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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
The San Pedro Sun introduces Junior Reporter Hamerlin Flores
Hamerlin joins our staff as a junior reporter. Originally from Seine-Bight Village, Stann-Creek District, Hamerlin attended Independence High School, followed by Stann- Creek Ecumenical Junior College where he acquired an Associate’s Degree in Economics. We hope the island community and all our readers embrace Hamerlin Flores, as he integrates himself into our community and helps The San Pedro Sun in providing the very best community news and more.
GOB affirms commitment against offshore oil exploration
On August 18, 2017, Belize Prime Minister, Right Honorable Dean Barrow officially announced his administration’s commitment to legislate an indefinite moratorium on offshore oil exploration in Belize’s territorial sea, including its exclusive economic zone. Many Belizeans throughout the country, along with different organization like The Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Hertiage and Oceana in Belize, welcomed the decision taken by PM Barrow.
Multi-million-dollar cruise terminal to be built near Belize City
Over a decade of back and forth between the Government of Belize and developer Michael Feinstein, regarding a multi-million dollar cruise development off the coast of Belize City, ended on Friday, August 25th when both parties finally signed an investment agreement. The project calls for a brand new cruise port under Stake Bank Enterprises Limited, belonging to Feinstein. It will see the construction of what is being described as a world-class cruise ship docking facility on Stake Bank Caye, located about four nautical miles southeast of the city. During the signing ceremony, Feinstein stated that the project will have a cost of $50 million dollars, and will take around 18 months to complete once construction begins. “It will be two docks to accommodate four ships,” said Feinstein. “It’s a big development with an approximate area of 17 acres that will also include a marina with a few stations.”
Amidst challenges, turtle nesting season looks promising
According to reports from the Ambergris Caye Marine Turtle Program, at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, the 2017 turtle nesting season is looking bright. The month of August is the peak of the season, and so far a total of 94 nests have been found. As personnel from the turtle program continue to monitor the activities on the nesting grounds, they once again ask the general public who occasionally frequent the nesting areas to be mindful, and leave nests undisturbed. This is not only important for the survival of baby turtles, but for adult turtles to continue returning year after year to these areas to nest.
The nesting season runs from May to November each year. According to Kirah Forman, Marine Biologist at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, who spearheads the turtle program on the island, the nesting season is looking good better than last year. “Due to Hurricane Earl last year, most of the nests were lost. This year, the weather has been more favourable, and about 35 nests from the 94 found have successfully hatched,” said Foreman. She stated that so far, only one nest was affected due to the effects of Tropical Storm Franklin earlier this month.
Misc Belizean Sources
Belize's Wonder Women! Carol Harrison
For the month of September we are proud to announce that Carol Harrison is our Belize Wonder Woman!
Mrs. Harrison works at the Ministry of Health Belize as Senior Finance Officer. She has been working with the Government of Belize for 31 years in a number of Ministries in various capacities. Mrs. Harrison started her career as a typist at the Police Training School, later became a clerk, and then moved up the ranks by passing internal exams and acquiring additional qualifications locally and abroad.
Ms Angelia Guy, Tropical Meteorology Forecasting training in the USA
Since 1989, Belize has sent a total of 5 Meteorologists/Forecasters to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Weather Prediction Center for Training on Tropical Meteorology Forecasting. Ms Angelia Guy is the 6th representative from the National Meteorological Service of Belize, currently at the Tropical Desk based in Washington, DC.
Toledo Alcaldes Association meets with Attorney General
Toledo Alcaldes Association (TAA), as the collective traditional representative body of the Maya people in southern Belize, met, in Punta Gorda town, with the Attorney General of Belize, Michael Peyrefitte, and other representatives of the Government of Belize, including the Solicitor General, Nigel Hawke, and the Minister of Lands, Dr. Carla Bennett. This meeting was historic in that it marks the first time that a sitting Attorney General has travelled to the Toledo District to engage with the Alcaldes, the traditional leaders of the 39 Maya villages. The TAA, therefore, applauds and welcomes the effort and initiative of the Attorney General.
These meetings came about as a result of several requests from the TAA to the Attorney General’s Ministry in relation to issues and concerns facing Maya communities, including issues related to the irregularity in appointment of alcaldes.
2017 National September Celebrations Calendar
Let's start our September planning... here's a look at this year's National September Celebrations Calendar!!!!
Dinner and Jazz Cabaret
The Wildfire Artzmosphere is having a Jazz night on Sunday, and it includes dinner. There will be live Jazz throughout the night.
"Candle light Dinner and live Music. smells good.
$30 each or $50 for 2. For $15 come enjoy the music, drinks and good vibes."
The Placencia Breeze September 2017
What’s Inside Pg 3 From the Fire Hearth - Alla We Da One Pg 5 Fishing Tournament Registration Pg 6 Sea Turtle Monitoring Pg 7 Croc Corner Pg 9 Casa Placencia Pg 10 Rotary News Pg 11 Seine Bight News Pg 15 & 18 Placencia BTIA Members Pg 16 & 17 Placencia Peninsula Map Pg 19 Photo by Deb Vernon Pg 20/21 Placencia Peninsula Guide Pg 22 PHS News / Placencia Players Theater Pg 23 St. John's Leadership Workshop Pg 26 Community Corner Pg 27 Whalesharks Pg 28 Casa Del Sol / Mr. Jack's 19th Fishing Tournament Pg 29 Seine Bight Day Weekend / Crocodile Hatchlings Pg 30 Placencia Peninsula Happenings Pg 31 Calender of Events
Win 2 round trip tickets from Tropic Air AND 2 VIP tickets to Soca Jazz Festival ft. Machel Montano!
To enter, simply post your favorite photos of Tropic Air along with the hashtags #FlyTropicAir #TropicAir #SocaJazzFest.
You can post on your public Twitter and Instagram profiles or post on Tropic Air's Facebook page.
AN IMPRESSIVE SOFTBALL CAREER CHRONICLES BELIZE'S CYNTHIA CASEY-TUCKER!
It has taken some time to get this story written on the legendary Belizean softball athlete, Cynthia Casey, whom many Belizeans remember was one of the superwomen Belizean athletes that defeated the world class United States national softball team, "Orlando Rebels", in the 1979 Pan American Games.
Cynthia Casey-Tucker as she is referred to now, comes to Belizean Legends after a long awaited story that saw yours truly connecting with the outstanding Belizean athlete a year ago, and who have continued to play softball in the United States even up to today. Her fantastic story of softball athleticism after her emigration from Belize and her remarkable accomplishments in American softball as a professional player who have travelled across the U.S. and played so many tournaments, is testimony itself that Casey-Tucker is not done yet.
Scenes and sounds from the Flag Ceremony in Belize City at 6 am September 1st
NEMO MINISTER INSPECTS FLOOD MITIGATION WORKS IN TOLEDO
Earlier today, Minister of National Emergency Management Hon Edmond Castro was on a working tour in Punta Gorda Town, Toledo District.
Hon Castro was welcomed to the municipality by Punta Gorda Mayor Fern Gutierrez and he accompanied NEMO District Coordinator Kenton Parham and Assistant Coordinator Dennis Williams on an inspection of areas where flood mitigation works have been carried out in that town and surrounding communities over the past six weeks.
Miss Carnival Queen Pageant
Junior and Senior Queens' competition HAPPENING TONIGHT IN COROZAL at the Civic Center. There will be an official after party at the same location.
PM Under Pressure For Pac
For the past few days, we have been reporting on the social partners, putting the Prime Minister on blast for shady land dealings which happened under former Lands Minister, Gaspar Vega.
But, what has gotten less attention is the fact that the Chamber, the PSU and the BNTU have also called on Prime Minister Barrow to reform the Public Accounts Committee. That's the house committee, led by the PUP's Julius Espat, with majority representation from the UDP. The social partners have been demanding to be added to that group, and last year, during the teacher's strike the Prime Minister agreed to do so.
Earlier this week, the Chamber said, quote, "Belize's governance structureâ€¦already allows for checks and balances through the Supreme Audit Institution, the Public Accounts Committee and the Integrity Commission."
Mother Fears Teenaged Son Dead
17-year-old Erwin Paulino Rodriguez has been missing for eight days, and tonight his mother believes that her son has been killed. The teenager lived on Ground Dove Street in Belize City with his family - but no one has seen him since last Thursday at 1:00 in the afternoon when he was riding a bicycle.
But, no one knows where he ended up after that and his family has been frantically searching for him and putting up "missing person" posters all across the city.
Today, we found them searching in the Jane Usher area where his mom said that he had left home before but never for this long:
Ischelle Tablada Acquitted In Tax Heist Case
Last year in July, we told you about that daring robbery at the Income Tax department in which armed robbers stormed into the Belmopan office and stole almost $30,000 in tax receipts for the middle of the month. Well, one of the 5 defendants that police charged in that heist has been acquitted at the Magistrate's Court.
She's 34 year-old Ischelle Tablada, a former Government employee, and she was facing the charge of abetment to commit robbery. She stood trial before Magistrate Ladonna John where the main evidence against her was a caution statement that police say that she gave to investigators.
Defence Attorney Defending Himself
And while Banner was the defense attorney in that case, he was defending himself last weekend at a double Head Cabbage cricket field. Banner told police that on Saturday, Calbert Reynolds was drinking in the village with another man - and both of them ambushed him. Banner says Reynolds was armed with a Belikin bottle and a cricket bat and threatened to burst his face and kill him. Banner says - despite being restrained by villagers - Reynolds attacked him with the pint.
Today, Reynolds appeared in court charged for aggravated assault with a Belikin bottle, and threatening words.
UDP Accused PUP Mayor Bernard
Yesterday, we showed you the UDP's Town Council Slate for Orange Walk. They are hoping that this team, lead by former Mayor Phillip de la Fuente can unseat the PUP incumbent Mayor Kevin Bernard in John Briceno's hometown.
And six months away from those elections, politics in Orange Walk is already heating up. Yesterday, the UDP's accused Mayor Bernard of committing half of the monthly Government Subvention for 12 years - so that he can pave streets.
Tonight we have both sides of the story: starting with the accusation from the UDP's Phillip De la Fuente, Elodio Aragon, and Alberto August, as they described it yesterday:
PUP Mayor Forced To Find Financing?
Now, our colleagues from CTV 3 have spoken to the Mayor about the accusation, and he's released documents to support his rebuttal that it is certainly not 30 million dollars, and he is not locking away half of the subvention.
The contract we've seen is for just under a million dollars, and in a case of perfect political irony, the construction company being paid to do this work belongs to the UDP's Orange Walk Central Standard Bearer, Denny Grijalva.
His company, De-Mars Stone Company, has been contracted to repair 10 streets in Orange Walk, and today, the Mayor explained that he had to make the repayment arrangements because Central Government neglected Orange Walk Town.
When The Politicians Fight, Only The Truth Gets Trampled
And, so, while there is the political dispute over the way Mayor Bernard is funding street works in the Orange Walk Town, they also can't agree on who's the better municipal leader. Bernard succeeded Phillip De La Fuente in his first term in office, and to hear them tell it, there's a huge disparity what the Council's finances looked like.
Here's the back and forth between the two Mayors, for you to decide:
Phillip De La Fuente, UDP Mayoral Candidate - Orange Walk:
"They roll through that first 3 years using all the machinery, all the resources and everything that I had left. He invested nothing for that first 3 years that he was in there. The people of Orange Walk knows me from every corner of Orange Walk. They knows me and they have pledge their support for me."
Innocent Amy And The CWU
10 days ago, the name Amy Forte might not have even rang a bell, but tonight she is nationally known as the woman who claims her signature was forged to facilitate a Vega land deal.
And the Christian Workers Union which calls her a "friend and former colleague," says she's innocent. A CWU release says, quote, "things were going "awry" in the Lands DepartmentIt was never a case of "it is what it is!" which is how the Prime Minister attempted to blow if off lightly. The people of Belize now know "what it really is" that was going on in the Department," end quote.
The release adds, quote, "Our nation has reached one of those critical milestones in its Independence where we have to decide whether we will stand and deliver ourselves from corruption and injustice or forever be damned and lost as a nation."
Fraud, Forgery, And Forte
And while the CWU professes her innocent as does her attorney - others are also saying they are innocent, caught up in a much bigger game of land fraud orchestrated by savvy players. Tonight, Daniel Ortiz looks at what we know so far:...
This is the signature that Amy Forte says was forged. Her attorney says that they've gotten a expert to verify she didn't sign this document; somebody else tried to replicate her signature to pass off these land transactions in her name.
With that fraud, the paper ownership of that pre-owned land lot 2 on Caye Calker, passed to Andre Vega.
An AK Off The Streets
Police found a major weapon on Belize City's streets. It's an AK 47 with magazine that was found in what police will only say is the Port Loyola area. A brief statement from the cops says that found it over a week ago, on August 23rd.
Half Pound Of Weed In City Search
Sometime soon, possession of 10 grams of marijuana may be decriminalized, but, right now and into he foreseeable future, 306 grams - which is a little over half pound of weed - is definitely illegal. Today, the police Special Assignment Team found those 10 ounces in a search at 37-year-old Glennford Alexander Soberanis's house. The tour guide lives on Pelican Street extension. Soberanis was arrested and charged with "Possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply".
Silence Of The Sheep
As you can hear in the background right now - the Carnival Parade is passing by our studio right now - to launch the carnival season
And while they are observing bacchanal, today, Bangladeshi Muslims in Belize marked the Feast of Sacrifice or Eid al-Adha, by slaughtering livestock, usually a goat, sheep or cow. They then distribute the meat to the community for free. In Belize City they do it by Red House on Vernon Street.
Today we caught up with the President of the Bangladeshi Community in Belize, Ruhul Amin before he handed out the freshly butchered meat.
Big Red On A Bumper Sticker
Boycott Norwegian Cruise Lines - that's what a group of Belizean conservationists are calling for with an international bumper sticker campaign. The issue is "Big Red", that Scarlet Macaw we've been telling you about, which is on display at Harvest Caye.
The bird lovers are now telling the world that Harvest Caye is host to, quote, "a horrible animal side show featuring Belizean wildlife. The site is completely inappropriate, even for the health and welfare of captive-bred birds, but worse than that the toucans and macaws on display there came from the wild."
Dion & Philloughby's Bromance
Typically, political contests leave both sides at odds with each other. But on Tuesday, UDP City Councillor Phillip Willoughby defied that logic when he publicly congratulated the man who beat him in the Mayoral convention, Dion Leslie. And On Wednesday night on Lik Road, Dion Leslie called Willoughby his brother:...
Dion Leslie, UDP Mayoral Candidate - Belize City:
"Congratulations and respect to my colleague, my friend, my brother Philip, who ran an amazing campaign. It was a battle to the end and I am proud to call him my brother and I am proud and excited to go into a next election with him by my side."
Cops Clear Cluttered Land
Last night we aired a story about an abandoned lot that was transformed into a park. Today another abandoned lot was cleared out on Guzman Crescent in Belama Phase 1 by the commanding officer of precinct 4, Assistant Superintendent Franciso Ack and his officers. Now, this lot wasn't cleared to build a park; It was cleared to ensure the safety of community members. Ack told us more about the project.
Francisco Ack, Assistant Superintendent of Police - Commanding Officer of Precinct 4:
"This is our second day of us doing our cleanup campaign here within phase, within Belama area. Yesterday we cleaned up two overgrown lots within phase 2."
"I saw the need um for these cleanup campaigns is because of um the burglars that we are affected by. Thieves are gaining access to the houses along the riverside by means of river and these thieves are using old fridge, ice box and whatever they could float on..."
Cross The Nitro - The Name Says It All
An up and coming artist is hoping to inspire other youth through his album entitled "Articulated Motivation". His name is "Cross Di Nitro." Music has always been his passion and he finally put together his album. He came to our studios today to tell us about the message he is trying to get across through his songs.
If you would like to contact him regarding his album you can call him at 623 8845.
First Is The First Flag Day
So, Belizeans, it's September, and today - the first - was the first National Flag Day. And in honor of that, most municipalities unveiled a Flag monument - including a Flag pole and a Plaque detailing the official description of the Belizean Flag. We have images of ceremonies held at 6:00 this morning in Belmopan and Belize City.
The plaque is approximately four feet high by two and a half feet wide and is designed gives the official description of the flag of Belize. In Belmopan, the co-designer of the original flag at Independence, Inez Sanchez Sr. was on hand for the event.
C.W.U. Defends Former Executive Amy Forte
The outcry continues to grow tonight in relation to the Mosquito Caye/Caye Caulker land scandal involving an attempted swap of land in both locations by Andre Vega, son of former [...]
How Far Should Lands Investigation Go?
Like the Belize National Teachers’ Union and the Public Service Union, the C.W.U. is asking that a formal investigation be carried out dating back to the start of Gaspar Vega’s [...]
P.U.P. Formalize Demands to Prime Minister
Earlier this week, the Opposition People’s United Party went after the Government, calling for among other things, the return of all Vega-titled properties and a full investigation and commission of [...]
E.P. Yorke’s Bernice Ramirez Passes 20 CXC’s!
A seventeen-year-old 2017 graduate from the Edward P. Yorke High School in Belize City is beating all odds and making her mark in regional exams. While the official results are [...]
Top Student Taking Up Scholarship in U.K.
…and her accomplishments opened doors for Ramirez. Aside from being recognized as a youth ambassador in 2016, her achievement of twenty CXC passes qualified Bernice for a scholarship with Pestalozzi [...]
CitCo and “Chicken Dread” Battle to Stalemate
News Five was called out to Princess Margaret Drive this morning in front of Edward P. Yorke High School where we found special constables of the Belize City Council and [...]
What’s in Government’s Oil Spill Plan?
In environmental news, members of the Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage have written Chief Environmental Officer Martin Alegria to raise concerns on the scope of a planned consultancy intended [...]
OCEANA Says Belizeans Will Decide Oil Issue
Despite agreeing to legislate the moratorium, the Prime Minister has told environmentalists and the press that he remains against a permanent ban on exploration, as he is unwilling to rule [...]
A.G. and Alcaldes Meet in Toledo
Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte, along with Minister of State Doctor Carla Barnett and Solicitor General Nigel Hawke, visited Punta Gorda Town on Thursday where they met with the Toledo Alcaldes [...]
Gov’t Takes Up Land Demarcation, Training for Alcaldes
According to Coc, the Maya community remains optimistic in their expectation that this kind of dialogue will be the first of many, especially as it relates to the implementation of [...]
Who Will Be New Chief Magistrate?
Has the next Chief Magistrate of Belize been appointed? It is widely expected that it will be acting Chief Magistrate and former Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, but official confirmation has [...]
Attorney Charges Ex-Prison Officer with Assault at Cricket Game
Well-known attorney and former D.P.P. Prosecutor, Leeroy Banner is the victim of an assault. Banner claims he was assaulted by two men on August twenty-sixth, 2017 at the Cricket Field [...]
Pelican Street Ext. Man Charged for Drug Supply
Shortly after eight o’clock this morning, a task force of officers raided the home of thirty-seven-year-old on Pelican Street Extension. A search of his residence turned up a quantity [...]
AK-47 Taken Off Streets in Port Loyola
The discovery of a high-powered weapon on the streets of Belize City may have flown below the radar on August twenty-third, when police in the area of Port Loyola retrieved [...]
Darrell Bradley Raises the Belizean flag at Roundabout
It’s the first of September, which, for most, is the start of the national celebrations. And fittingly, it has been officially designated as Flag Day in Belize. It is not [...]
Lillian Salazar Flies High Ahead of KTV Final
Tonight, we profile the third of the four finalists for KTV the Remix, ahead of the grand finale on Tuesday night. Las Flores’ own Lillian Salazar is a doting mother [...]
Back to School with Fresh Hair Cut
Sharlenie Wilson and Natasha Pipersburgh are helping kids to start the school year with fresh haircut done by professional barbers for free. The ladies decided to give back to south [...]
Police Clean Up Belama Phase 1 and 2
Police officers of the Precinct Four of the Belama Police Station, Belize City, were armed with machetes today – but they were not in any face off with a criminal [...]
“Beautiful, Smiling Queen of the Bay…”
On Saturday night at seven p.m. sharp the annual national Queen of the Bay pageant returns to Bird’s Isle in Belize City as eight hopefuls from across the country vie [...]
S.J.C. Vs. Wesley in Charity Basketball
Some good old thrash-talking among a group of friends at a recent basketball game has given rise to a one-of-a-kind initiative spearheaded by Wesley College alum O.J. Elrington. Tonight, past [...]
PM directs investigation into land fraud
The Office of the Prime Minister has announced that he has asked the Police Department to launch a criminal investigation into what appears to be fraud at the Lands Department. A civilian has shown up with proof that her name and signature were forged in a document which says that she sold land to Andre Vega, son of the Former Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega.
The land in question is outlined in a Ministers Fiat Grant #175 of 2009. It says that Belmopan resident Amy Forte allegedly bought a lot on Caye Caulker, a piece of land that is 3,826.903 square metres in size. This is private land owned by a real estate company, and so the Government had no business selling title to it. Yet, the Ministry of Natural Resources supposedly sold it and created a paper trail for this purchase on May 18, 2009.
100 million investment in Stake Bank
On Friday August 25 after much delay, the Feinstein Group signed on to an investment agreement to construct a world class cruise ship docking facility at Stake Bank off the coast of Belize City. According to the Michael Fienstein, a principal of the group, the investment is for 50 million U.S. dollars and will commence immediately after the hurricane season is over. Construction will take approximately 18 months and as many as a thousand employees will be hired to execute the project. The facility will feature a resort complete with a theme park. It will accommodate four voyager class cruise ships with a marina and an 80 room luxuy hotel. The theme park will have water rides a roller coaster and aquaria.
UDP 2017 Convention
The much anticipated and talked about Belize City Mayoral and Councilor convention is history. On Sunday the 27th August, the United Democratic Party held it convention to select the men and women who will represent the party at the municipal level in next year’s City Council elections. The days leading up to the convention saw the candidates in full overdrive campaign mode.
Contesting for the top spot – the mayoral seat, were two veteran councilors with years of City Hall experience. Dion Leslie, the current Deputy Mayor and Phillip Willoughby vied for the opportunity to represent the UDP as the next Belize City Mayor of our fair city.
BWS Donates Garbage Compactor Truck To PG Town Council
During a brief ceremony at the Company's compound in Punta Gorda Town on Tuesday, August 29th, the Belize Water Services handed over a fully refurbished 2004 Mack Garbage Compactor Truck to the Town Council.
The donation came after Mayor Fern Gutierrez lobbied the company for assistance and after months of the Company seeking the best truck for the allotted funds.
The truck, with a duty free value of 65 thousand dollars, was officially handed over to Mayor Gutierrez by the Chairman of the Belize Water Services Limited, Alberto August in the presence of several Town Councilors, Senior Managers of BWS and other invited guests.
Women at the fore of the UDP Belize City slate
On Sunday, 27 August, UDP Belize City supporters converged on the grounds of the ITVET in Belize City Campus (formerly the Belize Technical College Campus) located on Freetown. The event was an exercise to elect our slate to represent the UDP in next year’s Belize City Council Election. The sun was scorching hot, but it did not phase the almost 6,000 city residents as they were there to make sure that they would be a part of the decision making process. It was the first time in a long time that we had a contested convention for a Mayoral Candidate in Belize City. This time it was two formidable long serving Councillors who were contesting each other for the coveted position.
A small grant going a long way for Bethel Primary School
Stepping into the Bethel Primary School located on Freetown Road in Belize City, you’d know that this is one of the urban schools that is in most need. The school is the smallest we’ve ever seen with 77 students being taught in quite challenging conditions. The classrooms are divided with blackboards and armchairs compete with each other for limited space. On those blackboards there are still notes from the last school year with reminders of activities to take place just before school came to a close in July. Among those notes is the reminder of when report cards could be picked up.
Discovering Bocawina Falls
Between August 25th to the 27th, the Belize Tourism Board hosted representatives from eight media houses in Belize on a familiarization trip to Hopkins with the intent of promoting Belize as a tourist destination. One of the first destinations on the packed agenda was a visit to Bocawina.
At Bocawina, as it is known, the groups met with Andy Aspinal, the General Manager of the National Park, as well as tour guides that gave us a brief history of the park. One fun fact that was shared was the meaning of “Bocawina”. The first part of the name, “boca” is simply the Spanish word which translates to mean “mouth”. We were told that that was because the park is shaped in an elongated C which looks like a mouth. “Wina” comes from the Maya Q’eqchi’ word meaning “winding hills”, a perfect description of the twists and turns in the mountains’ geography.
Inauguration of refurbished and lighted Crooked Tree sports facilities
Inauguration ceremonies were held on Wednesday August 30 for the newly lighted Softball and Cricket Field in Crooked Tree Village, as well as the refurbished Basketball Court which has been repainted and is being re-fenced as well as having new lights installed. The works are sponsored by the National Sports Council through the lobbying efforts of Belize Rural North Area Representative Hon. Edmond Castro.
Thirteen aspiring medical students head to Cuba
Students who are leaving Belize to pursue their education in Cuba were hosted by the Embassy of Cuba on Friday, August 25, 2017 for a farewell event. Of over 70 applicants, a lucky 13 were chosen to be a part of the Cuba-CARICOM program. Through this initiative, students from sister nations are given the opportunity to receive scholarships to attend school in Cuba. Presently, there are 60 Belizeans benefitting from the program.
The students, who were chosen by a panel of the Education and the Foreign Affairs and Health ministries, and by representatives of the Embassy of Cuba, will pursue degrees in dentistry, medicine, and even health technologies. Her Excellency Lissette Perez, Ambassador to Cuba, was insistent that the students not only use the opportunity to develop their careers but also to develop their values.
National Song Competition makes its way to Dangriga
September isn’t September in Belize without national songs, old and new, and this year’s songs were debuted at the National Song Competition. Performers, judges, and spectators made their way down to the culture capital of Belize to witness the event. It took place on Friday, August 25, 2017 where both established and budding artists showcased their performances.
A total of 26 artists participated in the event where they would vie for one of several categorical wins. There were junior and senior winners in both the Belizean/Patriotic Song category as well as Carnival Song. In the competition there were also Breakout artists and People’s choices within the Belizean and Carnival Song categories.
Of this and that...Peeping Johnny
We did not expect Johnny to come around a UDP convention, so imagine the surprise we got when we saw him peeking about the ITVET compound on Sunday. We are told that he was at a nearby restaurant and wondered openly how it is that the UDP has been having such successful conventions and how it is that his party could do the same. We are told that one person who was in earshot said to him: ‘all you need to do is change your entire candidates and people will gladly follow the new leaders.’ We of course can do no more than agree with that plan. That bunch will never change and as long as that’s the case, they will never get the support of the people.
Police in San Ignacio work on community projects
San Ignacio Police continue to work in capturing the hearts and minds of the Belizean people. Members of the Community Oriented Policing Program COPP, an entire division at San Ignacio Police dedicated to building community partnerships, recently fanned out to clean a two mile stretch from Esperanza to Central Farm in the Cayo District.
In appreciation for that initiative, Mr. Escandar Bedran from Running W sponsored a meal for the COPP team at the Jalapenos Restaurant on the Benque Viejo Road. Both the Mayor of San Ignacio and Santa Elena Earl Trapp Junior and Officer in Charge of San Ignacio Police Richard Rosado joined in to greet the COPP team.
Zabaneh will attempt to sue U.S. Government
John Zabaneh has declared publicly that if possible, he intends to sue the US Government for the financial losses that he and his family-owned companies suffered over 5 years because the Treasury Department labeled him as a drug king pin. The Management of the Mayan King Banana farms has also indicated that they are in the process of suing Fyffes for the 2 year shutdown, and the destruction of the Zabaneh family banana farms.
Hosting his first press conference since the lifting of the sanction by the US Government, Zabaneh explained that trying to convince the authorities from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to remove him off their kingpin list was rather frustrating. He says that he reached out to them to give him an opportunity to defend himself. They did so, but the communications were a 90-day turn around for 3 years.
Shoes for southern schools
To most it may not seem like much- owning a pair of shoes; after all it is one of the most basic of items that people own. But when school opens the reality is that many children find it very difficult to get a new pair of shoes and that is where Senator Macario Coy has stepped in for some of the children in Big Falls and Barranco in the Toledo district.
Senator Coy launched a shoe drive and on Wednesday August 30 he delivered 175 pairs of shoes to students of Big Falls RC & Barranco RC School in Toledo. The drive was successful thanks to coordinators Felicita Reyes, Mike Westby, Whitney Garbutt and Raquel Rodriguez. Donations were made through the support from Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Patrick Faber, Hon. Erwin Contreras, and Hon. Tracy Panton through Sen. Macario Coy and Big Falls Village Councils.
San Carlos High School receives upgraded solar system
For the past 10 years, the San Carlos High School has been operating with a single generator that was donated to them by Defiance College in the United States of America. This meant that the school had to come up with funds to fuel and maintain the generator. This also meant that carbon dioxide emission was always something the residents in the surrounding area had to bear with.
Quite recently, most of these problems have been solved or at least made a little more bearable. The high school has been the recipient of a solar panel that will now enable the school to have 24-hour power. The investment, valued at $30,000, will benefit the school as well as the larger community. The new system generates power to the main building of the high school which holds 8 rooms. Funding for the San Carlos Solar System was sought from Belize Natural Energy as well as the New Zealand Embassy with collaboration from the Programme for Belize, manager and owner of the Rio Hondo Reserve in Orange Walk.
Hopkins: The Belize Tourism Board hosts Media Familiarization trip
The Belize Tourism Board hosted representatives from eight media houses in Belize on a familiarization trip to Hopkins with the intent of promoting Belize as a tourist destination. Aside from making Belize appealing to foreigners, BTB also sought to make it enticing to locals. That’s where the weekend fit in with my media colleagues and me.
Our adventure started on Friday, August 25, 2017 when 13 of us left the BTB office in Belize City en route to the Mayflower Bocawina National Park. The drive of over 2 hours was met with plentiful conversation (and naps) that immediately created a bond with those in both vans. The tour began with a hike and ended with a refreshing waterfall rappel.
Six young environmentalists receive scholarships from Programme for Belize
Programme for Belize hosted 6 high school students at their office on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 for a short scholarship ceremony. The students hail from various parts of the Orange Walk district from Augustine Pine Ridge, Lemonal, Rancho Dolores, and San Carlos. Funds for the scholarships, valued at almost $4,000, are primarily resourced from birders in the Massachusetts Audubon Society. Their donations have allowed the scholarships to be awarded for the last 3 consecutive years and for each year, the performance from the students that have been benefitted has been satisfactory.
Rotaract Club in Benque distributes backpacks
The Rotaract Club of Benque Viejo has held its 4th Annual Fill a Backpack Project, which was just completed last week. We were told by Vice President and Community Service Director Ricky Cunil that the Rotaract Club reached this year’s goal of 50 backpacks and surpassed it by 35 more backpacks; distributing a total of 85 backpacks. The backpacks were distributed in Benque Viejo Town, San Jose Succotz Village, Calla Creek Village and Arenal Village, where needy children benefit from this helpful project every year before school opens.
Town Hall construction remains on track in San Ignacio Town
The construction of the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town hall remains on track, to be completed by mid October of this year; despite delays in getting a major loan approved. It’s future has been boosted by the recent passing of the Town Council Amendment Bill through the House and the Senate.
As one of the biggest projects that has been undertaken by the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council, further funding for its new headquarters may be forthcoming by the end of this week.
In December of last year the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council had approached the National Bank for a loan, only to discover about a month and a half ago that there was a section in the Town Council Act that did not permit Town Councils the legal autonomy to make considerable loans.
Belizean artist is robbed near cemetery
On August 29, 2017 at 8:00 a.m., 21-year-old Christiane Young, a Belizean Artist of 8 Miles, reported that while walking in the Lord Ridge Cemetery earlier that morning, she was approached by a male person who robbed her at gunpoint of her black purse valued at $50.00 containing $200.00 and a Samsung galaxy Note 5 cell phone in a black case valued at $900.00. The male person then made good his escape heading into the Lord Ridge Cemetery. Police investigations continue.
No leads yet in Crevan Cardinez’s murder
On Thursday, August 24, 2017, police were able to confirm that the body of the man who an eyewitness claims he saw being beaten and thrown overboard in the sea by someone has been found. He was identified as a teenager from San Lorenzo, Orange Walk,18-year-old Crevaun Cardinez.
The body of Cardinez was recovered from the shallow waters in front of the Sir Barry Bowen Municipal Airstrip in Belize City, not too far from where he was seen being thrown from out of a vessel. He was brutally attacked aboard a vessel where he was stabbed and thrown into the water.
Customs officer charged with manslaughter
Rudolph Williams Jr., a 39 year-old Customs Officer of Orange Walk Town, has been charged with manslaughter for the shooting death of 30 year-old Dwayne Almendarez.
Readers will remember that high-profile shooting that happened on Tuesday, August 15, 2017, at around 4:45 p.m. A customs officer and BDF soldiers attempted to stop a bus traveling through Yo Creek Village in the Orange Walk District. It was coming from Santa Cruz, a well-known contraband community that borders Botes, the Mexican Village where all the contraband goods are bought.
Two men are charged in connection to Windell Gibson’s murder
A deadly shooting occurred in the Lindo’s Alley area of Conch Shell Bay which has left one dead and one injured. A third victim in the same shooting managed to escape the gunmen.
In connection to the murder and attempted murder, two men have been arrested and charged in Belize City. The men, 26-year-old Orlando Salazar and 21-year-old Joel Choco, were arraigned on Monday, August 28, 2017 before the acting Chief Magistrate Sharon Fraser.
Gilroy Martinez latest victim in gang flareup
The 5 children of 32 year-old Gilroy “Fries” Martinez will have to grow up without his parenting presence because he was shot and killed in the flare up of gang violence.
The incident happened at around 8 a.m. on Monday, August 28, a short distance from his Curl Thompson Street home. His family tells the press that he left his house, where his children and wife were present at the time. He was supposed to go and return some tools he borrowed. Where he actually went, nobody who spoke to the media could say. He returned and left on another unknown errand, and it was during that time that he was shot and killed.
Lyndon Flowers on remand for rape of minor
A San Pedro man is on remand after he was accused of raping a 14-year-old minor. He has been identified as Lyndon Dean Flowers. Flowers appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza where he was represented by attorney Oscar Selgado. He was read a single count of rape of a child and no plea was taken from him.
The allegations are that on July 3, 2017, a 14-year-old girl was carnally known by Flowers and was subsequently threatened not to tell anyone. Fearing for her life, it was not until recently that the minor shared the news of her ordeal. Telling her mother led to the arrest of Flowers.
Marroquin Brothers remanded for murder of Scott Charles
Jose and Sarbelo Marroquin, two brothers, were arraigned on Friday, August 25, 2017 at the Belize City Magistrate for the murder of Scott Charles which occurred on August 16, 2017. They appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza where they were represented by attorney “Dickie” Bradley.
No plea was taken due to the nature of the offense and they were remanded to the Belize Central Prison until October 25, 2017 for their next court appearance which will be in San Pedro.
Minor charged for murder of Armando Lopez
In broad daylight on August 20, 2017, shots rang through a bar in San Pedro. Those bullets claimed the life of a 34-year-old carpenter and fisherman, Armando Lopez. Lopez was shot and before he could have been rushed to the polyclinic, he succumbed to his injuries.
Grievous harm leaves Orange Walk minor hospitalized
On August 24, 2017 at about 12:17p.m., police visited the Northern Regional Hospital where they saw a 15-year-old minor of San Jose Village, Orange Walk suffering from a cut wound on top of his head and left arm.
Investigation revealed that the minor was heading home along with a female when he was approached by Ronald Reyes who inflicted chop wounds to the minor. The minor was transported to the Northern Regional Hospital and then to Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he remains in a critical condition. Police are investigating.
Peter Sutherland shot on Cemetery Road
On Friday August 25th, 2017 about 4:55 a.m., police visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they saw 30-year-old Peter Sutherland of La Croix Boulevard suffering from a gunshot injury to his right hand.
Investigation revealed that earlier that day, Sutherland was riding his bicycle on Cemetery Road when a male person fired several shots at him. Police are investigating.
BEL Security Guard fined for taking D-Max without authority
Maximiliano Morey, a 21-year-old security guard and resident of Ladyville finds, himself in trouble with the law after he made the mistake of taking his BEL Supervisor’s 2010 D-Max pick-up truck from his work compound on Saturday, August 26, 2017 without authority.
On August 29, 2017, Morey appeared unrepresented before the acting Chief Magistrate Sharon Fraser where he was read a single charge of taking conveyance without authority, a charge he pleaded guilty to.
On Saturday, August 26, 2017, he took a pick-up truck without authority from Patrick Perriott, Supervisor of BEL’s Security Section. According to Morey, his relief was taking too long to come and he didn’t know that taking the vehicle would have been a problem.
19 year old charged for beating his girlfriend
Kadeem Augustine, 19 years old, was accused of beating up his girlfriend during a domestic dispute. Augustine was remanded to the Belize Central Prison for the offense of harm for which he pleaded guilty. He appeared unrepresented before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza on August 25, 2017.
The incident is alleged to have occurred on Saturday, August 19, 2017 at Mahogany Heights. According to the victim, she was sitting in a house with a friend when Augustine instructed her to leave. After she refused, he hit her to the left side of her face. She still refused to leave and he slapped her once again. Her injuries were observed by a doctor.
Murder of father of two lands suspect on remand at Belize Central Prison
Alleged escaped murder suspect, 24-year-old Jevaun Bellizaire, was recaptured on Thursday, August 24, 2017 and arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court. He was read a count of murder for the Sunday, August 20, 2017 murder of Belize City resident, Ryan Thompson. He was also read a count of escaping from lawful custody after he allegedly escaped police while under arrest for the murder of Thompson. He was arraigned before the acting Chief Magistrate Sharon Fraser.
Dragons eliminate BTL from Firms’ competition playoffs
The Belize District Basketball Association 2017 Firms’ competition playoffs commenced on Friday 25th August, at the Swift Hall in Belize City.
In the first game of the Quarter-final round played, Dragons the number one seed eliminated BTL by the score of 94-77.
The top scorers for Dragons were Cordel Gonzalez Jr. with 18 points, 4 rebounds and a steal; Andrew Vasquez who scored 17 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals and Akeem Watters with 16 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 steals.
For the BTL team, the top scorers were Lennox Bowman with 17 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals; Lennox Cayetano who contributed 15 points to go along with his 9 rebounds and a steal in a losing effort and Jason Vasquez who also scored 15 points and had 4 rebounds and an assist.
Belize Defence Force FC and Police United FC win in PLB games over the weekend
The Premier League of Belize 2017 Opening Season continued over the last weekend with four games on the schedule.
On Saturday 26th August, at the MCC Grounds, the host team Belize Defence Force FC blanked the three times defending champions, Bandits Sports by the score of 1-0.
The only goal of the game was scored by Shane Flores in the 86th minute of play to give the Belize Defence Force the victory and an early lead in this year’s Opening Season.
Meanwhile, at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village, the Placencia Assassins FC and San Pedro Pirates FC played to a 1-1 draw.
Ladyville wins in Leal’s Football Cup Tournament
The 2017 Leal Football Cup Tournament commenced on Sunday August 13, at the Sandhill Football Field.
There are nine teams participating in the Leal’s Football Cup 2017 Football Tournament. These are: Corozalito, Ladyville FC, Burrell Boom, Maskall Strikers, Sandhill Scorpions, Lucky Strike, HVYSC, Sandhill Blue Hawks and Sandhill New Site Warriors
Four games were played on Sunday 27th August in the continuation of the competition.
In the first game played, Ladyville FC defeated Burrell Boom by the score of 3-2.
Month long football marathon successfully completed in Cayo
The San Ignacio Police Formation football cup marathon concluded last Sunday with several clear winners. First place in the marathon was won by the Santa Familia foot ball team, second place by Flames football team from San Ignacio and the third place was won by another team from Santa Familia. The marathon was held for four consecutive weekends in the month of August
The sponsors for the marathon were J & G company through Pepsi and Juan Polanco. The coordinators for the month long marathon were Mr. Dabo Carillo and San Ignacio COPP unit. Trophies and medals were also issued by San Ignacio Police Formation Commanding Officer Superintendent Richard Rosado last Sunday.
Words of Life with Pastor Barry Fraser
This week, we look at how love binds us together. The missionary and church planter Paul, in Ephesians chapter 4, verse 16 wrote: “From [Jesus] the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”
Where there is no love there can be no faith. If we understood how much God loves us, we will be willing to give up everything for Him. Jesus Himself confirmed it in John 17:23, “I am in them, and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me, and that you love them as much as you love me.” This verse should make us rejoice at all times. Such amazing love will deliver us from whatever comes against us. When we fall, we know that we will arise again.