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Today's Belize News: June 15, 2019 #536813
06/15/19 07:09 AM
06/15/19 07:09 AM
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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

Miss Belize and Miss El Salvador announced for Reina de la Costa Maya
And then there were six! The International Costa Maya Festival – Reignited committee is excited to announce two more delegates in the 2019-2020 Miss Costa Maya Pageant. Miss Belize and Miss El Salvador join Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico and Panama in the quest for the coveted crown which will be won on Friday, July 26th. The pageant will see a total of eight beauty ambassadors from Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Panama vying for the title of Reina de la Costa Maya. Proudly representing Belize at this year’s Reina de la Costa Maya pageant is Jenelli Shanice Fraser.

LPG retail and wholesale prices receive modifications
As of Wednesday, June 12th, the Supplies Control Unit (SCU) will adjust the maximum retail and wholesale price on the sale of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). The implementation of this new price regiment for the retail price of LPG is motor vehicles, households, restaurants, hotels, and a maximum wholesale price for quantities more than 300 gallons, less than 3,000 gallons and quantities more than 3,000 gallons. The price will also vary according to district and town, with transportation fees being accounted for. In regards to maximum retail price, the new set price will see those purchasing LPG paying $1.14/$5.18 (per pound/per gallon) in Corozal, $1.15/$5.23 in Orange Walk, $1.14/$5.18 in Belize City, $1.16/$5.27 in Belmopan, $1.16/$5.27 in San Ignacio/Santa Elena, $1.17/$5.32 in Benque Viejo del Carmen, $1.18/$5.36 in Dangriga and $1.19/$5.41 in Toledo.

2019 NALC Quarterfinals begins: Los Catrachos F.C lose 5-2 against Barrack Road F.C
During the first match of the 2019 National Amateur League Championship (NALC) Football Tournament Quarterfinals playoffs, Los Catrachos F.C hosted Belize City’s Barrack Road F.C at the Ambergris Stadium in San Pedro Town on Saturday, June 8th. The match saw both teams going hard for the win, but when the long whistle blew, it was a clear 5-2 victory for Barrack Road F.C. For the second match of the 2019 NALC Quarterfinals playoffs, Los Catrachos F.C will be traveling to Belize City to go against Barrack Road F.C. The match is scheduled to start at 4PM at the MCC Grounds in Belize City. For more information on how to accompany Los Catrachos as a fan, you can call 608-6396.

Belize-Guatemala Territorial dispute official before the ICJ
On Friday, June 7th, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands officially received Guatemala’s territorial, insular and maritime claim on Belize for review and a final verdict. The decision to take the dispute to the ICJ was made following a People’s Referendum held in both countries where the “Yes to the ICJ” vote won.

Caye International Bank hosts children from Samuel Haynes Institute of Excellence
Caye International Bank hosted 52 children and ten adults from the Samuel Haynes Institute of Excellence (SHIE) from Belize City at Exotic Caye Resort from Saturday, June 8th to Sunday, June 9th. The field trip aimed to offer the children an unforgettable experience before they demolish the existing structure to make way for the new Belize Marriott Residences Ambergris Caye Resort. “We have been working with the SHIE for many years, primarily fundraising efforts. We helped create a 501 (c-3) charitable foundation in the USA to facilitate giving from both individuals and charitable organizations.

Ambergris Today

Meet Miss Belize & El Salvador For Costa Maya Pageant
This week we introduce the Miss Belize contestant for Costa Maya Pageant; she is Jenelli Shanice Fraser. She is 27 years old and is 5 feet 6 inches tall. She presently a student in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in the hopes of becoming a Forensic Psychologist to assist in the efforts of understanding criminal behavior and helping with crime prevention. Miss El Salvador is 20-years-old Debora Raquel Guadron Rauda. Debora Raquel Guadron Rauda is currently pursuing a career to be a judge and is a full-time student at Universidad de El Salvador studying Legal Sciences. She aims to become a successful businesswoman and hopes to continue to help and better her country through her career and to moreover become a well-rounded individual to improve her defects on her journey.

28 Prisoners At Kolbe Foundation Complete Business Development Training By BELTRAIDE
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) through its technical units, the Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC) and the Small Business Development Centre Belize (SBDCBelize), conducted its third round of Business Development Trainings with the Kolbe Foundation- Belize Central Prison.

Misc Belizean Sources

mzz

Retrofitted Lucky Strike Community Center/Hurricane Shelter Inaugurated
ceremony was held on June 13, 2019, to inaugurate the Lucky Strike Community Center which has been retrofitted to serve as a hurricane shelter. Through the combined efforts of the Area Representative, the Village Council and residents, and the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government, the roof was replaced and the building retrofitted with new bathrooms, windows and doors. Additionally, the National Sports Council assisted in refurbishing the basketball court adjacent to the Community Center. Besides being fit as a disaster shelter, the repaired and upgraded building will better serve the general needs of the community.

Here are some Activities to do this Summer in Corozal
Love the time when summer is here. It is a time when they conclude their classes to register for another School year. It is a time when they take a break. Some Parents might be finding something to do in Corozal. What to do in Corozal during summer when not all children can travel abroad? Summer in Corozal has lots of activities when you are here. Corozal House of Culture will be having several activities during this summer 2019. And, your child can have a fun summer 2019. Here are some activities you can attend this year.

Opportunities in Corozal, with Belize Defense Force
2019 Recruit Selection (ages 18 to 23). Must show up on Saturday, July 20th at Corozal Drill Hall on the San Antonio Road just before the BEL office at 7:00 a.m. with all documents required. *Please contact Major R. Ramirez directly for further information.*

Community Cats of Belize - TNR Las Flores Colony!
I can appreciate the frustration of bird lovers with outdoor cats. Cats that are feral or are community cats - their population needs to be managed responsibly and humanely by humans in order to ensure their wellbeing and the wellbeing of native species of birds and reptiles. Predators are not all bad- the right balance keeps the gene pool of the prey species strong. I have started a TNR (trap/neuter/return) program in my neighborhood of Las Flores in Belmopan. I am hoping it will serve as a model for other areas in Belize. The idea is that by spaying and neutering the existing cat population, the cat's numbers will dwindle down to very few or no unwanted cats

Sargassum Task Force Update
Over the last ten months, the Sargassum Task Force (STF), a public-private committee, has worked diligently to strategize possible mitigation and adaptation measures to address the impact of Sargassum on the top four impacted tourist destinations, namely, San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Hopkins and Placencia. In late 2018, Cabinet approved a set of relief support mechanisms, including a hotel tax relief for 4 months for accommodation situated on the beach front, duty exemption facility for machinery and equipment imported to support clean-up efforts and containment of the Sargassum, as well as a BZ$1.5 million to support municipalities for beach clean-up. Based on the latter, the Task Force led the development of destination-level Sargassum management plans that focus on a four-prong strategy of collection, containment, disposal and awareness.

CLOSURE OF THE MINISTRY WITH RESPONSIBILITY FOR IMMIGRATION FRIDAY 21ST JUNE 2019
The Ministry with responsibility for Immigration hereby informs the public that the Departments of Border Management and Immigration Services, Nationality and Passports, and Refugees will be closed on Friday 21st June 2019 from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm in connection with Public Service Day.

Changes in the Pump Price of Regular Gasoline
The Ministry of Finance announces that effective June 15, 2019, the pump price for Regular Gasoline will decrease by 52 cents from $10.48 to $9.96 per gallon. These price changes reflect current demand and supply conditions of crude oil in the international petroleum market and the availability of refining capacity in the countries from which the fuel is supplied to Belize.

Get Plastic Trash Off the Street!
Hi, my name is Candy and I am a business owner and proud resident of Corozal, Belize. Our community is raising $5,300 BZD to purchase a used plastics shredder and here’s why: Plastic trash is a global problem. I’m asking you to help me make Corozal an eco-jewel in the Caribbean. Corozal citizens are volunteering to clean our streets, parks and waterways of trash in organised community events. We care about the environment and beauty of our town. The community has a Keep-Corozal-Clean attitude and supports initiatives to place barrels for trash in strategic areas, like parks and along the bay-front beaches. We are educating people and getting more organised throughout our community. donation to Mama Lowe's.

BEL's NEW eReceipts!
Get an electronic receipt when you pay your electricity bill online.

Karate Summer Camp 2019
The Cayo Shotokan Karate Club is having their annual Karate Summer Camp. They'll have 6 different weeks, 3 each for younger and older children. Registration is open, and you can contact Lisa at 625-9329 for more information.

Nominations are now open for this year's National Tourism Awards!
Kindly click to submit your nomination:

New building given to the Machaca Forestry Department
The U.S. Embassy handed over a new building valued at $973,000 USD ($1,946,000 BZD) to the Machaca Forestry Department of the Toledo District on June 13, 2019. The project was led by the Embassy’s Security Cooperation Office and funded by the U.S. Department of Defense Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP) through the U.S. Southern Command. The facility will serve as a daily operating location for the Forestry Department and will be able to accommodate joint meetings with the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) and other entities in times of disaster relief. The building houses a reception area, a conference room, three offices, storage space, a breakout room, three bathrooms, and five bunk rooms.

Ya’axché BioBlitz 2019 photos
Yearly, we engage over a hundred students from the Maya Golden Landscape in biodiversity research in the BioBlitz event. This year we hosted 120 primary school students from villages of Big Falls, San Miguel, Silver Creek, and Bladen at Ya’axché’s field station located at the heart of the Golden Stream Corridor Preserve. A special Thank You to private donors and the Protected Areas Conservation Trust for supporting this interactive annual event in southern Belize.

Channel 7

Bert Battling in Court As His Own Attorney
The last time that Bert Vasquez made the news, it was back in December of last year. That's when he was sentenced to serve 4 years for attempted rape. That's his second conviction for a sex crime, and since he was already sentenced to 10 years for the first, Justice Colin Williams, ordered that his second sentence would run consecutive to the first one. That means that he's staring down a 14-year prison sentence. But Vasquez maintains that he is innocent of both allegations, and that he didn't get a fair trial. Furthermore, he's an aspiring attorney with nothing but time on his hands to research and prepare legal arguments, so that he can represent himself in his own appeals.

The Complicated Compre Situation
Last week Wednesday, Belmopan Comprehensive High made headlines when its students sat out of exams to take a stand with teachers. They were objecting to 17 fourth form students who graduated despite not meeting the school's minimum graduation requirements. Compre is a government school and today, Minister of Education Patrick Faber, gave us his thoughts on the chaotic situation... Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education: "Our position is that, as far as I understand it, the school merely said that they will allow the students to participate in the ceremony..."

The Controversy Over Excelsior's Missing Money
The Minister also discussed controversy at another government school, Excelsior High where almost $200,000 has reportedly gone missing. The misappropriation of these government funds came under scrutiny during the investigation of the murder of Excelsior's principal, Alarice Andrewin. Here's what Faber had to say about it... Reporter: "Can you speak on the oversight of funds passed from government to schools especially in the case of Excelsior where we found out that over two hundred thousand dollars went missing or it was misuse?"

The Persistent Problem With The PSE
PSE results came out earlier this week, and the results, while steady, were not encouraging. Minister Faber told us how his Ministry plans to respond, and what strategies are being considered to improve student performance... Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education: "The results this year don't demonstrate any departure from what we are now very accustomed to and that is, for us, very concerning. Some will point out in fact that there are some areas that have gone down. I think they've said that Science has gone down a bit and those matters are concerning for us..."

Students Debate: UNCAC, The Solution or the Illusion?
Today Sacred Heart Junior College and Stann Creek Ecumenical Junior College battled it out in a debate competition at the George Price Center. The theme of the debate was "Be it resolved that the only legally binding anti-corruption instrument in the world (UNCAC), will never be able to completely eradicate corruption." It is a weighty and very relevant topic. Sacred Heart argued the affirmative side meaning that their position was that the UNCAC will never be able to completely eradicate corruption while Stann Creek Ecumenical got the negative, meaning that they argued that UNCAC can eradicate corruption. In the end, Sacred Heart Junior College was victorious. Here are few excerpts from the debate.

Human Cargo Cubans to Court
On Wednesday, before dawn there was drama on the San Antonio Road in Orange Walk when police set chase after a van loaded with illegals. The chase ended when the driver jumped out of the van and ran through the bushes - leaving his human cargo to deal with the police. They were 12 Cubans inside, nine adults and three children. Police detained the dozen and took 7 of them, 6 men and 1 female to court today.

Sargassum Smothering Beaches Leaving Them Bilgey Brown
For months now, the smelly seaweed known as Sargassum has been washing up on Belize's beaches, and coastlines of Caribbean and Central American Nations. The situation has gotten to so out-of-control in Quintana Roo that it was recently declared a state of emergency. The government of that state is addressing the situation as an "imminent natural disaster", which is threatening their tourism economy. Here in Belize, the public-private committee known as the Sargassum Task Force has been working to come up with strategies to reduce the negative impacts of sargassum on San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Hopkins, and Placencia, which all depend heavily on the tourism industry.

An Alliance To End Hunger
Yesterday the Belize Parliamentary Alliance Against Hunger and Malnutrition held a sensitization meeting for key stakeholders. Deputy Prime Minister, Patrick Faber attended the meeting and spoke to the media today about how the alliance plans to make Belizeans healthier, and even told us about his own personal health challenge.... Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education: "This is a collaboration of players, but what warm my heart particularly, we were able to bring together parliamentarians from different political footings..."

The Equipment Exchange
While educating us on the importance of a healthy lifestyle, Faber brought our attention to the controversial new outdoor gym equipment at the Marion Jones Stadium. The equipment was promised to the Belize City Council, but ended up in the hands of the National Sports Council which is in Faber's Ministry of Sports. Belize City Mayor, Bernard Wagner called out the Minister of Health, Pablo Marin for playing political favorites with the donation. Today Faber weighed in... Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education: "We worry about gun violence, we worry about road traffic accidents and all of these things when in fact the big killer in Belize are these diseases..."

Two Years of High School Free
Minister Faber has commenced a countrywide tour to deliver government subsidies to graduating primary school students. The initiative, which is focused mostly on rural areas, will pay for the first two years of the student's high school education. Faber told us more about the importance of these subsidies, and gave us some details on their future... Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education: "I am going around the country now engaging in what is known as the Stepping Up Ceremonies. This is the second year that we are doing it in the manner of calling it the stepping up ceremony and what it is is that we distribute the subsidy tickets to those recipients from across the country..."

High Schools and Those Funny Fees
And while the Ministry of Education is working on lowering the cost of education, Faber told us that some schools are trying to do the opposite. According to Faber, certain school across the country are adding arbitrary fees to school tuition costs, and he told us that he is working on correcting this issue... Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education: "I am noticing that there are some primary schools, I'm not ready to call their names yet, we are engaging with their managements to ask them to desist from adding on additional fees to the primary school. There are primary schools in this city now especially who have taken the bill all the way up almost $200, while the actual registration fee is only about $70-$75..."

UNCAC Debate Winners
Earlier we told you about the UNCAC Debate between Sacred Heart Junior College and Stann Creek Ecumenical Junior College at the George Price Center in Belmopan. As we told you earlier. We spoke with the winners about their preparation for this debate. UNDP along with other partners sponsored this debate competition.

US Gives To Forestry Dept.
The US Embassy has made a major donation to the Machaca Forest Department in the Toledo District. Yesterday, the Embassy handed over a new building, valued at just under 2 million Belize dollars to the Forestry Department. This new facility will serve as the location for daily operations, and it will be able to accommodate joint meetings with NEMO, during times of disaster. The building houses a reception area, a conference room, 3 offices, storage space, a breakout room, 3 bathrooms, and 5 bunk rooms.

TR Shines Spotlight
Well known musician and recording artist TR Shine has been accepted as a semi-finalist in the Yellow International Bashment Soca Competition. His song "Dip and Split", which was chosen by a panel of judges, is one of the top 25 songs in this years competition. TR stopped by our studios to tell us he need you the Belizean public's help to push further ahead in the competition: To vote and show your support for our own....a link to the website can be found on 7newsbelize.com and on TR Shine's Facebook.

A Cultural Development Fund for Projects Outside The Lines
Today NICH launched the Cultural Development Fund, a mechanism that will be used to better support cultural endeavors not directly associated with NICH's overall work plan. NICH's President, Sapna Budhrani told us more...

September Celebrations Planning Starts
September may be three months away, but the planning for Belize's annual holiday month is already underway. The September Celebrations Committee met for the first time today to begin preparations for this year's celebration. Culture Minister Faber also co-chairs that committee so he told us more... Faber also mentioned that the majority of funding for September Celebrations will be provided by the government.

Small Hive Beetle In Belize
And, finally, tonight.Beekeepers in the north are struggling with the invasion of the small hive beetle which is a bee-keeping pest. It can decimate bee colonies - and today OIRSA donated some traps to BAHA. We found out more: Most of the traps will be distributed to keepers in the north. Last year, the beetle was detected in a number of hives which were located along the north-eastern border of the Corozal District.

Channel 5

Paul Jex’s Alleged Killers to Stand Trial in October
Brothers Delson and Tionne Paguada, as well as thirty-seven-year-old Timothy Carcamo, will be tried in the October session of the Supreme Court for the January 2018 murder of Paul Jex [...]

Bert Vasquez Has His Day in Court of Appeal
In the Court of Appeal this morning, incarcerated sex offender Bert Vasquez represented himself before the bench in an attempt to appeal a conviction that was handed down in November [...]

P.S.E. Performance: Same Old, Same Old
The results of the Primary School Examinations for 2019 were released on Monday and while we have been able to speak with the top performers across the country, we did [...]

Education Minister Weighs in on Compre Graduation Fiasco
The situation at Belmopan Comprehensive High School, where teachers and students have been protesting the participation of several fourth form students in this year’s graduation, despite not meeting the requirements, [...]

Belize CitCo Introduces Municipal Paper to Address Seasonal Cash Flow Problem
The Belize City Council is facing cash flow problems. It’s a recurrent financial hurdle that all municipalities go through and it is caused by the ‘seasonal nature of tax collections’. [...]

Mayor Says Belize CitCo’s Municipal Bond Performing Well
Belize City Mayor, Bernard Wagner, also updated News Five on the municipal bonds. According to the mayor, investors in all tranches of both Series one and Series two bonds have [...]

P.U.P. Leader Says Party Ready for Village Elections
Village council elections are scheduled for this month. Elections will take place between June twenty third and the twenty-eighth. Village councils across the country have been dissolved and while not [...]

P.U.P. Leader Calls on P.S.U. President to Recover Hilltop Property
At the beginning of the month, the Public Service Union which represents tens of thousands of public officers held its annual general meeting. During the meeting, an election took place [...]

What Happened to the Senate Special Select Committee’s Report?
It has been more than a year and three months and a report on the Senate Special Select Committee’s inquiry has yet to be produced. The committee drilled and interrogated [...]

TR Shine Needs Your Vote for International Bashment Soca Monarch
Soca Dan Dada TR Shine has made it to the semi-final round of Yello International Bashment Soca Monarch Competition with his most recent track “Dip and Split.” The Belizean artist [...]

Donate Blood, Save Lives – World Blood Donor Day 2019
June fourteenth is recognized annually as World Blood Donor Day. In Belize, it is used to create awareness on the value of blood, as well as encourage voluntary donations to [...]

From Inmates to Entrepreneurs
Today, twenty residents of the Belize Central Prison proudly received their certificates for having successfully completing the Business Development Training programme. It is a programme rolled out by the Belize [...]

UNHCR Opens Refugee Resource Centre
The United Nations Human Rights Commission has opened a resource center for refugees coming into the country. It is based in Benque Viejo and is expected to provide information services, [...]

NICH Launches Cultural Development Fund
This afternoon at the Museum of Belize, the National Institute of Culture and History launched a first-of-its-kind Cultural Development Fund.  It is a program which will see local artists and [...]

September Celebrations Commission Meets to Plan Upcoming Activities
September Celebrations are set to commence in the next ten weeks, but extensive preparations are already underway to ensure that activities during the national month go off without a hitch.  [...]

Amandala

No justice for Kareem!
Mark Waight, 21, aka “Pito”, charged with the murder of popular Amandala journalist, Kareem Clarke, 27, was acquitted of the charge today by Justice Colin Williams in a trial that was without a jury. Clarke was shot and killed about 1 a.m. on July 6, 2015, while he was on Lakeview Street. The Crown, represented by Senior Crown Counsel Shanice Lovell, had relied mainly on the testimony of the witness, 54-year-old Orlet Bevans, but Bevans, who had allegedly given a statement to the police in which she said she had witnessed the shooting of Clarke by Waight, turned out to be an uncooperative witness.

Former Belize City mayor, Frank Lizama, 88, passes
Former Collet Division area representative (1984 to 1989) and Mayor of Belize City (1984 to 1989), Frank Lizama, 88, of Cemetery Road, Belize City, who had been ailing from cancer for some time, lost the battle yesterday in a hospital in Orlando, Florida, USA. Lizama, who was a master carver and teacher, had been living in Orlando, where he migrated after he was diagnosed with the dreaded disease. One of Lizama’s sons, Stanley, said his father’s body will be arriving in Belize City on Monday, and his remains will be taken to the St. Martin De Porres Church on Vernon Street in Belize City on Wednesday, where he will lie in state in the church at 1:00 p.m. The church service will commence at 2:00 p.m., after which he will be taken to the Lord Ridge Cemetery, where he will be buried with honors in the section of the cemetery that is designated for city mayors.

Hypoxia kills Sittee River fish
Amidst all the irregular climate patterns in Belize and the broader Caribbean, an equally strange occurrence known as hypoxia has been occurring in Southern Belize since last week. Concerned residents reported to the media that dead fish have been seen floating in the Sittee River, and initially, no one knew what was causing this phenomenon.. On Wednesday, the Department of the Environment (DOE) confirmed that the fish died due to a lack of oxygen, which is transported to the cells of the fish during breathing and used for metabolic reactions. According to the DOE, water samples and DNA samples from dead fish were tested and the results had proven that oxygen levels were below sustainable for the lives of the aquatic animals (a phenomenon known as hypoxia).

Judge acquits Oliver Peters, 41, of murder of his uncle
Oliver Peters, 41, who was charged with the murder of his uncle, Thomas Ferguson, Sr., 47, was found not guilty of the charge today by Justice Colin Williams in a trial that was without a jury. Ferguson, who resided on Arlington Drive, was stabbed in his chest at his residence shortly after midnight on December 7, 2013. Peters was first charged with attempted murder, but the charge was upgraded to murder when Ferguson died about two months later. The Crown, represented by Crown Counsel Portia Ferguson, had relied mainly on the evidence provided by Thomas Ferguson, Jr., the son of the deceased.

New Social Security contribution rates take effect next month
A wide cross-section of employers and employees crowded into the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s McField Conference Center to hear a presentation from the Chief Executive Officer of the Belize Social Security Board, Dr. Colin Young, on the rationale for an increase in social security contribution rates which comes into effect on July 1, 2019. At the beginning of the presentation, which was aided with Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, Dr. Young said, “We have done this presentation literally, probably close to a hundred times, as we have traversed the length and breadth of the country, from Corozal, to Punta Gorda, to Cayo, to San Pedro, talking about why it is that we need to get an increase in the contributions.”

Addressing mental health in Belize
Recently, Belize has witnessed the devastating effects that can arise from not knowing how to address mental illness. Exposure to persons suffering from mental illness is not necessarily uncharted territory for Belizeans. A large majority of the homeless demographic have been known to display characteristics that are demonstrative of living with mental disabilities; however, the concern of Belizeans has been growing considerably in light of a series of tragic incidents. Various media outlets have reported on the unfortunate incidents that have occurred within the past two weeks. Mental patient Colin Francis had been arrested and charged for attempted murder of Nurse Augustina Elijio at the Port Loyola Mental Health Daycare last Thursday – a charge for which he could not receive bail and was remanded despite his evident mental instability.

1970s football star, “Peru” Oivera back in the Jewel
It’s been over 40 years since he last set foot on his home soil, and, like the fabled “Rip Van Winkle,” it is taking some time for former Belize City and National Football champion, Rudolph “Peru” Oivera to get his bearings right. Arriving in town late last week, and leaving his Lake I, Santa Barbara Street residence on Saturday on a solo walk across the Belcan Bridge, Peru said he wasn’t familiar with the surroundings that faced him, so he postponed his intended visit to the MCC Grounds and walked back to his Santa Barbara Street home. When Peru left Belize for the U.S. in mid-1978, BEC football field was the standout feature after you crossed the Belcan; there was no Atlantic Bank building or 13-million-dollar Fire Station in that area.

National Primary School Track & Field Championships 2019
The Marion Jones Sports Complex was alive with activity on Friday, June 7, when primary school athletes from across the country converged for the one-day National Primary School Track & Field Championships, being hosted by the National Sports Council. All six districts were represented, and the competition was divided into two age categories for both females (F) and males (M). Below are the various event results in the different categories (district abbreviations: Stann Creek – SC; Corozal – Czl; Cayo – Cyo; Belize – Bze; Orange Walk – OW; Toledo – TOL):

National Over-40 football update
The past weekend saw the start of second round in the double-round robin group stage of the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) 2019 National Over-40 Tournament. All 4 games were played on Sunday, June 9. After a 2:00 p.m. kickoff time at the M.A. Stadium in Independence, it was a 1-1 stalemate between Golden Eagle Veterans and River Walk Quintas from Cayo. Andres Monroy (31’) put Golden Eagle in front, but an own goal by his teammate, Jorge Garcia (69’ OG) evened things up for the visitors.

Rural Softball scores from Crooked Tree; this Sunday in Lords Bank
The Belize Rural Female Softball Tournament 2019 continued on Sunday, June 9, with 2 games hosted in Crooked Tree Village. There are five (5) teams in the tournament: Lords Bank Sunrise (Lords Bank), Unity (Double Head Cabbage), Orchid Girls (Burrell Boom), Crooked Tree (Crooked Tree), and Arrows Reloaded (Bermudian Landing). In the opener on Sunday, Orchid Girls defeated Lords Bank Sunrise, 18-7. Winning pitcher (WP) was Yvette Flowers, and losing pitcher (LP) was Karen Hilton. In the nightcap, it was Arrows Reloaded, 14-4, over Crooked Tree. WP – Herlet Bull; LP – Kyra Gillett.

Editorial: Bullying led to death in cell
Most Belizeans know that bullying is a part of our culture, and that it is one of the worst things about us. We bully, and that includes making sport of people who we perceive to be weaker than we are. We can’t say definitively where this bullying culture derived from, but we know the European whites, with their superior weaponry and belief that people who weren’t white were inferior human beings, bullied people who were brown or black. We know that based on the European-imposed system we had, to a large extent still have, a culture where we put down people because of the color of their skins and the texture of their hair.

Brian Plummer on parliamentary supremacy
Dear Editor, Under the point of the sword, King John of England enacted the Magna Carta on 15th June, 1215, and created parliament. The principle is that everyone is subject to the law, even the king, and it guarantees the rights of individuals, the right to justice and the right to a fair trial. The problem with any rights is how you enforce them. The effective control of government is the supremacy of parliament. In the 17th century, Edward Cook wanted to make the Magna Carta above the king and above parliament.

Accomplishments and disappointments
This is the graduation season, and I must say it makes for a lot of happy moments and I am absolutely happy and overjoyed when I see so many youths graduating and sharing this joy with their families. I know for many or the majority it has been a struggle, since many of these students are from lower- middle-income situations and even below the poverty line and come from homes where their single parent is working very hard to see them through school. Of course, there are those middle- income to upper-middle-income families who are a little bit better off and who are barely making it comfortably but still not having life as hard and challenging as others. Then there are those few who come from the wealthier families, these with family names and social recognition because of their social statuses and business statuses outright.

YES was humbling, but very low risk
To my mind, the Belizeans who voted No to the ICJ did so because of the indignity of handing over our property title to the court, not so much because they were of the belief that the court would hand over Belizean territory to Guatemala. Of course it is not a done deal. Under the sun a lot of things are possible. Some things are absolutely incredible. Who would have believed, who would have believed¯help me, I’m drawing a blank here. Okay, got one¯who would have believed that the world would embrace two men jumping down church steps under a shower of rice? We know there have been crooked judges. We know there have been crazy judges. Neither is a common breed. Using the modern process of selecting judges in the democratic world, you cannot find 15 judges who fit those caps. We might have issues with the politics of some judges, but we can’t find 15 judges who are cuckoo or crooked.

Musings by the Curious Non-Conformist
I first wrote and published this piece almost in July of last year via my Facebook account entitled, “Sweet Belizean Child, I apologize.” I do not remember what news story spurred me to write this piece, but for sure it was about a child shot, and possibly, killed by a person whose trigger finger knew no mercy and whose bullet had no name. I reshare this piece today knowing that the heartless phenomena has not ended. I don’t know the number of children that were shot and killed between the year I was born, 1997 and this year, 2018, but today I remember ALL children affected by gun violence and I say the names of these children and the ages they were shot with a heavy feeling on my heart:

The Caste War and the flight from Bacalar
Bacalar was attacked by the Santa Cruz Mayas in April 1848, the rebels offering to spare the lives of its ladino inhabitants if they surrendered and left for British Honduras (Cal 1983:47; Anderson 1952:15). Thereafter, refugees from the ranchos around Bacalar moved to Belize, stopping at Douglas, Haylock’s Bank, and Four-Mile Lagoon. By July there were an estimated 1,000 ladino refugees in Belize. While ladinos retook Bacalar the following year, and many refugees returned with the troops (Reed 1964:118), most stayed, moving south along the New River: to Corozal, Back Landing, Orange Walk, San Estevan (Cal 1983:60,208).

Roger Wallis, alleged attempted child kidnapper, denied bail a third time
British national Roger Wallis, on remand for two counts of attempted kidnapping, was denied bail a third time when he appeared before Justice Antoinette Moore on Friday, June 7. Wallis’ attorney, Hurl Hamilton, reiterated the grounds for bail that had been outlined in the two previous bail applications — that Wallis has property in Belize, that he has applied for permanent residence and that he wants to make Belize his home. Hamilton also stated that Wallis is a diabetic and that he is not a flight risk.

Belama Phase 4 squatters under fire
Last Friday, a number of residents from the Belama Phase 4 area of the city converged in front of Fen Lan Company on the Philip Goldson Highway in a protest for which they did not get a permit from Belize Police Department. Police moved in and as quickly as it had started, it abruptly ended. The message, however, was sent: these residents are prepared to stand up and fight. Life for the 22 families, 18 of which are Belizeans, took a drastic turn in January when they were served with eviction notice to vacate the lands on which they have been living, some for a long as 10 years.

Starling Perez, 24, charged for killing Carlos Reyes, 48
A man who has been eluding police for about 73 days, has been arrested. Police said that Starling Perez, 24, a laborer of Jane Usher Boulevard, Belize City, who was wanted for the murder of Carlos Reyes, 48, a fisherman of Dangriga, and the shooting of Reyes’ friend and worker, Ishmael Pimentel, 23, of Sarawee, Stann Creek District, was charged with murder and attempted murder, and he has been detained pending arraignment at the Dangriga Magistrate’s Court for the offences.

Hugh Middleton, 23, charged for 28-year-old Kyne Gentle’s murder
Police investigations into the murder of Kyne Gentle, 28, a driver of Esperanza, Cayo District, led to the arrest of Hugh Middleton, 23, an unemployed resident of Roaring Creek Village. He has been charged with murder and has been detained at the San Ignacio Police Station pending arraignment for the murder charge at the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court. The announcement was made yesterday by police.

The Reporter

Bert Vasquez Loses First Application; Appeal Not Over Yet
By Marion Ali – The application of Bert Vasquez to present new evidence at the Appeals Court has been declined. Vasquez made several applications, the rest of which have not been ruled as yet. Vasquez, who was found guilty in 2017 in the Supreme Court of forcible abduction, sexual assault, and harm against a 16 year-old, had received a 10-year sentence.

Pump Price Roller-Coaster, Regular Gas Going Down At Midnight
The Ministry of Finance announces that effective June 15, 2019, the pump price for Regular Gasoline will decrease by 52 cents from $10.48 to $9.96 per gallon. These price changes reflect current demand and supply conditions of crude oil in the international petroleum market and the availability of refining capacity in the countries from which the fuel is supplied to Belize.

City Council Declines Chang’s Parks Improvement Project
The Belize City Council, this week, declined a request from Caribbean Shores UDP hopeful, Lee Mark Chang, to install children’s play-sets made from recycled tires in a park in the constituency. Chang had made a request to the Council seeking approval to install the play-sets, an initiative spearheaded by his wife Geovanna.

The End Of The World !
Mike Rudon Jr. - It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine As I write this, and hopefully it is read by the seven faithful, I will be approaching three full weeks without a drink. Don’t haul out the champagne, kegs and fireworks just yet – I’ve been here a few times, emphasis on few. On those very few occasions, I screwed up something so royally, or messed up so bad, or lost something or someone so important to me, that I vowed never to touch another drink, ever.

DPP’s Office Seeks Retrial of Calaney Flowers
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is seeking to have the Court of Appeal overturn a not guilty verdict which the Supreme Court handed down in 2017 and the retrial of a woman who was charged with the murder of her ex-boyfriend and the attempted murder of his girlfriend at the time.

Jasmine Espat Tops PSE 2019!
The bragging rights for top performer in this year’s Primary School Exams (PSE) belongs to Saint Andrew’s Anglican Primary School in San Ignacio and 12 year-old Jasmine Espat. The young lady attained a total of 386 out of a possible 400 points on the PSE, of the 7,015 students who sat the exams.

Vasquez Family vs. Belize Police Department
A legal battle is brewing between the Vasquez family and the Belize Police Department (BPD) following the death of Nestor Vasquez Jr., 60. Vasquez died around 9:40 p.m., on June 8th due to multiple head injuries he sustained while in Police custody – at the hands of a mental health patient awaiting a charge of attempted murder.

Editorial – Friday, June 14th. 2019
There is mounting evidence that many of our marginalized young people have become radicalized to the point where they no longer have scruples about killing other people. We have seen policemen and businessmen and tourists come under attack. The recent attack on a respected high school principal and the memorable attack on a prominent lawyer bring the specter of violent death closer to middle-class families.


Re: Today's Belize News: June 15, 2019 [Re: Marty] #536814
06/15/19 07:09 AM
06/15/19 07:09 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 62,665
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Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Accused child kidnapper denied bail for third time
British national Roger Wallis, 63, was this week denied bail a third time ahead of […]

Ministry of Immigration will be closed for Public Service Day
The Ministry with responsibility for Immigration is notifying the public that the Departments of Border […]

Love and Hope from Taiwan
The Taiwan Embassy in Belize today announced that it is once again partnering with The […]

Police performed poorly in promotional examinations
More than three-quarters, 77 percent, of the 869 police officers who recently sat examinations for […]

NICH launches new Cultural Development Fund
Today, the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) launched its new Cultural Development Fund, […]

The Botanical Garden at Caves Branch Jungle Lodge: A tour through Nature’s kaleidoscope
It is quite easy to become so preoccupied in the everyday hustle and bustle of […]

US Department of Defence hands over million dollar building to Machaca Forestry Department
The United States Embassy’s Security Cooperation Office handed over a building to the Machaca Forestry […]

Regular gas goes down by 52 cents
The Ministry of Finance announces that effective midnight tonight, the pump price for regular gasoline […]

Risk and vulnerable youth targeted for crime prevention initiatives
On June 13, 2019, the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBSI) Technical Working Group on Crime Prevention wrapped […]

San Ignacio residents concerned about water situation
Residents in the Moratown area of San Ignacio Town are deeply concerned about the water […]

Belizean competes in Ms. New York Continental Pageant
Belizean born Jasyra Franklin, 24, is one of six contestants from the Caribbean competing for […]

Lucky Strike community center/ hurricane shelter inaugurated
The Lucky Strike community center was modified to serve as a hurricane shelter for the […]

Belizean artist makes it to semifinals in international soca competition
Belizean Artist TR Shine has been accepted as a Semi-Finalist in the Yello International Bashment […]

Belize City Council’s new fundraising venture promises a win-win for investors
The Belize City Council (CitCo) is aiming to address its short term cash flow problems […]

Mark Waight walks; trial for accused killer of journalist Kareem Clarke falls apart
Mark Waight, 21, charged as a minor with the murder of Amandala reporter Kareem Clarke on […]

Sheep farmers attend training hosted by Ministry of Agriculture
The Ministry of Agriculture Livestock Unit, through the Genetic Improvement in Sheep and Goat Project, […]

Caribbean Federation of Police writes to Police Association
The Caribbean Federation of Police Welfare Association (CFPWA) wrote to the Association of Caribbean Commissioners […]

LOVE FM

Regular Fuel Price Goes Down
Commuters will be happy to know that there has been a dip in the price of regular gasoline. At midnight tonight, the pump price for Regular Gasoline will decrease by 52 cents from $10.48 to $9.96 per gallon. Premium gasoline remains at $11.54; diesel at $10:25 and kerosene at $7:83. The government says the change of …

The Ministry of Education gives out high school subsidies
Minister Faber has also been touring around the country as a part of the “Stepping Up” ceremony. At these ceremonies, lucky students who are moving from primary to high school are able to receive a grant to help them on their education journey and take some of that financial burden away. Honorable Patrick Faber told …

Minister of Education comments on this year’s PSE results
The 2019 Primary School Examinations were released earlier this week and the results proved that schools in the rural communities are fighting to be on top. While there wasn’t a major rise or fall in the overall grades, Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, says that the education stakeholders need to “tighten up” so that the …

Summer Camps for Children
With a few weeks left for school to close, students are looking forward to the summer break and to let the fun begin. Meanwhile, parents are wondering how to keep their children occupied for the summer. Well there are a lot of organizations that will be having activities just for the children. We stopped by …

Cultural Development Fund established
Today at the Belize Museum, an opening ceremony was held in light of the Cultural Fund Development that has been established as part of a collaboration between NICH and the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture. The president of NICH, Sapna Budhrani, was able to tell us more. Sapna Budhrani – President of NICH: …

Belize City Mayor ready for new Cash Flow Plan
Rather than resorting to the high cost of overdraft bank facilities and expensive property tax discounts, the Belize City Council has devised an alternative plan to deal with cash flow issues. It intends to institute a Municipal paper, short-term financing is a useful tool for the implementation of a better cash management system. A municipal …

The Great Debaters win
There was a debate in the Capital, Belmopan. Several schools participated in the competition. It was a nerve wracking time for the competitors but education of the students on the various topics assisted the debaters. Cayo correspondent Fem Cruz spoke to the winners of the competition.

The Great Debaters winPrisoners Graduate from Entrepreneurial Program
Beltraide’s Belize Training & Employment Center (BTEC) and the Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) has been leading initiatives to help develop and grow businesses. While the services are usually offered at the BTEC offices, this time BTEC took its trainers to the Belize Central Prison. After several weeks of training, a graduation ceremony was held …

Republic of China (Taiwan) partners with Inspiration Centre
The Republic of China (Taiwan) is one of the country’s staunch allies that continues to contribute to Belize’s development. One of the ways it does this is by contributing to humanitarian and charity-oriented programs or institutions in Belize. In this regard, the Republic of China (Taiwan) is partnering with the Inspiration Centre to foster more …

Court of Appeals dismisses Bert Vasquez’s application for new evidence
This morning the Court of Appeals dismissed the application submitted by 33-year-old Bert Vasquez for new evidence to be admitted as a part of his appeal. Vasquez is appealing a judgement which was handed down against him in July 2017. In that case, Vasquez was found guilty of one count of forcible abduction and one …

Blogs

Corn – A staple on Belizean Tables!
Coming from a Mestizo household means that I have eaten a lot – A LOT – of corn! From simple corn tortillas to tamales and tamalitos, we love corn. We even consume it in traditional drinks such as atole and pozole. Not only is corn a staple in the Belizean diet, but its cultural significance is a major source of pride. You see, corn was one of the most valuable agricultural products to the original inhabitants of Belize: the Maya. Their daily lives revolved around the cultivation, trade, and consumption of this vegetable. Corn was so significant to the Maya people that they even had a Maize God to which offerings were given to ensure a bountiful crop. While that tradition is no longer observed, the Belizean populace still places much importance into the growth of corn, particularly for consumption.

International Sourcesizz

Sweet times for Stig Da Artist
Belizean singjay Stig Da Artist has high hopes that Girls Dem Suga , his collaboration with Beenie Man, will be a big hit. “Well, it's a good feeling to have a song with a dancehall legend, especially on a tamale of his classic Girls Dem Suga. I'm pretty sure the song will go places and I'm forever grateful for the opportunity,” he told the Jamaica Observer's Splash. Girls Dem Sugar, released in 2000, was a massive hit for Beenie Man and pop singer Mya.

The English-speaking country with ancient ruins, spectacular wildlife – but hardly any tourists
elize, one of only two English-speaking nations in Latin America (the other is Guyana), offers wildlife, underwater wonders, idyllic beaches and Maya ruins – yet fewer than 500,000 tourists went there in 2018, according to the latest UNWTO statistics. More people visit Colchester Zoo each year than this entire country. Here are seven good reasons to make it your next holiday destination:

Videos

  • Turtle Hatching in Belize, 1min. Hawksbill seaturtle hatching on Tom Owens Caye.

  • Belize, shark and ray alley Ambergris, 3min. Snorkelling with nurse sharks.

  • UNCAC Debate Competition 2019, 2hr39min.

  • RIP DERRICK, 65min. PGTV

  • Caye Caulker Lobster Fest Committee Interview, 35min. Interview with members of the Lobster Fest committee Miss Shary Trejo and Miss Chantel Marin, President and Secretary/ Pageant Director.

  • Belize Now - June 14, 2019, 32min. In tonight’s headlines: NICH discusses September Celebrations Competitions, Women in Fisheries Convene for Forum in Dangriga, and we hear about the upcoming changes in Social Security contributions. These stories and more on this week’s edition of Belize Now. Thanks for joining us on this Friday, June 14th, 2019!

  • Episode 15: Cozumel, Chinchorro Banco and Belize..., 13min.

  • Rugby in Belize, 5min. Rugby is a full-on contact sport from the nineteenth century that recently became a discipline in the olympics. The story is about establishing a national team in an effort to revive the team sport of rugby in Belize.

  • The U.S. Navy hospital ship #USNSComfort deployed today for a 5-month medical assistance mission to Latin America and the Caribbean, 40min. Comfort’s crew is expected to treat thousands during stops in multiple nations. Support includes addressing impacts of the Venezuela crisis.


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