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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, and other specials
The San Pedro Sun
BSI prepares for EU reform on sugar market
The Belize Sugar Industry (BSI) is bracing for direct competition in 2017 following the recent European Union’s (EU) reform on world sugar prices. In view of the introduction of beet sugar in Europe, Belize will no longer enjoy the preferential rates on sugar it has experienced in the past, thus, a reduction in prices of the sweet crystals appears inevitable. As such, BSI is preparing to try new markets and strategizing on how to continue selling Belizean sugar at a sustainable or better rate.
Under the EU, Belize is considered a market with limited alternatives and high production cost. Changes in world prices and the pressure to compete with other sugar producers can have a heavy impact on BSI and the economy of Belize. Over the past years, Belize has become very dependent on sugar exports and reforms such as this can result in a deep dent on the sugar industry’s future. Even though a prime catastrophic effect of this change includes an increase of 3% in poverty, American Sugar Refining Belize Sugar Industries (ASR), which runs the Tower Hill Sugar Factory in Orange Walk District, is very optimistic of what the future has in store for the industry.
SPTC and Projects Abroad team up for shoe giveaway
San Pedro Town Council’s Sports Coordinator Kent Bob Gabourel teamed up with Regina Munji of Projects Abroad to coordinate a shoe drive for the island. On Saturday, December 10th, flip flops, tennis shoes, and sandals were distributed to children in need at the Central Park.
Before the shoes were distributed, Gabourel and Projects Abroad contacted each primary school in San Pedro Town, and asked teachers to recommend students who were in need. These students were then given a slip and they gathered at the park at 1:30PM to receive a new pair of shoes. With the help of Project Abroad volunteers, Gabourel and his team distributed 180 out of 200 pairs of shoes to the island children.
According to Gabourel, the idea to provide new footwear was sparked after a trip to Belize City. “Our inspiration came from the kids that walk around barefoot. When Regina and I went to Belize City for a track meet, we were at the field, and we saw the kids walking barefoot in the hot sun, burning their feet. When we saw that, we decided to do a shoe drive on the island. San Pedro is my home, and nothing is more satisfying to see happy kids receive new stuff,” said Gabourel.
San Pedro Tiger Sharks win NEBL pre-season game against OW Running Rebels
Two-time champions of the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL), the San Pedro Tiger Sharks, have begun the fourth NEBL season on the right foot by defeating the Orange Walk Running Rebels. At the pre-season game held on Saturday, December 10th at the Orange Walk Sporting Complex, the Tiger Sharks came out with a 61-53 victory over the host team. All basketball fans are encouraged to come out to support their favourite teams and players. The League is anticipating an excellent season for basketball. The first game of the season will take in Belize City between the current champions Belize Hurricanes against Belize City No Limit.
Bahia Fest 2016 features Belize’s own Pablo Garcia
To celebrate “Mujer Mujer” Magazines 10th anniversary, “Bahia Fest 2016” fashion weekend featured the work of a group of well-known designers on Saturday, December 3rd and Sunday, December 4th. This festive event took place at the Bellavista Hall in the capital of Quintana Roo, Mexico, and drew designers and international models from Chetumal, Merida, Campeche, Turkey, El Salvador, Mexico City, and Belize. San Pedrano Photographer Pablo Garcia represented Belize, modeling in the fashion show. Models showcased garments from the following highlighted brands: “La Maria”, “Medrano & Amaro” and “Enrique Polanco”. The event also featured musical entertainment from Saxophonist Edgar Ramírez. To cap off the night of glamour and design, the first lady of the Municipality Gabriela Rejón de Joaquín, gave recognition to the fashion and image designers, and models for their participation.
National Committee for Families and Children responds to baby Janeeka’s death
Janeeka Campbell, a 23-month old toddler from Belize City, made headline news on Tuesday, December 6th when her lifeless body was found with signs of bruises. Police reports indicated that she was taken to Saint Matthews Village on the George Price Highway to visit with her father that day. However, the puzzling reports suggested that she either died from an accidental fall or she was a victim of child abuse/neglect. Campbell’s death has prompted much reaction throughout the country, especially from the National Committee for Families and Children (NCFC).
Campbell’s post-mortem was conducted on Thursday, December 8th, and the results were ‘inconclusive’. The pathologist classified her death as “Traumatic asphyxiation multifocal subarachnoid” hemorrhage due to head and chest trauma”, and stated that she did not die of natural causes.
The NCFC issued a press release in regards to her death of Thursday, December 8th, stating that the death of any child is regrettable and that it is of grave concern. “We join the nation in mourning the tragic loss of another innocent Belizean child…media reports about the questionable circumstances surrounding the tragic death of baby Janeeka Campbell leaves the NCFC with grave concerns and a number of questions.”
Belize Signs Clean Energy with Santander Sugar Bagasse
S.S. Energy Ltd. (SSEL), a subsidiary of The Santander Sugar Group announced on December 13, 2016, that its Board of Directors under the Chairmanship and Executive Directorship of Jose Gonzalez Rodriguez signed a Power Purchase Agreement with Belize Electricity Limited to provide clean energy to the electrical grid of Belize.
The transaction marks the latest milestone in accelerated efforts by SSEL and will result in bringing home grown generated electricity to Belizean households. The completion of this definitive agreement is to provide 16 MWh of electricity by utilizing bagasse, the bi-product of sugar cane, as a renewable power generation source.
The energy produced by the bagasse at The Santander Sugar Mill will be used as a primary fuel source and when burned in quantity, will produce sufficient heat energy to supply to the local consumer electricity grid. This will not only give Belize a reliable, local, energy source it will improve overall conditions by reducing the country’s dependency on imports from abroad.
Belize’s Chaa Creek National Geographic World Legacy Awards Finalist
National Geographic’s announcement of the finalists for the 2017 World Legacy Awards contained some very good news for Belize’s The Lodge at Chaa Creek and the local communities it supports while highlighting the value of sustainable tourism and responsible travel, the Belizean eco-resort’s owners said.
The World Legacy Awards (WLA) is a collaboration between the National Geographic and ITB Berlin that seeks to honor companies, organizations, and destinations that drive positive transformation of the tourism industry.
With categories like “Earth Changers”, “Sense of Place”, and “Destination Leadership”, the WLA’s aim to spotlight the best of the forward-thinking best.
Belize is now a Signatory to the United Nations Convention against Corruption
The Government of Belize today became the 184th country to sign on to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).
The Acting Prime Minister of Belize Hon. Patrick Faber, in the presence of the UN Resident Coordinator Christian Salazar Volkmann, officials from the Government of Belize and members of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, signed the treaty making Belize a signatory of the UNCAC.
The announcement that Belize would be signing on to the UNCAC came in October this year and in November Cabinet agreed to move straight to accession. The Senate held a special sitting on 30th November to approve the motion authorizing accession to the UNCAC. The signing signals the start of the development of the framework for the upcoming work plan of the Government of Belize under the Convention.
40 Years of Amazing Flavors on Ambergris Caye, Elvi's Kitchen Celebrates
The family of Elvi’s Kitchen celebrated the restaurant’s 40th Anniversary the best way it knows how to, with lots of love and exquisite food. The intimate gathering with family and friends was highlighted with amazing dishes that ranged from old favorites to new and exciting appetizers and a surf and turf Lobster & Steak combo that cannot be beat.
Needless to say, Elvi’s Kitchen is synonymous to amazing food and great service. Throughout its four decades of operation, the restaurant has managed to stay on top of the game receiving international recognition for its outstanding cuisine.
It is the food that has kept on evolving in taste and presentation that keeps people coming back to Elvi’s Kitchen. People re-visit the restaurant to find out that their favorite dishes are still on the menu and some have been transformed into something even more delicious, but still preserving the essence of a traditional Belizean meal.
Prime Minister Announces Changes in Cabinet
At a press briefing held on December 13, 2016 in Belmopan, the Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow announced upcoming changes in his Cabinet.
The Attorney General and Minister of Natural Resources Senator Hon. Vanessa Retreage has come to the end of her one year contract with government and will be leaving the Cabinet at the end of December 2016. In her remarks made today, Minister Retreage thanked the Prime Minister for the privilege to serve the government and people of Belize and explained that because of family and previous business commitments, she will be returning to private practice.
The Prime Minister announced that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, will take up the post of Attorney General in January 2017, and the Ministry of Natural Resources will become part of the Prime Minister’s portfolio. Senator, the Hon. Dr. Carla Barnett, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, will take up the day to day management of that ministry.
Misc Belizean Sources
Government of Belize Receives Prince Michael International Road Safety Award
The Government of Belize, on December 13, 2016, received the prestigious Prince Michael International Road Safety Award. Accepting the award on behalf of the Government and People of Belize are the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum, Ms. Yvonne Sharman Hyde and the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Works, Mr. Errol Gentle, based on their leadership role to move road safety to a higher integrated level in the region. This award was presented in The Lancaster Suite, Savoy, The Strand, London.
The Government of Belize, for many years, has been assessing the road network in the country as the ranking of death within the Ministry of Health system being the fourth cause of death in Belize. In 2012 the Belize Road Safety Project was implemented and in 2013, with a multifaceted approach intervention, the project results have successfully demonstrated the benefits of all road safety partners working collaboratively on a high-collision corridor. Using Safe System interventions many lives have been saved on this 50 mile stretch of highway. Prior to the interventions, the demonstration corridor accounted for almost 50% of all road traffic deaths in the country of Belize. At the end of December 2015 less than 10% of road deaths have occurred on this corridor.
Wildtracks Update: Happy World Monkey Day!
To celebrate, we would like to share Kamal's progress with you. Kamal (shortened to Kam), an endangered Geoffroy's spider monkey, arrived in January 2016 - the most emaciated and sickly intake that Wildtracks has encountered. He was only ten months old when he was confiscated by the Belize Forest Department - skin and bones, and missing most of his hair from malnutrition and scabies. Far too young to be away from his mother, he was on his own, attached to a wire in someone's yard.
Kam took time to put on weight. For the first months after arrival he was still skin and bones, terrified of sudden movements, and completely reliant on his carers. With the introduction of a diet of high nutrient milk formula, fruit and leaves, he gradually started putting on weight.
Kam is now healthy and happily integrated with Cas, another young spider monkey. Kam and Cas have now moved out of the Nursery Unit and into one of the Forest Enclosures. They have begun their integration with Chippa and Izzie, two of the younger female spider monkeys in the Spider Monkey Complex, with the hope that they will become a unit of four.
Bruk Dong Bram at CWC
The SISE HoC's last Full Moon concert for 2016 will be Mr. Peetaz Bruk Dong Bram. It happens tonight at the Cayo Welcome Center, and it starts at 7:00pm.
"HAPPENING THIS THURSDAY, DEC.15TH, CAYO WELCOME CENTER, 7 PM! Mr Peetaz Bruck Dong Bram!"
Belize represented at Miami TIA 2016!
Belize Tourism Board
Primary Schools Arts Skills Training project
The Embassy is honored to be part of and support the Primary Schools Arts Skills Training project. So inspiring to see many young talented artists! Kudos to all participants of this great initiative!
Professional Development for NICH
The Institute of Archaeology would like to congratulate the third round of site staff participants for completing a workshop aiming at professional development in the areas of first aid, customer service, and knowledge of Belizean prehistory.
Garinagu organization and political growth in Belize - Part 2
National policy directly targeting Garinagu, for the most part was associated with their settlement/land status and development in their regions. It could be that the reason why the British crown was hesitant in granting land rights to the Maya and Garifuna people was due to the British having problems getting the Spanish crown to give them rights over Belize, the reluctance of Britain to grant colony status to Belize, the Creoles were still slaves in Belize, they wanted no intermingling between the Creoles and the Garifuna people and Guatemala assumed Spain’s claim to Belize when it acquired its independence.
All the residents of Belize began to apply pressure on the British crown to grant colony status to Belize and, in 1862, the British crown reluctantly granted them their wish. The government legislation regarding territorial rights was combined with the indigenous Maya. In official documents the land ordinances were designated to the Maya and Carib, in which “Carib” was the previous title name used to identify the Garinagu.
SUSPECT IN COLOSSAL HUNGARIAN EMBEZZLEMENT CASE ARRESTED IN BELIZE, RETURNED TO BUDAPEST
According to Hungarian news agency MTI and news site 24.hu, Mária Dobrai, the head of defunct travel agency Kun-Mediátor, which also operated illegally as an investment bank, has been arrested in Belize, on charges of large-scale embezzlement. Hungarian police returned “Maricska” to Budapest aboard a Lufthansa plane.
Dobrai fled Hungary following an investigation into Kun-Mediátor’s dealings that had begun in April of 2015. At that time, authorities were alerted to irregularities following an incident in which angry clients cued up in front of the supposed travel agency’s office in the eastern Hungarian town of Karcag, demanding the return of their deposits, on which the firm had promised huge returns. At the time, István Dobrossy, lawyer of the furious Kund-Mediátor clients, claimed that the losses caused by the travel agency were between 5 and 20 billion (roughly €15million to €63million).
Motorcycle presented to the San Pedro Fire Department
Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Deputy Mayor Gary Greif, on behalf of the San Pedro Town Council and the people of San Pedro, presented a motorcycle to the San Pedro Fire Department. On site to receive the donation was Officer in Charge, Mr. Newton Lennan. OIC Lennan was excited for his department as this will be very handy for their daily use.
"Meet & Greet" session with the residents
ATM: Eastern Police Division South Officers are presently in your Port Loyola/Jane Usher Blvd/Freedom Street community, doing our weekly Wednesday's "Meet & Greet" session with the residents. I must say, the residents are very receptive, positive minded & in the Christmas vibes!!!!!
TAIWAN Offers 4-Year Medicine Study Full Scholarship for Belizean Students
The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) is pleased to announce the release of the I-Shou University School of Medicine for International Students Scholarship Program, offered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF), in order to cultivate international medical talents and address the issue of insufficient medical resources. This is a four-year Full Scholarship MD Program for bachelor degree and applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree to apply. All courses offered by this Program are taught in English.
PACT Awards $2.2 Million for Chiquibul Forest Investment
The Chiquibul Forest is one of the largest protected areas. The plant diversity of the Chiquibul is vast, hosting over 300 species of trees, 452 species of herbs, and 109 orchid species. It represents 7.7% of our national territory. Along with the areas surrounding it, it forms a critical habitat for several threatened and endangered species such as jaguars, scarlet macaws and the black howler monkey. This investment represents the largest given to four agencies for a joint venture, in the history of PACT – a gesture of faith in the future of conservation and a gift that will continue to benefit Belizeans for many years to come.
Unidentified Body Found Bound, Dismembered In River
Belize Rural police are tonight trying to determine the identity of the body of a woman which was found in the Belize River this afternoon.
Around midday, a female of creole descent believed to be in her 30's was found in the Belize River, three miles down from the Burrell Boom Bridge. The body was clad in a dark blouse, blue jeans pants, and she had a tattoo with the letters M-I-C-H and a rose on her right breast. Notably, she was also missing an arm, and had deep gashes on her torso, which police suspect is the work of a crocodile.
But what's even more concerning to police is that her arms appeared to have been tied. What is described as a "string" was found tied around her, suggesting that police that she may have tied and thrown in the river. This is only speculation at this point, but the circumstances are certainly very disturbing, especially considering that there are no missing person's reports matching the identity of this body.
School Managements Say School Resumes on The Third, Not The Ninth!
Last night, we told you how the Ministry of Education is sticking to the decision that schools' Christmas Holiday will be cut by 4 days to make up some of the time lost by the 11-day strike from the teachers. Well, tonight, the General Managers of the Pre and Primary Schools are sticking with the Ministry on this plan to resume classes on January 3, instead of January 9.
In a press release sent today, Denise Lamb, the Vice chair of the Belize Association of General Managers of Pre and Primary School stresses that on Wednesday, November 2, the general managers of the Pre and Primary Schools met with senior officials of the Ministry of Education where, quote, "Managers unanimously agreed that 6 school days will be added, January 3rd to the 6th, and April 10th and 11, 2017. The managers' decision to add the six days will assist the schools to comply with the minimum 180 school days requirement. End quote.
Senate Inquiry: The Deep Dig Into Visa Irregularities
Today in Belmopan, the Senate hearings on Immigration irregularities continued with Auditor General Dorothy Bradley and her Chief Auditor, Carla Faber, giving testimony once again.
It was the Auditor General's third day on the stand, while the chief Auditor has only had 2 days. But, in that time, the Senators on the Senate Select Committee have been combing through the 3 volumes of her audit. They continued to probe deep into all parts of the visa portion, and late this evening, they finally closed their questioning on visas issued between 2011 and 2013. They're now looking at her report on passports now, and today, our news team was there once again for the hearings
Here are a few choice excerpts:
Hon. Eamon Courtenay - PUP Senator:
"How would you characterise the level of control if the stock of visas in the immigration department?"
Dorothy Bradley - Auditor General:
"It was clear to us that you can characterise it as being mismanaged."
Hon. Eamon Courtenay - PUP Senator:
"I was asking about your concerns with respect to the process which led to the issuance of nationality certificates. Auditor General indicated that you had serious concerns about that process and I'm wondering if any specifics could be shared with us."
Cayo's Most Wanted Kills Himself
Melecio Gonzalez was killed in front of his family on Sunday in Yalbac Village. The main suspect was his close friend Maximiliano Williams. Police had been looking for him and even released a wanted poster. But the manhunt ended last night when Williams killed himself. Yesterday evening around 5:00, one of his friends called police and told them that Williams had just left him when he heard a gunshot ring out. When police arrived, they found Williams' body on the side of the Yalbac road with a gunshot wound to the chest and the shot gun by his side. Today San Ignacio police gave us more details via phone.
Supt. Richard Rosado - OC, San Ignacio:
"Based on information received of a shooting incident in Yalbac Village in the Cayo district, a team of police officers visited the scene where the lifeless body of a dark complexion male person was seen lying face up a few feet from the main road in Yalbac, the body had an apparent gunshot wound to the left side of the chest and a 16 gauge shotgun was seen beside the body of the deceased. The body was later identified as Maximiliano Williams of Yalbac village who was wanted in connection with the murder of Melencio Gonzalez of Yalbac , the scene was processed and statements have been recorded , the body was later transported to the San Ignacio Community Morgue where it awaits a post mortem."
Dangriga Cops Catch Big-H Jacker With Big Gun
The Christmas robbers are out in force. Last night we told you about a bogus checkpoint in Belize Rural set up to rob a Travelers Rum delivery truck. Well, on Monday afternoon in Dangriga Town, robbers jacked a Big H Juice delivery Truck was being robbed.
A man with a black handgun held up the driver and took of $1,500 dollars in cash from his pockets. Another man – who also appeared to be carrying a hand gun then swung open the delivery truck door, reached inside and snatched a knapsack with proceeds from the day's sales amounting to $3,000.00 dollars. Both men then sped off on bicycles. But, police were quick to respond, and they detained one of the suspects – a 16 year old - with some of the money.
Rural Cops Foil Ladyville Looters
Ladyville looters came up short after police foiled their operation this morning. Police responded to a burglary in progress in the Lake Gardens area around 10:36 but when they got there, they only found a number of house appliances outside, the thieves had already made their first trip with other items on foot and were going to come back for the others. Now while police didn't catch the culprits, the police prevented them from cleaning out the entire house. Police told us more about how this incident played out.
ASP Juanito Cocom - OC, Ladyville Police:
"A distress call was made that a burglary was in progress in the Lake Gardens area, that would be the extreme end of the Lake Gardens area, we responded but upon our response the culprits had already left the area, however apparently some of their looting was left in the premises at least we managed to deal with that part , to deter that part , we made runs within the area, it is a very bushy vast area ,muddy as well and we found some paraphernalia the guys used to break into the area. They pried open one of the back doors that had no burglar bars, at this point I can say the owner works somewhere out of the area and she has already been summoned but she has not come in as yet to ascertain what is missing from her residence."
MIT Gets A Sackful Of Weed
Recently we’ve been reporting on some sizeable weed busts in the city – the biggest being 45 pounds found in the Ceasar Ridge Road area one week ago.
Well, the Mobile Interdiction Team has been doing its work on the highway. That’s where they got this sackful of marijuana earlier this week. The sack weighed in at 14.5 kilos or 32 pounds.
123 New Belizeans Take The Oath, Learn The Rules
123 new Belizean citizens were sworn in today at the George Price Center in Belmopan. They were welcomed by CEO in the Ministry, Edmund Zuniga – who also gave them a caution:…
Edmund Zuniga - Director of Immigration:
"Today we are swearing in 123 new Belizeans who come from 25 different countries of origin including Bangladesh, England, Burma, I think this is my first swearing in with somebody from Burma, who is the person from Burma? Good (waves), welcome. Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Philippines of course our neighbours from Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Italy, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Nigeria and I have some special friends here from Nigeria; I see one over there; Pakistan, Paraguay, Russia, Salvador, Scotland, Slovakia, Venezuela and of course the great United States of America. The process for you to become Belizeans is even more open to scrutiny by the public at large. We take your applications at the immigration department; they are checked by the officers accepting the applications and further checked by senior officers who then submit them to the director of immigration who conducts her own check. Once she's satisfied that the applicant meets the requirements the names, your names and you can check your names are published in the gazette for 3 weeks so that the members of the public, your neighbours, your friend, and your enemies can have an opportunity to say whether or not they think you should be a Belizean. And let me assure you that we hold these ceremonies in public so that we can publicly welcome you into our Belizean family."
"Rugu" Gets Three Months For four Pounds of Shrimp
Today, forty-two year old Mark Middleton, also known as "Rugu" was sentenced to three months in prison for theft. This morning, Middleton went to Public's Supermarket in Belize City, where he put a four pound bag of shrimp in his knapsack. As Middleton was on his way out a security guard, who had seen the whole thing, stopped him, found the shrimp in his bag and called the police.
During his trial, Middleton begged Magistrate Mendoza not to send him to prison because he had a daughter to take care of. The Magistrate reminded him that he was already given a chance after a previous conviction for theft, so he had to be sentenced to prison.
Bodden Cheque Was Bogus, Sylvin Serves Time
Sylvin Bodden also appeared in court today. In 2009, Bodden cashed a NICH Belize Bank cheque by purchasing a wristwatch and a pair of sunglasses. The cheque was later found to be bogus. Bodden pled guilty to the charge, and after hearing a plea for mitigation by his attorney, Justice Adolph Lucas sentenced him to 2 years in prison. The sentence is to take effect on October 25, 2016 and run concurrently with the remainder of a 2 1/2 year burglary sentence from 2014.
DOE Considers Environmental Regs
Today the Ministry of the Environment held a workshop to discuss a proposal about sustainable development and conservation. A draft was distributed earlier this year, and stakeholders gathered to give their feedback and concerns about the legislature. The DOE and a Spanish firm designed the proposal which makes recommendations on strengthening Belize's environmental regulations. Chief Environmental Officer, Martin Alegria told us more…
Martin Alegria - Department of Environment:
"This is a one day workshop to agree, valid on recommendations being done by consultant out of Spain who started reviewing the environmental screening process in Belize. Basically people know it here as the EIA process. In order to look at strengths, weaknesses, opportunities out there in terms of modernising such a procedure in Belize and coming up with the best scenarios, best solutions in order to have environmental management or protection while having sustainable development in Belize. So we started it sometime ago, presented a draft in mid-year, we distributed to all the stakeholders in there today and we advance a little more in depth on some of the issues that were raised and today he is presenting. The company's name is Limia and Martin; they're presenting the major recommendations from various thematic areas, legal, procedural etc. They are going through each and every line item there to see what the feelings or the positions are of all the stakeholders both from private sector, civil society and our government colleagues."
Lavern Longsworth's Long Walk to Freedom
2 and half years ago, Lavern Longsworth, better known as "Antichrist", went from serving life in prison for murder to a reduced sentence. Fuelled by a human rights project, her attorneys convinced the Court of Appeal that her conviction was excessive.
In 2014, they said she was supposed to serve four and a half more years in jail, but Longsworth got paroled and she has been free since last Wednesday.
It's a huge reversal from July of 2010 when she set her common-law husband David White on fire and he later died from those injuries. She was convicted of murder in November of 2012, but her attorneys appealed in 2014, arguing that she should be afforded a defence of diminished responsibility, given that she suffered from battered women's syndrome after years physical abuse at the hands of the late David White.
The judges agreed and reduced conviction for murder to a conviction for manslaughter. They substituted a sentence of life for 8 years with consideration for the amount of time she already spent in jail.
Mastering The Art of Art Education
Over 200 students completed the 2 year Primary and Secondary Art Skills Training Project. The project was launched in July 2014 and since then, these kids have pretty much learned all they can learn about art at this stage. Today marks that end of the 2 year artistic journey and a ceremony was held at the Bliss to celebrate this accomplishment and also to evaluate the effectiveness of the program. Youth Development Officer from the Institute of Creative Arts Kim Vasquez discussed the objective and the vision for this project.
Kim Vasquez - Youth Development Officer, NICH:
"This has been a very exciting and momentous project, this you see here is the primary schools art skills training pilot project and so today is the culmination of a 2 year pilot project funded by the Republic of China Taiwan and implemented through the Institute of Creative Arts. Ms. Fiona the art instructor, she has done a splendid job, over the past few years we have had children from various primary schools in the city, they have competed in international and local art contests and they have won gold and numerous prizes and have also had several art exhibits over the course of the project as well."
Big Money For Rural Cops
Yesterday Belize City and Dangriga cops got their officer of the month award. Well, 25 officers from Eastern Division Rural will be getting theirs soon, in cash. $12,500 was donated to the formation and Assistant Superintendent Edward Broaster told us that the money is for those cops who excelled in their professional development program. Broaster says it is always important to uphold and recognize a good work ethic.
ACP Edward Broaster - OC, Eastern Division Rural:
"Earlier in the year we spoke to you about the professional development that we had planned for rural eastern division as it pertains to our professional development. We have received a very generous donation from Kerny, a director of a large corporate services business in Belize licensed and regulated by the IFSC in Belmopan under the Ministry of Finance. During our long discussions and consultations on the prevention of money laundering we had discussed how integrity and honesty are key characteristics in our mutual industries meaning the private sector and the police department."
A Road Safety Award For Belize
Today the Government of Belize received the Prince Michael International Road Safety Award. The award was granted based on the government's efforts to increase road safety in the country, particularly in the high-collision corridor on the Western highway. Before the CDB funded road safety project, that stretch of road was responsible for 50% of all road traffic deaths in Belize. After the project, it has only accounted for 10% of road deaths as of December 2015. CEOs of the Ministries of Economic Development and Works Yvonne Sharman and Errol Gentle received the award on behalf of the government.