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
BelizeKids.org planning to open eye clinic
On Thursday, October 6th, BelizeKids.org hosted a meeting at the Lions Den with members from the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired (BCVI) and members from the San Pedro Lions Club. The meeting served to discuss their objectives and upcoming plans to open a vision clinic in San Pedro Town. BelizeKids.org is a non-profit organization that focuses on helping children in Belize, and establishing this free clinic will allow children, along with members of the community, to receive an array of eye services.
In attendance was founder of BelizeKids.org, Don Listwin, Dr. Caroline Fisher, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Stanford University in California, USA, Executive President of BCVI, Joan Musa, Executive Director of BCVI, Carla Musa, Gil Nuñez of Canary Coves, Lion President Nigel Belisle, Lion Jan Brown, and BelizeKids.org facilitators Jeff Spiegel and Rebecca Coutant.
BNTU’s nationwide strike continues
Since Monday, October 3rd most of the educational institutions around the country have been closed due to the industrial action strike led by the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU). In San Pedro Town, the Roman Catholic Primary School and the San Pedro High School called off classes for the entire week, and on Thursday, October 6th teachers from the island travelled to Belize City to join BNTU’s nationwide demonstration which took place simultaneously in different parts of the country. Their demands for better governance and the implementation of the long awaited salary adjustment were on top of their agenda during the massive protest.
The BNTU declared the strike as successful, after receiving support from many social partners and concerned Belizeans countrywide. At the same time, the ‘Stand up for Belize’ campaign was strongly pushed to increase awareness and garner more support from the citizenry. At a meeting on Tuesday, October 4th at the BNTU headquarters in Belize City, the Union stated that they are in for the long haul, but they continue asking more organizations to join them in the fight against the Government of Belize (GOB) for good governance practices and transparency.
San Pedro Police Department steps up operations during slow season
In an effort to deter crime on the island, the San Pedro Police Department (SPPD) embarked on an aggressive security campaign to guarantee a safer town during the slower months of the year. Traditionally the months of July through October often see an increase in criminal activity, accredited to the unavailability of employment in the Tourism Industry. By increasing police presence, SPPD hoped to ensure safety to all visitors and residents.
As part of the campaign, the island saw an increase of police presence in areas considered ‘hot spots.’ Deputy Executive Office for the Coastal Zone Henry Jemmott stated that up to date, the initiative has yielded good results in cracking down on crime, particularly when dealing with drug trafficking and peddling. “We have seen the need to implement this system in order to detain and apprehend persons who are committing offences,” said Jemmott. In the past weeks, they have teamed up with other security agencies of the department and made several seizures and arrests.
Misc Belizean Sources
Belize vs. Honduras
The match ended in at 2-1 point win for Honduras. Belize goal by Elroy Kuylen. Nevertheless, we congratulate of Belize Jaguars in a great game!
The Farm House Deli to open at Mahogany Bay Village
Ian Anderson of The Farm House Deli today toasted with champagne as he announced the branch opening of his Belmopan Deli in San Pedro at the Mahogany Bay Village, Curio Collection by Hilton. After experiencing much success at various farmer's markets held on the island, Anderson has teamed up with Mahogany Bay Village with a grand opening of the San Pedro Farm House Deli expected around mid December. Congratulations.
Teachers Shall Not Be Moved! Strike Continues Into Second week
Teachers have now concluded 5 days of strike, and the news tonight is that on next Tuesday, it will continue.
That's the decision coming out of a 6 hour-long meeting by the BNTU's Council of Management in Belize City today. We were there when they called a press briefing to share the news. Here's why the leaders say that the teacher want to continue staying out of classes next week:
Luke Palacio - National President - BNTU:
"Our council of management wants to make it known to the media and to the public in general that despite the propaganda being spread that the prime minister has invited us to a meeting, to the negotiations table; there has been no such formal request, not in writing, not via telephone call. We heard that like all other Belizeans when he had his video launch two Sundays ago. We take this opportunity this evening to call on the prime minister to set a date, a time and a venue for a meeting so that meeting can be held because like we've said before and we continuously say the doors remain open. However until that meeting is convened and the BNTU obtains a level of satisfaction from the responses or outcomes of such a meeting our members will remain on strike."
PM Writes To BNTU, As Requested
And the prime minister has written. Just about 30 minutes ago, the Government sent a copy of the letter that the Prime Minister wrote to the President of the BNTU.
In it, it is clear that the Prime Minister is trying to keep his comments measured when he says, quote,"You have today told the media and the public that I have not formally invited the BNTU back to the negotiating table to discuss the eight demands contained in your September 12, 2016 letter to me...
To say the least, I find this to be a fig leaf. I have publicly issued several calls for BNTU to return to negotiations with Government, the latest such call being just two days ago. I also note that after our meeting of September 22, 2016, you immediately wrote to reject the majority of the positions Government had put to you and made your decision to strike. You did not say to me then, or at any time thereafter, that you were willing to further engage. Indeed, it was quite clear that the opposite was true. As a matter of fact, my conviction is that you had decided to strike even before hearing Government's position. You came to that meeting with your minds already made up."
Catholic Diocese Tells schools To Open; Schools Stay Shut
And so, as the strike continues into next week, what will happen to Catholic Schools? Last night as we told you the Bishops sent out a statement saying, quote, "we support the appeal for students and teachers to get back to the classroom. The education of our young people is our primary concern. Other means besides strikes can be used to pressure the government for reforms to insure good governance." So then, did Catholic Schools open today? They didn't. We did a tour through the city of the largest Catholic Schools going from St. John Vianney, to St. Martin's De Porres to St. Ignatius, to Palotti, to SJC, to St. Joseph, to Holy Redeemer, to St. Catherine's and none of them were open. This is after the Apostolic Nuncio to Belize, basically Rome's representative in Central America, said on Wednesday, quote, "I want to see all the Catholic children at school, then we will speak…I prefer children to be at school…If we are playing around with our children, we are killing them."
Members Named To Senate Select Committee
And one of the issues the teachers have been agitating for is a Senate Probe into immigration irregularities. But they can't find common ground with the government on the composition of that body.
Still, the motion for a 3-2-1 composition on the Senate Select Committee has been passed and now it's only left to name the members. Most of those names were released today, and they are as follows:
Senator Dr. Carla Barnett, Senator Aldo Salazar – who are both UDP Senators, Senator Ashley Rocke from the churches, Senator Mark Lizarraga from the Business Community, and Senator Elena Smith from Labour and Civil Society. Those were the names sent on an official communiqué from the National Assembly today, which adds, quote, "The office of the Senate has not yet been informed of the name of the Opposition Senator." End quote.
Briceno Says Nothing Will Come Of Senate Cmte With Current Lineup
We do know that the Chamber is meeting next week Wednesday for a Special General Meeting and Business Mixer at the Radisson. The stated purpose for the meeting is to determine "what if any action" should be taken regarding the Motion and Terms of Reference passed in the Senate for the Special Select Committee, and whether or not the business Senator should participate in the Inquiry.
The chamber was not satisfied with the motion's composition or terms of reference. So now they want to send a motion back to the senate, or impose a one-day business shutdown if the motion is unsuccessful.
The first resolution states that if their motion with a different composition is not approved by the senate, they will activate a national business shutdown
Hurricane Matthew, Megastorm
Hurricane Matthew, once the strongest storms in the last ten years, is currently moving along the South East Coast of the United States. Before that, Matthew passed through several Caribbean countries, spreading destruction as it went.
Major flooding and damage affected some parts of the Dominican Republic, Cuba and the Bahamas, but it was Haiti that was hit the hardest. So far, Hurricane Matthew has claimed 842 lives in Haiti. The UN is calling it the worst disaster in Haiti since an earthquake devastated the country in 2010. US Navy Vessels and other international organisations have already been sent to help with the relief efforts.
Child Burn Victims Flown Out
It's the fire tragedy that caught the nation's attention, the one on Aloe Vera Street on Tuesday night: one child perished, while his cousins were severely burned to 90% of their bodies. While the family gets ready to bury 11 year old Aaron Gabourel next week, 4 year old Ian Sambula-Carr and 8 year old Empress Hamilton were flown out today. 7News was at the hospital to see them off, and Daniel Ortiz has the whole story:…
After spending 2 days at the KHMH, 4 year old Ian Sambula-Carr and his sister, 8 year old Empress Hamilton, were removed through the Emergency Section. They were heading to Shriner's Hospital in Galveston via a private jet.
The KHMH has done all it can to save their life, and to ensure that they can have a fighting chance, they need more specialized care for those burn injuries which now covers most of their little bodies.
Shriners Doctors Flies In To See Off Empress and Ian
Empress and Ian were especially fortunate because Shriners actually sent a doctor down to Belize to make sure that the kids – who are in critical condition – would be stable to travel by air to Texas. Dr. William Sherman who is a burn surgeon told us what the kids would have to go through on the road to recovery:…
"Can you give us some information about the procedures that you came down to do on the two burnt victims?"
Dr. William Sherman - Burn Surgeon, Shrines Hospital:
"Sure so the two burn victims that I saw in the hospital today were fairly badly injured and they are going by air back to the United States so I assessed them and determine they were stable enough for transport however because of the extensiveness of the burns I wanted to ensure that they weren't going to be any problems in flight. So I performed some minor surgical procedures at bed side today to help prepare them for the flight."
Mother Recounts Saving Children From Fire
And their mother Melissa Hamilton is the one who will have to see them through that lifetime of post-burn care. She has that to deal with going forward but she also has to live with that trauma of Tuesday night when she had to snatch her children from the fire and throw them off the veranda. She also has burn wounds from that night, and tonight she tells us what she had to do to get them out of the house:..
Melissa Hamilton - Mother of Burnt Children:
"All I remember when we run inna di house through the front door and start to throw in the gas on all of us and I ask ey whe you di do but he no ansa you know. So all I could ah mi think first di da dash out my lee 2 year old, my son Jeremiah done mi already grab my son Ian but a nail juke him in his toe so he had to let go. So I shove down Ian off the varanda and I grab Empress from the step and I da so I manage but he mussi say no you think you will get way I will make sure that you have scars too. See it ya, he make sure he give me something, all my face he wanted."
Woman Accused Of Stabbing Mom With Pint
On Wednesday morning, Hetta Marin was standing in front of her house when her daughter, Anifa, allegedly entered her yard holding a bottle. Marin called out to her daughter, telling her not to come any closer. Anifa then allegedly broke the bottle, approached her mother and stabbed her several times in the back, nose, chin and chest. Well, Anifa says she didn’t do it. She appeared in the Magistrate’s court today, and pled not guilty to the charge of wounding. She was denied bail and remanded into custody until November 29th.
Making Mental Healthcare Accessible
Mental illness comes in different forms and it's all around us, we confront it on the streets, in homes and in the community. But in most cases, that is where it stays, and those suffering are isolated and shunned. Health professionals are pleading to the public to break this barrier and reach out to those in need. Today a ceremony was held at the Battlefield Park to commemorate World Mental Health Day and psychiatric nurse Ingrid Claire told us how we can help those who are caught in the grips of mental illness.
Ingrid Claire - Psychiatric Nurse:
"The focus on this theme this year is getting the public and anyone does not have to be a professional to do this, so you do not need a counsellor, you don't need a psychiatric nurse all you need is to have the knowledge to do this and so we are involving the public in getting this information as to how you go about helping."
Briceno Joins Union, Says Sign UNCAC Now
As we've told you the government has committed to signing the UN Convention Against Corruption on December ninth. The Chamber says that timeline is right on time, but the BNTU has said, "we don't trust you, sign it now!" And yesterday, the opposition leader said just the same in Orange Walk when he marched with the teachers:
Hon. John Briceno - Leader of the Opposition:
"We know that the only reason that they have said they are going to sign it because they were afraid that the private sector, the chamber and the Belize Business Bureau were at the point of saying we are going to shut down businesses until the government does something. So again it's a delayed tactic to say okay we're going to sign it on the 9th of December."
Briceno Accuses PSU Leadership
And while the BTNU has found a willing ally in the PUP – and have gotten verbal support form all corners, the truth is the other major unions didn't join them in masse in their nationwide marches yesterday: not the PSU, not the APSSM not the BCWU, not the BEWU and not the CWU's varied memberships. The BNTU is determined but isolated and effective – and probably the favourite of students all over the country, who've gotten summer in October. But the one that really bugs the PUP is the PSU. Statistically, they have the largest membership – more than twice that of the BNTU, but historically that union has not been very united or effective. Today, their president concluded countrywide consultations on whether to join the BNTU but PUP leader John Briceno is not impressed with Eldred Neal. He called him a sell-out:..
18 Year Old Please To Selling Weed
Today in the Magistrate’s Court, 18-year-old Kristy Elizabeth Dawson was given a second chance instead of being sent to prison. Dawson was hanging out on Kelly Street in Belize City, when police stopped and searched her. The cops found one ounce of marijuana in Dawson’s purse, which she told them she was selling for quote, “a lady.”
Despite admitting that she was selling the weed for someone else, Dawson pled not guilty to one charge of drug trafficking, but pled guilty to the lesser charge of possession. Taking her age into account, and the fact that it was her first offence, Magistrate Carlos Mendoza sentenced Dawson to fifty hours of community service starting Monday.
Belizean Pens Manley Biography
Godfrey Smith's first book, the biography, "George Price, A Life Revealed" was a runaway success, emerging as the definitive work on the man known as "the Father of The Nation."
And in his new book, Smith tells the story of another great Caribbean leader, Michael Manley. This Biography – the first authorized by the Manley family tackles the life of the charismatic Jamaican Prime Minister, who, in the 70's emerged as one of the true icons of this regions, second only to Field Castro.
The book was launched yesterday at the Image Factory in Belize City, and we got to hear about what we can expect to read in the book from Jamaican, Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith and the author, Godfrey Smith:
Godfrey Smith - Author, Michael Manley: The Biography:
"I consider Michael Manley to be the most gifted, charismatic, articulate, elegant, brilliant, statesman and politician the Caribbean has known and whose likeness shall never be seen again. Why is that important? Because we're surrounded by politics everyday whether you're involved with a party or not. And I think it's good to have somebody to measure against."
Belizean Arrested In LA
Yesterday in Los Angeles, Trenton Lovell, a Belizean, was arrested by police. Lovell was wanted for the murder of Sergeant Steve Owen. According to reports, on Wednesday Owen and his partner responded to a 911 call at an apartment complex in Lancaster, California. Owen’s partner went to check the back of the building, while Owen covered the front. It was then that Lovell opened fire on Owen, using a stolen hand gun. Lovell fired four additional shots into Owen’s chest leaving him in critical condition. Owen succumbed to his injuries later that day. According to Los Angeles County Sheriff, Lovell has been in and out of police custody for years. He has been arrested 11 times for crimes ranging from selling marijuana on the street to armed robbery.
GOB announces the first meeting of the Senate Special Select Committee
The Government of Belize (GOB) this week announced the date for the first meeting of the Senate Special Select Committee, which will conduct an inquiry into the incidents of wrongdoing cited in the Auditor General’s Special Report of the Immigration and Nationality Department.
GOB announced that the Committee will meet on Wednesday,October 12th at the National Assembly building. The President of the Senate, Lee Mark Chang set the date according to Standing Order 72 (7) of the Senate.
GOB also announced that the members making up the Committee will be Senators: Aldo Salazar, Dr. Carla Barnett, Reverend Ashley Rocke, Markhelm Lizaraga, and Elena Smith.
Long weekend off to a violent start
Police are working to try and curb a violent outbreak this weekend, after two shooting incidents left five people injured Friday night, including a police constable and a Belize Defense Force (BDF) soldier.
Officer Commanding Police Eastern Division South, Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams, explained that the first incident happened on Raccoon Street at around 9 p.m., where 27-year-old Florentino Ruiz and 24-year old Angel Antonio Ruiz suffered varying gunshot wounds.
Florentino Ruiz got shot to the lower left side of the chest and the left shoulder, while Angel Ruiz got shot to the left cheek bone. Both men are in stable condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH).
Breaking Belize News
Belize Youths represent at 1st SICA Youth Forum in Nicaragua
A youth delegation led by CARICOM Youth Ambassador Tarun Butcher travelled to Managua, Nicaragua to represent Belize at the first ever SICA Youth Forum held on the 6th and 7th of October. The Belize contingent of youth leaders are Tarun Butcher, Juan Cal, Maelyn Rodney, […]
TIDE fish festival held this weekend in Punta Gorda
Annually, TIDE celebrates the community and conservation efforts of Punta Gorda town and surrounding communities. This year, TIDE planned its celebration under the theme “Our planet at the crossroads: Be the change.” The weekend events started on Friday with the annual fundraising seafood galla. Activities […]
Fair weather expected to continue
The 24 hour forecast is for sunny skies with a few cloudy spells today and partly cloudy tonight. Showers or thunderstorms will be generally isolated across the country, except in the south where a few more showers or thunderstorms are likely to occur. The […]
Belize Red Cross launches appeal for Haiti
The Belize Red Cross has expressed its solidarity for Caribbean countries affected by Hurricane Matthew including Jamaica, Haiti and the Bahamas. Hurricane Matthew continues to ravage eastern and central Florida as it makes its way northward. The Belize Red Cross announced that the International Federation […]
Five people shot last night in Belize City
Reports are that there were two separate shootings last night on the south side of Belize leaving five people injured. All five men have been hospitalized including a police officer and a BDF soldier. Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams explained that the first incident […]
Is there a possible shutdown by the Chamber?
The Select Senate inquiry into the Auditor General’s special report on the Immigration and Nationality Department, for 2011-2013 is at the front of the agenda for the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Chamber has been criticized for appearing to staying on the back […]
Special Select Committee’s first meeting on Wednesday
A special communique was sent out yesterday whereby the Clerk of the National assembly announced that the Senate Select Committee established last Friday will meet on Wednesday morning. The senators that will participate are: Dr. Carla Barnett and Aldo Salazar, government’s representatives; Church Senator Ashley […]
Teachers to continue Public awareness campaign
The BNTU announced yesterday, that the strike continues and informed all teachers that on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 they are to proceed with their public awareness/ education campaign. They have also been encouraged to partake in community service works. President of the BNTU told the […]
Belize Jaguars vs. Los Catrachos de Honduras
Belizeans have been waiting with much anticipation for the football game between the national teams of Belize and Honduras. This week, Belize’s Pro Footballer of the Montreal Impacts, Micheal Salazar came back to the country to participate in the match. The Belize national team take […]
Man stabbed to death in San Ignacio Town; police are investigating
A man was murdered in San Ignacio Town early this morning. According to reports, a female police officer was on her way to work when she found the man with stabbed wounds to the neck at a bus stop on Joseph Andrews drive. The man […]
Battle of the Drums and Food Fete
From November 11-13, 2016, the town of Punta Gorda will play host to the 11th annual Battle of the Drums and Food and Fete competition.
The festival celebrates the pride and musical traditions of Belize’s Garifuna culture with dozens of Garifuna music bands competing for the grand prize in a variety of styles like Punta, Chumba, Wanaragua, Hungu, and Paranda.
The festival will begin at 7:30 PM on November 11, 2016, at the Toledo Community College in Punta Gorda Town and will continue throughout the night until 3:00 AM.
While Garifuna artists from all over the country entertain festivalgoers with their lively drumming, the Food and Fete part of the festival will give attendees the opportunity to sample savory and sweet concoctions from the rich palate of Garifuna traditional dishes, including cassava bread, tapou (fish, green banana, and root vegetable soup), hudut (a savory stew made from fish, coconut, and bananas), and cassava pudding.
As part of the Food and Fete part of the festival, there will be a Taste of Garifuna competition with top local cooks battling to whip up the tastiest dish.
TIDE's Fish Festival, 3min. TIDE's Fish Festival takes place this weekend in Punta Gorda. Here is a wonderful event to take the entire family.
Belize Excursion Part 02 Altun Han Mayan Ruins, 45min.
Belize.San Pedro Snorkeling Turtle Encounter, 1min.
The National Channel 10 Live Stream Belize VS Honduras (friendly), 2hr.
On the Road in Beautiful Belize, 3min.
Belize Scuba, 11min.
Belize Scuba diving, 15min.