FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE
Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.
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
New Five-a-side Football Tournament starts in San Pedro Town
A total of 30 football teams signed up for the new 5-a-side Football Tournament organized by the San Pedro Sports Committee (SPSC) and The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC). The tournament officially started on Friday, May 12th and spanned to Sunday, May 14th bringing 15 thrilling matches to eager fans at the Honourable Louis Sylvestre Sporting Complex. The tournament was divided into five categories to better accommodate all levels of athletes: Under 10, Under 13, Under 15, female and male teams. The second round of games continued on Wednesday, May 17th, Thursday May 18th and Friday, May 19th starting at 7PM.
Ministry of Health launches BHIS identification card system
Starting June 1st all medical patients nationwide will be required to have their individual Belize Health Information System (BHIS) cards to access health care services. Applications for the card can be done at any public medical facility with just an identification document, such as a Social Security Card or passport. The BHIS is considered a dynamic, comprehensive tool that will assist the Ministry of Health in providing better health care services in the fastest, most affordable and efficient way to Belizeans.
The initiative is expected to benefit not only the nation’s hospitals, but other governmental health facilities. In San Pedro Town, all patients will be required to obtain this card in order to access health services, at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II. Services include outpatient, dental clinic, psychiatric clinic, gynaecology/obstetric clinic, pharmacy, lab, x-ray, and family community health, among others.
Popular Musician Lascelle Martinez Murdered In Punta Gorda
Police has confirmed that popular musician Lascelle Martinez was stabbed multiple times at the corner of West and Victoria Streets in Punta Gorda this afternoon, Wednesday, May 17, 2017. Martinez and a female, Tianee Figueroa, were stabbed by suspect Simeon Lino.
Police report that Simeon went to his ex-girlfriend Tianne Figueroa's residence and reportedly stabbed her as well and fled the scene. She was transported to the PG Hospital where her condition is stable; Martinez passed away. The motive of the attack is being reported as an act of jealousy. Police are seeking Lino.
BTB Launches Hotel Registration Campaign
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) launched a public awareness campaign to remind owners and operators of guest accommodation services of their obligations and requirements under the Hotel and Tourist Accommodation Act.
Under the law, any owner or operator providing accommodation for remuneration purposes to any guest (local or foreign) regardless of its location in the country, is required to register with the Registrar of Hotels at the BTB.
Paul Kelly Of San Pedro High Awarded Outstanding Teacher Of The Year
Paul Kelly, better known as Mr. Kelly by his students, received the National Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award 2016 - 2017 at the Bliss Institute of Arts on Thursday May 11, 2017. This was presented to him during the Annual Teacher of the Year Award Ceremony hosted by the Ministry of Education of Belize.
Every year the Ministry of Education in Belize awards teachers from all over the country at every level of education: Pre-school, Primary School, Secondary Level, and Tertiary level for their outstanding work and dedication.
Misc Belizean Sources
Cardio Dance Class on Caye Caulker
This Saturday, 7:30pm, Caye Caulker Community Center
Bees nests at Moonracer Farm
At this point in the dry season, lots of flowers are blooming and we hear a constant background buzz of bees. So, we weren't surprised when Julio took us on a bees' nests tour and we found four different types of nests right in the yard.
CAWS Cinco de Mayo Cook-off
There were some awesome entries into the Cayo Animal Welfare Society's Jefe de la Cocina Cook-off on Cinco de Mayo at Remo's Roadhouse. Star from Simply Delicious won with her amazing sopes. CAWS got some pictures.
Western Border Chocolate Festival Celebrations 2017
In celebration of the upcoming Chocolate Festival on May 19-21, 2017. The Belize Tourism Board is giving travelers at the Western Border a taste of the upcoming event.
The U.S. Embassy Belmopan has an opening for a time limited Visa Clerk position
The successful candidate will be required to obtain a security clearance and undergo a medical examination.
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.
HOW TO APPLY: Interested candidates must submit the following in order to be considered for the position. 1. Universal Application for Employment (UAE) form (DS-0174); plus 2. Any other documentation (e.g., essays, certificates, awards, licenses, copies of degrees earned) that addresses the qualification requirements of the position as listed above.
Vakantiebeurs Utrecht Tradeshow, Famed Fly Fishing field editor Hans van Klinken in Belize!
In January 2017, the BHA attended the Vakantiebeurs Utrecht Tradeshow in the Netherlands. This is a 6 day event which includes one day of meetings with travel agents and press and five days open to consumers and travelers. Our BHA European Rep Sander Langeveld, and Vice-President Sandra van Noord, represented the BHA at this event where they met Mr. Hans van Klinken who is a well-known fly fishing field editor and owner of Fly Fishing Gazette, is in Belize from May 7- May 20, traveling throughout the country to gather information, material and photography about the fishing and other inland and island activities that are available in Belize for all travelers.
It’s GRADUATION time!
On May 17th, San Pedro High School (SPHS) fourth year students found out whether they will be marching to pomp and circumstance come June 10th.
Those who got the good news celebrated their achievement in the traditional signing of their uniforms – as well as lots of happy smiles, shrieks and excitement.
San Pedro High Students received graduation announcements today and they couldn't be happier!
The traditional signing of the uniforms began as the first student came out with the news that he/she is graduating! Congrats SPHS 2017 Graduates!!
Stakeholders Champion Multi-Sectoral Approach to Early Childhood Development at 2nd Biennial Conference
The Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation; Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture; and Ministry of Health in partnership with UNICEF today concluded a two-day Early Childhood Development (ECD) Conference under the theme: “Positive Play, Positive Minds, Brighter Tomorrow”. Approximately 180 stakeholders and partners in the field of early child development attended the event which on day one featured thematic presentations on programmes currently in place in the areas of Care for Child Development, Family Literacy, Parenting, and Specialized Services for Children with Different Abilities.
Junction Carnival Mas Band
COROZAL CARNIVAL NEWS: This Saturday 4:30PM...Free Registration for Inde Junction Carnival Mas Band. Come prepared to dance. Comfortable shoes/tennis not slippers....if long jeans please let it be stretch. (next to Civic Center)
HAPPENING TODAY! Corozal Town Historical Walk
You are cordially invited to the opening ceremony for the inauguration of the Corozal Town Historical Walk beginning at 9 am Thursday May 18th. We want to kindly thank our collaborators; the Corozal Town Council, Belize Archives and Records Service, Corozal Junior College, Mr. Roy Rodriguez, Mr. Oscar Riveroll, Mr. Francisco Magana, Mrs. Amira Leiva, Mr. Graham Sampson, the Ahmad Family and Mr. Jorge Clarke. All have been an integral part in the research, collection of images, installation and inauguration of the Historical Walk. Join us tomorrow in celebrating this milestone with our beloved community!
Cayo Day Festival
Cayo Day is Sunday at Macal River Park. The fun starts at 10:00am. The New Sensation Band and Tanya Carter will be there.
"CAYO DAY EXTRAVAGANZA!!!! MARK YOUR CALENDARS AND BRING OUT THE FAMILY!! IT WILL BE SPECTACULAR!!"
Minimum Standards for Accommodations
Kindly see the upcoming scheduled dates and venue for our Minimum Standards for Accommodations meeting.
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 the following degrees:
1. Associate Degree in Tourism (Two Year Tuition Scholarship). 2.Bachelor Degree in Tourism Management (Two Year Tuition Scholarship). 3.Jean Shaw Scholarship (Two Year Full Scholarship). 4.Scholarship for Culinary Studies. 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]
International Museum Day 2
International Museum Day 2 was a great success. Much thanks to the Benque House of Culture (NICH)for inviting us along, and to Jorge, Yasmini and Joanna for coming out to help us. The children loved the activities and were very insightful.
Popular Musician Killed In PG Love Triangle
A popular musician was stabbed to death in Punta Gorda Town this morning - and it happened in the street near the Town Center. 36 year old Lascelle Martinez, well-known as a musician with the Coolie Rebels band and other musical outfits, was at a friend's house at the corner of West and Jose Maria Nunez Streets - when a 33 year old man, stabbed him three times. The motive?: Jealousy. And after that, the assailant went right to his ex-girlfriend's house, stabbed her 8 times and then fled. She lived, but Martinez's wounds were more serious and he died early this afternoon. Apparently, Martinez - had started a relationship with 21 year old Tianne Figueroa - and her ex was taking it very badly; reports say he was crazed by jealousy. Tonight, police are asking Simeon Lino - seen in the background of this picture - as a person of interest. Tianne Figueroa's was is at the PG Hospital where her condition is stable.
UDP Operatives Menace Media In Senate
Today in Belmopan, Elvin Penner was back in the hot seat as the main witness for the Senate Hearings on Immigration. He was back to being an uncooperative witness, mostly choosing not to answer any questions related to his role in the issuance of a fraudulent passport to the South Korean fugitive, Won Hong Kim. In the instances where he did give a response, he told the Senate that he couldn't recall the details that they were looking for.
We'll get to that, but first, to the media menacing pulled off by Brian Audinett, better known as "Yellowman". He's the Sergeant at Arms for the House of Representatives, in charge of maintaining order during house meetings. But, today at the senate, he was leading the disorderly conduct.
"Yellowman" Snatches Journalist's Phone
We're not sure what caused the police not to intervene, but as you may be aware, Yellowman does command some authority over the officers who act as security during House meetings. We are not so sure what are the standing orders for Senate meetings, and if he has any authority there. But, he wasn't kicked out for the rowdy behavior. Instead, he, Allan Kelly, Alberto August, and the other UDP supporters left on their own. While on the break, Chairman Salazar, who controls the Senate Hearings, went to speak with Yellowman and the others. Our Krem News Colleague, Marisol Amaya, was out there capturing it on her cellphone camera, and once again, "Yellowman" didn't take took kindly to being recorded on video.
Also, our other colleague from Plus News claims that "Yellowman" stoned him with a pen. Here's that second confrontation between "Yellowman" and Amaya, in which he grabbed her phone:
Chairman Tried To Defuse
So, why didn't the Senate Committee Chairman, Aldo Salazar, simply order that his UDP colleagues be removed from the gallery for disrupting the hearings? You've heard him warn witnesses that the Senate Inquiry on Immigration is not a "soap opera". Yet, that's just what it devolved into because of the heckling. So, was he playing favorite today? That's what we asked him, and he rejected that saying, he was trying to defuse the situation before it got out of hand:
"There were certain members of the gallery today who are from your party and it seems that you were rather reluctant to throw them out for being disruptive."
Hon. Aldo Salazar - Chairman, Senate Select Committee:
"I don't agree with your characterization of reluctance, we did suspend the sitting when there was noise, I did speak with certain person that we need to have the senate respected, you would have heard me if you review your tape you will see that I said the same thing, we need to respect the business of the senate but remember we have to weigh the interest of the public as well."
Hon. Courtenay Says Deliberate Disruption to Protect Penner
After the Senate Hearing today, we asked PUP Senator Eamon Courtenay about the behavior from the UDP visitors to the gallery. He was the subject of the vicious heckling, and the UDP's were "throwing phrases" at him from the moment they arrived.
He said that this was deliberate to try to disrupt the questioning that he was putting Penner through:
Hon. Eamon Courtenay - PUP Senator:
"The proceedings last week were disturbed by the chairman of the United Democratic Party Mr. August. Mr. August came back again today; he was accompanied by others including the sergeant at arms of this honourable house. So these are of part of the official United Democratic Party, part of the house staff and they were the person who came here today to disturb the proceedings with a clear intent to do so let's make no mistake about that."
The Problem With Probing Penner
So, with all that antics aside, we turn now the real business of the day. Elvin Penner was called back to take a few more questions from the Senate on the part of the Auditor General's report for which he was named.
More specifically, however, the Senators wanted to take a second attempt to get him to answer to the Citizen Kim scandal. Last week, we showed you how how he tried to claim rights and privileges in the constitution which he said excused him from taking their questions.
Well, as soon as the hearing opened today, he gave a few prepared remarks adding that he is not going to answer any loaded questions which he thinks are aimed at scoring political points against the UDP Government. Here's that back and forth:
Penner "Can't Recall"
So, as you saw, Senator Courtenay was determined to ask his questions about Citizen Kim, and he did. The line of questioning started with Elvin Penner refusing to answer, and later on, his answers changed with him asserting that he could not recall.
Here's how that back and forth went:
Hon. Eamon Courtenay - PUP Senator:
"The evidence before this committee is that you took or you went along with whichever way it is, an Asian gentleman in a black suit to the immigration department, do you recall in September 2013 going to the immigration department with an Asian gentleman in a black suit?"
Elvin Penner - Former Immigration Minister:
"At this point in time I will invoke my right under the laws of Belize to remain silent."
Hon. Eamon Courtenay:
"Mr. Penner why are you refusing to answer that question?"
"Because I believe I have the right to do so."
Guatemalan Gold Panner Died In Ceibo Chico
Tonight, we can confirm that a Guatemalan civilian did die in the Chiquibul - but it was an accident and had nothing to do with the BDF or law enforcement, according to General David Jones. 18 year old Marvin Cristobal Chac Pop's body was removed form the Chiquibul this afternoon and is now being held at a morgue in Belize. Two Belizean forensic Doctors, Ken and Blanco were taken to the Ciebo Chico area of the Chiquibul today where they determined that Pop had tumbled down from a cliff and died from injuries to his head when he fell on the stones in a small creek. This happened 7.7 kilometers or 4.7 miles inside Belize.
11 Bullets For Belize Bank/Matalon
The Matalon Building on Coney Drive is one of the most impressive in Belize, but last night, the Belize Bank Section was riddled with bullet holes. As many as 13 shots were fired, and 11 hit the first two floors of the building - which are owned and operated by the Belize Bank. It happened around 10:00 pm, when security cameras picked up a car passing by, which then spun back unto Sun Dial Avenue - which is across from the structure. A man walked out of the car and basically emptied a clip on the Bank's two floors. And while several panes of the glass exterior were damaged, it's all hurricane resistant tempted glass, so they didn't shatter. And we are told that the 11 bullets which did hit the building got no further than the blinds. Additionally, insurance will cover costs for all the replacements. The building has high intensity zoom security cameras on all corners of roof - and we are told they did get footage of the car which police are reviewing.
Police Warn Businesses About Delivery Truck Jackings
And while North side police are reviewing that surveillance video, on the Southside they are trying to get a handle on a spate of armed robberies that have been happening on Mahogany Street in the Lake Independence Area. Since last week, at least three delivery trucks have been robbed in the area. The pattern is the same in every crime, three men, one with a gun, taking money from the days deliveries. It happened again this morning and we asked the Southside Commander what they can do to stop it. He says the business owners have to help:..
House Fire Started As a Result of Family Dispute
Just as the news was finishing last night, at 7:45, the Fire Department got the report of a fire near North Creek canal. That's a block away from the Southside fire station - and the fire truck was there within two minutes. But, still, it was too late: two buildings burnt down. The station officer told us more - and police filled in with details pointing to the fact that it is an arson:..
Orin Smith - Station Officer, National Fire Service:
"On arrival on scene found were two structures already engulfed in flames. Approximately 12 by 15 bungalow wooden structure and an elevated 10 by 14 wooden structure approximately 10 feet off the ground were engulfed in flames. The national fire service went into operation to extinguish the fire, both structures were later extinguished. Investigation reveals that the fire was the result of an incendiary or the fire was classified as incendiary. Neither of the two structures were insured."
Crooked Tree Fire Was Arson
And while that fire was a case of arson, so too it appears with the Audubon Society's Visitor's Center at the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary. Orin Smith filled us in:
Orin Smith - Station Officer, National Fire Service:
"The Crooked Tree fire investigation determined that fire to be incendiary."
"Give us more details."
"There were trailers found on the step leading to a veranda, trailers are usually devices whether liquid or materialize that is used to lead a fire into an area you want it to go and that was discovered on one of the staircase that led to a veranda and eventually to the structure itself."
Caribbean Urban Forum Converges On Belize
Today the Belize City Council hosted mayors and town council representatives from throughout the country, as well as city planners and urban development officials from around the region in the 7th annual Caribbean Urban Forum. The event is comprised of several events focused on sustainably developing cities and towns. Alex Courtenay spoke to some of the forum's presenters today, and found it what urban planning means for regular city and town dwellers:
The Caribbean Urban Forum brings experts from all over the world to discuss strategies for developing urban areas in a way that's not just sustainable, but addresses major problems such as climate change and poverty. Today, the Belize City Council hosted the 7th annual forum under the theme "Green Economy, Energy and Space - Pathways to Urban Sustainability"...
Early Childhood, And Its Effects In Later Life
"Positive Play, Positive Minds, Brighter Tomorrow." That's the theme for this year's Early Childhood Development Conference. It sounds straightforward enough right?: Just play with your kids and interact with them. But it's more than that; it's really about sculpting a child's future. Courtney Weatherburne has more details on the conference and how proper stimulation will impact children's lives.
An individual's personality, social skills and cognitive abilities are shaped during their early years. According to Dr. Zoyah Kinkead-Clark from the University of the West Indies in Jamaica "You can tell how a child at 3 years old will act at age 15."
Educating and engaging a new-born may not seem as top priority for a parent compared to providing them with basic needs, but studies show that a child's development starts even before birth.
Fishing in a Spawning Aggregation Area
A joint patrol between Southern Environmental Association Rangers and the Belize Coast Guard on Saturday ended with authorities apprehending Elexander Harris, Wilmer Enrique Limas Herrera, Wilmer Isaac Limas Calderon and Anuar Enrique Limas Cruz, for illegal fishing activity. All four men are from Honduras and according to a press release issued yesterday, they were caught in the Gladden Spit and Silk Caye Marine Reserve. They were all charged for fishing in a spawning aggregation area without a Special License Permit.
The fishermen appeared in the Independence Magistrate's Court on Monday. Harris and Enrique Limas Herrera pled guilty to fishing without the special license and were fined.
How Does It Feel To Win Half A Mil?
A Police Constable with 14 years on the job, will finally be able to buy his dream house after he landed the fantasy 5 prize. Dayton Ogaldez bought his usual quick pick fantasy 5 ticket and found out later from a Chinese grocer that he had won the 435 thousand dollar prize. We caught up with Ogaldez today as he collected his cheque and he was still shocked that he gets to take home all that money, which works out to $369,750 dollars after tax. Here's how he plans to spend his money.
The winning numbers were 17, 35, 19, 34, 13. Ogaldez is the 15th winner of the fantasy five jackpot.
Crocodile Safely Relocated
In Mid March we reported on the 10 foot crocodile that was safely removed from the canal in the Belama Phase 2 area. Well recently, the Belize Zoo along with the Crocodile Research Coalition also safely moved one from the Fein Catch Tilapia Farm on the Coastal road and released the croc in the Cox Lagoon at Mile 25 on the George Price Highway. It's a 5 foot Morelet's Crocodile. Here is a bit more about the rescue.
Now it was a happy ending for both the Tilapia farm owners and the crocodile , but that's not always the case specifically the crocs. In many instances people shoot the crocodiles, tape their mouths shut so they starve to death, among other unwarranted cruelties. Well the Belize Zoo is urging residents not to harm these animals. Yes , they are scary to have roaming around but instead of killing them, you can call the croc experts to safely take them to another area . The Belize Zoo hopes to educate the public more on World Croc Day on June 17th at the Zoo. Everyone is invited.
Suspects, But No Witnesses In Lalin Murder
Police still have not made any arrests in the murder of Ludwin Lalin, the 19 year old who was killed on May 9 days ago on Jane Usher Boulevard. Today, the Southside commander told us that they have suspects, but no forthcoming witnesses:
ACP Chester Williams - Commander, Southside Police:
"99% of the murders that occur in Belize City we know who do it, the difficulty is always to get the evidence that we need to be able to prosecute the perpetrators of those crimes."
"The last time you were making a public appeal for witnesses to come forward, how did that go?"
ACP Chester Williams:
"Yes that public appeal is still on going, we're still trying to see if we'll get anyone who will be willing to give us a statement as to what they may have seen on the day in question."
Jane Usher Blvd. Healing The Wounds
And while that murder remains unsolved, the wounds caused to Lalin's friends and family also remain unhealed. The 19 year old - who was not known as a gang member - was killed, possibly because he ventured into hostile territory not far from his home. Today, Williams told us that community healing takes timeâ€¦
ACP Chester Williams - Commander, Southside Police:
"The area is still tense, people are still hurt, we know that overcoming anger is not an easy thing but we're trying to see how best we can get the help that they need in terms of counselling for those who need counselling to be able to assist them to overcome the hate that they are currently feeling because if we do not assist them to overcome the hate and anger resulting from the death of the young man then more than likely the problem with persist."
NTUCB President, Not President?
For the past two nights we've been telling you all about the problems in the PSU where nine members of the council of management are calling for President Eldred Neal to resign. It's because of remarks he made in a conversation with two union colleagues. That conversation was secretly recorded - and in it Neal is heard making prejudicial remarks against the Garinagu in general, and specific members of the public service and his council of management who are Garifuna. And while that is what's happening in the foreground, in the background to all this is a fight for control of the National trade Union Congress of Belize. We're told that The PSU Delegate Jackie Willoughby raised at a meeting that recently elected president Floyd Neal could not hold that post.