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Specials and Events
Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials
The San Pedro Sun
SP Sun 2015 Valentine's Day Poetry Contest
Submit your poetry and win fabulous prizes!
The Electronic Music Scene has hit Belize
The weekend continued with the After Party at Tipsy Tuna Sports Bar on Saturday, January 31st with Memo Bacca from Nicaragua, Filipa Lazary of Spain, Ominous from Puerto Rico, Mar-C from Mexico and Luis Maier of Honduras entertaining the crowd. The festival closed on Sunday, February 1st with the Deep Chill Pool Party at the Belize Ocean Club with the musical stylings of Sisimito’s Sunday Session and Uwe K from Hopkins.
This was definitely an event I would not soon forget! Throughout the weekend I made new friends, fell in love with new mixes and danced till my feet hurt. I might be biases with this statement, but electronic music is best and electronic music lovers are clearly some of the must friendly, accepting and fun people out there.
San Pedro Red Cross to host Blood Drive
The San Pedro Red Cross and Belize Blood Services will be holding a blood drive on Saturday, February 7th at Clinica Los Pinos from 9AM to 3PM. Healthy donors from the ages of 18-65 are invited to come out and support the cause. All blood collected is stored at the Belize City blood bank and is allocated for Ambergris Caye residents or tourists in need.
Here are some helpful tips for those wanting to donate, remember RED: Rest- get a good night’s sleep the night before you donate, Eat a healthy meal before you donate (eating iron-rich foods helps strengthen iron levels for safe and successful blood donation) and Drink plenty of non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic beverages (water is best, or fresh juice).
Brain training through an Art Program
The Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation, Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr. is working along with the San Pedro Town Council to provide an art program for the island’s children. Under the guidance of Mexican art professor Daniel Portillo, the program began on Monday, January 19th and is based on the studies of plastic arts. The goal of the program is to enrich the lives of youth across the island.
The free workshop is being offered to children between the ages of 6 to 16 years at the San Pedro House of Culture. Classes are held daily from 4 to 6PM. On Fridays and Saturdays, a special class is offered for children living with disabilities. Through this class participants will learn the basic concepts of art including painting and molding, with the aim to build up a child’s concentration and focus.
Who dropped the ball in the burial of Silvia Benitez?
The council also addressed Ambassador Abella’s remark about the Mayor refusing to assist in the exhumation of Benitez. “For the record, there was never direct communication between the Ambassador and the Mayor. On January 29th, a secretary of the Honduran Embassy requested a meeting with the Mayor for 10AM on January 30th. Because the Mayor had other prior commitments of similar importance, he indicated that it would be difficult at that time. Having knowledge of her presence on the island, the Mayor suggested that they meet that very evening but that offer was turned down by Ambassador Abella. At that time, the Honduran Embassy had already secured all the necessary documents and approval from the relevant authorities for the exhumation process. It was through an unofficial government source, that the SPTC learned that the Honduran Embassy contracted the services of a medical doctor to oversee the exhumation process, along with other authorities. At no time, did the Honduran Embassy ever communicate verbally or in writing about their plans to exhume the body. Similarly, at no time did the Honduran Embassy request for our assistance in the exhumation process… it is very sad that the memory and the incident surrounding Benitez’s demise are being exploited by a few irresponsible and heartless political individuals. In so doing, they have cast blame on several entities including the SPTC, which clearly has no jurisdiction over these police and foreign affairs matters.” The SPTC ended it lengthy statement indicating that they are registering its protests to the Government of Honduras in regards to the misconstrued and offensive remarks made by Her Excellency Abella, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Belize.
Letters To The Editor:
San Pedro High School Receives Sports Equipment Donation
Dear Mrs. Jean Marconett,
San Pedro High School extends its heartfelt gratitude to you and friends for the assortment of sporting equipment and materials which you brought down during your visit at San Pedro High.
Needless to say our sporting director, Mr. Paul Kelly and our coach Mr. Alex Noralez are very grateful and pleased that their practices will now be more efficient and fun. We thank you and pray for more philanthropists like you to visit our island and our school.
Once again, on behalf of the young people of our Island town, we thank you most sincerely for your invaluable donation. God bless.
Mr. Emil Vasquez. Principal
San Pedro High School
New Laser Sailboat Fleet Arrives in San Pedro
With over 200,000 under sail, the Laser sailboat is the world’s most popular adult & youth racing class. Unlike the Optimist Fleet, the Laser is an Olympic class which opens up a sailing pathway for our aspiring youth. The International Laser Class Association (http://www.laserinternational.org/) recognizes 140 with Laser fleets. Belize's new fleet will make that 141.
On Friday, January 30, 2015, The San Pedro Sailing Club (SPSC), in partnership with The Belize Sailing Center (www.belizesailingcenter.com), landed 10 factory-direct Lasers on the beach that the Club and the Center share in front of Caribbean Villas Hotel on Ambergris Caye.
Stranded Vessel Poses Threat to Reef off Caye Caulker
Oceana Belize Supports Calls From Caye Caulker Residents To Remove Stranded Vessel From Reef - Belize has the second largest Barrier Reef in the world, and may be one of the last countries in the world to have extensive areas of pristine reef. Oceana Belize is working to protect this vulnerable but economically important natural resource for the benefit and enjoyment of Belizeans and her future generations. However, such fragile ecosystems are constantly at risk of being damaged from both natural and man-made threats.
Misc Belizean Sources
Ambergris Caye February Blood Drive
In an ongoing efort to build our blood supply for Ambergris Caye Residents and tourists, the San Pedro Red Cross has teamed up with Belize Blood services for our first quarterly Blood Drive of 2015.
Saturday, February 7th at Clinica Los Pinos from 9:00am - 3:00pm.
During the blood drive, Wendy Alter our youth committee leader will have 12 kids from our San Pedro Red Cross Youth group placed at strategic places around town and directing people to donate blood as well as taking donations. They will be at Island City, Carlos & Ernie's and Clock tower.
Thanks for your continued support.
Screening for persons with ear, nose and throat problems
Feb 6 Northern regional Hospital will be screening for persons with ear, nose and throat problems and for persons needing plastic reconstructive surgeries. Please contact Lupe Ack at 661-6518 for more info. Surgeries will be from feb 7 to feb 10 at Northern Regional Hospital.
Fake white kidnapping van in Yucatan
It seems the mysterious white van has left Belize City's Queens Square and the northern districts. The kidnapping rumour , without a valid visa, crossed the Santa Elena border with Chetumal.
On Thursday January 23rd, a rumor of a white van driving around Merida, kidnapping children was spread on social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp.
“You will not read or hear this in the local media, because these news as many others are been hidden to avoid panic among the citizenship, but you need to be aware in order to protect innocent lives.
Beware! A white van with several men, equipped with a refrigeration unit, without license plates, is driving around Merida and other municipalities. These guys belong to a dangerous gang of organ trafficking, seeking mainly young people and children walking around the streets to kidnap them.
Should Mendez say "I'm innocent"
Marco Tulio Mendez gave an exclusive interview following being read and receiving bail for six charges, 4 against one girl and 2 against another.
At no point in the interview did he say "I'm innocent. I'm being framed." Or it's all a misunderstanding."
He said he didn't want to address the charges. Specifically he said “Well, basically the charges were read to me and bail was offered. I can’t go into the details of the charges, due to the fact that the lawyers have advised me not to speak on them because it is before the courts of law.”
Claiming innocence can't be used against him in a court of law. But he failed to make that one basic statement in his interview. He went on to thank his supporters.
He did say something very telling.
Mendez said "I have spoken to the Party Leader and I told him that basically I will be removing myself from all active political campaigning."
BOLEDO DRAWING for Wednesday, February 4, 2015: 81
Corozal Bay Sailing Club Feb 7-8 2015 INVITATIONAL REGATTA
It promises to be a fun and exciting weekend on the the Corozal Bay. Bring out the entire family and make it a fun weekend. See you out there!!!!!
Are you a Belizean Artist?
(do you work in paintings, drawings, sculptures, installations, photographs, prints, mixed media...just to name a few)? Then you might be eligible to win $40,000 if your work shows outstanding talent and further the understanding of the region!
The inaugural FT/Oppenheimer Funds Emerging Voices Awards aims to recognize extraordinary artistic talent..for more information visit this link.
KEVRIS: A BELIZEAN DESIGNER IN THE L.A. BELIZEAN COMMUNITY!
Belizean Kevin Morris became an underground Belizean designer in the Los Angeles in the 1980's who was designing for many top American celebrities like artist Stevie Nicks backup singers, and others in the music world. He crafted a style of using lace and sequnces, and cut out a line of costume style fashion mostly used by musical artists. His style influneced by the Minneopolis trend used by artists like Prince and Morris Day of the Funk band the Time became a popular look in he 1980's. The 1986 Fashion that placed Morris as the cutting edge designer in the Los Angeles Belizean Community stood out as one of the best that any Belizean had presented of its kind. The expose here reflects Morris's unique style in cloth, and one who pushed the envelope even in American style desining that would have fetched a hefty price in the fashion industry if it had developed into a brand. Belizean Legends celebrate the work of this Belizean designer in the diaspora. You had that touch Kevris!
THE TOKTEN BLUEPRINT FOR DIASPORA BELIZEANS!
The 1991 workshop that was organized by the Price administration through the efforts of ambassador Bert Tucker who was a United Nations Economic Consultant at that time, in conjunction with the Consortium for Belizean Development, has been the best effort made so far by Belizeans in the diaspora and its government at home to organize for Belize's development. Not only did it materialized from its planning stage but the government of the day kept its promises unlike the 2011 Homecoming Conference organized by the same ambassador Bert Tucker in conjunction with the Barrow administration, but which died in childbirth so to speak.
Between 1991 and 2011, which is a twenty year span, there has been no meaningful progress to date since the Barrow administration resurrected the constitutional 'monkey wrench' called the 7th. Amendment that would have reinstate the constitutional right of Belizeans living abroad to vote in their country's elections, and participate meaningfully in its development. But unfortunately the motion was knocked down in the government's House of Representative with the help of a group of Tea Party Belizean political pundits who expressed passionate hostility towards their own people, the Diaspora Belizeans, who have been pushing from one administration to another for its establishment in Belizean law.
Hon. Briceno Criminally Charged For Running Over Vega's Driver's Foot
Yesterday Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez became the first sitting member of the House of Representatives to be charged for child molestation offences - specifically six counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature against two girls who were 10 and under at the time.
Well, today, his Orange Walk PUP counterpart John Briceno was also criminally charged – but his charges weren’t exactly history making. He got charged for a trio of traffic offences – but it’s not any old infraction: he’s accused of driving over the foot of the Deputy Prime Minister’s driver. That’s Chris Hendricks, Gaspar Vega’s driver.
Hendricks says that Briceno ran over his foot on Thursday, January 22 in Trinidad Village, Orange Walk. Hendricks’ says he was standing near the gate of a school compound after an event when Briceno ran over his foot and then drove off.
Briceno Calls Out Police For Preferential Treatment
Briceno was charged with driving without due care and attention, failing to report an accident, and harm upon Christopher Hendricks. He was arraigned before Magistrate Merlene Moody where he pleaded not guilty. Because the charges are traffic offences, bail was not an issue, and Briceno was ordered by the Magistrate to return on April 13.
During the interview, Briceno called out Orange Walk police for following up on this report made by Chris Hendricks, reminding them that in April of last year, a 14 year-old minor drove Hendrick’s Ford F-150 pick-up and knocked down the two year old toddler Rachel Chan. Briceno says that police should spend their time pressing that issue, instead of following up Hendrick’s report, which he asserts is totally false:
COLA Calls Out Hon. Marco Tulio
And while Briceno had plenty to say to the media today, his colleague Marco Tulio Mendez only appeared on Channel 5 for what had all appearances of a media manicure.
Now, the advocacy group COLA has called on Marco Tulio Mendez to address the media generally. COLA issued a statement today saying, quote, “COLA views with concern the news of the arrest and arraignment of the Honorable Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez…
It continues to say,
“Assault on a child is especially loathsome…Medical practitioners …must be held to a greater standard.”
File Under: "Politicians Who Play Hard To Get"
And while Dr. Mendez is under pressure to speak up – here at 7news we like it just fine when politicians play hard to get – that’s what makes news, after all. But when Mendez joins the ranks of disgraced area representative Elvin Penner as a media dodger, it doesn’t quite put him in the best public light. Tonight we’ll compare the great escapes of Penner and Mendez:…
Jules Vasquez Reporting….
When you’re a politician, there’s no graceful way to dodge the media – Elvin Penner learned that in March of last year. He appeared with political muscle to run interference for him, but still had to run the media gauntlet – which turned into the pushing and shoving which the press loves, but only makes politicians seem guilty in the public eye.
That’s the route Marco Tulio Mendez took yesterday when he got his version of political muscle Sani Baeza to try and block us out – which on this day backfired and forced a hasty retreat.
Escapee Gets Shot + More Charges
25 year old Emmanuel Willoughby, who escaped from Belize Central Prison on December 13, OF 2014 and who was recaptured about 7 weeks later, is back in Prison tonight. That’s after he was arraigned on the charge of escaping from lawful custody when he appeared today before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart.
Willoughby pled not guilty to the charge his case was adjourned until April 20, but he was sent to jail to continue his prison sentence.
Willoughby escaped by cutting a hole in the door of his cell. And then, last week, later Police found him in an abandoned house on Arlington Drive in Belize City. When they went to apprehend him, they claim he had an object in his hand that resembled a weapon and he resisted arrest. As a result, police shot Willoughby in the arm and leg. He was admitted to ward at KHMH and he was brought to court today after he was discharged from the hospital.
Belizean Passport for American Under Suspicion
The Immigration Department has flagged the passport of 64-year-old American Tony Alan Puglisi. That’s because there are questions about his place of birth. Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse told us that his Belizean passport says he was born in Italy, but the US Embassy has indicated that he was actually born in the state of Virginia. Hulse says because of this, the Department of Immigration has put out a notice at all its ports of entry that Puglisi is a person of interest wanted for further questioning about that discrepancy. He left the country on January 9th, 2015 after getting his new Belizean passport a week earlier.
But, there’s a little more to the story. Turns out that Puglisi had a Belizean passport issued in 2005 - which, Hulse explains was under the old handwritten system – meaning it was not a machine-readable passport. He says because of this there is no record of it – yet nonetheless, Puglisi was given a new machine readable passport based on the strength of that 2005 document alone.
OW East: What Next?
In our last segment we showed you how Marco Tulio Mendez escaped the media at his arraignment yesterday, but for the PUP there’s no escaping the political consequences that are sure to ensue in the coming weeks or months. What will those consequences be? If any?
We got a reaction from his fellow politician and close friend John Briceno. He was not prepared to make any in-depth statements, but he did address it when the question was asked:
Hon. John Briceno - Orange Walk Central Area Representative
"These in the courts and it's something the courts will have to deal with. But yes, I can tell you that Marco Tulio is my friend, he's my colleague. We need to think about the human element about this. We need to think that here is a family man, the entire Mendez family, that they are going through a trauma. It is a very difficult time for them and I think all of us, including you journalists should also be praying for them. Praying for Dr. Mendez, praying for the children and praying for the entire family. Hopefully some day soon that what ever troubles that they have, what ever hurts that they have that they can mend, that they can heal.”
Malik Back To Jail
Nineteen year old Malik Stuart, who was charged with firearm and ammunition offences and the charges were dismissed, has been rearrested and charged with the same offences. So tonight, he’s back in prison on remand.
Stuart pled not guilty to the charges when he appeared yesterday before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart. Due to the nature of the offences, He was remanded into custody until April 2nd.
Stuart was busted with the firearm on April 23, 2014. According to the allegation, police saw him handing a 9 millimeter pistol to 54 year old auto mechanic Edward Westby.
Grandmother Pleas For Missing 14 Year Old
Tonight we report on another missing teenage girl. 14 year old Crystal Faber left home yesterday evening and has since not returned. The first form student told her grandmother that she was going to the neighborhood internet café to do a homework assignment – and that was the last her family heard from her. Tonight they are asking the public’s assistance to help locate the teenager.
Ann Bowen- Grandmother of Crystal Faber
"I last saw Crystal 6 o'clock yesterday evening. She told me that she was going to do her homework at the internet on Antelope street, that was the last time I saw her."
"Since then, you haven't been able to reach her?"
"No ma'am, I haven't. This morning we went to look all around along with the officers and I haven't found her no where."
When Doing The Right Thing Pays Off
He was a high school dropout at the age of 15, immersed in the gang life. It is a downwards spiral we often hear young Belizean men falling into, and only a few manage to get out of it. 18 year old Justin Marin is one of them. He is the recipient for the “Do The Right Thing Award” for September 2014. It has been a challenging journey for Justin but he persevered and is now in 4th from at Excelsior High School. The principal of the school, Gayle Thompson discussed why Justin was chosen to represent the school in this program.
PC Jose Vasquez - Community Policing Officer
"Do the right thing programme will help you as motivating other students both in the near future. The police department now is working along with students trying to make a change in the environment and actually not for their communities but this will be country wide."
How To Be In The Film Festival
If you flip through the channels on your television, you’re sure to find a bewildering buffet of American produced movies, documentaries, and shows. But the Belize International Film Festival, is trying to bring Belizean films to the forefront. The 10th annual festival will take place in July and January marked the opening date for submissions. The organizer of the festival, Suzette Zayden says despite the financial constraints, this festival creates a platform for aspiring Belizean movie producers and directors to promote themselves.
Politicians Walk The Hundred Yard Line
If you know the rules of an election, then you’ll know about the hundred yard line. That’s the area closest to the polling station, which is supposed to be something like a safe area for voters – away from the signage and campaigning that smother the voter out on the street. But, in the recent bye-election in Cayo North when the UDP put on a full court press – the hundred yard area seems more like a suggestion than a rule. Will the same thing happen for the upcoming municipal elections? Yesterday the chief elections officer told the political parties and the media that it must be observed – but the political parties who complain about the infractions are the same ones who break the rules:…
Josephine Tamai - Chief Elections Officer
"What we find in past elections is that, for some reason, the political parties don't adhere to the 100 yards line when election day comes around. What I have asked them to do because the process can only be as good as they help us to make it be. We have to ensure that persons are not allowed within the 100 yards line, not allowed to campaign within that 100 yards line.
John Briceño Arraigned in Orange Walk on Traffic Offences
The former Deputy Prime Minister, who is also the former leader of the People’s United Party, is the second Opposition parliamentarian to be charged in the last twenty-four hours. John [...]
Support for Marco Tulio Mendez Despite Legal Drama
The political, professional and familial demise of P.U.P. Orange Walk East area representative, Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez, continues to unravel. On Tuesday, the pediatrician, who was elected in 2012, was [...]
Josue Carballo Replaces Doc Mendez in Orange Walk East
Josue Carballo may not be a household name outside of Orange Walk, after all the incumbent town councilor is still considered a newcomer to national politics. But, he was recently [...]
…Outlines Strategy to Retain P.U.P. Stronghold
According to Carballo, the primary focus of his campaign is securing his reelection to the town hall. Once reelected on March fourth, his efforts will return to Orange Walk East [...]
Attorney Discusses Impact of Allegations on Mendez’s Professional Life
On Tuesday night, we shared with you an exclusive sit down with both Marco Tulio Mendez as well as with Andrew Bennett, attorney for Marco Tulio Mendez. Following Tuesday’s charge [...]
Former Anchor Security Employee Detained in Belmopan Murder
A former employee of Anchor Security tonight remains in custody pending investigation into the murder of sixty year old Feliciano Richard Noralez. Mister Mac, as he was affectionately known, was [...]
Friends of Belize Hosts Business Conference in the Jewel
Today, the organization known as Friends of Belize hosted a business luncheon under the auspices of the Belize Leadership Institute. That institute was formed to target leaders in the community [...]
U.S. Ambassador Speaks on Security of Tenure for Judges in Belize
In speaking on the rule of law, Ambassador Moreno also had reason to touch on the role of the judiciary. Currently judges in Belize are appointed by the Prime Minister, [...]
Is Marijuana Legalization a Good Thing?
The debate on the legalization of marijuana has been reborn in Belize, while in the U.S. several states, including Colorado, have already gone that route. Today we asked Moreno for [...]
7 Year Old Girl Allegedly Raped in Belmopan
Tonight, a disturbing report is coming out of the Belmopan area. In the police blotter today, it was reported that a seven-year-old minor accompanied by her mother visited the Belmopan [...]
World Cancer Day, Meet the Survivors
Around the globe activities were held today to bring attention to the issue of cancer. “Cancer Control-Not Beyond Us” is the theme that resonated throughout the activities that encourage its [...]
Toledo Man Charged for Public Drinking and Bribery
A resident of San Pedro Columbia, Toledo, is lucky to have escaped jail time for attempting to bribe a cop. Twenty-six year old Hilberto Kim was recently caught drinking in [...]
Emmanuel Willoughby Gets Additional Jail Time for Escape
After more than a week under police guard at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, tonight twenty-five year old Emmanuel Willoughby is back behind bars. Willoughby was serving a five-year jail [...]
ICA Calls for Entries for Belize International Film Fest
The dates are set for the 2015 Belize International Film Festival. The tenth edition of the popular festival will take place from July seventeenth through the nineteenth in Placencia. It [...]
Suzette Zayden on Training Up-and-coming Filmmakers
While the festival will be limited to three days, the film and media arts unit has been working around the clock with young film makers and animators as well as [...]
Elderly Man from Camalote Village & Gwen Liz Student are Missing
An elderly man has been reported missing in the Belmopan area. According to caretaker, forty-three year old Alexander Sheppard, on Monday afternoon he went to deliver lunch to eighty-three year [...]