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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
SPHS holds ‘The Great Gatsby’-inspired Senior Prom 2017
San Pedro High School’s (SPHS) Class of 2017 senior student’s attended their annual Prom Night on Friday, June 1st. Held at the beautifully decorated R.A. Nuñez Auditorium, the 1920’s vintage flair of ‘The Great Gatsby’ theme was breathtaking. While mingling with friends, the graduates enjoyed delicious food, and drinks. Tunes were provided by DJ Jago and the graduates were not shy to hit the dancefloor. From the latest in dancehall music to even the “Cha Cha Slide”—the graduates made sure their prom was a memorable one. As usual, the best was saved for last, and the highly anticipated honors of SPHS Prom King and Queen 2017 went to: Manuel Flores and Rosalina Fuentez. As confetti fell from the ceiling, the King and Queen took center stage for their celebratory dance. SPHS teachers toasted to the Class of 2017, congratulating them for achieving another milestone in their academic career.
Belmopan Bandits triumph over San Pedro Tiger Sharks
The Pepsi National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) season closed on Saturday, June 3rd as the San Pedro Tiger Sharks hosted Belmopan Bandits in game three of the finals held in San Pedro Town. The game was played at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium, which was packed to capacity for the championship game. Despite having the home-court advantage, the Tiger Sharks were overcome by the Bandits, who claimed the NEBL 2017 Championship with a final score of 75-67. The fourth and last quarter was the most intense, and fans were on the edge of their seats. The lead changed several times, with the Tiger Sharks even nabbing a five point lead a few minutes before the final buzzer. However, the Belmopan Bandits quickly regained their composure, netting key shots, and getting crucial defensive stops. The Tiger Sharks were crippled, and even though they fought hard until the end, the Bandits stole a 75-67 victory. The win gave the Belmopan Bandits their first NEBL Championship in franchise history.
Public Service Fair held at San Pedro Lions Den
The public service sector organizes a series of events in June to highlight the importance of public service. As such, on June 1st, the 5th Annual Public Service Information Fair took place at the San Pedro Lions Den. The theme selected for this year was: “With Confidence – Achieving Excellence; With Pride – Executing Responsibilities; With Perseverance – Beyond the Call of Duty”. At the fair, different government departments were given the opportunity to showcase their work, interact with the public, and receive feedback on ways to further improve services. This year, a total of 14 booths participated: Postal Service, Elections and Boundaries, Human Development Department, the San Pedro Police Department, Magistracy Department, Customs, Immigration, Income Tax, General Sales Tax, Labour Department, Transport, Local Government, Ministry of Health-Central Health Region, and the Fire Department.
Belize Celebrates World Environment Day
Each World Environment Day is organized around a theme that focuses attention on a particularly pressing environmental concern. The theme for 2017 is ‘Connecting people to nature’, and it encourages us to: Connect with nature in the city, green your city, green your street or a not-so-pretty site, plant a tree, plant many trees. Pick up 10 (or 100) pieces of trash, organize a mass clean-up. Hit the park, hit the outdoors, enjoy your country’s natural areas. Challenge yourself, identify wildlife, reach the remotest corner of the park. Take only pictures, share with others, take them exploring too. Take off your shoes, get your feet (and hands) dirty. Don’t just look at the beautiful river, jump in! Take a hike, rely on your ears and nose to experience nature. Whether peering at a bug that has touched down on your arm, connecting with nature is often an intimate, fleeting experience. But every trip outdoors.
Belize National Aids Commission Receives Regional Testing Day Award
The Belize National AIDS Commission and Executive Director Enrique Romero were presented with the 10th Anniversary Regional Testing Day Innovative Outreach Award for their contribution to the Regional Testing Day on HIV initiative as it celebrates its 10th Anniversary this year.
The award was given in recognition of the innovative approach that the NAC has taken to the promotion of Regional Testing Day in Belize.
Thirty-three (33) awards were presented to organizations and individuals from across the Caribbean who have worked tirelessly over the last ten years in support of Regional Testing Day (RTD) activities. The milestone tenth Anniversary of Regional Testing Day for HIV AIDS in the Caribbean was also launched at this glittering event.
Misc Belizean Sources
Costal Zone Management will be conducting mapping survey of the North Side of Caye Caulker
The Coastal Zone Management Authority & Institute, with funding support from the Marine Conservation and Climate Adaptation Project (MCCAP) will be conducting data collection activities on northern Caulker to support the development of an inventory on development activities and use of the coastal and marine resources.
Date: June 5th — June 9th 2017 Time: 8:00 a.m. — 5:00 p.m. Place: Caye Caulker (north) .
For more information you may contact: Maritza Canto at gismanaaerOcoastalzonebelize orq or 636-3991.
Street signs on Caye Caulker
Thank you to BTB and STP2 for their amazing collaboration with the CCVC in making this project a reality! More signs soon...
Donation for San Pedro Poly Clinic
On Thursday, June 1,Mr. Kevin Meighan from Yam’s Home Health Care Services presented a donation on behalf of Medics Away Foundation to the San Pedro Poly Clinic. Owen Vellos was on hand and accepted six Welch Allen Diagnostic sets to the value of approximately $6,000Bze. The community of San Pedro is very grateful for this kind gesture. -
CELEBRATION OF WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY – ‘Connecting People to Nature’
World Environment Day, celebrated each year on June 5, is the United Nations’ most important day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment. Since it began in 1974, it has grown to become a platform for public outreach on environmental issues that is globally celebrated in over 100 countries.
The Government of Belize, through the Department of the Environment (DOE), is responsible for the protection and conservation of its untold wealth through the control of pollution. The DOE is not alone in safeguarding Belize’s natural resources. Each one of us all share a role in nurturing, protecting, and using Belize’s natural resources for the benefit of all through changes which we can make to prevent and adapt to those threats. It is the Department of the Environment’s hope that all gain a greater appreciation and understanding of our precious natural resources, and the pressures and challenges that we as citizens face in ensuring that this natural heritage is there for future generations. When natural resources are used correctly and consistently in a manner that is safe for our environment, the results can be rewarding for us and for future generations. This is referred to as “sustainable use.”
BELIZE NATIONAL AIDS COMMISSION RECEIVES
REGIONAL TESTING DAY AWARD
The Belize National AIDS Commission and Executive Director Enrique Romero were presented with the 10th Anniversary Regional Testing Day Innovative Outreach Award for their
contribution to the Regional Testing Day on HIV initiative as it celebrates its 10th Anniversary this year.
The award was given in recognition of the innovative approach that the NAC has taken to the promotion of Regional Testing Day in Belize.
Results-Based Management Training for the 2030 Agenda
The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, Sustainable Development and Immigration (MAFFESDI) with the support of United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) is having a two and a half days Results-Based Management training session, from 5th- 7th June, 2017, at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City.
Belize is a pilot country in a UN-sponsored project entitled “Monitoring and reporting on sustainable development objectives, goals and targets: enhancing institutional capability in selected developing countries”. The objective of the project is to strengthen the aptitude of persons to monitor and report on progress against the goals and targets adopted in the 2030 Agenda and related national strategic planning documents.
Boat capsizes in Mexican Waters and Sarteneja woman drowns
At 5:00 a.m. on 01.06.17, 44 year old Acita Flores and eight other persons left Sarteneja Village in a white and blue 24 ft. skiff to Calderitas Village and Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico to do some shopping. At 6:30 p.m. on 01.06.17, they departed Mexico and the skiff was hit by a huge wave which caused it to capsize. At 4:30 a.m. on 02.06.17, a search party left Sarteneja Village and found eight survivors in front of Calderitas Village, Mexico, however, Flores was not found. At 9:15 a.m. on 04.06.17, Flores’ body was found floating in the sea about ½ mile north of Consejo Village, Corozal District. The body was transported to the Corozal Town Hospital. At post mortem examination was conducted on the body certifying the cause of death as consistent with drowning.
Congratulations Southwest Airlines!!
There are now even more options to travel to the U.S. On Sunday, Southwest Airlines inaugurated another new route. Direct flights now operate between Ft. Lauderdale and Belize City! Southwest also expanded its service to Denver offering two flights during the week.
Southwest Airlines Senior Vice President of Operations Jack Smith and other Southwest Airlines officials flew in on the inaugural flight arriving from Ft. Lauderdale. Charge d'Affaires, a.i. Adrienne Galanek, Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation CEO Yashin Dujon, Belize Airport Concession Company CEO Jorge Espat, BTB Marketing Director Karen Pike and Southwest's Station Manager Linda Neal all welcomed arriving passengers and bid farewell to departing passengers on this exciting inaugural flight. Southwest Airlines Belize Tourism Board
Belize Screen on the Green, Belmopan
Mark your calendars for movie night on Friday, June 9 at the Governor General Field. Free popcorn, juice and glow sticks. It's a family movie, Dolphin Tale, come out and enjoy!
'Connecting People to Nature’
The theme for World Environment Day 2017, implores us to get outdoors and into nature, to appreciate its beauty and its importance, and to take forward the call to protect the Earth that we share.
As Belizeans, we must learn to fully appreciate our dependence on the natural environment being that nature provides for our livelihoods in the form of fertile soil and productive marine resources. We are among the first to suffer when ecosystems are threatened, whether by pollution, climate change or over-exploitation. Even so, these resources are often taken for granted, at least until they become scarce.
Governor General Welcomes Ambassadors at the Belize House
This morning at the Belize House, four ambassadors presented their letters of credence to the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young. The ambassadors included H.E. Mr. Daniel Chuburu of Argentina, H.E. Mr. Mohamed Chafiki of Morocco, H.E. Mr. Zurab Eristavi of Georgia and H.E. Mr. Jorge Roman Morey of Peru.
Each ambassador expressed their desire for continued cooperation and strengthened ties between Belize and their respective countries. For his part, the Governor General thanked the ambassadors for their kind words and warmly welcomed them on behalf of the government and people of Belize.
5th annual Men @Work Art Exhibit
A gracious thank you to our cultural artists and community for a lovely launch of the 5th annual Men @Work Art Exhibit this past Friday night. A record number of art pieces sold ...seven in total, including acrylic paintings, charcoal, wood carvings, watercolours and jewelry. Artists on display are Hector Villamil, Allan Jones, Carlos Carrillo, Gale Peterson, Benjamin Cal, Paul Sandilands, Daniel Cano, Bob Wright, Alex Sanker and Marcus Gonzalez. You are kindly invited to visit the House of Culture and view the exhibit which is on display through to June 23.
Power outage San Pedro
BEL crews are investigating the cause of a power interruption affecting entire San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, since 12:38 a.m. on Tuesday, June 6, in order to restore power supply as soon as possible.
Corozal Couple Missing, Families Stressed
Right now, two Corozal families are very worried about their loved ones, 32 year-old Zeidy Orozco, and her 41 year-old boyfriend, Baltazar Lopez. The couple have been missing for 72 hours now, and the hope to find them alive and well is dwindling with every passing hour.
Our News team has been out all day in Corozal, and they were along with search parties looking for Orozco and Baltazar. Daniel Ortiz examines at the troubling aspects of their disappearance which has these families fretting tonight. Here's that story:
This evening, the families of 31 year-old Zeidy Orozco, and 41 year-old Baltazar Lopez finished a long day's search in the remote parts of Corozal.
They've been looking for the couple for 4 days now; and these loved-ones are starting to confront the very grim possibility that this search will end with them retrieving Zeidy's and Baltazar's bodies.
Body of 44 Year Old Mother Retrieved After Calamity At Sea
On Friday night we told you about the tragedy at sea in northern Belize. That's when a boat from Sarteneja capsized in the Bay of Chetumal after leaving Calderitas, Mexico at 6:30 on Thursday night. Police say a huge wave slammed the 24 foot skiff and flipped it over. Nine people were on board, and they had to fight for their life all night at sea. The next morning at 4:30 am, their family from Sarteneja set out and found eight of them in the sea near Calderitas village. They were suffering from hypothermia, dehydration and other injuries. But, 44 year old Acita Milsa Flores didn't make it. Reports form the survivors say she was looking after her daughter's safety until she suddenly went under and did not come back up. Her body was found at 9:15 on Sunday morning about ½ mile north of Consejo Village, Corozal District. A post mortem certified the cause of death as consistent with drowning.
Osmar Will Serve 14 More Years For Killing Christy
Common-law-wife killer Osmar Sabido was first sentenced to life in prison for murder, and then that was reduced to manslaughter by the Court of Appeal, which ruled that he had been provoked. Well, today, the Court handed down its sentence for that manslaughter conviction. The 31 year old was sentenced to 21 years by the Belize Court of Appeal. But Sabido will only serve 14 years and 8 days because 6 years and 347 days were taken off his sentence, which was the time he has already served for the 2011 murder.
Before deciding on the sentence the Court of Appeal heard pleas for mitigation from Sabido's father and uncle and Sabido himself.
Bill From Ashcroft Alliance Is In, And It’s In The Hundreds of Millions
Last week we reported on the latest battle between the Ashcroft Alliance and the Barrow Administration. It's over legal and other costs - arising from the settlement of the BTL acquisition. We've been reporting that the final figure would be in the many tens of millions of dollars. Tonight, we can report that it is in the hundreds of millions. That's right, figures we've heard put it at 130 million US dollars - that's more than a quarter billion Belize dollars. In just legal and other costs!
Now these costs are to be claimed against what is known as the accommodation amount - which is the 60% of the 460 million dollar settlement arising from that agreement.
PUP Leader Says PM Barrow Is Defending The Indefensible In Yellowman
Briceno also responded to the Prime Minister's remarks on Mace-bearer Brian Yellowman Audinett. The PM has said his threats against and assault on the press were unacceptable, but in the next breath he said there's no way he would support firing Yellowman as Macebearer. That's consequential coming from Barrow as Party Leader because the UDP also controls the majority on the House Staff Committee which will deliberate Yelloman's fate this week. Briceno says Barrow is putting party before country:...
John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition:
"I expect nothing different from that committee that's going to be meeting next week - that they are going to meet and keep Yellowman as the macebearer. It is a sad day for Belize and it is a shame that the Prime Minister has decided that he is going to put the political interest of his party above the interest of this country and the Belizean people."
Briceno says Speaker May Maintain Status Quo
Opposition Leader Briceno has also sent a letter to the Speaker of the House Laura Longsworth demanding that she take decisive action and remove Yellowman. But, that was almost two weeks and he hasn't gotten a response. The Leader said he fears the Speaker will preserve the status quo:
John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition:
"For her to keep Yellowman as her macebearer I think speak volumes and I think that the Belizean people are going to be very disappointed in her, because people look up to her as somebody of integrity and somebody of respect and I think that she needs to think about that and to insist that the macebearer must be fired, because it is her macebearer and she is the one that should decide who will be her macebearer and should she decide that she is going to keep the macebearer, then I think that it is going to show that she is just probably another UDP speaker of the house."
Briceno Says “Message Sent” With Castro Cancellation
And speaking also about the Edmond Castro visa revocation, John Briceno said that it is a clear, direct and serious message from the US to Belize:...
John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition:
"How can he say that he sees nothing wrong when a sitting minister, one of his members of his cabinet visas, both diplomatic and tourist visas had been cancelled? That says a lot. The US Government is not going to take away the visa of a sitting minister of any government in any country, unless if it is something serious."
The cancellation of a diplomatic VISA is not a matter lightly taken.
7News And Southwest To Fort Lauderdale
In January the BTB announced another non-stop flight with discount carriers Southwest Airlines from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to Belize. It is expected to disrupt the Miami Monopoly that American Airlines has enjoyed for decades. And to see just how this flight will impact that monopoly and of course tourist arrivals - Southwest sponsored a weekend media trip on the charter flight from Ft. Lauderdale to Belize. Courtney Weatherburne was in Ft. Lauderdale this weekend and has more details.
Courtney Weatherburne reporting:
Ft. Lauderdale is known for its broad beachfront promenade, its luxury hotels and its Culture and Art museums. And this weekend many tourists traveled to the city to enjoy all these attractions, others were just glad to get back home to their familiar multilane highways and shopping centers.
See, Taste, Travel
And Belizeans living in Belize and abroad can make the best out of this direct flight as soon as October. The 2nd annual See and Taste Belize will be held in Miami Florida on October 7th at the Deauville Resort. The Counsel General for Belize in Florida Janine Sylvestre told us more about the event and just how fitting this new flight is.
Janine Sylvestre Vega, Hon. Consul General of Belize in Florida:
"We are having our 2nd annual See and taste Belize on October 7th which coincides with carnival and our first event was just an astounding success, we had over close to a thousand Belizean that came to the first event and they came from all over the United States to celebrate Belize, the concept of See and Taste Belize is really to showcase Belize's culture through its food, and its art and of course Belikin Beer and music and we are very excited to this flight to Belize because this will facilitate Belizean coming to visit South Florida and for the See and taste event , they can come and book their flights from now."
Are New Fees Affecting Southwest?
But how are the new departure fees affecting Southwest - which prides itself as a discount carrier? The new departure fee was adjusted to $40.00 in the last budget presentation - which is after Southwest had already announced introductory fares as law as 79 US dollars one way to Belize. But then the new government fee were imposed - and those are all bundled into the cost of a ticket. So we wondered if it was kind of like moving the goalposts. Here's what the BTB's Director and the Southwest Representative said:
Karen Bevans, Director of Tourism:
"From the results I am seeing already for May, I am not seeing any impact as yet and the beauty about it is that the taxes are paid within the ticket cost so there is nothing to say this is tax, this is the cost of the ticket and this is something else , it is just one cost for a direct route or direct flight from Ft. Lauderdale to Belize or from anywhere to Belize and you just get a total cost so you wouldn't know what the departure tax is or any tax is and we are happy because of competition and the rates are going down so the increase in departure tax isn't very obvious."
Boom and The Battle Over Bradley’s Boatyard
Two weeks ago we told you about the fire that was set at Bradley Boat Yard's new workshop in Burrell Boom. Police haven't made any arrests, and the Chairlady told us she had heard no objections to the facility. But there is a groundswell of opposition. Tomorrow, villagers will have a press conference to make known their displeasure with the project, and on Saturday at Burrell Boom day, one long time resident told us that the boatyard needs to go:
Lincoln Gillett - Boom Resident of 30+ Years:
"I am not agreement with that activity. It could be down there that the wind shifts and I live up wind from it and I still smell the residue from it and I am allergic to anything that has to do with that kind of fiberglass activity. The smell..."
Erlene Baptist Pandy - Chairlady, Burrell Boom Village
"Mr. Bradley isn't doing anything. He isn't doing any sort of work on his boat, has just bringing them up, putting up his building. There is nothing going on."
Candor After the Fire
Right now, Orange Walk resident Edison Urbina is attempting to put his life back together after a fire almost destroyed his entire house on Liberty Avenue.
This house caught fire on Saturday morning sometime after 11:00, and Urbina thinks that it is a case of arson. This evening, he gave us a tour of the remains of the house, and he granted us a very candid interview explaining why he thinks someone intentionally set it ablaze. Here's what he told us:
Edison Urbina - Homeowner:
"I lived here from 1981 since my mother was alive. I give her a lot of stress, now I have no mother, or father, I have nothing"
Western Union Robbers, Strolled In, Strutted Out
Cayo police need your help to identify two men that robbed Western Union in Santa Elena around midday today. It happened when two men went into the office walking casually - you can see them here, the first in a black shirt and the second in an orange shirt. The went in - with the man in the orange shirt delaying a little as a lookout. 40- seconds later, the man in the back shirt strolled out, while the one in the orange shirt ran behind him. They had just robbed the place. They can be seen walking away across the Santa Elena roundabout. Cayo police need your help in identifying these suspects. If you know who they are, please call the Cayo police station. Police have not released any detail on how much was stolen in the robbery. We'll have that tomorrow
The New School Of Music Gives Associates’ Degree In Music
We know that there are many tertiary level institutions in Belize and you can get a degree in anything from graphic design to nursing, to physics and math. But what about music? That's usually study you take up on your own if you want to be a professional musician as an adult. But now, SJC junior college is changing all that with the first associates degree program for music. It's being done in conjunction with their sister institution, the Loyola University in New Orleans. That well established University's college of music and fine arts teamed up for a new building dedicated to the program. IT was opened on Saturday:
No Case For Nedal
In November of last year, COLA member Murphy Nedal McLaren, who is also known as "Jihad", was hauled in front of the Magistrate's Court for a marijuana possession charge. Police say that they found a weed "roach" on him. Well, today, more than 6 months later, the Chief Magistrate acquitted him.
The charge was from an encounter that McLaren had with the police back on the morning of November 10, 2016. That's when the cops say that they pulled him over at a police checkpoint in Sand Hill, on the Phillip Goldson Highway.
The cops say that the decided to search the vehicle because the officer smelled the strong aroma of weed coming from inside. They found 8.5 grams - about one quarter of an ounce of cannabis on McLaren himself, and they testified to that in a full trial against McLaren.
Things In Common With Canada
Canadians will be celebrating their 150th Anniversary of Confederation in Belize. Sure there will be grand festivals in Canada but the High Commission brought a glimpse of Canada to Belize through a photograph showcase at the Government House in the city. We found out more today
The showcase will be open to the public until June 23rd and then will move over to the Corozal House of Culture on July 1 St to 23rd.
Burrell Boom’s History Celebrated
As we told you, right now villagers of Burrell Boom have something to say about the Bradley's Boatyard which is coming into their community. And indeed, the villagers of Boom are known to be ruggedly independent, and, to a degree, even headstrong. All that was celebrated on Saturday when the village held its first Burrell Boom day in many years. Lincoln Gillett discussed the village's history:..