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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
U. S. Government Funds RET International Project to Combat Gender-Based Violence and Trafficking in Persons
On November 29, RET International launched its newest project “Strengthening the Government-Civil Society Partnership for Timely, Transparent Response to Gender-based Violence (GBV) and Trafficking in Persons (TIP)” at the George Price Center in Belmopan. The U.S. Embassy is funding this two-year democratic governance project valued at approximately $300,000 USD through a Central American Regional Security Initiative Economic Support Funds (CARSI-ESF) grant. Preventing and responding to GBV and TIP are cornerstones of the U.S. Government’s commitment to advancing human rights and promoting gender equality – two critical pieces of improving citizen security, economic prosperity, and good governance.
Human remains found at construction site in San Pedro Town
The skeletal remains of what is believed to be a person from the Maya prehistoric times, along with pottery-shard artifacts were discovered at a construction site on Pescador Drive in downtown San Pedro. The discovery was made on Tuesday, December 5th when workers were excavating the area. Since then, work on the site has been stopped, while personnel from the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) visit the island to retrieve the remains and artifacts to their headquarters in Belmopan City where they will wait to be studied. Josue Ramos, an Archaeologist with NICH stated that there is a high possibility that the skeletal remains belong to someone from the prehistoric era. “Prehistoric means the time before the arrival of the Europeans to this part of the planet,” said Ramos. “Due to the high volume of prehistoric materials found with the human remains, the chances of it being from that time period is very high,” Ramos added that the area where the discovery was made is part of the San Pedro Site, an area connected to a time period when the Maya civilization was booming on Ambergris Caye.
The San Pedro Dance Academy presents The Nativity 2017 Christmas show
The Christmas season continues to spread across the island, and on Sunday, December 3rd the San Pedro Dance Academy once again held their annual end-of-year Christmas show. Titled ‘The Nativity,’ the show was held at the San Pedro Lions Den, with a full house of attendees enjoying musical plays demonstrating creativity and talent by the performers.
The annual show serves as a fundraiser to support the Dance Academy and for a fee of $10 for reserved, and $5 for general seating attendees enjoyed a variety of dance routines. The program consisted of a re-enactment of the birth of Jesus Christ and all the challenges Joseph and the Virgin Mary went through, as well as several numbers featuring the different dancing levels of the participants. Dancers ranged from juniors, intermediate, to senior performers, who dressed in elaborately themed costumes giving a fabulous show.
San Pedro’s UDP 7 hosts endorsement convention
The Belize Rural South United Democratic Party (UDP) town council slate hosted their endorsement convention on Saturday, December 2nd at the Honourable Louis Sylvestre Sporting Complex. Current San Pedro Town Council Members, Daniel Guerrero, Gary Grief, Hector Alamilla, Ruben Gonzalez, Severo Guerrero Jr., Gabriel Nunez, and Flora Ancona are aspiring to be re-elected for another term in office. With the main topic of the night being the recent judgment of the CCJ, Belize City Mayor Bradley also gave his opinion on it. “This CCJ judgment should be a wakeup call, to all islanders as well as Belizeans. This is just one example of how wicked and worthless the PUP is, so let us never forget all the damage they caused to our country,” Bradley said. He further continued by saying “On election day I want you to remember all the great things UDP has done for your community, and make the right decision. We are a party of change, transformation, and progress.”
Brahma Blue Resort re-opens in style
After going through some rigorous renovations for the past four months, Brahma Blue Resort is now open and ready to offer its services and amenities to guests. The grand opening took place on Saturday, December 2nd, with invited guests treated to a tour of the property, viewing the different rooms and enjoying complimentary cocktails and appetizers at the over the water restaurant. Among the invited guests were Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Councillors of the San Pedro Town Council and Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Honourable Manuel Heredia Jr. During the grand tour of the property, guests were first shown the beautiful pool, decked with lounge chairs, and a manicured pool bar. They then proceeded to view some of the 14 condominium units, including the two gorgeous penthouses Brahma Blue has to offer. The units count with spacious accommodations for up to five persons, fully equipped kitchen, dining area, living area, bathrooms and balconies with stunning vistas from both sides (east and west) of the hotel.
San Pedro Town Council Purchases Another Garbage Compactor
Our lovely island is growing immensely and there are lots of needs to be met, one in particular the garbage collection. In an effort to keep la Isla Bonita clean the San Pedro Town Council has purchased another garbage compactor to help alleviate and facilitate the garbage collection in our beautiful island of Ambergris Caye.
Belize Meteorologist Completes Training In Washington, DC
Since 1989, Belize has sent a total of five Meteorologists/Forecasters to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Weather Prediction Center for Training on Numerical Weather Prediction with a focus on the Tropical Americas. This year The National Meteorological Service of Belize sent a representative for training in Washington, DC.
Misc Belizean Sources
San Pedro: Free Eye Exams for the entire family!
Sunday Dec. 10th to Thursday Dec. 14th, 8:30am to 4:30pm, daily at the San Pedro Lions Clinic.
Governments of Belize and El Salvador hold Technical Cooperation Meeting on Security
The first Technical Cooperation Meeting on Security between the Governments of Belize and the Republic of El Salvador was held on 5th December 2017 in San Salvador following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in October of this year which formally established the strengthening of relations and citizen security.
During the meeting, both delegations focused on improving efforts in the areas of migration, intelligence sharing, international security and terrorism, prevention of gang violence, and the fight against organized crime and forensic sciences.
New Garbage compactor in San Pedro
The San Pedro Town Council has currently purchased another garbage compactor, making it number 5 of our fleet of compactors. The acquisition of this new compactor will definitely help alleviate and facilitate the garbage collection in our island.
Two 20-minute power outages are scheduled for entire Orange Walk and Corozal Districts
On Thursday, December 7th and Friday, December 8th from 7:00 am to 7:20 am and from 4:40 pm to 5:00 pm. BEL to replace transmission poles between Buena Vista and Xulha Substations.
Law Enforcement, Special Olympics Torch Run in Corozal
UB Marketing Expo 2017
UB's 2017 Marketing Expo was a hit. Looks like there was a lot of entrepreneurship on display, and they had a fun time showing it off.
"On the 23rd of November, businesses and students from the Capital City came to the Central Campus in Belmopan for another Marketing Expo which was designed to reach stakeholders and residents of the western region of the country. There were 37 booths on display. 11 stalls represented Marketing students at the Associate’s Degree level and 12 represented Small Business Management at the Bachelor’s Degree level. There was also participation from the UB Central Farm Campus."
BELIZE FISHING REPORT: Weeks of Nov. 27th - Dec. 3rd, 2017
Working his way through all the species that we target, Alan landed over forty bonefish and a host of other species. All of our anglers were successful in spite of the west wind blowing. Bonefish are the last fish to get spooked when the west wind blows because they prefer a falling tide as long as it doesn’t fall too much too quickly. Anglers headed north to wade and found some big bonefish tailing on the flats near Rocky Point. The lagoon fishing turned out to be productive as well. Always good Bonefishing here!
Gender-Based Violence resources in San Pedro
For assistance in San Pedro please visit the below GBV resources:
Women’s Department, Department of Human Services
Telephone: (501) 227-7397
Women’s Department officer: Deann Buckley
Women’s Department Officer: Lodawn Jones
Domestic Violence Unit, San Pedro Police Station
DFC area, San Pedro
DVU: Arillee Young
Gender-Based Violence resources in San Ignacio Town
Women’s Department – Department of Human Services
Joseph Andrews Drive
Telephone: (501) 804-2098
Women’s development officer: Elyn Cerano
Domestic Violence Unit – Police Department
#1 King St., San Ignacio Town, Cayo
Corporal 353 attached to domestic violence: Sheena Jones
Meet GBV activist for San Ignacio, Cayo Ms. Anna Silva!
Ms. Silva advocates for abused women and children.
Ms. Silva herself is a survivor of domestic violence. She was very active in co-founding Mary Open Doors in 2008 to assist and empower victims like her. Mary Open Doors serves as a temporary emergency shelter for victims and their families and as a resource center to educate, advocate, and raise awareness of Gender Based Violence and its effect. The temporary emergency shelter provides housing for a maximum of 4 families or 10 people.
"VI FESTIVAL DEL PUEBLO" in San Lazaro Orange Walk
"VI Festival del Pueblo 2017"
You are cordially invited to our "VI FESTIVAL DEL PUEBLO" 1:30 pm 17. Dec.2017 San Lazaro Orange Walk. The “Festival del Pueblo” is an annual cultural event advocating and promoting our tangible and intangible cultural heritage in this case our Yucatec Maya-Mestizo culture. Special presentation Ch'iibal Maya Pax from Tuzik Quintana Roo and La Xtabay (Dance and art).
Second practical inga pruning session
Exciting: We have involved more farmers in a second practical inga pruning session. 2 farmers whose plots have been pruned, have planted corn in the alleys. 17 farmers within the Maya Golden Landscape are pioneering the establishment of Inga Alley Cropping in southern Belize. The remaining 15 farmers will prune their inga plots next year.
Short synopsis of what happened at the BTIA meeting last night on Caye Caulker
I didn’t know what STP was - now I do. Sustainable Tourism Program. It is a move though the Ministry of Tourism, backed by BTB and the development banks and supported by local committees which is devolved through the community (called Local Tourism Committee - LTC), to look after Caye Caulker’s interests, not only as a tourist destination but as a place to live and work for all people.
So this is Phase 2. The first phase was making up the rules and putting the committees together - which reports to Central Tourism Committee. All in place now.
Eulogy for Ms. Ofelia Alamina
R.I.P. Ms. Ofelia Alamina. Miss Feli passed away Nov 30 around noon after close to 91 years on this Earth. Our deepest condolences go out to Rose Marin and the extended Alamina family...
This is the eulogy for Ms. Ofelia Alamina. Ms. Ofelia was born in 1926. A lot has changed on Caye Caulker since she the day she was born. May she R.I.P.
Minister and CEO of Foreign Affairs visit Brussels for Working Mission to EU Institutions and Attends 106th ACP Council of Ministers
Today, December 6th, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs of Belize, Hon. Wilfred P. Elrington, along with the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Pat Andrews, concluded their five-day working mission to Brussels, Belgium, after attending multiple high-level meetings with the EU Institutions and participating in the 106th Session of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Council of Ministers.
On Monday, December 4th, the Belize delegation met with the Commissioner of the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development of the European Commission, H.E. Neven Mimica, to discuss Belize-EU bilateral relations and its development cooperation both in the Central American and Caribbean sub-regional contexts.
ANNUAL LAW ENFORCEMENT TORCH RUN 2017
On Monday, December 4th, 2017 , the torch of the Annual Law Enforcement Torch Run arrived in San Pedro Town which proceeded with a parade the following day, Tuesday, December 5, 2017 starting at 9:00 a.m.
Starting from the San Pedro Police Station, Mayor Daniel Guerrero lead the parade with the lit torch through the main streets of the town. Accompanying him were members of the San Pedro Police Formation, students of Ambergris Caye Elementary School and the Isla Bonita Elementary School Band.
The torch is paraded around the country, commencing from Punta Gorda working its way up, by the police and law enforcement officers in an effort to promote awareness on children with disabilities and as a way to raise funds for the Belize Special Olympics.
SPTC Poster Contest
On November 27, 2017, the San Pedro Town Council held a poster competition with all the secondary schools of Ambergris Caye where they had to portray San Pedro Town in its evolution from a fishing village to the town it is today. The winners of the competition are as follows:
1st Place: Genieve Ramirez, Ashlee Wallace, Jay Arzu from Isla Bonita Elementary School taking the prize of $150 dollars.
2nd Place: Lauren Turley from The Island Academy (unfortunately Lauren was out of the country so her teacher accepted the prize on her behalf) taking the prize of $75 dollars.
3rd Place: It's a tie! Gabriella Knox and Madison Edwards both placed 3rd, taking the prize of $50 each.
Mayor Daniel Guerrero presented each winner with their prize and thanked them for participating in the first ever Township poster competition. Congrats guys and girls on a job well done!
Belize to reduce climate vulnerability with IDB assistance
Belize will seek to reduce its vulnerability to climate change and risk with the implementation of climate resilience measures in the tourism sector and the improvement of disaster risk management governance, through a US$10 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The project is expected to directly or indirectly benefit 103,503 people living in Belize City and Caye Caulker.
Based on losses as a share of GDP, Belize is one of the countries most affected by extreme meteorological events – mostly hurricanes and tropical storms – in Latin America and the Caribbean. Between 1930 and 2016, the country has been hit by 16 major tropical storms, or one every five years on average, which affected 287,670 people and caused US$635 million in losses. The tourism sector is particularly vulnerable to climate risk, and the situation could worsen in the future due to climate change.
University of Belize's Christmas Concert
Come out on December 8th, 2017 and support the University of Belize's Christmas Concert
Neighborhood Watch donates to Georgeville Police Station
Today, representing the Georgeville Police Station, Cpl. Barry Flowers received a computer system from the More Force Neighborhood Watch Group. The neighborhood watch group’s members are located in and around Unitedville, Floral Park and Georgeville villages (also known as the Society Hall and More Force area).
The officers at the Georgeville Police Station are responsible for the area from the Blackman Eddy/Spanish Lookout Junction of the George Price Highway west, up to and including, Santa Elena in the Cayo District.
When data needed recording, Georgeville Police traveled to San Ignacio's Police Station to enter their report into the national Crime Information Management System (CIMS).
Belize Sugar Industries Limited invites qualified and motivated individuals to submit applications for the position of Business Analyst within the Finance Department at Tower Hill, Orange Walk District.
Qualifications and Experience
- Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, Finance or related field
-Possession of CPA, ACCA or other accounting qualification is an asset
-Three (3) years’ experience working as an Accountant or Business Analysis
Skills and Competencies
-Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite, specifically Excel.
-Working knowledge of SAP or other ERP software
-Experience in financial modelling
-Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
-Excellent interpersonal skills to work effectively in a team environment
-Strong writing and communication skills
-Ability to communicate in Spanish is an asset
-Proactive, organized and dependable
Sustainable Tourism Programme II in Corozal
December 11th-December 14th, 2017. The Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation in partnership with the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) is coming to Corozal Town to conduct several trainings as part of the Sustainable Tourism Programme ( STP) .
BTIA Annual General Meeting Stream
Join us Thursday for a live streaming of our 32nd AGM on our BTIA Facebook page
Musical comedy show of Juan De Dios "EL CASANOVA"
Yet another Laugh Out Loud weekend at the "PRINCESS CASINO FREEZONE" with the live musical comedy show of Juan De Dios "EL CASANOVA". Everyone is cordially invited this Friday, December 8th and Saturday, December 9th starting at 10:00 p.m. Come out, laugh, enjoy and get a chance to win!
SISE Town Hall Inauguration
You've seen it being built over the course of the year. The new SISE Town Council building is almost ready, and the new SISE House of Culture is already in its new location, which is in the refurbished hospital building. The inauguration party will be Wednesday, December 13th, and everyone is invited.
Christmas In Town
IF YOU CAN SING, DANCE, OR WANT TO SHOW YOUR UNIQUE TALENT, THIS IS YOUR CHANCE!
HIP HOP ARTISTIC PHENOM RAY BAPTIST SEEN THROUGH HIS MOTHER'S EYES!
When this feature was shot of the talented Belizean-American artistic phenom, Ray Baptist, and his Belizean mother, Carol Brown, here at the "Belizean Legends" studios; it did not dawn on me that this artist extraordinaire and yours truly would later crossed paths again at a popular Islamic Mosque in Central Los Angeles. It made me immediately realized what it was that was inspiring this young brother to paint the kind of murals of new age Hip Hop extravaganza.
Ray's feature has inspired me for weeks now to match his color and creativity in terms of producing a feature that would do justice to who he is as a new emerging artist and this spirit with which he creates and designs. Once his work was seen on the popular Belizean show, "AH Wayk Op Lyke Dis" by the talented Belizeans, Lorna Smith and Wil Johnson, it would urge me on to feature Ray and his mother to tell the Belizean audience how this awesome creativity came about. The brilliance that emerged out of a young black artist who was surrounded by all kinds of distractions being grown up in South Central Los Angeles. And the story that transpired would thrill you as to the magic that this pair worked with to make it all happen.
Belize: The Intimate Portrait
It's the Christmas Season. Time to treat yourself, your family and friends to a gift that will last a lifetime. This 180 page book with more than 150 superb photographs.
It is available from belizedigitalbooks.com or your favorite Belizean gift-shop in three distinct formats: 8.5 X 11 Softcover Coffee Table edition, as a Digital download or as a portable USB Flipbook edition.
Also available from Amazon in a kindle edition,
www.amazon.com/dp/B077K9DYZ8 (this format does not support Rotary). Your purchase of this fabulous book will help support your favorite Rotary Club of Belize. Contact: Andre Lopez at firstname.lastname@example.org
City Council Owes Its Garbage Contractor Big Bucks, Could Result In Your Garbage Not Being Picked Up
Tonight reports to 7News say that the Belize City Council owes its garbage contractor about a million dollars in arrears. That's 19 or 20 weeks of backed - up payments, which the council has reportedly fallen behind on. Now, that usually happens around this time of year which is the council's low revenue season. But, with no cash flow from its main source - Waste Control can't afford to keep its full complement of staff and vehicle operating. So, starting tomorrow, we are told BWC may make cutbacks which means that if you live on the Northside - you garbage may not be picked up as usual. Now, we stress it's not a garbage strike, there will be trucks doing their collections, but with fewer staff and machines, so some areas of the Northside may not get serviced. We were unable to get comment from the council when we got the news late this evening.
Man Shot By Cops Died Of Asphyxiation
Three villagers will be charged for starting that tyre-fire in the Arizona area of Teakettle Village yesterday.
23 year old farmer Mervin Corea, 55 year old Salvadoran mechanic Plines Gutierrez, and 22 year old domestic Guadalupe Guerra, all Teakettle villagers will be charged for illegal assembly.
They will appear in court tomorrow - and got station bail today. That is all except Plines Gutierrez who can't be bailed because he is charged with illegal entry.
Police believe the trio collaborated to set the tyre fire with the inscription "we want justice" on the road to the ATM caves. The tyre fire was set to protest the death of 20 year old villager Edwin Antonio Baires Hernandez - who was chased and shot by police.
Man Killed When He Crashed On Motorbike
Another man has died on a motorbike. This morning at 4:30, 24 year old Audiaz Lopez from Nuevo San Juan village was found dead on his motorbike in San Pablo Village. Police have concluded that he lost control of the150cc Lifan motorcycle and crashed, causing him to die on the spot. The motorbike also had a broken head lamp consistent with the accident. Lopez was a porter at Belize San Pedro Water Taxi Express.
Senate Hearings Finish, No Sorrow In "Sayonara"
Tonight, after 13 months of public hearings, the Senate probe into the Immigration Department is done. The Special Select Committee heard from their last witness today in Belmopan. That was Auditor General, Dorothy Bradley - in her second appearance.
Last year, when her audit report was made public, Bradley took a thrashing from many within the ruling UDP who took great exception to her findings, which found systematic violations of Immigration procedures and widespread political influence, suggesting the work of a money making enterprise. Well, after hundreds of hours of testimony, the Senate Committee and the viewing public, have combed through the entire report and ventilated all her explosive findings.
Her work has pretty much withstood some of the toughest scrutiny, and so today, when she finished testifying in the 41st session, we asked her if she feels vindicated by the resulting push to have these hearings:
What Next For Special Select Committee?
So, now that the public hearings are done, we asked the Pro-tem Chairman, Mark Lizarraga, about the next step that the committee will take to compile its full report. He told us that they have decided to take a break until January, when they will reconvene in private to discuss what should be in it:
Mark Lizarraga - Senator for the Business Sector:
"Well, the first thing is we are going to take a much-needed break. We are meeting again on the 13th, the second Wednesday in January, I think, to decide and chart our way forward. The committee will be meeting with its attorney and we are going to come up with a draft schedule and a draft plan for the way forward. We haven't gotten there yet, we are still tangled up with the hearings but we know that we now move to a new stage. We'll be looking at the evidence, speak to the attorneys and make sure that we each individually give some guidance as to what it is we want to see in the report and of course there is always an opportunity for a minority report if individual senators feel differently from the majority of senators. But basically, we are going to be talking about the way forward as the drafting and writing of the report."
Does The Special Select Have Teeth?
At this time, we don't have exact figure that the Government spent to cover the costs of the hearings, but the last time the Prime Minister addressed it was back in August. Back then, by the Finance Ministry's count, the Senate Committee was forecasted to have spent just over $300,000, by the end of November.
So, it has been a costly exercise, but have the hearings been a good use of public funds? Well, that depends on your definition of value for money. But, it is still uncertain if the hearings will result in measurable outcomes, apart from the implementation of the changes to make sure that fleecing of that department is harder to do.
Today, the press asked the protem chairman if part of his contribution to the report will be recommendations for a police investigation into the illegalities that the Auditor General found.
Would Auditor General Do An Even Deeper Dig?
And the Auditor General wants to see exactly what will happen after the Senate Select Committee completes its report. That's what she said after she was asked if she is interested in going back into the Immigration Department for a full audit for the last 7 years. She said that if nothing comes of it, then it will be an exercise in futility:
Hon. Osmany Salas - NGO Senator:
"Do you think that it is time to do a full investigation from the period of 2011 when you started this to the current?"
Dorothy Bradley, Auditor General:
"I want to be honest."
Robbers Steal Big Money, Then Caught By Cops, One Escapes
There was a small burst of terror as gunshots were reportedly heard on the southside of the city this morning. Here's the police account. It happened around 10:45 when four men pounced on a businesswoman in Fuller's Alley who had just received some money - reportedly a few thousand dollars in cash. They jumped her in her apartment, and left her with a cut above her eye before they sped off with the cash. Police responded to a report and say they caught up with the suspects on Tigris Street - which is about half a mile west of where the robbery happened.
Police say that while searching the vehicle one of the men escaped and scaled a zinc fence where he cut his arm. We saw evidence of blood on a nearby fence on Euphrates Avenue, and cloths that the injured person had tried to use as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding. But we also saw expended shells in that same area - and residents told us that they heard gunshots.
Husband And Wife Charged For Wounding
A husband and wife were taken to court today - charged for beating a 6 year child so badly that her injuries were classified as wounding. 31 year old police constable Tony Gamboa and his common-law wife, 23 year old Aricia Gentle, were charged with wounding when they appeared today before Magistrate Michelle Trapp. The allegation is that in November Gamboa beat a 6 year old female child and caused a wound to her. And then, on Sunday December third, Gentle allegedly beat the same child and caused another wound.
Belize Sent Protest Note To Guats About Bad Map - Here's What They Replied
For weeks now we've been reporting on the offensive map that the Guatemalans are using in their ICJ education campaign. It includes Belize within Guatemalan territory, separating it only with a dotted line. Well, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent a protest note complaining about it. Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington told the Government Press Office about it last week:
Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Foreign Minister:
"We sent a very stern protest to them indicating to them that we were very very much opposed to that course of action, that in fact we thought that they were retrogressing, that they were going back to the old days which we had long passed, and that we did not think that that kind of activity would in any way be helpful to developing the kind of confidence and trust between the two countries that are needed. "
Does Your City Or Town Council Have What It Takes For UNCAC?
We know all about central government and United Nations Convention Against Corruption, called UNCAC. But, those anti-corruption measures have to be applied in municipal government as well. And while you might think of them as small-time - in charge of garbage collection and drain-sweeping, that's a misconception. If you combine all the municipal governments in Belize they have a collective budget of 138 million and employ 1,500 persons. But, they don't have the strict regulations or procedures that are in place for central government - and we all know how the rules are bent and broken in Belmopan - so imagine what might be happening in your village, town or city! That's why today the Ministry of Local Government held an Accountability and Transparency governance training. Mayor Darrell Bradley gave the opening remarks and we grilled him over whether these standards can even be applied to local government institutions and personalities:
BPP Says Pay the 90 Mil, Take The Bank
The Belize Progressive Party wants to be Belize's third party. And while they might not have had anything close to electoral success so far - they say that their building their brand. And that means remaining relevant as a national voice on pressing public issues - like the 90.6 million dollars that the CCJ says Government must pay to the Belize Bank.
Today the BPP Party leader said the Court's decision must be respected, and, almost as an aside, he would also nationalize the Belize Bank:..
Patrick Rogers, Party Leader - BPP:
"It's PUP and UDP politics at its best, but it's Belizean politics at its worst: to be making - disrespecting - our highest court be questionable about your nationality. And that's why the BPP is here today saying that 'We are going to be standing up for the protection of the rule of law and for the respect of our Caribbean Court of Justice."
BPP Will Participate in Municipals
And while Rogers would take over the Belize Bank - first, held have to get elected nationally, and before that, his party would have to win a municipal seat. Right now the BPP doesn't even have a village council seat - but with municipals around the corner, hope springs eternal. The BPP Chairman outlined their plans:...
Paco Smith, Chairman - BPP:
"Every time the bell rings, we will be on the ticket. So in regards to the upcoming elections, at this juncture what we're doing is we're making an appeal to like-minded Belizeans, who are very much interested in seeing a change to this tyrannical system of governance, to reach out to us. We are definitely committed to fielding slates in Belize City and Punta Gorda, but that doesn't mean that we're not looking at the other municipalities as well. Despite the fact that we are going to contest the municipal elections, we're doing it under protest. Amidst all of the madness that has been taking place over the past few months I would dare to remind you all that, still yet, the government has failed to engage in a re-registration exercise."
Territorial Bird Watching
And the BPP Deputy Leader Will Maheia will also field a full slate in Punta Gorda. But today Maheia was talking about his work as a Belize Territorial Volunteer. Yesterday morning they had an incident free trip to Sarstoon Island. He said they went bird watching with the Belize Bird Conservancy:
Wil Maheia, Deputy Leader - BPP:
"Yesterday, the Belize Territorial Volunteers for the very first time made a trip to Sarstoon Island and basically, physically went onto the island and hike the island and did a bird inventory along with the Belize Birding Conservancy and we spent a total of 88 minutes on the island, which is probably longer than the Coast Guard when the Guatemalans came to move them from the island. But I mean to be fair that we got there early, so I don't even think the Guatemalan Armed Forces knew that we were coming."
Murder Case Concludes, Judgement Reserved
Tonight, 26 year-old Keiron Johnson is back at the Belize Central Prison awaiting his fate after he stood trial for the murder of Christopher Jorgenson.
HE was shot in the abdomen back in 2012. He succumbed to his injuries 3 days later, and since that time, Johnson has been on remand.
In the trial, Crown Counsel Janelle Tillett represented the prosecution, and her main witness was Shenique Jorgenson, the sister of the deceased. She testified that she was in her house on Curl Thompson Street when she heard the sound of gunshots. When she looked out on the street she saw a gunman running behind her brother. She said she recognized that shooter as Johnson.
What About The Lands Audit?
Earlier in the news, we showed you our interview with Auditor General Dorothy Bradley after she finished testifying at the end of the Senate Hearings on Immigration. But more than just immigration, we asked the Auditor General about the her Audit into the compensations at the Lands Department. You'll remember that the Prime Minister first revealed back in October of last year that the audit was being conducted after the lands compensation scandal broke. That's the one where Gaspar Vega resigned from the Cabinet after it was revealed that his son, Andre Vega, and Sharon Pitts, each got a questionable payout of 400 thousand dollars.
So, the audit was requested to look into just who got compensated, for how much, and who gave the order. That was over a year ago, and so we asked the Auditor General if her office is anywhere close to completing that audit:
A Bucket Of Ganja
Yesterday afternoon San Pedro Police got a bucket full of weed when they searched a room on Pearl Street. The bags inside the bucket totaled three quarter pound. Police arrested and charged for all those present for drug trafficking, including 23 year old Letitia Flowers, 25 year old Shantia Marie Flowers, both from Belize City and 48 year old Mark Andrew Flowers who was the tenant in the room.
Hilton Heights At Mahogany Bay Resort and Beach Club
Tourists have another resort option on the South of San Pedro. It's the Mahogany Bay Resort and Beach Club. Now this resort is a really big deal because the developers partnered with the renowned International hotel brand: Hilton. The resort is now officially opened and Courtney Weatherburne visited today to see what sets it apart. Here's her report from San Pedro:
Courtney Weatherburne reporting
If you are in the mood for a revitalizing morning massage, a soothing afternoon session at the yoga studio.
Or you just need a quick touch up on your highlight at the salon, you don't have to go far.
In fact it is just a short walk away from the rooms, at Mahogany Bay Resort and Beach Club in San Pedro. But these are just a few of the amenities available at the resort. There is a coffee shop, as well as stalls for upcoming stores, markets and Belizean styled restaurants. It is an elite resort package and it was officially opened for guests today.
Cruise Lines For Christmas
And keeping it on tourism, today the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association held its annual Christmas party for deserving children. We were there to find out what was in store for this year's version of the annual event:..
Maria Guerra, Cruise Coordinator - BTB:
"Well, this year we are having our 14th annual Holiday Gift Project. It is the Belize Tourism Board in collaboration with FCCA, the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association. We work together with the Carnival Cruise Line, and we are here to have the Holiday Gift Project for 200 children from Belize City."
David Ollech, Entertainment Director- Carnival Cruise Line:
"We are very happy to contribute our crew members and our time and some wonderful gifts for all the children here. So we've got 25 crew members, some from the entertainment department, from housekeeping, from other departments on the ship, and they've all offered there time to come here, have a great time with the kids and hopefully bring a little Christmas cheer to their day."
Letter Reveals Startling Allegations about Former Justice of Appeal Franz Parke
The abrupt departure of Franz Parke from the Court of Appeal still leaves many scratching their heads. But there is damning and damaging allegations that suggests that that departure may [...]
Audit Hunting Clues to 71 Million Dollar Land Compensation Scheme
One year after they began, the Senate Special Select Committee’s public hearings are now over. Auditor General Dorothy Bradley was the last to appear in Belmopan before the Committee this [...]
Auditor General Humble in Reviewing Impact of Senate Committee
The release of the immigration audit reports sparked a frenzy of criticism from the ruling party and others who accused the Auditor General and her team of failing to follow [...]
With Public Hearings Over, Report Due Early Next Year
Business Community Senator Mark Lizarraga acted as pro-tem chair for today’s final meeting, which was delayed due to an administrative error that pushed the start time from this morning to [...]
Mark Lizarraga Agrees U.H.S. is a Mess
Two most recent presidents of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry – incumbent Nikita Usher and predecessor Kay Menzies – have been vocal that the G.O.B. must respect the [...]
Trio Charged for Unlawful Public Assembly in Teakettle
Three residents from the Arizona area in Teakettle have been charged for illegal assembly at the Belmopan Police Station. Twenty-three-year-old Mervin Correa, twenty-two-year-old Guadalupe Guerra and fifty-five-year-old Plines Gutierrez were [...]
Auditor General Says Submitted Report is Final; Some Editing Done
Auditor General Dorothy Bradley, though it was her second appearance, was the final witness to appear before the Senate Special Select Committee today. As some witnesses have done in their [...]
Police and D.P.P. ‘Obligated’ to Investigate Charges in Report
The Auditor General also addressed the question of whether Police and the Director of Public Prosecutions were informed of the Immigration Audit Report and the obligation to inform of any [...]
CitCo Says Bear with Terrible Traffic on Repairing Philip Goldson Highway
The traffic congestion from the Haulover Bridge to miles two and a half along the Phillip Goldson Highway is causing serious delays for motorists entering or leaving Belize City during [...]
The Meeting with the PAC
Auditor General Dorothy Bradley met with the six members of the House of Representatives’ Public Accounts Committee nearly a month ago. The meeting did not get into details of the [...]
B.P.P. Preparing Municipal Candidates in City, P.G.; Protest Lack of Re-Registration
The Belize Progressive Party hosted a press conference this morning at its headquarters on Vernon Street to discuss a number of national issues, including its position on the much talked [...]
O.W. Motorcyclist Dies in San Pablo Crash
A San Juan man crashed on his motorcycle and died this morning in Orange Walk. Police say that around four-thirty this morning, twenty-four-year-old Audiaz Lopez was driving his motorcycle along [...]
Local Government Reckons with UNCAC
Mayor and Councilors from all over the country converged at the Radisson this morning where a one-day event took place on the two issues critical to governing: accountability and transparency. [...]
Christmas Time for Patrons of F.C.C.A.
The Florida Caribbean Cruise Association treated Belize City primary schoolers to a special Christmas cheer today. The F.C.C.A. hosts an annual Christmas party with music, food and gifts for deserving [...]
Hilton Curio Mahogany Bay Resort Opens
A new luxury resort was launched today in San Pedro just in time for the tourism high season. A year later and over a hundred million dollars in investment, Mahogany [...]
Can You Hear Me? Kids Affected by Hearing Loss Speak Up
In tonight newscast, we begin a two-part series by the National Resource Center Exclusive Education of the Ministry of Education. Titled “Can You Hear Me,” is brought by Kids who [...]