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5/21/2012 to 5/31/2012
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May 31, 2012

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The San Pedro Sun

Iron Cause for Iron Kids: BTIA president Jim Scott takes on Iron Man Cozumel
On November 25th, 2012, BTIA president and faithful member of the Rotary Club of Belize City, Jim Scott turns 50 years old. Already a momentous occasion, but one that will be even more celebrated as on that very same day Jim will also be taking part in the Iron Man Competition in Cozumel, Mexico. Jim is taking on the challenge as part of his Iron Cause for Iron Kids campaign that aims to raise $50,000 in funds for the renovation and expansion of the Dorothy Menzies Child Care Centre. All funds raised by the campaign will be matched by the Rotary Club of Belize City lending to the motto “2 + 2 = 8. If you Donate” and could see the monies total up to $100,000. Jim has dedicated himself to the challenge and since his last birthday in 2011 has given up everything he can to keep his focus on achieving his goal for the kids at the Child Care Centre. On the campaign website Jim wrote “It’s hard. Don’t get me wrong. I usually get up when it’s pitch black out to go ride my bike. I run and or swim almost every day after work. I drank my last Guinness on my birthday last year. Everything I do right now is focused on that Iron Man. But as hard as it is for me to give up these things to achieve my goal – can you imagine how hard it is for the children at DMCCC? I think when you’re in a position that you can give time, passion and money to those kids who really need the support, you have to do it.” You can even track Jim during his working out via his training log on the Iron Cause for Iron Kids website.

Work starts on new Cemetery for San Pedro
With the present cemetery in use for decades beginning from the days when San Pedro was just a fishing village, the quickly expanding population has lead to a very congested cemetery with limited to no space for new burials. With this in mind San Pedro authorities have now allocated an area to be designated for a new cemetery. This past week, work commenced on a five acre plot of solid land located some two and a half miles south of San Pedro town, the area where the new San Pedro cemetery will be located. At the site on Friday May 25th were: Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. Minister of Tourism and Culture; Daniel Guerrero, Mayor of San Pedro, and Councilor Severo Guerrero Jr., councilor responsible for cemeteries. According to Heredia, this is a major accomplishment for both the San Pedro Town Council as well as himself, as the Minister of Tourism, “From the past town council, the idea of finding a new cemetery was born. For many years we have been hearing of the need for a new cemetery. Well, now it is here.”

‘14 Years of neglect is enough’… say frustrated San Mateo residents
First created 14 years ago as a sub-division, the San Mateo community continues to be neglected. Residents have been deprived of the basic infrastructures required to have a normal life by world standards. After land was distributed in 1997 by the then Mayor of San Pedro Manuel Heredia JR, with the understanding that it would be improved, residents are now demanding that the adequate infrastructure be placed. The frustration and issues affecting San Mateo is not a new subject to San Pedro. In fact it has been chronicled time and time again in The San Pedro Sun. Most recently San Mateo was featured in the Spring 2012 publication of M-Powered, a magazine produced by journalism students from the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) USA, who visited the San Mateo area. What is frustrating to the 569 residents of the San Mateo subdivision is the condition they are forced to live in. While it is a culture shock for visitors who may learn that within Belize’s number-one tourism destination lies one of the poorest and badly planned subdivisions in the entire country, the issues at hand are a harsh reality for the people who live there. The subdivision lacks proper potable water services, adequate road infrastructure, adequate or sufficient energy distribution and no sewage system. Homes are surrounded by mangrove swamps and the only hope of landfill materials available is the garbage collected from the island that is trucked into the area by the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC). The island’s garbage, combined with the improper waste disposal from the area poses not only an environmental concern but a very serious health hazard that residents have to live with on a daily basis, one that could be detrimental to the entire island.

Interoffice Basketball League 2012 kicks off: Tuff E Nuff wins!
The Interoffice Basketball League 2012 started on Friday May 25th in Belize City. San Pedro is being represented in the league by the Tuff E Nuff Tours team. The league has a total of 10 teams who will be challenging each other during the regular season to win a space in the playoffs scheduled to start on June 29th. Tuff E Nuff started the regular season on the right foot having won its first two games in the regular season. In its first game, which was the inaugural game on Friday May 25 at the Birds Isle in Belize City, Tuff E Nuff managed to edge Alamilla Furniture Boys by a score of 53 to 51 points. It was a disappointment for the Alamilla Furniture Boys having dominating three quarters by 13 points. Tuff E Nuff made a remarkable come-back in the last quarter topping the Belize City based team by a two -points lead in the last five seconds before the long whistle.

Ambergris Today

Over 60 Potential Cultural Tourism Champions Trained
Cultural Tourism, allows for visitors to a country to be engulfed and enriched through the region's culture, lifestyle, history of the people, their art, architecture, religion(s), and other elements that helped shape their way of life. This sector is identified as a priority product and key tourist attractor within the National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan of Belize. The Ministry of Tourism and Culture, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) and Beltraide partnered to create a Cultural Tourism Training Workshop and its guide called, ‘Belize: Cultural Tourism Development: A Handbook for Community Champions, How to develop, promote and run your cultural tourism business.’ These trainings are to stimulate the development of cultural tourism in Belize, particularly in some of the emerging destinations.

Misc Belizean Sources

North Beach Charity Poker Run Thursday
Thursday May 24 th @ 1:30 Captain Morgans, Kama Lounge, The Hotel, Cowboy Bar, and Capricorn are hosting a Charity Poker Run. Raising money for an Emergency Medical Outpost. $40 per hand which includes a drink at each place where you pick up your card. Must be at Captain Morgans no earlier than 6.Drawing is at 6:30. Starts at Kama Lounge.

VIDEO: Amigos del Mar, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Watch all the great dive sites Amigos del Mar has to offer to you, the come to Belize and experience them with us for yourself. Great local music by Will and Dale

Mad Dog Motors has a new web site
Mad Dog Motors, the best car repair shop around, has a new web site. The Cayo Scoop scooped it! Kudos to Stephany Espat, Jensine Gentle, and Jasmine Gentle for coming up with such a great site. JCariddi Photography got some great photos of Mad Dog Motors' shop. Their motto is outstanding! "A project can be good and cheap but it won't be fast. It can be fast and cheap but it won't be good. It can be fast and good but it won't be cheap."

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step
Glenn Tillett Jr. submitted this essay to Chaa Creek for the Eco Kids Summer Camp. Great goals! There is still a week left to submit an essay. "Every journey starts by taking the first step. My first step is to be an Eco kid! My first mission is to be an eco- warden. I pledge that wherever I go I will pick up litter. I will be a spokesperson in making sure children in my school put litter in its proper place. My wish is that one day I can organize clean -up campaigns in neighborhoods around my town. Land pollution causes a depletion of soil nutrients which prevents grass, flowers and new trees from budding. In turn we have less oxygen to breathe."

Caye Caulker commences Tour Guide Training
Last week a new Tour Guide training course got underway here in Caye Cauker. The course was put together by the Forest and Marine Reserves Association of Caye Caulker (FAMRACC) on behalf of the Belize Tourist Board and is being co-ordinated by our own marine bioligist and eco-warrior, Ellen McRae. Thirty five candidates commenced the course (a much higher turnout than usual) all hoping that at the end of the course, they will be a fully fledged Tour Guide. The course will require the students to be present from Monday to Friday (inclusive) until August. The course will cover 7 Chapters (each with an exam that the students are required to pass), a CPR course, a swimming exercise and a fieldwork. The students are required to learn in detail about Belize’s history, geography, population demographic and its politics. The course will also include a Chapter on presentation including both presenting to a group and about their presentation as a Tour Guide. Shane Anderson (or Big Shane) as we often call him, has already passed with flying colors the first three exams as in his eagerness to become a Tour Guide he has been traveling to and fro from San Pedro to take exams. He will join the course at the appropriate time and will be joined with Shane Sho (Li Shane) and Dylan Blease too! Although the success rate for these exams is often very low we are confident that all our candidates will achieve their goal! Good luck to all concerned and thank you Ellen McRae and FAMRACC for putting together this very much needed course together!

Channel 7

FOUR MEN GET OFF DRUG RELATED DOUBLE MURDER
An hour ago, Brionne Swift, Victor Garnett, Frank Edwards, and Gabriel Salazar became free men after they were acquitted before Justice Herbert Lord of the June 2009 double murder of James Swan and Edward "Bro Lee" Gutierrez. It made the headlines of all the media houses when their bodies were found 20 miles north of San Pedro Town in 2009. It was believed that their murders were drug related. The prosecution, represented by Senior Crown Counsel Cecil Ramirez, called Eric Swan, brother of the James Swan to provide the key witness testimony. Swan testified under oath that on June 29, 2009, he went fishing with his brother, James Swan, and Edward Gutierrez. According to Swan, 2 hours later, they took their boat to the Bachalar Chico area and all 3 of them got off. Several minutes later he saw 6 men coming toward them, and when they came closer, he saw that they were all armed with firearms. He pointed out all 4 of the accused as being part of this group which approached them. The 6 men then allegedly confronted all 3 men about the location of, quote "the package". Swan said that 2 of men held him hostage, and the other 4 then took James Swan and Edward Gutierrez to a secluded area of the beach. An hour later, he heard gunshots, and when the 4 men returned they did not bring back Swan and Gutierrez with him. Swan continued that the men continued to hold him hostage for 24 hours, and when they got into another boat the next day, police arrived and fired on them. The police then arrested everyone in the boat. Swan told the court that since the day that those men took his brother and Gutierrez, he hasn't seen them alive again.

TEENAGER CHARGED FOR KILLING BUSINESS OWNER
2 weeks ago, 48 year-old Jeremy McNab, the owner of Mobile Hardware Store, on Currasow Street, was murdered inside his store. Well today, police arrested and charged 18 year-old Anthony Carballo Jr for the crime. Carballo, who is a resident of Tigris Street, was arraigned in Magistrate's Court today for murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Due to the nature of the offenses, he was not eligible for bail, and he was remanded until July 12. According to reliable information, Carballo was initially detained pending an investigation for a robbery, but under questioning, he allegedly confessed, and gave a signed statement in which he also gave police information about his accomplice. As we reported, McNab was in his business place along with 2 employees at around 7 p.m. on May 17, when 2 men entered. According to police, the men had a conversation with McNab, and one of them suddenly pulled out a 9 mm handgun. That gunman then shot McNab 3 times at point blank range in chest, and he died on the spot. After McNab was shot, his assailants made off with his licensed firearm and stole nothing else.

STREETS PAVED WITH CONCRETE HIRE AT-RISK YOUTH
We've reported many times on the difficulties with the gang truce work programme. Well, another kind of work programme, which is far stricter and firmly result-oriented has commenced in the city. It started last year on Bishop Street in Belize City and is continuing with two much-used streets. It is a project spearheaded by CISCO construction to pave streets with concrete - instead of the standard pavement. It is a labour intensive, long-term project that aims to provide jobs and thoroughfares that will endure for decades. It will employ about 25 men to do the concrete paving of two streets totalling 870 feet. Today we visited South Street where we spoke to Francis Woods who told us more about the project and the people working on it. Francis Woods - CISCO Construction "These guys are very optimistic. They hope to be finished by Saturday, but I'd say no later than Wednesday of next week, and then we'll need a week of curing, so a total time of hopefully no more than 14 days. Our new mayor is very aggressive in fixing streets.

RE-PAVED ORANGE STREET LASTED TWO YEARS
And one street that sure could use a few dozen sacks of that concrete is Orange Street. After being paved just over two years ago - tonight the news is that the troublesome section of that street has again fallen into ruin. In what seems to be a chronic problem with drainage - the sections of the streets near Extra House is again populated with potholes, forcing pedestrians to walk in the street. Much fanfare was made in January of 2010 when the street was paved by the Ministry of Works with so called emergency funds from Central Government. That was seventy thousand dollars for the paving of the area between Euphrates Avenue and Orange Street - and now, the most troublesome part needs paving again.

MAN HAS PROHIBITED FIREARM IN JAIL
26 year-old Cecil Castillo, who is currently on remand for murder, is facing a firearms charged after a homemade firearm was discovered in his cell yesterday. According to police, the prison authorities received information of an illegal item in Castillo's possession, and as a result, they went and searched his cell in the Tango 9 Section of the facility. They found a homemade firearm in the cell. He was brought to court this afternoon and he was arraigned for 1 count of keeping a prohibited firearm, to which he pleaded not guilty. He was remanded July 31, his next court date. It is important to note that Castillo was acquitted 2 months ago of the attempted murder of Darwin Phillips, and he was on remanded for a murder charge in Cayo, which is still pending.

COMMUNITY WATCH CAUGHT PLACENCIA BURGLARS
A vigilant community crime watch in the Placencia area led to the collaring of three men accused of a brazen burglary. It happened on Monday afternoon in the Maya beach area where a pair of homeowners were sitting on the beach taking in some sea breeze. A few minutes later the lady of the house turned around and saw a tall dark skinned man bounding off her veranda with her laptop computer under his arm. Her husband and a neighbor unsuccessfully chased him into the bush while two other suspects headed south along the beach. That might have been the end of it, but the victims activated the local Crime Watch network and 22 year old Ambrose Joseph, aka 'Monkey Man', and 21 year old Lionel Vasquez, aka 'Dallas', were apprehended by citizens a half mile away. Police, who were on patrol in the area, arrived immediately and arrested the pair while 22 year old Kendale Ramirez, aka 'Snakey', was detained about an hour later at his home in Seine Bight. But that wasn't the end of it; under questioning, police also recovered the stolen items. Under questioning, Ramirez led police to a bushy area near the scene of the crime where the laptop, an ipod and cell phone, all belonging to the homeowners, were recovered.

THE TEXTING PHENOMENON: MILLIONS OF TEXTS SENT DAILY
Unless you've been living under a rock somewhere, you'll know that texting has really caught on in the past few years. It seems everyone is doing it, from youths to senior citizens, students to businesspersons to politicians. And they're sending those text messages every which way, from English to text slang, to creole, talking about the serious, the mundane, right down to the silly. Our intern Robin Schaffer is part of what might be called Generation Text - youths who have forged an almost spiritual connection with their cell phones. For the past few weeks, she's been gathering information on texting habits - and it provides a compelling profile of a communication transformation. Here's her report: Robin Schaffer Reporting It seems like every time you look around someone is text messaging - pedestrians, drivers, bicycle riders. Indeed, this texting thing is not just a fad, it's a way of life and a preferred means of communication for many.

HATE THY NEIGHBOR BECAUSE OF ONE MAN'S WORST FRIEND
3 weeks ago, 7News told you about 33 year-old Russell Gongora, a businessman of Los Lagos, was arraigned for harm in the Magistrate's Court. It is alleged that Gongora's dogs attacked a man, but instead of helping the man defending himself, Gongora fought with him. Well today, the victim, 35 year-old Andre Gonzalez, was brought to court in a cross complaint about the same incident, and 37 year-old Raphael Gongora, who is the owner of the dogs - and also Gongora's brother - was also arraigned. Gonzalez was charged with 2 counts of harm, which he allegedly committed against the Gongora brothers, and Raphael Gongora was charged with keeping a ferocious dog without a muzzle. Both men pleaded not guilty to the charges, and they were both granted bail, which they were able to meet.

DATA TO MARK THE SPOT
Today, a Belize National Spatial Data Infrastructure Policy was drafted in a workshop in Belize City. Now, if the term Spatial Data - sounds a little out there, it isn't; basically it's information that is presented on a map - such as google maps. The information then can be analyzed to figure out solutions to some of Belize's problems from property zoning and to policing. It holds great potential, and today Wilbert Vallejos, the commissioner of lands, explained exactly what the workshop was about, and how Belize can benefit. Wilbert Vallejos - Commissioner of Lands "What this workshop is doing today is creating a policy that would set out the standards and protocols that would allow all these organizations who have these organizations to be able to communicate properly. Really, what we're trying to do is just establishing the framework of bring all this information together, and able to do it as a country with rules standards and protocols so that everybody can benefit."

KHMH, A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE IF YOU'RE DEAD
When we report on Belize's high murder rate, and high mortality rate for traffic accidents - apart from the initial trauma, there's another side to that story, and it's the issue of where all the dead are stored. Truth is, the morgue at the KHMH has been functioning at a level far above which it was originally designed for - and on some deadly weekends - storing all the dead can become problematic. But lately the KHMH administration has been making significant changes in that area of the hospital. We found out more today: Robin Schaffer Reporting Many would agree that the morgue at the KHMH has been functioning at a level far above which it was originally designed for - especially with the upsurge in fatal accidents and murders in the past years. But lately they are some significant changes being done to that particular area of the hospital. Today the media were all invited to tour a roomy, refurbished and gleaming new morgue.

MANATEE ALERT...
The Belize Port Authority along with the Coastal Zone Management have placed No Wake signs at the mouth of the Haulover Creek - to alert boat captains that they must approach the area with caution - due to the fact that it is one of the more popular hangout spots for manatees. The media was invited out on a boat ride this afternoon to view the area -where the greatest number of manatee collisions occurs. The No Wake signs are being enforced and boats are to traffic the area at no more than 5 miles per hour - if not, there is a penalty. Research associate Jamal Galvez explains: Jamal Galvez - Manatee Research Associate/CZM We had these signs donated to us from Save the Manatee Club from Florida along with Sea to Shore Alliance. We've noticed that the majority of manatee collisions are in this area, so we're focusing on this area by using these signs and working together along with the Port Authority to regulate boat movement within this area to see if it may change the rate of manatee deaths in the area. We have no-wake zone coming in toward the river mouth and leaving the river. It's pretty much a couple of yards away from each other, but it's a small area in which we've seen a lot of manatees. We know that the boat traffic is very high in this area. So, we're hoping this regulation may change boat movements in this area and eventually change the increase the increase in mortality rates. We have a couple more signs coming in, especially on for the Manatee Lookout area where most people know that you can go and have a beer, or have lunch, and you can actually see a manatee from there. So, we are actually trying to protect the manatees in the area where they are more present."

Channel 5

Morgue gets upgraded and increases spaces for bodies
The morgue at the nation’s referral hospital has gone through a major renovation. In a onetime deal, the media was allowed in this morning to view the improvements made to the unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The facility now has more capacity, is more efficient and grieving family members will have access to [...]

More students needed to study pathology
Medicine is a hot career path in which the competition is brutal. But the pathology profession in Belize is not meeting the demand. Doctor Hugh Sanchez, whose schedule is always booked, says that the country needs at least three more persons to pursue pathology studies.   Dr. Hugh Sanchez, Pathologist “I am the pathologist and [...]

Is the K.H.M.H. whistleblower case D.O.A.?
In late December of 2011, a former employee of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital collected over ten thousand files that contained potentially damaging information about procurement practices and purchases made with K.H.M.H. credit cards. Delroy Herrera made the allegations and much was expected of the potentially explosive documents. That prompted the administration to send out [...]

“Snakey” and “Monkey-man” busted for Placencia burglaries
In the south, a trio of suspected burglars is in police custody tonight. The three men were nabbed by residents of thePlacenciaPeninsulaafter word went out that a well known couple had been robbed. Twenty-two year old Kendale Ramirez, aka ‘Snakey’, was today charged with Burglary while twenty two year old Ambrose Joseph, aka ‘Monkey Man’, [...]

Marion Jones speaks candidly on Piers Morgan Show
Former Olympic champion, Marion Jones is the first and only Belizean to win Olympic medals, not one but five. She gained international prominence after winning the medals at the Sydney Olympics in the year 2000. When she crossed the finishing line she raised the Belize flag; she captured the love of the nation and the [...]

Marion Jones talks about prison and family
Prison life was not easy, but Jones says the hardest part was being away from her family, particularly her sons, who were toddlers at the time of her imprisonment.   Piers Morgan “What was the single worst moment for you of the whole thing when you look back?”   Marion Jones “The single worst moment [...]

Saving the manatee population
From time to time we have reported on the threats to manatees. The Sea to Shore Alliance has been monitoring the gentle mammals and has found out that their increased mortality rate could either be because there are more manatees or more boat traffic in the area. The Alliance is determined to enforce regulations to [...]

Everything you didn’t know about Spatial Data
Spatial data; little is known of it but the Ministry of Natural Resources says it’s hoping to change that. The subject which looks at the size, area and position of any location or phenomenon is for the most part not organized in a systematic way in Belize. Since 2009, however, spatial work groups under the [...]

LOVE TV

BSI workers approve sale of shares to American Sugar Refineries
BSI stakeholders gathered this morning at the factory site in Tower Hill. The purpose of the extra ordinary meeting was the presentation of a resolution to allow acquisition of majority shares of BSI by American Sugar Refineries. The largest owner of shares in BSI presently is BSI Employee Holding Trust which represents the staff and hourly workers of the company. This morning these beneficiaries were asked to vote either for or against the resolutions presented to them. But before we tell you how that went, this afternoon Love News spoke with Managing Director of BSI, Joey Montalvo who was sure to make a clarification that BSI is not selling out. Montalvo explained that after ING informed them back in 2010 that it was unable to continue financing, BSI saw it necessary to search for substitute banks. Back in 2011 we heard about Banco Atlantida who were interested in purchasing shares as well as invest in the company. That did not work out. Today BSI owes approximately US$62 million dollars to its creditors. According to Montalvo American Sugar Refinery has previously bought sugar from BSI and since early last year has been well acquainted with BSI. American Sugar Refinery expressed interest in investing in the company and in return acquires shares, but for that to happen it was important that the majority owners accept the proposal. Majority holders is BEH, with 81.29% shares of the company. Since last week representatives of the Belize workers Union have been meeting with BSI to reach a memorandum of understanding for a number of concerns, one of them the employees’ job security. After the voting this morning, Love News caught up with Ian Leiva President of the BWU. Attorney for the BSI Group, Michael Young explained that the way the company operates is that the factory will remain in the hands of Belize to be managed. Leiva said the BWU is satisfied with the agreement reached with BSI. For their part, American Sugar Refinery representative Jonathan Bamberger explained that after studies conducted they are sure they are making a good investment. Back in 2011 the Government of Belize extended a hand to the company in the sum of $10 million when the company was in financial constraints. With this new investors, Senator Godwin Hulse said GOB welcomes it. According to Montalvo 94% of all beneficiaries under BEH Trust turn out to vote. He added that the company’s board of directors has authorized for the share acquisition to be completed by the end of June. So far, Montalvo says they are moving on target.

Residents of Benque Viejo protest over land ownership
A primary school in Benque Viejo del Carmen town yesterday staged a small protest in front of their school grounds in that western municipality. It had the participation of students, teachers and a few parents all carrying colorful banners. At issue is the ownership of a piece of land in the town. According to Member of the Board of the Hills of Promise Seventh Day Adventist Primary School, Kelly Guerra, someone else is claiming that they own a piece of land that the school has been modifying to build a new playground for the children. The principal of the school Esmay Neal Graham says that it is unfair because the school has worked so hard on the land for it to be given away just like that. Love News spoke with a representative for the family in question, Ignacio Barrerra who told us that it was all a confusion and that the land owned by the family is the one across the street from the school, however the school officials say Barrerra is lying since he showed them documents showing them the same lot number that they are concerned about. Love News tried to get a word with the Commissioner of Lands Wilbert Vallejos about the situation in Benque Viejo del Carmen. But after waiting around for over an hour in his office, our reporter was told that Vallejos was not available to talk with us.

NEMO prepares for Hurricane Season
Two days away from the start of the Hurricane Season, officials at NEMO are finalizing preparations for what has been forecast to be an average year. But still, no one is taking any chances, especially people in San Pedro town. Love TV’s Mara Novelo reports.

YWCA gets million dollar project
The Young Women’s Christian Association has been around for the past 57 years conducting skills training to particularly single mothers and at risk teenage girls. Now the non-government organization is expanding its reach to four rural communities to enhance upon an existing project. It comes through a hefty donation of close to a million dollars from the European Union and along with it will come the construction of a new building. While the official signing ceremony was done this morning, the project won’t come to fruition for another three years, when the building is complete and the work kicks off. The Y’s General Secretary, Sonia Lenares, told Love News that the scope of the project will encompass training that will advance upon the previous one conducted in 2008 when 200 women engaged in sessions to learn income-generating skills. At the helm of the operations will be Regina Cambell. In the interim, the YWCA will communicate with groups in the various rural communities to get feedback on what training they require.

Statistics show further decrease in AIDS cases
The National TB, HIV/AIDS & other STIs Program of the Ministry of Health has released the latest statistical data. According to the synopsis, for the year 2011, there was a further documented decrease in the number of new HIV infections, with a total of 226 new infections for the year. [VO STARTS HERE] This according to the statistical data, represents a further 7.4% decrease when compared to 2010 data. This is now the third year in a row that documented decreases in confirmed HIV cases has happened. The Ministry of Health says that this represents close to a 100% reduction in cases from the peak number in 2004 and that the decreasing trend also reflects a better data collection and processing, which eliminates duplication. According to the Ministry of Health, TB, HIV along with other STIs continue to be a health priority given its’ evolving dynamics, and the impact that it has over the multiple and cross sectional layers of society. The information contained in the statistical data was derived primarily from the Belize Health Information System, except for the private entities that submit manual reports. In addition to the reduction n new AIDS cases, the statistical data shows that new HIV infections continue to affect all age groups, albeit, the majority of the new cases continue to be in the younger age groups, particularly those between 20 to 34 years. The male to female ratio has undergone changes over the last years and the previous notion of a ‘feminization’ of the disease is no longer applicable to the Belize epidemic as there is a gradual transition towards a higher ratio for males.

National Festival of Arts underway
The National Festival of Arts was launched during an opening ceremony at the House of Culture in Belize City this morning. Hundreds of children from all over the country of Belize including teachers and parents attended the ceremony and were dressed in different attires and costumes in preparation of a parade after the ceremonies. During the Keynote Address on behalf of the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Manuel Heredia, CEO in the Ministry, Tracey-Taegar Panton stressed the importance of having the children participate in initiatives to highlight culture. The audience was entertained by several presentations by the schools that were present and the President of NICH, Diane Haylock Declared the National Festival of Arts open after stressing how crucial it is to have the participation of our children in art. Although everyone had started lining up for the parade, it was promptly cancelled due to the rain, but that did not stop some of the bands, stilt walkers, drummers and dancers to continue to dance under the rain in the House of Culture compound. Belize, Belmopan and Orange Walk Primary Schools are scheduled to make their presentations at 10 o’clock tomorrow morning at the Bliss.

Man charged for the murder of Jason Canto
Twenty three year old Norman Slusher was this morning arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on a single count of murder. Slusher, was charged in connection with the May tenth shooting death of Jason Canto at Dale’s Barber shop. Slusher who had been hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital was released into police custody on Friday and taken to court this morning. No plea was taken from him as the matter is indictable. Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer remanded Slusher into prison and ordered that he reappear in court on June twenty ninth.

Trio accused of theft of government vehicle gets bail
Three people who are charged with the theft of a government vehicle assigned to the Ministry of Health, reappeared in the Magistrate’s Court his morning and were granted bail. Twenty three year old constable Marvin Wade, thirty two year old Jason Wade and twenty four year old Herwin Godoy were each offered bail by Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer in the sum of twenty thousand dollars. According to court reports, the trio was also given partial disclosure of the evidence against them by the police prosecutor. The Wade brothers and Godoy are charged jointly for the crimes of taking a Motor Vehicle without Authority and Handling Stolen Goods.

Pawn shop money gone missing
One Belize City businessman is reeling from a significant dent in his cash pan funds and the economic rigidity has nothing to do with it. (VO of First Stop Pawn Shop) Today Gilroy Usher Junior, the co-owner of First Stop Pawn Shop on the first flat of the Commercial Centre, told Love news that he made a discouraging discovery on Monday night that close to ten thousand dollars had been wiped clean out of his cash pan. Love News has learned that the cash went missing not over a period of time, but in one huge swipe on Monday. Police have detained three persons, including two current male employees and a female who was fired less than two weeks ago from the same establishment. A fourth employee, a woman, is said to not be a suspect in the theft. The intricacies of the incident and exactly how it happened are still under investigation, including how the former employee is involved. A check late this evening for an update on the incident revealed that the two male employees who are in detention claim that the business was robbed of the money on Monday evening.

Security guard shot in the hand
A man was shot in both hands on Monday afternoon in Belize City. The victim has been identified as thirty year old Security Guard Glen Staine. According to police reports. Staine, was sitting down at the corner of La Croix Boulevard and Park Street, when the sound of gunfire was heard. Staine then realized that he had been shot to the right and left hands. Police investigation continues.

Man robbed in front of BTL park
A man was robbed of his belongings on Monday afternoon in Belize City. Fifty one year old John Michael Toledo, told police that around 1:45 yesterday afternoon, whilst sitting on his motorcycle in front of BTL Park on Newtown Barracks, he was approached by two Hispanic men riding on bicycles. One of the men who was armed with a knife held up Toledo and demanded his property. Fearing for his life, police say Toledo handed over his laptop computer valued at two thousand, five hundred dollars and other personal document. After the jacking, the robbers fled the scene. Police investigation continues.

Cargo truck and 11 grand missing
There is a cargo truck missing tonight, and police as well as the owner of the truck is trying to track down the vehicle. According to police reports, Corozal businessman Daniel Moreno gave the truck to his worker Gerald Burk Rolland of Orange Walk, with the instruction to do some land filling in Sarteneja village, Corozal. That was on the morning of Monday, April thirtieth. Two weeks later, on May eighteenth, the same Gerald Burk Rolland was given an eleven thousand dollars advance for work being done, by a man named Omar Sosa. Two weeks later, Gerald Burk Rolland has not returned to his boss with the money or the White Suburban Cargo Truck, which bears Corozal licence plates A-4795. Police investigation continues.

Honduran ambassador visits Toledo
The Ambassador of Honduras to Belize Sandra Rosales Abeya, yesterday completed an official visit to Punta Gorda town. Our Toledo correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

The thrill of the greasy police documented on film
Rice and beans, chicken and salad for dinner on Sunday is a typical Belizean tradition. And in the realm of entertainment, the good old greasy pole has to stand out as one of the top attractions. In fact, the climbing of the greasy police has captured the imagination of a television program all the way from Germany. They were in San Pedro recently to check out the spectacle, and Love TV’s Maria Novelo was among the spectators.

PlusTV

KMHK morgue gets top-notch renovation
The morgue at the KHMH has been newly renovated. This is news worthy especially after complaints about no space in ...

Public Service Information Day celebrated countrywide
Today our news crew took the familiarization tour of the many display booths erected in recognition of Public Servi...

Consultation on National Spatial Data Infrastructure Policy
National consultation on draft for National Spatial Data infrastructure (NSDI) policy held today. Today at the Radi...

New work permit policy being drafted
Foreigners who travel to our country Belize and wish make an income must first get a work permit. In general, there...

Teen charged for Jeremy McNab murder
Almost two weeks ago, Belize City businessman 48 year old Jeremy Ellis McNab was shot and killed. Today, police say...

Min. Faber invites public to open forum on education
The Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, invites stakeholders of education in the following...

Owner of missing cargo truck seeks public's help
A cargo truck has disappeared, and police as well as the owner of the truck is trying to locate the vehicle. Accord...

First Stop Pawn Shop robbed, employees detained
First Stop Pawn Shop in Belize City was robbed. An estimated $10,000 went missing from the Pawn Shop located at the...

Grand plans for World Oceans Day
The Coastal Zone Management Authority & Institute (CZMAI) in the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries & Sustainable Deve...

Blogs

Hurricane Preparations
I was trying to work out which of the gazillion things to cross of my to do list today and decided to let the weather dictate my direction. The overcast skies and rain put hurricane preparation at the top of my list. Who needs Doomsday Preppers when you have yearly hurricane season? Actually I have seen a few good ideas on that show and some stockpiles that put ours to shame. I started by cleaning out my food basket and the top shelves of our food cupboard so that we can start adding to our hurricane food supply. While I was taking a break to let the shelves dry, I came back to work for a bit and opened a very timely email by Blaine Shranka Outreach Director Everyday Health in New York. As part of Hurricane Preparedness Week 2012, Everyday Health has created The Hurricane Disaster-Proof Healthy Eating Guide to serve as the food preparedness resource for upcoming hurricane season and all natural disasters. Hurricane disaster experts advise that you store enough food and clean water for your family in case of an emergency. Everyday Health has created a guide to good choices for health-conscious families, as well as those who have diabetes or other medical conditions. Hurricane Preparedness: A Guide to Eating Healthy in an Emergency.

The Mayor Talks About Dogs, The Streets & Mosquitos On Today's Morning Show
The mayor was allotted just 30 minutes to discuss a wide range of topics (too little Reef TV!). Here's my brief summary: 1. The Streets: Always a huge source of contention when the rainy season begins, all talk in town has turned to the weather and the bad state of the roads. The Mayor and his counsel are well aware of the situation in San Pedrito, DFC, San Mateo, up north and Boca del Rio...basically all areas with sand and dirt roads. He assures us that there is a plan and that most of it cannot be enacted until the rain stops (not for a few more days). Rather than do a full overhaul of the streets (which is impossible for many reasons at this time), the plan is to create a sidewalk. Full details were not discussed...but I'll take it! It will be nice to walk to my local market and not be covered in mud. 2. Educating On & Enforcing the Dog Laws: There are too many stray dogs on the island. I'm guessing that most of us can agree on that. They also mentioned that the raccoon population is bigger than we've seen in years. The near term plan (over next few months) is to license all pet dogs. There will be a dog catcher that will collect stray or troublesome dogs...your dog will be returned to you for a fee. Strays will be spayed and neutered or euthanized if they are in bad shape. DOG OWNERS HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES. Keep your dog on a leash, clean up after your dog. Danny correctly stated we are "no longer La Isla Bonita if we have all this crap all over the street!" A fee structure will be in place...mainly fines for your dog being picked up by the town. Ultimately, the town council would like to find a way to prevent people from breeding dogs on the mainland and bringing them to San Pedro. For all of these changes, they plan to work closely with SAGA and the SP Animal Hospital. 3. Mosquito Spraying: During the campaign, the mayor promised spraying for mosquitoes early and often. When he took office he found that the Health Department is in charge of the spraying schedule. Good news: there is a new spraying machine on the island (bringing us to two) and more foggers on the way. Once the rains have stopped, the heavy spraying will take place. Other things mentioned: please drill a hole in your trash drum so that it can drain of water. Also try to keep the drum to a reasonable weight. The town trash collectors have one of the hardest jobs on the island. Let's try to help them out!

International Sources

Analyzing Royalty’s Mystique
Next week, after the confetti from Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee celebration has been swept from the streets of London, more than 100 scholars will convene at Kensington Palace to ponder a phenomenon as puzzling as it is familiar: the robust survival of the British monarchy in a democratic age that long ago consigned similar institutions to the gilded dustbin of history. This three-day conference, which will feature talks on subjects ranging from hats and monarchs to the role of the Crown in a constitutional system, commemorates the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s ascension to the throne as well as the recently completed renovation of the palace. But it can also be seen as an unofficial celebration of another refurbishment: that of the study of modern monarchy itself.

The Queen of Diamonds
The sparkle and splendor of royal diamonds, laced with stories of historic grandeur and family love, will go on show in Britain this summer. The diamond jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, to be celebrated publicly this weekend with a four-day festival, is being backed up by unprecedented disclosure of royal treasures from Buckingham Palace. While cities and villages flutter with red, white and blue bunting and shop windows are decorated with objects incorporating the Union Jack, there is an easier and less uptight relationship between palace and people. In the same open spirit with which last year’s wedding of Catherine Middleton and Prince William, now Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, was celebrated with ceremony but not too much pomp, the big ease has reached the vaults of monarchy. Hence the unprecedented display of royal treasures.

SLIDESHOW: Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee
This week Britain is celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s diamond jubilee, commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s ascension to the throne. Queen Elizabeth II in her coronation crown in 1953. More photos of the monarch are on the following slides.

Carnival Liberty Day 4: Everything old is new again
Having spent so much time working on my tan on tropical islands over the past week, I thought it was about time my cultural-self got a work out. Belize was our next port of call and is most famous for the archarchaeological site Altun Ha, that houses Mayan temples believed to date back to 100AD. Deciding to purchase a tour in port as opposed to through Carnival, my Minnesota friend Del and I boarded the tender to shore more than a little nervous about our 'risqué' decision. The common concern about purchasing shore tours yourself is always that you won't return to the ship on time, thus risking the ship leaving without you or waiting and lobbing you with a hefty fine. Having never taken this risk before, I was keen to obtain some advice from a crew member who directed us to the tour desk for a company he said was reputable and, most importantly, affordable. We selected the rainforest, country and Altun Ha ruins tour that retailed for well over USD$100 onboard but was available for a mere USD$49 in Belize. With a little time to spare, we check out the wide variety of shops lining the port and I eyed some very convincing knock off designer suitcases that would definitely solve my problem regarding having run out of room in my luggage.

Anguilla hosts 23rd Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Social Security
The Anguilla Social Security Board will host the 23rd Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Social Security from May 31 to June 01, 2012. The conference, which will be held at Paradise Cove Resort, will bring together key Social Security and National Insurance officials from some 13 countries throughout the region including Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and The Grenadines, The British Virgin Islands, Antigua and Barbuda, as well as host country Anguilla. Also attending the meeting will be specialists from the CARICOM Secretariat.

Ryan Chan wins his first Mission Catwalk Challenge
It took ten tries, but T&T designer Ryan Chan can finally call himself a Mission Catwalk challenge winner. Episode ten of the Caribbean fashion reality series saw Chan and five other designers creating a prom dress for a high school girl—a test not only of their design skills but their ability to work with a client. A statement from Jamaica’s publication firm AG Select Public Relations, quoted Chan as saying: “I made sure to ask my model what her favourite colour combination was. She, without hesitating, answered ‘pink and black’, also my two favourite colours! I created a pink dress with peau de soie fabric and used black accessories.

Wild Belize: Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve
Belize's 107,000-acre Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve is home to exotic wildlife such as Cougars, Jaguars, Ocelots, Crocodiles, and many bird species. For the best chance of spotting a big cat, go on a moonlight jaguar hunt (of the non-violent kind). The Rio On Pools are one of the best attractions in the reserve. Waterfalls flow over smooth granite, creating shallow pools perfect for sunbathing and lounging. Take the stairs down to the lower pools, or hike upstream for better views and bigger pools. If you're interested in Mayan history, be sure to check out Barton Creek Cave. Mayan artifacts have been found all over the area, and it's believed that the Cave was a former ritual site.

May 30, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.


Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

The Palometa Report: Tarpon fishing in Belize
Even with our rainy weather this past week, many guides have been getting their clients into tarpon. Seems like the big fish have come home a bit early So with tarpon season just around the corner, many anglers will be flocking to Belize in the hopes of hooking into our big migratory tarpon. These giants run anywhere from 80-200 pounds and are truly one of the greatest game fish on the planet. Tackle plays a crucial role in the outcome of landing one of these tarpon. By making sure you come prepared with the correct tackle, your odds of boating a big fish will increase dramatically. But beware, once on the end of your line the fight is far from over. 2-4 hour battles are commonplace when fighting fish of this size. In the end your angling skill and equipment will be the deciding factor. A little bit of luck never hurts either. This week’s tip: For tarpon fishing in Belize you will need two fly lines for success. One should be a floating saltwater line, with the other being a full intermediate. This will allow you to fish the flats or target bigger fish in deeper water. These lines paired with 10 & 12 weight fly rods will prepare you for battling the silver king.

German reality series “Das Duell um die Welt” films in San Pedro
Residents would certainly have noticed a group of guys with video cameras and production equipment making their way through the streets of San Pedro on the 24th and 25th of May. They were a film crew from a German digital production company, Endemol, here on the island filming an episode of a new prime time reality series called “Joko gegen Klaas – Das Duell um die Welt” exclusively for German television network ProSeiben (Pro7). In English the show is called “Joko vs. Klaas – The Battle for the World”, and is a reality show that pins its two stars against one another in a series of challenges all over the globe. Hosts Joachim ‘Joko’ Winterscheidt and Klaas Heufer-Umlauf give each other a series of outrageous and tough challenges in countries all over the world; they know where they’re going but have no idea what they will have to do until they get there. It is a travel game show and reality series where each host tries to push the other to their limits in an attempt to be crowned the “world champion” by taking on all the obstacles and coming out on top as the one who has won the battle for world domination. It is a high stakes truth or dare without the truth but a whole lot of dare!

Ambergris Today

Leo’s Club Adds Youthful Energy to San Pedro Lions Club
The San Pedro Lions Club members gathered on Saturday, May 26, 2012, to incorporate and officially install the new Leo’s Club as a positive addition to the Lions Club. The Leo Club objective is to provide the youth of the world an opportunity for development and contribution, individually and collectively, as responsible members of the local, national and international community. Leo Clubs encourage youths to develop leadership qualities by participating in social service activities. They are dependent on a Lions Club to sponsor and initiate a Leo Club. They conduct various projects in the fields of health care, elders, children, differently abled, literacy and education, and self-development. Leos can raise funds by conducting fund-raising projects. They can conduct projects with another Leo Club, sponsoring Lions club, or with an outside organization. Leo Clubs are sponsored by Lions clubs and comprise an official program of the Lions clubs international.

“World Games” Films The Greasy Pole in San Pedro
The Greasy Pole is an exciting and fun game that has been part of the Belizean tradition for many years and it can be said it is essential at most grand celebrations. As September Celebrations approach, every year island residents look forward to seeing groups of teenagers and men attempt to go up this 30- foot pole greased up with lard and claim the grand prize placed atop of the pole. Last week Island residents were surprised to see the erection of the greasy pole at Central Park and wondered what was going on an ordinary Friday. Ambergris Today met up with Hon. Manuel Heredia, Mayor Daniel Guerrero and his councilors at Central Park as they greeted a group of men from Germany.

Kindest Kid in San Pedro Awarded
Be Kind Belize was looking for the “Kindest Kid” in the community and students at primary school level were invited to nominate Kindness Ambassadors to represent their school. Students that have done acts of kindness were asked to be nominated for this award and after much nominations being entered it was narrowed down to four. Nominations were posted online and the public was asked to vote for their favorite (anonymous) nominee. The idea behind the award was to acknowledge acts of kindness and reward them. Be Kind Belize wants to encourage the community to start to recognize our great kids so that they will be role models for future generations.

Dealing With Young Anger!
By Christopher Emmanuel “Anger always comes from frustrated expectations” -Elliott Larson It was dark, ink black, when the little boy woke abruptly from his sleep. The position of the small bed where he laid, with his two sisters and two brothers, had him crowded against the wall. He moved a foot off his back. His sister Lucy, sprawled beside him, he could barely make out her night shirt stuck to her body from the night heat. Her black face shone purple as the single window light cast a shadow across the small room. Bang! Bang! He heard the wall rocking as something knocked against it from the adjacent room. “O God, No! No! Oooooh!! He could hear his mother crying. Then his fathers’ slurred, drunk voice, “Shut your ……….ing mouth, I am the man do as I say!!”

Football Tournament Underway
A football tournament is currently underway and is being sponsored by The San Pedro Town Council, Shalom and Caye Caulker Water Taxi. The tournament commenced on Saturday, May 19, 2012 with two groups of teams.

We Take Things For Granted
I cannot remember the last time I went into the sea, to swim or snorkel. And no, I do not know how to scuba dive, although it’s something everybody is surprised to hear. “You are from the island and you do not know how to dive?” is all I hear from others who do not live here. I know! I’m getting around to it, promise. I do think that most of us who live on the island do take it for granted that we have this beautiful beach, sea and natural wonder of the Great Barrier Reef. It is so easy to get caught up in our busy schedules and forget to just kick back, relax and decompress. Others are submerged in it every day or weekend. So, every now and then I get a chance to do this and wonder why I don’t do it more often. My Isla Bonita is an amazing paradise.

Misc Belizean Sources

Revenue Collected by the Government of Belize from the BNE Oil Discovery

National Festival of Arts pictures
The Benque House of Culture represented Cayo at the NFoA. Orchidea Negra was there, as was the Benque Marching Band! We heard it was a spectacular time.

Sibun Gorge Expedition pictures
Mountain Equestrian Trails did an expedition to the Sibun River, and then kayaked out. Looks like it was a wild ride. "This was a four night, five day expedition beginning high in the Bald Hills of Belize. The team of four hiked down to the headwaters of the Sibun River where they inflated their Aire Kayaks, boarded them, and began the adventure of a lifetime."

Maya Full Moon Ceremony at Lower Dover
Don Beto Cocom will be donig a Maya Full Moon Ceremony next Tuesday, June 5th, at Lower Dover Field Station. Preperation will start at 2:00pm, and the ceremony will be from 4:00 until 6:00pm. Don Beto Cocom is a renowned healer from Bullet Tree Falls, and takes care of the Masewal Medicinal Trail. The Cornerstone Foundation and the Natural Healers Program are also cosponsors of the event.

Belizean Flaky Meat Pies
Meat pies are always a special treat. It's made with ground beef and and hot peppers. The pie dough is always flaky and you have the choice of adding healthy vegetables like spinach or any other fiber to make it a little bit more healthy.

Weekend’s Football update ..
The Under 14 Finals that was planned for the weekend was postponed to next weekend due to the slight drizzle we received on Saturday so I am sorry but no exciting news with regard to that league. Sunday’s adult’s games still went ahead and the results made the league table look slightly different. The first game was Caye Caulker Boys/ Bahia vs Team Danger (6 – 1) and the second game was the Lazy Lizard vs Tsunami (1 – 4). The new league leaders are now Tsumani as they have a game in hand to both Lazy Lizard and the Caye Caulker Boys – all of whom are on 6 points. Unfortunately, at the bottom of the table, both Team Rainbow and Team Danger (who have both played 2 games) have no points and are struggling at the bottom!! Roll on next week and the Under 14 finals!!

Belize Is Praying For You Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow
In times like this, the country should be more united than ever. I come to you as a Belizean and the humanitarian that I am, asking you to support Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow in this time of need. A little prayer or a little message of support can do wonders in these hard times that the wife of the Prime Minister of Belize find herself in. If you were not aware about her sickness then let me help to refresh your mind. In a press release from Special Envoy for Women and Children, earlier in November of last year, it stated that Ms. Barrow urgently left the country seeking medical attention. She was later diagnosed with breast cancer -- a sickness that has haunted women of all ages over the past centuries. Since then she has been in a battle that she never saw coming but has confronted it like the strong person that she is.

Channel 7

FIRST STOP ROBBERY NETS THIEVES 10K
Tonight, three employees of First Stop, a micro credit business are being questioned in connection with a robbery of the businesses cash deposit. Police are keeping a tight lid on the story, but 7news has learned that the robbery occurred last night on Mapp Street where a pair of employees were robbed of ten thousand dollars. Police suspect it may be an inside job - and are questioning the employees who were taking the money - presumably to be deposited. The owner of the story, Gilroy Usher Jr. has refused comment at this time.

COPS ACCUSED OF STEALING HILUX GET BAIL
A week ago, 7News told you about police's recovery of the 2009 Toyota Hilux which was stolen from the Central Health Region. They also wrapped it up with the arrest Police Constable Marvin Wade, his brother Jason Wade, and their friend Kerwin Godoy, who police say were all trying to sell the vehicle. Today, the Wade brothers and Godoy were brought back to court for Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer to consider if they should be granted bail, after they spent a week on remand while police prepared their disclosure. Viewers may recall that their attorney, Brian Neal, submitted to the court that the pursuing of this matter by the police was frivolous. He based this conclusion on the fact that at the time, police did not provide any evidence that linked his clients to vehicle, apart from a verbal affirmation that they were caught as the result of a sting operation. Well, that disclosure was also handed over today, and attorney Arthur Saldivar, who joined Neal in representing the men, submitted to Senior Magistrate Frazer that the evidence furnished was not overwhelming enough to further deny bail. The prosecutor did not offer any further objections, and as a result, Senior Magistrate Frazer granted bail of $20,000 to all 3 men. We spoke to Neal this evening and we asked about that disclosure. Here's what he had to say about its inability to link his clients to this vehicle: Brian Neal, attorney "The evidence from my opinion from a legal standpoint is very weak. If you recall last week I made submissions that there is no evidence that my clients were in fact involve with this car - that they had driven this car or that they allowed themselves to be driven in this car."

ANOTHER CITY SHOOTING
Glen Staine, a 30 year-old Belize City security guard is fortunate to have survived serious injury, after he was shot yesterday. According to police, at around 10 a.m. yesterday, Staine was sitting at the corner of La Croix Boulevard and Park Street, when he heard a gunshot. He then realized that he suffered injuries to both of his hands, and he then went to get treatment at the KHMH. Police are investigating, but Staine could not provide them with any other useful information because he did not see the shooter.

WOULD-BE SHOMAN SHOOTER CHARGED FOR DRIVER'S MURDER
Last week Friday, 7News told you about 23 year-old Norman Slusher who was released from his 2 week stay at the Hospital. He went directly into police custody, and he was charged for the murder of Jason Canto. Well today, he was brought to court. Slusher was arraigned for one count of murder when he was brought before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. Because of the nature of the offense, no plea was taken and he was remanded to prison until June 29, his next court date. As we reported, at around 7:45 p.m. on May 10, 2 armed men - one of them being Slusher - reportedly went to Dale's Barber Shop on West Canal possibly to target businessman Jose Shoman - who was there to get a trim. An exchange of gunfire between the gunmen and Shoman ensued. When the dust settled, Canto, who came to Shoman's rescue, had been shot in the back, and he died on the spot. Another patron of the barber shop was also shot in the crossfire, and Slusher received multiple gunshots to the stomach.

SHYNE PETITIONS WHITE HOUSE FOR VISA
Back in April - rapper Moses Leviy, known as Shyne gave this station an extended interview in which he discussed all things Shyne - but what came across most emphatically was that he wanted a visa to go back to the USA - the place he had called home since his childhood. Well now that call is going to a whole other level. There's a petition on the White House website to grant Shyne a visa. The petition, which was posted on the website on May 16th by one "Adam W" from North Carolina makes the case - in very poor English, we might add - that Shyne was a model prisoner, and that he visited prisons in Belize to speak with inmates, speaking on the bad decisions he made when he was young. It adds that he is presently the cultural ambassador of Belize. But, in order to pass the threshold for consideration, a petition needs twenty five thousand signatures, and guess how much this one has gotten so far? 311! So it needs over twenty four thousand more by June 15th to have any prospect of success.

NEW SHERIFF IN CAYO
We've reported on the difficulties police have been having in Cayo - where the Officer Commanding Superintendent Alvan Gentle has refused to be transferred back to headquarters after ruffling some feather locally. And while Gentle is on sick leave - there's a new sheriff in town: Senior Superintendent Chester Williams - who is on vacation from law school in Barbados - is home for the summer, and has been sent to Cayo to take over. Williams assumed the post on Friday - taking over a familiar seat - because he was Cayo's Officer Commanding before he left for law school in early 2011. Of course, it's only a temporary fix, because Williams will only be here until September. By then, the senior command should have found - what might be called - a Gentle solution.

YWCA + EU
The Young Women's Christian Association of Belize received a grant today from the European Union and the Government of Belize under the Belize Rural Development project number two. The project will seek to create economic opportunities and improve the livelihoods of rural women and youths to become more productive while generating income and employment through enterprise development and market access enhancement. That's project talk, and Director for the Y, Regina Campbell explained how it will work in the real world. Regina Campbell, Director for the YWCA "This particular project's focus is expanding the economic opportunities and entrepreneurship for rural women and youth in Belize." "It's a multi-phase approach; we have four different tracks that we will be working on; the first be helping develop marketing outlets for products being develop by the women and youth. We also will have skill building training on site as well as in districts." "An additional portion of the project will include expanding the market outlet here at the Y as well as building as new enterprise development building in Belmopan. Between the two we hope to continue the sustainability of the project that's funded here by the EU." "The venture is important because it's in line with the millennium development goals as well as Belize's policy on poverty reduction. Through this project it is our goal to help reduce the poverty level of women and youth here in Belize, particularly rural women and youth who are impacted disproportionately compare to the rest of the population." The total cost of the grant is estimated at 2,185,000. The duration of the project is 34 months.

THE ORAL TRADITION REMEMBERS THE WORST STORM OF LAST CENTURY
Hurricane season 2012 starts officially on Friday, June first. And most of us don't need any reminders of how serious a storm can be - after category one Hurricane Richard tore up central and western Belize in 2010. But as far as hurricanes go - in Belize's recorded history, Richard was like - what you might call - "wah lee breeze" - compared to Hurricane Hattie in 1961. That was one of the deadliest storms of the last century and, in Belize, it killed hundreds, while leaving thousands more without shelter. More Belizeans died in the 1931 hurricane but that was because there was no advance warning due to primitive communication technology. With Hattie, there was warning, but still no one expected the terrible, massive damage she would deliver. Fortunately, the oral history of Hurricane Hattie is still available - and everyone who lived through the storm has a story. A few of those histories are compiled in a new programme produced by NICH called Belize Kolcha, Hurricane Hattie. The programme - which is a 45 minute documentary will air at nine tonight on Channel Seven - but for the news tonight - we clipped out a small portion as city residents remember the storms hellish onslaught and the sight of death that followed:

RAIN CANT STOP THE FESTIVAL BRAM
Once again, it's time for the National Festival of Arts- a fun way to encourage creativity and incorporate the arts into the school curriculum. This year's opening ceremony was held at the House of Culture because the stage at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts is being resurfaced. Our news team caught up with Kim Vasquez, youth development officer, who explained what the festival is about and what to expect from this year's participants. Kim Vasquez - Youth Development Officer, ICA "The national festival of arts kicks off today here at the House of Culture. What we have done is to bussed in students from all across the country. We have a line-up featuring 6 poster youths - these are outstanding youths from across the country, one from each district that has really excelled in one of the disciplines and they are here to also perform on stage with us and then we have a week filled with performance and showcasing their activities." Robin Schaffer "The Bliss is being remodelled; will that affect it as well?" Kim Vasquez - Youth Development Officer, ICA "Not necessarily, actually we are anticipating that the stage will be ready in time for the perform and showcase and that the kids will sort of christened the stage for us, the new stage at the Bliss." Robin Schaffer "It's raining, how do you guys plan to deal with that?" Kim Vasquez - Youth Development Officer, ICA "The only thing we can do is hope that the rain will stop and that we will be able to proceed with the parade."

LEO DOES DUBSTEP
On the local music scene, punta, brukdown, dancehall, reggae and soca artists reign - dominating radio stations and local music channels. Well, one young Belizean artist, Leo Matura, wants to throw a new sound into the mix. Dubstep is a type of electronic music that employs the deep bass of reggae music and adds the din of electronica to create a distinctive sound that rolls like reggae while pulsing like club music. Matura has been creating this kind of music under the name of D!rty Jok3s because, he says, like a dirty joke, some people probably may not like it- or understand it. Still, he has produced an EP with songs that each took almost 20 hours to produce because of the complex, layered sounds that he created. He says he did it to expose the Belizean public to a new style. He stopped by our studios today where he explained more about the kind of music he works with and what Belizeans can expect from the EP. Leo Matura "This project is a EP which means it is an extended compilation of singles that I have made over the past month so far and the genre was primarily dubstep and brostep which is a genre of electronics music. I don't think it very familiar here in Belize as yet but it is my mission to bring it out so it's one of the main reasons I made this EP."

Channel 5

99% of Employees vote for selling B.S.I.
The ownership of the Belize Sugar Industries is about to go to foreign hands. American Sugar Refinery, the world’s largest sugar refining company, is poised to seal a deal to acquire majority shares, in excess of eighty percent, in the financially beset B.S.I. This morning, representatives from ASR met with BSI’s management and employees at [...]

Police and brother get bail for stolen vehicle
A policeman, his brother and friend were all granted bail today after being remanded last week in connection with a stolen government vehicle. The Toyota Hilux was taken by a brazen thief who was caught on camera as he walked gingerly into the Central Health Region Compound on May eighth and drove off in truck. [...]

Police following leads to solve recent murders
The two known suspects in the murder of a Belmopan teen are still on the run tonight. Eighteen year old Valentino Coc, a resident of Maya Mopan, was brutally hacked to death with a machete on Saturday night in the Salvapan area. He was reportedly playing football with friends when an altercation ensued. Valentino is [...]

Has your cost of living in the past 4 years increased or decreased?
Close to a thousand votes were cast on the last question: Do you think that the government is clueless on how to solve crime? Eighty-one percent of voters were convinced that there is no direction on how to solve government’s greatest irritant, which is crime while nineteen percent disagreed. Tonight’s question is: Has your cost [...]

2012 Hurricane Season will be average
The National Meteorological Service is predicting that the 2012 hurricane season will be average to a little bit above average. It forecasts that the average number of named systems would be around nine of which six will become hurricanes and two are expected to be intense. While everyone is hoping that we will be spared [...]

NEMO, CEMO and Channel 5 structurally sound
CEMO recently announced a major change for this hurricane season. And that is that this season our facilities here on Coney Drive are to be used to house CEMO operations. The background is that the matter was discussed since last year under the previous council, which was looking for a safer facility. The decision was [...]

YWCA gets $1.7 Million for women projects
Close to two million dollars will be spent on women development projects in rural communities over the next thirty-four months. With a good track record in project execution, the European Union is doubling its funding to the Young Women’s Christian Association to the tune of one point seven million dollars. Government is expected to throw [...]

Who will be held accountable for child’s death?
On May twenty-fourth in 2009, six year old Jose Garcia Jr., then an Infant two student of Wesley Lower Primary School, was crossing the street on his bike at on Amara Avenue when he was knocked down and killed. The incident happened at around six o’clock in the evening and many persons say they witnessed [...]

HIV cases go down, but male infections go up
A report has been compiled by the National TB, HIV/AIDS & other STIs Programme of the Ministry of Health. The statistics offer good as well as bad news. It says that for 2011, there was a continued decrease in the number of new HIV infections, with a total of two hundred and twenty-six new infections [...]

Minimum wage increases minimally
Two statutory instruments signed earlier this month will put more money in the pockets of unskilled, domestic and manual workers. Senator Godwin Hulse, the Minister of Labour signed off on the increases which were gazette on May twenty-sixth. SI number fifty-five is a Wages Regulation Amendment order which provides for unskilled workers employed in the [...]

School rids itself of asbestos problem
For several years, families of students at the Saint Peter Claver School have been complaining about the health risks associated with asbestos roofing on a number of school buildings. In recent days, several of the buildings were torn down and the students have been relocated. While the problem is finally being addressed, the temporary closure [...]

Oceana takes kids on educational tour
On June eighth, World’s Ocean day will be celebrated across the globe. With the oceans in trouble, the celebration is taking on new meaning. In Belize, Oceana is organizing various events for youths who have not been to the reef and marine sites. This past Saturday, it treated the students from a Guinea Grass school [...]

LOVE FM

Tuesday, May 29 - POLICE NEWS
Twenty three year old Norman Slusher was this morning arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on a single count of murder. Slusher, was charged in connection with the May tenth shooting death of Jason Canto at Dale’s Barber shop. Slusher who had been hos...

NEMO WEEK OBSERVED IN BELIZE
Maria Novelo reporting… “An agenda full of activity is being held to observe NEMO Week 2012 across the country and in the Belize Rural South Area it is no exception. Each year, prior to the beginning of the Hurricane season, the National Emergency Management Organizati...

BELIZE'S NATIONAL FESTIVAL OF ARTS LAUNCHES TODAY
The National Festival of Arts was launched during an opening ceremony at the House of Culture in Belize City this morning. Hundreds of children from all over the country of Belize including teachers and parents attended the ceremony and were dressed in different attires and costu...

BELIZE RECORDS DECREASE IN NEW HIV/AIDS CASES
The National TB, HIV/AIDS & other STIs Program of the Ministry of Health has released the latest statistical data. According to the synopsis, for the year 2011, there was a further documented decrease in the number of new HIV infections, with a total of 226 new infections for...

HONDURAS' AMBASSADOR TO BELIZE ON OFFICIAL VISIT
The Ambassador of Honduras to Belize Sandra Rosales Abeya, yesterday completed an official visit to Punta Gorda town. Paul Mahung reporting... “With her arrival during the morning hours, Ambassador of the Republic of Honduras in Belize Her Excellency Sand...

PRIMARY SCHOOL PROTESTS FOR SCHOOL LAND
A protest took place at a primary school in Benque Viejo yesterday, that involved students, teachers a few parents and some colorful signs. At issue is the ownership of a piece of land in the town. According to Member of the Board of the Hills of Promise Seventh Day Adventist Pri...

MEETING WITH BSI STAKEHOLDERS HELD
The proposed sale of Belize Sugar Industries was the focus of a meeting today in Orange Walk town. Arturo Cantun reporting… “BSI stakeholders gathered this morning at the factory site in Tower Hill. The purpose of the extra ordinary meeting w...

CTV3

Family Feud Leaves Two Persons Injured
A bitter feud over the weekend between two families from the Corozal District left two persons injured. When police arrived at the Corozal Community Hospital at around 10:30 on Sunday morning they observed 32 year old Adam Williams with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the left knee. Initial investigations reveal that Williams and 42 year old Vincent Charley were involved in an altercation earlier that day. As a result both men ended up wounded. While Charley shot Williams on the left knee, Williams inflicted two chop wounds Charley’s head. Luckily both men are alive tonight even though one of them has been detained by police and the other is recuperating from his injuries at the KHMH. So what caused the confrontation? Well it’s a bit complicated since both families have their own version of what transpired on Saturday yesterday morning on 2nd Street North Corozal. Here is what they had to say. Hipolito Novelo Reporting Tonight 32 year old Adam Williams is at the KHMH recovering from a gunshot wound to his left knee while 42 year old Vincent Charley is locked up at the Corozal Police Station suffering from two chop wounds to his head. Both men sustained their injuries during an altercation on Sunday at around 4:00pm. The reason behind the argument is really difficult to decipher since both families have their own version of what took place.

Driver Tow-head Truck Lucky To Be Alive
The driver of a towhead truck is lucky to be alive tonight after the vehicle he was traveling in somehow ended up in a man made pond located on the left hand side of the Northern Highway near the entrance of San Jose Village in the Orange Walk District. When CTV3 News arrived at the scene around 9:00 yesterday morning this is what we encountered. The towhead was semi-submerged in the pond while the empty 40 foot container attached to it remained in mid air. Luckily the driver of the towhead, only identified as a man from the Village of Buena Vista, managed to escape unhurt. When we spoke to residents of the area we were informed that around 4:00 in the morning they heard a loud bang and when they came outside to check what had occurred they saw the driver of the towhead coming out of the passenger side. Unconfirmed reports are that the towhead belongs to one Omar Gutierrez also from the Village of Buena Vista. CTV3 News understands that the driver of the towhead was traveling from Orange Walk Town to Buena Vista when he lost control of the vehicle and ended up in the pond. According to witnesses the driver was under the influence of alcohol. We understand that the towhead was not pulled out of the pond until 1:30 in the afternoon.

Student Of Trial Farm Gov School Is Orange Walks Poster Youth
The National Institute of Culture and History in collaboration with the Institute of Creative Arts is once again shinning the spotlight on talented Belizean youths in the annual National Festival of Arts. The grand festival is an event that grasps the culture and artistic expressions portrayed by Belizeans who showcase their talents and display their artist work during the annual Festival of Arts Parade. One of the main highlights of the event is the District Poster Youth that enables one talented young mind from each district to represent their home town at the festival of arts. Now, if you’re wondering who will be representing Orange Walk then the answer is 13 year old student from Trial Farm Government School David Alvarez who more than filled the criteria to be Orange Walk’s Poster Youth. Yvette Torres, Coordinator BHOC “What happened is that this year we were closer to the ministry of education here in Orange Walk and with their efforts we managed to get three different poster youth candidates which these candidates their submissions was sent to Belize City and a panel were the ones who choose. The criteria was that they had to be between the ages of 3 and 29 and they had to live in their district for five years and they are willing and active in the expressive arts and that participated in different activities that had to do with the performing arts.” Certainly I must say he is a person that is actively involved and he has the performing art that talent he dances and apart from dances he performs so I believe that that was one of the artistic talent that maybe he had which the panel saw that he was the best candidate out of the three that was sent to Belize City.

ASR Says There Will Be No Retrenchment Of BSI Employees
When we left you on Friday night the Executive of the Belize Workers Union demanded that BSI Management provide workers with a copy of the proposal made by American Sugar Refinery for the purchasing of Belize Sugar Industries Limited. The aim of the Executive was to ensure that the payment of dividends owed to BSI employees and security of employment was outlined in the proposal. In letter sent to the Belize Worker’s Union today, by BSI Management, all employees are informed that 50% of the outstanding dividends will be paid two weeks after the closing of the transaction with ASR; 30% of the outstanding dividends will be paid one year after closing and the remaining payment of 20% will be paid two years after closing. In the letter, sent to President of BWU Ian Leiva, BSI’s CEO, Joey Montalvo assures employees that any dividends declared against 2012 profits will be paid in full in 2013. The letter also specifies that 100% of the outstanding dividends due to hourly paid retirees will be paid in full two weeks after closing of the transaction with ASR. Montalvo also confirms that the payment of the 1% additional bonus which would become due against profits above $6 million in 2012 will be honored.

OWTHS Business Expo Turns Out to Be A Huge Success
Braking off from the usual tradition of having business expositions inside school grounds, over the weekend the Orange Walk Technical High School decided to take their annual expo to new heights. The business expo kicked off from 8:00 o’clock in the morning and ended at around 5:00 o’clock in the evening. Here is how it went Hipolito Novelo Reporting On Sunday the rain poured down and the grounds at the Orange Walk People’s Stadium became mucky but despite of all of this, the Orange Walk Technical High School Business Exposition went well, according to Teacher, Juanita Polanco. Juanita Polanco, Teacher OWTHC “It’s been really great. Despite the rain this morning, people have been coming. There are great deals. Everybody is enjoying this. It is really going well. The visitors, the come and they all go happy because I see a lot of people going with a lot of bags so I think they are enjoying it. The booths of both phone companies, Telemedia and SMART, are attracting the most of the visitors. Also Circle Rice because a lot of rice have been passing here. Everything is going great.” But it was not all business at the expo also saw the participation of various enjoyable games.

LOVE TV

Cayo school vandalized; children sent home
Hundreds of primary school children in San Ignacio town had to be sent home today after their classroom was hit by vandals over the weekend. According to reports reaching the RSV Media Center, a three-classroom building at the Sacred Heart Primary School in San Ignacio town was vandalized. Principal of the upper division Bernadine Lavern Martinez spoke with Love FM’s Patrick Jones via telephone this morning and said this is not the first time she and her staff have had to deal with this kind of ordeal. Even though it is approaching the end of the academic year, Mrs. Martinez says the vandals are still causing major interruptions the school’s plans. Martinez expects that classes will resume as normal on Tuesday, following clearance from public health officials.

Police gets equipment for destruction of firearms
Today the Belize Police Department got two handsome donations. One came in the form of mobility with thirty new bicycles and the other in the form of destruction with a hydraulic shears for firearms destruction. The donation came from the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs and Development in Latin America, UN LiREC. It follows an assessment conducted in 2010 on weapons destruction and stockpile management for small arms control strategy. Melanie Regimbal, who is the Director of UN LiREC in Belize, told reporters that the equipment guarantees a permanent method of destroying illegal weapons. The equipment, complete with a generator and accessories, is valued at close to fifty thousand dollars. The bicycles meanwhile, came from the Government of Belize. Assistant Commissioner of Police, Elodio Aragon, Junior, said that they are aimed to complement the walking patrols in specific areas of the city. Aragon says that protocol will be put in place to ensure that the bicycles are taken care of.

Two killed in weekend violence in Belize City
There is more bloodshed to report tonight as the ongoing crime surge has put three more bodies in the morgue, and left more families in mourning. Three homicides were reported over the weekend, two in Belize City and one in the nation’s capital. Love TV’s Marion Ali reports on the killings in the commercial capital.

Cancer Walk in Caye Caulker Village
And while Kim Simplis Barrow who is the special envoy for families and children continues her battle with breast cancer, in Belize the awareness campaign continued over the weekend with the annual Cancer Walk in various municipalities and communities. Love TV’s Maria Novelo reports on the Cancer Walk in Caye Caulker village.

Prime Minister’s wife hospitalized in Miami
The wife of Prime Minister Dean Barrow Kim Simplis Barrow has been hospitalized in Miami, Florida. A statement from the office of the Prime Minister says that the hospitalization of Mrs. Barrow is as a result of complications arising out of her treatment for breast cancer. As a result of the hospitalization of Mrs. Barrow, the Prime Minister traveled to Miami, Florida this afternoon to be by her side during this time. In an email sent to us via Facebook, Mrs. Barrow expressed her thanks for the many prayers being offered for her since we posted the story online. Mrs. Barrow explained that she is in the Intensive Care Unit and she is experiencing difficulty breathing, with fluid in her lungs and heart. But while she stole a few moments to send us the email message, the severity of her hospitalization was not lost on the wife of the Prime Minister as she noted that only ten percent of her heart is currently functioning. Mrs. Barrow notes that her white blood cell count is low and that she is anemic. While the Prime Minister is by his wife’s bedside in Miami, in Belmopan, the Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega will act hold over the reins of government until Mr. Barrow’s return to the country this weekend.

Pipes dry in Cristo Rey
Water is an essential to life and healthy living. But for residents of Cristo Rey village in the Cayo district it is a commodity that is in short supply and has been scarce for over a month now. On Sunday, Love TV’s Patrick Jones went to the village to talk with residents about their plight. Here is what he found.

Cacao farmers get basic training in agriculture
A one week training program in basics of agriculture basics for cacao farmers concluded on Saturday in Punta Gorda town. Our Toledo Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

National Festival of Arts about to start
Belize’s future leaders will take centre stage this week to showcase their artistic talents in the National Festival of Arts. The week of events will highlight art in drama and visual arts at the Bliss Institute for Creative Arts. Creative Arts Development Officer at the Institute of Creative Arts, Denise Enriquez, told Love News that the week-long displays will open on Tuesday. A ceremony and parade will officially kick off the festival on Tuesday morning at the House of Culture in Belize City.

PlusTV

Belize observes Global day of Prayer
Global Day of prayer was celebrated on Sunday May 27th across the world. Over 220 nations and hundreds of millions ...

New transient OC takes over San Ignacio precinct
The temporary Officer Commanding at the San Ignacio Police Department is Chester Williams. Williams is only a tempo...

Week long activities for National Festival of Arts gets under-way
It’s time once again for the National Festival of Arts. The festival is a compilation of the country’s best perform...

Thousands march to raise awareness on cancer
The entire month of May is Cancer Awareness Month - and the annual Cancer Walk was held this past Saturday (MAY 26)...

High school students "Go Green"
Aldebaran an NGO which focuses on Marine research launched a young, clean and green campaign in October of last yea...

YWCA aims at creating economic opportunities for rural women youth
The Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) has signed an agreement with the EU - Expanding Economic Opportuniti...

Police Department welcomes weapon destruction equipment
A brief ceremony was held at the Queen Street Police Station on Monday (May 28), in which the United Nations Region...

Bicycles donated to Belize Police Department
The Ministry of National Security has handed over bicycles to Belize Police Department Eastern Division. This morni...

NGO's receive major financial aid to fund respective goals
A grantee capacity building workshop was held today at the George Price Center in Belmopan. The workshop, implement...

Furry white substance found in unopened coke bottle
Twice in the last six weeks Plus news has reported on foreign particles found inside sealed soft drink bottles. Oth...

Town meetings for education stakeholders
The Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, invites stakeholders of education in the following...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Photo of the Week: Go Slow …

Jenna Bernard to represent Caye Caulker at the Queen of the Jewel
The Next Miss Belize 2012-2013 May 29th, 2012 The Class of 2012 for the Queen of the Jewel – The Next Miss Belize proudly presents Ms. Jenna Bernard who has undertaken the task of representing Caye Caulker this year. Caye Caulker has not had a representative in any of the national pageants in quite some years and this representation could not come at a better time. The pageant takes place on June 30th at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts and Jenna is requesting as much support as possible for pageant night. The delegates are also to visit Caye Caulker for a fun weekend and details of this visit will be disclosed closer to time. In the meantime, I present our brave Caye Caulker representative. Please join me in wishing Jenna all the very best!! I am very sure she will do a wonderful job in representing our La Isla Cariñosa, Caye Caulker!!

Amandala

Early morning murder in Belize City
Anthony David Mayen, 42, a car dealer of Lizarraga Avenue in Belize City, died before reaching the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) as result of sustaining eight gunshot injuries: three to the abdomen, one to the chest, two under the right armpit, one to the right side of his back and one to the right arm, while his brother Darrell, 37, was shot in the right shoulder.

Humana People to People Store cease operations in the city – too much crime!
After the store was robbed four times, the last being around 11:30 a.m. on Friday, May 26, when the employees were robbed and beaten by gunmen who made them lie down on the floor with guns aimed at the back of their heads, the Humana People to People Clothing Store on King Street has now closed its doors and ceased operation in the Old Capital as of today, Monday.

Pastor Ensford Llewelyn Maskall laid to rest
The service began with the sounding of a trumpet and a vibrant and triumphant time of worship, which was followed by several remembrances delivered by fellow pastors who shared their recollections of the life of this exceptional man.

Showdown at Western Border over allegedly stolen vehicle
Police have detailed an apparent showdown between the commander of the Benque Viejo police station, Superintendent Ralph Moody, his officers with their counterparts from Guatemala’s Policia Nacional Civil (PNC), and two persons claiming to be involved with a vehicle parked on Belize’s side of the border that local police believed may possibly have been stolen.

BSI stakeholders to meet Tuesday on sale to American Sugar Refinery
Managing Director of the Belize Sugar Industries (BSI), Joey Montalvo, confirmed to Amandala this morning that the company has been authorized by its board of directors to try to finalize by June 30, 2012 the sale of the Belize Sugar Industries to American Sugar Refinery (ARS), which had acquired some of Tate & Lyle’s sugar interests in Europe.

Eldon Lewis, 37, executed in Mayflower yard
Lewis was shot 14 times... Eldon “Cry Cry” Lewis, 37, was sitting under a house in the Bailar area of Mayflower Street around 7:15 p.m. on Sunday, May 27, when a gunman came into the yard through a side alley and fired about eight shots at him at close range, killing him almost instantly.

Week 8 of Old Master Challenge Cup 2012 in Orange Walk
Three games were played yesterday, Sunday, in the South Zone at the Carmelita Football Field. In game 1, Guinea Grass United FC clipped Chan Pine Ridge Real Juvenil, 2-1, with all goals coming in the last 10 minutes of the ball game. Theodore Chan struck twice for Guinea Grass at the 83rd and 85th minute, while Farid Torres got the lone tally for Chan Pine Ridge at the 89th minute. Game 2 saw Palmar FC blasting Trinidad FC, 4-1, with goals from Jazier Cantun (9 min), Kenny Chi (35 min), Adel Caceres (38 min) and Abner Caceres (86 min). Trinidad’s only goal was by Jaziz Wicab (54 min). In game 3, it was Santa Cruz FC with the 2-1 win over Tower Hill FC. Dennis Esquivel (18 min) and Josue Diaz (57 min) hit the target for Santa Cruz, while Cesar Grijalva (89 min) got the consolation goal for Tower Hill.

Dangriga sports – last chance for playoff hopefuls
In game 1 on Friday, May 25, Southside remained undefeated, as they crushed Galindo Proper Fix, 4-nil. Freddy Flores struck twice, and Egemery Flores and Seed Ledland got one apiece for the winners. In game 2, Hope Creek Pumas won over Canada Hill Aguillas, 1 goal to nil, on a goal by Shane Gentle.

Sports report from Corozal
The primary school softball competition continues with 2 games today. At 1:00 p.m., San Antonio Gov´t female are playing Chan Chen Gov´t females at the Andres Campos Civic Center. Following that game, the San Antonio Gov´t males are playing Chan Chen Gov´t males.

Editorial: Same sad song
There was a time less than a decade or so ago when semi-pro basketball was the talk of the town in the streets of Belize, especially in Belize City. It was not necessarily a case of the NBA being any less galvanizing than it is today, but we loved us some semi-pro basketball. After all, the game here was playing at a remarkably high level.

Felix Stanwood defends homosexuals
Says Paul Rodriguez is “fanatical”... I am shocked that you keep choosing to run articles by former Ombudsman and current homosexual obsessive Paul Rodriguez, a man whose job it was to investigate and protect the human rights of all Belizean citizens, yet a man who, in spite of his professional credentials, doesn’t seem to have gotten the memo that the UN Human Rights Commission no longer exists, having been replaced by the UN Human Rights Council in 2006

“On our own …” and “The Economic History of Belize
I think your editorial entitled “On our own …” in the Amandala of Sunday, May 27, 2012, opens up the important and direly needed discussion/debate/dialogue on Belize’s development options. It sets the stage to begin the assessment of what steps should be pursued to move away from the IMF prescribed orthodoxy that ultimately assures that “the poor will be with us always.”

Blogs

San Pedro Belize farmers market and a mango story
There was a mango dealer on the back street at that time when I went Into his living room there must have been 500 mangoes and his wife was watching the 700 Club on TV. I’m guessing he’s no longer around after all these years. Hard to beat living In Belize and on Ambergris even better. After reading the text above in Larry’s email, I asked him if he would mind if I shared it on the blog and he wrote back with the following, expanding on his funny story above: No I certainly don’t mind but there is more to that story. The largest mango plantation In the world Is In Belize and It was mango season and I couldn’t find a single one. I did buy a stalk of bananas and hung them In our little beach house with fishing line and told the cleaning lady to help herself and she did. Also, we always bring candy to San Pedro for the children. Well anyway I was asking everyone on the Holiday Hotel fishing pier for several days where to buy mangoes so finally one afternoon some guy said want mangoes come with me. I called my wife and followed him so we went up street and turned left to the next street came to this white house went up steps to the 2nd floor and entered their living quarters. I swear there were 500 mangoes and the funny thing was they weren’t In containers they were place just anyplace there was a bare spot. They were .50 cents US each and I don’t remember how many we bought anymore but It was a lot. Just wish I had a camera who would believe that ?

Rain, Sun, Rain, Sun, Belikin Gets a Shipment & Lunch at Blue Water Grill
Yesterday I headed into town just before lunch. Sure, this cloud was looming in the direction that I was headed...but I thought I could beat it. Ok...I'm not going to make it. I ducked into La Isla Supermarket across from the Belize Yacht Club which is owned by one of my favorite people, Abdul. He let me know that he is a proud new father of his second son, Mahmoud. He was also just receiving some new beer fresh from the distributor. Both the new Chocolate Stout with an elegant gold wrapper... Mmmm....chocolaty Belikin goodness. Get it while it lasts! And Smirnoff Ice is also here. It's been out of stock at Bowen & Bowen for a few months now. Ladies rejoice! In Belize, a guy wouldn't be caught dead sipping a Smirnoff. The Belikin barge generally comes from the mainland on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Your delivery guy will be busy unloading rather than bringing you your sodas and beers. Craving a salad, I thought I'd try to make a break for Blue Water Grill but halfway there, it started pouring. Blue Water Grill has a great lunch salad selection...they have a Grilled Shrimp & Calamari Salad, a classic Cobb, a Wasabi Pea & Chicken, a Greek salad and my chosen one below...Cashew Chicken Salad with Ginger-Soy vinaigrette.

International Sources

COMPANY SNAPSHOT: Thor Mining, Aminex, New World Oil & Gas, Ascent Resources, Patagonia Gold, Cape
Meanwhile, the Belize Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment has formally approved the assignment of a further working interest of 12.5 percent in the Blue Creek project to New World, bringing its total interest to 25 percent. Under the terms of the farm-out agreement signed in June last year, the company can earn up to a 100 percent interest in the project by achieving various milestones including a three phase 2D seismic programme and a two well drilling programme. “With our first outstanding year on the AIM market behind us and strong cash position following a fundraising earlier in the year, we are confident we will deliver on our stated milestones in Belize as well as in Denmark where we have two other highly prospective projects,” said chief executive of New World William Kelleher.

New World Oil & Gas announce Blue Creek working interest increased to 25%
Belize Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment has formally approved the assignment of a further 12.5% working interest in the 420 sq km Blue Creek Project. New World Oil and Gas Plc, a company focused on making investments in the oil and gas sector, announces that the Belize Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment has formally approved the assignment of a further 12.5% working interest in the 420 sq km Blue Creek Project located in the producing Petén Basin in Northwest Belize ('the Project') to New World's wholly owned subsidiary, New World Oil and Gas (Belize) Ltd ('NW Belize'). This assignment, which was approved following the acquisition of an additional 125 line km of 2-D seismic data as detailed in the Farm-Out Agreement ('FOA') announced on 16 June 2011, brings the Company's total working interest in the Project to 25%. Under the terms of the FOA, which was amended in February 2012, the Company can earn up to a 100% working interest in the Project by achieving various milestones including a three phase 2-D seismic acquisition programme totalling 231 line kilometres and a two well drilling programme. The most recent Competent Person's Report ('CPR') gives a combined P50 gross resources estimate of 294 million barrels of oil with a combined NPV10 of US$7.1 billion for two prospects.

CDB approves agreements, funding
Belize will be the beneficiary of CDB funds for a traffic improvement project and education sector reform. The objective of the education sector reform project is enhanced learning outcomes across all levels of the education sector and CDB will provide a US$2 million technical assistance loan to finance the initiative. In addition CDB has approved a $7.248 million loan to the government of Belize for a project to reduce deaths and serious injuries associated with road traffic accidents. Belize has the highest number of traffic deaths per capita of all borrowing member countries. The project aims at improving the safety of road infrastructure along a demonstration corridor, changing road user behaviour through increased awareness and understanding of the issue, traffic law enforcement support, post-crash response support and road safety management capacity building.

McAfee Co-Founder On The Run From Belize Authorities
Internet security company McAfee’s co-founder John McAfee is reportedly on the run from the local authorities in the Central American nation of Belize. Trying to flee from the US authorities in which he faces a $5-million lawsuit for wrongful death, the British-born co-founder fled to Belize and set up a home for himself while trying to start a new business making antibiotics from jungle plants. “After his company suffered setbacks, the yoga lover moved to Belize in 2008 and then launched a bid to make antibiotics from jungle plants. As of 2009 his fortune, once valued at $100-million, had fallen to $4-million,” wrote The Daily Mail. But McAfee’s home in Belize was raided on suspicion of him running a methamphetamine laboratory, and for allegedly harbouring illegal drugs and weapons. McAfee was arrested by the nation’s Gang Suppression Unit (GSU), for charges he claims “refusing to donate money to a local politician”. The GSU said that he was arrested for possessing an illegal firearm, but it is widely speculated that the running a methamphetamine laboratory was the main charge.

May 29, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

WEEKLY WEATHER OUTLOOK FOR BELIZE
Valid: May 28 – June 4, 2012

Two systems were responsible for the outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms last week and over the weekend. The first was a persistent low pressure area over and just offshore Belize that eventually drifted NE towards Cuba by late Wednesday. While, in the upper atmosphere, a westward drifting short-wave trough moved over Belize on Sunday and its axis now extends from NW Bahamas south-westward across the eastern Gulf of Mexico and central Yucatan Peninsula and Guatemala. This feature is forecast to continue its westwards displacement as an upper anticyclone migrates westward over northern Central America by Thursday of this week.

A weak tropical wave will make its way westward over the central and western Caribbean this week, reaching the Yucatan and Belize coasts by late Wednesday. Otherwise, the airflow in the NW Caribbean will become drier in a weak SE’ly current as we approach the weekend. Showers may likely be on the increase once again on Sunday afternoon and Monday.

Daily rainfall accumulations will be in the range of 0.25-0.50 of-an-inch over north-western and northern Belize on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, with amounts of 0.50-0.75 of-an-inch in the higher terrain and some parts of the coast. Daily accumulations will decrease on Thursday through most of the weekend over the country as the airflow becomes drier and more stable. We can expect daily totals of 0.10-0.25 of an inch especially in the N and NW regions.

Tropical Cyclone Outlook: The models are not forecasting any tropical cyclone formation over the Caribbean during the next five days.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekly Weather Report

El Pescador Fishing Report, Week of May 20 – 27th, 2012
I heard Judy say the other day, “We are having an early summer and that’s all there is to it.” OK. I agree. As long as we have short periods of rain, I’m OK. But shut out days are tough. We did have one of those, but everyone was a super good sport. And when the weather cleared, some headed up the beach to chase tailing bones, and then some went in the lagoon and found adventure standing in the canoe and casting to schools of bones as they passed by...


Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Red Cross Holds Basic First Aid Training in San Pedro
The Belize Red Cross, in coordination with the San Pedro Red Cross volunteers conducted a basic first aid training session on Ambergris Caye. The training took place upstairs of Fido’s Courtyard on Saturday, May 19th and saw the participation of 30 community members. The training was facilitated by Red Cross Instructors Delcy Berry of Belize City and Chris Berry of Belmopan City. During the training, participants were given an overview of basic first aid and its importance in saving lives, the Good Samaritan Law which involves obtaining consent from an injured person prior to administering first aid, methods to implement safety measures to prevent disease transmission while administering first aid, the steps to take in implementing emergency actions and administering Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and other basic first aid. The training covered written material, oral participation and hands on practical training using mannequins.

23 million dollar CARILED project launched by T&T PM while in Belize
Belize hosted a major Caricom meeting and a three-day forum that saw the launching of a $23 million dollar project by the Trinidadian Prime Minister Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar. The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is an organization of 15 Caribbean nations and dependencies. CARICOM’s main purposes are to promote economic integration and cooperation among its members, to ensure that the benefits of integration are equitably shared, and to coordinate foreign policy. The three-day event saw the Caribbean Local Economic Development (CARILED) forum which drew the participation of the Commonwealth Secretary General His Excellency Kamalesh Sharma, Ministers of Local Government of the Caribbean, Local Government Leaders and representatives from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The event took place from Wednesday, May16th and ran through Friday, May 18th at the Princess Hotel in Belize City and was hosted by Minister of Local Government Hon Senator Godwin Hulse and former Mayor of Belize and outgoing Chair of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) Zenaida Moya.

Kindest Kid San Pedro Award Winner announced
Be Kind Belize on May 24th announced the winner of the first ever Kindest Kid San Pedro Award. The announcement and presentation of awards were done during a well attended Youth Rally at the Rafael Angel Nunez at the San Pedro High School. The first place award winner is Mariano Calderon of Island Academy. Second place was awarded to Faith Azueta from San Pedro Roman Catholic School while the Be Kind Belize Choice Award went to Naomi King from Island Academy. According to Colette Kase of Be Kind Belize, the idea of the Kindest Kid San Pedro Award was for the schools and community to recognize and award students that are exceptionally kind. “We hope that the community can take notice and that other children can take them as a role model and for them to find out that kindness is not something that they should avoid but something they should embrace,” said Kase. It is the hope of the organizer that through the award program, which she hopes will be done annually, children will be able to be more kind to their friends, family, animals, the environment and to the community and for them to understand how important it is to be kind.

Minimum wage increases approved by GOB
The general public is hereby advised that the Honourable Senator Godwin Hulse, Minister of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development and National Emergency Management, in exercise of the powers conferred upon him by section 7(6) of the Wages Councils Act, Chapter 302 of the Substantive Laws of Belize, Revised Edition, 2000-2003, signed Statutory Instrument No. 55 THE WAGES COUNCIL (WAGES REGULATION) (CONSOLIDATION) (AMENDMENT) ORDER, 2012 and Statutory Instrument No. 56 WAGES REGULATIONS (MANUAL WORKERS) (AMENDMENT) ORDER, 2012 on the 8th May, 2012, which has been Gazette on the 26th May, 2012. Statutory Instrument No. 55 The Wages Council (Wages Regulation) (Consolidation) (Amendment) ORDER, 2012, provides for: Un-skilled workers employed in the citrus industry in cleaning, picking, transporting, processing and handling of citrus for a minimum wage of $3.30 per hour For domestic workers employed full-time or part-time from $3.10 - $3.30 an increase of $0.20 For shop assistance employed full-time or part-time (excluding students who may be employed outside of school hours or during school vacation in premises covered by the shops act) $3.10 – $3.30 an increase of $0.20. Statutory Instrument No. 56 Wages Regulations (Manual Workers) (Amendment) ORDER, 2012, provides for: Manual Workers except for those who are engaged in agriculture, agro-industry or export oriented industries from $3.10 – $3.30 and increase in $0.20. Manual Workers engaged in agriculture, agro-industry or export oriented industries from $2.50- $3.30 an increase of $0.80. The general public is also reminded that students who may be employed outside of school hours or during school vacation in premises covered by the shops act remains at $3.00 an hour.

Guinea Grass Students and Teachers awed by field trip
Some 20 students and 5 teachers of the Guinea Grass Pentecostal School visited Belize’s Barrier Reef for the first time last weekend courtesy of Oceana in Belize. The event, part of Oceana’s community education and outreach campaign, was granted to the top 20 standard six students as a graduation treat in an attempt to expose them to Belize’s marine wonders and encourage them to learn more about, and help protect, their marine patrimony. “Wow!” “I want to come back again tomorrow.” “I am so glad I got to make this trip.” Were some of the comments of the very excited students who explained that they learnt about some these marine areas and animals in their science class but never thought it would be so amazing to actually experience it. At part of the tour the students travelled to Caye Caulker on Saturday, May 26th. They were accompanied by Belizean tour guides who briefed them on what to expect and on the use of snorkeling gear, as none of the students had previously snorkeled

Belize host 26th CARAIFA Congress in San Pedro
San Pedro Town was the venue for the 26th annual Caribbean Association of Insurance Financial Advisors (CARAIFA) Congress which took place from the 20th to the 24th of May. The conference was celebrated under the theme “Today’s Excellence – Tomorrow’s Legacy.” Over 130 participants from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Cayman, Dominica, St Lucia, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Belize took part in the five-day event at Coco Beach Resort. In speaking to The San Pedro Sun, Congress Director Harry Pilgrim said that it is the third time that Belize has hosted the CARAIFA congress. “CARAIFA is the only organization within the Caribbean that effectively brings together insurance advisors and other professionals from across the region fostering cooperation and upholding high ethical standards within the insurance industry,” said Pilgrim. The congress was geared to sharpen the skills of the advisors and insurance agencies to better serve their clients. Secretary General of CARAIFA Marcelle Fenton hopes that after the congress, participants would increase their professionals. “We hope that we can increase the professionalism of our members and members’ territories. If an individual is able to access individual needs and interface with people, they can ensure that when a breadwinner passes on those who are left behind will not suffer. We represent food, shelter, clothing and overall peace of mind for that family if any tragedy should occur,” said Fenton

“Tender Buff” Water Buffalo Meat… Beefier than Beef
Tender Buff (Water Buffalo meat) has been known for its nutritional qualities and it is also known for having high levels of Omega 3, a fatty acid that is commonly found in marine and plant oils. This polyunsaturated fat is known to lower triglycerides, according to a study performed by the Food Technology Institute of the INTA Castelar. Because of its nutritional qualities which give it a marketing edge in today’s more nutritionally conscious society where fat and cholesterol tend to be avoided, it has a significantly lower fat content in the lean meat, it is less prone to marbling (white flecks of fat within the meat muscle) and has approximately 43% less cholesterol than beef, according to the Australian buffalo industry council inc report. Meat is a good source of proteins and irons, yet its consumption has been associated with unfavorable cardiovascular effects. Whether this applies to all types of meat it is unclear. A study done by the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in September 2010 showed and came to the conclusion that the consumption of Tender Buff (water buffalo meat) seems to be associated with several beneficial effects on cardiovascular risk profile, specifically, water buffalo meat has less fat and is richer in proteins. An extensive research shows that recent consumers of water buffalo meat showed a significant decrease in total cholesterol and triglycerides level, lower pulse wave velocity, as well as a more blunted response to oxidative stress in comparison with subjects who had never consumed water buffalo meat. Findings suggest that water buffalo meat could be recommended as a safer and healthier alternative to cow meat, whereas continuing to provide a substantial proportion of the recommended daily allowance of protein.

BTB Welcomes New Acting Director Of Tourism & Director Of Marketing
As the New Acting Director of Tourism, Laura is no stranger to the Tourism Industry. She has and continues to work in the Belize tourism and services industry; a professional career that has earned her over twelve years of experience, four of which were spent at the Belize Tourism Board as the Director of Quality Assurance. During her years at the BTB, Laura instituted many initiatives to assist in facilitating the development of programs for industry quality of service and standards. She led the launch of an intensive Customer Service course which targeted government and private agencies across Belize. She also spearheaded the upgrading of standards for tour guides. She initiated the Pro Chef Program that single-handedly trained Belizean Chefs and upgraded the preparation standards for cuisine and beverage services. In addition, she successfully lobbied the Horse and Buggy Regulations, which was passed in 2009; as well as the Fort George Tourism Zone Statutory Instrument which was signed in 2010. Mrs. Frampton currently holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the University of North Florida and is now pursuing a Master’s Degree in Business Administration

Prime Minister leaves the country
Press Release – Belize Press Office Belmopan, 28th May, 2012. The Office of the Prime Minister informs that Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, wife of Prime Minister Barrow, has had to be hospitalized in response to a complication arising out of her treatment for breast cancer. Prime Minister, the Hon. Dean Barrow will leave Belize today to be by her side during this time. During the absence of Prime Minister Barrow, the Hon. Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister will act as Prime Minister. Prime Minister Barrow is expected to return to Belize at the weekend.

EU signs Financing Agreement with GOB on Climate Change
Her Excellency Paola Amadei, Head of Delegation, European Union, arrives in Belize to present her credentials to the Governor General of Belize and for an official visit, after taking office in Jamaica March of this year. Ambassador Amadei’s official visit will include the signing of a Financing Agreement with the Government of Belize (GoB) on Climate Change. As a result of the signing of the Financing Agreement on Climate Change, Belize will benefit from a Climate Change Project entitled ‘Enhance adaptive capacity and resilience to climate change in national policies’ which aims to develop a resilient water sector and enhance climate change governance through the establishment of a Climate Change Office. The European Union (EU) will contribute Euro 2.9 mn (BZD 7.25 mn) and GoB will contribute Euro 0.3 mn (BZD 0.75 mn) to the project. The project will support the strengthening of the National Climate Change Office which is providing economic, social and environmental expertise to meet the Government’s objectives. The proposed action also foresees to address capacity development of water governance mechanisms, such as the National Integrated Water Resources Authority, to facilitate coordination among water resource managers and users as well as provide the legal basis for responsible management of the country’s water resource base. Finally, physical interventions are foreseen in the form of pilot projects which should result in better adaptation to and/or better mitigation of the negative effects of droughts, flooding, soil erosion (also in coastal areas) and salinization.

Ambergris Today

BTB Welcomes New Acting Director Of Tourism & Director Of Marketing
Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is pleased to announce that after a national search to find the best candidates for the position of Director of Tourism and Director of Marketing and Industry Relations it has selected two well-respected and highly qualified Belizean candidates. Selected as Acting Director of Tourism is Mrs. Laura Esquivel Frampton, and as the New Director of Marketing Mrs. Alyssa Carnegie.

Morgan Cartwight Crowned Miss ACES 2012
Ambergris Caye Elementary School held its annual Miss ACES Pageant on Friday, May 25, 2012, at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium. Two brave contestants gave it their all and at the end of the night lovely miss Morgan Cartwight walked away with the title of Miss ACES 2012. Morgan Cartwight (Standard V student) and Logan Grey (Standard III student) were the only two contestants and accompanied by outgoing queen Miss Aces 2011 – Yari Flores. The girls formally introduced themselves during the casual wear segment, after which they came out in beautiful costumes depicting sea creatures. Logan presented herself as a parrot fish, giving a brief description of her costume and the creature she represented while Morgan came out dressed as a sea horse and also gave a brief description of her costume.

Work Starts on San Pedro’s New Cemetery
It is no news for residents of San Pedro to hear that the cemetery located at the end of Barrier Reef Drive on the beach side has surpassed its maximum capacity and cannot accommodate more bodies for burial. But the good news is that the San Pedro Town Council and Hon. Manuel Heredia have allocated land south of Ambergris Caye for a new cemetery. On Thursday, May 24, 2012, Ambergris Today accompanied Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. as they made a site visit to inspect the five acres of land which was recently acquired by Central Government for a new cemetery.

Teen Talk: Drive Down Memory Lane
So this week I asked my peers: “What is the constant reminder of the inner child you turn to for bliss and comfort?” Teen Talker: “Grandma’s food, flashbacks of times when my grandfather cut sugar cane for us to chew on, and watching adventurous innocent children on the hunt for kittens or playing with ‘mud tamales’. These touching memories constantly remind me of the bliss once lived and to keep looking forward to more.”

Steve Perera & Shelley Estephan Nuptials
“There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved” With this Steve Perera (son of Eneyda Perera & Estevan Perera II) and Shelley Estephan (daughter of Dana Perdomo & Michael Estephan) sealed their love for each other in Holy Matrimony at a ceremony held at the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church on Saturday, May 27, 2012.

Old Timer or Modern Sanpedrano? #14
When you got home for lunch during the week and you did not get a piece of pig tail in your beans, you felt cheated and on Sunday you felt cheated if you did not get corned beef soup. Your school supplies were two exercise books and a pencil or pen. You argued which empanadas and garnachas were better- Mrs. Rosita’s or Mrs. Lara’s.

Pic of the Week: Paddle Boarding to the Bar
Paddle boarding is becoming quite common and a new popular sport here in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. After enjoying some time out paddling in front of town, these tourists spotted BC's Bar and Grill headed to shore where they started changing: "Cervecas Please". There are not many places in the world were you can paddle board up to a bar and enjoy a cold beer!

Misc Belizean Sources

BNE Trust gives Belmopan Comprehensive New Classroom
The Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust had their inaguration celebration earlier this month at the Belmopan Comprehensive High School. BNE built a brand new classroom building to alleviate BCHS' overcrowding. They've done many projects in Cayo over the last year, including one at Sacred Heart Primary and Santa Elena Primary schools. Thank you, BNE Charitable Trust!

Institute of Creative Arts Poster Youth
The Institute of Creative Arts has chosen their 2012 Poster Youth. They chose one from each district. The Cayo district's Poster Youth is Vivian Mauricio. She is in the dance troupe Orchidea Negra with her sister, and if you haven't seen them, you should be sure and catch them at the next Cayo cultural event. Vivian began dancing at the age of 5 to much acclaim. She recently participated in NICH's 6 month training program, and currently teaches dance to youth. Congratulations to Vivian, and all the Poster Youth!

NBHA Belize race pictures
The National Barrel Horse Association of Belize had another successful event this weekend. There are some good pictures in there.

Town Meetings with Minister of Education
There will be a town meeting with the MoE tonight at CET. "The Ministry of Education is cordially inviting all stakeholders to a Public Town Meeting hosted by the Hon. Patrick Faber. The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday May, 29, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. at the Cayo Center for Employment Training. The Minister will also be hosting the meeting in Belmopan of residents of that area, the meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. at the Belmopan Civic Center."

Belize Zoo in Top 10 Zoos of the World
The Belize Zoo made it on the top 10 list for best zoos in the world! Of course it did, it has only local animals that have been rescued or rehabilitated, and they are kept in their natural habitiat. The Tropical Education Center got mentioned too. "'The Best Little Zoo in the World' was founded nearly 30 years ago to provide sanctuary for wild animals used in a documentary about tropical forests. Today the zoo, located 29 miles west of Belize City, exhibits more than 150 animals native to Belize. A major draw is the represented five wildcat species found in the Central American country: jaguar, puma, ocelot, margay and jacuarundi. The Problem Jaguar Rehabilitation Program is just one of the zoo’s initiatives that help to promote conservation and awareness, and to protect Belize’s natural resources."

Channel 7

WORKING MAN KILLED IN "GHOST TOWN"
There were three murders countrywide this weekend and three shootings as well. We start in the city where two men were killed - one figure with enemies in the underworld, and another, a working man - with no street history. We begin with the working man - Eldon Lewis who was killed last night on Mayflower Street. Mayflower has been in the news many, many times before the base for the Ghost Town gang. Except, 37 year old Lewis was not in any gang - he was in the area to buy a one dollar weed. But something went very wrong - and he ended up riddled with bullets. 7news was on the scene last night - and here's the story:.. Jules Vasquez reporting When we arrived on the scene, police had moved the body from where it was found under a house unto the street - another body headed form Mayflower Street to the morgue. The playful nature of the children just feet away from a dead man show just how accustomed they have become to this kind of violence in their neighborhood. And while these youths have had to become accustomed to violence in a community that is exploding in their midst -the deceased Eldon Lewis had his own three month old child at home this is the last thing his wife could have expected when he left home last night. Today she stood alone outside the KHMH back entrance - she had just been to the morgue to see her dead husband: Tanya Bowen, Wife of Deceased "I just find out this morning like after minutes to seven, I notice that he didn't come home last night. I got up to see where he was because he is not the type of person that sleeps out. Before I reach the shop to buy a phone card to call him, Mrs. Finnegan called me and asks me if I heard that Eldon got shot." She said he had left home to go to his usual hangout at Mayflower street. Tanya Bowen, Wife of Deceased "After 4 or 5 he came to ask me for one dollar, he says that he is going to buy something and come back. He never did come back."

CAR DEALER TARGETTED AND KILLED AFTER LEAVING NIGHTCLUB
The next murder is not so straightforward. It's about Anthony Mayen, a car dealer who was marked for death when he left the Tropicana Nightclub after 4:00 on Sunday morning. Mayen and his brother were leaving the club when two men came up and opened fire on the car they were in. After the spray of gunshots, Anthony Mayen lay dead with 8 gunshot wounds. Now there are all kinds of stories in the streets about what may have led to this execution outside a nightclub, but police - publicly at least - are sticking to the straight story - and his associates are not talking. Here's what we found out:.. Monica Bodden reporting The murder of 42 year old Anthony Mayen happened outside the Tropicana Lounge Nightclub in Tourist Village at around 4:40 on Sunday morning. Mayen who was at an Old School dance had just exited the nightclub along with his relative 37 year old Darrell Mayen. The two men proceeded to their grey Mercedes Benz that was parked on Fort Street - while at their vehicle, 2 gunmen approached them and began to open fire. Mayen was shot 8 times to his body - execution style. He received 3 gunshot wounds to his abdomen, 1 to his chest, 2 under his right armpit, 1 to the right side of his back and 1 to the right arm. Mayen died almost instantly. His brother Darrell Mayen was shot once to his right shoulder and is listed in a stable condition.

TEENAGER KILLED IN GREATER BELMOPAN
And while those killings happened in the city, an 18 year old was murdered in Belmopan over the weekend. It happened in the Maya Mopan area just before midnight on Saturday. Valentino Coc was chopped up in his yard. The Police Press officer told us more. Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer "On the 26th of May police were called out to an area known as the Maya Mopan area where they saw Valentino Coc in the yard with several chop wounds to the face and right hand." "Coc was transported to the Western Regional Hospital and eventually to the KHMH in a very critical condition. He succumbs to his injuries whilst undergoing treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital." "What investigators have gathered is that he was involved in an altercation with some persons known to the police where he ran from that group and he was fatally injured."

CANCER COMPLICATIONS: PM GOES TO BE WITH WIFE
Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country urgently today to travel to Miami to be with his wife, Kim. According to an official release - she is experiencing complications as a result of her treatment for breast cancer. As we understand it, the PM was supposed to travel later on this week - but the situation carries some urgency, so he travelled today to be with her. No doubt it is trying, running a country, and managing a spouse's stage 3 cancer, while also raising a small child. On Saturday, the PM took part in the Cancer Walk - and told us about the difficulties of juggling his various responsibilities while managing medical emergencies that arise:.. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "She herself is very strong and so that helps me. It's a bit of a juggling act but by and large because the trips abroad are scheduled trips, one is able to plan around them." "Last week I had to rush out because she had a little bit of a setback. They discovered fluid in her lungs and she had to be hospitalized while the fluid was being extracted and they had to test the fluid. There was a fear that perhaps the cancer might have spread. Thank God the tests don't show that but except for that sort of thing when there is an emergency on schedule trip that I have to make - I am able to balance the two things and nowadays with technology and the ease of communication we are able to keep in touch and be on top of what's happening and so it's been manageable." "The biggest thing though for her and by extension for me is the out pouring of support on a continuing basis for the people of this country. That's been the prayers, that's been I think the best thing about this whole experience - the way she has been so lucky to have benefitted from this tremendous show of support and genuine sympathy on the part of the Belizean people." According to a press release, the PM is expected to return this weekend. During his absence Deputy Gaspar Vega will act as Prime Minister. Later on, we'll have more on the Cancer Walk.

HIV INFECTION NUMBERS DOWN, FOURTH YEAR IN A ROW
The HIV numbers for 2011 have been released and they show a decrease in the number of new infections for the fourth year in a row. A total of 226 new infections were recorded in 2011, a 7.4% decrease from 2010. It's a quite remarkable downward trend, and the 226 cases is less than half of what was reported at the peak in 2004 - when 457 new infections were recorded. The majority of the new cases continue to occur in the age group between 20 to 34 years. And, a higher number of new infections were reported in men even though fewer of them were tested. Most of the cases are still concentrated in the Belize District, with Cayo and the Stann Creek showing the second and third highest numbers. Presently, 1,358 HIV infected persons are receiving medical care from the thirteen different facilities giving anti-retroviral treatment countrywide.

GUATE'S TRIED TO PULL SENIOR COP'S GUN IN CHAMPON
On Friday we told you about the heated incident at the western border - which had things running very high between authorities in Benque and Melchor. Well it was more serious than had been originally reported to us. As we told you, it was all about this red pickup, a 2008 Mistusbishi L200 Sportero. The truck appears to have been stolen - and various border operators were trying to smuggle it into Melchor. But, it was in Belize and customs took possession of it - which is when things got a little chaotic. The police account of the incident is far more serious: it details how even Guatemalans - tried to pull a senior policeman's gun in Belizean territory! At 11:45 am, when the police got a two truck to haul away the pickup, a female known as ANA who operates in the middle of the no border buffer area called Champon claimed that she was the owner of the pickup. She then pushed the tow truck driver telling him not to move the pickup. Another Guatemalan who called himself "LOQUILLO" also tried to stop the tow truck driver. The OC in Benque Viejo, Superintendent Ralph Moody then stepped in and Ana pushed him! The other one, Loquillo then drove a van in front of the truck to block it from being moved. He was told to move it, but refused and when he was approached he took out a black pistol resembling a 9mm pistol, cocked it and handed it over to an unknown person through the passenger side window. Superintendent Moody then tried to get the keys from Loquillo and it another Guatemalan tried to pull the gun off Moody's waist, but the weapon fell to the ground. Loquillo then exited the van and stood aside as the cocking of another gun was heard. The van was then moved and the pickup was taken into Customs compound.

KARL HEUSNER JR. TO PRISON
26 year-old Karl Heusner Jr., who is no stranger to the police, is at prison tonight after he was busted with an unlicensed firearm and a bag of marijuana. According to police, on Saturday at around 10 p.m. they were on mobile patrol when they saw Heusner at the corner of Wagner's Lane and Simmon's Alley. The officers said that he was acting suspicious because he had one hand in his back pocket and the other on the front of his shirt. As a result, when he entered a yard, one of the officers chased after him, and grabbed him on the arm. Immediately, a bag of suspected marijuana fell out of his shirt, and when the officer searched him, he found a chrome and black .38 revolver with the serial number filed off. The gun was also loaded with 5 live rounds of .38 ammunition. Police charged him with keeping an unlicensed firearm, keeping unlicensed ammunition, and drug trafficking after it was discovered that the bag contained 113 grams of marijuana.

GSU GETS GSG FIGURE
And while Heusner is on remand for a gun, 23 year-old Nelson Martinez is his fellow inmate tonight because of the very same offense. According to the Gang Suppression Unit, at 9:40 p.m. on Saturday - 20 minutes before another patrol caught Heusner - they were on George Street conducting operations when they saw Martinez riding a bicycle at the corner of Bishop and George Streets. When the GSU officers approached him, he sped off trying to escape. Just before he was caught, Martinez reportedly pulled out an object and threw it over a fence in yard which is very near to his Plues Street address. When he was detained, the officers located the object he threw away, and discovered that it was an Austria Brand Glock 9 mm pistol, which contained 13 live rounds of ammunition. This pistol also had the serial number filed off. As a result, they arrested and charged him with keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition. He was brought to Magistrate's Court today where he was arraigned and remanded to prison until July 11.

ANOTHER PEN ROAD SHOOTING, THIS ONE NON-FATAL
A NON FATAL shooting in the city over the weekend left two males injured. It happened last night around 11 on Neal's Pen Road. According to taxicab driver, Kevin Young - he was driving his grey Honda Civic Taxi cab on Neal's Pen Road and at the corner of Monroe Street, he stopped to pick up four friends. That's when a red motorcycle with two passengers pulled up next to his car and someone opened fire. Young was shot to the right arm and a 17 year old minor was shot to the right foot. Police Press Officer, Fitzroy Yearwood, discussed the incident. Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer "This is where a taxi driver Kevin Young is saying that he was driving his vehicle and he stop to pick up 4 friends. Upon doing so two men on a red motorcycle approach them firing several shots at them injuring Young and a 16 year old minor who was a part of the group that was with Young. They were transported to the KHMH where they are listed in serious condition." So far there are no suspects.

TURNING FIREARMS INTO SCRAP METAL
And while gunplay continues to create chaos in the streets - police today received a new tool to help them properly dispose of weapons that have been found or confiscated. In the past we've witnessed many gun destructions before - where welding torches are used to destroy the firearms. But a new tool does it far more efficiently. It is a donation from a UN agency and part of a wider regional programme. Here's how it will work in Belize... Jules Vasquez reporting It's called a hydraulic shear - and it's used to destroy weapons. No high tech sorcery or laser beams, it simply massive clamping power to crush and snap gun barrels and stocks leaving them in unusable metal scraps. The devise is housed at the Queen Street police station and it is part of an initiative by The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affair's Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), called stockpile management. Melanie Regimbal - Director, UN LiREC "As many of you know all too well our region has the dubious honour of having the highest homicide and violence rates in the world. Nearly 80% of all homicides are committed with firearms either trafficked illegally across our borders or stolen from private or government facilities." "Today we are here to oversee the handing over and training of the use of the hydraulic shears that will leave the government of Belize with permanent and effective capacity to destroy confiscated surplus and obsolete weapon until the material can be recycle and disposed of properly."

POLICE GO OLD SCHOOL WITH BEACH CRUISERS
And while the police department is taking a leap into the future with that hydraulic shears - they're also taking a step into the past with a new fleet of bicycles. Over 30 Beach Cruisers - were donated by the ministry to the department. If it seems retrograde, the officer commanding eastern division, Assistant commissioner Aragon told us - it's part of a wider plan:.. ACP Elodio Aragon, OC, Eastern Division "Jules, you may think its low tech, but it's not. The bicycles will simply be used for our foot patrols to give them a little more mobility within specific areas. I believe that low tech will give us the opportunity to be not too fast or not too slow within certain areas and its going in between the foot patrols and the mobile patrols." Jules Vasquez "How about if I challenge you and I say that its useless, in six months all these bikes will be wrecked or stolen and you don't have them here and the plan will have gone array. How will you respond to that?"

BZE MAN, GROWN IN STATES, DODGES DEPORTATION
A 47 year old man who was born in Belize, but has been in the states for 43 years, was almost deported. Henroy Underwood has quite a story of legal troubles which began in 2003, when the murder of Dernell Stentson. In March of 2005, Underwood was driving an Acura belonging to a suspect in that case. When police stopped the car, they found 30 pounds of marijuana inside. Underwood denied any knowledge of the drugs, and was offered a plea deal for three years' probation. He was never informed that by pleading guilty, he was eligible for deportation since he was born in Belize. But he was not deported. And six years later, Underwood left the United States for a cruise with his fiancée, and when he tried to return to the U.S., he was detained by immigration officials who tried to deport him. He was detained for 364 days in a place that had only 2 toilets for 60 people. Because Underwood was not informed that by accepting the plea deal he was deportable, his sentence was overturned, but he was still going to be tried for the 2005 drug transportation charges. He was then offered another plea bargain which he accepted, so the sentence was "time served". Underwood had been sentenced for the same crime - twice! He's been told that he cannot leave the country again, and he says he doesn't plan to.

OREGON'S KILLER TO COURT
On Friday's Newscast, we told you about 22 year-old Henry Jacobs, who was charged for the April 30 murder of Brian Welch Requena, aka "Oregon". Well today, he was taken to court. Due to the nature of the offense, Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith could not grant him bail, and he was remanded him until July 5. As we reported, Welch was walking along with two men on Faber's Road Extension, and he was heading toward Central American Boulevard. When he arrived near to the intersection, a gunman ambushed them and fired several shots in their direction. Welch was hit several times and he died on the spot.

Convicted Human Trafficker Appeals
In February of 2012, 7news told you about 41 year-old Yolanda Garcia, a Honduran National who was convicted of human trafficking in the Magistrate's Court. Well today, her attorney came to court requesting bail for her because he is in the process of appealing that conviction in the Supreme Court. Mansel Thurton, who is representing Garcia, made an application today for the stay of execution - which is equated to a request for bail - to Chief Magistrate Anne Marie The Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lynn Vidal, who prosecuted the case, objected to the stay on the grounds that Garcia has no ties to the country, and that if Garcia is granted bail, she will abscond because she will not risk the possibility having to go back to jail. After listening to the submissions, Chief Magistrate Smith decided to deny the stay, and she further recommended that Mansel makes applications to the Supreme Court to expedite the process. As we reported, Garcia was convicted on the strength of the 17 year-old complainant's testimony, who told the court that she was employed at Garcia's establishment, La Serenita Bar. According the minor, Garcia allegedly told her that part of her job description was that she was required to have sex with customers for money. She was sentenced to 12 months in prison and she has already served 3 months and 2 weeks.

Minimum Wage Increases By 80 cents/Hour for Agroindustry Workers
A new pair of statutory instruments sharply increases the minimum wage for those doing manual labour in agro industry. The new law says that Un-skilled workers employed in the agriculture, agro-industry or export oriented industries now qualify for a minimum wage of $3.30 per hour - up from $2.50 where it had been since 2007. There's also an increase for domestic workers whether full-time or part-time; they go up from $3.10 to $3.30 an hour. Shop assistants employed full-time or part-time also get a twenty cent increase from $3.10 to $3.30 Manual workers not engaged in agriculture, also get an increase from $3.10-$3.30 an hour. The increases arise from reviews by the minimum wage second task force council which scheduled the increases in 2007 and 2008 to keep up with the cost of living.

Cancer Walk Pulls Record Crowd
The annual cancer walk began 15 years ago to raise cancer awareness. Every year, the numbers seem to grow, and the rise in awareness is mirrored in the increase of participants in the cancer walk. Organizers say three thousand people participated this year - which is a sharp increase from last year's walk when they estimate that twenty five hundred persons participated. Luverta Medina, the vice President of the Belize Cancer Society, explained what the walk is about and what it means for Belize. Luverta Medina, VP - Belize Cancer Society "This is annual walk, we do this every year for the past 15 years and it's a way to show support to those who are fighting cancer and those who have lost the fight. Whenever one walk is finish we begin to plan for the next walk." "The support, the people who just want to come in and volunteer and help us in everything that we do has been overwhelming, it is enormous. Prevention is definitely better than cure. Come out and take your yearly tests. If you see something different with your body then come out and find out what's going on with you." "This is a disease that is affecting Belize in a big way." Eric Rhaburn, Participant in Cancer Walk "My mom died from cancer in 1996 so it's all about support and giving back. I feel good to be a Belizean right now. Every year the thing just gets bigger and bigger." Janika Hilton, Participant in Cancer Walk "I feel really good. The walk was nice and I participated because nowadays anybody can catch cancer and so I didn't mind walk."

"Young, Green and Clean"
A competition for high schools called Young, Clean, & Green held its final event on Sunday at Old Belize. The first campaign was a country wide clean up, and after its success, an international organization Alde-baran's started the "Young, Clean & Green High School Competition." Almost 50 percent of all high schools participated in the event, and they were tasked to create a public service announcement, a primary school booklet, a shopping bag made out of natural recyclable materials and a 3 year concept about how schools could incorporate recycling, gardening, and composting. We spoke to representatives of the 1st and 2nd place winners to find out more about their projects. Patricia Acosta, SCA, District Winner, 2nd Overall "At the beginning we started a contest of who could recycle the most paper and bottles and then we promise that class a prize and so that encourage the girls to start go out. Also we got some donations and we got some garbage cans collected. We have them all over the school campus, which helped minimize loitering." "Our school is already clean and also what they do is in 1st form is have a gardening class. That helps us to have more fresh air on our campus because we plant around the school." "I am really happy because personally I didn't think that we would make it this far. I am really proud of our school."

Changing the Climate On Climate Change Readiness
Paola Amadei, the Head of Delegation of the European Union came to Belize for an official visit - which included the signing of a financing agreement with the Government on climate change. The project is called "Enhance adaptive capacity and resilience to climate change in national policies." The goal is to create a resilient water sector and enhance climate change readiness by establishing a climate change office. The European Union will contribute EU 2.9 million - that's BZD 7.25 million - and GOB will contribute BZD $750,000, totaling 8 million to enhancing climate change. It's an important project, and at the signing of the financial agreement Ambassador Amadei explained how much Belize will benefit. Hon. Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister "The project is for the purpose of like the CEO had mention - to strengthen capacity in the climate change section and especially this project will be having activities to do with the water management in our country." Paola Amadei, Head of Delegation of the European Union "As we speak negotiations are going in New York for the Rio Plus 20 Conference. The EU has been active together in this particular file. There is a common understanding and commonality of views and objectives between the EU and the Caribbean."

Channel 5

Prime Minister joins ailing wife for urgent medical treatment in U.S.
The Prime Minister left the country earlier today for Miami where his wife, Kim Simpliss Barrow is receiving treatment for breast cancer. Simpliss Barrow was re-admitted to the hospital on Sunday evening after developing complications relating to the cancer treatment. Having concluded chemotherapy, she is now receiving radiation. As we understand it, her heart was [...]

Tropicana style murder and shooting of Mayen brothers
By the time the weekend was over, three persons had been murdered. In the Old Capital, two were shot and killed. Car dealer Anthony Mayen and his two brothers left Tropicana Lounge, where they had been partying, at about four o’clock on Sunday morning. As soon as they got into their vehicle, they were ambushed [...]

Mayflower visitor shot and killed
Just before eight o’clock on Sunday night, shots rang out in elsewhere in the Old Capital. A Dangriga man was shot and killed in one of the City’s most dangerous hoods. A lone gunman opened fired killing Eldon Lewis instantly as he sat on a verandah. Lewis recently moved to the City and was employed [...]

Belmopan resident hacked and killed
In the capital, the family of eighteen year old Valentino Coc believes he was lured to his death. Coc left home to play football on Saturday evening. He did not make it back as just before midnight, he was chopped to death in the Salvapan area of Belmopan. News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports.   Delahnie [...]

Sunday night fare leaves cab driver and minor as shooting victims
There was other violence over the weekend. A cab driver and his passenger almost lost their lives when several shots were fired at about eleven on Sunday night. They are both lucky to be alive. The police press officer says that the victims are fully cooperating with the investigators.   Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, Police Press [...]

Melchor resident claims to be owner of stolen vehicle
Police are providing details on a scuffle near the Belize/Guatemala Border around eleven o’clock on Friday morning. There was an altercation between Benque Viejo Police and a group of Guatemalan nationals over a vehicle that is believed to be stolen. The pickup, a red Mitsubishi L-200 double cab, was parked adjacent to the OIRSA office [...]

Walk with Cancer Society to bring awareness
This year’s annual cancer walk was bigger than ever. Thousands woke up at the crack of dawn on Saturday to walk from Ladyville to Belize City to build awareness for cancer. Prime Minister Dean Barrow, family members and friends of persons who are afflicted or who have lost their battle to the disease were among [...]

Fisherman hooked for murder of Yanki
Another man has been charged in connection with the murder of forty-nine year old Brian Welch who was gunned down on Faber’s Road on April twenty-ninth of this year. Twenty-two year old Henry Jacobs appeared in court today where he was read a single charge of murder. No plea was taken and since the offense [...]

Bail denied for Honduran convicted of human trafficking
Forty-one year old, Yolanda Garcia, owner of Serenita’s bar on Regent Street West was found guilty of human trafficking of a seventeen year old employee. In February of this year Garcia, a Honduran national, was convicted of the crime and sentenced to one year in prison. But she is appealing the conviction and today, Garcia [...]

78 year old knocked down and killed at mile 69
An elderly Guatemalan national was the victim of a fatal traffic accident that occurred on the Western Highway on Sunday morning. Seventy-eight year old Celestino Perez Borando was hit by a Toyota Pickup Truck as he walked near mile sixty-nine on the highway. While he frequently walked that road, reports are that Perez stumbled into [...]

Disturbing acts of Vandalism at Sacred Heart
Over two hundred students from standards four and five at Sacred Heart Primary in San Ignacio were not in their classrooms today. A total of eight classrooms were hit by vandals over the weekend and when the kids showed up this morning, they had to be sent back home. But this incident is not the [...]

Take a juicy bite of Mango Festival
For a second year in a row, Hopkins held an all day Mango festival. Year round, this fruit is enjoyed by the villagers, but there is abundance in the mango season, which starts as early as May or June. So to avoid letting the fruit go to waste, last year, BTIA in Hopkins decided to [...]

Police get equipment to destroy weapons
Last August, the Ministry of Police was gifted with a firearm marking machine as a part of the OAS program ‘Promoting Firearms Marking in Latin America and the Caribbean’. That machine was expected to reduce crimes being committed with weapons and the firearm trade in the region, but it hasn’t deterred the criminals. Today, Belize [...]

GSU busts reputed George Street Gang member for gun and ammo
The Gang Suppression Unit made a significant arrest over the weekend. The Unit arrested a reputed George Street Gang member on Saturday night just before ten o’clock. The GSU approached Nelson Martinez at the corner of Bishop and George Street but he sped off on his bicycle. Martinez was pursued and according to the GSU, [...]

Ball Bouncing Sports Update with James Adderley
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   Game II of the National Female Football Championship travelled to the Carl Ramos Stadium on Saturday where the Dangriga Pumas played host to Suga City Girls who came in with a one game lead after last week’s convincing 4-1 victory in Game I. The [...]

LOVE FM

Monday, May 28 - POLICE NEWS
An armed robbery was reported on Saturday afternoon in Belmopan. Eighteen year old Jared Cattouse who is the manager of Southside Meats, reported to police that as he was getting ready to close the establishment around two o’clock on Saturday afternoon, two Hispanic men, on...

CACAO FARMERS PARTICIPATE IN AGRICULTURAL TRAINING
A one week training program in basics of agriculture basics for cacao farmers concluded on Saturday in Punta Gorda. Paul Mahung reporting... “The training was in connection with areas of interest related to the Mayan House of Cacao and Chocolate Museum pr...

SHORTAGE OF WATER IN WESTERN VILLAGE
The Chairman of Cristo Rey Village in the Cayo District says officials are addressing the concerns of residents over a shortage of water in the village. Patrick Jones reporting … “The residents of Cristo Rey village have resorted to drawing w...

BELIZE POLICE DEPARTMENT RECEIVES DONATION
Today the Belize Police Department got two handsome donations. One came in the form of mobility with thirty new bicycles and the other in the form of destruction with a hydraulic shears for firearms destruction. The donation came from the United Nations Office for Disarmame...

HUSBAND WAKES UP AND FINDS WIFE DEAD IN STANN CREEK
A Stann Creek woman was found dead at her home in Hope Creek village. Harry Arzu reporting… “Dangriga police are investigating the sudden death of a woman from the New Site area of Pomona Village. She has identified as 32-year-old domestic Si...

CLASSES SUSPENDED DUE TO VANDALISM
Hundreds of primary school children in San Ignacio Town had to be sent home today after their classroom was hit by vandals over the weekend. According to reports reaching the RSV Media Center, a three-classroom building at the Sacred Heart Primary School in San Ignacio town was v...

THREE WEEKEND HOMICIDES REPORTED
Three people were murdered in separate incidents in Belize City and Belmopan over the weekend. The first incident, which happened late on Saturday night, claimed the life of eighteen year old Valentino Coc, a resident of Salvapan area of Belmopan. According to police report...

PRIME MINISTER'S WIFE HOSPITALIZED
The wife of Prime Minister Dean Barrow Kim Simplis Barrow has been hospitalized. A statement from the office of the Prime Minister says that the hospitalization of Mrs. Barrow is in response to complications arising out of her treatment for breast cancer. As a result of the hospi...

CTV3

Dismembered Bodies unidentifiable U.S Embassy Seeks Information
Twelve days ago Mexican authorities found the dismembered bodies of 49 people stuffed in bags and dumped on a main road leading to Texas near the northern city of Monterrey, in what appeared to be the latest in a string of drug gang killings. The bodies of 43 men and six women were found on an isolated stretch of road, scattered in a pool of blood at the entrance to the town of San Juan, on a highway leading from Monterrey to the border city of Reynosa. According to international reports a banner found at the site left a threatening message in the name of the Zetas drug cartel. The bodies were found in the early hours of Sunday May 13th, seeing the large deployment of local, state and military officials to the scene. Complicating the investigation and the identification of the bodies is the fact that all the victims were headless and hands and feet were also missing. Speculations are that the victims, who it is believed were killed at another location at least two days before their bodies were found, might be immigrants. As mentioned the bodies were mutilated beyond recognition making it difficult for the victims to be identified. In sight of this revelation the U.S Embassy is asking the general public if they know of any missing Belizean who was traveling to the United States by land in mid-May 2012 to contact the U.S Embassy Section by e-mail at [email protected] or by telephone at 822-4011 extensions 4245, 4224 or 4223. The U.S. Embassy Consular Section will forward all inquiries to the appropriate authorities.

Vehicle Vendors To Pay $30.00 Fee For Use Of Space
News coming out of the Orange Walk Town Council tonight is that a $30.00 fee will be charged to vendors stationed at the east side of the Central Park. That’s right where vendors are constantly seen selling vehicles and other items. Nine spaces have been allotted to the 13 vendors and basically they will be paying $1.00 a day for their use of the space. Orange Walk Town Mayor Kevin Bernard shared more details. Kevin Bernard, Mayor, O/W “The council has earlier made a decision in terms of the changes we are talking about within the town when it comes to spaces used by vendors, whether vehicle vendors or market vendors we are putting cost to these things and assigning a rate to those vendors that are utilizing our space especially the prime space around the Central Park. I want to state openly for the record that this council intention is to bring back life to Central Park we want to renovate the park we already started doing some work there but the whole long term plan is to really bring back the park for the people of Orange Walk.” Vendors were informed of the changes yesterday during a meeting held between them and members of the council. As was expected the news did not go too well for certain merchants. Kevin Bernard, Mayor, O/W “The council has decided that $30.00 per month will be charged to each vehicle vendor for the nine spots that are allocated to them. Yesterday we met with the vendors and some agreed to pay and some said they will not pay. Initially the charge would have been $50.00; I went back to the council and then took the response back and informed them that it was $30.00 and so there was a bit of back and fourth and I took the matter back to the council and the council made the decision that what will be charged is $30.00 and that would be the final decision.”

Corozalenos Walk For A Good Cause
In addition the Belize Cancer Society Corozal Branch will be joining the rest of the country tomorrow as they hold their first ever cancer walk. Melanie Grange, President BCSCB “We will be having our annual cancer walk since we are celebrating the cancer awareness month. Most of the time one of our last activities is our cancer walk it will commence at 6:00am infront of the ministry of works in Ranchito village we will be walking towards the northern highway then towards seven avenue till we reach the central park approximately four miles.” Hipolito Novelo, Reporter “And what do you have to say to those persons who are out there thinking for this four miles, I don’t want to walk four miles.” Melanie Grange, President BCSCB “Well don’t think about the walking think that you will be walking towards the fight against cancer, we tell everyone that even if you cannot afford to buy the t-shirt its ok come all we want is to see that you are joining us against the fight.” Everyone is invited to lace up their tennis shoes and hit the streets in support of those battling the terminal illness and in honour of those who were lost in the fight. Melanie Grange, President BCSCB “Well this will be our first walk as the Belize Cancer Society Corozal Branch so hopefully we do have a large crowd we are expecting maybe 300 to 500 people not as big as the Orange Walk one but hopefully next year we reach that magnitude but any number counts even if it two persons we will be walking tomorrow.” On Sunday June 3rd the Belize Cancer Society in Corozal will be featuring a fun day for cancer patients at the beach side.

Victim Of Domestic Abuse Speaks Out
Tonight 34 year old Jose Marciano Mendez Espinoza, the man who threatened to blow up his house on San Narciso Street yesterday, is recuperating at the Northern Regional Hospital from burns to the right side of the torso and right arm. Today Orange Walk Police issued an official report on the matter in which they say that at about 3:10 yesterday afternoon police responded to a call concerning a domestic dispute. When they arrived at #18 San Narciso Street, police saw Mendez seated around a table inside his kitchen. When Mendez saw police entering the residence he stood up and managed to get a kitchen knife and placed it to his chest. He then took the knife and placed it to his neck threatening to kill himself if he was not granted time to speak with his common-law-wife, 41 year old Evangelina Correa. In an off camera interview this afternoon, Correa recounted her brutal experience to reporter Hipolito Novelo. Hipolito Novelo- Reporting Evangelina Correa, Domestic Abuse Victim “Empezamos ah argumentar yo le dije que no es verdad lo que el me esta diciendo y el me estaba diciendo que si es verdad yo le dije que no es verdad y el terco que si es verdad. El luego me dio un lapo en la cama de primero y me calleé después en el suelo y estando yo en el suelo me pego en mi boca y en mi cara y luego me empezó a patear yo le patie también. En ese entonces el vio una silla alto de madera y el me dijo que me va a pegar con ello y al escuchar eso yo le dije que si el tiene la razón con tal de que no me pegue. Al escuchar eso el se calmo y se acostó en la cama y luego yo me levante del suelo y me acosté en la cama también.” When Correa’s children came home from school at lunch time they saw her bruises. There reaction is what prompted her to report the matter to police.

BWU Says It Wasn't Me
As you can observe the press release bears the letter head of the Belize Workers Union. But according to President of BWU Ian Leiva the executive body of the union never did sent out a press release much less talking about the negotiations between BSI and American Sugar Refinery. In fact, Leiva admitted that BWU is in agreement with ASR’s proposal to acquire B.S.I. Ian Leiva- President of BWU “I heard about the press release this morning while going to the meeting with BSI and I don’t know nothing bout it which went out on behalf of the BWU. I got my hands on a copy this morning and read it and it has nothing that the union has in good faith when it comes to the proposal. We believe that American Sugar Refinery proposal to purchase BSI is a very good proposal we had some issues which we dealt with this morning in our meeting and the meeting was very fruitful and I assure the public that I and the BWU Executive did not authorize the issuing out of the press release. I would just like to clarify that we don’t know anything about the press release I and the committee we talked about it this morning after the meeting and no one has an explanation as to how this press release came out.” So, if BWU did not fire off the release then who did and with what intent? That’s the million dollar question that no one seems to have the answer to. Ian Leiva- President of BWU “To tell you the truth I have no idea how it got out but we will do our investigations to find out how it came out.”

OWTHS To Hold Business Expo
Business expositions are a favorite event in most schools but they have always been performed inside school grounds with minimal booths and activities. One school that decided to step out of their comforting zone is the Orange Walk Technical High School which for the first time will be packing up and making their mark elsewhere. Their Business expo will be held at the People’s Stadium tomorrow May 26th from 8:00am to 6:00pm. The family friendly event is opened to the public and has many forms of entertainment and opportunities. Juanita Polanco, Teacher OWTHC “We will be having 19 businesses participating they will be selling their products their services at discounted price. I’m sure they are going to have great deals for the general public, we will also be having food on sale, pastries, we having kiddies corner, and we’re having sports, live entertainment, so it’s going to be something that’s going to be for the entire family.” The expo will be catering to some of the larger business groups in town including Santiago Castillo Ltd, Smart, Telemedia and Creative Graphic Impressions who will be on sight to promote their products and establishment. But even though the day promises to be fun and exciting for all visitors, the main purpose of the expo features a completely different story.

National Aids Commission Holds Workshop In Orange Walk
The National AIDS Commission in Belize was officially established in February of 2000. Since the opening its doors NAC has coordinated, facilitated and monitored the national response to HIV and AIDS within the country. The NAC is broken into district committees and for the past weeks committee members have been taking part in a formalization and strengthening workshop. Here in Orange Walk the final session of the two days workshop took place at ITVET. Dr. Martin Cuellar, Executive Director of NAC Secretariat “Well the National AIDs commission is the statutory body established by government to lead the national response to HIV and one of the ways we do that is to utilize district committees which serve as local faces of the NAC in every district and we are currently embarking on an initiative to strengthen the management structure, expand the membership an update the activity of all of our district committees around the country and so we’re visiting and facilitating strengthening workshops with each of our district committees.” According to Dr. Jair Osorio, Medical Chief of Staff at the Northern Regional Hospital, through the training NAC hopes to recruit the support of community members and organizations across the country.

BWU Press Release Accuses BSI Management Of Conducting Secret Deals
Last week we were the first media house to report on a proposal made to B.S.I by American Sugar Refinery for the acquisition of the sugar company. In an interview with CTV3 News on May 16th Chief Executive Officer of the BSCFA Oscar Alonso disclosed some of the important points in the proposal staying in line with what could and could not benefit cane famers. For the most part, ASR’s proposal seems beneficial for the cane producers who are expected to vote for or against the agreement in the upcoming days. As for B.S.I workers, who own 81.29% of shares in B.S.I, their main concern is the payment of $5.2 million owed to them in dividends for the year 2006, 2007 and 2009. When we spoke to president of the Belize Workers Union Ian Leiva on May 18th he expressed that apart from the payment of dividends workers also wanted to ensure that their jobs would not be in jeopardy if the company was to change ownership. Leiva further stated that while employees had not seen the proposal in black and white, its contents and the procedures in which the negotiations would be carried out if accepted was explained to them by B.S.I’s Managing Director Joey Montalvo during a meeting held in the second week of May. According to Leiva when it came to the payment of dividends, ASR proposes to pay workers 50% of what is owned to them 2 weeks after the agreement is signed, 30% on the company’s anniversary in 2013 and the remaining 20% would be paid off in 2014. Workers; however, are asking that they be paid 75% two weeks after the agreement has been signed and the remaining 30% to be paid out the following year.

PlusTV

Teen stabbed to death during night out with friends
Valentino Coc had turned eighteen earlier this month and tonight his family is questioning why their son and brothe...

Murder count continues to rise in Belize City
Last night at about 7:30pm Police responded to a scene in an alley located off Mayflower Street where they saw Eldo...

Pastor Ensford Mascal passes away at 56
The nation has lost a phenomenal man of God. Yesterday at Zoe Ministries World Outreach Center in Belize City, fami...

Belize signs on to climate change commitment
Her Excellency Paola Amadei, Head of Delegation of the European Union, visited Belize to present her credentials to...

High school undertakes gardening project
Belize High School (BHS) is a private institution with a foundational college and technological curriculum. The sch...

Southside Meats heist
Earlier that very day 18 year old Jared Cattouse, manager of Southside Meats – Belmopan reported that he was gettin...

Belize City businessman murdered in front of nightclub
Police visited the K.H.M.H on Sunday morning where they saw the lifeless body of Anthony David Mayen, a 42years, ca...

Little Katarina Ishim preps for chemo-therapy
Last Thursday (May 24) Katarina Ishim celebrated her birthday; she turned12 years old, a major milestone for her co...

Rain, rain just won't go away
Belize City experienced some turbulent weather early on Sunday morning. Strong winds accompanied by rain battered t...

Mother of three looses life in accidental fall
A mother of three young boys looses her life in an accidental fall. On Sunday May 27 around 5am, a 34 years old wom......

Two injured in gunfire
A Belize City taxi driver and a teenager are victims of gunfire. On May 27 Police visited the KHMH where they saw K...

Wage increase for manual workers
There is some good news coming out of the Ministry of Labour and Local Government – Hon Godwin Hulse, has signed in...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Manatee spotting at the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve
Manatee sightings are beginning to become more and more regular surrounding Caye Caulker and this one in particular was sighted at the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve by our friends at Tsunami Adventures in one of their tours. Manatees, being a protected species in the entire country of Belize by Friends of Swallow’s Caye, are very docile and friendly creatures. Feel free to check with the local tour operators as they offer the Manatee tour on their scheduled list of daily tours.

The Belize Cancer Society – Caye Caulker Branch extends a warm “Thank You!”
After a successful Cancer walk held on Saturday, May 26, 2012, the Caye Caulker Chapter of the Belize Cancer Society extends their gratitude to those who made the ‘walk’ happen and it proved to be a great turnout. Here is their message: We would like to say a BIG Thank You to all those who participated in the Cancer Walk on Saturday, May 26th. To the Caye Caulker Cancer Society Branch and to those who donated the snacks, Mrs. Elida Alvarado, Mrs. Loidy Young, Mrs. Glenda Blease and Caye Caulker Bakery!! It was indeed a good turnout! Special Thanks to Ms. Patty Arceo, who joined us from San Pedro Town and Mrs. Zeni Castillo, who joined us from Belize City. Special Thank You also goes out to Solange Sanchez, who made the banner for the walk. We are grateful that the community came together to show their support for an event that is positive for the island, but most of all to show the Cancer patients that they are not forgotten and we are fighting this battle with them as well. We look forward to continue working with the community and to give and assist those who are in need in any way possible. May God bless us all!! Seni Rosado-Smith for and on behalf of the Caye Caulker Chapter of the Belize Cancer Society

Blogs

Red Ginger Redux
Friday was our 27th wedding anniversary, so we decided we'd splurge on a dinner at Red Ginger at the Phoenix. We had stayed at the Phoenix on our very first trip to San Pedro in celebration of our 25th anniversary and had our anniversary dinner at Red Ginger then, so it seemed fitting to go back again two years later. Given all the rain lately and puddly roads, we even splurged on the water taxi instead of taking our bikes. This meant that I could actually wear a dress and not arrive at the restaurant sweating and messy! The restaurant was just as attractive and classy as we remembered, and the food every bit as good -- and a visual treat as well. I enjoyed a couple of glasses of Sauvignon Blanc, a rare treat as pricey as wine is here in San Pedro. Since it was our anniversary, they even gave us one of our desserts on the house. Thanks Red Ginger! Our waiter told us he'd done some wedding photography in the past, so we were happy to have him to take our photo together.

Belize Money and treasure hunting at home
Every so often I decide to go treasure hunting at home. My first finds back in 2007 were a nickle from 1981 that says World Food Day on it and a quarter from 1985 that says To Reap and To Plant, I have found a few more since then. I googled and could not find much information either of the coins but I did find an old post Retiring in Belize with a coin collecting hobby on Ambergris Caye Message Board worth sharing. I have always liked old tings so I decided to keep any coins I find in the change jar that are pre 2000. Dates for the bunch of coins in the picture below include 1974, 1976, 198o, 1981, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994. None of them have any real value but I like the fact that they have been around for 18 – 38 years. My latest and greatest change jar find is 57 years old and was a nice surprise, a coin from British Honduras. It was in a bit rough shape and I did a double take when I first saw it as the writing was a bit hard to read. Belize became independent of British Honduras on Sept. 21, 1981, so my coin dates back to 26 years before that happened. Did you know Guatemala, which had made claims on the territory since the 1800s, refused to recognize Belize’s independence until 10 years later, Sept, 1991?

Some Great Weather Last Week: South Of Town & Boca Del Rio
Today is the unofficial start of summer in the US, Memorial Day...for that reason and in an effort to gloss over the fact that I have nothing better to talk about, here are a bunch of pictures from the end of last week. Both walking on the beach south of town and a bit of Boca Del Rio (one of my favorite stretches). Mayan ladies who walk the beach with pounds and pounds of HOT blankets for sale. I'm always impressed. The beach always looks more beautiful in Boca Del Rio (just north of town). San Pedro High School is directly on this stretch.

A Harlequin in Belize
In the 16th century a new form of theatre emerged in Italy called Commedia dell’arte. This performing art soon became vastly popular with improvised performances by actors and particularly harlequins (elaborately dressed clowns with masks). In Belize one can often times spot a tropical american beetle with an intricate design resembling a harlequin costume. This beetle is commonly know as the Harlequin beetle and it’s scientific name longimanus (in Latin) describes its long legs, which are used for jumping, climbing and in the case of males as a sexual advertisement for females. The Harlequin Beetle (Arocinus longimanus), is very conspicuous due to its elaborate harlequinlike pattern of black, yellowish, and red markings. This species ranges from southern Mexico to South America and uses a variety of trees as host plants. Among these are a number of species of ficus, Bay Cedar Tree (Gauzuma ulmifolia), Rubber Tree(Castilla elastica), Breadnut Tree (Brosimum alicastrum), which are all found at the Rainforest Medicine Trail at Chaa Creek. The life cycle in Belize is annual and adults are active from about June to November in the wet season. Adults are mostly diurnal but are reported as also being nocturnal and attracted to light.

International Sources

Orpheum Theater owners have been buying interests in companies that own property in Mexico, California, Belize
While the Orpheum Theater sits shuttered and unrenovated nearly seven years after Hurricane Katrina, its owner has spent the past year buying interests in companies that own property in Mexico, California, Nevada and Belize in exchange for Orpheum Property Inc. stock. Orpheum Property Inc.'s president and chief executive, Morris Kahn, didn't respond to queries about the company's plans, and Orpheum Property Inc.'s chairman, entrepreneur Andrew Reid, through a lawyer declined an interview request. In April 2012, Orpheum Property bought into a company that owns an airport and swanky resorts in Belize, where Reid's other company, Treaty Energy Corp., also does business. Orpheum Property agreed to purchase 50 percent of M.E.L. Investments Ltd. and related entities, which own and plan to operate the Placencia International Airport in Belize and six resorts and residential communities in that country.

EU to sign climate change financing agreement with Belize
Paola Amadei, head of delegation, European Union, was due to arrive in Belize to present her credentials to the Governor General of Belize and for an official visit, after taking office in Jamaica in March of this year. Amadei’s official visit will include the signing of a financing agreement with the government of Belize (GoB) on climate change. As a result of the signing of the financing agreement on climate change, Belize will benefit from a climate change project entitled ‘Enhance adaptive capacity and resilience to climate change in national policies’, which aims to develop a resilient water sector and enhance climate change governance through the establishment of a Climate Change Office. The European Union (EU) will contribute Euro 2.9 million (BZD7.25 million) and GoB will contribute Euro 0.3 million (BZD 0.75 million) to the project. The project will support the strengthening of the National Climate Change Office, which is providing economic, social and environmental expertise to meet the government’s objectives. The proposed action also foresees to address capacity development of water governance mechanisms, such as the National Integrated Water Resources Authority, to facilitate coordination among water resource managers and users as well as provide the legal basis for responsible management of the country’s water resource base. Finally, physical interventions are foreseen in the form of pilot projects which should result in better adaptation to and/or better mitigation of the negative effects of droughts, flooding, soil erosion (also in coastal areas) and salinization. The project will be implemented by UNDP under a contribution agreement and targets directly climate change governance structures, positioning the government of Belize to effectively plan for and manage the effects of climate change on Belize’s development.

May 28, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.


Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The May 27th, 2012 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Kevin Santos - Back In Trouble Again
  • No Foul Play Suspected In Murcia’s Death
  • Twelve Months Jail Time For Escaping Lawful Custody
  • Second Annual Hopkins Mango Festival
  • $1.4 MILLION MARKET PROJECT LAUNCHED IN DANGRIGA
  • My Thoughts On The ICJ, by Rudolph Bowman
  • Cuba Says Prison Population At More Than 57,000
  • Atlantic Bank launches enhanced GoMobile
  • STAR Humor
  • Editorial: Is This Just Another Display Of The Slave Master Mentality?
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices

Misc Belizean Sources

The Way We Lived Then
The Cal family arrived in Big Falls around 1961 from Crique Sarco close to the southern border with Guatemala. They arrived to work on the new citrus plantation being established at the time. There was no paved road, no electricity and no mains water. All that came much later; but when it did arrive things changed rapidly. The Cal family home visit aims to preserve some of the old ways of the Kek’chi Maya before they disappear. One of the features of the home is this Mayan bed. The “mattress” is made from the rolled out bark of the macapal tree which is then secured to the frame by vine ropes. It is remarkably comfortable and when Judy saw it she was overcome by fatigue and just had to try it out.

Rainy Sunday
The 2012 "dry" season wasn't very dry for us here in Belize. After last year's drought, it was a nice change of pace to have enough water in the cistern and nice green plants in the yard all the way into April ! The rainy season has arrived early and with enthusiasm. Our cistern is already overflowing and ordinarily that doesn't happen until much later in the summer. Weather on Ambergris Caye: Last night it rained heavily, wind gusts were to 35 MPH and there was some not to dramatic (probably quite distant) thunder and lightening. Today the winds are blowing from the south, the sea is choppy with white-caps inside the reef. Unfortunately we'd scheduled a big fund-raiser Bar-B-Q for Liberty Children's Home for today and this weather is causing a reschedule. About 500 tickets for bar-b-q were sold, hull-hoop contests were planned and the silent auction gift-list is amazing. Early morning calls concurred that you just can't have a good kid-party in a muddy yard in the rain. Bummer. Will have to reschedule. If you're interested in some wonderful work being done in Belize with abandoned and abused children, check the Liberty website - www.libertychildrenbelize.com I promise it's uplifting and inspiring - really! Enjoy the day! -- Diane Campbell

Ashanti Airbender Auditioned for the NFoA
Congratulations to Ashanti Airbender! She'll be representing Cayo at the National Festival of Arts. Read about her successful audition for the NFoA. "For the first time, I was judged professionally by three judges at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts during my first audition to get into a prestigious show called the National Festival of Arts, which showcases the best in Belizean art and creativity! I was fortunate to get a long warm-up opportunity before I performed, which really prepared my body for some of the most difficult flexibility feats I am currently able to do."

Connecting Kids With Nature Could Just Save the World
This is a great essay on becoming an Eco Kid. There is still a week left to submit entries. Chaa Creek's site has all the information on submitting. "Being an eco-kid would give me the opportunity to learn more about nature and to be able to share that knowledge with my classmates, my brothers and sister and my other friends. This year, I would like to be a Chaa Creek Eco-Kid to learn more about how I can make a difference in this beautiful country called Belize. I wonder… what exactly would await me at Chaa Creek? I’d sure like to find out!! I hope to be there this summer!"

Crisis in Cristo Rey: no potable water

Blogs

Stormy Sunday
Following the deluge of rain I blogged about earlier and then several beautiful, bright days, stormy weather returned with a vengeance yesterday and early this morning. There was actually more wind than rain overnight. I woke up in the wee hours and heard all kinds of banging around outside that I now realize was wind knocking stuff around. The San Pedro Weather station clocked a 36 mph gust overnight. Thanks to a break in the rain, we were able to get out for a beach walk to survey the aftermath. Sammy (also known as Cannelo or "the Grand Caribe dog") came along with us. Paisley was taking her morning nap indoors so didn't venture out. Fortunately, it wasn't too bad -- mostly a lot more palm fronds down than the day before. We moved a few of them out of the way as they were right in the beach trail where we (and many others) ride bikes and walk. Looks like more rain is on the way....

Stormy San Pedro Sunday
Our alarm was set for 6:30 am to be up early for the big day. Upon waking up we knew there was a good chance the fundraiser was not going to happen due to pouring rain, so we both went back to sleep. After waking up and checking my email, I got the following message from Diane Campbell with a request to spread the word – Liberty Event Rain Check – The Liberty Children’s Home Bar-B-Q planned for today, 27 May, at Pedro’s Inn has been cancelled due to bad weather. A new date for the fundraiser will be announced soon. The rain stopped for a bit, started and stopped again. We are getting lots of loud thunder right now and it looks like it is about to thrown down big time. If you feel like braving the weather, today is Angie and Fritz’s last Sunday Jam at Crazy Canucks before the lease is taken over by new management. Belize Rain report by Cowboy Doug via sms – 1 and 1/10th when I emptied last night. Just a bit and I will check I am lighting the grill. Only 1/10th up here since last night. Here are a few pictures from last nights San Pedro Poker run. We started out with drinks, gringo burgers, fries and heavy rain at Roadkill Bar, no one got too soaked though. Wings and drinks Average Joe’s came next, followed by Lola’s Pub, Wayo’s and Pedro’s for more drinks and pizza.

CSI Belize Tour: A Night Time Search for Crocs on Ambergris Caye
Most people that visit San Pedro swim with sharks and sting rays at Hol Chan Marine Park. Some go to see manatees, some see monkeys on a trip to the mainland. But there is a relatively new tour that exposes people to a threatened species that lives right here on the island. You hardly have to travel far at all to get a look at the potentially 15-20 foot long American Crocodile in his native habitat. Vince and Cherie, the founders of the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary have spent years saving, rehabilitating and, when necessary, relocating these large predators all over Belize. They are now stationed on this island and have started a really cool tour to allow people to see and, if you are ready, touch these slightly scary animals. (How cute are they? Only a matter of time before they have a TV show I think). As the island becomes more and more developed, the crocodiles lose their habitat, the brackish water of the mangrove trees, and are forced closer and closer to humans. Crocodiles used to people and used to be fed by people is a bad thing. For the tour, everyone meets at the bar at Reef Village just north of the bridge. You can arrive early and have a few drinks and food, you can bring some drinks on the boat...Vince and Cherie are totally flexible. Just as the sun sets, our group loaded onto the boat. Here is the first thing you see. Yikes. The skull of an eleven footer. Cherie gave us the run down on what ACES does, what the tour would be about and answered as many questions that we had. She told us about crocs they have rescued and estimates that up to 90% have been injured in some way...with bullet holes, knife stabs, one was blinded. Poor guys.

Skulls between stalactites at Barton Creek Cave
Barton Creek Cave, and Barton Creek Outpost get good reviews in this article. "Just some metres away there is a cave (Barton Creek Cave), which you can visit by kayak and check out 8km of passages. It is known both: as a touristic destination but also as a archaeological site. In cave there were found remains of at least 28 humans and many pottery shards, which makes scientist believe there was a life already at the beginning of 1st century. The strong evidence exist already in the first kilometre of kayaking, where on the left ledge one can see human bones and skulls. In the dark as hell cave, between stalactites and flying bats, it makes a strong impression."

International Sources

Top 10 zoos around the world
The long summer holidays are slowly but surely coming into view and Mums and Dads are starting to think about entertaining their kids for those six, l-o-n-g weeks. Zoos are a wonderful source of entertainment and information, allowing children to get close to their favourite animals. Which one tops your list?The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Centre, Belize “The Best Little Zoo in the World” was founded nearly 30 years ago to provide sanctuary for wild animals used in a documentary about tropical forests. Today the zoo, located 47km (29 miles) west of Belize City, exhibits more than 150 animals native to Belize. A major draw are the wildcats found in the Central American country: jaguar, puma, ocelot, margay and jacuarundi. The Problem Jaguar Rehabilitation Programme is just one of the zoo’s initiatives that help to promote conservation and awareness, and to protect Belize’s natural resources. Search and compare: cheap flights to Belize City.

Rapper Shyne Launches Bid to Obtain U.s. Visa
Shyne has launched a petition to obtain a U.S. Visa following his deportation to his native Belize in 2009. Sean 'Diddy' Combs' former protege, real name Moses Michael Levi, was deported by American immigration officials in 2009 after serving more thaneight years in a New York prison for his part in a 1999 club shooting. Levi has been fighting for the right to overturn his U.S. travel ban and re-enter the county ever since, and the 33 year old has now taken matters into his own hands by creating a formal petition in a bid to win favour from members of the Department of Homeland Security.

May 27, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

WEEKEND WEATHER OUTLOOK FOR BELIZE
Valid: Friday until Monday, May 25-28, 2012

Conditions this past week improved by Wednesday as a surface low and trough producing the showery weather drifted ENE away from Belize. A tropical disturbance SE of the Carolinas this afternoon is becoming a bit more organized and the NHC is giving this system an 80% chance of forming into a tropical cyclone this weekend. Elsewhere in the tropics, a tropical wave is moving into the eastern Caribbean at 10-15 mph. In the NW Caribbean, the persistent trough of low pressure south of central Cuba will drift westwards over the next two days and will reach Belize and Yucatan by Sunday and Monday. Meanwhile, in the upper atmosphere a trough over the Bahamas and Central Cuba will swing westwards this weekend, and will provide support to the low level trough in the area this weekend.

Hence, we can expect fair weather with only isolated showers today and on Saturday, but conditions will become increasingly favourable for showery outbreaks with thunderstorms on Sunday through Monday, especially over the sea and coast at first, then over most districts by late Sunday and Monday. Showers will decrease on Tuesday. Kindly note that the 2012 rainy season at most localities in Belize began almost two week early this year.

Rainfall Projections:
Daily rainfall accumulations will be in the range of 0.10 – 0.25 of-an-inch on Friday, increasing to 0.25 – 0.50 on Saturday, especially over the sea and coast. On Sunday and Monday daily rainfall totals will be 0.50-1.25 inch especially over the north and west.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekend Weather Report


Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

Misc Belizean Sources

St Herman's Blue Hole National Park pictures
PACT and the Zambia Environmental Management Agency visitors also went to the Blue Hole and St. Herman's Cave. Cayo has it all!

LOVE FM

Friday, May 25 - POLICE NEWS
Police have released details of an incident in Orange Walk yesterday afternoon, which caused an explosion at a house n the town. According to police, they responded to a domestic dispute at a house on San Narciso Street where they saw Jose Marciano Mendez Espinoza seated around a...

PRIMARY SCHOOL HOLDS FINANCIAL FAIR
Unity Presbyterian Primary School is a relatively new school located on Antelope Street Extension. Today they are holding their first ever Financial Literacy Fair this morning. Love News was there to visit and interact with the excited children as they displayed their work ...

MINISTER OF YOUTH AND SPORTS ON FAMILIARIZATION TOUR IN TOLEDO
Youth and Sports Minister of Herman Longsworth yesterday completed a familiarization to the Toledo District. Paul Mahung reporting… “Minister Herman Longsworth while at the Youth for the Future office in Punta Gorda spoke of his visit. Herman Longswo...

ORANGE WALK VENDORS OPPOSES NEW FEES
A number of vehicle vendors in Orange Walk Town have expressed concerns about a proposed fee. Manuela Ayuso Cantun reporting… “Vehicle vendors in Orange Walk are up in arms over a fee the Orange Walk Town Council is charging them to station at the ...

BELIZE's NATIONAL FIRE SERVICE HOLDS PASSING OUT CEREMONY
The rainy season is here but it is never wise to let down our guards as far as fires go. To this end, the Belize National Fire Service today bolstered its fire fighting resources by 25 with an official passing out ceremony. Minister responsible for the Fire Service, Senator...

NATIONAL AIDS COMMISSION HOLDS CAPACITY BUILDING WORKSHOPS
A series of capacity building workshops by the National AIDS commission continues today in Orange Walk town. Arturo Cantun reporting… “The national AIDS Commission is conducting a national organizational strengthening workshop for its partners from...

SALE OF BELIZE SUGAR INDUSTRIES TO BE FINALISED
An agreement for the sale of Belize Sugar Industries to American Sugar Refineries is expected to be finalized by the end of June. On Tuesday a special meeting will be held with the staff and hourly paid workers of BSI who are trustees of the Belize Employee Holdings Limited, majo...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Hicaquenos join in Cancer Walk
Scores of Hicaquenos sacrificed their Friday night to tuck into bed early so they could be well rested for the annual Cancer Walk on Saturday morning, today, May 26th. Many are the Hicaquenos who have lost loved ones to the disease or know someone who has or is battling the disease. The turnout and support for the cause is heartwarming and uplifting. Friends, family, and neighbors who are battling cancer, you are not alone! We hear you. Caye Caulker supports you and we are praying for your return to full health!

Thursday was Culture Day at the Schools…
Thursday was Culture Day at the CCRCS and the pre-schools. Students came to class dressed in typical clothing of one of the many diverse cultural groups which call Belize home. Represented were Mestizos, Garifuna, Creoles, Orientals, etc. Here are some great snaps from around the island. It was a fun day enjoyed by all.

Blogs

http://tacogirl.com/2012/05/angel-touch-san-pedro-belize-massage
When was the last time you got a massage? If you had to pause to find an answer, there is a good chance you have gone too long without one. I was one of those people and am trying to change that and get body work done more often. Scheduling massage therapy on a regular basis has many health benefits: stress relief, anxiety reduction, loosening tight muscles, pain management, injury recovery, builds healthy circulation, promotes better posture and more. I noticed my shoulders were getting tight so I decided a follow up massage was in order since I got my last one from Ange at Banana Beach. I booked myself in for yesterday morning, this time I opted to go to her massage space as it is even closer to home. While Ange was doing my intake write up she had me soaking in a nice bowl of peppermint and lime water. I told her what areas I was feeling tight in and she asked me what I was looking to get from the massage – I wanted relaxation, tension release and invigoration – tall order.

Caye Caulker Walks for Cancer!
There are numbers of moments that you are proud of our Caye Caulker community and this is one of them. This morning, 100 men, women and even children met at the airstrip at 6.30am to walk round the entire island to increase the awareness of the largest cause of death in Belize, Cancer. The Caye Caulker Cancer Society has been formed as in recent years the predator has been on the alarming increase within our village community. If today is anything to measure it by, it appears that this highly worthy initiative is generating support and momentum that the nature of the beast requires!! The Society serves to create awareness (to encourage those in the community to have regular tests to highlight the early presence of Cancer), funds (the much needed funds to support the members of our community that need financial assistance to fight their illness) and finally emotional support. All very much needed! The walk this morning was an incredible show of community spirit as it was a who’s who walking the streets (even Patti Arceo – the PUP Standard Bearer had come over from San Pedro to show her support!). Our huge thanks to the members of the Caye Caulker Cancer Society – today showed that all of Caye Caulker is very much behind fighting Cancer!!

International Sources

Roger Phillips: Why does sunshine hate me so much?
Last June, I spent a week in Belize and came back nearly as pasty as when I left. I wore long sleeves and pants most of the time. Ridiculous, I know, but there’s a simple explanation: I was on a seven-day fishing trip, and one thing worse than a nasty sunburn is standing in a blazing, tropical sun while you have one. Staying indoors and missing a day of fishing because of a sunburn was not an option, so I dressed similar to an Iranian woman on her way to a mosque. The alternate was to fill a bucket with sunscreen, pour it over my head and hope it trickled down to every spot on my body the sun could reach. I must not be alone. It seems sun protection is big business these days. I keep reading about clothes with an “SPF” rating. As many sunburns as I’ve had, I can’t remember getting one through jeans and a T-shirt. I suspect there’s more marketing than science behind those sun-protecting fabrics, but maybe someone from some institute will straighten me out.

Japan has a role to play in environment and rights issues in Belize
Two years ago, this column took up the thorny issue of indigenous people's land rights as they relate to the tug of war between resource extraction and environmental conservation in the Central American nation of Belize ("Of forests and floods"; August 2010). Belize is blanketed with tropical forest ecosystems that are home to countless species of plants and animals. The forests also contain extensive timber and oil resources that the Belizean government — which is largely indifferent to the serious impacts on ecosystems and indigenous peoples — is eager to extract and sell. Caught in this race for riches are the ancient Maya peoples who, by court decree, own and can inhabit the forests, which they depend on for survival. Much of that 2010 column was researched and written by Breeze Alcorn, then a law student at Temple University Japan, who was working as my research assistant. Since 2010, Alcorn has finished law school and passed the bar exam in North Carolina, where he is now a lawyer. Despite work demands, Alcorn remains committed to the plight of the Maya and the conservation of their forests and traditional lifestyle. Recently he sent me an update on the situation in Belize — a report that highlights both the necessity for sustainable development that balances the needs of nations and their indigenous peoples, and the role Japan can play.

Apocalypse now, or maybe later: Mayan predictions?
With many archaeological sites throughout the country, Belize is regarded as the “heartland of the Maya.” Even without the calendar as a catalyst, the ruins are fascinating from both a historical and a cultural perspective. These grand urban centers with their temples, ball courts, shrines and exotic carvings are nestled within dense forests and seemingly inaccessible terrain. Yet, somehow they thrived until the 10th century when the cities were mysteriously abandoned. While individual Maya sites have many similarities, closer inspection reveals that they each possess their own characteristics. What that means for the traveler is that a visit to a single ruin may provide an overview and flavor of the Maya civilization, but you really need to explore several locations to get a more complete perspective. If there is only one option, Lamanai in the Orange Walk District of northern Belize is a good choice. Not only is Lamanai one of the largest ceremonial centers in Belize, it was also continuously inhabited longer than most of the others. Best of all, Lamanai features a Maya calendar which rests on the ground near a residential section of the ruins known as the Jaguar Temple. Tucked within the forest along the shores of the New River Lagoon, one of Lamanai’s unique characteristics is its proximity to water. The most picturesque, and most interesting, way to get there is on the lagoon with a scenic hour-long boat journey from Orange Walk Town.

Beach Bunny Boob Brings Belize Bodacious Bikinis
KATE Upton models yet more sexy swimwear - this time bridal and bronze - on sunny Belize isle... The curvy model seems groomed to perfection as she samples bridal swimwear in the clip for Beach Bunny. She shows off a series of white bikinis and novelty veils in the two-minute teaser — all while standing in crystal-clear seas off the coast of Belize. First up is a pretty two-piece made from white lace. The style emphasises Kate's ample curves and has pretty light blue satin ribbons running across the bust and briefs. Then it's on to a flirty polka dot number with broderie anglaise trim. The style ties at the front with a flirty white bow.

May 26, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

WEEKEND WEATHER OUTLOOK FOR BELIZE
Valid: Friday until Monday, May 25-28, 2012

Conditions this past week improved by Wednesday as a surface low and trough producing the showery weather drifted ENE away from Belize. A tropical disturbance SE of the Carolinas this afternoon is becoming a bit more organized and the NHC is giving this system an 80% chance of forming into a tropical cyclone this weekend. Elsewhere in the tropics, a tropical wave is moving into the eastern Caribbean at 10-15 mph. In the NW Caribbean, the persistent trough of low pressure south of central Cuba will drift westwards over the next two days and will reach Belize and Yucatan by Sunday and Monday. Meanwhile, in the upper atmosphere a trough over the Bahamas and Central Cuba will swing westwards this weekend, and will provide support to the low level trough in the area this weekend.

Hence, we can expect fair weather with only isolated showers today and on Saturday, but conditions will become increasingly favourable for showery outbreaks with thunderstorms on Sunday through Monday, especially over the sea and coast at first, then over most districts by late Sunday and Monday. Showers will decrease on Tuesday. Kindly note that the 2012 rainy season at most localities in Belize began almost two week early this year.

Rainfall Projections:
Daily rainfall accumulations will be in the range of 0.10 – 0.25 of-an-inch on Friday, increasing to 0.25 – 0.50 on Saturday, especially over the sea and coast. On Sunday and Monday daily rainfall totals will be 0.50-1.25 inch especially over the north and west.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekend Weather Report


Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Toledo Cacao Festival… a Sweet Sensation
Last weekend the Toledo District hosted their sixth annual Cacao Festival. Over the years this sweet event has grown in popularity, with each year offering more variety, entertainment and excitement. This year was no exception and the Festival was very well attended by hundreds of tourists and locals alike. The Festival kicked off on Friday evening, May 18th with the very popular Wine & Chocolate reception. Held on the lovely grounds of the elegant Coral House Inn in Punta Gorda, the poolside venue and thatch-covered booth areas offered an inviting appeal to a night of socializing and sampling the best in Belizean made chocolates while sipping excellent red and white wines. Guests were also treated to a traditional Maya dinner of pork pibil with corn tortillas, creamy cassava and tasty corn with black bean salads. Of course dessert was on everyone’s agenda, and four different booths were in attendance to showcase their hand crafted chocolates. The Cotton Tree Chocolate booth was very busy with their dark chocolate with bacon samples, a wild success that disappeared quickly, other treats offered included Ginger S’ mores, Milk Chocolate with Cocoa Nibs and Coconut Dark Chocolate. San Pedro based Kakaw Belizean Chocolate booth was also hopping as guests sampled pineapple, bananas, marshmallows and corn tortilla chips dipped in a variety of chocolate fondue’s, some laced with spicy chili or infused with coconut rum. At Cyrila’s Chocolates, Juan and Abelina Cho offered samples of their chocolate products along with Cyrila’s cacao wine, yum! Also for sale was their powdered cacao, baking chocolate, homemade coco butter lip balm and coco butter soaps.

Traffic Safety Poster and Essay Contest Nears Deadline
With plans well underway for the “Importance of Traffic Safety” poster and essay contest San Pedro Town Councilor Kenrick “Kenny” Brackett invites students to participate with the chance of winning great prizes. The poster contest is slated for primary grade students and is divided into three different age groups. Group One consists of Infant I and II, Group Two includes Standard I, II and III and Group Three includes Standard IV, V and VI. The students are to design posters that include the various traffic signs such as pedestrian crossing, stop, yield and roundabout and what they mean. All posters must be designed by hand and presented on standard sized Bristol/poster board. Along with the submission each age group must collectively create an advertising “jingle” or ad promotion to go along with the poster. A $350 cash prize will be awarded to the 1st place winners of each group and teachers from the submitting classes stand to win prizes as well. For high school students there is an essay contest which is divided into two different groups, 1st and 2nd Form as Group One and 3rd and 4th Form as the Second Group. The theme should not only include the purpose of the signs listed above in the poster contest but the dangers of drinking and driving as well as why traffic safety is important. The essay must be at least 300 words long but no longer than 500. Submissions must be typed, double-spaced and hand delivered in hard-copy form. Each of the two groups will also collectively create an advertising “jingle” or ad promotion to go along with the essay. A $500 cash prize will be awarded to the 1st place winners of each group and teachers from the submitting classes stand to win prizes as well.

Ambergris Today

Youth Rally Positively Impacts San Pedro Youth
The youth are the future of our country and as parents, educators, family members and friends, it is very important that we guide them in the right direction and encourage them to hitch their wagon to a star and never give up. With this in mind, in a collaborative effort between Belize Telemedia Limited, RESTORE Belize and the Belize Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (BELAIFA), on Thursday, May 24, 2012, students of San Pedro High School were addressed by professional motivational speakers from across the United States.

Toledo Hosts Successful Cacao-Fest
The Toledo Cacao-Fest 2012, which was held this past weekend in southern Belize, drew scores of locals and tourists alike; wanting to experience Toledo's celebration of Cacao and its rich natural heritage. The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) reported being in attendance at this unique and cultural event and had representation from both its National and Placencia chapters. The Wine and Chocolate Night held at the Coral House Inn on Friday, May 18, was a rainy yet elegant affair as vintners, wine merchants, chocolatiers and beer brewers alike, displayed their most exquisite spreads for all attendees. The wide array of red and white wines, chocolates and confectioneries, liquors and chocolate beers, were accentuated by the local artists playing colorful music and the grand fireworks display held at the closing of the event.

Students Perform at Festival of Arts Showcase
The Island's primary school children participated in the Festival of Art that was held on Thursday, May 24, 2012, at the R. Angel Nuñez Auditorium, San Pedro High School, were they presented colorful, vibrant and fun performances. The showcase allowed them the opportunity to enter the national competition for the Festival that will take place at a later date in Belize City.

Misc Belizean Sources

Cayo Celebrations Tonight
It's the last weekend of May, and 6th form is out. It's going to be a celebratory night. Meluchi's and Club Next will be the happening spots. Meluchi's is doing their Summer of Love party, with Mistah Geeh and DJ Karzma. Cloud 9 will be at Club Next.

ADO bus Belize to Houston
I've twice been to Belize this year, the first in January / February and again last week. Since I hadn't been to Cancun for a few years, I decided to brave it and take the ADO bus to Cancun on my way back to Houston to test the service out. My kids travel to Belize at least once a year to spend the summer with their dad, and sometimes they use this route. I'd never heard them complain. What's there not to like about Cancun? The first eye opener was that a one-way ticket from Cancun to Houston costs half the price of a one way ticket from Belize to Houston. At about US$200 (or so) one way, I could actually splurge on a nice hotel, spend a night or two in Cancun, eat to my heart's content, and still arrive in Houston under the price of the one way from Belize to Houston (US$450+)...

Belize Tourism Board announces new appointments
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) has announced that, after a national search to find the best candidates for the position of director of tourism and director of marketing and industry relations, it has selected two well-respected and highly qualified Belizean candidates. Selected as acting director of tourism is Laura Esquivel Frampton, and as the new director of marketing, Alyssa Carnegie. As the new acting director of tourism, Frampton is no stranger to the tourism Industry. She has and continues to work in the Belize tourism and services industry; a professional career that has earned her over twelve years of experience, four of which were spent at the Belize Tourism Board as the director of quality assurance. During her years at the BTB, Frampton instituted many initiatives to assist in facilitating the development of programs for industry quality of service and standards. She led the launch of an intensive customer service course that targeted government and private agencies across Belize. She also spearheaded the upgrading of standards for tour guides. She initiated the Pro Chef Program that single-handedly trained Belizean chefs and upgraded the preparation standards for cuisine and beverage services. In addition, she successfully lobbied for the Horse and Buggy Regulations, which was passed in 2009; as well as the Fort George Tourism Zone Statutory Instrument, which was signed in 2010.

BFREE Hosts University of Florida
BFREE was visited by a group from the University of Florida Tourism majors. "After a semester of hard work on their Tourism Plans - ten students from the UF Tourism Planning class visited Belize to experience BFREE first hand."

Cayo District on BelizeSpot
Belize Spot has their Cayo page up! Looks great too. Check out their site. This is the month for great new websites. "Experience the best of Cayo with Belize Spot. Find Out Everything you need to know about Cayo | Belize Spot - Best Places in Belize."

Birding at El Pilar Archaeological Site
“I never thought that Bird Watching would be such an adventurous activity that I would enjoy so much”. I went along with a very nice couple “Mary & John” and our guide “Fermin”. As a begining birder myself, I depended a lot on Fermin’s experience on spotting the different birds. On our way to El Pilar, we stopped at a number of times along the road-side, where Fermin would show us his “hotspots” for birding. My plan was to take as many pictures, of as many birds as possible, for future reference and Fermin even helped me in taking some close up pictures with his scope, as my normal camera’s zoom wasn’t strong enough most of the time for the ones far away. When we reached the entrance of El Pilar, we took a Birding path “Bird’s without Borders”, which offered us right off the bat with a beautiful bird (male) called “Slaty-Tailed Trogon” and I got to take some nice pictures of it. Once we entered the site, it was a bit of a challenge spotting the birds as we were right underneath the jungle canopy… NOT a challenge for Fermin, as he had no problem finding them for us; I started to get a little neck pain from looking up the trees trying to spot a rare bird (Name), and then what do you know? I single-handedly spotted a “Red-Lored Parrot” and had Mary and John’s gratitude for it.

Xunantunich Archaeological Site pictures
Some great shots of Xunantunich were taken with the Protected Areas Conservation Trust group took the Zambia Environmental Management Agency group to visit Xunantunich. ZEMA is currently visiting, and learning about the role that PACT plays in Belize. Perfect spot to mix business with pleasure.

PACT Serves As A Model for Zambia
The ZEMA team visited the Elijio Panti National Park where they met with Fernando Tzib of the Belize Development Foundation (BDF; co-manager of the national park). They experienced firsthand the implementation of a project “Sustainable Management of the Eligio Panti National Park” funded by PACT ($94,300) and also the experience of the grantee. Tzib gave a brief introduction on the national park, the work BDF does and the current PACT Grant. The main objective of PACT Grant project is to improve infrastructure within the park in order to provide professional educational tours, research and touristic opportunities to increase revenue generation for park sustainability. A system will also be put in place for the monitoring of illegal logging and commercial extraction of medicinal plants, plant products and poaching. The women’s group in San Antonio (where the park is located) also prepared a traditional dish of escabeche for them to experience and corn porridge for dessert. They enjoyed both as their staple dish is made from corn. Chibesa also learned to make the corn tortilla, a recipe she plans to try at home. Of all our experiences, we found that like Belizeans, Zambians are very hospitable and friendly people and we all got along great! We plan to maintain contact with ZEMA to assist as the fund develops.

Fried Okra
Although Okra is full on nutrition, many people refrain from eating them due to the fact that they don't know how to prepare them. This recipe will show you how to make them as a side dish to any menu. After frying, the okra tastes sweet and the combination of the onions make them irresistible.

Belize Reggaeton News: Multifacetico Records proudly presents Baby It's You (Yo Te Quiero) Music Video
I am proud to bring to you this fresh new music video -- originally produced here in Belize. I have to commend these guys on the amount of work that was put towards the compilation of this awesome video. Multifacectico Records proudly presents "Baby Its You (Yo Te Quiero)" music video shot in the beautiful Caves Branch Jungle Lodge in the Cayo District, Belize.

Channel 7

TENSIONS HIGH AT BENQUE BORDER AFTER FLARE UP OVER STOLEN TRUCK
Tensions are elevated at the Benque Viejo border tonight - after a heated incident today. The fuss is over this pickup truck, a 2008 L200 Sportero - that has the marks of a stolen vehicle. It was parked at the Benque Viejo-Melchor border crossing, in the area known as No-Man's-Land on Tuesday and left there. And then customs and police noticed that the Mexican license plates had been removed. So, just before noon today they moved to impound the pickup with a tow-truck - and that set off a firestorm of protest from vested interests on the Guatemalan side of the border - including the woman who claims that she owns the truck - along with taxi drivers and money changers. They claimed that the truck was parked in Guatemalan territory - and they called police on that side of the border to get it back. Armed Guatemalan Civil Police responded - with vehicles, on the Belize side of the border! It could have escalated into a major incident, but fortunately, calmer heads prevailed and the Officer Commanding from Benque Viejo, Superintendent Ralph Moody called his counterpart in Melchor to demonstrate to him that the vehicle was in Belize, and that the person claiming to be the owner was not. And that's because the owner is nowhere to be found - likely because the pickup was stolen. That is confirmed by the fact that the VIN number has been tampered with - and the vehicle is registered to someone in Chetumal. You can see the VIN number in this picture where they have tried to change the "P" into a "B". It came to Belize through the northern border and then was left off to the side at the western border - probably until a stolen vehicle ring or rings could make arrangements to slip it into Melchor.

BATTERED WOMAN SPEAKS ABOUT MAN HUSBAND WHO THREATENED A BUTANE BOMB
Last night we told you about Jose Marciano Mendez - the Orange Walk man - who threatened to blow up himself and his entire block because of a domestic dispute with his wife. He is now recovering from fairly minor burns and is pending charges of attempted arson. But it turns out his very dangerous action is only the culmination of a history of abuse. His wife who has been a victim for over a decade today told Monica Bodden about the history of violence. We warn you that some of the content she discusses may not be suitable for children. Here's the story... Monica Bodden reporting A domestic dispute turned into attempted suicide around 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon - When the alleged abuser tried to blow himself up with butane gas. It happened at the home of 41 year old Evangelina Correa - which is located on San Narciso Street in Orange Walk Town.

BRIAN BROWN GOES TO COURT, BUT FAMILY COURT
On Wednesday, we told you about the elusive Brian Brown who turned himself into police in the presence of his attorney. Well today, he was taken to court - but not any regular court. Brown couldn't be arraigned in Magistrate's Court, because all the Magistrates were finishing up a 2-day seminar. But he had to be arraigned, so he was taken instead to Family Court, which only deals with minors and family-related matters. In court, Brown was read eight charges. The first 6 were all drug trafficking counts for 800 grams of crack cocaine, plus another 307 grams of crack cocaine totaling about two and a half pounds. Then there's 110 grams of cannabis, 361 grams of cannabis, 291 grams of cannabis, and 17 grams of cocaine, which police say they found in 6 different areas of the house. He was also charged with one count of possession of a bong, and finally, he was also charge with one count of possession of an unregistered bullet proof vest.

NOT FOR PROFIT GETS PREYED ON BY THIEVES
The Humana People to People Store on King Street in Belize City is a not for profit store - its revenues go to help needy children. But that hasn't stopped criminals from preying on the store this past week. Over the long weekend, burglars broke in through the back door and stole over 13,000 dollars' worth of clothing merchandise. The store's profit, made from the sale of that merchandise, is funnelled to the parent organization, Humana, which is an NGO that helps children around the country. This morning, we spoke to the storekeeper, who asked appear off-camera, and she told us about the discovery of the burglary when they opened on Tuesday morning. Here's how she explained it: Voice of: Carminia De La Fuente - Shopkeeper, Humana People to People Store "We closed Saturday evening around 3:30-4 o'clock in the evening, and we didn't come back until Tuesday because Monday was a holiday, so we came back Tuesday morning. When we came in here in the morning, we found out that the backdoor was broken in, and that some bails were missing, also clothing inside the shop. The backdoor was all in pieces, and we call the police. They came about half-an-hour later for the report." Daniel Ortiz "So, tell us about what was stolen." Voice of: Carminia De La Fuente "We have wholesale and retail in the shop. The wholesale, we lost 19 bails which came up to a total $10,820 in wholesale. And in the retail, we lost 710 pieces, which came out to $2,670, to a total of $13,490 as our losses. This is the 3rd - the second that it has been broken into, and we had robbery when it was opened. So this was the 3rd time we are having a loss. Humana is an NGO, and we have child-aid in Toledo and Corozal, so whatever profits we make here, it's for those organizations. So whenever we have a loss, they have a loss."

MAN ESCAPES DEATH BY MISFIRING GUN
Belize City Resident Raymundo Chi tells police that he could have been killed last night - if the gun being pointed at him hadn't snapped, twice(!). It happened around 7:15 on La Croix Boulevard when the 27 year old Chi was standing near his vehicle. He says a man named Richard - who he has known for the past 14 years - started an argument with him. Chi got back into his car, when Richard took out a handgun, pointed it at him, and pulled the trigger twice, but somehow the gun did not fire. Chi drove off and police are looking for this Richard who lives on Antelope Street.

NEW MARKETING BOSS AT BTB, COMING OVER FROM BTB
Earlier this month, we reported that Laura Esquivel had gotten the nod to be the new Acting Director of Tourism. That has been confirmed today in an official release along with the announcement of another appointment: New Director of Marketing Alyssa Carnegie - who is presently the boss the Government Press Office. Carnegie will take over from Yanick Dalhouse - who has been on secondment from Belize's tourism marketing firm in Wisconsin, BVK. No date for Carnegie's transition has been announced - but we know she has to give a month's notice. The issue as we understand it is that no replacement Director for the Press Office has been identified.

JOSE SHOMAN HAD TO BE READY FOR WHATEVER
Tonight, 23 year old Norman Slusher is in police custody pending charges for murder and attempted murder. Slusher is the man accused of killing Jason Canto at barbershop in Belize City two weeks ago. He hasn't been charged yet - because he was only just released from the hospital. He has been recovering from multiple gunshot wounds to the abdominal area. Those shots were fired by a businessman, Jose Shoman, who was defending himself - after Slusher and another man charged into the barbershop with guns. Slusher and his accomplice could have been trying to pull off a very daring hit, or could have been going to rob the bejeweled Shoman, but as we'll show you tonight, they crossed paths with a man, who had to be on guard at all times - even when he was at a canal side barbershop. Here's the story:.. Jules Vasquez reporting Jose Shoman is probably the only Belizean - and certainly the only wealthy Belizean - who has ever come forward to publicly expose a plot to harm his family: (December 15, 2008) "They would have gained entry by force, try to have everyone tied up and then robbed for what they can and then after that then wouldn't leave any witnesses; they would have started with my children, my wife, and the rest of the family. This isn't something to be taken lightly."

FLEET FOOTED FIREMEN GRADUATE
Today, 24 recruits graduated from training to become full-fledged fire fighters for the National Fire Service. It's the first pass-out for the department for the 2011-2012 term, and it was celebrated with a ceremony at the Cleghorn Street Fire-station. 7News was there, and we got a chance speak to this year's star recruits about the challenging nature of their 15 week training, and what's next now that they are official members of the department. Here's what they told us: Col. Francis Thomas - Fire Chief "Today marked end of the second step toward increasing the human resources for the Fire Service. This is intake one of 2012, and these guys have been trained in the basic fire-fighter drills. They've been taught how to handle the ladder, the hoses, how to use the pump, how to conduct search-and-rescue, and RTA in terms of vehicle accidents. They've been posted to different districts and stations within the country, so that we can have adequate numbers at the different stations. Right now, we have only 2 fire-fighters manning each one of these vehicles, as it is."

HELP FOR HATTIEVILLE
There are all kinds of statistics about schools and schoolchildren - but no statistic to say how many of those school kids have hungry bellies that keep them from learning. The best school administrators can do is set up feeding programmes, but finding the resources to keep those running can be a challenge. That's why the Hattieville Government School is happy for a partnership with the Consortium for Belizean Development, an international non-profit organization which offers aid to Belizeans. Back in November of 2010, representatives of the organization toured the school and took special interest in its feeding program, which was desperately in need of equipment. They promised help to the feeding program's organizers, and today, they delivered. The director of the organization officially handed over a donation of a heavy-duty commercial stove and a deep freezer to improve the efficiency of the feeding program. Here's what the Director of the Consortium, and the Belize District Education Officer had to say: Luis Richards, Director for Consortium for Belize Development "On behalf of members of the consortium for the Belizean development I take this opportunity to make this presentation to your school of a brand new 6 burner commercial stove with a working oven and a full size deep freezer so that more food can be stored and a large gas tank filled with propane." "We are hoping that with these donations the community group led by Mrs. Coleman will be able to prepare for not just some of the students but all of the students who can benefit from the feeding program."

Channel 5

Slain 11 year old laid to rest
The sixth child to be killed in the past two years as a result of street violence was laid to rest this afternoon. Eleven year old Daniel Matura, a standard three student of the Muslim Community Primary School, was churched at the Muslim Masjid on Central American Boulevard where family, peers and friends were overwhelmed [...]

US to help destroy Cuthkelvin’s Meth precursor containers
The Customs Department seized six containers measuring forty feet each in March. They have been sitting at the Customs compound since then under close surveillance. The cargo in the containers is methylamine hydrochloride, which is known to be used for the manufacturing of methamphetamines or crystal meth, a highly addictive drug. Its value has been [...]

American Sugar Refining to purchase Belize Sugar Industries
The sale of the Belize Sugar Industries is inching toward fruition. Negotiations for American Sugar Refining to purchase controlling shares of B.S.I. continued today at Tower Hill Factory where executives of the Belize Workers Union met with the management of B.S.I. to agree on the terms under which the union will relinquish its majority stake [...]

Premature Release of Sugar Industry called ambush, deceit and trickery
But prior to this morning’s meeting, the sale was running into trouble. A press release was issued to the media castigating BSI and the Board of Directors of B.S.I. Employee Holdings Ltd. for what the Belize Workers Union describes as, “tactics of ambush, deceit and trickery.” The memo also urged all workers to abstain from [...]

Bulletproof jacket not prison proof for Brian Brown
The infamous Brian Brown was on the run for a week, after the GSU spent hours raiding his Fabers Road property on May sixteenth and found a cache of illegal items, including cocaine. Brown, accompanied by Attorney Dickie Bradley, handed himself over to police on Wednesday and was taken to court this afternoon. The arraignment [...]

2011 Human Rights Report aims at Belize
The United States Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011 has been released. Almost two hundred countries were evaluated for human rights issues. In respect of Belize, the report highlights numerous instances in which elements of the security forces acted independently of civilian control. The worst abuse documented was the use of excessive force [...]

What kind of Hurricane Season is expected for 2012?
The 2012 hurricane season officially starts on June first, but there have already been two named storms. Tropical Storms Alberto formed more than a week early near South Carolina while Hurricane Bud recently weakened to a tropical storm as it headed to Puerto Vallarta in Mexico. While that put a lot of people on edge, [...]

Fire Service gets new recruits
After training for three months, two dozen recruits donned their well starched and crisp uniforms and received certificates as full-fledged firefighters at a ceremony held this morning at the Fire Department in Belize City. They all had their personal stories on why they chose to take on the risky career. And among their ranks we [...]

Trail begins after San Pedro security guard murdered
Trial began today against one four persons accused of killing San Pedro Security Guard, Antonio Almendarez during a burglary at Fido’s Restaurant on July twenty-sixth 2005. Shandoy Jeffords was charged, not with murder, but with Manslaughter. The allegations are that when Almendarez was tied up and gagged, injuries were caused to his neck which proved [...]

Humana People to People burglarized by inhumane
Humana People to People is an international movement that assists children and families in need. In Belize, one of its initiatives is a used clothing store on King Street, which raises funds for the cause. But sometime between Saturday and Tuesday, the store was broken into and cleaned out by thieves. The Manager, thirty-one year [...]

How to tell if you are financially literate
Do you know how to pinch pennies and save wisely? Well, if you don’t you might learn some ‘money sense’ from Unity Presbyterian Primary on Antelope Street Extension. Since last year the school has been a part of a financial literacy pilot project. The school got onboard the program called ‘Project Belize’ launched by Price [...]

B.T.B. gains new members to its ranks
We reported on May sixteenth that Laura Esquivel Frampton was moving up as Director of Tourism. The Belize Tourism Board today issued a release, officially announcing that Frampton, who was the Director of Quality Assurance for four years, is now the Acting Director of Tourism. Her achievements in the tourism industry include the launch of [...]

Have an awesome time with the Liberty Winds Quintet
The Liberty Winds, you might not have heard of them before but they are a renowned classical wind quintet. The five musicians are known for the flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and French horn. They have travelled across North and South America, Europe, Africa and Asia, performing alongside major ensembles and orchestras. Their collection includes a [...]

CTV3

Man Threatens To Blow Up His House With Him Inside
Today the life of residents living on San Narciso Street were placed at risk by a man who threatened to take away his own life by blowing up his house with him inside. Reports are that a few weeks Marciano Mendez and his common-law wife were involved in a domestic dispute. Eva Correa decided to leave Mendez allegedly after months of abuse. And that is what led to today’s incident. Reporter Hipolito Novelo and cameraman Kenric Simpson have the story. At around 4:00 this afternoon spectators clustered on San Narciso Street, ironically, expecting a big explosion. Fortunately that didn’t happen. What did happen though is that Marciano Mendez, better known as “Gordo”, put the lives of the entire neighbourhood at risk. With the intention of taking away his life Mendez opened the gas tank and cut the hose that connects to the stove releasing deadly fumes inside his residence. Reports are that Mendez then demanded to see his common-law-wife, Eva Correa, within 15 minutes or else he would blow up the house and the entire neighbourhood. Fearing for their lives neighbours called the fire and police department. Police Officers were the first on the scene and right after their arrival a small explosion was heard coming from inside the house. Sandro Urbina, Witness “The thing is that I was sleeping and my mother woke me up and she told me to come and see at the back. So when I did I saw Dragon Unit in the property and I just saw this big explosion of fire. I told my mom to go to the front just to be safe but then I was hearing fireman. I went to my house to see if anybody was in our property and I saw the man surrendered. The firemen were splashing waters and after a while the police came in and arrested him. He was acting like if he couldn’t get up and then the police with their batons they were whopping him on his leg and all over his foot. Then a police officer got so angry that he started hitting hit harder with his baton and took him.”

Dismembered Bodies unidentifiable U.S Embassy Seeks Information
Twelve days ago Mexican authorities found the dismembered bodies of 49 people stuffed in bags and dumped on a main road leading to Texas near the northern city of Monterrey, in what appeared to be the latest in a string of drug gang killings. The bodies of 43 men and six women were found on an isolated stretch of road, scattered in a pool of blood at the entrance to the town of San Juan, on a highway leading from Monterrey to the border city of Reynosa. According to international reports a banner found at the site left a threatening message in the name of the Zetas drug cartel. The bodies were found in the early hours of Sunday May 13th, seeing the large deployment of local, state and military officials to the scene. Complicating the investigation and the identification of the bodies is the fact that all the victims were headless and hands and feet were also missing. Speculations are that the victims, who it is believed were killed at another location at least two days before their bodies were found, might be immigrants. As mentioned the bodies were mutilated beyond recognition making it difficult for the victims to be identified. In sight of this revelation the U.S Embassy is asking the general public if they know of any missing Belizean who was traveling to the United States by land in mid-May 2012 to contact the U.S Embassy Section by e-mail at [email protected] or by telephone at 822-4011 extensions 4245, 4224 or 4223. The U.S. Embassy Consular Section will forward all inquiries to the appropriate authorities. So far security forces in Mexico have arrested Daniel Jesus Elizondo known as El Loco or the Madman. Elizondo is said to be the local leader of the Zetas cartel that left threatening massages alongside the corpses. He was detained on May 18th in Northern Nuevo Leon where the 49 mutilated bodies were found.

Vehicle Vendors To Pay $30.00 Fee For Use Of Space
News coming out of the Orange Walk Town Council tonight is that a $30.00 fee will be charged to vendors stationed at the east side of the Central Park. That’s right where vendors are constantly seen selling vehicles and other items. Nine spaces have been allotted to the 13 vendors and basically they will be paying $1.00 a day for their use of the space. Orange Walk Town Mayor Kevin Bernard shared more details. Kevin Bernard, Mayor, O/W “The council has earlier made a decision in terms of the changes we are talking about within the town when it comes to spaces used by vendors, whether vehicle vendors or market vendors we are putting cost to these things and assigning a rate to those vendors that are utilizing our space especially the prime space around the Central Park. I want to state openly for the record that this council intention is to bring back life to Central Park we want to renovate the park we already started doing some work there but the whole long term plan is to really bring back the park for the people of Orange Walk.” Vendors were informed of the changes yesterday during a meeting held between them and members of the council. As was expected the news did not go too well for certain merchants. Kevin Bernard, Mayor, O/W “The council has decided that $30.00 per month will be charged to each vehicle vendor for the nine spots that are allocated to them. Yesterday we met with the vendors and some agreed to pay and some said they will not pay. Initially the charge would have been $50.00; I went back to the council and then took the response back and informed them that it was $30.00 and so there was a bit of back and fourth and I took the matter back to the council and the council made the decision that what will be charged is $30.00 and that would be the final decision.” According to Mayor Bernard an official letter informing vendors about the council’s final decision was handed out to them this afternoon.

Special Needs Student Goes To High School
A few weeks ago 7176 students across the country sat the P.S.E. Here in the Orange Walk District 911 students, including 2 private candidates and 9 special Ed students, sat the exam. Mindy Uk, a student of Saint Peters Anglican School is one of the Special Ed students that registered to sit the exam this year. She is still awaiting the results which are expected to be released by the end of June. But Mindy, like many other students will not have to wait until the results of the exams are in to find out if she was accepted by a high school. UK, who is visually impaired, has been accepted at Technical High School becoming one of the first Special Ed students from Orange Walk to be accepted by a high school within the district. And today the good news just came pouring in for the 16 year old who received a laptop from Cuellos Distillery Limited. Mindy Uk- Laptop Recipient “I want to be a radio announcer. This is something that I have like since I am small. I like music and to send text messages and to send request for the people who are listening. I listen to radio everyday and to the radio announcers and I want to be like them. I want o talk on Fiesta F.M. Paula Lizarraga- Itinerary Resource Officer Orange Walk “We taught that when she reached standard six she would say this is it I am going to stay home, I have accomplished what I wanted but no she was persistent and she said I need to take my P.S.E, I need to go to high school and all of us were like what, what is the other step coming. We were all surprised really even Miss Briceno, her mom was surprised too and we said lets give it a shot and she has had good support.

Three Scholarships Awarded In Memory Of Greg Flowers
On Monday November 28th 2011 we ran the story of 17 year old Greg Flowers. Flowers, was an aspiring UB student whose dreams and goals were halted by fate after he drowned in the Macal River in Belmopan on Friday November 25th 2011. Over 6 months have passed since the tragic accident and Flowers’ memory still lives on. Determined to make a difference, Greg’s mother, Lara Flowers, who lives in the US, teamed up with Greg’s aunt, Beverly Flowers, who just happens to be the principal of Carmelita Government School and provided three scholarships to needy students in Greg’s memory. Greg Flowers was a brilliant student. After successfully completing Muffles College High School, Flowers decided to further his studies at the University of Belize in Belmopan where he focused his studies in Science. But on Friday November 25th 2011, death came knocking on Flowers’ door. In the click of a second the aspirations of the 17 year old were completely wiped out as he drowned in the Macal River in Belmopan. Today his Facebook page has been plastered with condolence messages. Most of the wall posts are dedicated to his memory- memories when he was a student, a friend and a son. Determined to keep her sons memory alive, Lara Flowers, in collaboration with her sister Beverly Flowers, provided three scholarships to needy students from Carmelita Government Primary School and Trinidad Government Primary School.

Fuel Prices Finally See A Reduction
Tonight there is some good news for fuel consumers. After several consecutive price hikes since January 1st 2012, fuel prices at all gas pumps countrywide finally saw a reduction at midnight yesterday. This is surely good news for consumers who for the past four months have found the need to dig deeper into their pockets to purchase a gallon of fuel. Now, fuel prices did not see a dramatic decrease but in these hard economical times any reduction is welcomed. Premium saw a reduction of 81 cents as it went from $12.32 to $11.51. Regular on the other, hand saw a reduction of 41 cents as it will now be sold for $11.05 per gallon. Diesel went from $10.85 to $10.39 seeing a reduction of 46 cents. Kerosene was the only fuel that did not see a reduction as it remained at $8.70 per gallon.

LOVE TV

New market for Dangriga
A special ceremony for the launch of the Dangriga market project took place today. We join correspondent Harry Arzu for the details.

Major burglary in Belmopan
A major burglary has been reported in Belmopan. Businessman Kashi Raza Jaffery, 35, reported to police that sometime between Tuesday and Wednesday, his establishment, namely Bismillah Furniture located on Forest Drive in Belmopan was burglarized. Jaffery says that an assortment of electronics and household items, in addition to $595 in cash was stolen in the burglary. When the cost of the stolen items was added up, the total value was placed at $20,510. Police investigations continue.

Teen shot in the elbow during altercation
A sixteen year old boy was the victim of a shooting incident in Belmopan. The incident happened on Wednesday in the Salvapan area of the capital and police say Yasmani Aguirre was shot in the right elbow during an altercation. According to police, Aguirre was assisting friends in fixing a motorcycle when they were accosted by four persons who were armed with machetes and two homemade firearms. During the confrontation, police say one of the men began chopping up the motorcycle and that Aguirre tried to chase them off by throwing rocks at the group. It was then that one of the attackers fired a shot which caught Aguirre in the right elbow.

Busted with bags of weed in her house
An anti-drug operation in Belize City on Wednesday morning has led to the discovery of a large amount of Marijuana and the arrest of one woman. Police say that during the operation, a search was conducted at the home of thirty three year old Teresita Elena Flores on Pelican Street Extension, which led to the discovery of multiple bags all containing marijuana. When weighed, police say the drugs totaled sixteen thousand, seven hundred and ten grams, or just over thirty six pounds of weed. Teresita Elena Flores was arrested and charged for the crime of drug trafficking.

City administrators prepare for Hurricane Season
June first is fast approaching and this means that for six months thereafter, the hurricane season will take centre stage on many people’s agendas. The Belize City Council is no different and today, the City Emergency Management Organization, CEMO, met to discuss the issues that will be relevant in the event a storm threatens the old capital. Top on the agenda is the integrity and worthiness of hurricane shelters, and Councilor Philip Willoughby said that whatever shelters appear on the list are ready to be used. CEMO also announced that it will no longer house its CEMO headquarters at the Charles Bartlet Building on Mahogany Street. In fact, in the event of a hurricane, CEMO will now station itself inside one of the City’s media houses. The planners over at CEMO said that it will use the third floor of Channel Five’s building on Coney Drive to conduct its operations during a hurricane. This raised concerns among reporters present but according to Councilor Willoughby, it is all for safety reasons. Willoughby says that CEMO’s usage of Channel Five’s building is a goodwill gesture and will come at no cost to the Council. Meanwhile, the buildings that will be used as such in Belize City are as follows — on the south side: Salvation Army and Queen’s Square Primary Schools, Grace Primary’s new school building, the Maud Williams High School, Saint John Vianney Primary, Saint Martin de Porres and Saint Luke’s Primary Schools, and the new Presbyterian Primary School on Antelope Street Extension. One the north side, City residents can shelter at the UB Education and Engineering buildings, Pallotti High School, and Trinity Methodist School.

Hurricane season a week away
The 2012 Hurricane Season official starts on June first; but there are already named storms and even hurricanes swirling in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Residents of the hurricane-prone areas such as the Caribbean and Belize may be able to breathe a sigh of relief this year as forecasters at Colorado State University say a less-active hurricane season is in store. Meteorologists Philip J. Klotzbach and William M. Gray say there is a below-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean. They forecast 10 named storms in the Atlantic Basin, of which only four will become hurricanes and two will become major hurricanes. A major hurricane is a category 3, 4 or 5 storm. That compares to an average of 12 named storms, 6.5 hurricanes and three major hurricanes a year for the period of 1981-2010. The forecasters base their prediction on the cooling of the Atlantic Ocean over the past several months and the increased chances of an El Nino, or warming of Pacific waters, over this year’s hurricane season.

PlusTV

Fire Department sees its first pass out for 2012
This morning in Belize City 24 fire fighters made it through 15 tough weeks of training. Today was payday when they...

Dispute brewing within the Bus Terminal Taxi Cooperative
Dispute may be brewing with the Bus Terminal Taxi Cooperative. Seems that some new members -four to be exact - have...

One resident's 'handyman' efforts causes catastrophe in neighborhood
The rains are here and with excess deluge come major run-offs - Belmopan is famous for massive downpours and draina...

BTL hosts youth motivational conferences
Belize Telemedia Limited partnered with different organizations to host two days of motivational conferences for yo...

Belize City clothing store is target of black market bandits
A popular used clothing store was the latest target of Belize City burglars. Carminia De La Fuente the Shop Manager...

San Ignacio anchors weekend Cancer Walk
The San Ignacio Branch of the Belize Cancer Society will be holding a Cancer Walk in recognition of Cancer Month. T...

Marsha Reid goes to jail for lover’s murder
Yesterday morning (May 24), 38 year old Marsha Reid turned herself into Dangriga Police as she was the only suspect...

Domestic dispute takes bizarre turn
On Thursday afternoon (May 24) Orange Walk Police responded to a domestic dispute at #18 San Narciso Street. They s...

Sarteneja fishermen still lost at sea
Sarteneja Fishermen are still lost at sea. On Saturday April 21st, 59 year old Silverio Tepaz, Tiobaldo Tepaz and M...

Man escapes uninjured after gunman opens fire
Raymundo Chi a 27 year old Belize City resident reported that on Thursday May 24 he was inside his vehicle on La Cr...

Teen detained in connection to illegal gunplay
Last night we shared about the shooting of 16 year old Yasmani AGUIRRE here in the City of Belmopan. Police have de......

Amandala

Tourist hangs himself in hotel room
Nicholas Theodore Pappas, 57, an American who was on a visit to San Pedro Town, was found with a rope tied around his neck attached to the railing of his hotel room in the island town.

Primary schoolers march for Daniel Matura, 11
The children demand “peace and justice, now!” Is anyone listening? Fueled by grief over the sudden loss of one of their own - 11-year-old Daniel Matura, a standard three student killed on Monday morning, May 21, and propelled by frustration by the authorities’ seeming inability to stop the crime wave that has taken fifty-two lives to date this year, including twenty-five in Belize City, it was the turn of students of the Muslim Community Primary School on Central American Boulevard, accompanied by their older fellow students from Excelsior High School and St. John Vianney R.C. down the street on Fabers Road, to take to the streets, demanding peace and justice, NOW!

Three charged with Oasis Restaurant robbery
Bayview Oasis Restaurant and Bar is located at Mile 4 ½ on the Northern Highway; it’s a place to dine, imbibe and enjoy the atmosphere. But at 12:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 19, it “posed” as the perfect place to carry out a robbery.

Cop, brother and friend charged for brazen M/Health Hilux theft
The Hilux was stolen from the Central Health Region compound on May 8... The gold Hilux, the third vehicle to have been stolen from the Ministry of Health, was reported stolen by Mark Arnold on May 8, and details were sent out for assistance in recovering the vehicle. The VIN for the vehicle isMROFR22GX00530497, bearing license plates BMP B-0136, and it was valued at $44,500.

Stabbed to death in his sleep
She was charged by Dangriga police today, but because no magistrate was available in Dangriga to arraign her, she was taken to Belmopan, where the arraignment was conducted. Police allege that she was the person who killed her boyfriend, Corporal Donovan Castillo, 37, of the Belize Coast Guard, while he was sleeping in his home in Dangriga.

Retaliatory shooting on Boulevard kills Daniel Matura, 11
The family of Kaylon Matura, 28, who was killed last Wednesday right outside his home on Central American Boulevard, were making final preparations to lay him to rest later that day. His young cousin, Daniel, 11, had just seen the body lying in state and was on his way to do an errand.

Belizean Americas win 2nd Annual Belize Golf World Cup sponsored by Corkers Restaurant
$1,050.00 was raised and will be donated to the Dangriga Cancer Society by tournament sponsors Corkers Restaurant and the Belize Amateur Golf Association.

FFB delegation to FIFA Congress in Budapest, Hungary
On Monday, May 21, a delegation from the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) left for Budapest, Hungary to attend the 62nd FIFA Congress and 2nd Medical Conference.

BAAA contingent to Central American Junior Championships in Salvador
Leaving by bus yesterday afternoon from the Civic Center compound was a Belizean contingent of student athletes to the Central American Junior Championships in athletics which are being held in San Salvador, El Salvador from Friday, May 25 to Sunday, May 27.

Christian Sports Reach ‘ballers undefeated, drop Tigersharks, 53-42
For the second year in a row, the visiting Sports Reach basketball team out of Campbellsville, Kentucky, USA, has maintained a spotless record against local teams, as they expanded their record to 5-0 in games played over the past week in Orange Walk, Belmopan and now Belize City with a 53-42 victory last night over San Pedro Tigersharks at Birds Isle. Though there is no Belizean semi-pro league right now, the Tigersharks are not exactly pushovers, as they feature Keith “Superman” Acosta and Stephen “Muerte” Williams. The Sports Reach squad also had a 5-0 record last year. They arrived in Belize on Saturday last, have played every night since, and should have little difficulty with tonight’s encounter in San Pedro with a San Pedro High School selection.

Lee Mark Chang’s election petition against Francis Fonseca “stillborn:” Courtenay
Witnesses in election petition against Francis Fonseca, alleging bribery, do not sign new affidavits in time for hearing; CJ strikes out case... Fonseca’s attorney calls bribery allegations “scurrilous”... “I would say that perhaps this is good for Belize because let the warning go out that where a person even attempts to bribe, it can bring a candidate crashing down,” said Young.

Daniel Matura, 11 – the pain
For any Belizean with a heart watching the television news on Tuesday night, it was just simply (but excruciatingly) painful. There was the photo of 11-year-old Daniel Matura. His young, tender, innocent life was snuffed out of him by a sick young man with a stupid gun.

Ideas and Opinions - Crime and Corruption
They are two of the main reasons why the quality of our lives is not what we would like it to be. We are entitled to expect a better quality of life, than we now have because, we live in a democratic state, where the people choose citizens, who put themselves forward as persons of honor and integrity, to govern us and, serve our best interests. Putting yourself forward as someone who may be entrusted to serve the nation, by pursuing those two noble objectives, is to undertake to complete a sacred contract. Serving your fellow countrymen is serving your Creator, which is in compliance with the first commandment. You are not elected to be a Member of the House of Representatives, and be called Honorable, to use your high office for any other purpose than to serve the people.

Editorial: On our own...
In the United Kingdom (UK) earlier this week, the Deputy Prime Minister admitted that there was a yawning gap between the life chances of the disadvantaged and the affluent. Essentially, he was forced to admit that in the UK, once you are born poor, you stay poor. An alarming study had revealed that, among other inequalities, only 7 percent of their children attend private schools, but these schools provide 70 percent of the High Court judges.

We need a counter-revolution
The world human rights agenda is supremely hypocritical. Since 1973when Roe VS Wade legalised abortions in the USA, hundreds of millions of the most innocent human beings - unborn babies, have been brutally murdered with the consent of their own mothers.

Blogs

WOW! High School Student Eats Fire at Yesterday's Youth Rally
Yesterday 440 San Pedro High School students gathered in the Angel Nunez Auditorium for a Youth Rally. Four motivational speakers, 2 hours, lots of rowdy high schoolers restless with graduation so close...I didn't know what to expect. I arrived early to DJed blasting the music of Rihanna and Pitbull...I had a good feeling about this event. The event was for the high school students but these three younger kids were there to receive their awards from "Be Kind Belize". They were nominated by their primary schools for the Kindest Kid in San Pedro Award (ages 6 to 10). Here are the winning Kindness Ambassadors. Kids who put others before themselves, who respect their teachers, their friends and the environment (though the competition is over, read the nominations, you'll tear right up). Seriously cute and so nervous to stand on stage in front of the high school and receive their prizes! Last presenter was Mr. Bert Oliva. His mantra? Live crazy. Live life, don't let life live you. The kids seemed to embrace the idea of living crazy. Mr. Oliva said that he was going to call an adult up on stage to do something really crazy to hammer home the point. Someone came up on stage and whispered to him..."we can now take a student volunteer, it has been approved". You could feel the excitement in the room. A few kids ran to the stage to participate. These kids are brave. One girl was chosen...chosen to swallow fire. Her nerves definitely started to grow as Bert demonstrated. He dipped the wand in some sort of kerosene and lit it. (Her look says it all...)

Tips for avoiding jet lag on long haul flights
Most travellers will want to make the most of their limited time on holiday and see as much of their holiday destination as possible. Unfortunately most travellers will also fail to take into account the effect the leap in time zones will have on the body. If you have ever flown long haul you will probably already be aware of how much jet lag can disturb the first few days of your holiday as your body acclimatises to a new time zone. Common symptoms of jet lag include tiredness during the daylight hours and what feels like insomnia at night. Add poor concentration, hunger at inappropriate times and a general, underlying irritability at feeling unexplainably out of sync. But thinking ahead can synchronise your body clock before you travel. A good general rule is that if you’re travelling west, go to bed later for a couple of nights, if you’re going east, go to bed earlier. The following pieces of advice can also help reduce the effects of jet lag. If possible book an overnight flight. You’ll have dinner at a normal time, have a full night’s sleep and arrive at your destination in the morning or afternoon. This is probably the best way to replicate your normal routine if you are passing through a number of time zones. Drink a good amount of water before, during and after your flight. Reducing dehydration will help keep your energy levels up. Keeping hydrated is one of the most important parts of avoiding jetlag. Don’t drink large amounts of alcohol or sleeping tablets which will unnaturally alter your sleeping pattern. Sleep well before the flight and during long journeys and flights if you can. If you can get hold of an eye mask and some ear plugs, go for it. If you’re travelling west, through four or more time zones, try and get some bright natural light in the early evening to help you adapt to the new time zone. If you’re travelling east on your return, aim to get a flight which arrives home around midday, to get the brightest natural light available. Again, if you can, wear eyeshades on the plane in a dark quiet cabin. As short bout of moderate exercise can help reset your body clock after arrival. Generally, whether you’re arriving in a new destination, or returning home from your holiday. Try to fit in with the locals as soon as possible. Eat when they eat and sleep (or at the very least least) when they sleep.

Belizean Betty Friday
It is just another Friday in San Pedro, Belize and it is also "Belizean Betty" Friday this week. I have had so many readers asking about how is my little granddaughter Betty doing and they miss seeing "Belizean Betty Friday" pictures. So I thought I would bring it back this Friday and update you on what has been going on in Betty's life this year. Betty turned 3 years old this January. Betty broke her leg going down a slide in February. She is picking out what color cast she wants. It was pink of course. It didn't slow Betty down any. 5 weeks later she had the cast removed. A week later after the cast was removed she was bungy jumping at the mall.

International Sources

Once More on the Law of the Sea
There are few things the environmental community and the oil and gas industry agree on. But here is one: the need for the United States to join the Law of the Sea Convention, a worthy global agreement that the Senate has stubbornly refused to ratify for nearly 30 years. Senator John Kerry, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, is determined to try once again to win approval. The treaty has been in force since 1994, but the United States cannot join in its deliberations. The treaty is as sensible a document as one can imagine. Written under United Nations auspices in 1982, and since ratified by 162 countries and the European Union, it gives each nation control over its coastal waters — a 200-mile “exclusive economic zone” — and then sets up rules governing everything from navigation to deep-sea mining. Yet over the years, a small group of cranky right-wingers and xenophobic activists have managed to bully Senate leaders into inaction. They claim that the treaty somehow infringes national sovereignty by agreeing to negotiated rules on shipping, environmental protection and mining — in international waters. On Wednesday, in the first of a series of committee hearings designed to rally support, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, all pressed the case for ratification.

Grim News for Caribbean Economies
For yet another occasion, it was not the good news Caribbean leaders wanted to hear. Already stung by mixed economic growth ranging from a downturn in countries like Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda and St. Vincent and the Grenadines to marginal growth in Barbados, St. Lucia and the British Virgin Islands, the Caribbean was told that its premier financial development bank has had its credit rating downgraded by the U.S.-based Moody's Investment Services. The president of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Dr. Warren Smith, trying to put on a brave face in light of the downgrade from AAA to AA1, said it was not unexpected. He told the annual CDB board of governors meeting that ended here on Thursday that the new ratings were being accepted "in today's heightened environment of uncertainty" and that "our risk management practices need to be strengthened". "To that end we are undertaking an in depth examination of our risk management framework and we will implement appropriate recommendations as we build resilience to the more dangerous world which we now occupy," Smith said. But Grenada's Finance Minister Nazim Burke, who described the new rating as "unfortunate and untimely", said it also brought new problems for the Caribbean at a time when many borrowing member countries (BMCs) were "fighting to nurture a very fragile economic recovery". "The possibility of higher borrowing costs is a major concern. Indeed, for countries like Grenada, whose borrowing is constrained to very concessionary financing, this is a very worrying development," Burke told the meeting.

Trot carefully: These are fishy political machinations
Japan gives foreign aid to more than 150 nations around the world and that includes strong anti-whaling nations such as Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and others who receive far more than Caribbean countries receive. These include Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Dominica (which also supports whale watching), St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadine, and of course St. Kitts and Nevis. If Japan was buying votes, one would see 150 nations in the IWC and as a consequence the unnecessary moratorium would have been lifted years ago. Major anti-whaling nations such as the USA, Australia, UK and New Zealand also donate aid to poor countries on the IWC and wield far more influence than Japan alone, and thus they could easily be accused of the same tactics Japan gives aid. But let Mr Trott hear this, I did not hear it before: In 2005, the Environmental Investigation Agency approached Lord Ashcroft of the UK to use his influence in Belize to assure support for the anti-whaling camp. It was reported that Ashcroft paid Belize’s International Whaling Commission fees. “Every month I’m on the water somewhere,” Lord Ashcroft is quoted as saying. “I’ve grown a close affinity, not just for whales, but for dolphins and porpoise. So it wasn’t difficult for me to approach the Belizean authorities with such a brief.” He discovered that Belize’s annual subscription to the IWC (£10,000) had lapsed and came up with the cash. That backing yielded swift results when a crucial vote was won by the anti-whaling nations by a majority of one. What does Mr Amba Trott call that?

Mast Brothers ~ Moho River 70%
Mast Brothers Moho River 70% from Belize. Tropical lush area right in central America. Perfect conditions for cacao growing. Historically some of the original landscapes for the Mayan civilization and their history with cacao. The Moho River is located at the southern tip of the country by Punta Gorda. The packaging mentions the beans being sourced from a cooperative, I am assuming the Toledo Cacao Growers Association. This is also set up with tours and adventure traveling to Belize with The Cotton Lodge. If you like funk, you will like this bar. This is very reminiscent of Rio Caribe beans only this is much more fruity and bright versus the overly charred characteristics of Rio Caribe. I was hoping the cough syrup aroma wouldn't be significant on the flavor, but unfortunately it was all over the flavor. Big bold cherries, bright acidity, some wood and char flavors, but an undeniable medicinal quality that made it like cough syrup with the cherries. It's not bad chocolate, it's just not the kind of flavors I enjoy. The aroma was very strong with the same characteristics of the flavor. Once it breathed a bit there was a nice raisin aroma, but not on the flavor. The package says it has notes of raisins, plums, and sarsaparilla. I didn't get any of that but the raisins on the aroma. This is why I don't like flavor notes on packages. Sometimes it's there in bold ways like Amano's Dos Rios. Can't deny that bergamot. But often times, if chocolate breathes or ages, those flavors change in big ways. Not to mention taste being subjective. I don't know what to say about this chocolate, but it's very funky. The flavors are a bit all over the place. It's bitter and acidic, fruity and medicinal, and a little earthy and biscuit-y on the second and third tastes. It's interesting in that regards, but not my favorite flavor profiles. I was really hoping for that sarsaparilla flavor too. That would have been great.

Belize : Top Five Off-Peak Destinations for Summer 2012
Belize is an ideal destination for travelers who love the outdoors. With ample wildlife sanctuaries and marine reserves, it's the perfect place for viewing spectacular flora and fauna. Summer is also the rainy season in Belize, which generally lasts from June through November. You might get a little wet, but you'll almost certainly pay a lot less than you would during dry season. In accordance with Belize's natural, unspoiled vibe, the country also has plenty of rustic and affordable eco-hotels and -lodges. Think thatch-roof cabanas overlooking the ocean or remote private lodges in the jungle. When summer arrives, those eco-hotels and many other properties on the island reduce their rates or roll out discounted packages. Some of those low-season deals we spotted: Book the Summer Sizzling Spectacular package at Beaches and Dreams Seafront Inn for $449 for two people and receive a week's accommodations in a beachfront room, plus daily breakfast and use of bikes and kayaks. (Email [email protected] to book.) Enjoy discounted summer rates at Blue Crab Beach, which is offering oceanfront cabanas for $50 per night. And receive two free nights with a stay of five nights or longer at the Belize Yacht Club this summer. (Email [email protected] to book.)

5 Foods for Better Sex
The key to sexiness may lie in yogurt—at least for mice. The testicles of mice fed a yogurt diet were 5 percent bigger than those on a regular diet—and 15 percent bigger than mice fed a “junk food diet,” according to a new study out of MIT. While scientists aren’t sure what causes this mice “swagger,” they believe probiotics in yogurt are involved. In the human world, studies have connected yogurt to weight loss, but sexiness? Not yet. Some foods, however, have been linked to a boost in testosterone or libido. (What can more testosterone do for you? Click here to find out!) Here are a few things to add in to your diet to help you out down there—and in the bedroom. Nuts Snack on two handfuls of almonds or walnuts a day. They’re packed with amino acids like arginine, which improves blood flow throughout your body—including down there, where better bloodflow means a stronger erection. Plus, studies have found that guys with diets high in monounsaturated fats—the kind in avocados, olive oils, and nuts—have higher testosterone levels than those who skimp on the healthy fats. Oysters Casanova supposedly ate 50 every morning for breakfast. He was onto something. The shellfish are ultra high in zinc—key in sperm production and blood circulation. But you don’t need to chow down 50 to get your fill of the mineral—six will provide double the recommended daily amount, 15 mg. Some other good sources of zinc are eggs, crab, fish, and dark chocolate. Here are 6 Oysters to Try Right Now. Oatmeal Why it works: Oats are packed with L-arginine, an amino acid that works with nitric oxide to reduce the stiffness of blood vessels. L-arginine has been used to treat erectile dysfunction because it helps relax muscles around the penis’ blood vessels. When they expand, bloodflow increases so you can keep an erection. Balance Your Booze That third or fourth beer isn’t doing anything for your gut or your T levels. Men who boozed even moderately every day for three weeks saw a 7 percent decrease in testosterone levels, according to a recent Dutch study. Your move: Stick to a glass or two max a night to avoid a drop. Choose Organic That apple might not look dangerous, but after reading this you may want to reconsider any previous organic scoffs: A 2011 study published in Environmental Health Persepctives found that of 37 pesticides used on foods, 30 have negative effects on your reproductive system. The chemicals can block testosterone and could be to blame for low sperm count. Here are 9 Ways to Keep You Balls in Play.

May 25, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.


Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Reduction of Fuel Pump Prices
The Ministry of Finance informs the general public of decreased in pump prices of Fuel Products for the tanker that arrived on May 23rd, 2012. The Belize City Pump Prices per gallon changed as follows (effective May 24, 2012) Commodity Present Pump Price in Bze City New Pump Price in Bze City Total (Decrease) Premium $12.14 $11.43 -$0.81 Regular $11.38 $10.97 -$0.41 Diesel $10.77 $10.31 -$0.46 Prices for fuel products in the districts will also be reduced commensurately. The Ministry of Finance also informs the public that, in keeping with Government policy, any future price changes in acquisition cost will be passed on fully to the prices at the pump.

Presenting the Delegates for Miss Lobster Fest 2012-2013
The Caye Caulker Lobster Fest Pageant Committee is pleased to present the Delegates for this year’s Miss Lobster Fest 2012-2013 pageant. Five lovely young ladies have taken up the challenge and have commenced with preparation to give a great show for the general public to enjoy. The contestants are Jasmine Arce, Vicky Canul, Sylvia Joseph, Shania Sanchez and Jasmine Skeen. Everyone is invited to come on out to enjoy the festivities that the Committee is putting together for all. Lobster Fest 2012 kicks off with Pageant night being June 29, 2012 followed by a weekend packed with events for the entire family to enjoy on June 30 and July 1, 2012. Hotels have already commenced in receiving bookings for this fun weekend so it would be advisable to make your reservations today! Hair and make-up was done by Stacy and Gina Badillo, Proprietors of Purple Passion Beauty Salon and Spa while Barrier Reef Cable Company is the proud sponsor for the dresses and accessories the delegates utilized for the photo shoot. In communicating with one of the Pageant’s Organizers, he has indicated that the Belize Tourism Board is being a major sponsor for the pageant as well as festivities leading up to the Lobster Fest weekend.

Teachers’ and Nurses’ Day celebrated on SP
Teachers and Nurses on Ambergris Caye were treated to a special party at the Lion’s Den on Thursday, May 17th hosted by the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) and the Area Representative Hon. Manuel Heredia. In Belize, May 12th and 18th were celebrated as Nurses’ and Teachers’ Days respectively and organizers annually combine the event to show gratitude to these vital community figures. According to Deputy Mayor of San Pedro, Severo Guerrero Jr., this is the ninth occasion that the SPTC and the Area Representative teamed up to honor the teachers and nurses. Approximately 160 teachers, nurses and doctors attended the event and they all received a Teacher’s/Nurse’s Day T-shirt, a three course meal, drinks and gifts, plus they danced the night away with Rompe Raja. Both Hon. Heredia and Mayor of San Pedro Daniel “Danny” Guerrero addressed the attendees, thanking them for contributing to the growth of the island. A special recognition was given to Teacher Leni Flores of the San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRCS) for her longstanding contribution in the area of education on the island. Miss Leni, who has been with the SPRCS for the past 33 years, will be going on early retirement at the end of the 2011/2012 school year due to health reasons.

Ambergris Today

Jaime Manzano & Jessica Eiley Nuptials
Jaime Manzano and Jessica Eiley merged their two lives into one of man and wife on Saturday, May 19, 2012, as they headed to the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church to be wed. And they asked their invited guests to "dress to impress" at their wedding reception that followed and which was filled with fireworks, lots of dancing and lots of fun until the early morning hours. Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Manzano!

Rebecca Stirm Sews Her Way To Win Fashion Competition
Having won prior challenges on episodes two, four and six, Rebecca Stirm’s episode 9 win makes the Belizean Designer the contestant with the most wins on Season Two of Caribbean fashion reality series Mission Catwalk which has seen participants from five Caribbean countries competing in its second season. After a visit to the Hope Zoo, the seven remaining contestants were instructed to design a gown for a charity gala and a second garment for a charity luncheon inspired by one animal from the zoo.

Meet Caye Caulker’s Miss Lobster Fest Contestants
The Caye Caulker Lobster Fest Pageant Committee is pleased to present the delegates for this year’s Miss Lobster Fest 2012-2013 pageant. Five lovely young ladies have taken up the challenge and have commenced with preparation to give a great show for the general public to enjoy. The five beautiful contestants are Jasmine Arce, Sylvia Joseph, Shania Sanchez, Vicky Canul and Jasmine Skeen. All are invited to come on out to enjoy the festivities that the Committee is putting together for all. Lobster Fest Caye Caulker 2012 kicks off with Pageant night being Friday, June 29, 2012, followed by a weekend packed with events for the entire family to enjoy on June 30 and July 1, 2012. Hair and make-up was done by Stacy and Gina Badillo, Proprietors of Purple Passion Beauty Salon and Spa while Barrier Reef Cable Company is the proud sponsor for the dresses and accessories the delegates utilized for the photo shoot.

Reduction of Fuel Pump Prices
Good New! The price of fuel at the pump stations is going down in the next few days as the Ministry of Finance informs the general public of decreased in pump prices of Fuel Products for the tanker that arrived on May 23, 2012. The Belize City Pump Prices per gallon changed as follows (effective May 24, 2012): Premium – Was $12.24 New $11.43 Total Decrease $-0.81 Regular – Was $11.38 New $10.97 Total Decrease $-0.41 Diesel– Was $10.77 New $10.31 Total Decrease $-0.46 The current price of Regular in San Pedro is $12.17 and Diesel is at $11.26 per gallon. The decrease in price should follow in the next few days as the new shipment of gasoline arrives to the island.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize Wildlife Conservation Network presents: "A Wild Night Out"
Friday 25th May 2012 7pm-11pm Pig & Parrot Clubhouse British High Commission, Belmopan $35.00 Tickets available from Corkers Restaurant, Belmopan Or BWCN Board members, or call Nikki on 610 0400 Entry with advanced ticket purchase only Music - Auction - Prizes - Food - Company A Wild Night Out - Belmopan Style Raising funds for: Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic and Wildlife Conservation Network Please click here to see the list of items to bid on: we are accepting online bids! Contact us for more information.

Chicken Drop Fundraiser for ACES - keeping our island and our crocodiles safe.
We (Wahoo's Lounge) are going to host a CHICKEN DROP FUNDRAISER for ACES. As you all probably know ACES have been doing a fantastic job rescuing not only crocodiles but other forms of wildlife on the island. We would like to give away prizes (and let ACES keep the winnings) for a night of chicken drops. depending on the value of the prize we will sell the tickets accordingly. Not only will you be helping out your neighbors, like Lorna Jones mentioned below, but you'd be helping to make sure these little (or not so little) critters are cared for and put back in the wild where they belong. So instead of winning $100 for a drop folks can win your prize - remember this is mostly tourists so the prizes can BRING BUSINESS TO YOUR ESTABLISHMENT as well. If we have $50 prizes we will double them up etc. Any donation is appreciated. We will try to make it all work. This will also be an opportunity for you to get your product/restaurant/resort mentioned and hyped to all the tourists attending chicken drop. If you write a little blurb we will make sure our fabulous announcer BARRINGTON talks you up to the crowd all during the drop your giveaway is for. If you know Barrington he does an excellent job at this. You are also welcome to distribute flyers/coupons/hang a poster up at that chicken drop as well.

VIDEO: Caribbean Villas Hotel -Oceanfront One Bedroom Suite
If you are seeking a relaxing getaway, a spell of renewal, or a stepping stone to adventure, you will experience all of that and more at Caribbean Villas Hotel

National Chess Olympiad pictures
Caves Branch sponsored the BNYCF's Chess Olympiad. Here are the pictures they took of the pomp and circumstance. They really went all out. There's a castle in the UB auditorium. Thanks, Caves Branch, for fostering intelligence in our youth. "Caves Branch owners Ian and Ella founded and run the National Youth Chess Foundation (http://www.cavesbranch.com/belize-chess). Every year they bring together the best chess players from across the nation to compete in the National Olympiad. It gets bigger and better every year. The whole CB staff gets involved in the set up, execution, and fun (in costume) of the event. "

The Eco Kids Rainforest Adventure Continues…
Chaa Creek's Eco Kids Summer Camp is just 2 months away, and the deadline for entries is June 4th. 24 kids will get free scholarships, and become Eco-Kids. Get those essays in to have a chance of enjoying a once in a lifetime educational opportunity. "Even entering the competition to join this year’s Eco-Kids is a creative exercise. To be in the draw, Belizean kids eight to 13 years old must write a 300 word essay in English explaining why they want to be an Eco-Kid. The essays will be judged on creative content, structure and grammar, and the best essays will be entered into a lotto draw where six boys and six girls from each category (Eco Greenies at 8-10 years and Eco Saplings of 11-13 years) will be picked as winners. All entries must be sent by email to [email protected] or posted to Chaa Creek, P.O. Box 53, San Ignacio, Cayo by JUNE 4th 2012 and judging will take place on June 14th 2012."

Chocolate Stout for Ladies NIght
Tonight is Ladies Night in Cayo, and you'll be able to get Belikin's newest seasonal stout, Chocolate Stout. Meluchi's and Mr. Greedy's should both have it. Enjoy. Nolan Michael had this to say about Belikin's new Chocolate Stout: “It’s definitely creamier. It’ll have a lot less foam or head retention on any pour because of the natural oils and flavors of the chocolate that’s in it but we still expect that everybody will really enjoy it.”

The splendid color of the culture in Belize!
The Caye Caulker Roman Catholic School held its annual Cultural Day today and it was once again it was array of color! For some time now the children of the School have been by class divided into the five main cultures of Belize, Creole, Maya, Mestizo, Garifuna and Chinese. Each group of parents and children creates a stand that best illustrates the key points of each culture ie what they eat (and indeed how they prepare their food) how they dance, what the traditionally they wear and various of their holiday celebrations information. Parents (and indeed many locals who do not have any child directly in the school) come to witness this spectacle of color and indeed purchase the local food on offer. Well done to all involved – truly a beautiful spectacle!

Belize Mega Bingo Results For (23 May, 2012)
by Admin at 5/24/2012 Comment Filed under: mega-bingo Lucky Two 5.00 Each (4 Balls) 40 ­56 ­74 ­7­ Straight Line 100.00 Each (10 Balls) 40 ­56 ­74 ­7 ­13 ­60 ­53 ­62 ­46 ­16­ Mini X 50.00 Each (15 Balls) 40 ­56 ­74 ­7 ­13 ­60 ­53 ­62 ­46 ­16 ­34 ­48 ­50 ­11 ­26­ Arrow 300.00 Each (36 Balls) 40 ­56 ­74 ­7 ­13 ­60 ­53 ­62 ­46 ­16 ­34 ­48 ­50 ­11 ­26 ­22 ­17 ­1 ­75 ­25 ­2 ­5 ­49 ­42 ­64 ­19 ­52 ­28 ­66 ­24 ­55 ­63 ­30 ­45 ­71 54­ Diamond 750.00 Each (40 Balls) 40 ­56 ­74 ­7 ­13 ­60 ­53 ­62 ­46 ­16 ­34 ­48 ­50 ­11 ­26 ­22 ­17 ­1 ­75 ­25 ­2 ­5 ­49 ­42 ­64 ­19 ­52 ­28 ­66 ­24 ­55 ­63 ­30 ­45 71 ­54 ­3 ­73 ­33 ­69­

Channel 7

DID LOVELORN OW MAN TRY TO BUTANE BLAST HIMSELF?
Tonight, an Orange Walk man is in the Northern Regional Hospital suffering from burns to his hand and body after he apparently staged a butane explosion. It happened this afternoon and details are still sketchy, but 7news has confirmed that at around 4:00 on San Narciso Street, Marciano Mendez cut the butane hose in his house - apparently to kill or harm himself. There was a small explosion, and he received burns to his lower back and right arm. According to reports he was distraught about his wife leaving him. We'll have more on this in tomorrow's news.

PENNER PETITION DISMISSED
For the past few weeks, the legitimacy of Elvin Penner's seat in Cayo Northeast had been hotly contested in the Supreme Court. Well today, the election petition, which was filed against him by the PUP's Orlando "Landy" Habet, was struck out of court. This petition becomes the 3rd one to be dismissed by the Supreme Court. Penner's attorney, Rodwell Williams, made an application to strike out the petition based on the grounds of improperly filed petition documents. He argues that due to time constraints, parts of the final petition document were improperly filed, and Williams even submitted to the court that Habet's attorneys simply, quote "cut and pasted" sections of a draft petition and presented it as a new one. After more than a week to consider the case, Justice Hafiz-Bertram agreed with Williams, and she struck the petition out this afternoon. With that, this matter came to an end, and we spoke to both sides outside of court about what could happen next. Here's what they had to say: Rodwell Williams, Penner's Attorney "That petition indeed was struck out by the court today and the primary reason for it being struck out is because that petition was a nullity in that on the 10th April the same petition was filed with some modification with the same petition by the same petitioner same date and that was an attempt to comply with the court's order which obviously failed because that petition was at that date and at that time struck out. So it was in my view really an attempt to deceive the court and that the court recognizes that and today struck it out once more."

MARSHA REID, ALLEGED SOLDIER SLAYER
This morning at 8:00 am, 38 year old Marsha Reid turned herself into Dangriga Police to be charged for the murder of BDF Corporal Donovan Castillo. Reid was taken into custody - and sent to Belmopan for arraignment this afternoon - because the Dangriga Magistrate is out for training. She had been released yesterday morning pending the findings of a post mortem examination. Dr. Mario Estradabran found that Corporal Castillo was unable to defend himself when he was stabbed fatally to the neck. His family believes Reid stabbed him while he slept. Police found the murder weapon - a kitchen knife with a five-inch blade at the scene. Reid confessed to police that she stabbed Castillo - and said that it was the result of a dispute over rent money. His family claims it was an act by a deranged, obsessed lover. Corporal Castillo will be buried on Saturday in Dangriga Town with full military honours. He was the father of four children - and the accused, Reid has children of her own.

MAN CHARGED FOR KILLING "OREGON" ON FABER'S ROAD
4 weeks ago, 49 year-old Brian Welch Requena, aka "Yanki" or "Oregon", was murdered on Fabers Road. Tonight, police report that they have charged his alleged shooter. That man is Henry Jacobs, a 22 year-old fisherman of #29 Faber's Road Extension, and he now stands charged with murder. According to police, Welch was walking along with two men on Faber's Road Extension, and he was heading toward Central American Boulevard. He was very near the intersection when a gunman ambushed them and fired several shots in their direction. Welch was hit several times and he suffered injuries to the mouth, the right chest area, abdomen and the buttocks. He died on the spot. Residents in Welch's Hattieville neighborhood told 7News that he had several conflicts with them, and he even boasted that he was connected to the "Gaza", a reference to the George Street Gang.

WOMAN WANTS JUSTICE FOR HER 6 YEAR OLD SON WHO WAS KILLED IN HIT AND RUN
Yesterday marked 3 years since 6 year-old Jose Garcia Jr. was killed in a hit-and-run accident at the intersection of King Street and Amara Avenue. Police had a suspect detained briefly, but he wasn't charged, and his mother, who spoke to us today, said that since that arrest, police have not charged him or anyone in connection with Garcia's death. Anacelia Castillo remains a grieving mother who can't let the memory of her son rest, because, according to her, she has received no justice for Garcia's death. She went to the office of the DPP today, and she was told that her son's case had been dismissed. She was in tears as she made a plea to members of the public to come forward with information to help police prosecute the man who killed her son. Here's how she explained the grief she has had to endure from the loss of her son: Anacelia Castillo, mother "Yesterday make it three years that I lose my baby. The police or no one came to me, yesterday morning I called in on the KREM talk show and Ms. Sharon look up the case on the internet and she saw that there was a witness, a taxi man who saw everything that happens with Jose Garcia."

CANCER IN MEN, WHY IS PREVENTION NOT PURSUED?
This is Cancer Awareness Month - and the annual Cancer Walk is scheduled for Saturday. Weather permitting, it should have a good turnout because - we'd say - right now, cancer awareness is high - thanks largely to the efforts of the Prime Minister's wife Kim Simplis Barrow, who has courageously publicized her battle with stage 3 breast cancer. But - even with that - there's a gap between awareness and action, meaning we all know that cancer does not discriminate: it can strike the healthiest, fittest and youngest among us -yet still - for a variety of reasons - from being ashamed to being afraid - we don't go and get tested. It's a dilemma that Janelle Chanona tries to unravel in this special feature on cancer in men. Here's her report:.. Janelle Chanona, Reporting Family; no matter what yours looks like, the men in the picture-fathers; brothers; husbands; sons-play important roles in our lives. But every year, Belizean men are disappearing simply because they're not going to the doctor. No one knows exactly how many Belizean men are walking around with cancer. But medical experts do know that our male population is especially prone to prostate and colon cancers...cancers that can be treated and even cured if diagnosed early.

CITY HALL GETS READY FOR HURRICANE SEASON, MEDIA GETS READY TO RUMBLE
This morning the City Emergency Management Organization, or CEMO, met to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season - which starts in a week. In October of 2010 Belize City had a major wakeup call after Hurricane Richard devastated the coastal areas of the Southside. So this year, CEMO is taking no chances. After the meeting, Deputy Mayor, Philip Willoughby outlined some of the measures the organization will be taking to protect the city. Phillip Willoughby - Security and CEMO "What has transpired this year I can say that inspections were done by the engineers that went along on that tour and the city engineer did they inspection and evaluation. They (engineers) made their suggestion and recommendations to us, we then compile and collate those information. We went and deliberated on those information at NEMO and the a decision has been taken." "We will be only utilizing the main shelters on the list up to a category 2 hurricane, anything beyond that will be evacuation. Through the other government ministries we try to mitigate development in the water catchment areas and so forth. Land clearing; the type of developments that has been occurring and that will be occurring and so we try to mitigate at the point of inception." "In the low laying areas again the council has done a very splendid job through the works department and again with the leadership of Mayor Bradley, an excellent job in rehabilitating streets, acquiring equipment to fix these streets, ensuring that the drains are dealt with, ensure that sanitation problems are dealt with. Again whilst the water problem will only be for a limited space of time as a problem, you will see the run off of this water - we are right on target in terms of draining the city." But these aren't the only protective measures that CEMO will take in this upcoming hurricane season. A major point of contention with the media was the relocation of the CEMO headquarters to the Channel 5 building on Coney Drive. In the media melodrama that erupted over the issue, the Deputy Mayor assured the media houses that CEMO will do its best to keep the distribution of information fair, prompt and non-preferential - but he seemed to have a hard time convincing some of our colleagues:.. Marion Ali, LOVE NEWS "It strikes me as interesting because did you ever in your planning consider the rest of the media? Doesn't it put the rest of us at the immediate disadvantage? "

PRICE OF PREMIUM FUEL FINALLY GOES DOWN
For the first time in a while the pump price of premium gasoline has gown down sharply. Pumps were adjusted last night to reduce the price by 81 cents per gallon - which is the largest drop in the price of premium fuel since December of 2008. And, it's the first time the price of premium has gone down in six months. That's right, since November, 2011 when it went down by 50 cents. Since then, the pump price for premium has increased eight times, bringing it to the twelve dollars and twenty four cents all time high it was set at up until last night at midnight. Now the price is a still prohibitive eleven dollars and forty three cents per gallon, while Regular gas went down 41 cents to ten dollars and ninety seven cents a gallon, and diesel went down forty six cents to ten dollars and thirty once cents per gallon.

FROM FOSTER HOME TO FRONT STREET
When the 2012 Olympic Games start in July, a boy who started out at the Dorothy Menzies Children's Home, will show the world the man that he has become. Joel Hodgson, along with his two sisters, was adopted from Dorothy Menzies Child Care Center when he was 4 years old by a Scottish couple, Susan and George Hodgson. They left Belize and went with to live in Scotland. 17 years later he moved to London with his girlfriend- and ended up homeless, sleeping on the steps of a British police station. That's when he got a job selling magazines, and 3 years after, his positive attitude and willingness to work earned him a job at a top London law firm. His life was on the up-and-up, and soon after he was chosen to be a torchbearer in the Olympic Torch Relay leading up to the Olympics. Hodgson was also recently informed that he is eligible to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth games as a representative for Belize. In Belize, the Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association confirmed that he is running with the torch - but had no knowledge of him competing in the Olympic and Commonwealth games - which is discussed in the article.

MOTIVATION FOR YOUTHS
BTL, Restore Belize and Belize Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors held a Youth Rally this afternoon for over 600 hundred Belize City students. They were there to hear a high-powered panel of professional motivational speakers from Mexico, United States, Cuba and Columbia. The idea was to educate the youths of Belize about the benefits of living a positive lifestyle and inspire them to do the same. Dr. Dionne Miranda explained:.. Dr. Dionne Miranda, PR Manager - BTL "We had these great speakers in the country, they were here at an insurance congress and they offered their time at no cost because they really wanted to do something for Belize and we thought it was a no brainer. Building the fiber of our country, the dreams, getting rid of the innabitions of our young people is most important for all of us. As a corporate sponsor, we didn't only do this on our own, we brought in other companies; Radisson, the Lodge at Chaa Creek, Bowen and Bowen and Grace Kennedy and everybody joined in together because we believe that these people really are our future, they are our leaders and if we don't take care of them, grow and develop them; the should needs to be nurtured in this country. We are in tough times and if we take care of our young people then our future is set and we are going to have va great future." "This is every second form in Belize except for Sadie Vernon school because they are having exams. This morning we were in San Pedro and we did San Pedro High School. Tomorrow we head to San Ignacio at 10:45 and we are going to be doing the entire San Ignacio/Benque area, 1,000 kids would be present. This is over 4,000 people being touched - their lives being made different by something like this knowing that they can make their life happen. It's an awesome event, it's about them and not us."

SHAPHAN SURVIVES
Profile: If you're a long time viewer of 7news - you may remember Shaphan Domingo. We featured him back in 2007 after he had been paralyzed from the waist down, the result of being shot four times. At the time, his lower body was being ravaged by bedsores. Since then he has amputated his legs, which - as we find out in tonight's I Am Belize profile - has been strangely liberating and empowering. Here's his story:..

GRIGA GETS MARKET
The Dangriga Town is about to get a 1.4 million dollar upgrade. It's part of the Belize Municipal Development Project - which is a 30 million dollar World Bank project to be spread across seven municipalities. Dangriga's project is the largest for infrastructure - and ground was broken today. The project is expected to begin in the next two weeks and will rehabilitate the existing market building to provide an extension of 2,000 square feet for additional stall space which will be used for the vendors who are presently in the parking-lot. At the end of it, there will be 25 new and 19 refurbished stalls - and an improved area for the fish market.

GG UNDER SCRUTINY IN TAIWAN
Governor General Sir Colville Young left Belize in mid-May for Taiwan where he represented Belize at the Inauguration of President Ma Jing-Jeou. And it seems that - at the invitation of his hosts - the GG also used the occasion to get a medical screening. Well, now, it has become a sort of big deal in Taiwan - with the media asking if taxpayers in that country should pay the medical expenses of foreign officials. The Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded by saying that Sir Colville's cardiovascular examinations and computed tomography scan on his chest and brain were quote, cheap and reasonable, and promoting medical diplomacy for Taiwan.

Channel 5

Habet vs. Penner; another election petition is struck out
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court struck out a third election petition from the March seventh general elections. The Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin found that there was no evidence against opposition leader Francis Fonseca for bribery. This afternoon, the court decided on the fourth, in which P.U.P. aspirant Orlando Habet was challenging Elvin Penner of the [...]

Good news at the fuel pumps as prices take a dip
Fuel prices have gone down internationally which means that with the arrival on Wednesday of the latest fuel tanker in Belize, there’s a change in fuel prices at the pump effective today. Mercifully, this time it’s good news for drivers. Premium gasoline, which was all the way at twelve dollars and twenty-four cents, took the [...]

Belize City woman is charged for murder of B.D.F. corporal
We reported on Wednesday that Marsha Reid, the common-law-wife of murdered B.D.F. corporal Donovan Castillo, was released after forty-eight hours in custody. Well, her freedom was short-lived as today she was formally arrested and charged with Murder. Reid was arraigned in Belmopan this afternoon and is now on remand at the Central Prison among few [...]

Accused gunman in Brian Welch murder arrested and charged
Charges have also been levied in connection with a previous murder in the city almost a month ago. Today, Henry Jacobs, a fisherman and resident of Fabers Road Extension was arrested and charged for the Murder of forty-nine year old Brian Welch, a deportee. Since he returned to Belize earlier this year, Welch had been [...]

The Matura Family’s tormented history with crime and violence
Eleven year old Daniel Matura will be laid to rest on Friday, following services at the church of the Muslim Community Primary School where he was enrolled. For the family, peers and teachers, it is a monumental loss of a promising young man, who wanted to be a B.D.F. soldier. The Matura family was preparing [...]

Orange Walk man tries to blow himself up
There was a mini explosion in Orange Walk triggered by a domestic dispute. Reports from Orange Walk are that Marcelino Mendez, who is estranged from his wife, cut the hose from his butane tank, allegedly in an attempt to take his own life since his wife had left him. Neighbors called both the ambulance and [...]

Hundreds of Belize City youths get a message of Hope
A pep rally of sorts was held this afternoon at the Queen’s room of the Princess Hotel. Organized by Restore Belize, six hundred students from primary and secondary schools gave their undivided attention to the moving stories of three renowned motivational speakers. With the youth at risk due to crime and violence, the message was [...]

A Belmopan minor is shot while assisting friends
But on Wednesday, a minor was shot after he and a group of friends were attacked on Panama Street in the Salvapan Area of Belmopan. Sixteen year old student, Yasmani Aguirre, told police that he was helping a group of four friends to repair a motorcycle when they were approached by four men armed with [...]

3 men who posed as cops in home invasion are taken to court
While the Supreme Court was dealing with election petitions, in the Magistrate’s Court, a trio of thieves, including a sixteen year old minor, was indicted on criminal charges ranging from aggravated burglary to firearm and ammunition possession following a brazen home invasion in Belize City on Tuesday night. Businessman Carlos Peraza, of Freetown Road, reported [...]

36 pounds of weed; a city woman says she didn’t know it was in her house
A resident of Pelican Street Extension was taken to court late Wednesday evening after police found almost thirty-seven pounds of marijuana inside her house. There was an early morning raid at the home of thirty-three year old Teresita Elena Flores, during which the drugs were found inside a barrel of clothes. Flores was taken before [...]

Burglars escape with over $20,000 in loot from Belmopan business
A burglary in the capital has netted thieves over twenty thousand dollars. Between Tuesday and Wednesday, Bismillah Furniture store located on Forest Drive in Belmopan was burglarized of an assortment of electronics and household items, including CD players, television sets, blenders, microwaves, cell phones and toasters valued at nineteen thousand nine hundred and fifteen dollars. [...]

ITVET students show off their trades in Annual Open House
At the ITVET on Freetown Road, over two hundred students showed off their expertise and products at the annual Open Day. The participants are hoping that their new skills will either open doors for them in the limited job market or better yet, that they can become their own bosses. From cosmetology to hospitality or [...]

John McAfee’s story makes it to the Gizmodo Blog
About three weeks ago, the GSU raided the property of Anti-Virus Founder John McAfee near the toll bridge in Orange Walk. The incident was widely reported in Belize and the report went viral in US networks. McAfee initially gave interviews to the local media, but then said he wouldn’t anymore and that he was launching [...]

Barton Creek is one of nine best caves in the world
But not all that is published internationally is bad news. Barton Creek is being featured on the Mother Nature’s Network website as one of ‘nine of the world’s most beautiful and unusual cave destinations’ on the lifestyle-ecotourism channel. The website describes the tourist attraction as the ‘underworld’ by the ancient Mayans who inhabited the area [...]

Carcass of adult manatee retrieved from the sea
A recent aerial survey shows that the manatee population is increasing and that the number of calves signals successful reproduction. Conservationist, Jamal Galves recently won two regional awards for his work with manatees. This morning he called us out to the Belize Coastguard Headquarters where an eight hundred pound mammal was transported from the Old [...]

Belize Cancer Society working on creating a Cancer Registry
It’s not difficult to find someone who will share with you a story about cancer. Whether, it’s their personal battle to overcome the disease, a relative or friend recently diagnosed or even the unfortunate stories of those who lost the battle. Every year, thousands of Belizeans join in the Cancer Awareness walk to show their [...]

LOVE FM

Thursday, May 24 - POLICE NEWS
A sixteen year old boy was the victim of a shooting incident in Belmopan. The incident happened on Wednesday in the Salvapan area of the capital and police say Yasmani Aguirre was shot in the right elbow during an altercation. According to police, Aguirre was assisting frie...

BELIZE DISTRICT ITVET HOLDS OPEN HOUSE
The Belize District ITVET held its annual open house today at its campus on Freetown Road. An opening ceremony was held this morning at the compound with remarks by Deputy Chief Education Officer Dr. Carol Babb and keynote address by Jehan Gillett a former trainee and supervisor ...

BELIZE CITY'S EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ORGANISATION PREPARES FOR HURRICANE SEASON
June first is fast approaching and this means that for six months thereafter, the hurricane season will take centre stage on many people’s agendas. The Belize City Council is no different and today, the City Emergency Management Organization, CEMO, met to discuss the issues...

OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF BELIZE MUNICIPAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECT HELD
A special ceremony for the launch of the Dangriga market project took place today. Harry Arzu reporting… “Official launching of the rehabilitation and expansion project for the Dangriga Town market under the Belize Municipal Development Project were held...

POLICE INVESTIGATE BURGLARIES IN BELMOPAN
Belmopan Police are investigating two burglaries that occurred in that municipality. Fem Cruz reporting… “On Monday May 21 a Belizean credit officer of Orange Street in Belmopan reported that she left her home on Friday, May 18 sometime around 8 p....

COMMON LAW WIFE CHARGED WITH MURDER OF SPOUSE
Police have formally arrested and charged Belize City resident, thirty eight year old Marsha Reid for the murder of her common law husband Donovan Castillo. Castillo who was a corporal in the Belize Defense Force was stabbed to death in Dangriga town on Monday morning. He w...

FUEL PRICES CUT AT THE PUMPS
Consumers are breathing a little bit easier today following a modest reduction in the pump price for a gallon of gasoline and diesel. After a whopping $12.24 per gallon on Premium gasoline, consumers are now paying $11.43, a saving of eighty one cents. Regular gasoline is now selling f...

POLICE SUSPECTS DOMESTIC DISTURBANCE FOLLOWING HOME EXPLOSION
There was an explosion this afternoon in Orange Walk town. Police have not yet released any information on the incident, but Love News understands that the explosion may be the result of a domestic dispute. The mid-afternoon explosion happened on San Narciso Street near to ...

CTV3

Lucky Mom Goes Shopping At The People's Store
In celebration of Mother’s Day two weeks ago the SMART Orange Walk Branch launched a raffle in honor of that special woman we call mom. With the purchase of any cell phone customers were awarded a ticket to participate in the raffle consisting of $1000 shopping spree at any store of their choice. Unfortunately there could only be one winner and that person was 60 year old Ana Martens from the Blue Creek Community. Martens won a $1000 shopping spree at the People’s Store. Today as she and her daughter went shopping we captured their smiles as they packed up their shopping cart. 60 year old Ana Martens from Blue Creek won the shopping spree mothers day raffle organized by SMART in honor of all mom’s. Today, as Martens and her daughter pulled out their shopping cart and shopped till they dropped at the People Store, our camera captured all the excitement. Justina Nicholai, Daughter “My husband bought a SMART phone and he entered a SMART Mother’s Day Raffle. So he had to give it to a mother so he gave it to my mother.” On Friday Nicholai received a call from a SMART representative informing her that she was the lucky winner of the $1000 shopping spree at the People’s Store. And even though that was four days ago Nicholai was still recovering from the surprise today.

Izak Chan's Sentencing Moved To May 28th
The latest rape case in Orange Walk has been awaiting the sentencing of 19 year old Izak Chan Junior who was found guilty of rape at the northern session of the Supreme Court on May 9th 2012. Today would have marked the day of Chan’s sentencing from which he would have received a minimum sentence of 8 to 10 years imprisonment. But for unknown circumstances his sentencing was rescheduled for Monday May 28th. On May 9th, a jury of 12 found Chan guilty of raping a 17 year old sixth form student from Orange Walk Town. The incident goes back to September 17th 2011 when according to the 17 year old; she along with a group of friends was drinking at the Banquitas House of Culture when they decided to leave for another location. The girl then told police that she was taken to an area along the Honey Camp Road where she was raped by four individuals including Chan. After filing her report on September 18th, police investigations lead to the detention of Chan Junior for one count of rape. None of the other men were indicted to the case. We understand that Chan’s family will appeal the decision during his sentencing on Monday.

Sarteneja Fishermen Still Lost At Sea Family Says Search Continues
On Saturday April 21st, 59 year old Silverio Tepaz, Tiobaldo Tepaz and Mijari Tepaz were declared lost at sea. It has now been 32 days since anyone has seen or heard from the three fishermen who hail from the village of Sarteneja. Family members and friends have exhausted all sources and options in search of the three men but so far it has proven fruitless. The intensive search for the three men was called off by the Coast Guard and the Belize Defense Force after 7 days. Today when we spoke to a family member of the trio via phone we were told that the search still continues on their behalf but hope is fading away as the days goes by. So far the family has been unable to communicate with any of the men as calls to their cell phone have been unanswered. On April 12th the three fishermen left Sarteneja Village en route to Mango Creek where they boarded their boat and headed to Southern Belize for a fishing trip. Because the conch season closed early this year, the three fishermen called their family and informed them that they would be arriving in Belize City on April 21st but they never did make it to the harbor. The vessel the men were traveling in was found sunken near Glover’s Reef. Foul play has not been ruled out when it comes to the men’s disappearance.

Town Council Grader Fixed And Ready To Work
point. They have fostered on the idea of a neglectful town council, one whose machinery is being sold by parts. But that story has proven to be more than fictional and misleading since the Grader which has been receiving so much attention has been undergoing repairs. For the past couple of weeks the grader could have been seen parked on an open lot on Cinderella Street. But it was not because it was abandoned by the town council. As we have mentioned, it was undergoing repairs after it broke down a couple of weeks ago and the Orange Walk Town Council was waiting for the parts to arrive in order to finalize the repair process. And the good news tonight is that the grader has been fixed. Kevin Bernard, Mayor “I am just here to clarify a few issues that have been airing out there in the media especially in one of our opposing media people here in Orange Walk and in Belize City it is in regards to our grader known as the famous Hitler that was down due to mechanical failures. There were rumors that the parts were being sold off; the wheel was being sold just rumors to create political mischief and I think that election is over and that needs to stop we are here to serve the people and work for the people so those distractions don’t keep us back. Just for clarification the grader has some malfunction, we had some bearings that had broken down and had to be replaced because as I had mentioned before these are not equipments that were ever in tiptop shape. I don’t know if they were well inspected before they were purchased but the grader in particular has gone through several repairs even when we came that grader was in Shipyard being repaired. But then another part has some fault and so it was down for two weeks and we had to purchase the part all the way in Houston because the company in Belize did not have the parts. That part returned and the grader is now fully functional so the residents will see Hitler back on the road now continuing the work that we are doing.” The Grader was repaired yesterday and is now fully operational and will soon be put to work in the low lying areas of Orange Walk Town in order to prevent flooding during the rainy season.

Belize City Resident Charged For Murder Of 11 Year Old Student
Belize City Police have formally charged 31 year old Andrew Willoughby from Arlington Drive for the murder of 11 year old student Daniel Matura Jr. who was gunned down on Monday May 21st. Willoughby was also charged with two counts of attempted murder upon Roy Bennett and 25 year old Brandon Taylor. On Monday, Taylor and Bennett were riding on separate bicycles on Central American Boulevard when upon passing in front of the Matura’s residence Willoughby came out of the Matura’s yard, pulled out a gun and fired several shots at both Taylor and Bennett who managed to escape unhurt. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for 11 year old Daniel Matura Jr. who was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. He was shot on the left side of the chest, right side of the back and the left ring finger. Belize City Police are certain that the bullets were intended for Taylor and Bennett in retaliation to the murder of 28 year old Kaylon Matura that occurred on Wednesday May 16th.

Chief Justice Strikes Out Election Petition Against Francis Fonseca
Last night we broke the news that attorneys for U.D.P Freetown Candidate Lee Mark Chang filed a motion in the Supreme Court to withdraw the petition they filed to challenge the results of the Freetown election in sight that there was no evidence to present to the court. Tonight more information has surfaced about the motion. Reports are that earlier in the week, faced with certain defeat, Chang’s lawyers applied to the Supreme Court to withdraw the election petition. The withdrawal was not granted; however, since Chang’s camp failed to comply with a rule requiring that the application be advertized in the Gazette. Today; tough, a different tune was played at the Supreme Court before the Honorable Judge Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin who struck out the election petition filed against the Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca due to a lack of evidence. Justice Benjamin also ordered that Chang pay costs of $7,500 to the Hon. Francis Fonseca.

LOVE TV

Fuel prices decrease
Consumers are breathing a little bit easier today following a modest reduction in the pump price for a gallon of gasoline and diesel. After a whopping $12.24 per gallon on Premium gasoline, consumers are now paying $11.43, a saving of eighty one cents. Regular gasoline is now selling for $10.97 per gallon, a reduction of forty one cents Diesel is now selling for $10.31 or 46 cents cheaper today than yesterday. According to a government press release, the price per gallon of fuel will also be reduced accordingly in the districts. The decrease in the pump prices for fuel became effective today. The Ministry of Finance says that in keeping with government’s policy, any future price changes in acquisition cost will be passed on full to the consumers via the pump prices.

Explosion in Orange Walk town
There was an explosion this afternoon in Orange Walk town. Police have not yet released any information on the incident, but Love News understands that the explosion may be the result of a domestic dispute. The mid-afternoon explosion happened on San Narciso street near to its junction with Fonseca Street. A neighbor who lives nearby, Sandro Urbina, spoke with Love TV’s Arturo Cantun shortly after the explosion and recalled what he saw and heard. Unconfirmed reports to Love News are that the man, identified as Marcelino Mendez may have been attempting to cut the hose connecting the butane tank with the stove when it exploded. This, as we said cannot be confirmed at this time. We will continue to follow this developing story and bring you details as they become available.

Vandals target public parks in Belize City
There are vandals on the loose in Belize City. Reports to Love News are that a group of vandals believed to be young people went on a rampage last night. Left in their wake was a trail of destruction at the Caribbean Shores Park and the Lopez Mateos Park. This morning Love News visited the scene and met with members of the City Council who were inspecting the damage. Councilor Roger Espejo says they will do everything in their power to find those responsible and have them punished. According to a resident in the area who saw when the damage was taking place, a call was made to the police department and they didn’t show up and still had not up by this morning. The resident also said that a call was made to 911 and the person was told to call the other number, we asked Espejo what he thought about this, since in times of distress the first and easiest number we can remember is 911. Espejo said that an official report would be made and proceedings to get the culprits will take place.

Students march in peace protest
The death of eleven year old Daniel Matura, Junior on Monday morning has sparked more public outrage over the senseless murder an innocent child. Matura is the fifth child casualty of the wanton violence that has plagued Belize City over the last two years. Today, Matura’s schoolmates and other concerned citizens took the streets to register their displeasure with the incidences of crime, particularly against children. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo and video journalist Myles Gillett attended the event and bring you the following reports.

Violent home invasion on Freetown Road
There was a brutal home invasion in Belize City last night. It happened not far from our studios and quick police work led to the speedy apprehension of the alleged perpetrators. Love TV’s Marion Ali and video journalist Brian Castillo report.

Suspects charged in recent murders
While police were quick to apprehend the suspects in last night’s home invasion on Freetown Road, they have similarly moved with speed to bring charges against those believed to be responsible for other criminal activities in Belize City in recent days. Police Press Officer Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood explains.

Thieves target Customs office in Orange Walk
The Custom’s Department office in Orange Walk town was burglarized over the holiday weekend. Customs Clerk Darrel Middleton reported to police that sometime between Friday morning and Monday evening the office was burglarized. Among the items stolen was a nine millimeter pistol, a laptop computer, assorted liquor, jewelry, perfumes and clothing all to a total value of just under ten thousand dollars. Police are investigating.

Armed robbery on New Road
A man was robbed at gunpoint on Tuesday afternoon at the corner of Victoria Street and New Road. Burleigh Young reported to police that he and a friend were standing at the corner of Victoria Street and New Road when he was approached from behind by a dark complexion man on a bicycle. Young says that the man took out a firearm pointed it at him and robbed him of three gold chains from around his neck and a touch screen cellular phone. After committing the armed robbery, the victim rode off making good his escape.

The Caribbean Development Bank has approved a loan of seven point two million US dollars for Belize
According to a statement from the CDB, the purpose of the loan is for a project to reduce deaths and serious injuries associated with road traffic accidents, particularly on the Western Highway between Belize City and Belmopan. According to the CDB announcement, the road improvement project will also seek to change the behavior or road users through increased awareness and understanding of the issue; traffic law enforcement support; post-crash response support; and road safety management capacity building. In the area of Education and Training, the CDB statement says that 100 teachers are to be trained to deliver road safety curriculum to two thousand students. With regard to Social and Economic Infrastructure, forty nine miles of the Western Highway between Belize City and Belmopan will be upgraded from 1 and 2-star safety levels to a minimum of 3-star for all road users. A total of twenty public officers will also be receiving training in safety management, while an additional 35 will be trained in traffic law enforcement. The CDB believes that improved road conditions coupled with traffic safety and education are crucial to reducing the number of deaths from road traffic incidents, which the institution views as not only disturbing from a public health point of view, but also something that translates into significant social and economic impacts due to lost productivity and increased vulnerability to poverty.

Woman charged for the murder of BDF Corporal
Police have formally arrested and charged Belize City resident, thirty eight year old Marsha Reid for the murder of her common law husband Donovan Castillo. Castillo who was a corporal in the Belize Defence Force was stabbed to death in Dangriga town on Monday morning. He was stabbed multiple times. According to a post mortem [...]

Supreme Court rules in citrus industry dispute
The Supreme Court has handed down a ruling in the case of a group of citrus growers versus the Citrus Growers Association. The case dates back to February of 2010, when the group, led by Dwight Montero was excluded from a CGA meeting because they had not paid their membership fees. The group objected vehemently and even got an injunction barring the CGA from excluding them from an April sixteenth, 2011 meeting and any subsequent meetings. Based on written submissions from attorneys Michel Chebat representing the aggrieved growers, and Hubert Elrington representing the CGA, Justice Minet Haffiz-Bertram ruled that membership of the Citrus Growers Association is clearly set out in the Citrus Processing and Production Act and refused the other declarations, orders for injunction and damages that were sought by the claimants. Love News spoke by telephone with Dwight Montero late this evening and he told us that he is satisfied with the Judge’s ruling. Justice Minnet Hafiz-Bertram also ruled that each party in the case are to bear their own legal costs.

Insurance congress held in San Pedro
A sales congress featuring representatives of insurance companies was held recently in San Pedro town. Love TV’s Maria Novelo reports.

CDB gives Belize favorable economic assessment
Belize is among the countries of the Caribbean that registered stronger than marginal economic growth last year. The assessment comes from the Caribbean Development Bank as its board of directors is holding its annual board of governors meeting in Georgetown, Cayman Islands. According to the CDB, which is the region’s premier development and banking institution, emerging and developing economies have been the key drivers of the global economic recovery, as advanced economies, the region’s main trading partners, have continued to struggle with lingering weakness in financial, labor and housing markets. CDB says that CARICOM countries recorded mixed economic growth last year as they continued to grapple with the fallout from the global economic and financial crisis. And the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank is projecting economic growth of between one and 1.5 per cent in 2012. The CDB in its annual review of the regional countries said that the growth ranged from a downturn in countries like Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda and St. Vincent and the Grenadines to marginal growth in CARICOM countries like Barbados, St. Lucia and the British Virgin Islands. The CDB notes that in 2011, the Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, Jamaica and Grenada all recorded stronger than marginal growth while only Haiti and Guyana had economic growth in excess of five per cent last year.

Election Petition against Francis Fonseca struck out
The Leader of the People’s United Party Francis Fonseca is tonight breathing a sigh of relief, after an election petition challenging his election as the representative for the Freetown Division was thrown out. A statement issued today from the PUP Secretariat said that Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin struck out the petition brought against Fonseca by Lee Mark Chang due to lack of evidence. The Chief Justice also ordered Chang, who Fonseca beat in the March seventh election to pay Fonseca’s legal fees to the tune of seven thousand, five hundred dollars. The PUP release states, and we quote: “faced with certain defeat, Chang’s lawyers had earlier in the week applied to withdraw the election petition but had failed to comply with a rule requiring that the application be advertised in the Gazette. This brings to an end the UDP’s baseless and malicious efforts to undermine the integrity of the Freetown election results,” end of quote. The PUP release end by saying that Fonseca and the Freetown Committee welcome the Court’s decision and are proud to have defended the will, votes, and integrity of the good people of the Freetown Division. Fonseca was represented in court by Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay.

Improved cardio services being offered at KHMH
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital is the country’s premiere referral medical institution. It has been the subject of numerous news stories over the years, some of them not too flattering. But there are good things happening at the nation’s leading public hospital. Love TV’s Marion Ali and video journalist Brian Castillo explain.

Students create virtual cities
Ever think of how Belize will look ten or maybe fifteen years from now? For a group of young people, they are looking into the future and designing what they believe the City will look like. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo reports.

Open day at ITVETT in Belize City
The ITVET Campus in Freetown Road Belize City held an Open House today to showcase the work done in the different courses offered at the institution. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo and video journalist Myles Gillett stopped in for a visit this morning.

Woman seeks help for kidney operation
Housewife and student from the night shift at Gwen Lizarraga School, Jane Simpson needs an urgent surgery to remove one of her kidneys. Coming from a family genetically affected by cancer, Simpson was diagnosed with a ten centimeter mass in her left kidney which can be fatal if it’s not removed. Love News visited this [...]

Youth rally held in Belize City
Second form students from three communities in Belize are this week getting what could potentially be the lessons of their lives during motivational sessions with three visiting speakers. Today it was the Belize City students’ turn to check in with the presenters. Love News’ Marion Ali and video journalist Brian Castillo were present and file [...]

Who is the kindest child in San Pedro?
Winners of the 2012 Kindest Kid in San Pedro Town were revealed today at the Angel Nunez Auditorium in San Pedro Town. Love TV’s Maria Novelo reports.

PlusTV

Belmopan student has brush with local mischief makers
One family that lives on Panama St. in Belmopan, is visibly upset after a confrontation at the corner of the street...

Ministration basketball team 'Sports Reach' travels to Belize
In a world that is becoming more resistant to traditional efforts of ministry, ‘Sports Reach’ attempts to go where ...

Petition against Francis Fonseca backslides
Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin rejected the election petition filed by the United Democratic Parties’, Lee Mark Cha...

CEMO meets to prep for upcoming Hurricane season
It’s no surprise we are approaching the hurricane season, Tropical Storm Beryl was stirring up waters right off our...

Maya Culture reference collection donated to library
The Cornerstone Foundation presented a 27 volume Maya Culture reference collection as a donation to the San Ignacio...

Furniture Store cleaned out by ambitious looters
Bismillah Furniture Store in Belmopan was the unfortunate mark of marauders on Tuesday night (May 22). Businessman ...

Win number four for Rebecca Stirm
It’s win number four for Belizean designer Rebecca Stirm. This now makes her the winningest designer on Season Two ...

Million dollar project launched in Dangriga
A $1.4 million dollar project, which will renovate and expand the municipal market in Dangriga, is officially being...

LINK: Rich Dad, Poor Dad FREE DOWNLOAD
This page takes you to the link where you can download "Rich Dad; Poor Dad" . The book was discussed extensively o...

The Guardian

New Combat Strategy for Police Department
The Belize Police Department held a press conference on Tuesday, May 22, to brief the media on the early results of their investigation into the killing of eleven-year-old Daniel Matura, ...

Matura and Taylor Families exchange Words outside Courtroom
On Wednesday May 23rd, 31- year-old Andrew Willoughby was arraigned in Magistrate's Court on charges of murder for the killing of 11-year-old Daniel Matura, Jr., who is his cousin-in-law. Also appearing in court was Brandon Taylor, who was charged for ...

Muslim Community School asks to move from Truce to Peace
Eleven-year-old Daniel Matura Jr. was a Standard Three student at Sister Clara Muhammad Primary School in Belize City. Monday is a day that he would normally be in school with his classmates and friends. However, Monday, May 21, was a ...

Historic Commonwealth Local Government Forum Meeting in Belize
The Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) held a two-day board meeting in Belize on May 16 and 17. Participating in the meeting were representatives from Belize, Bahamas, Botswana, Canada, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Mauritius, New Zealand, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda and the United Kingdom. Hon Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, His Excellency Kamalesh Sharma, Commonwealth Secretary-General and Hon. Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister of Belize, all made appearances at the meeting. There were several topics discussed.

Minister of Works and Transport on country-wide Familiarization
Belmopan, 22nd May, 2012. The Minister of Works and Transport, the Hon, Rene Montero has embarked on a familiarization tour of all Ministry of Works’ Stations ...

35 Pounds of Weed inside Clothes Barrel
On Wednesday, May 23rd, police executed an early morning search at the home of 33-year-old Teresita Elena Flores located on Pelican Street extension where they found 16.710 kilos of marijuana inside a ...

Lady Jaguars reign Supreme in Belize City Volleyball
Lady Jaguars continued its dominance of the Belize District Volleyball Association’s Division 1 playoffs, after winning its 6th game over the Warriors at the Belize Elementary School auditorium on Sunday May 20, 2012. Allan Sharp used his “B” team and it dominated the Warriors in 3 sets. The Lady Jaguars led by Tichele Solis, Antoinette Alvarez, Leann Garbutt, and Kimberly Spence, attacked hammering kills at the net-on-balls set by Tanesha Encalada and Melissa Williams, who also received to keep the ball in play and served with effect to take the 1st set 25-10. The Warriors counterattacked with hits by Loren Henry, Kaylani Reid and Crystal Alvarez, who also had support help from Keslyn Lizama. However, Jaguars’ Alina Scott was the mainstay in the 2nd set, and with her help in blocking, the Jaguars won the 2nd set 25-19. The Lady Jaguars also won the 3rd set by the score of 25-20 to maintain its perfect record in the competition.

Belize Boxing Federation elected new officers
The Belize Boxing Federation held its General Assembly Meeting on Saturday May 19, 2012, at the National Sports Council offices at Rogers Stadium. The highlight of the General Assembly was the elections of officers for a new executive. The elections were conducted by Patrick Henry the Acting. Director of the National Sports Council. The following were elected to serve: Moses Sulph (President), Roberto Canul (Vice President), Henry Usher (Secretary), Sherwin Garcia (Assistant Secretary), Dawn Coye (Treasurer), James Adderly, Frank Martinez and Clinton Tucker (Committee Members). The elected officials will serve in their respective capacity until October 31, 2015.

Over 60 Potential Cultural Tourism Champions trained
Cultural Tourism allows for visitors to a country to be engulfed and enriched through the region's culture, lifestyle, history of the people, their art, architecture, religion(s), and other elements that helped shape their way of life. This sector is identified as a priority product and key tourist attractor within the National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan of Belize. The Ministry of Tourism and Culture, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) and BELTRADE partnered to create a Cultural Tourism Training Workshop and its guide called, ‘Belize: Cultural Tourism Development: A Handbook for Community Champions, How to develop, promote and run your Cultural Tourism Business.’ The training is to stimulate the development of cultural tourism in Belize, particularly in some of the emerging destinations. From May 3rd to May 11th, 2012, over 60 persons participated in the three-pilot session of the interactive Cultural Tourism Training Workshop, provided to micro cultural tourism businesses in Belize City, the Stann Creek and Toledo Districts. In addition, eleven of BTB’s trainers were trained in facilitating future sessions of the Cultural Tourism Training Workshop. “The training was enriching and valuable; the trainers shared their knowledge and techniques in how to present and teach our young local entrepreneurs how to promote their products locally and in foreign markets,” said local trainee facilitator Javier Gutierrez.

$1.4 Million Market Project launched In Dangriga
A $1.4 million dollar project, which will renovate and expand the municipal market in Dangriga, will be officially launched today in that municipality. The project is the largest infrastructure project started to date under the Government’s $30 million Belize Municipal Development Project (BMDP), which aims to bring much needed infrastructure development to seven municipalities in Belize. The project, which is expected to begin in the next two weeks, will rehabilitate the existing Ferro-concrete market building, including the fish section of the market, to improve the working conditions of the vendors, and provide an extension of approximately 2,000 square feet for additional stall space for some of the vendors presently occupying the market’s parking lot. On completion of the project, the facility will have the capacity to accommodate approximately 41 stalls. The nine vendors occupying the parking lot of the market will be relocated to the enhanced facility. The end result of this project will be an improved market where vendors will offer a better service and where residents of Dangriga will be able to interact in a more pleasant and safe environment. The project will be implemented by the Project Implementation Unit of the BMDP under the umbrella of the Social Investment Fund including counterpart funding from the Dangriga Town Council.

From Broken Booths to Broken Grader in OW
The Orange Walk Town Council continues to make it into our paper and for all the wrong reasons. Last week, we told you about the Mayor's boneheaded idea to break down the newly constructed market booths in that municipality. Well, we move to another aspect that points to incompetence and plain old mismanagement at the town board.

Belize tops CANTO’s Essay Competition on “Women and Girls in ICTs”
The old adage, “the third time is a charm” rang true for 17-year-old Amenzee Amu of Belize, who emerged as number one in CANTO’s sixth annual WTISD essay competition. Amu entered the annual competition three times before copping the coveted prize. The excited biochemistry student, when informed of her winnings, thanked God profusely with tears in her voice as she remarked: “This is indeed a blessing!”

BTL and Restore Belize Join Forces to Host Youth Rally
One thousand Six hundred, 2nd Form students throughout the city of Belize; 440 Students at the San Pedro High School as well as 600 students at Sacred Heart College in San Ignacio will be impacted by professional motivational speakers from across the United States as a collaborative effort between Belize Telemedia Limited, RESTORE Belize and the Belize Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (BELAIFA) on May 24th, 2012.

$14M for Better Roads in Belize
Belize will be receiving BZ $14.5 million dollars from the Caribbean Development Bank since it is ranked the highest in fatality rates as a result of road traffic accidents from among borrowing member countries. According to the World Life Expectancy, the third highest cause of death after diabetes and coronary heart conditions are road traffic accidents. In 2010, Belize recorded 94 traffic fatalities as a result of accidents. With these staggering statistics, the CDB is stepping forward to make conditions better for those travelling on our roadways. According to a press release, "The Bank is of the view that the high death rate from road traffic incidents in Belize is not only disturbing from a public health point of view, but also translates into significant social and economic impacts due to lost productivity and increased vulnerability to poverty." As a result of this the CDB approved USD 7.248 million dollars for a project to reduce deaths and injuries as a result of road traffic incidents. The funding will be used to improve road infrastructure as well as educational programs to change road use behavior, traffic law enforcement, accident response and road safety management capacity building. In the area of education and training, 100 teachers will be trained to deliver road safety curriculum to 2,000 students. 80 kilometers of primary roads between Belize City and Belmopan will also be upgraded from 1 and 2-star safety levels to a minimum of 3-star level. Capacity developments will also be enhanced with 20 public sector employees trained in road safety management, and 35 public sector employees trained in traffic law enforcement.

Better Mobility for BDF Intelligence Unit
Hon. John Saldivar hands over keys to Brigadier General Dario Tapia On Thursday May 17th, Minister of National Security and Defense, Hon. John Saldivar handed over 5 Meilun brand motorcycles, four being 'mud cycles' and the other the highway type. Minister Saldivar explained that the cycles, which are worth sixteen thousand five hundred dollars, are part of the Ministry's move to better equip the BDF. He said that since he took up the ministry, he's been touring the various sections and for the BDF, the issue of mobility was one that needed to be addressed. The five motorcycles were handed over to the Intelligence Cell of the BDF and will be used for intelligence gathering as well as being able to deploy personnel to areas where traditional modes of transportation cannot access. Minister Saldivar has committed to better equip the BDF as well as other areas of his ministry during his tenure in that office.

Belizean athlete failed Anti-Doping Test
The National Anti-Doping Organisation of Belize (NADO) informs that athlete Kleon Coleman of the Belize Volleyball Association failed his Out-of-Competition Anti-Doping Test that was carried out by the Central American Regional Anti-Doping Organisation on February 17, 2012. The sample collected from Kleon Coleman returned an Adverse Analytical Finding with the presence of Hydrochlorothiazide and metabolite Chloraminophenamide. In accordance with the National Anti-Doping Organisation of Belize Anti-Doping Rules (Article 8) and the World Anti-Doping Code (Article 8), Kleon Coleman along with his Medical Doctor and representative attended a hearing with the Results Management Committee on Friday April 27, 2012. As a result of this hearing, and the facts presented by Kleon Coleman’s medical doctor, and his representative, the Central American Results Management Committee concluded that the period of ineligibility prescribed by Article 10.2, should under and by virtue of Article 10.4 be reduced to three (3) months ineligibility as from the date at which the test was taken begin February 17, 2012.

Belize Delegation to the 62nd FIFA Congress and 2nd Medical Conference
On Monday May 21, 2012, a delegation from the Football Federation left for Budapest, Hungary to attend the 62nd FIFA Congress and 2nd Medical Conference. President Ruperto Vicente, Senior Vice President Sergio Chuc, Executive Member Marlon Kuylen and Belmopan District Chairman Marlon Tillett are attending the 62nd FIFA Congress as members of the Belizean delegation. A special meeting has been set to meet with high ranking FIFA Officials concerning the financial situation of the F.F.B. and Belize’s participation in the Champions League Tournament. Belize spot in Champions League for 2012 was recently awarded to El Salvador, as the lights at the F.F.B. Stadium failed a second inspection in February of this year. As a result Belize lost the opportunity to be reinstated in Champions League. Works are already under-way and we will keep the nation informed of its progress.

Belize Rural Primary Girls and Crooked Tree Government Boys are Rural Zone 1 Champions
The Belize Rural Primary Schools Zone 1 elimination games were played on Thursday May 17, 2012, in Bermudian Landing. In the girls’ championship game, Belize Rural Primary School defeated Burrell Boom Methodist by the score of 6-5 to capture Rural Zone 1 championship. The winning pitcher was Erlean Casasola and the losing pitcher was Jalecia Jones. In the second round of the games, Belize Rural Primary School eliminated Hattieville Government School by the score of 16-2 to advance to the championship round. The winning pitcher was Erlean Casasola and the losing pitcher was Adriana Gillett. In the first game of the morning, Hattieville Government School won over St. Agnes Government School by the score of 4-0. The winning pitcher was Adriana Gillett and the losing pitcher was Vonica Thompson. In the second game, Burrell Boom Methodist School defeated Biscayne Government School by the score of 10-0. The winning pitcher was Jalecia Jones and the losing pitcher was Anna Moody.

Muslim Community School asks to move from Truce to Peace
Students from Sis. Clara Muhammad Primary School protest Eleven-year-old Daniel Matura Jr. was a Standard Three student at Sister Clara Muhammad Primary School in Belize City. Monday is a day that he would normally be in school with his classmates and friends. However, Monday, May 21, was a holiday in lieu of Commonwealth Day. At around 8:30 that morning, young Matura went to shop a stone’s throw away from school when three bullets hit him, one in the left side of the chest, one in the right side of the back and one hit his left ring finger. Matura died shortly after, becoming the latest casualty in a gang war that stages so many battles in that one area. His chair was empty as his classmates walked in on Tuesday morning. Many had already heard the news and others were briefed for the first time. The school held a counseling session for his friends to help them cope with the grief of losing a loved one. After the session, the children, teachers, school management and volunteers decided to express their hurt and frustration in an appropriate manner. On Wednesday, May 23, students of Sister Clara Muhammad School and Excelsior marched throughout battleground streets in the area. They were joined by educators, community activists and residents of the area. As the crowd marched they demanded two things: justice and peace.

The Reporter

Corozal Community College students design My Virtual City
Corozal Community College students Philip Gongora and William Mahler each won an Acer Aspire netbook computer as their first prize in for their winning design, “Terra Nova” in the My Virtual City competition sponsored by Total Business Solutions Ltd. (TBSL) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme. Belize Elementary School students Max Mcfield, Chloe Kelly and Ethan Singh also each won an Acer Aspire netbook computer as their first prize for their winning design, “Nebulus”, which scored 1307 points in the primary schools competition. Minister of Education Hon. Patrick Faber joined TBSL Loretta Palacio and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) expert Dr. Francisco Roquette in presenting the prizes to the winners in an award ceremony at the Princess Hotel in Belize City on Wednesday, May 23. The winning schools each received a $500 cash prize and a plaque. Gongora and Mahler’s “Terra Nova” design scored 1545 pts, and also won prizes for Best City Layout, Best use of GIS and best use of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), for which they won a copier for their school.

Policeman and two others charged for stolen GOB Hilux pick-up truck
Police recovered the 2009 Toyota Hilux pick-up valued at $40,000 which was stolen from the Central Health Region Department on Tuesday, May 8. They have since charged Police Constable Marvin Wade, 23; his brother, Jason Wade, 32; and Kerwin Godoy, 24, an employee at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, for handling stolen goods and taking a vehicle without permission. After hearing the prosecutor’s objections to bail, Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer remanded the trio to prison for one week, when they pleaded not guilty to charges on Tuesday, May 22. Police objected to bail because this kind of crime was becoming prevalent, and over concern that the accused may try to interfere with the ongoing investigation. Attorney Bryan Neal, representing all three defendants, argued that the men are being wrongfully accused by the police, and the offences do not require remand. He added that two of the accused do not have any criminal record and are law abiding citizens.

Editorial
Belizeans have become increasingly frustrated and uneasy at the steady march of street violence leading to robbery, murder and mayhem. The violence appears to have taken on a life of its own, feeding on itself and expanding to involve new neighbourhoods once regarded as safe. We see the police department itself coming under scrutiny because of the actions of police officers who have themselves become part of the criminal fabric, and we tend to lose hope that Belize will ever find the strength of character to carve out a national identity for ourselves which is industrious and honest and honourable. Often we blame our social and civic organizations, and we like to blame the Church, as if the Church had some kind of magic wand which it could wave and produce a magical change in people’s hearts.But change does not come about that way. Change comes about when people, men and women, boys and girls, one by one, decide that they want something, and they set their minds to do what needs to be done to get what they want. This always requires effort and many times it requires hard work.

We need a Counter Revolution
The world human rights agenda is hypocritical. Since 1973 when Roe Vs Wade legalized abortion in the USA, hundreds of millions of the most vulnerable human beings – unborn babies, have been brutally murdered with the consent of their own mothers. There has been a whisper of objection by the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations. But every whimper by the Caleb Orosco’s of the world have elicited the spending of millions of dollars to defend their bogus rights. It is high time that the callous hypocrisy of the world agenda be exposed. This is not easy. The persons who should be speaking out, who attend the international human rights conferences, have been silent. It is truly amazing how the greatest revolution in world history, the propagation of the rights of man, has been subverted by the power of money and politics. When the Universal Declaration of Human rights was promulgated on the 8th December, 1948, there was rejoicing throughout the Western World. This happened three years after the nations of the West were led by America to conquer the most barbarous regime ever organized during man’s whole history. Nazi Germany brutally, viciously, mercilessly carried out a policy of exterminating millions of human beings. If you read the Declaration, you will immediately see that there is no use of the words “Creator”, or “Supreme Being” in its Preamble. This was a concession made to the atheistic framers of the document by the Western Allies, all of whose leaders were confirmed atheists.

Gang warfare kills 11 year old
Belize City Police have detained Andrew Willoughby for the death of 11-year-old Daniel Matura who was shot dead shortly before 9:00 Monday morning, May 21. Roy Bennett and Brandon Taylor were reportedly riding past the Matura’s yard and allegedly shouted: “I wah kill all ah unu.” Assistant Commissioner of Police Elodio Aragon Jr., the officer commanding Eastern Division, said at a media briefing on Tuesday, May 22, “Willoughby, who was inside the Matura’s yard, came out with a firearm and fired shots at Taylor and Bennett, who rode away.” Willoughby missed, but his bullets struck Daniel Matura in the left side of his chest, right side of his back and his left ring finger. Daniel died before the pickup that was transporting him arrived at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Aragon said that Willoughby gave a cautioned statement to the police, who are actively investigating the case. Police Superintendent Dawson, the head of the Crimes Investigation Branch, said Daniel’s death resulted from a retaliation attempt against Brandon Taylor. Dawson said Taylor, who is in police custody, is the main suspect for the murder of Kaylon Matura who was also shot at almost the same location on Thursday, May 17. Aragon confirmed that the shootings are gang related.

Two remanded for Matura murders
Two men have been charged and remanded to prison for the murders of Daniel and Kaylon Matura. Andrew Willoughby, 31, was charged for killing 11-year-old Daniel Matura before Chief Magistrate, Ann Marie Smith on Wednesday morning, May 23. Willoughby faces three indictable charges: a single count of murder and two counts of attempted murder against Roy Bennett and Brandon Taylor, 26, who was accused of the murder of Kaylon Matura. Willoughby, fired nine rounds at the men as they rode past the Matura’s yard. He missed his intended targets and three of his nine bullets caught Daniel, who was walking by himself along Central American Boulevard. Daniel was shot in the chest and back, and he died just a few feet from where his cousin, Kaylon Matura, died on Thursday, May 17. At a press briefing held on Tuesday police told reporters that Willoughby gave investigators a cautioned statement regarding the incident. Willoughby said Brandon Taylor had passed in front of the Matura yard and took out a chrome handgun from his left pants pocket; pointed it him and shouted: “I wah kill all ah unu,” on Saturday, May 19. According to Police, Willoughby, fearing for his life, ran into the nearby Matura yard.

Belize City woman to be charged for BDF corporal’s murder
Director of Public Prosecution, (DPP) Cheryl-lynn Vidal has confirmed to The Reporter that she has instructed Dangriga Police to charge Belize City resident, Marsha Reid, 35, for the murder of Belize Defense Force (BDF) Corporal Donovan Castillo, 37. Reid, a domestic of # 4 Raccoon Street, was initially detained by Dangriga police, who released her on Wednesday, May 23, after she had been in custody for 48 hours. DPP Vidal said she has completed the case file the police had submitted to her and she is satisfied that there is enough evidence to charge Reid for Castillo’s murder. When she was first arrested, Reid told police that she stabbed Castillo in self-defense, while they were having a domestic dispute. However, Vidal says the autopsy result does not show any evidence that Castillo was involved in a struggle

Lee Mark’s Election Petition falls flat!
Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin has struck out the election petition filed by defeated UDP Freetown candidate Lee Mark Chang against the PUP elected area representative Francis Fonseca, in the Supreme Court on Wednesday, May 23. Chang’s attorney Michael Young had offered to withdraw the case but was unable to do so, because court procedures for withdrawing such a petition require one month’s notice published in the Government Gazette. The Chief Justice struck out the case for lack of evidence and awarded the $7,500 costs to Fonseca. In his initial claim, Chang had alleged that Fonseca’s agents had bribed voters. The election results were close, which Chang claimed might have been different if Fonseca’s agents had not bribed voters. But the case could not proceed because several of the witnesses failed to follow through with the filing of the evidence papers. Fonseca’s attorney, Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay opined to reporters after the hearing that it was a disgrace that Chang was not prepared to accept the people’s decision. They spoke very loudly and rejected his candidacy.

Folic acid tied to lower child cancer
Rates of two rare childhood cancers declined after the U.S. began requiring grain products to be fortified with the B vitamin folic acid, a new study finds. Reported in the journal Pediatrics, the study does not prove that folic acid deserves the credit. But researchers say the findings at least offer reassurance that folic-acid fortification has not led to an increase in children’s cancers – which has been a theoretical concern. “The good news is that there doesn’t seem to have been an increased risk of childhood cancer,” said lead researcher Amy M. Linabery, of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. In 1996, the U.S. mandated that enriched flours, breads, pastas and other grain products be fortified with folic acid, the synthetic version of the B vitamin folate. The goal was to help reduce rates of neural tube defects, severe birth defects of the brain and spine. They include spina bifida, when the spine fails to close during early fetal development, and anencephaly – usually fatal – when much of the brain never forms.

Exercise tied to lower risk of psoriasis
Results from a large U.S. study suggest women who regularly exercise vigorously, including runners and aerobics buffs, may be less likely to get psoriasis than less-active women. Researchers have known that people who are overweight or smokers have a higher risk of the chronic skin disease, which is characterized by itchy and painful plaques. In the new study, women who said they spent more than one hour per week running or at least four hours per week doing aerobics seemed to be partially protected against psoriasis, even after their weight and other lifestyle habits were taken into account. “What we don’t know for sure at this stage is whether losing weight and exercising vigorously will prevent you from getting psoriasis,” said Dr. Joel Gelfand, a dermatologist from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, who wasn’t involved in the new study. Data for the new report came from the long-running Nurses’ Health Study II, which has been used to track risks for a range of health conditions in women.

Sugar City Girlz cage Pumas 4-1 in female football finals
Sugar City Girlz blasted the Pumas of Dangriga 4-1 in the first game of the championship finals of the National Women’s Football Competition organized under the auspices of the Football Federation of Belize at the Louisiana Government School field on Sunday afternoon, May 20. Gisel Baeza and Cianni Castañeda led the Sugar City offensive with the help of Noemi Magaña and Tamarah Baptist on the wings, supported by Shelya Peña and Nathalie Macias at midfield. The Puma defenders’ Anigi Welch, Carmita Swazo and Patricia Marin strove to keep them in check but the pressure of the Sugar City attacks won them a free kick. The execution gave Pumas’ goalkeeper Shereen Vasquez no trouble as the kicker sent the ball sailing over the crossbar. Nykemah Kuylen and Dorita Ramos led the Puma counterattacks with fleet-footed wingers Ashanti Velasquez and Sheyanne Castillo bringing the ball up the sidelines and trying to center the ball, but the Sugar City defenders would have none of that.

Lady Jaguars lead Belize City women’s volleyball
Defending national champions, Lady Jaguars posted their sixth victory as they dominated the Warriors in three sets when the Belize District Volleyball Association’s Division 1 Tournament continued at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium on Sunday afternoon, May 20. Jaguars’ Coach Allan Sharp had chosen to give his second string players some court time and they dominated the winless Warriors in three sets. Tichele Solis, Antoinette Alvarez, Leann Garbutt, and Kimberly Spence led the Jaguar attacks, hammering kills at the net on balls set by Tanesha Encalada and Melissa Williams who also received to keep the ball in play and served with effect to take the first set 25-10. Crystal Alvarez, Kaylani Reid and Loren Henry led the Warrior counterattack, supported by substitute Keslyn Lizama. But Jaguars’ Alina Scott took the court in the second set blocking and setting the ball to help the Jaguars win the second set 25-19.

DEA facing fallout from Honduras raid
In the Honduran village where four residents were killed last week by gunfire from a helicopter on a U.S.-backed anti-drug operation complete with DEA agents on board the chopper, feelings continue to run high. On Monday, they told the Associated Press that DEA agents also accompanied Honduran commandos who stormed into homes and mistreated residents after the raid, but the agency denies that. In the predawn hours of May 11, Honduran National Police and DEA agents were searching for a boat supposedly carrying a load of cocaine when they said they came under fire from the river. The Hondurans opened fire, but the boat they attacked was a small fishing vessel, not a smuggling craft, and the attack left two pregnant women and two others dead and four other people wounded. The helicopter is owned by the U.S. State Department and was one of four being used in the operation, which had already resulted in the seizure of cocaine from the banks of the river. While police were on the ground, they reported coming under fire from another boat on the river. At that point, police on the ground and the door-gunner for one helicopter opened up on the boat. The DEA said its agents did not open fire and did not participate in heavy-handed raids in the immediate aftermath. But villagers in the town of Ahuas said masked agents then landed in their community and broke down doors, looking for a trafficker they called “El Renco.” The witnesses referred to some of the agents as “gringos” and said they were speaking English.

Blogs

Extra day added on 2012 San Pedro Lobsterfest
Many of you are excitedly waiting for 2012 Lobsterfest schedule and checking in on the official San Pedro Lobsterfest Site. Please note there has been an extra day added on to this years Lobsterfest. New Dates June 15th to 24th – the extra day is going to a hot closing party. Official event schedule coming soon. On the topic of hot it is downright steamy today, total lounge lizard weather and I am in need of a cat nap this afternoon.

SAGA Fundraising Cook-Off: Bar Food at Average Joe's
Last night, Average Joe's Bar hosted the monthly SAGA (the San Pedro Humane Society) cook-off. Theme? Bar food and snacks. And it seems to have struck a cord with both chefs and eaters alike. There was a great crowd and 15 dishes. FIFTEEN! That's the most donated dishes I've ever seen. For a donation of only $10bzd, attendees got a huge plate of food. The 65 tickets sold out early but everyone loved the food. (Or they appeared to be, I am trying to stick to my diet...I could have really blown it here!) All the major bar food groups were represented...creamy, deep-fried, salty, sweet, sour creamy and cheesy. And instead of eating it, I lovingly photographed it! There was delicious looking sausage dip and fish spread, a few types of wings, fried chicken nuggets, pesto pizza, smoke sausage dip, there were little olive penguins with a cauliflower dogs (super cute), there were plantain balls (an Ecuadorian specialty)...

Celebrities in Belize
The paparazzi were everywhere. Yes, there are celebrities in Belize. Lots of celebrities own property in Belize and others come just to visit Belize. Remember the wedding proposal of Gene Simmons to Shannon Tweed. Well it was right here on Ambergris Caye that Gene proposed to Shannon Tweed. We all know Ben Flajnik from "The Bachelor". He was on Ambergris Caye and various other locations in Belize filming an episode where several lovely bachelorettes were all trying to win Ben's heart and a proposal in marriage. Bill and the Pups in the San Pedro Sun. Anyway, those are not the celebrities I am referring too...Sorry, it is our three huskies, Alina Moon, Barney Moon and Snowy Moon. They are just like celebrities in Belize. From the moment we landed in the Belize City airport on January 13th, 2012 they have have received lots of attention. They have been followed by the husky paparazzi, cell phone pictures have been snapping, and the few brave have even asked to have their pictures made with them or to pet them. Seems that everyone has a favorite husky. We are now known on the island as the "Husky Family". Most people tell us they have never even seen huskies except on TV, so they are truly in ahhh of them. Some ask can they have one, we tell them they would want to bring them back very quickly. If the huskies are not with us, the people on the street are wondering where they are. Where are the "huskies"???? We are asked many times "aren't they hot"? "Isn't the weather in Belize too hot for them"? While huskies are a northern breed, our huskies grew up in the hot and humid southern United States. So adapting to the weather in Belize has not been so different for them.

International Sources

Meth Labs And Dead Dogs: How The Founder Of McAfee Antivirus Went On The Run In Belize
It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. “I’ve been busy” is everyone’s excuse for laziness, but I can’t come up with a better one. For those of you who follow the news in Central America, you will know that I am in hiding in an undisclosed location in Belize. Hiding out is no fun. I’ve always wondered why people on the run turn themselves in. I now know the answer — boredom. I am in a one room house in an uninteresting location. I have not been outdoors for five days. I have no cable or satellite TV and I have three DVDs — The Human Stain, Tierra and Naked. I have no books. I do have an iPad, but no charger. They are difficult to get in this country. I have 21 per cent charge remaining — I have been rationing. Since, in the end, the only person you can trust is yourself, I have had no contact with anyone other than telephone interviews with the press. The Gsu have issued additional charges but have not divulged what they might be. Having spent one night already sleeping on the concrete floor of the Belize City jail I am not excited about the prospect of returning. Yes, there are no beds in Belize jails. Or toilets. A half cut milk carton serves the purpose. It was tolerable until 1am when a drunk was added to the cell and he immediately kicked over the container. Five of us slept crowded together in the least contaminated corner. I was out before dawn so I shouldn’t complain. My lawyers tell me there is absolutely nothing to worry about, so that makes me very worried. They will be negotiating with the government today, if all goes well. I’m down to 17 per cent charge. I will leave you. John McAfee, the founder of McAfee Antivirus, posted this to a private message board on May 7; his home in Belize had just been raided by local law enforcement, he’d been rousted from bed naked and confused to discover Belize’s Gang Suppression Unit at his gates. They shot and killed his dog and arrested him for possessing an illegal firearm. They arrested a few of his employees too. He went on the lam. You might’ve heard the news reports; this is his side of the story. Buckle up. It’s crazy. McAfee is most famous for creating the antivirus software you know so well. But that was another life. Another time. After cashing out of the software business, he went on to found a company that attempted to launch a next generation antibiotic headquartered in Belize. That company cratered when its chief scientist left. But McAfee stayed behind, operating a ferry and a bar. He had, in a literal sense, gone to the woods. And then, on the morning of May 4, he awoke to the sound of bullhorns. “I jumped out of bed, I’m naked, I ran out on the porch where I could see troops with automatic weapons and in their assault stance, the low walk, definitely agressive hostile movement,” he said via telephone from an undisclosed location in Belize. “I went inside, puts some pants on, came back out and was shoved up against the wall. And that began my day. As I was being handcuffed I could see out of the corner of my eye the fire axes with which they were busting down doors — which were not locked by the way — and ransacking.”

Study-abroad course takes Delaware Tech nursing students and faculty to Belize
Fourteen nursing students and faculty from Delaware Technical Community College participated in a study-abroad course in San Ignacio, Belize, in April. The group was led by Nursing Department Chair JoAnn Baker. The group worked with a physician and interpreters to provide screening and health care to 229 residents of three Mayan villages and a long-term care facility. The group also explored the area by going to waterfalls, pyramids and a bike race.

La Ruta Maya – The Doomsday Ride from Tour d’Afrique
The staff at were having a couple of beers one recent Friday afternoon and suddenly noticed that they had no tour planned for the fall of this year. A couple of drinks later, and in the spirit of ‘Pop-Up’ restaurants, fashion shows & retail outlets, they had created their first ‘Pop-Up’ bicycle tour. La Ruta Maya – The Doomsday Ride is a 2300km bicycle expedition from San Jose, Costa Rica to Belize City, Belize. The Mayan calendar predicts that the world will come to an end on December 21, 2012 and what better way to experience that event than from the seat of a bicycle at the historic Mayan Temple at Lamani, Belize just outside the capital city. Definitely an experience not to be missed…or probably repeated. Participants will cycle through Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala & Belize; amble through the Mayan ruins at Tikal, Copan & Lamani; pedal through small villages, colourful markets, the amazing architecture of Granada, Nicaragua’s former capital, rainforests and bustling cities; gaze up at towering volcanoes – some currently active like Costa Rica’s Volcan Arenal; laze away on sun-drenched beaches or attempt to spot the most beautiful of birds, the Quetzal, Guatemala’s national symbol. The cycling will be challenging with many gorgeous climbs and, thankfully, an equal number of stunning descents. The route passes through misty rainforests, past smoking volcanoes, roaring waterfalls, crater lakes, hot springs & deserted beaches; largely along little-used back roads, many unpaved. The expedition features 28 cycling days, averaging 90 km each, broken up by 7 rest days for a total of 35 days. Accommodations are a mix of camping and mid-range hotels.

Shifting Trade Routes May Have Been Root Cause Of Mayan Decline
The end of the classic Mayan civilization in the lowlands of Mesoamerica was likely expedited by shifting trade routes that started to bring valuable goods to coastal regions instead of the inland city-states of the ancient Native Americans. While the cause of this decline is still shrouded in mystery, most scholars consider the period of the Maya Collapse to be between the 8th and 9th centuries. During this time, the highly sophisticated societies that existed along the rivers of northern Guatemala, southern Yucatan, and western Belize were slowly abandoned. Researchers from The Field Museum and the University of Illinois, both located in Chicago, have uncovered a key piece in solving the mystery surrounding this collapse. According to their study published in the online version of Antiquity, factors like climate change, breakdowns in leadership, and warfare contributed to the collapse– but shifting exchange networks may have been a key factor in the decline. “Our research strongly suggests that changing patterns of trade were instrumental in prompting the ‘Maya collapse’,” said Gary Feinman, curator of anthropology at The Field Museum and co-author of the study.

My Top 3 Spots for Relocation After Retirement
Belize. This small country is immediately south of Mexico on the Caribbean coast. English is the official language, and the landscape varies from jungle to beaches. Belize is a tropical paradise with an annual average temperature of 79 degrees Fahrenheit. The Belize barrier reef is the 2nd largest in the world and offers great snorkeling and diving. If you have $2,000 per month in income from a pension or annuity, you might qualify for their retiree program. The country is relatively close to the U.S., so it is easy to travel back and forth to visit family or for a medical procedure. However, the health care system in Belize is not as advanced as the U.S., so this might not be a good choice if you have any health conditions.

Modest growth for Caribbean countries in 2012
CARIBBEAN countries recorded mixed economic growth last year as they continued to grapple with the fallout from the global economic and financial crisis. But the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is projecting economic growth of between one and 1.5 per cent in 2012. The CDB, in its annual review of the regional countries, said that the growth ranged from a downturn in countries like Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda and St Vincent and the Grenadines to marginal growth in countries like Barbados, St Lucia and the British Virgin Islands. But the CDB, which is the region’s premier development banking institution, said The Bahamas, Belize Dominica, Jamaica and Grenada all recorded “stronger than marginal growth” while only Haiti and Guyana had economic growth in excess of five per cent in 2011. The CDB said that emerging and developing economies have been the key drivers of the global economic recovery, as advanced economies, the region’s main trading partners, have continued to struggle with “lingering weakness in financial, labour and housing markets”. It said the recovery in the bank’s borrowing member states in the region “has therefore lagged behind” and that preliminary estimates indicate that 12 of the 18 countries registered expansion in real output during the year.

Morelet's Crocodile Removed from Endangered Species List
Crocodylus moreletii was listed as endangered for more than 40 years. The Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii), listed as an Endangered Species in 1970 (and under Appendix I of CITES in 1975), has been removed from the listing due to its improved status, according to a press release put out by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The USFWS says 87 percent of the population can be found in Mexico and Belize, with the remaining 13 percent found in Guatemala. Due to their status, the Morelet's crocodile was moved to CITES Appendix II in Mexico and Belize. It remains as a CITES Appendix I listing in Guatemala at the request of that country. The crocodile, which is found in Belize, Guatemala and Mexico, grows to approximately 6-8 feet in length, with a maximum length of 11 feet. It is found in swamps, lakes, and slow moving bodies of water. The final rule to remove Crocodylus moreletii from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife was published May 23, 2012 in the Federal Register and becomes effective June 22, 2012.

In Antigua, Fishing Brings Both Income and Ecological Destruction
A protected area is a specific region of land or water legally protected from specific human activities because of its ecological, archaeological or other type of value. A marine protected area may be declared, for instance, to safeguard its fish stocks, reefs, wreckages, breeding sanctuaries and the like. In Belize, marine protected areas where fishing was forbidden rejuvenated much more quickly than did unprotected reefs in Jamaica after suffering similar hurricane damage, Fuller said. When a coral gets damaged, algae naturally grow on it, he explained. Then, parrotfish and other herbivorous fish like blue tang eat the algae. In Belize's marine protected areas, "there are millions of parrotfish. The hurricanes came, destroyed the coals, algae grew up and the fish just ate it all and slowly the coral starts growing back."

May 24, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.


Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

Capt. Hillyboo's Fishing Report, May 23, 2012
Well it was not a good fishing week since it poured most of the time. It rained so hard that quite a few boats that did not have automatic bilge pumps, even sunk!! Thanks god I got to one of my small boats in time, otherwise it would have turned into a submarine as well!! Anyway, some of us did manage to get out and fish for a couple of days. A friend of mine went out and caught 14 nice black fin tuna's

The San Pedro Sun

Rebecca Stirm Sews Her Way To win #4 on Mission Catwalk
Having won prior challenges on episodes two, four and six, Rebecca Stirm‘s episode 9 win makes the Belizean the winningest designer on Season Two of Caribbean fashion reality series Mission Catwalk which has seen participants from five Caribbean countries competing in its second season. After a visit to the Hope Zoo, the seven remaining contestants were instructed to design a gown for a charity gala and a second garment for a charity luncheon inspired by one animal from the zoo. Rebecca chose the turtle because it was “an unusual and unique animal that people didn’t already have preconceptions about what turtle- inspired garment should look like.” Using a kaleidoscope patterned fabric similar to the pattern on a turtle’s shell; Rebecca created a gown with dramatic neckline while using layers of different fabrics in circular cutouts to build a skirt that would mimic a turtle’s shell while still allowing movement. For her second outfit the kaleidoscope fabric was more prominent and used for most of the blouse, while the pencil skirt was in a monotone beige..

Liberty Home fundraiser set for Sunday May 27th
Almost five months ago, in the spirit of Christmas giving, residents of San Pedro came out in great number to support the children in need at Liberty Children’s Home and raised over $16,000 for the organization. Liberty Children’s Home is a sanctuary for children in need, providing in a natural environment, love, nurturing, and a high standard of education. Situated on the mainland in Ladyville, Liberty Children’s Home is a registered charity in Belize and the UK. Once again the very energetic children and the Home are in need of our assistance and stepping up to the challenge of raising funds for the Home are the Island Academy, Ms Diane Campbell and Pedro’s Inn. An all afternoon BBQ & Pool Day fundraiser is scheduled for this Sunday, May 27th commencing just before noon. What was originally slated to be a yearly fundraiser has now become a twice-a-year event to help sustain the Liberty Home. In a letter to The San Pedro Sun, after last year’s fundraiser, Director of Liberty Home, Delfina Mitchell commented, “First of all I have to say I love San Pedro and the people of San Pedro because they have always been supportive of us. They always pour out their love to us. In the past they did a jump-a-thon and a fundraiser which I believe raised $18,000 dollars and this year they are doing it again.”

Public Inquiry – Recent Murders in Mexico
Last week, Mexican law enforcement authorities found 49 mutilated bodies on a northern Mexico highway leading to the Texas border, a region where Mexico’s two dominant drug cartels are fighting. The condition of the bodies has made them very difficult to identify. According to Adrian de la Garza, Attorney General for the State of Nuevo Leon, victims could have been killed at another location as long as two days before being discovered, and then transported to San Juan, a town in the municipality of Cadereyta, about 105 miles west-southwest of McAllen, Texas, and 75 miles southwest of the Roma, Texas, border crossing where they were found. De la Garza said he did not rule out the possibility that the victims were U.S.-bound migrants. If you have any information about this case or know of missing Belizean relatives who were traveling to the United States of America by land beginning mid-May 2012, please contact the U.S. Embassy Consular Section by e-mail: [email protected] or by telephone: 822-4011 extensions 4245, 4224, or 4223. The U.S. Embassy Consular Section will forward all inquiries to the appropriate authorities.

Glenford Cadle Jr. leaves for surgery in the USA
Glenford Cadle Jr., an eleven year old student of San Pedro Roman Catholic School and a resident of San Pedro Town, left for Virginia, USA for a life saving surgery. As The San Pedro Sun reported in an article published in the Volume 22 issue 10 dated March 8th 2012, Glenford was diagnosed with a rare congenital kidney malfunction which compromised his health. After the family pooled resources together with community support, the young boy finally left for the much needed surgery along with his dad on May 23rd. According to the father of the child, Glenford Cadle Sr. his son will be undergoing a series of examinations in preparation for the surgery which will be performed at a hospital in Virginia under the World Pediatric Association of America. “He has seen deterioration in his health. His condition has deteriorated between 30 to 40 percent. Currently, one of his kidneys has a very bad infection,” said Cradle Sr. The condition of the child is known as “Horseshoe kidney.” In this disorder, two distinct functioning kidneys on each side of the midline in the body is connected at the lower poles by an isthmus of functioning renal fibrous tissue that crosses the midline of the body to form a horseshoe-shape which occur during development in the womb. The condition went undetected until the child’s health began deteriorating early this year. Glendford’s condition has led to serious kidney malfunction that has now caused severe urinary tract infection.

BTL and Restore Belize join forces to host Youth Rally
One thousand Six hundred, 2nd Form students throughout the city of Belize 440 Students at the San Pedro High School as well as 600 students at Sacred Heart College in San Ignacio will be impacted by professional motivational speakers from across the United States as a collaborative effort between Belize Telemedia Limited, RESTORE Belize and the Belize Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (BELAIFA) on May 24th, 2012. The purpose of the Youth Rallies are to assist with stimulating and educating children from schools throughout the country about living a positive lifestyle. This partnership is indicative of the passion to positively impact the youth in our society shared by the sponsors of this event. Four of the attending internationally renowned speakers have offered their time and talent to give back to the country of Belize. They are Consuelo Kickbusch, Roy Juarez, Pamela Perkins and Bert Oliva and they will be addressing the youths. These speakers are well known for their motivational, inspirational and charismatic speeches and have instilled the values of staying in school, self esteem, overcoming hardships and igniting their own potential. Within the scope of their personal businesses, these speakers are highly paid for their services but are volunteering their time and effort to youths of Belize in San Pedro and Belize City. The events will be hosted at San Pedro High School’s auditorium by Hon. Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism, which will host over 440 students beginning at 9:00am to 10:30am. “the kindest kid award will also be presented at this event.

Contestants Announced for the 2012 Miss San Pedro High School Pageant
San Pedro High School is once again celebrating its annual Miss SPHS Pageant to be held on June 2nd, 2012 at 7:00pm at the Angel Nunez Auditorium. The seven lovely young contestants are Emily Simoes, Arlethe Lima, Kaysha Martin, Fatima Reyes, Nicky Coleman, Ethel Villatoro, and Nissi Arzu.

Ambergris Today

Sanpedranos represent Belize in Track and Field in El Salvador
Three great athletes from San Pedro High School will be participating in track and field events at the Central American Junior Championships which will be held in San Salvador, El Salvador. Gian Rivero, Brandon Santos and Charles Richards are part of the Belizean team that will be representing our beautiful Belize in the sporting event. Gian, Brandon and Charles were selected to be a part of the Belizean Track team by the Belize Amateur Athletics Association. Both Gian and Brandon participated abroad in track and field events a part of a National team representing Belize in the CODACADER Games in El Salvador in 2011. Most recently they were also a part of the SPHS Track and Field team became the Regional Champions in the NSTA Regional Track and Field Tournament 2012.

Old Timer or Modern Sanpedrano? #13
YOU KNOW YOU ARE AN OLD TIMER SANPEDRAN0 IF You used to pee in a white bucket. And what is this white bucket all about? Well, it was a porcelain tall white bucket used to urinate in the night only. You have to remember that in the old days there were no indoors bathrooms. The toilet or latrine was located outside at the very end of the backyard. So for the convenience of all, every home had a white bucket which was used in the middle of the night instead of going outside to the toilet. Today some people have very fancy bathrooms with toilets that even clean your buttocks with water called a “bidet”. I certainly prefer the newer bathrooms with toilets over twenty five years ago.

Belizean Native to Carry Olympic Torch
Meet 24-year-old, Joel Hodgson, a born Belizean, adopted by Scottish parents and brought up in Renton, Bunbartonsire. Joel was recently featured on the Daily Record Website for being a great role model facing many adversities and who will now proudly carry the Olympic torch and represent Belize in the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Joel has come a long, long way since being born in Belize, abandoned by his mum when he was just three months old, adopted by Scottish parents at the age of four, moving to London to start a new life with his girlfriend, sleeping on the steps of police stations to keep safe, and landing a job at one of London’s Top Law firm.

Hurricane Season Kick Starts Early
It rained and it rained and it rained over the weekend in San Pedro and most of the country was also waterlogged as the unexpected start of the rainy season came early. It is usually June that kick starts the rainy season all the way to November (also known as hurricane season), but May (as hot and dry that it was earlier in the month) proved to bring down lots of rain. What also came with the rain was an early start of the Atlantic Hurricane season. Although very far from the Caribbean, Tropical Storm Alberto was the earliest-forming tropical storm in the Atlantic basin since Ana in 2003, which formed on April 21.

Condolences on the Passing of Doña Teresa Betancourt
Ambergris Today and the community of San Pedro send out sincere condolences to the Betancourt family on the passing away of Teresa de Jesus Betancourt (October 3, 1935 – May 19, 2012). Doña Teresa (76) is survived by her children Maria Castellanos, Yolanda Aguilar and Audelio Betancourt (Emidio Betancourt +, Mario Betancourt +). We extend our sincere condolences to the Betancourt family. May she Rest in Peace.

Misc Belizean Sources

Thief caught on camera, recognize him?
I got an email from Joan Johnson from the Conch Shell last night with this photo they got on video. Apparently one of the guests left their room unlocked and this guy came in and stole their backpacks and their passports. (Apparently he needed some beers and toilet paper too) They think his last name is Pilgrim. Just checking to see if anyone recognizes him and can give her his full name and maybe where he lives.

Divaz Next Door needs women
Divaz Next Door is teaming up with Cayo Adventure Tours to take 5 moms rock climbing, zip lining, and canoeing through Barton Creek Cave, which has been getting great press lately. Plus TV and CAT are sponsoring the adventures, which are sure to thrill. For more information, call 668-1232 or email [email protected] Good luck!

Generation of Fire's Mother's Day Celebration
"Honoring Mother's at Oasis de Bendicion Church - a Joint effort of the Youth's and Men's Ministry of the Church Generation of Fire Youth Group"

Artist in Development Tour Coming to Cayo
The Artists in Development Consultation Tour is currently touring the country. They will be in Cayo on June 7th at Midas. The Institute of Creative Arts, along with MIAB, BAVIA, NICH, and BSCAP are putting on the tour. Call 227-2110 for more information. Don't forget that the Belize Film Festival is being relocated to Cayo. Institute of Creative Arts FB page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Institute-of-Creative-Arts/129954480354313

Belizean Native will Carry Olympic Torch
Feelgood story of the day. What an amazing success story. Good luck to Joel Hodgson. Run like the wind! "JUST three years ago, Joel Hodgson was sleeping rough on the steps of a police station. Today, the 24-year-old is preparing to carry the Olympic torch. Born in Belize in Central America, adopted by Scottish parents and brought up in Renton, Dunbartonshire, Joel’s life has already been an amazing rollercoaster. And, in another twist, he is now training to run for Belize at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014."

Rebecca Stirm Wins Again on Mission Catwalk
Rebecca Stirm has won for the fourth time on Mission Catwalk. One of the 2 dresses she made this week was inspired by a turtle after a visit to the zoo. Nice! "After a visit to the Hope Zoo in St Andrew, the seven remaining contestants were instructed to design a gown for a charity gala and a second garment for a charity luncheon inspired by one animal from the zoo. Stirm chose the turtle because it was 'an unusual and unique animal that people didn't already have preconceptions about what a dress inspired by that animal should look like,' she explains. Using a patterned fabric, she created a gown with a dramatic neckline, and for the skirt created layers from circular cut-outs that mimic a turtle's shell. For her second outfit the patterned fabric was more prominent and used for most of the blouse while creating a pencil skirt in a monotone beige."

Belize Wildlife Conservation Network Fundraiser this Friday
A Wild Night Out, the BWCN's fundraiser, will be this Friday, and the Pig and Parrot Clubhouse in Belmopan, starting at 7:00pm. Enjoy music and an auction with dinner, while helping out a great cause. Call 610-0400 for more information. Tickets can be bought at Corkers Restaurant, or any BWCN member.

Channel 7

11 YEAR OLD'S KILLER TO COURT
Last night, we told you about 11 year-old Daniel Matura who was killed in the crossfire of what police believe to be a gang rivalry. Today, his cousin-in-law, who police say shot him to death, was brought to Magistrate's Court. 31 year-old Andrew Willoughby, a laborer of Arlington Drive, was arraigned on 1 count of murder for the death of Daniel Matura, and 2 counts of attempted murder for shooting at Brandon Taylor and Roy Bennett. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith remanded him to prison until June 27, his next court date. As we reported, on Monday morning at 8:30, Taylor and Bennett rode past the Matura residence on Central American Boulevard, and that's when Taylor allegedly pulled out a gun and threatened the Matura family. Police say that Willoughby fired several shots at the men as they sped off on their bicycles. Daniel Matura was returning from the shop when the shots were being fired, and he was hit by 3 of the bullets as Taylor and Bennett rode past him. Matura suffered fatal injuries to the chest, and back.

ALLEGED MATURA-KILLER TO COURT, MOM SAYS HE'S NO ANGEL
And just before Willoughby was arraigned, the man he was aiming at was taken to court. 25 year-old Brandon Taylor, a construction worker of Jane Usher Boulevard, was arraigned on one count of murder for the shooting death of 28 year-old Kaylon Matura. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith remanded him to prison until June 26. As we reported, at around 7 a.m. on Wednesday, May 16, 2012, Matura was getting ready to leave his house on Central American Boulevard for work, when a gunman ambushed him in front of his gate. This gunman fired several gunshots, and 3 of those shots caught Matura: 1 in the chin and 2 in the chest. Police initially held Taylor as a suspect, but no one would enter a statement naming him as the shooter. And so, he was released on Saturday and by Monday morning, he was allegedly throwing threats at the Matura Yard and that led to the death of Daniel Matura. Not surprisingly, his mother doesn't buy the story. She says he was at home when Kaylon Matura was shot one week ago. She asked to appear of camera, hut insisted on telling her son's side of the story: Voice of: Mother of Brandon Taylor "Brandon was at home Wednesday morning. I didn't even go to my work on Wednesday." Jules Vasquez "But are you sure that he stayed home during those hours, 7 o'clock, when that murder happened?"

DANIEL'S SCHOOLMATES MARCH FOR PEACE
And while all parties can profess their innocence or blamelessness, the ugly truth is that a child is dead. Eleven-year-old Daniel Matura is in the morgue - the standard three student's life cut tragically short when he was shot as a result of a war between adults. Today his schoolmates from the Muslim Community School took to the streets to protest against violence. And right that they should - the school is at the corner of Faber's Road and Central American Boulevard; six people have been killed within a half-mile radius of that location in the past month. It has put these children literally in the middle of a war zone - and today they walked through that area demanding peace - Monica Bodden has the story: Monica Bodden Reporting This morning residents of the Southside Community -where 11 year old Daniel Matura was gunned down- joined in with over 200 hundred students of Sister Clara Muhammad School - as they marched through the south side streets of Belize City - demanding peace! Written on colorful banners and posters - were messages -most of which read - stop the violence! These signs were waved high in the air - as others held up pictures of loved ones lost to gun violence. Many chanted assalamu-alaikum to the tip of their voices - which means peace be unto you in the Muslim community. It was a touching demonstration - with one message... the violence must stop.

SCARY CITY HOME INVASION
Tonight there are reports of a disturbing home invasion that has left a Belize City family shaken. It happened on Freetown Road just after 7 last night when businessman Carlos Jacobo Peraza was at home with his 16 year old daughter and wife. He told 7news that he noticed 3 men entering his yard - dressed in military style camouflage resembling police officers. Peraza opened his front door to see what they wanted and that was when the trio stormed inside the house. One of the men was armed with a firearm and used his weapon to club Peraza in the head and face. The other two men demanded money from his wife. While she was being manhandled in front of her husband who had a gun pointed at his head - Mrs Peraza handed over three thousand, seven hundred dollars in cash and other personal items. Their 16 year old daughter was in her bedroom on the upper floor of the Peraza's two story concrete home when she heard the commotion. She bravely jumped through a window from her bedroom balcony to downstairs which - a 15 foot leap. She ran to her neighbors and called for help. The police arrived just minutes after while the 3 culprits were still inside the house along with Peraza and his wife. Police got in through a side door and found 26 year old Jermaine Cattouse of Raccoon Street Extension, a teenaged minor of West Canal and 30 year old Lyjon Franklyn of Iguana Street Extension. Police recovered all items stolen along with a 9mm Beretta pistol, 1 magazine containing 8 live 9mm rounds, Military style camouflage jackets and a cap with police marking on it. The 3 were arrested and taken away.

WOMAN WILL BE CHARGED FOR MURDERING LOVER
The main suspect in the killing of BDF Corporal Donovan Castillo has been released. The Director of Public Prosecutions instructed Dangriga Police to release 35 year old Belize city resident Martha Reid - who confessed to stabbing Castillo multiple times. According to our information, the DPP wanted to see the findings of the post mortem examination, which would shed some light on whether Reid was acting in self-defence. That post mortem examination was conducted today and it showed that the deceased, Castillo had no defensive wounds on his hands meaning that he was not in a position where he could defend himself when he was stabbed twice to the neck, once to the shoulder and sliced across his temple. Based on that finding, the DPP's office has confirmed that based on the post mortem, Reid will now be arrested and charged for murder.

PETITION AGAINST LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION FAILS
Tonight, the Leader Of The Opposition's hold on his seat in the Freetown Division is stronger than ever - after an election petition against him was struck out of court. Originally, the petition brought by his former opponent Lee Mark Chang - alleged that on election day, Fonseca's workers bribed voters. But in court, the allegations were not substantiated. Our newsroom got information earlier in the week that Chang intended to withdraw because his witnesses refused to commit themselves to witness statements which were supposed to be the foundation of this case. And so no statements were presented to Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin in time for the first hearing today. As a result, Chang's attorney, Michael Young, indicated that they would be forced to withdraw the petition, but the steps needed to do that were not taken. As a result, the lack of evidence was dealt with in court today. Fonseca's attorneys, Eamon Courtenay and Godfrey Smith, filed 2 applications to have the court strike out the petition. Young then asked the court to grant Chang more time to prepare his evidence, but Chief Justice Benjamin indicated that he cannot grant this extension because the law doesn't provide for it. It was an abrupt end to this petition, so we spoke to both sides outside of court about what led to its failure

GION BERNARD CHARGED AGAIN
Exactly 5 weeks ago, 7News told you about 27 year-old Gion Bernard who was charged with attempted murder for the April 24 shooting of Jermaine "Horse" Garnett. Well, now, he's been charged in connection with another shooting incident. Codrington Bodden, who was shot in the face just up the street from where Garnett was attacked, only one day earlier. Bodden finally made his report on last week Friday. As a result, they charged Bernard with attempted murder, wounding, and use of deadly means of harm. According to the reports to our newsroom, Bodden was shot due a personality in the area who was involved in an illicit transaction. You may recall that Bodden was the man who was shot at ten on the morning of April 23rd - just as the Minister of National security was starting a press conference on anti-crime measures.

ATM CAVE CLOSED TOURIST DROPPED CAMERA ON ANCIENT SKULL
The Actun Tunichil Muknal cave or ATM - for short, may be the most prized and treasured Mayan site in Belize - and that's because of the spectacular skeletal remains of 15 individuals that can be found there. They are estimated to be over a thousand years old - and the most precious is the so called Crystal Maiden, the skeletal remains of a young woman. Not far from Belmopan, it is a popular tourist destination, but a couple weeks ago, during one of the regular tours, one of the tourists got a little careless around one of the skeletons. He dropped his camera, fracturing one of the thousand year old skulls. No, it wasn't on the famous crystal maiden - but it is still a very serious issue, and today we spoke to Director of the Institute of Archaeology Jaime Awe who told us how serious it is, and how they plan to prevent this from happening again.

BRIAN BROWN TURNS HIMSELF INTO POLICE
Last week - the GSU conducted a 12 hour search on Brian Brown's home in the Faber's Road area. Brown is considered a kingpin in the GSG - the gang called George Street Gaza. They found an assortment of items, from bulletproof vests, to high grade marijuana called Purple Haze, to crack cocaine and cash. They found all those items - but they did not find Brian Brown - who was not at home - and at large. That's where he has been for the past week - until he turned himself into police today. He is in police custody tonight, after he handed himself in this afternoon. Brown handed himself to CIB at around 1:30 p.m. today in the presence of his attorney, Dickie Bradley. Bradley told court reporters earlier this morning that he was making arrangements for Brown to turn himself in. Bradley, who was in court, received a call from with the Brown's location, and he immediately moved to pick up Brown. At around 12 this afternoon, a black vehicle arrived at the court, and Brown then moved to Bradley's vehicle, and in the presence of his attorney, they drove to CIB where he officially handed himself in.

CHILD WITH EXTRA KIDNEY GOES FOR CORRECTIVE SURGERY
A 12 year old boy is on his way to the United States to receive surgery to correct a rare condition: he was born with an extra kidney. Glenford Cadle Jr., a standard 5 student from San Pedro Town, was born with three kidneys. He was diagnosed a couple months ago, and with the help of the World Pediatric Project, he may be able to live a normal life. Robin Schaffer has the story. Robin Schaffer Reporting 12 year old Glenford Cadle Jr. may look excited as would any other 10 year old headed for the states. Robin Schaffer "Have you been to the States before?" Glenford Cadle Jr. - 12 Year-old Born with 3 Kidneys "No." Robin Schaffer "So, are you excited to be going?" Glenford Cadle Jr. "Yes, ma'am." Robin Schaffer "What are some of the things that you want your parents to do for you when you get there? Where do you want them to take you?" Glenford Cadle "A lot of places."

WOMAN CAUGHT WITH 36 POUNDS OF WEED
33 year-old Teresita Flores is at prison tonight after she was busted with over 16 Kilos - that's over 36 pounds(!) of marijuana this morning. According to police, at around 8:35, they searched at Flores' residence at #7031 Pelican Street extension. Inside a clothing barrel in her room, they found 16.7 kilos of marijuana packaged off in various plastic bags and a multi-coloured "Winnie the Pooh" handbag. While that may explain why Pooh Bear is always hungry, forgetful and lethargic, Flores had her own explanation: she told Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer that she didn't know what was in the barrel. She also said that she was doing a favor to a friend. With that she pleaded not guilty to the charge. Senior Magistrate Frazer did not accept this as a good enough reason to grant her bail, and as a result, she remanded Flores to prison until June 22.

WESTERN KILLING CONFIRMED
Police have provided details on the murder we told you about last night, the one at the remote western reaches of the Cayo district. The body of 40 year old Guatemalan Enecon Moralez was found yesterday afternoon about one and a half miles North of Xunantunich and about 200 yards from the Belize-Guatemala border. His father told police that Moralez went to go cut firewood at 8:00 in the morning. When he didn't return, checks were made and they found him dead from a gunshot to the head. Though Moralez was encroaching in Belizean territory, the area he was in is closer to a settled community in Guatemala. Belize police found out about the murder from their Guatemalan counterparts and had to access the crime scene through Melchor. Still, the homicide happened in Belize and the post mortem will be conducted in Belize.

52 CARDIO CATH PROCEDURES IN 7 MONTHS
In October of last year, the KHMH instituted a Cardio-Cath programme in Belize, and in 7 months, this programme has treated an impressive 52 patients. The procedure - which was not offered in Belize before - costs about 15,000 US dollars in the United States, and about $2000 US dollars in neighboring countries, but under this programme, it costs Belizeans about $750 US dollars; that's $1500 Belize dollars. Today, the Cardiovascular team led by Dr. Glen Kowalchuk held a press conference to celebrate the milestone, and explain how important this is to the country. Dr. Francis Gary Longsworth - CEO, KHMH "We've manage to see, evaluate, and in some cases, manage quite a few patients since the inauguration of the Cath Lab service." Dr. Chadwick - Cardiac Lab Specialist "Catheterization really is only half the story. What we're doing really is identifying severe cardiovascular problems which are correctable. And by correcting these problems, individuals who suffer from these problems, will be able to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. What is done with the cardiac catheterization is that a tube is placed into the artery, through the leg - we're doing the femoral approach - the catheter is advanced to aorta, where the arteries that feed the heart come off, and we inject x-ray dye into the arteries that feed the heart, to visualize any potential blockages, or any particular shunts - holes - that may be there. Not every problem can be corrected, and that's unfortunate, but it does identify a number of cases which are treatable, or it helps to guide our therapy."

Youths Design Virtual City
Today the first annual "My Virtual City" competition was held at the Princess Hotel and Casino. 8 teams from 6 schools designed and built models of futuristic cities, addressing social issues such as poverty, crime, health and pollution. It was an all-day event, in which the students displayed and presented on their projects. The competition was guided by the theme "Designing our Future! Mobilizing People for Change!" , and it was done using hi tech mapping and planning software. It was divided into 2 segments - a junior segment and a senior segment- and during the award ceremony that followed, the winners were beaming, and one was so overwhelmed by it all he was even moved to tears. Max McField - Junior 1st Place Winner, BES "I am representing all of us, and I just want to say thank you to the GIS, Ms. Catherina, Ms. Loretta, and especially Mr. Andrew, who went to a lot of practices with. We really couldn't do it without him. I really just want to say thank you for all of this for renting the Princess and everything. I really thought we were not going to make it, so we worked really hard. And at the end, when they were giving out some award on best use of GIS, and when we didn't get any, I thought that this wasn't looking good. At the end, I was shocked. It's a major honor, and it feels really good to us to have been going through all this, and then at the end come in at the top." Chloe Kelly - Junior 1st Place, BES "It's amazing, and it's worth all that working hard, and staying up. It's very worth it what all we have done." Robin Schaffer "So can you describe your project for me?" Chloe Kelly "It's an eco-friendly city that has many job opportunities, and has sustainable energy, which uses solar. And if something happens to solar energy, we have a back up, which is windmill power."

Belize Athletes Depart For Regional Games
A contingent of 35 Belizean athletes is tonight on their way to El Salvador where they will be representing Belize in the Annual Central American Junior Competition. The group left the city at 2:30 this afternoon by bus and is expected to arrive in El Salvador tomorrow morning. 7news caught up with them before their departure. Deon Sutherland - Vice - President, BAAA "Well, this is one of our mandatory events, the Central American Junior A and Junior B competitions, which we must attend for the year. It ranges from ages 15 to 19. This competition carries to categories: 15 to 17, and 18 and 19. These athletes will be competing in athletics: both the field and the track events. We have a contingent of 35 athletes, and 6 adults: me as the delegate, 3 coaches, and 2 female chaperones." Monica Bodden "Now, tell us about preparations for this. How was practice to get ready for this tournament?" Deon Sutherland "Well, you know that we don't have the facility. These kids have been working out at the MCC Grounds for the past few months, but what happened is that because the time was short for the BAAA to do an event without having the proper facility and funding, the results of the national secondary school athletic competition, which was held in Dangriga on the 4th and 5th of May, those results, were used to make the selection for the team here today. So, from that result, we have these teams." The team is expected back in Belize on Monday.

Channel 5

Taylor charged for Matura Murder and Matura cousin charged for child’s murder
The shooting deaths of a twenty-eight year old man followed by the shooting of his eleven year old cousin caused outbursts by family members in front of the Magistrate’s Court this morning. Two men were charged separately for the murders of twenty-eight year old Kaylon Matura and eleven year old Daniel Matura. The first to [...]

School marches for Peace after 11 year old Daniel Matura is murdered
In the vicious cycle of violence, the shocking murder of eleven year old Daniel Matura has numbed the community. This morning a march was organized by his school. The numbers were small but the message was powerful from those who are feeling the pain of the urban warfare. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports.   “We [...]

Guatemalan murdered on Belizean soil
There’s another murder to report. A joint investigation is currently underway into the murder of a Guatemalan national. The body of forty year old Enecon Moralez Chajaj (Chahah) was found a mile and a half northwest of Xunantunich in the Cayo District on Tuesday afternoon. Chajaj, a resident of Melchor, is believed to have been [...]

Main suspect in murder of B.D.F. corporal freed
Donovan Castillo, a B.D.F. corporal, was stabbed to death in Dangriga on Monday morning. His common-law-wife, Marsha Reid, is the main suspect and police indicated on Tuesday that charges would soon be levied. But today, Reid is a free woman, even after she reportedly confessed to the murder. That’s because after being held for forty-eight [...]

Is government clueless on how to solve crime?
Tonight’s question is: Do you think that the government is clueless on how to solve crime? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on our e-poll at channel5belize.com. You can also send an email with your comments to [email protected]

Election Petition against P.U.P. Leader Francis Fonseca fails
The residuals of the March seventh general elections may finally be fading away. The Martin Galvez and Mark King petition died of natural causes and the Elvin Penner petition will be decided on Thursday, but today the election petition filed against P.U.P. Leader and Freetown Area Representative Francis Fonseca was struck out of court. When [...]

Attorney says the witnesses decided to back down in petition case
In a release sent by Francis Fonseca and the PUP Freetown Committee, Fonseca says he welcomes the court’s decision and he is proud to have defended the will, votes, and integrity of the good people of the Freetown Division. But with all the evidence, audio tapes, sworn affidavits of several individuals, what happened to Lee [...]

Brian brown turns himself in to face drug related charges
After a week on the run, George Street don Brian Brown has finally surrendered himself to Belize City police. Brown was wanted following a raid on his walled premises at Jimmy Dyer Street last Wednesday which turned up a significant quantity of drugs, money, drug paraphernalia and a bulletproof vest. Brown, who wasn’t at home [...]

Atlantic Bank and Smart team up to Go-Mobile
Banking in your hands, it’s the slogan for the new mobile banking services being provided by Smart in collaboration with Atlantic Bank. Smart customers already had the option of recharging their accounts using their bank accounts, but with the enhanced service, they will have access to many features offered through Atlantic Bank’s online banking system. [...]

Smart P.R. says service restored in southern communities
While the new service will be convenient, Smart customers in the south experienced difficulties connecting on Saturday and this past Tuesday. According to PR Officer, Ian Courtenay, damaged fiber lines caused long breaks in service in several southern communities. But he told News Five today, that the damage has been repaired and precautionary measures are [...]

Rebecca Stirm continues to sew her way into Catwalk history
Rebecca Stirm has been creating a storm with her designs on Caribbean fashion design reality series, ‘Mission Cat Walk Season Two’. The eighteen year old Belizean won her fourth challenge in episode nine of the show. The remaining seven contestants were tasked to design a gown for a charity gala and a second garment for [...]

K.H.M.H. and Heart Centre show love to patients
There is some good news to report on the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. A year after it opened a cardiac catheterization lab in conjunction with the Carolinas Heart Centre, a record number of patients benefitted from affordable treatment. This morning, specialists from the K.H.M.H. and the Heart Centre proudly announced that the joint mission has [...]

Festival launched with art from seasoned and new artists
Every year the Institute of Creative Arts presents artistic talent and creativity in the National Festival of Arts. The talent of Preschool, Primary and Secondary level students is regularly showcased at the district level, while the best performances are showcased at the National Festival of Arts. Throughout the week, different events will be held in [...]

Kids build their own Virtual City
The winners of My Virtual City competition were announced this morning. Of the twenty-five schools that entered the contest, a northern high school and a city primary school bested the teams. Since last October when it was launched at the GIS Day, the teams began to conceive their model of a futuristic city incorporating national [...]

LOVE FM

Wednesday, May 23 - POLICE NEWS
31-year-old Andrew Willoughby also known as Balls, a labourer of Arlington Drive was charged with the murder of 11-year-old Daniel Matura Jr. when he appeared today in court. No plea was taken because the offence is indictable. Neither could the court offer him bail.&...

KARL HEUSNER MEMORIAL HOSPITAL IMPROVES CARDIAC CARE
Marion Ali reporting… “Cardio-vascular disease is the number one killer in the world, and with this reality, Belize’s only referral hospital, the Karl Heusner Memorial, has sought to elevate cardiac care from the far reaches of the dark ages to an acce...

CDB APPROVES LOAN FOR ROAD IMPROVEMENT
The Caribbean Development Bank has approved a loan of seven point two million US dollars for Belize. According to a statement from the CDB, the purpose of the loan is for a project to reduce deaths and serious injuries associated with road traffic accidents, particularly on the W...

SUPREME COURT JUSTICE RULES AGAINST CITRUS GROWERS ASSOCIATION
The Supreme Court has handed down a ruling in the case of a group of citrus growers versus the Citrus Growers Association. The case dates back to February of 2010, when the group, led by Dwight Montero was excluded from a CGA meeting because they had not paid their membership fees.&nbs...

HOME INVASION IN BELIZE CITY
Marion Ali reporting… “Carlos Perazza, a Cuban national, settled in Belize thirteen years ago and ever since then, has been contributing to society as a merchant. He, along with his wife, son and daughter, have made lived at this house at 101 B Freetown Road for ...

CDB REPORTS POSITIVE ECONOMIC GROWTH FOR BELIZE
Belize is among the countries of the Caribbean that registered stronger than marginal economic growth last year. The assessment comes from the Caribbean Development Bank as its board of directors is holding its annual board of governors meeting in Georgetown, Cayman Islands. Acco...

UDP'S FREETOWN ELECTION PETITION STRUCK OUT IN COURT
Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin has struck out the election petition filed by the UDP candidate for Freetown Division Lee Mark Chang for lack of evidence. Last month Chief Justice Benjamin granted Chang leave to bring an election petition against Opposition leader, Francis Fonseca...

SCHOOL HOLDS PROTEST MARCH
The Muslim community school organized a rally this morning to protest the crime condition in Belize, especially since once again it has taken away the life of a child. Eleven year old Daniel Matura was a student of the school. Principal Lana Ahmad spoke to Love News this mo...

Tuesday, May 22 - POLICE NEWS
Three men who allegedly robbed six persons at Oasis Bar located at mile four and a half on the Western Highway were charged with six counts of robbery when they appeared in court today. They are 46-year-old Hugh Espat, 26-year-old Kenroy Gillett and 20-year-old Elmer Linares.&nbs...

POLICE COMMISSIONER ORDERS FOR A CRIMINAL AND INTERNAL INVESTIGATION INTO SHOOTING INCIDENT
The Commissioner of Police has ordered a criminal and internal investigation after a man was shot, allegedly by police. The victim has been identified as Lawrence Bernardez, who is reported to be hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial in a critical but stable condition. ...

DOMESTIC DISPUTE LEAVES SOLDIER DEAD
Charges are expected soon in connection with the murder of a Belize Defence Force soldier in Dangriga. Corporal Donovan Castillo was killed inside his home in the new site area of Dangriga on Monday morning. Police Press Officer Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood gave reporters the...

MUSLIM SCHOOL HOLDS ANTI VIOLENCE MARCH
The death of eleven year old Daniel Matura has shocked not only his relatives his immediate community but it has also taken a toll at the Muslim Community School on Central American Boulevard where he was a STD III Student. As a result, the Muslim Community School is organizing a...

POLICE DEPARTMENT HOLDS PRESS BRIEFING ON RECENT MURDER OF MINOR
Police today held a press briefing to give an update on the Monday morning murder of eleven year old Daniel Matura, Junior. The head of Eastern Division Assistant Commissioner of Police Elodio Aragon read from a prepared statement and started by offering condolences to the family...

CTV3

Armando Gomez Wins Outstanding Leader Of The Year Award
On Friday we shined the limelight on Elizabeth Vellos, a Special Ed teacher at Saint’s Peter Anglican School who won this year’s Outstanding Teacher Award in the Special Ed category. Vellos, undoubtedly made her school and the entire Orange Walk Community proud, and so did Armando Gomez- the manager of Orange Walk ITVET. Gomez won the first ever Outstanding Leader of the Year Award in the post secondary school category. Gomez has been teaching since 1985, but he didn’t always want to be a teacher. In fact his aspiration was to become a bean architect. Armando Gomez, Outstanding Leader of the Year, Winner “To be sincere with you I never envisioned being a teacher in my life as a matter of fact I wanted to be an architect when I was a young person coming out of high school but at the time I did not have enough opportunities to go to further education so I did go to get my associates degree in building and civil engineering but after that I did not get any other breaks. After that I ended up in the classroom because at that time if you did not have a job you had to find one so I ended up in the classroom and just to find out that I loved teaching and that is what started my educational career and here I am now. I am not satisfied and my faculty and staff, my dream team knows that Mr. Gomez is a very greedy individual, I always tell them I am very greedy and I always want more and they know that so if I would say that I am satisfied right now I would be lying to you because that is not true. I know there are many more accomplishments to get, many more challenges to overcome and I know that together with my team and with the support of the good Lord and the Ministry of Education that support us tremendously I know that with all of us together working as a team we will accomplish much, much more successful stories for our institution.”

Lee Mark Chang Withdraws Election Petition Against Francis Fonseca
On April 4th of this year Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin granted leave for UDP's Lee Mark Chang to bring an election petition against PUP's Party Leader and Representative for Freetown, Francis Fonseca. But news tonight is that Attorneys for failed U.D.P Freetown Candidate Lee Mark Chang have filed a motion in the Supreme Court to withdraw the petition they have filed to challenge the results of the Freetown election. Reports are that the motion states that there is no evidence to present to the court and therefore the case must be withdrawn. Viewers might recall that on April 4th Chief Justice Benjamin handed down his ruling after Chang’s attorney Michael Young read affidavits from seven individuals who said they accepted bribes from one Albert Vaughn to vote for Fonseca in the Freetown Division. Of note is that none of the sworn statements accused Fonseca of being involved in erroneous acts. In his defense Fonseca’s attorney Said Musa made mention that at least one of the affidavits was inconsistent. After hearing arguments from both sides Chief Justice Kenneth granted leave for the complainant to bring the election petition against Francis Fonseca. Fonseca, Vaughn and Bodden, were represented by attorneys Said Musa, Godfrey Smith, and Anthony Sylvester.

LEAP Doctors Perform 40 Surgeries In Two Days
Over the weekend 21 doctors from “Life Enhancement Association for People” (LEAP) and members of Rotary Club Orange Walk joined hands for the annual LEAP mission at the Northern Regional Hospital. Over the course of two days doctors saw patients from across the country suffering from facial deformities. According to John Avila, President of Rotary Orange Walk, over forty surgeries were performed by doctors. John Avila, President Rotary Belize “What LEAP is, is a group of doctors and nurse, technician that come every year to the Orange Northern Regional Hospital to attend to people that suffer from facial deformities. For example they have cleft lips, cleft palates, a missing ear by accident or otherwise. They come and do surgeries on these to get the people with these deformities to live a better life. They performed about 40 surgeries in total. On Friday they screened about 150 people. Anybody that needed the surgery got the surgery. Of course the LEAP team tried to focus mostly on children or tried to perform these surgeries on children first and then the adults got the available slots.” The team will be back at the Northern Regional Hospital on June 8th.

Councillor Ladrick Sheppard Kicks Off Softball Competition
Over the past few years softball matches in Orange Walk Town have become dormant and the sport itself has become almost non-existent, that is, until now. Sports enthusiast Jimmy Smith, with the assistance of councilor in charge of sports and youth, Ladrick Sheppard designed a female softball competition that will span 14 games. The competition kicked off yesterday with the participation of 8 teams. Here is how it went. Hipolito Novelo Reporting The opening games were held yesterday at the People’s Stadium and saw the participation of 8 teams. The tournament officially got underway with the first pitch thrown by Ema Flowers, a pioneer of the sporting event here in Orange Walk. Here in Orange Walk the sport of softball has been dormant. For sports enthusiast Jimmy Smith and Councilor Ladrick Sheppard that was a problem and so they got down to business and organized a female baseball competition. Ladrick Sheppard, Councillor in charge of Youths and Sports “The sports has been abandoned for a load of time and seeing the amount of people that was out there it shows that it was a long awaited opportunity for the girls to go outside and prove themselves to bring back the sports which they love that much. Knowing that from now they can consider softball is basically back again.”

LICU Holds 63rd AGM
The La Inmaculada Credit Union Ltd has come a long way since it first opened its doors in 1949 and has become one of the notable cooperative financial institutions in Belize. On Saturday 19th the LICU held its 63rd annual general meeting at the Multi Purpose Complex here in Orange Walk to inform members where it stands in assets, membership, and finance. During the meeting, LICU also empowered its members by providing them with reports on the different sectors that make up the institution. Janine Ayuso- Reporting: This past Saturday La Inmaculada Credit Union hosted its 63rd Annual General Meeting which saw the participation of hundreds of its members who made an appearance in observance of the management and growth of the credit union. As seats were filled and members listened with opened ears the meeting was brought to order with the confirmation of last years minutes and reports. The credit union, also known as the poor mans bank, is owned by its members who voiced out their concerns vis-à-vis the institutions operations on Sunday. Next on the agenda was the board of director’s report, credit committee, and treasurer’s and Supervisory committee report. Yolanda Gomez, General Manager LICU “The members the people who use the credit union services are owners so we have an obligation to report back to them what activities we conduct throughout the year how there money is being invested how it is being spent and what returns back to them.” Save definitely increase your savings definitely borrow because that is how we generate our profit we generate revenue and most importantly please repay your loans. If you don’t repay your loan it is an added cost to the institution and that also reduces the dividends.”

LICU Prepares In The Event of A Social Crisis
La Inmaculada Credit Union Ltd prides itself with customer satisfaction. Among the list of improvements for the year 2011/2012 LICU is taking the next step in creating a more structured institution with a statutory reserve. According to General Manager Yolanda Gomez, the fund will be used as a safeguard in the event of any social crisis. Yolanda Gomez, General Manager LICU “There is something by law within the Credit Union Act that refers to the Statutory Reserve. What the Statutory Reserve is basically a fund that we have to have that we need to build up. We need to have to have a certain amount of money in there which is a 10% of the assets. So the worth of this business is 33 million then we have to have 10% of that which is 3 million and 3 hundred thousand. What the Statutory Reserve is, it is a fund that is used as a cushion in the event we face any kind of challenges. For example, we are all aware that we are going through an economic crisis, this is global. Even the European Union is feeling the effects of this. Fortunately for us La Inmaculada Credit Union is doing excellent. We have still been able to maintain our double digit increases. We grew profits by 11%, savings by 18% and loans by 18% and assets by 19%. However, if this economic challenge continues and it does affects us or besides being an economic challenge let us consider the natural disasters. We are coming into the hurricane season. If a major hurricane should hit us and we depend quite a lot on farming and this would wipe out many crops- the cane fields and the papaya- and all the other crops. We will suffer a great loss, our members will suffer a great lost. Now this is where this reserve funds serves as a cushion whereby we can then continue to sustain ourselves. So, this is the purpose of this fund.”

Gang Related Violence Claims the Life of 11 Year Old In Belize City
Gang related violence and murders in Belize City have undeniably caused a panic across the old capital. But so far the government has been more reactive than proactive. On Monday May 21st the ongoing uncontrollable gang warfare reached its climax as it saw the death of an 11 year old student. Brandon Taylor and Roy Bennett were riding on separate bicycles on Central American Boulevard in Belize City heading towards the direction of Faber’s Road onto Penn Road when upon passing in front the Matura’s residence one Andre Willoughby, who was inside the Matura’s yard, came out, pulled out a gun and fired several shots at both men. Both Taylor and Bennett escaped unhurt. But the same cannot be said for 11 year old Daniel Matura who in the click of a second became the victim of a dreadful circumstance. Reports are that the 11 year old student was passing by in front of the group of men on Central American Boulevard when the shots rang out. Matura was shot to the left side of the chest, right side of the back and the left ring finger. Matura ran away but seconds after collapsed on Central American Boulevard. Belize City Police has conceded that this particular murder is linked to the ongoing gang rivalry. Police believe that the shots were not intended for Matura but for Taylor and Bennett in retaliation of the murder of 28 year old Kaylon Matura last week Wednesday. Police believe that the person who shot Matura was a member of his family.

LOVE TV

School plans march for peace
The death of eleven year old Daniel Matura has shocked not only his relatives and his immediate community but it has also taken a toll at the Muslim Community School on Central American Boulevard where he was a STD III Student. As a result, the Muslim Community School is organizing a march tomorrow, which is a form of protest for the violence that prevails in our streets. Lana Ahmad is the principal of Muslim Community School. Ahmad told Love News that many of the students are traumatized because they live in the area of the incident and the saw Matura’s body, she told us just how the school is helping students to cope with the tragedy. And just who is the march calling to? Ahmad explains. Ahmad told us a little bit more about eleven year old Daniel Matura who seemed to be a positive light, undeserving of this tragedy. Letters have been sent out to join the March, but Ahmad says that this is everyone’s problem, so any and everyone is invited to come and march for peace tomorrow at 9:00 am.

Policeman charged in theft of government vehicle
Three men, one of them a police constable, have been charged with theft and handling stolen goods for a Government owned 2009 Toyota Hilux valued at $44,500.00 that was stolen from the Ministry of Health Central Region compound on May 8. They are 24-year-old Herwin Godoy, an attendant at KHMH, 23-year-old Police Constable Marvin Wade, and his brother 32-year-old office assistant Jason Wade. They were arraigned today in Magistrate’s Court. They pleaded not guilty to the charges. The prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that the offences have become prevalent, that the matter is of public interest and it has received a lot of attention and that the investigation is still ongoing and if granted bail the defendants might interfere with witnesses. Attorney Brian Neal who represented the Wade brothers, made submission on their behalf but Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser upheld the objection and she remanded the defendants into custody until Tuesday, May 29. The police reported that they recovered the Toyota Hilux in Biscayne Village on Saturday, May 19. The Wade brothers were reportedly detained during a sting operation in Biscayne.

Horse and carriage accident on the Western Highway
Two Mennonite farmers escaped serious injuries after their horse drawn buggy was hit by a Hummer on the Western Highway on Saturday evening. One of the horses that was pulling the cart sustained serious injuries, a a veterinarian from Central Farm was working on the horse’s wounds late into the evening. The incident happened near the village cemetery in Georgeville. Both the buggy and the Hummer were heading towards Belmopan when the incident happened. Police are investigating the incident but preliminary information suggests that the Hummer, which carried Stann Creek licence plated sideswiped the horse drawn cart while overtaking it. One f the two farmers in the buggy complained of chest pains at the scene.

Robbery at Bayview Oasis
There was an armed robbery of a business establishment on the Northern Highway on Saturday morning just after midnight. The Owner of Bayview Oasis Ricardo Marin told police that around 12:30 on Saturday morning he and his employees were inside the business establishment when they were accosted by two men of dark complexion, one of whom was armed with a black 9 millimeter pistol and the other with a sawed-off pump action shotgun. Marin says that one of the men jumped behind the counter and hit Marin behind the head casing a cut wound. They proceeded to rob him of his jewelry and cell phone to a total value of two thousand, four hundred dollars in addition to one thousand, nine hundred and fifty dollars in cash. Marin says he was then taken to the storeroom where another man was waiting. That third person was reportedly armed with a .38 revolver and wore a blue bullet proof vest and a black ski mask. According to police, the robbers proceeded to search the room. Lead investigator, Inspector Alden Dawson this morning told reporters that quick police response and the help of the general public led to the quick apprehension of the suspects and the recovery of the stolen loot. Police say that during the robbery one of the robbers, twenty year old Elmer Martinez, was shot in the right arm pit and left shoulder. He was treated at the KHMH and into Police custody. On Sunday, police formally arrested and charged twenty six year old Kenroy Gillett along with Martinez for six counts of robbery. Additionally, forty six year old Hugh Espat was also charged for the crime of “Abetment to Commit Robbery.” A fourth person, Marlon Milara, was charged but he has not been apprehended yet. All three men were formally arraigned in the Magistrate’s Court today where they pleaded not guilty to the charges. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser explained to them that the court cannot offer them bail because the offences were committed with a firearm.

Brandon Taylor in police custody
While police believe that twenty six year old Brandon Taylor is the prime suspect in the murder of Kaylon Matura, tonight Taylor is in police detention, pending charges in a different matter. Thirty one year old Andrew Willoughby is accusing Taylor of threatening his life on Saturday morning. Willoughby says that he was standing on the sidewalk in front of Matura’s residence when Taylor allegedly rode up to him, pulled out a chrome handgun, pointed it at him and proclaimed: “I WAH KILL ALL AH UNU.” Willoughby claimed that he was in fear for his life and ran into the Matura’s yard to avoid getting shot. Police say Taylor was detained today pending the outcome of their investigations.

San Ignacio man drowns in the Mopan River
The body of a San Ignacio man reported missing by his mother over weekend was recovered on Monday morning in the Mopan River. Santos Vicente Murcia, 22, left home on Saturday morning to attend classes at the Center for Employment Training in San Ignacio town. Two hours later, Murcia reportedly called his mother to say that classes were cancelled and that he would be staying with friends. When Murcia did not return home on Saturday, his mother went to the police station on Sunday morning to make a report. While police were conducting a search on Sunday, they came across an interesting development. A taxi driver from Benque Viejo del Carmen, Alberto Gamez, 39, told investigators that a man fitting Murcia’s description attempted to hire his cab for a trip to San Ignacio town around 7:30 pm Saturday. The taxi driver says that the man, believed to be Murcia, appeared to be under the influence of alcohol and that he declined his request to hire his cab. Gamez says that the man stoned his car with a beer bottle denting the trunk. Gamez says he was in the process of taking the inebriated man to the police station in Beqnue Viejo del Carmen when the man suddenly jumped out of the moving car and ran off. The official version of the story is disjointed; but the police report says that “a few divers also assisted in diving the immediate Area but were fruitless and will continue. Police searched along the river bank where Santos allegedly went, where a pair of white tennis shoe was found believed to be his. Checks were made with family members and friends, but locating him was fruitless.” Murcia’s body was recovered from the Mopan River near San Jose Succotz village around 6:45 am Sunday.

BDF soldier murdered in Dangriga
Charges are expected soon in connection with the murder of a Belize Defence Force soldier in Dangriga. Corporal Donovan Castillo was killed inside his home in the new site area of Dangriga on Monday morning. Police Press Officer Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood gave reporters the details.

Activities for world biodiversity day held
Activities in connection with world biodiversity day were held on Tuesday in Punta Gorda town. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

From the Police Blotter
A Belize City man is hospitalized in stable condition following a shooting incident on Monday night. Forty three year old Kenrick Sutherland was shot in the abdomen as he walked on the Western Highway around eight o’clock last night. According to police reports, Sutherland was walking on the Western Highway towards the direction of Belize City and upon reaching near the Belize Refrigeration Limited, he heard about three apparent gunshots and realized he was hit. Sutherland was admitted for surgery at the KHMH and is in a stable condition. A woman was injured in a shooting incident on Friday night. Forty year old Irma Martinez was on duty at Martha’s Fast Food when a man of dark complexion reportedly approached the window and demanded the she open the shop door. Police say that Martinez refused and that the man pulled out a gun and fired four shots one of which caught Martinez to her left ear. Police say the man then left the scene. Nothing was stolen and police investigation continues. The Commissioner of Police has ordered a criminal and internal investigation after a man was shot, allegedly by police. The victim has been identified as Lawrence Bernardez, who is reported to be hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial in a critical but stable condition. According to the official report, two Police Officers attached to the Dangriga Police Formation reported that on Saturday morning they were on mobile patrol when they were informed that Bernardez who was wanted for questioning was in a building in the Lakeland Area. As a result the officers responded where upon arrival they met a male person on the verandah who was placed on the ground. One of the officers reportedly saw Lawrence Bernardez exiting the house and ordered him to stop, but, according to the official report, Bernardez ran and jumped a zinc fence and escaped into an adjacent yard. The officer reportedly pursued Bernardez who pulled out a black firearm and pointed it in the direction of the Police who then fired a shot from his service weapon but was uncertain whether or not Bernardez was hit, because once again he made good his escape. About twenty minutes later Police say they received a call via 911 from the Southern Regional Hospital that there was a man with an apparent gunshot wound. Upon making checks at the Hospital Police saw Lawrence Bernardez suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the upper left side of the chest. Bernardez has since been transported to the KHMH in a critical, but stable condition. The commissioner has ordered a criminal and internal investigation be carried out in this incident.

Police give details about murder of 11 year old schoolboy
The Police department today held a press briefing in Belize City to give an update on the Monday morning murder of eleven year old Daniel Matura, Junior. The primary school boy was shot dead not far from his home and police today said his killing is linked to the ongoing gang rivalry in the City. The head of Eastern Division Assistant Commissioner of Police Elodio Aragon read from a prepared statement and started by offering condolences to the family of the eleven year old Daniel Matura, Junior. ASP Aragon believes that the killing of Matura is the result of an ongoing rivalry involving the Sunset and George Street gangs. That last shooting on Wednesday of last week, claimed the life of twenty eight year old Kaylon Matura. Lead investigator in the case Inspector Alden Dawson told reporters that the official probe is indicating that the eleven year old boy was hit by bullets intended for someone else and that the shooter was the little boy’s own relative. Police say that thirty one year old Andrew Willoughby is in custody as their investigations continue. Regarding the murder of Kaylon Matura, police say they have detained Brandon Taylor who is the main suspect in that killing. The murder of eleven year old Brandon Matura on Monday brings to five the amount of homicides so far this month. The Officer Commanding Easter Division says the police is doing all in its power to solve these crimes; but is asking for the continued assistance of the general public in the crime fighting initiative. Aragon announced that a new crime fighting plan is currently being finalized but the implementation has started already and it involves a rezoning of the entire Belize district. Inspector Dawson says that of the five murders so far this month, four of them have been partially solved so far.

PlusTV

LINK: Rich Dad, Poor Dad FREE DOWNLOAD
This page takes you to the link where you can download "Rich Dad; Poor Dad" . The book was discussed extensively o...

Belizeans march against crime and violence
Yesterday we reported on the tragic murder of young 11 year old Daniel Matura – student of Sister Clara Muhammad Pr...

Successful coronary angiography performed on 52nd patient
The Cardiovascular Team from Carolinas Heart Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, has successfully completed anothe...

FFB delegation travel to Hungary to attend FIFA Congress
On Monday (May 21) a delegation from the Football Federation of Belize travelled to Budapest Hungary to attend the ...

Young engineers construct future cities of Belize
Total Business Solutions Limited, the local distributor of Esri Inc. (the world's leading GIS company) in collabora...

Bold home invasion in Belize City
A home invasion happens in Belize City. Carlos Jacobo Peraza, a businessman of Freetown Road in Belize City reporte...

Arrests made in Matura murders
Police have arrested and charged 25 year BRANDON TAYLOR (BOWEN) of Jane Usher Boulevard for the murder of KAYLON MA...

Body of a Guatemalan found near the border
A man found dead near the Belize Guatemala Border. Benque Viejo Police along with PNC (National Civil Police) from ...

CDB grants Belize $14 million for road safety efforts
Belize recorded 70 road traffic deaths in 2009, equivalent to 21 traffic deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, giving it ...

Pool of mutilated bodies found in drug cartel territory
Last week, Mexican law enforcement authorities found 49 mutilated bodies on a northern Mexico highway leading to th...

Drunken pedestrian knocked down
A road traffic accident occurred on the Western Highway just after Mahogany Heights at the Coastal Road Junction. A...

Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar's health scare
We normally keep viewers updated on the Prime Minister and Mrs. Barrow’s health, but tonight we deviate just a bit ...

Orange Walk Customs Headquarters burglarized
Customs Officer, Darrel Middleton, filed a reported that the Custom Headquarters in Orange Walk was burglarized bet...

Hon. Rene Montero on familiarization tour of ministry
The Minister of Works and Transport, Hon Rene Montero is on a familiarization tour of all Ministry of Works’ Statio...

Blogs

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION……. Belize Mexico Updates
Below you will find updates on a couple of important annual events sent in by Dianne Campbell and Michele Kinnon. Liberty Children’s Home fundraiser, this Sunday. Always a great time and who doesn’t love eating Walter’s tasty bbq for a great cause. Across the border and we have Taste of Playa a socially responsible culinary event that takes place every November in Playa Del Carmen. Perfect event for those who travel Mexico Belize to enjoy some tropical sightseeing along the way or save a few dollars. Today’s pictures are of Frigate birds which are a common sight on the Caribbean Sea. You can often see these forked tail prehistoric looking birds gliding effortlessly through the air. If they are hovering and swooping at the end of a dock, there is a good chance you will find a fisherman cleaning his catch. Frigate Facts: - Large Sea birds found over tropical waters - A combination of light weight, large wings and forked tail allow for frigatebirds to ride the wind currents effortlessly for long periods of time. - The birds forked tail works like a rudder and helps them do aerial acrobatics. - Frigates can’t swim so they snatch their seafood snack from the water’s surface or plunder their meal from another seabird.

Living on Island Time
Today was our day to renew our 30-day tourist visa, so we had to venture to town again, despite the messy road we blogged about yesterday and yet another 2/3" of rain overnight. Fortunately, today was absolutely gorgeous, with wall-to-wall blue skies, sunshine, and just a few puffy white clouds. The Immigration office in San Pedro normally opens in the morning at 8 or 9 o'clock (we've never been there too early, so I am not sure), closes for lunch from 12 to 1pm, I believe, and then opens again until 3:30 pm. We arrived at a few minutes after 10. We saw a few folks waiting on the balcony outside the office, but that's not unusual, because it's a tiny office, and when it's full, sometimes people wait outside. But much to our surprise, the doors were locked up tight. And there was nothing posted on the doors indicating that the office was closed today. What's going on here? The couple that was waiting outside told us that they were supposed to be open in "a while". Hmmmmm. How long is "a while"? We had a few other errands to run, so decided to go ahead and do those, in case "a while" meant an hour or so. As we were leaving, the couple we had been talking to came down the stairs and told us that someone had just come out of an office and said that it would be opening at 11 o'clock -- they were having a meeting. Aha! We laughed about how they didn't post anything on the door to let us poor waiting folks know when they'd be opening. We took off on our bikes and hit the Maria's fruit and vegetable stand (seems like we are there almost every day) for a few more items, then the bank. By the time we were finished there, it was 10:48, so not too much longer to wait.

Sound-Proofing Local Bars: The Liquor Laws are Being More Strictly Enforced
UDP Mayor Danny Guerrero and his new San Pedro town council were elected this year on March 7th. Since then, the Belize Intoxicating Liquor Licensing Act have been much more strictly enforced by both the town council and the local police to the delight of many town citizens. The rules dictate everything from who can own a liquor license, holidays when liquor cannot be sold, & hours of operation for all types of bars to license owners allowing prostitutes or thieves to congregate in their establishment (a $50bzd fine!). For past years, only a handful of bars received proper night club licenses that allowed them to open until 2am without special permission. To obtain that license, the establishments had to prove that they were totally soundproofed. Only cement buildings Jaguar's Temple, Big Daddy's/Daddy Rock's and Club Latino qualified. But the rules relaxed and favors were granted to other bars. Tacklebox was able to open until 1 or 2am on Tuesdays and Sundays. Wet Willy's famous Wednesday Ladies Night kept the bar open until 2am or later and Fido's stayed open for an extra hour on weekends. Many other bars received extensions for special and not-so-special events. The rules were not always properly enforced. Both Big Daddy's and Jaguar's (Rehab Lounge) had outside open-air bars that served liquor and played loud music way past midnight even though they were not soundproofed. Things have changed. Since the new administration took office ALL bars without nightclub licenses must close their doors and stop serving alcohol at midnight. In response, the bars mentioned above have started the soundproofing process. The first to complete the construction is Big Daddy's outside bar.

Flycatcher secrets revealed
There are at least 16 subspecies of flycatcher with very subtle distinctions in their appearance. So what is the secret to accurately identifying them? Flycatchers can be difficult to identify by the untrained eye so here are a few tips on how to become a better birdwatcher.The experienced birder will not rely solely on his/her sight but will also fine tune their observation skills by listening carefully to the distinct sound each species makes. For example the yellow olive flycatcher makes a sharp shreek-like “zeet” which is continuously repeated. And most other flycatchers look very similar in appearance but differ in their call or song. Plumage Other means of accurately identifying a yellow olive flycatcher is by its olive top and gray head with white lore’s and a narrow eye ring. They also have two yellow wing bars with dark yellow edging. Habitat The Yellow Olive flycatcher is found from Mexico to Argentina and though it is more of a woodland creature it can also be found near flowing water such as the great Amazon River. Nest This particular flycatcher builds a hanging nest with a long, tube like entrance which leads to a retort-like nest chamber. Materials used to build their nest include horse hair and are often found near wasp nests.

Barton Creek Cave – A Beautiful and Unusual Cave Destination
Belize’s Barton Creek Cave has been listed as one of Nine Most beautiful and unusual cave destinations by Mother Nature Network. The Mother Nature Network, MNN.com, is a website that provides environmental and social responsibility news and information and covers a range of environmental issues with original articles, blogs, videos, columns and how-to guides, as well as news from wire services. Content on the site is sorted into eight channels: Earth Matters, Transportation, Business, Technology, Food, Home, Lifestyle and Family. In the article entitled “9 of the world’s most beautiful and unusual cave destinations” the Barton Creek Cave was described as follows: Another underground waterway that makes it on to many tourists’ itineraries is theBarton Creek Cave in the Central American nation of Belize. This cave was considered the “underworld” by the ancient Mayans who inhabited the area and was used as a burial place. Human remains can still be found inside the cave. It is this unique history and Barton’s amazing rock formations that make it one of the more interesting of all of Central America’s underground attractions. Barton is located in the Cayo District, a region of Belize known for its eco-tourism. Tour companies offer guided canoe cruises through the cave. Truly adventurous travelers can swim in the cave’s waters. The unusual nature of these underground waterways makes Barton an attractive caving option, but it is the cave’s spectacular domed chambers that earn it a place alongside the world’s best cave destinations.

International Sources

Can 'Blue Forests' Mitigate Climate Change?
Fifty-five percent of global atmospheric carbon captured by living organisms happens in the ocean. Between 50-71 percent of this is captured by the ocean’s vegetated "blue carbon" habitats, which cover less than 0.5 percent of the seabed, according to a 2009 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report entitled ‘Blue Carbon – The role of healthy oceans in binding carbon,’ one of the first documents to demystify the term. These recent discoveries - of the efficiency of ocean vegetation in mitigating greenhouse gases and ocean ecosystems’ ability to store atmospheric carbon dioxide for millennia – has sent scientists running to probe the potential role of 'blue forest's in global efforts to lessen climate change. An international symposium on the effects of climate change on the world’s oceans, at the Yeosu Expo 2012 being held here from May 12-Aug. 12 under the theme ‘Living Oceans and Coasts', brought together scientists and researchers to discuss the carbon management of blue forests. "Carbon stored and taken out of the atmosphere by coastal ecosystems such as mangroves, seagrass and salt marsh is called blue carbon," explained Nairobi-based Gabriel Grimsditch of the UNEP. "Blue carbon is important because it allows investment in protection of coastal ecosystems. These ecosystems are important for more than just carbon sequestration and storage - they provide food through fish and protect coastal populations from storms and tsunamis," he added.

Pollution-hunting robot fish take to the sea
Robot "fish" developed by European scientists to improve pollution monitoring moved from the lab to the sea in a test at the northern Spanish port of Gijon on Tuesday. The developers hope the new technology, which reduces the time it takes to detect a pollutant from weeks to seconds, will sell to port authorities, water companies, aquariums and anyone with an interest in monitoring water quality. It could also have spin-offs for cleaning up oil spills, underwater security, diver monitoring or search and rescue at sea, they said. The fish, which are 1.5 meters (5 feet) long and currently cost 20,000 pounds ($31,600) each, are designed to swim like real fish and are fitted with sensors to pick up pollutants leaking from ships or undersea pipelines. They swim independently, co-ordinate with each other, and transmit their readings back to a shore station up to a kilometer away. "Chemical sensors fitted to the fish permit real-time, in-situ analysis, rather than the current method of sample collection and dispatch to a shore based laboratory," said Luke Speller, a scientist at British consultancy BMT Group who led the project. The fish can avoid obstacles, communicate with each other, map where they are and know how to return to base when their eight-hour battery life is running low, their makers say. After the tests this week, the team will look at modifications needed to move the fish into commercial production, which they expect to reduce the cost of each unit. The development project was part-funded by the EU and drew on expertise from the University of Essex and the University of Strathclyde in Britain, Ireland's Tyndall National Institute and Thales Safare, a unit of Europe's largest defense electronics group, Thales, which was responsible for the communication technology.

Cricket and Central America’s Gangs
The ability of sports to unite and promote shared goals has enabled athletes to reach parts of society that have often felt excluded. Could cricket be used to stem gang membership in Central America? Cricket dates back to the sixteenth century where it was first played in southern England. By the eighteenth century, it was the national sport, and from there it was exported through the Commonwealth. There are national teams throughout the Americas that compete in one-day competitions on the world stage. And in Central America, Belize, Costa Rica and Panama are affiliate members of the International Cricket Council, the game’s ruling body. Yet it is from the unlikely source of the streets of Compton, California that a potential blueprint for combating social problems in Central America exists. Compton Cricket Club (CCC) was founded in 1995 with the aim of alleviating the effect on the city’s youth of extreme poverty and homelessness. As co-founder Ted Hayes of the CCC said, “The aim of playing cricket is to teach people to respect themselves and respect authority so they stop killing each other.” Having toured worldwide, the CCC is one of the more successful cricketing exports from the United States. Beyond combating the negative impact of gang activity and promoting good citizenship, the CCC has an historical side. Cricket was popular in the U.S., especially in New York and Philadelphia until it was overtaken by baseball in the mid-late 1800s.

Rebecca Stirm Sews Her Way To win #4 on Mission Catwalk
Having won prior challenges on episodes two, four and six, Rebecca Stirm’s episode 9 win makes the Belizean the winningest designer on Season Two of Caribbean fashion reality series Mission Catwalk which has seen participants from five Caribbean countries competing in its second season. After a visit to the Hope Zoo, the seven remaining contestants were instructed to design a gown for a charity gala and a second garment for a charity luncheon inspired by one animal from the zoo. Rebecca chose the turtle because it was “an unusual and unique animal that people didn’t already have preconceptions about what turtle- inspired garment should look like.” Using a kaleidoscope patterned fabric similar to the pattern on a turtle’s shell; Rebecca created a gown with dramatic neckline while using layers of different fabrics in circular cutouts to build a skirt that would mimic a turtle’s shell while still allowing movement. For her second outfit the kaleidoscope fabric was more prominent and used for most of the blouse, while the pencil skirt was in a monotone beige..

Eladio Pop's cacao farm in Belize
I almost didn’t go. Even though the thought of spending Chocolate Week at Cotton Tree Lodge in Punta Gorda, Belieze, sounded like a home run as a vacation adventure it was a lot of money and I was having trouble finding someone to go with me. When I called to find out how much room was still available I was told there was only one cabana left: the Jungle House. All of the other cabanas are nestled around the Cotton Tree Lodge with views of the Moho River. The Jungle House was a quarter of a mile away by itself. Um. By myself and deep in the jungle? I wasn’t sure about this. But after some prompting from friends and family that it would “be good for me” I took a deep breath and sent in my deposit.

Kate Upton’s Beach Bunny Collection Photoshoot
Sports Illustrated covergirl Kate Upton may only be 19 years old, but that hasn’t stopped her from becoming the hottest name in modeling today. Recently, Upton released the photos from a Belize photo shoot in which she flaunted the Beach Bunny collection. It’s everything you expect it to be and more.

Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. to Expand Retail Water Operations With Bahamas Joint Venture
Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: CWCO), which develops and operates seawater desalination plants and water distribution systems in areas of the world where naturally occurring supplies of potable water are scarce or nonexistent, today announced that it has formed a joint venture ("JV") with The New Providence Development Company Limited ("NPDC") in Nassau, Bahamas. This JV will own and operate a retail water utility that will provide potable water to some of the most prestigious areas in The Bahamas, including Lyford Cay and Old Fort Bay. Consolidated Water has agreed to purchase 50% of the ownership in the JV for $7 million Bahamian dollars. NPDC is transferring its existing retail water utility business, which presently provides water to approximately 1,000 customers, to the JV for its 50% ownership. The JV will operate pursuant to a 25-year exclusive water utility franchise granted by the Bahamas government for the western end of New Providence Island.

CDB assisting Belize in road safety improvement project
Belize recorded 70 road traffic deaths in 2009, equivalent to 21 traffic deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, giving it the highest fatality rate of the borrowing member countries of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). The Bank is of the view that the high death rate from road traffic incidents in Belize is not only disturbing from a public health point of view, but also translates into significant social and economic impacts due to lost productivity and increased vulnerability to poverty. CDB has approved a loan to the government of Belize of an amount equivalent to US$7.248 million for a project to reduce deaths and serious injuries associated with road traffic accidents. This will be achieved through improving the safety of road infrastructure along a demonstration corridor; changing road user behaviour through increased awareness and understanding of the issue; traffic law enforcement support; post-crash response support; and road safety management capacity building. In the area of education and training, 100 teachers are to be trained to deliver road safety curriculum to 2,000 students. With regard to social and economic infrastructure, 80 kilometres of primary roads are to be upgraded from 1 and 2-star safety levels to a minimum of 3-star for all road users. In addition, capacity development will be enhanced with 20 public sector employees trained in road safety management, and 35 public sector employees trained in traffic law enforcement. However, the main beneficiaries of the road project will be the thousands of vehicle occupants who travel from Belize City to Hattieville, and from Hattieville to Belmopan each day.

ATM: 25 Creepiest Places On Earth
Video to go along with the list of the 25 Creepiest Places on Earth story from a few days ago. ATM is on there at number 25, so it's the first on the video. "Also known as the Cave of the Stone Sepulcher, it’s like something straight out of Indiana Jones. Housing numerous skeletons, the creepiest thing about this place is that most of them belong to children…sacrificed children to be more precise. Most likely many years ago there was a drought and these unfortunate youngsters were the ones chosen to have their skulls crushed."

Barton Creek Cave on 'most beautiful and unusual caves' list
Barton Creek Cave is world famous, and canoeing through it is quite an experience. It was just listed as one of the 9 most beautiful and unusual caves in the world. Mother Nature Network is right to put it on their list. "This cave was considered the 'underworld' by the ancient Mayans who inhabited the area and was used as a burial place. Human remains can still be found inside the cave. It is this unique history and Barton's amazing rock formations that make it one of the more interesting of all of Central America’s underground attractions.

May 23, 2012

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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

El Pescador Fishing Report, Week of May 12 – 20th, 2012
Just when we were thinking we were never going to see another rain storm again….ahh, all havoc was unleashed. Pretty much the whole week has been working around the weather. The fish are all here, but we need the sun. Success has been with tailing fish, or waking fish. Our anglers this week are for the most part, experienced angers. They know about weather. They booked on a new moon with morning rising tides. It should be perfect. We have a part of our personality that is all about denial, but soon that doesn’t work. And yes, even for me. I get to live here, but I never take my fishing for granted. You have to go when you can and make the best of it. I was sad today because I want and I mean I’m overdue for a fish. I felt all the emotions…”It’s going to be OK…one more cast….let’s check a different spot…I hate my guide....Oh, not really.” Believe me, they want it just as bad as we do. So, today when I was kinda down because I came home fishless, I heard myself talking. Our head cook, Miss Arminda was on the dock with her grandchildren. They were fishing with hand lines and one of the kids was trying really hard not to cry. “I lost “my biggest fish ever!” I said to him, “A true fisherman never gives up.”

The San Pedro Sun

My Virtual City Competition
Total Business Solutions Limited, the local distributor of Esri Inc. (the world’s leading GIS company) in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), is hosting the 1st Annual “My Virtual City” Competition. Guided by the theme “Designing our Future! Mobilizing People for Change!” , students are harnessing the power of technology and geography and learning to be more socially conscious, as we promote both human and national development for Belize. Through the “My Virtual City” competition, they are being challenged to imagine, design, and build cities of the future, and present their ideas before judges. Come experience the future of Belize through the minds of innovative students who have spent months training and working to: • Plan a future city 15+ years in the future with at least 50,000 residents • Write a 100-500 word City Narrative describing their future city’s key features and design attributes • Design a Virtual City map using Esri ArcGIS Desktop Standard with 3D Analyst • Build a scale model of one city section using recycled material • Write a 1,000-2,000 word Essay describing their city in detail • Make a 10-minute Presentation discussing features of their future city

Message on the International Day for Biological Diversity
Oceans cover almost three-quarters of the surface area of the globe. They are home to the largest animal known to have lived on the planet – the blue whale – as well as billions upon billions of the tiniest of microorganisms. From sandy shores to the darkest depths of the sea, oceans and coasts support a rich tapestry of life on which human communities rely. Fisheries provide more than 15 per cent of the global dietary intake of animal protein. Oceans and coastal areas provide invaluable ecosystem services – from tourism to protection from storms. Minuscule photosynthesizing plants called phytoplankton provide 50 per cent of all the oxygen on Earth. Yet, despite its importance, marine biodiversity – the theme of this year’s International Day for Biological Diversity – has not fared well at human hands. Commercial over-exploitation of the world’s fish stocks is severe. Many species have been hunted to fractions of their original populations. More than half of global fisheries are exhausted, and a further third are depleted. Between 30 and 35 per cent of critical marine environments – such as seagrasses, mangroves and coral reefs – are estimated to have been destroyed. Plastic debris continues to kill marine life, and pollution from land is creating areas of coastal waters that are almost devoid of oxygen. Added to all of this, increased burning of fossil fuels is affecting the global climate, making the sea surface warmer, causing sea level to rise and increasing ocean acidity, with consequences we are only beginning to comprehend. But, there is hope. A scientific review conducted in 2011 showed that, despite all the damage inflicted on marine wildlife and habitats over the past centuries, between 10 and 50 per cent of populations and ecosystems have shown some recovery when human threats were reduced or removed

Belize Delegation to the 62nd FIFA Congress & 2nd Medical Conference
On Monday May 21, 2012 a delegation from the Football Federation left for Budapest Hungary to attend the 62nd FIFA Congress and 2nd Medical Conference. President Ruperto Vicente, Senior Vicente President Sergio Chuc, Executive Member Marlon Kuylen and Belmopan District Chairman Marlon Tillett are on the delegation. A special meeting has been set to meet with high ranking FIFA Officials concerning the financial situation of the F.F.B. and Belize’s participation in the Champions League Tournament. Belize spot in Champions League for 2012 was recently awarded to El Salvador, as the lights at the F.F.B. Stadium failed a second inspection in February of this year. As a result Belize lost the opportunity to be reinstated in Champions League. Works are already under-way and will keep the nation informed of its progress. Administrative Seminar held on May 19 & 20, 2012 The Football Federation of Belize this weekend conducted training for the Chairmen of all the Football Districts Associations in Belize. The training was facilitated by Stanley Gardiner (Instructor FIFA Grassroots) of Guatemala and Victor Hugo Estrada (FIFA Development Officer) was geared to training District Chairmen in the managing of their Associations. Topics included the following:

Guest Editorial: Inclusive Education Demands Teacher Training
Guest editorial submitted by: Golda Swift (M.Ed) This week’s Theme for Education week is “Together, We Achieve Quality Education for all.” This rolls off good on the tongue, but as we know it takes teacher training, accessibility of financing, cooperation among key stakeholders, and acknowledgement of specific needs in certain locations within our country for this to be achieved. While the Belizean government has made education one of its priorities, which no doubt is admirable, there is still is a long way to go however. As we take a more in depth look at our Education system, as it relates to our own La Isla Bonita, there are still more areas that need to be established and some that need to be looked at and restructured. As globalization continues and the demand for quality education increases, San Pedro educators need to be equipped in order to embrace such changes. In this paper, I will seek to touch on a couple educational matters that do need dire attention from those people in key positions. San Pedro has eight primary schools, a mixture of church, state and private, which cater for students between the ages of 5-14 years. While there was an attempt at the Holy Cross Anglican School to meet the needs of Special Education students, at present there is no facility operating on the island to meet the needs of those children who may have moderate to severe disabilities. Developing a Special Education Center for these children attached to one of our primary schools is a realistic way to meet the needs of children who are school aged and have disabilities that may require individualize attention. Carla Valdez, District Education Manager, OW speaks clearly on the topic of Inclusion: “As you know we are in the process of moving toward inclusive education. So, I know that in some of the schools there is that part of sensitization. The special education officers are involved in workshops, in sensitizations, and it’s not only confined to education week or the weeks of celebrations but it is an ongoing process. I think that our goal is that someday we will have inclusive education. We are working towards that but of course that can’t happen overnight.”

Ambergris Today

Unlearn Old Habits And Replace With Effective Ones, Part II
Part I of this article focused on old, comfortable but harmful, habits deeply grounded in Belize’s Education systems/schools that others, not teachers/students, should unlearn and replace. Part II focuses specifically on “learning” in our schools today in 21st Century Belize, and highlights areas where students and teachers/educators should unlearn and replace old habits. Teachers have the most important roles in Education! They are the crucial/frontline persons responsible for creating “working” classrooms in schools. Students are the classrooms! Learning is totally dependent on, and cannot take place without, active student participation. Therefore, above all, that old “comfortable” habit (for way too many teachers today) of having students sit still, remain quiet, and listen all day to a teacher MUST be unlearned and replaced. The more effective and productive habit that can sustain student motivation each day: active student participation in each class!

PHOTO: A Diver's Paradise
I think we have found out where the Diver's Hangout is in San Pedro! LOL. Wetsuites hang over to dry on the balconies at Sunbreeze Suites one afternoon as divers return from their diving expeditions. Belize is for Divers!

Flashbacks: The Looks Of A Fishing Village
This Flashback clearly shows the elements of a fishing village versus a tourism destination. The seaweed along the beach indicates that there was no daily raking to impress our visiting tourists. The short small piers were sites for fishermen to clean their produce and embark into their fishing vessels. The small red skiff was used by skin divers who went to various spots along the reef skin diving for lobster or to spear for fish for fillet. The small dory was used by those who went diving for conch as well as by fishermen who went by boat down south in their fishing expeditions. And do notice the many fishing boats anchored offshore, which took teams of five to hunt for lobster at Turneffe, Glover’s Reef, Half Moon Caye, The Blue Hole and other fishing destinations down south during the height of our fishing industry. No tourism so there was no Spindrift Building, no Tackle Box or all those fine dive shops on the piers along our beaches. It was the picture of a laid back fishing village in the 1970’s.

Commonwealth Secretary-General's First Visit to Belize
Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma began a three-day visit to Belize on Tuesday, May 15, 2012, which was his first to the country. Mr Sharma heard first-hand how the small Caribbean nation has been coping with the challenges posed by the global fuel, food and financial crises. He also explored how the partnership between Belize and the Commonwealth can be deepened. “Belize is a highly valued member of the Commonwealth,” stated Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma during his departure speech from the country. “The Commonwealth, as an association of peoples and governments, is enriched by Belize’s membership. For its part, Belize gains from access to the networks of 54 member governments, as well as professional associations and civil society through the sharing of resources, experiences and opportunities. I was honoured to be received so warmly during my visit, from 15 to 18 May, and I depart with appreciation and also a deep and first-hand understanding of Belize’s national challenges and priorities.”

Reef Week 2012 Celebrated in San Pedro
The reef is a very important ecosystem for our beautiful island and country. In order to create awareness and help preserve it, every year Reef Week is celebrated in honor of our natural heritage. This year it was celebrated under the theme “Celebrating our Natural Heritage, Securing our Future” from May 14 – 18, 2012. Hol Chan Marine Reserve planned an entire week of activities which kicked off on Sunday, May 13, 2012, with the Healthy Reefs Swim Challenge that involved six high school students swimming from Caye Caulker Village to San Pedro Town in hopes to bring awareness for the reef. (Read “What’s Up Today, Gerry?” for more information on the challenge.) Following the swim challenge was Mangrove Rehabilitation Day which was held on Monday, May 14, 2012, at the Boca Del Rio Park. Students were invited to participate in this activity and after a brief lecture on the importance of mangroves in our eco-system students were planting mangrove seeds in the area. Using the Riley Encased Methodology, over 30 mangrove seedlings were planted.

National Festival of Arts – Art Exhibit Launch
The National Institute of Culture and History, through the Institute of Creative Arts, continues to uphold a rich tradition of artistic talent and creativity by presenting the National Festival of Arts. Each year, the flourished fruits of raw Belizean talent can be seen through the District Festival of Arts from Preschool, Primary and Secondary levels. The best of these talents, as well as those outside the school system, are showcased in the National Festival of Arts. The Festival consists of two major categories – juniors and seniors. The junior category includes children between the ages of 5 and 13 years old from Preschool and Primary levels, who have little or no affiliation with any artistic organization.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize municipal employees should be granted civil service status after two years
Commentary by Wellington C. Ramos. For years now I have been hearing that when Belizeans are being employed by the city councils and the town boards, they serve at the pleasure of the political party and the mayor and councilors and their jobs could be terminated by them or by the new political party at anytime they choose to do so. I think that this is unfair to those employees who have served with professionalism and distinction. Plus, they have families that they must feed, bills to pay and many other financial obligations to take care of. I am now appealing to the Belize minister of local government to table a Bill in the House of Representative that will make all municipal employees civil servants after they have demonstrated satisfactory and exemplary service for a period of about two years. This will put an end to the practice of terminating municipal employees who have served our municipalities for more than two years. It will also end the political victimization that has been taking place in our country for years now when the central government changes in the general elections that are held every five years. In the content of the Bill, the minister can also specify what positions would qualify the employee to be upgraded from a political employee to a civil servant, because some politicians like to employ non-professionals due to political favours and that would not be in the public’s best interest.

Sport Fishing License Information
Every person wishing to engage in sport fishing within Belizean waters must be in possession of a sport fishing license.

The Guardian's Travel Section Recommends Parrot Nest Lodge
You don't see Cayo's smaller lodges get much press, but that is changing. Parrot Nest Lodge, with the original treehouses in Belize, got mentioned, as did Tobacco Caye's Paradise Lodge, in The Guardian's travel tips for Central America. "It's lucky iguanas don't snore or it would be a very noisy night's sleep in the trees. The treehouses are snug, overlooking the Mopan river (great for swimming) and your tree will probably be visited by not just iguanas but also parrots and toucans. Mayan ruins, San Ignacio town and the Cave of the Crystal Maiden are all close. Best of all, this small lodge is run by an incredibly welcoming family."

Belize Memorabilia Video from 1975
Xunantunich long before the hand cranked ferry! That skiff doesn't look like it can hold that many people. Many Cayo sites can be seen in this classic 1975 video that the Benque House of Culture posted. Central Farm, Spanish Lookout, Belmopan, and Xunantunich, before the serious excavation, are all on there. Cayo starts just after the 3 minute mark.

Chess Olympiad pictures
The Chess Olympiad pictures from MG Photography really show how much fun everyone had at the event in UB's auditorium. They had clowns, dancers, steel drums, stilt walkers, and a castle! How often does that happen all in one place? The Belize National Youth Chess Foundation went above and beyond to make their olympiad unforgettable.

National Festival of Arts Opening Pictures
Cayo was represented by Joris Hendrik at the opening of the National Festival of Arts today at the Bliss. The art exhibit showcased art in many forms from Belizean youths. The dress worn by Natalie Altman was made from National Geographic magazines. Creativity at its finest: wearable art. NFOA which allows Belizean artists to express themselves, will have many events next weekend.

La Poderosa III's Creativity Mural Video
Great video about the making of the Creativity mural in Benque. Jose Guerra Awe, LP3's director, gives an introduction to La Poderosa III's goals while they work on the mural in the background. We wish them the best! LP3's FB page: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000431479203

Cayo leads Belize on Trip Advisor's 'Best Destinations in Central America'
Earlier this year, Trip Advisor ranked The Lodge at Chaa Creek in the top 25 hotels in Central America. Now, they've released their top 25 destinations. Belize has 4 destinations on the list, and Cayo is ranked highest of those at number 5. San Pedro is number 6, probably due to the clock tower jumbotron mess. Placencia, and somehow Belize City, are also on the list. "It’s true: parts of Belize are getting touristy. But San Ignacio remains rustic, making it a great base for budget-friendly tropical adventure travel. Canoe on the Macal River, or walk to Mayan ruins at Cahal Pech (just be warned: it's uphill)."

Jagermeister Party at Club Next pictures
Jagermeister finally loaded their photos from their party a few months back where DJ Diamond and Mistah Geeh rocked the house. Better late than never. The pictures of everyone doing the shots are quite humorous. The original article: http://www.scoop.it/t/best-of-san-ignacio-cayo/p/1354160901/jagermeister-party-club-next

Joris Hendrik Designs in News Exchange Magazine
News Exchange Magazine featured a photo shoot with Joris Hendrik's designs in the latest issue. Joris remarked, "I must say that this has been one of my favorite Photo shoots up to date with the lovely ladies Carmen Cookie Larissa, Lali Penner, Punky Rivas, Ashanti Barbie Rodriguez and Natalie Aleman." You can get the latest issue at these locations: Cayo: -Venus, Gitz, and Cahal Pech Gift Shop Belmopan: -Dakers, Brodies, Ms. B Stationary, Print Belize, and UB-BMP Bookstore

Stewed Chicken
In this video, I do a remake of my very first video called "Belizean Stew Chicken" I wanted to give more information about the cooking process and also make the video match the theme of the other videos at the site.

Belize Mega Bingo Results For (May 19, 2012)
Lucky Two 5.00 Each (3 Balls) 13 ­44 ­75­ Lucky Three 25.00 Each (3 Balls) 13 ­44 ­75­ Four Corners 50.00 Each (6 Balls) 13 ­44 ­75 ­31 ­71 ­11­ Straight Line 100.00 Each (10 Balls) 13 ­44 ­75 ­31 ­71 ­11 ­63 ­40 ­17 ­45­

Channel 7

Eleven Year Old Killed; Fifth Child Casualty Of Gang War
Too often, we return from long weekends with stories of murder and mayhem - but tonight, it is worse than usual: 11 year old Standard Three student, Daniel Matura has been killed in Belize City - the casualty of violent feuding between adults. But more than just feuding - or what might be called beef - it is a direct result of a murder that happened on Thursday morning - when Daniel's Cousin, 28 year old Kaylon was killed. We'll have the full story of the events that precipitated this child killing - but we begin first with the story of this profoundly traumatic loss of the fifth child to gun violence in 20 months. The shooting of 11 year old Daniel Matura happened just yards away from where his cousin - Kaylon Matura was gunned down on Thursday morning. It happened a little after 8:30 on Sunday morning on Central American Boulevard. As a crowd of spectators lined the area - scenes of crime technicians processed the scene. 8 bullet markers were visible on the scene; 3 of those bullets are believed to have caught 11 year old Matura. His mother - Marva Mendoza heard the shots from her house on Arlington Drive and ran across Central American Boulevard to see what had happened. Little did she know, she was about to witness her oldest son lying dead in the grass on the side of the street. Voice of: Marva Mendoza - Mother of the Murdered 11 Year-old "At about 7, 7:30, I sat over there in my couch, and I got up - before the accident happened I got up, I walked to the front with a friend. I got enough so I came back home, I sat back in the couch and heard the first shot. I asked if anyone heard gunshots. I got scared because I know my children like to be on the boulevard. So When I got up, I didn't know that I ran into something unexpected. He was on the grass lying down with his face up, and his hand on his chest. I rushed to him and cried out his name, but that was it."

Police Say Shooter Was Aiming For Brandon Taylor
And while his schoolmates will march - police hope to march the child's killer - and the man who instigated him - to court tomorrow. As we mentioned at the top, the background to this story is very relevant. When Daniel's older cousin and neighbor, 28 year old Kaylon Matura was killed on Thursday, police received reports that Brandon Taylor was a suspect in that shooting - but no one would give a statement implicating him. So he was released on Saturday. On Monday morning at around 8:30, friend of the Matura's, Andrew Willoughby say that he was standing in front of the Matura home on Central American Boulevard when Taylor rode past on the other side of the street, pulled out a chrome handgun, pointed it and said, "I will kill all of you." Willoughby says he retreated into the house - but then came out to fire at Taylor as he was riding off - and that is just when 11 year old Daniel Matura was returning from the shop. He was caught in the crossfire, and shot fatally to the chest, back and hand. He was killed - it appears - by what might be called friendly - it came from his own family's yard. But - a spolcie explained today, this child casualty is part of an adult's war. Here's what was said at a press conference today: ACP Elodio Aragon - Officer Commanding Eastern Division "Initial investigations revealed that on Monday, May 21, 2010, at 8:30 a.m., one Brandon Taylor and Roy Bennett were riding on separate bicycles on Central American Boulevard travelling from the direction of Faber's, heading toward the direction of Neal Penn Road. While both persons were passing in front of the Matura's Residence, one Andrew Willoughby, who was inside the Matura yard came out with a firearm and fired shots at both Brandon Taylor and Roy Bennett, who rode away without any injuries. During this shooting incident, Daniel Matura Jr., who was walking in an opposite direction from which Brandon Taylor and Roy Bennett were travelling, received above mentioned injuries, who then ran away and collapsed almost at the corner of Central American Boulevard and Boots Crescent. Daniel Matura Jr. was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Police patrols in the area resulted in the quick apprehension of Andrew Willoughby, the person believed responsible for the shooting. Andrew Willoughby has since given a caution statement in regards to the incident, and police continue to actively investigate this case. It's clear why Andrew Willoughby did the shooting against Brandon Taylor."

Another Shooting At Meighan House
And while the Matura home on Central American Boulevard continues to be visited by violence, a similar thing is happening at the Meighan home on Banak Street. Police have not released an official report - but 7news has learned that early on Sunday morning - a spray of gunfire was directed at the home. The woman of the house Shelly Meighan received minor injury and has been treated and released from the hospital. On Holy Saturday - shooters entered the home and shot two persons were hurt; and then two weeks ago, the house was shot up - but no one was hurt. It is believed that the Meighan brothers are the targets because of an ongoing rivalry with a crew from the same neighborhood.

Woman Kills Lover In Griga
And while mayhem continued in the city - in Dangriga, it was a lovers' dispute that led to the death of a BDF corporal. 37 year old Donovan Castillo was stabbed to death - allegedly by his lady friend, 35 year old Marsha Reid. His family says it was the murderous wrath of a woman spurned, she says it was ad dispute over rent money. We went to Dangriga to find out more:... 37 Year Old Donovan Castillo, a BDF Corporal was lying here in this bed - at his family home on Teacher Street in Dangriga Town when he was stabbed multiple times - twice to his neck, to the shoulder, and sliced across the temple. He made it to the couch and bled out right there - the family has since burnt the blood-drenched couch. The alleged culprit is his 37 year old girlfriend. She was visiting from Belize City over the weekend - and they are reported to have had an argument early Monday morning on this verandah. A nephew who sleeps in this room heard them arguing - and then someone locked his room shut. After that he heard silence, and later heard the front door slam. He had to climb through the roof to get out of the room. When he did he found his Uncle bleeding profusely on the couch from a gaping wound in his neck. Police caught the female shortly after and she confessed to doing it - she says it was because of a dispute over rent money for a home in the city. His family says it was murder by an obsessed lover, simple and plan.

Guatemalan Killed In Western Cayo
And there is also a report of murder coming out of Western Belize. It happened in the remote western reaches of the Cayo district. According to confirmed, but unofficial reports, Guatemalan Enecon Moralez was shot in the head one hundred and fifty yards from the Guatemalan border - about two miles west of Xunantunich. Reports say that he had been illegally cultivating a farm on Belize's side of the border. He was shot in the head with a shotgun. Belize police reportedly had to go through Guatemala access the illegal farm.

Health Department's Hilux Recovered
It's not often on this newscast that you hear the words, "excellent police work" - but that's just what our next story is about. Tonight, the 2009 Totoya Hilux, which was stolen from the Central Health Region 2 weeks ago, has been recovered and it's back where it should be. 3 men, including one police officer, have been charged and arraigned in connection with its theft, and they are in prison tonight. On Saturday, acting on intelligence, Ladyville police set up a sting operation to recover the Gold 2009 Hilux Pickup. You'll probably remember that it happened on May eighth when a car thief breezed through the unsecured compound and left with the Hilux in less than five minutes. Well, Police have charged 23 year-old Police Corporal Marvin Wade, a resident of Biscayne Village, his brother 32 year-old Jason Wade, who also resides in Biscayne Village, and 24 year-old Kerwin Godoy, a KHMH employee from Belize City. We'll get to their story in a few, but we start with an interview with the Manager of the Central Health Region, who was very happy that the vehicle has been recovered. Here's what she told about the damage the vehicle suffered while the thief had it:.. Melinda Guerra, Regional Health Manager "On 20th May, 2012 at around 12 midnight we received information from inspector Rivero, who is the officer in charge of Ladyville Police Station. He reported to us that the vehicle has been found around the Biscayne area. He told us that they needed the key so that they could transport the vehicle from that area to Queen's Street Police Station."

Police Nab Armed Robbers
Early on Saturday morning, the Bayview Oasis Restaurant and Bar was robbed by armed men, but police foiled the robbery and caught the men in the act. Today, they were brought to court. According to Police, Ricardo Marin, the owner of Bayview Oasis, which located at 4 ¼ miles Northern Highway, reported that at around 12:30 a.m., he was inside his business place along with his employees when 2 armed men robbed them. One of the men jumped behind the counter, and hit Marin in the head with the gun which inflicted a cut wound. This man then sntached his jewelry and $400 dollar in US currency and $1,950 dollars in Belize currency. The other armed assailant robbed the Marin's employees of cash, cellular phones, and watches to a total value of $2,680. Fortunately, police were notified, and they responded very quickly, leading to an exchange of gunfire. 20 year-old Elmer Martinez was shot to the right arm pit and left shoulder in the exchange, but police detained him and 4 other persons.

Man Mysteriously Shot On Highway
Police have no clue who shot 43 year old Kenrick Sutherland as he walked on the Western Highway last night. It happened about 8:10 pm, at mile one and a half, near Belize Refrigeration Limited when Sutherland heard three shots and realized he had been hit in the abdomen. Sutherland was rushed to the KHMH where he received emergency surgery and is in a stable condition.

Funding For Highway Improvement
Just last week we showed you a tragic accident on the Western Highway that claimed the lives of four persons in one family. The problem is the limestone surface - that becomes slick with even a light rain. Well, now, help is on the way; Belize has secured funding for a road safety improvement project. It is 7.2 million US dollar loan from the Caribbean development Bank, which will be used to upgrade roads, educate the public and deploy more enforcement personnel. According to the figures, Belize recorded 70 road traffic deaths in 2009, equivalent to 21 traffic deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, which is the highest fatality rate of the 17 Borrowing Member Countries of the CDB. The CDB says that this is disturbing both as a public health issue, and also "translates into significant social and economic impacts due to lost productivity and increased vulnerability to poverty." And so the funds will be used to upgrade fifty miles of primary roads from 1 and 2-star safety levels to a minimum of 3-stars. Additionally, 100 teachers are to be trained to deliver a road safety curriculum to 2,000 students. Also, 20 public officers will be trained in road safety management, and 35 more will be trained in traffic law enforcement. The release does not say when work will commence.

22 Year Old Drowned, Possibly As A Result of Drunkenness
A 22 year old drowned this weekend after a drinking spree with friends. Santos Vicente Murcia, a 22 year old student from San Ignacio Town, was supposed to go to class at C.E.T. at 8 on Friday morning. But he called home to say that classes had been cancelled, and that he would be staying with some friends. Around 7:30 that night, an intoxicated Murcia stopped Alberto Gamez, a Taxi driver, on George Street in Benque Viejo. He asked to go to San Ignacio, but Gamez refused, so Murcia threw a beer bottle at the vehicle, denting it. Gamez then put Murcia in his vehicle, to take him to the police station, but Murcia jumped out and escaped. That's the last time anyone saw him, and on Sunday, his mother reported him missing. Searches were conducted over the weekend, and one of the areas searched was the riverbank, where police discovered a pair of white tennis shoes. Yesterday morning around 8:30 a search team found his already decomposing body was found near a food vendor. It is believed that Murcia may have jumped into the river while drunk.

Festival Of The Arts Opens
The National Festival of arts is a celebration of art and culture across Belize, and today visual art was showcased in an exhibition at the Bliss centre. It featured artists from across the country ranging in age from 5 to age 50. Artists utilized installation art, sculpting, graphic design, paintings, photography and even print making. We spoke to the curator Gilvano Swasey after the launch, and he told us that the artists are not only exhibiting art, but putting forth a message of hope. Gilvano Swasey, Curator "Being the national festival of arts, most of the pieces is screaming, fresh, young and hopeful. There are lots of colors in the pieces. There are series, so there is not just one piece that would send a message; there are collections from the different artists and then the sizes, a lot of them were huge and loud and that was what it is, what the youthful voice was all about in the exhibition." Joris Groenendaal, Fashion Designer "I ended up picking the pieces that were inspired by the clouds in the skies from a photo of one of my friends Jose Ruiz pretty much because the sky is the limit, that's what they say, but I prefer to think of it as the skies is limitless. You can go all the way; you don't have to limit yourself in art and in expressing yourself." "They are out of this world, they are different, they are not commercial or mainstream. They are art." Robin Schaffer "How does it feel like to have your work displayed for all to see?" Joris Groenendaal, Fashion Designer "It's different because I've never done anything like this in an exhibition with fashion."

Chess Olympiad? Awesome!
Chess - it is a complex game that tests logic and strategy while requiring total concentration and focus. And, on Saturday the top 200 young chess players in the country were focused on the 5th annual National Chess Olympiad. It was held at the UB gymnasium in Belmopan and chess players ranging in age from 6 to 18 competed. But it wasn't only about chess. The players and spectators were treated to a day full of activity from face painting to kite making to stilt walking to Ozzy the clown. The BNYCF national director expressed her surprise at the amount of competitors, and her pleasure at the growing number of players. Ella Baron Anderson, BNYCF - National Program Director "At this point we have about 2,000 chess players throughout the whole country and we notice that some districts like Orange Walk had very few players until last year all of a sudden it's like they awoke. A lot of players came for the first time, so they never participated before." "This is the second generation of players who are necessarily taught by us coaches but they were taught by the other players in their community." Marciela Cocum, 16 yr. old #1 rank female player "I was really nervous but I tried my best in playing the game. I put a lot of effort in it. I loss, but it was really a good game. Each one of us had about 2 minutes in the game, so it was a very long game and I think it was the best game I played today. It was really tough; I put all my effort in it." Gian Escalante, 15 yr. old player "It helps you focus. When you are in school you focus more and it makes you concentrate very good about what you are reading or doing."

Popcaan't!
Last week we told you all about Reggae Dancehall Sensation, Popcaan who was in town for a poolside concert at the Princess. Well, as it turns out, the only thing sensational was the debacle that unfolded at the concert venue. We've heard all kind of reports of what happened, but the bottom line was that it was raining - and the concert was at an outdoor venue - so all kinds of chaos unfolded. Mainly, it seems the stage was crowded with those seeking shelter form the rain, and when police tried to clear the stage form Popcaan, chaos erupted. And so, Popcaan only performed two songs - and left the stage amidst a hail of insults - and we're told even bottle throwing. Police were forced to shut down the show and concert goers left angry and demanding refunds - which they never got.

Man Caught With Gun
Earlier in the newscast, we told you about the 3 men arrested in connection with the stolen Hilux, who said that they were on the way to the Popcaan Concert. Well, another man was caught by police with a firearm, who also said that he was on the way to the very same concert. 20 year-old Sherwin Gallego, a fruit vendor of Maskall village, was arraigned on one count of keeping an unlicensed firearm in Magistrate's Court. According to police, at 1:25 a.m. on Sunday Morning, they were on mobile patrol at the corner of Elston Kerr Street and Raccoon Street Extension, when their attention was drawn to two young men who were standing on the street. When the officers approached them, one of the young men, who was identified as Gallego, ran away and tried to escape. The officers chased after him, and caught him with a Tech 9 pistol in his possession. Gallego pleaded not guilty to the charge today, and His attorney, Bryan Neal, spoke up on his behalf. According to Neal, the officers seriously brutalized his client. As a result, Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer ordered that he be to the KHMH before being remanded. Gallego is expected to be brought back to court on June 26. In other firearms news, on Friday a concerned citizen handed in to Police a .45 pistol, along with 20 live rounds of ammunition and a 9MM pistol bearing with 61 live rounds. No other details on these firearms were provided.

Channel 5

Child, 11 year old, killed by gunfire
For one family of Central American Boulevard in Belize City, shootings that claim the lives of their loved ones, have been the regular way that their family members die. Last Wednesday, the third member of that family, twenty-eight year old Kaylon Matura was gunned down as he left his yard on his way to work. [...]

School to March for Peace following death of minor
In the wake of the death of eleven year old Daniel Matura Jr., his school, the Muslim Community Primary School is organizing a peace march on Wednesday. Principal Lana Ahmad told News Five that the killing and gun warfare in the streets has reached a breaking point and they want to send a message to [...]

Crime of passion; B.D.F. killed by his wife
The violence over the three day weekend claimed the life of two persons and left several others recovering from gunshot wounds. The motives include revenge, unrequited love, and some others seem to be random. Crimes of passion however, are normally accompanied by confession. The police department’s first murder victim was a Belize Defence Force soldier, [...]

Police investigating officer’s shooting of wanted man
The Ministry of National Security is not only mourning the life of the fallen soldier, but its other arm, the police department is obligated to investigate one of its own following a shooting incident, also in Dangriga. A wanted man was shot while running from two police officers on Saturday morning. According to the cops [...]

Oh Snap! Cop busted on camera stealing Ministry’s truck
It seems that the Ministry of National Security has been embarrassed as another investigation must take place regarding police officer who was caught on camera committing a crime. Recently, we reported on the 2009 Toyota Hilux that was stolen from the Central Health Region Compound on May eighth. It has been recovered and a police [...]

A new plan for combating crime
Earlier today, the Police Department held a press conference as a result of the shooting death of a standard three student. The presence of the police and B.D.F. on the streets was recently increased by eighty additional personnel. But with seven shooting incidents occurred over the weekend, it seems that the Ministry of National Security’s [...]

Shot while walking on highway
Forty-three year old Kenrick Sutherland, a laborer of Belize City, is tonight recovering from gunshot wounds he received while walking along the Western Highway on Monday night. He reported to police that he was in the vicinity of Belize Refrigeration Limited at around eight o’clock when he heard three gunshots. When the shooting subsided Sutherland [...]

6 shootings over 3 day weekend
The murder of eleven year old Daniel Matura clearly affected his community and parents across the country. But there were several other incidents that rocked Belize City over the weekend. Police Press Officer, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood reviewed several incidents including the shooting of a shop assistant, forty year old, Irma Martinez at Martha’s Fast Food [...]

Family alleges cops beat their loved one
While the Police Department has its hands full with the weekend shootings and murders, the Ladyville Police Formation has also been busy. Apparently officers were apprehending a suspect who ran away and fired shots in the bush behind Liberty School. But the family of Travis McKay claims that the police may have used unjust force. [...]

Athlete on National Team fails drug test
A Belizean athlete failed an anti-doping test by the Central American Regional Anti-Doping Organization in February of this year. Kleon Coleman of the Belize National Volleyball Team tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide and metabolite chloraminophenamide. As a result, Coleman, along with his doctor and representative, attended a hearing in April. A decision from the Central American [...]

Write your song into national history
Other national events are on the horizon, including the September Celebrations. A premiere event of September is the national song competition. The National Celebrations Commission has announced that submissions are now being accepted for both the carnival and patriotic song categories. All Belizean musicians, performers and songwriters are invited to turn in their songs for [...]

A Festival celebrating the Cacao
Chocolate is enjoyed by adults and children alike. The image treasured in the minds of many are unwrapping a silver or gold wrapper to reveal the traditionally dark delight. But some people are not aware that chocolate comes from the cacao plant, many of which are grown in southern Belize. News Five’s Isani Cayetano travelled [...]

Tuesday Edition of James Adderley’s Sports Monday
Good Evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The Women Football Championship series kicked off yesterday at the Louisiana Government School field at Orange Walk where the red hot Suga City Girls hosted the Dangriga Pumas who have emerged as a serious title contender in 2012. In the 3rd minute of the [...]

LOVE TV

POLL: Of the major Belize City-based Television Newscasts, which do you choose to get your news from first on a daily basis?
Of the major Belize City-based Television Newscasts, which do you choose to get your news from first on a daily basis? Love Television, Channel 5, Channel 7

PlusTV

Monday morning shooting takes the life of 11 year old
Belize City Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of an 11year old student of Arlington Drive, DANIEL MATURA, which occurred about 8:40am yesterday morning (May 21). It was a tragic Monday for the family as CIB personnel visited the K.H.M.H where they saw MATURA’S lifeless body. It was punctured with bullet wounds to left side of the chest, right side of the back and left ring finger. Police investigation revealed that two dark complexion men were riding on Central American Boulevard from the direction of Faber’s Road towards Penn Road. They were passing a group of people who were by #3 Central American Boulevard, when a man ran out of the crowd and began shooting after them. Both men escaped unhurt. But unfortunately, young Daniel Matura who was walking on the sidewalk from the oppositedirection was fatally injured. The Police department this morning held a press conference and Assistant Commissioner Elodio Arogan explained that they have a suspect detained; however that person is not an enemy but a relative. According to Aragon a caution statement has been taken already.

BDF Corporal butchered in domestic squabble
There was also another murder over the long holiday weekend. This one took place down south and the victim was a Belize Defense force corporal. 38 year old Donovan Castillo Myvette was stabbed multiple times at his Dangriga home yesterday morning, allegedly by his girlfriend. Reports are that Myvette and his girl friend were seen talking on the verandah of their home around 6:30am, and shortly after a commotion was heard inside the house. Police investigation revealed that Myvette and 35yr old Marsha Reid, were involved in a dispute, which resulted in Reid stabbing him. This murder was also addressed at this morning’s press briefing.

Men hospitalized following police raid
The City of Belmopan is known to be a peaceful and safe community especially on Sundays. That tranquility was shattered on Sunday when one man’s evening rest was interrupted as policemen invaded a home on Lamux St. right across from a Sunday evening revival service. Julian Cruz visited the scene and filed the following report. Sunday for many is a day of rest and relaxation. And that is exactly what one gentleman was doing on Sunday evening (May 20) when his respite was violently interrupted. Benjamin Bonilla Assivedo, a Salvadoran National living on Lamux St in the Maya Mopan area of Belmopan was at home playing cards and hanging out with a couple of his friends – Lorenzo Duarte and Gerrardo Barrios (both 20 years old) - when the Police forced their way into his home. His house showed visible signs of disturbance and his belongings were carelessly flung around the small two room bungalow. The playing cards were on the floor mingled with blood stains from Sunday’s assault. We spoke with area residents and eye witness who were at a revival service right across the street from the house as the police raid was taking place. Two unmarked pick-up trucks pulled up at the house around 7:30pm on Sunday evening and officers dressed in black fatigue unfits and plain clothes jumped out and stormed the house.

Armed bandits rob Bay View Oasis Restaurant & Bar
Three persons have been arrested in connection with a robbery which happened over the weekend. Ricardo Marin, owner of Bay view Oasis Restaurant and Bar located at 4 ¼ miles Northern Highway, reported that on Saturday May 19th at 12:30am while inside his business place along with his employees, two dark complexion male persons entered. One of those persons was armed with a 9mm pistol while the other had a sawed-off pump action shotgun. One of the culprits jumped behind the counter and hit Marin behind the head casing a cut wound. They then robbed him but quick police response led to the recovery of most of the stolen items. Inspector Dawson in this morning’s press briefing spoke briefly on the matter.

Stolen MOH truck recovered, cop detained
A Police officer is charged for the theft of Central Region Stolen Toyota Hilux. Over the weekend police recovered a stolen Gold 2009 Toyota Hilux that was stolen from the Central Region of The Department of Health. The hilux pick up was stolen early in the moring at around 2:47 from the central region compound here in Belize city which is at the old Nursing School, right next to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Special personnel conducted an Operation between 10:00pm on Saturday 19th and 12:00am on Sunday 20th May, 2012 at mile 19 Northern Highway in Sandhill Village where they recovered a brown 2009 Toyota Hilux double cab pickup truck with valued $44,500.00Bcy that was reported stolen on 8th May, 2012 by Mark Arnold from the Ministry of Health. The vehicle was in good condition, however it was found without license plates. This Morning Police Press Officer Fritzroy Yearwood refused to comment much on the matter claiming the matter is under investigation.

Global Day of Prayer 2012
This Sunday is Global Day of prayer. It’s a time when people from all over the world join in unison and present their prayers and supplication to God. Global day of prayer started in South Africa and has since spread all over the world. This Sunday is Pentecostal Sunday, the day when the Holy Spirit descended on the church about 2000 years ago. Pastor Scott Stirm, one of the organizers of the event in Belize, spoke to plusnews of the history of global day of pray. The Global Day of Prayer takes place on the day of Pentecost all over the world. It originally started off in South Africa about ten years ago and then it began to spread across the entire African continent and then over the whole world. Several years back, they lost count of how many people are gathering for prayer - it’s in the hundreds of millions of believers that are gathering today. The theme scripture behind it is 2 Chronicles 7:14 ‘If my people who are called by my name would humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven, I will forgive their sins and I will heal their land.’ So that’s the purpose of the Global Day of Prayer.

Man dies after jump in river
A businesswoman of San Ignacio Town files a missing report which turns into a tragic outcome. On Sunday May 20th 47yr old Rosa Rodriquez reported to Benque Veijo Police that on Saturday May 19th her 22yr old son, Santos Vicente Murcia, left home at 8:00am to attend classes at C.E.T. At about 10:00am Santos called and informed her that classes were cancelled and told her that he would be staying with some friends. Rodriguez also stated that at about 4:00pm Santos called and informed her that he would have been home two hours later and up to the time of making her report he has not been seen or heard from. Police investigations led to the questioning of one Alberto Gamez who told police that sometime around 7:30pm on Saturday Santos who appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, met him on George Street in Benque Veijo Town. He wanted to charter Gamez’ taxi to go to San Ignacio, but Gamez refused. Santos then stoned his car with a beer bottle causing a dent to the trunk. Gamez detained him and was taking him to the Benque Viejo Police Station, when Santos jumped out of the car and jumped into the river. A dive team was dispatched to the immediate area, on Sunday, but there efforts were fruitless. Police subsequently searched along the river bank where Santos allegedly jumped into the water. A pair of white tennis shoe, believed to be his, was found. Checks were made with family members and friends, but he was not located. However at 6:35am Monday morning (May 21) Benque Veijo Police visited the banks of the Mopan River in the Vicinity of the Bus Terminal where the body of a male person was seen floating in the river. The body was brought ashore and identified to be that of VICENTE SANTOS MURCIA. MURCIA’S body was taken to the San Ignacio Hospital Morgue where he was pronounced dead on arrival by Dr. Pineda. No signs of injuries were observed on the body.

Encounter with gunman leaves 43 year old hospitalized
On Monday May21st at about 8:10pm CIB personnel visited the K.H.M.H where they saw, 43yr old Kenrick Sutherland, with an apparent gunshot wound to right side of his abdomen and an apparent exit wound to left side of abdomen area. Initial investigation revealed that about 8:00pm Sutherland was walking on the Western Highway towards the direction of Belize City and upon reaching near the Belize Refrigeration Limited, he heard about three apparent gunshots and realized he was hit. Sutherland was admitted for surgery at the KHMH and is in a stable condition.

Man shot at during confrontation
Belize City Police is also investigating a report of aggravated assault. 31yr old Andrew Willoughby, reported that on Monday, between 8:30am and 9:00am while standing on the sidewalk on Central American Boulevard, he was approached by a man of Creole descent with low haircut, dressed in a grey T-shirt and a short black pants known to him as Brandon Taylor riding a bicycle from the direction of Faber's Road Belize City heading towards Shell one Stop Gas Station on the right hand side of the Boulevard. The man took out a chrome handgun from his left pants pocket, pointed it him and shouted "I wah kill all ah unu." Willoughby claimed that he was in fear for his life and ran into the Matura's yard to avoid getting shot. Police detained 26yr old Brandon Taylor earlier today pending investigations.

Police Commissioner orders internal investigation into shooting
Dangriga Police is also investigating a shooting incident. Two Police Officers attached to the Dangriga Police Formation reported that on Saturday in the morning they were on mobile patrol when they were informed that Lawrence Bernardez who was wanted for questioning was in a building in the Lakeland Area. As a result the officers responded where upon arrival they met a male person on the verandah who was placed on the ground. One of the officers saw Lawrence Bernardez exiting the house and ordered him to stop, but Bernardez ran and jumped a zinc fence and escaped into an adjacent yard. The officer pursued Bernardez who pulled out a black firearm and pointed it in the direction of the Police who then fired a shot from his service weapon but was uncertain whether or not Bernardez was hit. About twenty minutes later Police received a call via 911 from the Southern Regional Hospital that there was a man with an apparent gunshot wound. Upon making checks at the Hospital Police saw Lawrence Bernardez suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the upper left side of the chest. Bernardez has since been transported to the K.H.M.H in a critical, but stable condition. The commissioner has ordered a criminal and internal investigation be carried out in this incident.

Woman shot after refusing to comply with stranger
A woman was shot in Belize City on Friday night as well. It happened on Lacroix Street in Belize City. 40yr Irma Martinez was shot to the left ear. Initial investigations revealed that at 7:45pm Martinez was working at Martha’s Fast Food when a dark complexion male person approached the window and demanded that she opened the shop door. Martinez refused and the male person pulled out a gun and fired four shots at her causing the injury. The male person then left. Nothing was stolen and Police investigation continues.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Presenting the Delegates for Miss Lobster Fest 2012-2013…
The Caye Caulker Lobster Fest Pageant Committee is pleased to present the Delegates for this year’s Miss Lobster Fest 2012-2013 pageant. Five lovely young ladies have taken up the challenge and have commenced with preparation to give a great show for the general public to enjoy. You are hereby invited to come on out to enjoy the festivities that the Committee is putting together for all. Lobster Fest 2012 kicks off with Pageant night being June 29, 2012 followed by a weekend packed with events for the entire family to enjoy on June 30 and July 1, 2012. Hotels have already commenced in receiving bookings for this fun weekend so it would be advisable to make your reservations today! I take great pleasure in presenting to you: Miss Jasmine Arce Miss Sylvia Joseph Miss Vicky Canul Miss Shania Sanchez Miss Jasmine Skeen Hair and make-up was done by Stacy and Gina Badillo, Proprietors of Purple Passion Beauty Salon and Spa while Barrier Reef Cable Company is the proud sponsor for the dresses and accessories the delegates utilized for the photo shoot. In communicating with one of the Pageant’s Organizers, he has indicated that the Belize Tourism Board is being a major sponsor for the pageant as well as festivities leading up to the Lobster Fest weekend. For those businesses or individuals wishing to provide sponsorship toward the Scholarship fund, please feel free to contact Ernesto Marin at 226-0123 or Chantel Marin at 600-8417.

Blogs

An early rainy season
Sunday, May 13: The last day of dry season? In retrospect, the dramatic halo around the sun on May 13th must have signaled the start of rainy season, and an early one at that. Rainy season usually stretches from June through December in Belize; although this year, we had a wet January, and May has been very wet as well. It has rained nearly every day or night since that rainbow around the moon appeared, twice nearly 3" in less than 24 hours. Last night it rained nearly 3" in less than 12 hours! Today we had to ride our bikes to town to stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables as we were completely out, and Tuesday is normally a day that the boats come from the mainland loaded down with fresh produce. We knew the road north of the bridge, which is unpaved and sandy, would be a real mess after the heavy rains last night, as it was already in poor shape from the past week and a half of on-and-off rain. Fortunately we can ride part of the way on the beach, but in some places, there is no choice but to ride on the road. Thought you might like to come along and see what a ride into town is like during rainy season....

How I spent my Commonwealth Day
Hope all of you had a Happy Commonwealth Day or May 24 as we refer to it in Canada. I decided it was going to be a quiet day. Lots of relaxing and stretching, followed by date night with tacoboy before he left for Mexico this morning with Walter Pedro and 3 of the hotel guests. Our plan was to go visit Cowboy and Leisa for Double Trouble happy hour at the pool bar – a potentially dangerous thing We made it up there around 5:30 and decided to share a shrimp quesadilla – yum. Stayed for a couple of drinks and then enjoyed a nice golf cart ride south on one of our favorite back roads. North Ambergris Caye road was super bumpy, puddles were not too bad. After the big rain we got in the middle of the night they may be a bit bigger by now, we ended up with a small lake at the side of our house. It was starting to dry out from the morning sun, but looks like it may get filled again as the sky is getting really dark to the East. Taking a break from snapping pictures so I pulled these 3 colorful San Pedro Shots that remind me of why I love living on a tropical island in Belize.

Hurricane Season Opens Early: When It Rains, It Seems to Pour In San Pedro
The hurricane season seems to be starting early. Tropical Depression Alberto hovers off the coast of the Carolinas and Tropic Storm Bud (interesting choice of names) sits off the west coast of Mexico. The official start of the season isn't for another week (June 1st). Though the storms are not very close to us, the whole Caribbean is still swirling and we are sandwiched right in the middle... We've had four days of grey, drizzly weather with heavy rains at night. As many Belizeans will tell you..."good baby making weather". Despite what I thought were brightening skies yesterday afternoon... and an okay evening (gave us just enough time to celebrate the San Pedro Sun's editor and owner's birthday...Happy Birthday Tamara!) last night was no exception - heavy HEAVY rains with thunder and lightening. (Almost 3 inches of rain between 9pm and 5am). The run-off from the hotels and houses dug trenches in the beach overnight...

Refried Beans for Breakfast
Clean and wash 1 or 2lbs of black or red beans grain Soak the beans overnight in water Rinse the beans in the morning Add beans and new water in a pot (Enough to cook them properly) Add a piece of white onion 3-4 garlic cloves Salt to taste Let it simmer in low heat until well cooked Blend the beans with a little bit of the water (Do not make it too thick or thin) Chop 2 garlic clove finely Chop 1 small onion Add the garlic and onion to a frying pan with vegetable oil and fry until slightly golden brown If you desire, you can add cumin powder and/or chopped cilantro to taste Add beans and mix/stir constantly adding more oil if necessary

The Sounds of Belize
I have a tape of jungle sounds. Sometimes I put it into my computer when I’m working. It starts in silence, then dawn creeps across it like light across a sky. The trills of nameless birds, the croaks and cheeps of cicadas and tree frogs – the sounds of the Belizean rainforest are as evocative as any other memory I have of the country. I could play its score from first day to last, and never tire of it. But for me, the sounds of Belize City are where it all began, newly arrived in the country, trying to find my feet. I remember it all so well – the roar of four-by-fours on potholed streets, the thump of punta rock from speakers stacked in open shop doorways, the cries of hustlers after dollar from the tourists. ‘Yuh lookin fu wa guide. Yuh wanna hea a song? Yuh wa I show yuh weh fu go?’ At the time there was an election under way. People on the streets were politicking. I saw their slogans on their banners, heard them calling out for change. And in the heat of evening, lying on my hotel bed, I heard a rally underway across the street. Voices carried across the air. Cheers from the rally. Music from the sea front. Night-birds whistling, full-throttled. I could hear them too.

Football update ..
To burn excess energy of Caye Caulker Villagers we have a number of activities but probably the most social would be football. There are two leagues currently underway – that of the Adult and the Under 14s both of which are organized by Luis Gongora. Firstly the Adult – this league is played each and ever Sunday (weather permitting) and commenced two weeks ago. There are 5 teams in this league, namely Lazy Lizard, Team Danger and Team Tsunami, Team Rainbow and Caye Caulker Boyz/ Bahia. Due to the fact that there are an odd number of teams, each week one of the teams gets a well earned ‘rest’ whilst watching their rivals play. Thus far the Lazy Lizard team is in the lead. They have had the advantage of playing 2 games and they have won both games (presumably the players were not drinking Lizard Juice the night before!!!). Both Team Danger and Team Tsunami have only played one game and therefore they have a slight disadvantage thus far that will be made up further down the line. And finally Team Rainbow have lost both their games (presumably from enjoying too much of the good food from their sponsors) and Caye Caulker Boyz wining one and losing another game. This is only the first round and for the first four teams that qualify, the finals will beckon!! The Under 14s League is well underway and this Saturday will see the finals of the blue and the orange team (and yes, the teams are named by their color rather than me not remember the team names through bad research!!) – news on that will follow!

International Sources

Big Belize investment project...it seems... $1.2 Billion US with a B
Who will be speaking on "Reinventing Yourself in Economic Hard Times" at a business luncheon Thursday in Clewiston? None other than local developer Joseph Paladin. Two years ago, he bought part of a citrus company and packinghouse. A few years before that, he started a consulting company. Still, Paladin is a developer at heart. When I contacted him Friday, he was in Belize working on a $1.2 billion project (1,500 residential units, two hotels, a golf course and a casino). What's Paladin's role in the massive Belize project? "I'm the facilitator," he said. "I put the whole deal together." Paladin has ties to Clewiston. He used to have business interests there (a gas station and lumber yard), and it's home to a daughter and his two brothers.

Paying Belize official's medical bills fosters ties: foreign ministry
The Taiwan government's decision to pay medical bills for Belize Governor-General Colville N. Young promotes medical diplomacy and can help strengthen ties with its Central American diplomatic ally, the foreign ministry said Wednesday. The remark came in response to local media reports that Young received a medical checkup at Taipei Medical University's Shuang Ho Hospital in New Taipei a day earlier during his trip to Taiwan for the May 20 inauguration of President Ma Ying-jeou. Young's medical bills were inexpensive and were covered by the government, said Steve Hsia, deputy spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Taiwan has long been offering medical assistance to Belize by sending medical missions and donating medical equipment, which has won the recognition of the Belize people, Hsia added. "(The decision to pay for his) medical attention in Taiwan not only introduces him to the advanced medical expertise of the country, but also

Kate Upton Back in Bikini for Beach Bunny Swimwear (photos)
Kate Upton is back doing what she does so very well, posing in swimsuits. This time she’s hitting the beach for Beach Bunny swimwear, a brand she’s represented for a few years now. Upton, who turns 20 next month, had the enviable task of traveling to the white sandy beaches of Sanctuary Belize to shoot the Beach Bunny 2012 Spring preview of its swimwear collection. Photographer Yu Tsai was behind the lens. Check out Kate’s photos; click to enlarge. The nautical-themed campaign took advantage of the white sand beaches, the blue sky and the crystal clear water, the model says. The group sailed out to Sanctuary Island for the shoot and had it all to themselves. Kate has been super busy since she covered the 2012 issue of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. She even landed a part in the Farrelly brothers movie “The Three Stooges.” She played an extremely hot nun Sister Bernice. And, she recently shot a new television commercial for DirectTV. The fetching American model speaks just seven words in the 30 second spot and spends the rest of the time doing sexy glamour poses in a tiny aqua-colored string bikini. Sometimes images are more powerful than words. Just check out her latest photos.

Tropical Storm Beryl By This Weekend Or Next Week?? It’s Possible
Analysis this morning showed an area of low pressure located in the Gulf of Honduras just east of northern Belize. Satellite imagery showed showers and thunderstorm activity stretching from the western Caribbean northeastward across Cuba and into the Bahamas and northeastward from there into the open Atlantic. It needs to be pointed out that wind shear values across parts of the western Caribbean have decreased yesterday to 10 knots or less from near the northern coast of Honduras southeastward into the southwestern Caribbean. This trend is important as further decreases in wind shear may allow for some type of development in the western Caribbean in the next few days or so. The GFS operational model really doesn’t do a whole lot with the western Caribbean low pressure system, however, the European model guidance, which normally does pretty well with medium and long range forecasts is singing a different tune. The European model guidance is forecasting that the area of low pressure now in the Gulf of Honduras will track northeastward across western Cuba by late tonight and into Wednesday and then across south Florida during Thursday. From there, the European model guidance forecasts that this low pressure system will sit and spin about halfway between the northwestern Bahamas and Bermuda this weekend before it becomes entangled in an eastward moving frontal system tracking across the eastern United States by next Wednesday and next Thursday.

A Guide to Diving, Surfing and Biking on Three Caribbean Islands
Our first dive site was The Chimney. I shuffled across the deck in my tank and fins, jumped into the Kool-Aid–colored Caribbean, deflated my life jacket, and sank, marveling, as I do every time I dive, at my sudden ability to breathe underwater and at the intricate sub-aqua landscape. The instructor led us to the site’s namesake, a channel in the reef, and we funneled down, one after the other, arms folded in an effort not to provide a finger buffet for the shiny, incisor-baring barracuda that hovered within. There was something of the fashion show about the dive, with its parade of underwater posers: beaky blue-green parrot fish, flamboyant scorpion fish, their frilly headdresses waving from side to side, and my favorite, the black durgon triggerfish—a trim, flat model with electric-white piping, a Phillip Lim frock of a fish. Draped over the pale-violet fans and yellow brain buttresses of the reef were neon-pink strings of coral that looked like Tom Binns necklaces. When I returned to the boat, the dive masters were talking lionfish. These highly poisonous Indian Ocean predators have been the scourge of the Caribbean ever since a few of them escaped from a Miami aquarium after Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Now, thousands patrol the seabed, and because they have no predators, they ingest everything in their path. They weren’t the only killers the group had spotted in the big blue—two reef sharks had glided silently past the honeymooners. I was determined to bag my own on the afternoon dive. I had spotted my first shark while snorkeling off Placencia, Belize, many years ago. Seeing a shark sharking around below when you’re paddling near the surface is a panic-inducing experience of the first order. At least it was for me. My flight instinct had kicked in with aplomb, and I’d swum at Michael Phelps speed toward the boat, only to be told by my Rasta guide that it was a nurse shark, which is about as dangerous as a cat.

Exhibit on Mayan culture, civilization to open Saturday at Florida Museum
Visitors can explore an ancient Mayan civilization and culture in the Florida Museum of Natural History’s newest temporary exhibit, “An Early Maya City by the Sea: Daily Life and Ritual at Cerros, Belize,” opening Saturday. The free exhibit will be displayed through Oct. 7. “We hope visitors gain an appreciation for what came before us and connect to the Maya society on a personal level,” said Tina Choe, Florida Museum exhibit developer. The exhibit illustrates how the city originally looked through 3-D maps and an aerial video. Visitors will also discover how the Maya of Cerros integrated religious rituals with daily life and view 45 artifacts on display for the first time, most dating from 350 B.C. to A.D. 300. “It is an ideal opportunity for the public to see artifacts from the only large, scientifically excavated early Maya collection now in a U.S. museum collection,” said Susan Milbrath, the curator of Latin American art and archaeology at the Florida Museum. The artifacts displayed in the exhibit were excavated by archaeologists working at Cerros in the 1970s and donated to the Florida Museum of Natural History by the Institute of Archaeology in Belize in 2009. The donation of more than 2,800 artifacts doubled the size of the Florida Museum’s Latin American archaeology collection. Thanks to a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the artifacts will also be added to an online catalog.

May 22, 2012

Daily Tropical Weather Info.


Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!! Coming Back...
She hadn’t seen him for well over seven years. The cowboy hat he wore while driving around in his golf cart sure didn’t help. He had laser-like focus on the back street puddles he was trying to avoid, a frown of concentration on his face. Seven years had passed by, yet she still felt that tightening in her stomach from their first encounter. Everything else had changed around the island: the main streets were paved, the faces were so unfamiliar. All that wonderful fun she had had with amazing people, through the haze of alcohol and cigarette smoke – faded. The air had cleared and what she was left with she didn’t like the sight of. Bartenders had changed, bars had disappeared, shopkeepers’ smiles had faded – her favorite shops had also been taken over by monolithic cement piles.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Whale Shark Dive in Belize "Preparation and Regulations"
Here's what you can expect from a day trip when you book a Whale Shark Dive based from Placencia.

VIDEO: Whale Sharks in Belize THE DIVE episode May Moon 2012 at Gladden Split
May Moon 2012 Whale Shark Dive at Gladden Split with Splash Dive Team based from Placencia. Thanks to all the good people and new friends from the Village of Placencia.

LOVE TV

11 year old boy shot dead in Belize City
Police have released details about the Monday morning shooting incident that claimed the life of a young boy. Initially, police had given his age as 12 years old but have now adjusted the age of Daniel Matura to 11 years old. Matura, a student residing on Arlington Drive, was shot dead around 8:40 am on Monday on Central American Boulevard. He was hit multiple times by gunshots when a man opened fire on two men who were reported to be riding on Central American Boulevard from the direction of Faber’s Road towards Penn Road. As the two dark complexion men passed a group of persons assembled in front of #3 A Central American Boulevard, police say a man emerged from the crowd and started shooting at the riders. While the two men who were apparently the target of the gunman escaped unhurt, Matura was not so fortunate as he was walking on the sideway coming from the opposite direction when he was fatally wounded. Authorities say Matura sustained gunshot injuries to the left side of the chest, right side of the back and left ring finger. Police say they have detained one person in connection with this morning’s murder of 11 year old Daniel Matura.

BDF officer stabbed to death in Dangriga
A Belize Defence Force Corporal was killed in Dangriga Town early this morning. The victim, Donovan Castillo Myvette, 38, was stabbed multiple times at his home in the new site area of Dangriga. Myvette and his girlfriend were reportedly seen talking on the verandah of their house around 6:30 am and shortly thereafter a commotion was heads inside the house. Myvette sustained multiple stab wounds including to the neck, shoulder and a large cut wound the head. Myvette’s body lies at the morgue at the Southern Regional Hospital where it awaits a post mortem examination. Police have one suspect in custody as their investigation continues.

Schoolboy fatally wounded in Belize City
A twelve year old boy was shot dead in Belize City this morning. The victim has been identified as Daniel Matura. The shooting incident, according to confirmed reports, happened at Matura’s home on Central American Boulevard, the same place where a relative, Kaylon Matura was fatally wounded last week. Love News understands that Daniel Matura sustained multiple gunshot wounds and police who were processing the scene have recovered at least eight expended shells. Love News understands that police have one suspect in custody and are looking for the murder weapon. We will continue to monitor this story and bring you new details as they become available.

PlusTV

LINK: The Richest Man in Babylon FREE DOWNLOAD
This page takes you to the link where you can download "The richest man in Babylon" written by George S. Clason. Th...

CONTRIBUTED: Rise and Shine list of Small and Medium Business ideas
Pastor Wade: (for Rise and Shine) Here are a few Micro and small business ideas... sure there are multitude more.. Sewing coop (small business module- between 5 and 10 persons Sewing and dressmaking (individuals) Boutiques using local seamstress with Belizean designs Furniture (small items for cruise passengers Home furniture Meat Poultry Back yard Pigs Back yard Green houses Agro processing Bakery Crafts Mechanic Shops ...

EDITORIAL: "We need a Counter Revolution"- Paul Rodriguez
The world human rights agenda is supremely hypocritical. Since 1973when Roe VS Wade legalised abortions in the USA, hundreds of millions of the most innocent human beings- unborn babies, have been brutally murdered with the consent of their own mothers. There has not been even a whisper of objection by the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations. But, every little whimper by the Caleb Oroscos of the world have elicited the spending of millions of dollars to defend their bogus rights. It is a high time that the callous hypocrisy of the world agenda be completely exposed. This is not easy. The persons who should be speaking out, who attend the international human rights conferences, have been bought out. It is truly amazing how the greatest revolution in world history, the propagation of the rights of man, has been subverted by the power of money and by politics. When the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was promulgated on 8thDecember, 1948, there was rejoicing throughout the Western World. This happened three years after the nations of the West were led by America to conquer the most barbaric regime ever organised during man’s whole history. Nazi Germany brutally, viciously, mercilessly was carrying out the policy of exterminating a whole tribe of millions of human beings.

Blogs

A Holiday, Continued Stormy Weather and A British Commonwealth Trivia Quiz
Today is a national holiday in Belize called both Commonwealth Day and Sovereign Day. School, banks and government offices are basically the only things closed. Unlike the UK holiday Commonwealth Day, we celebrate in May rather than on March 9th. In Belize and other countries, it is more a celebration of the Queen's official birthday. (Strange also since the Queen was born in April.) According to Wikipedia, the date was chosen to coincide with good weather for outdoor ceremonies. That makes sense...though this year, we are seeing the first proper stormy stretch of 2012. Outside ceremonies...start putting up your tents. Last night, we had a huge lightening and thunder storm that left some of us without power for about 15 minutes (not long...but enough to make me very thankful for my fans once they went back on). The sky totally lit up during the late evening. Here is what we are waking up to...rain is certainly coming over the horizon. As an American citizen, the whole idea of the commonwealth is a bit foreign but totally interesting. So I did a bit of research and came up with 6 trivia questions so that you could test your knowledge of the British Commonwealth. You'd better be commonwealth smart (or being British will help)...some of these are very hard to me.

It's Un-Belize-able!
While Belize is certainly geographically very Central American, its long history as a British colony gives it a feel that we found more similar to some Caribbean islands than its Latin neighbors. The Creole tinged English was a familiar sound to our ears after the years we spent on St. Croix, but it would fit right in on any of the Virgin Islands, Barbados, Antigua, or Jamaica. The history of Belize, known as British Honduras from 1862 until 1964, has a lot in common with those islands. The main difference being that harvesting mahogany trees was the driving economic factor, as opposed to sugar cane. Belize City sits right on the Caribbean coast, so looking out over the beautiful blue water definitely added to our perception of an island feel. As we usually do, we tried to stay away from the overtly touristy spots and wade in to the town. This required fighting our way through numerous barkers and hawkers near the harbor, around what is aptly named The Tourist Village.

Thank you saint Steve!
We were blessed to find a friend and a new member of the Raggamuffin crew in a passenger a few weeks ago. Steve or ‘Saint Steve’ as we want to call him after this photo, undertook an overnight trip with Jerry, Chilo and Dylan some 3 weeks ago now. When he returned he mentioned that he was a photographer and if we wanted, he would undertake the trip again, just so that we can have some more photos for us to share with our friends! Steve undertook the tour again (this time along with Kevin, Jacob and Shane) and enjoyed himself once again. He has not literally become a member of our crew but after taking so many beautiful photos on the overnight, he may as well be named as the newest member of our family! Thank you Steve (and Julia too) – come back again to Caye Caulker soon!!

International Sources

Farming Shrimp With the Planet in Mind
Here’s a shout-out to the amazing team of Pace University graduate and undergraduate students who, led by professor Maria Luskay (with my assistance), just completed the short documentary “Linda Thornton: Seeking Sustainability, One Shrimp at a Time.” I hope you’ll give it a look and offer your reaction. The film chronicles the lifelong effort by Thornton, an Illinois native transplanted to Belize, to farm shrimp while leaving as small an imprint on ecosystems and waters as possible. She’s largely succeeded, as you’ll see, and is working with the World Wildlife Fund to try to develop a standard for farm-raised shrimp that can provide consumers with the confidence that they can enjoy this immensely popular seafood and a thriving environment, as well. The film spans three decades, following Thornton’s journey from early experiments with urban indoor shrimp farming in Chicago to hard-won success in Belize, a country aiming to build its economy without harming its extraordinary natural assets – particularly its coastal mangrove forests and thriving coral reefs.

Reverberations from drug raid felt in US, Honduras
Bullets flew as U.S. helicopters swooped toward a river boat. Honduran national police rappelled to the ground and locals scattered after loading close to 1,000 pounds of cocaine. Now reverberations from a drug raid that locals say killed four innocent people are being felt from the sultry jungles of Central America to Capitol Hill. Last week's DEA-supported predawn raid on the banks of a remote Honduran river began when U.S. drug agents and Honduran national police tracked an airplane loaded with cocaine as it entered the country from South America, Honduras National Police Chief Ricardo Ramirez del Cid said in an interview Thursday. Ramirez said his officers were in four helicopters when they came under fire from the boat. They fired back and then descended on ropes to the river after the shooting stopped. By the time they got there, they only found a boat full of cocaine. He said they didn't know if anyone died. There were no people, dead, alive or injured. Numerous local officials, including Mayor Lucio Vaquedano of the coastal town of Ahuas, said four people, including two pregnant women, were killed. He insisted they were diving for lobster and shellfish when were killed and that they were not involved with drug trafficking.

Should You Renounce Your U.S. Citizenship?
Almost any U.S. citizen can decide not to be one. Should you follow Mr. Saverin's lead and high-tail it to a lower-tax country? While it might seem tempting, renouncing one's citizenship has many drawbacks. Among them: a large "exit tax" owed to the U.S. government upon leaving, steep tax bills for any U.S. heirs and big travel headaches for people who try to return to the U.S. Some lawmakers, picking up on the Saverin case, said Thursday they want to strengthen a law barring expatriates who left for tax reasons from ever re-entering the country. Whether or not you consider the act of renouncing one's citizenship savvy tax planning, the ultimate protest gesture, a rank insult to a system that enables great wealth or just plain weird, some U.S. taxpayers are pondering such moves. Last year, almost 1,800 U.S. citizens turned in their passports and green cards, a sixfold increase from 2008.

Cruise Ships Financially Exploit Onshore Stores
A flock of three thousand tourists spill out of a cruise ship, dispersing into Belize City, following a map given to them by the industry that owns the port, the shops, and the economy. The passengers are on a mission -- a mission to find the largest diamond, a cheap designer watch, or a souvenir that represents the culture of their "exotic" destination. Convinced that the stores on their easy-to-follow map will lead them to the greatest onshore deals, the eager tourists are unaware that the cruise line's recommendations are driven solely by profit. They are unaware that the maps are leading them to stores whose revenue goes straight back to the ship. Their seemingly-cultural onshore excursions are a product of the more than half a billion dollars their cruise line pays on advertising each year. With shopping bags in hand, the suntanned Caribbean vacationers return to the ship that their wallets never parted from. Before cruise passengers go onshore to one of their ship's destinations, they are given shopping lectures and store maps with the industry's recommendations for the best deals and the highest quality products. But what the passengers aren't told is that these stores have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual fees to be listed. Additionally, these businesses are required to pay the cruise lines a percent of their revenue made from cruise passengers. Customers are asked whether they came from a cruise ship, and their cruise line's name is then printed on the receipt, used later to calculate how much is owed to the cruise line.

Trot carefully: These are fishy political machinations
In 2005, the Environmental Investigation Agency approached Lord Ashcroft of the UK to use his influence in Belize to assure support for the anti-whaling camp. It was reported that Ashcroft paid Belize’s International Whaling Commission fees. “Every month I’m on the water somewhere,” Lord Ashcroft is quoted as saying. “I’ve grown a close affinity, not just for whales, but for dolphins and porpoise. So it wasn’t difficult for me to approach the Belizean authorities with such a brief.” He discovered that Belize’s annual subscription to the IWC (£10,000) had lapsed and came up with the cash. That backing yielded swift results when a crucial vote was won by the anti-whaling nations by a majority of one. What does Mr Amba Trott call that? Many years ago, dinosaurs roamed the earth. They are no more -- extinct. Did the Japanese eat them off the face of the earth? Recent studies have indeed suggested that dinosaurs were victims of global warming attributed to their own gas emissions. If the Japanese were around, they would have done scientific research on those giants and probably dinosaurs would still be roaming the earth. Leave the Japanese alone. The scientific research they are doing will save the whales from extinction.

Shyne Talks Diddy, 'Gangland' Album, and Returning To America
Over two years since completing his prison stint stemming from the much publicized 1999 Club New York shootings, Sean "Diddy" Combs' former protégé Shyne is now focused on investing into global technology. The rapper turned Belize Goodwill ambassador and Orthodox Jew (now legally known as Moses Levi) recently partnered with Israeli startup, All Our Power, an international movement that aims to negotiate with large retailers on behalf of its members for long-term discounts. During a recent interview with the Huffington Post, the former Bad Boy recording artist opened up on his latest business venture, reconciling with Diddy in Paris, upcoming music projects, and his plan to return to the United States

Widower Blames Carnival Cruises for Wife's Death
Carnival Cruise Lines had an incompetent crew member stand in for a nurse and he gave a passenger useless enemas for her critically obstructed bowel, her widower claims in Federal Court. John Showers sued Carnival, its doctor and nurse, and the John Doe crew member on his own behalf and for his late wife, Victoria. He seeks more than $5 million in damages. Showers claims that when Victoria eventually did see the ship's doctor he sent her to a hospital in Belize, knowing it was not qualified to perform the surgery she needed. By the time Victoria was flown to a hospital in Miami, Showers says, fecal matter had entered her gut, and treatment "could only prolong her dying process." Showers says the trouble started the day after he and Victoria boarded the Carnival Dream in Miami for a Caribbean cruise and she complained of constipation. She went ashore in Cozumel, Mexico the next day, Showers says, and bought some over-the-counter laxatives that did not relieve her stomach pain. She could not eat that evening. "In the morning of November 2, 2010, while the ship was anchored in Belize waters, Victoria developed severe abdominal pain and was unable to walk.

May 21, 2012

Happy Sovereign's Day - also known as Commonwealth Day - on Monday, May 21st., 2012. [The day is actually observed on May 24; but so as not to interrupt the work week, the holiday is being observed on Monday.]


Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The May 20th, 2012 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • San Ignacio Teacher Found Dead Inside Family House
  • Santa Familia Villager Gets 10 Years For Gun And Bullets
  • From Guatemalan University Of Belizean Jail
  • Sacred Heart College - Remembers A Deceased Teacher, Marco Thompson
  • On Their Journey To Explore M.O.R.E
  • Cancer Awareness Week At The San Ignacio Community Hospital
  • BECOL Donates Supplies To Community Policing Unit
  • STAR Humor
  • Editorial: Come Better Or Stay The Hell Out Of Our Town!
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices

The San Pedro Sun

Guest Editorial: Inclusive Education Demands Teacher Training
by: Golda Swift (M.Ed) This week’s Theme for Education week is “Together, We Achieve Quality Education for all.” This rolls off good on the tongue, but as we know it takes teacher training, accessibility of financing, cooperation among key stakeholders, and acknowledgement of specific needs in certain locations within our country for this to be achieved. While the Belizean government has made education one of its priorities, which no doubt is admirable, there is still is a long way to go however. As we take a more in depth look at our Education system, as it relates to our own La Isla Bonita, there are still more areas that need to be established and some that need to be looked at and restructured. As globalization continues and the demand for quality education increases, San Pedro educators need to be equipped in order to embrace such changes. In this paper, I will seek to touch on a couple educational matters that do need dire attention from those people in key positions. San Pedro has eight primary schools, a mixture of church, state and private, which cater for students between the ages of 5-14 years. While there was an attempt at the Holy Cross Anglican School to meet the needs of Special Education students, at present there is no facility operating on the island to meet the needs of those children who may have moderate to severe disabilities. Developing a Special Education Center for these children attached to one of our primary schools is a realistic way to meet the needs of children who are school aged and have disabilities that may require individualize attention. Carla Valdez, District Education Manager, OW speaks clearly on the topic of Inclusion: “As you know we are in the process of moving toward inclusive education. So, I know that in some of the schools there is that part of sensitization. The special education officers are involved in workshops, in sensitizations, and it’s not only confined to education week or the weeks of celebrations but it is an ongoing process. I think that our goal is that someday we will have inclusive education. We are working towards that but of course that can’t happen overnight.”

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Whale Shark Dive, The Process in Belize
Process, Preparation and Regulations as we head out for Gladden Split with Splash Belize Dive Team

VIDEO: Whale Shark Uprising, Placencia, Belize
Gladden Split, Whale Shark on the surface.

Chess Olympiad 2012 pictures
The BNYCF took a ton of pictures at the Chess Olympiad yesterday. There was definitely some fun going on.

ATM on The Creepiest Places list
Actun Tunichil Muknal got on The Creepiest Places list this time. It's the last entry in the article. "They’ve found several skeletons in the cave, and most of them are, uh, small. That is, most of the sacrificed were children. They were probably sacrifices to Chaac, the Mayan god of rain, during a particularly severe drought. But don’t worry — these kids didn’t have their hearts cut out while still alive or anything. No, evidence shows that they were all killed by having their skulls crushed, which is way more genial and to the point. They were dealing with children, after all. Over hundreds of years, the bones became calcified and fused with the cave floor, which is why modern excavators have just left them there without a proper burial (though seriously guys, maybe like throw a tarp over them or something?). The most famous skeleton in the cave is that of a teenage girl, nicknamed the Crystal Maiden because her bones have partially crystallized and now sparkle in the light."

Blogs

Casa Picasso: A Vietnamese Feast And Some Very Tasty Cocktails
Last night, Casa Picasso restaurant closed for a special event. Tien, the chef, was preparing a fixed 3 course menu of tasty Vietnamese plates by reservation only. Casa Picasso's menu always has a touch of an Asian flair ...from Malaysian Chicken Satay to Shrimp Fritters with Spicy Peanut sauce...but there is tons more. Like Crab Mac & Cheese, Belizean Stewed Chicken Sliders and Molten Chocolate. Sophisticated eclectic? World fusion? I'm sure there is some fancy term...but to me? The food is just good. Plus, I LOVE VIETNAMESE FOOD. And prepared by a Vietnamese chef? I signed up...and arrived early. The martinis called me from my home. I wasn't the only one early. As the crowd rolled in, everyone ordered a cocktail at the very cool bar in the front of the restaurant. The cocktail (part of the prix fixe) was a lime-aid or watermelon martini. (I tried one of each...it is research after all.) Everyone was seated. The chef presented the menu and, since he is Vietnamese, spoke of how the food is very dear to his heart...

International Sources

Widower Blames Carnival Cruises for Wife's Death
"Defendant Bulajic stated that Victoria had to be immediately taken ashore to the hospital in Belize, where the ship was anchored, for emergency treatment to prevent serious complications. "The doctor represented that the hospital in Belize was 'a good hospital to which they sent sick crew members for medical care when sickbay couldn't handle the problem.' "Contrary to the doctor's representations, and as later confirmed by the United States State Department, and known to Carnival and Bulajic, the availability of advanced medical treatment in Belize is limited, even in Belize City," the complaint states. Victoria was "taken via a launch from the ship to the dock, and transported by ambulance to the Belize Medical Center," Showers says. He says a doctor there confirmed Victoria's bowel obstruction but the hospital could not perform the emergency care she needed. "Plaintiff was required to make arrangements for emergency Medevac through Mondile Assistance to provide for a special air evacuation flight from Belize City to Miami on November 3, 2010," according to the complaint. Showers says Victoria was admitted early the next morning to Kendall Regional Medical Center in Miami, where emergency surgery found that "peritoneal contamination of her abdomen gave Victoria virtually no chance of survival. Medical treatment at that time could only prolong her dying process."

Born To Explore: A Really Stupid Way To Die (PHOTOS)
A few years later, on a canoe race through the tangled jungles of Belize, I found out. I was competing in the La Ruta Maya, a grueling four-day, 175-mile race that cuts across the country west to east along the Macal and Belize Rivers. The longest race of its kind in Central America, it's a serious challenge of both canoeing skills and physical endurance. Around 100 boats were competing, each one with a team of three paddlers. In mine: my old friend Bo Parfet and a new acquaintance, Leebs. It was Day Two, the longest leg of the race, covering 65 miles of Class II rapids and strong currents. When it happened we were somewhere in the middle of the pack. The river had narrowed and was choked with racers, so we hung back to avoid collision. At the head of some particularly gnarly rapids I made the executive decision (not based on long experience as a canoeist) to pull over to a huge tree lying in the river and wait for the knot of boats to clear. But we hadn't counted on the undertow. As soon as we pulled alongside the mammoth trunk our canoe was sucked underneath it and enmeshed in its submerged branches. Canoeists call this a "strainer" because the bits get stuck and the water pours through. Bo, Leebs and I were the bits, six feet under the surface, wrestling with branches, pushing at a boat weighed down by the force of the oncoming current and desperately struggling to get away from the darkness and into the light. Here it was, the moment I had always dreaded, when life suddenly flips from something you've always had, and therefore always taken for granted, to a precious gift that is being snatched away. I'm sorry to report there was no calm resignation, no transcendent thoughts. Perhaps it was the surge of adrenaline, but all I felt was furious at myself for getting into this situation. "This," I thought "is a really, really stupid way to die."

New World Oil & Gas hails year of progress
New World Oil and Gas (NEW) posted a 2011 loss of about £2.6 million as it closed the doors on what it described as a year of "outstanding progress". Five prospects were identified in the Blue Creek project in north-west Belize, with aggregated unrisked prospective P50 gross resources of 294 million barrels (mmbbls) of oil. The company was currently in the process of acquiring additional seismic. "We feel that the potential of Blue Creek may be significant, in that it lies in close proximity to and displays structural similarity to the recently discovered and producing Spanish Lookout and Never Delay Fields, each with reported reserves of approximately 25 mmbbls," said the company. New World has completed the first phase of seismic acquisition the Danica Jutland Licences in Denmark, "to better define hydrocarbon resources and upside value potential". The Danica Jutland Licences cover 1.015 million acres, and contain two identified Triassic leads and eight Zechstein leads. Additionally, towards the end of 2011, the company identified a third project in Denmark. The Danica Resources project included the Als prospect, described as "close to drillable", with an estimated P50 gross resources unrisked recoverable volume of 1.4 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas and 97 mmbbls of recoverable oil. A farm-out agreement has already been signed, naming a subsidiary of New World as operator. Upon the completion of a mutually agreed seismic and drilling programme, the company will have the opportunity of earning in to an 80% participating interest. In December, New World opened a virtual data room in response to multiple approaches from oil and gas companies interested in potentially farming in to the company's projects. Encouraged by the display of interest, the company embarked on a capital raising post-period end, with $13.4 million (c. £8.5 million) being poured in from institutional investors.

Mundo Maya with 20 Tourist Destinations Expects 50 Million Visitors Over Next 10 Years
The five countries that make up the Mundo Maya region expect to welcome 50 million tourists over the next 10 years, thanks to big marketing campaigns this year and expanded cooperation, Salvadoran Tourism Minister Jose Napoleon Duarte told Efe. The Mundo Maya project, which was started with slightly more than $200,000 in seed money, will draw at least $2.5 million in investment over the next three years, Duarte, who serves as president of the Mundo Maya organization, said. “Tourism leads to important things and this alliance among the five countries that make up the Mundo Maya is yielding results. The good practices are reflected in the results for each of our countries,” Duarte said. Joint marketing efforts started last year, focusing on tourism fairs in London, Spain and Germany, the Salvadoran tourism minister said. The marketing campaigns have increased the flow of tourists from Europe, the United States, Canada and other parts of Latin America, Duarte said.

Now on Sale: WildJunket Magazine Summer Special Issue (Jun/Jul2012)
Contributing Editor Candace Rose Rardon has just returned from walking the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route in Northern Spain and she shares with us a long and personal account of her experience in this issue. Our new editorial assistant, Erin Ridley, reveals an endearing side to former Soviet Union nation, Georgia, in our Under the Radar section. From a recent trip to Belize, Gear Editor Lenore Greiner uncovers a very different side to the Caribbean country – tracing back to its Mayan roots and what’s remaining of it today. One of my favorite stories in this issue is from Travelbite’s editor Sarah Gibbons, who takes us on an adrenaline-charged journey mountain-biking the ‘Death Road’ in Bolivia. Also in this issue: Our Feast section brings us to the hypnotizing souks of Marrakech, Morocco, where we get lost in a whirlpool of spices and smells. Our Travel Rant columnist Mike Sowden explains, in his usual humor, why it’s wise to ‘crappify’ your valuables to avoid falling victim to crime when traveling.

Ten Coconut Recipes
You may have noticed that I went a little coconut crazy recently. I know I've mentioned this somewhere before, but I hate it as a child (I think it was a texture thing), so now I'm making up for lost time :) I recently posted a list of 10 coconut recipes on Willow Bird Baking and thought I'd share here, too. 1. Buttery Coconut & Almond Morning Buns (It's hard to pick a favorite because all the recipes are SO different, but I wish I had some more of these hot coconut almond morning buns with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on top right this second.) 2. Banana Coconut Cream Cakes 3. Banana Coconut Cream Cupcakes 4. Pumpkin Oat Snack Cake with Broiled Coconut Icing 5. Caramelized Banana Upside-Down Coconut Cake & Coconut Whipped Cream 6. Brownie-Bottom Coconut Chocolate Cream Cake 7. Tres Leches Coconut Cake Trifle 8. Oatmeal Cake with Broiled Coconut Icing 9. Nanaimo Bars 10. Coconut Cream Tart


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