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Specials and Events
Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and other specials
The San Pedro Sun
San Pedro Pirates road to PLB championship comes to an end
With a 3-1 loss against the Belmopan Bandits on the second round of the Premiere League of Belize (PLB) on Saturday, November 25th the San Pedro Pirates Football Club hopes for a first-year championship came to an end. The Pirates are the island’s first semi-professional football club and over the season overcame many odds to land in the semi-finals. Managing to squeak by one goal aggregate, the Pirates certainly proved that determination can take you places. The Pirates owner Emeliano Rivero said, “To be the first time participating, I think we pulled off a good play as we were able to make it to the semi-finals. I want to thank the entire community of Ambergris Caye for all the support they gave us, and to continue to support us as we will be participating in the upcoming new season of the PLB.” He also stated that the team will be having new players for the upcoming season.
Eric Najarro is the new administrator at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II
Eric Najarro has joined the staff at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II as the new administrator. He officially became the head of the Clinic’s administration on Monday, November 13th taking over the post previously held by Owen Vellos. Najarro is no stranger to the island, as he is a San Pedrano who is happy to be back home and looking forward to working together with the community to continue improving Ambergris Caye’s main medical institution.
Championship announced at San Pedro Volleyball Tournament finals
The 2017 San Pedro Volleyball Tournament came to an end over the weekend of November 25th- 26th. Six games were played in the end, and four champions were crowned.
The first round of crucial matches was played on Saturday, November 25th, starting at 3PM. The Female Primary School Category battled for third place at the Angel Nuńez Auditorium. New Horizon girls took on the Holy Cross girls for first place, and with a solid three out of five sets (26-24, 18-25, 17-25, 25-19, and 15-13) New Horizon took the win. Catherine from New Horizon was the player of the match, netting 24 points and leading, the New Horizon girls to third place.
GOB says NO to paying Belize Bank $90 Million CCJ loan judgment for UHS
The Government of Belize will simply NOT pay the $90 Million judgement awarded by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) to the Belize Bank, for a $35 Million loan borrowed by Universal Health Services Ltd, which the past PUP administration of former Prime Minister Said Musa had secretly guaranteed in 2004.
Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow announced his government’s position at the Belize Best Western Biltmore Plaza Hotel on Wednesday morning, November 28. He said that any payment of such a magnitude would have to be approved by the National Assembly, and that his Cabinet ministers had all indicated that they could not in clear conscience approve the payment of $90 Million, for which the people of Belize would receive absolutely nothing, not so much as a Tylenol pill from UHS Ltd. So they would vote NO on any motion for GOB to honor the CCJ judgment.
San Pedro’s Alex Noralez selected as Head Coach for the National U-15 Female Football Team
San Pedro resident and teacher, Alex Noralez has been selected as the head coach of the Belize National Under- 15 Women’s Football Team. The team was selected on Saturday, November 18th during the festivities of the third annual Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Women’s Football Day. The event took place at the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) installations in Belmopan City and included the participation of 36 female players from around the country aspiring for a spot on the national team. In addition, Babee Lopez and Tanya Teul from San Pedro Town also managed to nab a spot on the team, which will be representing Belize in CONCACAF U-15 Female Football Tournament to be held in the United States of America in June of 2018.
CARICOM marijuana commission consults Belize
CARICOM may follow Belize’s lead in de-criminalizing marijuana, perhaps even further to legalize it, but the region is following a very prudent course of look before you leap. To this end, the CARICOM’s Regional Commission on Marijuana is conducting a review of marijuana’s legal status and sought input from the Belizean public through a series of national consultations with a cross-section of our society at Belize Best Western Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City last Thursday, November 23.
University of the West Indies (UWI) Dean of the Faculty of Law, Professor Rose Marie Belle Antoine chaired the focus group discussions, with other members of the Regional Commission and CARICOM Secretariat representative listening in.
Hurricane Season 2017 Officially Closed
Thursday, November 30, marks the closing of the 2017 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season. The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season was forecasted to be above average and above average it was. A total of 17 named storms formed, of which, ten became hurricanes and six reached major hurricane status - category three or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. The two strongest storms of the season were Hurricanes Irma and Maria with winds of 185 mph and 175 mph and minimum central pressure of 914 and 908 millibars, respectively. The table below summarizes the 2017 Hurricane Season and compares this season's activity against the 2016 season and that of the 30-year average.
Belize To Participate In Managua 2017 Central American Games
With just days to go for the opening of the Central American Games 2017 in Managua Nicaragua, Belize’s contingent is ready to represent in twelve sporting disciplines made up of 129 athletes and coaches/officials, including the Chief of Mission, Mr. Herman Pastor.
The 12 Sporting Disciplines that Belize will be participating in are as follows: Athletics, Basketball, Beach Volleyball, Body Building, Cycling, Football, Judo, Karate, Table Tennis,
Tennis, Triathlon and Volleyball. The Central American Games 2017 is set to take place in Managua, Nicaragua from December 3rd - 17th, 2017 where all Central American countries will compete. These games are held every four years.
Misc Belizean Sources
San Pedro Town Council workers hard at work making preparations for the Christmas holidays and the New Year
Presentation of Credentials, Ambassador of Japan to Belize
The Ambassador of Japan to Belize H.E. Hiromasa Yamazaki presented his Letters of Credence today, November 30, 2017, to the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young at the Belize House in Belmopan.
Ambassador Yamazaki said that it is his hope that cordial relations and goodwill be promoted between Belize and Japan during his time as ambassador. He added that he will continue the tradition of partnership and enhance the mutual understanding and beneficial cooperation and friendship between the two countries. Belize and Japan established diplomatic relations in 1982.
The Governor General graciously received the Ambassador’s Letters of Credence and welcomed him and his wife to Belize.
Road & Street Maintenance and Upgrade in Belize Rural North
The peak of the rainy season having passed, the Government of Belize is carrying out routine maintenance of main roads and streets in villages and communities countrywide.
In Belize Rural North, Area Representative Hon. Edmond Castro, who is also Minister of Transport and National Emergency Management, is going a step further as many streets are being upgraded for the first time to all-weather standard and a few new streets are being built.
Senior Crooked Tree resident Rudolph Crawford accompanied Hon. Edmond Castro on Wednesday afternoon as he inspected the works being carried out, as executed by Julian Pott and Sons Road Construction Company. Crawford says the villagers of Crooked Tree are very happy for the works being done and are exceedingly thankful to Area Representative Hon. Edmond Castro and Prime Minister Dean Barrow for making funds available to carry out the works.
Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow's Letter to the Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry
I read with dismay the release put out yesterday by the Chamber. You concede the outrage of the PUP’s secret, illegal Government guarantee of the private debt of a UHS hospital owned by their cronies, and in which taxpayers had no stake. But, amazingly and against all logic, reason and good sense, you chastise the UDP for (1) “its reckless legal gambling” in refusing to pay the illegal PUP guarantee and loan note; and (2) its “costly litigation” in resisting the effort of “the investor” to collect.
What duplicity, what hypocrisy, what dishonesty on your part. It was, as your ex-President reminded the nation yesterday, the Chamber (together with others) that first went to court to challenge the PUP guarantee and loan note. So, it was right for the Chamber to resist, and win, but not right for the UDP to do the same after “the investor” got an international award?
Success with Malaria
We continue to celebrate one of the greatest Public Health success stories for Belize on this Malaria Days in the Americas. Imagine in 2005 the village of Trio had over 100 Malaria cases, in 2017 only 4 cases. We are aiming for less than 4 next year as we remain focus on the year we have NO recorded case of Malaria. Our activity in Trio village today.,
DOE's Radio Trivia Week 30
Week 30 for central Belize...
OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE PARISH PRESENTS GRAND CHRISTMAS EXTRAVAGANZA
SATURDAY 28" DECEMBER AT 21.11
Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Grounds,
Grand Food Court.
Releno, escabeche, tamales, garnaches, burritos, burgers, hot dogs....
Tambola, Fish Pond, Paddle n Dice, Lucky Dip and much more...
Grand Opening - "GRINGO RINGOS" across from Civic Center in Corozal
Super music Disc Jockey from Austin, Texas USA this Friday, December 1st from 8:00 p.m. to 12:00 midnight.
DJ Callie will be playing on Saturday, December 2nd.
Only $10.00 Admission. Limited seating.
Contests with $50 will be given away every night.
"A Chilli Production"
"The Old Tree" crashes down in Corozal
Its name has been locally known as the "Cotton Tree". For many years, it had been majestically standing tall on the roadside in the village of Calcutta, Corozal. Under duress, the tree finally gave way to the elements and natures fury, as its top branches and trunk gave way into a resounding crash one night, what sounded like an old Volkswagon visiting into its buttress roots. This particular cotton tree or kapok had been growing on Mr. Edwin Sanker's property (now deceased) since he was a little boy. Villagers from Calcutta Village, Corozal would claim that the tree had spirits.The tree has not been very popular with the neighbours because of the paranormal and spirited events villagers have experienced. Felicita says that the villagers have been afraid of the tree because many have sighted ghosts in it. The tree trunk has, what appears to be, a hollow door opening leading into the belly of the trunk. A very intimidating sight when you are close to it.
A power outage is scheduled for the entire Corozal District on Sunday, December 3 from 6:00am to 2:00pm
Necessary for BEL to replace transmission and distribution poles and insulators, reconfigure the new system on Corozal Boulevard and conduct maintenance of equipment at the Corozal Substation.
Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES)
The eighth annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) began on November 28 in Hyderabad India, under the theme: “Women First, Prosperity for All.” The Summit will focus on supporting women entrepreneurs and fostering economic growth globally.
GES participant Andrea Pelayo is representing Belize at the event.
In 2015 Andrea founded Moringa Belize. As a young mother in need of a versatile, nutrient rich superfood source suitable for her family she built Moringa Belize based on what her family wanted a pure, clean, and efficient superfood; locally and responsibly sourced. Moringa is a very special plant with unique properties. It contains a plethora of vitamins, phyto-nutrients and minerals which is exactly what her family needed to maintain good health. Upon further research and use she learnt the versatility of Moringa and took the time along with her team to educate the public on this highly acclaimed plant. Retailers in Orange Walk included mostly pharmacies which were willing to participate in the sharing of knowledge and distribution of the prototype.
The Placencia Breeze December 2017
What’s Inside: Pg 3 The Placencia Breeze Turns Twenty Pg 5 New PBTIA Board Pg 6 Croc Corner Pg 7 From the Fire Hearth Pg 9 Mistletoe Raffle Sponsors Pg 10 PHS Pg 11 Women's Seaweed Farming / Fragments of Hope Award / Garifuna Settlement Day 2017 Pg 15 & 18 Placencia BTIA Members Pg 16 & 17 Placencia Peninsula Map Pg 19 Local Artists Pg 20/21 Placencia Peninsula Guide Pg 22 End of the World Marathon Pg 23 Seine Bight News Pg 25 IHS Battle of the Drums Winner Pg 26 Community Corner Pg 27 Mark Leslie's Obit / Liquor License Ad / Thank You Letter Pg 28 Rotary News Pg 29 Mistletoe Ball Pg 30 Placencia Peninsula Happenings Pg 31 Calender of Events
Institute for Social & Cultural Research Lecture Series
Visit the link for a few photos from the Lecture Series that was held in Punta Gorda last month. Thanks for the Institute for Social & Cultural Research, Belize History Association. Have you ever wondered how southern Belize was colonized? How did our ancestors react? When were the first maps of southern Belize created and why? Have a listen at this podcast lecture.
"LYNAM" AGRICULTURAL COLLEGE OF BELIZE: WHY WAS IT CLOSED DOWN?
The many theories and explanations given as to why "Lynam" Agricultural College of Belize was closed down in the 1970s continues to baffle many a Belizean history enthusiasts?
Some say that it was closed down because it was a threat to the Belizean status quo who saw it producing political leaders of Belize who would have made the country self-sufficient in food.
Others noted that its demise came about because of a misunderstanding within the Belize Catholic Diocese at the time at its "Landivar" headquarters in Belize City who saw the southern Belizean catholic school that was suppose to be a kind of reform institution for delinquent Belizean youth to become better citizens of the nation of Belize; whereby taking away those prized students of the St. Johns College (SJC) order who were children of Belize's elite and wealthy class.
That it was closed because these two Jesuit orders, that is, the ones that ran "Lynam" and the ones that ran "SJC" of the powerful Catholics of Belize disagreed based on this so-called "threat" to the status quo.
Immigration Department Receives Donation from the United States Embassy in Belize
The Ministry with responsibility for Immigration and Refugees received six MIDAS mobile readers from the United States Embassy in Belize on Wednesday, November 29, 2017.
The donation was presented by Mr. Steven Davis of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Specialist at the Embassy of the United States of America in Belize. The readers are valued at approximately BZ$72,000. Receiving on behalf of the Government of Belize was Hon. Beverly Williams, Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration, CEO in the Ministry of Immigration Mr. Edmund Zuniga, Director of Immigration and Nationality Services Ms. Diana Locke, and Assistant Director of Immigration and Nationality Services Mrs. Debra Baptist Estrada.
Click the link to see today's edition of the Daily News!
Your Government, keeping you informed!
MEDIA BRIEFING TO MARK OFFICIAL CLOSE OF HURRICANE SEASON 2017
A media briefing marking the close of the 2017 Hurricane Season was held this morning at the NEMO Headquarters in Belmopan. Speakers included Minister of National Emergency Management Hon. Edmond Castro; CEO in the Ministry, Ruth Meighan; NEMO National Emergency Coordinator, Colonel (ret.) Shelton DeFour; and Chief Meteorologist at the National Meteorology Service, Catherine Cumberbatch.
In her remarks, Chief Meteorologist Catherine Cumberbatch noted that Hurricane Season 2017 lived up to expectations as a very active one. She said it was forecasted to be above average and it was, with a total of 17 named storms, of which 10 became hurricanes and six reached major hurricane status (category three or higher). The major factors that supported the above average season, she explained, were a decrease in vertical wind-shear, the presence of above-normal sea surface temperatures in the Tropical Atlantic Ocean, and the transition from a neutral El Nińo-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) pattern at the start of the hurricane season to a weak La Nińa by the end of the season.
Police burn the drugs
On 30.11.2017 between 8:30 a.m. and 12:00 noon, Belmopan Police destroyed the following items:
For cases completed: 31,887.98 grams cannabis, 24 cannabis plants, 0.6 grams crack cocaine, 11.2 grams cocaine, & (1) board pipe.
“Found Property: 119,940.3 grams cannabis, 40.4 grams cannabis seeds, 5.5 grams cocaine and 2.4 grams crack cocaine. Present to witness the destruction were members from: the Belize Police Department, Forensic, Press Office, The Magistracy, and Justice of the Peace.
On 30.11.2017, about 11:00 a.m., Benque Viejio Police responded to a report in San Jose Succotz Village, where an American tourist fell from a Maya Temple. Upon arrival officers visited the El Castillo Temple where they observed a female lying on the ground while complaining of pain. 37 year old Courtney Howard, a US national was in the process of climbing down the temple when she slipped and fell about 16 feet. Howard was taken to a hospital.
Recycled Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
The University of Belize Environmental Club held a Recycled Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony on November 28th, 2017 at the University of Belize (UB), Belmopan Campus. The Environmental Club has been an active club for more than 19 years. It has participated in various cleanup activities in Belize such as UB's Annual Earth Day; the La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge, and the “Walk for a Green Belize” which is a partnership of the Department of Environment, the Belize Solid Waste Management Authority and the Belize Audubon Society.Dr. Pio Saqui, a lecturer at Faculty of Science and Technology, gave the welcome address and Jamal Witty, the Environmental Club President, spoke on behalf of the club. Certificates were awarded to club members, UB’s President Clement Sankat and also UB’s Vice President Mariott Simon. Julianne Pasos, the Dean of Faculty of Science and Technology delivered the closing remarks.
The recycled Christmas tree, now displayed in the front of Belmopan Central Campus, is 10 feet high and made exclusively from Bowen and Bowen plastic bottles.
Now Hiring: Internal Auditor at Bowen and Bowen
Help eliminate plastic straws
Rojo Lounge and @earthsoceans have joined local entrepreneurs Mark Jacobs and family to ban the use of plastic straws in Belize! Now serving your #souvenir to be used over and over while bar hopping on your vacation! No excuses!
Paradise Theater playing this weekend:
Belize AI Travel Game
The BTB is launching 'The Hunt for the Crystal Maiden,' a travel game which has an AI back end. It allows people to choose their own adventure through Western Belize. This is great news for Cayo tourism.
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and its agency, ICF Olson, are introducing what they call the first interactive game that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and Facebook to provide an immersive experience to users.
"The Hunt for the Crystal Maiden" lets players "choose your own adventure" by enabling them to determine their journey through Western Belize, whether to further explore animals, jungles or people. The game is accessible through Facebook Messenger via mobile or desktop.
Play here: https://www.facebook.com/chooseyourownbelizeanadventure/
Tears in Cotton Tree For Decapitated Murder Victim
Tonight, police are close to making an arrest in the shocking murder and decapitation of 56 year old Cotton Tree resident Hilton Wayne Wade. We'll tell you about the swift investigative work that the cops have been doing in a minute, but, first, we have more on Wade. He doesn't have any close relatives so a few Cotton Tree residents are all he has. We spoke to them today. Courtney Weatherburne has more:...
Hilton Wade lived a routine and solitary life at this abandoned Cotton Tree house. Everyday, he would go scavenging for dried coconuts, vegetables and bottles to sell.
Belmopan Police Close To Making Murder Arrest
So, while residents of Cotton Tree continue to grapple with grisly murder, Belmopan police have been working with their customary swiftness. The main suspect is detained and 7News has learned that investigators have collected key pieces of evidence, and are close to making an arrest.
And while that is unofficial, at the official level, today, at their bi-weekly press briefing, Police told us that they have past reports of Cotton Tree villagers complaining about Wade's behavior; and likewise, they also have reports in which Wade complained about the villagers:
ASP Alejandro Cowo, OC - CIB Belize City:
"Police have so far detain a person. The person is presently in custody. He is being dealt by Roaring Creek police and I know that his residence was search where police found certain items that can assist in the investigation."
Belize Bank To PM: "Time Will Tell..."
Since last week Wednesday's 90 million dollar judgement from the CCJ, the Belize Bank has been rolling out two and three-page press releases defending its claim to those millions.
But after the Prime Minister's two hour press conference yesterday the Bank had surprisingly little to say. Today's terse press release says, quote, "The Belize Bank does not concur with the views expressed by the Prime Minister and Government of Belize representativesâ€¦" end quote. And then, it closes ominously, "Time will tell whose interpretation of matters is the correct one..."
PM To Chamber: "What duplicity, what hypocrisy, what dishonesty"
And while the Bank is keeping its cards close to its chest, the Prime Minister didn't hold back even a little with the Chamber of Commerce. They put out a release yesterday chastising his administration for what the chamber calls "reckless legal gambling." The chamber urges against what it calls, quote "deliberate defiance of the country's highest court." and warns parliament, quote, "a 'no' vote may score political points, but will not erase the liability brought upon Belize by two governments."
So they paint the PUP who secretly undertook the guarantee for UHS, and the UDP who watched the interest grow - with the same dirty stick.
And that doesn't sit well at all with Prime Minister Dean Barrow. He says, quote, "amazingly and against all logic, reason and good sense, you chastise the UDP for (1) 'its reckless legal gambling' in refusing to pay the illegal PUP guarantee and loan note; and (2) its 'costly litigation' in resisting the effort of 'the investor' to collect."
Past Chamber President Says A New Tax Is Not the Solution
Now that's a salty invitation by the Prime Minister to be sure. And today, the press asked the former Chamber President Kay Menzies about it. Speaking generally about any suggestion of a tax increase, she said that's not the answer:..
Kay Menzies, BCCO Past President:
"Anytime you hear that we have another payment to make, there is always going to be concern, because the obvious go to point is that there will be increase in taxation. That is a question always. My submission as a business person is that the answer to that is the expansion of the economy, because let me put it this way - when you are going to tax people, more and more people are going to evade taxation. So you are going to have less and less people actually paying taxes. Which means that you are looking at taxes going up and up and that is impossible."
Bradley Bows To PM's Maneuverings
And while the Chamber probably wasn't too impressed with the Prime Minister - the Mayor of Belize City definitely was. Now, he's an attorney, and known to speak out against his own party from time to time. But, this time, he latched unto his PM's position:
Darrell Bradley, Mayor - Belize City:
"I listened to the presentation by the prime minister yesterday and I can say I was very humbled as a Belizean in relation to how he well-articulated the concerns and how he championed the issue for the Belizean public. I think that he rightly pointed out that two courts had indicated that this was an illegal arrangement. They went through some situations mean in terms of securing enforcement there are certain requirements that had to be made so that for an appropriation to be made that has to be done by an appropriation made that notwithstanding, I will only say that I stand by the prime minister and statements that he made."
Judge Puts Public Sector Workers Trust On Freeze
7 weeks ago, in October, we told you about the ongoing fight between the PSU and BNTU, on one side and the 600 retired public officers on the other. It's a money fight over millions of dollars in backpay.
The retired officers won a court judgment against the unions and their Public Sector Workers Trust, which has been ruled as invalid. The Supreme Court has made it clear that the only beneficiaries of the 7.8 million dollars are supposed to be those teachers and public officers who were negatively affected by an increment and wage freeze from 1995 to 1997. The then Prime Minister, Manuel Esquivel, gave those teachers and public officers 450,000 shares in BTL, to ease the pain of that wage freeze.
20 years later, those shares have generated about 7.8 million dollars in proceeds, but it is being controlled by the Public Sector Workers Trust, which as we told you, has been declared invalid. The trust was ordered to stop all activity and use of those funds.
Belize Escaped Unscathed Through 2017 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season
The 2017 Atlantic Basin Hurricane season ended today. Now it might feel that it went by easily because Belize wasn't hit by any hurricanes - all we had to complain about were heavy rains and the usual flooding in some areas. But, while we were spared, the Caribbean buckled under the harsh blows of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Today at the NEMO office in Belmopan Deputy Chief Meteorologist Catherine Cumberbatch and NEMO Minister Edmond Castro gave us an overview of this year's season. The NEMO team was thankful for a season that showed Belize mercy.
Catherine Cumberbatch, Deputy Chief Meteorologist:
"The forecast for the 2017 hurricane season was for above normal activity and that is just what happened. For this season we had 17 named storms and of those 17 named storms, 10 of them became hurricanes and out of those 10 hurricanes, I think it was 6 or 7, it was 6 of them that became major hurricanes and when we refer to major hurricanes we are talking category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, the two strongest systems that formed during this season was Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria."
Coming To Terms With Three Dimensions of Poverty
The Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation wants to find out just serious poverty is in Belize, and how it is affecting the lives of poor Belizeans.
They recognize that their measuring techniques are outdated. So, they are working with non-governmental organizations to come up with a more accurate way to properly determine just how serious the financial struggles are that some citizens face.
Today, the government's technocrats sat down with those NGO's to start discussing what they're calling the Multiple Dimensions of Poverty.
Honoring That Entrepreneurial Spirit
BELTRAIDE has been celebrating entrepreneurship throughout this month, and to close out the month of honouring entrepreneurs, they held their 3rd annual ENTRECON event. The goal of the event is to bring different entrepreneurs together to share ideas and promote businesses. We found out more.
Leija Gideon, General Manager, Enterprise, and Innovation at BELTRAIDE:
"Today's theme is connecting ideas and creating opportunities. It is how we continue to celebrate entrepreneurship at all levels. How do we not only celebrate it but support it? Today we talk about accessing financing. We talk about how it is that you get your idea off the ground. We talk about how it is as a government and other key stakeholders. What are our roles to encourage the development of the ecosystem so that Belize as a country can develop through entrepreneurship?"
Bizarre Mistrial For Belizean Accused of Florida Triple Murder
Belizean Brian Hyde was accused of a sensational triple murder in Florida in August of 2015. He allegedly stabbed his aunt 37-year-old Dorla Pitts, his 17-year-old cousin, Starlette Pitts and her boyfriend 19-year-old Michael Kelly.
But, because he was illegally in the states his trial ended abruptly yesterday. Dorrien Pitts who is the husband of the deceased Dorla - had allowed Hyde to live in house. But he held his head after only a few minutes on the witness stand. That's because he slipped up and said that Hyde had been in the US illegally. Here's a report from local Florida Channel, Fox 4:
Drama On Dean Street
This evening there was drama on Dean Street as a mother tried to get her baby from police. This was the scene captured by Yaya Marin Coleman in front of the Dean Street sub-station. Police had a handcuff around one of the mother's hands who was protesting bitterly. She said that the police had her baby in their for an hour. Police were trying to put her in the vehicle but the mother resisted mightily.
It had the looks of a mismanaged situation as police were insisting that they could take away the baby - and put the mother in the police truck - which didn't work.
But, the official police side of the story is that officers detained a 17 year old minor for riding contrary to the flow of traffic and during the process officers were assaulted by an adult female.
Mayors Take On UNCAC
One year ago the government of Belize signed on to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. Now, the Belize City Council in collaboration with the ministry of local government and the Belize Mayor's Association are holding a training next month on accountability and transparency. It is going to be attended by local government practitioners throughout the country. Mayor Bradley explained more.
Darrell Bradley, Mayor - Belize City:
"Which will feature presentations from various entities within Belize that are responsible for ensuring the appropriateness of government business including the presentations from the auditor general's department, presentations from the integrity commission, presentations from the ombudsman."
Mayor's Last Political Plum
And while he had the presence of the press today, Mayor Bradley - who will soon remit office - had one last political plum to offer. He said that the city council has signed a contract for nine more streets. But the council no longer has the municipal bond - which bankrolled about 100 streets - so how did they get the money? Mayor Bradley explained and told us the names of the streets that will be paved.
Darrell Bradley, Mayor - Belize City:
"We don't have a municipal bond at this present moment to the point where we are saying we can do 20 million dollars' worth of streets but the city council is continuing to do street improvements and we signed a contract to 9 streets in Belize City."
Memorial Park, Reloaded
The Memorial Park was re-designed and re-opened years ago, but, commercially, it has been a failure. Most of the booths remain un-occupied and you wouldn't say that it's abuzz with activity. Today Mayor Bradley shared the new plan for filling the booths and utilizing all the space the Memorial Park has to offer.
Darrell Bradley, Mayor - Belize City:
"How do we let the Memorial Park be the focal point and one of the concerns that were raised in a series consultations with vendors in the area is that the park, the booths that were existing in the park could not adequately accommodate the type of vending aid so that it was felt that booths needed to be renovated and so what was done is that the original booths which were in the park, which were very small, which were painted grey, which made you think of a dreary day and the rain coming down.
Bail For Raymond's Robber
7 weeks ago, we told you about the robbery and shooting of 42 year-old Ernest Raymond. He was robbed of his firearm in Dangriga. He attempted to defend himself with his licensed weapon, which is when he was shot and that gun was stolen.
Well, police charged 33 year-old Nisani Garcia 18 days ago, but tonight, he's out on Supreme Court bail after spending 2 weeks in jail.
Garcia's attorney, Simeon Sampson, went before Justice Adolph Lucas today to make an application for bail. After hearing from Garcia's attorney and Crown Counsel Janelle Tillett, Justice Lucas granted him bail of $7,500.
Why Carla Walked
When the Prime Minister held his big press conference yesterday, he was flanked by Dr. Carla Barnett and Senator Godwin Hulse. They are both now parts of the Barrow Administration, but back in 2007 - they were in the eye of the Universal Health Services storm. Dr. Barnett was the financial secretary and Hulse was the business Senator and Chamber President. We know what Hulse was doing since he was front and center, but as a senior contract officer at the time - we don't know that much about Barnett. But we do know that she abruptly quit right when the Universal revelations were reaching scandal proportions. Yesterday she gave us the backstory:....
Hon. Carla Barnett, Former Financial Secretary - Musa Administration:
"And in doing the debt restructuring one of the things we had to was take a survey, a collection of all of the information on every debt and contingent debt of the government of Belize and so we asked everybody who government did business with what government owed you, what guaranteed. It did not come up."
John Briceno, Then And Now
And while Dr. Barnett walked in May, John Briceno did so in June. He was Deputy Prime Minister at the time and was offered a Cabinet demotion - which he rejected, and then resigned cabinet. And it was all over that secret Universal deal - which then Prime Minister Musa kept from his Cabinet. When Briceno and other senior ministers publicly repudiated it, PM Musa closed ranks.
Tonight, we have more from our archives, comparing Musa's 2007 explanation of why he kept it secret, to Briceno's disavowal at that time - and fast forward to today, where 10 years later Bricneo seems to have come to terms with Musa's handling of the debacle:
UHS: The Anatomy Of A Bad Deal From Beginning to End
And keeping it in the archive, we go back to 2011 - when the judgement from the Privy Council came down. At the time - as now - Said Musa said it vindicated him. in 2011, that gave us a chance to look at the series of state deceptions that went into the Universal debacle - and shows us how - the debt was secretly settled:
October 21, 2011-
Rt. Hon. Said Musa:
"And as for that case decided in the Privy Council what the case is doing is vindicating my position! That is what the case is doing! Because the court, the Privy Council has ruled that the Loan Note was valid, that there was no need, no violation of the finance and audit act, no need to bring it to the House of Representatives and the loan stands and this government or a future government, unfortunately, will be responsible to pay that debt."
Women, The Future, And Leadership
Can a book inspire young women to become future leaders ? That's what the "Building People Movement" group and the Belize Women's Political Caucus hope to accomplish with their new publication. It's entitled "Women can Govern: The Development of Belizean women in Politics." The book was launched today at the George Price Center and high school students were invited. We stopped by to see how the students reacted to the message.
Dorla Bowman, Building People Movement Project, Representative:
"The book contains a historical look at women in politics before self-government up until today. It also contains the names of women who have been elected on the national level and municipal level in the country of Belize and the bios of each of these women. We are hoping this will be an educational tool, this is definitely an effort to write women in history. Our history books do not reflect all the contributions women have done."
Tourist Took A Tumble Off El Castillo
And finally tonight, we ahem the story of a tourist who fell from a Mayan ruin this morning. It happened at about 11:00 am, at Xunantunich. 37 year old Courtney Howard was climbing down from the El Castillo Temple when she slipped and fell about 16 feet.
She did not receive major injury but was taken to the medical facility.
BHA Meets Next Week
The Belize Hotel Association will have its annual meeting next week. But they won't just be talking shop. Yesterday the President told us that they hope they can capitalize on the increasing airlift to Belize:
Ted Tejada - President BHA:
"We are bringing in Mr. Paris Gordon who is in the industry he has been doing the tourism industry for over 20 years. He does hotel evaluations in the United States. He actually lecturers at the University of New York. He has a wealth of experience. He's coming to speak to us on tourism in the Caribbean. What's happened after the hurricane and how can we capitalize this year in Belize and take advantage of what we have in the country. Presently we have been looking at new airlines, we have been looking at new routes and we have about 22 international flights coming into the country on a given Friday and in the high season there's up to 26 international flights coming in. So, we are looking at what other areas we need to tap."
EU Donates Water Systems
We've told you many times on the news about the European Union's Accompanying Measures for Sugar. It's a EU funded program where millions of dollars have been invested in Northern Belize to improve all aspects of the sugar industry.
But, the EU also a similar program for the Banana industry in the south. It's called the Banana Accompanying Measures, which was first rolled out 2013. Those same Banana Accompanying Measures are now paying for water system upgrades for Hopkins, Hummingbird Community, Middlesex and Pomona. Here's what they had to about the need of the upgrades for these 4 southern villages:
The total cost of those projects is just under 3.19 million Belize dollars, and it should assist about 4,000 residents in these 4 villages.
A Dozen Days of Christmas
December is here, and Belizeans are getting into the Christmas spirit with the traditional decorations, and hopefully, by also sharing the Christmas spirit with others.
The City Council is doing its part by kicking off its 12 days of Christmas. Mayor Bradley explained the charity campaign:
Darrell Bradley, Mayor of Belize City:
"This one of the signature events from the City Council. The idea was really initiated last year. The idea was the during the Christmas season we really can promote a great degree of goodwill and a good spirit amongst members of our community. I think that we should show ways of compassion and service to others from December 1st which will be tomorrow until 12 working days into the month of December. The various staff of the City Council including various departments will be mobilizing to do random acts of charity and kindness within the city."
P.M. Blasts Chamber; Threatens Tax Increase to Pay for U.H.S.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow pretty much said on Wednesday, that government won’t be paying the UHS loan that has ballooned to ninety million dollars and for which interest will keep [...]
Former Chamber President Says New Taxes Will Not Make Problem Go Away
Businesswoman and influential past president, Kay Menzies, addressed today the issue of increased taxation as a measure to settle debts. In her view, taxes are not the answer; instead government [...]
How Government Lost Key Plank of U.H.S. Case
Senior Counsel and constitutional attorney Magali Marin-Young discussed the ins and outs of the Caribbean Court of Justice’s decision in favor of the Belize Bank Limited to enforce payment of [...]
Is Parliament or Constitution Supreme?
No less than nine members of the Government, the United Democratic Party, have indicated that if and when the Appropriation Bill makes it to the House of Representatives they would [...]
A Way the Belize Bank Can Still Get Their Money
The Prime Minister seemed to argue on Wednesday that a vote in parliament, either way, would be the end of the matter. But Senior Counsel Magali Marin-Young says not so. [...]
Mayor Darrell Bradley Throws Support Behind PM in UHS Battle
On occasion in the past, mayor of Belize City Darrell Bradley has clashed with his own party on issues of national importance. But it is clear that with regard to [...]
P.M. Defends Investment Climate
The decision not to pay the UHS loan has serious ramifications for the economy as it relates to investors confidence. The PM is not daunted by the possibility that the [...]
Football Votes Saturday – Who Do the Ministers Want?
The Football Federation of Belize convenes this Saturday for the election of a new president. With Acting President Marlon Kuylen having stepped aside, the race sees four candidates vying for [...]
Why G.O.B. Can’t Get Rid of Expired Meds Yet
Millions of dollars worth of medication are being stored in five containers at a Ministry of Health facility in Ladyville. The meds have expired; some are no longer used in [...]
Questions in Beheading of Cotton Tree Man
The lopped-off head of fifty-six-year-old Hilton Wade was discovered on a bench under a makeshift bus shed in Cotton Tree Village on Wednesday morning. His mutilated body was found approximately [...]
Belizean in Florida Obtains Mistrial in Triple Murder Case
A Belizean accused of a horrific triple murder in Lee County, Florida in 2015 could face trial again after a relative’s inadvertent testimony caused a mistrial. Twenty-two-year-old Brian Hyde is [...]
B.D.F. Commander to Act on Audit
Lieutenant Colonel Charlton Roches remains sidelined from active duty in the Belize Defense Force, pending a decision by the incoming B.D.F. commander, Steven Ortega, on the status of his employment. [...]
Behind Sluggish Economic Growth in Third Quarter
The GDP grew by zero point five percent for the last quarter. As you heard on Wednesday, the SIB’s stats for the last quarter- July to September – show marginal [...]
Hurricane Season Over – Belize is Spared
It’s November thirtieth and that means the Hurricane Season has closed. The 2017 Hurricane Season lived up to expectations as a very active one, forecasted to be above average and [...]
Tackling Poverty Among Children
An open house was held at the Inspiration Center today, where stakeholders from various government agencies participated in a discussion on children and poverty. The session is part of an [...]
Vendors in Arms as Memorial Park Opens for Them
The Memorial Park has not fared as well as its counterparts, the B.T.L. Park and Battlefield Park, as a source of economic development for Belize City. This is despite its [...]
9 More Streets to be Concreted…
Nine more streets across the Old Capital are being re-done with concrete as the Belize City Council gears up for municipal elections next year. The over-two million dollar project, done [...]
But What Will Happen to Broken Streets?
But a common complaint about some of the concreted streets especially those done in the early days of the Municipal Bond funding, is that wear and tear have caused them [...]
The Convention for Entrepreneurship
Getting a business off the ground can be a daunting prospect for any entrepreneur. Today, an event took place that brought together players from many sectors who offered support on [...]
Healthy Living: the Central Lab Shows Off New Technology
There is a significant upgrade in technology at the Central Laboratory in Belize City. The lab has acquired new equipment that will increase capacity and time for blood screening. Tonight [...]
BCCI pleas with GOB to Pay the Debt
The Prime Minister has officially responded, with some strong words, to a statement issued by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI). During Prime Minister’s press conference yesterday, the BCCI fired off a statement which essentially advised the Government of Belize to follow the rule of law and pay the ninety million dollars UHS […]
Can US Supreme Court bring penalties against Belize?
Before the Caribbean Court of Justice ruled that the Government of Belize pay the Belize Bank Limited more than ninety million dollars for Universal Health Services debt, the US Supreme Court had denied its request to review a lower court’s decision. In its petition, the Government of Belize argued that the ruling of the District […]
Will Sunshine collect its Millions?
Earlier in the month, the Government of Belize made the final payment for its acquisition of Belize Telemedia Limited to the tune of seventy-eight million US dollars. And while the government has honored its end of the CCJ ruling, there is still Sunshine Holdings Limited which is trying to collect what it believes it’s owed. […]
Was Color Blind Multimedia a Conflict of Interest?
According to its website, Color Blind Multimedia Productions Limited is a company founded earlier this year by Audrey Wallace. Wallace is the Chief Executive Officer of the Prime Minister’s Office. She is also a Director of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL). CEO of BTL Rochus Schreiber confirmed to Love News via email that Color Blind was […]
A Fun Day leads to Injury
A US tourist was injured when she fell at Xunantunich earlier today. Police say when they got to the El Castillo Temple, they saw the 37-year-old nurse, Courtenay Howard lying on the ground, complaining of pain. Howard was in the process of climbing down the temple when she slipped and fell about sixteen feet. She […]
Mistrial Declared in Murder Case
A mistrial was declared in a case against Brian Hyde, a Belizean who was charged with the murder of three persons in the US. He is accused of fatally stabbing 37-year-old Dora Pitts, 17-year-old Starlette Pitts and 19-year-old Michael Kelly at their home in Florida back in 2015. Lee County Judge Margaret Steinbeck declared a […]
UNICEF & OAS look at Poverty in Belize
Government representatives today engaged in a discussion with representatives of the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF and the OAS on poverty in Belize with a focus on children. The first part of the event was an open house sponsored by UNICEF in collaboration with the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, in […]
CitCo to host Accountability & Transparency Workshop
December 9, will mark one year since Belize signed onto the United Nation’s Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) making it the one-hundred-eighty-fourth country to sign the convention. Belize City Mayor, Darrell Bradley said that to commemorate the occasion, the City Council in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government will be hosting a workshop on Accountability […]
Entrecon 2017: Inspiring Entrepreneurs
BELTRAIDE and the Small Business Development Centre are inspiring, molding, and shaping young entrepreneurs of Belize. In this regard, today they are hosting their third annual entrepreneurship convention, Entrecon, which closes off their entrepreneurship month. The event is being held at the Best Western Plus Belize Biltmore Plaza and the platinum sponsor is Belize Electricity […]