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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
San Pedro Pirates net first win against Freedom fighters
On Saturday, September 2 nd, The San Pedro Pirates Football Club hosted the Punta Gorda Freedom Fighters at the Ambergris Stadium in San Pedro Town during the fourth round of the football Premier League of Belize (PLB). The game saw the best of both teams, and at the final whistle, the home team won 2-0.
Miss San Pedro 2017-2018 is Virginia Vasquez
San Pedro Town has a new beauty ambassador, who was selected during the annual 2017 Miss San Pedro Pageant on Saturday, September 2nd. Held at the Honourable Louis Sylvestre Sporting Complex, the pageant saw five lovely contestants vying for the coveted title in a show full of creativity, poise and elegance. When all points were tallied, it was 18-year-old Virginia Vasquez who had charmed and captivated the judges becoming the new queen of the island. While the judges’ scores were being tallied, Grupo Crash gave their last performance for the night. This was followed by the final walk and speech of outgoing Miss San Pedro Lisandra Novelo. An emotional Novelo thanked the entire community for their support during her reign, and she wished her successor the very best. Salazar then began announcing the various prizes up for grabs. The title of Miss Congeniality went to Nurian Trujillo, while this year’s Miss Photogenic went to Tanisha Rhaburn, who also won the title of first runner-up. Rhaburn will take up duties of the winner in the event that she cannot continue to do so.
San Pedro Has A New Beauty Ambassador
Virginia Vasquez commanded the stage at the Miss San Pedro Pageant 2017 that took place on Saturday, September 2 on Ambergris Caye, Belize. She was selected as the island’s new beauty ambassador and will be officially crowned during the September 10th patriotic celebrations.
Under the theme ‘Fragrantly Floral’ the five contestants of the Miss San Pedro Pageant delighted and entertained the audience with floral-themed costumes. They paid homage to the bright colors of Belize’s flowers including the hibiscus, fansy pansy, bird of paradise, red ginger and the morning glory.
The Miss Congeniality title was awarded to Nurian Trujillo and Tanisha Rhaburn placed First Runner Up and also received title of Miss Photogenic. The other two contestants included Viviana Paredes and Nailea Kotch.
500 Homes, Banana Farms Connected To National Power Grid
Five hundred households and 13 banana farms in 27 communities in Southern Belize now have access to safe and reliable electricity. The homes and farms were connected to the national power grid under the Banana Accompanying Measures (EU-BAM) Electrification Project funded by the European Union.
The three-year electrification project was initiated on May 28, 2014, with the signing of a BZ$4.5 million grant contract involving the European Union (EU), Government of Belize (GOB), and Belize Electricity Limited (BEL).
Our Voices Are Stronger Together
Residents of southern Ambergris Caye in the Mosquito Coast area were glad to receive information from the Department of Environment (DOE) indicating that a stop order was issued on the land clearing that was causing much concern in the area.
“We have a voice,” commented one resident as she shared the information the South Side Community received regarding the bulldozing that occurred.
The message from the DOE stated: “As you may be aware, the Department of the Environment last week carried out an enforcement check at the site of the mangrove clearance and have since issued a cessation order and enforcement warning against the developers.
Misc Belizean Sources
Come paint with us this Thursday at Crazy Canucks Beach Bar. We will be painting "Sunset and Chill".
Rotaract Adopt a Village 2017
Thanks, Rotaract Club of San Ignacio, for providing much needed school supplies for 25 La Gracia and Yalbac Village primary school students.
"It's that time of year again, back to school time and our annual Adopt a Village Project! This year We sponsored 25 children in the La Gracia Village and 9 in the Yalbac Village; each child received a school bag and all the school equipment required for their class. Good luck RotaKids, study hard and make us proud! "
Carnival King and Queen
Congratulations to the winners of the Carnival King and Queen competition 2017:
Junior Queen category:
3rd - Black Pearl - 951 points,
2nd - Mahogany Masqueraders - 978 points,
1st - Jump Street Posse - 1030 points.
Junior King category:
3rd - Black Pearl - 983 points,
2nd - Mahogany Masqueraders - 1043 points,
1st - Jump Street Posse - 1078 points.
Senior Queen category:
3rd - Mother Nature's Creation - 1014,
2nd - Soca Moca - 1073,
1st - Belizean Jewels - 1105.
Senior King category:
3rd - Soca Moca - 1100,
2nd - Titans Mas Band - 1108,
1st - Belizean Jewels - 1140.
To all participating Carnival Bands, you all put off a great showcase of the Kings and Queens of Carnival.
Congratulations to the winners!
Tropic Air adds flight from Orange Walk to San Pedro
Tropic Air announced today a substantial investment for its Orange Walk customers as it it will be increasing air service between Orange Walk and San Pedro to three (3) times a day, effective November 15th, 2017. Currently, flights are scheduled at two times a day, and this will add an often requested evening service.
“When we launched scheduled Orange Walk service on December 15th, 2011, we also promised that we would grow the route. We are now doing so,” said John Greif III, President of Tropic Air. “Orange Walk (Tower Hill) is an integral part of the network for Tropic Air, and as we carry more passengers to, from, and within Belize, we feel it important that we expand locally to reflect our confidence in the growth of the domestic marketplace.”
Belizean Geneticist completes her Ph.D at Duke University
After 5 years of scientific research, Keisha Melodi McSweeney has achieved the highest academic degree, a Doctorate of Philosophy in Genetics and Genomics. On Monday, August 21, Dr. McSweeney successfully defended her dissertation entitled "Microelectrode array modeling of genetic neurological disorders in the era of next generation sequencing" to a panel of six accomplished and celebrated scientists at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. Dr. McSweeney completed her thesis research in the lab of pioneering human geneticist, Dr. David Goldstein. In his introduction of Dr. McSweeney’s dissertation, Dr. Goldstein remarked that her courage to undertake functional biology in neuroscience, in a genetics lab, shifted the direction of the research in the group from finding mutations that cause diseases, to working out how those mutations cause disease.
THE SPIRIT OF DANCE IN ROSITA BALTAZAR LIVES ON!
ROSA "ROSITA" BALTAZAR
AUGUST 16, 1960---JULY 6, 2015.
A Belizean Legends September 2017 Celebrations Photo Essay!
(Photos come through the courtesy of the legendary Belizean artist and dancer, Althea Sealy of the "Belize Dance Company")
UNDER THE SHADOWS OF BEVERLY SMITH-LOPEZ!
The outstanding Belizean artist, dramatist and playwright of Belizean artistic renaissance of the 1970s, the late Beverly Smith-Lopez, is remembered here at Belizean Legends as a true social activist of Belize's political past. When Belizean politics raged throughout a period of a monopoly controlled radio station called, "Radio Belize", and a political climate that created a mood of distrust and fear among the masses of the Belizean people, Smith-Lopez's monologues in poems like Sandra Coye's "Genesis of Destruction" and in her voice in Evan X Hyde's plays like, "Hard Times", connected the dots for the masses of the Belizean people.
The incomparable Smith-Lopez even in her immortality has reminded many of us Belizeans to remember that it was the legendary Belizean drama group, "Square Peg Players", whom she appeared in as an revolutionary player, was one of the only source of education beside the "Amandala Newspaper" that Belizeans got outside of the classroom. They connected Belizean grassroots society to the dynamics of Belizean politics in their explosion on "The Bliss" stage.
SINCE SARITA ACOSTA, THERE HAS BEEN NO OTHER!
Sarita Acosta, the former 1979 "Miss Belize", and the only Belizean contestant to have gone the distance in the globally recognized, "Miss Universe Beauty Pageant", and placed in the 7th. position of the top 10 world's most outstanding beauty contestants, has continued to speak respectfully of Belize, and the Belizean Diaspora she hails from.
Acosta, a well poised lady and well spoken woman of the 70's, lives in the Belizean-American community of New York. The day that history was made for Belize at the Miss Universe Contest, Sarita Acosta made Belizeans proud of their country that is praised in the words of its national anthem, "This tranquil heaven of democracy."
Expected Increases in Fuel Prices Due to Hurricane Harvey
With the passage of Hurricane Harvey over southern and coastal Texas last week, the oil refineries in the Houston area have shut down and are not expected to resume normal operations and return to full output for some weeks to come. The oil industry in Texas refines about 25 percent of all crude oil in the USA.
The resulting shortages in refined petroleum products have caused a sharp spike in pump prices across the USA and also in other countries that purchase refined fuel product from the Houston suppliers.
Strengthening Belize's Oil Spill Response Capabilities
An oil spill is a potential threat to Belizean life, environment, and property; and can have serious economic, environmental, and social consequences. Maintaining preparedness for an effective response to an oil spill emergency is the responsibility of all relevant agencies. Planning and cooperation
among agencies is key to ensuring proper disaster risk management and protection of Belize’s terrestrial, aquatic and marine environment. The updating of Belize’s National Oil Spill Contingency Plan is important in strengthening Belize’s oil spill response capabilities by drawing on the knowledge and skills of all agencies.
Representatives from various Ministries, Departments, Private Sector, Academia, Civil Society, and Non-Governmental Organizations, associated with Disaster Risk Management and Oil Spill Response, will meet at the Radisson Fort George Hotel on 5th to 7th September 2017 to commence the updating of Belize’s National Oil Spill Contingency Plan, being spearheaded by the
Department of the Environment (DOE).
September 16th and 17th, ITVET Campus, Freetown Road, Belize City
KIMALA ROCHES MISSING
Kindly be on the lookout for 17 year old KIMALA ROCHES 17. of #23 Partridge Street in Belize City. She was reported missing on Monday, 4th September, 2017 by her mother Melva Gaboutrel. Kimala left from home Saturday, 2nd September, 2017 and has not returned since. If seen, call 911 or 0800-2929-688.
Queen of the Bay Belmopan
I can now say that I'm apart of our Belizean history, firstly I would like to thank God for giving me the strength and wisdom to go on that stage not everyone gets the chance to do so I must say. It has been rough from the get go but it was all worth it . I learnt so much during the week I was in Belize city with the coordinating team and beautiful delegates. I made so much friends and I hope our friendship last a life time. To my family and friends huge thank you and ms chantel and her team I love you all ️and the people of Belmopan don't be afraid to reach out to me.I will not sit around for my reign. This is an experience of a life time I enjoyed every bit of it!
THE MAKING OF INDE JUNCTION CARNIVAL MAS BAND TROPICAL SPLENDOR COSTUME
UEEN FLAUNA the combination of flora and fauna as presented by Demesha Rochester was our queen last night. Thank you for taking on the challenge. We are pleased to be able to say our costume was all done right here in beautiful Corozal with no need for help from any outside designers.
Last night pageant was more than just about the costumes. As a designer we are at the mercy of how well our delegate present our costumes. It had to be presented, then the delegate had to display a talent and her introduction. It was also my first time designing and constructing a costume specifically for carnival queen competition ever as I had never had to do a queen before so I welcomes the opportunity as the leader of Inde Junction Mas Band.
Welcome to Belize Rick Kamla
Rick Kamla is a television personality for NBA TV. He is also the midday co-host with John Michaels on all-sports radio station 92.9 The Game in Atlanta. Kamla has been a studio commentator for the NBA since January 2003. Here he is, spotted with Carlo Segura of Ernies Restaurant at San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Welcome to Belize Rick Kamla and enjoy your stay.
Getting ready for school is a family affair!
Mr. Jose Escalante, Standard VI teacher at Louisiana Farm Government School and Mrs. Ada Escalante, Standard IV teacher at San Francisco R.C. School get their whole family involved in preparing classrooms for the start of the school year. Thank you to all the dedicated teachers in Belize who invest in the future of Belize. We wish all students, teachers and families a successful and wonderful year of learning and innovation.
Viva Marcus Canul!!!
The Yucatec Maya of Orange walk and Corozal celebrating their Maya hero Marcus Canul and celebrating our Maya identity.
Representing the Chuc family descendants of the Maya rebel Juan Chuc for Marcus Canul Day and Mr Pedro Carrillo.
Darlene Padron Says Amy Forte Did Sign, Not a Forgery
No forgery! That's what Justice of the Peace Darlene Padron says about the Amy Forte case.
Last week, it became headline news when Prime Minister Dean Barrow ordered a criminal investigation into that Caye Caulker land compensation case. That's the land flip where Gaspar Vega's son, Andre, was given prime real estate on Mosquito Caye as compensation for the paper title he had to a pre-owned piece of land that the Lands Department shouldn't have sold.
The alleged middleman - or middle-woman, in this case - was Amy Forte, and as we told you, she says that her signature was forged - and that she never did any land business with Andre Vega.
Well tonight, 7News has learned that there is a counter allegation against Forte, one which says that this was no forgery.
PUP Plans Protest to Pressure UDP on Vega
And while the criminal investigation has its own intrigue, the political case against Vega and the UDP is much more straightforward. The opposition PUP believes it has found in this land scandal something to really cause the ruling UDP to hemorrhage - and the party intends to keep up the pressure. That's why this Wednesday, the PUP's Northern Caucus is going to protest against Vega in Orange Walk North. The party intends to bring supporters from all 8 divisions in the north in the hopes of mustering a decent crowd to show the party's extreme displeasure with Vega. The party has been pushing for the UDP to expel Vega from the party and force a bye-election, which is very unlikely to happen. We'll cover Wednesday's protest and let you know how many came out.
Tear Gas Terror at Military Tattoo
Turning now from politics to the September Celebrations, our next story is about a tear gas attack at Friday night's military tattoo - and it was police who threw the tear gas! The family event was held at the Marion Jones Stadium - where the security forces displayed their abilities in a series of demonstrations. It was all so impressive and entertaining - up until this simulated event started. As captured on a cell phone camera, it is a simulation of a protest where police with their riot shields have to get in formation and form a line to drive back the protestors who are hurling rocks. Now, of course, these protestors are actually police - who are just playing along for the simulation. Tear gas is a major part of driving them back - but on Friday it should have been simulated tear gas, a harmless white smoke. But, things went terribly wrong for a section of the audience when one of the canisters that was supposed to have in "white smoke" turned out to have in real tear gas. This morning Deputy Commissioner Noel Leal and Assistant Commissioner Broaster gave us more insight into the incident.
General Explains Tear Gas Mixup
The police are not the only ones who came forward apologies for the unexpected release of tear gas. BDF Commander, General David Jones told us more about what went wrong, and what may have caused it:
David Jones, Commander of BDF
"First of all I would like to publicly apologize to the public for what transpired during the military tattoo. When the smoke was getting into the audience, my first reaction was this was horrible. It was shock, we did not expect it and we sincerely apologize for it. However, the item that the police use to fire on that particular night were the factory made canisters that were sold to the police department."
Explosive Expert Says Seismic Device Could Dangerous
We also asked General Jones - who is an explosives expert - to comment on a disturbing discovery that police made. On Saturday the Special Assignment Team found what is called a "detonator type explosive," along with a 6-volt battery and 2 sets of 15-foot electrical wires in the area of Vernon Street.
Today Jones said this is a seismic detonator - the type used when doing seismic testing for oil exploration - but it is still very dangerous if used recklessly. Here's how he explained it:
Hurricane Harvey Hurts Consumers at Pump
Tonight the government is warning consumers to brace for higher gas prices - and they say it's because of Hurricane Harvey, not broke Belmopan.
A rare press release on fuel prices says that Hurricane Harvey caused the oil refineries in the Houston area to shut down - which has caused a spike in pump prices across the USA - since Texas refines about 25 percent of all crude oil in the U.S.
Now, if you're scratching your head and saying but don't Belize's fuel products come from Venezuela? Well, not all of it - and not since that country has been plunged into a domestic crisis. The government release notes that Belize imports a substantial quantity of refined fuel from Houston - to supplement the inconsistent supply from Venezuela.
Churches Says "Keep Holy The Sabbath"
This year, September 10th falls on a Sunday - and Government has decided that it will be observed on that same day - with Monday the 11th being set aside as a holiday.
And, tonight, the Belize Council of Churches has made it known that it isn't happy about it. A release from the council, laments, quote, "While this is the date of one of our national holidays, it is primarily and foremost a Sunday, the Lord's Day - the day of the week set aside for the majority of Christians in Belize to be in worship in their respective congregations." End quote.
FBB, Another Frustrating Congress
On Saturday, the Football Federation of Belize held it's third Extraordinary Congress to try to get some important business of football taken care of. You'll remember that just over 2 months ago, they tried to hold an ordinary congress - but that hd to be called off because there was no quorum due to infighting within the Federation.
So, they tried again this weekend to deal with important pending matters. And while they did have some measure of success this time around, the outstanding elections are no closer to being held. Our news team was there for 6 hours to find out how things look within the FFB's Executive, and Daniel Ortiz reports:
Another Cabbie Targeted
Another cab driver has been targeted by criminals - this time it's in San Ignacio, but, luckily, 30 year-old Efrain Cu survived multiple gunshots. On Friday night at around 8:00, Cu picked up 3 Hispanic men from the San Ignacio Welcome Center area, and he drove them to Collins Boulevard, off Bullet Tree Road.
When they got there, one of the men pulled out a gun and shot him 4 times in the upper right shoulder, the upper left side of his chest, and the left upper leg. They shoved him out of his vehicle and drove off with his red Geo Prism Taxi.
Charged for Good Fortune Misfortune
Good Fortune Store on Blue Marlin Drive in Belize City was robbed last week Thursday night. The 17-year-old shopkeeper told police that two men came in and demanded money from the cash drawer. They stole $800 in cash and an iPhone. Today Police have caught up with the alleged culprits; they are 19- Year old Duesberry Bowen and 18-year-old Luquan FLowers who were charged with robbery today when they appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza. Bowen was charged with aggravated assault as well. Both pled not guilty and were remanded in custody until November 30th, 2017.
Weapons in Cemetery
Police were busy this weekend - coming up with all kinds of finds.
On Saturday at noon, the Special Assignment team searched an area near the Lord Ridge Cemetery and found a .32 Taurus Brand revolver along with six live rounds of ammunition. No one was in the area at the time, so the items were labeled and deposited as found property.
Ganja in Handbag
On Sunday afternoon in Rural Belize, the RURAL Quick Response Team got two pounds of a weed at a checkpoint which was set up at the Boom junction.
They found it in a purse belonging to a 26-year-old from Tea Kettle Village. She is currently detained pending a charge for Drug Trafficking.
Marijuana by the Pound on Antelope Street
And the police found more than three times that on Antelope Street. On Saturday evening, the Special Assignment Team searched the Antelope Street Extension and found a white bucket in the bushes with (2) bags of weed. A deeper search in the area led to the discovery of another plastic bag under some bushes. All totaled the weed weighed 6.8 pounds. Again, this was labeled as found property.
Another Weed Find, Tigris Street
A smaller find was made on Sunday at 7:30 am in an abandoned lot in the vicinity of Tigris Street that resulted in the discovery of half pound of weed. Again, found property.
Two Will stand Trial for Recent Murders
Two men have been committed to stand trial for separate murders after the conclusion of preliminary inquiries today.
The first is Patrick Harris who is charged with the murder of Dillon Grinage, which occurred on December 31, 2016, in Sand Hill Village. Harris was represented by attorney Oscar Selgado.
The second is Ervin Fitzgibbon, who is charged with the murder of Kemar Nicholas, which occurred on February 3, 2017. Fitzgibbon was initially charged with attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. But the charges were upgraded to murder when Nicholas succumbed to his injuries. Fitzgibbon is also charged with kept prohibited firearm and ammunition.
PG Man Survives Being Knifed
A Maya man was sliced up and left for dead on Friday in the Toledo District. Police say they found Juniour Cal on Friday night between miles 87 and 88 on the Southern Highway near the Lindo Hill Area. He was lying unconscious on the left side of the highway with a large cut wound to his right palm, a cut wound to the forehead, another below the right eye, injuries to both eyes, and abrasions to the left elbow and right knee.
Carnival King & Queen, The Glitter and Glamour
The Carnival week started on Friday night with a lively motorcade, and it finishes next Saturday with the Carnival. In between, there's a whole lot going on - such as the Mas Camps which started tonight. But Saturday night was one of the centerpiece events for the Carnival a the the annual King and Queen event. 7NEws was at the Marion Jones stadium for the full five hour event - and here's the story:...
So, for the juniours, Jump Street posse was first for both Junior King and Queen, Mahogany Masqueraders was second for both, and Black Pearl was third for both.
In the seniors, Belizean Jewels was first for both King and Queen, Titans was second for senior King, while Soca Moca was third. For the Senior Queens, Soca Moca was second, and Mother Nature third.
The Price of Victory
And it seems that double victory in the senior category by Belizean Jewels did not impress rival camps. At the stadium we saw some hard talk first break out in the bleachers and this then spilled over to the parking lot. One member of Belizean Jewels says they were threatened and one of their members was punched by a rival group.
Stann Creek Claims Another Queen of the Bay Victory
Stann Creek has its third Queen of the Baby winner in as many years! Aaliyah Ysaguire won the consummate September pageant on Saturday night - here's her moment of victory courtesy Hildardo Espejo:...
Las Flores Fight Leads to Compromise
And for our last news item tonight, we go to Belmopan. That's where the parents and administration of St. Michael Roman Primary School in LAs Flores say the City Council has taken away their school's land and allowed a private interest to purchase it. Now, the school never owned the land, but it has been tending it for many years. They say they wanted to acquire it, but, too late, it ended up in private hands. The parents held a brief protest this morning - and here's the position they put forward to PLUS TV:...
"From last night we decided that we will stage this, but unfortunately we can't get out there because of the permit. Now, this is your place, you all came to drop your children and you just supposed to know what was taking place. Yes, we really don't want our land to be taken away. The school has been in what we called "dialogue" with our city officials and they seem not to be approaching us in the right way."