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Today's Belize News: April 24, 2015 #503644
04/24/15 05:30 AM
04/24/15 05:30 AM
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Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
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The San Pedro Sun

Prepare for the National Agriculture & Trade Show 2015!
The ‘Agric’ Show is coming soon (May 1st – 3rd) and well, the excitement builds as Belizeans anticipate the overload of produce, livestock, FLOWERS (our favorite thing) and food/drink/music that will be available over the 3-day weekend. Click here to read about Dennis’ experience a couple years back. We’ll be swinging by to check out the wares this year for sure…and as such, are planning ahead. As someone from the Cayo District who appreciates the cool sea breeze during these hot months, I also realize that inland will be HOT!!!

Police detain local business man with $177,283.BZ
On Tuesday, April 7th San Pedro Police carried out a search in the home of 59-year-old American businessman, Scott Harnish. Harnish is the owner of the well-established island business, Palapa Bar. According to police, the search was a request on behalf of the Belize Customs Department. While the search did not lead to the discovery of any goods that would violate the Customs Laws and Regulations, police did find a large amount of cash. Officer in Charge of the Coastal Executive Unit, Assistant Superintendent Henry Jemmott, stated that at 12PM, police visited the home of Harnish in the Tres Cocos Area in North Ambergris Caye. Nothing illegal was found in the home, but police were alarmed at the discovery of $177,283.BZ stored away in a bucket. As such police detained Harnish and his wife, and took them to the San Pedro Police Station where they were questioned on the origin of the cash. The money amounted to $22,505 in Belizean currency and $77,389 in US currency. After preliminary investigation, police handed the cash over to the Financial Investigation Unit and Harnish and his wife were released on Wednesday, April 8th. Since the incident, police can confirm that there are no illegalities with the money and the money was said to be family savings. The San Pedro Sun contacted Harnish for a statement regarding the incident. Harnish indicated that his attorney is currently working on a statement that will be made available to The Sun at a later time.

Ambergris Today

Ninel Pacheco wins SFXCU first ever quiz contest on the island
Ninel Pacheco of San Pedro Roman Catholic School is the winner of the first ever Saint Francis Xavier Credit Union quiz contest held on Ambergris Caye. The competition took place on Thursday April 16th at the San Pedro Lions Den, where four students represented various schools on the island. Participants included Pacheco, along with Caroline Sersland of Isla Bonita Elementary School, Karina Moreya of Holy Cross Anglican School and Chelsey Valdez of New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist School. Prior to the contests, students were given a list of questions with answers to study. Questions were related to the credit union movement in Belize, the region and the world. It also included information about the Saint Francis Xavier Credit Union and other credit unions in Belize. All the students were given prizes and certificates of participation, meanwhile all schools were awarded with cash prizes. Pacheco will now move on to represent the island in the national competition that will be hosted by Belize Credit Union League next month. Congratulations Ninel Pacheco and good luck at the national competition!

Puerto Azul Luxury Resort in limbo
The proposed development of the Puerto Azul luxury resort on the Lighthouse Reef Atoll got a lot of media attention when its promoters hosted two Belize government ministers for a gala reception at the Cannes Film Festival on the French Rivera last May, but all is not well with the project, neither financially nor environmentally, says property owner John Mills. As Mills explained at a press conference at the Radisson Fort George Hotel last Thursday, April 16th, the developers have not yet purchased the property, in which he has US$3 Million investment, and as far as he knew, an Environmental Impact Assessment has not been prepared nor approved for the project. Mills said he had fallen in love with Lighthouse Reef since he came to Belize 10 years ago and he invested over US$3 Million in Northern Caye Resort to keep it operating when Scotiabank threatened foreclosure in 2006, purchasing the mortgage and keeping the resort open. He said the Puerto Azul developers had signed an agreement to purchase the Caye in March 2013, and he was to receive the first payment on March 2014, and a second payment was due on March 2015, but Mills said he still has not received any payment towards the purchase. So the Puerto Azul developers cannot claim to own the property, since they have not closed the sale.Puerto Azul-3

One Year down, a lifetime to go!
On April 23rd, 2014, I walked into my first CrossFit session with Coach Liliana Nuñez. I had no idea what I was doing, and the sight of the weights and barbells, the sounds of grunting and heavy breathing coming from sweaty members of CrossFit CFS added to my trepidation. It was 7AM, and I was the only one taking that class on that day. Liliana smiled and encouraged me to try a few warm up moves, then proceeded to oh-so-gently walk me through what I needed to do for the next 17 minutes. Yep, my first workout lasted 17 minutes; and I was gasping like a fish on land, feeling every single minute!! But I was also relieved that I did not give up, and thanks to Coach Lil’s neverending encouragement, I kept coming back every morning for the rest of the month. It was also Liliana’s gentle push that saw me pick up the barbell, then add weight to it, then squat with it on my back. By now, I’d moved to evening classes to suit my schedule better, and I eyed those who were lifting heavy with both admiration and jealousy. I wanted to do that too. And so Coach Rene Reyes Jr. suggested I try a few lifts. In no time, I’d found my real love: heavy lifting.

Shrimp Farming Industry Grows as Belize Shrimp Growers Achieve ASC Certification
Five shrimp farms under the Belize Shrimp Grower’s Association have been awarded Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification as responsible and well-managed farms. Alvin Henderson, a member of the Belize Shrimp Growers Association, describes Belize as a country of rich biodiversity with a stretch of mangrove belt along the coast that acts as a natural filtration system. “The journey towards ASC certification has helped to highlight areas of our operations where we can make meaningful change with minimal financial resources. Sometimes all that is really required is a change of perspective,” Henderson said.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

"Village Life in San Pedro" Photo Exhibition
Join us for the opening of the photo exhibition featuring photos of Kay Scott when San Pedro was a small fishing village. Thursday, April 30at 7:00pm. San Pedro House of Culture, Angel Coral Street, San Pedro, Belize

Neon Party Comes to Benque
Benque will have their first Neon Paint party this Saturday! It'll be at the Picadilly Lounge. The No Fear DJ's will be mixing it up once again. "Two days to go!! No Fear Promotions - Rehab Tour Kick Off!! Tickets available now at Picadilly Lounge and Bar, you can inbox us, or call/text 634-3830/ 803-3066 .... Be prepared..... Early attendance suggested as always...... We will go until sun come up!! 5:00 A.M."

MPR Earth Day Cleanup
A huge thanks to everyone that helped with the Mountain Pine Ridge cleanup in honor of Earth Day. Looks like they collected tons of trash. Go Green...and don't freaking litter! "Happy Earth Day Everyone!! Mariposa Jungle Lodge proudly joins our industry partners in the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve as 3 of our team members of the Go Green team embarked on a rigorous clean up campaign this morning. Our designated portion is from the Seven Miles Junction to the Junction of Hidden Valley Inn. Together we can raise more awareness and make a daily difference."

Cayo Celebrates Earth Day
The Belize Forestry Department celebrated Earth Day with the signing of an MoU, the planting of a mahogany tree, and the inaugurating of their nursery. "San Ignacio Celebrating Earth Day 2015. It's our turn to lead indeed. Signing of MOUs with Rehab facilities! Joining the 1 billion acts of green by planting our very own Mahogany tree in our compound and also inaugurating our Nursery.." Guanacaste National Park had a similar celebration, and were joined by the Belize Audubon Society, which got some great pictures too.

Cleanup near Xunantunich
Last weekend as part of the Belize Youth Leadership Initiative, the U.S. Embassy joined forces with the FCD Environmental Youth Group, State Alumni Exchange Program Leaders, and other volunteers from the area to clean up the river bank near Xuinantunich Archeological Ruins. The clean up effort was the first step to clear the land for the eventual installation of a greenhouse in the area by the FCD Youth Group to help benefit and educate the local community.

OCEANA and Earth Day
As part of Earth Day activities held across Belize, today Oceana participated in the University of Belize's annual Earth Day fair. The event was held under the theme "10 Shades of Green--Implanting Awareness". It's our turn to lead!

Operators ink MoU to create first IXP in Belize
Telecoms operators in Belize have signed a Memorandum of Understunding (MoU) to create the country's first local internet exchange point (IXP), Trinidad Guardian reports. Participating companies include Alliance IP, Belize Telemedia, BroadBand Belize, Centaur Communications Corporation, Network Solutions, NetKing Solutions and Speednet. IXPs in the Caribbean are located in Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, British Virgin Islands, Curacao, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, St Maarten, St Lucia and the Dominican Republic.

Last day permit
Daniel, my guide for the week at Turneffe Flats in Belize didn’t say it, but it was written all over his face. By all rights, he should have been disgusted. Getting two chances at the same permit or group of permit can be rare. Getting a dozen or possibly even more is unheard of. Permit shots don’t come often, and I was giving them away like they were kittens. Had Daniel been angry, it would have been understandable. Well earned, even. And like an adolescent boy being rebuked by his parents, I would have taken it in stride, recycled it with a mixture of my own frustration and returned the sentiment. But this was worse. After a week of hard work during which Daniel delivered on everything I had asked for, when it came time for me to deliver on the permit we’d been in search of for five days, I was letting him down. Repeatedly. It is likely fair to say that permit, much like steelhead, are earned rather than simply caught. Both involve long, searching days on the water, hoping for an encounter but -- more often than not -- failing to spark one. When a shot at a permit does come, you don’t waste it. Not ever. Guides know this better than most anyone else and this knowledge generally comes through in their behavior. There’s more than a heightened sense of urgency when permit are about. When that black sickle tail comes into view, everyone gets down to business. Casual conversation and cavalier attitudes are pushed aside.

BOLEDO DRAWING for Thursday, April 23, 2015: 35. FANTASY 5: 37 19 39 3 7 A

FCD Environmental Youth Group
FCD was represented by the FCD Environmental Youth Group at the University of Belize campus yesterday where exhibits and information were shared on the occasion of Earthday. Thanks to all those who expressed interest on our work.

Channel 7

Body Found Floating Near Usher Estate
Ladyville police found a body this evening floating in the sea near mile five on the Phillip Goldson highway - which is near to the Usher Estate. The neighbors called police around 4:15 pm saying that a body was visible form their pier. Police fished the body out of the water - and removed it from the area around 5:30. They took it to a remote location for a post mortem. It was in an advanced state of decomposition - and at this time, police can only say that it is an unidentified male. They could not give any physical characteristics such as approximate age or ethnicity. No identification documents were found and police say they have no active missing person's reports. We'll have more on this tomorrow.

Customs Makes Very Major Bust
There was a huge contraband bust this evening in northern Belize - and the Customs Department had to mobilize a huge operation just to get the stuff out of there. The bust was made in the Rio Hondo River - 12 miles behind August Pine Ridge - where a team of four customs officers saw five dories coming across a canal connected to the Rio Hondo laden with a huge, almost unbelievable load. We're talking about fifty sacks of onions, 40 cases of beers and various other goods. The dories also had engines, and two of the dorey operators threw their cargo overboard, while three others jumped out of their dories and swam away - leaving customs to collect the dories and the huge amount of contraband. How much was it? Well, what started as a four-man operation with only customs turned into a 40 man operation with police and BDF added in. They had to call for backup because the contraband crew had set up improvised roadblocks to take back the goods from the customs officers when they were on their way out! When they did roll out, the goods had to be spread across eight vehicles, including 2 BDF four ton trucks, which were full, a police F-150 truck and four Customs vehicles. They also had to load the very large dories into the trucks. No one was arrested and twenty minutes ago, the goods reached the customs house in Orange Walk. An initial assessment says that the loss to the smugglers - including the engine powered dories is as much as fifty thousand dollars.

Career Criminal Frank Castro, Victim of A Cold Killing In PG
In the mid to late 1990's, the name Frank Castro was notorious; at the time police said he was a criminal terrorizing the countryside with the brothers, Julian Bush, and Greg Casildo. Since then he served 20 years in jail, and had returned to live in Indianville Punta Gorda. But tonight, the news is that the 38 year old was killed in Punta Gorda Town. In an act which resembles the Belize city-style gang violence, he was gunned down at around 7:30 last night as he left a Chinese shop on Corozal Street. The Officer Commanding Punta Gorda Police explained via telephone what information they have so far: Supt. Simeon Alvarez, OC - Punta Gorda Town "Sometime around 7:40pm last night, the police received an information of gunshot being fired in the Corozal Street area, in the Indianville part of Punta Gorda Town. As a result of that they responded to the area and the information was that the person was already been taken to the Punta Gorda Hospital. The police then visited the hospital where they saw the lifeless body of Frank Castro, 38 years old, a resident of Punta Gorda Town with several gunshots wounds to the upper of the body on the left side of the body.

City Fire Burns Family Out
A house on Patridge Street Extension, which was being rented by to Edith Valentine and her family, was completely gutted by an unexpected blaze this afternoon. So, tonight, the family is homeless and relying on the kindness of friends and family.??It happened just after 1:30 this afternoon when the bedroom of the house caught fire and quickly spread. The Fire Department was called in, but by the time they arrived, there was not much they could do to save it. 7 News was there shortly after the fire fighters managed to get the situation under control, and Daniel Ortiz reports: Daniel Ortiz reporting At a glance, this elevated house on stilts looked to be structurally stable, but closer observation revealed scorch marks all around, especially near the ceiling. No one knows how the house caught fire, but minutes later, the entire structure was engulfed in flames. Residents living nearby caught this view of their neighbor's home and all her possessions going up in smoke. Edith Valentine's mom was emotional for her daughter, knowing very well the value of what they lost, and the difficulties which now lie ahead. Valentine herself managed to put on a brave face.

British Couple Bought Beachfront, Ended Up Facing Someone's Back Yard
Seafront property - whether on an island or the mainland, it's the most precious and valuable land anywhere in the world - and Belize is no different. But, there's only so much of it - and as Will Rogers said, "God isn't making any more." So the pressure to get the very few parcels that are out there is intense - and now that urgency to own sea frontage has pushed land dealers to a new level: they got government sanctioned on the beach reserve and in the seabed - right in front of folks who thought they had sea front property. It happened on Northern Caye Caulker to as many as 25 landowners - and we met three of them today at the Glenn Godfrey law firm. They explained how their retirement dream went to ruin:.. Sydney Higgins, UK Retiree Robbed of Beachfront "How could it happen?" Jules Vasquez reporting That's what Sydney and Anna Higgins keep asking themselves as they look wistfully the picture of the beachfront view had planned to spend their retirement gazing upon - but that picture is all they have now because the beachfront is now someone else's private property and so is the seabed!

PUP Leader Hon. Fonseca Says Rt. Hon. Musa Not Going Anywhere
Earlier this week we told you about the discussion in the PUP over whether Said Musa should retire earlier than planned - since his baggage may be affecting the PUP's electability. Musa himself told us that the matter has been raised, but he said he was not treating it with urgency. We know that others in the party do see it as urgent. But don't count Party Leader Francis Fonseca as one of them. Today in San Joaquin, he told CTV-3 that there is no plan to ditch the party's elder statesman:... Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition "In the case of Mr. Musa, no such decision has been taken by Mr. Musa or by anybody else in the party at this point." Reporter "So, so far that could be just as a rumor?" Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition "Yea, at this point it's just speculation. Mr. Musa, as you know has made it clear that he's getting up in age. He has been thinking about that, whether or not he should run in the next elections, that's no secret he has said that. So I think he has yet to make a final decisions to what he wants, but at the end of the day we will respect whatever decision he makes."

Nasley Sommerville's Attorney Says She Didn't Steal Anything
Last night we told you that former Administrator of the Southern regional hospital Nasley Sommerville had been dismissed by the public service commission. This is more than two years after she was accused of fleecing 367 thousand dollars from the Hospital's maternal health and child care account. But, today her attorney told the media that she will appeal her dismissal:.. Jules Vasquez "The Auditor General wrote a report implicating how directly in the theft of $367,000 - 193 bogus cheques. Does she deny this?" Andrew Bennett, Attorney - Nasley Sommerville "She did deny it and she maintains her innocence still. That is the reason why we are appealing the decision. And as it relates to the Auditor General's report, they never did say as a matter of fact that she did anything. This Auditor General's report established that there was some fraud committed on the public funds. But as it relates to implicating Nasley, that was our position throughout this hearing, that there need to have been more. We will be challenging the reasons to say that they are unreasonable not supported by any of the evidence. And as a matter of fact that the commission misdirected themselves, because they did not place any weight on some of the documents that Nasley submitted."

Fines For Out of Season Lobster Fishers
Two weeks ago, we told you how the Fisheries Department caught 45 year-old Kirk Barrow and 18 year-old Jim Ramirez, two fishermen well known to the department for breaking the fisheries laws. They were intercepted on April 10 off Caye Chapel with a small portion of out-of-season lobster. They threw the majority of their catch overboard. Well tonight, they are facing fines after being taken to Magistrate's Court. They were arraigned today before Magistrate Herbert Panton for fisheries offences, and they decided to plead guilty to all counts. The authorities charged them with engaging in commercial fishing without a valid licenses, using a vessel for commercial fishing without a valid boat license, and possession of 3 out-of-season lobsters. They were fined a total of $700 dollars for all the charges, and if they default of payment, they will serve 6 months in jail.

Caught With Two Keys
Tonight, 2 auto mechanics, 20 year-old Emmeth Rhaburn and 31 year-old Alfredo Singh, continue to face a drug trafficking charges after the GSU busted them with almost 2 kilos of marijuana. It happened yesterday when the GSU went to Brian's Mechanic Shop. The officers searched the entire compound and ended up finding 1.7 kilograms the weed in black plastic bag that was under a step. Both men were then arrested and charged with drug trafficking. Singh was then searched, and he was additionally busted with 17 grams - or half an ounce of - marijuana in his pocket, and so he was charged with drug possession. They were arraigned yesterday before Magistrate Ladonna John, where they both pleaded not guilty to that offence. They were granted bail of $4,000, and their case was adjourned until June 4. For the drug possession charge, Singh pleaded guilty and was fined $500 to be paid by June 30, or else he will spend 6 months in jail.

Accused of Arson, Troublesome 13 Year Old Girl Runs Away From Home
A month ago, we told you how 18 year-old Erlene Baizar was charged along with 2 female minors, a 12 year-old and a 13 year-old, with the offence of arson for the fire which destroyed the Youth Hostel's female dormitory. Well, the 13 year-old has violated the terms of her bail, and tonight she is back in custody. Yesterday, the child's mother and other relatives were summoned to court because they were the ones who signed for her bail. The sitting magistrate informed the family that one of the conditions of the child's bail was that she was to remain in the care of her family, but she broke it when she ran away from home and went missing for 12 days. Because of this, the bail was confiscated, and the child was remanded into custody until further notice. Information to court reporters is that the child was found staying at a man's house. The authorities may investigate him to see if any criminal charges can be brought against him.

How Much Customs Caught In 3 "Cayucos"
At the top of the news, we told you about the major customs bust in Northern Belize. It took two BDF four ton trucks, a police F-150 truck and four Customs vehicles to get all the contraband goods out of a river crossing 12 miles behind August Pine Ridge. Those trucks pulled into the customs house in Orange Walk about an hour ago, and right now we have the full rundown. They got 52 sacks of onion, 25 cases soft drink , 20 sacks of lime ,15 cases pears, 15 crates of mango, 30 cases raisin, 15 cases lettuce, 5sacks cabbage, 5 cases tomatoes, 25 cases of beer, 3 sacks of carrots, 15 sacks of flour, and 2 sacks of potatoes. Incredibly all this was loaded unto to just three dories! The other two dories were also loaded - but they their their goods into the river. So, customs also got three heavy duty dories, and a 25 horsepower engine.

Post Mortem on Body Inconclusive
Police have concluded the post mortem on a body that was found floating in the sea near mile five on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Due to the advanced state of decomposition, the post mortem was inconclusive so no cause of death was determined. But, police observed no sign of violence on the body so foul play is not suspected. Still, it is an unidentified person and due to the state of decomposition, police could only say that it is a male, but they could not determine ethnicity. The body was seen floating near the Usher estate around 4:15 and it was removed at 5:40.

Cops Not Playing With Constable Casimiro
On Wednesday, we told you about police constable 1093 Cyril Casimiro - accused of the rape of a 10 year old girl. Well, the 35 year old who has been in the department for over 10 years was charged for rape and wounding and remanded to prison. The head of the Corozal formation told our colleagues at CTV-3 that they dealt with the matter swiftly: Supt. Andrew Ramirez, O/C Corozal "He was remanded into custody. He was also interdicted from duty. The Commissioner of Police was very swift in relation to that aspect. Again, the Professional Standard Branch, Mr. Leal, Assistant Commissioner and his team had visited the family to ensure they are given the necessary assurances. Because this is not one that we want to put under the rug or shield anybody."

OCEANA Wants Draft Petroleum Exploration Guidelines To Stay In Spotlight
The Draft Petroleum Exploration and Exploration Guidelines are on the discussion table again and Vice President of Oceana says that it should remain in the forefront. This morning Oceana along with other stakeholders held a press conference at the Biltmore to make their position on the draft guidelines publicly clear and also to engage the public. Vice President, Janelle Chanona told us today that these draft guidelines are simply insulting. Janelle Chanona, VP - OCEANA Belize "We walked publicly and then we were called sensationalists for doing so. But clearly we want to emphasize that our reaction was not an emotional one. We make our decision to say there remains a lot of work to be done on these guidelines from a scientific basis, from a legal basis, from an economic basis, from a cultural basis, historical basis. There are so many reasons why we have built such a case against offshore oil and why we continue to say no. There is no apparent effort to balance the risk from potential offshore oil activities to the sea and economy with the benefits that might accrue in the future. In short, the proposed guidelines do not comport with the law or with government's more fundamental obligation to manage our marine resources for the best interest of the Belizean people.

Tablets, PUP Style
The Minister of Education had a big fanfare when he gave out tablets to University students a month ago. Well this afternoon, at the Hattieville Government School the PUP had their own tablet giaveway. It was an event of vastly different scale, but the idea is sound: technology is supposed to enhance the educational experience. The way that will be accomplished is by allowing the teachers access to a library of books on one portable device, instead of lugging around weighty texts books. After the handing over ceremony, we spoke to the PUP representative about the origin of this donation, and we also asked the teachers about how the tablets will be put to use: Hon. Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, Area Rep., Belize Rural Central "Hattieville Government School is near and dear to my heart. And a kind donor who preferred to remain anonymous, donated 14 very good top quality tablets and I said to myself well how can we maximize this for Hattieville Government School. So naturally you're aware of the People's United Party position in relation for the use of technology for education.

On 21.04.15 at 3:00 p.m. Caye Caulker Police responded to a drowning incident and visited the Caye Caulker Health Centre where they saw 65-year-old retired American John Carle lying unconscious. Initial investigation revealed that at 2:50 p.m. 45-year-old Jonathan Carle saw his father struggling in the sea and went to his aid and pulled him out. He was rushed to the Caye Caulker Health Centre where he passed away while undergoing treatment and was pronounced dead at 3:35 p.m. The body was later transported to the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital Morgue where it awaits a postmortem examination.

Channel 5

Career Criminal Gunned Down in PG
Frank Castro…it’s the name that sparked terror in the nineteen nineties and early two thousand. The notorious street figure was a known ring leader in serious felonies, including the murder [...]

Decomposed Body Found Near Haulover Bridge
News Five has been able to confirm reports that a badly decomposed body was discovered at around four this afternoon between miles five and six on the Phillip Goldson Highway, [...]

Retired English Couple Allegedly Scammed in Land Hustle
A dubious land transaction involving the sale of a beachfront parcel on Caye Caulker has left a retired English couple short of tens of thousands of dollars.  Sydney and Anna [...]

…Says Lands Department Giving Them the Runaround
The Higgins have sought legal advice and despite the efforts of their attorneys, have been given the runaround by the Lands Department.  The uncertainty of how the matter will be [...]

Fire Destroys Belize City Home
A fiery blaze on Partridge Street Extension at around one-thirty this afternoon completely destroyed an upstairs wooden home belonging to Edith Valentine. Nobody was there at the time, and Valentine, [...]

Nasley Somerville Plans to Appeal Dismissal
Former administrator of the Southern Regional Hospital, Nasley Somerville, has been dismissed from the public service after a year of administrative leave.  Somerville was suspended from her post in October [...]

Educators’ Appeal Dismissed by the CCJ
On Wednesday, while all attention was on the outcome of the Maya Land Rights case, the Caribbean Court of Justice also handed down a decision in the case of Juanita [...]

Business Sector Senator Says G.O.B. Lied
Government operatives charged with selling the Petrocaribe Bill 2015 have sought to convince the media that the outcry is much ado about nothing. But tonight the Petrocaribe fire continues to [...]

Mark Lizarraga Demands Details of Petrocaribe Spending
Just in the event that you’re one of the very few who hasn’t been following the Petrocaribe hue and cry, the relevance is this. The government has stated time and [...]

Climate Change Environmental Club Launched
Five Belmopan High schools were the first in the Caribbean to initiate a network of school based environmental clubs with a strong climate change focus. The launch of the network [...]

Independence Residents Claim NCL Project Bypassing their Community
The multi-million dollar Norwegian Cruise Lines tourism port on Harvest Caye is expected to be completed by the end of the year and opened in early 2016. It’s a huge [...]

Environmental Concerns Raised Over Harvest Caye Project
Apart from the social concerns the NCL project raised, there are also some environmental concerns. One, raised just a week ago, is that developers have dumped rocks on top of [...]

Coalition and OCEANA Condemn Offshore Exploration
It is common knowledge that the Belize Barrier Reef is the second longest barrier reef in the world; three of the Caribbean’s four atolls are found in Belizean waters and [...]

OCEANA Says Government Plans Threaten the Industry
But the natural resource has massive economic benefits, which are at risk of being threatened: tourism, the fisheries industry and shoreline. The documents released on January nineteenth, 2015 by the [...]

Environmentalists Claim Communications Deficit
Recently, the Department of Environment, in partnership with three international organizations, hosted an Oil Spill Contingency Workshop that addressed issues such as oil pollution, preparedness, and response and cooperation sensitization [...]

P.U.P. Hands Over Tablets to Hattieville School
Fourteen new tablets were handed over to the Hattieville Government School by the People’s United Party today. But while the gesture was welcomed, it is the information on that portable [...]

Hot Weather Tips for the Elderly in Healthy Living
We don’t know how you’d miss it; but just in case you haven’t noticed, we are currently in the middle of Belize’s dry season. The seasonably hot and humid days [...]


Opposition Leader Speaks On Possible Resignation Of Honorable Said Musa
There has been some talk about the possible resignation of former Prime Minister and P.U.P Fort George Area Representative Said Musa from politics. Earlier this week a national news channel reported that the seventy-one year old politician affirmed that while it is something that has been discussed, he had yet to make up his mind. Today we spoke with People’s United Party Leader Francis Fonseca who says that nothing has been decided but that if it should happen, the PUP is confident that the Fort George seat is safe. “We have said very publicly that we are reviewing the entire structure of the party, we made certain changes already to the campaign committee and we are looking at everything how can we make the party more effective, but in the case of Mr. Musa no such decision has been taken by Mr. Musa or by anybody else in the party at this point.” Dalila Ical – Reporter “So far, it could be viewed just as rumor?”

Victim Of Murder In San Victor Still To Be Identified
Another case that Corozal Police have made progress in is the murder case of a Mexican national who was killed in San Victor Village on March first. Authorities believe they are much closer to ascertaining his identity following collaborative work with their Mexican counterparts. “This individual who was known within the village as Sergio Martinez regrettable was buried as a John Doe, fortunately we are getting some head way so to speak and the Mexican Embassy has been in contact with me where they have identified the individual as being Sergio Antonio Martinez Gomez born on June the 7th 1988 of Ejido Arematea Palenque in the state of Chiapas, Mexico, unfortunately the Embassy nor he family has any picture ID of this individual, during our primary investigation the scenes of crime Mr. Romeo Riverol had gotten three items that can be used as future DNA testing so based on that and with the permission given by my police headquarters I have been communicating with the Mexican Embassy in regards of having one of his relative submit themselves to a DNA where if it is match and confirm that it is indeed that person because the wish of the family is basically to have the body cremated and sent back to their home state where the person can be given a proper burial.”

BAPS Holds Annual Convention
The Annual Belize Association of Principal of Secondary Schools conference began today. The conference is being hosted this year in the Corozal District. Day one of the conference was held at the Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico School grounds under the theme “The Principal and the Digital generation”. Endevora Jorgensen, Principal at the Corozal Community College told us more about the first day of the conference. Endevora Jorgensen – CCC School Principal “We have two main guest speakers; the first one is Mr. Dwight Gillette from the ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities and then we would also have Mr. David Leacock who is the CEO from the ministry of education and his presentation will be in education and technology, the way forward because the technology is here to stay and we as educators we need to be aware of what it can do, it potential and its use and abuse and how we move with technology.”

Children With Special Needs Learn To Play BOCCE Sport
Today, Special needs students from St. Peters School here in Orange Walk and Mary Hill Primary School in the Corozal District were engaged in a north battle for BOCCE supremacy, an Italian game similar to lawn bowling but played on a shorter, narrower green. Organizers say they are hosting a series of competitions geared at social integration of the children with mental and physical disabilities as well as to bring public attention to the talents and capabilities of the children with special needs. National Director for Special Olympics in Belize, Eloyda Bautista, says the competitions will be taking from North to South of Belize. ELOYDA BAUTISTA – National Director, Special Olympics “We call it bocce and why we have this sport day is because we can involve all other athletes that have severe disability or that are on wheel chairs so then we having a series of competitions from north to south, today is Orange Walk and Corozal and tomorrow id Dangriga and PG and then the following week will be Belmopan and Belize City.”

Festival Of Arts Takes Place in Corozal
Students in the Corozal District are showcasing their artistic side in the annual Festival of Arts. The festival begun yesterday as students of secondary school presented their work. Today, primary schools took to the stage at the Corozal Civic Center. Some twelve schools presented a series of art pieces. Maria Correa is the Coordinator for the Festival of Arts this year. Maria Correa – Coordinator, Festival of Arts “The presentations consist of drama in the drama category, music and dance and this morning we had a very good dance items.” Dalila Ical – Reporter “Definitely, some of these presentations will make it to the Golden evening which will be held tomorrow?” Maria Correa – Coordinator, Festival of Arts “We will be having the Festival of Arts Golden evening tomorrow at 2 o’clock here at the civic center; I will be showcasing all the Golden schools that won starting from the Primary and the secondary; however we will be having some good items from the Pre-schools and the Special-eds groups tomorrow.”

Belize Bank To Close Its Doors At CFZ
There is much concern over the reported imminent end to the relationship with the Country’s largest bank, the Belize Bank Ltd and its partner Bank of America. Our colleagues at 7News reported that as of April 30th, the bank will no longer be able to do international banking transactions such as wire transfers to or from the United States. It may seem like some serious implications may occur but according to the report, more than 90 percent of the banks clients will not be affected. Additionally, it is not known if the relationship with Bank of America affected the closure of the Belize Bank Branch in the Corozal Free Zone. We have been reliably informed that at the moment the branch in the Free Zone is the only one closing and returning people’s money. The banks closure will be made official on May 1st of this year. We are told that the staff will be relocated to other branches with staffing needs such as San Pedro and Belmopan. The Free Zone Belize Bank Branch had a total staff of 6. Our attempts to get comment from CEO at the Banks Cooperate Headquarters and comment from the CEO of the Freezone David Ackerman were unsuccessful. We’ll keep pursuing this story in tomorrow’s newscast.

Price Per 100 lbs Cylinder Of LPG Reduces By $2.00
Effective tomorrow, the prices for butane will see a decrease of two dollars, announced the Bureau of Standards today. In the north, the new controlled prices per 100 pound cylinder for LPG imported by Belize Gas Limited and Western Gas Company from Pemex are as follows: in Corozal the price will go down from 92 to 90 dollars and in Orange Walk Town from 93 to 91 dollars. The controlled price per 100 pound cylinder for LPG imported by Belize Western Energy Limited, Southern Choice Butane, Zeta Gas and Tomza Ltd from Central Central is as follows: in Corozal the price per 100 pound cylinder will go from 90 to 88 dollars and in Orange Walk Town from 91 to 89 dollars. The release ends stating that the current production boom in North America has led to a downward pressure on oil derivatives including LPG. Compared to last year, the butane prices are at an average of 32 dollars lower on the 100 pound cylinders.

Cassanova Soon To Be Charged For The Murder Of Massam
There has been some progress in criminal cases that remain open in the Corozal District. Superintendent Andrew Ramirez, Officer In Charge of the Corozal Police Department, says that investigators have been working diligently and there is some good news to report in at least two cases. One of those cases is the murder of twenty-nine year old Mark Massam, of Corozal. Massam was chopped to death on December tenth 2014. Police had reported that about nine fifteen they rushed to College Road where a chopping had been reported. There, officers found a man inflicting chop wounds onto another. The officers state that they tried to stop Carlos Casanova, who was wounding Massam. Casanova refused and officers fired warning shots but Casanova would not desist. Police were forced to shoot Casanova on both legs and knee and moved in to disarm him. By then it was too late for Massam had succumbed to his injuries. Casanova, a resident of Corozal Town remains hospitalized and under police guard, but Superintendent Ramirez says he should be released soon and upon his release he should face charges for the crime.

Lucas & Carrillo Attorney Speaks On Appeals Case
Yesterday we told you about the Caribbean Court of Justice’s decision to dismiss an appeal made back in 2010 by Juanita Lucas and Celia Carrillo two senior principals of the Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico in San Roman Corozal. As we reported, the Trinidad-based Court also dismissed arguments that principal Juanita Lucas and vice Principal Celia Carillo, be awarded damages. In dismissing the appeal, the CCJ, the country’s final court, emphasised and we quote “that the suspensions were not to punish the appellants but rather to allow a proper inquiry into the problems at the school”, end quote. The Court noted that the right to work was not a guarantee of continued employment and there was no inference with the appellants’ ability to continue practising their profession. The majority held that there was no breach of the protection of the law or the right to equal protection because the team of persons sent to the school was on a fact-finding inquiry. According to their Attorney Magali Marin Young, even though their suspension was squashed and the investigation was declared unlawful, her clients felt that they had sustained damage to their professional reputation and that the entire process was high handed and unfair. At the CCJ level, the appeal was dismissed at a 3 to 2 split decision. Young says the minority decision revealed that the judges ruled that the appellants’ right to the protection of the law was seriously violated which was stated in section 152 and 156 of the judgment documents. Here is Young’s interpretation of that excerpt…

Officer Accused Of Raping 14 Year Old Placed On Interdiction
Police Constable #1093 Cyril Casimiro appeared in the Orange Walk Magistrates Court on Wednesday to answer to charges for the alleged rape of a fourteen year old girl in Corozal Town. The thirty five year old officer was charged for rape and wounding and today Superintendent Andrew Ramirez, Officer Commanding the Corozal Police Formation told us that he has also been interdicted. Andrew Ramirez “He was remanded into custody, he was also interdicted from duty, and the Commissioner of Police was very swift in relation to that aspect and again the Professional Standard branch Mr. Leal Assistant Commissioner and his team had visited the family to ensure that they are given the necessary assurances because this is not one that we want to put under the rug or shield anybody as I mentioned to you that what this officer did or any officer her we try to do swift and then place them of discipline matter, discipline charges, the letter with his interdiction I will not wait July 1st until he reappears to get that letter we will be having a prison run very shortly and during that process I will ask one of my senior NCO Sergeant to give him his letter of interdiction.”

Re: Today's Belize News: April 24, 2015 [Re: Marty] #503645
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VIP attacks structure and objectives of Petrocaribe Act
This morning third party Vision Inspired by the People (VIP) hosted the press in Belize City to discuss a number of topics including and particularly the Petrocaribe Loans Act 2015...

Road Safety Project Plants Mahoganies; Makes it up for Felling Old Tree
Five weeks ago a 75 year old tree at Guanacaste Park Junction, leading into Belmopan, was cut down to make way for a  roundabout, a project under the Belize Road Safety Project. This was despite the impassionate pleas on social media to save the tree...

Internal battle in NTUCB continues
Second vice president of the NTUCB Audrey Matura Shepherd continues to face internal battles with colleagues in the Congress over her public call for the unions to drop Senator Ray Davis...

Historic second Maya Land Rights Case draws to close
This morning final arguments were heard in the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) for the case of the Maya Leaders Alliance and 23 village leaders and co-leaders of the Toledo District representing 38 Maya villages against the Government of Belize...

University of Belize Celebrated Earth Day
Today is internationally Recognized as World Earth Day. In commemoration with this special occasion the students of the University of Belize for the 9th year held an open day event to raise awareness to keep the earth clean. Today’s event was held under the theme 10 shades of green...

Inter Institutional Sporting Competition
For the third year in a row youth centers in Belize have participated in an annual competition the Inter institutional Sporting Competition where youths compete against one another in sports like high jump and shot pot. Four institutions participated in the series of events that started in November...

Men Shot in Belize City
Gun violence continues to run rampant on the streets of Belize City. The two latest victims: 26 year old Channing Garoy and 29 year old Raymond Bowen, both of a Belize City Address are today hospitalized following a shooting incident that occurred sometime around 8 pm on Monday night...

35 Years Old Police charged for Rape and Wounding
Cyril Casimiro, 35 years Belizean Police Officer attached to the Corozal Police Formation was arraigned today for the crime of rape and wounding of a 14 year old girl...

Auto mechanics charged for marijuana
Two auto mechanics,20 year old Emmeth Rhaburn and 31 year old Alfredo Singh, were charged with drug trafficking for 1.7 kilograms of cannabis when they appeared today before Magistrate Ladonna John. They pled not guilty to the charge and they were each offered a bail of $4,000...

Mexican/Belizean Businessman of Belmopan found with Drugs and Unlicensed Ammunition
On Tuesday April 21sth at about about 3:00pm Corozal Police were conducting mobile patrol in Corozal Town on 7th Avenue when their attention was drawn to a red four door car with Mexican license plate...

The Guardian

Audrey’s “behaviour is out of order” Says NTUCB Past President - Jackie Willoughby Says “Put a leash on her mouth”
“Mrs. Audrey Matura Sheppard I demand an apology for the innuendos you have publicly made against Senator Davis. Your behaviour is out of order…” - Dylan Reneau, Past President of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize. Audrey Matura-Shepherd has quickly become one of the most divisive and destructive personalities in the public domain. Her haphazard activism and bombastic sermons on the evils of every Government initiative have caused her favourability ratings to plummet and her associations to crumble. As President of the Christian Workers Union she has derailed the CBA negotiations with Port of Belize Limited. Waterfront workers are now divided between the anti-Matura faction and the President Matura loyalists. Union members of the Social Security Board are also at odds after Matura-Shepherd halted their transitional increment and delayed a much anticipated salary increase. Matura-Shepherd’s most impressive feat is the destruction of the iconic Belize Sugarcane Farmers Association in the matter of weeks. Her unyielding, uncompromising – in your face- style of negotiating has not benefitted any institution she is involved with and because of her the NTUCB may be the next iconic body to collapse.

Hon. Mark King urges Cordel Hyde to give back community land to the people of Lake I
In reference to the earlier situation in the Lake Independence Area this week, The UDP Lake I committee highly rejects, objects and condemns the PUP former Area Representative Cordel Hyde for privatizing land in the middle of a community oriented area in Lake Independence. This action seeks to destroy the opportunity for Single Parents to be educated at the resource training center, and halts Lake I students from accessing the center for free internet and computer services. It also seeks to damage investment in the community for parks, playgrounds and family/community gatherings as it lays in the middle of the Lake I recreational grounds. The UDP Lake I committee strongly urge the former PUP Area Rep Hyde to give back the land to its legitimate community. UDP Area Representative Mark King remains committed to take Lake I residents out of poverty by educating them and creating the economic investment opportunities and recreational facilities necessary to achieve such objective.

Abuse of any kind against Children is not permitted!
Belize became the fifth country to ratify the UN convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). This CRC document has since become the most widely ratified convention and human rights instrument in the world. It is testament to our country’s recognition of the importance of caring for our children and nurturing them to be responsible and productive citizens. A commitment that obligated our Government to enact laws and policies that creates the enabling environment for children to flourish and reach their full potential. One of the obligations to our children is to protect them from all forms of exploitation, abuse and neglect. Article 19 of the CRC states that, “Children should be protected from being hurt and mistreated in body or mind”. Keeping this in mind, the recent death of 11month old baby Mia is both startling and heartbreaking. According to the media, “Mia Eusebia Lopez died from severe cerebral edema resulting from multiple skull fractures, due to blunt force trauma to the head.” NCFC views these findings troubling and is deeply concerned about the welfare of the other two children in that household; especially since parents are the first line of defense; they are to ensure the safety and protection of their children as well as provide a safe dwelling place. Therefore, NCFC calls on all relevant authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into this incident and asks that the fullest extent of the law be applied in the case of a guilty verdict.

BAHA attempts to contain Influenza Virus in Poultry
Personnel from the Belize Agriculture Health Authority continued this week to take all measures to contain an outbreak of the Avian Influenza in poultry at chicken farms in Spanish Lookout. The poultry disease, which is caused by a virus, has recently been detected in Buena Vista Village in Cayo and in chicken farms in Spanish Lookout. So far, a third round of testing for the Influenza Virus was conducted just last week for which poultry had to be destroyed. In one of these measures to control the spread of the Influenza Virus, the de-population of some sixty thousand chickens from 15 infected farms has so far been conducted. Four more poultry farms are now on target for the continued de-population. In another all out effort towards the containment of the Influenza Virus, the movement of live chickens are being restricted; with some four checkpoints having so far been established in Spanish Lookout. BAHA officers have this week been actively checking all motorists exiting the Spanish Lookout Community for poultry. It is estimated that poultry producers have so far lost $3000,000.00 in the effort to control the spread of Avian Influenza and for which the destruction of their poultry was necessary.

The YES and NO to communal Land Rights
For the first time since the argument began over the Maya Land rights in the courts there is public opposition to it. Led by Joseph Estephan as chairman of the newly formed National Mopan Maya Council over two hundred residents of the Toledo district made their way to Belize City to publicly state that they were not in agreement with the communal land. Estephan told the Guardian that, "when the matter went to court nobody went into the field to verify what was happening on the ground." "People need to understand the two concepts- there needs to be education," he added. For Estephan who has been canvassing villages across the Toledo district, the issue of communal land rights is one of economics, he stated that, " The whole economy of PG is in decline because nobody can hold title to their land to use as collateral. But we will fight! I understand that there will be polling of villages and we will be there every step of the way!" Candido Chun is the Chairman of San Antonio village, he was out at the Battlefield park, in front of the Supreme Court along with Estephan and shares his views. "We don't want communal land they want land title. Once you have your land documents you can say the land is yours and you can use it as collateral to go to the bank to borrow money for your wife, your children, so you can send them to further their education. The communal land system does not give you that privilege," stated Chun.

Is Puerto Azul Belize for Real?
The billion dollar Puerto Azul project, or idea, is in the news once again. This time an American mortgagee is accusing the Puerto Azul developers of defaulting on a purchase agreement for Northern Two Caye. John Mills held a press conference on April 16, 2015 to voice his concerns over recent reports that the purchase of Northern Two Caye was finalized. Some time ago, Mills bailed out the current owners of the islands, Northern Two Cayes Company Limited and the Lighthouse Reef Resort Limited, by purchasing the mortgage on Lighthouse Reef Resort just before the bank foreclosed upon the property. Therefore, he has a lean on the property and must be paid before any sale can be finalized. Mills says, “Puerto Azul has not closed on the islands. They signed a contract to purchase Northern 2 Cayes in March 2013. The first payment was to be made in March 2014. They did not make that. The second payment was to be made in 2015 and they did not make that.” Puerto Azul says the delay in payment is due to legal procedures. The owners of the property, principals of Northern Two Cayes Company Limited and the Lighthouse Reef Resort Limited, were involved in a civil matter that has now been settled through arbitration. Domenico Giannini, President of Puerto Azul International, responded to John Mills' public comments in a joint release with John M. Black of Lighthouse Reef Resort Limited and Kathy Stuart of Northern Two Company Limited. The release states: “Puerto Azul International Holding Corp. signed a purchase agreement with Northern Two Cayes Company Ltd. and Lighthouse Reef Resort Ltd, who are the legitimate owners of the Northern Two Cayes at Lighthouse Atoll. All encumbrances on the property are scheduled to be paid from closing proceeds by escrow agent Barrow & Williams. Mr. Mills is aware of this as it was settled through legal arbitration.”

PUP asking Musa to step aside as a PR Stunt
The People's United Party is hoping that they can portray an image of a reformed PUP by simply asking Said Musa to not contest the next general elections. They somehow feel like the Belizean people will forget that it was not only Musa who is the cancer within the PUP. Belizeans remember that Francis Fonseca, the current leader of the PUP was like a lose thread attached on to Musa's shirt when all manner of shenanigans were taking place in government during their 1998 to 2008 tenure. Fonseca was in fact a signatory of most of the major misdeeds of the PUP. He signed on to the BTL Accomodation agreement, he secretly signed on to the extension of contracts for the ships registry as well as the company's registry. He also signed on to a government guarantee for 33 million and when asked he could not say if it was U.S. or Belize dollars. He was there when many more sinister deals took place. But it is not only Francis, it is the entire PUP, some like Julius Espat were in the background feeding at the trough. So for the stunt pulled to remove Said from the frontline and expect it to be the cure-all for the PUP is a delusionary pill. Only those who concocted it will take it and it and suffer its effects. For the rest of Belizeans, we say, they must all go, they must all never seek political office in this country. Removing Said will mean nothing to anyone.

Dr. Carla Barnett Clarifies Petro Caribe borrowing and spending PUP and UDP ways
Dear Editor, In 2008, I wrote a letter to the editor of the Amandala in response to the question of whether the government could spend a US$10mn grant for housing from Venezuela even though it was not approved in the Budget. The letter was recently republished in the Amandala and some pundits have used it to suggest that I have been quiet during the current discussion of the PetroCaribe Loan Act because of my politics. I ended that letter by saying “At the end of the day, the law is the law. We are a nation of laws and where a law is felt to be bad, unreasonable or inconvenient; we are still required to obey that law even as we may seek to change it.” I still hold that view. What we were seeing in 2008 with the Venezuela Housing Grant, when that letter was written, is very different from what we are seeing today with the PetroCaribe Loans Act.

19 year old remanded for attempted murder
On Monday April 20, teenager, Justin Hyde, joined his brother, Troy Hyde in prison after being charged with two counts of attempted murder. Hyde was escorted alone on a prison bus to be arraigned before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith in Court #1 where he was read six counts, two counts of attempted murder, two counts of use of deadly means of harm and two counts of dangerous harm with a deadly weapon, to wit, a firearm upon Windy Lambey and Aaron Munnings, two persons who were shot during a shooting incident on Friday, April 17, 2015. In court, no plea was taken from Hyde and the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith asked him if he understood the charges since at this time, no plea can be taken from him. Hyde who was unrepresented then said he understood the charges as read to him. Since the crimes are alleged to have been perpetrated with the use of a firearm, no bail could be granted and he was remanded into custody at the Belize Central Prison until July 15, 2015. At that time the Chief Magistrate ordered for disclosure to be ready and handed over to Hyde.

Accused of sex with 13-year-old at Gulf Hotel
Belize City mechanic, Francis Avilez, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after he was accused of having sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old student. Avilez was escorted to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Friday, April 17, where he appeared unrepresented before the Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith to be read two sexual assault charges upon a minor, age 13 years and 8 months. Allegations are that in February 2015 and March 14, 2015 Avilez had sexual intercourse with the child. According to the report which was made last week by the girl in the presence of her mother, sometime in February of this year she went to a house behind Belize Water Services Limited where Avilez had sexual intercourse with her for the first time. Then on March 14, 2015, Avilez took her to Gulf Hotel, said the minor. The minor told police that she first met Avilez in October of 2014.

Celebrating Earth Day in Freetown
“It’s our turn to lead”, that’s the theme for this year’s Earth Day, and lead is exactly what Dr. Carla Barnett, UDP standard bearer for the Freetown Constituency, did. Dr. Barnett celebrated Earth Day with the students of All Saints Primary School, where she spoke to them about the importance of taking care of planet earth. Along with the children, Dr. Barnett, planted a Mahogany Tree on the school’s compound, where the children promised to water it and take very good care of it. She also distributed snacks, made especially to celebrate Earth Day, to all the students.

Walk For A Green Belize 2015
Last year the Department of the Environment, in conjunction with the Belize Solid Waste Management Authority and the Belize Audubon Society, carried out a Walk For A Green Belize activity. Walk For A Green Belize is a clean-up activity conducted by numerous organizations, students, activists, both government and non-government agencies, and the general public. The activity resulted in the collection of 1,800 (30 to 50 gallon-sized) bags of garbage yielding a weight of 6,226 pounds! As we gear up for the celebration of Earth Day 2015, the Department of the Environment is once again collaborating on the “Walk For A Green Belize” cleanup. This event is aimed at building awareness and sustaining a culture of an environmentally friendly and conscious Belize! This year, the “Walk For A Green Belize” will be held on Saturday, April 25th 2015 along the entire George Price Highway encompassing a total of 77 miles of roadway. It will begin at 7:00 am and expected to conclude at 12:00 pm. In order to ensure the safety of the volunteers cleaning up both sides of the highway from Benque Viejo del Carmen to Belize City and up through Ladyville area, the Police Department and Department of Transport will be setting up courtesy checkpoints at strategic points along the George Price Highway to inform drivers to drive with extreme care.

Belize City’s newest landmark attracts all
In the Button wood bay area of Belize City there is a monument depicting the word BELIZE. If you pass by the area you can’t help but notice it and even get an urge to take a picture of it. Brightly painted in pastel colors and juxtaposed against the beautiful green of the Caribbean sea, the BELIZE sign has become perhaps one of the most photographed landmarks in the city. Everyone from children to tourists to visiting artists and politicians take pictures on, around and anywhere near the sign. Really the sign is a hit for visitors and city residents alike. But how did the sign come about? Well it is the brainchild of attorney-at-law Estevan Perera. He told the Guardian that a couple of years ago he acquired the land across from the seaside, at the time the area was just bushes and mangrove and was an area where much undesirable activities took place. He says that he contacted Mayor Darrell Bradley and asked permission to clear, fix and develop the area which was originally designated as a park area. He got the go ahead and the work started to improve the area. Through personal finances and with the assistance of other neighbors the area was cut down and reclaimed and existing park infrastructure like the gazebo was painted. After the area began to take shape, Perera said he thought of putting up the sign and again through personal finances it was constructed and by September of 2014 it was installed and completed.

US Marines bring comfort to children in Bullet Tree Falls
Primary School Children from Bullet Tree Falls in the Cayo District were on Wednesday of last week, the recipients of numerous gifts from members of the U.S Naval Hospital Ship USNS COMFORT. As part of the effort, teams from the Belize Defense Force, Belize Police Force, the United States Marine Corp and the United States Armed Forces South and Southern Command descended on Bullet Tree Falls to cheer children from both the Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic and Seventh Day Adventist Primary School. In a small ceremony last Wednesday, children from the Immaculate Conception did the traditional ‘Hog Head Dance’ in appreciation to the visit by the U.S marines and companions. Major Charles Lollar from the United States Marines told those in attendance that the U.S Forces are very adamant in protecting the children of Belize. Charles Lollar, who has been in Belize since January, said that when Belize prospers, children will also prosper. He said that he was appreciative of the friendliness of many Belizeans and the way religious faith is upheld.

Charges to be upgraded against Marco Tulio Mendez
On Monday April 13, Area Representative for Orange Walk East appeared in Magistrate's Court in Orange Walk where his case of Aggravated Assault of an indecent nature against two teenage girls was adjourned until August 11, 2015 While Mendez has already been charged, the case file was reviewed by the Director of Public Prosecutions who has publicly stated that the charges that Mendez is facing should be upgraded. According to the DPP, she reviewed the file and found that there is evidence by one of the girls which suggests that Mendez may have tried to have sexual intercourse with her. That should now see Mendez's charge upgraded to attempting to commit Carnal knowledge making it a more serious offence which will see the matter heard before the Supreme Court. Even with the DPP's directive apparently investigators in the case will await his next court appearance on August 11 to upgrade the charge.

Five Years for Czech 9 mm Pistol
Glenford Baine Jr., 25, is serving time at the Belize Central Prison after he was convicted of one count of keeping an unlicensed firearm and one count of keeping unlicensed ammunition. Baine, a construction worker of #3834 Rivero Street Extension was busted with a 9 mm pistol on August 4, 2014. The gun was loaded with nine rounds of 9 mm ammunition. He had been on remand since then and his trial finally concluded on Thursday, April 16, before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. In court, Prosecutor Cpl. Christopher Smith called two officers of the Gang Suppression Unit to testify. The arresting officer, Sgt. Samuel Gladden, and PC Kent Aranda testified that they were on patrol on Rivero Street Extension when they responded to the sound of gunshots heard in the area of Kraal Road and Pen Road. Upon their arrival, they saw three males walking in the area. The men then began to walk very fast towards a fenced yard. According to PC Aranda, he and Sgt. Gladden followed the men and that was when he saw the fair skinned male, later identified as Baine Jr., remove a black object from his pants waist, ducked down in the yard and placed in into a cement block. Immediately he told Baine Jr. to freeze and to lay on the ground. Sgt. Gladden then came to assist and spotted his flashlight in the cement block. There they saw a firearm inside. Police trace shows that the gun originated from Czechoslovakia. Based on the inscription “Gully Gun SSG”, it is believed to have been used by the Southside Gang in their criminal activities.

Pastor arrested for pornography
Edgar Gerardo Lopez who claimed to be a pastor with an Evangelical Church in Trial Farm village was remanded to prison after he was charged with keeping child pornography. The 60 year old of a Boca de Poder Evangelical Church in Trial Farm Village in the Orange Walk district was arrested after pictures of two nude girls ages 3 and 10 were found on his cellular phone. He appeared in Magistrate’s Court in Orange Walk on Monday April 20 where he was read four counts of producing child pornography two of the counts were for the 3 year old and 2 counts were for the ten year old. Police are also investigating the possibility of whether or not the mother of the children should be charged as she too is pictured along with the little girls. Lopez apparently was having an affair with the mother of the girls. In Court Lopez was denied bail and remanded to prison until June 29, 2015.

Man denied bail after being charged with burglary and mischievous act
A Belize City man was remanded to the Hattieville prison after he appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on a charge of burglary and mischievous act. A report was made against him by his ex-girlfriend where she alleged that he entered her home by force without her permission to caused bodily harm to her and thereafter stole her cell phone. On Tuesday April 21, 24 year old Jhovan Mariano appeared before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith in Court #1 to answer to two criminal charges, burglary and mischievous act. Police say that Mariano entered the Ladyville home of 31 year old Kimberly Kingston, on Saturday, April 18, 2015. Whilst at the home he allegedly stole a black Alcatel cell phone valued at $50.00. According to police, after Mariano was escorted to the Ladyville police station,he gave his name to be Rasheed Mariano.

Mother and son charged with drug trafficking!
On Friday April 17, a mother and her son were taken to court to answer to a single charge of drug trafficking after police allege that they found them in possession of 314 grams of cannabis. The woman, identified as Dulce Sutherland, a resident of a Mahogany Street Extension address, and her son, 25 year old Elvis Aldana, a resident of #2931 Rivero Street, Belize City, were escorted to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court where they appeared before Magistrate Ladonna John and were represented by attorney, Arthur Saldivar. They were read a single charge of possession of a controlled drug, to wit, 314 grams of cannabis with the intent to supply to another person or persons for the purpose of drug trafficking. Allegations are that on April 15, 2015, they were found in possession of the weed.

Murder Suicide of couple in Ladyville
On Sunday night, April 19, at around 8:30, Ladyville residents living on the old airport road, known for the Bowen and Bowen Factory, and also where the BDF Price Barracks compound is located, ended up in front of Mark’s Bar. Well-known Ladyville couple Coleen Sharp and Michael Estell had been discovered dead inside their homes. Forensic evidence suggests that 54 year-old Estell shot his common-law wife to death, and then took his own life shortly afterwards. When the officers went inside they found both of them lying in a pool of blood with Estell’s .380 pistol lying between them. Preliminary investigation was conducted by Dr. Mario Estradabran who found that 30 year-old Coleen Sharp was shot twice in the head. There was also a clutch of her hair which found on the bathroom floor along with Estell’s gold chain, and Sharp’s broken iPhone 6. This along with other evidence suggests that the couple had a violent fight before they died. The working theory is that Estell shot her and then walked around the house for 45 minutes before turning the gun on himself.

Inquiry Determines Lorenzo Smith Jr. Will Stand Trial for Murder
A preliminary inquiry (PI) that began on Friday, April 17, into the murder of prison inmate Arturo Eck has determined that there is sufficient evidence for Lorenzo Smith Jr., 29, to be tried in the Supreme Court for murder. Smith is being accused of the October 2009 murder of Arturo Eck, a prison inmate he shared a cell with while on remand at the Belize Central Prison. Eck was found hanging from a beam in his cell. Authorities recently classified Eck’s death as a murder and not suicide as was first thought to be the case. During the PI, Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith was presented with a number of statements; including, that of prison officials and the doctor’s post mortem results. Chief Magistrate Smith ruled that there is sufficient evidence to commit the matter for trial in the June Session of the Supreme Court. Eck’s murder was officially classified as suicide. It was not until Wednesday, January 13, 2015 that Smith Jr. was charged with Eck’s murder. Eck was found dead inside his prison cell on Friday, October 9, 2009. He had been convicted of maim and assault and was due to be released in 2010.

Upsurge in criminal activity in Western Belize
With the recent upsurge in criminal activity in Western Belize, Police authorities are now warning local residents to be on the alert. Second in command of the San Ignacio Police Formation Reymundo Reyes is encouraging members of the community to report any strange vehicle or person in their area by calling the emergency police line 911 or sending in tips to 922. “They have people who we know are staying within our community at different residences, so if the people are concerned and they are willing to help us let them call,” says Reymundo Reyes. Ernie Bruan, Chairman of the Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association CNWA writes “We are very well aware of this recent increase in criminal activity and are reminding our people to stay alert and active. We rather prevent crime than fighting it. We have different groups again stepping up their alert level and making sure they’re active and keeping an eye on their neighborhoods. I am my brother’s keeper.” We were unable to get a statement from Mayor Earl Trapp this evening in relation to this story as he was busy in his office at the San Ignacio Town Council. However; a councillor from the San Ignacio Town Council was present at the meeting of the CNWA on Wednesday of last week, where the public turnout to the CNWA meeting was larger than usual.

Crooked Tree Government School girls and Corozal Methodist boys are national primary schools softball champs
The 2014-2015 National Primary Schools Softball championships came to an end of Friday 17 April, 2015, at Rogers Stadium and the Youth Hostel Field in Belize City. The championship was officially declared open earlier in the morning by Pat Bennett, ISF Hall of Fame member, former President of the Belize Softball Federation and former General Manager of Methodist Schools in Belize. In declaring the championship open she encouraged the student-athletes to give of their best, to play hard and most importantly represent well. In the girls’ championship game, Crooked Tree Government School representing the Belize District edged out Camalote St. Jude Roman Catholic School representing the Cayo District by the score of 2-1. The winning pitcher was Charise Quiros and the losing pitcher was Leonie Aldana. In the third place game, Independence Primary School representing the Stann Creek District defeated Xiabe Roman Catholic School representing the Corozal District by the score of 5-1. The winning pitcher was Rean Ardon and the losing pitcher was Chelsey Hinds.

South Team wins first NEBL SMART All Star Game
The National Elite Basketball League staged its first ever SMART All Star Game on Saturday 18 April, 2015, at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town, Cayo District. The players were selected onto two sides representing the geographic north and south sides. In the game played, it was the South Side Team which consisted of players from Dangriga Warriors, Belmopan Red Taigaz, and the Cayo Western Ballaz that went up against the players from the North side which included those from the San Pedro Tigersharks, Orange Walk Running Rebels, Belize City No Limit Team and the Belize Yellow Pages Hurricanes. In an exciting game played, it was the team from the South that won the All Star Game when it defeated the North by the score of 107-98. The top scorers for the South were Farron Louriano with a game high 26 points and 8 rebounds; Richard Troyer scored 21 points and had 6 rebounds, while Trevaughn Usher scored 13 points with Terrel Eskridge scoring 10 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists.

CCJ will decide who will pay
For the first time since its establishment the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) held hearings in Belize. The justices of the CCJ, Sir Charles Michael Dennis Byron – President; Justice Rolston Nelson; Justice Adrian Saunders; Justice Jacob Wit; Justice David Hayton; Justice Winston Anderson and Justice Rajnauth-Lee; arrived in country on Saturday April 18 and on Monday April 20 the first case to have been heard was that of the Maya land rights. Before even going into arguments the Government magnanimously conceded that the Maya communal land rights need to be protected instead of dragging it out at the CCJ case. That led way for the second day of hearing on Wednesday April 22 when the only outstanding issue was that of compensation for the Maya people was to be determined. The matter was heard in the courtroom of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin before observes from the legal community and other interested parties who packed the courtroom. The first thing on the agenda was the court delivering a consent order which had been entered by the claimants, the Maya representatives and the Government of Belize. In so doing the CCJ affirmed the judgment by the Court of Appeal acknowledging that the Maya have Customary Land Rights.


Breaking Belize NewsPJ

A pair of fishermen fined for offenses
Belize is currently in closed season for lobster but the lure of a quick buck is irresistible for some and today it cost two fishermen more than $1,500 in fines. 45 year old Keith Barrow and 18 year old Jim Ramirez pleaded guilty to illegal possession of lobster […]

Belize Bank Duty Free Branch Closing Down
Reports have been reaching us throughout the day that the Belize Bank Duty Free Branch might be closing down. Workers at the Northern Border Free Zone are claiming that the Bank Branch has notified all its clientele who are currently banking with them at the Duty free zone that they […]

Maya reflect on significance of CCJ decision; reach out to opponents
As we reported on Wednesday, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) entered a consent order agreed to by the Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA) and Toledo Alcaldes Association along with the village leaders of 23 villages in the Toledo District and the Government of Belize, in which the latter […]

OCEANA continues challenge of draft petroleum guidelines; prepares for court appeal
In January of this year OCEANA Belize and Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) issued vehement objections to the draft petroleum guidelines for exploration and extraction developed by the Geology and Petroleum Department of the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology and Public Utilities following a wide release […]

Decomposed Body Found Near Haulover Bridge
Information reaching our news desk is indicating that a body of a man was discovered near the Haulover Bridge in Belize City in an advanced state of decomposition. Police are at the scene investigating. This is a developing story and we will be updating this report as we receive more […]

Auto mechanics charged for marijuana
Two auto mechanics, 20 year old Emmeth Rhaburn and 31 year old Alfredo Singh, were charged with drug trafficking for 1.7 kilograms of cannbis when they appeared today before Magistrate Ladonna John. They pled not guilty to the charge and they were each offered a bail of $4,000. Their case was adjourned until June 4. Singh alone was charged with possession of 12 grams of cannabis that was found I the pocket of his pants. He pled guilty to that charge and he was fined $500. He was given until June 30 to pay. If he defaults on payment he will serve 6 months.


Pros/Cons--Staying in the US for your beach vacation or going somewhere more exotic?
I am currently in the area of St Pete/Clearwater, Florida, to visit with family and friends, and it has made me think--is it worth going outside the US for a beach vacation?? I will try to put together an unbiased list of what seem to be the pros and cons of each, to help you decide if it is worth it for YOU! What is awesome about staying in the US for your vacation? (Note, some are really obvious:) ) Please enjoy the recent pics I have been taking of the Florida beaches as you read :) (and some stolen from google to enhance certain opinions :)) --You don't need a passport of course! --You can generally get to your place in a couple hours at most, more cheaply than flying internationally.

10 Awesome Belize Summer Vacations to Book NOW
It’s never too early to decide on a summer vacation. Knowing you’ve made a plan can help all members of the family get through tough work and school days. Booking a Belize summer vacation is a no-brainer because there’s something every member of the family will love and isn’t that what summer vacations are all about?

Dr Dolittle and our part time pets
Many of you will remember Dr. Dolittle from childhood days and later the 1988 movie staring Eddie Murphy. The good doctor was known for being able to communicate with the animals. Recently my neighbour Barb earned that nickname when she started getting a range of Belize Animals near our house to fall in love with her after talking to and feeding them. There is one grackle in particular that actually comes looking for her and talks to her most times she is in the pool. He talks to her and lets her know he is there and then comes down from the mangroves. For those of you who are not familiar with grackles, they are in the blackbird/oriole family and from a distance can sometimes be confused the crow even though they are smaller in size. Unlike crows, grackles have bright yellow eyes. We keep hoping Barb’s has the same behavior patterns as crows as they are known to bring “trinkets” to people who befriend them. So far no luck though but it is still fun to watch the two of them chattering away on a sunny afternoon.

A Kite Boarding Guide to Ambergris Caye, Belize – Information, Tips and Lots of Inspiration
One of my badass bucket list items is to kite (naked) under a full moon. THIS just had to be the night. Kiting into my next year in the beautiful tropical island of Belize under an insanely huge pink moon. The only catch was we didn’t know the waters yet, what lurked below and how to best launch the kites from a dock with a thatched palapa, cleat anchors, lamps and other fun catchments like exposed nails and uneven planks of wood. Let’s just say that I cut my toe…and it wasn’t to be. Our first full day on the island, we decided to check out KiteExplorer in San Pedro. Carter had communicated with Audrius about the best places to kite and we were eager to get a ride to what we had seen was gorgeous in photos, the lagoon, the other side of the island. Of course, we salivated over the reef but the boat traffic would make things tougher. There are also more waves, which I like, but taking my freestyle tricks to the next level would be much smoother in shallow flat water.

The April 19, 2015 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Trio Charged For Murder:
    A man was found beaten at the Welcome Center in San Igancio. Police received reports that on Saturday, 4 April, 2015, at about 1:27am, of a male person who got beaten. Upon arrival police saw a male person dressed in short blue jeans pants and beige T-Shirt, unconscious with an injury to the right side of the head and was bleeding from the mouth. He was transported to the San Ignacio Community Hospital, where the doctor admitted him in a stable condition. No means of identification was found in his possession and so far no missing person report has been filed. He was later transferred to KHMH where he died. A picture of the John Doe was posted in social media and with the assistance of Coast Guard Personnel; the body was identified as AURELIO MONTERO 23yrs Belizean Coast Guard Officer of Bullet Tree Village.
  • Cruz Brutally Chopped:
    A San Ignacio man was brutally chopped near his home in San Ignacio Town. Police responded to a machete fight near Marianna’s bar at the corner of Blue Bird and 23rd street. Upon arrival no one was in the area so they visited the San Ignacio Medical Hospital. Police notice a Hispanic male person identified as Steven Cruz, 20 year old Belizean labourer, with multiple chop wounds to the back of the head, right wrist and lower foot. Initial investigation revealed that Steven Cruz was socializing with his friends on a veranda at the home of Alejandro Galvez. Whilst they were there a minor came to spoke to Galvez, however, while the minor departed the yard he was upset because Galvez didn’t want to lend him two shirts. Upon departing the minor ottered the words “All ah unu wa get it!”
  • Remembering Peter Tonti:
    It is with tremendous sadness that we inform you of the passing on April 16, 2015, of Mr. Peter Tonti. Mr. Tonti was the CEO of Cahal Pech Village Resort and former 2nd Vice President of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA). Mr. Tonti arrived in Belize in the late 1970’s as a Peace Corps Volunteer. After completing his term as volunteer, Mr. Tonti remained in Belize to work in Belmopan for the Reconstruction and Development Corporation, which built and operated the new capital of Belize before it had a municipal government. He later joined the Belmopan Convention Hotel in 1983. From those early days, Peter saw the opportunity Belize held as a thriving tourism destination. He quickly became one of the pioneers at the forefront of the development of the Belize tourism industry. Peter’s accomplishments and contributions for over the past 30 years are countless and immense. He rendered his service to the BTIA wholeheartedly from the inception of the Association as standing member, advisor and later as a Board Member.
  • Belize Not Ready For An Oil Spill!:
    "Belize does not presently have the capacity to address a large oil spill!" Commander Paul Lattanzi of the Regional Activity Centre/ Regional Marine Pollution Emergency, Information and Training Centre RAC/REMPEITC succinctly stated the situation of Belize's lack of preparedness to address oil spills. The comment emanated from a discussion at the Oil Spill Preparedness Sensitization Workshop being held today by the Department of the Environment. It is clear that Belize is not ready for an oil spill from existing threats such as tankers, therefore extremely far off from being prepared for an oil spill from oil exploration in sensitive areas including in watersheds, protected areas and the offshore. While the DOE was quick to note that Belize Natural Energy (BNE) has an oil spill contingency plan and that the planning process to complete the National Oil Spill Contingency Planis ongoing, the fact remains that Belize does not have a comprehensive overarching National Oil Spill Contingency Plan to allow for adequate response to an oil spill. In addition, the current incomplete draft of the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan has been in its draft form for the last 8 years and the current exercise to revise and complete the Plan appears bogged down due to lack of financial resources and political will.
  • Woman Knocked Down:
    Police was called out to an accident that happen only a stone’s throw away from the San Ignacio Police Station. Upon arrival on Buena Visa Street in San Ignacio, the noticed a female lying on the left hand side of the street with cut wounds on her left foot and on both knees. Police investigation revealed that He Yue Li, 39 year old business man of Hudson Street, was driving his white 2005 Ford Ranger pickup on Buena Vista Street heading towards Benque Viejo. As he was reaching the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) office, he started experiencing mechanical problems and noticed that his steering wheel was locked. Li tried to take control of the vehicle and noticed a female and a male person walking down the hill and tried to avoid hitting them but it was too late.
  • Man Charged for Grievous Harm:
    A Santa Elena man is in the hot seat as he is faced with a grievous harm charge. On Thursday, 2 April, 2015, Darryl August, 23 year old Belizean Tour Guide reported to police that around 1:15 am, after socializing with family and friends, dropped off his brother at home on the George Price Highway in Santa Elena near the Hawksworth Bridge. August exited the vehicle to urine and notice a white pickup truck pulled up and two male person exited. August recognize one as Leal and the other as Francis. Francis walked towards him and at about 15 feet away he threw a bottle of rum at him which caught August on his right hand and left side of his chest area.
  • Budna Stabbed:
    The San Ignacio Police are investigating a stabbing incident that happend a popular night club in the area. Police was called out on Saturday, 4 April, 2015, of a stabbing incident at the Blue Angels Night Club. However, after arriving at the vicinity the victim was already transported to the San Ignacio Medical Hospital. Upon arrival they saw a male person who was identified as Melvin Budna, 25 year Belizean laborer of a 3rd street address. Police saw Budna suffering from a stab wound to the left side of his chest where the 6 inch bread knife was still launched inside his body.
  • NEBL Hosts First Ever All Star Game:
    The NEBL resumed after the Easter Break with some key games that had significant playoff implications. Fans are reminded that all games have a live webcast, where the play-by- play, along with box scores, are available for all games. Fans can follow every game live on the internet, as scores are in real time, at San Pedro Tiger Sharks handed Cayo Western Ballaz their first loss of the season The once undefeated Cayo Western Ballaz (7-1) were handed their first loss by the defending champs, San Pedro Tiger Sharks (6-2) on Saturday night at San Pedro High School in San Pedro Town. The home team was able to secure a 79 - 75 huge victory, reclaiming their repertoire of being a fourth quarter team who displays a great degree of confidence and clutch performance down the stretch. Trailing by 10 in the fourth quarter, San Pedro Tiger Sharks were able to mount a huge come back, sending the game to over-time, where they were able to secure the victory.
  • Ministry Of Health To Officially Inaugurate The National Vaccine Storage Facility:
    The Ministry of Health in partnership with the European Union and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) will be conducting a short ceremony on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at 3:00 pm to officially inaugurate the National Vaccine Storage Facility at the Western Regional Hospital Compound. The Ministry of Health is proud to boast that over the last ten years, through our partnerships, we have continued to maintain a minimum of 95% vaccine coverage. While the priority groups for immunization are pregnant women and children under five years of age, all age groups are covered by the expanded program on immunization. Vaccination services are provided countrywide at both public and private health facilities.
  • Tonnes Of Dead Fish Removed From Rio Olympic Rowing Venue:
    Brazilian workers have removed more than 33 tonnes of dead fish from the 2016 Olympic rowing and canoeing venue in Rio de Janeiro. A team of more than 60 people have been working since last week to clear the remains from Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas. Scientists said the fish were starved of oxygen because of pollution. Water quality has also been a major concern for organisers in Guanabara Bay, where Olympic sailing events are due to be held. The overwhelming smell at the lagoon has led to complaints from residents and members of local rowing clubs.
  • Two Men Shot - One Dead:
    Jermaine Welcome and Allen Garbutt were shot early Saturday morning. At about 1:30 a.m. the men were in Roaring Creek Village. While socializing amongst a group, a gunman opened fire and bullets caught both men. Welcome was killed and Garbutt is in critical condition. The official report stated that on Saturday, 4 April, 2015 at about 1:30 a.m., police responded to a shooting incident in Roaring Creek Village and visited the Western Regional Hospital where they saw 24-year-old Allan Garbutt of Roaring Creek Village being attended to suffering from apparent gunshot wounds to the right hip and shoulder. The other victim was 24-year-old Jermaine Welcome also of Roaring Creek Village, who received a gunshot to his lower back and had passed away while undergoing surgery.
  • Brain Tumor cancers. In children younger than 15,:
    A brain tumor or intracranial neoplasm occurs when abnormal cells form within the brain. There are two main types of tumors: malignant or cancerous tumors and benign tumors. Cancerous tumors can be divided into primary tumors that started within the brain and those that spread from somewhere else known as brain metastasis tumors. This article deals mainly with tumors that start within the brain. All types of brain tumors may produce symptoms that vary depending on the part of the brain involved. These may include headaches, seizures, problem with vision, vomiting, and mental changes. The headache is classically worst in the morning and goes away with vomiting. More specific problems may include difficulty in walking, speaking and with sensation. As the disease progresses unconsciousness may occur.
  • HIV: New Approach Against Virus 'Holds Promise':
    The first human trial of a new type of HIV therapy suggests it could be a promising weapon in the fight against the virus. Reports in the journal Nature show infusions of so-called broadly neutralising antibodies could suppress the amount of HIV in a patient's blood. The approach uses clones of immune proteins taken from a rare individual who has natural control of the disease. Scientists hope with further work this could bolster current treatments. 'Profound effects' People naturally mount a defence against the virus by producing an army of protein based weapons - antibodies. But in most cases these are not powerful enough to defeat it. The international research team harvested copies of unusually potent ones, capable of neutralising many different strains of HIV.
  • STAR Humor
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices


  • Snorkeling with Bonefish in Belize, 1min. Peaceful swim with a huge school of bonefish Long caye, Glovers reef.

  • Whalesharks in Belize, 4min. We got lucky and found whale sharks in just one day of diving out of Placencia.

  • Ambergris Caye Belize, 5min.

  • Pooks Hill Lodge Belize, 5min.

  • Low Tide Walk with Slickrock #1 ~ Belize, 15sec. All kinds of fun things under the rocks during low tide...different varieties of starfish too

  • Rescuers Save Injured Newborn Monkey From Poachers, 5min. A tiny newborn monkey had been hurt and snatched by poachers and did not have much hope of surviving. But thanks to the quick actions of authorities and veterinarians, the baby is getting a second chance. After receiving a call about a poached spider monkey, the Belize Forest Department located and confiscated the baby within 3 hours. She was suffering form shock and dehydration, which is the leading cause of death in poached wildlife and was rushed to Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic in order to save her life. They named her Izzie and while rehydrating her, they also discovered she had a broken arm. An X-ray revealed she was suffering from even more broken bones caused by shots from a pellet gun. In the video you’ll see the veterinarians caring for Lizzie. Stay tuned to the end for photos of her recovering! Whereas her chance of surviving at the hands of her poachers was slim, thanks to her rescuers Izzie has a chance to return to her wild home.

  • Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, Belize - Ben's Bluff Trail,2.5 min.

  • Belize, 14min.

  • Погружение в Блю Хол в Белизе | Dive into Blue Hole in Belize, 8min. Дайвинг в Белизском Блю Холе и его окрестностях.

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    First Class Accommodations for the Budget Traveler

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