FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and other specials


The San Pedro Sun

Family spared in Christmas fire; home destroyed and one injured
The San Pedro Fire Department continues to investigate a fire that destroyed a family house on Tuesday, December 25th located near Marina Drive south of San Pedro Town. The fire was reported around mid-day, and even though the island fire department was swift in their response, the wooden structure was completely gutted by the blaze. The homeowner Juan Chi was inside the house along with two minors when the fire began. He received minor injuries when he tried to salvage some of his belongings and was then rushed to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II, where he was treated and released the same day.

Ambergris Today

New Hotel Development – Margaritaville Coming In 2020!
According to the website Hotel Management the resort hotel brand Margaritaville is developing a new property on Ambergris Caye. Our sources indicate that this new deveolpment will take place at the old Sueno del Mar property located about 12 miles in North Ambergris Caye; the development had been foreclosed by Belize Bank. The report stated that Rick Cunningham, VP of hotel development at Margaritaville, told HM that his company took over construction of a previously abandoned development on Ambergris Caye’s north shore and is repositioning it as a Margaritaville resort, utilizing the site's seven existing buildings that reportedly were under development as a hotel. The VP could not confirm the number of guestrooms that would be finessed out of the existing structures.

License Needed To Conduct Lottery Or Raffles
The lotteries committee hereby informs the general public that no person shall promote or conduct any lottery or raffle (any scheme for distribution of prizes by lot or chance), unless he obtains a licence or a letter of authorization for raffle in accordance with the lotteries control act, chapter 151 of the laws of Belize.

Misc Belizean Sources

mzz

Apartheid in Belize
By Abdulmajeed K Nunez. In 2018, contemplating the future of African descendants born in Belize should no longer be conversation, as it still is in Belize during this decade of African descendants. Come join us at the Belize Liberty Hall as we address this issue among others starting at the gathering January 27, 2019. How do we develop and strengthen individual, national, and international identity? How do we connect an individual, national and regional agenda to the Diaspora race first agenda? At the same time, the question must be asked as to why the black population of 90 percent 100 years ago is/has steadily reduced; now being 41.6 percent in 2018? Let’s try to answer these and other questions important to preserving the Belize patrimony.

The Paradise Theater is closed this weekend!
We’re Giving Time for staff to Get weird on a Saturday for once.. .. HAPPY HOLIDAYS ! See you next week !!

Park Ranger Michael August passes
The Institute of Archaeology NICH would like to extend our sympathies and condolences to Park Ranger Michael August and his family on the passing of his mother. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this time.

The People's Law Anniversary
On December 30th 2017, the Petroleum Operations Maritime Moratorium Act was passed. In celebration of its one-year anniversary, sensational Belizeans and wavemakers from all over the country came together to commemorate this milestone and to reiterate the message that we stand proud and strong in our decision to stop oil exploration in our waters. Together, we celebrate ‘The People’s Law’ and we thank everyone in attendance and everyone that has been along for the journey, your continued support does not go unnoticed. Together, we will continue to stand up for Belize!

Tourism, Archaeology & Information Committee Meeting
IT IS ANNOUNCED FROM THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY THAT THE TOURISM, ARCHAEOLOGY AND INFORMATION COMMITTEE WILL BE MEETING ON MONDAY, 7..." JANUARY 2019, AT 10:00 A.M. IN THE COMMITTEE ROOM OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BUILDING IN BELMOPAN TO CONSIDER THE RETIRED PERSONS (INCENTIVES) (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2018. ANY PERSONS OR INTERESTED BODIES WISHING TO GIVE THEIR VIEWS AND/OR RECOMMENDATION ON THE BILL ARE INVITED TO DO SO EITHER IN PERSON AT THE MEETING OR, IN WRITING TO THE CLERK TO THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY, BELMOPAN.

GOB Objects to BEL Getting Higher Rate Increase than Requested
The Government of Belize (GOB) expresses strong objections to the recent decision by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to approve the request from the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) for an increase in electricity rate at a half cent higher than what BEL requested. The request to the PUC was for BEL to increase the electricity rate from 39.2 cents per kilowatt hour to 41.5 cents. PUC has approved an increase of 42 cents per kilowatt hour citing that their review and investigation of the submission for an increase revealed errors in BEL’s calculations which led the PUC to grant the additional half cent per kilowatt hour.

MISSING PERSON - ACCORDING TO OFFICIAL POLICE RELEASE:
Please be on the lookout for Melanie Smith, 16-year-old, Belizean student of Ranchito Village, Corozal District. Melanie was reported missing on December 28th, 2018 by Roxannie Smith, who reported that on December 27th, 2018, Melanie left home en route to BTL located on 5th Avenue Corozal Town to purchase a SIM card, and up to the time of making this report she has not been seen or heard from. She is of Creole descent, 5 feet 5 inches tall, slim built, short curly black hair, small face, thick eyebrows, and weighs about 110 pounds. If seen kindly call 911, 922 or 402-0022 Corozal Police Station.

Graffiti Fest
Corozal House of Culture, Sat. January 12th

NYE 2018 Extravaganza
The SISE Town Council is having a New Year's Eve celebration at the Cayo Welcome Center. There will be music, drinks, and fireworks at midnight. "Only at the Cayo Welcome Center. Come enjoy the New Years Eve Extravaganza. Live music and performances, prizes and culminating the night with massive fire works."

Channel 7

Man Critical After Gun Dispute About A Horse
A brazen gunman was shot last night around news time. It happened on Fabers Road Extension. The alleged gunman, Frank Smith pulled up at Hislop's residence wielding a gun, supposedly in defense of his nephew who allegedly tried to steal a horse from the house. Yup, that's what the incident was about - a horse. I went to try and piece this story together. Courtney Weatherburne reporting: Last night, Fabers road extension residents gathered outside after they heard gunshots. The shooting happened at this two story house. According to the home owner, this mare is at the center of all the commotion. The home owner told us off camera that a group of boys came to their house to steal the horse which caused another series of events.

GOB Tells PUC To Wheel & Come Again on BEL Decision
Last night, we told you about the latest decision from the Public Utilities Commission to approve an increase in electricity rates. Well, tonight, the Barrow Administration is rejecting that PUC decision, and asking the PUC not to consider any increase for at least the next 6 months. As we reported, BEL requested that the mean electricity rate be increased from 39.2 cents per kilowatt hour to 41.5 cents per kilowatt hour. The PUC went a step further. It gave them that and some "brata" when it approved an increase of 42 cents per kilowatt hour. Well, the government sent out a rare press release today - publicly disagreeing with its own government appointed PUC. It says, quote, "… (GOB) expresses strong objections to the recent decision by the …(PUC) to approve the request from…(BEL) for an increase in electricity rate at a half cent higher than what BEL requested." End quote.

Caracol Road Fully Funded For 90 Million
And while the Prime Minister's input will prove pivotal in how that one plays out, in his New Year's message which will air later tonight - he wasn't picking fights with anyone. In fact he was sharing out sugar plums, scarce as they are in these sour times. The PM announced the details for the fully funded Caracol Road in the west. We have only the audio version of his statement: Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "the signing ceremony for the Kuwaiti funding of the Caracol Road is fix for January 14th, 2019. I remind that this project is being co-sponsored by Kuwait and OFID and that the latter had earlier had signed for its portion. With that January 14th event the whole cost of the entire road would have been fully funded to the tune of almost 90 million US dollars..."

Looking for A Fight?: MOE Endorses School Management's Pay Cut
A week ago, we told you how the managements of schools countrywide were considering docking the pay of the teachers who attended the Belmopan protest against the Ministry of Education on November 7th. The Teachers Union called them the grinches who stole Christmas, but, now, the Ministry of Education has publicly declared its support for those school managers. A press release from the Ministry does not explicitly say this, but their statement is titled, "MoE Supports Managements For Upholding the Rules Governing Teacher Absences".

Thin Slice Sample: How Was Business This Christmas?
The Christmas hustle and bustle of down town Belize City has somewhat subsided, now that the big day is past. But the business community might yet have something to celebrate. That's because they are still tallying the numbers for this year's Christmas sales. So how were retail sales? Emanuel Pech visited some of the long established stores in downtown Belize City to find out: For some, Christmas is all about celebrating and sharing in the gift of giving. For others it is spending time with friends and family, celebrating the birth of Christ. But for the local business folk in downtown Belize City, the Christmas season is all about sales. It is the biggest sales season of the year and business owners try to make the most of the cash flow season.

PM Says Litigation Risk Not A Real Consideration
As we told you, the Prime Minister's New Year's message will air later tonight. We got the audio version just before newstime and in it he once again emphasizes his support for a "yes to the ICJ" vote. The Prime Minister took direct aim at those who continually cite litigation risk as the reason they don't want to take a chance going to the court. Again, we have only the audio version of the message:... Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "Those who talk about litigation risk need to be reassured that the ICJ is obliged in its decisions to keep sovereign countries intact. The ICJ is thus completely bound by international law and its rigidly applied self-determination principles and those principles uphold absolutely Belize's right to live in peace within its 1859 borders..."

Guyana Eager To Go To ICJ, Despite Claim on 60% of Its Territory
And while few Belizeans are as confident as the PM, the Government of Guyana is even more so. Venezuela is claiming 60% of Guyana - but the Guyanese are the ones who are pushing to go to the ICJ. That's because they are so confident the court will trash Venezuela's claim. One month ago in the Hague, we discussed this with Belize's Ambassador to the EU. We asked him to contrast Guyana's eagerness to go to the court against Belize's reluctance:.. H.E. Dylan Vernon, Belize Ambasador to EU "Guyana is so absolutely confident of its legal case, of its legal arguments that Venezuela is wrong, that it is willing to say, 'I will go to the ICJ, even if Venezuela doesn't want to go and get to ruling in our favor'..."

Guatemalan Businesses Want To Establish Formal Trade With Belize
And keeping it on the subject of the dispute between Belize and Guatemala, both countries signed a Partial Scope Trade Agreement in the early 2000's and the agreement was said to come into effect in 2010. We can't say that it has been brought into much harness or currency - but we do know that business interests in Guatemala are looking closely at Belize, if and when the territorial dispute is settled at the ICJ. 11 days ago in Guatemala City, Carlos Amador from the CACIF Employers' group told us that settling the dispute will bring an element of predictability to cross border business dealings:

Guat Referendum Courted The Youth Vote
But, attitudes in that country are changing. Young persons - or millennials, as they are called are not educated under that odious "Belice es nuestro" mantra. They have a more progressive view of the world - and of their sovereign neighbor. Interestingly, according to the Guatemalan Supreme Electoral Tribunal - which is like their elections and boundaries office, their sensitization campaigns for the referendum focused on the youth of Guatemala with much success. We revisit last our interview earlier this month with the spokesperson for the Guatemalan STE:

One Year Later, OCEANA Celebrates Offshore Moratorium
"Belize said no," is what Oceana and hundred's of Belizean supporters from all over the country gathered to say today. Why? Because this weekend is the anniversary of the Petroleum Operations Maritime Zone Moratorium Act. This act prohibits oil operations in our maritime zone and aims to protect our Barrier Reef System. Oceana thanks all those who attended and showed support to make these human letter formations in Belize City and Stann Creek.

PACT Gives Grants
And there's more support for conservation…PACT today announced the awarding of $6.7 million to 6 local conservation groups that collectively co-manage 12 protected areas. The six recipients are Ya'axche Conservation Trust, which will receive $1 million; Friends for Conservation and Development, which will receive $1.3 million; Turneffe Atoll Sustainability Association, which is to receive $1.05 million; the Toledo Institute for Development, set to receive $1.75 million; the Belize Audubon Society, which will receive $0.9 million; and the Southern Environmental Association, set to receive $0.7 million. According to PACT an additional $3.2 million is in the pipeline, expected to be committed by March 2019.

Play On, Rahjay!
The president of the Battle of the Drums, Darius Avila, gifted Rahjay Davis with a brand new personalized drum. Rahjay is a talented 12 year old drummer who is also the nephew of the late great musician Lascelle Martinez. Battle of the Drums hopes that this gift serves as a motivation to Rhajay and upcoming young drummers to keep on drumming. Here's more: Darius Avila, President, Battle of the Drums: "Rahjay has been somebody who is intimately involved with drumming. From since he was… he's a pretty young fella, he's 12 years old, and I know that he is just attached to the drums. He goes to church from time to time to play the drums and he is involved in the primary school. It is our hope that he will be going to high school, maybe another year or two and he'll continue at the high school's Battle of the Drums level..."

Our Favourite stories: "Johnny Cakes By Faiyahaat"ť
And from that ancient practice to another, that's not ancient, but at least old-fashioned. It's the process of making Johnny Cakes by faiyahaat. Now, we know it should be Journey Cakes by Fire Hearth, but in one of our favourite stories of 2018, Jules Vasquez found this process so rootsical - that we just had to go with the creole pronunciation. After seeing Rosalind Roland at work, we're sure you'll agree:..

Alleged Southern Armed Robber Out On Bail
21 year-old Tareek Smith, a construction worker of Raccoon Street in Belize City, is out of prison tonight on Supreme Court bail. The robbery occurred at around 7:15 on the night of November 12th 2018 at Jian Store in Independence Village when 4 men robbed the store, getting off with $600 in cash, an iPhone and a gold chain. Smith and 4 others were charged, but Smith was the only one who applied for bail today. His attorney, Dickie Bradley, was able to convince the Justice Antonette Moore to release him on bail of $6,000.

Alleged Cop Shooter Gets Bail
Earlier this month, Kyle Chaplin was on remand for allegedly firing shots at 4 police officers on May Flower Street, but tonight he is out on bail. Crown Counsel Riis Cattouse objected, but Chaplin's attorney Dickie Bradley, convinced Justice Antonette Moore to grant him bail. Chaplin was offered bail of $10,000, which he met. He has also been placed on a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

False Call To Court For Pipersburgh and Robateau
41 year-old Leslie Pipersburgh and 39 year-old Patrick Robateau are two well-known convicts serving life sentences for a double murder. They were not supposed to come to court today, but due to an error, they ended up in front of Justice Antoinette Moore for a bail hearing, of all things. They were escorted to court by members of the Gang Suppression Unit, since they are high-profile inmates, and when they went before Justice Moore, the court realized that they are actually supposed to be brought for re-sentencing. Viewers will remember that since the landmark ruling from the Court of Appeal in the case of Gregory August, a life sentence for a murder conviction is no longer automatic.

Channel 5

G.O.B. Objects to B.E.L. Getting Higher Rate Increase Than Requested
Will your light bill go up on New Year’s Day?  The Ministry of the Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities has essentially requested a stay of execution, asking the Public [...]

G.O.B. to P.U.C.: Hold off on Electricity Increase Until After June 2019
In a letter written by C.E.O., Doctor Peter Allen earlier today, the ministry states, “that any potential losses to B.E.L. due to the variance between the Reference Cost of Power [...]

Father Comes to Son’s Rescue and Would-Be Killer is Shot in the Neck
Just before news time on Thursday, shots rang out on Faber’s Road Extension at the residence of Dennis Hislop and his family. An armed man had targeted his son and [...]

A Blood Feud with No Apparent End
There are no arrests to report on tonight, in respect of the daylight execution of Daniel Hughes on Boxing Day.  Police are asking the public to come forward with any [...]

Lotteries Committee to Crack Down on Illegal ‘Rafflers’
The Lotteries Committee has now decided to enforce a law that dates back to the early fifties. It’s a piece of legislation that governs the promotion and execution of any [...]

You Can Be Fined $3K for Raffling Without a License
According to Samuels, any violation of this specific law and its regulations is an offence that carries a fine of three thousand dollars and/or six months in jail.   Lewin [...]

M.O.E. Supports Docking of Teachers’ Salaries
The Ministry of Education is siding with schools managements which have decided to dock the salaries of teachers who were absent on November seventh, the day that more than a [...]

School Management Makes Error in Hardship Allowance Payment
When more than one thousand teachers demonstrated in Belmopan in November, there were doing so for two primary reasons; time off to collect salary and hardship allowances. By a show [...]

Justice Adolph Lucas Retires from the Supreme Court Bench at 75
Upon celebrating his seventy-fifth birthday on December twenty-third, Justice Adolph Lucas reached his retirement age.  As stated in the Constitution of Belize, the high court judge must relinquish his seat [...]

Corozal Town Council Audit Reveals Gross Mismanagement
Two weeks ago, the Corozal Town Council, under the leadership of Mayor Rigoberto Vellos, released a nine-page financial report. The report focuses on the spending timeline of the previous town [...]

Former Corozal Council Gives Employee Dump Truck as Payment for ‘Vacation Leave’
As it relates to assets and inventory, Mayor Vellos says that one of the first tasks the council undertook upon assuming office is to review the possessions of the council. [...]

PACT Awards $6.7 Million in Conservation Investments to Protected Areas
The Protected Areas Conservation Trust, PACT, has awarded six point seven million dollars in conservation investments to protected areas. The investments will be made through six local conservation organizations that [...]

Bringing in the New Year with Premium Wines and Spirits
2018 is winding down and most Belizeans, like the rest of the world, are planning that special moment—who they will spend the countdown to the new year with or what [...]

Staying Safe This New Year’s Eve with Some Helpful Tips
The New Year is just around the corner which means that thousands of Belizeans will be celebrating this joyous holiday. And to bring in 2019, the celebration starts on New [...]

LOVE FM

Government Objects to PUC Rate Increase
And while the Government via the Ministry of Education is stern on educators, the Ministry of Energy is showing compassion regarding the proposed electricity hike that we would experience in January, 2019. GOB, via a press release today expressed strong objections to the Public Utilities Commission’s (PUC) approval of electricity rate at half-cent more than …

Belmopan Residents arrested for drug trafficking
Police have arrested and charged five persons for drug trafficking after they conducted a search at a house in the Salvapan area of Belmopan. Correspondent Fem Cruz filed this report. Fem Cruz, Cayo Correspondent: “Yesterday afternoon two adults and three minors were charged for drug trafficking. According to police on Christmas night sometime around 8:30 …

Lotteries Committee Clamping down on Offenders
Because there is an abundance of individuals, organizations and companies who are hosting raffles and lotteries, the Lotteries Commission had found it necessary to remind the public that they must receive a license or a letter of authorization from the Lotteries Committee. This is a stern message for schools, churches, and those random people you …

National Fire Service wants you to be safe during the holidays
Many go all out for the holiday season baking the goods, exchanging gifts and hanging the Christmas lights. However, if one is not careful the lights that make the holidays all bright may end up being a fire hazard. With one more holiday left, the National Fire Service provided some helpful tips to keep everyone …

Two persons reported Missing
A 49 year old man with a mental disability is missing. (COCOM MISSING VO) Rodolfo Cocom who is also known as Nego, is a resident of Yo Creek Village in the Orange Walk District. His brother Remundo said that at 8:00 p.m., on Christmas day he took Rodolfo to his room and when he checked …

Robbery Suspect Gets Bail
And in news from the courts, twenty-one year old Tareek Smith, who was remanded on a charge of robbery with a firearm, was released on a bail of $6,000 today. The bail was granted with certain conditions, including that Smith is to report to the Raccoon Street Police Station every Friday, starting the fourth of …

Man in critical condition over a horse
A father’s intervention may have saved his son’s life. 24-year-old Dennis Hislop Jr. was in his yard on Faber’s Road hanging out with his neighbor, 21-year-old Kyron Samuels, when they were approached by two male persons. Reports are that one of the male person, a minor had visited the location earlier in an attempt to …

Amandala

Blood feud claims another victim
At about 4:30 yesterday evening, Boxing Day, Daniel Marvin Hughes Sr., 58, a laborer of Aloe Vera Street, Belize City, was driving his vehicle down Tibruce Street towards Haulover Creek, when two gunmen came out of the bushes in an abandoned lot and one of them fired shots that hit him in the side of his head and his neck. Hughes was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival. Hughes girlfriend, who was beside him in the vehicle, was not hurt in the incident. During the weekly police press brief held this morning at the Raccoon Street Police Station, ASP Alejandro Cowo said that the scene was processed and several expended 9mm shells and also a 9mm pistol loaded with 8 live rounds were recovered from the scene.

Belize Peace Movement mobilizing forces for a “NO” vote
As Belizeans across the country mingled with family and friends on the holiday yesterday, Boxing Day, the group which calls itself the Belize Peace Movement (BPM) met for a planning session in Belmopan to discuss the way forward in their “No to the International Court of Justice referendum” initiative. Among the items that the group discussed were an invitation to other proponents of the No to the ICJ stance, and a decision to seek out media houses which share their NO position. The group discussed the Private Members Bill that will be introduced at the House of Representatives by the Caribbean Shores area representative, Hon. Kareem Musa.

BNTU says school managers stole teachers’ Christmas
The Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) issued a press release dated Friday, December 21, in which it castigated school managements for withholding monies from teachers’ salaries because of their participation in the BNTU rally at the Belmopan Civic Center on November 7, when an estimated 1500 teachers participated in a demonstration and rally which was organized to address hardship allowances and other issues affecting teachers. “When asked if the Ministry intended to dock the salaries of the teachers who participated in the demonstration and rally, Minister Faber said that the Ministry had no intentions of doing so and therefore those monies would NOT be withheld from Managements,” the BNTU press release said.

Justice Adolph Lucas retires amidst challenging times for the court
Supreme Court Justice Adolph Lucas turned 75 on December 23, and according to the Constitution of Belize, he must demit office upon the attainment of that age. But Judge Lucas’ retirement comes at a particularly difficult time for the Supreme Court, which is struggling under the weight of a massive backlog of cases in the Criminal Division—as the list of accused murderers hovers near 300. Since attorneys practicing at the criminal bar have discovered that the criminal justice system is in violation of the constitutional provision that accused persons must be tried within a reasonable time, they have begun the process of bail applications for accused murderers and have been successful in having a number of them released on bail.

Senior Superintendent Howell Gillett served with NIP for traffic accident
Acting Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, has confirmed that Senior Superintendent of Police, Howell Gillett, the Commander of Eastern Division South Side, has been served with a notice of intended prosecution (NIP) for his involvement in a traffic accident which occurred in Camalote Village on Sunday morning, December 23. ACP Williams made the remarks at a police press briefing on Monday, December 24. The incident occurred in the early morning hours, when Gillett’s Toyota Hilux pickup truck hit a Wingle pickup truck that was parked on the side of the road. After hitting the Wingle, Gillett did not stop.

Two missing persons found alive
Two persons who were recently reported missing have been found alive, albeit not in the best of health. The first person found was Iverson Neal, 23, who had been missing since December 12. In our last article about Neal, we reported that police said they believed he was alive and was simply “hiding” because of a dispute that had been taking place within his family. On Saturday, December 22, Neal was found by a concerned citizen on the outskirts of Belmopan.

29th Annual KREM New Year’s Day Cycling Classic 2019 – Major Elite Station Prizes
Below is the list of Major Station Prizes in the Elite Male Category for the 29th Annual KREM New Year’s Day Cycling Classic 2019: $1,000.00 at San Roman Village (where Government house was located); sponsor – Freetown Drug Store. $1,000.00 at Shell One Stop, Orange Walk; sponsor – Hon. Johnny Briceno & Jaime Briceno. $1,000.00 at Smart Tower, Mile 46; sponsor – Anthony Mahler & the PUP Pickstock Committee...

San Pedro High girls and Sadie Vernon Tech boys are NSSSA Basketball Champions 2018
The National Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA) held its National High School Basketball Championships on Friday and Saturday, December 14 & 15, in Belize City, with games being played at the St. Catherine Academy Auditorium and at the Belize Civic Center. The tournament featured the four zone champions – North, South, East and West – for females and males, and followed a simple knockout format; and when it was over on Saturday, San Pedro High School (SPH) girls and Sadie Vernon Technical High School (SVT) boys were crowned National High School Basketball Champions 2018.

Golf – BAGA 2018 and December results
What a year 2018 has been for golf in Belize! In 2018, the Belize Amateur Golf Association (BAGA): Early adopted the more significant rule changes designed by the international golf regulatory bodies to speed up play; Elected three new executive committee members, all of which hold doctorate degrees: Dr. Peter Allen – President, Dr. Guillermo “Doc” Rivas – Secretary, and Dr. Margaret Smyth – Handicap Chair; Held 11 monthly tournaments, the RF&G Open, and endorsed six tournaments;

Belmopan Bandits SC, champions; Verdes FC, sub-champions of PLB 2018-2019 Opening Season
Some fans considered it a foregone conclusion before tonight’s championship final at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, where defending champions Belmopan Bandits SC sported a 4-2 1st leg victory in the finals over Verdes FC at the Norman Broaster Stadium last Sunday. But the Bandits, usually unbeatable at home, have not been dominant of late, struggling to dispose of Police United FC in the semifinals (1-1 and 1-0 in injury time). Both of those Bandits goals had come from veteran striker/midfielder Jeromy “Jarro” James, and, as it turned out tonight, it was a Jarro goal late in the game that clinched the championship for the Bandits, after Verdes had come out strong and surprised all doubters by jumping to a 2-nil first half lead that nullified the plus-2 goal difference enjoyed by the Bandits going into tonight’s match.

editorial: Voters who are a concern for Belize
In the 1882 story, “The lady, or the tiger?”, by Frank R. Stockton, a youth who has dared to fall in love with the daughter of a barbarian king, must choose between two doors. If the gods feel he should be punished for his impudence, he will open a door behind which is an absolutely savage tiger. But if the gods favor him, smile on him, he will open a door behind which is a beautiful maiden, and there will be wedding bells and a great feast. The princess, because she is that kind of girl, knows what awaits behind each door. She knows behind which door is the tiger and she knows which door hides the beautiful maiden. It should be noted that she has caught this beautiful maiden making eyes toward her lover and she is not sure that her lover hadn’t reciprocated the overtures. The young lover knows that the princess, because of the kind of girl she is, knows what is behind each door.

Romel remembers a Lydia de Ramirez song
Dear Editor, “Buenas Tardes Chiquitines Belicenios Hoy les vengo una vez mas a cantar Y tambien a recordarles que tienen que estudiar y ayudar a su mama y a su papa.” “Good Afternoon my Little Belizeans, I come here once more; to sing to you and to remind you that you have to study and to help your mom and your dad.”

Papa Dee at the ferry
Several years ago, my cousin-in-law, Papa Dee (also known by his Christian name, David Banner), suffered a heart attack and died – he couldn’t have been more than sixty-five. Just after his death I told his nephew, Dale Banner, that we had to get together and chronicle, put down on paper for posterity, who he was, and what were some of his exploits. Ah, Dale and I have not reached there, yet, but in the interim, I tell you this riotous story. Riotous — he was that sometimes. Papa Dee was a very strong man, and very active, so it was a complete shock to most of us when we learned of his passing. The two snake bites he survived might have contributed to it.

Musings by the Curious Non-Conformist
What a year, right, and as usual it went by so quickly. In fact, so quickly that we may often forget to stop and smell the roses or acknowledge the thorns that are on the stem, constantly reminding us that something’s gravely wrong with our collective consciousness; it’s all about perspective here. I have seen a lot this year and prayed the Serenity prayer a whole lot too because the things that have been happening in Mother Nature’s Best-Kept Secret have a way of making empaths like myself run wild. Some of these situations range from government ones like disregarding a regional court ruling or its $650,000 Christmas “Cheer” allocation project — the latter of which just further perpetuates the culture of “gimme tenk yuh” and paints a blatant picture of the inequity that exists as it relates to the dispersal of funds.

Police investigating cop found with aviation fuel and plane seat near suspected drug plane
At a police press briefing today, Acting Commissioner of Police Chester Williams told the media that police have not yet filed criminal charges against a police officer who was found in the vicinity of a suspected drug plane which touched down near BarrancoVillage, in the Toledo District. ACP Williams also told the media that several police officers were placed on suspension from duty while an investigation continues. On the night of Thursday, December 20, Police Constable Peter Graham was reportedly found in his SUV with aviation fuel and seats which resembled those that were on the suspected drug plane, a single-engine Cessna with the markings “Centurion 210,” which had landed between 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. on a Mennonite farm.

Fire that destroyed home allegedly set by tenant
Early Friday morning, December 21, a fire erupted in the second story of a wooden house at #6701 Cleghorn Street. A male tenant living in the home is believed to have intentionally set the fire, and police said they were told that the man was suffering from mental instability. Station Officer of the National Fire Service, Orin Smith, said that the fire occurred around 9:27 a.m. He said that when the fire department arrived they saw thick smoke coming from the upper flat of the house. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire, but nothing in the upper flat could have been saved.

Date set for oral arguments in case for extradition of attorney Andrew Bennett
Since the news broke in early January that the United States has issued an extradition request for Belizean attorney Andrew Bennett, the extradition matter has been slowly making its way through the judicial system and is still at the Magistrate’s Court, where Bennett and his attorney, Anthony Sylvestre, have been attending court. Bennett was released on bail, after he was first arraigned on the charges stemming from the US extradition request, a 7-point grand jury indictment for money laundering, issued in 2015 in the US District of Puerto Rico.

Gang rivalry leads to shooting in Orange Walk
Two men were shot early Christmas morning, December 25, in Orange Walk Town, and police say the incident resulted from gang rivalry. The two men survived and checked themselves out of the Northern Regional Hospital in the afternoon of the same day on which they were shot. According to police, they went to the hospital at around 7:30 a.m. and found the two men, Llamont Wade, 28, and Pablo Senon Reyes, 21, both of whom have had run-ins with the law. Wade had been wounded in his buttocks and Reyes had a bullet wound in his right foot.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

GOB objects to BEL getting higher rate increase than requested
The Government of Belize (GOB) issued a statement today objecting to the recent decision by the […]

Belize City Police investigating shooting incident at Faber’s Road Extension
Police are investigating a shooting incident that occurred last night on Faber’s Road Extension in Belize […]

Thatched kitchen destroyed by fire at Che Chem Ha Resort
A thatched kitchen was completely destroyed by fire yesterday. Police responded to the fire report at […]

Orange Walk man reported missing
Rodolfo Cocom,49, of Yo Creek, Orange Walk has been reported missing by his family. His family […]

The Price of Electricity is Going Up in 2019
The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has approved a request made by the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) […]

Trump threatens to cut aid to Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras
President of the United States of America, Donald Trump this morning took to Twitter to announce […]

Blogs

Windy Beautiful Christmas Week on Ambergris Caye
After the rainiest of Christmas eves, the weather is sunny and beautiful and WINDY. GOOD grief, it is windy. With gusts over 20 knots this morning, the water is churned up… It’s been a bit of a lazy few days. So I have a bunch of pictures that I took on a Boxing Day beach dog walk/wild flower picking session and a sprinkling from a trip to Cayo Frances Farm & Fly yesterday. We were dropping off some gifts and a new mattress for a new staff room. It made me wonder why mattress in the States are all cream or white…and here in Belize, they are often bright colors.

International Sourcesizz

Margaritaville coming to Belize in 2020
Hotel Management on Thursday learned resort hotel brand Margaritaville is developing a new property on Ambergris Caye, Belize’s largest island. Rick Cunningham, VP of hotel development at Margaritaville, told HM his company took over construction of a previously abandoned development on Ambergris Caye’s north shore and is repositioning it as a Margaritaville resort, utilizing the site's seven existing buildings that reportedly were under development as a hotel. The VP could not confirm the number of guestrooms that would be finessed out of the existing structures. Cunningham added Margaritaville will be expanding the resort's footprint by building two more structures consisting of 71 residential condominium units, with an overall opening date for some time in 2020. The one- and two-bedroom residences will feature verandas, furnished kitchens and other amenities.

Dutch add Guernsey, Belize and Isle of Man to tax evasion blacklist
The Dutch finance ministry is expanding its official list of places it considers to be involved in tax evasion by a further 16 low tax jurisdictions, including the islands of Guernsey and Jersey, the Isle of Man, and Belize. All the countries on the Dutch list levy a tax on corporate profits of 9% or less, the ministry said in a statement. The additions bring the total on Dutch blacklist to 21. ‘By drawing up our own, tough blacklist, we are showing again that we are serious in our battle against tax evasion,’ junior tax minister Menno Snel said in a statement. ‘And this is just one of the measures we are taking.’

Belize Offers Unexpected Adventure and Magic
The howler monkey with her baby lazily laid on the branches high above us. They weren’t moving. It looked like I wasn’t going to see one up close that day. I was standing beneath the shade of the tree tilting my head upward peering through the broad leaves at the black face of the sleepy mother as the baby played hide and seek behind the trunk of the tree for about 20 minutes. However, the tour guide Geraldine Fremin, was an expert. She got a banana and coaxed the mother down the tree calling to her in a series of grunts and howls, the sounds the monkeys use to talk to each other. The mother slowly and cautiously made her way down the tree to a branch in front of me where she ate her banana and modeled perfect images right out of National Geographic. Geraldine has been with the local women-run nonprofit sanctuary, the Community Baboon Sanctuary, what the local Creole people call the black howler monkeys, protecting the monkeys for 18-years. Started in 1981, the sanctuary has been a model for saving the nearly extinct monkeys, that were estimated to be around a population of 400 at the time, and for private/public partnerships working toward sustainable tourism.

11 Least-Crowded Islands in the Caribbean
Psssst! These tropical destinations offer next-level serenity and solitude—so book your trip before everyone else discovers these hidden gems. Seeking complete solitude aside from fish and feathered friends? Just off the coast of Placencia, Belize, sits Bird Island, a privately owned island. With a population of zero—except for the brown-footed boobies and frigate birds that roam the half-mile area—Bird Island can accommodate six guests, who can expect total privacy during this staff-free experience. Located in the heart of the Belize Barrier Reef, which was recently removed from UNESCO’s endangered sites list, Bird Island is the ideal spot to snorkel and kayak in the crystal clear water. The island prides itself on its “no-tan-line” personal option due to the total privacy. The tour company that runs the island also offers side tours from manatee watching to tours of the main reef and Monkey River. Don’t miss the “Smorgasbord” trip where you can fish, snorkel and lobster.

CDB funds upgrade of Coastal Highway in Belize
The board of directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved a loan of US$36.6 million and a grant of Ł25 million to the government of Belize, to upgrade the Coastal Highway. The funds will be used to improve climate resilience along the road, and increase connectivity between the southern and northern sections of Belize. “The project will have a transformative impact in nearby communities by reducing travel time, improving access to services such as health and education, and boosting economic development. Currently, the distance between the northern and southern districts, specifically between Dangriga and Belize City is around 119 km via the paved George Price and Hummingbird Highways. This project is expected to upgrade the Coastal Highway from an unpaved gravel road to a paved road, and in doing so reduce travel distances to 45 km between the north and south of Belize,” said Daniel Best, director, Projects Department, CDB.

Videos

  • Planting more Moringa Trees, 2min. @ SEEDS School CariCOM- Cayo Belize. If you want moringa to prosper ensure good drainage. Cuttings at 1m height can be planted successfully. Food for the wee-wee ants!

  • Channel 5 Obituaries, 4min.

  • Brian Bennett Hall Death Announcement, 1.5min.

  • Belize Travels 2018, 3min. Fauver and Haynes return to Belize! Just a short summation of memories from an incredible trip to an unBelizable place! (yeah I said it).

  • Belize Aggressor III Scuba Liveaboard - daylight dive montage, 5min. November 2018 dive trip highlight video 00:00 tarpon 00:17 Caribbean Reef Shark 00:35 turtle (probably green sea) 00:52 Pederson Cleaner Shrimp 01:12 hermit crab 01:21 Pederson Cleaner Shrimp 01:45 Stingray 01:55 possibly juvenile queen angelfish 02:08 Spotted Eagle Rays 02:21 Green Moray Eel 03:26 Stingray 04:06 Spotted Eagle Rays

  • Pixie Faces by Adrienne, 28min.

  • Introduction to KWANZAA from Dr. Nathaniel and Carolyn Stampley, 26min. We got an introduction to KWANZAA from Dr. Nathaniel and Carolyn Stampley. It is a celebration of the African American's cultural heritage and traditional values observed from Dec. 26th to January 1st.

  • Belize International Symposium on Education - new book "From Island Boy to Professor", 25min. It is the 10th year of Belize International Symposium on Education. It will be held at the Ramada Belize City Princess from Dec. 4th to January 7th. Dr. August also shared with us his new book "From Island Boy to Professor"

  • Why did Mexico lost Belize?, 2.5min. Video is in spanish.

  • Prime Minister Rt. Hon Dean Barrow's 2019 New Year Message, 16min.

  • It has been very windy this past couple of days in Corozal, 2min. It feels like Easter weather, but, in December. Whenever, gusty winds arrives in Corozal, and the high tide arrives here, the water splashes over the sidewalk along the beach area in Corozal. And, it is happening right now. Many vehicles and people who don't about the situation get splashed along the beach. Hey, guys avoid getting wet if you are walking or driving along the beach.

  • Emily + Joshua || Belize, 3min.

  • The Dickermen Go to Belize, 3.5min. A short video montage of our time in Belize

  • TV AZTECA REPORT REVEALS CONTRABAND SYSTEM FROM WITHIN BELIZE'S COMMERCIAL FREE ZONE, 5min.

  • CLARISSA FALLS RESORT# BELIZE CAYO, 2.5min.

  • The Different Beers of BELIZE!!!, 2min.

  • Ambergris Caye, Belize daytrip scuba diving from San Pedro, 4min. November 2018 00:00 nurse shark 00:14 bottlenose dolphin 00:38 sharks being fed from boat 01:14 nurse shark 01:20 pair of spot-fin porcupinefish 01:49 nurse shark 02:05 jellyfish 02:31 moon jellyfish 02:37 one green moray eel bites another 02:47 bottlenose dolphin