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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.
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
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 [email protected] Completed application forms can be submitted to [email protected]
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!
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.
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.