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Today's Belize News: February 15, 2016 #511622
02/15/16 05:39 AM
02/15/16 05:39 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 82,847
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Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


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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

Police Report
Wanted: The San Pedro Police Department is asking for assistance in the capture of George Martinez. He is wanted for escaping from police custody over a month ago. Anyone with information that can lead to his arrest please contact 206-2022 or call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 0-800-922-8477.
Missing: The public’s assistance is requested in locating Mindy Arucely Jordan Espino. She has been reported missing by the San Pedro Police Department by her husband and is believed to be in San Pedro Town against her will. Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to contact the San Pedro Police at 206-2022 or call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 0-800-922-8477 or contact cell number 602-4513. A reward is being offered for information leading to her return.
Sudden Death: On Monday, February 8th at about 4PM, based upon information received, the San Pedro Police visited a residence located on Stadium Street in the San Pablo area. Upon arrival, the lifeless body of a male person was noticed in a seated posture on a plastic chair that was on the corridor of the house. He was later identified as 74-year-old Santos Elijio, a retired Belizean laborer. The body was transported to the San Pedro Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic II, where Dr. Renae Sersland pronounced him dead of natural causes at 4:23PM.

Letter to the Editor: Sail and sea summer camp
Dear Editor: On January 26th 2016 I made some new friends: the lovely people at Leaning Palm Resort in Gales Point, Belize. Taunya, Ken and Nigel. I was chasing a kite-surfing solo long-distance world record, and I stumbled upon an unforgettable experience when I crash-landed 56 nautical miles south of San Pedro. I landed at a place I have wanted to set foot on for years but never got the chance to till now: the forgotten coast between Belize City and Dangriga. I fell in love with the pristine untouched beauty of the vast expanses of nature. It is the last place Belize remains untouched. The lush green tropical forest towers above the narrow sandy beaches where the wind blows and little waves crash with energy every second as if power washing the shoreline. Hundreds of sea birds rule the sky! Watching them fly effortlessly above lush beach coastline with no man-made structures for 20 mile stretches in either direction felt truly Jurassic. The Maya Mountains hundreds of feet up into the western horizon loom behind the coastline like giants lying asleep. My adventure ended with the discovery of a passion that has been inside me for years. I was meant to kite-surf to this place. To meet these new friends, and return to teach kids from the nearby village the wind sports. That way they can enjoy their surrounding coastline: sailing, windsurfing and kite-surfing. I will be organizing, funding and doing a free week long sailing summer camp for kids in Gales Point, Belize this July. It will be hosted by my new friends at the Leaning Palm Resort Ken, Taunya and Nigel. Sailboats are being supplied by our Belize Sailing Center in San Pedro, where I work. The name of the camp is “Sail and Sea” summer camp, and its slogan is “Passion for the sea, wind and waves.”

Wolfe’s Woofer: Alms
“Are you going to visit Steve this weekend?” Sherry asked. “I thought I would go over and spend some time with him,” I told her. “I want to see his new house and find out how he’s doing in San Ignacio.” “It’s good to see you,” Steve said, when he picked me up at the bus station. “You’re the first of my old friends to visit me since I moved out to the Western part of Belize.” At dinner I said, “Little Stevie has grown a lot since I last saw him,” “I’m nine, Mr. Dennis,” Stevie said. “I’m getting really big.” “You sure are. You’re going to be a fine man someday.” The next morning, Betty, Steve’s wife said. “Steve isn’t coming down for breakfast. He’s been sick all night. Why don’t you go up and see him?”

Letter to the Editor: San Pedro Lions Club thanks for assistance offered to Eye Screening Program
Dear Editor: THANK YOU!!! The San Pedro Lions Club is part of the Lions-Belize National Children’s Eye Screening Program, taking on the challenge of screening over 105,000 registered school children throughout Belize. The San Pedro Lions Club is responsible for over 15,000 children in Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker and all of the Corozal District. For those found to need glasses and cannot pay for them, our Zone 59 clubs are also paying for those glasses. Therefore, a special account has been set up to meet this need. The San Pedro Lions Club wants to say THANK YOU to Lion Bill Thornton, Lion Tamara Sniffin/The San Pedro Sun and the generosity of the Jerry Jeff Walker “Pickers” for contributions totaling over $1,700 recently! At the same time, we thank BCVI (Belize Council for the Vision Impaired) for providing free services and a pair of children’s glasses for only $60BZD. So far, San Pedro Lions Club has screened 638 children and will be in Caye Caulker in February for another 450 pre-school thru 14 year olds.

Belize – home to key CARICOM Regional Institutions
Through its role as a Centre of Excellence, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) supports the people of the Caribbean as they address the impact of climate variability and change on all aspects of economic development through the provision of timely forecasts and analyses of potentially hazardous impacts of both natural and man-induced climatic changes ono the environment, and the development of special programmes which create opportunities for sustainable development. The Five C’s, as the Centre is called, coordinates the Caribbean region’s response to climate change. Officially opened in August 2005, the Centre, based in Belize, is the key node for information on climate change issues and on the region’s response to managing and adapting to climate change in the Caribbean. It is the official repository and clearing house for regional climate change data, providing climate change-related policy advice and guidelines to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States through the CARICOM Secretariat. In this role, the Centre is recognised by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and other international agencies as the focal point for climate change issues in the Caribbean. It has also been recognised by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) as a Centre of Excellence, one of an elite few.

Doctor Love
Dear Doctor Love, My girlfriend and I have been together for several years and we scrimp and save to come down to Belize every summer. This year we are planning to get married while we are down there. We are not well off financially. She is graduating college this spring and once again we are scraping to get money just for the vacation. If we are married at home we have already figured out that the two families will compete with each other until the wedding is turned into a circus. We want to avoid that so we are planning a party for when we get back. Do you think this will be too offensive to both families? Should we inform them? /s/ Unsure in Pennsylvania

Fishing Managed Access Program Consultation held in San Pedro
On Wednesday, February 3rd the first ‘Fishing Managed Access Program Consultation’ was held in San Pedro Town at the Lions Den. Spearheading the gathering was commercial fisherman and tour guide Alfredo Rubio, whose purpose was to try and organize an association and start the recruitment of members for a local committee in order to manage the fishing area around Ambergris Caye. The meeting started shortly after 6:30PM and saw a handful of persons who welcomed the initiative to establish a fishing association in San Pedro. The program began early this year with a series of meetings that ended open access fishing across Belize’s marine ecosystems by licensed commercial fishermen. The program is set to be implemented in every coastal community in the country, with each area forming a Community Managed Access Committee. Rubio is currently making the efforts to organize a committee on the island after he was appointed as the president of the San Pedro Committee in December of last year by the Belize Fisheries Department to spearhead the program in Ambergris Caye. At the first consultation/meeting no members were selected. Rubio is seeking six members to form the committee and he expects this to happen in the upcoming meetings. “It is important to standardize our fishing practices in San Pedro, so we can have more resources from the sea and fishermen don’t have to go far from the island to fish. When this program is implemented and we have the committee and association established, fishermen in San Pedro will be see a difference and be able to catch their sea products right in front of the island. Why? Because we will be enforcing sustainable fishing which will safeguard our future and dependency on fishing. But first, we need to find committed community members to form the committee. That is the first vital step, to have a strong foundation,” said Rubio.

San Pedro joins the Belize Billiards Sport Federation
The San Pedro Billiards Association (SPBA) is now officially affiliated with the Belize Billiards Sport Federation (BBSF). This recognition will allow them to partake in the national tournament held annually. As a result, a pre-season 8 Ball Pool Tournament will be starting on Friday, February 26th with the purpose of getting teams warmed up for the big tournament. After a successful first ever 8 Ball Pool tournament held in December of 2015, the members of the association saw the need to be affiliated with the BBSF. According to Javier Silva, member of the SPBA, this affiliation will give talented players of Ambergris Caye the exposure they need at the national level. “A national tournament takes place around the country every year and every district is invited to be represented with a team, but in order to get invited, you must create an association and then register with the national association. Each association can have many teams to compete with so that the best players can get exposed. Now that we have their blessing, we can go ahead and plan a big tournament on the island and from among all the teams participating, whosoever wins will automatically represent San Pedro on a national level,” said Silva. He hopes that by the time the national tournament takes place, which is expected to happen in August, San Pedro will be represented by a well prepared team.

A PURO TANGO… a performance of passion and feelings is “A SHOW TO SEE AND FEEL”
The community of San Pedro is in for a rare treat when on February 20th and 21st the “A PURO TANGO” performance group comes to town. For two nights only, residents can enjoy the amazing talents of this world class group, who will be performing at the Paradise Theatre. A PURO TANGO is a fascinating journey that brings together the best of traditional and contemporary tango, with the firm purpose to touch the deepest feelings of the audience and take them along a world full of likes and dislikes, struggles and fears, passions and hatreds. In a media release, the famous entourage states: It is possible to consider that tango belongs to a particular form of ‘northern philosophy’, therefore A PURO TANGO aims to frame this way of life which is manifested in being poetic, a product of a soul that captures, feels, and knows the reality of love, the passion and the desire, fully living it beyond the mere survival that embodies in words and then becomes a universal song.

Ministry of National Security meets with Regional Commanders
Regional Commanders of the Belize Police Department, along with the Police Senior Command and the Minister of National Security, Hon John Saldivar, met on Monday, February 8, 2016 at the Police Training Academy’s Conference Room in Belmopan for their regular monthly meeting. Commissioner of Police, Mr Allen Whylie and Honorable Saldivar gave opening remarks at today’s session, which set the tone for the meeting. This was followed by reports from all six Regional Commanders. In their reports the Regional Commanders presented crime statistics for their various regions and initiatives undertaken in the month of January. They also presented their work plan for the month of February.06 Belize Police Department Regional Commanders Conference Overall statistics showed an increase of thirty major crimes in 2016 over the same period in 2015. Interestingly, the increase showed a shift from Belize City, which had been the area of major concern, to areas where the numbers have been traditionally low in particular the Toledo and Corozal Districts. After the reports there was an interactive session in which effective strategies and techniques used in the past month in the various policing regions were shared among the Commanders. Notable in all reports was the significant increase in foot patrols countrywide, which involved house visits, neighborhood meetings and visits to business establishments. Community policing has yielded great results such as the recent civilian arrest of a suspected murderer in Toledo District.

SPHS celebrates Career Week
From Monday, February 8th through Friday, February 12th, the San Pedro High School (SPHS) celebrated Career Week. The annual event is held in secondary schools across the country with the objective to inform students of the possible professions within their specific communities. This year, Career Week at SPHS was celebrated under the theme “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” (Eleanor Roosevelt). Organized by SPHS Counselor Alexis Guerrero, activities started on Monday, the 8th with a special assembly. Throughout the week, students were treated to presentations from guest speakers within the community. These speakers ranged from members of the hospitality, business, transportation, environmental and public works industries in San Pedro. Each speaker spoke about their field of work and the benefits it has to the economic development of the island. While the focus of Career Week is on the senior students who are about to graduate, emphasis was also placed on second formers who are about to choose their field of studies heading into their junior year in high school.

Belize and CARICOM Relationships
Dr. Carla Barnett, a national of Belize, holds the distinction of being the first female Deputy Secretary-General of CARICOM. She served the Community in that capacity from 1997 to 2002. While acknowledging the milestone that she achieved, she deflected attention to the skills set that she brought to the position. ”It was an honour for me to be selected. Being the first female Deputy Secretary-General, while it was a historical milestone, I’d like to think that I came there not because I was a woman, but because I brought a particular set of skills that the Secretariat needed at that time,” she said. Dr. Barnett was educated at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus in Jamaica where she read for a Ph.D. in Social Sciences. She also holds a Master of Economics degree from the University of Western Ontario in Canada, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus in Jamaica.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Defend Blackadore Caye
Here are some links to the activity and support that the Defend Blackadore Caye Facebook page has generated this last week...

CARICOM heads to tackle key development issues at Belize meeting
Advancing the regional response to the zika virus threat will be among matters engaging Caribbean Community (CARICOM) heads of government at their 27th inter-sessional meeting in Placencia, Belize, on 16-17 February. The heads are also expected to focus on measures to position the region to benefit from the historic Paris Agreement on climate change, including access to climate finance. The Belize meeting comes two weeks after the World Health Organisation declared zika as a ‘public health emergency of international concern’. The suspected zika link to cases of microcephaly in parts of Latin America, with babies born with underdeveloped brains, has also heightened public concern about the virus. At least five CARICOM member states have diagnosed cases of the zika virus. The Caribbean Regional Public Health Agency (CARPHA), which has been providing testing and prevention and control guidance to member states, is expected to help the meeting determine the future actions in the Zik-V fight.

Bigeyed sixgill shark (Hexanchus nakamurai) tagged off Ambergris Caye
We are excited to have captured, tagged, and released a bigeyed sixgill shark (Hexanchus nakamurai) during our deep-sea project this week! This 124 cm female was captured at a depth of 260 meters just off of Ambergris Caye. There are very few records of this deep-water species in the region, and they are listed as Data Deficient by the IUCN due to a lack of information ( We believe this is the first bigeyed sixgill to be tagged and released in Belize! A big thank you to the Save Our Seas Foundation and the Summit Foundation for supporting this project!

Kokomo Beach Suites is looking for a part-time room cleaner
This would be for about 4 hours a day, 6 days a week. Please stop by Monday if you are interested. Am looking for someone responsible, reliable and professional, preferably with experience. Please bring contact information for two references. Drama queens or kings with lots of friends or family who will constantly stop by to distract them during working hours need not apply.

Corozal: PRIMOS (Restaurant & Bar) NOW OPEN!
We invite you to come and have a great Valentines' weekend with us. After being closed for sometime, for a total remodeling and re-branding, come and enjoy our great views of the Corozal Bay, our drinks and tasty food. Excellent views! Will cater for family events and parties. Bring your loved ones to PRIMOS this weekend. See you there! In town - 1st Avenue - Miami Beach.

UB February 2016 Graduation
Congratulations, graduates! The University of Belize has another round of graduates ready to change the world. "Graduation February 6, 2016 By University of Belize"


Honduran woman, 64, convicted of human trafficking
A trial by jury ended last night, Wednesday, in the Supreme Court of Justice Adolph Lucas, when 5 women and 4 men deliberated for about 90 minutes before they returned to the courtroom to announce a guilty verdict against a Honduran woman accused of human trafficking. The conviction of Estela Gonzalez, 64, is the first time anyone has been convicted of human trafficking on indictment in Belize. Upon the request of Gonzalez’s attorneys, however, the media was barred from the proceedings. Justice Lucas has deferred sentencing until Thursday, February 18, in order to give Gonzalez’s attorneys, Leo Bradley, Jr., and Kevin Arthurs, time to prepare mitigation presentations on her behalf. Gonzalez could be sentenced to up to eight years in prison. The human trafficking offense allegedly was committed between August 17, 2013 and September 7, 2013. The complaint against Gonzalez was made by a Honduran woman who was 15 at the time she was trafficked to Belize.

No SSB $12 mil for Santander – NTUCB!
The social partners—the National Trade Union Congress of Belize, representing workers, on the one hand, and the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, representing employers, on the other—hold diametrically opposed views on the hotly debated loan of $12 million which the Belize Social Security Board has recently approved for Santander’s mega sugar investment in western Belize. President of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB), Marvin Mora, told Amandala that they would convene a general council meeting as early as tomorrow, if possible, in an attempt to muster up a strategy to build public support to get the government to stop the SSB loan to Santander before disbursement. While the NTUCB is firmly against the Santander loan, the Chamber had no problem supporting it. For his part, president of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), Arturo “Tux” Vasquez, told Amandala that after having been satisfied during the due diligence phase that the Santander investment can repay the loan, the SSB must have considered it “safe” enough to proceed.

Banking crisis high on agenda of CARICOM bosses meeting in Placencia next week
The banking sector in the Caribbean—and particularly in Belize—has been experiencing major challenges due to the severing of correspondent banking relations by US banks, and the ensuing banking crisis will be high on the agenda of CARICOM leaders, who begin arriving in Belize today for regional meetings. Since Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow is holding the chair for CARICOM for January to June 2016, Belize will host over 100 guests from sister CARICOM states on the occasion of the 27th Inter-Sessional Meeting of CARICOM, to be convened at Belize Ocean Club in Placencia, Stann Creek, next week. Belize last hosted CARICOM Heads of Government in March 2009, when it also held the rotating chairmanship of the regional integration body. The Heads of Government meeting for 2016 will be declared open on Monday morning. Closed-door meetings are scheduled for Tuesday and the meeting will wrap up on Wednesday with a closing press conference.

Amid Zika threat, Belize ramps up fight
Last Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Zika a public health emergency, and today, Belize—the only Central American country which up to the time of this report has no confirmed case of Zika—ramped up its sensitization efforts in the fight against the Aedes mosquitos, which also transmit two other viral diseases: dengue and Chikungunya (CHIKV). Belize’s Director of Health Services (DHS), Dr. Marvin Manzanero, announced in a press conference yesterday that the Ministry of Health has sent three suspected cases of Zika to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the testing facility in Trinidad and Tobago which serves CARICOM. One test result has returned negative for dengue, Chikungunya and Zika, but two results are pending. By Friday, they hope to know the status of those patients, one of whom is a pregnant woman. The DHS said that at the time, there are no other suspected cases and if a case is confirmed, he said, “We would be the first ones to say it. We don’t hide data! And then, the efforts continue … perhaps they would be further scaled up to prevent an outbreak.”

Dangriga sports stats
Volleyball: The John “Tequila” Chimilio Interoffice Volleyball Tournament in Dangriga is into its 3-game series finals between Big Creek and CPBL. In game 1, Big Creek won over CPBL. Game 2 was last night at Ecumenical auditorium, where CPBL came back and won game 2 in 3 sets, 24-26, 25-20, 16-14. The big finals come up next week Tuesday night, February 16, at 7:00 p.m. at Ecumenical auditorium. High school softball: Secondary school softball for the Dangriga Zone will commencea today, Wednesday, February 10. Dangriga Zone secondary school softball will only be between Ecumenical and Delille Academy males and females, which will be a 5-game series, since ANRI doesn’t have any softball team. Football: The Rodwell Ferguson football finals, that were supposed to play over the weekend at the Pomona New Site football field, were postponed until this Sunday, February 14. So, coming up this Sunday at 1:30 p.m. will be the third place match-up – Silk Grass Southern Strikers vs Pomona Warriors; and at 3:30 p.m. it will be the championship final – Valley Pride Rookies vs Santa Cruz L.D. South Rock.

The test begins
Good morning to you all. Welcome to Cricket Corner. The Harrison Parks Cricket Competition 2016, under the auspices of the Belize National Cricket Association, takes the opportunity to offer this week’s games schedule to you for Saturday, February 13. In Zone One: Last year undisputed champion, Easy Does It goes up against Police in Lemonal; Western Eagles vs Bright Star in Sandhill; and Excellence vs Cashu Medicos in Lords Bank. In Zone Two: Isabella Uprising vs Brilliant in Crooked Tree; Wicked Eleven vs Brave Union in Burrell Boom; and Sunrise vs Berlan in Bermudian Landing. To captains concerned: Some of your players are still on suspension. These players, if they play, while under suspension, their team automatically loses that game. Not to be biased, I will not mention any names. You know who you are.

BAA Cross Country Trial results
The Belize Athletics Association (BAA) held its Cross Country Trial on Saturday, January 30, at the Roaring River Golf Course in Roaring Creek, Cayo. The results were sent to us last Thursday, February 4, by BAA President, Deon Sutherland. We inquired about the level of participation, and Sutherland replied that it was “what you see there, sir.” He went on to explain that, despite “free transportation and food,” a number of expected participants from the BDF and Coast Guard declined because they are scheduled to represent Belize soon at an international event, and their supervisors “don’t want them to get injured.” Below are the results in the different categories and the times recorded: Female U-14, 2Km – Aaliyah Carr (10:10.09). Female U-18, 3Km – Ashonti Carr (18:22.20). Male Open, 10Km – Martin Flowers (43:47); Alexander Alvarado (44:53); Ervin Hamilton (46:19); Juan Santos (48:49); Shaun Bennett (57:41).

C-Ray Saturday Race Series 2016 – Week 4 results
Race number 4 of the C-Ray Saturday Race Series kicked off on Saturday, February 6, at 6:30 a.m. Due to the inclement weather, the numbers in the field reduced this week; only 29 cyclists lined up. Of that, the Alliance Cycling Team from Belmopan was well represented with 9 cyclists, 7 elite and 2 juniors. The Benny’s Megabytes and Smart Teams had 4 each, while others were out there trying to battle off teams solo. On the course were six station prizes; 3 were taken by Byron Pope – 1 gift certificate from Da Bizz BBQ, 1 gift certificate from Ordonez Bike Shop, and $25 courtesy Card Heating and Cooling. Keion Robateau of Team Alliance took 2 station prizes – $25 courtesy Card Heating and Cooling, and another $25 courtesy H Guerra’s Construction. Mark Staine of Team Smart got one station prize, which was $25 from Card Heating and Cooling. With Team Alliance’s numbers in the field, they were able to control the race for the most part. Keion Robateau of Team Alliance and Byron Pope of Benny’s Megabytes were off the front for the majority of the race. Robateau’s teammates did an exceptional job holding off anyone from the main peleton who attempted to go across.

House of Shotokan Karate students win at Taekwando Championships
On Saturday, February 6, students from the House of Shotokan Karate, located at 5757 Princess Margaret Drive, Belize City, traveled to Chetumal, Mexico, to participate in International Taekwondo Championships, directed by Black Belt Taekwondo Master Manuel Torres, Eagle Park Taekwondo, Chetumal, Mexico. Although it was a wet and rainy day, the tournament attracted Taekwondo schools from Merida, Cancun, and various schools within Chetumal. The students from the House of Shotokan Karate Academy did exceptionally well in the fighting event, resulting in 11 Gold medals won for Belize. Winners are as follow: Hera Kumsal (Yellow Belt Division) – 2 Gold Medals; Eleazar Orellana (Yellow Belt Division) – 2 Gold Medals; Ernesto Portillo (White Belt Division) – 2 Gold Medals; Shakien Gabriel (White Belt Division) – 2 Gold Medals; Elias Meyers (Brown Belt Division) – 2 Gold Medals; Samara Vasquez (Female Brown Belt Division) – 1 Gold Medal.

Editorial: The African and Indian Library at 16
The African and Indian Library in the Kremandala yard marks the 16th anniversary of its opening this Friday, February 12. The ceremonial ribbon cutting in 2000 was performed by Mrs. Anne K. Lowe, a guest of the UBAD Educational Foundation (UEF), a body which had been established in 1996. The library was an idea and dream of the late Dr. Leroy Taegar, a member of the UEF board. There has been controversy surrounding the name of the library almost from the beginning, because several Maya Belizeans preferred it to be the “African and Maya Library.” The leaders of the UEF felt, however, that as distasteful as were the history and context of the “Indian” designation for Native Americans and Indigenous peoples of the Americas, this was the one inclusive designation which could refer to all the many hundreds, probably thousands, of tribes of peoples of the Americas – from North America through Central America to South America. As the years have gone by, there have been those of us in the UEF who feel that the library’s name should be changed to the “African and Indigenous Library,” but others argue that the original name is established, that it is too late to change it now.

From the Publisher
Geography is an important aspect of the business of nation-states. British Honduras, for example, was the only British (English-speaking, Protestant) possession on the mainland of Central America, which was part of Spain’s Catholic empire until the nineteenth century. Belize was unique. Early in the nineteenth century, France’s Napoleon Bonaparte was the powerhouse in Europe. Napoleon invaded and took over Spain. He suffered a horrible defeat when he invaded Russia in 1812, however, and then he was conclusively defeated at Waterloo in 1815 by a coalition which featured the British, whose empire would dominate the rest of the nineteenth century, I would say. The British used their beachhead in Belize to involve themselves in the affairs of Central America, primarily Guatemala, and in the affairs of Mexico. In 1821, Mexico and the Central American republics (Panama did not exist at that time) gained independence from Spain, which had been humiliated by Napoleon, and Mexico and Central America were as one. But in 1823, the Central American republics, led by El Salvador and Guatemala, broke off from Iturbide’s Mexico, then after a while the Central American republics began fighting amongst themselves. The liberal, nationalistic side was led by Francisco Morazán and El Salvador, whereas the conservative, neo-European side was led by Guatemala, where Rafael Carrera emerged as the caudillo.

Letter to the Editor: Trustees respond to Mario Chavarria
Dear Editor: We write in reference to a letter concerning the Public Sector Workers’ Trust in your newspaper, dated Sunday February 7, 2016 and signed by Mario Chavarria, purportedly for and on behalf of the Toledo District Beneficiaries. In the said letter, Mr. Chavarria, inter alia, accused the Trustees of refusing “to execute the trust based on its original objectives.” As far as we are aware, the “original objectives” of the Trust are detailed in GOB Circular # 9 of 1996 dated 21st October 1996, and specify that the Trust is to “fund various projects for the benefit of all government employees.” This objective was codified in the actual Trust Deed dated August 29, 2013. Can Mr. Chavarria state, what in his opinion, are the “original objectives” of the Trust and furthermore, provide a documented source for his opinion?

A female’s life behind bars
Belize’s prison is no longer a place where you “lock them up and throw away the key,” prison officials told Amandala today. There was a time when the prison was known to have overcrowded cells, the inmates were fed out of pigtail buckets and there were other unsanitary conditions they had to put up with. Conditions are different now, it appears. Amandala travelled to the facility, which has been managed by the Kolbe Foundation since 2002, and spoke with Virgilio Murillo, chief executive officer of the Kolbe Foundation; John Woods, chairman emeritus of the board of the Kolbe Foundation; and some of the women incarcerated there. Murillo told Amandala that it was costing the government $16 a day per inmate; they have managed to get those figures down to $13.25 a day per inmate, which works out to approximately $19,000 a day. He said that while, as he mentioned, the government pays the institution $13.25 per inmate, the foundation engages in fundraising to get the rest of funds they need, and from time to time generous individuals have made donations to assist.

Zika through blood transfusion: should Belizeans be concerned?
As information unfolds about the ways in which Zika can be spread, not just by mosquitos, but also through blood and semen, concerned citizens are also clamoring for measures to limit the spread of the disease. Although Zika is said to be milder than both dengue and Chikungunya, with symptoms appearing in only 20% of the cases, the World Health Organization has declared an international public health emergency due to its rapid spread across the Americas and its possible link to brain damage and potential deaths in babies, as well as Gullain-Barré syndrome and possible paralysis in rare cases. Advisories call for measures to limit transmission via sexual intercourse, apart from through mosquito bites. With Brazil reporting cases contracted through blood transfusion, there are now questions about what screening measures would be put in place to avoid the spread of Zika through blood.

Body of missing Guatemalan woman found decomposed in orchard on Stann Creek Valley Road
Just a little over a month since a Guatemalan woman, Lydia Janet Garcia Giron, 39, of Suchitan, Melchor De Mencos, was reported missing to Benque police after she had embarked on a journey from her hometown to Cowpen, Stann Creek, in Belize, her body has been discovered. At about 3:30 yesterday afternoon, her decomposed body was found in an orchard at Mile 6 on the Stann Creek Valley Road. Doctor Mario Estradabran and his team conducted an onsite autopsy on the decomposed corpse, and at the conclusion, he declared that the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head. The doctor also declared that the woman had been dead for about a month. After the postmortem was completed, police buried the corpse on the site. Lydia Giron’s son, Alexander Enrique Garcia Giron, 19, who lived with her in Suchitan, came to Benque Viejo police and told them that the last time he communicated with his mother was at 8:30 Friday morning, January 8, shortly after she arrived in San Ignacio Town.

KHMH raises fees
Starting February 15, patients who access the clinical services of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) will see an increase in their hospital bill. Norman Augustine, Director of Finance of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, said that clinical services are medical services offered to patients who make an appointment to see a specialist. Augustine added that the present contribution patients are paying for these services constitutes only “16% of what it costs to run the unit and the new price will take the patient’s contribution up 32%”. Also, patients will see an increase in their physiotherapy fees; however, this will take effect on March 1. Augustine said patients utilizing that unit are currently paying “$15 for their initial visit and $10” for subsequent visits; however, starting March 1, patients will be paying “$30 for their initial visit and $20 for every subsequent visit”. Augustine said that the new price will increase the patient’s contribution from “16.75% to 33.5% of what it costs to run the unit.”

Darrell Mayen found guilty of attempted murder
A man who has been on remand for an attempted murder charge since August 2010, when he was a sixteen-year-old minor, will learn on Friday, February 19, how much longer he will have to spend behind bars after he was found guilty of the charge in a trial without jury before Supreme Court Justice John Troadio Gonzalez, who handed down the guilty verdict this afternoon. Darrell Mayen, 21, did his best to look away from court reporters’ cameras as he was led in handcuffs back to the holding cell over at the Magistrate’s Court by a Supreme Court orderly. Meanwhile, Mayen’s attorney, Oscar Selgado, declined comment to reporters. Selgado would only say that he will appeal Justice Gonzalez’s guilty verdict. On the night of Sunday, August 1, 2010, shortly before 9:00 p.m., Rafael Caceres, then 27, had just spoken to his girlfriend, April Slusher, on his cellphone after making a purchase from a Chinese store. He was walking on Woodpecker Street toward his home on Madam Liz Crescent in the Port Loyola area of Belize City, he told police in a statement, when, about 15 yards away from Jimmy Dyer Street, he felt as if someone was following him.

Francisco Gomez, 39, sentenced to 3 years for sexual assault of girl, 11
Francisco Gomez, 39, a caretaker and resident of Burrell Boom, was sentenced to serve three years in prison this morning by Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith after she found him guilty on one count of sexual assault. Gomez was also sentenced to two six-month jail terms for common assault and using threatening words. The additional sentences, however, are to run concurrently with the 3-year sentence, and therefore, Gomez will only serve three years in prison. Before imposing the sentence, Smith told Gomez that she did not believe his “Harry Potter” story and stated, “I do believe that you sexually assaulted the child and slapped her and then threatened her.” On April 19, 2015, Gomez went to the 11-year-old child’s grandmother’s house. When he got there he found her watching television, and when she got up to get some water to drink, Gomez slapped her on her butt, telling the eleven-year-old girl that she had “a fat ass.”

Bogus cops!
Police are today advising businesspeople to be more vigilant is securing their businesses and properties against criminals who are posing as police officers to gain entrance to the businesses. They report that between 12:10 Wednesday morning and 11:55 Wednesday night, two businesses, CBC on C Street in Kings Park and Harpy Security Firm on Antelope Street, fell victim to the criminals’ hoax. A police report dated this evening says that, “A dispatcher at Harpy Security Firm located at #7008 Antelope Street Extension, Belize City reported that on 10/02/16 at 12:10 a.m. whilst on duty at her place of work, she heard someone at the front door, whereupon making checks, she saw a male person dressed in a khaki button-down shirt, tucked inside a blue in color long pants and a black warm hat on his head who identified himself as a ‘police officer.’

Re: Today's Belize News: February 15, 2016 [Re: Marty] #511623
02/15/16 05:39 AM
02/15/16 05:39 AM
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Posts: 82,847
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Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

The Reporter

American student drowns in Belize
A 16 year-old American student died while swimming in Belize on Saturday. Reports are that the youth was one of 33 students who went swimming at Tiger Sandy Bay on Saturday afternoon and she was discovered missing during a head count about an hour later. […]

Three policemen injured in RTA
Three policemen suffered varying degrees of injuries after the vehicle they were on duty in overturned several times on the George Price highway on Saturday. Reliable reports are that the three policemen, police constables Mark Rodriguez, Kenroy Pandy and Nadir Mendoza were conducting a mobile […]

Atomic energy agency to help Caribbean in early detection of Zika virus
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says it will provide nuclear-derived early detection tools and training support to help Latin American and Caribbean countries rapidly identify cases of the Zika virus. IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano says a €400,000 (US$450,151) initiative will see the transfer of specialized equipment and technical […]

Family Court rules child must return to live with father in Guatemala
A mother and her two year-old daughter must part ways, at least for the time being, until a Guatemalan court decides who the child will grow up with. On Friday, Family Court Magistrate Dale Cayetano ruled that the child was illegally taken from Guatemala and […]

Chamber of Commerce chides Jack Charles
The war over rice, more recently the wholesomeness of locally-produced rice, continues between businessman Jack Charles and relevant government departments; and for persistently suggesting that the rice is tainted, the Chamber of Commerce has condemned Charles’ actions. Charles said, in his latest press release, in […]

The Belize Times

Santander’s Sweet Deal – Guatemalan Co. got millions of dollars in tax breaks…and now $12m SSB $$$
Opposition pressure is mounting on the Social Security Board for its decision to bail out the foreign company, Santander Sugar Group, with $12 million from the Belizeans workers’ savings. The Santander Sugar Group, which consists of subsidiaries Green Tropics, Santander Sugar Ltd., Santander Farms Ltd., SS Energy Ltd., and Santander Investment Holdings Ltd., all registered at the Matalon building in Belize City, ran into problems when one of its financiers that formed part of a larger syndicated loan financed by local and international banks, pulled out of the investment scheme. Santander turned to the Government through Social Security Board, whose Investment Committee approved the loan. SSB’s Chairman, Doug Singh, has defended the decision by indicating that it is a financially sound investment and that the returns for SSB will be tremendous, but the move has still attracted a firestorm for its duplicity and risk. Today the People’s United Party issued a statement declaring its opposition to the SSB’s decision, and put forward the concerns it has over the issue. “The primary concern is why the peoples’ money is being used instead of borrowing from the commercial banks. The Santander Group is either strong enough to borrow an additional $12 million from commercial banks or it is not. If it is not, then the SSB should not be making this loan,” said the Party’s statement. The PUP release also asked for full disclosure from the SSB. “The PUP calls on the SSB to make public whether its proposed loan will be a first-ranking charge on the assets of the Company. Also, the public should be informed whether there is any security sharing agreement between the lenders that would restrict the right of the SSB to foreclose in the event of the default.

Hon. John Briceño takes oath as Leader of the Opposition
People’s United Party leader Hon. John Briceño was officially sworn in as the Leader of the Opposition by Governor General H. E. Sir Colville Young at the Belize House on Monday, February 8th, 2016. Hon. Briceño was joined by a large group of family, friends and supporters who travelled from various parts of the country to witness the PUP leader take his oath to defend Belize without fear or favour. Turning up in support of the new Leader of the Opposition was Hon. Cordel Hyde, who had contested the Party’s recent leadership convention. Hon. Hyde commented to the media that he supports unity in the Party because the supporters spoke loud and clear that that is what they demand.

While NFL fans anxiously watched the Manning vs. Newton battle in the 2016 Superbowl this past Sunday, here at home the UDPs were entertained by their Super Brawl version involving no other than the two spoilt sons of Prime Minister Dean Barrow. Reports have rolled in to the BELIZE TIMES about how the two younger Barrows almost got “physical” at an invitation-only Super Bowl Party thrown by larger-than-life UDP senator Juliet Thimbriel at one of her plush homes in Ladyville. One called the other a spoilt brat and privileged punk while the other, we are told, shouted that he is an illegitimate son. Cold stuff courtesy the extra strong and cold drinks being served, perhaps. Inside the Barrow family empire things have gotten really tense since the two sons of Prime Minister Dean Barrow have expressed that they want to continue the profitable “family business”. Shyne, a fairly newcomer to the political scene, has outwitted his younger brother, jumping ahead of the race and announcing his interest in the Mesopotamia division. To back him up, Shyne has gotten his uncle Michael Finnegan’s support. Shyne also got the PM to announce that no other than Sister B will be taking over the Queen Square division when he retires in two years. Shyne knows well that Anwar considers himself the only legitimate heir. Anwar, of course, isn’t sitting back and has been lobbying everywhere for support. But he doesn’t have swagger like Shyne.

No love from KHMH! – Non-emergency fee hiked by 150% after Valentine’s Day
Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s November 4th election promise to Belizeans was that the Government would not impose any new tax. While the Government isn’t introducing new taxes yet, its existing taxes are slowly increasing, making the cost of living unbearable in Belize. This week the major public referral hospital in Belize City, Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, announced via flyers posted through the hospital building that their non-emergency fee will be increasing by 150% as of Valentine’s Day. Last year, KHMH imposed a $10 fee on patients for its non-emergency services. That fee is now increasing to $25 for every patient walking in for an appointment. The hospital is also increases the physiotherapy fee by 100% from $15 to $30 for first session, and $10 to $20 for every other session.

Think About It
The government intends to appoint two judges to be permanent for the next thirty odd years. Both persons are foreigners and were magistrates before being offered judge-ship in Belize. There are over one hundred Belizean lawyers practicing in Belize. The government has not even asked them if any is interested to serve their country as a judge. In fact, the proper and lawful process in the public service is that all vacancies must be advertised. The political interference in the public service has become so ingrained that even persons wishing to become Police Officers are now forced to get “recommendation” letters from politicians. As to the public servants they get promotion, transfers and employment by approaching politicians. Important positions in the judiciary must be filled through very open, and very transparent means. Belizeans need to be reminded that the present Prime Minister is not above blatant interference in the judiciary. In his previous incarnations he presided over the removal of Chief Justice Moore, and more recently of the brilliant Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh. Then there was that scandal in which two judges were whisked to Belmopan and sworn in as Judges of the Court of Appeal-Judges Singh and Meerabux, days before the 1998 general elections. They both stepped down on learning that the Constitutional requirements were not followed. A third person was made a Justice without the proper consultation of the Opposite Leader. He refused to step down and be properly appointed. Solicitor General Rasputin Ghandi had to be called upon to resolve the constitutional mess. The Supreme Court ordered the matter be solved.

Dirty Hands at SSB
Although many credit the Great Depression of the 1930’s as the worldwide catalyst for Social Security programs, Germany had a similar plan in place dating as far back as the 1880’s. That program is credited with playing a key role in Germany’s massive and rapid growth of industrialization following its implementation. In the US, the Social Security program has also helped to make that one of the most developed and attractive countries in the world to live and work. Belize’s own Social Security scheme was established in 1981, shortly before Independence. In his wisdom, the Father of our Nation, Right Honourable George Price recognized the need for such a scheme and used the US program as a model. The program was started with a fifty thousand dollar grant from government but quickly grew as the program proved a success. Starting in June of 1981 with a team of 26, the staff now consists of almost 300 employees. The Social Security Funds are administered by a Board of Directors that includes five members representing government, two members representing employees (unions) and two members representing employers (one from Chamber of Commerce and one from Belize Business Bureau). On paper that is not such a bad composition but when we understand that all these are politically appointed and stand basically beholden to one man, the Prime Minister, then we can realize the true extent of the problem.

This younger generation of Belizeans are most likely unaware that UDP Prime Minister Esquivel and Deputy Prime Minister Barrow had retrenched over a thousand public officers. Most Belizeans at that time had never heard the word retrenchment, but for those who felt it, and their families, it was a bitter blow which turned their lives upside down. What happened was the UDP, wanting to please their foreign masters, the notorious IMF, decided to reduce the work-force in the public service in order to balance their budget. One morning, without warning, public officers turned up at their work to find letters on their desks instructing them to leave their offices as they no longer had a job with the government. In many cases, husbands and wives working in different areas of the public service were summarily sent home. It was a shocking situation for the country of Belize. Nothing in the work place had ever happened like that before. The Unions were outraged. The Opposition strongly condemned the cold blood mass firings. The Bishop of the Roman Catholic Churches O. P. Martin, preached against it, telling the nation it was a callous and heartless act which discarded human beings as if they were garbage. The Bishop called on the government to show compassion. The called went unheeded. Esquivel and Barrow proceeded to ruin the lives of innocent Belizeans for no real reason other than to show the IMF they were book-keepers wiling to please their masters.

Police, BDF & Bandits win Premier League games
The defending champs Police United FC, the Belmopan Bandits and Belize Defence Force football squad all posted big wins in Week 3 of the Premier League of Belize (PLB) closing season tournament over the weekend. The BDF marched over the Placencia Assassins 3-1 at the MCC Garden on Sunday afternoon, when Harrison Tasher scored the BDF’s 1st and 2nd goals in the 47th and 53rd minutes before Dalton Eiley pulled one back for the Placencia squad by converting a penalty in the 75th minute. Tasher next dealt to BDF midfielder Leon “Chow” Cadle who drilled Placencia’s goalie Elias Pelayo with a 3rd goal for the 3-1 win.

SCA advances to football nationals
The St. Catherine’s Academy girls will represent the Central Zone at the secondary school football championships to be hosted by St. John’s College at the MCC Garden on Friday and Saturday, February 19-20, after defending their city title as back-to-back champions, with back to back wins over the Gwen Lizarraga High School girls in the finals at the MCC Garden on Monday and Wednesday, February 8 and 10. On Wednesday’s Game 2, Gabriel Mendoza scored the winning goal for SCA’s 1-0 win. In Game 1, the SCA girls won 3-0 over Gwen Liz when Jodie Pott scored the 1st goal, and Jada Myvett scored a 2nd goal to lead 2-0 at the half. Renisha Martinez scored a 3rd goal after the break. The SCA girls had advanced to the finals by back to back wins in the semifinals over the Wesley College girls last Monday and Thursday.

Kent Gabourel wins Weekend Warriors’ individual time trials
Team Kulture Megabytes’ Kent “Bob” Gabourel won the Weekend Warriors Cycling Club’s individual time trials over 11.5-miles from Data Pro to the Hattieville Cemetery on the Burrell Boom – Hattieville bypass road on Sunday morning, February 7. A Division 1st Kent Gabourel – Kulture Megabytes (25:45) 2nd Daniel Cano – Team Santino’s (25:52) 3rd Warren Coye – Team Santino’s (26:55) 4th Robert Mariano – Team DigiCell 4G (27:09) 5th Isaiah Willacey – Team F.T. Williams (27:15) 6th Fitzgerald “Palas” Joseph – Lampaz (27:18)

Hon. Landy Habet donates water coolers to schools
Potable drinking water is a basic necessity but for many in rural communities, it is still not easily accessible. In Cayo North East, communities have been struggling to establish safe drinking water systems. Central Government has not looked at this issue as a priority, leaving communities to fend for themselves. In an effort to ensure that safe drinking water is available to the schools in the rural communities in Cayo North East, the PUP area representative Hon. Orlando “Landy” Habet donated a water dispenser and a 5-gallon of water to seven schools. On Tuesday, February 9, Hon. Habet visited the schools in Santa Familia, Billy white and Los Tambos. On Wednesday, February 10th, the area representative stopped at the schools in Esperanza Village, Duck Run 1, 2 and 3 villages. At each school, Hon. Habet handed over a water dispenser and a 5-gal of water to each classroom.

PUP Reps pledge support at Unity Rally
Neither the light rain nor very cool temperature kept over 1,500 supporters from attending the Unity Celebration held on Saturday, February 6th 2016 at the Muffles College Auditorium in Orange Walk Town. People’s United Party supporters have been energised since the national convention held in the city of Belmopan last Sunday, January 31st, which saw Orange Walk Central Area Representative Hon. John Briceño elected to lead the Party once more. As new Party Leader Hon. Briceño has made every effort to promote unity. He has met with key personalities in the Party such as former Party Leader and Freetown Area Representative Hon. Francis Fonseca, Lake Independence Area Representative Hon. Cordel Hyde, and Former Prime Minister and Fort George Area Representative Rt. Hon. Said Musa, to discuss a way forward in unity.

DE-RISKING IT ALL – Belize faces worst banking crisis ever
For many in the financial sector who are in the “know”, the idea of banks in Belize losing its corresponding relationship (de-risking) is extremely alarming. But for the most part the rest of Belize remains in a slumber regarding this subject matter. The simple truth so far is that most Belizeans know very little and have not been exposed directly to any changes in the way business is being conducted in Belize, which is primarily because there are still tenuous corresponding banking relationships that exist between Belize and the other small banks (banks in the US and other parts of the world). These corresponding banking relationships are expected to expire during the first quarter of 2016. The larger tier 1 banks have already severed relationships with banks in Belize. The first being the Belize Bank/Bank of America (BOA) relations and subsequently with other indigenous banks. This umbilical cut immediately and directly affected the existence of international banks, which many domestic banks had as subsidiaries. This forced a foreclosure of most of these international banks leaving many displaced employees and others without a job. While the loss of corresponding banking to some 80% of Belize’s banking sector is not the Armageddon, when and if it occurs, it is significant enough to make citizens feel like it is. Moody’s Investor Service, in a recent report, predicted that the full effect of the severing will be felt by mid 2016. That is when it is predicted all the relations will be severed, providing no arrangements can be brokered by the Government of Belize with these other smaller banks possible in New York. According to Prime Minister Dean Barrow, US officials maintain that the decisions of the US Banks to de-risk from Belize’s Banks were those of the individual banks and not any imposed instructions from the regulatory bodies.

Fruta Bomba to close down
Belizeans in the Corozal and Orange Walk District have received terrible news with the announcement that papaya companies, Fruta Bomba and Belize Fruit Packers, both subsidiaries of Brooks Tropicals, will be closing business in Belize. The company made the announcement this week, indicating that its 50 employees will have to find alternative jobs over the next few months. The northern districts are already struggling in a depressed economy.

Murder at 69 Bar
52 year old Zhi Jiang Zhang, a Chinese national who owns 69 Bar, was murdered on Saturday morning during an armed robbery of his business place along mile 52 in Teakettle Village on the George Price Highway. Police say an armed assailant entered the two-storey building and attacked the owner and his female employees in an attempt to steal the day’s proceeds. According to reports, around 2:00am on Saturday, February 6th, Zhang was inside the establishment picking up empty bottles when a man entered from a window in the upper flat. Rooms are in the upper flat, while the business is situated downstairs. The armed man held up Zhang, demanding that he hands over money. Zhang resisted and a physical confrontation ensued, with Zhang being stabbed multiple times. Zhang was stabbed seven times. The fatal wounds are believed to be injuries to his throat.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Missing American found dead
A missing American was found dead in the Tiger Sandy Bay area of Hattieville. Information reaching Breaking Belize News is that the American citizen that was reported missing yesterday evening was found dead sometime between the hours of 1 and 2 a.m. today. A […]

Body of man found in Benque has been identified
On Friday we reported on a male body discovered floating in a creek near the Mopan River in Benque Viejo Del Carmen. The body has been identified as Fernando Melendez, a native from Benque Viejo Town. Initial information reaching our newsroom is that Melendez […]

Mazda truck stolen in Santa Cruz
Information reaching Breaking Belize News is that Benque Viejo Police are currently working hand in hand with the Guatemala Police (PNC) investigating an armed robbery that occurred in the Santa Cruz Area. Initial information reaching our newsroom is that the culprits made good their escape […]

Roaring Creek cops injured in traffic mishap
Three police officers namely; constables Mark Rodriguez, Kenroy Pandy and Nadir Mendoza are today recuperating from various injuries sustained during a traffic mishap on Saturday. Breaking Belize News was made to understand that the officers were on mobile patrol, and upon receiving a call for assistance […]

Collision causes panic for bus passengers
A short while ago in Ontario Village, Cayo District, a collision between a bus and pickup truck left passengers shaken up but no-one was injured. The incident occurred while the pickup was attempting to overtake the bus and caused damages to the truck’s front portion. […]

Honduras, El Salvador experience snow
Low temperatures in Honduras caused by a mass of cold air that entered that country early Tuesday morning are allegedly leaving behind a dense layer of snow. The weather phenomenon was reported by various media in that country, including Televicentro HRN who reported that the snowfall […]


Chili Beans
In a large stock pot lightly brown ground beef, and drain if needed. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent. Add tomatoes, diced tomatoes with chili peppers, tomato sauce, water, kidney beans, pinto beans, chili powder, cumin, sugar, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Simmer for 30 minutes and then serve.

International Sourcesizz

North Cobb H.S. student dies in Belize
Cobb County parents and students are learning more about a high school student who died on a field trip in Central America. A district official confirmed North Cobb High School student Tomari Jackson died Saturday in Belize. The school district plans to release a statement Monday. We're told students and chaperons were in shallow water near a riverbank when Jackson disappeared. Search crews later found his body.

New World Oil still to make progress in Belize
New World Oil & Gas is reducing its cost base and chasing debts, but has failed to make progress with its Belize operation since October last year it said today. The company underwent significant change last year when acitivist shareholders called for an extraordinary general meeting which resulted in Adam Reynolds and Nicholas Lee being appointed to the board as directors whilst chief executive Peter Sztyk, was ousted. NWOGaction, the action group that requested the meeting and proposed the board changes, was led by Shareprophets’ writer Benjamin Turney, who was representing a group of around 46 New World Oil shareholders. New World claims it is owed EUR 1million from Al-Maraam Al-Ahliya Co for General Trading and Contracting following a failed deal last year. New World had signed a sales and purchase deal with the company to take a stake in Al-Maraam at a corporate level and made an initial payment before the deal fell through.

North Cobb High School student died on field trip in Belize
A North Cobb High School freshman on a field trip in Belize died Saturday, the Cobb School District reports. Tomari Aliijah Jackson was part of a group of 32 North Cobb High School students and six chaperones on the trip, an initiative of the school’s magnet program. The group arrived at the Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary in Belize on Saturday. Following an afternoon hike, students and chaperones were in shallow water near a river bank when Jackson went missing. After a search by local authorities, Jackson was confirmed dead, the school district reports. Further details were not immediately available. School officials have been in contact with families of students on the trip and local authorities in Belize. Working in collaboration with the United States Embassy, travel arrangements have been made to return students and chaperones home. Cobb Superintendent Chris Ragsdale offered his condolences to Jackson’s family on behalf of the district. “We are deeply saddened by the loss of this talented North Cobb High School scholar and musician,” Ragsdale said. “Our immediate priority at this time is caring for and supporting his family and all the students, families and school staff impacted by this tragic event.” The school district is on winter break. However, the district’s Prevention/Intervention Team will provide support to students and staff throughout the week. Additionally, counselors will be available when school opens on Feb. 22.


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