FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE
Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.
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
SPTC Delivers Building Supplies to San Mateo
Through the generous donations of various organizations and businesses, Vice-President of the San Pedro Lions Club, Brittney O’Daniel, along with her business partner, Dave Jenkins, were able to purchase their first batch of plywood, plycem, lumber, and zinc on Thursday, August 18th. The building supplies were distributed among the community members of San Mateo, and will help rebuild homes that were completely destroyed by Hurricane Earl.
According to Jorge Aldana of the San Pedro Town Council, the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) performed a damage assessment immediately after the storm. “When we first did our assessment, 49 familes had some level of damages, and since then, that number has grown. All those who indicated that they needed supplies will receive supplies. NEMO also dispensed mattresses to affected families,” said Aldana.
Atlantic Bank LTD plans to install a second ATM Machine
Recent concerns from residents in San Pedro Town, has revived the question regarding the possibility of another Automated Teller Machine (ATM) for the local branch of Atlantic Bank. Over the years, while the population has increased by the thousands, the bank continues operating with just one external ATM. This has caused several inconveniences, as customers have to wait in long lines only to find out there is no cash left by the time they reach. In an effort to address the issue, Atlantic Bank has some good news to share.
The bank’s management admits that operating with just one ATM is uncomfortable for their customers, thus, the installation of a second external ATM machine is imperative. Branch Manager Karen Lopez commented that a second ATM will be installed, but they do not have a specific date when it will happen. “There is no clear decision as yet where the second ATM will be installed, but what we can say for now is that another ATM will be installed to alleviate the situation,” said Lopez. Even though there are additional machines inside the banks, the introduction of another external ATM will target the customers who do not have access to the bank until late evening, and visitors alike.
66 Foot Reserve and Use of Seabed: Ministry of Natural Resources explains
In light of the damage caused by Hurricane Earl, the Commissioner of Lands and Surveys issued a press release on Wednesday, August 10th explaining the utilization of the seabed and of the 66 feet reserve; which may include riparian forests, beaches, littoral forests and shoals. Through the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), and the Lands and Surveys Department, the general public was advised that in order to rebuild or construct a new dock/pier, a permit from the MNR is needed. This once again brought the issue of Queen’s Land/66-foot reserve to the forefront.
In Belize, all land up to 66 feet from the high water level is considered national land or “Queen’s Land”. It also means that it is to be kept accessible to the public and free from development. Therefore, occupation of the land without permission constitutes as an offense of unlawful use of National Land.
Mahogany Bay Village donates vehicle to San Pedro Police Department
The official handing over of a 2003 Ford Ranger extra cab pickup truck to the San Pedro Police Department (SPPD) came after a generous donation from Mahogany Bay Village. The company has been very involved in the community by assisting different organizations in various ways. On Thursday, August 18th, Pete Davis represented the donor organization and had the honour of handing over the vehicle to Deputy Officer in Charge of the Coastal Executive Unit, Superintendent Henry Jemmott.
The addition of the new vehicle to the present fleet was welcomed by Jemmott, who indicated that the characteristics of the vehicle will make it very efficient in their patrols. “The durability of this vehicle will enable us to continue improving our patrols, south and north of the island,” said Jemmott. According to him, vehicles are always a huge necessity for the force, and since the island continues to grow at a rapid pace, the need to increase their patrol coverage is another challenge the police face. “It is important to notice the support of the community and as well, this shows the good relationship between the business community and the police,” said Jemmott. He further stated that any donations given to the police, in this case a vehicle is utilized to ensure the safety of all residents of the island and the well-being of San Pedro Town.
Belize Performs Exceptional at Canada’s Intl. Championship Regatta
Kevin Velasquez, 14, who trains at San Pedro's Belize Sailing School, tacked and trimmed his boat to finish 7th over all, out of 127 other international competitors in Canada's Olympic Regattas, Kingston (CORK) 2016 International Optimist Regatta. Sailors from the USA and Bermuda were the only ones who topped him.
Kevin's Belize Sailing School team-mate, Caroline Sersland, who just turned 12, made her last race-day here her best and finished 10th in her fleet. Both Velasquez and Sersland were top finishers at the National Optimistic Championship Regatta that was held last year in Corozal Town. Due to their top performances they were ideal candidates for the 2016 Canadian Regatta which the San Pedro Belize Sailing Club facilitated their participation.
Misc Belizean Sources
Lets get our splash on this Thursday at Crazy Canucks at 2pm. Please sign up on our website
Emmeth Young Playing Soul Project
Emmeth Young, one of the best drummers in the hemisphere, will be performing Friday night at the Soul Project. Emmeth has been in Cayo a lot lately, helping with the drumming wokshop at the SISE House of Culture, and playing some at the September Celebrations launch.
"THIS FRIDAY, Emmeth Young AND HIS CREW WILL BE DRUMMING ON SOUL PROJECT STAGE. GIG STARTS LIKE AROUND 7PM"
St. George's Caye September Celebrations Launch cancelled
Due to damages from Hurricane Earl, there will not be the usual Official Launch of the September Celebrations at St. George's Caye this year.
Instead, Hon. Elodio Aragon, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, will launch the celebrations with an address that will be broadcast across the nation.
Otherwise, the National Celebrations Commission and its partners are planning a full slate of activities for September.
3rd ANNUAL YELLOW GINGER FESTIVAL
YOU ARE ALL INVITED TO COME OUT TO THE 3rd ANNUAL YELLOW GINGER FESTIVAL
ON AUGUST 28, 2016 IN FOREST HOME VILLAGE ON THE FOOTBALL FIELD
BRING THE ENTIRE FAMILY TO HAVE FUN AND ENJOY OUR CULTURAL DISHES
Calendar of Events for September Celebrations 2016
Scheduling your September festivities? Here's this year's Calendar of Events for September Celebrations 2016!
Belize Screen on the Green in Dangriga Aug. 25
Please join us for the Belize Screen on the Green in Dangriga for the screening of the movie "42" at the Slaughter House in Dangriga. We are brining the BIG SCREEN, and as always popcorn will be served while supplies last! Movie starts at dark (no exceptions ;)).
Hope to see you there!!!
Southern Belize Flood Advisory
The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) hereby informs that Southern Belize in particular the Toledo District is experiencing flooding. Jacintoville is currently under flood conditions. Aguactae village is inaccessible and water is 15ft above the bridge. Other villages along the Moho River must closely monitor the flood situation and take the necessary precautions. Other villages in the Toledo and Stann Creek Districts must be on alert for flooding.
People who live along rivers, creeks, water ways and low-lying areas and whose home is likely to flood are cautioned to move to a high and safe building with friends, family or in the community shelter before nightfall. Drivers are asked to slow down and put on their hazard lights when driving through the rain and flooded areas NEMO Emergency Coordinators in the south can be reached as follows; Stann Creek, Mr. Victor Castillo at 630 9780; and Toledo, Mr. Kenton Parham at 630 9787. The NEMO Emergency Hotline is 936.
UPDATE ON THE FORMAL ORGANIZATION OF THE AMERICAN STATES’ (OAS) INVESTIGATION INTO THE 20TH APRIL 2016 SHOOTING INCIDENT IN THE ADJACENCY ZONE
he Government of Belize (GOB) has received confirmation from Secretary-General of the OAS, H.E. Luis Almagro, that the formal investigation into the incident in which the Guatemalan minor, Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano, lost his life in the Adjacency Zone as a result of gunshot wounds, has been concluded.
In this regard, the OAS Secretary-General Almagro in a letter addressed to the Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize, informed the Belizean Government, “that the forensic experts that the Governments of the United States of America and Mexico put at their disposal to carry out this investigation have completed their duties and prepared a joint exhaustive report on the matter…”
It is expected that the OAS Secretary-General will release a formal statement on the report and its findings tomorrow, Tuesday, 23rd August 2016.
Jazzfest 2016 Opening Ceremonies
The CAYO Welcome Center was the perfect place for the opening of the Belize International Jazz Festival. 3 stages, all with wonderful music, and every different kind. Ascenthium rocked, as did Project Orchestra. Karen Vernon got some great shots too.
Pastors To Protest In 'Pan
There's a House Meeting in Belmopan on Friday - but the National Evangelical Association isn't waiting around - they're planning a protest for tomorrow! The group sent out a release today saying they'll be protesting on the steps of the National Assembly Building. They say that Pastors, Leaders and Evangelical Churches from all over the country will be making the trip to show how strongly they disapprove of the section 53 judgment, and government's refusal to appeal it.
This evening, the Pastor Scott Stirm, Vice President of NEAB, released a statement saying quote, "The ramifications of this controversial decision will bring horrendous results upon our nation and MUST be appealed for [the] full... legal judicial process." End quote.
Now, you might ask, why protest on a Tuesday? Well, we are told it was planned to coincide with the regular Cabinet meeting, but it turns out that the Prime Minister isn't even in country - so there won't be any cabinet meeting.
Government Goes On PR Offensive For Section 53 Judgment
So, NEAB continues to be the most vocal church group to oppose the gay sex judgement, but the Government is trying to make sure that they aren't moving crowds based on misinformation and misunderstanding.
So government has gone on a media offensive - to get its message out. The Barrow Administration wants to make it clear why government isn't appealing and why it does not believe that the judgment paves the way for same sex marriages.
So, the Attorney General Vanessa Retreage and Human Development CEO Judith Alpuche were deployed today to the Love FM Morning Show. They were there to again outline what the Government's position is on the Section 53 judgement, and when they came off the air, the Attorney General granted us a brief interview:
Mental Health Assoc. Says No Referendum, on A Minority's Rights
And so while the Evangelists will protest against the judgement and government's reaction to it, while at the same time government is making its case in the media - as to why it has no choice but to accept the judgment. And now - to add one more voice to the fray, the Mental Health Association is applauding the judgement.
The Association sent out a press release saying that any move to reduce decriminalization and stigma against LGBT people will have positive mental health consequences. The Association agrees with the Chief Justice that the fact of the law's existence was enough to give implied permission for continued stigma and discrimination against the LGBT persons in Belize.
And the Association also addressed the idea of a referendum which the Evangelical community and the Belize Progressive Party has been pushing.
OAS Report On Shooting of 13 Year Old Done, Only Awaiting Delivery Now
On last week Friday's newscast, we showed you our interview with US Ambassador Carlos Moreno, who revealed that the OAS investigation into the fatal Chiquibul shooting has been completed by the Independent investigating team.
Well the Government sent out a statement less than 10 minutes ago confirming it. That late evening statement says, quote, "(GOB) has received confirmation from Secretary-General of the OAS. Luis Almagro, that the formal investigation into the incident in which the Guatemalan minor, Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano, has been concluded." End quote.
The Government press release continues to explain that Secretary General Almagro wrote to Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington saying, quote, "the forensic experts that the Governments of the United States of America and Mexico put at their disposal to carry out this investigation have completed their duties and prepared a joint exhaustive report on the matter…" End quote.
Fatal Accident When Vehicle Shut Down
Over the weekend, there were 2 accidents in Belize City; one of them resulted in a fatality, and the other put a woman in the hospital with serious injuries.
We start tonight with the accident which killed Belize City resident Lionel Robert Hamilton, who also went by the name Lionel Villanueva.
That accident happened between Miles 4 and 5 on the Phillip Goldson Highway. It appears that Hamilton was struck by a driver who did not see that his vehicle was in the road. Today our news team went looking for answers, and we found out that Hamilton couldn't get out of the way because the vehicle was having mechanical problems. Daniel Ortiz has that story:
Slippery Road Causes Car To Crash Into Bus
And there was another accident, but this time near St. Mattews Village on the Western Highway. It happened this morning around 7:10. 32 year old Latoyah Meighan was driving her black Chevy car to Belize City when she lost control of the vehicle and rammed into an oncoming Baiza Bus that was heading to Belmopan. Meighan reported that the road was slippery and that is why she slid into the bus's lane. Luckily nobody was killed. Meighan complained of pain to the left side of her head, while the bus conductor along with one other passenger received minor injuries.
Waters Rising In South
While Central Belize is just recovering from Hurricane Earl, now there's flooding in the south.
NEMO reports that a few flood prone areas in the western Toledo District are underwater. Aguacate village is inaccessible and water is 15ft above the bridge. Jacintoville is also experiencing flood conditions. This is due to the Moho River and other villages along the River are advised to closely monitor river levels. NEMO also advises, quote, "People who live along rivers, creeks, water ways and low-lying areas and whose home is likely to flood are cautioned to move to a high and safe building with friends, family or in the community shelter before nightfall."
Clive Arnold Shot Again
There was a shooting in Belize City over the weekend which put a man in the hospital. He's 35 year-old Clive Arnold who has been shot before.
According to police, Arnold, who is a waterfront worker from Rivero Street, was walking home on Saturday evening before 7 o'clock. That's when a man he reportedly did not see fired a number of shots at him, injuring him in the upper abdomen and the hand.
Today, the one of the lead investigators briefed the press on the details they have so far:
Sgt. Isai Sanchez, OC - CIB Precinct 1:
"36 year old Clive Arnold, a Belizean stevedore of 19 Rivero Street is recovering now at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he was shot to the abdomen and right hand. The incident happened on Saturday 20th August, 2016 about 6:45pm. Clive Arnold was walking on Rivero Street heading home from the direction of Kraal Road when he heard several gunshots.
AG: Mason Matter With Police
Earlier in the news we showed you our interview with Attorney General Vanessa Retreage. We also asked her for an update into the investigation into the issuance of a fraudulent birth certificate to accused murderer William Danny Mason.
You'll remember it as that fake document which claims that Mason was born in Crooked Tree Village to parents James Mason, a farmer from Cooked Tree, and his common-law wife, Sharon Tillett. The last time we asked the Prime Minister about it, 21 days ago, he told confirmed that the Investigation from the Attorney General's Ministry reveals that 4 public officers from the Vital Statistics Unit was implicated in the document's origin.
Today, when we asked the Attorney General, she told us that the report has been passed on to the police, and it is up to them to take criminal action against 4 named persons:
Gun Misfired at Point Blank Range
A fisherman is in prison tonight after he barged into another man's house and assaulted him. The incident happened last night at around 11:00. 50 year old Adolfo Mckoy was at his Antelope Street home when he got up to open the door for someone he knew. McKoy reported that when he went back to bed 28 year old Linsford Acosta came in, grabbed him by his neck, put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. But luckily for Mckoy, the gun misfired. McKoy then kicked Acosta and there was a struggle. Acosta then ran out of the house and jumped on a motorcycle . Acosta was later arrested and charged. He is remanded to prison until October 21st.
Portillo Packed A Pistol In His Pocket
Peter Portillo is in jail tonight, because the 28 year old had a gun in his pocket when he jumped into a police pickup.
On Sunday at midday, 72 year old Lincoln Sunders reported that his friend Portillo had become a drunken nuisance and he wanted the cops to get him out of his house.
The police went to Saunders' home on Morter's Alley and offered to take Portillo home. But before he got into the vehicle the cops wanted to search him. Instead, Portillo jumped into the passenger side of the pickup and the police heard something fall to the ground. When they checked, the cops found a silver .38 pistol with 5 rounds of ammunition in its chambers. Portillo was unable to produce a license for the firearm and as a result, he was arrested and charged.
PM In Houston
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is in Houston tonight. A government press release reports that he left on Saturday to accompany his wife, Kim for a medical checkup in Houston. He returns on Thursday, August 25th, and until he does Deputy Patrick Faber is holding over as PM.
Loose Rice Illegal
We haven't heard about rice for a while now - but when importer Jack Charles shook up the industry months ago with the threat of imported rice, it forced meaningful change. The effect is that all local rice producers have been forced to bag their rice in one pound bags to protect consumers and avoid price gouging. The one pound bags have clear markings, and that means no grocery store or vendor should still be selling loose rice in bags. But yet today when we went shopping at our neighborhood store "Lucky Long," on West Canal we found the same old tactics. WE checked with the Belize Bureau of Standards, which confirms that this is illegal and has promised that it will be visiting Lucky Long. Now, of this is still happening in your neighborhood, the Bureau wants you to call them at 822-0446 or email them at [email protected]
Converting Public Service From Paper To Digital Records Mgm't
The Belize Archives and Records Service is trying to get government to move from Paper based records to an Electronic Records Management System.
Now that's no small feat considering the amount of paperwork that is built into the culture of the public service - they just love paper! But, the longest journey begins with one step and today that first step was taken with a workshop at the CITO office in Belmopan.
We found out what the participants learned about:
At the end of the workshop, participants should be able to adopt a standardized approach to the management of electronic records.
Tropigas With Back To School Money
Last week we told you about the 25 kids who got a full high school scholarship from BTL. Well, in that same vein - even if not on quite the same scale - Tropigas today gave away grants of $150 to 35 students. It's not quite a King's Ransom, but it will help needy families with foot the bills for a key back to school supplies. We spoke to the General Manager Maleek Singh about the donation. A parent and a couple other recipients also detailed how this gift will be put to good use.
Each of the 35 kids got $150 grant.
Yu' Numba Play!
Ought-three" that was the winning single number for Sunday. Now you might ask, why did this Sunday lottery make it in the news? Well, those of you who follow and study the science of numbers will know that it has been a while since 03 has played, almost two years to be precise. The last time 03 played in the lottery is on October 5th, 2014 and the last time it played in boledo is on February 25th, 2014.
Many boledo specialists were chattering about 03 this weekend and those who know how to play the averages or just have the luck, won big yesterday when it finally came through.
Auditor General’s Special Audit Report on Passport and Immigration
As many as five years ago, a major immigration scandal rocked the government. It was revealed that ministers as well as senior officials were involved in facilitating visa approvals to [...]
Lionel Hamilton-Villanueva Perishes in Early Morning RTA in Belize City
An unfortunate traffic accident claimed the life of a popular mechanic of Belize City. The predawn accident occurred at mile four and half on the Phillip Goldson highway. A taxi [...]
A Stevedore is Shot Near Kraal Road
Also in the city, a near fatal shooting incident occurred on Saturday evening. Clive Arnold, a known associate of the George Street Gang, came under fire while he was walking [...]
Was Shooting of Clive Arnold Gang-related?
According to police, they were unable to recover any expended shells from the scene of the shooting since the area covered by the gunman and his intended victim was expansive. [...]
N.T.U.C.B. Demands External Investigation into Murder of Pastor Lu
Evangelical Pastor Llewellyn Lucas was abducted from the residence of businessman William ‘Danny’ Mason on Intelco Hill in Belmopan on July eighth. Along with two other men, Lucas was blindfolded [...]
Why Was Union Position So Long in the Making?
The release from the N.T.U.C.B. is rather tardy, almost a month and a half after the incident made international headlines. According to N.T.U.C.B. President Marvin Mora, the cumbersome structure of [...]
N.T.U.C.B. Has Section 53 Decision as Agenda Item for Upcoming Union Meeting
Religious leaders from across the country, particularly those who are members of the National Evangelical Association of Belize, are planning to descend on Belmopan on Tuesday to protest the controversial [...]
Mental Health Association Welcomes Section 53 Decision
The recent ruling on Section Fifty-Three of the Criminal Code is getting support from the Mental Health Association. The MHA says it applauds the Chief Justice’s recent ruling which is [...]
Mikel Longsworth Gets Two Years for Burglarizing Atlantic Bank Storage Room
A nineteen-year-old Belize City resident who picked up his first conviction for burglary of a storage room belonging to the Atlantic Bank is behind bars tonight having been sentenced to [...]
Gun-toting Fisherman Forces His Way into Home of Adolfo McKoy
Another Belize City man is on remand at the Belize Central Prison, accused of forcing himself into the home of a fifty-year old man while armed with a firearm. Linsford [...]
U.S. Ambassador Carlos Moreno Says OAS Report on Chiquibul Shooting is Done
What is the status of the O.A.S. Investigation on the shooting death of thirteen-year old Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano that occurred back on April twentieth inside the Chiquibul? In mid-May, [...]
Mesoamerican Congress – What is it Saying about Illegal Trade of Exotic Wildlife?
A science conference called the Mesoamerican Society for Biology and Consultation Congress is being held in Belize. Today and for the rest of the week, regional experts in biodiversity and [...]
Flooding in the South
There is major flooding taking place in southern Belize due to heavy rains on Sunday night. The National Emergency Management Organization confirms that Jacintoville in the Toledo District is experiencing [...]
Tropigas Awards Grants for Back-to-School Initiative
There are four Tropigas Branches across the country—in Belize City, Belmopan, Orange Walk and San Ignacio. Today, about seventy-five students from those municipalities were chosen as the recipients of a [...]
United States to Assist Belize with Hurricane Relief
Relief efforts continue across the country in the aftermath of Hurricane Earl. G.O.B. through its partner agencies as well other humanitarian organizations have been providing support to the many families [...]
Sports Monday: Basketball, Football and Cricket
Good evening, welcome to Sports Monday. The Premier Football League Opening Season got off over the weekend with 4 matches countrywide. Saturday night at Capital City, Belmopan hosted FC [...]