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Today's Belize News: December 23, 2016 #520403
12/23/16 12:55 AM
12/23/16 12:55 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 58,316
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Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP


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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

Living Word Church and Evangelical Alliance host massive Christmas Outreach
To bring in the Christmas season, Living Word Church, along with the Evangelical Alliance of San Pedro, hosted a Christmas Toy Outreach on Sunday, December 18th. Before heading to the Honorable Louis Sylvester Stadium, the churches began their outreach with a Christmas caroling parade from the Boca Del Rio Park through the town core. With decorated golf-carts carrying singing church goers, the parade surely caught the attention of the public. They also shared the message of Jesus Christ, and gave cupcakes to bystanders. As the parade finished at the stadium, over 1,500 people gathered for the occasion. Pastor of Living Word Church, Ian Zaldivar then shared a spiritual Christmas message, “The Gifts for a Kings”. Pastor Zaldivar disclosed the story about the three wise men who brought three gifts to baby Jesus: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Although it may seem strange to give those gifts to a baby, he explained that Christians believe that the gold is associated with Kings and believe that Jesus is the King of Kings; frankincense is sometimes used in worship in churches and showed that people worshipped the child Jesus; and myrrh is a perfume used to anoint dead bodies, a symbol of Jesus’ suffering and death.

Forest officers take part in SMART Training
On Tuesday, December 6th and Wednesday, December 7th, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) hosted a two-day training workshop on the use of the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) for employees from the Belize Forest Department and Corozal Sustainable Future Initiative (CSFI). SMART is an innovative software application designed to help rangers reduce the illegal trade in wildlife and timber. On Tuesday, December 13th, a press release from WCS detailed the successful workshop, stating that it was a “milestone along Belize’s road to becoming the first country in the world to adopt this globally-used tool for both marine and terrestrial conservation management.” The workshop participants were the first to be introduced to the SMART software, trained to use mobile devices to collect, store and upload georeferenced data, and how to present the analyzed results in meaningful reports. Funded by the International Program of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the wider goal of the training was to strengthen enforcement efforts in Belize’s forests and protected areas. The SMART tool has revolutionized approaches to monitoring, control and surveillance of protected areas and forests across the globe. It does this by providing a system for managers to better plan patrols, manage data, and report on results to decision makers. It has a low cost of implementation (software is free) and is easy to use and understand.

Seniors citizens enjoy San Pedro Lions Club annual Christmas Party
The San Pedro Lions Club once again hosted their highly anticipated and popular Senior Citizens’ Christmas party on Monday, December 19th. With doors opening from 6:30PM, over 60 guests were warmly welcomed by fellow Lions and Leos members. After the guests were seated, they were treated with an appetizer, drinks, turkey dinner with all the trimmings, and dessert. According to Lion Melanie Paz, the party has become an annual event to show the seniors that the Lions Club appreciates them for their contribution to San Pedro Town. “This is a fun event for our senior community, and a way to serve them as many of them served us members one way or another when we were younger. This is our special opportunity to make them feel appreciated, and a way to bring the community closer,” said Paz.

Belize’s Chaa Creek is finalist in National Geographic’s 2017 World Legacy Awards
National Geographic has recognized Belize by selecting the Lodge at Chaa Creek as one of the 15 finalists to be presented in their 2017, ‘World Legacy Awards’ (WLA). The announcement of the WLA finalists is a partnership between National Geographic and ITB Berlin, which highlights the value of sustainable tourism and responsible travel throughout the globe. It also seeks to honor companies, organizations, and destinations that drive positive transformation of the tourism industry. In an official media release, National Geographic praised the finalists for “showing the way forward to a brighter future for people and the planet” by “driving the sustainable tourism transformation of the global travel industry”. The Lodge at Chaa Creek has been chosen as one of the three finalists for the “Engaging Communities” award, along with Thailand’s Andaman Discoveries and Chambok Community Based Eco Tourism/Mlup Baitong in Cambodia.

What’s New: Pier 366 Seafood House!
Banyan Bay Resort is home to a new restaurant, specializing in seafood and Caribbean cuisine. Formerly known as Rico’s Restaurant, the new and improved Pier 366 Seafood House has been rebranded to highlight Belize’s marine delicacies. The over-the-water restaurant decor has been revamped, featuring a covered dining room, patio seating, a vine-covered pergola, a “swing” lounge, plus communal table and beach bar. Leading the kitchen at Pier 366 is Barbadian national, Garfield Victor. An award-winning chef with over 15 years of experience, Victor is bringing his fresh take on seafood and Caribbean cuisine to Ambergris Caye. Promoting a “sea to table” dining experience, Pier 366 offers only the freshest ingredients caught in the Caribbean Sea. With specialties in lionfish, snook, grouper, red snapper, shrimp, conch, lobster, octopus and stone crab, customers will always have an array of options at Pier 366.

Ambergris Today

Florida Caribbean Cruise Association Hosts Holiday Gift Projects in Belize
The Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) in collaboration with the Belize Tourism Board proudly hosted its 2nd and 13th annual Holiday Gift Exchange Projects in Harvest Caye and the Fort Street Tourism Village respectively. Every year with the assistance of the Ministry of Education, ten different schools are selected from different regions so their students can participate in this noteworthy event. This year, the Cruise Industry catered to 400 students selected from the schools. The South of Belize was the first to experience the Christmas feeling on December 14th as this was the first destination for the FCCA to spread the Christmas cheer. With Harvest Caye hosting, a total of 200 children at this event experienced the true joy of Christmas when they received Christmas gifts and snacks from Santa Claus and his twenty-five helpers that arrived via the Norwegian Getaway cruise ship. Entertainment was provided by a DJ, Ozzie the clown who made balloon animals for each child and a face painter who painted every child’s face. These children also received their own personal tour around the Caye to experience the beautiful paradise known as Harvest Caye.

BHA Featured in Petit Futé Newest Released Belize Travel Guide
The Belize Hotel Association prides itself in taking bold steps to break into new markets in various innovative ways. One such way is through strategic advertising in several languages allowing the association to promote its members and Belize in many different parts of the world. The development of the Spanish version of the BHA guide proved to be a very successful endeavor, and now the BHA is proactively moving into the French Market. Petit Fute is the editor of city guides and tourist and travel guides for 40 years and covers more than 630 destinations in France and worldwide, including 90 exclusive guides. In 2015, over three million tourists chose Petit Fute to organize their stay. The "country guides" are practical guides written for individual and group travelers. They also treat the cultural aspects of the destination and are printed in colors with a number of maps and pictures. Petit Fute offers paperback, Ebook and Web versions for its guides.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

San Pedro Local Organizations & Causes, for the spirit of giving
Ambergris Caye Crocodile Education Sanctuary, Ambergris Caye Elementary School, Belize Red Cross San Pedro, Isla Bonita School, IUCNSSC-Crocodile Specialist Group, Pack for a Purpose, SAGA Humane Society, San Pedro Cancer Society, San Pedro Lions Club.

No Caye Caulker Lobster Fest in 2017
This year we were faced with many obstacles and challenges, but with dedication, perseverance, and team work we were still able to pull off an enjoyable event. Furthermore, in the recent years it has become very challenging and disappointing to know that key players and/or beneficiaries of this event have no interest in assisting/supporting the event. We take the opportunity to remind all principals that the Caye Caulker Lobster Fest Committee is a non-profit organization. Each and every year the organizers invest a significant volume of their respective personal time to boost business for our island. There is only so much that we can do and thus without the support and cooperation from the business community, it becomes very difficult for us host an event as big as Lobster Fest. Therefore, at this time, with sadness in our hearts, we are announcing that the members of the committee have decided to take a break and see what the future holds for this festival. Once again, a special thanks those who have supported over the years and we truly hope that with increase support we can revive this festival in the near future. See you soon…

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES - OAS SCHOLARSHIPS
The Organization of American States (OAS), through the Department of Human Development, Education and Employment (DHDEE) and the following institutions; Galilee International Management Institute, Israel (GIMI), University of the West Indies (UWI) and International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) are offering scholarships and training opportunities to qualified candidates of the Americas, through the OAS Partnerships Program for Education and Training (PAEC).

MEDICAL SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY - I-SHOU UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) herein announces the scholarship opportunity offered by the I-Shou University School of Medicine for International Students Scholarship Program in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the International Cooperation and Development Fund (Taiwan ICDF). 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.

SCHEDULE OF OPERATIONS
The Department of Transport takes this opportunity to wish all busowners/operators across the entire country of Belize a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year. The Department of Transport would also like to remind all bus operators that they have a legal and binding contractual arrangement with the Government of Belize (Department of Transport) through their Road Service Permits to provide all daily bus runs to the commuting public on the days and time (Bus Schedule) stipulated on their Road Service Permits during this festive season. Bus operators are hereby advised that failing to provide the necessary runs in accordance with their Road Service Permits is an offence liable, on summary conviction, to a fine of five hundred dollars ($ 500.00) or to imprisonment for six (6) months, or to both such fine and term of imprisonment. It shall also be lawful for the Transport Board to revoke or cancel the Road Service Permit to an owner or operator of a motor omnibus.

San Pedro Town Council Holiday Hours
The San Pedro Town Council offices will be closing on: •Friday, December 23, 2016 at 12:00 noon, and resuming to regular working hours on Wednesday, December 28, 2016. •Friday, December 30, 2016 at 12 noon, and resuming to regular working hours on Tuesday, January 3, 2017. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Belize Int'l to Chetumal on Tropic starts Jan 16, 2017
Belize and Chetumal to be even closer. Tropic Air Belize Interjet to start flights January 16th, 2017.

Rotaract Christmas Basket Distribution
Feelgood news of the day.  The Rotaract Club of Benque distributed their Christmas gift baskets in Benque and Succotz, and the Rotaract Club of San Ignacio distributed gift baskets in San Marcos. "On our 3rd Annual Food Drive . Once again the Rotaract club of Benque Viejo distributed gift baskets to our lovely people form Benque and San Jose Succutz.  Thanks to all for thier full support. Giving smiles and happiness to our kind and loving people. Today, the Rotaract Club of San Ignacio went to bring Christmas to the Village of San Marcos in the Cayo District. The club distributed Christmas lunch and food baskets to all the families in the village and all the children received toys! The Navidad del Nino project is proudly sponsored by Unicomer-Courts Belize."

Western Border's Christmas celebrations
Season's Greetings from the BTB.

Christmas celebrations at the FSTV
Season's Greetings from your friends at the BTB!

Ka'Kabish Archaeological Research Project
It is no secret that our cultural and archaeological heritage is under threat of being destroyed by looters as well deforestation and agricultural advancement. We are proud to say one project is doing what they can to save one site from such a fate. Two months remain for the Ka'Kabish Archaeological Research Project to raise the money to purchase the land where this one vibrant city now sits. Visit the link below and see how you can contribute to save this site and preserve it for future generations to appreciate.

Congrats to all the winners of Caye Caulker Fuels for today's Christmas Raffle!
First prize went to Mr. Porfilio Guzman who won a 40 inch LED flat screen TV Second prize went to Carlos Ayala who won $100 worth of fuel Third prize went to Romel Diaz who won a Christmas ham Season's Greetings on behalf of the Management and Staff of Caye Caulker Fuels!

Government of Belize Responds to Guatemalan Fisheries Regulations
The Government of Belize wishes to remind the general public that the maritime spaces of Belize are established by the Maritime Areas Act of Belize which is wholly in accordance with international law. Recent reports in the media have referred to purported fishing zones claimed by Guatemala under its domestic legislation and regulations of 2002 and 2005. The Government of Belize points out that the Administration in office in Belize at the time of the promulgation of the legislation and regulations by Guatemala, must have been unaware of their existence. Otherwise, that previous Administration would surely have protested the flagrant violation of International Law and Belize's maritime sovereignty, which the regulations constituted. In any event the present Administration makes clear that there can be no validity to, or international or Belizean recognition of, any law or regulation in Guatemala or any other country that purports to infringe on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Belize.

Welcome Resource Center Holiday Cheer
The Welcome Resource Center is spreading a bit of holiday cheer with the people they serve. Over a hundred participants are being treated to a day of fun games, food and gifts!

What You Should Know about El Pilar
The name of El Pilar means watering basin, which is quite understandable if you consider the location of this ancient city. If you want to pinpoint the exact location of this ancient Mayan city, it’s safe to note that you can access it via San Ignacio as well as the Bullet Tree Falls. These are placed on the Belize River. Many underground streams are found here and that’s the reason why you will find an abundance of vegetation in this particular location. Again, this is understandable if you take into consideration the uniqueness of this place and the amazing benefits that it can deliver for any visitor.

Las Posadas
The San Pedro House of Culture is honored to be hosting the 8th night of Las Posadas this Friday, Dec. 23rd. Join us on the for Las Posadas as we celebrate and promote an island tradition. Belize Navidad.

Channel 7

Simone Biles In Belize, And Why Her Family Calls It Home
She won a record five medals at the Rio Olympics, and tonight Simone Biles is in Belize, the place her family calls home. Biles arrived at the PGIA this afternoon with her family from Houston Texas where they live. They held a press conference at the Biltmore where she was welcomed home, and told the media what she's looking forward to in a well deserved vacation: Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education: "Simone and her family, welcome home." Simone Biles: "I think it's time for a vacation so that's why we came down here with the family to spend time with it. We came a dual citizen because my mom is from here, the whole family we're all dual citizens so I thought it's pretty cool but I still compete for the U.S but whenever I come here I get to use the passport." Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education: "We are Belizeans no matter where we are and I think that Simone and her family are the best example to show us that we can put Belize on the map no matter where we reside. So I asked the gathering this afternoon to give her family and she will receive many applauses I'm sure for the time she's here so let's give her family that applause because they have done a great task in making sure that she's brought up with that Belizean nationalism in her. I'll tell you even though she doesn't reside here she's Belizean and more Belizean than some of us who live in Belize."

Nellie Cayetano Biles Explains Why Belize is Home For Her Family
Now, if you’re wondering what Simone’s connection to Belize is, it’s simple. Her step-Grandmother – who is also her adoptive mother is Nellie Cayetano Biles. She’s the daughter of former Senator and well-known Neal Pen Road businessman Silas Cayetano. She’s been bringing all her children – including Simone to Belize for years – she told us why it’s home to them:..

Welcome Motorcade For Simone
At just four feet 7 inches and 100 pounds, you might have missed her in the motorcade, but as one of the world's most elite, accomplished and finely tuned athletes, Simone Biles doesn't need to command any extra attention. In fact, she came to Belize trying to get away from all that. Still, she had to do some of that kind of ceremonial glad-handing today at Battlefield where she was the center of attention, receiving praise and congratulations for her achievements at the 2016 Olympics. Biles also got several gifts from government officials and athletes, and even received the key to Belize City from Mayor Darrell Bradley. We spoke to the Director of the BTB Karen Bevans about what her vacation plans are for the next few weeks... Karen Bevans, Director, BTB: "We just did a welcome ceremony and a basic overall welcome for her so she can feel at home in Belize. We tweeted to her, she responded. She took the time to make plans and get her family together and everyone to come to Belize. So we thought showing her how proud we are of her, recognizing the fact that she did this for Belize and again putting the name Belize out there because this is being seen internationally as well. So for more than one reasons, we thought that this was a fabulous idea. From the turnout and participation here today, I'm sure that you would agree with me as well."

Major Coast Guard Drug Find At Rocky Point
Rocky Point on Northern Ambergris Caye is one of the most drug-laden parts of Belize. That's because the Mexican cartels drop their drugs in the waters which adjoin Xcalak in Mexico. For this reason, the San Pedro drug kingpins have young men constantly combing the beach looking for drug drops. But, yesterday it was the Coast Guard doing the finding. Under circumstances which are still not clear, they came up with 65.3 pounds of drugs in Rocky Point. It has been labeled found property since no one was in the area.

Police Closing In On Man Who Killed Grandmother
Cayo police are getting closer to solving Paulina Urbelina Sanchez's murder. Police told us today that they have confirmed the identity of the shooter and are searching for him. Another break in the case is that the relative suspected to be involved in the shooting, has turned herself in along with her attorney. As we told you the 68 year old Sanchez was killed at her home in Santa Elena in front of her grand-daughters. It appears to have been a hit. We'll keep following this case.

Elrington Rejects Guatemalan Law
Last night, we showed you that controversial fisheries law from Guatemala. It claims Belizean territorial waters off the coast of the Toledo District, starting from Punta Gorda Town, all the way to Guatemala's Punta Cocolí. According to this regulation, any Guatemalan fisherman who fishes off the coast of Belize in this area, is doing so legally. Of course, according to Belizean law, that is completely illegal. Well, we've been doing a bit of checks, and it turns out that the regulation is not new. In fact, it was passed into Guatemalan law back in 2002. That's right; more 14 years ago. Yet, it is the first time that Belizeans are seeing it. Even the BDF General had no knowledge of it. But, make no mistake, it's there, and seen on this map, the portion highlighted in red, says that all of this area, including the Sarstoon River, makes up part of Zone 1 of their fisheries regulations. So, did the Belize Government know about it, and if yes, have they disputed it in the form of a diplomatic note of protest? That's what we asked Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington this evening. He said, that it was during the PUP's Godfrey Smith's time as Foreign Minister, and if they followed the established protocol, Belize would definitely have contested it with a diplomatic note of protest:

What Next With Referendum Law
Turning to the proposed amendments to the Referendum Act, as we told you, the Barrow Administration tabled a bill to amend the legislation at the last sitting of the House of Representatives. That was two weeks ago, and it is currently being reviewed by the House's Constitution and Foreign Affairs Committee. When it goes back to the House, the changes to the law will make it so that instead of a threshold of 60% of those who vote, only a simple majority will be required to make a referendum binding. A simple majority is only 50% plus 1, and today when we asked Elrington, he clarified that this doesn't mean the 50% of the registered voters of Belize must turn up to vote in the referendum. It simply means that 50% plus 1 of the total voters who show up on that day, will decide whether or not Belize agrees to submit Guatemala's territorial claim to the International Court of Justice. We asked him about the possible implications that a small minority could be decide the fate of Belize, which would be undesirable. Here's what he had to say on that topic:

The Elections Mess At NTUCB
This weekend, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize held its Annual General Meeting to elect a new executive. After the election, incumbent Marvin Mora was re-elected in an overwhelming majority. The problem is that the by-laws do not allow for a union member to be elected to office more than 2 times. Before being elected in early January 2015, Mora served as the 2nd Vice President under Dylan Reneau's Leadership. So, with those two elected terms under his belt, he was ineligible to serve a third term, but it appears that no one checked the NTUCB's by-laws, and so he participated in the elections, and he was duly elected. But, unfortunately, he cannot serve a third term. This afternoon, he told us what happened, and why he must step aside and allow the newly elected 1st Vice President to lead the NTUCB: Marvin Mora, Former President, NTUCB: "That is a section that deals with the amount of times an executive can run for office of the congress. Unfortunately for me, nobody remembered that I had ran 3 times. So, we went through the entire process of elections, somebody was nominated to run for the same post. We went into elections for my post as president again and I was elected again 47 votes to 8 votes."

Dean Dawson's Baby's Mother Makes A Plea
On Tuesday we told you about Dorian Pakeman's pending court case. 8 months ago the Press Office Director knocked down and killed Gardenia resident Dean Dawson Sr. Since then, no criminal charges have been brought against him and police say they are waiting for further order from the DPP in this very muddled case. But whatever the outcome of the criminal investigation, nothing can bring Dawson back. That is what the mother of his children Sherla Adolphus and her kids have to face for the rest of their lives. And Adolphus says she has been struggling just to get by. She came to our studios this morning in despair, calling on Pakeman or anyone to help. Sherla Adolphus - Mother of Dawson's Children: "Christmas...it's not nice for me right now. Right now I'm going through a lot of stress because I don't have any support for any of my children. I came to Belize this morning, don't know where to turn. I came here this morning to see what I can do for my kids because I don't have any support from anyone since their father died. I used to get help from the guy who killed him for just 2 months. Certain he'll give me a little money, but now I have not received anything, or heard anything, I called him, I texted him, he did not answer me."

Real Estate Brokers Lament Stamp Duty
Last night we told you about the emergency meeting of the Association of Real Estate Brokers of Belize. They're concerned about fast emerging changes in Central Bank regulations and Ministry of Natural Resource Policies - which have slowed down real estate transactions. We asked President Hugo Moguel about how the slowdown in the Real Estate sector affects the overall economy: Hugo Moguel, Pres., Assn. of Real Estate Broker of Bz: "You have to understand that real estate is our capital market, we don't have a stock market, this is how people exchange interest, and how people invest. It's a cleaner, easier way to bring investment into this country. I can tell you, tourism has been blooming, and real estate has been following along." Jules Vasquez, 7News: "Because of the state of flux at the land's department, transition, putting in new systems and changes in leadership, real estate transactions have slowed down."

Nellie Biles Explain Belizean Lineage
In about half an hour, Simone Biles and her family will be hosted by the Prime Minister at a dinner. It will surely be an event that her grandmother Nellie Biles Cayetano will enjoy. As you heard earlier she's the daughter of a former UDP stalwart and trustee, the now deceased Silas Cayetano. He died 5 years ago after spending extended time with her family in Houston. That's where he got to know Simone Biles and her sisters. But, Simone is not a blood relation to Silas Cayetano or Nellie Cayetano Biles. Nellie explained how she came to be Simone's Mother and grandmother:... Jules Vasquez, 7News: "Please explain your family relation with Simone because you are her step grandmother really." Nellie Cayetano - Simone's Grandmother: "That is correct I am married what was Simone's, my husband had a previous wife and Simone's biological mother is his daughter. So she had a total of 4 children when she was having difficulty with substance abuse at that time and we talked about, because the 4 children were then placed in a foster home and that information was shared with us. So we collectively thought that the best thing to do and I mean the only thing to do really is to help out. So we brought 4 of the children with us."

A Custom-made Christmas
Today it was the Customs and Excise Department's turn to spread the Christmas spirit. The departments employees held a Christmas party for the children of the Liberty Children's Home. The acting Comptroller of Customs, Colin Griffith and the Director of the children's home told us why events like these are so important for the children, especially at this time of the year... The kids were also visited by Santa Klaus who had a gift for each of them,

Lake I Woes
Lake Independence Boulevard, the road that connects the Philip Goldson and George Price highways, has been seeing its fair share of repairs recently. In October we noticed a few spots on the road that seemed to be breaking apart, so we reached out to Romel Berges, whose company RJB Construction paved the road. He didn't have much to tell us at the time, because an excavation to determine the problem had just started. Well, it's been a couple months - and another round of repairs are now underway, so we reached out again, this time to Christy Mastry, the General Manager of Belize Infrastructure Limited. Mastry told us that the problem was with the cement median, which was allowing water to seep into the road, and disturb the clay underneath. Mastry says that the work currently being done is to seal up the median, and that when it's finished we won't have to worry about the road breaking - which, it seems - shouldn't have been a worry in the first place.

Capital Cops Catch Weed
We've told you about the various Christmas police patrols that are in full effect. Well apart from that, there are the usual drug and weapon seizures . This evening BELMOPAN police busted 3 men with 2 pounds of weed in Salvapan. Marvin Barrera, Akeem Richards and Eden GOMEZ were arrested and charged for Drug Trafficking. Akeem Richards will be charged additionally for bribery as he tried to pay his way out with $300 dollars.

Bus Runs During Holidays
For you commuters who are worried about getting home or getting around on the bus this Christmas weekend, Relax! All bus runs will be like any other day. Well, at least that is what the Department of Transport expects from bus operators. Today they sent out a press release reminding bus operators of their " legal and binding contractual arrangement with the Government of Belize through their Road Service Permits." The release continues by saying "They must provide all daily bus runs to the commuting public on the days and time stipulated on their Road Service Permits during this festive season". And the bus operators who don't want to follow through with their runs and feel like taking it easy for the holidays like has happened before, they will be fined $500 or imprisoned for six (6) months, or both such fine and term of imprisonment. It ends by saying "It shall also be lawful for the Transport Board to revoke or cancel the Road Service Permit to an owner or operator of a motor omnibus."

Channel 5

Simone Biles is Here and Warmly Welcomed
Hundreds of Belizeans gathered today to get a glimpse and take pictures of the world’s best female gymnast Simone Biles. The famed athlete who won five medals at the 2016 [...]

Can You Help Police Solve Baby Janeeka’s Death?
Two weeks ago, a month shy of her second birthday, twenty-three-month-old Janeeka Campbell suffered a most brutal and senseless death in St. Matthews’s village, in the Cayo District. According to [...]

Suspects Sought in Two of Three Recent Belmopan-area Murders
Police in the Belmopan area have been kept busy recently with several murder cases. Teakettle’s Abner Vasquez was beaten to death in the village on December second. On December fifteenth, [...]

Belize Action Frowns on U.N. Turnaround Over LGBT Expert
On Monday, a vote at the United Nations General Assembly cleared the way for the appointment of an independent expert, Thailand’s Vi-tit Mun-ta-bhorn, on sexual orientation and gender identity issues. [...]

Scott Stirm Says Some Animals are not More Equal than Others
According to Stirm, the U.N.’s endorsement continues and possibly accelerates the slippery slide of humanity toward accepting abnormal and harmful behaviour. He also contends that it harms the freedoms guaranteed [...]

What’s Become of the Church-State Commission?
The Church State Commission, first described as a “morality commission,” was announced in the aftermath of August’s Section Fifty-Three decision. Chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber, it was set [...]

G.O.B.: Guatemala Fishing Law Doesn’t Count
Late this evening, the Belize Press Office issued a release responding to the Guatemalan Fisheries Regulations, a story that the media broke on Wednesday. The release goes on to state, [...]

A Handsome Sum for Chon Saan to Become Immigration Belmopan?
Will the Government of Belize pay as much as four million Belize dollars for the Chon Saan Palace Restaurant building in Belmopan? That’s what News Five sources say, though manager [...]

Fire Service Stops Potentially Catastrophic Fire in St. Martin’s Area
A potentially dangerous house fire was averted this afternoon, thanks to prompt response by personnel from the National Fire Service.  Shortly after twelve o’clock, a call was placed to the [...]

New Equipment for City Council as Part of Flood Mitigation Project
The Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Project has brought significant changes to the north side of Belize City, particularly the busy residential areas of Belama and closer to downtown on Douglas Jones [...]

Concrete Works on Pause for Christmas
The Belize City Council has been steadily working on its concreting project for Belize City, converting a couple hundred roadways to concrete. However, Christmas season means a break for some [...]

Police Officers’ Kids in Belmopan Receive Pre-Christmas Treat
The spirit of the season is not only limited to Belize City. This afternoon in the nation’s capital, a special party was organized for the children of police officers in [...]

Christmas for the Mentally Challenged in Belize City
The Welcome Resource Center held its annual Christmas party for its one hundred and fifty plus persons living with a mental condition. Staff, volunteers and donors engaged the participants in [...]

Group Hug in Action at B.T.L. Park
There was a party at B.T.L. Park on Wednesday – with live music and lots of gifts. Local charity Group Hug got out two hundred children and treated them to [...]

Salvation Army’s Helping Hand
Over eight hundred persons this year will receive Christmas hampers courtesy of the Salvation Army. Today, the hefty bags of goodies were handed over to recipients at several locations across [...]

Donations Slow, But Kettle Drive Keeps On
Now the Christmas hampers to needy families is just one of the many activities that the Salvation Army does during the season. Those include the annual Christmas party for over [...]

LOVE FM

Husband Pleads Guilty; Wife’s Verdict Remains Pending for Marijuana
A Nicaraguan national who was remanded into custody after she was charged with drug trafficking for 10.7 grams of cannabis has been released on bail. Twenty-six year old Katley Molina, a domestic worker of Orange Walk Town, met bail in the sum of $5,000 that was offered to her today by Justice Adolph Lucas after […]

Burglars Escape with Jewelry and Gifts Worth 20K+
Police are investigating a robbery that netted thieves more than twenty one thousand dollars. A businesswoman of Seine Bight Village reported to Police that she closed her gift shop located in Placencia on Monday evening at six o’clock. She said when her daughter opened the shop the following morning she noticed that it had been […]

Authorities Seek Missing Men
Two men have been reported missing in the Belmopan area. 36-year-old Emilio Lopez, Salvadoran national of Springfield Community on the Hummingbird Highway was reported missing. Lopez was last seen on Saturday, December 10 at about five thirty in the evening. He was wearing a white, short sleeved shirt, black long pants and black tennis shoes. Lopez […]

Christmas with the Homeless and Mentally Challenged
Dozens of men and women who are currently being entertained at the Belize City Resource Centre on Tibruce Street in Belize City is a group of persons that Joyce Ellis says the population does not normally gravitate towards. These men and women are either homeless or mentally ill but despite these hurdles, today they are […]

Welcome to Belize, Simone! We are so proud of you!
Simone Biles is the most decorated American gymnast, winning 19 Olympic and World Championship medals. Born in Ohio in 1997, Simone Biles has become one of America’s top gymnasts. After dominating at the junior elite level, she won her first U.S. and world all-around titles in 2013. In 2015, she claimed a record third straight world all-around title. She went on to lead the U.S. Olympic women's gymnastics team, nicknamed "The Final Five," to win gold at the 2016 Summer Games, and dominated the competition, winning gold in the women's individual all-around, vault and floor exercise and bronze in the balance beam. With 19 Olympic and World Championship medals, she is the most decorated American gymnast.


Re: Today's Belize News: December 23, 2016 [Re: Marty] #520404
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The Guardian

Simone Biles’ arrives in Belize
Following her astounding performance at the 2016 Rio Olympics, the Belize Tourism Board sent out a tweet congratulating Simone Biles and her team, the Final Five, on their performance and taking the opportunity to invite them to visit Belize. Simone readily accepted the invitation stating, “My second home, you betta Belize we’re coming.” On Thursday December 22nd, the Nation of Belize will warmly welcome Simone and her family to their second home- Belize where they will spend the Christmas holiday. To honour her arrival and officially welcome her, the Belize Tourism Board has organized a Grand Welcome Motorcade on December 22nd from 4p.m. to 5:30p.m. Joining Simone in this motorcade will be representatives from various sporting associations; Belize’s volleyball, cycling, bodybuilding, martial arts, football and track and field athletes will also be celebrated during this event. Also in attendance, will be representatives from our women’s and youth groups. BTB takes the opportunity to encourage all sport fans, athletes and the wider public to join us in the motorcade as we celebrate this momentous occasion.

Man accused of brutalizing 93-year-old gets off
Chester Noralez is free after police could not locate the case file for dangerous harm upon 93-year-old Patrick Grant. Grant, who lives by himself on Fern Lane in Belize City, was in a coma after he was savagely assaulted in his home by a thief who stole his TV on December 27 of last year. Police believe that thief is Grant’s own neighbour, Chester Noralez, 35. Grant suffered severe head injuries and had to be placed in a coma. According to reports, Grant was asleep when an intruder entered the house and attacked, hitting him several times to the head and face. As soon as Grant was incapacitated, his attacker proceeded to ransack the house and ended up stealing Grant’s television. As soon as his family was informed of the assault, they rushed over and took him to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was forced to fight for his life. Police investigation led to a quick arrest and charge of Noralez from whom the stolen television was retrieved.

Harvest Caye opens up to Belizean media
When their cruise ship docks at the island, they will be able to easily get ashore via the only berthing facility in Belize that is able to accommodate cruise ships of this size. They enter the “Village” where they are greeted by Belizean artisans who are able to sell their wares. They are given a permanent place in this part of the caye to allow guests to buy memorabilia to remind them of Belize. Once they have had enough of the gift shops, they can visit the Landshark Bar and Grill. That is a restaurant which brings the Jimmy Buffett restaurant chain from the US to Belizean soil. Readers will remember that it has indoor and outdoor accommodations, with an upper deck, and it can seat several hundred people. Landsharks is managed by Belizean businessman Dustin Bowen and his company Provisions Belize. His company is contracted to cater to all the food and beverage needs of the thousands of guests who visit the island every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Bowen employs 130 Belizeans to staff the Landsharks, and 10 other bar and grill facilities that have been strategically set up all across the island. Landsharks is right next to the island’s 1500 square-foot pool, which is also capable of accommodating hundreds of guests. If the guests want to swim in the sea, they can do so at the beachfront portion of the island.

Prime Minister Christmas Message
This year I have been made especially conscious of the hope and blessings that Christmas represents. The continuing miracle of Jesus’s birth, put on this earth by God expressly to save us, is renewed for everyone at this time. The nativity is the source of our faith and the wellspring of our belief that God, in Christ, is our guardian, our refuge and our strength through good times and through bad. It is also the fount of our obligation to be our sister’s keeper and our brother’s keeper. While that Christian duty is an all year one, we practice it with particular ardency during this season.

Aragon Christmas Cup
After several months of intense competition, the Aragon Christmas Cup came to an explosive end on Sunday December 18. On this day two teams faced each other in a battle that would see the winner walking away with $5000.00 Belize Dollars. It was fireworks from the first whistle blow as Carmelita FC tacked the tried and tested two time defending champs – Progresso FC. The game took its full course and then some, as they two teams played exceptionally well giving the fans more than value for money. After the expiration of regulation time the match went into overtime and then into penalty kicks. It is then that Carmelita vanquished the defending champs and walked away with the coveted first place prize and trophy.

BEL Submits Proposal to PUC to Maintain Electricity Rates
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) has made a submission to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), proposing that the Mean Electricity Rate (MER) is maintained at $0.3699 per kWh for the remainder of the Annual Tariff Period: January 1 to June 30, 2017. The Company is also proposing to simplify the tariff basket for all Industrial customers into a single “Industry” classification. If approved by the PUC, medium and large manufacturers and processing plants as well as others engaged in value-added production will benefit from a new rate structure that will lower their electricity bills over time. BEL’s submission made on December 10, 2016 is in fulfillment of its Mission “to provide reliable electricity at the lowest sustainable cost, stimulate national development and improve the quality of life in Belize.”

Unauthorized Use of the Ministry’s Name and Logo
The Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation has been made aware that an entity or group is using the name and logo of the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation & Poverty Alleviation to promote a “Take a Child Home for Christmas” campaign. The Ministry, however, has NOT been contacted by any group or individual regarding such a campaign and is not collaborating with the entity promoting the program. The group’s use of the Ministry’s name and logo, as well as the name and picture of the Dorothy Menzies Child Care facility is therefore not only unauthorized by the Ministry, but is misleading to the public. The group has been asked to cease and desist from advertising any such campaign using the Ministry’s name, logo, or residential care facilities.

Spreading the Love Orange Walk East Style
This time of the year means a lot of things for everyone, for some it is a time for family reunions and parties while for others it means gifts and sharing. Well for one UDP area representative, it means just that – gifts and sharing. Honorable Elodio Aragon Jr. has this week been very busy in his constituency spreading Christmas joy to old and young alike. The Orange Walk East Area Representative was in Palmar Village on Saturday, Santa Marta Village on Sunday and Carmelita Village on Tuesday and Tower Hill on Wednesday where he partook in Yuletide Celebrations with the residents of these villages. In every case toys were distributed to each and every child of every village. Not one child was left without a toy and it was a great satisfaction to see the excitement and happiness in each child’s face. The sharing was not limited to the kids as the adults had their fair share of enjoyment. Mr. Aragon and the Orange Walk East Committee managed to raise funds for the purchase of hundreds of toys for the children and attractive prizes to raffle.

Defence Minister Serves BDF Soldiers at Christmas Luncheon and Award Ceremony
Minister of Defence Hon. John Saldivar was main speaker today at the Belize Defence Force Annual Christmas Luncheon and Award Ceremony held at the BDF Headquarters at Price Barracks. In his address to officers and soldiers of the BDF and other invited guests, Hon. Saldivar stated, “The Belize Defence Force can be proud of its many achievements and accomplishments over the past year; and indeed they were significant achievements administratively, operationally and in training.” Commenting on the recognition of the invaluable service rendered by the BDF, he remarked, “At the Ministry we are cognizant of all the hard work that the men and women of the BDF perform on a daily basis, and I am extremely proud of your continued resilience and undeniable effectiveness despite the limited resources. My detailed tour gave me a first-hand look at the tremendous work that the BDF does and indeed the support required.”

Defence Minister congratulates and presents awards to members of Belize Coast Guard
Minister of Defence Hon. John Saldivar was main speaker today at the Belize Defence Force Annual Christmas Luncheon and Award Ceremony held at the BDF Headquarters at Price Barracks. In his address to officers and soldiers of the BDF and other invited guests, Hon. Saldivar stated, “The Belize Defence Force can be proud of its many achievements and accomplishments over the past year; and indeed they were significant achievements administratively, operationally and in training.” Commenting on the recognition of the invaluable service rendered by the BDF, he remarked, “At the Ministry we are cognizant of all the hard work that the men and women of the BDF perform on a daily basis, and I am extremely proud of your continued resilience and undeniable effectiveness despite the limited resources. My detailed tour gave me a first-hand look at the tremendous work that the BDF does and indeed the support required.”

Triple fatality in Orange Walk
Two families from Yo Creek Village in the Orange Walk District are in mourning after 3 of their youths passed away in a traffic accident. They are 22 year-old Minor Hernandez, and his neighbours 26 year-old Jason Gongora, and his cousin Giovani Gongora. The massive collision happened at around 8:30 p.m., on Saturday, December 17, 2016. All three men were travelling in a 1998 Ford F-150 pickup on the Yo Creek Road, and they were only 3 and a half miles away from Orange Walk Town. It is not known at this time how exactly the accident happened, but they had a head-on crash into a Tillett Bus, which was carrying passengers to the rural parts of the Orange Walk District. The impact caused the front portions of vehicle to be completely destroyed, and the bus’ engine and transmission were torn apart. All 3 men were flung from the vehicle, and it is believed that they died at the moment of the collision or shortly thereafter from the head and bodily injuries they suffered.

Fisheries Administrator, Ms. Beverly Wade’s Key Note Address at World Heritage Site Forum held December 6, 2016 at Bliss Center for the Performing Arts
Twenty-three years ago, we embarked on a journey that would see our barrier reef system receiving world heritage status. In March 1993, Belize with funding from the World Heritage Centre held a three-day workshop organized by the Belize National Commission for UNESCO to identify features in Belize that could demonstrate outstanding universal value. From that workshop, Belize…through the then Coastal Zone Management Unit and the Fisheries Department…. nominated to the World Heritage Centre a “cluster” world heritage site which would include protected areas that would provide significant value in demonstrating the importance of our complex reef system. With a total area of 96,300 hectares, the seven sites represent 12% of the total barrier reef and atolls. These sites: the Bacalar Chico Forest and Marine Reserve, Blue Hole National Monument, Half Moon Caye National Monument, South Water Caye Marine Reserve, Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve, Laughing Bird Caye National Park and the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve represent this distinctive coral reef ecosystem in the Western Hemisphere.

Elderly widow gunned down in her home in Santa Elena, Cayo
An elderly female and resident of Santa Elena Town, in the Cayo District, was gunned down in her home on Sunday of this past weekend. Paulina Urbelina Sanchez a resident of number five Orange Street, off the Loma Luz Boulevard in Santa Elena was awaiting dinner from her daughter when a lone gunman of Hispanic descent –believed to be a minor--entered her home and fired several shots at her. She had screamed at the gunman in Spanish “Porfavor no me mates” but here request went unheeded. Witnesses to the crime report seeing the gunman jumping into a nearby vehicle and escaping from the scene. Shortly thereafter, on that Sunday, December 18th at about 7:30 pm San Ignacio Police visited the La Loma Luz Hospital where they observed the lifeless body of Sanchez. The body of the 61 year old female had multiple gunshot wounds to the upper body. Her body was transported to the San Ignacio Town Hospital Morgue where it awaits a post mortem.

$5 weed may result in deportation
Honduran national Gustavo Adolfo Borgas Gonzalez, 23, will have to spend the Christmas holidays behind bars at the Belize Central Prison after he was busted on Fabers Road with a $5 marijuana draw, 0.7 grams, on Monday, December 19. Gonzalez wasted no time and pled guilty to one count of drug possession when he appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza on Tuesday, December 20. Normally the magistrate would impose a fine for this charge. However, the issue of Gonzalez’s immigration status was raised after he struggled to speak English in court. With the assistance of an interpreter he was asked to produce his immigration documents. Gonzalez could not do so. Therefore, he was sentenced to one month imprisonment for the drug possession conviction and was additionally charged with failure to produce immigration documents. He wasted no time and once again pleaded guilty to the charge. He was imposed a fine of $1,000 which he was ordered to pay forthwith or serve six months imprisonment. Since he was unable to pay the fine, Gonzalez was transported to the Belize Central Prison. The sentences are to run concurrently so Gonzalez will serve only six months in prison.

Minor arrested for BEL robbery
A 16-year-old minor is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after he was charged for robbing a BEL security guard of his service firearm. The robbery occured last week Thursday, December 15, at the BEL compound on the Phillip Goldson Highway. The security guard reported to police that he was approached by two men who overpowered him and took away his gun. The minor was detained on the same day of the incident. According to reports, he was on a bus heading towards the Southside of Belize City when police caught him. He claimed that he went to visit a female friend at a high school near BEL. He then left and got on a city bus. Police intercepted the bus in front of the Social Security Board on Princess Margaret Drive. The minor was taken off the bus and escorted to the police station where he was positively identified as one of the persons who robbed the BEL security guard. Police investigation continues as a second person remains at large.

Man murdered near Belmopan
A stabbing incident last Friday at number 8 Guyana Street in the San Martin area, Belmopan City, Cayo District, has resulted in one death. Belmopan Police visited the Western Regional Hospital and observed the lifeless body of Freddy Cerritos, a 34 year old Belizean Mason. Police observed on his body several stab wounds just above the left ankle. The Doctor on duty had pronounced him dead on 16th December 2016. Police officers are now seeking the suspect who is a Honduran and is known to them. Investigations into this murder continues as the motives are unknown at the time; however the stabbing occurred due to a misunderstanding between both persons.

Man found murdered by Buena Vista in Cayo
Family members discovered the decomposing body of Belize resident and farmer Manuel Medrano near Buena Vista Village in the Cayo District at around midday last Thursday. The father of eleven children was found wrapped in a blanket and in a pond near his farm. A post mortem has revealed that Medrano had been strangled. Family members of Manuel Medrano suspect that it was a case of robbery that resulted in them losing a loved family member. As family members of Manuel Medrano report that his wallet, pellet gun and a number of important documents has gone missing at the farm house where he worked. Also gone missing from the 60 year old's farm was a black Milun motor-bike.

Aggravated burglary in Western Cayo
There was a reported case of forceful entry into a business place in Western Cayo. Aura Marina Ramos 43 year old Belizean Saleswoman of Calla Creek Village in the Cayo District has reported that about 8:30 pm on Thursday of last week whilst at her home, an intruder unlawfully came into her place. Ramos heard someone unlock the front door and shortly after a male Hispanic person with dark clothing wrapped around his face and wearing a gray T shirt, black short pants and a pair of slippers, entered with a knife in his right hand. Fearing for her life she immediately ran towards the back door, but was caught by the intruder, who then pulled her towards him and placed the knife to her throat. A struggle ensued between Ramos and the intruder where she sustained a cut wound to her right hand whilst trying to wrestle the knife away. The male person then uttered for her to keep quiet and then pulled her handbag away.

Chinese store in San Ignacio robbed
Three men have entered a Chinese store in San Ignacio Town and robbed its proprietor. Jun Wen Li, 44 year old Chinese Businessman residing at the corner of Joseph Andrews and 3rd Street, San Ignacio Town, Cayo District, reported that on Friday of last week at about 3:13 pm he was robbed in broad daylight hours. Li was sitting behind the counter in his City Corner Supermarket, when a dark skinned male person entered his store wearing a grey jacket with the hood over his head. Another male person then entered right after him dressed in a black T shirt and a Black and Grey camouflage 3/4 pants and a grey shirt over his head and he was holding a silver 9 mm pistol. This second male person then pointed his gun at Li and his workers. A third dark skinned male person entered the store dressed in a white shirt and a black shirt over his head and proceeded to go behind the counter to take out money out of the cash register, as well as a black smart Samsung phone value at $90.00 Belize currency and a 10 inch IPod Air valued at $500.00 US.

Brothers busted with weed, Kirk Lamb takes rap
Belize City resident, Kirk Lamb, 33, has to pay $10,000 by December of 2017 or spend three years imprisonment for 236 grams of marijuana. The bust was made on Friday, December 16, at Kirk and David Lamb’s home at #20 Saint Peter’s Street in the Kings Park area. According to members of the Northside Strike Team, they visited #20 Saint Peter’s Street and met the two brothers fixing a weed whacker. They informed the brothers that they were there to conduct a search for illegal firearms and drugs. During the search, they found two black plastic bags containing cannabis in one of the rooms. The brothers were arrested and escorted to the police station where the weed was weighed and amounted to 236 grams.

Men charged in bizarre Mark Phillips shooting set Free
Mark Phillips, 18, a resident of Armadillo Street in Belize City, was shot on August 20, 2015. However, the would be complainant turned out to be a suspect in an execution attempt gone wrong. Phillips, 16 at the time, was out on bail at the time of the shooting and had a court imposed curfew as part of the bail conditions. He told police that he went to buy food close to his curfew time just so that he would not violate it and risk being jailed once again. This was when he passed by the Queen Square Anglican Primary School compound, which is located at the corner of Armadillo and Dolphin Streets. There he saw a few of his friends playing basketball. Shortly after he stopped to watch his friends play, a gunman who he knows, approached and fired a shot at him. He and his friends ran away and while running he was shot in the lower abdomen area. Police investigation; however, revealed that Phillips was shot by an armed friend. Allegations are that they were trying to ambush Delbert Palacio through an alley near the Queen Square Primary School.

BTL launches “Most Advanced Network in the Region”
The Belize Telemedia Limited held its final regional launching of its 4G LTE network on Friday, December 16, in Belize City so Belize is now officially home to the most reliable and advanced network system in Central America and the Caribbean. When the company announced the agreement with HAUWEI for the development of the 4G LTE network in March of this year, Anwar Barrow, Chairman of BTL’s Executive Committee, said, “This is the Rolls-Royce of networks we are getting.” Fastforward nine months later and few people would dare to disagree. The main criticism of BTL’s project was in reference to the cost. The company’s only competitor, Speednet, had recently launched its 4G LTE network for only $9 million and BTL was purchasing the technology for $40 million. This raised eyebrows across the board. BTL’s Chairman, Nestor Vasquez, gave a reason for this and it was probably not enough to calm the skeptics. He said, “I can only give you one simple answer, we are not buying the same thing - that’s for sure.” Vasquez could have probably elaborated a bit more – that’s for sure – but the only effective explanation would have to be left for the network itself.

Max Orosco and Windell Thurton to stand trial for murder
Max Orosco, 22, and Windell Thurton, 19, will stand trial in the April 2017 Session of the Supreme Court for the murder of Ian Blair. Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer ruled that the prosecution established a prema facie case for murder during a preliminary inquiry on Tuesday, December 20. Prosecutor in the case, Cpl. Christopher Smith, presented statements from as many as nine witnesses, including Dr. Marcos Rugama Miranda who was also injured during the home invasion/murder. On Wednesday, January 27, of this year, Rugama Miranda’s home on Simon Lamb Street was invaded my armed men. According to police investigation, at around 1:40 a.m., the doctor was outside on his back verandah picking in freshly laundered clothes. He returned inside and that was when he found two dark complexioned men assaulting his friend, Ian Blair. One of them was armed with a gun and the other with a knife. The doctor grabbed a piece of furniture and other appliances and threw it at the men in an attempt to rescue his friend. Blair managed to use the distraction to his advantage and he ran into the bedroom. The man with the knife ran after Rugama and stabbed him in the center of the chest. He collapsed right at that spot and when police arrived on the scene they found him bleeding and injured.

Marvin Myvett tells judge weed is for epilepsy
Marvin Myvett, 31, of Paslow Lane in San Ignacio Town is at the Belize Central Prison after he was busted in Belize City with 123 grams of marijuana and charged for drug trafficking. Myvett was unrepresented when he appeared before Magistrate Norman Rodriguez on Wednesday, December 21. Before giving a plea, Myvett asked if he could first explain his case. He told Magistrate Rodriguez that he did have a bag of weed in his possession but not for drug trafficking because he does not sell. He explained that he suffers from epilepsy so he uses the weed for treatment. He boils some and smokes some. With that said the prosecutor agreed to accept a guilty plea for drug possession instead of drug trafficking. Possession is a far less serious offense but the threshold is 60 grams. Myvett was given a huge break but his luck would soon run out.

Men busted with 4 kilos of weed
Dean Edward Cain, 35, of #101 Amara Avenue and Alston Sydney Adolphus, 39, of #427 Jesus Kenn Street, Belama, are out on bail after they were busted with 4.1 kilograms of weed in Ladyville. Officers of the Gang Suppression Unit were on mobile patrol in the Ladyville area on Friday, December 16, when their attention was drawn to a black Mercedes SUV. The officers pulled over the vehicle near the intersection of the Philip Goldson Highway and Ladyville Technical High School where the two occupants were informed that a search would be conducted on the vehicle for illegal drugs and firearm. The occupants agreed and complied with police. Nothing incriminating was found on the men so the vehicle was then taken to the Ladyville Police Station for a thorough search. The men were asked if they had anything to declare. According to police, Adolphus said, “I done know da somebody knock me off. I have thing inna the vehicle so I wah declare the drugs I have.” When asked where in the vehicle he had the drugs, he said, “in the tire”. As a result, the officers went to check a spare tire at the back of the vehicle.

Belize Defence Force and the Belmopan Bandits Premier League of Belize finals
The Premier League of Belize 2016-2017 Opening Season Competition will enter its final round on Saturday 24th December 2016, with game one of the championship series at the MCC Grounds in Belize City, when the host-team the Belize Defence Force will begin its march against the defending champions the Belmopan Bandits. The game is scheduled to commence at 4:30 pm. Meanwhile, the second game in the series is scheduled for Saturday 31st December, 2016, at 7:30 pm out at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan. On Sunday 18th December, 2016, at the MCC Grounds, the Belize Defence Force eliminated the Police United FC from the competition when it defeated them by the score of 2-0 to secure the second and final spot in the championship. The goals for the Belize Defence Force were scored by Vallan Symms in the 81st minute of play via a penalty kick and by Kyle Bunda in the 87th minute of play for the whitewash win.

Play for Change, World Baseball Softball Confederation launch official charity partnership
The Play for Change (PFC) Charitable trust and the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) today announced a new partnership that will enable more children around the world to benefit from PFC’s sports programmes, which aim to improve health, education, employment and inequality outcomes. With baseball and softball’s global positioning across more than 140 countries, the PFC and WBSC partnership will be able to increase availability of educational/health/social sports programmes to reach the lives of more children and their communities around the world. PFC, through their carefully designed sports programmes, has seen participation from over 6,000 children this year through sports such as badminton, basketball, football and volleyball. PFC will be able to further expand the reach of the programmes in 2017 with the addition of baseball and softball. PFC and WBSC will work together to begin baseball/softball programmes in targeted territories while boosting programme resources (e.g., baseball/softball educational materials, coaching/training, kit and equipment) worldwide. PFC and WBSC will also plan joint fundraising activities.

Coast Guard and Kelly Street wins in CYDP semi-final round
The Conscious Youth Development Programme Peace Cup Tournament semi-final round continued on Saturday 17th December, 2016, with two games on the schedule. In the first game played, Coast Guard defeated Survivors by the score of 6-0. The goals for Survivors were scored by Arthur Garbutt, Qrvin Wade (3), Steven Martinez and Giermo Ramirez. In the second semi-final game that was played, Kelly Street defeated Tut Bay FC by the score of 2-1. The goals for Kelly Street were scored by Tareek Muschamp while the only goal of the game for Tut Bay FC was scored by Brian Martinez. The competition will resume on Saturday 7th January, 2017.

2017 National Elite Basketball League season to commence on January 13
The Commissioner of the National Elite Basketball League Karim Juan informed the general public that the NEBL will commence its fourth season on Friday 13th January, 2017. The fourth season will see eight teams competing for the top prize. The teams that will be competing in the 2017 campaign will be the Orange Walk Running Rebels, Belize Hurricanes, Belize City No Limit, San Pedro Tiger Sharks, Belmopan Bandits, Dangriga Warriors, Cayo Western Ballaz and a new franchise from Chetumal, Mexico. It is noted that games will be played in Chetumal, and the Chetumal team will also play games in Belize, using the same home and away format. For the up-coming season, each team will have a shot clock, which will greatly enhance the competitive nature of the game. The defending champions, the Belize Hurricanes will open the 2017 championship on Friday 13th January, 2017.

WORDS OF LIFE with Barry Fraser
Over the past four weeks we have been looking at prophecies concerning the long-awaited Messiah, and how they were fulfilled by Jesus of Nazareth. Now the wait is over. Christmas recalls the birth of the Savior, Emmanuel, God is with us. The Gospel writers Matthew and Luke give us two accounts of the birth of Jesus. Mark begins with the ministry of John the Baptist. However, John takes us back to the very beginning of life on this planet, the creation of all things, and the creation of humanity. John 1:1 & 2 informs us that: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” “In the beginning” means eternity past. God always existed, along with the Word.

PUP Surrogates
A recent editorial in the Amandala newspaper suggested that UDP supporters are targeting and even ridiculing the BNTU and its president, Luke Palacio. I have listened to almost all the talk shows on WAVE Radio and have read related articles in the GUARDIAN, WHICH are the main UDP voices out here and I cannot recall any disrespect to the teacher’s union or its leaders. All the other media houses have nothing but adulation for Palacio et al. Especially our local version of Donald Trump, Louis Wade, who hates the UDP with a passion. I know this because the cable provider here in OW, Centaur, has Wade and his bigoted sidekick on the screen 24 /7. As soon as you turn on the TV you will hear that nauseating Texan drawl and see the two-horned dragon filling your diagonals with brewed hatred aimed at this UDP Government. Wade is the true living example of unbridled fanaticism, Mr. Hyde; the man spews propaganda day in, day, out; with his never-ending zealous political attacks from an allegedly Christian TV network. Hogwash I say. The other example of thin –skinned fanaticism is the everlasting perpetual PUP face Eamon Courtney. Watch his eyes how they roll when he speaks. Another AUDREY Matura.

Christmas Message - Bishop Philip Wright Anglican Diocese of Belize
Greetings and best wishes this Christmas Season from the clergy and people of the Anglican Diocese of Belize. For quite some time now I have viewed life on earth as primarily trying to make sense of, and thereby trying to cope with, the disconnect between what should be and what really is. How we respond to this disconnect largely determines what we ultimately make of our life and, as such, can have a direct correlation to the quality of the life we live. This applies to our personal life, our professional life, and our religious life. The inconsistences and contradictions of life have been a source of interest and challenge to the believer and non-believer alike for a very long time. The celebration of Christmas, which for me does not make much sense without an appreciation of the preceding Advent Season (largely because of the rich and significant scripture readings which cover the season), ought to forcefully bring to our collective and individual consciousness the fact that we continue to live in this disconnect I mentioned earlier. Not only does our annual celebration occur between the first and second coming of Christ, but it also occurs within the space of our disconnected realities – between what should be and what is. We simply need to take a look at what is happening around the world these days to appreciate how true this is. Nationally and internationally we see the failings of those in leadership; the injustices perpetuated by those with the power to do so; the debased behaviour of dictators and criminals alike; and the increasing disregard for the values and principles we once were prepared to adhere to.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Bus schedule for festive season
The Department issued a release reminding all bus operators of the legal and binding contractual arrangement with the Government of Belize (Department of Transport) through their Road Service Permits to provide all daily bus runs to the commuting public on the days and time […]

Almost $22,000 of items stolen from gift shop in Placencia
According to police reports, on Monday 33-year-old Rosa Max, a businesswoman of Seine Bight Village reported that on Monday night around 6:00, she closed her gift shop (Rosa’s Gift Shop) located on the sidewalk near Friends Restaurant in Placencia Village. On Tuesday morning […]

Former police Minister freed of charges in court
Former Minister of Police, Dough Singh, appeared in court on Wednesday. Singh appeared before Magistrate Norman Rodriguez to answer to charges brought against him by the Belize Port Authority. According to the Port Authority, Singh was the owner of a boat which was used five […]

Man missing from Springfield community
According to police reports, on Monday, Eric Moreira of #10 Orquidia Street Las Flores area Belmopan reported that on Saturday, his uncle, 36-year-old Emilio Lopez, Salvadoran of Springfield Community on the Hummingbird Highway went missing. Lopez was last seen on Saturday evening around 5:30 […]

Elderly man from Valley of Peace missing
On Monday, around 7:30 a.m., Xiomara Maldonado of Valley of Peace visited the Valley of Peace Police Sub-Station and reported that her father 59-year-old Arnulfo Maldonado has been missing from their house since Sunday. She stated that he has mental problems and is forgetful. […]

Star athlete Simone Biles arrives in Belize today
Last week, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) announced that Olympic gymnast Simone Biles would be arriving in Belize for a motorcade and invited the general public to come out. Biles made international headlines this past summer at the 2016 Olympics held in Rio de […]

Belize City man robbed of monies he posted on Facebook
A man was robbed of a $3,000 bank loan he had just received after he posted photos of the cash in a Facebook group. According to the family, the incident occurred sometime around 3 a.m. on Wednesday. Two men one of whom was armed […]

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Acquafino Island Resort & Spa aims for the ultimate in tailored luxury
“Holy sunset!” I thought to myself, as I took my spot on a poolside lounge chair at one of the newest luxury island resorts off the coast of Ambergris Caye. And where was this spectacular sunset you may ask? It is at Acquafino Island Resort and Spa. Just west of Ambergris Caye, there is a little island that is home to what promises to be an ultra-luxury private getaway. While the resort is not open yet, it has been the location for a couple fund raising events and we were offered a sneak peek of what is to come at Acquafino. It’s just a five-minute boat ride to the resort, and the perfect chance to marvel at the beautiful western coast of San Pedro Town. At Acquafino, the 230-degree views of the Caribbean Sea set the mood for the perfect vacation. The focal point of the resort has to be their beach club – 10,000 square feet palapa covered area with bar and seating showcases an infinity swimming pool facing the western horizon. The beach club is the perfect spot to catch some fabulous sunsets. Raise your glass to toast the surreal hues of the sky as the sun says goodbye to another day in paradise.

A Great Christmas Party and Parade
I was happy they chose El Patio for the San Pedro Red Cross Christmas party this year. Open air, ambient seasonal decorations and close to home. Even though we waited out the rain and circled the block, my friend Jack and I were still among the first to arrive. Our Vice Chairperson, Ashty and top volunteer Brenda were chatting on the sofas so we joined in. It was not long before Mayor Danny showed up and we got to enjoy his company a bit before the party started. We had a great time socializing and enjoying some tasty treats including Jalapeno poppers. I could not resist Facebook messaging one of our Johnstown, Colorado Red Cross volunteer vacationers Tracy, as El Patio poppers are his favorite. This was the second year Ecologic Divers sponsored our boat. Last year we had a Cadillac Catamaran, this year Brittney wanted us to get closer to the judges and steered us into the Blue Attitude a roomy Blue Hole dive boat. I was glad for that as the second time we passed for final scoring, Charlie pulled in close enough for Sandie to hand off to the Mayor and other esteemed jusdges our annual Red Cross Christmas treat. The boat was perfect, we had a nice covered officer’s club with a spread of different treats and beverages. THose that were daring climbed out the front window and up to the Captains Nest. At one pount I saw 2 of the male nurses sitting on the bow like hood ornaments.

Belize Bucket List Guide: The Ultimate 2017 Belizean Adventures
Never been to Belize before but want to have the ultimate experience while you’re here? Read on for the Ultimate Bucket List for your 2017 Belize Adventures! 1 Sky Dive into the Blue Hole, 2 Jump off a waterfall – Butterfly falls/Maya king falls, 3 Scale Victoria Peak Or Doyles Delight, 4 Sightsee from Baldy beacon, 5 Jet board in Caye Caulker, 6 Parasail off San Pedro, 7 Camp on an atoll, 8 Swim with Whale sharks, 9 Try meat pies, patties, and tacos, 10 Stay in a southern fishing village, 11 Have ceviche by the beach, 12 Chill at an adventure Lodge, 13 Go deep sea fishing, 14 Fly over the mountains in a helicopter, 15 Search for jaguars in Cockscomb, 16 Bird watch for raptors and birds of paradise, 17 Learn how to make Chocolate, 18 Learn to play Garifuna drums, 19 Relax at a tropical spa, 20 Horseback ride to a Mayan ruin, 21 Learn some kriol, 22 Learn to punta, 23 Participate or follow the La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge, 24 Attend one of the seasonal festivals (or all).

Living the Laptop Lifestyle on the Stunning Shores of Belize
Just one short year ago, I announced over the dinner table that I’d decided to sell my business and move to Belize. My family wasn’t a bit surprised since I had been threatening to do so for the better part of a decade. But, this time, I followed through! Now I plan my days around dozens of tempting distractions and work only when the mood (or inspiration) strikes. I attend yoga classes three days a week—a healthy habit I never seemed to find time for back home. I’ve met many expat friends while practicing my poses in a breezy palapa (a sort of thatched gazebo) or sipping a fruit-filled smoothie after class. For years, I’ve dreamed of exploring the world and indulging in my life-long passion for underwater photography. However, I was lucky to take one, maybe two, dive trips a year. So naturally, one of the main reasons I moved to Belize was for the exceptional scuba diving. Now I simply walk next door, where my gear is always ready for a diving adventure. The reef is just a five-minute boat ride away and a full day of diving is less than $80. Since moving to Belize’s tropical island paradise, Ambergris Caye, I’ve photographed sharks, eel, turtles, squid, and throngs of graceful spotted eagle rays.

Enjoying a Laidback Income in a Caribbean Paradise
When I’m back home in the States, I’m often asked why I moved to Belize. It’s not a difficult question to answer…but with all the things I love about living here, the answer can be a long one. Belize is a peaceful country where English is spoken, the cost of living is low, and the dollar is accepted everywhere. But there’s so much more to this paradise to love. Just south of Mexico‘s Yucatan Peninsula, the country boasts a jaw-dropping Caribbean coast that runs the length of the country. In the beach town of Placencia, where we live, the ocean is a sparkling turquoise and the beaches are pristine stretches of white sand, with brilliant green palm trees as far as the eye can see. And, with temperatures in the 80s F all year long, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy it. Just a short car ride from Placencia, you’ll find some spectacular hiking spots, bird watching, mountains, rivers, tropical forests, Mayan ruins, and much more. My husband, Dave, and I love walking through town, and stopping for a seaweed shake from Brewed Awakenings, right in the village. Last week, we enjoyed a tranquil two-hour walk around the peninsula. All the beachfront is public, and you’ll pass by by charming guesthouses, luxury homes, rustic resorts, beachfront bars, stretches of untouched natural beach, and wildlife like tropical birds and huge iguanas.

Making Homemade Cheese in Belize
With a relaxed Caribbean vibe, hundreds of tropical islands, and year-round balmy weather, few people think of Belize as a country where world-class artisanal cheeses are made. But thanks to the dedicated work of dairy farmers preserving traditional European methods, sampling homemade cheese is one of the many surprising benefits of visiting Belize. In 2012, the intrepid owners of the Caves Branch Adventure Lodge in Belize began producing cheese for its guests and a few nearby hotels. After the cheese became a verified hit, the lodge began offering a course, teaching visitors how to make six different savory varieties. Caves Branch Adventure Lodge now offers a comprehensive four-day, five-night cheese making vacation package taught by internationally acclaimed cheese experts from the Three Shepherds Farm in Vermont. Participants will get hands-on training, literature, and access to all of the necessary equipment on site at the lodge, learning every step of the cheese making process. This comprehensive cheese-making vacation package includes four days of course instruction, three meals per day, lodging at the resort, and the full use of the Caves Branch facilities, including: swimming pools, the hot tub, and guided walking tours of the 15-acre grounds that include both botanical and orchid gardens. The last day of the course is reserved for a fun group outing. The beginner course is being offered from January 26-31, 2017, while an advanced course will be held January 31-February 4, 2017. Spaces are limited, so interested persons are encouraged to reserve their spot today.

Living on a Dream Income in a Tropical Paradise
After nearly four years living in San Pedro town on the tropical island of Ambergris Caye in Belize, I still wake up every morning to the sweet sound of birds singing and think how lucky I am. San Pedro is a lively little town with an engaged and active expat community. My husband Marcos is a Belizean-American, so we’d visited San Pedro many times over the years. It always felt like home. We loved the sub-tropical climate and the English-speaking population with their easy smiles and laidback attitude to all aspects of life. Everything moves at a slower, more-relaxed pace here. Getting used to it was a challenge at first, but once you adjust, life becomes a much more enjoyable, low-stress affair. For instance, even standing in line at the bank is an opportunity to catch up with friend’s lives, and make new friends. Even transport moves at a slower pace—with golf carts being the main mode of transport on the island. Driving your golf cart at a top speed of 15 mph is the perfect way to enjoy the breathtaking island scenery. Some folks come here to retire, in large part due to stellar immigration program—the Qualified Retirement Program. The QRP provides official residency and tax-free entry of household goods, a car, a boat, and even an airplane. Anyone over 45 is eligible and it also covers spouses and dependent children. People who choose to enter this program may not work in Belize, and must be able to show a monthly income of $2,000 from investments or pensions.

International Sourcesizz

Belize’s Maya Beach Hotel Expands
The Maya Beach Hotel and Bistro in Belize has expanded with the addition of three new suites. The hotel added three brand-new suites, bringing the hotel’s room count to 13 units, ranging from standard one-bedroom rooms to beachfront cabanas to three-bedroom apartments. “We’re thrilled to offer even more private, relaxing options to our guests,” said Ellen Lee, co-owner of the property. “At Maya Beach Hotel, we embrace the natural beauty and cultural identity of Belize and the Placencia Peninsula. Our rooms are simple, comfortable and accessible to all the amazing adventures that await our guests.” The boutique hotel is home to a pool, a bar and a signature restaurant, Bistro.

American Canyon High athlete recovering physically, emotionally after snake bite
A ​calm suddenly washed over Sarah Thompson, the ​kind that comes with surrender. She sat in the back of a ​rickety ambulance as it rumbled down a Central American dirt road. A voice within ​her ​was screaming at her for not screaming, for not ​being hysterical. But she ​already knew how this story would end. She had resigned herself to it based on the scene surrounding her 15-year-old daughter. The convulsions. The blood. The desperation of the nurse manually pumping the balloon ventilator. “This is where Audrey dies,” ​Sarah Thompson told herself. “You’re going to be the mother of just one child. This is Audrey’s time. This is where she is going to die.” As it turned out, the snake that bit Audrey​ last June during a family vacation in Belize ​was no match for her. The stroke she suffered from the poisonous venom, and the limited ​emergency care available to her, was ​​no match for her​ resiliency. The months of recovery and rehabilitation, still ongoing, ​are losing to her spirit.​

How to see Chichen Itza without the crowds
Sounds of the jungle were as thick as the humidity. Birds chirped and trilled. A deep hoot added a bass note. An almost mechanical staccato clicking joined in. I was following a Mayan guide, Juan Gualberto Tun Pat, down a garden path on the grounds of my hotel, where life is so insistent that young trees sprout in the middle of the gravel walkway. At a wrought-iron gate, two guys sat at a weathered Formica-topped table, the young one working math problems, the older one tuning a radio. They paused to check my entrance ticket, exchanged greetings with Juan in their language, Yucatec Maya, and waved us on our way. I felt like I’d just slipped through the secret back door to Chichen Itza, the Mayan archaeological wonder in the interior of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The collection of pre-Columbian architectural masterpieces — pyramids, temples, columns — represent an ancient Mesoamerican culture steeped in art and science. The former urban center covers more than four square miles and two distinct periods — one collection of buildings was constructed by the early Mayans, while others date to a time after the Toltecs arrived and merged cultures with the existing community, Juan said.

Videos

  • Belize 2k15 Vacation, 4.5min. Belize was of the best trips. The water was crystal clear and Great Fishing.

  • 2016 Belize Phototour, 13min. Pictures set to a couple songs from our 2016 Belize vacation. We stayed at Mariposa Jungle Lodge in Cayo. We went hiking, did Actun Tunichil Muknal cave, Rio Frio Cave, Caracol Mayan site, nice waterfall, Xunantunich and Cahal Pech Mayan site, rode horses in the jungle, Tikal Mayan site, and zip lining in the jungle.

  • Silent Santa in Belize, 3min. Christmas cheer.

  • Secret Santa Belize 2016, 10min. Grocery give away, bus stops.

  • Simone Biles press conference, 10min.

  • UNBELIZEABLE- Belize 2016, 3min.

  • Belize, 3.5min.

  • Motorcade to welcome Simone Biles to Belize, 3min. Motorcade through Belize City on Thursday, December 22, 2016.

  • Belize Day, 9min. Chilling in the hot sun of Belize in December! Loved every moment of it too lol November 27th thru December 4th NCL Dawn Cruise

  • Man Cuts Cohune Leaf in 3 minutes in Belize, 4min.

  • Kekchi Family Sing "Silent Night" in Belize, C.A., 2min.

  • Belize Hanal Pixan Yucatec Maya tradition first day, 3min. Mr. Felipe Tzul a Yucatec Maya(Maya Masewal) from the village of Patchakan in the Corozal explaining the first day of the Maya tradition Hanal Pixan. The Yucatec Mayas of northern Belize continue honoring their deceased .

  • Simone Biles: Olympic Gold Medallist In Belize, 10min. Olympic Gold Medallist Simone Biles has arrived in Belize. However, her visit is welcomed by few Belizeans. While some are excited to see the young Olympian claiming Belizean roots, social media has been wrought criticism over Belize Tourism Board's means of promoting the country.

  • Why Belize?, 6min. This is the first video in a new series that I will be uploading that is following my experiences when studying abroad in Belize City, Belize. Students and faculty from State University of New York at Fredonia, and other SUNY schools will be traveling there on January 2nd until January 15th 2017.

  • Belize swamp boat tour, 6min.

  • 100 Cohune Leaf Cut for Thatch in Belize, C.A., 1min. It takes about 200-250 cohune leaf to cover this 10 x 14 thatch kitchen.

  • Simone Biles airport arrival, 3min.


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