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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
SPTC celebrates island teachers and nurses
To commemorate Teacher’s and Nurses Week, the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), along with Area Representative and Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. hosted the 13th annual ‘Teachers and Nurses Banquet’ on Thursday, May 11th. Island educators, doctors, nurses, and medical assistants were treated to an evening full of entertainment, drinks, food, and fun at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium.
Before protocol was established, attendees mingled and socialized, enjoying the musical entertainment provided by San Pedro’s Rompe Raja Band. Around 8PM, master of ceremonies, Councilor Severo Guerrero Jr., welcomed the gathering to the event. After the singing of the National Anthem, Ariani Gongora, Principal at Brighter Tomorrow Preschool, gave an invocation.
San Pedro Town and Wilmington City celebrate 10 years of sister city relations
A special ceremony and dinner was held on Wednesday, May 10th to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the sisterhood between San Pedro Town and the City of Wilmington, North Carolina USA. The event was hosted at Pineapple’s Restaurant at Ramon’s Village by The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), and saw the participation of staff and Councilors of the SPTC including Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Deputy Gary Greif and special invited guests from the city of Wilmington.
Representing the city of Wilmington were Margaret Haynes, Mayor Pro-Term and the President of the Sister City Commission Marilyn Cantarella. Mayor Guerrero thanked Haynes and Cantarella for their city’s continued interest in partnering with San Pedro. In his brief remarks, Guerrero pledged to strengthen the relationship between both municipalities and invited the representatives from Wilmington to work together with San Pedro in projects and programs that can benefit their people.
Former Immigration Minister Elvin Penner questioned by Senate Special Select Committee
Former Minister of State for Immigration and Nationality Elvin Penner made his appearance at the Senate Special Select Committee on Wednesday, May 10th, for questioning about his alleged involvement in an immigration scandal in 2013. Penner was questioned on several irregularities in the approval of Belizean visas, including the facilitation of a Belizean passport for fugitive South Korean national, Wong Hong Kim, who was in a Taiwanese prison at the time of his passport approval. At the hearing, Penner cautiously answered the questions posed to him; however, he refrained from responding to questions relating to Kim.
San Pedro Cancer Society receives donation from SPHS student
After winning a creative arts competition during San Pedro High School’s Drug Awareness week, 15-year-old Jaye Wagner reserved a portion of his $175 prize to donate to the San Pedro Cancer Society (SPCS). On Tuesday, May 9th, Blue Water Grill (BWG) owners Kelly and Mukul Kanabar, along with Wagner’s mother, Janine Lopez, BWG’s Manager, officially handed over the $100 check to the organization.
After choosing to write a speech for the creative arts competition, Wagner discussed the issue of poverty and discrimination, while explaining its relation to drugs. “I saw some very important causes as to why the drug rate was so high in our country. I wanted to present these issues to the student body, while giving well-thought out solutions.
US Embassy hosts Town Hall meeting for citizens in San Pedro Town
On Thursday, May 11th, the United States of America Embassy in Belize hosted its Town Hall meeting at the Blue Water Grill in San Pedro Town. Along with National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), the US Embassy shared beneficial information regarding consular services, security, and hurricane preparedness to more than 30 American citizens in attendance. Consular Section Chief Yomaris MacDonald welcomed guests, and spoke about the Embassy’s Consulate Section. In order to stay informed and alerted, she encouraged all US nationals to sign up for the Smart Traveler Employer Program (STEP). It is a free service geared towards those traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. Once registered, you’ll receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, help assist the Embassy to contact you in an emergency or relatives and/or friend during a natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.
San Pedro FC wins Maclean Insurance U-17 football sub-champs
The San Pedro FC won the sub-champion’s trophy at the Maclean Insurance Under-17 football finals, after they lost 0-2 in the finals against the Matus Bombers U-17 at the MCC garden last Saturday, May 6th.
Dixon Paguada and Ian Pou led the San Pedro offensive, with the help of Arnold Flowers and Christian Medina on the wings, and Hakeem Smith and Henry Gonzalez at midfield, but the Bombers’ defenders Godwin Neal, Gregory Fisher, Ahmad Brown and Jason Morales frustrated their attacks.
Tyreek “Pippin” Muschamp and Maynor Hernandez led the Bombers’ offensive with the help of Christian Gladden, Claishaun Lewis, Shemar Waight and Jason Crawford at midfield. San Pedro’s defenders Jorge Castillo, Wilson Cruz, Edwardo Ack and Haseim Valerio held off the Bombers attacks, until Tyreek Muschamp found the back of the goal in the 12th minute.
Celebrating Nurses Week In Belize
Nurses in Belize join the world in celebrating Nurses’ Week from May 6th to 12th under the International Council of Nurses theme, Nurses: A Voice to Lead - Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Countrywide activities have been planned to recognize nurses throughout the week, which culminates with a nursing conference at the Muffles College Auditorium on Friday, May 12th; and a visit to the Meeting of House of Representatives to honor a nursing icon and the Speaker of the House, Mrs. Laura Tucker-Longsworth.
Misc Belizean Sources
Day 4 Reef Week. Marine Fair
he event today went great. We had a large turn out from all the school. We want to thank the all those who took the time to come out and set up a booth. Thank You.
REEF WEEK 2017
Lots of great photos
Reef Week Day 3. Puppet Show
Started off the morning with shows at ABC Preschool, and San Pedro Preschool. Kids where excited, and as usual Langostine and Tiger stole the show.
Day 2 of Reef Week 2017
Students from various schools around San Pedro and Caye Caulker got to participate in the annual trivia competition.
1st Place Austin Castro, San Pedro R.C. School.
2nd Place Terrence Keating, Isla Bonita Primary School.
3rd Place Tellon Smith, Island Academy School.
1st Place - 1st place trophy; Laptop, printer, and flash drive bundle; school bag filled with school supplies
2nd Place: 2nd place trophy; Tablet with keyboard; school bag filled with school supplies.
3rd Place: 3rd place trophy; $100 gift certificate to A&R; school bag filled with school supplies.
All participants received a small gift bag with Hol Chan stuff.
Agriculture and Trade Show 2017
Lots of great photos!
Miss Estereo Amor Belize
Auditions for Miss Estereo Amor Belize will be taking place in Benque Viejo del Carmen this Saturday at Wingz Benque and in Belmopan at E&L Sports Bar - both days are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
If you are between the ages of 18-25, unmarried and without children and you speak spanish - come out to the auditions for the opportunity to win BZ$5,000.00 on August 19.
2017 Garifuna International Indigenous Film Festival
The Photo Essay displays the highlights of the 2017 Garifuna International Indigenous Film Festival (GIFF) that will commence from Friday, May 12, 2017 and culminates on Saturday, May 27, 2017 in Venice, California.
PHENOMENAL WOMAN: ALTHEA SEALY!
On a warm and humid September evening in 1976 as Belizeans lined Albert Street in downtown Belize City to watch the citizens’ parade, the crowd excitement visibly grew and people surged forward to get a glimpse of the approaching marching band – the legendary Minorettes. But the main attraction was one of the band’s lead dancers who evoked the image of an enchanting and beautiful Nubian goddess. Like a statuette made of gold and bronze she took command of her elements and danced with a poise and grace that was punctuated with bursts of creative synergy and improvisation that captivated her audience. Unbeknown to them, Belizeans were witnessing the rise of one of their own daughters, the phenomenal ballerina Althea Sealy.
The Embassy of the United States of America in Belize
invites you to a U.S. citizen town hall meeting in Belize City
Date: May 18, 2017
Place: The Inspiration Center, 1.5 miles George Price Highway, Belize City.
Time: 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
At the meeting, we will introduce staff from the Embassy who provide assistance to U.S. citizens in Belize, discuss the services the U.S. Embassy provides, and answer questions you may have about our services. Topics include: immigration requirements for U.S. citizens and dual citizens in Belize, security, hurricane preparedness, and information on renewing your passport via DHL.
Limited consular public services will be offered.
Senate inquiry dash
Penner’s open statement was a news flash
Reminding the party that he is to be whitewashed
Faber hinting that he could be brought back
If the party and the people felt that
Belizean memory quash
Just like Musa was whitewashed
After his accusation he was brought back
Like Florencio Marin before that…
Inauguration of the Iguana Street Basketball Court
The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, through the National Sports Council (NSC), worked in conjunction with the Iguana Street community to enhance the safety of youth who wish to participate in sporting and recreational activities.
The National Sports Council continues to play a leading role, as a part of the Government’s wider initiative of promoting citizen security through sports and recreation and assisted the residents in resurfacing and painting of the basketball court; installing and painting new backboards; renovation and painting of bleachers; and replacement of light bulbs.
NSC hereby invites the media to the inauguration of the Iguana Street Basketball Court by the Hon. Patrick Faber – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Youth, Sports & Culture on Monday, 15th May 2017 at 3:00 p.m.
HAPPY INTERNATIONAL NURSES DAY!
"Nurses are the cornerstone of healthcare and function in the prevention of illness, promotion of health and the alleviation of suffering throughout our lifetimes. The actions of nurses are therefore vital in achieving the third goal of the Sustainable Development Goals, which is to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”. "
BioDiversity and Investments – BelizeINVEST, BELTRAIDE Presents at BIOFIN 2017
On May 11th, 2017, the Government of Belize and UNDP Hosted the Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) South-South Cooperation where BelizeINVEST, BELTRAIDE presented on Cases of the Sustainable Path for Investment in Belize’s Priority Investment Industries along with the investment incentives available and the Belize Investment Portfolio initiative.
The Government of Belize, as a participant of the Global Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN), hosted the south-south cooperation exchange with representatives of other regional BIOFIN countries: namely Costa Rica, Colombia and Guatemala. This event was held from May 10 to 11, 2017 at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza in Belize City. Through this engagement, Belizean stakeholders will gain insight on finance modalities developed by targeted BIOFIN countries, as well as the experience of other BIOFIN countries in the implementation of the BIOFIN assessments. The aim of the exchange is to ultimately strengthen BIOFIN implementation in Belize.
"EL COCOTAZO" at Princess Casino this weekend
Princess Casino Free Zone, Corozal will be featuring this weekend "EL COCOTAZO", a musical comedy show by popular Mexican comedian and entertainer, Oscar de la O.
Laugh your heart out and also get a chance to win. Friday, May 12th and Saturday, May 13th starting at 10:00 P.M. FREE ADMISSION!
Uncle John Music Festival
The World Culture Band will be playing at the Uncle John Music Festival Saturday May 13th. It'll be at the Coze Grill in Santa Famila, and the fun starts at 4:00pm.
Mother's Day at House of Culture
Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation celebrating Mother's Day at House of Culture. On behalf of the Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project, we would like to wish all Mothers a happy Mothers Day!
New housing for the staff at Actun Tunichil Muknal
The Institute of Archaeology recently completed new housing for their staff at the archaeological reserve of Actun Tunichil Muknal. Opening ceremonies for this structure will be held next week.
Ya’axché Farmers’ Expo activities!
TUNE IN to Ak Kuntan on 96.1FM Monday (May 15th) from 3-4pm to hear about Ya’axché Farmers’ Expo activities!
Ya’axché’s radio personalities Julio Chub and Maximiliano Caal will be providing details for the May 28th event at Medina Bank. Give-aways will be available during the radio shows! Make sure to tune in!
2017-2018 Miss San Pedro High School Maryurit Triminio was officially crowned by outgoing Queen Faith Noel
Congratulations Maryurit Triminio for winning the 2017 Miss San Pedro High School Pageant! Best of luck on your reign!
Happy Mother's Day from the Management & Staff of Castillo's Hardware Company Limited!
Their annual raffle was held on Friday, May 12th, and the lucky winners are:
1st Prize: Anita Carias (24" LG TV).
2nd Prize: Ruth Martinez (16-piece Corelle Dinnerware Set).
3rd Prize: Oscar Varela (32-Piece Tool Set).
Defence Minister Concludes National Tour of Belize Coast Guard Facilities
This past Wednesday and Thursday, May 10 and 11, 2017, Minister of Defence Hon. John Saldivar concluded his National Tour of facilities operated by the Belize Coast Guard, the final leg of that tour being in the Northern Sector.
That portion of the tour started at Consejo Shores in Corozal, where the Coast Guard operates a Forward Operating Base out of a temporary facility owned by the Customs Department. That facility will soon be developed into a proper Interagency Forward Operating Base involving the Belize Coast Guard, the Belize Defence Force (BDF), Customs Department and Immigration Department, providing law enforcement Security for the area of Consejo, Chetumal Bay and Corozal Bay extending to Sarteneja.
At Sarteneja, the Minister visited a facility where Coast Guard personnel are currently accommodated by the Corozal Wild Life Sanctuary, one of the NGO’s with which the Belize Coast Guard partners. That organization is in the process of constructing a permanent facility that will also accommodate the Coast Guard which will continue providing law enforcement support for their operations.
Productive encounter to foster academic cooperation between Belizean and Mexican institutions
Profesor Clement Sankat from the University of Belize; Mtro. Angel Rivero Palomo, Rector from the Universidad de Quintana Roo; and Dr. Héctor Hernandez, Director of Ecosur - El Colegio de la Frontera Sur Chetumal
2017 CARSI Economic Support Funds Q & A Session and Web Chat
Friday, May 19 at 1:30 PM - 3 PM, U.S. Embassy Belize
4 Floral Park Road, Belmopan, Belize. Please join us at the Embassy or log-on online for an informative session on the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) Economic Support Funds (ESF) grant opportunity to strengthen government through civil society engagement.
This session will address:
The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) objectives;
Criteria used to evaluate grant proposals;
Information on budget requirements;
Instructions on how to submit your application on Grants.gov,
DUNS number applications & SAM.gov registration information;
Any other questions regarding the grants process.
Deshaies Gets Bail, Answers Questions About Murder
After 10 days in police custody, Canadian John Deshaies was finally allowed to go home today after he was released on Supreme Court bail.
Corozal police picked him up on May second for questioning about the double murder of Canadian Francesca Matus and American Drew DeVoursney. But while being investigated, Placencia police charged him with theft of equipment from the Placencia Casino. The sitting magistrate in Independence Village remanded him to the Belize Central Prison, but instead of going there, he was taken back to the Corozal police station for further interrogation into the double murder. He was also interviewed by FBI agents who flew down to assist the Belize police.
Magistrate Norman Rodriguez Suspended
On Wednesday, Norman Rodriguez became the first sitting Magistrate to be charged and arraigned for the offense of rape. But would he also be forced off the bench?
Well, the Judicial and Legal Services Commission today announced that he is on interdiction with half-pay.
The Commission's secretary sent out a notice today, stating that having been charged with this serious offense, he will have to sit out his duties as a Magistrate in Belize City and Stann Creek while he is on interdiction. His interdiction took effect on Wednesday, and will remain in effect until the Judicial and Legal Services Commission decides otherwise.
PM Says Bad Back May Force Him To Step Down Before Planned Exit At End Of 2019
The House of Representatives met today for the first time since March. It was a light meeting, without much vigorous or spirited debate - more or less, it was housekeeping. We'll tell you about the business of the House Sitting later on, but first to the media's interview with the Prime Minister when the meeting was finished.
We asked him very pointedly about the timeline for him to step down - and here's how he explained that it all depends on his back:
Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister:
"I have already agreed with the party that I will go no later than the start of 2020. Let's say the end of 2019. I do have to keep under review the possibility of going earlier. Today has been a good day. My back has not been as bad as it normally is and I am sure Jules who have an eye for these things would have remark on the fact that face was not crease in pain as it sometimes is."
When Will Vega Return to House?
And while the PM has back problems - he's only missed one house meeting in ten years; compare that to his former deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega who has missed 7 successive meetings since he resigned form Cabinet in October. We asked the Prime Minister if Vega will ever be back, and what happens if he doesn't return:...
Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister:
"As to his missing, that is something you should talk to him about. I don't know why it is that he has not been attending the meetings, but as to penalties, no. Because as I recollect you would lose your seat if you missed 6 consecutive meetings in a 3-month period. So I am sure he is aware of the rule and is making very sure that he will not violate the rule."
PM Says He Cannot Recall Immigration Reports Referred To By Penner
When he appeared before the Senate Committee on Wednesday, Elvin Penner referred to monthly activity reports from the Immigration Department that were forwarded to Cabinet while he was a minister of state. These supposedly listed the number of visas granted. But, today the Prime Minister said he has no recollection of that:
Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister:
"I don't remember that. I am not saying it's not so and if that were to have been so, it would have been for purposes of my wanting to know what was going on. Look, let us be clear, we all know, you can't get away from it. That's why there were all the scandals. Everybody knows what was happening at immigration. What the senate inquiry is showing to my mind is that while people want to focus exclusively on the politicians, I don't think the inquiry is showing up that sort of thing as the main ingredient."
PM Not So Sure Of A Penner Return
And so, if the Prime Minister careful not to say that Penner was lying, does it suggest that his position on the once wayward Minister of State has softened?
We asked him about the possibility of a Penner comeback today:...
Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister:
"I will not be around when that decision needs to be made. But I, speaking for myself, I don't see it."
PUP Blames Government For Integrity Commission Moving The Goalposts
And now to some of the action that actually happened on the House Floor. The Leader of the opposition challenged the Prime Minister on a position taken by the Integrity Commission. The Commission sent out a request asking elected representatives to furnish their accounts going back five years. But then they reversed their decision to ask for only one preceding year. It's the Commission's decision, but the Opposition blamed it on the government - and said it's a clear attempt to only go halfway on transparency. The media grilled the PM on it:...
Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister:
"The commission reconsidered the matter, I believe sought legal advice and concluded that in deed they could not go back, they could not have jurisdiction over a time when they were not in office, they were not commissioners and that's all that it is. And I pointed out to Mr. Briceno while initially the first decision was I believe a majority decision, when they reconsidered and they reversed that decision, it was unanimous in terms of all the members present and voting."
Another Ladyville Gas Station Robbed
Three weeks ago, on April 27th, we told you about an armed robbery at at the "24/7 Gas Station" right at the Lords Bank Junction in Ladyville. Well there was another robbery in that same village last night - but, this time, it happened at the Puma Gas Station - which is about one and a half miles north of the last robbery. I went to the Station today and got a first hand account:..
Kirk Cadle, Pump Attendant:
"I the tell he I don't have no phone, I no have nothing then I see him biting his lip so I holler "I will get shot"."
Courtney Weatherburne reporting:
18 year old Kirk Cadle was preparing for the worst when a gunman charged at him and his night shift crew at the PUMA Gas Station in Ladyville.
Only a few seconds of the holdup was caught on the surveillance camera. After that vehicle drives off you see the gunman's leg as he steps back. Nothing much is seen after that until
Another day, Another Fire
Today another fire has left two Belize City families without a home. At around 1:00 this afternoon, a fire started in a shared town house on Quellos' Alley off New New Road. The Fire Department quickly responded and got the blaze under control, preventing it from spreading to nearby buildings. We spoke to Melony Bowen, one of the residents of the town house who was at work when the fire started. She told us what she knows...
Melony Bowen, Fire Victim:
"I don't even have an idea what happened, because I was at work. I work at Social Security Board and at the time I was sitting at the table and the receptionist said "Mel you have a call, its very urgent." I told her to put the call to the other desk, said that there is a fire at my house and I said no, how could there be a fire. I left my house good this morning and my kids were there. So I left work and this is what I saw my house burnt."
Pastor Fidel Not Guilty
Last night, we told you about the jury deliberating the fate of 53 year-old Pastor Fidel Lanza. He was accused of of causing death by careless conduct for driving over 3 year-old Ray-ja-knee McFadzean in his bus on December 9, 2011.
Well, after 3 hours of deliberation, the jury of 9 unanimously agreed that he was "not guilty", and with that, he was set free.
The 3-year-old was walking with her brother in Double Head Cabbage Village, when the bus knocked her down. Lanza gave a dock statement saying that he was driving 5 miles per hour. He said that he didn't know that the child was under the front wheel of the bus until he heard screaming, which when he stopped the bus.
Could There Be A Strike At SSB ?
Today, in Belmopan and Corozal, a number of social security employees walked out of their offices at 3:00 pm. It's an act of protest for the same issue we told you about two weeks ago: the trade dispute between Social Security Management and the Christian Workers Union, which represents about 70% of SSB employees.
Well, it appears that this trade dispute may escalate to industrial action, and SSB is bracing if that should that come.
A public service announcement from SSB says that the management reported the trade dispute to Hugo Patt, the Minister of Labour. That was done yesterday to comply with the settlement of dispute in the Essential Services Act. The announcement says that the dispute centers around the fact that SSB and CWU have so far been unable to reach an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement. The Management informs that public some of the services at the SSB offices countrywide may be impacted if the CWU proceeds with any type of industrial action. They will do their best to maintain basic services if things should ever get to that point.
Three Car Collision On The Hummingbird
There was a serious accident on the Hummingbird Highway near the Agriculture Showgrounds this afternoon at around 3:00. It was a three vehicle collision between a Toyota Hilux, a Chrysler Minivan and a Prado Land Cruiser.
We can confirm that no one was killed, but the vehicles were very badly damaged. It appears to have started with the van rear ending the government Hilux which was turning into the showgrounds. The led to another collision with the Land Cruiser. The road remained blocked for about an hour while police and the fire department cleared up the highway.
Venezuela's Instability Influences High Fuel Prices
As we told you last night the price per gallon of premium fuel has broken the $11 dollar mark. And this comes at a time when world oil prices are trending down. Now, a large part of the price - about half - are those new government taxes which have to raise 20 + million dollars this year. But another large part of it is the increasing cost of getting oil from Venezuela - which is going through a prolonged period of instability. The Prime Minister explained:
Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister:
"However, in the case of Belize, because we are sourcing supplies from Venezuela and they are having problems with being able to deliver, we put in the order and then Puma ends up having to go and short notice somewhere else and they pay a little bit of the Premium. And I think even the question of the haulage, the freights then becomes more expensive so that's what's been happening to us."
Is Belize Compromised on Venezuela Issue?
And the fact that Belize sources fuel from Venezuela is part of the reason that prices are so high. It's the last remains of the Petrocaribe program, but it raises the question whether Belize is ultimately being compromised by its close relation to this troubled state? For example, three weeks ago the Permanent Council of the OAS approved a resolution to convene a meeting of OAS Foreign Ministers to consider the situation. Venezuela and its supporters sought to vote down the motion, describing it as an interference in their internal affairs. And CARICOM was very divided on the issue. The Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana and St Lucia voted in favour, while Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Haiti, Nicaragua, St Kitts & Nevis, St Vincent & the Grenadines and Suriname voted against, while Belize, the Dominican Republic, Trinidad & Tobago and El Salvador abstained. The Prime Minister says the government's position on Venezuela is evolving:
PM Says Hon. Campos Not Meddling In Free Zone
And from international affairs, to Corozal Free Zone affairs, we today asked the Prime Minister if he is keeping a close on the Zone, where his Minister of State in the Ministry of Health is accused of meddling in the affairs of the zone. And it's not the PUP accusing him, it's the President of the Free Zone Chamber of Commerce. The PM says he is not convinced that Dr. Angel Campos is meddling:...
Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow- Prime Minister:
"I've raised it to the minister and when he explains what happened on the day when there was the walkout and the CEO having asking to assist in certain regards, I don't know that that is interference. So, I don't accept at all the premise of the question. The minister recognizes though that appearances are critical in politics and I believe that he is being very careful to do nothing that might be misinterpreted in the way some of his earlier actions were misinterpreted."
PM Says GDG Lawsuit "Unenforceable"
In other news from our interview with the Prime Minister, we got an update on one more piece of multi million dollar litigation against the government. That's the Glen Godfrey Case, where he is seeking to collect 22 million US dollars in a US court.
Last month, the Prime Minister insisted that Glenn Godfrey had so far only won a minor victory in the US courts.
Well, Godfrey won another victory on Wednesday from the 11th Circuit US Court of Appeal. The US Court refused an application from the Government of Belize to reconsider its decision in the case that Godfrey is pursuing against the Barrow Administration.
This fight in court is over equipment that Godfrey's failed telecommunications company, Intelco, leased to the Musa Administration. Godfrey's claim asserts that the Government hasn't finished paying what it owes in the agreement that former PUP Minister Ralph Fonseca signed on behalf of Belize.
Mother's Day Homecoming for Rising Star Kendis Gibson
We've been tracking Belizean-American Television journalist Kendis Gibson from the early 2000's. He's been steadily rising - and reached new heights when landed the job as a news presenter on ABC's Good Morning America. That's pretty big for a boy born in Belize, and today I spoke with him about it when he arrived for a special mother's day visit:...
Identity Inconclusive but Family Mourns Pamela Lino
On Monday, we told you how the police sent DNA samples away for testing to confirm that the body found in the burnt vehicle is missing teacher Pamela Lino. That could take months to confirm, but it appears that her family and friends have all accepted that it is indeed her.
This morning at 10, they held a memorial mass for her at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral in Belmopan. Seen here, the program for the mass lists her date of birth as December 1975, and her date of passing as May 1, 2017. That's only a few hours before police found her Kia Sportage vehicle on the highway on fire, along with the unidentified body.
Superbond 3.0 Fees 21.0 M
There's been much talk about how many millions the government spent as fees for refinancing Superbond 3.0. All told it adds up to cover 20 million Belize dollars and the Prime Minister broke it down today:...
Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow- Prime Minister:
"We paid to City - City Global Markets, top drawer firm with respect to sovereign debt restructuring. We paid a one percent fee, one percent of the bond face value, we paid that as their success fee and that amounted to $5,265,021 US, paid to City Global Market...I'm sorry?...US, $5,265,021 US. We had to pay, as I said, the bond holders committee fees and expenses to engage them in the exercise under the indenture we were obliged to be saddled with their costs. And we had to pay them $2,785 US. We had to pay a bond holder consent fee in the amount of 25 bases points or a quarter of one percent of the face value of the super bond. And so that amounted to $1,316,255 US. We had to pay our local consultant Hallmark advisory, serving as the advisory on the overall debt team coordinator, 17 bases points or $884,000 US dollars."
GOB Plays Catch Up On Culture Project
And though you haven't seen it on the news so far, there were a number of pieces of legislation introduced today. One of them is the Natural Cultural Heritage Preservation Bill. It's the same one we told you about last night - where the government is trying to play catch up - so that it doesn't lose out on a 5.3 million US dollar project from the Taiwanese. The legislation should have been passed a while ago - but it was just done today, and the Minister of Culture took the lead:...
Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education and Culture:
"This proposed bill provides NICH through the Institute if Archaeology with the legal mandate of accessing, designating, restoring and managing historic property and landmarks that have historical value and are of cultural significance to the country and the Caribbean region."
FM Says Cops Have Full OAS Report
And in the question and answer session of today's meeting - the member for Fort George Said Musa, asked Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington if and when the government will release the full report into the April 2016 shooting of 13 year old Guatemalan Julio Rene Alvarado in the Chiquibul. Elrington said it is a matter for the courts. Here is the back and forth:
A Nod To The Nurses
And finally, tonight, the House meeting did have some good spiritedness. That's because Nurses crowded the gallery as part of Nurses week. They were there to honor a nursing icon and the Speaker of the House, Mrs. Laura Tucker-Longsworth. She said they made her nervous!:
John DeShaies, Accused of Theft and Suspect in Double Murder, Out On Bail
Fifty-four-year-old John Deshaies was granted bail this morning, but as soon as he met bail, he was rearrested and tonight remains in police custody. The Canadian national was charged a [...]
Before Re-Arrest, Canadian National Denies Charges
The couple, a retired officer of the U.S. Marine Corps and his Canadian girlfriend, was found dead in a cane field off the Patchakan/Chan Chen Road after being reported missing [...]
DeShaies Offers Details of Relationship with Murder Victims
According to DeShaies, he has been fully cooperative with agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation who have been dispatched to Belize to probe into the murders. He says that [...]
DeShaies Says He Has and Will Cooperate with Authorities
Since being picked up as a person of interest by Corozal police, DeShaies is being bounced around from one jurisdiction to another on a seemingly endless string of perp walks. [...]
P.M. Gone? Not Yet, But He is Thinking About It
The House of Representatives met today in special session in Belmopan. Its main business was to introduce nine original and amended bills and two loan motions. We will get to [...]
P.M. Barrow Admits He Has Few Worlds Left to Conquer
According to the Prime Minister, today was a good day in terms of his back problems, but there are increasingly fewer of them. With his main goal of this term [...]
Government Washes Hands off Integrity Commission
In December, the seven-member Integrity Commission was appointed in Belmopan. Barely a few months into their tenure, they have decided that a clean slate is needed in respect of financial [...]
P.M. Says There Is No Legal Basis for Retrospective Decision by Commission
Outside the House, the Prime Minister refused to take blame for the delay in the appointment of the Commission, repeating that circumstances in that appointment were beyond his control. He [...]
Norman Rodriguez Interdicted from Magistrate Post
Embattled lower court judge Norman Rodriguez is at home tonight on half-pay, following a decision by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission to interdict him. The announcement comes on the [...]
No Way Back for Penner; Did Cabinet Review Visa Recommendation Reports
Former Cayo Northeast area representative and Minister of State of Immigration and Nationality, Elvin Penner, resurfaced in Belmopan this week attending the Senate Special Select Committee’s public hearings as a [...]
When is Ex-D.P.M. Coming Back to House?
For the sixth consecutive meeting of the House of Representatives dating back to his resignation as Minister of Agriculture and formerly National Resources, Orange Walk North area representative Gaspar Vega [...]
How Much Mark Espat’s Firm Got Paid for Superbond Consultation
Around twenty-one million Belize dollars was paid out to settle the final costs of the re-arrangement of the Superbond Three point O, which took about five months to negotiate. The [...]
O.A.S. Report in Hands of Belize Police; Will It Be Publicly Released?
Last August, an independent investigative report commissioned by the Organization of American States cleared members of the Belize Defence Force who were part of a patrol in the Cebada area [...]
Why Fuel Prices Are So High and When They Will Come Down
Premium fuel has gone above eleven dollars for the first time in several years but there is no change in the price of regular gasoline and a slight reprieve for [...]
Emmy-Winning Belizean-American Anchor Kendis Gibson Touches Down in Jewel
Acclaimed Belizean-American journalist Kendis Gibson, an Emmy Award winning reporter and anchor for ABC, is visiting the Jewel for the first time in over ten years. Gibson’s jaunt is equal [...]
S.S.B. Workers Walk Out; Management Raises Alarm About Services
Social Security Board employees staged another walk-out this afternoon. Around three o’clock, employees started to exit the offices individually and some thirty minutes later the building was almost empty. In [...]
How New Loans from C.D.B. Will Help Belizeans
Inside the House, the Government introduced amendments to the Customs and Excise Duty; General Sales Tax; and Stamp Duties Acts to give effect to concessions promised to the Chamber of [...]
Fire Destroys Townhouse in Quallos Alley, Belize City
Two families are without a roof over their head tonight after a fire destroyed their home. The families lost most of their belongings and nothing was insured. As many as [...]
Glenn D. Godfrey Persists in U.S. Court Case, But Will He Succeed in Belize?
On Wednesday of this week, a court in the U.S. made a ruling that appears to uphold a lower court’s jurisdiction in the GDG Acquisitions LLC versus Government of Belize [...]
Did Angel Campos Interfere in Free Zone’s Business?
We have been reporting on the problems in the Corozal Free Zone, where C.E.O. Valentino Blanco has been suspended on the order of the Board of Directors. After about a [...]
Speaker Honors Fellow Nurses at House
This week is Nurses Appreciation Week and the Nursing Association and Nurses and Midwives Council of Belize have held various activities to honor the largest and most unsung portion of [...]
Hi Mom! Mother’s Day Greetings from the Streets
Traditionally, the second Sunday in the month of May is celebrated across the world as Mother’s Day. It’s a time where we recognize mothers for their love and dedication to [...]
Belizean Anchor for ABC News Comes Home for Brief Visit
If you are a Belizean who enjoys not only local news but internationals news as well, chances are you are a follower of ABC News and have known for some time that a Belizean has risen to become one of the faces of that international news agency. If not, we can tell you a little […]
Vega’s Return to the House Pending
Notably absent from several of the House of Representatives proceedings is Area Representative for Orange Walk North, Gaspar Vega. He has been absent since his resignation as a Cabinet Minister on October 17, 2016 following a land scandal involving his son, Andre Vega. The media asked the Prime Minister to comment on Vega’s consecutive absence. […]
Jury Finds Pastor Not Guilty of Causing Death by Careless Conduct
A jury of five men and four women deliberated for over three hours yesterday in the court of Justice Adolph Lucas before it found 53 year old Fidel Lanza not guilty of causing death by careless conduct. The jury’s verdict was unanimous. Lanza, a pastor of Christian Assembly Church, was charged in connection with death […]
Border Security Exercise Redirects Motorists to Chactemal Bridge
There were some concerns earlier today at the northern border when both local and Mexican officials were redirecting motorists from the Subteniente Lopez Bridge to the Chactemal Bridge. Conflicting stories were reaching our newsroom surrounding this incident. In an effort to get some clarity on the matter, we spoke to the Public Relations Officer for […]
Fuel Prices Adjusted Third Time in 7 Weeks
Consumers are experiencing the third adjustment to fuel prices since the start of the fiscal year 2017/2018. As at midnight last night premium fuel has jumped the eleven dollar mark going from ten dollars and fifty eight cents to eleven dollars and four cents. Regular fuel remains the same at ten dollars and twenty six […]
Teachers Awarded for Excellence and Dedication
Tomorrow teachers will be observing Teachers’ Day; but just before they get to take a day off from the classroom, the Ministry of Education hosted them at an award ceremony earlier today. Eight teachers were recognized for their exceptional work and contribution to education by the Belize Board of Teacher Education. They were recognized in […]
Antigua and Belize’s Education Minister to Discuss Digitizing Textbooks
The Education Minister of Antigua, Michael Brown will be in Belize later this month at the invitation of Minister Patrick Faber. A key part of his visit will be discussions on how to reduce the cost of textbooks in secondary schools. Minister Faber spoke to Love News on this initiative. PATRICK FABER “In next week […]
Church State Commission to Conclude Report in June
The National Gender Policy coupled with the ruling on Section 53 by the Chief Justice had created some waves with the Churches and after several meetings with the Government of Belize, Prime Minister Dean Barrow decided that a Church State Commission would be put in place. Deputy Prime Minister, Patrick Faber has been heading the […]
Penner Says He Did Not Backdate Peter Pang’s Nationality
Elvin Penner also answered questions relating to the Nationality certificate awarded to Peter Pang. According to the Auditor General, Peter Pang was given a fraudulent Belizean nationality. According to the report, Pang’s nationality certificate was backdated. Penner approved Pang’s nationality application and Senator Mark Lizarraga questioned Penner about Pang’s eligibility MARK LIZARRAGA “So if he […]
Penner Responds to Questions on Yakup Sut’s Belizean Nationality
Yesterday, former Minister of State in Immigration, Elvin Penner appeared before the Special Senate Select Committee to answer to statements made in the Auditor General’s report. In the nationality section of the report, the auditor general states that a nationality certificate was fraudulently issued to Yakup Sut. The certificate was signed by Penner. The report […]
JOHN DESHAIES OUT ON BAIL
Canadian John Deshaies was released on bail this morning by Justice Antionette Moore. Deshaies has been named as a suspect in the double murder of Canadian American couple, Francesca Matus and Drew Devoursney. No charges have been levied against Deshaies in relation to that matter, however, on May 5, he was charged for theft and handling stolen goods for a separate matter. In that case, Deshaies is accused of stealing more than fifty thousand dollars worth of equipment from the Placencia Casino. It is for that matter that he received a bail of twenty thousand dollars. His team of attorneys includes, Estevan Perrera, Kevin Arthurs and Richard “Dickie” Bradley. Deshaies’ bail conditions include that he must surrender his Canadian passport; he cannot travel outside of Belize without the court’s permission, he is to report to the Corozal police station between the hours of 6am and 6pm every Friday commencing on May 19, he is not to interfere in any way with the complainant or witnesses, he is not to be rearrested for any reason during his bail and he is to reappear in court for his next court date on November 6, 2017.
Internal Conflict at Forestry Over Office of Chief Officer
Minister of State with responsibility for Forestry, Omar Figueroa confirmed today that the Chief Forest Officer will no longer be working out of the Forest Department building in Belmopan. Wilbur Sabido is being relocated to the ministry’s office and we are told that he is not happy about it. Reports surfaced late last week the […]
Convicted Armed Robber Gives Police the Slip
Police are searching for 48 year old Harrison Powell, aka Harrison Myvett, who escaped after he was sentenced yesterday to 5 years for armed robbery. After he received his sentence, Powell, who was limping with a swollen left knee, was taken to Belize Central Prison to begin to serve his sentence. When he got there […]
Jury Deliberates Pastor’s Case of Manslaughter
A jury of 5 men and 4 women began deliberating this evening in the court of Justice Adolph Lucas to see if it can reach a verdict in the trial of 53 year old Fidel Lanza, a pastor of Christian Assembly Church, charged with causing death by careless conduct. The incident occurred around 7;30 a.m. […]
Police News: Robbery, Drugs and Firearm
A business establishment was robbed at gunpoint yesterday evening in Bella Vista Village, Toledo District. Police say that a man wielding a hand gun barged into Charlton’s Cable Office which also provides services of the Insurance Corporation of Belize and Western Union. The man reportedly demanded that the cashier, 29 year old Leslie Williams, hand […]
Singapore and Belize Sign Open Skies Agreement
International reports are recording that Singapore has entered into an agreement with Belize. The Open Skies agreement will now allow airlines from both countries to fly any number of services between the two destinations as well as beyond to any third country. According to an international publication, there are no restrictions on capacity, frequency, aircraft […]
Pallotti High Prepares for Campus Darling 2017
The Campus Darling pageant is an annual tradition for the students and teachers at Pallotti High School in Belize City. It is an endeavour headed by the student council that is constantly working towards fundraising events for the school. This year’s event, being held under the theme, ‘Beautiful Belize’ is geared at raising funds to […]