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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
BEL Assists St. Mary’s Feeding Program
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) today made a contribution to the St. Mary’s Feeding Program, which has been providing meals to primary school aged children for the past 21 years. After learning of recent challenges faced by the program, BEL committed its support to ensure that 170 children receive a daily nutritious meal in a comfortable setting. BEL’s contribution includes 10 wooden tables, 100 wooden chairs, a refrigerator, eating utensils and a cash donation of $5,100. A group of BEL staff also assisted today with serving food to children in the feeding program at St. Mary’s Primary School. St. Mary’s Feeding Program provides a total of 850 meals per week and was established following a survey indicating that a major factor contributing to children’s absence from school, was their parents’ inability to afford their meals. BEL and its employees are once again grateful to be afforded the opportunity to give back to the community. Similar efforts continue in December, when the Company will deliver food hampers to deserving families.
Holy Cross Anglican School Students benefit from Eye Screening
The Lions Zone 59-Belize National Children Eye Screening Program provided free eye screening tests at the Holy Cross Anglican School. The program took place from Tuesday, November 24th through Friday, November 27th, and conducted eye testing for children ages 3-14. The school had a total of 417 students registered to have their eyes tested and vision needs addressed. The San Pedro Lions Club is one of the four clubs in Belize and has been assigned the area of Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker and the entire Corozal District to conduct the eye screening program. In total, there are over 15,000 registered children in those areas that need the screening. The program will continue with other schools on the island, including high schools, up to December 11th, and will resume in January when schools reopen. According to Chairman of the San Pedro Lions Eye Screening Program, Jan Brown, the program is happening nationwide. Currently there are only two eye screening machines that were acquired by the Belize Lions Zone 59 which will be shared by all the Lions clubs in the country to carry on their programs. Brown explained the efficiency of the machine.
What’s new? The Truck Stop
As Ambergris Caye continues to grow as the top tourism destination in Belize, new establishments open to add to the island’s tourism product. Its newest establishment is surely an innovative one! Located just about a mile north of Sir Barry Bowen Bridge, The Truck Stop is a unique fast-food courtyard made out of shipping containers. Eager residents and visitors alike flocked to their location on Saturday, November 21st for some good food, cold drinks and even ice-cream during their soft opening.
A concept conceived by the creative duo Ben and Joanna Popik, The Trucks Stop’s construction started early this year. Now fully operational, the establishment offers two food stalls, an ice-cream stall and a fully stocked bar. The outdoor food court features ample picnic style seating and even a palapa on the water facing Ambergris Caye’s western skies, perfect for that sunset view.
Longtime resident Peter Jones found deceased
On Tuesday, November 24th at about 5:20PM San Pedro Police responded to information received of a deceased person and visited a two story wooden house situated on Sea Star Drive, San Pedro Town. On arriving to the second floor of the structure house, the partially decomposed body of a Caucasian male person was seen lying face up in the middle section of his bathroom with no signs of physical violence to the outer part of his body. The body was identified to police as that of 68-year-old Peter Brandon Jones, retired diver of Great Britain. Initial investigation reveals that Jones was last seen alive on Sunday, November 22nd at about 2PM by his care taker and by his friend of the same address who both visited him as he wasn’t feeling well. According to reports, Jones had been complaining of stomach pain and also suffered from diabetes and high blood pressure. As a result, on Tuesday, November 24th about 4:50PM both persons decided to go and check on Jones as they were concerned about not seeing him around. Upon going into his house they noticed a strong smell coming from inside the house. They immediately made checks and they came across the lifeless body of Peter Brandon Jones and immediately called for police assistance.
Belize Police Department to hold Law Enforcement Torch Run
The Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) is upon us once more. As such, the San Pedro Police Department is asking for your assistance to raise funds which will directly benefit Special Olympics Belize. The 2015 LETR is expected to commence on Monday, November 30th at Punta Gorda Town, where the Flame of Hope will travel across the country with aims of raising awareness towards Belizeans living with disabilities and raise funds for the Special Olympics Games. The Flame of Hope will travel to all districts until arriving at the Marion Jones Complex in Belize City for the National Games son Friday, December 4th. The Belize Police Department (BPD) has committed to assist and offer support and partnership to Special Olympics by conducting the LETR program once a year. The program is held internationally and sees law enforcement agencies coming together headed by local police departments to fundraise through different activities for Special Olympics. In 2014 the LETR program had over one hundred thousand police officers participating worldwide, raising over $46BZ million.
Happy Township Day San Pedro
From humble beginnings our struggles, hard work and dedication have made us better people. It's not a perfect town, but a better town - wiser, happier and still located on the #1 Island in the World. Today, November 27, 2015, marks the 31st Anniversary of Township San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Yes there is Black Friday madness in San Pedro, Belize
The rush and lines are huge at Caye Supplies that has one of the biggest sales of the year. It's worth the bargains!!
Belize Electricity Limited Giving Back During the Holidays
On Wednesday, November 24, 2015, a Belize City family of four received keys to a new house from Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) and Hand in Hand Ministries (HHM) under HHM’s “Building for Change” program. The 16’ by 16’ wooden house, complete with electrical installations and plumbing facilities was donated by BEL and constructed primarily through volunteer work by BEL employees.
Misc Belizean Sources
PRESIDENT-ELECT OF GUATEMALA TO PAY COURTESY CALL ON PRIME MINISTER BARROW
The Office of the Prime Minister wishes to announce that Prime Minister Dean O. Barrow will be receiving President-elect of the Republic of Guatemala Mr. Jimmy Morales on Saturday 28th November 2015. H.E. Mr. Morales has this week been touring the region paying courtesy calls on all Heads of State and Government of SICA-member states and Mexico. It being a courtesy call, it is not expected that the meeting will delve into too much detail of our bilateral relations but the general public will be informed of the content of their discussions.
Miss Earth Belize 2015 - Christine Syme
At the United Nations Headquarters for an environmental symposium! What an exciting and inspiring experience.
Yesterday was OPEN HOUSE DAY at the San Pedro Town Council
We also have Students and Professors from the Washington University of Health and Science - Belize Campus performing Pulse Test, Blood Pressure Test, Vital Signs Check Ups and more! Check them out at our Conference Room.
San Pedro Town turns 31 on November 27th, 2015
ike every islander, the Staff, Councilors and myself, Daniel Guerrero, Mayor of San Pedro Town, take this opportunity to salute all the residents of Ambergris Caye on such occasion. This year,The San Pedro Town Council decided to be more educational and inclusive and as such believed that the occasion would be more fitting to showcase to our students and general citizenry, how far we have come as a community and town.
To celebrate our 31st Township Day, the doors of our newly renovated building will be the venue for an Open House Day, in which the students and the community can tour our renovated facility, learn about the services offered at the council, familiarize themselves with the office spaces and interact with the staff and elected town officials. We believe that by learning more about our town, its pastleaders, the transformation of our town from a coconut-industry dependentcommunity to a fishing village and now to a tourism town, it will bring about a true sense of civic pride and ownership towards our beautiful town.
World AIDS Day 2015 - Free HIV Testing
Tuesday, December 1st 10:00am - 12:00pm. U.S. Embassy Belize. Did you know that Belize has the highest HIV/AIDS rate in Central America?
Take control of your health and learn your status for World AIDS day!
The U.S. Embassy in coordination with the Ministry of Health is offering free HIV tests to the public on December 1 at the U.S. Embassy (during the Artisan Fair) from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.
Who knew we had Black Friday in Belize?
This is San Pedro...
"Join us at our 30th Annual General Meeting on December 3, 2015 for the official presentation of the re-branding of:
"THE NEW DESTINATION BELIZE."
Free legal clinics
Free Legal Clinic on gender-based violence and family issues. Legal clinics throughout the country. Open to women and men.
San Pedro Town's 31st Township Anniversary
Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Councilor Ruben Gonzalez paid a visit to Mr. Gilberto "Chico" Gomez in honor of San Pedro Town's 31st Township Anniversary and presented him with a cheque in contribution to his efforts in the development of San Pedro Town, as well for being the first Mayor of San Pedro Town after being officially declared a town.
Today, November 27, is also Mr. Gomez's daughter's birthday. Happy Birthday Marlena Gomez!
No Joke: Guat Pres-Elect Jimmy Morales Comes To Belize
Jimmy Morales - he hasn't even been sworn in as Guatemalan President yet - but already his name has become well known all across Belize. And that's because of what he said before the Guatemalan presidential election. He called it "deplorable" that Guatemala was, quote, "about to lose Belize" and said Guatemala should quote "fight for that territory or part of that territory." In response, Belize's Prime Minister Dean Barrow fired back at Morales, saying his country would not be bullied by Guatemala.
Hard talk - and many speculated that because of it Morales would skip Belize on his pre-inauguration familiarization tour of Central America. But, he won't. Morales is headed to Belize tonight to pay a courtesy visit to the Prime Minister tomorrow.
Best information says that Morales is coming by road from Mexico. He will pass through the northern border later tonight and will be shuttled with a full police escort to the Radisson in Belize City. That's where he will spend the night and he will meet with Prime Minister Barrow tomorrow at an undisclosed location. An official press release says, quote, "being a courtesy call, it is not expected that the meeting will delve into too much detail of our bilateral relations but the general public will be informed of the content of their discussions," end quote.
With Public's Help Police Catch Businessman's Alleged Killers
Tonight, Belize City Police have the two men who they believe killed businessman Ruben Perez yesterday. As we showed you, Perez was at his block factory at the far end of Vernon Street when the men ran up into the lot - and shot him in the neck after a very quick skirmish. As he lay on the ground, one of the men ran up and grabbed his cellular phone.
It was all caught on security camera which we showed you on 7News last night. Police say that led them to the suspects - both of whom were arrested today. We learned more in a press briefing this evening at the Raccoon Street police station:...
Supt. Hilberto Romero, OC CIB - Eastern Division
"We have arrested 2 persons Keon Dennison and Tyler Mead, they will be charged for this murder. We would like to thank the public for their assistance. We had several tips that we followed up and this lead to the arrest of these two persons."
Insp. Alejandro Cowo, CIB Prct. 1 & 2
"The two suspects that we have at this time, they were detained at different times with different places. One was detained in a pre-dawn operation this morning and the other one was just about 2 hours ago. As we mentioned, the phone belonging to the deceased was found with the second person. Presently we are tracing back to all persons that he dealt with so that we can link up to gather more evidence regards in dealing with the phone."
Ladyville Murder Has Belize City Gang Ties
Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster, Williams' counterpart in Eastern Division Rural, is also investigating a suspected gang-related murder in Ladyville. This one happened 5 hours after the attempt robbery turned murder of Reuben Perez in Belize City.
At around 8:30 p.m. last night, 37 year-old Kevin Peters was standing in front of his sister's house on Samuel Gray Street in the Japan Area of Ladyville. That's where a gunman ambushed and shot him several times, once to the abdomen. He died while being rushed to the KHMH in Belize City. Senior Superintendent Broaster briefed the media today about what the investigators know so far:
Sr. Supt. Edward Broaster, Commander - Eastern Division Rural
"At about 8:30pm we received a call of a male person that was shot in the Ladyville area. In the area of Japan which is known as "Japan." That male person was learnt to be Kevin Peters, who was shot to the abdomen. He was rush to the Belize Defence Force medical center where he was later transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and he was pronounce dead on arrival by the medical practitioner at that location. The investigation is currently ongoing. We do not have any motive at this time. We've managed to apprehend 4 individuals who we have in custody. One of whom we believe is the shooter. Four expended shells were found on the scene of 9mm caliber. And at this time we are attempting to secure witnesses to get statements from them regarding this incident."
Southside Cops On Alert After Ladyville Murder
And so while the murder happened in Ladyville - it can be traced right back to Taylor's Alley in Belize City. That means Belize City police will have to be monitoring this gang turf which is running red hot right now. We say that because of a weekend incident there - and now this murder. Today, Williams told the media they will be working to hold things down in Taylor's Alley:...
Sr. Supt Chester Williams, Commander, Eastern Division Southside
"With the murder that took place in Ladyville last night. That might have some spin-over into southside Belize City between the Taylor's Alley crowd and the other part from where the other persons came from. So again, we have to monitor the situation between those two groups to see what they may want to do as a result to retaliate to what took place in Ladyville last night. So we must remain vigilant. We know that southside Belize City is very challenging to police. But despite that challenge I must say that my staff has been doing their best to ensure that we keep calm as much as we can."
Emerson Burke Crashes And Dies
Well-known Belmopan businessman Emerson Burke died in a terrible traffic accident on the Southern Highway early this morning.
Independence Police report that at around 6:08 a.m., they were called out to an area of the highway between Bladden and Medina Bank Villages known as Machaca Creek.
There, they found Burke's black Toyota Tundra pick-up truck pinned to the side of guard rail on the left shoulder of the road. Lying a few feet away from the vehicle, they found Burke's lifeless body on the ground. They believe time is that he was traveling towards Punta Gorda Town. Burke then somehow lost control the vehicle and slammed into the guard rails. He suffered severe head and bodily injuries, and he was pronounced dead on arrival at the Southern Regional Hospital about 2 and a half hours later.
Crazy Collision On Western Highway
This afternoon at around 1:30, there was a crazy accident at mile 26 on the George Price Highway. Fortunately no one was killed - but an entire JAMES bus loaded with passengers was put at risk. It all started with a trailer carrying a Mennonite house coming down the road. A wide load - too wide for the bus to pass - and here's what happened when it pulled over to give way:
Courtney Weatherburne reporting
This was the scene at mile 26 on the George Price Highway this afternoon
This Express James bus was heading to Belize City when a trailer transporting this house was heading to Belmopan. The James Bus pulled to the side of the road to let the trailer pass
But this dump truck didn't take that approach. This truck tried to squeeze his way between the parked James Bus and the trailer. That caused the trailer to be flung into this ditch, and when that happened it scraped the bus, and the conductor was thrown out of the bus and pinned, breaking both his legs.
UDP Area Rep Finnegan Calls Out UDP City Council For Dean Street Drainage Woes
Belize City may be plastered with new concrete streets - but drainage is another issue altogether. The City Council has been widely criticized for building new streets with insufficient drainage. But, the truth is unless you're living on Western Dean Street - you shouldn't really be complaining. That portion of the street, for a good three blocks, is always flooded, and it's a nuisance and a health hazard to residents. We know their woes only too well because Channel 7 is also on Dean Street - but we are lucky enough to be on the dry part. Today, their area representative Michael Finnegan dragged the city council out to the location to do something about the problem. He told us why he's gotten impatient:..
Hon. Michael Finnegan, Area Rep. Mesopotamia
"You see the City Council send all those workers here to resolve a problem which in my view is an engineering problem. Now first of all, if you send the man to clean the drains that the City Council sent them to clean. You clean from there to here where the hole stop. Now, what happens to here and to there? How will the get to clean there? So you will clean here to there, but all the sand and all the cement and all the debris they pile up from here to there. And as you go along the street, it's the same situation that will happen. This has been going on for more than a year and you have these people in these kind of condition. This matter has got to be resolve. It is unfair to the people living in this area. These people can't come out of their houses. As they come out their house they will walk in dirty water. This matter has got to be resolved."
Consumers Will Pay (Dearly) For Int'l Sugar Price Slump
The controlled price of sugar that you buy at the store will go up by 25 cents per pound. That's the decision that Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega announced this afternoon when he came out of a meeting with the 3 cane farming associations and the factory owners.
As we've been telling you, this was what sugar industry stakeholders have been pushing for, ever since they found out that the price of sugar in the European market is down. It is a welcome decision to the farmers who say that they are teetering on financial ruin - but not very welcome for consumers who will see the price per pound go up from 50 cents to 75 cents. That's 33 percent more per pound - steep - which is likely to drive up prices for many food items made with sugar.
The cane farmers and the factory owners got the opportunity today to lobby for this increase at a meeting with the Sugar Industries Control Board and the Ministry of Agriculture. Now, to be specific, this meeting happens every year before the start of the crop season. The discussion usually centers around the work that Government does to improve the sugar roads, the 2 million dollars fuel subsidy for farmers, and the subsidized licensing of cane trucks. Coming out of the meeting today, Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega told the press that the Government looked favorably on this increase to mitigate the effect of the low prices of sugar abroad:
Open Scholarship Winner Stacey Grinage: Living The Dream
Stacey Grinage: she first came to our attention in 2009 when she won the CAPE open scholarship. She topped the examinations for Belizean students with six grade 2's in Caribbean Studies, Communication Studies, History and Sociology. We had a chance to speak with her about this great accomplishment in 2009 and she told us how excited and surprised she was when she heard the news. Here is a short excerpt from that 2009 interview.
Stacey Grinage: "I was sitting around the dining table at my aunt's house in Belmopan eating lunch when the 12:30 news came on and I heard the headline and then I said let me listen and hear who won the open scholarship. Next thing I hear Stacey Karen Grinage and I jumped up and I was like that's my name. So my aunt's babysitter was in the house and I ask her did you hear my name? Just to make sure that I wasn't hearing my own name and she told me yes, that's you and I didn't even hear the rest of the news. All I heard was my name and that's it and that's how I got the news and then everyone started to call me congratulating me and that's how I got the news."
Services Commission Sings BELTRAIDE Deal
The Belize Coalition of Service Providers is celebrating services week - and today, as a culmination, they signed an agreement with BELTRAIDE. We found out how the agreement will benefit service providers:...
Firing In A Crowded Casino?
Tonight, Caye Caulker Resident, Vanessa Medvedkov is out of bail tonight after police accused her of pulling out her firearm inside a casino and firing it while under the influence of alcohol.
According to police, on Wednesday she was at the China Town Casino on Caye Caulker, and according to eyewitnesses, she was drinking while gambling. Different accounts say that she took out her licensed handgun and inexplicably fired several shots. Another version is that she simply placed her hand inside her purse and touched the trigger of gun, which caused it to fire several shots.
The police were called in, and they confiscated the weapon. They say that she appeared to be intoxicated, and when they wanted to test her blood-alcohol concentration, she refused. They charged her with 3 charges: discharging a firearm in public, being in possession of a firearm while under the influence of alcohol, and failing to provide a specimen. The firearm offence is an automatic remand, and so when she was taken to court yesterday, she couldn't get bail.
Day Care For The Elderly
We've all heard about Day Care Centers for babies and toddlers, but how about for the elderly? A first ever Elderly Day Care Center was opened today, it's called Belize City Seniors. It's located at the John and Charles Wesley Center - right next door to Channel 7. Now, there are organizations right now like HelpAge, that give older persons an outlet to be active and that's is exactly what the coordinators of this new center want to accomplish in their own unique way. We found out more about it this morning.
The Day Care Center will cater to persons older than 55. It opens from 10 to 2. If you want to be a member of the center you can attend their first meeting on January 8th. The coordinators are asking for corporate and individual sponsors to kindly donate to the center.
Free Flu Virus Available For At Risk Persons
It's the end of November - which is the flu season. And, tonight, the ministry of health is urging those in at risk groups to get a flue shot. Now, just who is at risk? Well, a ministry release says "Persons at risk for serious flu complications include young children; pregnant women, those with chronic health conditions such as diabetes, asthma and HIV; and persons older than 65.
All those persons are urged to take a flu vaccine - which is available free of cost at all public health centers.
Cops Take On Taylor's
Earlier we told you about the flare up of rivalries within the Taylor's Alley gang. Well, by coincidence, Southside police were touring that same general area today. Police say they were there to follow up as they do in other communities, but they were also there to establish a peace keeping presence:..
Coast Guard Gets New Recruits
From community police to new Coast Guard officers. Today, the Belize National Coast Guard welcomed 45 new recruits into the service as part of the 7th Intake.
These recruits have been put through 3 months of intense basic training, and today, they got to officially pass out in a ceremony, where their family and friends observed in pride.
Today, their Minister, John Saldivar had a few choice words of respect and confidence in their commitment to serve their country:
These 45 officers came from a crop of 200 applicants. 5 dropped out after showing up for the start of training.
Coast Guard Celebrates A Decade
So that was the passing out of Coast Guard Recruit Intake #7. Well, Today was extra special for the Belize National Coast Guard. They celebrated the milestone of 10 years of service to the public as the naval protectors. The Coast Guard has grown from 54 officers who signed up in November 2005, to 320 officers currently serving.
Their commandant, Admiral John Borland, has been a member of the Coast Guard since day one, and today, we discussed the progress that his organization has made over the years:
So, what's next for the Coast Guard? Well, National Security Minister John Saldivar discussed the direction that the organization will take in the next 5 years. First though, he talked about the new toys that these Naval officers will get, along with that new Forward Operating Base at the Mouth of Sarstoon:
Takes Two To Tango
And that's 7News tonight - thanks for Watching - I am Courtney weatherburne..
We leave you with some dramatic performances from last night's Dance X - starting with a Tango performed by an Argentinian group - enjoy and join us back here on Monday..
Thanksgiving Day Execution in Ladyville
Another Belize City man was gunned down on Thursday. This time the targeted assassination took place in Ladyville, in an area known as Japan. Kevin Peters, alias Breast, was an [...]
Will Kevin ‘Breast’ Peters’ Murder be Avenged by Taylor’s Alley Associates?
But will there be retaliation for the coldblooded murder of Peters? Regional Rural Commander Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster told the media today that there have been several threats made against [...]
Duo Arrested for the Murder of Belize City Businessman
There was also another murder on Thursday in Belize City in which a well-known businessman was killed at his establishment on Vernon Street. As we reported, two gunmen on bicycle [...]
Caneros Meet with Minister of Agriculture and B.S.I. Officials in Sugar City
This morning stakeholders in the sugar industry met at SICB headquarters in Orange Walk. For the first time in three years, the crop season is set to start when it [...]
What Does the Agriculture Minister Have to Say on Sugar Cane Quotas?
There has also had to be some tweaking where deliveries to the factory are concerned. A most recent survey estimates that farmers have one point seven million tons of cane [...]
More on the Shrimp Crisis in the Aquaculture Industry
It went mostly under the radar until very recently, but the shrimp industry has taken a major hit and it hasn’t recovered. We’re talking all shrimp farms in the country [...]
Whose Office is it—Gapi’s or Godwin’s?
And from agriculture to straight politics…Minister of Agriculture Gaspar Vega and Minister of Natural Resources Godwin Hulse have been at loggerheads since elections, over office space. Vega is a senior [...]
Guatemalan President Elect to Visit Belize
On Tuesday, we reported that Guatemalan President Elect, Jimmy Morales has embarked on a traditional tour of Central America and Mexico, which is part of the protocol by incoming presidents [...]
Coastguard Graduates 45 New Recruits
Courage, Commitment and Respect—they are the core values of the Belize National Coast Guard, the maritime forces of the country. Today at the B.D.F. Air Wing, forty-five recruits joined the [...]
Groundbreaking for Sarstoon F.O.B. is Coming in December
Minister of National Security John Saldivar also made a huge announcement today during his address at the coastguard anniversary celebration. On December ninth, the Government of Belize will be breaking [...]
Ahmadiyya Muslims Fight Stigma in Belize
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a dynamic, fast growing international revival movement within Islam. Founded in 1889, it spans over two hundred and six countries with membership exceeding tens of [...]
Deadly Accident Claims Life of Emmerson Burke
A deadly road traffic accident this morning along the Southern Highway has claimed the life of forty-four-year-old Emmerson Burke. Shortly after six a.m., police were summoned to an area between [...]
Troy Cole is Charged for Aggravated Assault
Twenty-six-year-old Troy Treston Cole, a resident ofCurassow Streetis tonight on remand at the Belize Central Prison after being accused of assaulting Gilroy Arnold with a firearm. The incident reportedly took [...]
Rosalie Marin Wins $10,000 From Courts Raffle
A Belize City mother of three is tonight the winner of ten thousand dollars courtesy of Courts Belize Limited. On Friday, Rosalie Marin’s name was chosen as the winner of [...]
NEMO continues to monitor flood areas in Belmopan
NEMO continues to monitor the situation in flood prone areas of the country. Earlier today correspondent Fem Cruz spoke with the NEMO Coordinator in Belmopan to get an update. Fem Cruz, Love Fm: After yesterday’s heavy downpour here in Belmopan and surrounding villages a number of families have had to move out of their homes. […]
Fatal accident on Southern Highway
An early morning road traffic accident has claimed the life of a man in southern Belize. Correspondent Harry Arzu has the story. Harry Arzu, Love Fm: Independence police say that they arrived on the scene of a road traffic accident at about 5:30am. They confirmed that the incident occurred on the Southern Highway in […]
New Guatemalan President to Visit Belize
Guatemalan President elect, Jimmy Morales is expected to be in Belize tonight. A release from the office of the Prime Minister confirms that Morales is paying a courtesy call on Prime Minister Dean Barrow tomorrow, Saturday November 28. Since winning the recent elections in Guatemala, Morales, a comic actor by profession, embarked on a tour […]
None Belize City Pastors suspended from Evangelical Association register National Association
There is a new church organization that has been formed since the suspension of all non Belize City pastors and churches from the Belize Association of Evangelical Churches. As we had previously reported, the Belize Association of Evangelical Churches, under its interim president, Pastor Howell Lon...
NEAB, Correction to Guardian
There was a second press release issued by the National Evangelical Association of Belize today; this one titled “Correction to Guardian”. It is a response to an article printed by Guardian Newspaper on Thursday Nov. 12th . The Guardian newspaper and their colleagues at Wave Radio have kept up a c...
Imports up, exports and prices down
Wednesday’s press conference hosted by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) was the last for 2015. While the results of the Labour Force September survey and the economic performance outlook for the third quarter dominated the headlines, the monthly release of the consumer price index (CPI) and...
Sudden death on police Street?
A former Health Inspector originally from Punta Gorda Town was found dead in his Belize City apartment sometime after 7’oclock this morning. He has been identified as Martin Lino and he lived alone in his room at a four apartment building located in Lake Independence. Policorpio Cowo is the caret...
Flooding in parts of Belmopan
Scattered showers poured rain over the country soaking several families in flood prone areas between last night and today. Families in Belmopan were not spared from last night’s showers. Several families in the outlying communities of Belmopan went to sleep last night only to get up this morning and...
Minor takes rap for firearm
A 17 year old minor from West Lake community has told the courts that he obtained a gun for self-protection and fears for his life. However, the Gang Suppression Unit’s discovery of the firearm, ammunition and marijuana landed the minor and two adults, including cousin Sherman Samuels, 18, and frien...
Ibrahim Smith jailed over stolen weaponry used in student’s death
While he is yet to face trial for the death of 17 year old Sadie Vernon High School student Shinelle Reyes which occurred five years ago, 23 year old Ibrahim Smith has begun a seven year jail sentence for possession of a form of prohibited firearm, specifically the weapon used to cause her death, al...
Trio freed of murder charges
Police Street resident Harrison Smith was killed on North Front Street on October 3, 2014. Police almost immediately arrested 28 year old Bartholomew Lucas, 28 year old Daniel Caine and 20 year old Oscar Flores , the latter of the Pinks Alley area. But today they were set free, as according to Lucas...
Man shot in Belize City
The sound of gunfire rang out in Belize City this afternoon and when it was all over, a man lay mortally wounded on Vernon Street. The businessman, Ruben Perez, was murdered in cold blood shortly after three this evening at his Sand and Cement Distribution Company located at the far end of Vernon St...
Caye Caulker Chronicles
Doggy Dip & Wash Day
On Saturday this week, 28th November, the Caye Caulker Humane Society are having a Doggy Dip & Wash Day. Now if that doesn’t sound like a fun time for your 4 legged friends, I don’t know what does. I know the 2 dogs I’m pooch-sitting for will be there. The Caye Caulker Humane Society is the big step ahead on this island for our pets. Not having a full-time vet and it’s sporadic at best when we do have one, these guys dedicate their time and effort into looking after all our animals. The staff are amazing and work tirelessly and purely on a voluntary basis. The Humane Society is only open Saturday mornings, but the volunteers are ready 24/7 to help out in an emergency. I don’t know them all by name, but Miss Bobbi, Amanda Badger, Noelle Gray, Monique Luppes, Debbie, Val and all the other volunteers, as an animal lover, I take my hat off to you and thank you from the bottom of my heart and I know the animals do too.
Southside businessman murdered in his office!
BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Nov. 26, 2015–Businessman and construction equipment supplier, Ruben Perez, 50, of Vernon Street, today was murdered at his business place, and his devastated family is trying to grapple with his sudden loss, and the merciless and senseless manner in which he was gunned down.
Perez was shot in the chest and head in his office, on the compound of his business, Perez Construction Supplies, on Vernon Street, at about 3:30 this evening.
Surveillance cameras show that two unmasked men came into his office, and when Perez got up to see what they wanted, one of the men pulled out a gun and shot him twice, once in the head and once in the chest. Reports are that three shots were fired.
The men then ran out of the store and sped away on their bicycles, heading around the curve on the road towards the George Price Highway, near the Lord Ridge Cemetery.
New Guat prez bypasses Belize on SICA tour
Belize has been excluded from a one-week tour inaugurated on Monday by Guatemala’s president- elect, Jimmy Morales. An article appearing this week in Guatemala’s Prensa Libre says that no explanation has been offered on why Belize was excluded from the courtesy calls of 6 countries, including all other members of the Central American Integration System (SICA) and Mexico, an observer of SICA.
Amandala has contacted the Belize Ministry of Foreign Affairs to find out if they knew anything about the tour and Belize’s exclusion. Our sources there said they did not know anything, but informed us that Morales has invited Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow to his inauguration slated for January 2016.
This Monday, Morales made his first courtesy call not on Belize, but on the president of Honduras, where he met with that country’s president – Juan Orlando Hernández, after which he traveled to meet his counterpart in El Salvador.
Wesley College in damage control mode: Vice principal charged with drug trafficking
Last Friday, November 20, the police’s Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) conducted a sting operation in the Yarborough area which resulted in the arrest of Melvin Hewlett, 35, the Vice Principal of Wesley College, who was charged for drug trafficking and arraigned in the Magistrate’s Court later that same day.
Hewlett’s arrest has sent Wesley College into damage control mode, as the school’s administration has moved quickly to assure stakeholders that normalcy will be maintained at the 123-year-old church/state run institution.
Today Amandala spoke with the school’s principal, Joan Tillett, who told us that she is not authorized to speak on the issue of Hewlett’s criminal case, because that matter has been dealt with by the school’s board of directors, which has made its recommendation to the Ministry of Education in conformity with the Education Rules.
Tillett also disclosed that the school held a meeting with its student body and there is a parent/teachers meeting planned for Friday.
Six BWS employees were wrongfully terminated, Supreme Court rules
In July 2012, five employees were terminated from their jobs at Belize Water Services Ltd. At the time of the termination, the management of the government-owned company indicated that the workers were terminated in accordance with the company’s redundancy policy. The workers contended that they were wrongfully terminated and sought redress from the court in a wrongful termination claim.
Today, the six workers who sued the company were vindicated when Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana ruled that they were wrongfully terminated. The claimants in the case are Mark Menzies, Don Gillett, Colin Morrison, Charlette Barnett, Michael Novelo and Journett McKoy.
The six former employees who brought the lawsuit against BWS were terminated against the backdrop of a series of salacious letters that were being circulated at BWS. Those letters were written by someone on the BWS staff, and stated that certain managers were involved in unbecoming behavior at the workplace, even sexual activities on the worksite.
Decomposing male body found in Police Street apartment
The dead, decomposing body of Martin Crispin Lino, 56, a retired public health worker of Belize City, was found in his apartment on Police Street at about 7:00 this morning, Thursday.
On the scene, the landlord told Amandala that he last saw Lino was on Sunday when he went to see him, and Lino told him to come Thursday morning for the rent money.
The landlord said that a stench in the atmosphere was disturbing the environment, but he thought that it was a dead dog in the area. He said that he went to Lino’s apartment and as he opened the door to the room, which was not locked, he saw his tenant dead and decomposing.
The neighbors said that they last saw Lino on Monday morning.
Zika virus right next door
Earlier this month Caribbean health authorities announced that the first confirmed cases of the Zika Virus had been found in CARICOM—news which sent the region on high alert for the emerging disease transmitted by the same mosquito which transmits dengue and Chikungunya.
While the name of the country (or countries) where the 5 Zika cases had been detected was not revealed, this week health authorities in Belize confirmed that the Zika virus is closer to Belize than previously thought.
A report coming out of Mexico last Tuesday announced that a 26-year-old who had traveled to Colombia, where other Zika cases had been detected, had returned home with Zik V, and next door in Guatemala, another case was confirmed. This is significant, since Belize is bordered to the north by Mexico and to the west and south by Guatemala.
T.V. Ramos Classic results
Here are the Weekend Warriors (WW) results from the Dangriga T.V. Ramos Classic held yesterday, November 22, in beautiful Dangriga. The WW race left Wadani Shed at 10:25 a.m. for the “A” & “B” riders, went all the way to the Placencia Junction on the Southern Highway, and returned to the Shed, for 54 miles. The WW “C” class, alongside the Dangriga & P.G. riders, went to Maya Center and back.
Category “A/B” – 1st place, Robert Mariano (Digicell-4G); 2nd Dean Belisle (BelCal); 3rd David Yearwood (Lampaz); 4th Kirk Sutherland (Digicell-4G); 5th Palas Joseph (Lampaz); 6th Kent Gabourel (Megabytes); 7th Ryan Willoughby (Smart, 1st “B” rider); 8th Vallan Symns (Megabytes); 9th Jack Sutherland (Digicell-4G); 10th Kevin Hope (FT Williams, 2nd “B” rider); 11th Windell Williams (Smart); 12th Mark Reid (Santino’s, 3rd “B” rider); 13thh Kaya Cattouse (C-Ray); 14thh John Burns (Digicell-4G); 15thh Gilberto Acosta (Truckers, 4thh “B” rider); 16thh Preston Martinez (Megabytes); 17thh Ian Whittaker (Digicell-4G); 18thh Antonio Escarpeta (FT Williams); 19thh Kenny Gooding (FT Williams); 20thh Daniel Cano (Santino’s); 21stt Clarence Tesecum (FT Williams); 22ndd Isaiah Willacey (FT Williams); and 23rdd Wilbert Jones (Megabytes). Some 32 riders started the race.
Bze City primary school volleyball champs 2015
The Belize City Primary Schools Volleyball Tournament 2015, which started back on October 7 and included 6 female and 6 male teams, climaxed with championship games on Wednesday, November 18, at Bird’s Isle.
In the female finals, Holy Redeemer defeated Belize Elementary in 3 sets, 25-13, 20-25, 15-11.
And in the male finals, it was the reverse, with Belize Elementary winning over Holy Redeemer in straight sets, 25-18, 25-20.
Bandits 1:1 Verdes; Police United 1:0 BDF
Two back matches, one from Week 8 – Belmopan Bandits vs Verdes at the FFB Stadium, and one from Week 9 – BDF vs Police United at the Norman Broaster Stadium, were played last night; and the results have ended the playoff hopes for BDF, and confirmed the 4 teams that will enter the Premier League of Belize (PLB) Opening Season 2015-2016 playoffs.
Police United 1:0 BDF
Desperate for a victory to keep their playoff hopes alive, BDF held Police United scoreless until the 71st minute at the Norman Broaster, when Police’s Harrison “Cafu” Roches found the back of the net, resulting in a Police United 1-nil win. Police are now at the top of the standings, while BDF, at 8 points, can no longer make the playoffs.
3rd Annual BNE Jr Table Tennis Championships results
BNE National Junior Table Tennis Championships concluded yesterday, Sunday, November 22, with the following results:
12 and Under Category: 1st place, Taye Parkinson; 2nd, Samron Pott; 3rd, Terry Su; 3rd, Aidan Arnold.
15 and Under Category: 1st place, Amiri Hoare; 2nd, Latrell Solis; 3rd, Jaylen Nicholson; 3rd, Terry Su.
18 and Under Category: 1st place, Taye Parkinson; 2nd, Latrell Solis; 3rd, Jaylen Nicholson; 3rd, Joshua Gegg.
Doubles Category: 1st place, Latrell Solis/Joshua Gegg; 2nd, Taye Parkinson/Luis Bardales;
3rd, Amiri Hoare/Jaylen Nicholson; 3rd, Eric Li/Sergio Glori.
This is the third year that a BNE Junior National Championships has been hosted separately from the BNE National Championships, due to the increased growth in numbers of our junior players. The Belize Table Tennis Association (BTTA), in partnership with our sponsor, Belize Natural Energy (BNE), will continue to move forward with these events being held separately.
The roots to come …
“The one employer which absolutely refused to give in to the union’s demands was the Belize Estate and Produce Company. The strike at the BEC sawmill involved 268 men, and shortly after the strike was called the company declared all the men dismissed and closed down its operation. The government allowed the company the use of the radio station to appeal for scab labour, but it was not till over a month after the strike was called that three scabs appeared to work at the BEC sawmill. A large crowd outside the compound attempted to stop them, and twenty-eight persons were arrested and charged by the police. By 4th December, however, the number of strike-breakers had reached 31, most of them new workers, and by 8th December there were 47 workers at the sawmill. On that day the workers, unable to hold out any longer, decided to go back to work. The company reemployed only about 70 of the original 268 strikers.
Looking back twenty (20) years later
December 1, 1995, I took my son on his last trip to KHMH and December 7, 1995 he breathed his last breath on earth. Remembering still hurts; new memories have been created, happy ones and sad ones. However the questions that come to mind are “Have I/we learnt anything?” “Have I/we changed our attitudes, behaviours, conversations and choices?” “Have I/we shown more love, compassion, empathy or sympathy to others who are less fortunate than we are?”
My son died from an AIDS-related disease and no, I’m not embarrassed to speak out about it, and neither was he! I’m glad he taught me that before he died. Not given to public speaking I was timid, fearful and yes, even a bit embarrassed the first time I was asked to speak publicly. But I quickly whispered a prayer for wisdom and courage and realizing there were others hurting, afraid and lonely, once I opened my mouth, emotions took over and the words just flowed.
Economic growth lagging behind 2014, but unemployment rate down: SIB
Economic growth so far in 2015 is lagging way behind last year’s, with the Gross Domestic Product contracting by 1.0% between July and September, according to data released by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) today at a press conference held in Belize City this morning at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza.
The SIB reported an exceptional 3rd quarter in 2014, said to be the highest growth rate of any 3rd quarter period for the country since 2009, registering growth of 4.8%, well above this year’s reported 1.0% contraction. In its March 2015 Economic Outlook and Update, the Central Bank of Belize had forecasted “…a slight deceleration in 2015 based on the likelihood of smaller increases in the export crops and tourist arrivals, and declines in extraction of petroleum and output of hydro-electricity.”
It, therefore, projected a GDP growth for 2015 of 2.0% and 2.5%.
Jefte Ochaeta, Statistician I, told the press today that the country’s GDP grew an estimated 1.2% for the first 9 months of 2015. There were major declines in fishing (which fell by about $25.9 mil) and agriculture (which fell by about $6.4 mil), resulting in decelerated GDP growth in 2015. Government services expanded by roughly 13% in the 3rd quarter largely due to an increase in salary payouts to reflect salary adjustments.
SJC takes bold step: African and Mayan History now available on school’s website
In one of Bob Marley’s songs, he challenges the masses to “emancipate yourself from mental slavery;” a lot of that mental slavery has to do with the way we were taught in school. Some of those lessons were meant not so much as to educate, but more to keep us ignorant, and in so doing, control us.
St. John’s College High School made a bold step by going against the traditional curriculum when in 2013, it introduced African History and Mayan History into their curriculum.
Today, the History Department of St. John’s College High School held a presentation where the first form curriculum of the African History and Maya History and the second form curriculum of Belizean History, along with the e-readers, which are connected to their website belizehistorysjc.com, were formally presented to the Principal of St. John’s College High School, Yolanda Gongora.
At the presentation, which was held in the Art Centre of St. John’s College Campus, Delmar Tzib, the history teacher who was a collaborator of the program, in his speech said that: “One of the first aims of the program … was to teach history from the perspective of the oppressed, and not from the account of the European.”
EU sugar price plunges; domestic price could rise
The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association held their Annual General Meeting on Sunday where the members passed a resolution to increase the domestic price of sugar by $1.00 per pound. This increase is as a result of the lower cane price of $35.33 per ton that will be paid to farmers for their sugar, Oscar Alonzo, Chief Executive Officer of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) said. Alonzo added that a second resolution was passed that the Sugar Industry Act be amended which would take away the sole responsibility in locating a market and the best price for the cane farmers’ sugar from the American Sugar Refinery/Belize Sugar Industries Ltd (ASR/BSI).
As we reported two weeks ago, the cane farmers were not satisfied with the new cane price which the (ASR/BSI) had estimated at $41.56, which meant that the first payout to the farmers would be $35.33 per ton. As a result of their dissatisfaction, the BSCFA sent a letter to the ASR/BSI in an effort to bargain for a better price. Also, BSCFA sent a letter to Hon. Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister who is the Minister of Agriculture, for him to intervene on their behalf.
Tragedy in Shark Ray Alley: tourist drowns
–A tourist who was snorkeling in Shark Ray Alley in Caye Caulker died after he suffered difficulties in the water, went down and did not come up.
Karl Edwin Simmons, 61, later floated to the surface and was taken to the Caye Caulker Polyclinic, where he was declared dead on arrival.
Police reported that Simmons, an American security officer of Baywood Street, Shore Acres, Texas, USA, a tourist and member of a cruise that was visiting Caye Caulker from a cruise ship, was snorkeling with his wife, Esther, 56, in Shark Ray Alley when she began to drift away because of the strong current, and he quickly swam after her to help her.
According to reports, however, Simmons began to experience difficulty, and he went down and disappeared under the water.
Shortly after, he was seen floating face down in the water. He was quickly retrieved and taken to the clinic, where he was declared dead.
The tour guides who were present kept the tourists calm after the incident, while Simmons was taken to the hospital.