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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
SPTC undergoes reshuffling
According to Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the changes are in order for his councillors to get a feel of all the different portfolios. “We swapped certain portfolios between four of our councillors who are new to the Board, so they are more flexible with the duties,” said Guerrero.
Deputy Mayor Gary Greif will no longer be in charge of Waste Management and Sanitation, as he now heads the Transport portfolio. Councillor Flora Ancona was given additional duties. She will now be also in charge of Public events and Culture and Leisure. Councillor Ruben Gonzalez will now be in charge of Waste Management and Sanitation, while Councillor Hector Alamilla was given the National Emergency Management Organization and the NGOs portfolios.
SPHS Male Volleyball Team regional champs again!
On Saturday November 5th, the San Pedro High School’s (SPHS) Male Volleyball Team captured the title of Northern Regional Male Volleyball Champions. The games were hosted by Muffles College at the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk Town, where they competed against teams from secondary schools in the northern division. The championship has given the SPHS boys the ticket to represent the North at the National Secondary Schools Sports Association Volleyball Tournament to be held on Friday, November 11th and Saturday November 12th at Sacred Heart College in San Ignacio Town. The SPHS boys are now set to compete at Nationals, where they will meet with zone champions from the West, East and South of the country. During the few days before their departure to the Cayo District to join in the battle for the top prize, the team will be hard at practice hoping to capture the National Championship. “We are working hard and we are hopeful for a good result at nationals,” said Kelly.
Rugerri Trejo receives runner-up title to Youth and Sports Award
Over 15 prestigious awards were issued at the annual ‘Youth Awards’ on Friday, November 4th. Youths gathered at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts in Belize City to be recognized for their achievements in various sectors, including: education agriculture, sports, innovation, media, and more. In the Youth and Sports category, San Pedro’s very own footballer, Rugerri Trejo, was awarded second place.
Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Patrick Faber, who acknowledged the progress of the younger generation of Belize in his address. “Since 2008, we’ve been able to steadily increase the visibility of the Department of Youth Service…There are some young people doing things that you would not imagine…there’s so much talent in Belize, especially the young people. My friends, we are here to celebrate them tonight…a wonderful applause for all their efforts. We want them to keep on doing what they are doing because it is a great effort,” said Faber.
San Pedro FC draws in friendly match against Chetumal’s New Castle
San Pedro’s semi-pro football team travelled to the neighbouring Mexican city of Chetumal on Saturday, November 5th for a friendly match against Mexican Club New Castle. The match proved to be a tough challenge for both teams, as both wanted a win. However, when the final whistle blew, the final score was a 1-1 draw. This was the first international match for San Pedro FC, who had been playing friendly games at home in preparation for their debut at the inauguration of the Ambergris Stadium scheduled for Saturday, November 26th. The team had played and won four games at home, but last weekend, the Mexicans gave the islanders a challenge that they handled very well.
The Belize Zoo says farewell to Lucky Boy
It was a gloomy day at The Belize Zoo (TBZ) when they announced that “Lucky Boy”, a rehabilitated male black jaguar, passed away on Friday, November 4th. Lucky Boy arrived to TBZ back in July 2012, after bring found near death, and suffering from chronic health problems. Following his heart-breaking rescue, Lucky Boy brought joy and happiness to many lives through his amazing story over the past four years. The 20-year-old black jaguar received medical attention, but his health declined despite efforts.
TBZ Director Sharon Matola stated that his passing away came exactly one week after TBZ signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Belize Forest Department (BFD) on Friday, October 28th. The MOU formalized the important relationship between TBZ and BFD, and promoted a mutually beneficial future for them. Since the zoo was founded in 1989, they have worked extensively on animal rescues, public education, and capacity building.
San Mateo Rebuild Project: Raise Me Up Completes Post-Hurricane Rebuilds in San Mateo
Raise Me Up (NGO, Belize) would like to thank the amazing community of San Pedro Town and its supporters for all of the amazing contributions to the rebuild of the San Mateo subdivision of Ambergris Caye after the devastation caused by Hurricane Earl through the San Mateo Rebuild Project.
Hurricane Earl’s storm system brought 9-12 inches of rain, causing surges and flooding throughout Belize. On the night of August 3, 2016, Hurricane Earl made landfall on Ambergris Caye, displacing hundreds of individuals and devastating many docks and businesses along the island’s coast. Among the damage caused by the hurricane, San Mateo was one of the most affected areas of the island.
San Mateo is a subdivision that is the home to many underprivileged and disadvantaged families. Lacking in proper city infrastructure, many of the homes in San Mateo were built hastily to provide simple establishments for the families that occupy them. The subdivisions on Ambergris Caye, San Mateo had 52 homes heavily damaged or completely demolished by the hurricane.
Cancellation of Seismic Survey Does not Signal Stopping Offshore Oil Exploration in Belize
Although the Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum reconfirmed in a press release to the general public that the regional offshore seismic survey has been cancelled, it does not entirely signal the cancellation of offshore oil exploration in the country. Yes, seismic testing has been cancelled, but now a multibeam vessels are still tentatively scheduled to enter Belizean waters by tomorrow Friday, November 11,2016.
On Tuesday, November 8th, 2016, the Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum issued a press release titled "CANCELLATION OF THE REGIONAL OFFSHORE SEISMIC SURVEY". In that document, the Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum confirmed that "the regional offshore seismic survey has been cancelled."
UB and the UWI sign Memorandum to improve tertiary level education in Belize
Recognizing the common interest in the continuous development of the human capacities at the national and regional levels, Dr. Luz Longsworth, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of the West Indies Open Campus, Cave Hill, Barbados, and Alan Slusher, President of the University of Belize, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) establishing an even closer co-operative relationship between the two universities.
The MOU, signed on 8th November, 2016, at the UWI Open Campus in Belize City, seeks to strengthen the relationship through collaborative efforts in research, teaching, and programme and course development. It includes provisions for student exchanges, professional development for faculty and staff, and for joint consultancy arrangements both locally and internationally.
Misc Belizean Sources
The National Primary School Track & Field Championship
The National Primary School Track & Field Championship kicked off this morning at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex.
Minister of Education, Youth & Sports opened the event with a sprint against Track & Field star Tricia Flores!
Opening of the Queen Street Police Station training room
The US Embassy is proud to have partnered with the Belize Police Department to enable the opening of the Queen Street Police Station's training room in Belize City!
The U.S. Department of State: Bureau of Intl Narcotics & Law Enforcement (INL) provided $30,000 worth of refurbishment materials, electronic equipment and furniture. The training room supports the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) projects such as CompStat, Field Training Officer Program, Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) Program, and Community Policing efforts.
The U.S. Department of State: Bureau of Intl Narcotics & Law Enforcement (INL) coordinator Bob Gibson represented the Embassy and delivered remarks at this exciting occasion.
World Travel Market 2016, ExCeL London - Responsible Tourism Awards
Silver Winners with awards Headline sponsor, Karen Bevans, Belize Tourism Board - Virginia King, East African Safari & Touring Co.
Metal Haven 2016 Highlights
Metal Haven had a great lineup this year. They got lots of great pictures from the event.
"As promised, here are some photos from YOUR Metalhaven Bash2016!! As previously mentioned, this is very likely our last event so we really appreciate and thank all those sponsors, bands, supporters and staff who have helped us throughout these 6 years of Metalhaven Bash. Special thanks to Manuel Manzanero for these photos and we will keep uploading more photos in the upcoming days."
Entrepreneurship Symposium 2016
The Global Entrepreneurship Week is next week, and Beltraide is kicking it off with the 2016 Entrepreneurship Symposium, which will be Monday at the George Price Center.
"You are cordially invited to the Entreprenuership Symposium to be held on Monday, 14th November 2016 at the George Price Centre for Peace and Development, Belmopan. The event is part of Global Entrepreneurship Week and organized by BELTRAIDE in collaboration with the University of Belize."
Garifuna Settlement Day Celebrations
Garifuna Settlement Day celebrations start this weekend here in Cayo. This Saturday is Garifuna exhibition day at the Cayo Welcome Center, and there will be food and drumming. On Sunday there will be a procession from the Sacred Heart Church to the cemetary and a tribute to Mr. Vincent Ramos.
On the 17th, the SISE House of Culture will be celebrating with a Garifuna exhibit, and there will be food and drumming. Punta Fest will be on the 18th at the Cayo Welcome Center. There will be an early morning procession on the 19th, and then a parade. Happy November!
Letter: BPP condemns latest Guatemala armed forces aggression
Belizeans and the world recently learned of another aggression by the Guatemalan Armed Forces against our Belize Defence Force. This is very disturbing, however even more disturbing is the fact that the brigadier general seems to down play the aggressive behavior of the GAF. In fact it seems that he intentionally tried to hide these incidents.
The Belize Progressive Party (BPP) is calling on all Belizeans at home and abroad to urge the US government to stop arming GAF and urge the Belize government to file complaints with all embassies and the UN Security Council.
The BPP condemns this latest aggressive behavior by the GAF. We at the BPP stand in solidarity with the BDF and urge them to continue to stand strong and proud.
Power interruption 8:00am to 12:00noon, Wednesday November 16: downtown San Ignacio
George Price Highway between Kontiki and Police Station, Martin Galvez Blvd, Trench Town, Awe St, Buena Vista St, Far West St, Joseph Andrew Dr, Branch Mouth, John Martinez St, 4th St, Martin Galvez Boulevard, Buena Vista Street, Boiton Area, Mosquitoville and Cahal Pech area. BEL to install a switch on distribution system and remove hazardous vegetation from along power lines.
Cayo BTIA Elects New Board
The Cayo branch of the Belize Tourism Industry Association had its AGM on Tuesday, and they elected the board for the coming year. The BTIA has been working with the BTB lately to modify the proposed minimum standards so they are realistic, reflect the ecotourism aspect of Cayo, and not arbitrary. Tough job, but someone's got to do it. Best of luck, BTIA!
"Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) Cayo Chapter Board -- Chairman Roberto Harrison, Vice Chairman Chester Williams, Treasurer Lee Austin, and Secretary Nel Marie are the officers. Tanya Silvia and Madeline Reynolds were elected as Councilors. Here's to a successful 2017!"
Belize International Film Festival
The 11th Edition "Opening Night" at the Bliss Institute
Burn Victim Ian Succumbs In Galveston
Last month, it caught the nation's attention when 11 year-old Aaron Jacob Gabourel perished in the fire which destroyed his family's Aloe Vera Street Home. His cousins, 4 year-old Ian Sambula-Carr, and 8 year-old Empress Hamilton, suffered burn injuries to 90% of their bodies. They were in danger of losing their lives, but through generous donations of Yvette Burks' Burn Victims Mercy Fund, and the Shriner's Hospital For Children, these kids were flown out of the country for specialized medical care in Galveston, Texas.
But, tonight, there's terrible news. After a month of medical procedures. 4 year-old Ian has passed away. We are told that he and his sister were doing fine up until yesterday, when he had a crisis during their regular dialysis treatments. His little body gave out on him last night, and though the doctors tried their very best, they could not resuscitate him.
Lucky Strike Family Escaped From Burning House
So, while the Belize City Family of Ian Carr grieves his loss, another family from Lucky Strike Village are very fortunate that 2 of their children only received minor injuries in yet another fire. 31 year-old Fabian Carillo and his common-law wife, Stephanie Herbert were at home with their 6 children on Tuesday morning at around 1 p.m. when their 4-bedroom house caught fire with them inside it. They parents were awakened by the sound of their kids crying, and that's when they knew they had to get out immediately.
They did, but Carillo and 2 of the children suffered minor burn injuries. Although their home was destroyed, the family says there is good news in their misfortune. Their entire family gets to work on putting their life back together as one group. Our news team traveled to Lucky Strike today to find out what it took for this family to get out alive. Courtney Weathernburne has the story:
COLA's "Jihad" Charged For "Roach"
If you follow the efforts of the grassroots activist organization, COLA, you know Murphy Nedal McLaren, also known as "Jihad". He's always seated at the head table of any press conferences that the organization holds, and he's always right on the front lines of any COLA protest, which has recently been consistently against the Barrow Government.
Well, this afternoon, it was Geovannie Brackett who had to be supporting Jihad after he was hauled in by police for possession of marijuana. Now, its the kind of thing which doesn't normally make the news after all, the court system is flooded on a daily basis with persons who have to answer for weed possession.
Its of interest because McLaren becomes the third COLA member within 6 weeks to be charged with some sort of criminal offence. In October, during the teachers' strike, Brackett was charged in connection to the tire fire on Belcan Bridge, along with his fellow grassroots activist Perry "Stix" Smith. Their fellow activist Fitz Howard who was also charged with possession. .
Ashcroft Alliance Wins 18 Mil US More
While the Government of Belize is struggling to regain its step after paying out 67 million US to the Ashcroft Alliance for BTL, another huge compensation payout for the Alliance is on deck. And, this time, government isn't even thinking about a settlement; it's getting ready to go all the way to the United States Supreme Court to challenge the ruling.
Why the US Supreme Court? Well, that's because the compensation judgment came out of the US court for the District of Columbia. That Court enforced a Final Award payment of equivalent of $18.5 million US dollars, plus interest - on which a staggering 17% interest has been compounding monthly since 2012. The award is for one of those Ashcroft Companies with a cute name, Belize Social Development Limited, registered in the British Virgin Islands. We say "cute" because the extent of BSDL's social involvement is as a legal backstop for the notorious, and apparently deathless, Accommodation Agreement.
Becoming Compliant to Select the 13th Senator
Who will be the 13th Senator? That's what everyone outside the NGO community has been asking for weeks since the Prime Minister signed the Commencement Order. Inside the NGO Community, they're been trying to come up with a format to select that person. As we showed you last week, it didn't seem imminent.
Well, representatives of the NGO community met again yesterday at the George Price Center in Belmopan, quote, "to define the process to…elect Belize's 13th Senator." They confirm via press release that of the 143 registered NGO's, only twenty-two are in what is called "good standing under the law."
So, those 22 have elected a Steering Committee to facilitate the process for the 13th Senator. That committee is chaired by Janelle Chanona from Oceana Belize, Vice-Chair Osmany Salas from the BTIA, Secretary Amanda Acosta from the Belize Audubon Society, Treasurer Armando Aban from The Scout Association of Belize), and Media Relation Officer, Froyla Tzalam from SATIIM.
PUP Nominates 2 For Integrity Commission
So, while the NGO Community works on deciding who will be the 13th parliamentarian to ascend the upper House, the PUP is reporting that they have chosen 2 persons who they want to sit on the Integrity Commission.
You'll remember that the Prime Minister agreed to reactivate the commission, the very same time he agreed to sign the commencement order for the 13th Senator. That was when he was was negotiating with the Teachers to end the 11-day strike, and today, the PUP says, Quote, "Leader of the Opposition, Hon. John Briceno, after careful consultation, has nominated Mrs. Melissa Balderamos- Mahler and Mrs. Claudette Grinage to serve as members of the Integrity Commission. This is in accordance with Section 3(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act which provides that two of the members of the Integrity Commission shall be appointed by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister given with the concurrence of the Leader of the Opposition.
The Auditor General And Those Aggrieved Citizens
Last night, we gave you extensive coverage of the first day into the Senate Hearings on Immigration. That's when Auditor General Dorothy Bradley answered her summons from the Senate to give testimony on her audit reports which exposes mass irregularities in the Immigration and Nationality Department.
That gave us the opportunity to also get an interview, which was her first since her reports became part of the public record. As you saw, she acknowledged that she erroneously printed House Speaker Mike Peyrefitte's name in her reports, and so when we had the opportunity, we asked her about other persons who want their names cleared as well..
We're referring to those ordinary citizens who she named as persons who received recommendations from Ministers. when they didn't need any such recommendations to apply for their immigration documents. They're sort of like examples of persons who the Auditor General used to show the culture of Ministers recommending persons, when the regulations don't require that. But, as you are aware, everyone is clamoring to be taken out those reports, for fear of being labelled as some sort of wrongdoer.
4 Found Guilty of Firearms Offences
Tonight, 44 year old James Swazo, 22 year old Kyle Carter, 23 year old Burton Claire and his brother, 22 year old Javon Claire are all awaiting sentencing, after being guilty of firearm and ammunition offenses. If their cases are strong enough, they just might get out of that 5 year jail sentence.
They were convicted yesterday before Chief magistrate Anne Marie Smith, who gave them the chance to say why they shouldn't be sent to jail for 5 years. Well, Swazo told the Chief Magistrate that he is the only one who provides for his family and he does not want to go to jail. Carter said he has a baby he has to take care of. And the Claire brothers mentioned that they have to take care of their sick mother.
So, to the crime itself, police busted these men back in October 2015. Police saw them throw a .38 revolver with 5 rounds of ammunition in its magazine out their vehicle on Coney Drive. As a result, they were arrested and charged.They were also charged with robbery but that charge was withdrawn because the virtual complainant had left the country.
Bernard Seawell Jailed For Robbery
31 year old Barber Bernard Seawell was found guilty 2 days ago of the crime of robbery, in Magistrate's court, and tonight, he continues to serve a 7 year jail term. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith explained to Seawell that she cannot give him the minimum sentence because he has 2 previous convictions and both of them are for crimes of dishonesty.
This recent incident happened on April 4th. The complainant, a female college student, testified that she was walking on Princess Margaret Drive, going towards St. John's College, when she saw Seawell. He was riding a bicycle and had on a bandana that covered his head but not his face. She said Seawell approached her and demanded that she hand over her gold chain otherwise he will kill her. She said she feared for her life, so she gave Seawell her $500 chain and he rode away. She positively identified Seawell as her assailant in an identification parade and she also identified him in court.
Bails Of Cocaine From the Caribbean
American news reports say that the US Coast Guard has made a huge 11 million dollars seizure of cocaine in the Caribbean Sea.
As viewers are aware, Belize shares a part of the sea with - well - the rest of the Caribbean Countries, and in those reports, it is not not specify exactly which location that was, but the Coast Guard busted the drugs from a group of 5 persons who are suspected smugglers in the high seas.
On October 27, the Royal Fleet's Auxiliary Wave knight launched a helicopter and a small boat with help from the U.S. Coast Guard after officials suspected a go-fast vessel was carrying the contraband.
What they ended up finding was bigger than contraband, and when they intercepted the boat, they found 14 bales of cocaine. The drugs have an estimated street value of $11.6 million.
A high ranking member of the US Coast Guard's 7th District is quoted as saying, "This seizure highlights how effectively the U.S Coast Guard and our Allied partners are working together to disrupt and dismantle the criminal networks that depend on the flow of illicit drugs from South America into the United States, the Caribbean, and Europe,"
Training the Next Big Female Entrepreneur
If you want to be Belize's next Marie Sharp, you will Want to attend tomorrow's women entrepreneurship leadership conference. Now of course, the organizers aren't confining you to pitching ideas for a new brand of pepper sauce, they want female entrepreneurs to be innovative and also to succeed in their own business venture. The conference is all about empowering women through business opportunities and the President for the Belize Center for Training and Development, Danalyn Myvett told us more about how this conference will take these aspiring female entrepreneurs to the next level.
Danalyn Myvette, President - BZ Center for Training and Development:
"The women entrepreneurship leadership conference which will take place tomorrow at the Belize Biltmore plaza is the signature event that is being put off in Belize to celebrate support and empower women. It is a part of a global movement that is happening all across many countries over the month. In the context of where the empowerment of women is occurring particularly in this program is in the entrepreneur, the business space."
Nursing Risky Baby Deliveries
Today, nurses and midwives from across the country gathered to broaden their knowledge on the care of newborns, especially those born sickly or premature. We spoke to the Chair of the Nurses and Midwives Council, Augustine Elijio, about the annual conference and how it helps to improve healthcare in Belize...
Augustine Elijio, Chair. - Nurses & Midwives Council:
"It's an annual nursing conference. Today's conference is under the theme 'Developmental care of the Newborn', very timely and very essential for nurses."
"Do we have a representation from all major hospitals in Belize?"
"Again, definitely. it's a need, if we're supposed to breasted, if we're supposed to be knowledgeable and because we render that type of care in every facility regardless of the level, then we need to have nurses from all those hospitals including the private sector."
Primary School Track Championships Return To Marion Jones After 5 years
Today, for the first time in 5 years, primary school athletes came together at the Marion Jones Sports Complex in Belize City to compete in the National Primary School Championship. 9 to 14 year olds from every district participated in 10 different competitions. This year, the Olympic Committee sent coaches to help the young athletes develop their skills. The Director of the National Sports Council, Ritchel Dominguez, told us why he is putting such an emphasis on track and field...
Ritchell Dominguez, Dir., National Sports Council:
"It hasn't been in our school program for 5 years, but this year. And the minister has pledge that he will support us in getting track up and running, because it's a very expensive sport and I think that is why they have drawn back because the other sports are much more people involved. With track it skips from different schools. So what we have to do is round them up and see where you get them together. It's a whole different than basically doing football or softball or those other programs. So I think that was one of the reasons why they just left it alone for a while. But it's here to stay now.."
Making Zoning Work Better For Belize City
In the past few months, the Belize City Council has held several public consultations to introduce the public to and discuss ways in which life in the city can improve. Today, the City Council, in collaboration with the BTB and the Ministry of Tourism held a consultation to talk about the potential changes coming to the Fort George Tourism Zone. Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley told us more:
Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor:
"The city is looking at several aspects of zoning throughout the city and one of the things that's very critical to us is the zoning of the Fort Street tourism zone area. We're working very closely with the BTB for the last 2 years. We actually have a taskforce made up of members of the Belize City Council and members of the BTB to more regularly organize the zone. We're working very closely with stakeholders in the community especially the business sector within this area of Belize City to talk about areas of how we can have improvements in terms of traffic, parking, crime, garbage. Under the partnership with the BTB and City Council, we're talking about ways we can formalize this but we want to incorporate participation from the private sector hence the consultation."