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
Legends F.C and United F.C currently led the 2017 Copa San Pedro Football Tournament The first game began at 7pm, with G Strikers facing Boca Bombers, and winning 5-2. At 9pm, Sandy Point defeated One Shot One Kill, with a sound 7-0 final score. Copa San Pedro continues this weekend with six more games. On Thursday, September 28th, One Shot One Kill face Martha's Ice, and Boca Bombers face Victoria House Jr. On Friday, September 29th, the first game starts at 7pm with Legends F.C facing Assassins F.C, and at 9pm Terror Squad takes on San Mateo F.C. The last two games for the fourth week of Copa San Pedro are scheduled for Sunday, October 1st, starting at 5pm with Jokers F.C facing on G. Strikers. The last game will be at 7pm, with Sandy Point challenging United F.C. All islanders are invited to come out and support their favorite team this weekend.
Conjunctivitis spreads across Ambergris Caye Conjunctivitis - or 'pink eye" - has spread across the country. After numerous cases reported, the Ministry of Health (MOH) issued a press release on September 20th, stating that the Northern and Central Health regions were most affected. San Pedro Town is in the Central Health Region, and according to Belize District Primary Health Care Coordinator Dr. Javier Zuniga, there have been an alarming number of cases reported at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II.
SP Police Investigate Off-Duty Officers Involved In Wounding At Local Bar The San Pedro Police Department is investigating the happenings at a local bar on Ambergris Caye, that left one local resident injured allegedly by two off duty police officers. Shots were fired and 20-year-old Poleto August of DFC area suffered from a cut wound over his left eye.
Investigations revealed that about 12:00a.m. two off duty police officers were socializing inside the bar when an altercation ensued between August and the officers. August was allegedly injured by one of the officers. Due to the alteration, patrons that were at the bar started to aggress the officers who then went outside of the bar onto the street where shots were heard, shortly after.
Police reports indicate that acting on information received of shots fired in front of a bar located on Glitters Street San Pedro, Belize District, they visited the San Pedro Poly Clinic where they saw 20-year-old Poleto August of DFC area suffering from a cut wound over his left eye.
See & Taste Belize Festival For Children With Disabilities Of Belize See & Taste Belize Inc. will once again celebrate Belize's vibrant and diverse culture in South Florida represented by a fusion of foods spanning its Mayan, Garifuna, Creole and European heritage. Renowned chefs and artists from Belize will be there to share their gastronomical and artistic talents at a one-day festival. Guests will also enjoy samplings of Belize's local rum from renowned Traveller's and Cuello's as well as our famous Belikin beer, while listening to the tune of the coveted Garifuna Collective.
In honor of this Belize Day in Florida, the See & Taste Belize festival will kick start with a Welcome Reception on Friday, October 6th at 6:00 p.m.
Misc Belizean Sources
SAVING WILDLANDS FOR WILDLIFE IN CENTRAL BELIZE We are so grateful to all our supporters who have helped us reach the $60,000 mark on our CrowdRise campaign; we are almost there!
Recently, our colleagues at Panthera-Belize and the Environmental Research Institute (University of Belize) installed trail cameras around Zoo and on the land parcel to be purchased. What they captured in photographs was incredible; our "neighbourhood" is teeming with wildlife roaming freely in search of food, homes, and mates. We were particularly happy to see that they all look so healthy, as well!
Below are some of the stunning images for you to enjoy. We are so proud to share them with you, and hope you feel the same pride that your invaluable assistance will help safeguard their critical habitat in the Central Belize Corridor!
Please continue to share the CrowdRise campaign far and wide as we continue to rally more support and donations to reach our $100,000 target:
EXPECTED MODERATION IN FUEL PRICES In the last few weeks Belize has seen a sharp increase in fuel prices due to a confluence of negative factors influencing the acquisition costs of refined fuel sourced by Belize.
Such factors included a temporary irregularity in supply under the Petrocaribe Program and also limitation in supply from alternate sources due to the effects from Hurricane Harvey.
The increases in the pump price were not driven by any increase in import duties or excise taxes which are fixed, specific-rate taxes, and which have not changed since the beginning of the Government's financial year in April 2017.
New stamp Issue - "Belize - Mexico 35 years of Diplomatic Relations and Friendship" The Belize Postal Service and the Embassy of Mexico are pleased to announce the release of a new set of commemorative postage stamp.
The new set of postage stamp which is being release today, Wednesday, September 27, 2017, is to commemorate thirty-five (35) years of diplomatic relations and friendship shared between our countries, Belize, and Mexico. While the friendship shared between our two countries goes much beyond thirty-five (35) years, this release symbolizes the strong ties of friendship and cooperation that unite the peoples and the governments of both countries.
The release of the two stamps also represents the official closing ceremony of the events organized on the occasion of the celebration of the 35th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Belize and Mexico.
Annual Walk for a GREEN Belize highway clean-up Join the green movement this October 14th, 2017 in the annual Walk for a GREEN Belize highway clean-up event! Help us keep Belize green by cleaning a mile along the George Price Highway. Calling all volunteers, organizations, businesses, and groups to register today!
For questions, concerns and more information, kindly contact us at [email protected] or 223-5004 today!
Chef Kevin Chi at See & Taste Belize 2017 AND next....introducing another Chef making his entrance to See & Taste Belize 2017! ... Chef Kevin Chi, an up and coming young talented Belizean Chef who is the winner of the 2017 BTB "Taste of Belize" Amateur Chef Competition and sponsored by BTB! Chef Kevin will be merging exotic flavors on a pepitos encrusted fish with grilled tangerine and mojo sauce as well as prepearing a mainstay of our Belizean classic, Pork Dukunu!
August 2017 External Trade & Consumer Price Index For the month of August 2017, Belizean consumers experienced a 0.7 percent increase in the average cost of goods and services frequently purchased by households, when compared to August of 2016. The All-Items Consumer Price Index for the month stood at 104.4, an increase from 103.6 in August of 2016. For the first eight months of 2017, a year-to-date inflation rate of 1.3 percent was recorded. Belize's total imports for the month of August 2017 were valued at $143.2 million. This was a decrease of 9.5 percent or $15 million from imports for August 2016, which totaled $158.2 million.
BEL deploys team of linemen to British Virgin Islands Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) deployed a team of five linemen to the British Virgin Islands (BVI) on Monday to assist the BVI Electricity Corporation with power restoration efforts following the destruction caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which battered the group of islands on August 29 and September 18, respectively.
As a member of the Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation (CARILEC), BEL responded to the call for assistance in support of CARILEC's Disaster Response and Restoration Plan for Member Utilities.
"Our collective hearts bleed for our Caribbean family, whose lives and way of life have been destroyed by these hurricanes. BEL is joining forces with other CARILEC member utilities and will be sending teams of linemen to support their restoration efforts as thousands of customers are without proper shelter, potable water and electricity among many other basic amenities," says Mr. Jeffrey Locke, Chief Executive Officer of Belize Electricity Limited and Vice Chairman of CARILEC.
Mopan River Clean Up 2017 The Rotaract Club of Benque is teaming up with Oceana to clean up the Mopan river from Benque to Succotz.
In related news, Oceana Belize is organizing river and coastal clean ups all over Belize on Saturday. They have a few in Cayo.
"Join us for the river clean up campaign on September 30th 2017 at 6am at the Centennial Park. The route from Benque Viejo by "La Bomba" to San Jose Succotz by the ferry."
Students Protest For Kelvin Where is Kelvin Usher? That is the question on everyone's mind tonight - searches continued today in the Lucky Strike area yet there is still not trace of the 17 year old Sixth Form Student 72 hours after he bolted from police.
And the public is growing impatient and angry: today about 90 protesters - led mostly by Kelvin's students and peers - gathered on the Belcan Bridge to demand answers from authorities, mainly the GSU.
There is a thick cloud of speculation that the GSU had something to do with Usher's disappearance. The group expressed that sentiment with bitter anger today. Courtney Weatherburne reports.
Protestors Say They Won't Stop The protest ended on the Belcan Bridge around 3:00 - under a strong police presence who kept a very firm presence on the Belcan Bridge.
But according to Usher's friends this is just the beginning. They plan to head back out on the streets tomorrow with more force. We caught up with Justin Usher and COLA's Giovanni Brackett after the demonstration and they confirmed as much.
Justin Usher, Friend:
"Surely we are not ending this protest toady we will start again tomorrow and we want more people to come out tomorrow - all of Kelvin family, friends, everyone that knows him, we want everyone to come out tomorrow because unity is strength."
GSU Commander Says Shots Were Fired, "Warning Shots" And half hour later, the Ministry of Home Affairs convened a press conference at the new Belize City headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The event was chaired by Home Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington who brought the commander of the GSU and the acting commissioner to take all questions.
And there are some very tough ones out there - mainly did the GSU fire shots that could have wounded Kelvin Usher and led to his death? Today, the Commander said that when the team decide don the Lucky Strike Plantation, only four warning shots were fired:
Why Did The GSU Enter The Plantation Gun Ablaze? We note that while police say that four shots were fired (and can offer no evidence of it), in his statement to police, Kelvin's Father, Cameron Das Rueben Usher said that 15 were fired. He said he ran in one direction, while his son ran in the other.
But, whether 4 shots or 15, why did shots need to be fired at all? From our experience working with the BDF on burning marijuana plantation stories - it is NOT AT ALL standard procedure to enter a marijuana field firing a weapon. From what we have observed first hand, such operations are usually done in stealth, with the team moving as quietly as possible.
But, Makin differs. He says that's how they do it - entering with guns blazing:...
Were Police Covering Up The Fact That Shots Were Fired? But, why are we just officially hearing about these shots that were fired - today - which is 72 hours after the incident? It was not in the official press release that was sent out on Monday and police did not make any disclosure until today - which is after the family and friends already put it out there. So were police trying to do a cover up? That's what the media asked today:...
"Why did the department fail to mention that shots were fired at the scene in their initial report given to us on Monday morning? And secondly, why did they fail to make mention that another person was at the scene for the most of the time? And thirdly, why did they fail to say that it was a minor in fact who was missing?"
Deputy ComPol Noel Leal:
"I believe that the press release that was sent out the Monday morning was based on information they had received the previous day and, to be honest with you, that had been the same information that I had received as well. I was briefed real time and there was no indication, in the briefing that I got, that shots were fired. We knew that someone had escaped, but we couldn't say if it was a minor, the father was not forthcoming as yet."
Police Did Not Know Minor Was Involved Now, a big part of the story is that Kelvin Usher is a minor - so how could the GSU fire what they say are warning shots, see him take to the bushes, and then just leave him out there?
Well, police say they did not know he was a minor and his father, Ras Ruben made no mention of it when he was arrested. Making says he found out about the missing minor later that night through unofficial sources:
"You said that late at night you got information about the minor, what exactly were you told?"
Supt. Andres Makin:
"I was told that it was brought to the attention of my superior officer that the person who had fled the scene was a minor and if I was aware that he was a minor. I then related to him that I did not know he was a minor. The information I had gathered from my unit was that a male individual had fled the scene but they couldn't have even identified who the person was."
Police Minister says PM Will Make Statement And that minor is still missing tonight. It is a community crisis, and a political red zone for the Barrow Administration. Indeed, the GSU has been a very costly political albatross for the ruling UDP - and today, Police Minister Elrington stressed repeatedly that the Prime Minister is watching closely and will make a statement:...
Hon. Wilfred Elrington - Minister of Foreign Affairs:
"We will deploy whatever resources the government needs to deploy with a view to try to find him. The Prime Minister intends to have a meeting tomorrow morning with the senior commander of the police force as well as myself to be fully briefed on the matter on all that is transpiring up to tomorrow morning. And he is proposing to make a public statement to the public in due course. So, he is leaving no stone unturned. He is very concerned about this matter. This is a matter that is being monitored momentarily by the Prime Minister. He is very concerned about it, he wants to get to the bottom of it and if it is necessary that we bring in foreign experts to look into it, he's also committed to doing that."
Kelvin's Mom Is Holding Out Hope In our first segment we showed you the street protest to demand answers for missing 17 year old Kelvin Usher, and the police response to this very troubling case.
So far they have only found his hat, a granola bar wrapper, and a few footprints. However, the search for Kelvin has not let up. Today his family and more than a busload of friends and concerned Belizeans joined in for day four of the search. His mom told us a little about today's search plan.
Karima Williams, Mother:
"We are going to do different areas now um going to look the other side we are going to Biscayne. We are going to search different areas because we have done that exact perimeter where he was last seen. That whole area so we are going this side we are trying to do other else places we are exhausting all angles are everything noh."
"We have outpouring people have been calling me from last night."
PUP Deputy Leader Has Deep Connection To Usher Family Today PUP Deputy Leader and Lake I Representative Cordel Hyde joined the search for Kelvin Usher in the Lucky Strike area. He wasn't there for political posturing; he's a longtime friend of the family, and voiced grave concerns about the dodgy police effort so far:
Hon. Cordel Hyde, Lake I Area Representative:
"We need answers mien this can't be just another case we need answers these kind of things are happening way too often in our society just if anything happens to this youth. If we don't find him or if we find him the wrong way this is on the GSU they have to give a lot of explanation and people who are responsible have to be held accountable. We can't just have this as another case of a missing youth and we have all kinds of wild speculations but nothing happens."
Father of Missing Boy Ras Ruben Fears Vast Conspiracy Ras Ruben the father of Kelvin Usher may have been the last person to see him. Ruben told police that when 15 shots rang out from the GSU guns, he ran in one direction, and his son ran in the other. The young man has not been seen since.
This morning Was Ruben made an appearance on KREM's Wake Up Belize and said he fears that he's caught up in something much larger:
Ras Ruben, Father:
"My son was with me when these people conspire against. This is a conspiracy."
"The policemen that were on the scene are doing the search Monday. It was the same men that came on the scene and shot several shots and nobody is talking about a number of shots but I am trying to explain to you all now that these people can't kill my son."
Karl Leslie Family Says Police Must Investigate His Death As A Murder Last night, we told you about the questionable death of 78 year-old Karl Leslie, the Belizean American retiree who was living in Hattieville.
He was found dead in his house, on the evening of Thursday, September 14.
Police are tip-toeing very carefully around this case, suggesting that he may not have died from any physical violence. But, his family is 100% convinced that he was murdered, and they are demanding that the police treat the case with that level of urgency.
As we told you, the family believes that he was killed by a person or persons he knew, who then proceeded to steal his belongings. Just before news time, we got a chance to speak with his common-law wife, and she told us about the very strange activities she encountered at his house the day after he died.
Ex Ministers As Immigration Agents? After a 1 week pause for the Independence Day celebrations, the Senate Hearings on Immigration resumed today with the current Immigration Director, Diana Locke, as the returning witness.
Now, as viewers will remember, she has already given testimony for 2 sessions, but the Senate Special Select Committee still had many questions for her today, and she had another marathon 4-hour conversation with them.
Again, most of it was housekeeping matters, but there were several items which caught our attention. The first is that the Senate Committee has learned that 2 former UDP ministers are still in the business of immigration services.
Now, if you'll know very well that a recurring theme in these Senate hearings is that immigration agents are a corrupting influence at the Department. It was flagged by the Auditor General numerous times in her reports, and changes at the Department have been instituted to fix the loopholes in the systems at Immigration Department that these agents abused to get document for persons who didn't qualify.
Taxi-men Undermining First Come First Serve At Immig. Dept So, while the Immigration Director continues to be concerned that these 2 former Ministers may try to exert influence on her staff to engage in unethical behavior, a new hustle appears to have started up at the Immigration Department. Since these type of public services are of a first-come, first serve basis, persons have been queuing up at the Department as early as 3:30 and 4:00 in the morning. They are hoping to be the first in the line, yet, somehow, they are somehow put in the queue at a much later time.
It turns out that taxi drivers have somehow been getting hold of earlier numbers in the Department's numbering system. That's how the Department determines who gets served first. Well, these taxi drivers have been selling the earlier numbers to persons willing to pay to jump the line.
Here's what the Senate, which has received complaints from persons who fallen victim to this, had to ask Immigration Director Locke:
Immigration Demoralized Another issue that the Immigration Director is concerned about is that there are some immigration officers who are long overdue pay raises and increments that aren't being immediately addressed.
The concern is that these officers who are owed may be more prone to outside influence from persons who would be willing to pay them to break or been the law.
Here's how she explained it to the Senate when it was brought up today:
"We've heard recently from staff members who have been complaining about having received a promotion and not having received their pay. This, of course, we all know is not the very best for morale if you are trying to insist that your staff be professional and that they comply to this new environment. You would expect that they would be properly compensated and compensated in a timely manner. Is this true?"
Police Minister Defends GSU Tonight, the ever-controversial Gang Suppression Unit is in the crosshairs of public scrutiny. Straight up, many folks don't buy their story of just 4 shots fired - and that the expended shells just magically disappeared. And right or wrong, many in the public feel - intuitively, instinctively - that the GSU knows exactly what happened to Kelvin Usher.
Btu today, the Police Minister stood by them; he said that by all outward indications, their conduct has been above reproach.
Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Home Affairs:
"In this particular case I have read all the statements that had been given and I did not detect anything which suggested that the GSU had acted improperly in this case. So based on what is available I see no evidence that they have acted improperly and I would like to say to the public that they need not be alarmed by those who in the society, in my view, would like to see some kind of social discord evolving from this particular incident...
Cops Roving Through City Drunk But the conduct of the GSU officers in that incident are under investigation tonight by the Professional Standards Branch - led by ACP Chester Williams - who was conspicuously kept away from the microphone today. Instead the Commander of the GSU was allowed - basically - to cover for his officers.
Bur Williams hands are very very full. That's because there are at least there complaints of serious criminal misconduct being leveled against the police tonight.
When we looked into the first, we found Police parked outside the New Asia Restaurant today - but they weren't there to get any of that famous fried chicken - they were there to take a statement from the owner. That's because last night at 9:00 three drunken patrons refused to pay for a large chicken chow mien which cost $13.75. The problem is, the three patrons are believed to be off duty cops - and when the security guard tried to stop them on the way out - they pulled a gun on him. They didn't fire, but walked away and left the unpaid tab.
Did Cops Steal Cocaine? And there's an even more disturbing report coming out of Cayo and it involves the Special Patrol Unit.
Yes, the same SPU that rose to national prominence there weeks ago when they unleashed tear gas on a gathering of PUP Leaders, supporters and media that were blocking the Tower Hill Bridge.
Well tonight, they're in the headlines once again, this time for a serious allegation of criminally corrupt behavior.
As many as 4 SPU officers are being investigated for the disappearance of what we are told is a substantial quantity of cocaine. This reportedly happened in Cayo one month ago, where drugs were intercepted but were not deposited as evidence.
Today Acting Commissioner Noel Leal didn't want to say much about it:
DCP Noel Leal, Acting Commissioner of Police:
"I have gotten preliminary reports with recommendations and we are perusing them and we will be seeking legal advice as to how to proceed with that case. I won't want to discuss it too much, because it might end up being a matter for the courts or some other authority to decide, so I wouldn't want to prejudice anything."
Cops Disturb The Peace In San Pedro And the next case of police lawlessness is in San Pedro. Last night at around midnight, there was a fight at a bar on Glitters Street.
Two off-duty cops got into it with one Poleto August of the DFC area. The altercation caused other patrons inside the bar to also become aggressive towards the officers. The officers then went outside the bar onto the street and fired their weapons. Police later found two 9mm expended shells on the street in front of the bar. No one received any gunshot wounds but after the altercation, August had to be taken to the San Pedro Poly Clinic for treatment of a cut wound over his left eye. The firearm that was allegedly fired was retrieved for testing and the matter is being investigated by the Professional Standards Branch.
Cops Looking Into Shayanne Castro Complaint One more case that the police are looking at closely is the one where Shyanne Castro's mother alleges that police extorted her family to get four guns in exchange for dropping the charges against her daughter. The police still pressed drug trafficking charges, and yet four guns magically appeared as found property. The acting commissioner was cagey when speaking about this one:
DCP Noel Leal, Acting Commissioner of Police:
"In regards to the details of that operation where the drugs were found and Miss Castro was charged and subsequently other firearms and so was given up. I don't have all the details into that, but we are preparing a case file and I believe that will be brought to the public as soon as we have the facts. But as we stand, yes some firearms were found and there is said to have been negotiations where an attorney was involved, but the attorney is denying that. So we will have to look at the facts in writing and decide well who is telling the truth and what the result of that case will be."
Wilfred Walks With Whylie And with all this mess in the police department - where is their leader, the Commissioner Allen Whylie. He's been out of office for more than a month on personal leave followed by sick leave. Today the Minister said he's back and his job is secure:
Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Home Affairs:
"With respect to the Commissioner, he was not feeling well. He was off on medical leave, but it is my understanding that he is now back in the country - should be back today. So, I have not heard the rumor that you have heard that he is going to be replaced. My understanding is that he is back in the country today."
BEL To The BVI And in other utility news, BEL is sending a team of linesmen to the hurricane ravaged, British Virgin Islands.
We've been reporting almost exclusively on fellow CARICOM member Dominica - which was destroyed by Hurricane Maria.
But, before that, Hurricane Irma devastated the British Virgin Islands with winds of 175 miles per hour. The country lost everything. As a member of the Caribbean Electricity Utility Service Belize Electricity Limited is joining forces with other Caribbean countries to assist with power restoration so people can have access again to the basic amenities that make life easier. The project will also assist other nations of Barbuda, Anguilla, and Dominica.
BTL Talks Tech And, finally, taking a break from all that police news, today BTL hosted its first Belize Tech Expo. Many different companies came out to exhibit what they had to offer ranging from energy efficient LED lights to modern website design. We stopped in to see what it was about:
Ingrid Juarez, Senior Public Relations Representative for BTL:
"We want our public our people to be aware of the latest in technology, the latest trends in the market."
"We have approximately 15 companies. We have a different level of sponsorships and we have coffee sponsorships also."
"We have both local, international, and regional companies here with us today."
Trevor Reneau, Assistant General Manager of Fultec:
"Well its main focus is bringing a lot of the different devices that would collaborate with BTL's diginet on a whole. We do have different ranges of products on a whole. We want to emphasize a whole lot on the wireless products that we have that would complement the fiber."
Elite Unit Questioned on Operating Procedure In the face of specific details being provided by the GSU Commander, there are a number of inconsistencies.� Firstly, Superintendent Makin states that his men fired only three to four [...]
Students Lead Lunchtime Protest in Belize City On the streets of the Old Capital, temperatures are rising among the younger population, which is demanding answers and action on the mysterious disappearance of one of their own. At [...]
Search Continues in Lucky Strike For the fourth day, the bushes of Lucky Strike were scoured by family and friends looking for Kelvin Usher.� The family holds hope alive, but every passing minute is critical [...]
Cordel: G.S.U. Accountable for Kelvin From all accounts, fingers are pointing in one direction in the disappearance of the bright and well-liked Kelvin Usher, the SJC JC student who has not been seen by his [...]
Ex-ministers Called Out for Immigration "Agency" Several current Ministers of Government have been faulted for offering and signing recommendations to facilitate persons getting passports, visas and other services.� Some have gone even further, from couriering to, [...]
BCCI Calls On GOB To Reduce Fuel Prices With the entire country of Belize seething at the recent increase of fuel at the pumps which is now well above the eleven dollar mark, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) today issued a strongly worded release calling on the Government to act immediately to minimize the negative impact of high prices on Belizeans.
According to BCCI, tax applied to this essential commodity is largely responsible for the prices being within pennies of what they were in 2014, at a time when the "landed cost" per gallon of fuel was at least 20% higher.
Goods And Services Continue On The Rise The Statistical Institute of Belize issued its most recent figures on consumer prices and external trade for Belize throughout the month of August. We begin by taking a look at the statistics for Consumer Price Index (CPI) which illustrates that in comparison to August of last year there was an increase of 0.7 percent in the average cost of goods and services regularly purchased by households this year. The All-Items CPI for August 2017 stood at 104.4 compared to August of 2016 which stood at 103.6.
For the first eight months, an inflation rate of 1.3 percent was recorded.
Exports Figures Decline Turning over to the total amount of exports for August 2017, statistics show that Belize's total domestic exports currently stands at $22.7 million. This marks a significant decline of 61.8 percent or $36.7 million as opposed to last year which stood at $59.3 million.
Sugar exports plummeted this year due a difference in the timing of bulk sugar shipments. While Belize managed to export $34.1 million in bulk sugar last year in the month of August, this time around, sugar exports were comprised only of bagged sugar which was valued at a minimum of $0.6 million.
Importation For The Month Of August Plummets At the top of the newscast we showed you the country's recent consumer price index and exporting figures for the month of August and now we take a look at importation. SIB figures show that the total amount of imports was valued at $143.2 million which saw a decrease of 9.5 percent or $15 million from that of last year in 2016 as it stood at $158.2 million.
The largest recorded fall in imports was observed in the 'Commercial Free Zones' which fell by a substantial 35 percent or $9.1 million to almost $17 million. The 'Machinery Transport Equipment' and 'Other Manufactures' group also saw notable reductions this year decreasing by $6 million going from $39 million to $33 million. Additionally, the 'Beverages and Tobacco' category was down by more than one half, decreasing from $3.4 million to $1.5 million.
BCCI says high gas prices are hurting the economy The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, BCCI, is calling on the Government of Belize to adopt a policy that minimizes the negative impact on consumers, the private sector and economic growth efforts caused by the cripplingly high pump prices. In a release, the BCCI states quote, "the tax applied to this essential commodity is [�]
Ministry of Finance says gas prices could soon go down In response the Ministry of Finance has fired off a statement. The statement reads quote, "the increases in the pump price were not driven by any increase in import duties or excise taxes which are fixed, specific-rate taxes, and which have not changed since the beginning of the Government's financial year in April 2017." Government [�]
Business held up at gunpoint A robbery occurred today in Belmopan. Pauline Soberanis Tillett tells us more in the following reports. Pauline Soberanis Tillett, Love FM "Based upon information received just before 12 p.m. of an armed robbery, Love News visited Lisa's Store located in the Maya Mopan area of Belmopan. According to Wei Ji*, the owner of the establishment, [�]
Tech Expo held A two-day tech-expo is being held at the Belize Biltmore Plaza that focuses on the emerging technology. The tech-expo is being sponsored by the Belize Telemedia Limited and features various companies who offer technological advance services. Love News spoke with Ingrid Juarez, Public Relations Officer of BTL who tells us more. There is technology available [�]
Four Men were arraigned in Orange Walk Magistrate Court for illegal logging Yesterday four men appeared before an Orange Walk Magistrate who arraigned them for the crime of illegal logging. The men, Aurelio Mai, Catalino Copo, Pablo Valladarez and Nelson Mosa, were caught with 32 pieces of mahogany logs on Sunday September 24. The men were granted bail of two thousand, five hundred dollars each plus one [�]
Fabrigas' Sale Representative wanted for theft of over $18,000 A sales representative from Fabrigas Belize Limited is being sought by Belize City Police for the crime of theft. According to the project coordinator of Fabrigas, between the months of April and September, the sale representative had collected $18, 501.35 from various businesses and persons throughout the country on behalf of the company. That sales [�]
Police investigate two of their own The Professional Standards Branch headed by Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams is investigating a shooting incident involving two police officers. Love News has confirmed that on Tuesday, September 26, at around 12:30 am, San Pedro police were called out to a bar located on Glitters Street. According to police, an altercation ensued between two [�]
Breaking Belize News
BEL assists British Virgin Islands with hurricane restoration
By BBN Staff: The Belize Electricity Ltd. (BEL) deployed a team of five linemen to the British Virgin Islands (BVI) on Monday to assist the BVI Electricity Corporation with power restoration efforts following destruction caused to the island by hurricanes Irma and Maria.The hurricanes battered the islands on August 29 and September 18 respectively.
Peaceful protest held today for Kelvin Usher
By BBN Staff: Family and friends walked today in peaceful protest in Belize City, demanding justice and answers in the disappearance of 17-year-old Kelvin Usher.
Usher was last seen on Sunday in Lucky Strike village as the Gang Suppression Unit raided the property and arrested his father for cultivating marijuana.
Protest planned for next Thursday
Belize leaders for social justice have planned a demonstration to be held next week Thursday, October 5, 2017 in Belize City.
The protest is being called for Belizeans to express their discontent with the recent hike in fuel prices.
GOB says fuel prices to be "moderated"
In a release issued today, the Government of Belize (GOB) says that in the last few weeks Belize has seen a sharp increase in fuel prices "due to a confluence of negative factors influencing the acquisition costs of refined fuel sourced by Belize."
Chamber calls out GOB on gas prices, GOB says prices should "moderate" in October
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), in a release issued this morning, called on the government to adopt a policy that minimizes the negative impact on consumers cause by cripplingly high pump prices. Shortly after the Chamber's release, GOB issued its own release saying that with the new arrangement under the PetroCaribe program, prices should "moderate in the weeks ahead".
Belmopan teen missing
Yesterday, the administrative assistant of Marla's House located on Hill-top lane in the Mountain View area of Belmopan reported that on Monday around 7:00 a.m., 15-year-old Janet Juarez left home to attend classes at the Methodist High School in Belmopan.
NGC raising funds for Hurricane Maria aid in Dominica
The National Garifuna Council (NGC) is asking for public support in raising funds to donate toward rebuilding and relief efforts in Dominica.
The NGC says it is disheartened about the devastation in Dominica in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria and in particular, the Kalinago community there. The NGC has pledged $1,000 from its annual Gala, which will be held on October 7.
We Can Totally Do It: Cleaning up Belize Awareness is growing�the MOMENTUM is happening in Belize. I've written about some of the trash issues that we have�things ARE moving in the right direction. Sometimes 4 steps ahead, 3 back but the forward movement is there!
Belize is SOOO incredibly unbelievable ridiculously beautiful. It's why people visit in droves and a huge part of why we love living here SO much.
Let's all work to keep her this way.
Here's what is happening and some ways EVERYONE can help.
Oceana Belize Clean-Up THIS Saturday Morning, Sept 30th
Famous Halloween Party at Holiday Hotel San Pedro, Ambergris Caye Its that time of the year to dust off your bustiers and thongs and let's get ready for Halloween! Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (or the related guising), attending Halloween costume parties, carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, divination games, playing pranks, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories and watching horror films. In many parts of the world, the Christian religious observances of All Hallows' Eve, including attending church services and lighting candles on the graves of the dead, remain popular, although elsewhere it is a more commercial and secular celebration. Some Christians historically abstained from meat on All Hallows' Eve, a tradition reflected in the eating of certain vegetarian foods on this vigil day, including apples, potato pancakes, and soul cakes. In Belize, the month of September Red, White and Blue has been replaced by the month of October. And, we welcome October's best halloween events held in Belize.
Say No to Plastic in Belize They come in crazy, bendy, and color-changing varieties. And, while many people use them daily, their 20 minutes of convenience have major hidden consequences. I'm talking about drinking straws.
Humans have been using "drinking tubes" for over 7,000 years. Mesopotamians used straws made of reeds or gold to filter beer, and the Chinese used tubes to sip on cloudy rice wine. In Egypt, one inscription shows that straws prevented the accidental slurping up of insects while drinking at night. The Guaran� people of South America drank yerba mate, a caffeine-loaded infusion, with filter straws called bombillas long before the arrival of Spaniards in the 1500s. And, in the 1800s in Europe and North America, dried wheat shafts and rye straws became popular until the invention of the paper straw in 1888.
Projects Abroad Launches Literacy Program At New Placement In Belize A successful first year for Projects Abroad's literacy program in Belize has inspired the opening of a second project placement this month. Since September 2016, volunteers have been working with children from Holy Cross Anglican School on Projects Abroad's Teaching Project in Belize, and from this month onwards will also be able to work at New Horizons Elementary School.
In twelve months Projects Abroad's Teaching Project in Belize has benefitted 60 children between the ages of four and fifteen who struggle to read and write. Four students have managed to graduate entirely from the program, twelve have graduated to a higher level, 85% have mastered two or more sections in their level, and 98% of students have improved.
The creative mind behind the literacy program in Belize is Susan Barkhouse, a Canadian who has been living in Belize since 2013. "I volunteered to read with students at the local Belizean Primary School and the reading program wasn't meeting the needs of the students," she says. "I, therefore, created and developed a comprehensive literacy program to allow the students to increase their literacy skills."
'Dent' the Keel-Billed Toucan - Rescue Highlight, 3min. Dent was successfully released, but before he was, Scarlet Studios stopped by Belize Bird Rescue to make a little video about his short recovery time there. Thanks, BBR!
"While passing through the Belize Bird Rescue earlier this year, I had the chance to meet this curious little keel-billed toucan with a dent in his beak, and even got the opportunity to feed him! Dent has since been re-released thanks to our friends at the Belize Bird Rescue, and is doing well!
As with all toucans, the bill of the Keel-Billed Toucan is specially designed for eating fruit efficiently, while maintaining a light weight to accommodate flight. The inside is reinforced with a crisscross of lightweight rods made of bone. The "tooth-like" protrusions help toucans catch and grasp food in the bill."