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Today's Belize News: June 17, 2016 #515134
06/17/16 06:00 AM
06/17/16 06:00 AM
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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

Guatemalan Armed Forces Attempts to Block Belizean Vessel
The Government of Belize has received an initial report that a Belizean vessel with two media personnel was traversing the Sarstoon River this morning when they were approached by a Guatemalan Armed Forces (GAF) vessel, with nine (9) GAF persons on board. The GAF personnel attempted to stop the Belizean vessel, which, reportedly, was traveling along the north side of the Sarstoon Island. The Belizean vessel was able to speed away back to Punta Gorda. GOB is investigating this incident in an effort to verify all its particulars including that the media vessel was in Belize’s waters. In the meantime, Guatemalan authorities have communicated that they attempted to stop the vessel to inquire as to the reason for the taking of pictures of their naval base.

BTB launches “Central America is Yours, Enjoy it” Digital Campaign
Technology has inspired the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), along with the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) to launch a new digital campaign “Central America is Yours, Enjoy It” on Thursday, June 8th. The campaign seeks to motivate half a million Central Americans from Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua to vacation in the region. Last year, tourism in Central America increased by 6.9%, earning roughly 17 billion US dollars. Executive Director at BTIA, John Burgos, said that Belize’s tourism revenues could definitely benefit from this program. “The campaign will be focusing on promoting interregional tourism, whereby Belizeans will be encouraged to travel to Central America, and vice versa.” The digital campaign will use social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube to encourage internet users to promote tourism within Central America. According to the Central American Tourism Integration System (SITCA), 40% of tourists that travel within Central America are Central American. Nielsen Online (June 2015), states that on average, 31% engage using the internet.

2016 PSE Results are in; SPRCS tops the island
After two days of intense examinations, students in San Pedro were eager to find out their Primary School Examination (PSE) scores. On Friday, June 10th, results were revealed and once again, the San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School (SPRCS) tops the list. San Pedro’s top scorers are Rachel Alamilla, scored 94.3%, who placed 22nd overall in the country and Catherine Canul and Alyssa Martin who received the same score of 90.5%, while Stephanie Usher had a score of 87.8%. Kenly Young from St. Andrews Anglican School and Angelina Urbina from La Imaculada Roman Catholic School had the top scores in Belize with 391 points out of 400. This year, a total of 7,235 Standard Six students sat for the PSE countrywide. Tests were administrated in the four major subjects of Mathematics, English, Science, and Social Studies.

Where have all the TV channels gone?
On Thursday, June 9th, CCV informed their subscribers via text about the situation. “CCV is experiencing technical difficulties causing the loss of channels. We are working to re-instate them. We apologize for the inconvenience caused.” “I’m trying to decide if I should pay $22 instead of $44. It’s going on the second week that channels have been gone. If you order rice and beans with stew chicken to-go, and when you open your food, you only see rice and beans without the chicken, what would you think? I am not getting the answer I want from CCV,” said the resident. Other theories have surfaced, including one from an anonymous consumer who alluded to copyright infringement, and piracy as the cause of the missing channels. However, those claims are not confirmed.

Large vessel runs into reef in front of Ambergris Caye
The American registered vessel was captained by 66-year-old Roger Day, who was heading to the United States of America from Guatemala. When approaching Ambergris Caye, the vessel’s engine began giving trouble and the vessel started taking in water. Day then decided to head to shore, but with no knowledge of the waters near the island and his navigational equipment not adjusted to recognize the channels of the reef, he ended up grounding on the reef itself. Day then sent out a SOS call, which was answered by personnel from Amigos Del Mar, Tour Operator who brought him to shore. The corresponding authorities have been notified about the incident, primarily the Belize Port Authority (BPA), Belize Coast Guard, Department of Environment, and Hol Chan Marine Reserve. According to officials, the strong smell of fuel around the boat indicates that some gas may have leaked into the sea, which will add to the increasing damage to the reef. Also, during the investigations, the Belize Coast Guard apprehended four male individuals who were caught stealing inside the vessel while they were also attempting to make way with the engine. The culprits were immediately detained and handed over to the San Pedro Police Formation where they await charges.

Island honors Class of 2016 secondary graduates
The weekend of Saturday, June 11th and Sunday, June 12th was a celebration of two secondary institutions’ graduation ceremonies on La Isla Bonita. The San Pedro High School held its 45th Graduation Commencement Exercise on Saturday, June 11th at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium starting at 5PM when 96 students marched in to the tune of Pomp and Circumstance. Tanairi Arana and Jonathan Andino were the Mistress and Master of Ceremonies. After the graduates sang their school song, Elladira Garcia delivered the salutatory address. Principal Emil Vasquez and Chairman Aljemiro Paz Jr. distributed diplomas to the Class of 2016, after which outstanding students were awarded. Jonathan Andino was voted Senior of the Year, Louis Valdez won Best Athlete, and Bruce Garbutt was awarded Student of the Year.

ACES Special Needs Classroom burglarized
Over the weekend of Saturday, June 11th and Sunday, June 12th, the Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES) was burglarized. ACES officials observed that the Special Education classroom was the only class that was broken into, and items were stolen from their supply closet. A black Dell 17 inch Inspiron laptop, along with its manufacturer charger, and a black HP Mini 1104 9 inch laptop was taken, totaling over $700 US in losses. ACES contacted the San Pedro Police Department, and three police officers visited scene. At this time, the investigation is still ongoing. Special Educator Sarah Jean Freudenberg is devastated that her classroom was burglarized. “I was very saddened to find that our classroom had been broken into when I arrived to school Monday morning. It looks as though someone broke in through the handicap bathroom window, then broke into the supply closet in the classroom. Other items of value were not removed from the classroom, and no other classrooms were tampered with,” said Freudenberg.

Students from New Horizon receive GREAT certificates
As part of the Community Policing initiative, Police Constable (PC) Juan Choc has been active in schools across San Pedro in effort to introduce students to the Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) Program. On Wednesday, June 8th, PC Choc, Deputy of the Coastal Executive Unit Henry Jemmott, and Councilor Ruben Gonzalez visited Yurelie Casanova’s Standard Four class at the New Horizon Seventh-day Adventist School. A total of 21 students were awarded with certificates for successfully completing the program. The GREAT program began country-wide in 2010, and PC Choc traveled to San Salvador, El Salvador for a two-week training that integrates the program into the school’s curriculum. Over the course of 13 lessons each week, children are educated on the consequences of gang violence and the benefits of developing positive relationships with law enforcement. They also learn how to refuse peer pressure, get help in communicating their problems and make concrete resolutions.

Ambergris Today

Michelle Nuñez to Represent Belize at Miss America Latina del Mundo
Mr. Michael Arnold, National Director for Miss America Latina Del Mundo Belize 2016 hereby introduces Miss Michelle Estrella Nunez of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, who is the designated Contestant to represent Belize at this prestigious event. Presently, the Crown is held by Miss Karla Monje representing the United States of America. Miss Michelle Nunez is a graduate of St. John’s College in Belize City with an Associate Degree in General Studies. She is also the title holder of Miss San Pedro (2014-2015). Miss Nunez earned a Leadership Award in 2015 as the Top Agent for San Pedro Branch. This is an Award of Excellence from the Insurance Corporation of Belize (ICB). Miss Nunez speaks fluently English and Spanish. She also enjoys cooking and dancing. She is a member and Secretary for the Rotaract Club of San Pedro. Miss Nunez is also the Founder and Director of SHINE Girls Club, a youth enrichment program designed for young girls to succeed in life. The SHINE Girls Club was launched in January 2015.

Solani Graniel Heads to Miss Caribbean Roots Pageant
Solani Graniel, of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, will be representing Belize at the Miss Caribbean Roots pageant which will be held from June 21 - 26, 2016 during the 43rd annual Folkloric, Sports and Culture Festival of the Providencia and Santa Catalina Islands in Colombia. “Well I set off to my first international pageant and what can I say, it has definitely been a roller coaster getting everything prepared and I want to thank everyone who has helped me and especially sponsored me!” stated Solani on her Facebook profile. “I take off to represent the most beautiful country in my eyes Belize. I'm super excited to see what awaits me and I hope to make Belize proud. I'll do my best to post pics on FB! Colombia get ready Belize is coming! Solani was crowned Miss San Pedro back in 2013 and currently holds the title of Miss San Pedro Lions Queen 2016-2017. She departs for Colombia today, Friday, June 17; let's all wish her luck.

Fishermen Arrested for Out of Season Lobster
While everyone else was following the law and enjoying their first day of Lobster fishing on the opening of the season, on Tuesday, June 14, 2016, the Conservation Compliance Unit – Punta Gorda branch of the Belize Fisheries Department arrested two fishermen for the possession of lobster tail out of season. The detainees were Lucito Armando Sosa, 52 years, and Elizardo Tut, 42 years, both of Independence Village, Stann Creek District. Based on information obtained, the Fisheries Officer, Mr. Victor Vasquez and his team searched the Coco Solo Caye, located directly East of Punta Negra Village on the southern barrier reef. After a thorough search of the island, the Fisheries personnel found one white ice cooler buried in the sand with 204 out of season spiny lobster tail.

Thirty-nine Foot Vessel Runs Into Reef Outside Ambergris Caye
The strong stench of diesel fuel fills the air as you approach the 39-foot Mainship Trawler that has run around into the coral reef just in front of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Damages to the vessel and the reef are significant but not fully known as investigations continue after the early evening shipwreck. Amigos del Mar personnel tell Ambergris Today that they responded to the distress call of Captain Roger Day, 66, who was the only person aboard the vessel ‘Connie Sue’ at about 7p.m. on Wednesday, June 15. He was brought ashore after which all the proper authorities were notified, including the Belize Coast Guard, Belize Port Authority, Department of Environment and Hol Chan Marine Reserve. A statement made by Day to the Port Authority indicates that the American registered vessel was enroute from Guatemala to the United States when it started to take in water in the area in front of San Pedro Town. Day was forced to immediately head to shore but his navigational equipment failed to direct him through the channel on the reef; he missed it by far and struck the reef.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

BELIZE FISHING REPORT: Weeks of June 5th – June 11th, 2016
A very quiet week here at the lodge meant the anglers had the water to themselves. Orvis’ Bonefish Bonanza went off without a hitch with lots more than bonefish being caught. Russ got the first tarpon of the week and jumped 4 more that same day, John bested him with 1 to the hand and 6 in the air! Cody had a huge 100 pound plus fish right up to the boat that was pretty well whipped before it flipped off leaving everyone asking “did you touch the leader?” More fish were jumped and many more were cast to with results ranging from total spook, total ignore to a long follow without a bite.

"Chiquibul" the jaguar cub, The Belize Zoo
TBZ has some exciting news to share! We are pleased to introduce our latest and littlest member of the Zoo family, "Chiquibul" the jaguar cub. She was rescued from drowning by our amazing colleagues at Friends for Conservation and Development - FCD Belize in the Chiquibul Forest. The young cub was in need of urgent medical attention, and was quickly transferred the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic. The wonderful BWRC team provided little "Chiqui" with exceptional medical care, and lots of love, as she made a strong recovery. Now at her new home at TBZ, Chiquibul is gradually losing her shy character and becoming playful and affectionate towards her caregivers.

"The Alba"
The San Pedro House of Culture invites everyone to join us for "The Alba" (the first light before sunrise), starting at 6:00 a.m. on Monday, June 20th at the Catholic Church to enjoy a typical fisherman's breakfast. Be part of our Dia de San Pedro Celebrations and help us keep our traditions alive.

Recently consolidated site of Benque Viejo
While visiting the site of Xunantunich in San Jose Succotz, you can also go over to the town of Benque Viejo del Carmen and see the recently consolidated site of Benque Viejo. It offers beatiful views of the surrounding town and offers a glimpse into the past of the country of Belize and the ancient Maya.

Bishop Martin Primary School visits Xunantunich
About 45 kids and accompanied by parents and teachers from the Bishop Martin Primary School visited the site of Xunantunich. They learned about the history of Ancient Maya and the wildlife surrounding the site from Jorge de Leon and Bernane.

SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY: OAS – KDI School of Pubic Policy and Management, South Korea
The Organization of American States (OAS), through the Department of Human Development, Education and Employment (DHDEE) and KDI School of Public Policy and Management, through the OAS Partnerships Program for Education and Training (PAEC), are offering scholarships to qualified candidates of the Americas to participate in Master programs.

Guatemalan Armed Forces Attempts to Block Belizean Vessel
The Government of Belize has received an initial report that a Belizean vessel with two media personnel was traversing the Sarstoon River this morning when they were approached by a Guatemalan Armed Forces (GAF) vessel, with nine (9) GAF persons on board. The GAF personnel attempted to stop the Belizean vessel, which, reportedly, was traveling along the north side of the Sarstoon Island. The Belizean vessel was able to speed away back to Punta Gorda. GOB is investigating this incident in an effort to verify all its particulars including that the media vessel was in Belize's waters. In the meantime, Guatemalan authorities have communicated that they attempted to stop the vessel to inquire as to the reason for the taking of pictures of their naval base.

Summer Program for Youth in Corozal
The Department of Youth Services in Corozal District invites all youth to be a part of the summer program that they have prepared for young people. Lots of Learning and Lots of Fun!! Join us!! for more info contact us at 402 0440 or [email protected]" - See schedule of events!

Corozal: HUGE FATHER'S DAY SALE on June 17 and 18 at Quality Poultry Products
Corner of 4th Avenue and 3rd Street South - "Dis Da Fi Wi Chikin" - Regular and Whole Chicken only $1.95 per pound.

Belize Hotel Association (BHA) Annual General Meeting
The Belize Hotel Association (BHA) Annual General Meeting will be held on June 30, 2016. Come listen to our dynamic speaker Mr. Frank Comito, CEO of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association. Election of officers! Grand Raffles and Chinese Auction in support of our scholarship fund. All are invited! Kindly RSVP your attendance. We look forward to seeing you there!

Fajina is a Maya word that means communal labor
Members of a community give their time for the good of the community to make sure that everyone can benefit from working together. Our Fajina is a community outreach organization run by archaeologists who feel a great responsibility to give back and support the communities in which they work. Three archaeologists, Leah McCurdy, Rebecca Freidel and Sylvia Batty have written an archaeologically accurate trilingual children's book that follows Little Moon and her journey to the great Clay Mountain (ancient Xunantunich). The books are being distributed to students from 5 schools in the historically Yucatec Maya villages of San Antonio, Succotz and Calla Creek in the Cayo district.

Channel 7

Street Justice Is Swift And Ruthless For Man Killed At Funeral
Gun violence in the city reached to a new low this afternoon when a man was killed at a funeral! It happened on Vernon Street just after 3:00, when Elroy Perdomo Jr., better known as "Chin", was in a funeral procession. He stepped out of the procession to stop at nearby shop. That gave his killers the right opportunity to ambush and shoot him 16 times. Daniel Ortiz reports: About an hour ago, we found the family of Elroy "Chin" Perdomo Jr., outside the emergency room of the KHMH. They had only just gotten the news that he was dead, his body riddled by 16 gunshots. He was gunned down here on Vernon Street, and according to witnesses the two gunmen ambushed him just after he had stopped at this shop to buy some snacks. We're told that he had been attending the funeral services for Pablo Roberto Sanchez Sr., and he was traveling along with the funeral procession as it headed toward the burial grounds. Police say that the shooters pulled up in a car, and one of them emptied a full clip on him. After the spray of gunfire, the shooter sped off.

Cops Say Victim Should Have Stayed Home
So, while the investigators on the scene weren't ready to call Perdomo's murder street justice, Eastern Division South Commander Chester Williams wasn't so shy. He's been on Facebook for the past two days asking eyewitnesses to come forward with information about the main suspect in Marlon Bonner's murder, Elroy Perdomo. And now, Perdomo is dead - hours after police released him. Williams said that Perdomo should have stayed home to avoid street justice: ACP Chester Williams - OC, Eastern Division South: "I must say it's a sad state of affair to see what we have come to and yes Mr. Perdomo was in custody in respect to the murder of Mr. Bonner which took place on Sunday. As I have said on my Facebook page, there were several persons out there who said that they saw him do the shooting. According to those persons who were out there, he had nothing on his face so everyone was sure that it was him. While many of the witnesses spoke to us and gave us full detail as to what took place, none of them were willing to give us a statement, because of that we had to release him at 11 this morning because his 48 hours period was up and he was released from custody."

Sayonara Mr. Monima!
Audibaldo Monima has been at the center of a raging controversy for a week now. The newly hired northern region health manager has been exposed by the media as thoroughly unqualified for the job. Well, the news tonight is that Monima has resigned, or more accurately, he was forced to resign. This morning, the CEO in the Ministry of Health, Ramon Figueroa told us that Monima was given the option to resign or be terminated, and he chose to resign. He said the ministry made the decision after a full review of Monima's qualifications where it was agreed that he does not meet the requirements for the job. Seems they were last to get the memo on what was public knowledge a week ago. Today the CEO apologized for the wrong information he gave us when he said that Monima had a master's degree in naval command - he now says that's just what he had been told. When he saw the news which said that he only had a certificate from the Mexican Navy Juniour Staff College, Figueroa said he checked Monima's file and learned of his error. Monima has resigned but under the terms of his contract, he has to give three months notice, so the Ministry can now either to choose to send him home and pay him for those three months, or keep him around for three months and find something for him to do.

Guats Goad Press On Sarstoon
For the past two days, we've been reporting on the leaked diplomatic note from the Guatemalan Government which refutes the Belize Government's assertion that they agreed to allow Belizeans to freely travel the Sarstoon. As you've been seeing since the Istanbul Bilateral talks concluded a month ago, Prime Minister Dean Barrrow, Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington, and even PUP Representative Eamon Courtenay all told 7News that the Guatemalans did in fact enter informal agreement for "untrammeled access" to the Sarstoon by Belizeans. A few days later, Channel 5 and KREM went to test this agreement for "untrammeled access", and they exposed that the Guatemalan military was still blockading Belizean vessels from traveling freely through the River. A week later, the PUP went on their own familiarization trip, and they encountered no such harassment, which the Foreign Minister confidently asserted as proof that though the Guatemalans simply hadn't relayed the arrangement down the chain of command during the media trip, but had since done so.

Killer Canuck On the Lam?
Police in San Pedro are now playing catch up in the Melvin Almendarez murder investigation. That's because the main suspect Canadian National Jordan Bacchus can't be found. In May when Almendarez was murdered, Bacchus was detained as the prime person of interest since he was the last person seen with Almendarez before he was found dead on a feeder road in Southern San Pedro. At the time, Bacchus was charged for possession of controlled drugs but was granted bail and released shortly after. A month has passed, and now police are turning to the public for assistance because Bacchus, now officially wanted by police for the murder of 31 year old Melvin Almendarez, is at large. The San Pedro Sun reports that there was overwhelming evidence against Bacchus: we are talking about a bloody clothes at his residence, blood at the bottom of his golf cart, hair specimens from the victim on his belongings, and a positive test result for gun powder on his hands…seems like the only thing left was the smoking gun! But just why wasn't held by police pending further investigations? Well, it seems there was no objection to bail after he was charged for possession of controlled drugs. It's the common practice in the court room where the prosecutor would object to bail pending the investigation of another more serious offense.

US Vessel Rakes Reef
Last night at around 7 o'clock, A 40-foot Vessel ran aground on the Barrier Reef just in front of the eastern side of San Pedro Town, right in plain view of persons who were on the beachfront of island town. The vessel, seen here in a photo form the San Pedro Sun, is named "Connie Sue", and is registered in Florida, and according to reports, her captain, 66 year-old Roger Day, , was heading to the United States from Guatemala. While the vessel was approaching Ambergris Caye, it allegedly started to have engine problems, and took on water. The captain then sent out a distress call which was answered by the employees of Amigos Del Mar, which was nearby. By that time, the vessel ran aground on the reef, and there is evidence of significant damage. Personnel from Coast Guard told us that they and the Belize Port Authority were immediately informed, and they dispatched a team to investigate. The Sun reports that the investigators suspect that some of the engine's fuel may have leaked into the sea, which compounds the damage.

IDB And The City
The Yabra Area Renovators are back in Belize for the second phase of project planning. As we told you in February, a team from the IDB's American Planning Association came to do an evaluation and inspection of the area and also to connect with the community. The vision behind this project is to revitalize Yabra and restore its historical value and beauty. Well today at City Hall, Mayor Darrell Bradley and the planning team gave us a more comprehensive overview of that project. Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor: "City Council is working on a series of activities in partnership again with the Inter-American Development Bank and the American Planning Association to really emphasize the sustainable development goals. One of the real points of the sustainable development goals is to make cities more livable. We've spoken a lot about the idea of urban planning, there have been a lot of interest in terms of zoning and capacity building. One of the things that we recognize is that the City council is very limited in terms of its capacity, hence the partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank and the American Planning Association, so that we have a group of planners from the APA who are in country. This is not the first time that they are in the country and focusing on particularly on an intervention in the Yabra area."

The Belize City Brand Is Not Violence
But apart from the Land Use Plan, the team is also developing a brand that will represent what Belize City has to offer. Today at the press conference both the Mayor and the City Council's Director of Finance showed us the draft city brand and explained how it will enhance civic pride and boost tourism. Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor: "We also have a team of individuals who are developing a city brand for Belize City and this is something again, that's build up from some of the work that has been done by the Belize Tourism Board and other entities who have worked on city branding. They have released to us a preliminary brand for the city and you will notice in relation to some of the ideas they have come up with, some of the colour choices, it is reflective of our history, our culture and what we have to offer as Belize City. The icon and the imagery is something that we wanted to define or be a statement about Belize City itself and the idea is that we would want to build a whole degree of pride around the brand."

City Can't Afford To Zone
Now with all these big plans, can the City Council afford it? Although the council has secured finances from the government and has support from the IDB through a grant, the council's finances can't carry the cost - that's because most of what the city earns is spent on sanitation, not on city planning or development. Director of Finance Marilyn Ordonez gave us the financial outline. Marilyn Ordonez, Director of Finance: "What the city has done was to secure its funding from the government and have that bond secured with funding that is earmarked and secured. That bond is then managed by the Central Bank so that the residents don't have to worry about that. Bond holders know that their funds are secured. When we look at the financials, what was very striking was that the huge cost that we have is reflected in payroll and sanitation. When we look at the financials, the sanitation costs exceeds payroll, so that's telling us that when we collect our property tax or trade license and all our revenue we are working to deal with garbage. Our cost, revenue, is going to garbage and is that what we want as a city? We need to perhaps revisit that because it means that something is wrong."

Dredging, Sometime Soon
Funding from Government for the dredging in the Belize Harbour has been approved and works are to start very soon. As you heard yesterday, Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia and State Minister in Investment Tracey Panton both said that GOB is committed to assisting financially with this major siltation problem, one that has been plaguing the harbor since late last year. Today Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley told us that it's definitely a go and that these works fall somewhat under one aspect of the Flood Mitigation Project. Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor: "I think the Minister of Tourism, if I'm not mistaken, and Minister Tracy Panton had indicated in relationship to the government's contribution, I think a lot of it has to do with, and I mentioned this before in terms of just finding the finances, that's an amount of money that various government entities don't necessarily have in their budget. I think one of the points that I would want to emphasize is that this is the reason why, in terms of the flood mitigation project, there's a tremendous amount of emphasis on sustainability and maintenance. We are focusing now in the flood mitigation project, part of it is a study of the river maintenance. In terms of insuring that there's a regular budgeted amount for the maintenance of assets that have been emerged. I'm very sad that this is only now coming unfolding because that has been a problem for some time but my understanding is that the Ministry of Finance has already approved the money. There was a dredge out there for 2 days so we are understanding that the project will start very shortly."

Nurses For The Big Test
A panel of educators with different backgrounds in nursing gathered today at the Biltmore Plaza for a two day workshop. Their task is to come up with a list of questions which will be submitted to the CXC office in Barbados to design a nurse's entry exam using questions submitted from all CARICOM member countries. Now, nurses can already enroll in a Bachelor's level program at UB, but the idea is to have them sit a regional entrance exam facilitated by the Nurses Council in each country. Today's event was that first stage towards designing this year's exam. The Caribbean Examination Council has been managing the regional nurses' exam for the two years.

Today Beltraide handed over a set of keys to the University of Belize for a brand new security and maintenance facility at the UB Faculty's Campus in Belize City. This is a much smaller structure than the one which will be housing the the Belize Enterprise and Innovation Institute, a Beltraide initiative to foster innovative business ideas in the country. Last year Beltraide and UB broke ground to mark the start of construction for this facility. But when the plan was being laid out, the contractors realized that the existing security maintenance facility was in the way. So to compensate Beltraide promised to construct a new building for this purpose. Today that promise was kept. We caught up with the stakeholders this morning as the keys were handed over and also got to speak to them about the construction of the larger facility in the pipeline. Alan Slusher, President - UB: "We are very happy for these new facilities. We are very happy that BELTRAIDE has it fit to construct a building on our premises and it was our good fortune that our facilities building was in the way, because we had been looking at it and recognizing that the space that we had in the facilities that we had for our staff weren't really up to par. But obviously the institution is cash strapped and we didn't have any resources to fix it. So we are very thankful that our minister for BELTRAIDE need or desire to build a building at a particular spot, which meant that we would get new and nice facilities. Part of the arrangements and BELTRAIDE can describe it much better than I can - they are creating and enterprise and innovation center which will also utilize our staff and our students as part of the process in building entrepreneurial and business capacity for Belize."

Sovereign For September
The theme for this year's September Celebrations has been set, and it has a lot to do with what you hear about on the news almost every night - and we don't mean crime! We mean the Sarstoon river - and what it represents, which is Belizean sovereignty. In line with that, this year's theme is "Sovereign and Strong - Together as one!" Today, our colleagues at CTV-3 in Orange Walk spoke to the teacher and counselor who came up with it. She is Argelia Mendoza Ken, and she explained why she chose this theme:.. "Our country has been facing a lot of difficult times where our sovereignty and our status as Belizeans has been challenged. However, these challenges have only made us see a different face of Belize where we have united as Belizeans to defend and protect our patrimony, regardless of race, of culture, of religion. So beside all the bad stuff that has been happening, it had made us bring out the best in us and what better time to celebrate our accomplishments than during our patriotic holidays."

Municipal Airstrip, Finally
The date is finally set for the formal opening of the Belize municipal airstrip. In 2012 government broke ground for the expansion of the runway, and nearly four years later it seems that the long wait is finally over because according to the Minister of Tourism Hon. Manuel Heredia, works are expected to be completed by August. Hon. Manuel Heredia - Minister of Tourism: "Well let me say that the project was a very ambitious project, but everything will come in play. There were supposed to be finalized by no later than August, but according to the contractor, probably because if the weather have been so good to us, probably we will have it completed by the ending of July and hopefully we can inaugurate it early in August. Probably we might start using the runway before the inauguration. But if you look around, the apron which we are using as the airstrip now will also be hot mix. The parking area that you see on the other side, also that will be able to accommodate over 100 vehicles. That will be hot mix also and well fenced with security, nice lights and so forth. We are hoping that it will be a masterpiece when completed. I believe it is smaller than the International Airport, but I think it will be more modern."

The Other Way Of Raising Cane
When we think of the cane industry, you probably think of all those cane cutters and their machetes. It's backbreaking manual labour cutting down hundreds of acres cane and then loading all that unto trucks. And while that labour is the hallmark of the industry, there is a simpler way: mechanized harvesting. Now, it's not a popular idea, but the Sugar Industry Research & Development Institute along with the Depratment of Environment are encouraging farmers to adopt it. They say it is more cost efficient, and it also means the fields won't have to be burned, thereby saving the environment form pollutants. They held a demonstration today in Buena Vista Village and our colleagues ta CTV-3 were there to hear about this different approach:.. Three days of demonstrations are being held

Bold Briheda Challenges Sexual Stereotypes
Artist Bridheda Haylock is always challenging notions of conformity - and now she's taking on the prickly subject of sexuality. Sure, we may live in an oversexed society, but Briheda says the sexual roles assigned to women are oppressive. Her show boldly challenges those traditionalist notions. She told us about it today:... Haylock says she identifies as gender fluid. After this show she heads to Indonesia on an art exchange.

Channel 5

GAF Stops News Five from Traversing Our Side of the Sarstoon
Can Belizeans go into the Sarstoon – at least on our side of the river? That’s been the million dollar question since our news team was stopped on May twenty-seventh. [...]

G.O.B. Investigates Incident on Sarstoon
Late this evening, the Government issued a release about this morning’s incident in the Sarstoon. It reads in part: “G.O.B. is investigating this incident in an effort to verify all [...]

Mixed Interpretations on Agreement in the Sarstoon Following Istanbul Talks
As we’ve shown you, our news team traveled south to the Sarstoon River where they were turned back by the Guatemalan Armed Forces.  While that was taking place this morning, [...]

Is Guatemala Taking the Ongoing Bilateral Discussions Seriously?
Is Guatemala taking the ongoing bilateral discussions seriously?  It is a question that we’ve put to Foreign Minister Elrington in light of the recent happenings at the Sarstoon.  On May [...]

Prime Suspect in Marlon Bonner’s Murder is Executed on Vernon Street
Today, there was further violence in the south side of Belize City. Elroy Perdomo Junior was executed on Vernon Street as he attended a funeral. Perdomo Junior was held for [...]

Amidst Controversy, Audibaldo Monima Resigns as North Region Health Manager
Last week Wednesday, News Five broke the story of the appointment of Audibaldo Monima Junior as Regional Health Manager for the north. The backlash over that appointment was fast and [...]

Keyren Tzib to Stand Trial for Attempted Murder of Coastguard Officer
Coastguard officer, Keyren Tzib has been back and forth at court for two cases; the manslaughter of her boyfriend for which she is out on bail. The other case against [...]

U.S. and Mexico Offer to Assist Guatemala with Investigation into Death of Minor in Chiquibul
Now back to the issue of the Guatemalan claim. Foreign Ministers Wilfred Elrington and Carlos Raul Morales are heading to Washington early next week where they hope to establish a [...]

It’s Official: Belize’s Referendum Act to be Amended
With all the talk on either side about resolving the territorial dispute at the International Court of Justice, government intends to amend the existing Referendum Act to lower the threshold [...]

US Vessel Traveling From Guatemala Runs Aground on Reef in San Pedro
It’s been one year since a Guatemalan gunboat ran aground in Belize’s littoral waters near Glovers Reef; it was reportedly navigating international waters en route to Mexico, when it drifted [...]

City Planners Come Up with a Plan to Spruce Up the Yarborough
A team of urban designers, at the invitation of the Belize City Council, is back in the Old Capital where a project to rehabilitate the Yarborough community is set to [...]

American Planning Association Meets with Yarborough Residents
Team leader Justin Moore is an urban designer with the American Planning Association and his engagement with residents in Yarborough has been on an individual level.   Justin Moore, Urban [...]

Artist and Curator Briheda Haylock Launches Beautiful Tragedy
Belizean artist and curator Briheda Haylock is launching an exhibition at the Image Factory on Friday.  Beautiful Tragedy, as she dubs the photography display, addresses the issue of gender and [...]

Officers on San Pedro get Public Relations Training
In Belize City, police have been meeting and greeting with residents to establish better rapport as a way of curbing violence. While in San Pedro this morning, we found police [...]

Healthy Living: Healthier Skin for the Summer
Taking care of your skin, particularly in the summer months, is important. Exposure to the sun damages your skin extensively and you may not know that some routine practices are [...]


Guatemalans Take Control Of The Sarstoon..Belizeans Confronted By GAF
Tonight all indications are that Guatemala is sticking to their word when they said that they never agreed to an unofficial agreement for Belizeans to have untrammeled access to the Sarstoon, during talks that took place last month in Istanbul. The reason we say this is because earlier today leader of the Belize Territorial Volunteers, Will Maheia and a crew from Channel Five News decided to test the waters at the Sarstoon to verify if Belizeans in fact have access to the river. So….do we? No we don’t. As the group made their way up the Sarstoon they were intercepted by Guatemalan Armed Forces who out rightly declared that the group was on Guatemalan waters. According to Will Maheia, the group made their way into the Sarstoon at about 6:30 this morning, with their main objective being to corroborate GOB’s ratification that Belizeans are free to navigate the Sarstoon. Although the group made it past the Sarstoon Island, soon after they were approached by a Guatemalan boat consisting of 9 members of the Guatemalan Armed Forces who seemed particularly aggressive and keen at stopping them from navigating through the river even though they were clearly on the Northern Channel.

GOB To Investigate Recent Encounter At Sarstoon
So what does Government have to say about this latest breach of the so called Informal Agreement? In a release issued late this evening, GOB says that they are seeking to confirm the details of the Channel 5 version of events which as you know is that that a Belizean vessel with two media personnel was traversing the Sarstoon River this morning when they were approached by a Guatemalan Armed Force vessel, with nine military personnel on board who attempted to stop the Belizean vessel which was traveling along the north side of the Sarstoon Island. In the release GOB makes clear its firm position that if the report is accurate, meaning that if the investigations reveal that the media vessel was actually in Belize’s waters, the incident would constitute a breach of the spirit of the Confidence Building Measures and will be rejected as prejudicial to the ongoing diplomatic efforts, including next week's meeting in Washington, to establish a bilateral Cooperation Mechanism for the Sarstoon.

Monima Gone..He Is Forced To Resign Following Public Pressure
CEO in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Ramon Figueroa, confirmed today the resignation of Belize’s new regional Health Manager…former Coast Guard Audibaldo Monima, after having held the post for just over one month. According to Figueroa, the ministry made the decision after a full review of Monima’s qualifications where it was agreed that he does not meet the requirements for the job. Information is that Monima chose to resign after being confronted with an option to be terminated or to leave voluntarily. This came after the mounting public outcry following his controversial appointment that raised indignation from several senior officials within the public health sector, who believed he was not qualified for the post. The contention of Monima’s appointment came after senior officials within the Ministry of Health , who were reviewing Monima’s file to determine his capability, felt that the former coast guard with an associate’s degree in Business from the Corozal Junior College and a certificate from the Mexican Navy did not fit the criteria to hold the high ranking post which calls for a Master’s Degree in Public health administration, Health systems management and a minimum of five years’ experience in health administration, finance and human resource management, neither of which Monima possessed.

Department Of Environment Promotes Green Harvesting
In an effort to minimize the main sources of unintentional formation and release of dioxins and furans the Department of the Environment and the Belize Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute (SIRDI) today hosted one of three scheduled field days focused on green harvesting by using mechanical harvesting, and creating a seed bank of 10 acres with 4 to 5 varieties of sugar cane. These demonstrations will serve to encourage cane farmers to decrease burning of cane and to support a clean and healthy environment. According to Head of Project Evaluation for DEO, Jorge Franco, through the demonstrations the department seeks to reduce organic pollutants. “Our involvement in the project is sponsoring the activity which we will refer to as the Green Harvest Demonstration to cane farmers, this is an initiative under the Belize Chemicals and Waste Management project, this project has two major components. (1) is to dispose of the current inventory stock piles of persistent organic pollutants as well as to reduce the emissions from burning these are to reduce emissions dioxins and furans which we refer to as unintentional persistent organic pollutants from the burning of cane fields in the agriculture sector, what we did is to we entered in to an agreement with SIRDI to promote the reduction of burning so as to reduce the production of these unintentional persistent organic pollutants.”


The Persistent Mixed Messages on the Belize Guatemala Issue
For some time now the Guatemalan Armed Forces has laid claim on the entire Sarstoon River. Their adamant and aggressive behavior has brought pressure on the Belizean Government as its citizens have been unaccepting of the actions of the Guatemalan military and have been demanding that the Government reciprocate in aggression. The Barrow administration, however, […]

Another Attempt by the Guats to Block Belizeans at the Sarstoon; MFA Responds
As we told you at the top of our news, the Guatemalan Armed Forces attempted to block our media colleague as he along with Wil Maheia made their way to the Sarstoon this morning. Just before five o’clock this evening the Government of Belize sent out a release on the incident stating, quote, “The Government […]

Death at a Funeral in Belize City
Today Elroy Perdomo attended a funeral at the St. Martins De Porres church located on Vernon Street in Belize City. Little did he know that today would be his last day alive as he was shot multiple times. The incident occurred after the funeral as the procession carried on to the cemetery. Love News spoke […]

Vessel Crashes on Reef Near Ambergris Caye
Several local agencies have been called in to deal with a situation where a 39-foot trawler ran into the coral reef near Ambergris Caye. One of the agencies called in was the Belize Coast Guard. Love News spoke with the Vice Commander of the BCG, Elton Bennett for information on the incident. ELTON BENNETT: “Sometime […]

Monima Resigns as Northern Regional Health Manager
Audibaldo Monima is perhaps the shortest serving Northern Regional Health Manager in the history of Belize’s public service as today he tendered his resignation. Monima was awarded the position in May with the approval from the Minister of Health, Pablo Marin. The appointment raised questions as to his qualifications for the position and with that […]

Keyren Tzib to Stand Trial for Attempted Murder
Twenty-nine year old Keyren Tzib, a former member of Belize Coast Guard charged with attempted murder and dangerous harm, was committed today to stand trial in the Supreme Court at a preliminary inquiry in the court of the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Tzib is to appear in court on October 4. The charges are […]

Re-Shaping the Yarborough Area of the Old Capital
The American Planning Association is back in Belize to work on their intervention for the Yaborough area in Belize City. The last time the group was in Belize was in February to start a survey plan in order to re-develop neighborhoods in Belize. The survey project is in collaboration with the Belize City Council and […]

A Brand for Belize City
You may be familiar with the Belize logo that has been made popular by the Belize Tourism Board. Two life size multicolored colored signs have been built in the city which is a representation of the Country of Belize. Now, the city council has developed a plan to have a city brand. The brand would […]


Foreign Minister speaks at OAS assembly; back home, some want his head!
The General Assembly meeting of the Organization of American States comes to an end today in the Dominican Republic. Both the foreign minister of Belize and Guatemala made presentations during which they spoke of the role of the hemispheric organization in helping both countries to reach a permanent...

Canadian national wanted by San Pedro police for Murder
Ambergris Caye police are asking the public’s assistance in locating Canadian National Jordan Bacchus Bacchus is wanted for the murder of 31-year-old Melvin Almendarez who was found dead on May 6th at a feeder road in Southern Ambergris Caye. A post mortem conducted on Almendarez’s body revealed t...

Shane Gillett acquitted of murder of Samuel Price
30 year old Shane Gillett, Burrell Boom resident accused of and alleged to have confessed to the murder of 84 year old Samuel Price in 2011, could not have willingly given police a caution statement detailing his confession, Justice Adolph Lucas ruled today. And so, the judge concluded he could not ...

KHMH denies report of negligence during blackout
Yesterday PLUS News was told by a source that a female KHMH patient from the Jane Usher Boulevard area of Belize City died during a blackout Monday night because hospital staff did not turn on the hospital generator quick enough to get her ventilator going after it cut off. Today, the CEO of the KHM...

Fishers Arrested for Out of Season Lobster
52 year old Lucito Armando Sosa and 42 year old Elizardo Tut, both of Independence Village, Stann Creek District were both arrested for the possession of lobster tails out of season. On Tuesday June 14, 2016 the Conservation Compliance Unit – Punta Gorda branch of the Belize Fisheries Department ar...

Catholic Church to conduct mass at Belize Guatemala border
The Catholic church in Belize will be meeting with its counterpart from Guatemala for a Mass to be held at the border. The mass will be held under the theme,” Neighbours seeking the way of peace”. The event is scheduled for this coming Saturday June 18, 2016. The objective of the event is to pray...

National Tertiary Level Empowerment Symposium to address Belize sovereignty
On Friday, representatives of Belize’s entire tertiary level education system – eight junior colleges, the University of Belize and Galen University as host – will gather in San Ignacio for a first-ever National Tertiary Level Empowerment Symposium on the topic “Defending Belize’s Sovereignty.” Thr...

4H center graduates 25 persons
25 persons graduated from the 4H Center in Belmopan this morning. We spoke to CEO for Youth, Sports, and Culture, Adele Catzim Sanchez. Adele Catzim Sanchez- CEO for youth, sports and culture: I am glad that this year we have 25 graduates who have completed the ten month program at the 4h youth deve...

Re: Today's Belize News: June 17, 2016 [Re: Marty] #515135
06/17/16 06:00 AM
06/17/16 06:00 AM
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The Guardian

The Airport giveaway
Of all the wrongs that the People's United Party did to the country of Belize, one of the most hurtful and enduring ones is the giveaway of the Phillip Goldson International Airport. Two weeks ago we catalogued how it was that the Government of Belize ended up owing 9 million dollars to NEWCO. It was basically as a result of the then PUP government taking away a contract which it signed with that company and giving it to its cronies. This week we have a closer look at the contract between the Government of Belize (GOB), the Belize Airports Authority (BAA) and the Belize Airport Concession Company Limited (BACC). From beginning to end, in almost every single page of the contract there is some egregious injury caused to the people of Belize. The agreement was made on the 29th of December, 2003 and it is almost an evil Christmas gift to the people of Belize who have very little or no knowledge of the contents of the agreement. The first injury is the handing over of "all the land... together with all buildings and erections thereon and all infrastructure, installations and facilities comprising the Airport to hold the same unto the Company for the term of 30 years..." there is no financial consideration for doing this. What is worse is that the term of 30 years "may be extended for a further period not exceeding fifteen years on such terms and conditions as the parties shall agree..." In this event the BACC would notify the government one year before the expiration of the first 30 year contract.

Consultations in Maya communities start Friday
The Maya Land Rights Commission has already met with the steering committee of the Maya Leaders Alliance and the Toledo Alcalde Association, non-governmental organizations in Southern Belize and elected leaders from all the villages in the Toledo District, Maya and non-Maya villages, as part of the consultation process in executing the order handed down by the Caribbean Court of Justice confirming customary Maya land tenure rights. The District of Toledo was divided into nine zones and there were nine meetings within a two weeks period. Now the Commission will be going community by community to hold consultations directly with residents. Those meetings will start this Friday, June 17, says Commission Chair Lisel Alamilla. The most difficult position the Commission has found itself in so far is getting the parties to agree on the starting point for discussions, since the order for many is a bit ambiguous. Indigenous Affairs expert and Maya Land Rights Commissioner, Queen Counsel Anthony Ross, says, “They have come to their own conclusion as to how these matters should be resolved. It is represented in the order and it is our function to assist in giving life to that order.

Fruta Bomba closes operations
Fruta Bomba is winding down its operations in Belize. The Guardian Newspaper is reliably informed that the company is this week doing the final clearing up of its operations in Belize. Earlier this year, in February, Brooks Tropicals the parent company for Fruta Bomba & Belize Food Packers Ltd., which was the sole papaya exporter from Belize, terminated the services of 123 employees. That was as part of the company winding down its operations in Belize. The company had over 250 employees and at the time explained that it would continue to shut down its operations during a period of 6 months. It apparently is doing so much earlier than that announcement.

UDP continues to dominate in Village councils
On Sunday June 12 village council elections were held in 39 villages and the outcome of the elections come as no surprise, the UDP continues to dominate across the country. The UDP secured victories in 23 villages while the PUP did so in 12. There are two villages namely Gracie Rock and La Democracia that do not claim either party. Two other villages have a mix of PUP,UDP and independent representation not allowing for any one of the parties to have a majority. Notable developments in this most recent election is the endorsement of the slates in Corozal South West where San Roman and Louisville were uncontested allowing for UDP councils to be formed. Down south, in Stann Creek West, the UDP secured victories in all the villages which were contested, namely, San Juan (Cow pen), Georgetown and Maya Mopan. Also of note is that Roaring Creek and Camalote which were previously controlled by the PUP went to the UDP.

Another Munchie bestseller?
Munchie is once again in a story telling mode. Now he is telling a story of a pint bottle war that supposedly took place at the San Jose football field on Sunday night sometime between 7:30 and 8:00. Well this gentleman has become quite a storyteller and has told some wild stories in the past that seem to have come direct from the Twilight Zone. So if we seem to be taking in this one with a block of salt we cannot be faulted for that. We all know of the elaborate story stemming out of his father’s death, of which we won’t go in to details, because it is a matter that landed him in court after he was sued. That matter is still in court awaiting a decision of the court. Now this new story out of Munchie’s apparently sick mind is just as far out there as his previous stories. This one however has a twist. He claimed that he and his supporters were attacked by some Gapi Vega supporters who stoned them with pint bottles. For this one he even has props. On the newscast he produced a lady who he said got her head burst. The lady has an apparent wound to the head indeed as shown on the TV, but we don’t know when and how she got that wound. She did not speak to the media.

Flavors of Belize to be promoted in Taiwan’s International Food Show
As part of the concerted and continuing efforts to promote trade and business opportunities between Taiwan and Belize, the Embassy of the ROC (Taiwan) works with the Central American Trade Office (Taiwan) and the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) to facilitate four Belizean professionals to represent and promote the Flavors of Belize in the upcoming “2016 Taipei International Food Show.” Ms. Shauna Arnold, Export Promotion Officer, EXPORTBelize of BELTRAIDE, Ms. Simone Bell, Marketing Consultant of Caribbean Premier Products and Ms. Yalily Cuello and Samantha Turcios, Marketing Personnel of L&R Liquors, will travel to Taipei to participate in the Food Show scheduled on June 22-25, 2016. Ms. Arnold began working as an Export Promotion Officer in EXPORTBelize in 2014. EXPORTBelize’s main focus is to encourage competitiveness of local businesses to promote their products and services regionally and internationally. A part of Ms. Arnold’s responsibilities includes proactively exploring the local market for potential Belizean export industries or products with export potential and interest to meet the demands of the international market, identifying viable export markets for Belizean products, engaging in trade shows and trade missions to assess emerging markets.

Promoting Green Harvesting of sugar cane for a cleaner environment
The Department of the Environment (DOE) is responsible for conducting compliance monitoring, enforcement of the EPA, and to carry out the environmental screening process for developments that have the potential to significantly alter the natural state of the environment. As one of its responsibilities, the DOE is responsible for carrying out activities under international environmental agreements, such as the Stockholm Convention on Chemicals. The Stockholm Convention on Chemicals is a legally binding international agreement that tasks all participating countries to take actions to reduce or eliminate the production, use, and/or release into the environment of certain types of chemicals called persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Persistent Organic Pollutants were produced because of their benefits in pest and disease control, such as DDT for the control of mosquitoes that carry malaria and dengue. However, these chemicals have had unforeseen negative effects on human health and the environment. POPs can be transported by wind and water, and affect people and wildlife far from where they are used.

Illegal Guatemalan settlers removed from border area
The Ministry of National Security issued a release on Monday June 13 in which it informed the public that it had ordered a number of Guatmalan families off Belizean territory after they were found living an farming in areas close to the border. The Minister informed that a joint patrol was conducted in the areas of Valentin Camp, Retiro, Cebada and Sapote during the period 29 May, 2016 to 09 June 2016. Members of the Belize Defence Force, with the support of the Belize Police Department, Forestry Department, Ministry of Human Development and Friends for Conservation and Development, destroyed 650 marijuana plants of varying height, 50 acres of pumpkin and 100 coffee plants.

PSE results show no improvement in Math and English
Results for the 2016 Primary School Examinations are in and once again there is no improvement to report on for performance in Math and English. The Ministry of Education is expecting this to change in the near future; however, as the jury is still out on the $20 million Education Quality Improvement Project (EQIP) funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Over the next four years, the Ministry of Education expects to have teachers trained in more effective ways for the teaching of English, Math and Science in 129 primary schools across the country. Through EQIP, the Ministry will provide more support to training institutions for new teachers and train close to half of the country’s current primary education teachers. EQIP will also train primary school principals and develop and implement an information system for education management. Until EQIP is fully in effect, we will have to live with the kind of results released on Friday, June 10.

St. Andrew’s Anglican School again tops in the PSE
Students from Saint Andrew’s Anglican School have once again performed remarkably well in the Primary School Examination PSE 2016. Five of their students came in the top 25, with Kenly Young coming in first, Ranai Gonzalez fourth, Leila Duarte twentieth, and both Rhianon Figueroa and Gabrille Mas coming in twenty second. Just three years ago, Saint Andrew Anglican had also done excellently in the PSE overall. We stopped by Saint Andrew’s Anglican School on Tuesday to speak to the Nation’s top luminary at the primary school level, Kenly Young. In particular style, the thirteen year old sounded very confident about her most recent achievement; topping at 391 of the 400 points. Kenly Young revealed that she takes her notes in class every day, then proceeds to review them at home. Having come in first place in her classes at Saint Andrew’s since Infant One, Young now plans to continue studying at the nearby Sacred Heart College.

Rotary’s huge donation to KHMH and Help Age
“Service Above Self” is the Rotary motto which has saved and transformed lives all over the globe. Here in Belize, Rotarians raise funds locally and work with their international chapters to improve playgrounds, provide homes and sponsor life saving medical treatment to individuals deserving of a hand up. The latest gesture of kindness by Rotary Belize came in the form of a donation of medical supplies to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, Help Age Belize and the Kolbe Foundation. The Rotary Club of Belize received a 40 ft container loaded with hospital and medical supplies from the Rotary Club of Port Moody British Columbia Canada and Rotary World Help. They decided to donate the supplies to the three named social institutions who immediately put it to use. The donation includes 22 desk top computers, 20 mechanical hospital beds, two emergency patient trolleys, a complete surgical kit for the Ear, Nose and Throat Department, specimen collection containers, IV sets, central lines, surgical supplies (colostomy sets), anaesthertic supplies (laryngeal masks), linens and other needed supplies.

San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council conducts clean-up
The San Ignacio/Santa Elena Town Council in collaboration with the Public Health Department recently conducted a cleanup campaign in the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena. The objective of the cleanup was to prevent cases of mosquito borne diseases like Zika in the towns. Having completed the arduous efforts, the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council would like to extend its gratitude to those who assisted such as members of the Belize Defense Force, Public Health Department, the Zone 10 Neighborhood Watch Group and Mr. Art Wager. The town council will continue to carry out major clean-ups in the twin towns. Anyone who requires assistance in removing garbage from their Neighborhood can call 804-2035 The breeding grounds for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are old tires, containers, coconut husks and old bottles.

Skills training for teachers for educational excellence
Certification Exercises were held on Monday June 13, in the Northern Districts for 20 teachers and 25 parents who successfully completed training in Early Childhood Education, Special Education, Classroom Management, Leadership, Parenting Skills, Intermediate Computer Skills and First Aid Training. Teachers and parents received Certificate of Completion and Participation at ceremonies at Ranchito Community Centre, Corozal Another ceremony is scheduled to be held at 2:30 pm on Thursday June 16 at Carmelita Primary School, Orange Walk. During the training the teachers were equipped with enhanced educational leadership skills and competencies, which will significantly contribute in making a positive educational impact in nurturing the development of students. To this end, the future leaders of Belize will have the opportunity to develop socially, culturally, spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically and intellectually.

Lyson Cacho and Tarique Gillett to stand trial for murder again
One month ago, May 13, Lyson Cacho, 21, and Tarique Nathaniel Gillett, 19, were told by Magistrate Deborah Rogers that they were free from charges of murder and attempted murder upon Michael Welch and Kingsley Morrison after the case files were not presented. However, they were re-arrested shortly after exiting the courtroom and charged once again. A preliminary inquiry was conducted on Friday, June 10, before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. Prosecutor, Inspector Egbert Castillo, submitted as many as 22 statements and 19 documentary evidence that the prosecution is relying on in the case against the men. Allegations are that on Sunday, March 1, 2015, Michael Welch and Kingsley Morrison, two disc jockeys, were socializing at a residence on Periwinkle Street when two gunmen rode up on bicycles and opened fired on them. Welch was shot multiple times and died within minutes, while Morrison was shot once to the upper right shoulder, and was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.

Burley Card Murphy accused of carnal knowledge
Burley Kenyon Card Murphy, 27, is at the Belize Central Prison on remand after he appeared before Magistrate Deborah Rogers to answer to five counts of unlawful sexual intercourse upon a girl 15 years and 8 months of age. In a report to police in the presence of her mother on Thursday, June 9, the minor said that between November 2015 and May 2016 she had sexual intercourse five different times with Burley. She was examined by Dr. Mauricio Navarette that same day and he classified her injuries as grievous harm and confirmed that she has been carnally known. As a result of the minor’s report, police arrested Murphy on Friday, June 10, and charged him with five counts of unlawful sexual intercourse. Since the charges are indictable, no plea was taken from Murphy. Due to the nature of the offenses, Magistrate Rogers could not grant bail but informed Murphy that he can apply to the Supreme Court for bail with the help of an attorney. He is expected to return to court on August 31.

Fishers arrested for out of season lobster 1 day before season opens
On Tuesday June 14, 2016 the Conservation Compliance Unit – Punta Gorda branch of the Belize Fisheries Department arrested two fishermen for the possession of lobster tail out of season. The detainees were Lucito Armando Sosa, 52 years, and Elizardo Tut, 42 years, both of Independence Village, Stann Creek District. Based on information obtained, the Fisheries Officer, Mr. Victor Vasquez and his team searched the Coco Solo Caye, located directly East of Punta Negra Village on the southern barrier reef. After a thorough search of the island, the Fisheries personnel found one white ice cooler buried in the sand with 204 out of season spiny lobster tail. Both fishers were arrested and summoned to appear at the Punta Gorda Magistrate Court on June 22, 2016.

Derrick Garbutt charged for burglarizing Spoonaz Photo & Café Bar
Spoonaz Photo and Café Bar on North Front Street was burglarized on Tuesday, May 31, and the entire incident was captured by a surveillance camera. The man police believe they have identified from the tape is 38-year-old Derrick Garbutt. On Monday, June 13, Garbutt was escorted to court by police where he was arraigned on a single charge of burglary. Allegations are that he entered the premises as a trespasser and stole an assortment of liquor; including, Black Label, Disaronno, Jose Cuervo and 4 Smirnoff. He also allegedly took a pellet gun. The total value of goods stolen is $1,750.

Man discharges firearm in San Ignacio
A 36 year old Belizean Contractor of Duck Run 1 Village in the Cayo District, Juan Gonzalez, has appeared before a Magistrate in San Ignacio Town on a count of possession of firearm whilst under the influence of alcohol and discharging a firearm in public. He was remanded until August 8, 2016 as his charges were under the crime control and criminal justice act, which was read along with the firearm act. This follows his discharging a firearm in public in San Ignacio Town. Juan Gonzalez had discharged the firearm in-front of Mariana’s bar located on Blue Bird Street on Wednesday night of last week and had left the area in a brown Ford explorer pickup. As a result, San Ignacio Police was dispatched whereupon they made checks on Bullet Tree road. Police observed a brown in colour 4 door ford explorer pickup with License Plate PG- C00564 that had ran off the road into a drain, with damages to the front portion and to its windshield.

Accused Killer of Samuel Price walks from murder charge
In a trial by judge, Justice Adolph Lucas found Shane Gillett, 30, not guilty of the murder of 84-year-old Samuel Price, brother of the late Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price. Justice Lucas delivered his judgment on Wednesday, June 15, one week after closing arguments from Crown Counsel Porsha Staine- Ferguson and defense attorney, Leroy Banner. Justice Lucas dismissed the two most important pieces of evidence the prosecution was relying on. Those are the statements of Natalie Hyde, who told police that Gillett confided in her about Price’s murder, and a confession statement from Gillett to police. Judge Lucas rejected Hyde’s testimony in the trial and her statements given to police in 2011 saying in his ruling, “due to Hyde’s inconsistency, she is unreliable as a witness.” Judge Lucas noted that Hyde left out quite a number of important information in her statement to police that she gave on the witness stand when pressed by Banner. With that he ruled that her statement and testimony are unreliable.

Caught with a birthday stash
Jasmine Street resident, Shann Michael Young, 36, was planning to bring in his birthday in the clouds on Monday, June 20, but he was busted with his birthday stash on Tuesday, June 14, and now has to pay the court $10,500 by September 15 or serve three years imprisonment. According to police report, officers of the Special Branch Tactical Unit were conducting operations in the Jasmine Street area and decided to conduct a search of Young’s house. During the search, officers found a pipe under a pillow in his room. They then went to search Young’s yard and found 68 grams of weed inside a plastic bag that was under a bucket. Shann Young and Wilber Isaac Gentle were present in the yard at the time of the search.

$10,000 fine plus 3 years in jail for Clifton Willoughby
A 24-year-old Belize City resident must serve three years in jail and pay $10,000 after he was convicted of being in possession of 99 grams of weed inside his home on Iguana Street on May 25, 2015. This sentence was handed down by newly appointed Magistrate, Emmerita Anderson, on Tuesday, 14 June 2016. In the trial, Willoughby was unrepresented and the prosecutor offered to accept a guilty plea for possession simplicita but Willoughby rejected it and chose to go to trial for drug trafficking. A guilty plea for possession would have meant a lesser fine and no jail time. Instead he faced the prosecution’s strong case and chose to remain silent during the trial.

The 2015-2016 National Primary School Football Championships were played on Thursday 9th and Friday 10th June, 2016, out at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in the City of Belmopan.
On Friday 10th June, in the girls’ championship game, Copper Bank Roman Catholic School representing the Corozal District defeated Independence Primary School representing the Stann Creek District by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Dianira Lopez in the 13th minute of play to give Copper Bank Roman Catholic School the win and the national title. Earlier in the day, in the third place game, San Lazaro Roman Catholic School representing the Orange Walk district defeated Santa Elena Primary School representing the Cayo District by the score of 2-1. The goals for San Lazaro Roman Catholic School were scored by Kaite Jones (2) in the 19th and 22nd minutes of play. Meanwhile, the lone goal for Santa Elena Primary School was scored by Fracheza Cus in the 21st minute of play.

Belize Telemedia won over Heritage Bank in Firms Basketball
The Belize District Basketball Association firms Competition continued on Saturday 11th June, 2016, with three more games at Bird’s Isle. In the first game played, Belize Telemedia Ltd won over Heritage Bank by the score of 84-73. The top scorers for the Belize Telemedia Ltd team were Lupito Acosta with 22 points, 2 rebounds and 2 steals; Devon Lozano with 14 points, 1 rebound, and a steal and Lennox Cayetano with 12 points and 11 rebounds. For the Heritage Bank Team, the top scorers were Felix Martinez with 19 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal; Andrew Ortiz with 18 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals and Kurt Burgess with 17 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal. In game two, Belize Bank Bulldogs won over Tropic Air by the score of 81-75. The top scorers for the Belize Bank Bulldogs were Brian White with 25 points, 15 rebounds and 2 steals; Rupert Brown with 19 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists and a steal and Lincey Lopez with 14 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal. Meanwhile, the top scorers for Tropic Air were Greg Rudon with 21 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal; Jamal Augustine with 20 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists.

Mini aircraft goes down in Spanish Lookout
All attempts to obtain enough lift for a mini plane failed Sunday evening of this past weekend in Spanish Lookout and as a result it descended to damaging results in a pasture. Removed from the bloodied yellow plane were pilots Floyd Thiessen and John Friesen. Such was the force on impact that both men received injuries to their vertebral column. The unfortunate incident happened at about 6:00 pm Sunday, attracting many onlookers to the crash site. As can be learned from this experience, ultra lights carry inherent risks.

Courts Optical provides free eye exams in Cayo
Courts Optical, with offices in both Belize City and Belmopan, on Friday morning of last week extended its reach to residents in San Ignacio Town, offering free eye exams. While Courts Optical has its offices open on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays as well as on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Belmopan, the optical team has seen it fit to visit San Ignacio Town at least once a month. Courts Optical has chosen Cornerstone Foundation, located at number 27 Far West Street to do eye exams. Courts Optical also visits the Corozal, Orange Walk, Stann Creek and Toledo Districts at least once a month. For Edgar Arriola, the services provided by Courts Optical are welcomed as it relieves him of the huge expenses that he has been making in Guatemala. Edgar Arriola’s vision had deteriorated over the last few months. With the services being provided by Courts Optical, Arriola will now have a few more dollars in his pocket to spend on other essentials.

Hilton Worldwide Announces its First Property in Belize with Curio- A Collection by Hilton
The Belize Tourism Board is pleased to announce the new hotel brand in Belize; Curio, a collection by Hilton. In 2012, with the endorsement of the National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan, we began our path towards our 2030 goals for Tourism. Since then, one of our recurrent objectives has remained the need to introduce additional globally-recognized brands within our product offering. As a result, today we mark an important milestone for tourism development in Belize. We congratulate the Mahogany Bay Village group for its successful creation of this business partnership. With 12 months of continuous growth in overnight arrivals, we hope that this news continues to highlight Belize's readiness for further investment, growth and development in tourism.

Intervention by the Foreign Minister of Belize Hon. Wilfred Elrington at the 46thRegular Session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States
Foreign Minister of Belize, Hon. Wilfred Elrington led a delegation at the 46th Regular Session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, which ended today. In his address to the delegates, Foreign Minister Elrington thanked Dominican President Danilo Medina, Foreign Minister Andres Navarro, the Government and people of the Dominican Republic for their warm welcome and kind hospitality, as well as the OAS Secretary General Almagro and Assistant Secretary General Mendez for their stewardship of the OAS. Minister Elrington also made reference to the recent tragedy that occurred in Orlando, Florida, extending deepest sympathies to the Government and people of the United States of America, and especially to the grief stricken families.

Government of Belize condemns mass shooting in Orlando, Florida
The Government of Belize expresses distress and sorrow over the senseless killing and injuring of innocent citizens in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016. The Government extends its condolences and prayers to the families and friends of those killed and injured in this tragic incident. This horrible mass shooting in a nightclub serves as a reminder to all of the ever-present threat of terrorism and indiscriminate violence. The Government condemns these unjustifiable and savage attacks against innocent civilians and stands in solidarity with the United States of America during this very difficult period.

Ministry of Health receives wheelchairs from the Government of Japan
The Government of Belize through the Ministry of Health received a donation of 30 wheelchairs from the Government of Japan at a symbolic handing over ceremony on Friday June 10 in the City of Belmopan. The Ministry of Health received 30 foldable wheelchairs which were given as a donation by the Government of Japan under its Non-Project Grant Aid for provision of Industrial Products FY 2014 for Belize. The wheelchairs will be distributed as needed to hospitals and clinics across the country. The ceremony took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs conference room where representatives from the Embassy of Japan and the Ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs were present. Hon. Angel Campos, Minister of State in the Ministry of Health, received the donation on behalf of the Government of Belize.

Public school students top PSE
Kenly Young from St. Andrew’s Anglican School in the Cayo District and Angelina Urbina from La Immaculada R.C. School in the Orange Walk District are the top performers of the 2016 Primary School Examinations (PSE). A total 7,392 candidates were registered for the PSE and 7,235 candidates actually sat all or part of the exam this year. Of the 7235 who sat the exam, 143 (or approximately 2%) were either absent for part of the exam or had an “Ungraded” for the English Writing Paper or the Math Problem Solving Paper; had a “No Result” for at least one part of the exam, or had a combination of “Absent”, “Ungraded” or “No Result” for different parts of the exam. There were 27 private candidates. Kenly Young and Angelina Urbina scored 391 marks out of 400, which is 97.75 percent. Young says, “The most important thing is believing in yourself because if you believe in yourself then you know that you can overcome any barrier, any battle that comes your way. And then of course you have to work hard, you have to study, you have to listen to your teacher and make sure that you are on top.”

Tilapia farming workshop held in Stann Creek District
During this workshop, the participants received important lectures for tilapia farming, which were: “Pond Construction and Planning for Tilapia Cultivation,” “Pond Management for Tilapia Cultivation” and “Marketing & Organization Strategies for Tilapia Cultivation.” Furthermore, the participants also got the “Secchi disk” and learned how to use it to measure the water quality of their ponds. In the last hour, the participants had the opportunity to learn and practice how to get their own real cost of their farming tilapia. With this information, the producers can know how to improve their product and still have reasonable profits from the selling of farmed tilapia. As of today, there are still many Belizean consumers who have never tried the perfect taste of farmed tilapia, which is very different from the tilapia from the river; they have no muddy taste. After this workshop, the tilapia producers will enhance their producing level and improve the quality and quantity for their farmed tilapia; so there will be more Belizean consumers who can have the various benefits from eating delicious farmed tilapia.

Village council elections will be Johnny’s last test
With only two of the six weeks of Village Council Elections now behind us and the packing the once grand old party, the People’s United Party, has been taking in those elections, people are now asking , “ is Johnny on his way out?” A few weeks ago we reported that, the PUP was trying to plant a seed of discontent in the UDP. Now we are hearing that they no longer have to be doing that because they have their own discontent within their own party. Once again we have to use what appears to now be a rhetorical statement. That statement once again is that the PUP has been unable to win any sort of election since it won the double elections of March 5, 2003. As we told you two weeks ago and mentioned earlier in this essay, the PUP’s were trying to plant a seed of discontent within the UDP. Now their impression is that the UDP has a problem because there are TWO VIABLE candidates in the UDP who are not only interested in leading the UDP, but are very capable of doing so. Well, the idea of having two or more persons within a Mass Party, who are ready, willing and able to assume leadership of that party, when it’s present leader steps aside to make way for new blood and continuity, is the type of problem all political parties would like to have.

Major discovery at Xunantunich
The Institute of Archaeology in collaboration with the Northern Arizona University, has made a very important archaeological find at the Xunantunich Archaeological Site, located just outside of Succotz Village. After over 5 months of restorative work, and excavation at the Mayan Site, local and international archaeologists have found a Stela which was buried at the base of one of the Temples which make up Xunantunich, or Stone Woman. Stelae have long since been determined by the archaeologist as a sort of historical record. They are often engraved to glorify Mayan royalty and note important deeds of that time. Apart from the this panel, the archaeologists have unearthed several Mayan jewelry, ceremonial artifacts, remains of clay pottery, and other items which lead the experts to suspect that this unearthed temple may actually be a ceremonial tomb. There is a lot more work required to determine if it is, and only when the excavation work is complete will it be revealed as to what exactly is buried under the earth which takes the shape of an 8 meter hill that has parts of the forest growing on top of it.

Marlon Bonner killed on Fabers Road
34 year-old Marlon Anthony Bonner, a resident from Fabers Road, was killed in a brazen day-light shooting on Sunday, June 12. It happened on the basketball court located at the corner of Fabers Road and Central American Boulevard, in the plain view of many witnesses who could have been injured had the gunman started firing indiscriminately. It happened at around 5 o’clock that evening when Bonner was waiting for his opportunity to play basketball with the other young men who were finishing up their game. His family says that it was a part of his routine, after a hard day’s work or on the weekends to make time and play basketball. He was sitting under the shade of a tree when the gunman came walking through the entrance of the fenced basketball court. According to police, the shooter had another man acting as a sort of look-out.

Brian Brown on trial for bullet proof vest and drug charges
Prosecutor Kileru Awich called seven witnesses to testify in court against the notorious Brian Brown on Friday, June 10, who is on trial for weapon and drug charges stemming back to May of 2012. Taking the stand for the prosecution were six GSU officers: George Ferguson, Jian Young, Sgt. Mark Martinez, Adrian Lopez, Sgt. Francisco Ack, and Suzette Anderson. Awich is also relying on the statement of Senior Justice of the Peace, Modesto Madrill, who said that he witnessed the search done at the house allegedly belonging to Brown. On May 16, 2012, police visited Brown’s home where they forced open his sliding metal gate. Once inside, police conducted a search even though he wasn’t there. Police first searched a bedroom where they found two amounts of cash which were $325.75 and $2,427.00. They then went into a bathroom where they claimed they found a transparent plastic bag with a chalk-like substance weighing 17 grams.

GSU charge deportee for failure to report
Police have arrested and charged Keith Flowers, 25, for failure to report as a deportee. Flowers was sent home from Los Angeles, California on January 21, 2016 after he was convicted of carjacking. Upon arrival he was issued a compliance letter from the Commissioner of Police requesting that he report to the Gang Suppression Unit’s office every Monday, Wednesday and Friday of the week. Allegations are that Flowers failed to report on Monday, June 6, and was charged as a result. Flowers was unrepresented when he appeared before Magistrate Emmerita Anderson on Thursday, June 9. In court, he wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the charge with an explanation. Flowers said he was sick on Sunday so he went to the doctor on Monday and got a medical form to show the court. He failed to report on June 6 but explained that he did so the day after but was detained and charged.

Nikolai James to Supreme Court for carnal knowledge
Nikolai James, 27-year-old former security guard, will face a sexualt assault charge in the Supreme Court of Belize after a preliminary inquiry conducted on Thursday, June 9, determined that there is sufficient evidence for him to stand trial. James was represented in the PI by attorney Oscar Selgado who chose not to challenge any of the evidence presented by the prosecutor, Inspector Egbert Castillo. Castillo submitted as many as ten statements including one from the victim and a medical legal form stating that the minor was carnally known. James was able to go home since his Supreme Court bail granted in April 2015 is still valid.

Five years imprisonment for squeezing his “girlfriend”
Waylon Martinez, 31, a construction worker of the Lord’s Bank area, has been sentenced to five years imprisonment for sexually assaulting a woman he claims is his girlfriend. Allegations are that at about 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 5, he waited for the victim in an alley that leads to her home and as she was passing by he pushed her into nearby bushes and began to squeeze her vagina and buttocks while trying to remove her clothes. According to the woman, she screamed and that was when he began to choke her. She struggled with Martinez until her brother-in-law noticed the altercation and came to her aid. The woman reported the incident to police and Martinez was later arrested and charged.

Murder Lyndon Murrillo...
Lyndon Murrillo, 55, better known as “Mr. Chako, and Watchie” was killed in his home village of Mahogany Heights. Police investigation is that he was riding his bike home on Thursday night, June 9, at around 8:15 p.m, near mile 30 on the George Price Highway. He had a plate of food in hand, and while he was making his way home, some still unknown assailant or assailants ambushed him and shot him twice from behind. He was injured once to the foot, and once to the back, and that bullet exited the right side of his chest. He collapsed beside his bike and died shortly on the spot. His family and friends were shocked to get the news that he had been killed, and shortly afterwards, word began spreading around the villages, who came out to confirm for themselves. At this time, police have no additional information on the terrible slaying of this older gentleman. They are trying to investigate it as quickly and effectively as possible. They have no known motives at this point in the investigation. Murrillo, described as a law-abiding citizen, leaves behind 5 children, 3 sons and 2 girls, the youngest of them being 11 years old.

Charged for slapping teacher over son’s exam notes
Jane Usher Boulevard resident Sophie Suzanne Myvett, 35, is out on bail after she appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser on Monday, June 13, to answer to a single charge of common assault upon a Muslim school teacher, Myra Cus. Allegations are that Myvett visited the Muslim Community Primary School on Friday, June 10, to ask for her son’s exam review notes. However, Teacher Cus refused to give her the notes. Myvett allegedly followed the teacher into the principal’s office and that was where she slapped her. The teacher made a report to police which resulted in Myvett being arrested and charged.

Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy wins again in the Cayo Softball competition
The 2016 Raymond Garbutt Cayo Softball Association senior female competition continued on Sunday 12th June, at the softball pitch in Unitedville Village with three games on the schedule. In the first game played, the Belmopan Bandits blasted the Belmopan Capital City Emeralds by the score of 20-0. The winning pitcher was Lanisha Jones and the losing pitcher was Leonellie Aldana. In game two, the defending champions Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy continued on its winning path when it won over Camalote via the default route. And in the final game of the day, the host team Unitedville Rebels United won handily over the Esperanza Wolverines by the score of 11-3. The winning pitcher was Francine Salazar and the losing pitcher was Olivia Miralda.

Belize Softball Federation to hold Umpires’ Training
The Belize Softball Federation has announced that it will be holding an Umpires’ Training for intermediate and advance umpires from August 4-8, 2016. The Training will be conducted by the Chief Umpire of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Softball Division Robert Stanton and will include both theoretical and practical work. The federation envision that this will be the spring board for umpires who have been involved in the game at the advance level for the past five years to move towards the International Certification for Umpires.

Senior Track and Field athletes to Central American Championship
Belize will have representation at the Central American Senior Championship in athletics to be hosted in San Salvador, El Salvador. The team of almost 30 athletes left the country on Wednesday 15th June for El Salvador and is scheduled to return home on Tuesday. The team will consist of eight (8) overseas based athletes while the others are local based athletes. This is the largest contingent of senior athletes that the Belize Athletics Association has sent out in many years. The contingent is headed by the President of the Belize Athletics Association Deon Sutherland while the delegate is the Vice President Jaheed Smith.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

OAS declaration supports Belize, Guatemala in peaceful solution to dispute
With assurances from Belize and Guatemala that they are moving toward – subject to national approval by referenda – a peaceful, court-mediated settlement of the territorial dispute, the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) has approved a Declaration of Support at […]

September Celebrations theme speaks of sovereignty, strength and togetherness
Sovereign and Strong – Together as one! The National Celebrations Commission has selected this theme to represent the upcoming September Celebrations. The theme was submitted by Argelia Mendoza Ken, a teacher and counselor at the Belize High School of Agriculture in the Orange Walk […]

Lobster season opens with major festivals
The lobster season is now open and it is tradition in Belize to organize lobster festivals which offer many ways to sample the crustacean. San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, kicked off its two-week event on June 15th, while the more popular Placencia Lobsterfest takes […]

New Northern Regional Health Manager resigns
CEO in the Ministry of Health Dr. Ramon Figueroa confirmed this afternoon that former coast guard officer Audibaldo Monima has resigned after being controversially appointed as Health Manager for the Northern Region. According to Dr. Figueroa, Monima chose to resign after being confronted with […]

Belizeans denied access to Sarstoon again
A Belizean vessel carrying members of the media and Belizean civilians was denied access to the Sarstoon River by Guatemalan Armed Forces (GAF) again this morning. BBN is informed that Wil Maheia and personnel from Channel 5 News made the trip and were told, […]


Last Minute Shopping at Belize International Airport
You had the very best intentions. OF COURSE you read my post about the best places in San Pedro to buy souvenirs…and you promised friends back home something – ANYTHING – as long as it was from Belize. But one day sipping Pina Coladas by the pool turned into two days snorkeling turned into three days learning to dive and…time just slipped away. As it can…on Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker or even Half Moon Caye. So when you sadly realize that it’s your last day (FOR NOW) in Belize, you do what everyone does….EVERYONE. You think: I’ll pick up a few souvenirs for the kids/dog sitter/co-workers at the airport. So, since I was at the Belize International Airport just a few days ago, I thought I’d do what I really don’t like doing. Airport shop. Can you see why? AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! For some last minute grab-ables that are a step-up from a junky shot glass or a plastic magnet.

Making life easier for Belize kids
No matter what country you are from or live in, children are the most precious part of a community and it is important to ensure that they are well nurtured. Belize Kids are no different, however the need for assistance is. Without government funded schools many hard working two income families still struggle to send their children to school, never mind be in the position to buy them items that may be considered a luxury such as a back pack. It’s so special when a young person who although not born in Belize has grown up in San Pedro, recognizes a need and decides to do something about it. Faith Noel is just that somebody to start the ball rolling. I got an email from one of my blog readers, Patty Jacquez saying she was was talking with Renita a local business woman and she mentioned that Patty should message me. This is in response to San Pedro Scoop aka Rebecca’s recent blog about “Giving in San Pedro, helping local kids“. In it she mentioned Jansport backpacks for the kids. She went on to say more about the blog post on the high school collecting backpacks for underprivileged kids.

International Sourcesizz

Belize implements sustainable fisheries reform
With its newly-implemented reforms, Belize has become the first country in the world to adopt a national, multispecies secure fishing rights program for small-scale fisheries. After a long struggle to address illegal fishing and the threat of overfishing, a partnership of fishing communities and non-governmental organizations, under the leadership of Belize’s Fisheries Department, created a new system that empowers fishermen and women to conserve and protect their fishery while still using its resources to provide for their families. “We have a small-scale fishery here in Belize, and at the end of the day we are very keen in putting in place a regime which speaks to long-term sustainability that empowers and improves the livelihoods of the people who depend on fisheries,” said fisheries administrator Beverly Wade.

10 Best Places to Retire in Belize
Whether it is sandy beaches or rolling hills, there is a place for every retiree in 10 best places to retire in Belize! Belize is a tiny country in Central America. It was a former colony of the British Empire, and it gained its independence in 1981. Today, Belize has the lowest population density among all Central American countries. Its society is comprised of many ethnicities such as the Maya, Garinagu, and Creoles. As a result, its culture is a rich mix of the varied practices of its people. The cultural mix is very evident in its food, as Belizean food integrates Mexican, Creole, and Mayan recipes. Belize has a rich ecological diversity. As part of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor, it boasts a high biodiversity of both marine and terrestrial life. Jaguar preservation is taken seriously in Belize. The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is a 400 square kilometer area which was founded in 1990. Its aim is to preserve the local fauna and flora in the area, and at the same time, act as a sanctuary for jaguars, the first of its kind in the world.

10 Incredible Sapota Benefits: From Boosting Energy to Bone Health
The heady sweet aroma of sapota is unmistakable, with its fleshy brown skin and grainy sweetness in the inside. It's quite easy to either love the sapota or hate it. But taking the middle path, we're not quite sure. We have something to thank the Spanish for. Had it not been for them, the chickoo, chikoo or sapota would have perhaps never come to India. With its roots in Mexico, Easter Guatemala and Belize (on the eastern coast of central America), the Colonisers took it to the Philippines from where it travelled to the rest of Asia, making its way into India only in the late nineteenth century.In India, the sapota is grown in many states - Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. Incidentally, Karnataka is known to be the highest grower of the fruit, followed by Maharashtra. The varieties of sapota in India have funny names - Kali Patli, cricket ball, Baramati, Pili Patli, Dwarapudi, Chhatri and so on. Now while the fruit isn't really cooked, or even used in salads (except for maybe fruit salads), probably due its supremely dominating flavours, the sapota can be blended into milk or yogurt and had as a smoothie. Or you could make a jam out of it too. There are quite a few interesting recipes out there, from chickoo halwa, kheer, to even barfis. Honestly, the best way to eat this fruit is by itself.


  • "NO, this is Guatemalan waters." STOPPED AGAIN!, 1min. Our News Five team traveled to the Sarstoon this morning. We were informed by GOB that Belizeans would have untrammeled access to our portion of the river. But as we found out, Guatemala didn't get the memo.

  • BATV BELIZE SEGMENT, 5min. Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Belize Day 4 Dive 1 The Elbow, Turneffe Atoll, Belize, 4.5min. The first dive at Turneffe Atoll. Huge sponges at this location.

  • Miss San Pedro 2016 Invite with Iris Salguero, 1min.

  • Benque Viejo, Belize- The Town That Keeps Us Coming Back, 4min.

  • Belize Zoo Vlog, 17min. The Belize Zoo began over 30 years ago as an effort to house and care for animals retired from the film industry. Since then the Belize Zoo has evolved to become the place for animals native to Belize and a place to educate Belizeans about the nature that surrounds them. This zoo houses rescued animals that are native to Belize. I visited this wonderful place in May 2016.

  • Belize Travel Diary, 4.5min. The more touristy type adventures that were had on our NCSU Medical Mission trip abroad :)

  • Sargent Pepper's Restaurant (Santa Elena, Cayo, Belize), 1min. Belize's 1st American style fast food restaurant. As seen on "Greatest Places on Earth...TV series." Produced by Steve ODell.

  • Belize Study Abroad 2016, 27min. could not have done it with out this wonderful people! Lots of work and lots of fun!!

  • could not have done it with out this wonderful people! Lots of work and lots of fun!!, 6.5min.

  • Snorkeling Belize's Reef - Hol Chan 2016, 4min. A collection of underwater clips from Hunter and Liz Foy's trip to Belize at the Hol Chan marine reserve.

  • Dolphin Escort! | Dolphins Jumping Beside Boat on Belize Reef Dives | Hamanasi Resort, 1/2min. Sometimes you get a little bonus with your scuba diving trip to the Belize Barrier Reef - playful Dolphins escorting the boat! Wanna swim with Dolphins?

  • Belize - Day 2: A SHARK ON OUR FIRST DIVE, 7min.

  • Belize Scuba Diving - Ramon's Village Part 5, 9min.

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