22 year old Joel Winston Seawell was caught to the right side of his mouth and to his lower back. He still managed to run from the area to Tiger Sandy Bay Farm located just across the highway. Today he is admitted at the KHMH - and his aunt gave 7news an update on his condition.

Capital Cops Catch Cannabis, Nearly 100 lbs!
Tonight, a Belize City man is spending the first night of a 5 year sentence after being busted by Belmopan police with just under 100 pounds of imported high-grade marijuana, and a loaded 9 mm pistol. He was busted in a taxi traveling on the Western Highway last night just around midnight. An intelligence-based operation was conducted by a specialized team from the Belmopan Police Station. The commanding officer told us more about it today: Supt. Howell Gillett - OC, Belmopan Police "Earlier this morning, just after 12am in the morning a specialist unit within the Belmopan Police formation was on a strategic patrol on the George Price Highway when we encountered a taxi from Benque Viejo along with someone from Belize City who were onboard. The names of the persons who were in the vehicle at the time are Jenny Silva, Yolanda Patt, both are from Benque Viejo, I think it is 61 Chruch Street, Benque Viejo and then also along with them was Casey Fitzgerald Smith of 20 Cor. George and Bishop Streets in Belize City. The vehicle was search and eventually we found 94.5 pounds of marijuana. Also found in the vehicle was a 9mm R uger pistol with a magazine containing 8 live rounds.

Remanded For .38
And while Smith was busted this morning, as we told you the Eastern Division strike team caught 33 year-old Jose David Funez with a gun on Tuesday. They recovered a .38 revolver with 4 rounds of ammunition. Funez was charged with keeping a unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition. He was arraigned today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano, where he pleaded not guilty. He couldn't be granted bail, and so, he was remanded until February 12, 2015.

San Pedro Cops Catch Extorting TPU
San Pedro police set up a neat sting to catch a tourism police officer who was extorting a member of the public. Here's what we know tonight about the case, which is still developing. A tourism police officer told a member of the public he could get someone to drop a civil suit against them for a price. He asked for two hundred dollars initially, and then another five hundred today. The business owner called police who set up an elaborate sting. They got marked hundred dollar bills, photocopied all of them - and then told the business owner to set up the handover for this afternoon at this business. When the officer showed up - he told the cop he was going to the bank to get the money - but instead called the police. They lay in wait outside and caught the TPU officer red handed when he walked outside. He had the five hundred dollars in marked bills in his pocket. He has been detained pending charges. We'll give you his name on Monday after he is charged.

More Arguments From CCJ
The Caribbean Court of Justice has reserved judgment in the nationalization case, the so-called "war of the worlds" between the Ashcroft Alliance, Fortis Energy International and the Barrow Administration. It has been a 3-day appeal hearing in which voluminous legal arguments concluded this afternoon at the CCJ Headquarters in Port of Spain, Trinidad. You'll know that the Government of Belize has retained control over the utility companies, BTL and BEL, since the nationalizations in 2011. The dispute that has been at the core over the fight for these companies is the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, in which the Government sought to legislate perpetual, public ownership of the companies and put it beyond legal challenge. And while that's the root of the appeal, over the course of the 3 days, the arguments had less to do with the utilities and more to do with the extent of government's power to legislate matched against the power of the court to review such legislation.

CEO Singh Says Stake Bank Solution Not Straightforward
Yesterday we spoke to CEO in the Ministry of Trade and Investment Mike Singh about the major new development planned for Caye Chapel. And while that seems to have gotten an executive green light - even before any environmental assessment is made - another island project of far greater scale is still holding at a yellow light. That, of course, is the much discussed Stake Bank project. It's tied up in threats of lawsuits - and Singh told us government can't just clear the way for this local investment - he said it's up to the vested interest to hammer out a solution:.. Mike Singh, CEO- Ministry of Trade "My take on it is that unless the parties agree to sit down together and work towards what is best for Belize, I don't know what much government can do. Because the minute government sticks its hand in there, there is a lawsuit that is going to fly and we have to decide what we are going to do with that. And then would government really want to do something that bold and that's going to end up saddling the Belizean people with yet another settlement? I think that's a difficult decision. I think government has shown that it's not afraid of taking these risks with the two acquisitions that are still now in court, how many years later? Five years later.

How Petrocaribe Debts Are Sold
And keeping the discussion on big money matters - we turn back to Petrocaribe. As we've reported Venezuela may be forced to sell some of its Petrocaribe debt to Investment Banks in the US. That's a process called securitization and our colleague at the Nationwide News Network in Jamaica Kalilah Enriquez asked international banker Aubyn Hill to explain how securitization works - and how it will help Venezuela out of its short term cash flow problems - while not changing the terms of the debt commitment that debtor nations have: Aubyn Hill "Where Goldman makes its money, it says look, you have this debt on your book at $100, I am going to buy it from you at 40% discount which I think is exactly what Goldman has offered and so instead of you have 100 million dollars because its impaired and I don't know what is going to happen in the future and you need the money badly - I'll give you today 60 million dollars and will be maturing in 10-15 years whatever state of maturity is. When its purchase you can come to Jamaica and say look this thing say 15 years. If you pay me in 10 years and instead of taking 100 million dollars from you, I will take 70-75. In other words they make a cool 15 million dollars and turn around in two months. Jamaica now get a benefit of paying only 75% for the debt that it owed."

Butane Prices Go Down In Time For Christmas Cooking
And just as the price of Petrocaribe oil is falling, so is the price of LPG, or what we call butane. The Bureau of Standards today announced that the controlled price of a hundred pound cylinder will go down by five dollars to one hundred and one dollars in Belize City. That's only for Central American butane though, the type sold by BWEL, Southern Choice Butane, Zeta Gas and Gas Tomza. The butane imported from Mexico and sold by Belize Gas and Western Gas also comes down five dollars from 109 to 105 dollars in Belize City. The new prices take effect tomorrow.

QPP Wants To Go CSME
Yesterday we told you about the interesting investor experience organized by Beltraide. They got product developers to appear before a panel of potential lenders to pitch their products. We heard about diabetes friendly soursop juice from a Cayo company called Pure Nature MD. Also making a pitch was Belize's biggest poultry producer, Quality Poultry Products. They already control 50% of the Belize market, but they want to break into the CARICOM market in a big way and are looking to BELTRAIDE for a boost. But if QPP goes CSME - how will it affect you? That's what we asked the Orange Walk Branch Manager today:

Cops Help Out Senior Citizen With Home Repairs
Last night we reported on the Christmas initiatives organized by the Salvation Army and the Red Cross. Well, today, the police department has also joined in to give back to the community. Police officers from Precinct 1 are working on a house project for a Partridge Street Extension resident. 81-year-old Edna Arnold has been living in her house for about 6 years - but it's been a challenge for the octogenarian to keep up with repairs. And so now the police are doing it for her. Today with the assistance from these officers, she can finally hang her Christmas lights. I met the very free spirited Edna today. Courtney Weatherburne reporting Edna Arnold sits in this wooden armchair every day for her bible and prayer sessions. And also finds enjoyment in crafting these stylish handbags. Edna lives a quiet and solitary life in this home but the condition of her house has made it difficult for her to enjoy her personal time.

The Art Of Aging Gracefully
There are countless books that claim to hold the secret to a long and healthy life. But Leonora Patnett- who turns 101 tomorrow - never read any of those books. For Leonora, the secret is simple: she has faith in God. I met her today and she told us what she has planned for her birthday. From a family of 6 children, she is the only one remaining.

Tonight's I am Belize teacher profile features the principal of Hummingbird Elementary Jamuna Vasquez. And though she leads one of the top performing private schools in the country - tonight she tells the profile about her own learning challenges as a child:

Heights of Vibes Comes With Christmas Brukdown
The popular artist, "TR Shine", has been on a countrywide tour to promote a new CD called "Heights of Vibes Christmas Volume 2". He and several local artists have put together an album that brings back the "brukdown" spirit. He told us more:.. The CD is on sale for $10.

LANDINI: Aurelio Got It From His Mom
Another album that hit record stores yesterday is Aurelio Martinez's "Landini". The album has been earning rave reviews in Europe and the USA where it was released in September. That's one more certified gem coming out of Stonetree studios in Benque Viejo. But while it came from the studio, Aureli Martinez told us yesterday that it started in his mother's house:.. Jules Vasquez reporting This is Aurelio Martinez at his mother's APARTMENT in New York. They share a special musical connection Aurelio Martinez, Artist - "Landini" "My first mentor is my mom. When you hear this album, it's like you are in Aurelio Martinez house and my mom house. That's the way we sing together. I play guitar, my mom sing, I sing with her. We do this thing together in our house. My mom had a dream to be an artist, my grandma don't want to give her the opportunity, but my mom complete her dream in me. We are making our dream together."

Leaving With Landini
And Aurelio Martinez gave us a slice of that "deliciousness" - right here in our studio yesterday when he pulled out his guitar and gave us an acoustic performance of his new album's title track, "Landini." We leave you with that tonight, as edited by James Ayala.

Channel 5

B.S.C.F.A. Reaches Tentative Agreement with ASR/B.S.I.
There is a concord of sorts between A.S.R./B.S.I. and the B.S.C.F.A., but we wouldn't go dusting off that old cane truck and making merry just yet. Both parties sat down [...]

ASR Rep Outlines Strategic Plan for Embattled Sugar Industry
As you heard, pending the decision of the farmers on Sunday, the agreement will be for a period of seven years. There is an out for the farmers, but only [...]

Julius Espat Turns Down Christmas Cheer for Cayo South
P.U.P. Deputy Leader Julius Espat will not be participating in the Petrocaribe-sponsored Christmas cheer program. Through that political initiative, all U.D.P. Area Reps will allegedly be receiving one hundred and [...]

Butane Price Slashed by $5 Countrywide
If you plan on doing any baking or cooking this Christmas Season then you'll be pleasantly surprised to know that as of midnight the cost per hundred pound cylinder of [...]

Another Late-Evening Shooting in Mahogany Heights
Joel Seawell and four other persons were ambushed on Wednesday evening in the Mahogany Heights area on the George Price Highway. Members of the group, including a woman, were headed [...]

Leon Garcia Shot on Victoria Street
The shooting of Joel Seawell was followed by another this morning in Belize City when a bold attempt was made on the life of twenty-seven-year-old Leon Garcia as he made [...]

100 Pounds of Marijuana Seized by Garden City Cops
Tonight, the Belmopan Police are reporting the seizure of a sizable amount of marijuana, confiscated during a special patrol just after midnight. Three persons - Jennie Silva and Yolanda Patt [...]

Randy Dominguez Remanded for Sexual Assault of Minor
A boat attendant was this evening remanded to the Belize Central Prison on a heinous sexual assault charge for fondling a seven year old child in the village of Biscayne [...]

CCJ Wraps Up B.T.L./B.E.L. Nationalization Matter
Today was the final hearing of the CCJ appeal concerning the nationalizations of B.T.L. and B.E.L.� Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay, on behalf of British Caribbean Bank, replied to the arguments [...]

Lord Peter Goldsmith Submits on Behalf of Dean Boyce & B.T.L. Trust
Courtenay was followed by Lord Peter Goldsmith, Queen Counsel, who replied to the Government on behalf of Dean Boyce and the B.T.L. Employees Trust.�   Lord Peter Goldsmith, Queen Counsel, [...]

Will Murder Statistics in 2014 Surpass Previous Years?
The countdown is on�. There are only nineteen days to end 2014. Earlier today we looked at the crime statistics and at this point, it is safe to say that [...]

Aurelio Martinez Launches Landini in Belize
Opening tonight at the Bliss, Landini, a paranda album by world renowned Garifuna artist, Aurelio Martinez will be launched. Since September, Martinez along with his team from Stone Tree Records, [...]


PM Meets With BSI/ASR
Prime Minister Dean Barrow met today with representatives of the BSI ASR group to present the latest proposal of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. It was the hope of all parties that the meeting would bring the negotiations closer to an amicable solution. Details of what was agreed upon, if any agreement or any progress for that matter was made, are not clear. What we can say is that the meeting concluded less than ninety minutes after it begun but none of the representatives of BSI/ASR or even the Prime Minister himself gave the media a comment of the proceedings. All parties simply exited his Belize City office in their vehicles and drove off. After making attempts at getting comment from ASR Public Relations Representative Mac McLachlan, who was in the meeting, he responded via text saying and we quote, "we have had a very constructive TALK With the P.M and in faith of advancing the process we can't comment further," end of quote.


Boat Attendant Charged With Sexual Assault
Twenty-four year old Rendy Dominguez, a boat attendant of Biscayne Village who allegedly assaulted a 7 year old girl twice, was charged with 2 counts of sexual assault when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Dominguez plead not guilty to the charges. He was denied bail and he was remanded into custody until February 4. The first incident occurred on June 7, 2014 at Maskall Village. The child reported to the police that Dominguez assaulted her with his finger. The second incident occurred on November 29. The girl told police that Dominguez kissed her and caressed her breast.

Sandhill Resident Remanded For Over 9 Months; Free of Charges
Floyd Budd, a resident of Sandhill who was remanded at prison for over 9 months, became a free man today when he was brought before Magistrate Dale Cayetano for trial and the case was struck out for want of prosecution because the virtual complainant, Leo Matute failed to appear. According to the allegation, between March 2 and March 3, Budd had handled one Dell laptop computer which has a value of $2,600. Matute, a resident of Ladyville, had reported the laptop stolen. The police recovered the laptop and Budd was believed to have the person who had it in his possession.

Manager Charged With Kept Fire Arm And Ammunition
Thirty-three year old Jose David Funes Lopez, a bar manager of 47 Gill Street, was charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license when he appeared today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. Lopez plead not guilty to the charges. He was remanded into custody until February 12. The incident occurred around 11:30 p.m. on December 9. The police reported that they were on mobile patrol on Sibun Street when they saw Lopez walking. According to the police Lopez was about 10 feet away from their vehicle when they saw him throw a shiny object into some bushes in a drain. The police said that when they retrieved the object they saw that it was a .38 revolver with 4 rounds of ammunition in its magazine.

Business In BTL Christmas Donations
Mr. Ham's Juices, a business located in BTL Park, is conducting a raffle to have a food pantry drive to give back to the less unfortunate in b Belize City. Janine Hamilton, the owner of the Business, partnered up with Dara Robinson, a well-known personnel who gives back to the society through feeding programs to make this food drive successful. Love News spoke to Hamilton, who told us more about it. JANINE HAMILTON "This Saturday the Christmas park fest is taking place at the BTL park and so we have a promotion where we are raising funds, myself alongside Dora Robinson we are trying to come up with $3000 to provide 100 families with food hampers this Christmas. When you come what we are doing is we are having a strawberry smoothie promotion. When you come we will be selling strawberry smoothies from 12 in the afternoon until 12 mid-night so you can come at any time within that time even if you are not coming to the park fest you can still come out and get yourself a smoothie. The cost is only $5.

Body of man found in Cayo district
Police were called out to a feeder road in Esperanza Village, Cayo District where the body of a young man was encountered. Elaine Berry has the story. Elaine Berry : The lifeless body of 24 year old Sammy Fernandez was discovered on Wednesday December 10 at 4:30pm. Superintendent Dinsdale Thompson, Officer in Charge of the San Ignacio/Santa Elena formation spoke to Love News about the discovery. Officer in Charge San Ignacio/Santa Elena Dinsdale Thompson: Sometime around 4:30 yesterday evening we received a call from an individual who told us certain things about a person who appears to be dead south of Esperanza Village on a feeder road. Upon arrival at the scene we found that yes indeed it was a male person whom we later found out his name to be Shamir Fernandez, 24 years old of Santa Elena Town, Cayo District. Our preliminary investigation so far has revealed that yes Shamir received injuries to his head which we believe caused him to succumb to those injuries.

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Caye Chapel developers to present plan to Cabinet
The island of Caye Chapel, covering 265 acres off the mainland of the Belize District, has been sold to a consortium from Mexico that includes Belizean investors. Its previous owner lost the land to receivership five years ago, when he was unable to pay his loan with the Belize Bank, and it was listed as a non-performing asset until this deal was closed. According to CEO Michael Singh, the confluence of BELTRAIDE's plans for high-end tourism investment in Belize and the Bank's need to get rid of the island led to a unique deal. He divulged more on the ownership group taking over the property, which already owns a recognized hotel in Ambergris Caye. Michael Singh - CEO of the Ministry of Trade and Investment "The group that did the acquisition was a group out of Mexico. What I can tell you is that the group is made up of the owners of a resort in North Ambergris Caye called El Secreto, which is a very high-end resort that's been getting very high reviews and awards lately.

Passport processing halts due to system malfunction
The Data Capture System is a crucial element of the Passport Processing System that automatically captures and stores all data entered. On Thursday that system experienced malfunction, which shut down the Passport Data System country wide. The Department of Immigration and Nationality sent out a press release Thursday morning, informing the public of the temporary interruption in the passport application and processing services. We caught up with the Minister of Immigration earlier on Thursday, and he explained that the system should be back up by Monday the 15th of December. Godwin Hulse - Minister of Immigration "First of all, I want to appologize to the good people of Belize for the inconvenience, but yesterday our system went down. We have a contract with 3M. It's processed through their network. It's a very secure system so far.

Belize explores PetroCaribe barter plan
Next week representatives from Venezuela are coming to Belize to meet with local officials on the possibility of opening payment for the cash portion of the PetroCaribe arrangement by barter - trading local goods in exchange for oil sales. CEO of the Ministry of Trade and Investment Michael Singh details the scope of the negotiations. Michael Singh - CEO in the Ministry of Trade and Investment "Specifically there's a meting on the 17th, where the PetroCaribe people are coming in to look at exactly that. We've putting a meeting together which is going to include the Ministry of Agriculture, the Marketing Development Corporation, BELTRAIDE, Export Belize. We're all getting together to look at what products will fit under this. The way the mechanism works is not so much that we pay the finance part of it in products. We actually pay the cash portion. The portion that normally would be paid up front, would then be paid to producers in Belize, of the products that would qualify, and those products would then be shipped to Venezuela in lieu of money.

Should PUP take Christmas Cheer money?
On Sunday while speaking with reporters, Opposition Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca stated that the Christmas Cheer program is better administered in terms of handling and so that is why the PUP is supporting it even though it comes via the Petrocaribe funds over which they have cried foul. Francis Fonseca - Leader of the Opposition We run the risks of looking hypocritical, but we believe that of all the programs funed under the PetroCaribe program, this one in every respect perhaps the most transparent, the most accountable. We receive no monies. We submit an invoice and all the monies are then given directly through the Ministry of Human Development to the supplier of those goods. Those are the things we were concerned about. We were concerned about waste. we were concerned about corruption. We were concerned about the lack of accountability. And those we feel are minimized as it relates to the Christmas Cheer Program."

Santa Elena man found dead in Esperanza feeder road
On Wednesday night's newscast we told you about the dead body that was discovered in the village of Esperanza, Cayo District, sometime late in the evening. The body has since been identified as that of 24 year old Samir Fernandez, Belizean Laborer of Santa Elena town. Our journalist Emanuel Pech has the details of that story. 5anuel Pech "The lifeless body of 24 year old Samir Fernandez, Belizean laborer of San Pedro Street, Santa Elena town was discovered about 60 feet into a feeder road in an area south of the Village of Esperanza yesterday evening. Supt. Dinsdale Thompson, Officer commanding San Ignacio Police Station, told us more."


Corozale�o, 29, hacked to death before police's eyes
A blood-stained patch of grass on the side of College Road in Corozal Town is all that indicated where the life of Mark Massam, Jr., 29, gruesomely ended after he was hacked to death in what has been recorded as the first and bloodiest murder within the confines of the quiet northern town since the start of the year. According to police, Massam was in the company of his friend and neighbor, Carlos Cassanova, Jr., 22, and both men had been riding separate bicycles when, for some unknown reason, an argument broke out between the two. That misunderstanding quickly escalated to a deadly melee in which Massam was viciously chopped several times in the head and upper body.

Former KREM Radio deejay murdered in Esperanza
Samir Fernandez, 22, of Santa Elena Town, Cayo District, well-known as DJ Kidd, a former KREM Radio deejay and winner of KREM Radio's "King of the Table" deejay competition, died after he suffered multiple chop wounds to the head about 60 yards into a feeder road in the south area of Esperanza, Cayo District, at about 4:00 yesterday afternoon. Yesterday evening, a man was walking in the south area of Esperanza when he saw the body of a man on the feeder road in the area. He alerted police, who went to the scene and found Fernandez on the feeder road with chop wounds to the head. He was declared dead on the scene.

16-year-old loses infant at children's home
A 3-month-old infant died at the Liberty Children's Home, in Ladyville, on Friday, December 5. In a police press release on Tuesday, December 9, police reported that the infant was the child of a 16-year-old girl who resides at the children's home. The director of the Liberty Children's Home, Agatha Valentine, told Amandala this evening, Thursday, almost one week after the tragic incident at their compound, "I am not prepared to issue any statement to the media at this time. The matter is in the hands of the police; ask them!" The release issued by police classified the demise of the infant as "sudden death."

Are you being ripped off?
If you see a sticker at the fuel pumps of your neighborhood gas station when you pull up to put fuel in your vehicle, it merely means that the Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS) has verified that when the gas station tells you that you are getting a gallon of fuel - that's what you're getting, but it does not certify that you are getting the quality of fuel the gas stations claim that they are selling. It could very well be fuel of a lower grade of quality than you think. Following reports that Venezuela would not be exporting "premium" fuel to Belize as of next February, due to the changes in the PetroCaribe regime, and assertions that regular gasoline imported from Venezuela is of a decent enough quality to be used in virtually all Belize cars, concerns over the quality of fuel that consumers are really getting at the pumps have resurfaced.

House collapses; owner homeless
Miguel Vansen, 60, of Roaches Street in the Lake I area of Belize City, is now homeless after his house collapsed, destroying all his household furnishings and personal possessions. The elevated house came tumbling down around 10:00 Friday morning, December 5. Vansen told the media that he was not at home that morning and was working on a street in his neighborhood when a neighbor came and told him that his house had collapsed, but he did not believe what he was told. So Vansen went to his yard to see what had happened, and that was when he saw his house on the ground. He said that the house was in need of repairs, and it had been leaning. He used to feel it shake when strong winds blew, he said.

Caye Chapel sold to Mexican developers
Mexican developers, Abraham Roffe and Abraham Saade, the owners of El Secreto, a resort which opened its doors in San Pedro in 2012, are two of the main investors behind a new resort development planned to take place in 2015 on the historic island of Caye Chapel. This was confirmed today by Mike Singh, chairman of the Belize Trade and Investment Development Services (BELTRAIDE), although Singh said he was not at liberty to disclose the price which the Mexicans paid for Caye Chapel, since it was a private transaction between them and the Belize Bank. Previous talks with potential buyers, the most recent being Yumi Limited of the British Virgin Islands, who proposed to purchase the island for US$30 million, fell through.

Shock and awe at Norman Broaster
What a difference a weekend makes! With 6 teams fighting for 4 playoff spots, Saturday night saw Police United FC become the first team to definitely secure a playoff spot with their 3-0 default win over no-show FC Belize at the People's Stadium in Orange Walk. Meanwhile, defending champions Belmopan Bandits had strengthened their position with an 8-1 thrashing of short-staffed Paradise/Freedom Fighters at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium. Shaking the net for the Bandits were Elroy "Bibs" Kuylen (12' & 20'), Jordy Polanco (34'), Jerome "Jarro" James (45+'), Highking Roberts (52' & 54') and John King (83'). The Bandits also benefited from an early own goal by Freedom Fighters defender Adrian Gonzalez (4' O.G.). The only goal for the visitors was by veteran Wilmer Garcia (47'), whose direct kick from 25 yards out curved over the wall and found the right pigeon hole past a diving Woodrow West in goal for the Bandits. Wilmer's laser left foot almost found the mark again from another free kick, but this one passed a couple inches over the crossbar in the left corner.

National Men's Volleyball Team at Central American Championship in Honduras
Belize's Men's Volleyball National Team is in Tegucigalpa, Honduras to compete at the 18th Central American Championship. All seven Central American countries are attending, with the host, Honduras, being the favourite. The technical level has risen in the region, and Belize will show it is also improving and there to win against the best teams. The team members are: Elton Anderson (captain), Shane Gentle, Francis Usher, Keith Castillo, Radin Santos, Raheem Flowers, Edgar Martinez, Karym Coleman, Ean Galvez, Alex Evans, Daril Avila, Bryton Codd, Wallace Tillett (Asst. Coach), Albert Humbes (Coach), Khalid Encalada (Int'l. Referee).

SCA girls, SJC boys are Central Zone champions
On Friday evening last, the girls of St. Catherine Academy (SCA) and the boys of St. John's College (SJC) won the respective championships of the Central Zone high school basketball tournament, and with it the right to represent the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) in the upcoming National Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA) basketball championships this coming weekend in Belize City. SCA girls had defeated Gwen Liz girls, 34-22, on Wednesday, December 3, in game 1 of their Central Zone championship series. Tricia Jefferies led SCA with 11 pts, while Kayla Bowden had 15 pts in a losing effort for Gwen Liz. However, contrary to the report released by the CSSSA, the boys finals game 1 was not completed on that Wednesday night, as the game had to be stopped due to rain. Therefore, game 1 of the boys' zone championship series between SJC and Sadie Vernon Tech was replayed in its entirety on Thursday evening, December 4, at Bird's Isle, with SJC blowing out Sadie Vernon, 80-55. Sadie Vernon's Glency Lopez led all scorers with 33 pts in the loss; while SJC's Dudley Erskine had 22 pts.

Smart 2014 Test Race, Sunday, December 14
The Cycling Federation of Belize forwarded a flyer yesterday for the Smart 2014 Test Race, which takes place this Sunday, December 14, starting at 8:00 a.m. in front of the Smart building at Mile 2 on the Philip Goldson (Northern) Highway, travels to Carmelita Village, then returns to finish in front of Smart. It is an Open Elite race, with $700.00 and a trophy for the winner; 2nd place gets $500.00 and a trophy; and 3rd receives $300.00 and a trophy. After this, according to latest reports, the last major race on the Cycling Federation calendar for this year will be the 3rd Annual Leslie's Imports & BCC Pre-Christmas Race next Sunday, December 21.

The Barrow, Bradley mini-series
This tension between Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley first spilled over into the public domain when Bradley missed the end of March deadline to submit his application for re-election as the UDP mayoral candidate. Four weeks later, in late April, the Prime Minister actually declared that there would be no reopening of the deadline - "that's out of the question," he had said at the time. But politics, they say, is the art of compromise, and not too long after, Bradley committed to run again, and the two councilors who had actually applied to replace Bradley publicly withdrew their candidacy at a press conference, where the Prime Minister also announced that central government was gifting City Hall $10 million because they were so impressed with the Mayor's street cementing program. At the time the scuttlebutt was that the popular Mayor had been able to wrest an agreement that would see him run again as mayor, presumably win, and then step up to run in Caribbean Shores. He had made no effort to keep secret his national ambition and where he hoped those ambitions would take him. It sounded like a neat conclusion to a hiccup of sorts for the country's Maximum Leader.

From the Publisher
The Maritime Areas Act (MAA), which was introduced in the Belize House of Representatives in August of 1991, was a very complex document, very difficult to understand. There is an area of the sea, which Belizean fishermen have known as the Gulf of Honduras, where the maritime rights of Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras overlap. Apparently these are areas which are very rich in petrocarbons and minerals, and it was in the interests of some huge corporate concerns to get the matter of the three nations' rights sorted out so that exploration and exploitation of the specific maritime areas could be facilitated. The Maritime Areas Act was such a big deal that the two most powerful leaders of the Opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) at the time, Rt. Hon. Manuel Esquivel and Hon. Dean Barrow, supported the ruling People's United Party (PUP), led by the Rt. Hon. George Price, when the Maritime Areas Act was introduced.

And the times, they really are a-changin'!
Editor, Besides the beauty of God's creation of Mother Nature, I always see the beautiful children of Belize as the greatest blessing of my beloved country of adoption. That's why it is really hard for me to understand that we are not always looking after the needs of our children (and mothers) because they are, after all, the future of our country. LAST WEEK ANOTHER CAYE CAULKER BABY DIED! The more it changes the more it stays the same!

The problem with the Barrow administration's development program is one of sustainability
Editor, The Barrow administration, taking a lead from the Lord Mayor of Belize City, has embarked on a much needed infrastructure development program. This has to be greeted as good news. Forward looking, targeted and sustainable infrastructural investments are a must if Belize is to become truly competitive. Infrastructure is both transformational and trans-generational; therefore when you spend hundreds of millions of dollars on infrastructure, you must ensure two things: Firstly, that the infrastructure meets the needs of the country for the next three to five decades, and secondly, that you get value for money.

Food for fuel swap
The PetroCaribe accord between Belize and Venezuela apparently has a dubious future, in light of Venezuela's economic crisis, but Belize may be in a very good position to partner with its friendly ally in South America to supply much needed basic commodities while providing a framework for us to counter our own economic challenges, such as shrinking export earnings against a growing import bill. The way the PetroCaribe deal is structured, Belize does not have to repay Venezuela in cash but it can barter with goods and/or services. Belize can repay the portion of the bill due in 90 days with export commodities such as agricultural products. However, both parties will have to agree on what that export basket will be. Belize and Venezuela to meet Dec. 17 on PetroCaribe To date, Belize and Venezuela have not hammered out a formal export agreement under the PetroCaribe accord, but indications are that this will change in 2015.

Litigation stalls progress of state-of-the-art docking port off Belize City
This week, Yahoo Travel published an online article listing Belize as the third worst cruise port, and the anecdotal information published in the widely reproduced report points out that, "Ships do not actually dock here; they anchor off and use tenders to carry passengers to town, or sometimes directly to activities on nearby tiny islands"-a reality which saw the country lose millions last month after three cruise ships could not land passengers due to choppy seas. Those cruise ships, belonging to Princess and Carnival, were diverted to Roatan, Honduras, where passengers could disembark at a near-shore docking port. Belize's Director of Tourism Karen Bevans had said that when the Stake Bank cruise port is complete, such diversions would not be necessary, since passengers will be able to disembark without having to be too concerned about maritime conditions.

Chocolate, cacao could be next big Belize export
Sugar, citrus and bananas constitute Belize's leading agricultural exports, but Government officials are looking into the possibility of export diversification with an indigenous Maya favorite: cacao. Michael Singh, chairman of BELTRAIDE - the Belize Trade and Investment Promotion Services, said that yesterday, he drove out to the Old Hummingbird Hershey farm which now has 400 acres of cacao. "We see the possibility of growing cacao and chocolate as an industry that could be equal to citrus, because of land availability and the suitability of this kind of production," said Singh. "What BELTRAIDE has been doing through Export Belize is to pick a focus area within the export capability and to put everything we can into building that capability," he added. Singh said that they did it with the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, growing it to 18 companies and 3,500 employees because they focused on that as a service export.

John Chimilio, 38, jailed for bigamy
John Chimilio, 38, of Roaring Creek, who has been charged with bigamy, has been remanded to prison until he is able to meet bail of $3,000 offered to him by the Belmopan Magistrate's Court. He was ordered to return to court on Wednesday, February 25, 2015. Police charge that Chimilio first got married to one woman in October, 2010, and in August of this year, he said his wedding vows to another bride - marrying two women, which is illegal in Belize.

1 dead, 1 injured in Southern Highway accident
Jexcel Redondo, 25, a bus driver of Bella Vista, died due to massive head and body injuries that he suffered when he was hurled out of his vehicle, which flipped and overturned at about 2:30 yesterday afternoon between Miles 47 and 48 on the Southern Highway. Police reported that Redondo, accompanied by Lester Enriquez Urrthia, 20, had been travelling from Bella Vista to Punta Gorda in a van when, on arriving between Miles 47 and 48 on the road to Punta Gorda, he lost control of the vehicle.

Guatemalans busted with guns in Punta Gorda
Two Guatemalans will be spending the season of merriment, as well as the next five years, in a cell at the Belize Central Prison. Inspector Ernel Dominguez, Deputy Commander of Punta Gorda police, said that the two Guatemalans, Orasmo Vasquez Ramirez, 34, and Emilio Chub, 35, both farmers from Clarisal Village, Guatemala, were busted with shotguns and ammunition by Punta Gorda police and elements of the Belize Defence Force, who were conducting joint operations in Punta Gorda on Thursday.

The Reporter

Brazil company executives charged in Petrobras scandal
Brazilian prosecutors have charged executives from six of the country's largest construction firms in connection with a corruption scandal at the state-run oil company, Petrobras. The 22 executives and 13 others are accused of forming a cartel and channelling kickbacks into a Petrobras scheme to pay politicians. They were also charged with money-laundering and organised crime. If they are convicted, the accused face more than 20 years in jail. President Dilma Rousseff who served as chair of the Petrobras board for seven years has denied any knowledge of the corruption scheme. "These people stole the pride of the Brazilian people," said Brazil's top prosecutor Rodrigo Janot at a press conference.

Take the money and explain! Julius Espat tells why
The People's United Party's decision to accept PetroCaribe funds for the government's Christmas Cheer program was made because the party was never against use of those funds. PUP Deputy Leader, Julius Espat told The Reporter that his party never objected to the PetroCaribe initiative […]

Mexicans will spend millions on Caye Chapel – Government pleased with new development to
Mexican investors who are well established in the luxury hotel business in Mexico City, Cancun and Acapulco will spend millions to develop the island of Caye Chapel. Caye Chapel is a 265-acre island on the way to Caye Caulker, known in the old days as Cayo Cocina. A government announcement […]

Sneak murder in the bush reminds victim's family of clash with policeman
Belmopan police are trying to crack the murder mystery of Donatilo Canales, a 54 year old farmer who was shot dead in the Valley of Peace. His wife, Margarita, and a neighbor found his body in a bushy area behind their house shortly after […]

Tourism will need new employment skills; Trinidad workshop will identify opportunities
Representatives from Belize's IT-VET participated in a workshop this week to identify emerging job opportunities in the tourism sector in order to design training programs for new opportunities opening up. The two-day workshop, held in Trinidad, was co-ordinated by the Association of Caribbean States […]

Two, almost three suicides in small community in 24 hours
Suicides are not normally news in Belize, but three attempts of suicide last weekend in Independence Village, two of which were successful, coupled with the cirsumstances that led to them, caught our attention. Police are still delving into the circumstances that led to the […]

Caretaker shot dead on Hummingbird Highway; Older brother also shot weeks earlier
Jos� Miguel Abrego, 43, a caretaker of a citrus farm in St. Margaret's Village on the Hummingbird Highway was shot dead shortly before midnight on Sunday. Reports say the incident occurredwhile Abrego was talking with a co-worker at his home at mile 36 on […]

Resource Center for Buttonwood Nazarene
Buttonwood Bay Nazarene Primary School and the Belize City Council held an official ribbon-cutting ceremony at the school's compound on Wednesday to commemorate the re-opening of the school's new library and computer lab resource center. City Mayor, Darrell Bradley said the Council was proud […]

Acid seas will reduce Belize's conch harvest
Climate change is having its effect on the oceans as much as it does on land, experts at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) said this week. The Center has measured an increase in the acid content of the oceans. This will have a […]

Agricultural Ministers of Central America meet in Placencia
A delegation of Agricultural Ministers from the Central American region and the Dominican Republic met in Belize last week to discuss issues affecting agriculture and to formulate a strategic plan, based on collaboration, moving forward. Belize, in its capacity as pro-tem President of the […]

Cayo cops shoot to end chopping frenzy
Thursday, Dec. 11th Cayo police say they had to shoot a man in both legs on Tuesday night, December 9 to get him to abandon his machete attack on another man, who eventually died. The police report that they came upon a gruesome scene […]

Special Envoy launches 2015 Inspiration calendar and agendas
The office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children launched its 2015 "Inspiration" calendars and agendas this week. The official launch ceremony was held at the Inspiration Center located at mile 1 1/2 on the George Price highway on Wednesday. The SEWC, Mrs. Kim […]

First Caribbean Bank of Belize Provides kitchen gear for schools
First Caribbean International Bank in Belize has donated more than $4000 worth of kitchen gear to the feeding programs of four city primary schools. The bank handed over the utensils at a small ceremony at its Albert Street branch on Tuesday. First Caribbean donated items […]

The reports swirling around the secret life of Bill Cosby, the famous comedian of Dr. Huxtable fame, – that when he was younger and more vigorous he had an addiction for attractive young women and would drug them so he could have his way with them – have reached fever […]

Another grenade found!
Another hand grenade, this one an M26 American-made explosive, was removed from the streets of Belize City on Wednesday evening and police have no clue who is responsible for placing or discarding the deadly device there. The discovery was made at around 6:40 p.m. […]

Man pays $35,000 for fishing license, $29,000 for sea cucumbers and gets zilch!
Pedro Guerra, a Corozal businessman, plans on taking a fisheries officer to court to recover $73, 600 after the officer allegedly encouraged him into making a bad investment. According to Guerra, a cane farmer by profession, the officer used his authority and insider's knowledge […]

Special Audit fingers former KHMH top brass! $187,539 worth of supplies unaccounted for
The Board of Governors of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital met on Thursday December 11th, to analyze the findings of a special audit requested for the period July 2013 to July 2014. The investigation specifically focused on the purchase of two X-ray machines for […]

Premium gas shortage projected for February
Venezuela, who ships fuel to Belize at preferential rates under PetroCaribe, has announced it is stopping shipments of premium gasoline to Belize. The government has responded by saying there is no need to worry, as consumers can simply use regular gasoline. According to John […]

Patrick JonesPJ

Leon Garcia shot in Belize City
Construction worker Leon Garcia of Victoria Street in Belize City was targeted in a shooting around 9:47 this morning. We understand that he was standing at the corner of Victoria Street and Lovely Lane conversing with a female friend when two Hispanic men carrying firearms arrived and opened [�]

Man accused of sexual assault; another freed of criminal charges
Twenty-four year old Randy Dominguez, a boat attendant of Biscayne Village who allegedly assaulted a 7 year old girl twice, was charged with 2 counts of sexual assault when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Dominguez pleaded not guilty but was denied bail and remanded into custody [�]

CCJ sets nationalization decision for January 23
This morning the five-judge panel of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago wrapped up a three-day session of arguments over the nationalization of Belize Telemedia Limited and Belize Electricity Limited. The challenge to the nationalizations was taken to the CCJ by the former [�]

Jose Funes charged for firearm offences
We told you on Thursday of the operations of the Eastern Division Strike Team which took a grenade and two firearms off the street earlier this week. Today the person alleged to be involved with one of those firearms, 33 year old Jose David Funes Lopez, was charged [�]

PUP reveals Belize City municipal slate
The full slate of the People's United Party for the Belize City Council was pictured on the front page of the party's organ, the Belize Times, for this week's issue. The photograph is the same as one we obtained from sources earlier this week. Joining Yolanda Schakron as Mayoral [�]

Caye Caulker man says police brutalized him
A businessman in Caye Caulker village is alleging police brutality. According to the man, who asked for his name and identity to be concealed, over the past few weeks he has been targeted and severely tortured, allegedly by a particular police officer. The last run in with [�]

Impasse in the sugar industry appears to be over
The sugar mill at Tower Hill could start cranking up in the coming days. That is because an agreement has been reached in the impasse between ASR/BSI and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. Just after midday today, a meeting involving the two sides and Prime Minister [�]

The Fall/Winter 2014 issue of The TOLEDO HOWLER is online HERE


2014 San Pedro lighted boat parade
After last years absence, the 2014 San Pedro lighted boat parade came back with a bang. The organizing committee did a fabulous job of getting people involved and making it happen. For those of you that might not know, this event officially kicks off the Christmas season for San Pedro and is well worth putting on your Belize travel calendar. I did not have to think twice (other than getting board approval) when Amanda and Christine teamed up and asked if San Pedro Red Cross would be in if they found us a boat - yes please. Thankfully the big Belize Red Cross parade scheduled for the same day was postponed and we were able to give our full attention to the fantastic 35 foot boat we scored courtesy of Ambergris Divers.

"Fashion" in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
If you're a regular reader of my blog I suppose it's a bit like waiting for a bus (I'm not suggesting that my blog is anywhere near as important as a bus by the way). You wait an absolute age for one and then, blow me, another one follows straight behind it! After a prolonged absence I appear to be back in the groove (no that's not a link for the headline). Out on the veranda -the western, lagoon facing one- with a mug of black coffee and the iPad. The big difference of late though is that I've had to wear a windcheater (a windjammer for non UK readers) to protect myself from the early morning chill. I obviously hadn't protected myself enough against this change in temperature though because I managed (I haven't a clue why/how so don't ask!) to catch a cold which gave me some pain (it was more than discomfort I assure you) in my ear (the left one).

International Sourcesizz

Portland's fastest-growing company goes international
Online vacation rental company Vacasa is growing at a furious pace from its North Portland headquarters. This week, that growth went international. The company, which earlier this topped the Business Journal's list of fastest-growing private compan ies, launched in the Central American country of Belize. The company has 20 properties available on the Placencia peninsula. This is just the first step in the company's international plans and the team is eying countries such as Panama and Mexico.

According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), wages in the Caribbean rose by less than one percent in 2014. the Global Wage Report for 2014-2015 states that overall wages globally fell by two percent over 2012 totals.

TripAdvisor reveals 2014 travel roundup & trends forecast for 2015
Trip Advisor has released their 2014 Travel Roundup & Trends Forecast for 2015. The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is pleased to share that, as per the 2014 Outbound Travel Report, Ambergris Caye was the #1 Emerging Destination for 2014. "We are very proud of this acknowledgement of our destination. I am sure we can all agree that Ambergris Caye, and by extension, Belize, is deserving of this recognition. The work and investment put in by our private and public sector partners show the commitment to our Tourism Industry. With Trip Advisor being the world's largest travel site which offers trusted reviews from real travelers and a variety of travel choices with planning features, I am sure that there will be even more interest in Belize which will translate into increased overnight arrivals for the destination as we move forward in 2015," says BTB's outgoing Director of Marketing & Industry Relations, Alyssa Carnegie.


Video: Saint Francis Xavier Christmas Parade Corozal Town Belize, 2min. 12 th December 2014 students parade.

Video: Project PAC Belize 2014: Day 5, 3.5min. Our 5th day was filled with zip-lining and cave tubing in the jungles of Belize! SHOW MORE

Video: Project PAC Belize 2014: Day 6, 3.5min. For our final day we went snorkeling in the Meso-American Reef off the coast of Belize then boated to a private island which was absolute paradise. Thank you to everyone for supporting us along the way. The Graduate PA's along with Alumni will be heading to Guatemala in early January on their medical trip so be sure to follow their videos once they return.

Video: Voyage Mexique, Belize 2014, 5min. quelques moments film�s de notre p�riple :p comme une envie d'y retourner

Video: Belize 2014-1, 4.5min.

Video: Max and Blake in Belize- Yale Fly Fishing, 3min.

Video: Raquel Badillo Miss World Belize Profile, 2min. Miss World Belize Ltd. introduces Miss Raquel Alejandra Badillo of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize, who was designated as the new titleholder for Miss World Belize 2014. She will join more than 120 other contestants at Miss World 2014 that will be 64th edition of The Miss World Pageant to be held on Sunday, December 14, 2014, at ExCeL's ICC Auditorium in London, England.

Video: BELIZE, 7min. The video and pictures were taken on a trip to Belize in december 2013. We stayed at the Carribean Villas on Ambergris here for more info....

Video: KERN SWASEY - BELIEVE (BELIZE) (Audio only), 3.5min.

Video: Coach Raymond Lashley: The Unorthodox One!, 23min. The twelfth episode of a video documentary series called Belizean Legends that will profile the legendary Belizean softball coach and gold medalist, Raymond Lashley, who coached the Belize national selection that won the gold medal in the 1974 Central American & Caribbean Games in Santa Domingo. Coach Lashley discusses his softball coaching career in Belize with Belizean Legends host Bilal Morris and revisits highlights of the game where Belize won its first gold medal in an international sports competition. Lashley also discussed Belize's four most outstanding Belizean softball pitchers, the late Isolene Heath, Consuelo Dougal, Linda Lewis, and Margaret Usher. He also discussed the legendary coaches the late Collect Gill, and the late Charles Solis. Coach Lashley rose to become Belize's most accomplished coach of Belize, coaching the Belize national softball team to win Belize's first gold medal ever as a nation in sports in the 1974 Central American & Caribbean Games, and also coached the Belize national softball team to beat the greatest softball team in the world, the United States, and won the bronze medal in the 1979 Pan American Games. He was also inducted in the International Softball Hall of Fame. The feature also highlights the legendary Belizean softball player, Gretel Lashley, who is featured here, and the wife of coach Lashley. The husband and wife team played softball in Belize in the 1960's, and 70's. Gretel Lashley played with the Belize national softball team that won the Caribbean Amateur Softball Tournament (CAST Games) in Jamaica in 1971.

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