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Today's Belize News: March 10, 2017 #522230
03/10/17 06:56 AM
03/10/17 06:56 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 59,364
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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

Ministry of Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities Signs Agreement with Solar Energy Solutions Belize
he Ministry of the Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities and the Solar Energy Solutions Belize (SESB) of Belmopan signed an article of agreement on Tuesday, March 7, 2017, to establish power service connections in the Cayo District. The service connections will be for power stations to 40 houses and installation of wiring of the said 40 houses in La Gracia Village in the Cayo district. Signing on behalf of the Government of Belize was Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of the Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities Dr. Peter Allen, and on behalf of SESB was Director of Sales & Operations Silvan Kuffer. Service connections have already commenced.

BTIA San Pedro Chapter hosts membership mixer
In an effort to revive membership, the Belize Tourism Industry Association San Pedro Chapter (BTIA-SPC) hosted a mixer at The Hidden Treasure Restaurant on Tuesday, March 7th. With a great turnout of both business and tourism stakeholders, the mixer served its purpose to strengthen the San Pedro Chapter. After social hour, Mistress of Ceremonies Melanie Paz, Co-chairlady of the BTIA-SPC, greeted the gathering and introduced Tamara Sniffin, BTIA-SPC’s chairwoman, to give the official welcome address. “As business owners and tourism stakeholders, we share one thing in common, and that is the success of tourism on our island. Over the years, there have been many businesses organizations in San Pedro, but for one reason or another, they have slowly dissolved because of lack of membership. If we lose interest in tourism, we lose interest in our future. That is why it is so important that we work hard together as members so we can come up with great ways to address the problems we are facing now,” said Sniffin.

BCG Officer Attends Gender Perspective Seminar
Lieutenant Alma Pinelo of the Belize Coast Guard (BCG) is attending the 2nd annual Seminar on military gender perspective which is being held in Washington, D.C. from 7th to 9th March 2017. This Seminar is being held under the theme “Peace and Security from a Gender Perspective: A Political and Strategic Vision” and is organized by the Inter-American Defense College (IADC) and the National Academy of Political and Strategic Studies (ANEPE). It aims to contribute to this effort based on the experience and commitment of both these institutions, and by promoting Resolution 1325 (UNSC), on Women, Peace and Security.

GOB succeeds in restructuring Super Bond
The Government of Belize (GOB) has succeeded in renegotiating their billion dollar Super Bond debt, saving Belize over $600 million dollars. The agreement to restructure the debt comes after months of negotiations between GOB and bondholders. A committee representing the majority of creditors endorsed a revised proposal from Belize that reduces the interest rate on the Super Bond and shortens its maturity. However, GOB agreed to only seek assistance from the International Monetary Fund if it fails to meet certain fiscal targets in the upcoming four years. The negotiating team comprised of Prime Minister Right Honourable Dean Barrow, Attorney General Honourable Michael Peyrefitte, His Excellency Economic Ambassador Mark Espat and Financial Secretary Joseph Waight, believes that the result of the negotiations is a win-win for all Belizeans. With this positive outcome, it is expected that GOB will avoid principal payments of $55 million dollar per year scheduled to start in 2019. The new agreement now calls for five equal instalments from 2030 to 2034.

Hyperbaric Chamber reports success case
For the past 25 years, Belize’s Hyperbaric Chamber continues to record successful cases among its patients. In February 2017, Canadian National Brittany Heinrichs was referred by Frenchie’s Diving in Caye Caulker after developing decompression illness. After effective treatment at the chamber, she shared her experience with The San Pedro Sun. “I was on group dive trip with Frenchie’s, and when I got ill, they referred me to see Dr. Dimas Sanzores from Caye Caulker. He made the call to the recompression facility,” said Heinrichs. Frenchie and his staff were amazing! Frenchie and my dive master came to check on me at Dr. Dimas’ clinic, picked me up, and boated me to San Pedro. Frenchie even put my fiancé up in a hotel and took him out to dinner as I had to spend most of the night in the chamber.” She further stated that the evacuation was organized and timely, leaving her no room to worry. Although she was nervous entering the chamber, Heinrichs was more than pleased with the outcome of her treatment. “I was taken care of the minute I walked into the clinic. I was treated by Dr. Giovanni Solorzano and assisted by Dr. Cornelio Teck. They were both professional, excellent, and made me feel very at ease. Andy [Albeño] was incredible in the chamber and made me feel comfortable, even though I was quite nervous the first treatment.” Her treatment was a sound success and Heinrich is “feeling great.”

Ambergris Today

25 Years Ago: How Bacalar Chico Separates North End of Ambergris Caye from Mexico
Very little has been said about the northernmost tip of Ambergris Caye, the area known as Bacalar Chico. Let me begin by saying that many years back some locals had the misconception that this area was part of Mexico and not part of Belize. You see, this piece of land is separated from Mexico by a very narrow canal, also erroneously called a river. The canal was called El Rio de Bacalar Chico and it was believed that this river belonged to Mexico, thus the conception that Bacalar Chico (the land) was Mexican territory. Let us pause a moment to look a bit more at Bacalar Chico, the river. There is the allegation that this canal was/is a man-made canal dug by the Maya who were looking for a way to navigate by canoe from the Bahia de Chetumal (Bay of Chetumal) to the Caribbean Sea for the purpose of fishing and trading.

Belize Eco-Resort Chaa Creek Wins National Geographic World Legacy Award
The Lodge at Chaa Creek’s first place honors at National Geographic’s World Legacy Awards highlights how working with local communities’ results in mutually beneficial, truly sustainable tourism, the popular Belizean eco-resort’s owners said. Mick and Lucy Fleming spoke at the 2017 World Legacy Awards (WLA) ceremony held on March 8th, 2017 at the ITB convention in Berlin where they accepted the award in the “Engaging Communities” category. “All of us at Chaa Creek are particularly honored to receive an award that celebrates the bond we have with our local Belizean communities, and Mick and I are gratefully accepting it on behalf of our 160 staff members and the countless Belizeans who, through hard work and a dedication to providing exceptional service, have taken Belize from a relatively unknown little country to the world class destination it is today,” Mrs. Fleming said.

BEL Removes Osprey Nest from Transmission Lines, Installs Platforms for Birds
The power went of in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize on March forth for a couple of hours in the morning, but island residents were not upset because of the reason for the outage. It was an announced and scheduled power outage by the Belize Electricity Limied (BEL) to removed empty Osprey nests from transmission structures near the coastline in Bomba and San Pedro. BEL stated that the nests sometimes cause power interruptions so they set out to place deterrents on their structures and installed platforms for the birds to build their nests, away from the power system. In this way the power company says it will better manage reliability for their customers and take care of wildlife in Belize.

Misc Belizean Sources

mzz

SBDC Workshop: Costing and Pricing
Presented by: Mr. Jorge Gentle, Business Advisor SBDCBelize, Beltraide. Belize Training & Employment Center, ITVET Compound, Belize City. Workshop Date: March 16, 2017. Time: 9am to 12 noon. Cost: $25.00, includes snacks and refreshments. The overall objective of this training is to equip our clients with knowledge, skills and capabilities to determine all costs related to the production of their goods or services and to consequently apply an adequate price that encompasses all the costs and allows them to make a profit while still being feasible for customers. Competent individuals with the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively calculate cost of producing their product and service and to implement pricing that will allow their business to be profitable.

Lost Dog in San Pedro: Chocolare Lab, responds to the name “Saber”
Last seen on the night of Wednesday, March 8th in the San Juan Area. Reward offered for information leading to his return. Contact 605-7510/621-5997/632-6504

Little Angels Pre School and San Pedro Pre School Celebrate Cultural Day
as Part of Child Stimulation Month!

Women's Month activities are underway throughout the country. Here's what's happening in Independence today!
Independence High School: Girl's Rally, organized by the Women's Department and IHS.

BCG Officer Attends Gender Perspective Seminar
Lieutenant Alma Pinelo of the Belize Coast Guard (BCG) is attending the 2nd annual Seminar on military gender perspective which is being held in Washington, D.C. from 7th to 9th March 2017. This Seminar is being held under the theme "Peace and Security from a Gender Perspective: A Political and Strategic Vision" and is organized by the Inter-American Defense College (IADC) and the National Academy of Political and Strategic Studies (ANEPE). It aims to contribute to this effort based on the experience and commitment of both these institutions, and by promoting Resolution 1325 (UNSC), on Women, Peace and Security.

CONVICTION OF VALENCIA’S BUS COMPANY DRIVER
Mr. Christino Rodriguez, a driver of Valencia’s Bus Company was charged for the offence of “Drove Motor Omnibus in Contravention of Road Service Permit” by Mr. Roman Martinez, Traffic Warden attached to the Department of Transport Belmopan. On Wednesday the 8th day of March, 2017 at the Belize City Magistrate’s Court, Mr. Christino Rodriguez pleaded guilty to the offence and was fined $500.00 plus $5.00 cost of court, in default 6 months imprisonment.

Public Sector Consultations on Belize’s First Comprehensive National Trade Polic
The Directorate General for Foreign Trade (DGFT) launched Belize’s Trade Policy Framework in July 2016. The Cabinet-approved framework provides government’s commitment and policy guidance for formulating Belize’s first comprehensive National Trade Policy aimed at stimulating and expanding trade for the domestic and international markets. Consultation within the Public Sector will occur on the 14th and 15th March, 2017 at the Best Western Plaza Hotel. This is the first in a series of consultations with stakeholders from the public and private sector, civil society, and women and youth groups to seek inputs for the development of the National Trade Policy. At the core of this significant national process is the contribution it would have on attaining Belize’s Growth and Sustainable Development strategy objective of a better quality of life for all Belizeans. These consultations will provide a forum for engagement in the process of creating a responsive national policy to stimulate trade, enable investments and facilitate Belize’s integration into the regional and multilateral trading system.

San Pedro Clean up Campaign 2017
The San Pedro Town Sub-Division Clean Up Campaign is back! San Juand & Boca del Rio get ready! March 20 - April 7! Volunteers interested to be a part of this campaign can contact Mr. Jorge Aldana at 226-2936.

OCEANA BELIZE's Lone Wrasse Exhibition "of Trashy Art"
Opened last night at 6pm at the Mexican Institute in Belize City. The exhibition will be on until May.

Letter: The Belize 'super-bond'
For those who remain attuned to the crisis situation in which our nation finds itself, the attempts by the prime minister to paint a rosy picture, at Wednesday’s press conference concerning the renegotiated “super-bond”, certainly was not convincing. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the Belize Progressive Party (BPP) decries the deceitful display that persists by the government of Belize, when addressing issues related to Belize’s sovereign debt obligations. For the PM to cast the renegotiated terms as a “success” is disingenuous at best, for how can the restructuring of a less-than-beneficial debt be considered anything but a high level act of delaying the inevitable? Albeit the recently, renegotiated terms of the “super-bond” has bought the Barrow administration a slight reprieve, the operative question is “What plans are in place for Belize to meet the restructured obligations?” More significant is the question, “What do the restructured terms mean for regular Belizeans regarding increased taxes, etc…?” These are the issues the BPP demands be aired, so as to attune the nation to the impending economic and financial implications.

Culture Day at the Sarteneja Nazarene Primary School's preschool!!

National Heroes, Patriots and Benefactors Exhibit launched
Today, we launched our annual National Heroes, Patriots and Benefactors Exhibit. This year's featured patriots were George Gabb, Zee Edgell, Lord Rhaburn, Benjamin Nicholas, and Bob Reneau. Students and the public are invited to visit the exhibit for the month of March at the Belize City House of Culture/Government House. Happy Heroes and Benefactors Day!

Jamaal Fundraiser Concert
Jamaal is currently in Cancun being treated, and his family and friends are having a fundraiser for him on Saturday, March 18th at the Cayo Welcome Center. There will be live music and entertainment, along with food. Get well quick, Jamaal. "Hey guys Join us on the 18th Of March as we do a fundraiser for Jamaal. We are open to suggestions an more ideas please contact the number for more information or 605-2074 as well. PLEASE SHARE THIS FLYER!"

Supporting the Calla Creek and Bullet Tree villages
Thanks to the British Embassy funds, FCD has identified and is supporting financially the Calla Creek and Bullet Tree villages in their quest to implement community conservation projects. We congratulate them for protecting the Mopan River.

Paradise Theater playing this weekend:
Live By Night, Office Christmas Party, Sing, Miss Sloane. The sound have been completely revamamped in Screen 2 and there will be a new projector arriving this sunday.. The Image quality will be 10 times better.

Channel 7

Well Known Physiotherapist Killed In Accident
A well-known physical therapist was killed in an accident in southern Belize today. It happened at 1:40 at mile 9 on the Stann Creek Valley Road. Rubia Analicia Briceno was in a white 2012, 4door, Nissan Navara pick-up driven by Leon Peters, an employee of H.T.A. Bowman Ltd. Right in front of Citrus Growers Association he was overtaking a truck when a Toyota Hilux exited the compound and made a left turn, causing a massive collision. Briceno who was in the passenger seat was flung from the Navarra and her body landed about 10 feet away. She was rushed in an ambulance to the Southern Regional Hospital.where she died at 2:15.

Hon. Briceno Balks At Superbond 3.0
Last night, Prime Minister Dean Barrow and his negotiating team were all over the news talking about their Superbond success. After four months of negotiation, PM Barrow says they've gotten a deal which will ensure Belize significant savings on interest payments - 36 million dollars in the next two years alone - and the deferral of payments on the principal until 2030. They called it a great deal, but today the leader of the opposition held a press briefing to say that Barrow and his team are living in an alternate reality. He says that instead of saving money, this renegotiation will end up costing the government:... Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "There had been no savings or reduction or haircut from the principal. Under the UDP superbond 2.0, you would have paid out 410 million US dollars in interest payments. Under the UDP superbond 3.0, the payments are 403 million dollars. So pretty much the government has saved 7 million dollars."

PUP Raises IMF Bogeyman
But what isn't "BS" are the fiscal and budgetary targets that the government has to meet to satisfy bondholders that Belize is sharing the pain. This mentions the IMF making an analysis of Belize's performance, but nothing much beyond that. But, according to the PUP, there will be a massive fiscal consolidation, and government may have to turn to the IMF:.. Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "That is what they'll have to find: 168 million dollars and the Prime Minister is telling you he won't raise taxes - that he is not going to do any retrenchment and that he is still going to raise salaries. He probably will this year, but next year when he is not around, the new prime minister, whosever that may be within the UDP will have to call in the IMF to help them out."

Opposition Leader Tells PM To "Man-Up" On Superbond
But what about the 21 original loans which created the Superbond in the first place. Those are all high interest commercial loans at 9% and above which the PUP made in the early to mid 2000's. Briceno was Deputy Prime Minister during that period and he didn't flinch today when we put it to him that the Superbond is a problem of the PUP's making:... Jules Vasquez, 7News: "How do you respond to that, that it is in fact a broom of extremely reckless spending or reckless borrowing which led to this?" Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "Well I am glad that you ask that question, because we have a few points to make to counter that. Why is it that we did those loans? If you can remember we have several hurricanes when we were in government. We had Hurricane Mitch, Iris, Dean (we still suffer Hurricane Dean right now). Hurricanes that affected us when we were in government - we had losses of 1.2 billion dollars of GDP. We knew that we had to quickly when the hurricane hit us here in San Pedro and Caye Caulker - we knew we had to get monies very quickly to get them going. So we had to borrow some monies yes, at some onerous interest rates. But we felt that getting the economy going was most important. Making sure that we were ready for the tourist season was very important. So we made a lot of loans with high interest rates."

Does New Deal Make It Easier For Future PUP Governments?
But if the PUP wins the next election, it won't have to worry about "manning up" to make any principal payments on this loan. Those have been deferred to 2030 - but Briceno says that only a selfish leader would think that to be a solution:... Jules Vasquez, 7News: "Were the PUP to form the next government in Belmopan. Would you feel some relief that even if you serve 2 terms, you wouldn't have to make any principal payments on the superbond since those have been deferred to the year 2030?" Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "If I want to be selfish about it, I would say yes. But if you want to look at the interest of the country, you need to wonder what is it that you have to do, because remember, in 2030, 105 million US dollars will nor magically appear for the next 5 years after that."

PUP Says PM Used "Thuggish" Tactics
And, Briceno had no praise at all for the government's negotiators, even if they made it through a difficult negotiation without having to agree to an IMF standby arrangement. Briceno had a very different interpretation of the Government's hardline position that it would not make a deal with an IMF standby arrangement, even if it meant simply not paying the bond: Jules Vasquez, 7News: "While the government is boasting that in fact it was able, so to speak, thread the needle through this negotiation without making a commitment to enter an IMF standby agreement. The Fin. Sec. will certify whether the targets were met. If no targets met, well then IMF comes in - it always comes in. So the government is sort of saying 'we get away easy' and that it is attributable to their skill in negotiation. How do you view the ability to stay away from an IMF standby agreement?"

Two Men Shot, "Noh Watch No Face"
Police say that two men who were shot in Belize City last night are not cooperating with investigators. Around 8:00 pm, shots were fired in the Jane Usher Boulevard/Freedom Street area. Reports are that two brothers were hit. Police have refused to confirm even basic details of this.

Ronlee Back To Murder Trial
Ronlee Petillo got out of jail in June of 2016, after more than 5 years on remand for murder. One month later he was arrested for another murder, And now he has been committed to stand trial for the murder of Roger Williams Banner in the June session of the Supreme Court. That happened when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Petillo said that there was no evidence against him because he was not named by the witness who said she saw who the shooter was. But Senior Magistrate Fraser explained to him that the witness has identified him in a group identification parade and she has looked at 2 statements and she has found that there is sufficient evidence to send the matter up to the Supreme Court.

Painter Attacked, They Tried To Break His Fingers
Walter Castillo is a well-known painter who lives in Bullet Tree Falls in the Cayo District, and he says he was beat up and almost lost his ability to paint. According to Castillo, at the end of February, he was attacked by another artist and his brother, both of whom he considered friends. He's not sure what their motivation was, but he suspects it may have been a dispute over a client. We spoke to him over the phone earlier today, and he gave us more details... Walter Castillo, Belizean painter: "One of my client that came from the island to see some of my work and to purchase some work from another painter, the guy was staying at my house. In the evening we went out to see the other painter. So I waited for them in a different place. After they did some business, this other painter rejoined us with his brother to the restaurant where we were eating and we stay talking around the table for a while eating pizza, drinking a couple of beers."

Mother Of Two Still In Coma with Bullet Lodged In Head
Mother of two, Camille Munnings, remains in a medically induced coma at the KHMH with a bullet lodged in her head. Munnings, her common-law-husband and another man were shot in Caye Caulker this weekend. Neither man received life threatening injuries, but Munnings' family says she's in critical, but stable condition. Her sister told us earlier today that the swelling in her brain has gone down slightly. Another CAT scan is scheduled for tomorrow, after which doctors should have a better idea about how to proceed.

The Patrick Tillett Tale Of Loss
Last night, we showed you a small portion of Patrick Tillett's startling testimony to the Senate Select Committee. He was explaining how come he ended up with 6 out of the 8 visas stolen from the Immigration Department's Benque Border Station back in late 2012. He told the Senate that he was running a visa services business where he collected money to assist Chinese Nationals to visas approved at the Immigration Department. Tillett told the Senators that in the December of 2012, he collected $6,000 each for 6 applicants. $2,000 was for the fee that the Government collected for an approved visa. $1,000 was his fee to check and make sure that all the supporting documents were submitted with the visa application. The final $3,000 was paid to this mysterious "Mr. Middleton", described as an immigration agent. On the face of it, this appeared to be a lucrative business. But, in this particular instance, Tillett claims that he got jilted out of $30,000 by "Mr. Middleton", which he then had to refund, those Chinese nationals who didn't get what they paid for. What they got instead were 6 passports with visa stickers that did not have the required security features to pass an inspection from an Immigration Officer, so those "clients" - as Tillett called them - would not be able to come to Belize.

Why Did Patrick Take Such A Money Hit?
So, you saw how the Senate Committee had great difficulty accepting Patrick Tillett's explanation for why this "immigration agent", identified as "Mr. Middleton", was being paid $3,000 to take the six visa applications for Tillett's "clients" to the Belmopan Immigration Office. Tillett says that he paid this agent $30,000, which included the total fees for all 6 visa applications, as well as "Mr. Middleton's" cut for each of the 6 visas. The agent came back and brought him the visa stickers inside each of the 6 passports, but the visas were missing important security features, such as the department's stamp, and a signature of the issuing officer. This meant that these Chinese "clients" couldn't use them to travel to Belize. Tillett says that he refunded the "clients" their money, which caused him to take a $24,000 financial hit. Though he is alleging that a crime happened, where he was jilted out of money, along with the forgeries with the visas, Tillett never went to the police. The Senate was had a tough time accepting the story, and they repeatedly challenged him on it. Here's the back and forth:

Lindsay Noh Easy
The officer who was named as the person who stole the visas which ended up in Patrick Tillett's client's passports is Immigration Officer Lindsay Wade. He was stationed at the Western Border at the time, and you'll remember that Immigration Officer Mark Tench testified to the Senate saying that their investigation pointed to Wade as the culprit. Well, Lindsay wade showed up to the Senate yesterday to categorically deny all allegations against him. Here's how he and the Senators battled over the testimony of those who had come before him: Lindsay Wade "There isn't any truth about that I didn't remove any visa foils. I don't know Cadafy nor Mr. Milton. I haven't even met Mr. Milton." Hon. Aldo Salazar "Okay so were you questioned about the missing visa foils?" Lindsay Wade "This is the first time."

Eric Chang Discusses False Claims
So, we've shown you how Eric Chang declared innocence in the Citizen Kim passport scandal, and yesterday, the Senate also asked him to answer to the allegations about these same stolen visas. Immigration Officer Mark Tench singled Chang out in the explosive disclosure of their meeting at the Calypso Restaurant in early 2013. Tench told the senate that Tillett and Chang paid $5,000 per stolen visa. Chang told the Senate yesterday, that Tench and all others who've identified him as part of this scandal are just plain lying on him. Here's that conversation: Eric Chang - Former Deputy Mayor of Belize City: "No it's not up accurate at all. Let's start with Mr. Middleton. I don't know who is Mr. Middleton, at no time in my life. Secondly you say that Mr. Tillet and I wrote a statement to confront the transaction. I don't know what statement of what transaction he's talking about because as far as I'm concerned I remember just because I was working in city council and I was with Mr. Patrick for whatever reason I don't remember. I wasn't even aware that Mr. Tillet.."

Why Heroes Matter
Most of us know the basic life story and contributions of George Price, Phillip Goldson, Samuel Haynes among other historical figures. Well today on Heroes' and Benefactors Day, their works and accomplishments along with those of other notable Belizean artists, were brought to the forefront in an exhibit. It was launched this morning at the House of Culture and Courtney Weatherburne explores the importance of celebrating Belize's Heroes. Lord Rhaburn, Performer: "In my mind that this will go on forever right, when I leave here it will be here for the kids to see and what I leave behind I hope that they keep it going." Courtney Weatherburne reporting: Lord Rhaburn's legacy will certainly live on through his music. As Belize's Calypso King, Lord Rhaburn's songs and performances are cultural cornerstones. He is one of many Belizean icons who were honored today at Belize's Heroes, Patriots and Benefactors Exhibit.

GOB Comes Again On Re-Registration
5 weeks ago, we told you how the Elections and Boundaries Commission intended to postpone the re-registration exercise that's due at the beginning of July. It would hold off on that until after next year's municipal elections, and only after a re-districting exercise is held. Well, the opposition and the social partners rejected that completely. They say that a re-registration is needed immediately because of immigration and voter fraud, and that it must come before a redistricting exercise. Now, the Prime Minister has written a letter to NTUCB President Jacqueline explaining that the Government wants to wait on the outcome of the Senate Select Committee Inquiry before conducting a re-registration. The Government wants to see how many passports and nationalizations were given illegally, and after that, the government would seek to cancel such nationalizations and passports.

PUP Claims Victory
That's one concession, and today the PUP claimed it as a victory. That's what the Opposition leader told the media today. And later on in the news, you'll hear what the opposition leader thinks of his outspoken Deputy Leader Julius Espat.

An Art Show About Fishes Called Lone Wrasse
But first, our next story is about an art exhibit whose name may sound like a curse word, but it's not. It's called "Lone Wrasse" - but that's not the curse word that starts with an "R" - it's a kind of fish spelled with a "W" and an "E", as in W-r-a-s-s-e. It was developed in collaboration with OCEANA and the artwork on display is made up of, "lone…well, we'll let OCEANA's Belize City representative, Celeshia Guy explain... The exhibition will be on display until May 7th.

Briceno Responds To Hon. Julius
And finally tonight, today we asked PUP Leader John Briceno about his Deputy Leader Julius Espat. Last week, Espat told PLUS TV that his party has benchwarmers on the frontlines, and that's why they continue to lose. He added that many of the party's winners are excluded from the national executive. Briceno answered the criticisms today:... Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "Well first of all there is nothing in the People's United Party constitution that says that all parliamentarian must be around the table. Presently, of the 12 parliamentarians, 9 of them are sitting around the table. But this is the beauty of the PUP. We have people with strong personalities and strong ideas that feel passionate about their position and he decided, I may not agree with the way as gone around doing it, but it is his right as a PUP to present and voice his concerns."

Faber Celebrates PUP Disunity
Of course, this more than subtle hint at disunity is like music to the UDP's ears. The ruling party has been going through a tough time politically, and Deputy Leader Patrick Faber couldn't help but comment on this particular political pickle that the PUP finds itself in:...

Channel 5

An ‘Alternative’ View of Superbond 3.0 from P.U.P.
The People’s United Party has offered a quick response to Wednesday’s analysis of the restructuring of the Superbond by the Prime Minister.  P.U.P. Leader John Briceño says that it isn’t [...]

How Will G.O.B. Get Tax Monies for Budget?
Briceño was joined by attorney Christopher Coye to explain the implications for Belize’s economy. The Prime Minister insisted on Wednesday that Belize would never enter into any stand-by arrangement, much [...]

G.O.B. Walks Back on Re-Registration, P.U.P. Still Pushes
The Government appears to have a turnaround on the issue of re-registration. The Election and Boundaries Commission had decided a few weeks ago that the exercise, postponed twice since 1997, [...]

Briceño Urges, Don’t Wait to Fix Voters’ Rolls
Briceño was further questioned about whether it is worth it to wait for the Senate’s inquiry to be completed.  The P.U.P. has a vested interest in pursuing re-registration because of [...]

Introducing “Mr. Middleton”
Is this man the shadowy “Mister Middleton” to whom all focus has turned in the ongoing Senate public inquiry? Middleton, we are told, is a car salesman based in Orange [...]

City Doctor Dies in Traffic Accident Down South
A fatal road traffic accident was reported sometime after one-thirty this afternoon near mile nine on the Stann Creek Valley Road.  Late this evening, police confirmed that the well-known physical [...]

B.D.F. Reconvenes Inquiry on Training Abuse
Last week, we aired a video of events that transpired at a training program conducted by the Belize Defense Force of recruits.  The video went viral and became a topic [...]

Has Eric Chang Cleared His Name?
Another layer of intrigue has been added to the ongoing investigations of the Senate Special Select Committee. On Wednesday, former Deputy Mayor Eric Chang; accountant and Financial Controller with the [...]

What was Chang Doing in Taiwan?
The then Ambassador of Belize to the Republic of China (Taiwan), Cherie Nisbet, detailed in emails later used by the Audit her encounter with Eric Chang on the day he [...]

P.U.P. Says Time for Criminal Investigation on Immigration,
Comments have been limited in light of the edict of the Standing Orders on publication of evidence from within the Senate Special Select Committee; even though it is broadcasting its [...]

P.M. Stands Firm on Action over Arbitration
PM Barrow is on record stating that as long as he is head of cabinet, government will not pay a single cent towards the US judgment recently handed down in [...]

Prime Minister Sceptical About Settlement
According to the Prime Minister, it appears that Lord Michael Ashcroft finds himself in a jam as a result of the recently passed legislation.  In an effort to recover the [...]

Deon McCaulay Back to Atlanta Silverbacks
Star athlete Deon McCaulay has returned to the roster of the Atlanta Silverbacks Football Club, a professional soccer team he was previously signed to in February 2014.  McCaulay, who was [...]

Deputy Faber Endorses Superbond Fix
Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber has his eyes set on becoming leader of the country.  To achieve that dream, he will first have to succeed in representing the United Democratic [...]

U.B. Has New Prez; Also Looking at Finances and Personnel
Former Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of UWI Saint Augustine Campus, Professor Clement Sankat, retired in September 2016 after forty years of service as a member of staff.  He has since [...]

Exhibiting Heroes, Patriots and Benefactors
Ninth of March is the official Heroes and Benefactors Day, set aside to honor those who have contributed to the development of Belize. While most of you may know about [...]

The Meaning of “Lone Wrasse”
“Lone Wrasse” – it sounds like a dirty phrase – but it is OCEANA and the Mexican Institute’s new exhibition, which opens tonight at the Institute on Wilson Street.  The [...]

Healthy Living Battles Skin Fungus
The skin is the largest living organ in our bodies and it is continuously exposed to every environment. The skin is very vulnerable to infections as it is exposed to [...]


Re: Today's Belize News: March 10, 2017 [Re: Marty] #522231
03/10/17 06:57 AM
03/10/17 06:57 AM
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CTV3

Immigration Officer, Lindsey Wade Deny He Took VISAS From Western Border
Tonight we continue the coverage of yesterday’s heated Senate Select Committee hearings which saw former UDP politician Eric Chang, accountant Patrick Tillett and Immigration Officer Lindsey Wade appear as witnesses. All three are connected either directly or indirectly to the case of visa foils which mysteriously disappeared from the Western Border in 2012. Yesterday we showed extensively the statements by Tillett and Chang, so today we resume with the statements by Wade who is the officer accused of taking the visas. Yesterday when he sat before the Committee, he was visibly upset that he was called to testify and defend himself on serious allegations.

Who Is Mr. Middleton?
Throughout his testimony, Wade remained antagonistic and non-cooperative in assisting the Committee to find or identify the individual only known as “Mr. Middleton”. This elusive character who had the ability to obtain visas for Chinese nationals for a hefty sum of $3,000 from the Immigration Department had become a middleman for UDP agents feeding a lucrative thirst for visas. But it wasn’t only Wade who was denying crucial knowledge of Middleton’s whereabouts. Through yesterday’s nearly five-hour long hearing, neither of the other witnesses were willing to reveal anything further.

Fool dih Talk But No Fool dih Listen, Senator Tells Patrick Tillette
Accountant Patrick Tillett had a tough time convincing the Senate Select Committee members that he was being completely honest about his very profitable visa service business to acquire visas through an immigration agent who was paid $3,000 to simply take an application into the Immigration Department for processing. What the Committee members could not understand is why anyone would pay such a large sum for a procedure that, if the proper process was followed, would not cost more than the normal fee which for Chinese nationals was $2,000. Senator Courtenay suggested to Tillett that he was covering up illicit acts.

Opposition Leader Speaks On Senate Inquiry Investigation
Since the start of the Senate Select Committee hearings, Belizeans have been hit with numerous bomb shell revelations made by persons that have been called out to make their testimonies on immigration matters. The most recent hearings held on Wednesday in Belmopan saw the testimonies of former Belize City Deputy Mayor, Eric Chang and former Financial Controller for the Belize City Council Patrick Tillett, both making their own revelations. In their press briefing held today the People’s United Party Leader Honorable John Briceño party commented on those latest testimonies. He also commented on the possible involvement of PUP operative William “Silky” Stewart, who Patrick Tillett claims introduced the agent, Mr. Middleton to him.

LOVE FM

Physical Therapist Perishes in Traffic Incident
An afternoon road traffic accident on the Stann Creek Valley Road claimed the life of 33-year-old Rubia Analicia Briceno. According to Police, the incident occurred at mile nine on the Stann Creek Valley Road where they saw a white pickup truck in a ditch with its four wheels up in the air. They also saw […]

Education Minister Speaks of UB’s Presidency
February 15, 2017 saw the installation of the 7th President for the University of Belize since its establishment in August 2000. In a previous report we did note that Guyanese national, Professor Clement Sankat has taken over the position, succeeding Alan Slusher who was dubbed the interim President in April 2014. Education Minister, Patrick Faber spoke […]

BCG Lieutenant in DC For A Military Gender Perspective
Lieutenant Alma Pinelo of the Belize Coast Guard attended the final day of the second annual Seminar on military gender perspective today in Washington DC. According to a government release, the seminar is being held under the theme “Peace and Security from a Gender Perspective: A Political and Strategic Vision”. It aims to contribute to […]

Chaa Creek Captures World Legacy Award
Belize’s very own, The Lodge at Chaa Creek won gold at National Geographic’s World Legacy Awards yesterday. The Lodge at Chaa Creek placed first in the “Engaging Communities” Category. Mick and Lucy Fleming of the popular eco-resort received the awards during the ceremony which was held in Berlin, Germany. The Flemings turned their family farm […]

Petillo to Face Murder Trial in June
Ronlee Petillo, charged with the murder of Roger Williams Banner, has been committed for trial in the June session of the Supreme Court. Petillo was committed to stand trial when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Petillo said that there was not any evidence against him because he was not named by the […]

Forman Escapes Confinement for Drug Trafficking
Thirty-eight year old Ernest Forman, charged with drug trafficking for one thousand six hundred and thirty four grams of cannabis, pled guilty to the lesser charge of possession simplicitor when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Forman also pled guilty to possession of fifty nine grams of cannabis. He was fined a total […]

Michelle Montejo to be Hosted at Buckingham Palace
An employee of the San Ignacio Resort Hotel is preparing to travel to the United Kingdom where she will be hosted via the Royal Household Hospitality Scholarship. It is a 6-week scholarship programme that serves to give professionals from the Caribbean the chance to work at the Master of the Households’ Department leading up to […]

Traffic Incident Kills One and Injures Two
A woman is dead and two persons are hospitalized following a road traffic accident on Tuesday night. Police say sometime after eleven o’clock last night they received reports of an accident near the Calla Creek junction on the George Price Highway. At the scene Police saw a Mazda four door van extensively damaged. 21-year-old Honduran […]

The Guardian

600 million dollar saving from renegotiated Superbond
Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, announced on Wednesday March 8, that by Friday of this week a final agreement should be worked out with the holders of the Superbond. The Government of Belize was negotiating over the past couple of weeks with a creditor committee which represents 61 percent of the bond holders, they along with the Venezuela government which holds 8 percent of the bondholding are in agreement with the new bond and this is now encouraging government that they will be able to get the 75% of the bondholders to agree to the new bond terms. Ambassador Mark Espat, who was part of the negotiating team simplified what the new terms of the Bond will be. “The net present value of the new bonds will be 25% less than they are right now, that is 85 million U.S. dollars or 170 million Belize.” He added that, “this is a combination of a 27 percent reduction in interest rate from 6.767% to the 4.9375%. It means that between August of this year and August of 2019 when the principal repayments were to start we will pay out 40 million dollars less in that period in interest.”

Salary increase coming for public officers! No Retrenchment, No increase in Business tax, No roll back of Food Pantry
The Government of Belize has just about ended the renegotiation of the Superbond for a second time in this UDP’s tenure in office. As the process got underway GOB had to prove to bondholders that it simply could not pay the stepped up financial demands of the bond. The bond holders too also had demands of the government, primary among these is that government does fiscal consolidation which would ensure that it meets its commitments. On Wednesday March 8 the Prime Minister held a press conference in which he was very categorical in stating that while there will be belt tightening, the burden will be as minimal as possible. According to the Prime Minister, there was a demand for a 3% surplus of GDP in the budget and it came with demands that if that was not met there would be penalties. While the government agreed that they would work towards this there was no concession to the request. In fact the request was worked down to the surplus being 2% and even so while there was demand to the contrary, there would be no ‘claw back in interest if the target is missed,’ stated PM Barrow

Luke Palacio must account for 10 Million dollars belonging to public officers
About 640 retired teachers and public officers have won a major judgment in the control of close to 10 million dollars in backpay that their unions were not properly managing. They disagreed with the way the leaders of their unions were managing their money, and they successfully sued them. Readers will remember that from 1st April 1995 to 31st March 1997, the Government under Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Sir Manuel Esquivel was experiencing some very difficult financial times due to the mismanagement of public funds by the previous PUP Administration. That was the time when retrenchment was a very real danger. Those public servants from that time were agitating for a well-deserved wage increase, but the Government couldn’t afford it. So, in a very wise move, Prime Minister Esquivel gave them 450,000 shares in BTL, which was the value of their frozen increments and salary increases that the Government couldn’t afford.

Glenn Godfrey did not win any award against Belize
Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte has consistently said that the media gets most things wrong 90 percent of the time and last week, it must have been proof positive of what he has maintained. The Media, print and television went wild last week reporting that Glenn Godfrey had won an award of US 22 million dollars against the government of Belize. Addressing the matter at a press conference held on Wednesday of this week, Prime Minister Dean Barrow explained that there is no such award. Prime Minister Barrow explained that what took place was a decision where Glenn Godfrey, through his company GDG acquisitions LLC was given the green light to proceed to trial against the Government of Belize. No monetary award was given. The Judgment the Guardian has reviewed, shows that United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, on February 28, ruled that Godfrey can proceed to trial against the Government of Belize. The decision came after the PUP government, specifically Ralph Fonseca waived its right to sovereign immunity.

Two friends shot and killed on abandoned road in Hattieville
Hattieville Police found the bodies of 24 year-old Godwin “Paps” Panting Jr., a Belize City man, and 27 year-old Albert Wade, a Crooked Tree resident who’s better known as “Ras Taka”. Both men, who were good friends, were executed by killers who shot them multiple times and left them dead in a deserted area. Police made the grisly discovery at around 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 4, 2017, when they were led to a feeder road between miles 12 and 13 on the George Price Highway. The bodies were first spotted by a family going on a fishing trip, and they contacted the cops immediately. Reports are that the responding officers found a motorcycle on the scene, which they believe belongs to Panting. Other details of the investigation aren’t being released at this time, and so, there is no indication about possible leads, or clues as to what happened to both young men in their final moments.

Taxi driver pleads guilty to drug trafficking
Belize City taxi driver Frank Brown, 40, of #39 Faber’s Road has to pay a fine of $10,000 for a conviction of drug trafficking. Allegations are that on Monday, March 6, he was busted with 440 grams of cannabis on Fabers Road. At about 12:30 p.m., PC Shamir Rancharan and others were on mobile patrol in the Fabers Road area when their attention was drawn to a green Toyota Corolla taxi car. The driver was intercepted and informed that a search would be conducted on his vehicle. During the search, the officers looked under the driver’s seat and found three parcels wrapped in duct tape containing leafy like substances suspected to be cannabis. Brown was arrested and escorted to the police station where the parcels turned out to be 440 grams of cannabis. He was charged with possession of marijuana with the purpose of supplying to another for the purpose of drug trafficking.

Police Apprehends Lindburgh Clarke for Belcan Bridge Shooting
Police have been looking for Lindburgh Clarke, 24, since Friday, March 3, when he allegedly shot Brandon Bennett, 24, at the foot of the Belcan Bridge. They finally caught up with Clarke on Tuesday, March 7, and charged him with attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and grievous harm. Bennett was shot once to the stomach as he rode his bicycle on the Belcan Bridge. According to police report, at about 2 p.m. on Friday he was riding his bicycle on Belcan Bridge towards the flag monument when upon reaching the small green structure at the foot of the bridge two male persons on a motorcycle came from behind him and fired a single shot that caught him in the stomach. Bennett said he saw the shooter and it was someone he has known for the past six years as Lindburgh Clark.

Kervin Flores charged with abetment to murder of Brandon Bennett
Brandon Bennett, 24, was shot once to the stomach as he rode his bicycle on the Belcan Bridge on Friday, March 3. According to police report, at about 2:18 p.m. on Friday police personnel visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Room and saw Bennett suffering from the single gunshot wound to the stomach. Bennett reported that he was riding his bicycle on Belcan Bridge towards the flag monument when upon reaching the small green structure at the foot of the bridge two male persons on a motorcycle came from behind him and fired a single shot that caught him in the stomach. Bennett said he saw the shooter and it was someone he has known for the past six years as Lindburgh Clark.

Marvin Flowers killed for unknown reasons
Marin Flowers, a 42 year-old Belize City man, became the victim of a fatal shooting on Jasmine Street, in the Lake Independence area. Police have been very brief with the details they release, but they are reporting that they responded to Flowers’ shooting at about 10 minutes to midnight on Saturday. Their investigation has so far revealed that Flowers was walking on Jasmine Street, heading towards Mahogany Street, when an unknown man came up from behind and opened fire on him. He was right in front of the West Side Assembly of God Church, when the barrage of gunshots injured him several times. He reportedly tried to flee, but his injuries caused him to collapse; first responders rushed him to the KHMH for medical attention. The doctors tried to save his life, but about 2 hours later, on Sunday, March 5, he passed away while undergoing treatment.

Young man found dead in Teakettle
Belmopan Police’s intensive investigation into the untimely death of an adolescent from Teakettle in the Cayo District has apparently paid off. Police now report that an 18 year old unemployed youth, Shemar Santos, also from Teakettle has been charged with the murder of Ernesto Wiltshire. Wiltshire was discovered last Friday by an uncle in the Hillview Area of Teakettle with two chop wounds behind the head. The 17 year old was last seen on Tuesday and was believed by family members to have been with his father in the Orange Walk District. A search party was organized where the young man’s body was then found.

Shooting in Caye Caulker leaves Camille Munnings on life support
29 year-old Caye Caulker Resident Camille Munnings is on life support at the KHMH with a bullet lodged in her brain. She and 2 others were injured in an island shooting which happened on Monday, March 6, sometime after 12 a.m. It happened near to the Island Oasis on Xocol Street. Munnings, her common-law husband, 29 year-old Akeem Garcia, and 34 year-old Raul McFarlane were walking when they were attacked by a gunman with a rag over his face. That gunman fired several shots at them, which injured McFarlane to the back and the left leg. Garcia was injured to his back and left leg as well, but the most seriously injured of the trio was Camille Munnings. That gunshot to the head has caused her doctors to place her in an induced coma, and the 2 other shooting victims are at the KHMH undergoing medical treatment. Her family says that her brain is swollen, and they are hoping for the best. Munnings is also a mother of 2 children.

Teenager shot 8 times
Police continue to investigate the murder of Everald Augustine, 17 year-old Belize City youth who was gunned down and killed. Someone shot him 8 times in the chest and back while he was riding his bike. The incident happened just before 10 o’clock on Wednesday night, March 1, when Augustine was riding his bike on Aloe Vera Street. Police investigation, at this time, suggests that he was in the company of another person who alleged pulled a gun, shot him several times, and fled the scene. First responding officers found him bleeding out, and so they attempted to rush him to the KHMH for medical treatment, but he died on the way there.

Tyrone Meighan Accused of Assaulting GSU Officer Mathew Young
Tyrone Meighan, 23, is out on bail after he was dragged to court on Wednesday, March 8, for assaulting an officer of the Gang Suppression Unit. According to police report, Meighan assaulted GSU officer Mathew Young on Mayflower Street on Tuesday, March 7. No details on the nature of the assault has been provided to the press as yet but the charge is a single count of aggravated assault upon Young. Meanwhile, Meighan is complaining that he is actually the one who was assaulted. In court on Wednesday, he told Magistrate Norman Rodriguez that he was beaten badly by the police officer. He told the court, “I was viciously beaten all over the body by the police and I was not taken to any medical facility other than to court today. I have pain all over my head.” He then showed Magistrate Rodriguez his bruises saying he was hit to the back of the head, hand, his back and the back of his neck. Magistrate Rodriguez made a note of it for the record.|

A bit more on Luke’s loss
Late last year over 640 present and retired public servants, but mostly retired sued 2 of the biggest labour unions and have now won a judgement over who should control over 9 million dollars in earnings from those BTL shares ,that were given to them , in lieu of monies they lost due to a wage freeze. The over 640 retirees were represented by claimants Sheila Genitty, Darrel Gardiner, and Ruth White. They make up an ad hoc committee, set up to express their complete disagreement with the way the Public Sector Workers Trust is handling the money. The dispute dates back to a period between 1995 to 1997, when the Esquivel Administration froze the salary increases and increments for all teachers and public servants of that time.In his wisdom the then Prime Minister Manuel Esquivel made a compromise with the teachers and public officers, when he gave them 450,000 shares in BTL. Those shares were issued IN LIEU of the frozen increments. The dividends from the shares were supposed to be used to compensate the public officers for their losses in the wage freeze.

The Belmopan City Council launches 6.5M bond
A 6.5 million dollar municipal bond has been launched in Belmopan for the benefit of its residents. The Belmopan City Council held a Press Conference on Thursday of last week in the VIP room at the Bull Frog Inn to launch their Municipal Bond. Mayor Khalid Belisle along with Senator Stephen Duncan of Heritage Bank Ltd. and Mr. Erwin Perez of Legacy Fund Ltd. made presentations to the gathering and the media. The Belmopan City Council’s newly elected Deputy Mayor, Ralston Frazer was the emcee for the event. A Municipal Bond is like a Certificate of Deposits (CD). Municipalities issue bonds to raise money from savers willing to lend them money for a certain amount of time to make public investments in their cities and towns. When you buy a Belmopan City Council (Bmp Citco) Bond, you are lending to the Belmopan Citco. It promises to pay you a specific rate of interest during the life of the bond and to pay the principal also known as the face value of the bond when it matures or becomes due. The Bonds have 13 individual tranches with maturities from two to 14 years.

Caracol Road upgrade to start
A Consultancy Service agreement was signed on, March 7th, between the Government of Belize, through the Ministry of Works, and Dr. Nabeel Abdul-Raheem Consultants of Kuwait at US$736,150. The Government of Belize has received a Technical Assistance Grant from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development to assist in financing the services of consultants to prepare a technical and economic feasibility study and detailed designs for the Upgrading of Caracol Road Project (Georgeville to Caracol Archaeological Site). The objective of the consultancy is to determine the technical and economic feasibility of the rehabilitation of the Caracol road to paved standards. The study will include the preparation of the detailed engineering design and preparation of bidding documents. Following procurement guidelines acceptable to our funding partner, the successful design consultant was selected after thorough review of technical and financial proposals of four international firms.

Globe trotter visits Belize to promote Beijing Winter Olympics
The goal of the Olympic Games is to promote world peace through free, fair and friendly athletic competition. Those who truly embody the spirit of the Olympic Movement are not those who run, swim or ride the fastest – not those who jump the highest, throw the furthest or perfect gymnastic routines – not even those with the most career gold, silver and bronze medals. Real Olympians are those who use the games to make the world a more peaceful, better and smaller place to live. One such individual worthy of being called an Olympian is currently touring Belize to promote the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games, Cao Da Fo. Cao Da Fo is on a mission to visit all the countries in the world before the 2022 Games. Belize is the 176th country he has visited since he embarked on the mission after the 2008 Beijing Summer Games. He was inspired by the extent at which the games impacted his country and generated pride in all the people of China. The games provided them with an opportunity to display their rich culture and customs to the rest of the world. It also brought the rest of the world’s cultures and customs to China and this has caused a lasting impact on the once closed nation. The spiritual experience was so powerful for Cao Da Fo that he decided to go on a pilgrimage to the rest of the world.

Belize City No Limit wins over the Cayo Western Ballaz
The Pepsi National Elite Basketball League competition continued over the last week with three games on the schedule. On Friday 3rd March, at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium the host team Belize City No Limit Team won over the visiting Cayo Western Ballaz by the score of 79-72. The top scorers for the Belize City No Limit squad were Kenny Brown with 20 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals; Kyle Young with 8 points and 4 rebounds; Mateo Gutierrez also with 8 points, and John Rudon who also scored 8 points towards the win. Meanwhile, the top scorers for the Cayo Western Ballaz were Daniel Nolberto with 16 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal; Richard Troyer with 12 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal and Brandon Flowers with 12 points.

National Elite Basketball League to hold All Star Night and All Star Game
The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) will be hosting its third annual All-Star Night on Saturday, March 11 at St. Catherine Auditorium in Belize City. The activities will commence at 8 p.m. with the Three Point Shootout, followed by the Slam Dunk Contest at 8:30 p.m. The three point shootout will feature one player from each of the seven (7) teams, while the Slam Dunk will be open to as many participants. In the nightcap, the All Star game, with a new twist will be played. The All Star Game will see the Imports team up with the Belizean Americans to form one team to challenge our local All Stars.

Belmopan Bandits opens lead in Premier League’s Closing Season Tourney
The Premier League of Belize Closing Season Tournament continued over the last week with a number of games played. On Sunday 5th March, 2017, three games were played in the on-going competition. At the MCC Grounds in Belize City, the host team FC Belize blank Verdes FC by the score of 3-0. The goals for FC Belize were scored by Hector Martinez in the 15th and 89th minutes of play and Ryan Simpson in the 64th minute of play. At the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, the Police United FC edged out the BDF FC by the score of 2-1. The host team Police United FC was the first unto the scoreboard when Morvin Budna scored his team’s 1st goal of the game in the 31st minute of play to give it a 1-0 lead. A lead that the Police United FC took into the half-time and into the second half of the game when the lead was extended by Andres Makin’s goal in the 56th minute of play for a 2-0 lead.

New Road wins again in Ahmaddiyya U-19 Basketball Tourney
The 2017 Ahmaddiyya U-19 Basketball Tournament continued on Sunday 5th March, at the Gate Way Youth Centre with 5 games on the schedule. In the first game played, 3rd World won over Chiefs by the score of 43-39. The top scorer for 3rd World was Mark Thompson with 15 points while the top scorer for Chiefs was Tevaun Lennon with 16 points. In game two, Belama Gators edged out Truckers by the score of 62-61. The top scorers for Belama Gators was Clency Lopez with 18 points and the top scorer for Truckers was Sydney Bradley with 22 points. In the third game of the day, Spartans won over Gate Way by the score of 55-51. The top scorer for Spartans was Fredrick Williams with 17 points while the top scorer for Gate Way was Joh Kelly with 16 points.

Muslim Community School girls and St. John Vianney School boys won the Belize City Primary Schools Football competition
The 2016-2017 Belize City Primary Schools Football competition came to an end on Tuesday 7th March, 2017, with the championship game in both the boys’ and girls’ competition. In the girls’ championship game, Muslim Community School edged out Wesley Upper School by the score of 1-0 to capture the 2016-2017 Belize City Girls’ Primary Schools Football Title. The only goal of the game was scored by Dynah Bethran. In the boys’ championship game, St. John Vianney School edged out St. John’s Primary School by the score of 2-1 to lay claims to the title. The goals for St. John Vianey School were scored by Raphael Franklin and Cyril Jones. Meanwhile, the only goal of the game for St. John’s Primary School was scored by Kewaun Panting.

How the justice system could’ve saved Tyler Savery
Alleged child killer Jayear Flores, 20, has been sentenced to one year imprisonment for the robbery of retired teacher Eric Neal, 77. Flores targeted Mr. Neal while he was on his way to the bank. At around 11 a.m. on Monday, August 24, 2015, Neal was at the Saint Joseph Parish compound to collect money for deposit at the bank when he was ambushed. According to Neal, he was just about to reach his vehicle when a man wearing a white shirt and camouflage pants approached him and grabbed a laptop bag from him which contained $2,188.11 in cash and cheques. Neal struggled with his attacker but the younger man managed to strong the bag away and escaped. Police were called to the scene after the robbery and a quick investigation led to the arrest of Jayear Flores of a Curassow Street address who was caught with the bag of money not far from the scene.

STRAIGHT LIKE THAT A UDP OW East Newsletter
In the poem, “an Essay on Criticism,” Alexander Pope highlighted the following stanza “a little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again.” The modern meaning translates to the fact that people with a small amount of knowledge often think that they possess much more ‘expertise and intelligence’ than they actually do. The recent public attacks by the “Chihuahua” on Facebook against the Hon. Elodio Aragon Jr. relating to some correspondence or the other concerning the paving of streets in OW East shows how Desperate the “scrape dawg “ Mayor (67 votes) is. And disrespectful too!

Ministry of the Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities Signs Contract for Installation of Solar-Powered Streetlights
On Tuesday, March 7, 2017, the Ministry of Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities and Hubert L. Usher & Sons Construction of Dangriga Town signed an article of agreement for the installation of sixty (60) solar LED streetlights. The allocation of the streetlights is as follows: San Ignacio Town – ten (10), San Narciso Village, Corozal District - ten (10 , Belize City – forty (40). Signing on behalf of the Government of Belize was Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities Dr. Peter Allen, and on behalf of Hubert L. Usher & Sons Construction was Mr. Arthur Usher. The installations will commence this month.

Ministry of Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities Signs Agreement with Solar Energy Solutions Belize
The Ministry of the Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities and the Solar Energy Solutions Belize (SESB) of Belmopan signed an article of agreement on Tuesday, March 7, 2017, to establish power service connections in the Cayo District. The service connections will be for power stations to 40 houses and installation of wiring of the said 40 houses in La Gracia Village in the Cayo district. Signing on behalf of the Government of Belize was Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of the Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities Dr. Peter Allen, and on behalf of SESB was Director of Sales & Operations Silvan Kuffer. Service connections have already commenced.

PUC hosting cyber security symposium
The Public Utilities Commission is playing host to a Cyber Security Symposium from April 23 to 27 in order to help various sectors of society understand and appreciate the role of information technology in all aspects of our lives and dangers that exist with these modern tools. The PUC is the entity responsible for the regulation of utlity services and the internet is a utility service. John Avery, Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission, says, “We have a mandate to protect users from the dangers present with all public utlities. Cyber security has been a major topic recently with the bullying on Facebook but that is only a part of the story.” Avery says the Commission has secured the services of Bevil Wooding from Packet Clearing House who will help in the development of a national cyber security program. “There is a lot of threats and attacks taking place that aren’t publicized.” The PUC will launch its cyber security program with the four day symposium in April. Day one is only for registration and introduction. Individuals from different sectors of society will then be separated in groups to work on a long term initiative.

NICH team wins La Ruta Maya
After four days of paddling on the 20th running of La Ruta Maya River Challenge, Team NICH has come out victorious as the overall winner, edging out the second place D & A Smart Warriors by 14 cumulative seconds. Koop Sheet Metal was third overall finishing 12 minutes and 39 seconds behind NICH. Forty eight of these canoeing teams, with each canoe manned by three paddlers, launched from near the Hawkesworth Bridge on the Macal River on Friday of last week for the La Ruta Maya event. By last Friday night the various teams were resting at Banana Bank, with the NICH Team already at the lead, getting ready for the most distant part of the race--the 68 miles to Double Head Cabbage in the Rural Belize District.

International Women’s Day/Women’s Month 2017 Message
Each year on March 8th we join the global community in commemorating International Women’s Day: a day on which the world celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. In Belize, we have designated the entire month of March as Women’s Month. March is the month of stock taking on gender issues, as we not only celebrate the many achievements of our Belizean women, but we also reflect on the progress made in gender equality and equity and renew our commitment to the continued advancement of women. The theme for this year’s women’s month, “Empowering Women in a Changing World: Planet 50:50 by 2030”, focuses on the impact that rapid changes in technology and globalization is having and can have on the status of women. These changes present opportunities and threats to the advancement of women. Along with all the positives that can be gained from an ever shrinking and increasingly interconnected world, also comes global fiscal and trade policies, that lead to increased informality and instability of labour markets and negative environmental impact; all issues that are shown to disproportionately affect women.

The big, wutliss thieving PUPs are also reckless liars. So, just why are they so obsessed with telling unions what to do?
Every PUP supporter faces a massive problem: Sanitizing George Cadle Price. I have committed myself to providing Belizean voters with the absolute truth. On the other hand, PUP supporters have to first deny historical facts and then they try of makeover Price. Whenever supporters write about ‘the roots foundation’ of the PUP, I reject that out of hand. Everyone knows that Turton sent his ‘employed boy’ into politics to protect Turton’s money. Richardson was the one to verbalize the need for a political organization. G. C. Price hijacked that group… Remember that some organized religions sanction the “use of people.” Price used Belizeans in his nefarious schemes. “… the Caste War of 1847 is more important than the Battle of St. George’s Caye.” X needs to get it in his head that if it was not for us winning the Battle in 1798 there would have been NO Belize for the refugees to run to! Why do they insist on writing rubbish? Kindly stick to the truth at all times!

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Physiotherapist dies in fatal road traffic accident in southern Belize
Rubia Analicia Briceno, a physical therapist was killed in a fatal road traffic accident in southern Belize yesterday afternoon. The accident happened at mile 9 on the Stann Creek Valley Road and Briceno was in a white 4 door Nissan Navar pick-up which was […]

Road traffic accident in Southern Belize
Reports reaching our newsroom are that there was a fatal road traffic accident near mile 9 on the Stann Creek Valley road. The accident occurred this afternoon before 3 and involved a white pick up truck. Confirmed reports indicate that one person died as a […]

PM declares Superbond 3.0 a success
Prime Minister Dean Barrow, during a press conference yesterday flanked by members of his financial negotiating team, shared details of the government’s latest restructuring of the “Superbond” and declared the re-negotiation a success.The success of the new terms, however, depend on Belize’s ability to meet […]

PUP blasts Superbond restructuring; Party Leader says PM Barrow deceived the country
People’s United Party Leader John Briceño called a press conference today, attacking the Government of Belize, for its renegotiation of the 2034 US Dollar Bond (Superbond). Briceño said that Prime Minister Dean Barrow deceived the nation by calling the re-negotiations “successful” because the new […]

PM Barrow says Re-Registration in July 2018
Re-registration is scheduled for July of this year. However, the Government of Belize (GoB) wants to postpone it until July 2018 primarily for two reasons: 1.) GoB does not have the monies to conduct it and 2.) GoB wants to wait for the end of […]

GOB to pay over BZ$5 million dollars in fees to Creditor’s Committee
The Government of Belize has to pay an estimated BZ $5 million in fees to the Creditor’s Commitee that negotiated the country’s debt with bondholders. Prime Minister Dean Barrow estimates that the fees can range from US $3 million to US $4 million. He […]

Valencia bus driver charged for careless driving
A bus driver of Valencia’s Bus Company has been charged by the Department of Transport in Belmopan for careless driving. Christino Rodriguez appeared yesterday at the Belize City’s Magistrate Court where he plead guilty to the offence of “Drove Motor omnibus in contravention of Road Service permit” and was fined $500 plus $5 for the cost of the court.

San Ignacio Resort Hotel’s event coordinator to visit Buckingham Palace
Michelle Montejo, the event coordinator at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel has been elected as one of 9 individuals who will be hosted at the Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle in the United Kingdom. Montejo has worked at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel for 4 years, and according to the hotel, she has excelled in creating breathtaking Belize luxury weddings and has hosted many corporate and recreational events. Montejo is the only Belizean chosen for this scholarship.

PM Barrow says “no retrenchment” in 2017
The Prime Minister of Belize, Dean Barrow held a press conference yesterday to discuss the latest negotiations with the country’s super bond. Members of the media asked Barrow to comment on the cuts or tax increases that will come in the 2017/2018 Fiscal Budget. Barrow did not speak specifically on the issue of taxes but he affirmed the public that there will be no retrenchment and no increase in business tax.

Man with eight nationalities had Belizean citizenship
A recently published article in the SouthChina Morning Post highlighted an emerging trend where the affluent keep multiple citizenships for benefits. The article highlighted one such case, where a Canadian businessman born in the United States had eight different nationalities, including Belizean citizenship. Canadian immigration lawyer David Lesperance explained that his client, referred to as the OCto-Citizen, had begun collecting nationalities from as early as the 1980’s beginning in Cape Verde located in the Atlantic Islands, around 373 miles from West Africa. He moved on to Ireland and then Canada, before turning to Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts, and Belize.

Chaa Creek Resort in Belize wins top honors at National Geographic’s 2017 World Legacy Awards
The Lodge at Chaa Creek in western Belize won first place honors at National Geographic’s World Legacy Awards in Berlin, Germany. The World Legacy Awards are an initiative of National Geographic and ITB Berlin to honour companies, organisations and travel destinations for environmentally friendly operations, protection of natural and cultural heritage, and support for the wellbeing of local communities. Mick and Lucy Fleming, owners of Chaa Creek Resort were speaking at the 2017 World Legacy Awards (WLA) ceremony held on March 8th 2017 at the ITB convention in Berlin where they accepted the award in the “Engaging Communities” category.

Tropic Air honors employee of the month
Tropic Air has issued a press release announcing that Yensi L. Maldonado is their employee of the month for February 2017. Maldonado is the Shift Supervisor in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, and according to Tropic Air’s president John Greif III, “Yensi has a quiet, smiling humility that has allowed him to garner the respect of his coworkers.” “He has shown excellent customer service, and is always willing to go the extra mile to make sure our standards of service are delivered,” Grief said. Yensi was awarded with a certificate of achievement as well as a special gift from the company.

BDF soldier collides into motorcycle; kills one and sends two to the hospital
According to news reports, around 3 p.m. on Saturday, BDF Lawrence Lorenzo, 43, was heading to Sittee River in his Toyota Rav4 when he collided into a motorcycle. The driver of the motorcycle, Ernest Andrews Jr., 52, died as a result of the impact.

Belize Coast Guard Officer attends Gender Perspective Seminar in USA
Alma Pinelo, a Lieutenant of the Belize Coast Guard (BCG) is attending the 2nd annual seminar on military gender perspective which is being held in Washington, D.C. from March 7-9, 2017. This year, the seminar is being held under the theme “Peace and Security from a Gender Perspective: A Political and Strategic Vision” and is organized by the Inter-American Defense College (IADC), and the National Academy of Political and Strategic Studies (ANEPE). The seminar aims to contribute to this effort based on the experience and commitment of both these institutions by promoting Resolution 1325 (UNSC), on Women, Peace and Security.

FCD holds third bi-national planning session
Friends of Conservation and Development (FCD), the non-governmental organization which co-manages the Chiquibul Forest Reserve held a bi-national planning meeting this week to craft the third Chiquibul-Maya Mountains Technical Plan. FCD held the meeting at the Office of the Organization of American States located in the Adjacency Zone along with entities such as the Guatemalan Ministry of Agriculture, the Guatemalan Consulate, National Forest Institute, Balam Association, and the National Council of Protected Areas (CONAP) – which is the Guatemalan equivalent of the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT).

PUP says super-bond debt remains the same even after Barrow’s renegotiation
Prime Minister Dean Barrow yesterday held a press conference affirming a victory in the re-negotiation of the super-bond. However, the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) quickly fired off a steaming press release referring to Barrow’s press conference as a ‘smoke and mirrors’ presentation. According to the PUP, Barrow and his team spent too much time celebrating the fact that they simply cleaned up the mess they created with the previous super bond renegotiation.

Blogs

Sunbreeze Hotel honours guest Doug Harris’ 25th trip to Ambergris Caye
The charm and beauty of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye has become a magnet which keeps attracting thousands of people every year to the island. From its beaches, and incredible water activities along the second largest barrier reef in the world, to the friendly people and the impeccable hospitality every visitor gets, it’s no wonder our visitors fall in love with La Isla Bonita. This is the case for 77-year-old Canadian Doug Harris, who has not just travelled to the island for 25 years in a row, but has also been staying at his favorite Sunbreeze Hotel all this time! To commemorate his 25th stay and trip to Ambergris Caye, on Sunday, February 19th, the management and staff of SunBreeze Hotel presented him with a token of appreciation for being a loyal and kind guest at the hotel for a quarter century. Harris, a retired dentist living in Ontario, Canada first came to Belize via an all-inclusive charter service early in the 1990’s. He told The My Beautiful Belize that from his first visit to the country, he was impressed with the beauty and great service of the Belizean people. “These are great people. Belize has the friendliest people in the world,” said Harris. He feels fortunate to have been able to see the evolution of the town and the SunBreeze Hotel, where he is hosted in the same room he stayed in the first time he came to the island.

International Sourcesizz

Daring Tiffany Trump goes snorkeling with SHARKS during her Belize vacation
Tiffany Trump and her longtime beau Ross Mechanic are enjoying an adventure-filled vacation in Belize, and the two were happy to pose together in the clear blue ocean during their latest snorkeling trip. The 23-year-old First Daughter took to Instagram on Thursday to share a series of photos on vacation, including some snapshots of her in the water. Tiffany clearly didn't need any words to show that she is having a great time, as she opted to caption the series of images using only a dolphin and splashing water emoji. One of the underwater photos sees Tiffany wearing her snorkeling gear while swimming up to the camera, which was presumably being held by Ross. The two came up for some air to pose for a snapshot in the water together. The picture sees them with their arms wrapped around each other, and both have wide smiles on their faces.

Scouts In Belize Learn About Amateur Radio
The Belize Amateur Radio Club (BARC http://barc.bz/) presented an "Introduction to Amateur Radio" for the Scout Association of Belize on February 26. The demonstration, held at the Scouts National Training Grounds, covered BARC´s goals for Amateur Radio in Belize, a video, a hands-on demonstration of radio equipment, and a question-and-answer session. The demonstration represented a first step in cooperation between BARC and the Scout Association of Belize (Scouts Belize http://www.scoutsbelize.org/). "As we move forward with our friendship and cooperation, let's remember to use our radio skills wisely for the greater good of our nation, especially in times of emergencies, such as hurricanes and flooding, when we are needed most," BARC President Emil Rodriguez, V31ER, said afterward.

Wild turkeys: A conservation (and hunting) success story
The restoration of the wild turkey is one of the shining wildlife management conservation success stories of the past half century. When Europeans arrived, the North American woods were teeming with wild turkeys. But the birds failed to withstand the advance of unrestrained civilization. Habitat destruction and unregulated hunting nearly erased wild turkeys from the U.S. and Canada. By 1900, only a handful were left. The low point arrived in the 1930s, when turkey numbers in the United States probably sank to below 250,000. Only those in the most isolated and inhospitable habitat survived. The ocellated turkey is found in the Yucatan Peninsula and parts of northern Belize and Guatemala. Male turkeys are larger than females. A mature male turkey generally ranges from 12 to 25 pounds; sometimes heavier. Osceola and Rio Grande subspecies are slightly smaller than Eastern, Merriam’s and Gould’s birds. Turkeys roost in trees and, preferably, near water. They can fly short distances but are fleet afoot and can hit a top speed over short distances of 55 miles per hour. Turkeys also have excellent vision, about three times that of a human, and can see in color.

Videos

  • Understanding the SuperBond - The Next Steps, 38min.

  • Introduction of Specialist Dr. Constanza, 30min.

  • International Women's Day - Empowering in a Changing World: Planet 50:50 by 2030, 38min.

  • "Common External Tariff" or CET, 3min. Have you heard of the "Common External Tariff" or CET? If not, then here's a short video on CET from the Ministry of Investment, Trade & Commerce - Belize's Directorate General for Foreign Trade. Learn about the products that are in high demand in CARICOM! The Common External Tariff suspension creates more export opportunities for goods that cannot be supplied within the region.

  • Belize Tourism Board: Eladio Pop, 1/2min.

  • Belize Tourism Board: Birds, 1/2min.

  • Belize Tourism Board: Toronto Activation, 1min.

  • Belize Tourism Board: Drumming, 1/2min.

  • Snorkeling in Belize, 8min.

  • Market - Belize City, Belize, 3.5min.

  • Skydiving into the Blue Hole, Belize, 8.5min.

  • Island Hunter: Belize, 2min. The best of Belize, Island Hunter style!

  • BSI/ASR CROP REVIEW 2017 - WEEK 13, 3min.

  • PRE-SCHOOLERS PROMOTE OUR DIVERSE CULTURES, 3min. As part of the Child Stimulation Month Calendar for this year, a host of activities have been pre-planned countrywide with the objective of promoting the importance of early childhood education within Belize. Among the list of fun-filled activities, a Cultural Day event was held at the Guinea Grass Pentecostal School grounds this morning welcoming toddlers from ten different pre-schools.

  • Barron Bliss Revisited, 19min.

  • SXSW South By South West, 28min.

  • Belize Sailing Association, 32min.

  • UNIVERSITY OF BELIZE Annual Relathon, 20min.

  • The art of bartending!, 1/2min. Who knew bartending was more than just getting some tasty drinks made! Spectacular bartending flair show by Alexsander Shtifanov!

  • Make your own raft race?, 5.5min. Last race winners take all!!!

  • More raft races, 6min. I don't know what's going on here but it's da bomb!

  • What is the Superbond?, 1min.

  • Youth and Community Transformation for Southside Belize City, 10min. The Youth and Community Transformation Program (YCT) is a social intervention program implemented by the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation. Our Belize Now Team learned more about the program last week ...

  • Altun Ha Maya Ruins!!, 2min.

  • Turtles in Belize, 5min.

  • Bluehole Belize, 5.5min.

  • Maya Guide Adventures....Belize(Kayak Adventure), 8min. Marco guided us through caves down a river through the Belizean jungle. He has great knowledge about the ecosystems, great enthusiasm in sharing, and a lot of experience in leading tours. For the most part the river is less than 3 feet deep, and it moves along at a nice easy pace with some rapids. You will get wet, but it is refreshing. Between caves you will be on the river in the jungle.

  • AROUND BELIZE CITY - A short ride, 6min. Take a ride Around Belize City to see some of the Places: Downtown Area, Fort George Tourism Village, Memorial Park, Princess Margaret Drive.

  • DAY 6: STUDY ABROAD (AEC/CALS) IN BELIZE, 2min. Day 6 study abroad in Belize. Visited cassava farm and then went to Hopkins Village on the beach.


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