FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE
Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.
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
Sugar Industry Bill Signed by the Governor General
The Sugar Industry (Amendment) Bill which was passed by the House of Representatives on the 19th January 2015 and by the Senate on the 20th January, 2015, has been assented to by the Governor General, Sir Colville Young.
The Act was published in the Gazette today, 21st January 2015, and copies are available at Print Belize, Belmopan.
The main object of this Act is to secure to all cane farmers the freedom of association guaranteed by the Belize Constitution. It will no longer be compulsory for a cane farmer to belong to the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association or any other association. The membership of an association shall be entirely voluntary.
The Act also provides that there may exist more than one association of cane farmers and the Sugar Industry Control Board shall have the power to register all associations. After registration by the Board, an association shall automatically become a legal entity and may hold property, open bank accounts in its own name, and do all other things which a corporate body may do.
Belize Host Stakeholder Consultation to Advance New Initiative to End AIDS by 2030
What will it take to end AIDS by 2030? This is the question that a new regional initiative is trying to answer. The Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) initiated a Justice for All (JFA) Programme to achieve goals for ending HIV and AIDS in the region.
Specific objectives surround elements which include enhancing family life, increasing access to treatment, reducing gender inequality, promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights, and achieving legislative reforms for modifying HIV and AIDS laws. To this end, the Government of Belize hosted representatives from the Programme consultation team who were on a three-day visit to Belize last week at the Ministry of Health office in Belmopan. Minister of Health Hon. Pablo Marin and CEO Dr. Peter Allen, along with the Minister of Education Hon. Patrick Faber, Attorney General Hon. Wilfred Elrington, and CEO Lawrence Sylvester welcomed and met with the PANCAP Director Mr. Dereck Springer, JFA Consultant Dr. Paloma Mohamed, and the United Nations (UN) Special Envoy for HIV to the Caribbean Professor Edward Greene. The meeting ended with an initial compromise to start the development of a cabinet paper to be presented later this year to initiate our process. Representatives from the National AIDS Commission were also present at the consultation meeting.
San Pedro Police to enforce all Election Rules and Regulations
The San Pedro Police Department informs all 2015 Municipal Election candidates that all rules and regulations in reference to the election process will be strictly implemented. Officer in Charge of San Pedro Police, Superintendent Luis Castellanos has stated that extra measures will be taken to ensure that the Town Council Elections, scheduled for Wednesday, March 4th, run smoothly. The San Pedro Police will also be monitoring campaign efforts leading up to elections in an effort to avoid altercations. Superintendent Castellanos would like to take the opportunity to advise all island residents to try their best to make the 2015 Municipal Elections a peaceful one.
Heredia announces that a loan application for the island’s hospital is finalized
While it is not a done deal just yet, the loan application process ensures that there are efforts being made to address the issue. According to Heredia, the Ministry of Health has done its due diligence and now the Government of Belize will lobby for the funding for the loan that will see two municipalities get a hospital, San Pedro Town being one. “All the necessary works have been done. I believe it is a project between $20 to $30 million, which will see the acquisition of land and construction of a state of the art hospital for the island,” said Heredia. While he did not give any timeline, he said that Cabinet has been fully engaged in the process which has been in the pipeline for some time now. And while that hospital is a plan for the long term, Heredia said that for the short term, the plan is to work to get the Polyclinic opened for 24 hours. “For the mean time 24 hours service will be given at the Polyclinic commencing on February 1st. I can assure you that it will start on that date because we already got the two additional doctors and we already got housing for the four additional nurses.”
Amazon Pilot of Mad Dogs Not Filmed in Belize
So we got to see the pilot episode of the New Amazon series and it is definitely not filmed in Belize. It is definitely based in Belize and all the script has it taking place in our beautiful country. Ironically it was filmed in Puerto Rico. BUT we saw the men drinking REAL Belikin Beer and Traveller's ONE BARREL RUM.
Ambergris Caye keeps seeing more progress
New billboard announces SanCas San Pedro Plaza is coming soon!! Wow!
Pic of the Week - Destination Weddings in San Pedro, Belize are Magical
Destination weddings in Belize are 90% of the time very intimate. Couples that decide to get married in Belize usually come by themselves or with very little family and/or friends. We believe that it is more of a romantic escape - an escape to paradise with your one true love whom you are ready to spend your entire life with. Most of them take place at a a private resort, a secluded beach, a sand bar in the middle of the sea, a private island or even on a sailing boat. As big or small that they are, one thing is for sure - THEY ARE MAGICAL!
Craft Markets Opened at Three Belize Archaeological Sites
For the first time craft vendors at three of the nine archaeological sites in Belize can display their products at designated areas. This as three new craft markets were opened last week at the archaeological sites of Nim Li Punit, Lubaantun and Blue Creek in the Toledo District.
The infrastructural developments are the results of work being done under the Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites (M-T-B-CAAS) project. The project which is funded under the EU supported Belize Rural Development Program (BRDP) is being implemented by the Belize Tourism Board and the National Institute of Culture and History. The handover marks the completion of works at three of a total of nine sites which are being enhanced under the project.
Misc Belizean Sources
SBDC ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT
The overall objective of this training is to equip our clients with knowledge, skills, and capabilities necessary to self-analyze their capacity as entrepreneurs, and be able to be innovative and develop the capacity to think outside of the box.
The specific objectives of the training are to enable participants to:
Better understand of entrepreneurship by analyzing themselves and determining what defines an entrepreneur.
Acquire information about tools used to brainstorm on innovative ideas -business idea generation.
Acquire information on how to develop tools and methods of marketing.
Participate in hands-on activities that allows them to engage in the implementation of the tools being used.
Acquire the skills and knowledge to develop their own business model as well as their business's using tools that are for visionaries, game changers, and challengers.
The San Pedro Town Updated Garbage pick up schedule
The San Pedro Town Council hereby announces it’s new and updated Garbage pick up schedule starting as of Today, Monday, January 26th.
15 year old missing
15 year old Ana Villanueva is missing. According to her mother, Maud Villanueva, at some day in November 2014, the girl left the 4th Street, Corozal Towm address.
The mother said Ana told her that she was staying in Orange Walk Town. However, on January 21st, she received a text message from her daughter which stated ‘Help me I’m in trouble.’
She has not heard from her daughter since that text message. According to the report given to the police, Ana Villanueva is slim built, has brown skin, has long black curly hair, is about 5’7” in height. She has a tattoo on her right foot with the marking ‘Anastasia.’ No photo has been provided of the missing teen.
Apply Permaculture: From Exhausted Farmland to Diverse Food Forest
Christopher Nesbitt explains how applying permaculture design to the hills of southern Belize, he has created a truly diverse food forest that feeds his family, his animals and the local community and also supplies timber and medicines.
My partner, Celini Logan, and I manage a small NGO called Maya Mountain Research Farm in the hills of southern Belize. The farm is located 2 kilometers off road, up river from San Pedro Columbia, the largest Queq'chi Maya community in Belize, set amongst the ruins of a classic period Maya site.
Everyday I walk beneath the shade of the trees, looking for food above me and food that has fallen to the ground. It is a forest that I know very intimately. I have been growing it for the last 25 years on an old citrus and cattle farm that I bought cheaply in 1988, when I was 22 years old. I took a PDC with Michael Pilarski, Rick Valley, Chuck Marsh, Mark Cohen and Jose Caballero in 1991, and started thinking about how best to apply permaculture principles to my land. I decided to replicate form and function of primary habitat, emulating rainforest in my farm. We now manage over 10 hectares of land out of 28 hectares.
Mo' Mojo: It has been real San Pedro!! Corozal here we come!!!
Mo' Mojo had a great time performing and exchanging with artists in San Pedro, but is excited now to head to Corozal for their concert tonight at the Civic Center!
The concert is FREE and we hope to see everyone in Corozal and surrounds there!!!
Belize Reports Increased Real Estate Tourism in 2015
Belize is best known for its beauty and magnificent natural wonders such islands & beaches, the second largest barrier reef in the world, and its world famous fishing grounds. With a high concentration of Mayan temples, rivers, interconnected cave systems, exotic animals and plants, vistors have plenty to take in during their stay. It is this abundance of eco-resources that allows the country to proudly state that they are seeing an influx of Eco-Tourism in this start of the year.
An integral part in travelling and tourism is reaching a rapid increase in wave of globalization. Economic growth is globally impacting the tourism activity worldwide. The amount of international travelers is expanding to reach a broader variety of countries with growing affluence in emerging economies.
Corozal: Preserving our Heritage and Culture
Coming in February...Look out for a great evening of tradition and entertainment as we showcase the lost cultural celebration of Juan Carnaval!
A resounding ....NO!!! to offshore drilling
Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia and Director of the Belize Tourism Board join Oceana Belize VP in a selfie to say "No!" to offshore drilling in Belize!
Hon. Marco Tulio Mendez, Precarious And Pressurized Predicament
The PUP Representative for Orange Walk East, Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez is in a precarious and pressurized situation tonight. That's because there are reports swirling, which suggest that he engaged in inappropriate behavior in the domestic setting. We stress that police tell us no official report or complaint has been made, but multiple, credible sources confirm that the Department Of Social Services is investigating a complaint made by his estranged wife.
We did try to speak to Dr. Mendez today in Orange Walk - but when we checked his office at the Northern Medical Plaza - they told us he had gone home sick. When we checked at his home, we could not find him there.
Cane Season Opens (Finally!)
This morning at 10:00, the 2014-2015 sugar cane grinding season finally opened, allowing the country to breathe a collective sigh of relief, given that a month ago, the season and the future of this critical industry were in doubt.
But after a fractious fortnight in cane country, which ultimately led to the splintering of the 55 year old Cane Farmers Association, today it was business as usual at the Tower Hill Sugar Factory.
Our news team was in Orange Walk for a front-row seat. Daniel Ortiz reports:
How A Sugar Mill Works
While we were at the factory today, the staff allowed us to look around for ourselves and see the first few tonnes of cane being processed from the delivery phase to the grinding phase. The factory manager gave us a very brief explanation of how it works:
John Gillett - Factory Manager, BSI
"First thing that happens, the cane is weighed on the 100 tonnes scales that we have. After the cane is weighed, it's discharged into the cross carriers. The cross carriers feeds it into the feeder carrier. After the feeder carrier, we pass the cane through a set of cane knives and then through a set of shredders, which prepares the cane for milling. In other words, what it does, it shreds the cane and we referred to it as a perforation index and gets the cane condition, so that milling can start.
27 Year Old On Life Support
Tonight a 27 year old UB student is on life support at the KHMH after he was shot in his back on Saturday night. The shooting happened in Hattieville at a Birthday Party on Camal Street. 27 year old Eugene Pitts was on the dancefloor when the crowd of partygoers heard a loud bang coming from some bushes behind the yard. The young man's midsection was riddled with shotgun pellets. An eyewitness who asked to appear off camera told us what he saw:
Voice of Friend of Eugene Pitts
"My sister had a little birthday party and she invited a lot of friends and she told me to invite some of my friends and so I did, because we all are DJs. Everything was going nice, no one expect the worse to happen, so it was a night to free up. Lots of kids and women and fathers and all kinds of people were around - it was family event. After a little after the birthday song for my sister and cut the cake, everyone began to party and moved under the tent. About 5-10 minutes after we heard a bang. People said that the speaker exploded."
Social Security Workers Didn't Get Paid
Possibly for the first time in the Social Security Board's 33 year history - Social Security's 300 employees did not get paid as usual on the 26th today. As we reported on Friday, it's because of a mix-up between SSB management and the Christian Workers Union.
Social Security went ahead with a plan to implement what's called a "Transitional increment." The management says it did so in consultation with the in-house union representatives. But everything changed on Thursday when the Union head office got involved. General secretary Floyd Neal wrote a letter saying that the workers would accept the increment, but also maintained their right to get their usual bonus at the end of March. Now, the increment was introduced to replace the bonus, so Social Security put everything in reverse, and withdrew the increment. The problem was that all the increments were already in motion - so those had to withdrawn, which we gather requires a lot of paperwork.
Funeral For A Soldier
22 year old BDF reservist, Denver Villafranco was buried this weekend in Belize City. The private from B Company of the volunteer unit received full military honours for his burial. Soldiers escorted his casket to the Ephesus 7th Day Adventist Church and then to the Lord Ridge Cemetery where he received a gun salute as the casket was being interred.
Villafranco was savagely knifed to death 9 days ago. The alleged culprits are brothers Phil and Orlando Staine. They alleged struck him with a crowbar, cut him open with a four inch blade and then stabbed him in the chest - all reportedly because Villafranco had parted a fight the night before…
PM Met UNESCO, Gives Commitment
A week ago we reported on the meeting between the UNESCO World Heritage Center delegates and the NGO community. They gathered to discuss the much critiqued Draft Petroleum Exploration and Exploration Guidelines - and how changing and removing certain sections of the draft can move Belize a step closer to getting off the list of 'in danger' sites.
Well, the NGO's weren't the only ones meeting the UNESCO group - so did the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister's office today sent out a press release assuring government's commitment to working along with UNESCO and the NGO community to protect the reef system. The release says quote "the Government of Belize agreed to start talks on critical conservation challenges related to the removal of the Belize Barrier Reef from the World Heritage List in Danger".
But, the COLA President didn't have that commitment on Saturday when he went off on the government, for, among other things, offshore drilling - although we doubt it would have made a difference.
That's because COLA agitates first and foremost and at its AGM at the Bishop Sylvester Memorial Center on Saturday - he said the future holds confrontation:..
Geovannie Brackett, President - COLA
"And I want to give you a little bit of activism forecast, there will be trouble in the next year, because this government has clearly shown how it wishes to victimize - how it wishes to polarized - how it wishes to take the very little that people have away and this organization, I promise you, will bring change and it will bring it soon and very soon."
Getting Women Into Politics
How can we get more women involved in politics? That was the overarching question at today's Justice and Gender forum at the Radisson. There is no straightforward response to that question because of the structural and cultural barriers women face as aspiring politicians. Costa Rican Legislator Maureen Clarke says women can make a difference in their future in politics but it will be a daunting task.
Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, Participant
"The conference will be what we make of it because you get out of something what you put into it and I am delighted that there are women across the political spectrum here, there are women activists, there are people who have been in this business for a good while and so I really feel that if we have a rich discussion and its usually rich when women come together, we can come up with some solid recommendations. Right now we are looking at the barriers to women getting into politics, what women can do to lobby for justice and human rights when you are within parliaments, what kind of changes we need to bring about in our country, not only to encourage more women to step forward, but also when are in the political process, to make a difference."
GSU: It's All About Weed
GSU found live rounds in - of all things - a baby wipes container on Saturday. At 10:30 on Saturday morning the Unit searched a lot on Victoria Street near Fabro's Glass Ltd. They found a black plastic bag with (15) .25mm live rounds of ammunition. A blue baby wipes plastic package with 32. 25mm live rounds was also found in the area for a grand total of (47) live ammunition of .25 mm rounds. No one was in the area and the ammunition was labeled as "Found Property".
Also on Saturday the GSU found a black plastic bag with 103 grams or 3 ounces of cannabis in an abandoned house on Castle Street. No one was in the area at the time of the discovery and it was labeled as "Found Property".
Calla Creek Sickos
Police are looking for two Calla Creek residents in connection with an unlawful sexual intercourse case. A 13-year-old Belizean Student of San Ignacio Town reported that on 4th July, 2014 and 10th September, 2014, she had sexual intercourse with a man from Calla Creek Village. She also reported that in the month of September, 2014, she also had sexual intercourse with his brother. Based on a medical examination the minor is 23 weeks pregnant. Police are looking for both men of Calla Creek Village pending investigations.
Will They Be Legends
This weekend, the Belize Amateur Athletic Association, held its first national championships in 5 years. That's because, among other challenges, the Marion Jones Sporting Complex had been closed for renovations.
7News stopped by to see how the long break affected the top amateur athletes. Here's what the President told us about the level of participation, since the comeback:
Deon Sutherland - President, BAAA
"Today, we have the first day, day one of the national championships for athletics. This event is mandatory. Actually, this is supposed to be our 2014 national championships, but it was postponed in December because of the weather, so we are having it this weekend."
Indians Raise Their Flags
"A home away from home": That's what members of the Belize Indian Community call Belize and today they got to celebrate it right at the Battlefield Park. It's Indian Republic Day - the day that truly marks India's sovereignty and Independence from the British in 1950. Although they are over 9,000 miles away from India, the community is still celebrating that pivotal moment in Indian history. President of the Belize Indian Community, Dinesh Bhojwani told us why it matters so much to Indians living in Belize and in India.
"Today is India Republic day. Although India got independence in 1947, in 1950, on January 26th, it was created a nation. We had our constitution formalized that year and so that was the day that really signify a true independent India where it was moved away from complete British rule. You can be Indian at heart and still be Belizean. It's not one or the other. We can coexist with you. Like I said India has given us Bollywood, but at the same time Belize has given us rice and beans and Punta, so we can't wrong that right. And nowadays you see it, with the fusion of the music, you see it with the fusion of the food, you see it with the fusion of everything. And that's part of globalization."
Specialists Provide Medical Care
The Gift of Life programme for medical assistance to children across the country has been around for 37 years and since then, international specialists have treated over 1,000 Belizean children.
Presently, American Pediatric Cardiologist- Jeff Delaney and his team is in Belize to provide medical attention to children living with heart conditions.
We caught up with them at the KHMH today and found out more.
The team will be working in Dangriga on Wednesday.
The Magana Factor
One week ago in the House of Representatives, the Sugar Industry Amendment Act was passed into law. It allows for other growers groups to exist and do business with the factory owners.
It's the realization of a long held dream which Wilfredo Magana and the members of the United Cane Farmers Association initiated back in 2009 when they went to the Supreme Court.
And on Monday, 5 years after they were supposed to do it, the Government of Belize finally complied with the terms of the Court consent order and changed the law, allowing the 2 new associations to legally exist.
And so, at today' official opening of the grinding season, Wilfredo Magana was present to witness the first season with more than one association delivering cane. The media took the opportunity to ask him why his association, the United Cane Farmers Association, didn't become the third group to sign independently.
2015 Sugar Cane Crop Opens
This morning, the 2015 sugar cane crop season opened with delivery of cane from the Orange Walk Branch. Its seven weeks late, but the fact that is happening at all [...]
Is G.O.B. Fixing Sugar Roads?
Exactly one week ago, Prime Minister Dean Barrow informed the nation that G.O.B. had allocated two million dollars for immediate work on sugar roads. But according to Orange Walk Branch [...]
ASR/B.S.I. on Amendments
For the first time in history, there are three associations delivering cane to B.S.I. That is now legally possible because of amendments to the Sugar Industry Act pushed through by [...]
UCFA Head Says B.S.C.F.A. Survival Uncertain
Those amendments would probably not have come to pass without a legal claim by cane-farmer Wilfredo Magana way back in 2010. He and others petitioned the court to open up [...]
P.U.P.’s Mendez Under Investigation?
There are reports tonight of political trouble in the Orange Walk East constituency and it involves the current area representative. Reports to our newsroom are that Doctor Marco Tulio [...]
B.D.F. Investigation Into Missing Ammo Continues
Tonight, the B.D.F. is still trying to determine who stole two containers of ammunition being held for the U.S. army in training on the B.D.F. compound. On Friday, we reported [...]
Petrocaribe Future Uncertain
Caribbean Countries signed on to the Petrocaribe program some ten years ago. The program, which has provided social assistance, may very well see many countries cut off. While Belize’s name [...]
Gunman Targets Hattieville Resident
Just after midnight on Saturday, a shot was fired as the Bowen family of Hattieville was celebrating the birthday of one of their own at their residence on Camal Street. [...]
Southern Ops Yield Drugs
In the south on Saturday night, a joint operation conducted by uniformed Police Officers and Special Branch Personnel from Placencia in Seine Bight Village led to the discovery of drugs [...]
GSU Finds Drugs and Ammo
The Gang Suppression Unit is also reporting on seizures of ammunition and drugs over the past few days. On Saturday, during a search on Victoria Street, the Unit found a [...]
13 Year Old Pregnant…Police Seek Calla Creek Brothers
Last week, a well-known Belize City tattoo artist was sent to prison after he was accused of having a sex with a fifteen year old girl. Well, two brothers from [...]
Corozal Police Looking for Missing Minor
And in the north, a mother of Fourth Street North in Corozal Town is reporting that her underage daughter has been missing since last November. Now you’d be asking [...]
B.D.F. Volunteer Buried With Military Honours
Over the weekend, a full Belize Defense Force military burial was held for twenty three year old B.D.F. Volunteer Denver Villafranco. Soldiers, along with the family, gave Villafranco a proper [...]
Mechanic Alleges Assault by Special Constable
A mechanic in Southern Belize is claiming that a special constable has been wrecking havoc in the south, but no one seems to care. Vincent Scott says that he was [...]
Brackett Retains Presidency of COLA
Over the weekend, COLA held its annual AGM and re-elected its executive. Geovanni Brackett was returned as President; Gilroy Usher Jr. Vice-President; Alton Humes Secretary; Edward Young treasurer; Ismay Williams [...]
Bacab Employees Launch Highway Cleanup
Can you name one thing you see along Belize’s highways that you’ll never see on any road in, say, neighbouring Chetumal? Give up? Well, we’ll tell you. It’s garbage. A [...]
A Look at Rotary’s Gift of Life Program
The Rotary Club of Belize’s Gift of Life Program is well received by families whose loved ones suffer from congenital disease. The program is the flagship initiative of the Club [...]
Sports Update with James Adderley
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday. The Belmopan Football Championship series got off to a fast start yesterday at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium where Alliance [...]