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#522328 - 03/16/17 05:25 AM Today's Belize News: March 16, 2017  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 57,750
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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

SPRCS’ solar project officially completed
A group of over 30 volunteers electrical contractors and manufacturers from Calpoly Construction Management Department (CCMD) presented a commemorative plaque to the San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRCS) on Friday, March 10th. After installing 14 solar panels in December 2016, the volunteer group returned to San Pedro Town to acknowledge the completion of the project. Principal Roxanni Kay thanked the group for its interest and commitment in selecting SPRCS for this project. Principal Kay explained that with a total of 856 students, managing the school is difficult when there’s little support from the government and the church. Now, with an alternative to use renewable energy, the school will not only reduce its carbon footprint, but it will also help decrease its electricity bill as well. Teacher Ross Novelo stated that this project has become a learning experience for the students. “They have been taught various forms of renewable energy over the past couple of months, and solar has been one of them. We are proud to contribute to a cleaner environment. Electricity, along with water, is used every day, and it is amazing to bring our curriculum into reality,” said Novelo.

San Pedro House of Culture hosts Women’s Art Show
The San Pedro House of Culture (SPHC) hosted its 2nd annual Art Show on Saturday, March 11th, featuring the work of the Women’s Art Group. In celebration of Women’s Month, the exhibit showcased a variety of oil, watercolor and acrylic paintings, as well as color pencil art, mixed media art, and sewing pieces, all priced for a great cause. Proceeds from the art sales benefit the “Women in Need” Foundation. Judy Sheinbaum, art class instructor of the Women’s Art Group, explained how important it is for women to express their inner abilities. “This all ties within Women’s Month, because all women are different, yet equal. Our group members meet once a week, and host an art show once a year. Although the Foundation is confidential, our group is making some effort to alleviate women’s health problems by donating the proceeds to a private doctor and nurse. In turn, the doctor helps several women by offering medical assistance, and we are happy to help. We love to paint and we all produce different art. We feel there’s no better way to help out, while you remain with a token,” said Sheinbaum.

Woman dies while awaiting emergency care
The San Pedro Sun extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of 23-year-old Jordanie Olivera, who suddenly passed away today, March 14th. According to an official police report, Olivera was complaining of shortness of breath, and after seeking medical attention, collapsed while waiting for a flight to Belize City for further care. A source from Tropic Air briefly told The San Pedro Sun that Oliveria sought treatment at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic II and was released from the clinic around 2:55PM, after which she booked a flight to receive emergency care at Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. However, she was experiencing breathing complications, and moments before boarding her flight, she passed away.

Top flair bartender Alexander Shtifanov visits Ambergris Caye
World champion flair bartender Alexander Shtifanov delivered a spectacular show on Thursday, March 9th at Rain Restaurant and Rooftop Terrace in Northern Ambergris Caye. For a small fee, attendees enjoyed a world class show, which began shortly after 10PM. Shtifanov, originally from Russia, has been around the world entertaining people with his incredible flair skills. During his performance last week, he impressed the group as he juggled bar tools and liquor bottles in tricky, and dazzling ways. While manipulating the different bar items, Shtifanov managed to mix a cocktail, which he then passed on to some of the spectators.

SPHS student Angel Navidad recovering after attack
A San Pedro High School (SPHS) student and member of the school’s champion male softball team, Angel Jose Navidad is recovering in a hospital in Belize City after being attacked on Saturday March 11th. Navidad was on his way home when he reportedly received a severe blow to his head by his attacker. He was then taken to Belize City where he has been under observation. Allegedly, Navidad’s attacker is a minor and former SPHS student. As of press time, no official report has been made to the Sa Pedro Police Department as family members are tending to Navidad while he recovers in hospital.

Ambergris Today

Belizean Cyclist Tariq Cano Aims for Belgium Competition
Born in the capital city of Belmopan, Belize, Tariq Cano has had a passion for cycling since the tender age of 11. He said he became interested in this sport by challenging his dad’s cycling coach after he made the statement, “Anyone can jump on a bicycle and ride.” To his surprise it wasn’t so. His determination took him to become one of the best all around junior cyclist of his time in Belize; winning his first race “Kings of the Hills Classic” at the age of 15. Since then Tariq has proudly represented Belize in Guatemala, Cuba, United States, Mexico, Nicaragua and plans to add Belgium and Costa Rica to his list. Cano said that to him cycling is like a drug, an addiction that once you start to feel the adrenaline it pushes you, it teaches you self discipline and builds a strong character. Most importantly it teaches you that one must fail several times before reaching success.

Fantastic New Sea Views Coming to Ambergris Caye
How would you like to wake up to a spectacular sunrise and views at the edge of Ambergris Caye? Sounds fantastic when you look at this new development taking place at the souther-most end of the island. La Sirene Resport and Spa sits a the edge of the island and will offer amazing views from their private residences and luxury condominiums once completed. Who wouldn't like to own a piece of paradise at La Sirene?

Over 265,000 Petitions Delivered to Prime Minister to Save the Reef
WWF’s ongoing Save Our Heritage Campaign to protect Belize’s Barrier Reef has now gathered approximately 265,000 petitions; the largest petition effort ever for Belize. Ambergris Today and iTravel Belize teams joined the Reef Petitions Parade in Belmopan City on Friday, March 10, 2017, at the National Assembly to be part of the historic delivery of the petitions to the Office of the Prime Minister of Belize. Even more so, iTravel Belize blogger Madison Edwards, was invited to hand deliver her letter to the Prime Minister which she wrote asking him to stand up along with her and there rest of the country against offshore oil exploration. Madison, WWF and Belize Coalition Partners stood at the steps of the National Assembly and delivered their messages of protecting the reef and the ban of offshore oil exploration. They broadcasted Live on Facebook platforms of WWF Belize, WWF international and Oceana Belize.

Misc Belizean Sources

mzz

1st World Croc Day
So where will the 1st World Croc Day (WCD) on June 17 be celebrated? The Crocodile Research Coalition (CRC) will be spearheading the 1st WCD in collaboration with The Belize Zoo in Belize! Head over to the CRC page and "Like" and "Follow" for updates on the Big Event in Belize, which will include educational Croc Talks with the zoo's famous American Croc Brutus, outreach booths throughout the zoo, and further information on how you can support croc conservation and research!

BTB & CTO Scholarship Opportunities
The Belize Tourism Board is offering scholarship opportunities to interested applicants for Tourism Programs commencing August 2017 for Full-time Students for several degrees. Application deadline for BTB Scholarships is Friday, June 30th, 2017 and application forms can be obtained by contacting BTB at training@belizetourismboard.org. Completed application forms can be submitted to training@belizetourismboard.org

CHILD STIMULATION MONTH
Fathers had the opportunity to show other children and dads about their daily job, they played games and even picked up their kids after school giving mommy's a break! Little Angles Pre School, San Pedro Pre School and ABC Pre School had tons of fun today!

Poets Corner: Refugee economics
By Abdulmajeed K Nunez. Though Belize hides its racism It’s obvious in our pluralism The people are steeped in cynicism In Guyana blacks have never been forgiven Trinidad covers it but it’s visible in their political dictum Grenada and St Lucia lucky They have mulatto weh think deh better The Caribbean has produced refugee economics None has refugee export or emigration None has produced the economy with room for people Luckily half the people have gone not just Belize We failed to construct subsistence economy Creole lived like neighbours but after the politics After getting political membership The Garinagu and Creoles absorbed into education and public service Today despite them being executives There is a lack of appreciation for each other It’s the same as Trinidad my brother

New fuel prices
Updated Fuel Prices Effective: 15th March 2017

Poetry competition in Corozal
On February 17th, Oceana launched a poetry competition in Corozal for primary school and secondary school students which closed on March 10th. Kristyn Tillet, a Standard 6 student from Mary Hill Primary School, was the winner in the primary school segment for her submission entitled, God's Creation; while, Emmanuel Gilharry, a third form student at Corozal Community College, won the secondary school competition with his entry entitled, Wake Up Belize.

Meet the future Marine Biologists from Chunox!
Reef Week continues with excitement and lots of learning! Students from the two primary schools in Chunox learn all about being a marine biologist with BAS!

Belize let's learn Maya with a Malix Peek'
Last time they ask us what does Malix Peek' means. Malix or Malix Peek' is a common Maya word used in northern Belize to refer to street dogs or common dog . Malix is a Maya(Yucatec Maya) word which means "Common,ordinary or mix" . The word Peek' means "Dog". So Malix Peek' can be "Common Dog". The plural of Dogs in Maya is "peek’o’ob". Let's protect and love this dogs most of the time they are not appreciated as a "Full breed dog" and end up being a stray Dogs. so why buy a $500 Dog when you can have a Malix Peek'? This dogs are very resistant,Good hunters,good guard dogs,awesome family pets etc .

COROZAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE OPEN DAY
COROZAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE Invites you and your family to their OPEN DAY on Friday March 17th, 2017 between 9:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at the school grounds. Enjoy their various displays from subjects, science, experiments, physical education. Visit their Imaginarium and Math Museum. Food sales from their business department. Lookout for their automated water irrigation display! Culture Presentation - Fun activities - Outdoor playground - Greet the students - Indoor soft play

PRINCESS CASINO FREE ZONE INVITES
It is going to be a weekend of LOL (Laughing Out Loud) at the Princess Casino Free Zone with "EL COCOTAZO" Comedy Show featuring Mexican comedian Oscar De La O! Come on out, play, win and have a super night with tons of laughter. Free cover! Show begins at 10:00 P.M. Belize time or 11:00 P.M. Mexico time - Friday, March 17th and Saturday, March 18th.

Bamboo Bar St. Patrick's Day Concert
Ascenthium is playing at Bamboo Bar this St. Patrick's Day Friday! They'll be jamming their new songs, and they've been practicing some new cover songs too. No cover charge, as always. "St. Patricks day, FRIDAY MARCH 17TH. You've all been asking for live music, so guess what - We're giving it to you! Ascenthium LIVE in Bamboo 10pm! Sponsored by Guinness and L&R Liquors! FREE jello shots while they last, 2 for $5 Rum & soda, 3 for $10 Amstel Bright & Heineken and 2 for $10 Guinness! NO COVER CHARGE"

The U.S. Embassy Belmopan has an opening for an Electro-Mechanical Technician
WHO MAY APPLY: Anyone who is eligible for appointment under Belize’s local laws. Applicant must be in possession of a Belize social security card valid for employment and/or a resident/work permit. The U.S. Mission in Belize provides equal opportunity and fair and equitable treatment in employment to all people without regard to race, color religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation, marital status, or sexual orientation. The Department of State also strives to achieve equal employment opportunity in all personnel operations through continuing diversity enhancement programs.

Turn the Tide Concert
Are you ready to rock PuntaGorda? This promises to be a fun night with sensational music! Join us at Punta Gorda Central Park from 4:30pm to 9:00pm for the Turn the Tide concert featuring Mayan Parandero, Cocono Bwai, TR Shine, Tariq Avilez, Vallen Avila, and Clique Dance Group.

Oceana Instagram competition
Congratulations to budding photographer Nadir Price , winner of Oceana's Instagram competition. Thank you to all the participants for sharing their salty stories with us!

Channel 7

Three Detained For Murder of Teenaged Girl, Was It Jealousy?
Over the weekend, a burnt female body was found at the dump site 4 miles outside of Belmopan. Yesterday, the female's family positively identified her as 18 year old Kerona Ara. They confirmed it was her based on the tattoos on her body, which was otherwise burnt beyond recognition. Now, while they struggle with the grief from the loss of this teenager's life, Ara's family and friends are doing their best to find out exactly what happened and why. Today in Blackman Eddy, we spoke to her mother, Sherlene Mai, about what they have pieced together so far… Sherlene Mai - Mother of Deceased: "First she was here with me Saturday, we mi di hang out and we mi di laugh and talk and think like that and then she say ma I going up to my niece to work, who is Stephanie, she usually go work in Santa Elena. And then I call her phone but she never answer then she say ma I will lef the charger with you because you never had no charger so my mind the run on ih phone mussi dead, that's why ih no di answer her phone. And then my niece number deh inna her phone, so I never had her number and then Saturday I the call to see if she reach but she no answer so I say okay well when she usually tell me ma, I'm going by Stephanie, I know da there she is for true and she never lie to me and thing like that; so I never mi di the bother about it and thing like that.

Worse Kind Of Deja Vu For Fire Affected Family
This morning, it was the worst kind of deja vu for one Belize City family when their home was destroyed by fire. Arilee Scott's house - which is just a few hundred feet from this studio - was home to 7 persons - three of them children. And now they are homeless. It's headline news because its the second time this family is getting burnt out of basically the same spot. Jules Vasquez has the story:… The fire started just before 7:00 this morning, in this home off Prince Street. Arilee Scott and her four year old grandson were the only ones at home: Norman Gillette – Fire Victim: "My mother mi deh home – my lee four year old son mi deh home; She mi di tek wah shower and the lee boy mi deh watch TV so when she and the lee boy holler, by the time she rum upstairs and see whe gone on, she said she couldn't do nothing because the whole room done eena flames already."

Superbond 3.0 - The Deal Is Sealed
Government has sealed the deal for Superbond 3. A press release form the Central Bank this evening announced, quote, "holders of more than 87 percent of Belize's U.S. Dollar Bonds have consented to certain amendments to the terms of those Bonds." That 87% is more than enough to trigger what is called the "Collective Action Clause" - which binds all the holdouts to accept Government's offer, meaning that tonight, all bondholders have accepted the deal. Government is now expected to make that Superbond payment it had deferred in February as part of its hardball negotiating tactics. It had a 30 day grace period to make payment. The government release says, quote, "The Bonds had been restructured twice before, once in 2007 and again in 2013. In neither case, however, did the financial terms prove to be sustainable beyond a few years. Belize launched its Consent Solicitation earlier this year with the express goal of finally putting the Bonds on a fully sustainable basis." end quote.

A Criminal Kit In Sandhill
On Monday,the Rural police found a criminal kit in Sandhill village. A search near the cemetery turned up a 16 gauge shotgun, a black ski mask, 16 rounds of 9 millimetre ammunition, and two shotgun cartridges. And while it was clearly a kit assembled to commit a robbery or aggravated assault, no one was In the immediate area and it was labelled as found property.

Mother Found Guilty For Wandering Child
On Monday, Sharhina Flowers appeared in the Magistrate's Court where she was read a single charge for, quote, "suffering a child to be in a public place." Flowers immediately pled guilty to the charge stating the she had nothing to say in her defense. After being asked again by Magistrate Norman Rodriguez if she had anything to say, Flowers admitted that she was working at the Sister Cecilia home when she got a call from her mother telling her that her 13 year old son was being held at the police station. She went on to explain that she left her son in the care of her mother, and alleges that the boy's father picked him up and took him somewhere else. According to Flowers, at some point the boy's father left him, which led him onto the street where he met up with a female neighbour, and that's when police picked him up.

Was Passport System Manipulated?
The Senate Hearings on Immigration continued today in Belmopan. Today's testimony was all about the technical aspects of the passport system. The Committee wanted to find out if the Department's machine which prints passports is secure, or if it can be breached by tech-savy officers who know how it works. So, they called Rodolfo Bol, the Immigration Department's System Manager, who has been with the department since 2004. He's in charge of the system which runs the passport machine, and the border management system, known as MIDAS. He also manages the Department's internal network which connects all offices countrywide, and the 7 Embassies in the US, the UK, and Taiwan. The Senate Select Committee wanted him to walk them through the technology which the Department uses. But first, they had to get his response to a very serious claim which the Auditor General made against him.

How Did Citizen Kim's Picture End Up In System?
But, the passport machine's security features were breached for the Won Hong Kim Passport application. That one was clearly fraud and forgery perpetrated to get the South Korean fugitive a passport that he didn't qualify for in any way. First off, he never set foot in Belize, and for a passport application, all applicants must present themselves in person to take an original photo at the Immigration Office. Citizen Kim couldn't have done that because he was in a detention centre in Taiwan. Yet, somehow, his picture ended up in the passport system, which then allowed for the passport to be printed. The conclusion is that somebody managed to use the passport system to take a picture Won Hong Kim's South Korean passport which ended up on his Belizean passport. So, can the system be manipulated for corrupt ends like that? That's what the Senate asked Rodolfo Bol, and here's how he answered:

BTIA Strongly Opposes GOB Hike In Departure Taxes
All week we've been reporting on government's new basket of taxes. Designed to raise 80 + million dollars in revenue for government, the new tax measures dig deep, but they do so almost inconspicuously. That's because the government stayed away from direct impact, across the board taxes such as income tax, general sales tax, or business tax. One of the not so noticeable taxes they topped up is the departure fee for tourists, increasing it to $40 dollars. Government hopes to collect 11.05 million dollars, but the Belize Tourism Industry Association, says the departure fee, when added to the new PACT charge will add up to much more - too much for visitors to comfortably bear. Today the BTIA put out a detailed position paper, and the executive Director explained why the fee increase is wrong for Belize:…

Robber Remanded After Theft of 15K
On early February we told you about the daring armed robbery at the Uno Gas Station on Youth For the Future Drive, near the Bel China bridge. It happened around 9:00 am, when two armed men ambushed the messenger who was carrying deposit bags. They took his knapsack with two Scotia bank deposit bags loaded with $15,878.00 in cash. Both men then ran off. Well today, five weeks later, police have charged a well known criminal figure for robbery. He is 24 year old Lloyd Leslie Jr., a Belize City labourer of #5 Bocotora Street. Late this evening, Leslie Jr., appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza where he pleaded not guilty to the single charge of robbery with a firearm. He was denied bail and remanded. No other suspect has been arrested.

Tourist Drowns In Placencia
A tourist apparently drowned yesterday evening in Placencia. 53 year old Steven Gail Wine - a tourist from Colorado - was socializing with his wife and other family members at Barefoot Bar in Placencia village. At 6:30 he left the group, and went for a dip in the sea. A few minutes later, his common law wife Annie Berrardi went to look for him and found him motionless in the sea in front of Tipsy Tuna Restaurant and bar. A passerby tried to revive him with CPR, and a Doctor arrived and tried to the the same, but he was unresponsive. Police stress that there were no signs of physical violence on the body and foul play is not suspected. A postmortem will be conducted tomorrow.

A Tale Of Two Tutsies
For the past two nights we've been reporting on the case of Corporal Darrell Tootsie Usher - who's accused of trafficking 20 pounds of marijuana. In their press release, the language police used suggested that he was the one observed putting drugs in the car. That's the same car which the cops later stopped and searched with Usher behind the wheel. He fled with a bag, which police say had 20 pounds of weed. Well, it turns out the original police report by the arresting officer says that a man of East Indian descent put the bag in the car. Usher is pointing to the difference, because he is of creole descent, and says he doesn't know who put what in any car. But Usher says he does know that a sheaf of land documents and his gun license which were on the dashboard have gone missing. Police claim to know nothing about the documents, and he has been advised to file a report.

Media Boycotts Police
In January, we reported on the revised approach to police-media relations, where only the police press officers are authorized to disseminate information or give interviews on crime matters. That policy change stripped formation commanders of their freedom to engage the press, and basically muzzled them with a gag order. It wasn't an ideal situation for us, the media, but we gave it a try. Well, according to media practitioners, that model has crashed and its affecting the free flow of information that we share with you, our viewers. Our News Director Jules Vasquez has been engaged in this process from the start and this week he called on his colleagues to institute a media-wide boycott of all police events. Today, he explained why it has come to this:

No More Buckets Da Biscayne
Biscayne residents have been living without tap water for decades. For most of us, it’s hard to imagine a life like that - but these villagers know it too well. But for the past couple of months heavy work has been ongoing to install the system in the village which runs along the northern highway in the Belize district. It’s been activated and today there was an inauguration ceremony in the village. The very proud Area Rep. Edmond Castro and the Biscayne’s chairperson discussed how life changing this water system is. As you heard there are 700 residents living in Biscayne. Other villages in Belize rural to get water are those in Boston, Maypen and Bomba.

Almagro Returns
The Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro is coming to Belize. the official announcement was made late this afternoon. He arrives on Thursday and leaves on Friday after a press briefing. He has meetings scheduled with Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Foreign Minister, Wilfred Elrington, as well as with the leader of the Opposition, John Briceño. The Secretary General will also visit with the B.D.F. for a flyover. Almagro and his OAS are pushing for an early referendum because the Peace Fund financing for the O.A.S. Adjacency Zone office has been waning. Almagro first visited Belize last April for an event at the Adjacency Zone.


#522329 - 03/16/17 05:27 AM Re: Today's Belize News: March 16, 2017 [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 57,750
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Channel 5

Family Mourns Terrible End for Keonia Ara, 18
The family of eighteen-year old Keonia Ara of Blackman Eddy continues to reel over her gruesome murder over the weekend. Ara was stabbed multiple times, her throat slit and then [...]

B.T.I.A.: New Tax Measures Bad for Tourism
On Monday, the Prime Minister presented the new budget. For the first time, the Government is proposing to collect over one billion dollars in tax revenues, an increase of eighty-eight [...]

Tourism Stakeholders Want G.O.B./B.T.B. Held Accountable
The Belize Tourism Board has been asked by industry operators to account for its sizable income and revenue, especially as it relates to tourism marketing. So, what would a cut [...]

Tourism Minister Weighs in Budget
The Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation is reporting minimal cuts in its budget for the fiscal year. However, there has been increased taxation on the industry in the form [...]

Diego Bol Addresses I.T. Management for Kim Passport
Two of the scheduled three witnesses for today’s public hearings of the Senate Special Select Committee on Immigration testified. They are current information technology manager Rodolfo Bol and former database [...]

Who Controls Passport Machine?
Bol disputed the Auditor General’s assertion that inactive users were not removed from the system under his tenure. He pointed out that he and his successor as Systems Administrator, Georgia [...]

O.A.S. Secretary General Visits Guatemala on Way to Belize
We reported on Tuesday night, that the O.A.S. Secretary General Luis Miguel Almagro arrives in Belize on Thursday though the nature of his visit has not been confirmed.  A number [...]

Fire Guts Family House in Belize City Again
The house belonging to the Scott family of Prince Street, Belize City was struck by fire this morning.  Six family members occupied the upper flat of the two-storey wooden building [...]

Police-Media Relations Sink to New Low
Over the past three weekends, there has been a considerable increase in homicides across the country; the most recent being a string of unrelated murders, including that of sixty-six-year-old Elbert [...]

When a Cruise Port for Belize City?
When will Belize City get a functioning cruise port? It has been a favourite question of tour operators who see potential in the cruise product whether at Stake Bank off [...]

Tourism Minister Says Problems in South Being Fixed
Still on the tourism industry…Is the honeymoon over for Norwegian Cruise Lines? Their Harvest Caye project was intended as an exclusive footprint in Belize for the cruise line, which shared [...]

Tourist Dies Suddenly in Placencia
An American national lost his life on Tuesday evening when he drowned in Placencia.  Fifty-three-year-old Steven Gail Wine, from his hometown of Erie, Colorado, was vacationing on the peninsula when [...]

Teen Girl Forced to Send Nude Pics to Demanding Sexual Predator
There is a most disturbing report of cyber bullying against a minor by an alleged sexual predator.  A thirteen-year-old student from the Belmopan area has reported to police that man [...]

CITO’s Francisco Gonzalez Explains Why He Was Pulled from Audit Team
Back to the senate hearings…The second witness at today’s public hearing, Francisco Gonzalez, was a busy man for most of 2013 and early in 2014. He was point man for [...]

Gonzalez Says Time to Fix Passport Machine
Gonzalez spent most of the session leading Senators through an explanation of how technological failures with the machine readable passport system were an underlying cause of the problems within the [...]

New Water System for Biscayne Village
The village of Biscayne stretches for five miles on the Philip Goldson Highway. Anyone travelling on the highway will detect the hustle and bustle among the population of over seven [...]

Celebrating Consumer Rights Day
To raise awareness of the rights of consumers, March fifteenth is set aside to commemorate World Consumer Rights Day. Since the early 1980’s, the day is celebrated annually to instigate [...]

More Airlines, More Hotel Rooms – Tourism on the Up
There’s been a lot tonight on the tourism industry…Saturday’s Southwest Airlines’ touchdown at the Philip Goldson International Airport will not be the last arrival of an airline in Belize for [...]

CTV3

Senate Inquiry Exposes Weaknesses In Passport System
The Senate Select Committee held its fourteenth hearing session today in which it took a deep look at the technical aspects of our passport system. Rodolfo Bol, the Information Technology manager at the Department of Immigration since August 2012, managed and oversaw the computerized system. He provided a detailed account of the process, step by step, and role by role, explaining how an application for passport is accepted and processed. The Senate Select Committee members were interested in fully understanding the system because there have been many instances where aspects of the fully computerized process has been overlooked or where the process has provided inadequate checks and balances. For example, an issue raised is how it was possible for persons assigned to specific responsibilities get involved in other aspects of the process. The Audit General’s special audit report raised this issue because having separate roles is itself a check and balance but in their investigations the Auditor General’s office found this was side-stepped. According to the IT manager, he was instructed to allow it.

Ghost Passport In The System
The second witness at today’s Senate hearing had even more criticism of the passport system utilised by the Immigration Department. Francisco Gonzalez, who shared his expertise with the Auditor General’s audit team shared some of his concerns about the passport system. He indicated that during the seven months he assisted in the audit, he discovered that there have been passports issued but which do not appear as such in the Immigration Department’s database.

Fishermen Slapped With Stiff Fines For Under Size Conchs
Four Fishermen from the north were today fined almost $10,000 in court after they were found in possession of a large number of undersized conchs. The men, namely 26 year old Wilson Hernandez and 24 year old Aldo Hernandez both of Sarteneja Village, along with 26 year old Alexie Babb, of Chunox Village and 38 year old Ubaldino Sandoval, of San Estevan Village, appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza today where they were unrepresented and pleaded guilty to a single count each of possession of undersized conchs.

US Marshall Offer Reward For Detainment Of RJ Believe To Be In Belize
The United States Marshals are offering a reward of five thousand dollars for any information that might assist them in locating and detaining Raymond “RJ” McLeod who is considered a person of interest in the death of his girlfriend, Krystal Mitchell. The tragedy occurred in June of last year in San Diego where authorities responded to a report of a woman who was not breathing. After police arrived at the scene, the said woman identified as Mitchell was pronounced dead. Raymond McLeod, however, had reportedly fled the scene and has evaded authorities since. Further reports indicate that immediately following the murder, the suspect stole the victim’s vehicle, withdrew money from her bank account, then fled to Mexico. It is believed he then made his way into Belize, as he was last spotted in Placencia.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Vicious murder of teenaged girl – Belmopan police makes major progress
Belmopan police have 2 young men and a young woman in custody as major progress is being made in unravelling the murder of 18 year old Keona Ara from Blackman Eddy Village. One of the suspects in custody is a resident of Teakettle village and is a recent ex-boyfriend of Keona. BBN has confirmed that Police picked up the boyfriend, along with a suspected male and female accomplice, after they searched a home in Belmopan. Reliable information to BBN, and confirmed by family members, is that at the residence, Police found blood stained clothing of the teenaged girl, her cell phone and a knife that may have been the murder weapon.

Belize Celebrates world consumer rights day
The Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS), in commemoration of World Consumer Rights Day, is holding a public awareness drive in three locations. The drive started yesterday in Orange Walk, continues today in Belize City, and ends in Punta Gorda on Thursday. The BBS met with members of the public to discuss what are consumer rights, and answer any questions they might have about those rights or the work of the bureau.

New streets and drains for PG
The Government of Belize has spent a whopping $1,702,214.32 to provide residents of Punta Gorda and surrounding communities with an upgraded street and drainage environment. While Government was able to aid in this development with a loan, the Punta Gorda Town Board also donated up to $51,066.43. Today the road and drainage infrastructure will be officially inaugurated at 3:00 p.m. Speakers at the event will include Erwin Contreras, Minister of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce; Mayor Fern Gutierrez, and the Executive Director of Social Investment Fund, William Lamb Jr., among others.

Ministries and departments to cut expenses?
Prime Minister Dean Barrow presented the 2017-2018 budget at the House of Representatives on Monday. As part of its fiscal consolidation measures under the terms of restructured 2034 bonds, GOB’s consolidation plan for this fiscal year must be at least 3 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). To accomplish this, GoB is seeking a $70 million (or 2% 0f GDP) increase in revenues and a $30 million (or 1 % of GDP) reduction in expenditures.

Prime Minister Barrow foresees economic improvement
At the budget presentation on Monday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow summarized the country’s economic outlook and said there would be positive developments for the new fiscal year 2017/18. In Barrow’s words: “The conditions of the economy and the public finances will improve appreciably in the coming financial period, and this will be secured both by natural rebound and by our measured consolidation.”

Economy expected to bounce back this year says PM Barrow
The Central Bank of Belize has forecasted a 3.5 percent economic recovery for the fiscal year 2017-2018. Prime Minister Dean Barrow, in his budget presentation, explained that GOB expects the economy to experience a 3.5 percent recovery in this fiscal year.

BTIA responds to departure tax increase; Says GOB didn’t consult with stakeholders
The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) is calling for the Government of Belize to reconsider two pieces of proposed legislation in the national budget that it feels will have disastrous consequences for Belize’s tourism sector. The BTIA today issued its concerns and recommendations, in response to GOB’s proposed amendments to the Statutory Bodies Development Contribution Act 2017, and the proposed PACT (Amendment) Act, presented during the budget presentation on Monday.

San Pedro woman dies while waiting for flight to Belize City
A San Pedro woman was scheduled to arrive in Belize City yesterday for medical treatment but she never made it. According to police reports, Jordanie Olivera, 23, was complaining of shortness of breath and collapsed inside Tropic Air’s Airstrip in San Pedro while waiting for her flight to Belize City. Olivera was then rushed to a Polyclinic nearby and was pronounced dead on arrival.

Belizean elected to serve on Waukegan Township
Sylvestre Castellanos, who hails from San Ignacio, is the first Belizean-American to have been elected to serve on the Waukegan Township, which is responsible for Waukegan, Beach Park, Park City and North Chicago. On February 28, he was elected to serve 4 years on […]

Inmate reportedly dies in prison
Reports reaching our newsroom indicate that a prisoner died at the Hattieville prison. He has been identified as Matilde Ku, 62, who is originally from August Pine Ridge in Orange Walk. According to police, the cause of death was cardio respiratory arrest. He was pronounced […]

BTIA fears new departure tax will kill Belize’s tourism industry
The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) is concerned that the new amendments to the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) Act, presented in the national budget, could raise departure taxes, thereby seriously hurting Belize’s tourism industry. BTIA President Osmany Salas, told BBN that the departure […]

Blogs

Let’s Celebrate The Belize Barrier Reef
The Belize Coral Reef – the 2nd largest barrier reef in the world – is the crown jewel of Belize. The miles and miles of rainbow corals that make our entire coast line what it is today. Literally. Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker started as patches of coral and built up over thousands of years. Placencia Peninsula was once a stretch of coral growth that is now covered by river sediment and sand. Our atolls and cayes…coral. It’s part of what brings thousands of visitors and keeps millions of fish, sharks, whales in our waters. It should be protected like any crown jewel would be when under attack. But I won’t even START on the Government of Belize’s preposterous ideas to search for oil within 1 kilometer of the reef. Reef Week is March 9th to March 15th and is celebrated with events around the country.

Visit Belize in March
With fantastic weather, Belize in March is at the top of tourist season, with countless opportunities to fish, dive, snorkel, sail, and explore the lush landscape of tropical rainforests, mountain peaks, and rich fertile plains. March is also when many high-energy festivals and celebrations occur throughout the country, making it the perfect time to visit the tropical paradise of Belize. Instead of shivering through another month of winter in the United States and Canada, why not come on down to Belize and relax under the warm sunny rays of a tropical sun? With fantastic weather and so many fun festivals, Belize is truly the destination of choice in March. Escape the dreary dregs of winter and head on down to Belize, where a laid-back and friendly country filled with exciting adventure opportunities and beautiful nature await you! You’ll feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and happy when you return home after spending a week under the warm tropical sun of Belize.

International Sourcesizz

Air Canada gets green light for flights to Belize
Canadian regulators have approved a request by Air Canada to operate flights between Canada and Belize, according to Canadian Transportation Agency documents. The documents do not specify routes or a start date, and Air Canada did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The approval applies to Air Canada, Air Canada Cargo and the company's low-fare Rouge unit. Air Canada has not served Belize since at least 2005, the earliest available year of FlightGlobal schedules data.

Tiffany Trump returns to snowy New York after spending two weeks on a romantic spring break trip in Belize
Tiffany Trump is back in New York City after spending a couple of weeks enjoying the tropical climate in Belize with her longtime boyfriend Ross Mechanic.Tiffany, who spend the past two weeks in tank tops and bathing suits, traded her athletic wear for a chunky turtleneck sweater and a puffy bomber jacket with a fur hood. President Donald Trump's youngest daughter accessorized her warm, winter look with black leggings, white high-top sneakers, and a studded black handbag. And it looks like Tiffany was lucky enough to get a flight back to the city a few days before the winter storm hit the East Coast. The couple filled their days with adventurous activities, including zip-lining and snorkeling, and Tiffany happily shared photos and videos throughout their trip. One underwater photo sees Tiffany wearing her snorkeling gear while swimming up to the camera, which was presumably being held by Ross.

The State of Central American Food in Los Angeles
In addition to claiming the title of best Mexican food city in the U.S., Los Angeles is also the top destination for Central American cuisine, with strong representation from five of seven countries along the isthmian strip at the southernmost end of North America. Refugees from El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and other countries arrived in L.A. during the 1970s and 80s due to a century and a half of Monroe Doctrines, the Roosevelt Corollary and our Cold War policies that led the U.S. to support military dictatorships in Guatemala, El Salvador and right wing contras in Nicaragua. Mass deportations of MS-13 and other Central-American gang members that began in the 1990s until today have forced another wave of Central-Americans fleeing for their lives to the calmer settings of South Central Los Angeles, Koreatown, Jefferson, the San Fernando Valley and in and around Huntington Park. They brought with them nothing but the shirts on their backs, along with their rich culinary traditions. Plus a map of where to eat the best dishes in the city.

Students survey beetles, piranha, sharks for Earthwatch
Nicole Tu-Maung’s research on a South African nature reserve sought to document the complex ecology of white rhinos by collecting and examining the beetles feasting on the animals’ dung. “It was the hellish orchestra of several hundred beetles, scraping their serrated legs on the hard exteriors of their fellow captives; clawing and biting desperately at each other to make way toward the edge of the bag only to be trapped and crushed under the weight of several kilos of sloshing, wet dung,” wrote Tu-Maung in her post-expedition blog. At the Glover’s Reef atoll off the coast of Belize, Joyce worked with Demian Chapman and Katie Flowers, both affiliated with Florida International University and Global FinPrint. Working with these international researchers, Joyce studied shark and ray populations, catching and tagging Caribbean reef sharks and observing rays with Baited Underwater Remote Video cameras, or BRUVs.

The Decline of Reef Predators Could Mean Disaster For Reefs
A trip to see coral reefs isn’t complete without sighting some big predators like sharks and barracuda. Sadly, up to 90 percent of reef predators have disappeared from the Caribbean due to overfishing, disrupting the delicately balanced ecosystem and leaving visitors disappointed. John Bruno, a marine biologist from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Abel Valdivia, a study co-author, studied the reefs and released their findings in the journal Science Advances. Bruno explained that the loss of these predators not only means a decline in tourism for the islands, but also a dramatic increase in small fish that then in-turn put added stress on the environment, as is common when a deer population grows too quickly and vegetation suffers. The team surveyed 39 reefs across the Bahamas, Cuba, Florida, Mexico and Belize in order to determine how much fish had been lost and to study the differences between over-fished and healthy reefs. Reefs that once teemed with life and were balanced are now suffering and dying as a result of people’s impact.

Videos

  • The Ever-Changing Illegal Activities in the Chiquibul, 7.5min. The huge expanse of the Chiquibul National Park has been under continuous threat for all sorts of illegal activities over the years. The protected area has an abundance of highly sought natural resources by persons from across the border. Tonight, the news is that the harvesting of xaté and the poaching of the scarlet macaw have been minimized significantly. Friends for Conservation Development has been at the forefront in the fight against the pillage of the forest. That is the good news…but on the flip side, a more lucrative activity is on the surge. News Five’s Duane Moody was deep in the forest as part of a program with the Protected Areas Conservation Trust and files the following report.

  • Senate Special Select Committee hearings regarding the Auditor General's Report continues, 35min.

  • San Pedro Market Ambergris Caye, Belize, 1.5min. The San Pedro Town Artisans market area.

  • Scuba School And Family Dive Center Belize, 1.5min.

  • LARC Fellow Meaghan Peuramaki-Brown, 6min. Interview with LARC Fellow Meaghan Peuramaki-Brown (Anthropology, Athabasca University) about her current projects and research.

  • Women in Education, 46min.

  • BTL - March Campaigns, 18min.

  • Downtown Rejuvenation Project Community Cookout Engagement, 22min.

  • Reef Swim Challenge 2017, 6min. Reef Week kicked off last week with a number of activities and it continued over the weekend with a ride, cleanup effort, and a swim challenge. News Five tagged along with the folks from the World Wildlife Fund out to Goffs and English Caye for the yearly reef swim challenge. It is a challenge – not a competition – that is held to raise awareness of the importance of a healthy reef. On Sunday twenty-five swimmers took to the English Channel to challenge themselves and, for some, to engage in a friendly competition to cross the finish line first. Here’s a look at how the reef swim challenge went on Sunday:

  • Youth Information/Educational Fair @ YWCA., 1.5min.

  • Belize, Mahogany Bay, & Cozumel, 2min.

  • Aerial view of the Rio On Pools in Mountain Pine Ridge Belize., 2.5min. Aerial view of the Rio On Pools in Mountain Pine Ridge Belize.

  • Belize 2017, 7min. Belize 2017 Gaia River Lodge Mountain Equestrian Trails Xunantunich Ruins Amergris Caye.

  • Take Belize Int Airport Tropic Air to Placencia, 2min.

  • Belize 2017, 3min. Shot in Caye Caulker this February 2017. Most of the videos are from the Raggamuffin snorkeling trip to Hol Chan Marine Reserve and other snorkeling spots between Caye Caulker and San Pedro. Panoramic shot at the end is from the day flats fishing east of Ambergris Caye.

  • Goldfish Swim School in Belize, 3min. Goldfish Swim School trip to Gales Point, Belize 2017.

  • Sea Turtle, Mexico Rocks, Belize, 1min. Snorkeling in Belize San Pedro Mexico Rocks Tuff E Nuff Tours Costa Blu.

  • San Pedro, BELIZE Golf Cart Ride to AK'BOL Yoga Retreat Ambergris Caye -Caribbean, 3.5min. Golf Cart ride up north to Ak'Bol Yoga Retreat from our condo near the bridge in San Pedro, Belize. Ak'bol does daily yoga, has rooms, and offers amazing views of the Caribbean.


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