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Today's Belize News: September 29, 2017 #526076
09/29/17 06:42 AM
09/29/17 06:42 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 59,346
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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

Two off-duty San Pedro police officers allegedly involved in shooting incident
A shooting incident involving two off-duty police officers attached to the San Pedro Police Formation is being investigated by the Professional Standards Branch (PSB). The incident reportedly left 20-year-old Poleto August of the DFC subdivision with a cut wound over his left eye. The official report says that the incident took place at a local bar located on Glitter Street in San Pedro Town. Investigation reveals that about 12 AM, two off-duty police officers were socializing at the bar when an altercation ensued between August and the officers. August was allegedly injured by one of the officers , and because of that, patrons inside the bar started to harass the officers, who then stepped out of the bar. The officers walked onto the street, and shots were heard, shortly after. When police arrived they found two 9mm shells on the street in front of the bar. The 9mm firearm that was allegedly fired was retrieved for testing. Minutes after, police, acting on information received, visited the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II where they observed August suffering from an injury to the left eye. His injury was certified as wounding and the matter was then handed over to the PSB for investigation.

Belize Chocolate Company announces “Go Straw-Less” campaign
With the aim of reducing the amount of plastic straws in the marine environment, The Belize Chocolate Company (BCC) has announced that it will start a “Go Straw-Less” campaign on Sunday, October 1st. The BCC is encouraging all their customers that buy a milk shake or cold drink to go straw-less. In return, for every customer that does so, the company will be donating $1 to Oceana Belize.

Prime Minister says Petrocaribe will re-start in October; fuel prices expected to moderate
On Thursday, September 21st, during his Independence Day address, the Prime Minister of Belize, Right Honourable Dean Barrow announced that the Petrocaribe Program will start back up next month. The program, through which Belize had been purchasing fuel from Venezuela under conditions of preferential payments, was suspended on Thursday, September 14th, due to ‘unreliability.’ This prompted a high-level delegation from the South American country to visit Belize on Monday, September 18 th, where new arrangements were made to continue the program.

Ambergris Today

Health Concerns Over Burning Of Hazardous Waste In South Ambergris
“We take proper procedures and have trained the red waste handlers on how to properly dispose and burn it,” stated Dr. Javier Zuniga. “The waste is burned at extreme temperatures to properly kill all bacteria and the smoke is taken up into the upper atmosphere where it poses no health issues to island residents.” According to Dr. Zuniga, this practice is not isolated to Ambergris Caye as many other communities around the country practice the same outdoor/isolated burning of medical waste. The only medical incinerator is located in Belize City but most medical waste from around the country cannot be properly transported for long distances. From Ambergris Caye, transporting over the water is not an option.

Go Turtle Go!!! PIC OF THE WEEK
“There have been a lot of turtles these days drifting by the shore line, and today will make it turtle number 3, two yesterday and one today,” commented Eric Henkis on his Facebook profile page. He posted this picture of him releasing a third sea turtle that he has found adrift on the shore. Lucky for the turtle, islanders know if the importance of protecting them and keeping them alive. It was released safely by the REEF....Go turtle, Go!!!

BEL Assists British Virgin Islands With Hurricane Restoration
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) deployed a team of five linemen to the British Virgin Islands (BVI) on Monday, September 25, 2017, 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.

San Pedro / Mexico Humanitarian Fundraising Drive
The San Pedro Town Council, in collaboration with the San Pedro Lion’s Club, Projects Abroad, Sage Brush and the San Pedro Branch of the Belize Red Cross have embarked in a massive humanitarian fundraiser geared at providing some disaster relief to our Mexican brothers and sisters. The event is set for Saturday, September 30. For further information you can contact Jorge Aldana at the San Pedro Town Council at 226-2788 or 226-2936 or cell 634-1171/662-0143.

Misc Belizean Sources

mzz

BATTLE OF ST. GEORGE'S CAYE DAY 2017
San Pedro, 84 Photos

2nd Poktapok Worldcup
Arrival at Guatemala City for the 2nd Poktapok Worldcup! Thank you all who made this possible!

See & Taste Belize 2017 Festival in Miami
You are invited to the upcoming See & Taste Belize 2017 Festival, October 7th, 2017 in Miami, Florida! See & Taste Belize Inc., co-hosted by the Special Envoy for Women and Children and the Spouse of the Prime Minister, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, along with its partners, The Belize Tourism Board, BELTRAIDE and NICH, will be hosting its second See and Taste Belize Festival at the Florida International University Kovens Center, to raise funds for the Inspiration Center of Belize, who takes care for the children with disabilities of Belize.

Reina's Pastries BBQ and Pastry Fundraiser
Saturday and Sunday we will be doing a BBQ & Pastries Fundraiser SALE to HELP MRS.REINA PATT (meat pie lady) get a EYE SURGERY. Plz COME OUT AND SUPPORT A WORTHY CAUSE.

Illegal Loggers Arrested & Fined for Unlawful Possession of Forest Produce
Pablo Valladarez, a 47-year-old resident of Guinea Grass Village, Orange Walk District, was fined $22,838 for illegal possession of Mahogany yesterday. Police and Forest Department officials intercepted Valladarez, Catalino Copo, Nelson Mosa, and Aurelio Mai, residents of Guinea Grass and Santa Martha villages, hauling illegally harvested Mahogany on the Old Northern Highway, Orange Walk District, on 24th September 2017. The Forest Department confiscated 34 unstamped Mahogany logs, equivalent to 1268.8 board feet, and charged the four men for “Unlawful Possession of Forest Produce” under the Forest Act of 2000 and its 2017 Amendment. On 27th September, the men appeared before Magistrate A. Hoare in the Orange Walk Magistrate Court, where Valladarez pleaded guilty to the charges. As a result, Valladarez may face five years imprisonment if he is unable to pay the fine by 31st January 2018.

Minister Responsible for Home Affairs, Hon. Elodio Aragon Jr., Opens 1st EU-CELAC Citizen Security Seminar
Minister of State of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Honourable Elodio Aragon Jr., delivered opening remarks today at the first ever European Union- Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (EU-CELAC) Citizen Security Seminar being held from the 27-28 September 2017 in The Hague, the Netherlands. Belize is currently the CELAC Co-Coordinator, along with the Republic of Panama, of Chapter 10 on Citizen Security of the EU-CELAC Action Plan; the EU-CELAC Citizen Security Seminar is the first of its kind, joining the entire Latin America & Caribbean region with the European Union in order to provide a forum where both regions can enter into discourse with the aim to share best practices and experiences, further mutual understanding, and take stock of past actions while identifying new possible avenues for cooperation.

Free rabies clinics in Cayo
BAHA, World Rabies Day

Beach Party at Orchid Bay
This Sunday, October 1st at Orchid Bay! The biggest beach Party Ever! FREE! Bring your friends and family to the beach! Relax in the shade to the sounds of the Youth Connection Band! Drink tons of Belikins ONLY $20 bz for 7 of them! Or.... Drink Caribbean Rum for only $5 bz. Don't miss an appearance by Supa G at 5 PM. Tell your friends, and don't miss this party! No outside food and drinks allowed!

Youth Perspectives
The Belize History Association (BHA) in collaboration with the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) and other partners will host its fourth Annual September Lecture as part of the 2017 September Celebrations. The lecture entitled “Youth Perspectives on the Belize-Guatemala Dispute and the ICJ” will feature presentations by tertiary level students. They will discuss the pros and cons of submitting the Belize-Guatemala territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice. The lecture will take at The George Price Center, in the City of Belmopan on Friday September 29, 2017 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The lecture shall be broadcasted live on national radio.

San Pedro Magic Show
Attention San Pedro! We're hosting our spectacular, awe-inspiring magic show again this year in partnership with Intermagia! And it's not just for kids — adults equally enjoyed our shows last year. This year we'll host three shows (instead of two) for both kids & adults at Paradise Theater: Tues, Oct 3rd 5:30 & 7:30 and Wed, Oct 4th at 6 p.m. $10 for kids and $20 for adults.

Laugh Out Loud weekend at PRINCESS CASINO FREEZONE
This Friday, September 29th and Saturday, September 30th with the live musical comedy show of "EDWIN CHAPASHOW" starting at 10:00 p.m. No cover! Come and have a great and fun time.

Channel 7

Kelvin is Safe, Sound And At Home
Kelvin Usher has been found - and is safe at home with his family tonight. The news blazed out early this morning around 7:30 that he had been found alive on the old Northern Highway. His father is the one who collected him and brought him directly to their Sibun Street home in Belize City. That's where ACP Chester Williams was the first to go to the house to interview him. Today at a press conference called by the Prime Minister, Williams outlined the narrative that the 17 year old gave him:... ACP Chester Williams, Commander, Professional Standards Branch: "In my discussion with Kelvin Usher this morning, he confirmed that he indeed heard shots fired and subsequent to hearing the shots fired he took off in the bushes. He continue by saying that he spent the entire 3-4 days in the bushes and it was until this morning that he watch the sun rising and he decided to follow the sun, knowing that the sun will rise from the east and his way out of the farm would be east. He said in following the sun he came upon a farm road which took him to 2 other subsequent farm roads and eventually to the old northern highway in the general vicinity of where he had escaped from the police and while there waiting he saw his father vehicle coming and stopped his father, he got into the vehicle and they came to Belize City."

PM Says GSU Is Being Looked At, For Re-purposing
The story bears some scrutiny, but most folks are just too happy that he's been found alive to really question the narrative. For the Barrow Administration, it is a big pressure release - since the government was being blamed for letting so-called GSU killers run loose. Now that's not what happened, but the Prime Minister made it clear that the government is attuned to public sentiment which doesn't have much sympathy for the GSU. Today he said the unit may have to be re-purposed. But first he commented generally on the state of affairs:...

Kelvin Will Not Be Charged
Now, the question many are asking is will this youth be charged? He was with his father who was arrested for for marijuana cultivation on Sunday. Kelvin ran - and re-surfaced today - while his father was arrested and went to court on Monday. So are there pending charges for this minor? The Prime Minister said it is unlikely: Jules Vasquez, reporter: "Will there be charges for the minor since there were charges for his father and the allegation yet unproven is that he was at a place where marijuana cultivation?"

Is Kelvin Usher Protest Really Just Venting Against Barrow Admin.?
Now, while Kelvin is home, and he does not face criminal charges - still there's a lot of anger out there - and its directed at the GSU and the Government. Today, for example, a march for peace - that had been planned yesterday - was still held in Belize City. And right now, there is an ongoing vigil at the Battlefield Park. We asked the Prime Minister how much of this is fuel by resentment for the government of the day:... Jules Vasquez, reporter: "Are you concern, because I am told they still intend to have a march and vigil this evening, that there is so much built up resentment for your government that does not have any means of expression that it has all coalesce behind this issue which even though the issue has now been vacated, the groundswell remains. People want to go out and protest."

When Kelvin Came Home
And so the vigil for Kelvin is ongoing at this hour - our news team is there - and they tell us he has just arrived at the Battlefield Park. We'll have coverage of that later on in the news when our team returns - but the excitement started this morning when he arrived to his Sibun Street home. There was a kind of impromptu street celebration. The family asked our news team to give the family some privacy and not tape. But Courtney Weatherburne has been able to put together Facebook video and pictures to show what it was like. She also spoke to Kelvin's mother about how it feels to have her son back home:...

PM Commits To Lower Fuel Price
Fuel prices - no matter where you live in Belize, and no matter how much money you make, those pump prices are a killer! And that's why the Chamber of commerce sent out a release yesterday saying that taxes on fuel are too high. Well, today the Prime Minister said that those prices are coming down by mid-October. For background he explained that the inconsistency in supply form Venezuela has forced costly last minute purchase, but that will be regularized once Petrocaribe comes back on stream:... Rt. Hon. Dean Oliver Barrow- Prime Minister: "Precisely because of the instability of the supply that we were getting from Venezuela. What would happen was that at the very last minute, we would be told the amount that you ordered, Venezuela can't find. It caused, then, the importer to have to scramble to make last minute purchases to make up for the significant shortfalls. The last-minute purchases are at a higher rate than if you plan and if you place your volume orders well in advance. The last-minute purchases also meant that you had to, as well..."

PM Comments on Stalled Amy Forte Case
The Prime Minister also commented on the stalled Amy Forte case. He's the one who put out the release three weeks ago saying, quote, "the charge of fraud raised by Ms. Forte is credible." This is after he reviewed a preliminary report form a handwriting expert. Well, that credible charge has flopped because Amy Forte does not want to make a formal police complaint. Today we asked the PM is that's left him kind of holding the bag:... Rt. Hon. Dean Oliver Barrow - Prime Minister: "Miss Forte through her lawyer, it was only with the lawyer that I spoke, promised that there will be no difficulty in giving the police a statement. I explained when the lawyer called me that I would move immediately to instruct the police to thoroughly pursue this matter but it would have to depend on Miss Forte furnishing the police with the material. Miss Forte has not done so, the police have tried, I believe suggestions as to taking the statement outside of the ordinary course of having her come to the station were mooted and still, she has proven unwilling. The police are therefore stymied, the police are therefore stalled."

Bad Cops and Cocaine
And while there's no compliant in that case - there's also none in the case of 4 SPU officers who are accused of stealing a drug runners cocaine stash and making off with it. But police don't have the cocaine and the person whom it was stolen form also doesn't want to make a complaint. So, they basically have allegations of wrongdoing. Today the Commander of the Professional Standards Branch told us what they know so far:... ACP Chester Williams: "We have received information that sometime in June of this year, elements of the special patrol unit went on a drug operation in the Santa Elena area of Cayo District and that operation yielded a number of parcels of cocaine, which the officers from investigation did not turn up at the police station or at the exhibit room and neither did they charge anybody in respect of those drugs."

Cops Who Refused to Pay For Chow Mein Will Be Charged
But criminal - not disciplinary - charges are pending for the off duty cops who refused to pay for a Chicken Chow Mein at New Asia restaurant, and then pulled out a weapon on the security guard, the patrons, and the owners - making them outlaw malpagos. Today, ACP Williams reviewed their case and said only one of them was in the GREAT program: ACP Chester Williams: "There was only one officer who is part of the GREAT program who was a part of that and that is the Corporal, Corporal Parham. From investigations that have been conducted it revealed that on Tuesday night, the officer went to New Asia and ordered food. Having obtained the food there was a dispute because ..."

Problem Pair of Pistolero Police on Pedro
And Williams also discussed the case in San Pedro town where two off duty police officers got lawless in a bar. They got into an altercation, and when the crowd RUSHED THEM, THEY WENT OUTSIDE AND ALLEGEDLY DISCHARGED A FIREARM. Williams told us what police know so far:... ACP Chester Williams: "There were 2 officers who went to a club on Glitter Street and while inside the club they had a dispute with one Rolito August. That disagreement ended up in the officer allegedly causing injuries to August to the extent of wounding. And August had made a report to the police in San Pedro and that report has been forwarded to my office. It is also allege that after the incident occurred with August that the officers were attacked by patrons of the club and that resulted in officers discharging their weapon. So the report has been obtained and I will be reviewing the file tomorrow and give a directive where that is concerned, but more than likely from what I have read and what I had been briefed the officers should be charged for wounding the least, hopefully sometime next week."

Why Was Scenes of Crime Technician Shot?
And in the police news, tonight, Brian Lopez, a Scenes of Crime technician, is recovering at his home in Ladyville after he was shot in the head last night by an assailant wielding a shot gun. Now, Scenes of Crimes technicians are the civilian staff members who work alongside the police whenever there is any evidence gathering that needs to take place at a crime scene. Just before midnight, Lopez was walking on Mamie Road in Ladyville. He was on the way home, after a colleague dropped him off by vehicle. That's when a dark-skinned man appeared out of the darkness and fired a shotgun blast at his head and fled the scene. Some of the pellets struck him in the head and neck, and he was rushed to the KHMH.

Kelvin Speaks Publicly For The First Time
At the top of the news, you've heard from everyone but Kelvin Usher, the 17 year-old young man who went missing near Lucky Strike Village for 4 days. His case even prompted Prime Minister Dean Barrow to call a press conference to announce the good news today. So, what does the man about the country's collective concern for his safe return? Well, he spoke for the first time at a candle light vigil held in his honor in the Battlefield Park. Our news team only just returned, and we have his comments mostly unedited for you: Kelvin Usher" "Everybody who mi di look out fu me, who went out deh and search fu me, I neva mi know people mi love me like this [crowd cheers]. I love all of uno, I mi a do di same thing fu all of uno. Just give thanks."

BTL Making Investment in Future, But It Will Cost In Short Term
Last night at the Biltmore, BTL held its 11th annual General Meeting. The company paid out 45% of its 20 million dollars in profits, amounting to 10 million dollars in dividends. That's about 19 cents per share - down from 23 cents the year. That works out to a return of just under 4% annually - which is better than the commercial banks - but far from the company's heyday in the 90's when it had a monopoly and paid as much as a 25% annual return. But the 1990's are long way from 2017, when long distance communication, phone calls and text messaging have been replaced by data services such as WhatsApp and Viber. To compete in this changing landscape, BTL's CEO told shareholders last night that the company must make a 96 million dollar investment which will keep profits in the low side for a few years:

BTL Profits Slip Slightly
As we noted at the top of the story, BTL's net profit was 20.5 million dollars, down almost 2 million from the previous year. The CEO says it's because of depreciation, while noting that overall revenue went up by about half a million dollars to 148 million: Rochus Schreiber, BTL CEO: "The net operating profit, which went down a little bit to $20 million, and then the third one is the EBITDA or the cash flow. The cash flow remained very strong and is performing very well. So the net income went down because of depreciation. However, the underlying performance of the company, the revenue, and the outflows, the spent on the operating costs remained very strong."

BTL Converting Huge Debt To Equity in Preference Shares
But there's a very large asterisk beside that net profit figure - because BTL was on track to book a 73 million dollar debt. That's the amount arising from an arbitration award payment to the Ashcroft Alliance to settle a mortgage debenture. Government has agreed to consider waiving 25 million dollars of that - still leaving BTL with a debt of 48.5 million dollars. That would have swamped BTL in debt, but they came up with what may best be called a creative accounting treatment to convert that debt into equity. A special resolution to amend the articles of association had to be passed to make that happen. Chairman Nestor Vasquez explained the unusual transaction to shareholders:

PM Approves Debt for Equity Swap
Today we asked the Prime Minister about the government end of that deal, and he said he is as pleased as pie: Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: "What's not to like about that? The preference shares we had agreed to the servicing of the debt at rates that would not give us the return that the preference shares will give us. So, we do not see that we are in anyway selling ourselves or the nation short. But, converting to equity naturally helps the balance sheet of BTL. You know that they are launching this massive national broadband plan. And they have to borrow a great deal of money, I think ultimately like $90 million to ensure that this fiber connectivity to the home blankets the country and will be as successful as one can ever imagine."

Ruction on North Creek
This afternoon around 4:00, right in the midst of all the excitement of Kelvin Usher's return, North Creek Alley residents were up in arms because the police roughed them up and fired shots in the alley. The residents called us out and here is what they had to say. The Alley is right next to the Queen Square Primary School. Residents say this is not the first time their alley was raided by police.

PM Says He's Willing to Compromise On A Senate Select Timeline
Today, the media also got to ask the Prime Minster about the controversy over the cap on spending for the Senate Inquiry into Immigration affairs. The social partners have rejected the PM's announcement that he will give no funding past November. The Chamber of Commerce sent the PM a strong letter bitterly opposing that decision. Today he said he is willing to consider a compromise:... Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: "I have responded to the chamber and I have pointed out to them that the position they took in their letter to me, if pushed to its logical conclusion would mean that government would be obliged to provide a blank check for the Senate inquiry and that that certainly could not be consistent with accountability and with proper budgeting."

What About Criminal Action for Immigration Wrongdoings?
And now back to those hearings themselves…In last night's news, we showed you excerpts from the conversation that Immigration Director Diana Locke had with the Senate on her third day as a witness on the stand. And that was a long day; 4 hours of testimony, and the Senate Select Committee still wants her return next week Wednesday for another session. They want to finish up their conversation with her on the Auditor General's recommendations which she made in the 3 volumes of her report on Immigration. And,1 key recommendation calls for the police to be activated to investigate the volumes of irregularities her report outlines. Police Commissioner Allen Whylie has already told the Senate that he is waiting for their report from these Hearings before he and the police department take action. And yesterday, the Committee wanted Director Locke's opinion on this call for criminal action into the Auditor General's findings.

Should Fraudulent Documents Be Revoked?
Another important recommendation from the Auditor General is that the Director should ensure the cancellation of passports and nationality certificates for every applicant who was granted these immigration documents through fraudulent means. That would be a serious and very decisive statement against the holders of these types of documents, and so, the Senate asked the Immigration Director about that. Here's here response:

What Will Come Out Of Senate Hearings?
And Business Senator Mark Lizarraga told the press after the hearing that these recommendations need to be followed through on to validate the Auditor General's report and the Senate Hearings. For 10 months that the nation has been watching these hearings live, there is cynical concern is that it will be a giant waste of time because nobody will be held accountable for all the wrongs at the immigration department. Senator Lizarraga, who acted as the Protem Chairman in yesterday's hearing, told us that the director's comments on these recommendations indicates more clearly who is responsible for carrying through to ensure that there is a criminal investigation - and that fraudulent immigration documents are canceled. Here's how he explained it:

Cattle Rancher Missing After Running From Gunmen
And finally tonight, police from the Dangriga formation have spent the past four hours or so looking for a man who was the victim of an armed assault of mile 18 on the Valley Road this evening. At around 4:30 - the man, who is a butcher from Bullet Tree in the Cayo District was in the area to inquire about a cattle purchase. They were walking to the area when two men appeared, and one of them pulled out a gun and opened fire on the pair. They ran in different directions. One of the men has been found, and he told police he saw his partner get shot. But despite intensive search efforts, police could not find the other man, and the area is a thick jungle. They retired late tonight will resume the search early tomorrow.

Channel 5

Vigil at Battlefield Gives Thanks for Return of Kelvin Usher
At this time, a vigil is taking place at Battlefield Park where family, friends and peers of Kelvin Usher have gathered to give thanks for his safe return.  Usher surfaced [...]

Mother Karima Williams Overwhelmed and Relieved
As we said, tonight Kelvin Usher is safe at home, reunited with his family. Missing since Sunday, the teenager surfaced this morning, according to police, not far from where he [...]

Lost Teen ‘Followed the Sun’ to Come Home
At a press conference held by Prime Minister Barrow this afternoon, Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams recounted parts of Kelvin Usher’s disappearance, following a debriefing at the Raccoon Street [...]

No Police Involvement; G.S.U. Best Practices to be Reviewed
During the interrogation by ACP Williams this morning, Usher was asked several questions pertaining to the incident, particularly whether he was roughed up by the officers or had been held [...]

P.M. Absolves Kelvin – No Charges!
So, with all the drama of Kelvin’s disappearance finally over, will he face similar drug related-charges that were levied against his father on Monday?  It’s a question that was posed [...]

Junior Collegians Call Out S.J.C., Skip Classes
On Wednesday, students from SJC JC took the streets in an impromptu protest seeking answers on the disappearance of a student of the premier institution.  It was a most significant [...]

P.M. Barrow Looks for Changes in G.S.U.
The Gang Suppression Unit, with all the flak that it has received since being established, is completely off the hook in the Kelvin Usher debacle.  Prime Minister Barrow made that [...]

S.P.U. Accused in Latest Menace Near School
But even as Prime Minister Dean Barrow was addressing the nation and promising reformation of the Gang Suppression Unit, members of the police department were menacing residents of south side [...]

Fuel Prices Going Down “Soon, Soon”
As fuel prices skyrocket, the government is sticking to its guns that its share of taxes is not responsible for the steady increases in prices and is promising a reduction [...]

Thumbs Up for Franz Parke
Turning to judicial matters, the appointment of Franz Parke as a Justice of the Court of Appeal is going through. The Jamaican-American has legal qualification from the University of the [...]

Why No Statement, Amy Forte?
Through her attorney, she approached Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s office to clear her good name in relation to a land transaction involving the son of ex-Lands Minister Gaspar Vega. But [...]

B.T.L. Gets a Boost from G.O.B.
After an uptick in 2016, Belize Telemedia Limited is reporting less profit in 2017 of just over twenty million dollars. At the Annual General Meeting held on Wednesday evening, it [...]

Disciplinary, Not Criminal Charges for Cops Who Stole Coke
Rogue officers continue to make headlines after a number of cases involving law-breaking policemen have been reported.  Three members of the Special Patrol Unit are under investigation tonight and it [...]

Criminal Charges for Corporal Who Drew Gun in New Asia Restaurant
A wild night on the town on Tuesday will result in criminal charges being brought against two police officers who were involved in an incident inside a Chinese restaurant.  During [...]

Bar Brawl Charges Coming in San Pedro
While the commander of the Professional Standards Branch is busy with internal investigations, there is one more incident that’s presently being looked into.  A pair of off-duty officers were involved [...]

Immigration to Assist Police in Criminal Investigation
The majority of the recommendations made by the Senate Special Select Committee is either accepted or in some cases has already been implemented in one form or another. But Director [...]

Who Will Bell the Immigration Cat?
It has been a particular practice of Business Community Senator Mark Lizarraga to go through the Auditor General’s recommendations across her three-volume report with all of the witnesses, where possible, [...]

Are New Belizeans Renouncing Guatemala?
Because of the relationship between Belize and Guatemala, the road to acquiring Belizean citizenship by Guatemalans is somewhat complicated. The Guatemalan national must sign a renunciation form in Belize and [...]

No Blank Cheques for Senate Inquiry
There has been widespread objection to Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s decision to disallow further allocations from the budget for the Senate Special Select Committee. The last allocation approved in August [...]

Hiccups Found after Immigration Promotions
Earlier this year, there were rumblings in the Immigration Department after twenty-nine officers were slated for promotion despite concerns about their worth. Minister of State Beverly Williams assured News Five [...]

Healthy Living: What You Should Ask Your Pharmacist
They are one of the key members of your healthcare team yet we very often simplify their role in our care. After seeing the doctor and getting your diagnosis; you’re [...]

CTV3

Pesero Viciously Beaten In Robbery In Ranchito Village
A pesero from Ranchito Village was the victim of a brutal assault and robbery that occurred in the wee hours of this morning. Reports to CTV-3 news are that well-known money exchanger Everaldo Magana was leaving his home in Ranchito Village early this morning when he was ambushed by a group of three men. The men, who were armed, ordered that he hand over money that he had in his possession, and began to viciously assault him. We understand he suffered major injuries to his face and head. The robbers then left with an undisclosed amount of money.

LOVE FM

BTL faces stiff competition from Social Media
The Belize Telemedia Limited, held its annual general meeting last night in Belize City. Discussed during the meeting is the performance of the company for 2016-2017 fiscal year. CEO Rochus Schreiber spoke to the media. Rochus Schreiber – CEO of BTL “Well when you look at telecommunication companies there are several metrics that you have […]

PM Barrow comments on GSU
As we told you earlier, the Prime Minister Dean Barrow held a press where he addressed the situation that has captured national attention and has once more placed the Police Department’s Gang Suppression Unit in the forefront and not for very constructive reasons. According to the PM, he met this morning with the Belize Police […]

PM Barrow comments on fuel prices
Fuel prices are at an all-time high but not for long says the Prime Minister. Importation of petroleum products from PDVSA under the PetroCaribe program was temporarily suspended. This led the government to import fuel from El Salvador, leading to the increase of fuel prices. However, today the Prime Minister told the press that fuel […]

PM Barrow comments on Forte’s case
Why hasn’t Amy Forte filed an official complaint with the Belize Police Department? The Major Crimes Unit of the Belize Police Department was tasked in investigating the allegation made by Forte but without her official complaint there is not much they can do. Forte named was called as the one who signed land documents. Through […]

Police’s list of misconduct gets longer
Police who are charged to uphold the law and keep the peace, of late, are acting in ways unbecoming of an officer. Today Assistant Commissioner of Police who heads the Professional Standards Branch, Chester Williams, spoke of an incident that took place a month ago in the western part of the country, where a number […]

Kelvin Usher returns
Seventeen-year-old Kelvin Usher has returned home. He was found sometime early this morning along the Old Northern Highway. (VO STARTS)He was taken to his Father’s house on Sibun Street in Belize City where a group of family, friends, and neighbors gathered while police personnel spoke with the family inside Usher’s house. In the meantime, the […]

Citizen Security Seminar unites Latin America and the Caribbean
Minister Elodio Aragon Jr., delivered opening remarks today at the first ever European Union – Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, EU-CELAC, Citizen Security Seminar in the Hague, Netherlands. Belize is currently the CELAC Co-Coordinator, along with the Republic of Panama. The EU-CELAC Citizen Security Seminar is the first of its kind, joining the […]

Man remanded for rape
Twenty-two year old Martin Martinez, a security guard of a Tibruce Street address, was charged with 4 sexual offences when he appeared today before Magistrate Aretha Ford. The charges were rape, unlawful sexual intercourse and 2 counts of sexual assault. Magistrate Ford explained to Matinez that she will not take a plea because two of […]

Two fined over $4,000 each for illegal fishing
Two fishermen, 45 year old Ismael Vernon and 33 year old Pedro Trujeque, were each fined over $4,000 today by Magistrate Aretha Ford after they pled guilty several fisheries offences. Vernon and Trujeque pled guilty to possession of 37 parts of Logger Head Turtles. They were each fined $3,700 plus $5 court cost for them. […]

Man narrowly escapes death
Brian Lopez is lucky to be alive today after he was shot to the back of the head last night. Lopez who is from the Arizona Estate in Ladyville Village reported to police that he was walking on the Maime Road, when he was approached by a man who had what appeared to be a […]


Re: Today's Belize News: September 29, 2017 [Re: Marty] #526077
09/29/17 06:42 AM
09/29/17 06:42 AM
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The Guardian

Teenager missing in bushes of Lucky Strike
Family members of 17 year old Kelvin Usher have intensified their search for the young man and the police department officially joined in the efforts on Tuesday. Usher was reported missing on Sunday September 24. On that day, police conducted a raid on a farm in Lucky Strike village where they found Cameron Kelvin Usher, the young man’s father, supposedly cultivating marijuana. He was charged with cultivation of 121 plants of marijuana. He was offered bail in the sum of 10 thousand dollars which he met and his case was adjourned until December 29.

ASR to distribute 6 Million dollars in shares to BSI employees
The Guardian Newspaper has confirmed that American Sugar Refineries (ASR) the parent company of BSI declared dividends in August of this year. The declaration is the first time that such has taken place since the company bought over Belize Sugar Industries Limited (BSIL) which is the sugarcane processor in Tower Hill. That acquisition took place in October of 2012. Now almost 5 years later the company has declared a whopping six million dollars in dividends to the BSI Employee Holdings Limited which holds 21 point 4 percent of the shareholdings. The 6 million dollars will be distributed over the next three weeks.

Bail granted in 6 year old murder case
The trial against Nelson Henry Jr. began in June 2017 for the June 2011 murder of Edward Emmanuel Lord. Henry has been in confinement for over six years but at trial on September 22, 2017, he was freed from being confined in a prison cell as he awaits the conclusion of his trial. At his most recent trial Henry Jr. appeared before Justice Lucas. The Justice offered Henry Jr. bail in the sum of $25,000 plus one surety of the same after referring to the constitution. Justice Lucas stated that the constitution gives the right to an accused person to be granted bail when he is not tried within a reasonable time.

Attorney General leads Belizean delegation on an Official Visit to the Republic of China (Taiwan)
Three members of Cabinet are currently being hosted on a foreign mission to the Republic of China (Taiwan) which commenced on September 24th and ends on September 29th, 2017. The Belizean delegation is led by Attorney General Hon. Michael Peyrefitte and includes Minister of Human Development, Social Transformation, and Poverty Alleviation Hon. Anthony Martinez; Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Immigration, with responsibility for Immigration, Hon. Beverly Williams; and Director of the Government of Belize Press Office Mr. Dorian Pakeman. The official visit is intended to further strengthen the longstanding partnership between Belize and the Republic of China (Taiwan). On the first day of the working visit, the delegation met with the National Immigration Agency where topics such as immigration policy, border protection, and human trafficking were discussed.

Dam break simulation in Cayo
On Tuesday September 26, a simulation exercise was carried out involving a multi-disaster and emergency response scenario. The simulation centered on the breaking of the Chalillo Dam it included participation from Belize Electricity Company Limited (BECOL), the security forces and other departments and agencies involved in the various aspects of disaster and emergency management. NEMO National Emergency Coordinator Colonel (ret.) Shelton DeFour elaborated on the exercise as follows:

Celebrating the 21st of September in the West
Belizeans in the West celebrated the 35th anniversary of Belize’s Independence last Thursday. A number of events were held under the theme, “Belize - Confronting challenges! Celebrating triumphs! Renewing our resolve!” Master of ceremonies for the Independence Celebrations at the Santa Elena Sports Complex was UDP Chairman Alberto August. It was at that occasion that Representatives from the various divisions highlighted their achievements. After reviewing the Belize Defense Force guard, the Hon. Rene Montero reminded that Cayo was the largest District in the Country, with the second to the largest population, and now has the longest bridge. “The San Ignacio and Santa Elena bypass is five hundred and five feet long, forty four feet above normal water level, comes with two vehicular lanes as well as a pedestrian pathway, he said.

Hon. Elodio Aragon Jr. represents Belize in the European Union - CELAC Action Plan ‘Chapter 10’ Seminar
Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign and Home Affairs, Hon. Elodio Aragon Jr. is this week at The Hague in Netherlands representing Belize in the European Union - CELAC Action Plan ‘Chapter 10’ Seminar, which deals with Citizen Security. Honorable Aragon delivered the opening remarks as Belize is co-coordinator along with Panama for EU-CELAC. The official CELAC website describes the organization as follows: The “Community of Latin American and Caribbean States” (CELAC) is an intergovernmental mechanism for dialogue and political agreement, which includes thirty-three countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. It was created with a commitment to advance the gradual process of regional integration, unity and carefully balancing political, economic, social and cultural diversity of Latin America and the Caribbean, representing some 600 million people.

Two of three Sugar cane producers support ASR investment in BSI
In the middle of September ASR broke ground for the construction of an investment which will see Belize Sugar Industries Limited (BSIL) begin the production of value added sugars in country. The investment is for 22 million dollars and has happened despite one of the sugarcane suppliers - the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) not supporting the investment. While that is BSCFA’s position two other suppliers the Corozal Sugar Cane Producers Association (CSCPA and the Progressive Sugar Cane Producers Association (PSCPA) issued a press release on Tuesday September 26th, supporting the investment.

Fires leave man in Boom homeless and other man without a business
On Sunday September 24, 2017 about 5:55 a.m., police responded to information of a house fire at the Burrell Boom Village. They visited the area where they saw a 32 ft x 24 ft wooden structure engulfed in flames. At the back of the building, a 16 ft x 14 ft structure was also under flames. No one was in the house at the time. While on the scene, police spoke with Patty Seguro who informed them that the house was occupied by her son, Dyron Hyde, and his daughters, who were out of town.

Training in coconut water and oil standards
The Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS) in the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Commerce in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) through the Regional Coconut Development Project are holding public stakeholder sensitization sessions in Coconut Standards: Specification and Code of Hygienic Practice for Pre-Packaged Coconut Water and Specification for Coconut Oil.

Banana farm and homes in Cowpen benefit from EU and BEL Electrification Project
According to a representative from the Belize Electricity Limited, Vonetta Burrell, Public Relations Manager, the current coverage of BEL in the country is at 92% and is expected to reach 98% by 2020. With a GOB-EU-BEL initiative over 200 communities and a total of 5,000 households in both new and existing communities will be impacted. The project will require approximately $35 million to achieve and as a part of achieving that, residents in Cowpen have received electricity for the first time. As a part of the European Union’s mission to improve lives, as well as that shared mission with BEL, several banana farms were beneficiaries of the project. Media personnel were taken on a tour of the Go Bananas! Farm along with Malgorzata Wasilewska, EU Ambassador, to get a firsthand experience on the difference electrification has made on the lives of the residents of Cowpen, the workers on the farms, as well as the overall functionality of the farm.

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.

Upgrade to Hopkins Village Main Street and Water System
Groundbreaking ceremonies were held on Friday September 22nd for the upgrade of Hopkins Village Main Street and Water System. The upgrade comes under the Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM) 2013. The upgrade of Hopkins Village Main Street and Water System Phase 1 for a length of 3.2 km (2 miles), worth a total of BZ$ 2,688,885.10, is being financed by the European Union and the Government of Belize through funds from the BAM 2013 programme. The Hopkins Village Main Street is of major importance for the social development of southern Belize. The village main street rehabilitation includes the supply, construction, installation and completion of over three (3) kilometers of road with base material and double chip seal to pavement standards; eighty (80) meters of road concrete pavement; three hundred (300) meters of concrete culverts and nearly three (3) kilometers of V drains; over six (6) kilometers of water supply pipeline with assemblies and fittings along the road; two (2) concrete pedestrian crossings; road markings and over hundred (100) traffic signs.

Integrity Commission publishes names of politicians who failed to declare their assets
The Integrity Commission of Belize, in accordance with the Prevention of Corruption Act #21 of 2007, hereby informs the public that the Commission has duly informed all those persons in public life of their duty to file their declaration of their financial affairs for the year ending 31st December, 2016. The Commission further informs the public that these persons in public life were further reminded to adhere to Sections 10 (1), 10(2) (b), and (c); Sections 14(1), (2), and Section 19.

Johnny’s desperate speech
If one did not know better, after listening to the Independence Day Address delivered by Belize’s Constitutional Leader of the Opposition, Hon John Briceño, one could have easily assumed that nothing positive, was going on in Belize. His speech was full of negatives. And to put it blankly, we don’t even know if many of those negative things that he spoke of are really factual. We don’t know who wrote the speech for Johnny this year, but what we suspect, is that there is a mole/speech writer in Johnny’s camp. That person is perhaps someone who Johnny trusts, but that person is also friendly to the Musa faction of the PUP. Whomever that person is, he or she, was used to set up Johnny and thus make Johnny look bad .We suspect that the task of setting up Johnny was not a difficult job to accomplish because Johnny was a very easy mark. He is not one of the sharpest knives in the drawer. In fact he may be right down there at the bottom of the drawer with persons like Raddo and other notable PUP dull knives.

Pink eye affects entire country
As of September 10 there has been a countrywide outbreak of conjunctivitis, commonly know as pink eye, the ailment is caused by a bacteria or virus irritating the eyes. As of Tuesday September 26, a total of 1,666 cases have been reported to medical authorities. According to the Ministry of Health, there were 655 cases in Corozal; in Orange Walk there were 231; in Belize City there were 423; the Cayo district saw 272 cases; the Stann Creek District had 67 and the Toledo district 18. Symptoms of conjunctivitis include: Redness in the white of the eye or inner eyelid; watery eyes; thick yellow discharge that crusts over the eyelashes, especially after sleep; itchy eyes; blurred vision and increased sensitivity to light.

PM Barrow’s Independence Day address
Before I begin my address proper, I wish to offer condolences to our sister countries in the Caribbean on the destruction and loss of life suffered in consequence of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Belize will join the rest of Caricom in doing whatever we can to help. I also extend solidarity to our northern neighbor Mexico, as that great country seeks to recover from the double blow of two earthquakes in as many weeks. Last year at this time I lamented what appeared to be the fractious state of political and social relations in our Belizean democracy: the two major political parties were going at it hammer and tongs; the religious community was split; and the labour movement polarized.

Cops accused of jacking Chinese store and stealing cocaine
According to the acting Commissioner of Police, Noel Leal, a multiagency investigation is being conducted by the Professional Standards Branch in relation to allegations that several Special Patrol Unit Officers stole cocaine. The report was made less than a month ago in the western part of the country and since then an operation has been conducted. The drugs were to be submitted as evidence in an investigation but the officers misappropriated the drugs for their personal use. So far, only one of the four officers that have been accused of the crime is cooperating. In light of the situation, the police received preliminary reports and are presently seeking legal advice. The matter might be headed to the court but in the meantime, the officers are not on indictment and are presently on duty.

Sense Out of Nonsense
The unexplained disappearance of a promising young man has hit the Belizean consciousness like a wrecking ball. Rumors running wild and conspiracy theories cooked up by the minute are doing very little to help in locating the young man or at the very least establish what might have occurred. These are a few of the “facts” that are known at this time. Members of the GSU (five officers) acting on information visited an area in the Lucky Strike Village where they came upon a farm where cannabis was being cultivated. Upon arrival, according to the police they saw two persons in the middle of the field, one of whom ran away into the bushes. The police say they fired three to four rounds into the air.

Belize’s first TechExpo hosted by BTL
The first ever TechExpo in Belize is a two-day event at the Best Western Biltmore Hotel on September 27 and 28, 2017. At the event, which was powered by Belize Telemedia Limited, 17 businesses showcased their products and services to the general public and anyone else that attended. According to Ingrid Juarez, Senior Public Relations Representative, BTL, the purpose of the expo was to show the public what BTL, a telecommunications company, has to offer as it pertains to the latest in technology trends as well as bringing together local, regional, and international companies with the same purpose in mind.

Strange death of Belizean American in Hattieville
For 13 days now, police have been unsure about the questionable death of 78 year-old Karl Leslie. He’s a Belizean American retiree who lived in Hattieville, but his family and friends are asserting to the press that he was murdered. His body was discovered inside his home in Hattieville on Thursday, September 14, and since then, police have been trying to determine if he was killed, or if he died of natural causes. The police press office has released information saying that the doctor’s post mortem showed that Leslie died of a fluid in the brain - most likely blood, and that his spinal cord was broken in two places. They are currently referring to it as a “death investigation”.

Road traffic accident claims life of 12 year old
Daphnie Polanco, a 12 year-old resident of the Stann Creek District, was killed in a traffic accident on the Phillip Goldson Highway on Independence Day. Her family got into a traffic accident with persons who were rushing to get out in front of the heavy traffic after the Orange Walk Carnival Road March. The two vehicles in the accident flipped multiple times before coming to a complete stop. It happened some time before 9 p.m. on Thursday, September 21, 2017, at mile 26 and a half. Daphnie Polanco, was traveling with her family members in a blue Mazda 4X4 pickup. In the vehicle with her at the time were David Polanco, Darcie Lopez-Polanco, Davina Polanco, Davisha Polanco, and Tyrone Parham. They were heading in the direction of Belize City, when they were hit by a grey Toyota Corolla car which was also heading in the same direction.

Remanded for attempted murder
A teenager was arraigned on Friday, September 22, 2017 in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on criminal charges for the shooting in which Aaron King was the victim. He is 18-year-old Moses Anthony Babb. Babb appeared unrepresented before Magistrate Aretha Ford where he was read three criminal charges: one count of attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm with a deadly weapon, and kept unlicensed firearm without being granted a gun license.

Police take 4 guns in 4 hours, one family says they were tricked
Police from the Special Assignment Team (SAT) have removed 4 weapons and 37 rounds of ammunition off the streets over the weekend. The first major seizure happened on Saturday night, September 23, at around 8:30. That’s when the SAT searched an alley off Lakeview Street, and they discovered a black plastic bag near a fence. Inside this bag, the officers found 14 live rounds of .38 ammunition, and an additional 22 rounds of Aguila brand ammunition. Nobody was present at the time of the search, and so they were deposited as found property.

Gun lands man in prison
Santiago Romero, a 23-year-old sales person of Libertad Village, Corozal, was allegedly busted in Belize City in possession of a prohibited firearm. He appeared unrepresented before Magistrate Aretha Ford on Friday, September 22, 2017 where he was read a single charge of a kept prohibited firearm. He was found with a .45 calibre pistol. Romero pleaded not guilty to the charge but due to the nature of the offense, he was denied bail and remanded to the Belize Central Prison until November 30, 2017.

Stabbed by brother-in- law in Orange Walk
Police visited the Northern Regional Hospital on Friday, September 22, 2017 at around 4:45 p.m. There they saw Ajit Ramclam, a 34-year-old man of Orange Walk Town, with stab wounds to the back and a cut wound to the right hand. He was admitted to ward in a stable condition. Investigation revealed that Ramclam visited his girlfriend’s house located on Marcelino Tun St.where he got into an altercation with her brother who reportedly inflicted the stab wounds with a knife. Police investigations continue.

Belmopan Police charge persons for robbery
On the eve of the 21st, two individual minors reported to Belmopan Police that they were robbed of their electronic devices. The robbery occurred while they were walking on the Central Walkway in Belmopan at night. As a result of these two incidents, two separate investigative teams were formed to focus on these robberies. Such an approach by police has produced dividends as most of the items have been recovered and persons charged. Andre Cho has been charged singularly for the first report of robbery while Sanjay Casey and Steven Harris were charged jointly for the second report.

Woman is stabbed and her television is stolen from home
On September 22, 2017 at 4:45 a.m., police visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they saw 45-year-old Romie Anthony of La Croix Boulevard, Belize City suffering from stab wounds to her neck. Investigations revealed that earlier that morning, Anthony was at her home when she was awoken by noise coming from the hall. Upon making checks, she saw two men dressed in dark clothing with masks covering their faces. They were trying to remove her flat screen television from the wall. The men grabbed her and one stabbed her to her neck with a sharp object and then took her to her room where they tied her with an electrical cord. After the culprits left, she managed to untie herself and noticed that her television was missing. Police are investigating.

Woman damages ex-husband’s new partner’s car
A woman was charged with damage to property after she visited the home of her ex-husband’s lover and damaged her parked vehicle. She is Shelly Pacheco, a resident of Princess Margaret Drive and a manager. Pacheco and her estranged husband have been having problems in their relationship and the allegations against her are that on May 27, 2017, she damaged the rear light and the right side of a Toyota Camry, property of Anna Benitos. Benitos requested court action and as a result, Pachecho appeared unrepresented before Chief Magistrate Sharon Fraser on September 20, 2017.

Chinese grocer shot and killed on Vernon Street
Bainan Wu, a 57 year-old a Chinese Belizean businessman, was shot and killed inside his grocery store in the Lake Independence Area of Belize City. It is believed that he was killed in an armed robbery gone bad. He is the first Chinese business owner to be murdered in the City in 4 years. It happened sometime around 7:30 p.m. on Monday, September 25, at his business place, Xi He Li, located on the corner of Santa Barbara and Vernon Streets. It is unclear what exactly happened in those moments, but reports to the press are that Wu was waiting as he normally does for customers to come in and buy his merchandise. Unfortunately, on this night, an armed robber walked into his shop. That man, who remains unidentified at this time, reportedly ordered him at gunpoint to hand over all his money from the cash register. That would have been the day’s sales, and Wu reportedly refused to comply.

Dragons and Belize Bank Bulldogs even in Firms Basketball Finals
The Belize District Basketball Association Firms Competition commenced its championship round on Friday 22nd September, 2017, with the first game in the best of three finals at the Swift Hall in Belize City, between the Belize City Council Dragons and the Belize Bank Bulldogs. In the first game played, the Belize Bank Bulldogs defeated the Belize City Council Dragons by the score of 87-72 to take the first game of the series. The top scorers for the Belize Bank Bulldogs were Brian White with 34 points, 9 rebounds and an assist; Roderick Williams with 17 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists and a steal and Dominique Guzman who contributed 12 points to go along with his 2 rebounds. The third and final game, which will be for all the marbles will be played on Friday 29th September at 8:00 pm.

Belize Athletics Association to hold Annual General Assembly
The Belize Athletics Association will hold its 2017 Annual General Assembly at the Edward P Yorke High School, Princess Margaret Drive, on 21st October, 2017 at 2:00 pm. All members are required to pay their 2017 annual dues by the 16th October, 2017. All members are asked to please bring along their identification cards. The highlight of the General Assembly will be the elections of officers for the executive.

Verdes FC whitewashed San Pedro Pirates FC in Premier League competition
The Premier League of Belize Opening Season competition continued on Sunday September 24, 2017, with four games on the schedule. At the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, Verdes FC blanked the visiting San Pedro Pirates FC by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Denmark Casey in the 68th minute of play to give his team the victory. At the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga Town, the defending champions and the current leaders of the Opening Season competition Bandits Sports edged out the host team Wagiya by the score of 2-1.

Ladyville FC leads Leal’s Football Cup Tournament
The 2017 Leal’s Football Cup Competition continued on Sunday 24th September with 4 games on the schedule. In the first game played, Ladyville FC and Lucky Strike FC played to a 2-2 draw. The goals for Ladyville FC were scored by David Ramos and Raheem Swaso while the goals for Lucky Strike FC were scored by Elvis Godoy and Travis Heredia. In game two, HVYSC defeated Sandhill New Site Warriors by the score of 6-1. The goals for HVYSC were scored by Marcus Lewis (3), Tylon Dyer, Carlton Rogers and Jadon McGregor. For Sandhill New Site Warriors, the only goal of the game was scored by Elan White.

National Track and Field Championship set for October
The Belize Athletics Association invites all athletes and track enthusiasts once again to be a part of a National Track and Field Championship event. The event will take place at the Marion Jones Sports Complex on October 7-8, 2017. All athletes 16 years and older can participate in the events. Registration forms can be obtained from and returned back to the Belize Athletics Association via email belizeathleticsassociation@gmail.com or from their Facebook page (Belize Athletics Association) or at the Marion Jones Sports Complex.

Conscious Youth Development Programme Peace Cup 2017 start
The 2017 Conscious Youth Development Programme Peace Cup Football competition commenced on Saturday September 24, at the MCC Grounds with three games on the schedule. In the first game played, Kelly Street defeated Police United FC by the score of 10-1. The goals for Kelly Street were scored by Steven Baizar (4), Kennen Lopez, Tarique Muschamp, Delroy Andrews, Robert Sutherland (own goal), John King and Naim Wilson. Meanwhile, the only goal of the game for the Police United FC was scored by Jeremy Archer. The competition will continue this coming weekend at the MCC Grounds.

“THE…ASS…WIL MAHEIA LED A GROUP…OF…30 PEOPLE…’’
One of the definitions that the Urban Dictionary gives to the phrase ‘Freudian slip’ is: A typographical error, misspelling, or slip of the tongue of which is thought to reveal a hidden subconscious emotion. On Monday, September 18, 2017 Channel 7NEWS classified Wil much more eloquently than I could ever hope to! Concerning the word “ass” in their text, your guess is as good as mine when it comes to trying to figure out what exactly was the thinking of the journalist! The idiots who continuously provoke Guatemala – and the pack of donkeys that bray them on, could not be more correctly categorized! Belize does NOT need Wil or the stupidly named ‘Belize Territorial Volunteers’ to irritate our aggressive foe. Wil is not Foreign Minister, patriot or hero; he will get Belizeans hurt or killed. The very deliberate and wise actions of the British Foreign Office way back in the 1850’s are directly responsible for securing this Territory. Said Musa is right in saying that we have an “iron clad” case. So let’s march the Guatemalans into court! The greedy PUP wants to derail the process for partisan political gain.

Warring like the Greeks
While our wars in Belize are not against gods or heroes, they are wars nonetheless; wars against our brothers, against our communities, and often times against ourselves. Working in the news field for the last six months has opened my eyes to many issues I used to shrug my shoulders at. Rape and murder have always left a sour taste in my mouth but now robbery, drug wars, and other social injustices irate the black woman in me. More often than not, a black man is the perpetrator in these crimes and at times he is even the victim. It is easy to criticize and to pass judgment. It is even easier to become angry. For the last six months, that is all I’ve felt toward the plethora of crime stories that has racked up; anger, disappointment, and all things negative.

Youth Talks - Is Karma really real
Why do bad things happen to good people? Just last night on the evening news we were reminded of travesties that are happening all around us. As young people, we are constantly trying to make sense of our world. As we try to establish our own principles and values in life, sometimes things happen, that shake our beliefs at their core. Does justice prevail? Do good things really come to those who wait? Is honesty really the best policy? One that I’m sure we’ve all heard before is, “what goes around comes around” or maybe you’ve seen a person get what was coming to them and thought, “That’s karma for you.” But these according to the Social Science of Psychology, are shades of what is known as the “Just World Fallacy”.

Words of Life with Pastor Barry Fraser
Our theme this week is “It is Finished.” In the Gospel of John, chapter 19, verse 30, we read: When He had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, He bowed his head and gave up His spirit. There is a lot of activity going on in the spirit world, in response to our prayers. When Jesus went to the cross His last statement was, “It is finished.” He was letting us know that what He did has released all the power and anointing we will ever need to change the world. But these things are hidden for us and not from us. For example if you have an expensive piece of jewelry you will hide it in a strong place for safekeeping, so that no unauthorized person will get access to it.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Demonstration despite Usher’s return
Protestors who had originally planned to demonstrate for the safe return of Kelvin Usher, still took the street today even after Usher’s return. A gathering of over 350 people, mostly youths from various tertiary education institutions and community groups, marched from Save-U to the Battlefield Park in downtown Belize city, to register their discontent with various social issues, including corruption and high gas prices.

BPP says Integrity commission “falls short”
The Belize Progressive Party (BPP) issued a release today stating that they noted that the Integrity Commission gazetted the names of those persons in public life who are not in compliance with Section 14 of the Prevention of Corruption Act (POCA) (No. 21 of 2007), for failure to disclose their assets, income and liabilities.

Illegal loggers arrested & fined for unlawful possession of forest produce
Pablo Valladarez, a 47-year-old resident of Guinea Grass Village, Orange Walk District, was fined $22,838 for illegal possession of Mahogany yesterday. According to a release from the Forest Department, police and Forest Department officials intercepted Valladarez, Catalino Copo, Nelson Mosa, and Aurelio Mai, residents of Guinea Grass and Santa Martha villages, hauling illegally harvested Mahogany on the Old Northern Highway, Orange Walk District, on September 24th, 2017.

BBN to receive ASUS laptop from Taiwan Embassy
Breaking Belize News (BBN) has been selected to receive a donation of an ASUS laptop from the Embassy of the Republic of China-Taiwan. One of the world’s top three consumer notebook brands, ASUS has a foundation that donates notebooks aimed to bridge the digital gap through non governmental organizations and schools.

Imports down, exports way down in August
While Belize lessened its expenditure on imports by 9.5 percent for the month of August, the country’s exports fell by 61.8 percent in the same month. The latest external trade bulletin produced by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) showed that the country spent $143.2 million on imports in August, a $15 million drop compared to last year; however, the country only made to $22.7 million in exports. The decline in exports represents a $36.7 million loss when compared to last year.

Home Affairs Minister opens 1st EU-CELAC Citizen Security Seminar
The Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Elodio Aragon Jr., delivered opening remarks today at the first ever European Union- Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (EU-CELAC) Citizen Security Seminar being held from September 27-28, 2017 in Hague, Netherlands.

Kelvin Usher found
According to confirmed reports from Kelvin Usher’s family, the seventeen-year-old boy who has been missing from Sunday has been found alive. Usher’s disappearance had triggered public outrage after he went missing and members of the family and public felt the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) had been withholding information regarding his whereabouts. A protest was held yesterday by students, family and friends demanding answers.

Kelvin Usher and the GSU – More questions than answers
Belizeans are irate, and rightfully so, over the circumstances surrounding the strange disappearance of Kelvin Usher. His name, prayers for his safe return and support for his family has dominated social media over the last few days.

Immigration Director says former ministers still agents in Immigration
Yesterday, hearings resumed for the Senate Special Select Committee and Diana Locke, current Immigration Director, was called to testify. Locke had already testified during two sessions but the committee still had other questions for her.

NEMO dam simulation exercise in Cayo
Yesterday, a simulation exercise was carried out involving a multi-disaster and emergency response scenario in San Ignacio town. It included participation from Belize Electricity Company Limited (BECOL), the security forces and other departments and agencies involved in the various aspects of disaster and emergency management.

Belmopan police hosts movie night
Last night, the Belmopan Police formation hosted a movie/ice cream night for the kids of Maya Mopan, San Martin and Salvapan.

Belize~ Depression within a depressed Economy
By Richard Harrison: The economy of Belize is depressed….and August to October are the slowest months of the TOURISM INDUSTRY….upon which the entire country increasingly depends….as the other traditional agricultural industries are either compromised in sales….or in profits….mostly because the UDP government have stuck with economic policies of the colony of British Honduras…refusing to adopt and adapt new economic policies for an independent, competitive and productive Belize.

No air condition for over 3 months at San Ignacio Hospital
Breaking Belize News has confirmed that the San Ignacio Hospital has been without air condition (AC) for over 3 months now. The hospital was designed with little natural ventilation as a centralized AC system was to ventilate and maintain a comfortable temperature in the main hospital building and the wards where patients are kept.

Blogs

Celebrating World Tourism Day with the Best of Belize
Having recently celebrated its 36th Independence anniversary, today’s Belize is a country of diversity with tourism as its leading industry. Looking back to the days before independence, Belize was not regarded as a place to travel due to lack of infrastructure to cater to mass tourism. However, this little jewel, nestled in between Central America and the Caribbean, was always bound to be one of the top travel destinations in the area. From sandy beaches with crystal waters, to lush jungles with cascading waterfalls and even a touch of mystery left behind by our Maya ancestors, “the land of the free by the Carib Sea” seems to have it all!

Actualizing a Dream Moving From Colorado to Belize
So many people are trying to find their way to paradise and looking at how to make it happen when they retire, or in some cases like mine, earlier. Some come with the intention of buying an already operating business or starting their own while others find their way within the existing work world. This guest post comes from a guy who knew what he wanted and took the chance to make it happen for his family. Hey everyone, My name is William Narod, AKA, the “Paradise Guy” and I came to Belize in early 2015 with a dream and a vision for our future. Although I had been successful as an agent, broker-owner, and investor in the Colorado Real Estate market for the last 26 years, I had also always dreamed of a life by the sea in a warm tropical destination. Beyond the perfect climate, friendly people, close proximity to North America, white sandy beaches, and 80+ degree crystal clear waters, exposing my children to a diverse culture was also a big priority. Additionally, investing in the Belize real estate market made a lot of sense after analyzing leading indicators like tourism, increased flights, and steady long term real estate appreciation.

Two dozen questions on living in Belize — and not one is answered just ‘yes’ or ‘no’
The e-mail said, we have a few questions about living an expat life that we would like you to answer. And it shouldn’t take more than five minutes . . . that’s when I knew the e-mail was from an editor. No writing should take anyone more than five minutes to complete, according to every editor for which I’ve ever worked. That’s how editors think. That’s their job. So, three hours later, this is what I came up with. I’ve said it before, I like these questionnaires. They are lazy work for the person who sends them out, but they can prove enlightening for the person who must reach down inside and come up with some answers — about 24 of them in this case.

International Sourcesizz

JU nursing prof, Army vet, heads to Belize as Fulbright Scholar
Jacksonville University nursing professor Carla Fry was going to take a sailboat to Belize in December, where she will teach and research for a semester as a Fulbright Scholar. Enter Hurricane Irma: The boat was docked in Key West and was badly damaged in the storm. So it might be time for Plan B. But she’ll get to Belize somehow — the latest step in a journey that goes back almost 33 years, to when she was growing up in Canton, Ohio, 17 years old and not quite 100 pounds. She had her eye on college, but that would be tough financially in a working-class family where no one had gone past high school. That’s when she told her family she was joining the Army. She even brought a recruiter by the house.

How the most important city in Central America was abandoned and then rebuilt
TOMORROW is the 300th anniversary of one of the most destructive earthquakes in the history of the Americas, yet few people other than students of the area and period will know of it. That’s because Guatemala was and is one of the most earthquake-ridden countries in the world, and the population are so inured to quakes that they reserve the name earthquake for only the biggest ones, and dismiss most quakes as tremors – “temblores” in Spanish. The earthquake on September 29, 1717, levelled the city now known as Antigua Guatemala, then the country’s capital, and began the process of the capital being built anew – what we now know as Guatemala City. Incredibly, in a dreadful coincidence, Guatemala City was itself hit by a horrendous earthquake almost 200 years to the day after the 1717 quake. The people of Guatemala are thus marking the two historical disasters.

Videos

  • Independence Day Jump Up Parade, 1min. Here it is! The Independence Day Jump Up Parade Highlight video! Thanks to Ben & Joana from Island Films for creating capturing these moments and to Ernestine Carballo for a great song to go with it!

  • Aerial overfly of downtown San Pedro, 1min.

  • Students Lead Lunchtime Protest in Belize City, 4min.

  • Peaceful demonstration organized by the People United Party Northern Caucus ended in chaos, 8min. Yesterday’s peaceful demonstration organized by the People United Party Northern Caucus ended in chaos at the Tower Hill Bridge in Orange Walk. In an impromptu move the Leader of the Opposition and other representatives of the party along with a group of supporters decided to block the toll bridge. This action quickly escalated into a full blown riot as PUP leaders, supporters and members of the media were tear gassed and manhandled by members of the Belize Police Department. Today Minister of Police Elodio Aragon together with Assistant Commissioner of Police Edward Broaster held a press conference where they spoke about the incident and admitted that the Riot Act was not read before any action was taken by authorities.

  • Family of Kelvin Usher, 48min.

  • Tide Fisherman Festival, 25min.

  • Belizean Story time Book Launch, 24min.

  • Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry Senate Select IMF Report, 42min.

  • Belize National Library Services, 16min.

  • Bravo Motors Opens New Branch Office, 15min.

  • Men roughed up by police, 5min. Shots fired. And angry women make police back out of Belize City Neighborhood. Judge for yourself who is right or wrong? Is it police work? Or police wrong?

  • Planting banana trees in Belize, 1min. My neighbor Emmeth showed me how easy it is to plant fig bananas. He's offered to plant bananas, cassava and pineapple all over my acre of land. He is wise. He said, "I don't believe in clearing land without planting something." A simple, beautiful principle to live by, when you're a farmer.

  • BELIZE DEFENCE FORCE, 2.5min. September 9 ,2017 military parade.

  • Meet Jennie Staines who will delight us with her culinary Belizean infused cuisine with us at this year’s SeeandTasteBz, 1min.


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