Today's Belize News: February 14, 2015 - 02/14/15 10:55 AM
Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials
Falling in love with Caye Caulker
It doesn’t matter how long it’s been, docking along the shores of Caye Caulker still has that calming, soothing effect. She’s got brilliantly colored homes along her beaches juxtaposed next to a few less gaudy ones, the trees still line her shores, and more often than not, a hammock is strung between them for a quick nap. You could walk her streets at the most leisurely pace, not once coming across a vehicle. In fact, you have to walk around sleeping dogs more often than stepping aside for a golf cart! Caye Caulker is not pretentious. She is tiny and unique, from her pretty sandy beaches and funky boats tied up to mooring spots – to the darker, yet just-as-enticing, west side where older homes, fishermen’s spots, and mangroves have taken root and made their home. Caye Caulker is really a fun date – casual if you’re up to it, and for her formal means slipping on flip flops instead of being barefoot. Her restaurants are homey, but the food within is often out-of-this-world. Her beaches shaded from her many coconut trees, the drinks icy cold and unique.
San Pedro Councilor and Mayoral Candidates Debate Plans Finalized
Plans have been finalized for the first ever council candidate debate to be held on February 16th. A mayoral candidate debate will be held on February 23rd and both debates will commence at 7pm. The debates, hosted by The San Pedro Sun and Reef Radio/TV will be held at the Lion’s Den and will be televised live on Reef TV on channel 20 and broadcast live on Reef Radio at 92.3FM. For the Councilor Candidates’ debate, the names of two aspiring candidates from each party will be submitted to the organizers as their representative, while the Mayoral candidates will be the only person to represent their party in the Mayoral Debate. In order to assure an orderly crowd the debate will be open to only those with tickets. Each candidate will be allotted equal amount of tickets to distribute at their discretion. In addition, select members of the Town Council, private sector and media will be invited. It is anticipated that close to 100 people will be in attendance. Crowd participation will be limited to applause when appropriate and alcoholic beverages will not be sold or permitted at the events. The debates will be limited to two hours and The San Pedro Sun will also have up-to-the-minute updates on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SanPedroSun.
Estel’s 2015 BBQ Cook-Off tantalizes island taste buds!
It may have been a competition for the best BBQ, but the clear winners were certainly the 120+ sets of taste buds that got to enjoy some finger-licking BBQ at Estel’s on Tuesday, February 10th! The fourth annual BBQ Ribs Cook-off saw sold-out tickets and lots of delicious ribs being enjoyed on a gorgeous Tuesday. Competitors were Kevin Urbina, Rick Saager, Jim Gochenour, Randy Blanscet, Ali Rush and Charles Worthington (the champion two years in a row). Smoky, tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs seasoned and grilled to perfection – what more could one want on a beach on Ambergris Caye?! Well, bragging rights of course! According to the judges, the clear winner was Ali Rush – who ousted Charles Worthington from his reign. A good-natured Charlie said “It was getting hard being on top!” as the crowd applauded Ali’s win. Charles still took second place, and he was followed closely behind by third place ties Rick Saager and Kevin Urbina.
Corozal Bay Regatta opens 2015 Belize Sailing Season
Sailors from across the country converged in Corozal Town on Saturday February 7th and Sunday February 8th from the first regatta of the 2015 Sailing Season. The Corozal Bay Regatta saw young sailors participating in the Optimist and Laser Pico Class from Belize City Sailing Club (BCSC), San Pedro Junior Sailing Club (SPJSC), Belize Sea Scouts (BSS), Corozal Bay Sailing Club (CBSC), Caye Caulker Sailing Club (CCSC), and Placencia Sailing Club (PSC). The Corozal Bay Regatta is the first national ranking regatta of the year. National ranking regattas determine the sailors who will participate in the National Champions Regatta (BIZ15) at the end of the sailing season. In the Optimist class, six races were carried out. Each sailor was allowed to discard their worst race score. In the end the sailor scoring the least points ranked on top. In the end Antonio Ricardez Jr. from BCSC took the win with seven points. In a close second was SPJSC’s Blanca Velasquez with eight points. Other top sailors included: Nashira Ricardez from BCSC in 3rd, Trent Hardwick from BSS in 4th, Jazmin Campos from CBSC in 5th, Glenford Barera from CCSC in 6th, Tyler Garbutt from PSC in 7th, Connor Rhamadas from PSC in 8th, Angel Mo from CCSC in 9th and Ronaldo Bo from CCSC in 10th. Other SPJSC sailors included: Rashawn Gonzalez in 19th, Leroy Azul in 21st and Danny Trejo in 24th.
SPHS celebrates Career Week
From Monday February 9th to Friday February 13th, San Pedro High School (SPHS) has been focused on Career Week. The annual event is held in secondary school across the country as a means of informing students on the many professions available in their communities. The highlight of the week long activities was the opening ceremonies, where students were treated to an inspirational speech from Attorney at Law Diana Shaw. Organized by SPHS Counselor, Alexis Guerrero, the event kicked off at 9:30AM. Principal Emil Vasquez was first to address the students, speaking of the hard decision that choosing a career is, and encouraging the students to go after what they like and not what others expect them to do. Following his speech, Guerrero took time to introduce the guest speaker for the event.
Owner of sailboat lodged on the reef allowed to leave amidst investigation
The Belize Department of the Environment (DOE) has finally released details about the incident in which sail boat Termaji, originally from France, ran aground on the reef near Caye Caulker on December 30th. The island residents of Caye Caulker village are concerned that if not moved soon, the vessel may cause further damage to the reef eco-system. It was not until Oceana in Belize joined the residents of Caye Caulker Village in calling for the removal of the vessel that the DOE sent out a press release over a month after the incident.
Miss West Indies Belize to Compete in St. Maaten
Miss Marcia Flores Moody, 20 years old arrived in St. Maaten (Martin) Island in the Caribbean on Monday, February 9, to represent Belize at the 2015 pageant for Miss West Indies and will be competing with more than 20 other countries. Miss Moody is first place in the voting category as the public favorite for this event. She requests that all her Belizean friends and supporters vote for her by going to misswestindies.org/vote-now/. You can vote for her once every day from until Saturday, February 14, when the final night of the completion will be held. She is expected to return on Monday, February 15, on American Airlines to Belize.
Closure of The Lobster Fishing Season in Belize
In a press release sent out by The Fisheries Department, the public is informed that the lobster fishing season will close on February 15 and it will remain closed until midnight of June 14, 2015. “Any person found in possession of lobsters during the said closed season will be prosecuted in accordance with Section 3(1)(b) of the Fisheries Regulations, Chapter 210 of the Subsidiary Laws of Belize Revised Edition 2000-2003.” The Fisheries Department also reminds fishers that lobster traps should be removed from the fishing grounds during the closed fishing season. During the month of March 2015, Fisheries Officials will be visiting fishing camps and coastal fishing communities to take stock of lobster traps owned by individual fishers in order to facilitate the registration of such lobster traps. The Fisheries Department will be actively enforcing the removal of traps from the waters during this period.
Misc Belizean Sources
Business Plan Development WORKSHOP
Workshop Date: February 26th, 2015, Time: 9am to 12pm. PRICE: FREE. The overall objective of this training is to equip our clients with knowledge, skills, and capabilities necessary to develop their business plan. The purpose of this workshop is to help participants understand what the elements of a business plan are. The time constraints of the session, and sensitivity of private client information, do not allow the participants or the facilitator to actually draft any component of the business plan during the workshop. However the workshop instead should be lead as a brainstorming session to allow participants to be thinking of what would be included in their specific plan. Then later they would write their business plan using the ideas generated during this workshop. Therefore the class should be very informal and mostly discussion based. The manual provides pointers, but it is up to the participants to come up with their own specifics. Trainer should actively engage the participants throughout the workshop to be sharing ideas and thinking of how each element of the business plan comes into play in their specific business. ** NOTICE ** Workshop location has been changed!! Workshops are now held at out BTEC Building on ITVet compound, Belize City.
CJC Eagles Environmental Club
There is magic all around us! All you need to do is to slow down, take some time, and enjoy all that nature has to offer! CJC EAGLEs Environmental Club participated this morning in the Belize Audubon Society's 18th Annual Backyard Birdcount. Elma Levy, Jeanette Gomez, Raul Manzanilla, Eddii Sorto, Endevora Jorgenson, Varsha Clarke
Remember today is a Black Friday but we wish to share this awesome Picture of Ceci Lara from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye at Isla Marisol or Cayo Doble.
Visit from Miss Audrey and her Standard One class of St. Francis Xavier School
A great visit from Miss Audrey and her Standard One class of St. Francis Xavier School today! The students were dressed as their favourite Public Service officer and enjoyed learning more about our national patriots with our current exhibit; the Belize Heroes and Benefactor's Exhibit.
San Pedro Carnaval Schedule
Don't miss out the Carnaval Fiesta! Block Party tonight at 7:30 p.m. There will be dance performances by Yaka's Elite Dancers, Miss San Pedro 2014, Michelle Nuñez and from the Ballet Folklorico de Bacalar with over 20 dancers. We will also have a performance by Guillermo and Neslen Rivero and our very own local band Rompe Raja! You definitely won't want to miss this show! QUE VIVA EL CARNAVAL DE SAN PEDRO!
UB's February 2015 Graduating Class
Congratulations to all the February 2015 graduates! Lissette Staine gave the keynote address.
Cayo's Best on Travel Channel
Congratulations are in order for 3 Cayo restaurants. Fuego, Guava Limb, and Montagna Ristorante were all on the Travel Channel's top 10 Belizean restaurants, giving Cayo the most, with 3. In related news, Guava Limb is ranked 1st place in Cayo on Tripadvisor. "Belize is becoming a trendy culinary destination with chefs using fresh seafood, herbs, fruits and vegetables to create contemporary dishes and drinks... Belize is an intriguing new culinary destination. Chefs use fresh seafood from the Caribbean, herbs and vegetables from organic gardens and tropical fruits from local markets to create culture-blending dishes."
Become a Friend of the GPC
You can become a friend of the George Price Centre. Support a great cause, and a place where 100's of cultural events take place every year. Call 822-1054 for more information. In related news, the GPC is offering Quickbooks classes next week, and every Friday this month they are showing movies on the life of Peace Pilgrim. The Cayo Coca Cola Spelling Bee will take place there on the 20th. They are also having a Kite Contest next month. "Join the GPC Friends of the Centre Programme for 2015.......Support a Worthy Cause!!!"
BUA ENDORSES VIP7 SLATE FOR SAN PEDRO
The Belize Unity Alliance is pleased to announce its endorsement of Vision Inspired by the People (VIP) slate in the elections for Mayor and Councillors for the town of San Pedro. Comments Charles Leslie Jr, Chairman of the BUA, “We are delighted to be endorsing three very strong teams this year’s Municipal elections: PNP in Punta Gorda, led by Wil Maheia, VIP in Belmopan, led by Hubert Enriquez, and now VIP in San Pedro,led by Bobby Lopez. Residents of these three municipalities have a real choice this year, and we urge voters to have the courage of their convictions, and support these outstanding candidates.” Says Bobby Lopez, “We feel confident that this time the voters will take the opportunity to elect to their Council people who are not in it for themselves. We at VIP stand for service and fairness – whether you are VIP, PNP, UDP, PUP or no Pat all, we promise that we will deal with each and every person as what they are first and foremost – a Belizean and a tax payer. We will of course also be working in partnership with the PNP and other alternative and independent parties endorsed by BUA, to combine forces for the good of our municipalities.” Charles Leslie Jr goes on the say, “In Belize, the alternative parties and independents are regional and tend to work in isolation. They typically have limited access to resources.”
BOLEDO DRAWING for Friday, February 13, 2015: 39
CARILEC Human Resources & Public Relations Conference
BEL invites HR and PR professionals to register for the upcoming CARILEC Human Resources & Public Relations Conference to be held March 15 - 20, 2015 in Belize City.
A vacancy exists at Belize Electricity Limited
for the post of Programmer/Analyst, in the Information and Communication Systems Department.
A vacancy exists at Belize Electricity Limited
for the post of IT Support Specialist I, in the Information and Communication Systems Department.
2 vacancies exist at Belize Electricity Limited
for the post of Administrative Assistant in the Human Resources and Purchasing and Stores Department.
Penner Case Called Up In The Supreme Court
It made major news last year when disgraced UDP representative Elvin Penner was criminally charged in Belmopan Magistrate's Court for the role he played in Citizen Kim passport scandal. The charges were brought through a private prosecution launched by COLA's Geovannie Brackett and Nedal McLaren. Penner was acquitted in July based on the interpretation of a law used by Magistrate Aretha Ford. Since then, COLA's attorney, Kareem Musa, has been trying to get an appeal heard. Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, agreed that it must be heard, and was prepared to hear opening arguments this morning. COLA and Musa, were prepared to start today, but Elvin Penner, who has been lying very low since this scandal broke in late 2013, was a no show. His attorney, Tricia Pitts Anderson, told the court that Penner retained her for this case 2 days ago. So, Chief Justice Benjamin was forced to adjourn the case to allow her time to get up to speed and make an adequate defence for her client.
COLA Calls Out Marco Tulio
And while the cameras were recording today, COLA President Geovannie Brackett kept it rolling by issuing a second challenge to Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez to face the media and account for himself following his criminal arraignment on the serious allegations of child molestation. Since he fled from the press two weeks ago, Mendez has not been seen or heard from since, and it is believed that only his family and his attorney know his whereabouts. Brackett told the media that, given the nature of what he's being accused of, on principle, he has no choice but make a public statement. Here's how he put it: Geovannie Brackett, President - COLA "We want to make it very clear, that COLA, by no means have any tolerance for any act against children. Or as a matter of fact we will go even further, we not only find this allegation serious or disheartening or whatever the largest word you can find, but when we hear stories of men in parliament who beat women or men in parliament who sues their position, their ministerial post, to seduce young women for scholarships or for job - we find those things very disgusting and its left for the public to decide how much will they tolerate from men in parliament.
The Passing Of Pitts, UB Student
Three weeks ago 28 year old Hattieville resident Eugene Pitts was mysteriously shot from behind at a party. The shotgun blast riddled his midsection with pellets and ruptured a number of internal organs. Just after 7 last night, after weeks in the hospital, he died from a heart attack. Police have still made no arrests and do not know what the motive of the shooting was. Pitts was a student of the University of Belize and was pursuing his bachelor's degree in nursing.
Justice For Justin
In December of 2010, Justin Jones was killed in Ontario Village at a wake. It happened in front of his common-law-wife and 14 month old baby. The young father was leaving the wake with his family when he was stabbed in the head. He died in his wife's arms. Now, over four years later, his family says they have finally gotten justice. 39 year old Godwin Santos was today convicted of murder and was sentenced to life in prison. His mother-in-law Joan Sutherland was crying what she called tears of joy today. Monica Bodden spoke with her an hour ago. Joan Sutherland, Mother-in-Law "Monica, the way I feel, nobody could understand. When they killed Allen Sutherland, my son, I was hurt, I was down to the last, but now, I could scream and I could shout and I could say thank you sweet Jesus, we got what we deserved - justice. Justice that we hardly get in Belize. So we got justice today - life imprisonment and I say thank you sweet Jesus. All day, I was a bit nervous, I sat down and I wonder, I lay down, I came home and I tried to keep myself busy, not to think that I am going to get the worse of it. But while I was doing laundry, my daughter scream out and say "princesa, I have good news" I look through the window and I said what, I said he got year true and she said no, life imprisonment. Right away washing stop Monica. I mean, it's a really good feeling."
Judge Says Shaheem Didn't Kill 69 Year Old Watchman
In March of 2011, 69 year old watchman Julian Lara was brutally murdered inside a bar on the Bullett Tree road named "The Spot." He was tied up and stabbed to death. Police said Shaheem Espat did it; he had gone into the bar to buy cigarettes just before the murder occurred. Police said they found him with blood on his shirt - which turned out to be type O - same as the deceased. But, his attorney established that type O is a very common blood type and that bloodstains could remain on a person's shirt for years. But he also gave a confession statement, so what about that? Well, Espat told Justice Moore that he never gave the statement freely and that the police had told him to help himself so he'd better talk.
Killer Pleads Guilty To Manslaughter
Another murder case came to an end today - this one in the Orange Walk Supreme Court. 27 year old Marvin Lennen Stevens pleaded guilty to manslaughter after 5 years on remand for murder. In 2009, he bashed Roberto Cal in the head with a cement block in Guinea Grass Village. After that, he took Cal's bicycle and pounded him repeatedly with it. Cal died an hour later at the Northern Regional Hospital. On Tuesday before a jury of 1 woman and 11 men, Stevens pleaded guilty to the lesser charge. Yesterday he was sentenced by Justice Herbert Lord to 15 years with 5 years and 5 months deducted from his sentence for time served.
Snow In Ladyville?
Those who have traveled to cold countries in winter know all about snow. But, for those who don't, you won't need to travel all the way to America to find it. You can plan a more affordable trip right to Ladyville where snow - or something like it - is falling from a tree! According to them, what looks like an icicle began to form on the tree from yesterday and survived even today's warm temperatures. If it sounds too odd to be true - that's the same thing we said, so I went to Ladyville this morning to see what it was all about.. Courtney Weatherbune reporting This boy is waiting patiently for what residents in Ladyville are calling melted snow - to fall in the palm of his hand. It is such a rare sight that this man stopped by just to taste it.
Killer Cop Convicted Of Manslaughter
Police Constable Alpheus Parham shot and killed detainee Alex Goff in May 2010. Goff was in the police station when it happened. Well tonight, almost five years later, Parham is awaiting sentencing after being convicted by a jury of 12 of the charge of manslaughter. Justice John Gonzalez presided over a trial where the prosecutor only managed to produce circumstantial evidence against Parham - because there were no eyewitnesses. Goff was 29 years old at the time and alone in a holding cell when he was shot to his forehead, which was fatal. One police officer testified that he saw Parham go to the back of the cell and shortly afterwards he heard the sound of a gunshot. A second police officer testified that he saw Parham go to the back of the cell and he heard an explosion, then Parham walked out of the station without saying anything to anyone. When the officers went to check what happened, they found Goff, dead with a bullet in his head.
Motorcycle Rider Knocked Down By Young Driver
A man was knocked down on Holy Emmanuel Street in the Gungulung area this afternoon. At around 12:45. 23 year old Earl Pitts was travelling on his motorcycle when he was knocked down by a 17 year old female driving a Mazda Tribute. Details are still sketchy at this time but according to Pitts family, he is pointing fingers at the driver of the vehicle. Tonight he is listed in a stable but critical condition. 7news spoke with his sister outside the KHMH. Voice of: sister of accident victim "He is in pain and right now they are taking an x-ray on his entire body, but he is a critical condition." Monica Bodden "Tell me what doctors told the family?" Voice of: sister of accident victim "They told us that one of foot is broken in 4 parts and then the other foot is broken in 2 parts and one of his hands is broken in several parts also. They say that he has to take a surgery in one of his foot to put steel in it."
Dr. Dionne's Departure
Dr. Dionne Miranda, the General Manager of Customer Services of BTL, reported to work today for her very last day in that very senior post. She tendered her resignation on Monday, and decided that after 6 years of with the company, it was time for her to leave. But her departure is abrupt and it has led to speculation as the real reason behind it. So, today, we requested to speak with Miranda, and she granted us an interview for the last time in her Church Street Office. She told us that she is moving on to her side project called Chamberlain Consulting: Dr. Dionne Miranda, General Manager - Customer Services - BTL "I'm leaving because it's time for me to pursue the things that I've been speaking to young people about all of their lives. In my sessions, in my motivational missionary tours. There are times in your life when you have to seek out what is important to you and to also fulfil your passion and I believe that it's the right time, the right age, the right moment.
Old Arcade Games Gifted
Today the Princess Ramada Hotel and casino donated 16 used arcade machines to 4 children's homes. The hotel is remodeling its bowling room and bringing in new machines, so they decided to donate the used ones to the kids. They are quite the worse for wear, but they are still working - and we found out how they will be put to use:.. They went to the Dorothy Menzies, Kings, and Liberty Children's home. One Orphanage declined the donation.
A Fugitive From the North, Caught
The Corozal man known as Jermaine Sanker has been on the run from police since the first week in December of last year. He was identified as a suspect in a number of armed robberies, and most recently, police tried to corner him, but he escaped. ON WEDNESDAY, the Commanding Officer of Corozal Police outlined for us the number of cases he is suspected of being involved with: Supt. Andrew Ramirez, OC - Corozal Police "From the 9th December last year, the name Jermaine Sanker, of a Corozal Town address was being sought by the Corozal police, on the strength of warrant in the first instance in relation to armed robbery; robbery committed with the use of firearms. We have the initial information where a 17 year old minor reported that he was accosted by three male individuals and he had identified Jermaine Sanker, as being one of the assailants in relation to that matter. Also we have another young man who was also robbed and again he had identified Jermaine Sanker. It would appear that the guy Jermaine Sanker went on a crime spree and as a result, based on him being identified, and named in the statement, we had issued a warrant in the first instance. We have acted on numerous information.
More Weed For the GSU Crew
And, as we told you last night the GSU has been active in the north. This is the six pounds of high grade marijuana known as "hydro" that was found in a corn flakes box on the Thunderbolt Water Taxi yesterday. As we reported last night, Captain Miguel Florencio DOMINGUEZ, from San Andres Corozal pleaded guilty to two counts of "Possession of Controlled drugs with intent to Supply" and was fined ten thousand dollars. And yesterday, we also told you about 26 pounds of marijuana that police found in the Collet area of Belize City. Well, there was more in the stash, apparently. Last night at 6:30pm the GSU searched a bushy abandoned lot on Neal's Penn Road. The y found a large garbage bag with 20 smaller plastic bags inside. All totaled it weighed in at 20.7 pounds - this is in addition to a find of the same amount we told you about yesterday.