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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
Crocodile Safety and ACES Updates
With Christmas comes the full on breeding season for the American crocodile, Crocodylus acutus, in Belize. For this reason the larger crocs are on the move. Males are seeking out females while females are searching for suitable nesting habitat. Just since this past October, the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES), Belize’s leading crocodile research and rescue organization, has received 41 calls from concerned residents about crocodiles in their area. After hundreds of volunteered hours to investigate each croc call, only nine crocodiles were deemed problematic and relocated for human, and croc, safety. Please keep in mind that crocodiles are primarily a shy, timid species; and, while the females are territorial over nesting grounds (March through August), large males are for the most part continually on the move, especially this time of the year. However, crocodiles will congregate in areas where there is an easy food source; so PLEASE…
Do not directly feed crocodiles. It is illegal, extremely dangerous, and fed crocodiles start to look for people for food.
Do not toss food scraps into the water or at the waters’ edge. This means all food waste, not just fish and chicken. While one may think that last night’s rice and beans will not attract a crocodile, it does attract fish and raccoons which are the crocodiles’ main sources of food. This also leads to pets being attacked by accident.
Have a Pineapple Boat at Pineapples Restaurant
You could say that Pineapples is somewhat of a themed restaurant, but it’s not tacky, by far. It blends very well with the earthy feel at Ramon’s Village, the resort in which it is located. It can be very elegant, upscale and at the same time very casual as it caters to both the resort’s guests and anybody who desires to indulge in sweet decadence.
I say sweet because a lot of the restaurant’s dishes are centered around one main ingredient; you guessed it – the pineapple. The restaurant has established itself as one of the leading restaurants on the island, yet I still don’t think the local residents are aware of the goodness they are missing out on not having dined at Pinapples Restaurant.
Take for example the Pineapple Boat and Pineapple Explosion on the menu. They scream originality and sweet goodness. The Pineapple Boat is the restaurants signature dish - scrumptious oriental fried rice loaded with chunks of sweet and delicious fresh pineapple and succulent grilled shrimp served in an authentic pineapple boat, topped with crispy fried rice noodles.
Belize Stands Up for Violence Against The Elderly After Recent Violent Attacks
Helpage Belize along with its sister organizations under the National Council on Ageing have sent out press releases expressing their condemnation of the recent home invasion and brutal assault inflicted on 93-year-old senior citizen of Belize City, Mr. Patrick Grant.
Since October of this year there have been reports of violent crimes against older persons in different parts of the country. In each incident these heinous crimes have caused shock and disbelief among Belizeans. Last night’s coverage of the brutal and senseless attack of a 93-year-old man in his home in Belize City once again highlights the vulnerability of older persons across the country. Belize’s population of older persons continues to grow every year and with it challenges of care, security and safety remains an issue for many and their family.
“Over the past months we have observed the growing trend of violence against the elderly in Belize,” stated Helpage Belize in their press release. “Those abuses range from what might clearly constitute a criminal offence, e.g. sexual or physical abuse, theft, etc., to acts that cause grievous harm. In 2014, brutal assaults perpetuated against senior citizens have resulted in deaths of Mrs. Coc of Colombia Village, Toledo District and Mrs. Augustine of Hopkins Village, Stann Creek District. In addition, the husband of Mrs. Augustine (Dudley Augustine) was grievously assaulted and left almost lifeless.”
Gas Prices Go Up as Belize Increases Import Duties on Fuel Products
World fuel prices are at an 11-year low, but why is it that fuel pump prices in Belize went up at midnight on Monday, December 28, 2015? Well it is not because Belize is purchasing fuel at higher prices, but government says it has increased on import duties on fuel products.
In a press release issued at the beginning of the week, the Government said that it needs to increase taxes on fuel products in order to pay its bills.
Premium went up by 8% - 72 cents per gallon.
Regular went up by 13% - 97 cents.
Diesel went up by 13% - 81 cents.
A government release says "the Import Duties on Premium Gasoline and Diesel Oil increased by 65 cents Belize per U.S. Gallon while the Import Duty on Regular Gasoline increased by 57 cents Belize per U.S. Gallon."
25 Years Ago - The Coming of Radio in Belize
Long before the coming of television to Belize we had the radio. There was one national radio all the way back into the 1950's and it was the B H B C, the British Honduras Broadcasting Corporation of Belize. As you might already know, British Honduras was the name of our country because it was a British Colony.
B H B C was a national radio station that transmitted to all parts of the country. Obviously there were favorite personalities and favorite programs. One of the favorite male personalities was Edison Seferino Coleman whose artistic name was Sefe. Coleman was a comedian and did El Retorno de Seferino. He was also a powerful news Anchor.
A favorite female personality was Lidia Ramirez, who hosted a children's program, Rincon Infantil. She played the guitar, sang, did stories and riddles and also enabled children and parents to send their requests and greetings.
A Christmas Miracle for Baby Shamir Born with Incomplete Esophagus
“I would never have believed that this would be our Christmas miracle,” commented Milagro Garel, Belize representative for the World Pediatric Project. “This could never have happened without the support and collaboration of Immigration dept - officers complete with CEO on the ground, the U.S. Embassy and KHMH who all came together to ensure that Shamir's life could be saved! World pediatric project has been working in Belize for the past 10 years and this is the 8th case of this exact condition that we have had in our hands! It is important for our story to be shared because those in need NEED to know that we are here in Belize and that our assign is saving our children!”
There was never a guarantee that a specialized medical center would take up baby Shamir, especially since it is on a charity basis and, in this case, during the busy Holiday season. But that is now a thing of the past with baby Shamir now in Virginia where he is getting special nutrition to gain weight in order for him to undergo the major surgery needed to save his life.
Belize Fisheries Department Announces Fisher Folk License Renewal Dates 2016
The Belize Fisheries Department hereby informs the Public that it will commence the renewal of fisher folk licenses on January 4th, 2016. A grace period for renewals will be in place until January 31st, 2016.
Starting January 2016, fishers will have access to their two main fishing areas. This process seeks to formalize the current fishing patterns and give fishers the opportunity to collaborate in the management of the resources in their respective areas. Fishers are advised to bring along all pertinent documents upon renewal to facilitate the process. Licensing will be carried out for the following communities at the Belize Fisheries Department Office in Belize City on the dates specified below:
Misc Belizean Sources
Bullet Tree Animal Health Clinic
CELA is doing another FREE vet clinic in Bullet Tree Falls, on January 2nd. Keep that feral animal population down, and neuter.
"Our Large Animal Vet Practices class will be supporting a community animal health clinic in Bullet Tree Falls on Saturday, 2 January. The clinic will open at 9 am. Come early if your animal needs a spay or neuter. See flier for more details."
Saga Night Fever!
January 16th, Saga Night Fever at the Casa. 7PM until 11Pm, $70BZ includes, 3 hours of passed apps, cash bar, 70's DJ, prizes for best 70's dressup, dance competition, instructional hustle dancing, raffles and even a mirrored ball. Come support Saga Humane Society and have a Groovy Time....Can You Dig It? For tickets, please call Sandie at 620-1124 or purchase tickets at Casa Picasso or Pampered Paws. Limited to 80 persons.
Wildtracks Twelve Days of Christmas
Still counting down the twelve days of Christmas, and our milk pile is growing. With each manatee calf drinking between a litre and two litres of milk a day, we are extremely grateful to all those who have already either bought milk formula directly, or have donated towards milk purchase through the Wildtracks web page. There is still a long way to go, though...so please donate and / or share the appeal, and encourage others to contribute!!
Cayo Cop Accused Of Rape Criminally Arraigned
In last night's newscast you heard Vanessa Evans' chilling story. She alleges that while she was detained at the San Ignacio police station - a police officer took her out of her cell, guided her to a dark room, handcuffed her and raped her. It's rare that a rape victim speaks out publicly, but Evans told us she went through too much to be silent any longer. And she told us she is so happy she did because not the officer she claims raped her has been charged. Today we traveled to Cayo to find out more about the police investigation and also to capture Evan's reaction to the rape charges. Here is that story.
Calm, respectful and committed. Those are just a few words used to describe Constable Luke Moriera.
He was officer of the month for November of this year and his picture was among the other model officers on this wall.
But today, instead of proudly walking out of the police station as he usually does, he walked out with his head hung low to court for his bail hearing. Moriera was charged for the rape of female detainee Vanessa Evans -and it happened right inside the police station.
Insp. Reymundo Reyes, Deputy OC, San Ignacio Police:
"It was shocking news, especially when the officer who was being accused named was called. Because he is a person that we do not have any sorts of irregularities - a calm person."
But regardless of how surprising the news was, an investigation was done and statements from other police officers and prisoners were documented and surveillance footage was reviewed. Inspector Reyes told us this case was no different from any other.
Jailed For Allegedly Assaulting A 93 Year-old
93-year-old beating victim Patrick Grant is showing signs of recovery today. The Fern Lane resident was attacked in his home at dawn on Sunday, December 27th. The culprit was a robber who took his 21 inch TV. Grant's daughter Gilda Diaz told us today that he began to mumble today - and the first thing he did was pray:...
Gilda Diaz, daughter
"You know what is the condition from Sunday to now. Today with everybody's prayers he actually - I was pinching him and twisting his skin so he would respond. I know that hurts, but I had to do something for him to feel and open his eyes. I open his eyes with my fingers. I did him all sorts of stuff and then he started to groan and starting saying a couple little things and I told him and I said lets pray and he started to pray. But instead of praying for himself, he was praying for me and I told him we were praying for him. But anyway he said his prayers, which made me feel good because he likes to pray."
"Have the doctors indicated any need for a surgery or something like that?"
Gilda Diaz, daughter:
"That is what they are looking at. Does he need a surgery at this time? I hope not. I hope he is strong enough to heal himself. But I hope not, because people his age don't do very well I think with surgeries. Because there would be too many complications. But at least he wasn't talking very clearly, but he was mumbling and what eased my pain today was him saying his prayers. And that made a lot of difference to me."
Alleged Drunk Driver Arraigned For Killing Baby Genesis
Yesterday we told you about the tragic incident involving 1 year old Genesis Medina, who was knocked down and killed in the village of San Estevan in Orange Walk. It happened on Sunday night and today Orange Walk Police formally arraigned the man responsible for her death. He is 28th year old Eliseo Israel Larios. Larios was slapped with six traffic related charges when he appeared before the Magistrate's court in Orange Walk. His charges include: manslaughter by negligence, driving a vehicle with an alcohol concentration above prescribed limit, failure to report an accident, failure to stop and render aid, causing death by careless conduct and driving without due care and attention. In Court Larios was granted $5,000 dollars bail which he met. He has to surrender all his travel documents and was ordered to return to court on February 4th 2016.
Accused Child Molester Arraigned And Remanded
Today Orange Walk Police also made another arrest. On Monday we told you about the case of a 5 year old boy who was allegedly sexually molested by a man who was known to the family. It turns out it was the boy's uncle. For the protection of the child we will not broadcast neither the name nor photograph of the alleged perpetrator. What we can say however is that the man was today charged with sexual assault. Original reports were that sometime around 2 pm on December 26th, the mother was alerted by the screams of her mother in law who had just caught a man in the process of sexually assaulting the 5-year-old boy. The perpetrator was remanded to prison and is to return to court at a later date.
ADU Made A Huge Bust, Could Be Millions of Dollars In Heroine
The Police Anti-Drug Unit made what is believed to be a major drug bust last night in Belize City.
Acting on intelligence, they stopped a vehicle at the Bel China Bridge, and when they searched it, they found 11 kilos of suspected heroine. They detained the driver, and transported the drugs to the police station.
This driver remains in custody, and he may be criminally charged with drug trafficking. We say "may" because sources tell us that police have still not verified that it is heroin.
Heroin busts are rare in Belize, and in all cases that we've reported on, it was found in the north, presumably on the way to Mexico. If verified, this would be the first major find in the city. Heroin has a far greater street value than cocaine, so 11 kilos could be worth more than a million US dollars. Again, though, they still have to determine whether it is heroine.
Rural Cops Caught A Big Gun, Says Criminals Were Going Equipped
For most of this month, Eastern Police Rural have been on the news giving updates on the eight armed thieves who burglarized the home of Lebanese Diplomat Sarkis Abou Nehra in Burrell Boom. A part of that narrative, was the attempt by police to prevent this crime, but the criminals were one step ahead.
Well tonight, police are reporting that they are the ones who were a step ahead - and it allowed them foil a major robbery which was planned for a business place in Ladyville. Daniel Ortiz reports:
This rusty looking gun looks like its definitely seen better days but the metal bar sitting on top of it, which also appears worse for wear, is an extended magazine clip, which was loaded with 30 bullets.
It's a submachine gun, and police research says that it's most likely, a CZ 25 model, which are originate from Czechoslovakia. It's capable of rapid bursts of fire for a barrage of bullets at a chosen target.
Teenager Charged For Allegedly Stabbing Lennox To Death
Last night, we told you about 18 year-old Lennox Flowers, who was stabbed to death on Boxing Day at an after party at the Castleton Horse Racing Track in Burrell Boom. Well, police have charged one of the men who they believe was his attacker.
He's 19 year-old Cecil Ramirez, a 6th Form Student who lives on Jasmine Street in Belize City.
Today, Ladyville Police outlined what evidence and what motive they have so far:
Insp. Juanito Cocom, OC - Ladyville Police
"I want to update you in respect to the murder that occurred in Burrell Boom. We will be laying charges of murder to Cecil Ramirez this morning. He will be charged for murder."
"We understand that they may have been 3 individuals involved."
Insp. Juanito Cocom, OC - Ladyville Police
"The evidence we have is pinpointing to only one person doing the stab wounds."
"Yesterday I had asked no charges contemplated or conspiracy to commit murder?"
15 Year-old Kurk Still Hospitalized
Last night, we told you about 15 year-old Kurk Broaster. He was the young man who was shot yesterday near the Pickstock jungle area. Well, he remains at the KHMH tonight, recovering from gunshot injuries the chest.
We approached his family today for comment but they declined. They did tell us that his status has improved since yesterday when he was first rushed to the hospital. They say that he is in a "critical but stable condition".
As we told you he was standing at the corner of Pickstock Street and New Road when shooters passed by and fired at him. Street sources tell us that he was targeted as part of an ongoing gang rivalry.
Evaristo's Accused Murder Will Be Charged Soon
Punta Gorda Police continue to investigate the murder of 55 year-old Evaristo Bul, the Toledo Resident who was chopped and shot death on Boxing Day just outside his home village of San Pedro Colombia.
The investigating officer from Punta Gorda expects to lay charges against one of the suspects tomorrow.
As we had reported, police found Bul's lifeless body on the Jalacte Road between the San Pedro Colombia and San Miguel. His killer, police believe, chopped Bull several times to the head and face, and then shot him in the chest.
Police say that his life was taken from him over a land dispute, while others suggest that there could be another motive.
Truck Driver Shot By Mexican Robbers Recuperating In Belize
On our Christmas Eve Newscast, we told you about Belizean Albert Gentle, a truck driver from Georgeville Village in Cayo. He was shot in the head on December 24 during a robbery while he was at a gas station in Villahermosa, Mexico.
Well, we have confirmed that he's at home recuperating from that gunshot to the head. We spoke with him very briefly via telephone this evening, and he told us that his doctors say that he suffering from swelling in the brain caused by the bullet. He told us that as part of the bed rest regiment, he's not allowed to talk very much because it is taxing on his health at this time.
Gentle was driving an 18-wheeler truck which was towing a container, and he was part of a convoy of 10 vehicles traveling to Belize. He briefly separated from the rest of the convoy, and stopped at a gas station in Villahermosa, the largest City in the Mexican State of Tabasco.
10 Years For Stabbing A Man 14 Times
3 weeks ago, we told you about Rafael Mencias, the Corozal resident who was convicted of manslaughter. That's after he stood trial before a jury who heard evidence that he stabbed a man 14 times.
Well, Justice Herbert Lord heard his mitigation plea today, and after taking all factors in to consideration, he handed Mencias a Prison sentence of 10 years. But, because he had been on remand for 5 years while he awaited trial, the judge subtracted that from his sentence, and so, he will only, spend 5 more years in jail.
As we reported, Mencias stood trial where the crown counsel called 11 witnesses to testify against him. The evidence outlined for the jury that on July 26, 2010, he stabbed Phillip Moses Hall 14 times while they were inside his apartment in Carolina Village, Corozal.
In his defence, he told the court that he had just finished taking a bath when he heard his front door slam. He said that he panicked and started calling out and asking who was there.
The Power Jostling Before PUP's Big Convention
The PUP National Convention to elect a new executive is set for January 31st in Belmopan - and the race is expected to get a lot more interesting in the next four and a half weeks. That's because today was the deadline for each constituent and each unit of the party to submit the names of their delegates. It's a total of over 2,700 delegates - the most that have ever voted for an executive in either the UDP or the PUP. And that large number, in a three way race is what sets the stage for all kinds of craziness in the next few weeks.
And here's why. Each constituency chairman is trying to deliver his block of delegates for one of the leadership candidates: Cordel Hyde, Francis Fonseca or John Briceno. So, that constituency chair only includes on his delegates list the most loyal party supporters he can find.
But, it's virtually impossible to assure that these delegates do just what they are told to do - and there's the rub. Each candidate for leader has his constituency pledged, but holding together, say, a hundred delegates is no small task.
Cuban Humanitarian Crisis Resolution?
Earlier this month the Belize Government got a call of distress from the Costa Rican Government who asked if Belize would take in the 4 thousand Cuban migrants who found themselves stranded at the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. The Belize Cabinet turned the request down on the basis that they did not have sufficient evidence to make a proper decision. Today the Guatemalan Government issued a statement saying that after a successful meeting with parties including officials from the Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico, and Guatemala, they got a commitment that the parties will work together on to see through this humanitarian crisis. Reports coming out of the meeting held in Guatemala were that a decision was made to airlift the stranded Cubans to El Salvador and put them on buses to cross from Guatemala into Mexico and ultimately cross the border in the US. When we spoke to personnel from Belize's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on this matter, we were told that the Cabinet position to not accept the migrants has not changed. [END]
Single Mother's Home Goes Up In A Blaze
A fire last night in the antelope street extension in Belize City destroyed the belongings of a single mother and her two children. 24 year old Geneve Armstrong lived in a one bedroom apartment with her two children. Armstong says that the raging fire burnt down the little she had. Now she is appealing to the public for financial assistant to help her send her kids to school on Monday, when classes resume.
"I just want help with a little finance so I can buy back some of my things at least and for when school opens on Monday, so I can send my children to school the correct way. Right now they don't know what is happening. They are still happy. But it's me who is feeling everything when it's time to send them to school. I don't like to burden myself on people and that is what I am doing right now and I don't want to do that. So I am asking for a little help, so maybe I can rent a room because I don't really have a family that I can go to. It's just this sister that I am close to. I really can't to anyone. You can't burden people with your stress. So I just want to ask for help so that my children can feel like nothing didn't happen - rent a room and continue with my life. I really don't want a lot of things, just to buy back my bed and a fan for my children and the little of clothes that we lost."
Venezuelan Opposition Party Wants To Shut Down Petrocaribe
Three weeks ago we asked what will happen to Petrocaribe. That's after the opposition was elected in the Venezuelan parliament. They have a commanding supermajority - and plan to shake up the government of President Nicolas Maduro. Well, tonight we have the first indication that they are looking at Petrocaribe. Fox News Latino ran a story today headlined, quote, "Reckless giveaway of Venezuela's oil needs to stop, opposition says."
The article says, quotes congressman Henrique Marquez, whos aid quote, "[State-owned oil company] P(e)d(e)v(e)sa, its whole operations, and those oil agreements with Cuba and Petrocaribe, that we should really look into."
The article adds, quote, "the newly elected majority is threatening to cut the flow of cheap oil - especially given the current oil prices." It continues, "Fox News Latino spoke to several members of the upcoming supermajority opposition, all of whom said they wanted the oil agreements reviewed, if not altogether annulled."
Police Foil Planned Robbery in Ladyville, Find Powerful Firearm
A conspiracy to rob a business in Ladyville, Belize District has been thwarted and a very powerful submachine gun was recovered in the process. Police pursued fugitives in a high [...]
San Ignacio Police Charge One of Their Own for Rape
Twenty-one year old Police Constable Luke Moreira was charged late Monday evening with two counts of rape, and formally arraigned this afternoon at the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court. Moreira is [...]
PC Luke Moreira Denied Bail, Remanded to Belize Central Prison
While there was no question that Moreira would be charged today, there was some question as to whether he would be granted bail. This afternoon, the young police constable appeared [...]
Noralez Charged For Brutal Attack on Elderly Man
Ninety-three-year-old Patrick Grant is recovering tonight, following a brutal attack over the weekend in which he was badly beaten by his neighbor during a home invasion. The elderly man regained [...]
Student Remanded for Boxing Day Murder
A sixth form student is on remand tonight at the Belize Central Prison, following an arraignment for the weekend murder of eighteen-year-old Lennox Pierez Flowers. The fatal stabbing incident occurred [...]
Flowers Family Says His Murder Not Gang Related
The issue of gang involvement was raised yet again, despite Flowers’ mother vehemently denying any affiliation between her son and any of the various rival groups in Belize City. [...]
Should G.O.B. Allow Consumers to Benefit from Low Fuel Prices Worldwide?
And our question for tonight is: Do you think G.O.B. should have allowed consumers to benefit from low fuel prices worldwide? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones [...]
A Major Heroin Bust by the ADU on the BelChina Bridge
While police foiled a robbery in Ladyville on Monday night, the Anti Drug Unit also made a major bust in the city. There is a report tonight that around ten [...]
Minor Remains in Critical Condition after Shooting
A fifteen year old youth was shot on Monday afternoon on Pickstock Street in the City by two men who rode up to him and opened fire. The student remains [...]
Eliseo Larios Charged for Death of Baby Genesis in Fatal RTA
In San Estevan Village, Orange Walk, one year old Genesis Teresa Medina was killed in a fatal hit and run on Sunday afternoon. The alleged driver who knocked down the [...]
Uncle Accused in Sexual Assault of 5 Year Old Boy
Also on Monday, we reported that a five year old boy from Trial Farm Village, Orange Walk Town had been sexually abused over the weekend at his home. While we [...]
Mencias Gets 10 Years for Manslaughter
On December tenth, 2015, a jury of twelve deliberated for over five hours, found Rafael Mencias not guilty of murder but guilty of the manslaughter of Phillip Hall which occurred [...]
Council of Ageing Condemns Violence Against Elderly Persons
The vicious attack of ninety-three year old Patrick Grant over the Christmas holiday weekend has sparked outrage. Several organizations including HelpAge Belize along with its sister N.G.O.s under the National [...]
HelpAge Executive Director Says Elderly Person Must Be Protected
According to Bulwer, only a small percentage of the elderly population in Belize currently receives direct support services from organizations such as HelpAge; the others, in most cases, have been [...]
Deal Brokered In Cuban Migrant Crisis
There is tentatively good news for Cuban migrants stuck in Costa Rica following a SICA meeting held in Guatemala on Monday. According to reports, an agreement has been reached for [...]
6th Annual Habinahan Wanaragua Held in Dangriga
For years, there have been efforts to preserve all aspects of the Garifuna culture. In 2010, a trio of Garifuna activists, including Roy Cayetano, Canon Jerris Valentine and Cassian Nuñez, [...]