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Specials and Events
Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials
The San Pedro Sun
Belize’s Rainforest Beauty captured at Xanadu Resort
This beautiful island eco resort captures the beauty of Belize’s rainforests and glorious falls. Guests here get a taste of the mainland in this pristine natural environment.
2015 already registering record number of Dengue outbreaks
The Ministry of Health has confirmed an alarming number of Dengue cases, totaling 261 victims to date. Most of the cases are originating in the Toledo District, and this has prompted the local health authorities to start checking grounds and premises in the communities that are most affected. The three Vector Control Diseases that have impacted Belize are Dengue, Malaria, and Chickungunya. From the beginning of the year up to July, the number of dengue cases has almost tripled. According to Chief Operations Officer of the Vector Control Unit, Kim Bautista, they have confirmed reports on an outbreak of dengue in its most deadly form, “hemorrhagic dengue fever”. “The symptoms that go with the dengue hemorrhagic fever is a combination of serotypes of the four serotypes that exist with the dengue virus,” said Bautista. He further explained that when a person is exposed to a serotype, they become immune to it, but when there is another serotype circulating, then there are higher chances to get ill with dengue hemorrhagic fever. “This year, we have seen 15 alerts countrywide for dengue hemorrhagic fever and five of those cases coming from the western district. Of those, dengue hemorrhagic fever is a clinical diagnosis. If there are five alerts, it does not necessarily mean that there are five confirmed cases,” explained Bautista.
Abandoned Helicopter found in Orange Walk District
A grey Bell 407 helicopter with dark tinted windows was found abandoned on Wednesday, August 5th on a feeder road in the Blue Creek area of the Orange Walk District. The aircraft is now in the possession of the Belize Defense Force (BDF) Air wing headquarters in Ladyville, while police continue their investigations as to who the helicopter belongs to and how it made its way to Belize.
The aircraft, with registration number N607AZ, was circling in the San Felipe/Blue Creek area when Orange Walk police were alerted. Police were conducting an anti-drug operation in the area and quickly responded to the reports. However, by the time they arrived the helicopter had already landed. The aircraft was quickly secured, but no one was to be found in the abandoned helicopter. It is not yet known if the aircraft had been used for transporting drugs, however the police found several blue plastic containers with fuel to increase the distance of travel. Police believe that since the helicopter was found in close proximity of the Belize/Mexico border, the pilot and passengers may have escaped into the Mexico.
Dog Act to be implemented in San Pedro
From now on all dogs must be collared and leashed while out in public areas. Saga Humane Society, along with the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) and San Pedro Police Department, have teamed up to enforce the Belize Dog Act, Chapter 153. The initiative is set to kick off on Saturday, August 15th with a sensitization effort by the police department, and enforcement will begin on Tuesday, September 1st. The implementation of this regulation will not only benefit island pets and pet owners, but also the wider community, including visitors, as the streets will be safer and cleaner. According to Section 10 (1) of the Dog Act of The Substantive Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2000, “Whenever a dog is seen in a town, on a highway or in a place of public resort in any of the following cases- (a) not having a collar/leash with a licensing badge for the current year attached thereto; or (b) appearing to be a stray or ownerless dog; or (c) being a bitch in heat and being neither led nor carried; or (d) suffering from any contagious disease and not being carried; or (e) suffering from any disease or injury which causes pain to the dog and being neither led nor carried, that dog may be seized by any police officer or dog catcher and the owner of the dog shall in cases (a), (b) and (c) be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding twenty-five dollars.”
Team Yellow Dog win Tres Pescados Slam for a second year in a row
24 teams participated in the 7th annual Tres Pescados Slam Tournament (TPST), the largest fly-fishing event in Belize’s history. The three day fishing tournament, held from Wednesday, August 5th to Saturday, August 8th, saw top national and international anglers attempt to land a big one in hopes of claiming the grand prize. In the end, it was team Yellow Dog who took the grand prize for the second year in a row. The event opened on Wednesday, August 5th with the Captains’ Dinner and fishing officially started on Thursday, August 6th at 5:30AM, continuing on Friday, August 7th. All catches had to be checked in by 3PM on said dates. On the final fishing day on Saturday, August 8th, anglers gave it their last shot at landing the big one because by 7PM awards were going to be issued.
The Beauty of the Snake Cayes of Southern Belize
Don’t let the name scare you or keep you from visiting one of the most beautiful and pristine island chains off the coast of Belize. The possibility of having a close encounter with a snake is minimal, but the chance of encountering some of the most awe-inspiring beaches, crystal clear waters and natural habitats in the country is guaranteed.
The Snake Cayes of Belize is a group of four small islands that lie roughly about 20 miles off its southern coast of the Toledo District and include West, Middle, East and South Snake Cayes. They got their names due to the abundance of boa constrictors that once lived on one of the islands. The cayes are not part of the barrier reef system, but lie within the Port Honduras Marine Reserve of Belize on an isolated coral ridge growing on a limestone ledge.
The reserve encompasses an array of vital habitats with patch and fringing reefs, seagrass beds and 138 mangrove cayes, supporting an important fishery for local traditional users. Visitors to the cayes and surrounding areas enjoy the clear, turquoise waters of the reserve, snorkeling amongst the abundance of marine life (including coral patches).
25 Years Ago - Remembering when WE USED TO… in San Pedro Village
A long time ago going to pick sea grapes was a source of great enthusiasm and fun. We used to plan for the day and the village folks used to share information about the places where the grapes were plentiful and where they were the largest and even where they were the sweetest. Don't laugh but plastic bags were not available yet, so we used to tie our T-shirts and made bags. We also used to weave baskets with the palmetto leaves. There were the purple grapes and the "uvas blancas" or white grapes which remained greenish even when ripe. We used to boast when we crashed into a tree of white grapes. TODAY some folks come to your house offering sea grapes for 10 dollars a bag, but is that fun? We USED TO enjoy them for free as I still do today. Many years ago the big thing was not the opening of the lobster season or Lobster Fest but rather the selling of lobsters door to door. We USED TO boil whole lobsters and offered red juicy whole lobsters door to door to the village folks. Again don't laugh but the selling price was of five cents per whole lobsters. There used to be a good market because with a population of some 10 lobster fishermen, the rest of the villagers were very willing to buy them despite the high price of them. And why do I say. High price when it was only five cents? Believe me, some people did complain that it was a bit expensive and it was because lobsters were in abundance and were dirty cheap. I remember when WE USED TO read a lot of books here in San Pedro. This is something that is almost at zero today on the Island. I recall my favorite English comic books like Archie, Donald Duck. Superman, Bat Man. Robin Hood, Hulk, Fantastic Four, Flash, Wonder Woman, and the Old West of Cowboys and Indians. And there were the Spanish favorites like Tarzan, Dracula, Memin, La Pequeña Lulu, Roy Rogers, Chanoc, Zorro, Popeye, Spiderman, Superman, Bat Man, Archi, Tawa The Indian, El Hombre invisible,
Culinary Tourism is Happening NOW in Belize
My Traveling Feet have been known too take me around the country in search for food, delicious Belizean food. I am not much of a “Foodie” but I do appreciate fine dining and unique culinary experiences from time to time. I try to eat healthy and avoid eating out as much as possible, but my job is about promoting tourism in my country and part of that involves experiencing FOOD. Not so long ago I wrote an editorial about Food (Culinary) Tourism, which asked the question: “Is Belize ready to exploit an industry that could have tremendous potential in the growth of the tourism industry for the country.”
Well, a couple weeks ago I traveled to Belize City to attend the launch of Flavors of Belize’s 5th Edition magazine and looking at the success of the publication I can truly say that Belize has come a long way in developing its culinary tourism.
Flashbacks - Sanpedranos At Their Best Dressed
Now that you see this flashback do you wonder why in the world this large group of San Pedranos is so well dressed? The men were all wearing shoes which is not normal under normal circumstances in San Pedro back in the 1980’s. Not only are they all wearing shoes, but also formal suits and tuxedo! And their long hair are all so well combed!
Now take a look at the ladies. What could be happening that they are all in evening gowns? Now let us make a few wild guesses? Could it be a visit by Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain? Or is it one of those gala social parties the Lions used to throw back then? Oh I know. It is the annual general meeting of Caribeña Fishing Cooperative.
No the real truth is that this was the quinceaños of Tio Pil’s only daughter, Lily Paz Nuñez. The mass was celebrated at the Catholic Church and the social reception was held at Big Daddy’s. Now it would be nice for you to help us identify the young men and ladies in this gala Flashback, besides the padrinos Pete Salazar and Chabby Nuñez Salazar. I think I see Sir Nicolas Varela.
Belize to Represent at Miss United Continents 2015 Pageant
It gives us great pleasure to introduce to you Miss Shamira Imani Neal 22 years old, who is 5’ 11” (180 cm) tall. Miss Neal resides in Belize City and is a graduate of Wesley College. She is currently furthering her studies to become an attorney-at-law. Miss Neal has a full time job as a customer service representative with the Belize City Council.
Her passions are modeling, volleyball, and promoting Belize nationally and internationally as a beauty ambassador. Miss Neal has participated in the Queen of the Bay Pageant in Belize City 2013, and the titleholder for Miss World Belize First Runner-up 2014-2015.
With her aforementioned qualifications, this entitles Miss Neal to enter the prestigious contest to be held in Ecuador, Miss United Continents 2015, who seeks titleholders our first runner-ups in any of the four major beauty contests worldwide which are: Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss Earth, and Miss International. Previously in 2012, Miss World Belize, Chantae Guy of Belmopan represented Belize in this contest which was known at the time as Miss Continente Americano.
Misc Belizean Sources
Anglers Abroad takes 2nd place in Slam Tournamen
Haywood and Team Anglers Abroad (Travis Then & Justin Parish) strike again with a second place win at the 7th annual Tres Pescado Slam Tournament in San Pedro Belize. After winning 1st and 2nd place a few years back as an angler, Haywood has taken it to the next level by landing in 2nd place after only two years of guiding in the tournament. Team Anglers Abroad had a strong start on the first day with a Grand Slam that tied them for first. They went on to land another Tarpon and Bonefish on the second day, but unfortunately couldn't make the Permit eat. On the third day, Team Anglers Abroad managed to land a nice Bonefish and a Permit, but alas the Tarpon proved elusive. Unfortunately, the Permit which would have put team Anglers Abroad on top of the leader board was two inches short of the qualifying size and team Anglers Abroad had to settle for 2nd place. Even though team Anglers Abroad was unable grab the first place trophy, they still feel like winners as both 1st and 3rd place trophies went to Caye Caulker guides (Ken Coc & Parnell Coc) who are part of the Anglers Abroad family. Caye Caulker is where its at for fly fishing!!!
Monday's Mangrove Madness
Thanks to Mark and Allyson Smith we explored a new area of mangroves, and there was so much to see! Kaz found another seahorse... she's one lucky lady :)
International Youth Day
International Youth Day being celebrated today at the ITVET grounds in Belize City. Please join!
Oversize load at the Santa Elena, Corozal border
So we ran into this unusual site of an oversize load at the Santa Elena, Corozal border. The freight truck was being escorted by police. We understand that the freight is a dismantled tower coming from Veracruz, Mexico that will be erected at the Belize Sugar Industries/ASR’s headquarters in Orange Walk. (We have no confirmation from BSI yet, whether this is so).
We are happy to see the investment’s taking place at BSI’s sugar mill and in the same light would like to see the same benefits passed to the sugar cane farmers and their families.
Power to the cane farmers in the struggle.
Belize Bird Rescue update
If you want an internship experience that allows you to find the value in wildlife (and stands out on resumes) then working with Belize Bird Rescue is the place to go! My name is Amanda and I spent part of my summer working with the rescue and learning all about rehabilitation. Never having worked with any kind of bird before, I was taken on and taught how to properly handle and care for many types of birds that most people will never see in real life. Not gonna lie, it was hard work, but it's all worth it. It was truly a magical experience. All the people were so amazing and I will forever cherish the memories and knowledge from working with there. If you have any interest in birds or animals in general, I strongly encourage you to consider applying for an internship here. They will always appreciate the help and it will make you feel good for making a difference.
Reef TV's Annual Karaoke competition
Reef TV's Annual Karaoke competition kicks off tomorrow inside Jaguar's Temple Night Club. Come and be part of a night full of entertainment.
Summer Art Wave 2015 turns out a huge success!
Summer Art Wave 2015 has been a most memorable experience with our beloved community. A sincere thank you to all participants, instructors, and volunteers for your passion, patience and persistence in developing new creative skills and creating great memories! We must thank our sponsors who were a vital component in the success of the program. Thank you to Atlantic Bank, Bowen & Bowen, Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Corozal Community College. We are already looking forward to next summer's program!
Senator Lisa is Going to The Sarstoon!
For days now, the headlines have been dominated by the Territorial Volunteers - who are going to Sarstoon Island on Sunday. The island is the southern boundary of Belize's territory - and the trip is designed to defiantly reassert that the island is within Belize's territory.
Government has been cautioning the volunteers and their supporters not to go - but today their expedition got a shot of legitimacy when PUP Senator Lisa Shoman said she would be joining them.
And she's not just going along for the ride - Shoman is throwing her weight around as a senator and member of the bipartisan committee dealing with the territorial claim. She has written letters to Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington and Guatemalan Ambassador to Belize, Manuel Barillas, basically putting them on notice that she's going in an official capacity and arrangements for security should be made.
Triple Homicide in Florida - Belizean Family Speaks
Last night we told you about the 3 Belizeans - Roaring Creek Residents - who were murdered in Lehigh Acres, which is in Southwest Florida. 37 year old Dorla Pitts, her 17 year old pregnant daughter Starlette, and the girl's boyfriend Myke Kelly were found dead in their home on Tuesday afternoon - and the man accused of killing them is from Camalote. Now most of the information we are getting is from American news sites but today we heard the local angle from Dorla's father-in-law, Edward "Ned" Pitts, who lives here in Belize City. He along with his wife expressed how shocked they were to find out about their daughter in law's and granddaughter's murder.
Edward Ned Pitts, Father-in-Law
"I don't know what triggered off the... It's very perplex to know why. The three of them died. It sounds that three of them died. I don't know how they died. I don't know if by gunshot, I don't know if by physical violence. I don't know and I don't hear anything on the radio and my son have not been able to tell me exactly how they died. In May she was sitting right around this table having lunch with us. She and her mother and her sister. We are in communication and we often to Miami where they live and spend time with them. She is a pleasant girl, Dorla. And Starlette is also a pleasant child. A teenager. You know teenager have their way, but she was a very pleasant child. The two family gets a long quite well, both the Hyde family and Dorian. They very much loves Dorian."
Chairman of Progressive cane Farmers Mysteriously Shot
You may have seen him on the news as the Chairman of the newly formed Progressive Cane Farmers Association, but tonight, Abizur Loza is making headlines because he was shot early this morning at a cane field in Patchakan Village, in the Corozal District.
Police haven't released any official information as yet, but what we have been able to find out is that he was in his cane field on the outskirts of the village known as Chaac Luuc. There is suspicion that whoever attacked Loza, shot him after they ambushed him in the bushes in some time between 1 and 2 a.m. this morning.
At this time, all we know is that he had to be transferred to the KHMH for further treatment. Today, his wife, spoke to our colleagues from Love FM, saying that she does not know much about the incident:
Drought Could Cause Losses of Millions To OW Corn Farmers
You might not have noticed it, but this year's rainy season has been very dry. The farmers of the southern Orange Walk District are acutely aware of the shortage of rain - in fact they say a drought is crippling their corn harvest and causing losses in earnings that could add up to millions of dollars. Not only that, but it could also cause the price of food to go up - and we don't just mean corn tortillas! We found out more when we visited the area of Indian Creek in the Orange Walk District today. The area is home to a co-op of 141 members - and they are losing vast acreages of cornfields due to drought. Here's more:...
Jacob Harms, CEO - Indian Creek Co-Op
"I have been doing farming for myself. I've been farming for 26 years now and we have never seen that kind of drought what we have now."
Jules Vasquez reporting
Jacob Harms says that in a lifetime of farming - he has never seen anything quite like this.
They've experienced a drought for three of the last four years - and the losses are adding up in the corn field:
A Council to "Conversate"
And while those farmers are facing big business losses with dire consequences for their creditors - those blue collar types weren't at the white collar meeting of the Economic Development Council today at the Biltmore. It's the public and private sector dialogue to air out issues between both sectors, and come up with solutions to make it easier to do business.
This session was the prelude to the Prime Minister's Business Forum.
The press wasn't allowed in, but the Two chairmen of the Economic Development Council spoke with the media outside this evening. Here's what they had to say:
Kay Menzies - Co-chair, Economic Development Council
"I think the members of the private sector who sat on the panels did a fairly good job of explaining what they are doing in terms new technology and so on but also the constraints that they face that generally business encounters in trying to get ahead and trying to fulfil our role in growing the economy. the point of this whole forum is for the public and private sector to work together to grow the economy, so that we can benefit all Belizeans but both sides face difficulties with which we can help each other and that was one reason for mixing the panels, but also the private sector folks had an opportunity to say, look these are the issues I am facing, these are the ways you can address it and I can get ahead if we do that."
22 Year Old Special Needs Man Charged For Sodomy
A 22 year old has been charged for sodomizing his 6 year old cousin in Punta Gorda. It happened in early June when the little boy was home alone. When we spoke to PG police today they told us that the 22 year old is a special needs case but that he was never known to harass or assault anyone. The police were trying to get the 22 year old medically evaluated for mental soundness before pressing charges but that process took too long so he was charged with "Rape of a child" and "Unlawful Sexual Intercourse" on Monday.
Does Hon. "Boots" Support Peace In Jane Usher Area
On Monday we showed you the sports day that the Police held in the Jane Usher area on Sunday. We were there but we didn't see the area representative, the UDP's Anthony "Boots" Martinez. We wondered whether his absence indicates that he doesn't support the initiative - so we asked him yesterday:..
"But I didn't see you at the sports fair on Sunday. What is you're feeling about this peace process that the police are trying to approach?"
Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez
"Well I think it's an excellent process, but having being at a sports fair, its ok, I was in independence doing a little political work for the party. But apart from that I have been more than vigilant in my area, even promoting peace within the area a part from the police but I think it's a very good initiative to work with the community. I think it's a situation that can be control. I've been speaking to people in the area, because in my view it's an internal rift behind there."
Community Cops the Wave Of The Future?
And that community policing initiative that we saw on Jane Usher Boulevard is the kind of effort that Police Minister John Saldivar wants the police department to become synonymous with. Now, community policing is a buzzword that comes into very easy use - but it's never gotten the kind of attention or resources that paramilitary style policing has gotten. Saldivar says he hopes that can change:...
Hon. John Saldivar - Minister of National Security
"The long term policing plan for this entire country is indeed to focus on community oriented policing. We are convinced that the police has got to be more involve with the community and as well the community more involve with the police. So, both models, the one that you have described from OC Eastern South and the one that you describe from Mr. Jemmoth. They both must apply, because we believe that that is the way out of this crime crisis that we are experiencing."
"Minister, we've seen the number of homicides cut back quite significantly in the Belize District particularly over the past one month to 5 weeks and again, that is simultaneous with the transitioning. We always remember correlation is not causation, but is there any hope that we cannot break a record for homicides this year and keep in under 140 nationally?"
Verdes Bolsters Roster For Champion's League
Local football fans are eagerly anticipating a match between this year's National Premier League Champion, Verdes, when they take on the Mexican football club, known as Gallos Blancos de Querétaro. That will be the first match that a Belizean Team has played in the CONCACAF Champion's League since 2008.
It's a major opportunity for the Verdes team, and with the backing of the Football Federation of Belize, they are making preparations to host the Mexican team on next week Tuesday, August 18.
In order to play at the next level of footbal, the Verdes has acquired 4 new players, and today, they introduced them publicly at a press conference held at the FFB Headquarters in Belmopan. Verdes' Technical Director, Marvin Ottley, explained the teams recent training, and these new team members:
Making Teaching Practical
A group of 8 instructors from Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax Nova Scotia is in Belize assisting with an education workshop called "IQUIP Belize". It's for teachers, and their instructor explained how the program works:...
The teachers are receiving instruction in Math, English language arts and Science.
Brian Hyde Charged for Triple Homicide in Florida
Roaring Creek resident, nineteen-year-old Brian Hyde has been charged in Lee County, Florida for the triple murder of thirty-seven-year-old Dorla Pitts, her pregnant seventeen-year-old daughter Starlette Pitts and Starlette’s twenty-one-year-old [...]
Dorrien Pitts Breaks the Silence on Murder of Wife and Daughter
On Wednesday, News Five spoke with Belmopan resident, Alvin Hyde, who is the father of Dorla Pitts. According to Alvin, his daughter and granddaughter have been living in Lehigh for [...]
Chairman of the Progressive Cane Farmers’ Association Shot in Corozal
A Corozal man was shot early this morning. Details are still sketchy at this time as no official report was made to the Corozal Police, but we have confirmed that [...]
Senator Lisa Shoman Joins the BTV in Sarstoon Island Trek…
On Wednesday morning, the Belize Territorial Volunteers, on a scouting mission in the vicinity of Sarstoon Island, had a near brush with Guatemalan military personnel upon returning from the remote [...]
….Is She Going in an Official Capacity?
According to Shoman, the idea that local military presence in the area, while accompanying the volunteer expedition, can inflame an already hostile situation with Guatemalan armed forces is total nonsense. [...]
Verdes Put Belize on the Map in Upcoming Regional Football Tournament
For the first time since 2008, Belize is participating in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League where Verdes F.C. will be doing battle against Mexico’s Queretero in game one of a [...]
How Prepared is Verdes for Champions League?
According to Coach Marvin Ottley, the team has been preparing tediously for the past two months and has been participating in international friendly matches to prepare for the series. [...]
Kareem Smith Remanded for Pulling Gun on Ex-Girlfriend
Construction worker Kareem Smith, who is no stranger to the law, is tonight behind bars on remand. According to reports, on July fifteenth, Smith allegedly pulled a gun on his [...]
Belize City Man Fined for Fisheries Conviction
A George Street fisherman is out of pocket tonight after the Magistrate’s Court slapped him with three separate fines. Nine months ago, thirty-eight-year-old Jorge Zetina was found with fourteen undersized [...]
Public and Private Sectors Meet for Economic Dialogue
The private and public sectors met today in what was being dubbed as an economic dialogue. While a majority of the session was closed to the media, we were able [...]
School Improvement Planning Workshop Held Countrywide
Since last week, a school improvement planning workshop has been ongoing across the country. It is the continuation of a Quality Child Friendly Schools Initiative that was piloted back in [...]
Schools Assess Quality of Education at Primary Level
One developing school, St. Luke’s Methodist School in Belize City is participating in the workshop. Principal, Pamela Bodden spoke on the benefits of the sessions for the school. Pamela [...]
International Youth Day Celebrated in Belize
On Wednesday, August twelfth, the world observed International Youth Day under the theme “Youth Civic Engagement”. While opportunities for youth to engage at political, economic and social levels are low [...]
Children Across the Country Prepare for National Eye Screening
In September, the Belize Lions Club will be carrying out a national eye screening exercise for toddlers and up to fourteen-year-old. Through a grant from the Lions Club International Associations [...]
Drought in Orange Walk Results in Millions of Losses for Farmers
Farmers in the deepest South of the Orange Walk District are facing the grim reality of millions of dollars in losses. And it’s all because of an ongoing drought in [...]
Healthy Living has First Day of School Jitters
The first day of school – usually the first image that comes to mind is of an eager toddler heading out to the first day of preschool. But the first [...]