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12/21/2016 to 12/31/2016
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December 31, 2016


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


The San Pedro Sun

PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON THE MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY
The Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum hereby invites the general public to a public consultation on the Marine Multibeam and Sea Seep Survey that the Government of Belize intends to complete in the deep offshore territorial waters of Belize, through the Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum and the Geology and Petroleum Department. The consultation will be held on January 18, 2017 and will be repeated on January 25, 2017. Both sessions will be held at 7:00 p.m. at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City. Information will be presented on the survey methods, techniques, equipment used, environmental concerns and mitigation measures, the products of the survey and the benefits to the country. The public will have an opportunity to clarify any concerns and to share their views on the survey.

Prime Minister’s New Year’s Message 2017
My Fellow Belizeans, The year 2016 saw more than the usual share of challenges. Cyclical and disease-induced downturns in agriculture, the damage from Hurricane Earl, and the harmful effects of de-risking by international correspondent banks, combined to trigger a mild economic recession. As well, there was the final settlement for the nationalization of BTL. The Arbitration Award was large, though much smaller than the previous owners of the company had demanded. And fully, sixty percent of it was a consequence of the previous Administration’s odious Accommodation Agreement. Still the overall size of the payout resulted in stretching the limits of the public debt. To make up, however, there has been BTL’s breakout performance service wise and revenue wise since nationalization; and there is also its superior future growth trajectory. Together these factors wholly vindicate a Belizean ownership that is now ‘feeling the rush’. In fact, these make the Award a price well worth paying for an asset that is now a source of great pride and profit. Socially, there was the prolonged BNTU strike which kept our children out of their classrooms for eleven days. It additionally had the consequence of draining away confidence from the relationship between Government and a key social partner. Thus, 2016 in many ways tested our resolve.

Ambergris Today

Belizean Bus Driver Steered To Cayman Islands For Life-Saving Surgery
A popular bus driver from Belize is alive and well, thanks to Health City Cayman Islands and Inter Change, a subsidiary of McNab Visual Strategies and the exclusive agent for Health City, Cayman Islands in Belize. Tyron Coleman, who works for James Bus Line, had been experiencing chest pain for a few months. He saw multiple doctors in Belize and underwent a slew of tests, but his heart condition remained undetected. Doctors simply advised him to keep his blood pressure under control. Finally, a cardiologist in Chetumal, Mexico, diagnosed Coleman with coronary artery disease, which restricts blood flow to the heart. Back in Belize, it was determined that Coleman's condition required high-risk open heart surgery at an alternate location as soon as possible.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Belize Fishing Report, December 18 – December 24th, 2016
The tarpon fishing was good this week if your name was Brooks! 7 tarpon to the hand in one day – a bunch of others were jumped. They were all in one little area and there were a lot of them! This happens once in a blue moon; but I am happy it happened to him as he wanted a single tarpon with all his angling heart. The Christmas season is here – the lodge is full with lots of families taking advantage of the warm weather and great fishing! Merry Christmas!

Luna Loca's NYE Party
Saturday, December 31 at 9 PM - 2 AM. Bring in 2017 at Luna Loca's NYE Party! * Free Entry * Midnight Pinata with up to $500 in Prizes * Free Champagne toast at midnight * Games and Prizes throughout the night * Music by DJ Tracks & Gracierock * Amazing light show, FX and confetti blasters by Versatile Premier Sounds * Chance to win 2 tickets to Sisimito Sessions | Belize Electronic Music Weekend

Caye Caulker Sports Bar and Village Council NY Eve Fireworks
On the beach between the basketball court and Barrier Reef Sports Bar. Everyone is invited to come out and watch the Fire Works displace to bring in the New Year in front of the Central Park and Sport's Bar. Sponsors include Caye Caulker Village Council and Sports Bar, we take this opportunity to wish you a prosperous New Year 2017!

2017 Birding for Conservation Tour
Do you want a truly remarkable birding experience in Belize and a once in a lifetime experience with a chance to see over 300 species of birds in 11 days!? If so check out this opportunity: The FULL ITINERARY is out for our 2017 Birding for Conservation Tour, August 6-16. An incredible deal for 11 days of birding around Belize at bird diversity hotspots, including Bocawina where a Harpy Eagle was just sighted! Check out the lineup! A good opportunity to see over 300 species of birds in Belize! This is NOT ONLY a bird tour, but a educational enrichment and support of bird research and conservation. There will be talks on the research and conservation efforts of Scarlet Macaws, raptors, and Yellow-headed parrots. ALL proceeds go directly to our conservation and research efforts.

The Nation of Belize Welcomed Simone to her second home

NY Eve celebration at Lions Club
Don't miss the party of the year tonight! Ring in the New Year at the San Pedro Lions Den with live music, dancing and fun fun fun! Party till the sun comes up! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Orca whales in Belize near Ranguana Caye. We are blessed!

Corozal Community College classes resume Jan 3
Announcement from Corozal Community College Campus. Parents, guardians and students: Please be reminded that classes resume on January 3, 2017.

Paradise Theater playing this weekend
Deepwater Horizon, The Accountant, Trolls, Blair Witch. Closed Saturday night for NYE.

Channel 7

Three Injured In Gang Related Shooting
Last night, we had breaking news about the shooting on Jane Usher Boulevard where 3 men were injured. The victims: 18 year-old Quincy Smith, 50 year-old Winston Bowen, and 32 year-old Robert Garnett, are all lucky to be stable and recovering tonight. They survived a deadly attack in which 2 gunmen fired indiscriminately at them. It happened at a mechanic shop sometime around 5:40 p.m. All three men were working on a vehicle, and that's when they were ambushed by 2 trigger-happy gunmen. Today, the Eastern Division South's commander briefed the press: ACP Chester Williams - OC, Eastern Division South: "Yesterday evening, sometime around 7 p.m. thereabout, police were called to the area of Jane Usher Boulevard, where information had been received of shots being fired. Upon arrival, the police were briefed that 3 male persons, namely Quincy Smith, who happen to be a messenger right here at Raccoon Street Police Station, one Winston Brown, and Robert Garnett were all at a mechanic shop in the Jane Usher Boulevard area when they were accosted by two gunmen, who opened fire in their direction. When the shots subsided, Quincy Smith sustained a gunshot graze to the back and the thigh. Mr. Brown received gunshot injuries to the hip and Mr. Garnett received injuries to the hip and leg. All 3 men were transported to the KHMH, where Mr. Brown and Mr. Garnett are currently admitted in a stable condition, and Mr. Smith has since been treated and released from the hospital. Police investigation in that matter continues."

Police Say Frank Killed David
Police have charged the man who they believe killed a 19-year-old one week ago. 20-year-old Frank Young was today charged with the murder of David Andrews. Andrews was relaxing with friends last week Friday on Seagull Street - when two men pulled up on a motorbike. One of them got off, and shot Andrews four times, killing him on the spot. Police believe it is a gang related murder. Young will be arraigned and remanded next week. Our records show he was shot in 2015, and shortly after was arrested by police after he allegedly punched a woman in the face and stole her cell phone in broad daylight. It happened near the Court house, and police were in the area to arrest him immediately.

Cops Got a Pound of Weed and Two Handguns
And southside police are working extra hard to keep the peace in the streets and make sure their murder totals don't exceed last year's. To that end, the Southside strike team picked up two weapons yesterday. Yesterday, they searched an area Raccoon Street Extension where they found a .32 mm handgun. Today they found another hand gun, this one a .22 with 20 9 millimeter rounds, near Banak Street. They also found a pound of cannabis in the Banak Street area. All items were labeled as found property since no one was around.

Security Guard Caught Stealing At House He Was Guarding
Last Monday, Jorge Montero, a security guard for Priority Security Company, was watching the home of Stephanie Lupp on Princess Margaret Drive. At some point during the night, Montero entered Lupp's home and stole a Nikon digital camera, a tablet and it's charger. The items, possessions of one of Lupp's German guests, are valued at around $1500. Lupp said the items were discovered missing on the 29th, and after reviewing security footage, Montero was found to be the culprit. Montero appeared in the Magistrate's Court today, where he pled guilty to a charge of burglary. Despite insisting that he committed the offence because he was intoxicated, Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser sentenced him to 5 years in prison.

Barrow and Briceno's NY Messages: Chopped and Screwed
Of, so if you've been watching the news tonight, you've already been bombarded with the New Year's messages from the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. But, who can follow all that talking? The PM's one is 1200 words and almost twelve minutes long, while the Opposition Leader's one is one thousand words and 8 minutes long. That's a lotta words and a lotta minutes - so we cut it down to the bare minimum - the main points of contention. Here they are: Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "The year 2016 saw more than the usual share of challenges." Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "As we close out 2016, a year that was not one of the best for us." Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "There was the final settlement for the nationalization of BTL. The Arbitration Award was large, though much smaller than the previous owners of the company had demanded. The Award a price well worth paying for an asset that is now a source of great pride and profit." Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "We cannot have another situation like the BTL settlement which ended up costing Belizeans over half a billion dollars for a portion of a company which according to government's valuators, is worth a little over $100 million."

PM Promises New Flights From Denver and Ft. Lauderdale
One part of the PM's message that did catch our ear as newsworthy is his announcement about tourism. As we've reported, overnight tourism figures are down for November and most likely December as well. That's causing some concern in the industry, but the official numbers haven't been published yet. Some fear the bubble created by more flights coming in may have burst, but the PM confirmed that more flights are on the way:... Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "In the all-important tourism sector there are the new airline routes to come from Fort Lauderdale and Denver, plus the already-commenced Tropic Air flights to Merida, Cancun, Chetumal and parts of Central America. A direct Mexico City to Belize connection via a Mexican carrier is also being worked on for 2017."

PUP Calls for Re-Registration Exercise in 2017
And while the PM is talking tourism, the opposition leader is pushing for a review of the voter rolls. There hasn't been a re registration exercise since 1996, and according to the law, it's now 11 years overdue. For a while, it was something both parties could agree on since they both have the lists stacked with phantom voters. To get them re-registered would be costly and difficult. But the PUP - which hasn't won a major election in 11 years - seems to have figured that they're losing at this game, and so they have now started to push for re-registration. Briceno underscored it in his address: Hon. John Briceno, PUP Leader "We will also continue to insist on an effective and functioning public accounts committee. We will continue to insist on electoral reform and we say to this UDP Administration that there must be re-registration before re-districting and the year for this to occur is 2017." The Barrow Administration has said it would favour a registration after the next municipal election in 2018.

Killer Pics of Killer Whales In Belize's Southern Waters
Yesterday, recreational fishermen and tourists who were at sea near Ranguana Caye off the coast of Placencia, saw an Orca whale leaping out of the water. It's called "full breach" where the whale jumps completely out of the water. Orcas, which typically live in higher latitude areas like Washington State in the US and Norway some times travel through our tropical waters while they migrate. They are known as the second most widely ranging mammal species on the planet - so they go all over the place. Meaning it's not so unusual to see them in Belize's waters, though it is a very rare sighting. We are told this picture was captured by Placencia tour guide Jason Westby.

Repeat Victim of Violent Assault Needs Help
Byron Jefford's name has been in the news several times in the last few years. Not because he is a criminal or a celebrity, but because he has been consistently targeted and attacked by persons in his nag infested community. In our newscast on Wednesday we told you that he was shot in his hand. Well right now, he's in the hospital, waiting for a surgery that he absolutely needs if he's going to have continued use of his hand. But he's waiting because the family needs money. They have to pay $500 up front before he can be operated on, and they are having trouble coming up with the funds. So today his mother and aunt told us about the situation and made a plea for help. Denise Flowers - Aunt: "What happened, he got shot Friday and he needs a surgery. My sister doesn't have the money. the cost of it is $500 but the doctor said if we don't give the $500 dollars they won't operate on the child, so all we are asking for is a little donation, any little thing counts to make us try to make up the 500 dollars by now and next week when he is to take the surgery Tuesday or Wednesday. Sir I'm pleading please, if he doesn't get the surgery he could lose his hand and he will be crippled because it's a partial they want to put in his hand."

Alleged San Pedro Robbers Charged
Tonight, 32 year-old Omar Delgado and 34 year-old Carlos Sedacy, are out on bail after being taken to court for allegedly robbing a man in San Pedro. The victim, Gary Hamilton, reported to police that on Wednesday, December 28, he was walking when two men pounced on him. They robbed him of his 600 dollar phone and a 30-dollar sunglasses. After investigating Hamilton's report, police charged Delgado and Sedacy with robbery. They were arraigned today before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza, and pled not guilty. They met bail of $1,000 each and must return to court on February 17, 2017.

Patrolling With a Purpose
Often in the news, we show you interviews with police commanders in which they describe police response to crime in their jurisdiction. It usually involves some sort of increased presence on the ground, most times, in the form of more patrols in crime-ridden areas. But how effective are they? Well, there is no empirical data readily available to the press, but Southside Commander Chester Williams appears to have put a new spin on business as usual in the battle against crime. He and the other police administrators have carved one of the country's most difficult areas to police into a series of patrol zones. Their police and vehicular resources are strategically placed and carefully managed to make the best use of their new vehicles from the US Embassy. Using what is known as geo-fencing, these vehicles give off GPS positioning, which the Southside commander can track and manage in real time, to ensure that all the crime hotspots in their area are covered. Today, Williams discussed how it works, and why if you're living on the southside, you might see certain type of marked police vehicles in your area:

Oscar B, Come Een!
Where to bring in the New Year? Most major cities and towns in Belize will have its fair share of night-time events, and you may find it difficult to choose. But for old school soca fans, that decision shouldn't be too difficult because Oscar B is in town. The soca veteran who's been entertaining Belzieans for 20 years at least, will be hosting a New Year's Party at the Radisson tomorrow. We spoke to him and the Radisson's Food and Beverage director, Edison Trapp about the event. The event is reserved for persons 18 and older.

The Resolution Solution
And after the partying, or a quiet evening at home, or even in your bed to bring in the new year - what then? Well, that's where those nagging little things called New Year's Resolutions come in. Every year we make them, and more often than not, we break them faster than politicians break election promises. Perhaps that's the way we all are, high on hope, but low on follow through. Still, without hope for the future we wouldn't be human - and that's why, no matter how bad last year's resolutions went - we continue to make new ones. Today I went to major shopping centers to find out what's the hope for 2017:...

2016 Put The News Cycle On Steroids
And, as much as New Year's resolutions are a tradition, so is the last item on tonight's news. It's the annual montage of some of the lasting images that made news in 2016. It was the year of Pastor Lu and Danny Mason, The Auditor General, Hurricane Earl, Julius Espat, The Vega family, and, of course, the mighty Belize National Teachers Union. Sadly, 2016 was also a year where we saw the number of murders shoot up - and we reported on some very beastly crimes. Video editor Lance Howard put these shots together of the good, the bad, the ugly, the inspiring, and the just plain unforgettable:… Indeed, 2016 was the most news-making year we've seen in a decade or so, and that's owing to the Pastor Lu beheading, followed by the corruption-fuelled political upheaval, which led to the longest teacher's strike in memory - and, ultimately, major reform concessions by the Barrow Administration. You can see our recap of all the stories that made news starting tomorrow night at 6:00.

Channel 5

3 Shot in Belize City; Gang Associations May be to Blame
While shy of the record set four years ago, the count of one hundred and thirty-six murders as of this evening is still a heavy toll. Eastern Division South, according [...]

Frank Young Charged in Murder of David Andrews
Eastern Division South police have arrested and charged twenty-year-old Frank Young for the murder of nineteen-year-old David Andrews. Andrews was shot dead on Raccoon Street a week ago tonight, after [...]

Coast Guard Crashed Vehicle Near Store
Traffic accidents have not been limited to the highways and by-ways. On Wednesday night in Belize City, a driver said to be an officer of the Belize Coast Guard lost [...]

Police Re-Organize Patrols in Eastern Division South; New Wheels Will Help
The Eastern Division’s South region, long used to being the neglected step-child of the Police Department, finally got a major “come-up” with the recent distribution of vehicles to the Department [...]

Revisiting Greatest Unsolved Murder Mystery – “Belizean Jack the Ripper”
2016 is drawing to a close as one of the bloodiest years in recent times. Most murders remain unsolved as did a string of homicides that occurred between 1998 and [...]

San Pedro Man Charged for Drug Trafficking
Fifty-five-year-old Moises Roberto Soriano of Pescador Drive, San Pedro Town, is out on bail after being caught in possession of cocaine on the island. Soriano pleaded not guilty before Senior [...]

Retiree’s Friend Set Him Up to be Robbed
An ex-pat in San Pedro Town has been robbed by a pair of men whom he thought were his friends.  Sixty-five-year-old Gary Hamilton, a retiree of Sea Grape Drive, told [...]

Jorge Montero Jailed for Stefanie Lupp Burglary
Forty-eight-year-old Jorge Montero, a former employee of Priority Security, appeared unrepresented this morning in the courtroom of Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer to answer to a single charge of burglary.  It [...]

P.M. Focuses on Economic Recovery for New Year
The Prime Minister’s annual New Year’s message is being aired elsewhere in this newscast. PM Barrow highlights the achievements of his government throughout the course of the calendar year and [...]

Social Reform and National Security Also Highlighted
The highlights of the message also include a recap of several achievements by way of social reform, particularly the appointment of the Integrity Commission, the signing of the United Nations [...]

New Year, New House for Fuller’s Alley Family
Forty-eight-year-old Carol Parham and her three grandchildren were handed the keys to a new house this morning, after living in a not-so-great condition for some time. In three days, the [...]

New Year’s Wishes from Canon Leroy Flowers
As we bid farewell to 2016 and reflect on all the trials and triumphs over the past twelve months, we look forward to a fruitful year.  With God as the [...]

Belizeans’ New Year’s Resolutions
With New Year’s Eve just hours away, everyone starts making their resolutions – a tradition where a person makes a promise to themselves to fulfill throughout the year. Whether it [...]

LOVE FM

Love Foundation and Partners to Give Home to Family
Belize City resident Carol Parham will be welcoming the New Year in her new home courtesy of the Love Foundation, NEMO and Belize Electricity Limited. Hipolito Novelo has the story.

PM Says Belize Will Bounce Back from Its 2016 Trials
Today millions of men and women and children are preparing to close off the year 2016 whilst looking forward to keeping resolutions or just hoping for the best. This time of the year is also one where much reflection is done by individuals, organizations and governments. For Belize, Prime Minister Dean Barrow has noted in […]

2016 Brought Significant Changes for the PUP
With just ten months back in the seat of the Leader of the Opposition, John Briceno released his New Year’s Message where he reflected on the changes brought about in 2016 for his party. He also spoke of the economy and hard times that loom in 2017.

Anglican Bishop Appeals to Nation to Start 2017 with God
Whilst a New Year’s address from the country leader and the Leader of the Opposition is the norm, it would not be complete without a message of spirituality. Anglican Bishop, Philip Wright released his message today for the New Year where he spoke of the importance of love and God. His message noted, quote, “Yet, […]

Amandala

UDP’s Fonso charged for death of Gilbert “Thready” Myers
Alfonso Noble, host of the Fus Thing Da Mawnin talk show on Wave Radio/TV and editor of the Guardian newspaper, propaganda organs of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP), spent Christmas Day and Boxing Day in police custody at the Racoon Street Police Station, after he knocked down and killed Hattieville resident, Gilbert Myers, 48, popularly known as “Thready” or “Tyson,” on Christmas Eve night, December 24, between Miles 3 and 4 on the George Price Highway. On Wednesday morning, representatives from the city’s media corps gathered outside the Magistrate’s Court, as the police van transporting detained persons arrived and Noble, his face appearing tired from the many hours in police custody, climbed out of the van and was escorted to the court’s holding cell area. After his matter was assigned to Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser, Noble sat inside courtroom #2 with his arms folded and his back against the wall, occasionally leaning his head against the wall as he stared at the ceiling, avoiding eye contact with reporters in the courtroom, as he waited for the arraignment hearing to begin.

Confusion over reopening of school
Many parents and teachers have been pressing to definitively find out when school will reopen, in the face of conflicting messages coming from two camps: the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) saying, on the one hand, that teachers are due one more week of vacation, and so should not return to school until Monday, January 9, and the Government, on the other hand, insisting that vacation should be terminated on Tuesday—right after the New Year—for the early reopening of school to compensate for time lost during the October strike. The impasse affects parents and students attending government-aided pre-schools, primary and secondary schools, as well as educators at those institutions. “In an effort to allay all confusion and misunderstandings on the reopening of schools, the Belize National Teachers’ Union reiterates that our children and teachers deserve and are entitled to their three weeks Christmas vacation as stated in the Education Rules. Therefore, classes should resume on Monday, January 9, 2017,” the BNTU said in an official statement issued on Wednesday.

Newlywed’s hopes dashed by fatal RTA
Tressa Ramclam-Alfaro, who just married Josue Alfaro, 38, on Christmas Eve, is overcome with grief after having lost her husband on her birthday. Tressa told Amandala that Josue, the father of her eight-month-old son, was preparing a surprise barbecue and party for her when his life was cut short in a road collision which happened after 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, between Miles 11 and 12 of the Philip Goldson Highway. On their bed on the night of the fatal accident lay two bottles of champagne that he had purchased for them to drink. In an unexplainable twist of fate, four days after she exchanged marriage vows with Josue, she was picking up both their marriage certificate and his death certificate. Alfaro was on his way from his Sandhill home to Belize City, to pick up his wife from her grandmother’s house, when he lost his life in a traffic accident.

8 dead in 12 days as RTAs spike
Whereas the increase in murders this year has been a grave concern, there is growing distress tonight—amid the festive season—over a spate of road traffic fatalities that have cut several young lives short. Over the past few weeks, there has been a spike in road traffic accidents, some of which Belize believe to be alcohol-related, with 8 lives having been claimed by the nation’s roadways over a span of 12 days and at least 15 others suffering various degrees of injuries for which they have had to be treated. On December 17, a trio of friends—Minor Hernandez, 22, Jason Gongora, 26, and Giovanni Gongora, 22, all of Yo Creek Village, Orange Walk District—died in a tragic road accident. In subsequent incidents, Benjamin Krahn, 17, a Mennonite of Shipyard in the Orange Walk District; Gilbert “Tready” Myers, 38, of Hattieville; David Alfaro, 47, of St. Matthews Village; Josue Alfaro, 48, of Sandhill; and Israel Lopez, 20, of Hope Creek also lost their lives.

Three men shot Thursday night
A man, his nephew and their male friend came under heavy gunfire tonight on Belize City’s southside. Information to Amandala is that Winston Bowen, a mechanic, his nephew, Quincy Smith; and their friend, Robert Garnett, were all repairing a vehicle in the Jane Usher Boulevard area sometime around 7:00 p.m. when a neighbor with whom they are well-acquainted, walked past them. The men then saw him turn back and pull out a 9mm pistol from under his shirt. The trio tried to run but the gunman fired six shots, wounding Garnett four times and the other men once. The men were rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), where they are currently receiving treatment. According to friends of the trio, who were at the hospital tonight, Garnett, who is in the most critical condition, was rushed in for extensive surgery.

Belizeans among those nabbed in top ICE operations in 2016
In a summary of its top 2016 operations, the Unites States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) provided what it described as a snapshot of ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Enforcement and Removal Operations’ (ERO) and Management and Administrations’ (M&A) daily work. It reported that Belizeans, who were not identified by name, were among more than 100 people arrested in a Los Angeles-area ICE operation targeting convicted criminal aliens in July. The report said that while the largest number of those taken into custody during the enforcement action are originally from Mexico (89), a total of 11 countries were represented, namely El Salvador (7); Guatemala (5); Belize (2); Honduras (2); Vietnam (2); Egypt (1); Philippines (1); Tonga (1); the United Kingdom (1); and Azerbaijan (1). The report indicated that about 6 in 10 of those nabbed had prior felony convictions for serious or violent offenses, such as child sex crimes, weapons charges, and assault.

Come January 1, 2017, it’s another KREM New Year’s Day Cycling Classic
It will be a sporting weekend extravaganza, as the old year ends on Saturday night, New Year’s Eve, with the Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2016-2017 Opening Season championship finals in Belmopan – Bandits vs BDF; and then on Sunday morning, New Year’s Day, the spotlight moves from football to cycling, as the Cycling Federation of Belize in collaboration with KREM Radio presents the 27th Annual KREM New Year’s Day Cycling Classic. Defending Elite champion is Joel Adan Borland, while defending Female champion is Alicia Thompson. Last year’s Junior champion, Ernest Bradley, will be riding as an Elite rider in this year’s 2017 Krem Classic. The Elite/Masters race takes off from the border in Corozal, while the Female and Junior races begin in Orange Walk Town. Start time is 9:00 a.m., and they all end on Central American Boulevard before its junction with Mahogany Street.

Condolences on passing of former top football referee, Pete Carrillo
We received the shocking news over the Christmas weekend of the passing last Friday of one-time top Belizean football referee, Pete Carrillo. I recall that Pete was “the man in the middle” for the 1st Division championship match in June (I think) of 1987, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, when Belize City based Coke Milpros defeated Verdes of Cayo, 2-1, to claim the national championship. It was at the time the highest attendance on record for a championship football game in Belize; at least, so I was informed by then Belize National Football Association (BNFA) General Secretary, Delhart Courtney. That Pete was chosen for such a big match, says how highly he was regarded by those in authority, and he handled himself, as always, with poise and class. At the time of his sudden passing, Pete had long retired from refereeing, and was also retired from his job as engineer in the Public Works Department. Funeral services were held yesterday in Belmopan.

No longer undefeated; Bandits fall, 1-nil, to BDF in PLB Finals Game 1 at MCC
The amazing undefeated streak by defending Premier League of Belize (PLB) champions, Belmopan Bandits SC was finally broken on Saturday night, Christmas Eve, at the rain-soaked MCC Grounds in Belize City, where home standing Belize Defense Force FC used their all-terrain muscle and a brilliant second-half strike by rookie Trimayne Harris to secure a 1-nil victory over the Bandits in game 1 of the PLB Opening Season 2016-2017 Finals. Though BDF displayed what appeared to be a 3-striker attack – Darrol Lambey, Trimayne Harris and Michael Myvette – kicking into the northern goal, to start the game, it was the visiting Bandits who made a couple serious early threats at the southern BDF goal – a long-range missile by top goal scorer Jairo Roches that tested BDF goalie Tevin Gamboa at the 2nd minute, and five minutes later a dangerous grounder from the left side by Bandits midfielder Jerome “Jarro” James that drained just wide of the right goalpost. But it was BDF that got the golden opportunity, a penalty at the 14th minute. To the Bandits’ relief, the normally sure footed Vallan Symms sent his grounder just wide to the left, although Bandits goalkeeper Shane Moody Orio had been caught going right. The rain came down hard shortly afterwards, and it remained scoreless through the rest of first half, despite a few more thrills on both ends.

Tale of the tape: Belmopan Bandits SC vs BDF FC – PLB Championship Finals Game 2 at Isidoro Beaton Stadium
This coming Saturday night, New Year’s Eve, will see the Championship Finals Game 2 of the Premier League of Belize (PLB) Opening Season 2016-2017 at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, featuring home standing and defending champion, Belmopan Bandits SC against visiting Belize Defense Force FC. The star-studded Bandits are the automatic favorites, with as many as 8 players from their roster being regular members of the National “A” Team, and their coach, Kent Gabourel, is the incumbent Goalkeeper Coach for the National “A” Team. The first team to qualify for the recent PLB playoffs, the Bandits, was undefeated in regular season. Featuring 4 foreign players, the Bandits sported an impeccable regular season record – the most goals scored at 45 (Police United was next with 39), and the least goals allowed at 11 (BDF was next with 13). And in total points, the Bandits garnered a league leading 40 regular season points, with second place BDF way behind at 31.

Editorial: Team playing vs core principles
The record shows that in order to be elected to public office in Belize, one must be a team player in one of the two major political parties. What we have of parliamentary democracy here has been dominated by the People’s United Party (PUP), on the one hand, and the United Democratic Party (UDP), and its precursor before 1973, the National Independence Party (NIP), on the other. The fact of that two-party domination, and the requirement for team playing, have had implications where core human and Belizean principles are concerned. Once the party establishes a position, one who would be successful politically must abide by the party’s decision, even if that decision violates one’s personal principles, or the aforementioned core human and Belizean principles. We Belizeans, for example, consider it an international, yea Biblical, core principle that one should not steal. But ruling politicians in Belize routinely steal from the public treasury and misappropriate public assets, and their colleagues consent to those crimes by their silence, their conspiracy of silence. This is considered team playing.

From The Publisher
Two or three months before the American presidential elections in November, I had compared the then Republican Party presidential nominee, Donald J. Trump, to the Republican Party presidential nominee in 1964, Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona. I wrote that I thought that the Democratic Party presidential campaign strategists would be able to do to Trump what they had done to Goldwater in the 1964 presidential campaign – brand him as dangerous and unpredictable where the nuclear arms race and international affairs were concerned. In painting Goldwater as a trigger-happy hawk, the Democrats had succeeded in returning their candidate, Lyndon Baines Johnson, to the presidency in 1964. Johnson had been the Vice-President of the United States when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. LBJ was sworn in as President and served out the remaining year of Kennedy’s 1960 to 1964 term. Younger Belizeans will not know that when Kennedy was elected President in November of 1960, it was an epoch-making election at the time, because no Roman Catholic had ever been elected U.S. President before. No African American had ever been elected U.S. President before Barack Obama in 2008, and that was surely more sensational then Kennedy’s election as a Catholic in 1960. Still, Kennedy’s election was very big news in 1960, though his victory was by an extremely narrow margin.

The Day of the Cross
THE CASTE WAR OF YUCATAN by Nelson Reed–Barrera was working overtime to build his religious esprit de corps. He turned up with an image of the Virgin, which had traveled the now familiar road down from heaven, but it didn’t inspire faith; the idea of the cross, based solidly on the familiar cult of lineage and village crosses, was more successful. Possibly the Yalcoba location was a false lead planted to divert Ladino interest, but at any event Barrera quickly had the crosses installed at the accepted shrine of Chan Santa Cruz, where he built a defensive system of stone barricades around the place and maintained patrols against another surprise. The patrols were needed. Knowing the religious calendar, the Ladinos waited until May 3, 1851, the Day of the Holy Cross, which had a logical significance for the new cult, and then attacked, 153 men under Colonel Gonzalez. The expected fiesta was under way, but the distant explosion of a signal bomb gave Barrera time to evacuate his people, delaying the soldiers briefly at the walls, sniping, and then fading back into the forest. Barrera had an estimated 1,400 men by this time, but he lacked guns and ammunition for a fire-fight and could ill afford another Kampocolche. He left the enemy an empty prize and set up an open siege that night, using his own walls. The white guerrilla was too small for the isolated position and pulled out the next day, having accomplished little. As would happen so often later, it had nothing to report except the continued growth of Chan Santa Cruz.

It’s “Corto”! “Maradona” needs our help (Continued)
One does not get the nickname “Maradona” without any merit. In Belize City football circles, Michael Sutherland had earned a measure of respect, though he was never considered a big star. He recalled that he once represented Belize City in the national competition in the early 1980s as a member of the Fort George United team, which had placed second in the City competition. But Maradona earned his nickname for the pure enthusiasm and adventurous excitement he brought to the game. He thoroughly enjoyed playing football, and especially making a play that would merit reminding his opponent, or “rubbing it in.” Regardless of the situation, footballers getting together, the talk always comes to football. And Maradona couldn’t resist detailing the brilliance of the play he had just executed in a Monday night Over 40 game at Yabra field a couple months ago, when he suffered the injury that led to his present situation. He said he had jumped high in the air to receive a long, high centering pass; but when he realized that he was at a bad angle to try and head the ball towards the goal, he turned in mid-flight and instead headed the ball back out to an oncoming teammate to take a shot at goal. It was a great play, but someone undercut Maradona in mid-air, and he fell flat on his back; and he may have hit his spine on a hard piece of ground or a rock, as the Yabra field is uneven and not covered with thick grass. Whatever the cause, Maradona felt the pain after the fall.

10 TOP 2016 STORIES
During the year 2016, the Amandala newspaper covered more than 1,500 news stories, brought to you, our readers, via the mid-week and weekend editions of the paper. Some of these stories are available via our website (www.amandala.com.bz) as well. Without a poll, we are not able to say which ones were our most popular stories, but we can tell you which of them were the biggest online hits and the top 10 are listed below, ranked by the number of online reads. As we outlined in Part 1 of this series, the two biggest national issues for 2016 have been the attempt by Guatemala to annex southern Belize, and particularly the Sarstoon and our southern maritime waters; as well as the high homicide rate with which Belize continues to grapple. As things now stand, 2016 will emerge as the year with the second highest murder count in Belize’s history. The only other year which recorded more murders than the 136 recorded as of this report, was 2012, which registered a record murder count of 145. Whereas the crime situation and Guatemala’s aggression remain clear and present threats to peace and stability in Belize, a new menace to Belizean society emerged in 2016 — Zika; and it also gripped the attention of our online readers at home and abroad, as well as tourists to the Jewel, who wanted to keep the emergence of Zika, a mosquito-borne illness with potentially devastating effects especially on unborn babies as well as the elderly, on their radar.

On New Year’s Day and Rome’s domination
In Belize, New Year’s Day is usually welcomed with dancing and fireworks, and in New York City, by the highly anticipated Ball Drop at Times Square, where perhaps the most grand spectacle is seen by millions. In fact, the 2014 version of the kaleidoscopic 12-foot wide ball, weighing almost 12,000 pounds and patterned with multicolored triangles, pentagons and hexagons, is ready for the countdown. The worldwide political and religious dominance of the Roman empire is evident in the fact that the international civil calendar so widely used today—from Belize City to New York to Paris—is one which was introduced less than five centuries ago by an Italian pope, which is a revision of Julius Caesar’s calendar, the Julian calendar. The Roman origin of the popular calendar is a little known fact among many who will this week celebrate New Year’s Day as January 1, 2014. In Belize, where the Mayan Empire once flourished, this foreign calendar has superseded the indigenous way of telling time in the Jewel, although some traditionalists still make use of their ancestral time-keeping techniques; and although many Christians use the papal calendar to tell time and to set the dates of religious observances such as the recently observed Christmas, both the Mosaic and Messianic Scriptures are set against the backdrop of a vastly different Hebraic, luni-solar calendar.

Ready Call workers up in arms
Employees at the Ready Call Center (RCC), who number roughly 300, are reportedly up in arms after they received a memo on Tuesday demanding that they work on every public and bank holiday on which they are scheduled to work, for the upcoming year, starting January 1, 2017. Our newspaper was drawn to this developing story by concerns posted on Facebook by an employee at the RCC who shared the memo and disclosed, “I was threatened today [that] if I don’t sign a new work policy, I will not be able to enter my work space.” The memo from the management at RCC read: “Effective January 1st, 2017 you will be held accountable to report to work on Public and Bank Holidays, if you are scheduled to work. Ready Call Center has an obligation to deliver to the client without exception, even on holidays.” It continued, “The success of this call center lies in ensuring that you are fully aware of the desired results and of what is expected. Our main objective is to ensure that you are present for work every day for all days scheduled.”

The Reporter

Man charged for murder of Belize City teen
The Belize Police Department charged a man today for the murder of 19-year-old David Andrews. Police charged 19-year-old Frank Alexander Young, a laborer of Lord’s Bank village, for Andrews’ fatal shooting, which happened just before the Christmas holidays. Officer Commanding the Southern Division of the […]

War of the press releases: Ministry and BNTU still can’t agree 
The Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU), have sent out conflicting press releases regarding the resumption of classes in 2017. The MOE issued a release this week, “reminding” parents, guardians, and students that classes will resume on Tuesday, January 3. […]

GOB holds public consultations on deep sea surveys
The Government of Belize is inviting interested persons to public consultations on Marine Multibeam and Sea Seep Survey that GOB intends to complete in the deep offshore territorial waters. The Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum and the Geology and Petroleum Department, will host the consultations, which […]

Belmopan Mayor says municipal bond will be fully rolled out early 2017
The Belmopan City Council will fully roll out its $6.5 Million municipal bond offering by the end of January, and works to upgrade the growing city should start within a month from then. Mayor of Belmopan, Khalid Belisle told the Reporter that the delay so […]

Police detain suspect in Michele Moreira killing
Police have detained one suspect in connection with the chopping death of Michelle Morreira, formerly regarded as Jane Doe. Officer Commanding Belize Rural Eastern Division, Assistant Commissioner of Police Edward Broaster explained that police received information of a man believed to be in a relationship with Morreira […]

Suspected gun man charged for the murder of elderly woman
San Ignacio police have arrested one man in connection with the shooting murder of 61-year-old Paulina Urbelina. San Ignacio police have confirmed that 24-year-old Trevor Jones, a mechanic of Santa Elena Town, was apprehended by officials in a pre-dawn operation on December 23. San Ignacio police […]

Two dead in Christmas weekend collisions
Belmopan Police reported two fatal accidents over the Christmas weekend, both of wihc happened on the George Price highway. The first incident happened on December 23 around 4:30 a.m. between mile 39 and 40 on the George Price Highway. Initial police investigations reveal that 23-year-old Anibal […]

UN Sec Gen hosts one last function before he steps down
As his last act before stepping down, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will attend the annual New Year’s Eve countdown held in Time’s Square New York. The Secetary General is scheduled to push the Waterford crystal button that kicks off the official 60-second ball drop to […]

Addiction and its demons
When a police bailiff arrived at the front desk with a Court summons, following repeated delinquency on bank loan repayments, it was a clear sign that Camy’s years of compulsive gambling had steered her to new lows. This was not the first time that she […]

The rise and fall of the Zika virus outbreak
While the global health threat status of the Zika Virus outbreak has been lifted, the World Health Organization (WHO) maintains that the virus will continue to remain a challenge for countries which have the vector. The WHO in its recently-released situational report of the outbreak said that […]

Editorial
Two powerful forces were at work in 2016 to make the year a tough one with long-range implications for Belizeans. The first was the economy. Poor harvests in banana and citrus, shrimp, and sugarcane, compounded with the disruptions of Hurricane Earl to make the year a dismal one for agriculture. […]

Married Monday, Dead on Wednesday on wife’s birthday
A newly-wed Sandhill resident died in a tragic road accident on his new bride’s birthday Wednesday night near mile 11 on the Philip Goldson Highway. His truck collided with a passenger bus, leaving his new wife a widow. Around 6:00 p.m., on Wednesday, 38-year-old Josue […]

Chinese woman robbed and shot in Orange Walk
A Chinese store clerk was shot during a robbery attempt at Taisan Grocery Shop after 8:00 p.m., on Wednesday in Orange Walk Town. According to police, around 8:05 p.m. on Wednesday, a gunman armed with a 9mm pistol, wearing a mask over his face, entered […]

Alfonso Noble charged for fatal Christmas Eve accident
Alfonso Noble, talk show co-host on the United Democratic Party’s Wave TV/Radio, and Editor of the party’s Guardian newspaper, appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser Tuesday morning to face a slew of charges in connection with a fatal traffic accident. Noble, 39, of Western Paradise, […]

Highlights of 2016
The year 2016 was a remarkable one all around the world, which saw many controversial and historic moments and in Belize 2016 was no different. This past year there were a number of issues that caused great controversy, had large national impact, captured the imagination […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

San Ignacio Police share Christmas love
Tonight, the Community policing unit of the San Ignacio police formation is giving back to the community and sharing the love this Christmas season. Their kind gesture brought smiles and tears of joy to the recipient families in Cayo. […]

PM pledges more investment in Security forces in 2017
One of the highlights of Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s New Year’s Address is the commitment to continue investing heavily in our armed forces for the security of the nation, both internally and externally. For emphasis, the PM enunciated this commitment in the conclusion of […]

Political Culture and Productivity: Can We Change the Pulse of our Economy, Please?
Economic prosperity and wealth flows most freely from intelligent effort and entrepreneurship. Invariably, a financially successful society will comprise smart people able to use capital assets like land or cash savings to produce beneficial goods and services that consumers are willing to purchase and […]

Gun, ammunition and weed found in Belize city
According to police reports, this morning around 9, the South Side Strike Team operating in the vicinity of Banak Street in Belize City found a .22 handgun with a magazine and 20 X 9mm rounds. Yesterday police also discovered a .32 mm handgun in the Racoon […]

Police issue official report on Jane Usher triple shooting
According to police reports, yesterday evening around 5:40, police responded to shots being fired on Jane Usher Boulevard and visited the area. Police then went to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where officers saw 50-year-old Winston Bowen of a Jane Usher Boulevard address with a […]

Motorcycle stolen in Belize city
Yesterday morning around 8:25, a 61-year-old man of a Holy Emmanuel address reported that he lent his son his motorcycle (a black Lifan motorcycle with license plate MC 4497) valued at $1,800. The cycle was stolen from in front of his son’s residence on Sybil […]

Police find weed in Ladyville
Yesterday afternoon shortly after 1:00 p.m., members of the mobile Interdiction Team were conducting a vehicle check point on the Philip Goldson Highway. A search was conducted on a passenger bus which resulted in the discovery of a white school bag containing 474 grams […]

PM delivers upbeat New Year’s address, no mention of Guatemala
Prime Minister Dean Barrow in his latest New Year’s address noted outright the difficult challenges facing Belize as 2016 comes to a close and 2017 sets in. Barrow described 2016 as having more than the usual set of challenges. Barrow blamed the country’s economic […]

Blogs

Best of Belize Travel Blog 2016
We’ve been busy blogging bees in 2016, always looking for the next interesting article to bring to you, the next useful travel tip, the next undiscovered destination. But what’s a blog without an awesome audience? …And that is exactly what each and every one of you is, an awesome reader! As awesome readers you always let us know what you do, and don’t like – so we’re taking the time to round up our 8 best Blogs of the year. Not by personal opinion but by popular vote from you! Belize cultures blog is one of our more wordy entries, sometimes a couple sentences isn’t enough to explain something. Maya, Creole, Garifuna and many other peoples inhabit Belize and we couldn’t just let you all keep thinking there’s so few of us here. In this post, we explained out opposition to the over-used phrase “Belize is a melting pot of cultures”. We aren’t but before we get into another mini-rant read our elaboration.

International Sourcesizz

TravelPulse Staff Picks: 12 Destinations That Crushed it in 2016
Every year, there are a number of destinations that surge to the forefront of the travel industry and, in 2016, there were several hotspots that has been on the tips of travelers' tongues all year. Is your Instagram feed blowing up with photos of Icealand, the Caribbean or Chile? Don’t be surprised, because these are just a couple of the destinations that crushed it this year. Below TravelPulse editors explain why some destinations made it big in 2016. Despite significant damage to some resort areas from Hurricane Earl, Belize posted another strong year of arrivals growth in 2016. Overnight visitor arrivals between January and June of 2016 totaled 213,430, a 16.5 percent increase over the same period last year, according to Belize Tourism Board (BTB) data. The first half was Belize’s first-ever to reach 200,000-plus arrivals.

Travel trends for 2017 from AAA
The year 2017 brings a year of new beginnings and new destinations. Exploring places that are less traveled is the theme for 2017. Travelers are looking for unique experiences and want to be among the first to explore and share these up-and-coming destinations. Better Belize It: If you’re searching for somewhere sunny and exotic, include Belize in your choices. This tropical land offers the natural beauty of its beaches and countryside, fantastic water sports and ancient Mayan ruins, making it both a relaxing and adventurous place to visit.

Videos

  • Prime Minister's New Year's Message 2017, 11min.

  • 2016: Year In The Water, 4.5min. Great year of fishing - not a lot of filming. Soft Slam but a slam - always something to improve on for next year. Happy New Year to all the anglers in the pursuit of a spirited tussle with piscis. Didn't break out the camera a lot but in the end, a fair fight with fish.

  • Welcome to Belize | Club Cart Driving & Garifuna Food, 26min. Come and watch me explore Belize, in this vlog we rented a Cart and did a little driving around San Pedro. We also found a Garifuna Restaurant and the food was NICE!

  • Belize River Tour, 2min. Cruise on NCL Pearl December 2016.

  • Belize ~ It's Unbelizeable!, 3min.

  • Open Your Eyes, Dec 28, 2016, Belize International Yoga Festival, 25min.

  • Radisson Fort George New years Eve Dance (Christmas Feature), 21min.

  • Grace & You - Left Overs dressed up (Christmas Special), 19min.

  • Whats Hot for NYE (Christmas feature), 40min.

  • New Year Vox Pops, 10min.

  • Revisiting Greatest Unsolved Murder Mystery – “Belizean Jack the Ripper”, 10min. Many murders remain unsolved as did a string of homicides that occurred between 1998 and 2000, which we revisit tonight. As many as five primary school girls from Belize City were viciously murdered. There was a common thread in the way life was snuffed from the girls, all between nine and fourteen years of age. At the time, many believed that a serial killer dubbed ‘Jack the Ripper’ was lurking in the shadows prowling on innocent victims. News Five’s Duane Moody takes you back and has an update on what is now considered a cold case.

  • Belize, 8min.

  • Flight to San Pedro from Belize City, 17min.

  • Jay's Peace Corps Belize 1993-1995, 6.5min. "Ramma Jamma" Mr. Peters Boom and Chime Band BYCC Belize Youth Conservation Corps.

  • Snorkeling in Belize, 1min. Highest quality. Best Snorkeling. Most beautiful people.

  • Belize Vacation at Hamanasi - Christmas Break 2016, 4min. Adventures on vacation in Belize at Hamanasi resort. Canoeing, cave tubing, snorkeling, jungle waterfalls, ziplines all in one trip!

    December 30, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    Carnival Vista’s first call to Belize
    On December 27th, 2016, Belize welcomed the Carnival Vista in its first call to Belize. The Carnival Vista is the largest ship within the Lines’ fleet with approximately 3,936 passengers (double occupancy) and 1,450 crew members. The customary plaque exchange ceremony took place on-board the ship between the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and the Captain of the Carnival Vista. The ship was completed in March 2016 and delivered on April 28th 2016. The ship’s maiden voyage embarked on May 1, 2016 from Trieste, Italy on a 13-day Europe Cruise that ended in Barcelona, Spain. From May to October 2016 Vista operated an inaugural season in the Mediterranean before re-positioning to New York to offer a pair of cruises. In November 2016 she move to her new home port in Miami where she will sail year around. She offers 6 and 8 day Caribbean cruises with ports of call such as Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Aruba, Curaçao, and Bonaire.

    Ambergris Today

    Caye Caulker Cancels Lobster Fest 2017
    Lobster Fest is an annual event that many look forward to every year. Wether you attend in San Pedro, Caye Caulker or Placencia it is bound to be a great time. Unfortunatley, the Caye Caulker Lobster Fest Committee has announced that they won't be hosting the festival for 2017. The committee officially announced it on December 21, 2016, via its Facebook Page that their Lobster Fest has been postponed until 2018:

    Carnival Vista’s First Call to Belize
    On December 27, 2016, Belize welcomed the Carnival Vista in its first call to Belize. The Carnival Vista is the largest ship within the Lines’ fleet with approximately 3,936 passengers (double occupancy) and 1,450 crew members. The customary plaque exchange ceremony took place on-board the ship between the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and the Captain of the Carnival Vista. The ship was completed in March 2016 and delivered on April 28,2016. The ship's maiden voyage embarked on May 1, 2016 from Trieste, Italy on a 13-day Europe Cruise that ended in Barcelona, Spain.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Job openings in San Ignacio
    for Front Office clerk, sous chef.

    Bartender training resumes in January starting in Belize City on January 24th 2017
    Belize City: Location: BTEC Building at ITVET compound Introduction to bartending. Date: January 24th to 26th. Cost: $250 p/p Advanced Bartending: Date: January 27th to 31st. Cost: $400 p/p Master Class in Flair: March 11th to 13th. Cost: $650 p/p. We are offering great discounts for a limited time. See other dates below. Inbox or text 626-7518 to secure your space. We also help in finding jobs.

    The biggest New Year's Eve Countdown Celebration on Ambergris Caye. Looks like FUN!!
    Join us to bring in the New Year 2017! The San Pedro Town Council presents the New Year's Eve Countdown at Central Park on Saturday, December 31st - starting at 10 PM! All the way from St. Maarten in the Caribbean, we bring to you DJ OUTKAST! And joining him after is the Caribbean Roots Band from Corozal! There will be party favors and a SPECTACULAR FIREWORKS DISPLAY! Don't miss out!

    PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON THE MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY
    The Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum hereby invites the general public to a public consultation on the Marine Multibeam and Sea Seep Survey that the Government of Belize intends to complete in the deep offshore territorial waters of Belize, through the Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum and the Geology and Petroleum Department. The consultation will be held on January 18, 2017 and will be repeated on January 25, 2017. Both sessions will be held at 7:00 p.m. at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City. Information will be presented on the survey methods, techniques, equipment used, environmental concerns and mitigation measures, the products of the survey and the benefits to the country. The public will have an opportunity to clarify any concerns and to share their views on the survey.

    Yesterday, the Prime Minister Rt. Hon Dean Barrow, visited his new ministry, the Ministry of Natural Resources
    The Rt. Hon Dean Barrow, visit to the Ministry of Natural Resources along with Hon. Dr. Carla Barnett, Hon. Vanessa Retreage and CEO Sharon Ramclam-Young.

    Simone BIles speaks to Belizean Youth
    "Follow your dreams and have fun!" Simone Biles, an American Olympic gold medalist gymnast with Belizean roots inspired and motivated Belizean youth at the Bliss Center this morning.

    "Oops"
    Not so under cover cop vehicle crashes into store on Central American Boulevard on Wednesday, December 28th in Belize City.

    Embassy donates 12 bullet proof vests to the MIT
    The Embassy is proud to partner with the Belize Police Mobile Interdiction Team (MIT) to further enhance safety and stability in Belize! Recently, the Embassy provided the MIT with 12 bullet proof vests, the total value of which is USD $6,000, and which the MIT will use during their law enforcement operations across Belize.

    New exhibit coming at Museum of Belize
    Look out for the launch of a new exhibit at the Museum of Belize (NICH) in conjunction with our 15th Anniversary, coming this February 3rd, 2017! #ElCimarrón

    New Years Party at Secret Paradise Beach Bar
    Sunday, January 1, 2017 at 11 AM - 5 PM

    Onsite Masters Degree Scholarships
    The Organization of American States (OAS) in collaboration with the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) herein offer Onsite Masters Degree Scholarships in English to applicants who merit top scores. Selected candidates will be required to apply online to VUB; having accepted the OAS offer. The application deadline has been established at January 31, 2017. Further, the OAS, VUB and the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT in the USA) are also collaborating to offer opportunities and the offer is herein attached under separate cover. The language of instruction will be English, the different deadlines indicated in the attached as well as the application protocol.

    Poets Corner: Economy!
    By Abdulmajeed K Nunez. We are missing opportunities Where are Belize’s uranium, marble and agriculture industries? Belize already has nuclear energy With all the uranium in this country Dah nuclear Science wi pickney fi di study Where are our nuclear scientists of this country? Why are we not exploiting this facility? Belize has the second largest Barrier Reef We don’t know the medicine in the reef These two things, also will give us debt relief Australia has the largest which not as vibrant as ours Yet they make almost a billion off visitors Meanwhile Belize is seismic testing to sell oil rights Belizeans have to stand up and fight Food security is a necessity The Belize dollar di bottom out already Hector Silva has told us this subtly It was devalued in 1950 Signaling he is a part of PUDP Tell us the dollar is getting ready to devalue And it won’t be the first time he knew He said this softly Saying emphatically he knew since 1950 Even though many denied its reality

    Simone Biles' Motivational Ceremony
    A motivating, one-on-one, session for young Belizean athletics and students at the Bliss Institute for the Performing Arts.

    Education USA Belize welcomes Belizean and American high school students
    Today, Education USA Belize welcomed Belizean and American high school students who shared tips on selecting and applying to colleges and universities in the United States. The students discussed the application process, placement tests, financial aid, and many more topics. We hope everyone involved found the session helpful and wish them good luck!

    Channel 7

    Ministry Says School Starts Next Tuesday
    Tonight, if you're a parent of a child in pre, primary or high school, you probably aren't sure what to do with them next week: should you keep them home, or send them to school? And that's because there have been very conflicting messages coming out of The Ministry of Education and the School Managements on one hand, and the Teachers Union on the other. Up to yesterday the BNTU sent a release telling teachers and students to enjoy the full three weeks of their Christmas vacation - and return to school as originally scheduled on January ninth. Well, today the Ministry of Education sent a public service announcement clearly re-stating the official position. It says, quote: Teachers and students at pre-primary, primary and secondary levels are to report to school on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017 The announcement adds that School Bus Runs will be operating starting on the third.

    Newlywed Killed In Traffic Fatality, On His Wife's Birthday
    Last night's news was all about the high profile traffic accident where the UDP's Alfonso Noble knocked down and killed Gilbert Meyers on Christmas Day. Well tonight, the news is of another fatal traffic accident. In this case, the tragic loss is compounded because the victim, 38 year-old Josue Alfaro just married his new wife on Christmas Eve. He was home to spend the holidays, which should have been their honeymoon. But instead, he died yesterday - which also happened to be his new wife's birthday. We had a few late breaking details last night, and tonight we have a more complete story for you. Daniel Ortiz reports:

    Alfonso Not A Jehovah's Witness
    And turning to the Christmas Eve accident, where Alfonso Noble knocked down and killed Gilbert Meyers, there is a new wrinkle tonight. Noble's attorney, Herbert Panton yesterday claimed that his client refused to give police a blood sample because he is a Jehovah's Witness. Well, the social media blowback from that has been fierce and furious. And pictures such as this one from 2011, which shows him giving blood for HIV/AIDS testing have been widely circulated. We also found a story from our archives, when Noble was a part of this newsroom. It's from 2006, when he was covering the story on why members of the public should not be afraid to know their HIV status. Here's a snippet of that story:

    Three Men Shot In City
    There was a shooting on the southside of Belize City a short while ago. It happened at around 6:00 this evening at a mechanic shop on Jane Usher Boulevard. According to reports, two men were working on a car at a mechanic shop when a gunman pulled up. Reports say he shot them both, plus one other person who was nearby. All three were rushed to the hospital and are reported to be alive at this time with varying injuries. Latest information says that one man, a 50 year old was shot to the hip, while another man was shot to the leg and arm, and a younger male, in his teens, was grazed to the back.

    Senior Citizen Fought Off Armed Attackers
    Henry Bulwer has been selling fruits at the corner of West Collet Canal and Raccoon Streets for the last six years. But last night the 73 year old had to fend off two armed attackers. They demanded that he turn over his money, but instead of handing over his day's earnings, Bulwer decided to fight back. He told us how. Henry Bulwer, Fruit Vendor: "I was about to close in just as a lady came to buy something from me, meanwhile I went inside to carry on putting up my stuff. Two man approached me directly with guns and said 'give me the money'. I wasn't consistent with that when he said 'give me the money' I decided that they won't get any money. So we started talking to him meanwhile but he looked like he was about to shoot so I aggressed him and they continued on tasseling with me. I told him 'I have no money' then I decided I was going to call for the police. There was a tassel between me and him and a young man who was out there too helping me, he moved off because he saw a gun. I got my elbow and shoulder hurt and that was part of what really happened there."

    OW Grocer Shot In Armed Holdup
    A Chinese businesswoman was shot last night in an armed robbery at her grocery store, Taisan Supermarket. Three of her customers were also hurt. At around 8:00 a masked man strode into the store and shot 42 year old Yan Zhen Yu to her left abdomen. He then raided cash register, taking an undisclosed amount of cash, and dashed off down a dark alley nearby. Five customers were inside the store at the time, and three of them suffered minor injuries while trying to escape. Police have reviewed surveillance video, but it isn't clear enough to identify the masked suspect.

    Brazen Xaibe Holdup
    Armed robbers also terrorized a business in the Corozal district. It happened yesterday afternoon at 4:30 when men who had shirts pulled over their faces, held up Aurora's Store, popularly known as Reyes Store, in Xaibe Village. They met three females - including a 15 year old minor - tending the family owned business - along with two female customers, one a senior citizen, the other a child. The young male robbers weren't fazed, and pulled weapons on the cashier, demanding cash. They helped themselves to a thousand dollars and a cell phone from one of the customers, and then fled on bicycle, heading towards the Phillip Goldson highway. But Police responded quickly and villagers helped them to find a young man hiding in one of the cane fields. He was found with the stolen cellular phone in his pocket. He also led the Police to a fake firearm which he claims to have used in the robbery.

    Cayo's Alleged Granny Killer Well Known To Police
    Cayo police have more background information on 24 year old murder suspect Trevor Jones. He is accused of killing 68 year old grandmother of 29, Paulina Urbelina Sanchez. He was arrested on Sunday, and charged with murder yesterday. Police say that he is well known to them and has had run-ins with the law from age 12. They say he has been in and out of jail since then and just recently he was released from prison for a firearm offense. But Jones's involvement is just one part of this murder case. Reports are that he was hired by a relative to execute Sanchez. The suggestion is that the relative wanted Sanchez out of the way to take her property. Police say they have not established that connection as yet.

    Succotzeno Killed In Melchor
    A watchman from San Jose Succotz was stoned to death and robbed in Melchor over the weekend. Marvin Tut went to spend the holidays with his brothers in Melchor and on Christmas day he went drinking with his friends. He had just gotten paid and reports are that earlier in the day he took out his money in front of everyone at the bar. Well later that night, a couple guys went looking for him and they went to the same bar he was drinking at earlier, and that is when the men stoned him in his face and killed him. They stole over $400 Belize dollars from Tut. His brothers found his body thrown in a football field early boxing day. When we called Cayo and Benque police, they both said they did not have any information on the murder. So, the family has to follow up with police in Melchor to get justice for their loved one.

    Police Plod Along With Pakeman Case
    Rural Eastern Division Police have still not completed their investigation into the March 2016 accident that killed mechanic Dean Dawson and implicated Government Press Officer Dorian Pakeman. You'll remember that ACP Edward Broaster told us in our pre-Christmas interview that the DPP has given them directives to complete the investigation file. Broaster said that his officers would have done what was requested by the end of last week. So, what's the hold-up? Well, he told us that they haven't finished due to delays at the National Forensics Laboratory: ACP Edward Broaster - OC, Rural Eastern Division: "We have not been successful as yet. One of the main problems that we have is with the - or one of the main challenges we're having is the fact that we need a report from the National Forensics Laboratory regarding some samples that we have sent, and to date, those are not forthcoming, and that's the only thing that is holding up the culmination of this investigation."

    Police Detain Michelle Moreira's Husband, After Her Body Found In River
    One case that the police are having more success with is their murder investigation into PG native Michelle Moreira. She was found washed up in the Belize River three weeks ago. Up until last week, police couldn't identify her. Since then, however they've gotten in touch with her family, and they've also been able to put together a general idea of her last days alive. Today, police told us that they have detained a man she was in a common-law relationship with, and he is being questioned for inconsistencies in his story: ACP Edward Broaster - OC, Rural Eastern Division: "We have properly identified Michelle Moreira, yes. We are in contact with one of her sons, and we have detained one individual who is believed to be in some sort of a common-law relationship with her. He was questioned." "We still have him in custody because he told us that the last time he saw Michelle Moreira was the Saturday prior to her death, and we have information that he was with her the day prior to her death."

    Multibeam Makeover, this Time With Consultation
    At the end of October, the MV Northern Explorer left Belizean waters under duress. The ship was supposed to have conducted seismic surveys in offshore Belize. But after massive push back from the citizens of San Pedro and the conservation community, the government was forced to shut down operations. But apparently that was not an end to the effort. It's being reloaded, except this time with consultations. Today, the Ministry of National Development and Petroleum announced that it will be holding two consultations regarding the Multibeam surveys and Sea Seep surveys. These are similar to the ones the Northern Explorer was conducting. The Ministry will go over the methods that will be used, as well was what they are looking for and the benefits of the information. The floor will also be open to the public to ask questions and express their concerns about the operations.

    Simone's Session With Youths
    Winning five medals in the gymnastics competition at the Summer Olympics. Before Simone Biles, no American woman had ever done it before. That's a singular distinction. And for her unmatched accomplishment, Biles was yesterday named the Associated Press female athlete of the year - beating out perennial favourites such as Serena Williams. What would you like to ask someone who'd done something so singular? Well today, Belize's young athletes got just that chance when Biles participated in a question and answer session with students, athletes and fans. Our cameras were there to capture the event...

    Reduced Charged For Travaun
    29 year-old Nigel Castillo is a Belize City resident who was shot in July after he reportedly had a misunderstanding with a group of young men, and a police constable. Well, 21 year-old Travaun Chee, one of the men who was charged for the shooting, has gotten off the initial charge. Today, when the case was called up before court, the prosecutor told the court that a directive has come from the DPP's Office to withdraw the charge of attempted murder. That was formally done, but Chee still faces charges of aggravated assault, wounding, and use of deadly means of harm. He's currently out on bail for those charges.

    Jeep Swerves Out Of Control On Crowded Boulevard
    Last night, a Jeep SUV barreled into a storefront on Central American Boulevard. A bystander who works in the hardware sotre told us off camera how he was almost run over:... Voice of Worker: "I was standing outside, about to cross the street when I saw the vehicle took the curve and it looked like he lost control and crashed into my boss' fence and knocked down his door, if I had stood a little longer on the street I would have gotten knock down too." Courtney Weatherburne, 7News: "So you said it was a Coast Guard type vehicle?" Voice of Worker: "No a coast guard was driving it. It was a 4 door tinted vehicle." Courtney Weatherburne, 7News: "And you are not familiar with the driver?" Voice of Worker: "No, no."

    A Race For The Ages
    On Sunday - the KREM New Year's Day Cycling Classic will have its twenty-fifth running. Cycling historian Kwame Scott told us what to look for in this year's race and why it is a race of consequence:...

    Channel 5

    Newlywed Josue Alfaro Crushed by Bus on Wife’s Birthday
    The spate of traffic fatalities continues across the country, the most recent collision claiming the life of a newly-wed on Wednesday night.  The Sandhill Villager was driving his pickup truck [...]

    Alfonso Noble, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the Refused Blood Sample
    Is Alfonso Noble a religious convert and if so when did he become a Jehovah’s Witness?  Late this evening, attorney Herbert Panton issued a statement concerning comments he made in [...]

    Ladyville Police Still Waiting for Dorian Pakeman Samples
    Last week, you heard ACP Edward Broaster say that they were waiting for lab results from the national forensic lab in the Pakeman-Dawson case. ACP Broaster was hopeful that they [...]

    2 Accidents in Orange Walk; Youth Dead, 11 Injured
    A total of sixteen persons were injured in five separate traffic accidents over the Christmas weekend. Of these, twelve were involved in two separate accidents in the Orange Walk District. [...]

    David Andrews’ Grieving Family Speaks Out
    He was the baby of their family, the apple of his mother’s eye. Ramona Carcamo, a vendor known as “Mama Chula,” joins the long list of grieving Belize City mothers [...]

    Jane Doe No More: Suspect Being Questioned in Michelle Moreira Murder
    Last week we told you that Police have since identified the homeless woman as – Michelle Moriera- whose body was retrieved from the Belize River two weeks ago. Moriera’s badly [...]

    Secondary School Principals: It’s Back to School on January 3rd, Not 9th
    Is the Belize National Teachers Union alone in its face-off with the Ministry of Education over the resumption of classes in January?  The Belize Association of Principals of Secondary Schools, [...]

    Teachers Expected to be Back in Classes Next Tuesday
    According to Longsworth, there are no indications from secondary school teachers that they will be absent from work on Tuesday.  In the interest of high school students who will be [...]

    Police Progressing Slowly in Trio Arson Case
    It has been six weeks since five families were wiped out by a fire in a hidden corner of Trio village, Toledo District. The incident appears to be linked to [...]

    1 of 2 Defendants Freed in Attempted Murder Case
    A rookie cop and his friend were accused of the attempted murder of Nigel Castillo in July of this year after a shooting incident at a basketball court behind the [...]

    Accused Robber Picked Up for Another Charge
    Twenty-five-year-old Stanley Moore is back on remand at the Belize Central Prison tonight after being read two charges in connection with the attempted robbery of an elderly businessman on Wednesday [...]

    Consultation on Multibeam and Seep Sea Survey Coming in January
    Government is holding a public consultation on marine multi-beam and Sea Seep Survey. In a release issued today, the Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum says that they, along with [...]

    Simone Biles Concludes Belize Vacation with Motivational Talk to Athletes
    It was Simone Biles’ last day in Belize and after a week of enjoying all that the country has to offer, her last activity was to have an open talk [...]

    Sports Council Director Calls on Sporting Associations to Step Up
    The event today saw the participation of many sporting associations and their respective athletes. But for years now, the criticism is that enough funding has not been made available for [...]

    What’s Your Healthy New Year’s Resolution?
    Committing to acts of self improvement or making resolutions is a common tradition that many undertake to start a new year. It’s commonly cited that only eight percent of people [...]

    CTV3

    Chinese Business Woman Shot During Arm Robbery
    Forty two year old Belizean Chinese businesswoman, Yan Zhen Yu is lucky to be alive tonight after she was shot last night while at her business establishment, Taisan Supermarket located in the Louisiana Area here in Orange Walk Town. Reports indicate that sometime around 8:00 in the evening one male individual, wearing a mask over his face entered the store and fired a single shot which caught Yu on the left side of her abdomen. The robber then proceeded to open the cash register taking an undisclosed amount of money before fleeing the area through a dark alley nearby. There were approximately five customers inside the store at the time the crime was being committed, three of whom suffered minor injuries while trying to escape.

    BNTU Sticks To Its Guns, Classes Reopens January 9th
    Tonight the burning question on everyone’s mind continues to be, will classes resume early in the new year- on January third? That continuous to be the date implemented by the Ministry of Education and the School Managements but the BNTU tonight remains on the position that classes will resume as regularly scheduled……on January the ninth. Luke Palacio – President of Belize national Teachers’ Union: “For the Union we say that classes resume on the 9th of January.” Reporter: “Do you regret the confusion that all this standoff really caused?” Luke Palacio – President of Belize national Teachers’ Union: “Well to say that we regret might be so but we are more concerned that after all our efforts, all our attempts trying to get the management and ministry to the table with us try and ensure that there this smooth transition after the court ruling at least up to this point giving us granting the injunction that things could have work out for the intention of all of our citizens but the bottom line remains that our teachers and our students deserve their three weeks holiday...”

    Tug And War Between MOE And BNTU
    Students, parents and even teachers are caught in what has become a thug of war between the Ministry of Education and the Belize National Teacher’s Union over which date classes should resume, following the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. As you already know, it is customary that the holiday lasts three weeks, which would see classes start on Monday January 9th, but due to the Union’s 11-day protests in October, the Ministry of Education advised Managing Authorities to find ways of making up time and the new date proposed by Managing Authorities is January 3rd. The BNTU issued a release yesterday indicating to their members – the teachers – that classes shouldn’t open until the 9th. In response, the Ministry of Education issued a statement reminding teachers and parents that school reopens on Tuesday, January 3rd. According to the Ministry, the Government will even provide a bonus to teachers who end up going to school from January 3rd.

    San Andres Chairman Demands That Roads Be Fix
    Christmas has come and gone and the Chairman of San Andres Glenford “Choco” Melvin did not get one of his Christmas wishes. This wish was to see the roads in his community free of pot holes. The main San Andres Road, particularly a section about 900 feet in length, leading to the cut-off to the Corozal Community College and Corozal Junior College, is in a seriously dilapidated state. Today, Choco called us out to the road section to show us how bad it is and to call out the elected area representative Hugo Patt for neglecting one of his duties. Glenford “Choco” Melvin, Chairman, San Andres Village: “We have a lot of pothole for many years and whenever the ministry of works come and fix and as you turn behind you there they have a pile of white marl and they throw it in the hole but the next day when it rains it just washes out and so you can see a vehicle gong and see the condition and see how it bouncing and bouncing through the hole and the first thing concern of the owner of the vehicle especially the taxi man that would pass in front of me and say Mr. chairman please fix the road we are paying more tax in our taxi which in we don’t receive those taxes is the government so the question is what are they doing with these moneys...”

    More Delays On Dorian Pakeman Case
    Approximately nine months have gone by since the death of Gardenia resident 45 year old Dean Dawson and still no charges have been levied against Director of the Government Press Office Dorian Pakeman, the man believed to be responsible for causing the accident. While authorities keep on reiterating that they are awaiting instructions from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions on how to proceed with the long overdue case, there is one major setback which was identified by Assistant Commissioner of Police, Edward Broaster during an interview with the media in Belize City earlier today. Edward Broaster – Assistant Commissioner of Police: “One of the main problems that we are having is with the or one of the main challenges we are having is the fact that we need a report from the National Forensic lab regarding some samples that we’ve sent and to date those are not fore coming and that is the only thing that is holding up, the culmination of this investigation.”

    BNTU And MOE Try To Solve Their Issues Out Of Court
    On December 16th, officials of the Ministry of Education and executives of the Belize National Teacher’s Union met at the Supreme Court where their respective attorneys informed the Chief Justice that they were accepting his advice to seek mediation to resolve their differences. As we had previously reported they were given 45 days to arrive at an agreement and today Vice President of the BNTU, Adelaida Guerra, spoke of the advancements of the case. Adelaida Guerra- Vice President of the BNTU: “We have not had any meetings as yet but what was mandated in the court we have 45 days to work the mediation process.” Reporter: “Would you have expected that at least one meeting would have taken place yet despite this break?” Adelaida Guerra- Vice President of the BNTU: “I would have hope we would have had one meeting that is true but looking at it being holiday time I guess the mediator might have had some other commitments or something like that so I don’t know why we were not called to any meeting yet.”

    BAPSS Sides With Ministry Of Education With Reopening of Classes
    While the BNTU has made clear their position of returning to the classroom until Monday January 9th, the Belize Association of Principals of Secondary Schools, (BAPSS) and the Belize Association of General Managers of Pre and Primary schools reiterated today that they are on the side of the Ministry and are urging all students, parents and teachers to show up for formal classes on Tuesday January 3rd, 2017. In a release, BAPSS Chair, Omar Longsworth wrote quote “This position was taken as we are convinced that these four days will provide students with meaningful instructional time that was lost during the eleven days of strike action taken in October 2016. It is our hope that all stakeholders in education will be supportive of this decision as we continue to provide for the best interest of our students.” End quote

    LOVE FM

    Government Wants Public’s Input on Deep Sea Survey
    The Government of Belize through its Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum is planning on conducting a marine multi-beam and sea seep survey in the deep offshore waters of Belize. It is an activity that will produce maps with Belize’s navigation and scientific information as well as seafloor maps. Prior to this undertaking, however, the […]

    DPP Frees Chee of Attempted Murder Charge
    Today on a directive from the DPP, 21 year old Travaun Chee was freed of a charge of attempted murder in connection with an incident which occurred in July in which 29 year old Nigel Castillo was shot in his lower abdomen. Chee was freed of the charge when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate […]

    The Belize Times

    Barrow’s BLACK Christmas… – Belizeans Brace for Stormy Weather in 2017!
    As the dust begins to settle on 2016, there is still nothing but darkness on Belize's horizon. Little more than a year has passed since Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that the best was yet to come; a shell of a promise. Not only has that not been true, but Belize is on the brink of total economic meltdown. And while the political elite dine fine and squander away Belize's limited wealth, the Belizean public will face tougher times in the coming year. Barrow, in an interview last week, skirted and danced around questions about whether or not Belizeans will face higher taxes. He cannot bring himself to say it publicly but there is no doubt about who will pay the price for his administration's mismanagement, failures and corruption. Barrow's government finds itself renegotiating the 2038 Superbond once more after making an agreement more favorable to bondholders in 2012 and patting himself on the back for it. And now, just a few short years since that restructuring effort, for which he sang his own praises, Barrow is at the mercy of bondholders, begging to restructure again. This time, however, the bondholders need assurances on their investment and are demanding that Belize proceed with the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) advice.

    Public Officers Suspended (WITH PAY) for Mason Birth Certificate
    Four employees from the Vital Statistics Unit which falls under the Attorney General’s Ministry have finally been placed on a two-month suspension WITH pay over the issuance of the William Mason birth certificate. The holder of that birth certificate is Guyanese born Rajesh Ouellet/Teddy Oellette, or whatever other name he had gone by before ending up on remand at the Belize Central Prison for the July 15, 2016 murder of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas. Mason, who was found in possession of the decapitated head of the Pastor inside his Ford F-150 pickup truck without license plates at a bar in Belmopan was later learned to have been very well connected to top Government officials and in particular, to then Police Minister Hon. John Saldivar. The Minister has since been stripped of that portfolio over his questionable relationship with Mason.

    Massive Collision Claims Three in OW
    Three young men died in a terrible traffic accident on the Yo Creek Road. Instead of preparing for the Christmas Holidays, the families of 26 year-old Jason Gongora; his cousin, 22 year-old Giovanni Gongora; and their 22 year-old neighbour Minor Hernandez are making funeral arrangements. The accident happened sometime around 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 17 on the Yo Creek Road, about 3 and a half miles away from Orange Walk Town. These 3 were good friends and neighbours from Yo Creek Village and they were traveling in a green Ford F-150 pickup truck. They were on their way to Orange Walk Town, reportedly to continue socializing when they had a head-on collision with a Tillett’s Bus. The massive impact flung all 3 men from the truck and so the investigators don’t exactly know which of them was driving at the time of the accident. It is believed that they died at the moment of impact or shortly thereafter.

    The Grinch that Stole 2016
    The Prime Minister flew out with his family last week, to return this week. We take this opportunity to wish the leader of the nation and his family all the best this Christmas, particularly the Prime Minister whose enhanced bowel movements and intestinal disturbances have been made such unnecessary public knowledge. It must be a wonderful thing when you can jump on a jet plane at a moment’s notice and fly to Miami or New York or anywhere really, when money is no object and the world is your oyster. It must be a wonderful thing when your last minute Christmas shopping need not be done in the crowded confines of the downtown plaza, or sidestepping the homeless on a smelly Albert Street, but across the seas in exclusive designer stores, with vehicles waiting outside to whisk your packages away to your swank hotel. A vast majority of Belizeans did not have access to those opportunities before 2016. That is the truth. But as we near 2017, many more of our Belizeans have lost what spending power they had. Just look in the newspapers, even in this so-called joyous time of the year. In some cases the lifeblood of these publications has literally become the pages upon pages of auction listings – Belizeans losing their homes and land and businesses and properties. Incredibly, sometimes there are more than ten full pages of such listings. That has been one of the many tragic tales of 2016.

    New Year & Possible New Industrial Action by BNTU
    The Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) and the Ministry of Education have accepted mediation to work out whether teachers who went on an 11-day strike in October ought to be paid for the time they were absent from school. That apart, according to the Union’s attorney, Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay, the matter of the make-up time is headed for another industrial dispute if the Ministry insists on interfering in the teachers’ conditions of work. As you may be aware, the Ministry in collaboration with the Managing Authorities of schools agreed to add 6 days to the school calendar without consulting the BNTU. Four of the make-up days would be extracted from the Christmas break so that the return to classes in January 2017 would be Tuesday the 3rd as opposed to Monday the 9th. The teachers are not agreeable to this and SC Courtenay has referred to the Education Rules to categorically affirm that “the Government of Belize cannot dictate to teachers when they are going to work and when they are going to get their holidays.” He counseled, “I would like to encourage the Managing Authorities to dialogue with the Union as representative of the teachers and have this matter resolved quickly. We are headed to another industrial dispute. It should be avoided.”

    If Dah Noh Soh
    Somebody at the Belize Press Office needs some damned sensitivity training. Trust me we do not need to know about the old baldhead’s bowel movements – frequent or interrupted – and we sure as hell do not need to know about what’s going on inside his colon. I don’t care if it’s a lesion or legion or a legion of lesions. That’s between Dean Oliver, his God and his toilet. The entire nation would have been okay with a release explaining that that DOB is indisposed. If you don’t favour indisposed, use unwell…or you can say the unwell, indisposed fellow has a medical condition. No talk about colons or lesions or bowels – ever. Don’t. Sheesh! Bad bowels and jokes aside…the country is in some deep s*#t. Like deep! A little bird in Dean Oliver’s office has confirmed that GOB is as screwed up as DOB…as in struggling to even pay public officers every two weeks. According to that stool pigeon on the grapevine, the day was saved recently when Taiwan came through with a multi-million dollar loan. That loan has apparently been keeping the government afloat for the moment. But what happens when that dries up? Well that same source says that with new taxes in fuel implemented in January, pump prices will shoot past $10 a gallon, creating the short term cash flow government so desperately needs since the apparently not so bright baldhead screwed up the country.

    Questions to Ministers
    Would the Member for Queen Square and Minister of Finance please confirm reports that the Ministry of Finance has had to be borrowing money for the past months just to ensure that government can meet its wage bill? Would the Member for Queen Square and Prime Minister please confirm or deny reports that his recent “illness” in New York was just a way of setting the stage so he can call early elections in 2017? Would the Member for Queen Square and Minister of Finance please say how likely it is that our Belizean dollar will be devalued in early 2017? Would he further confirm reports that public officers working for less than five years are being looked at as the first to go when the government commences its Retrenchment exercise in 2017? Would the Member for Belize Rural North and Minister of NEMO, Canefields, Visas, Company Checks, Land Hustles and Transport please provide an accounting of the monies spent on homes for those affected by Hurricane Earl?

    MAN UP, MR.BARROW!
    By: Norris Hall. Dear Mr. Prime Minister: We the people are reluctant to address you as protocol dictates. You see Sir, we believe that respect is earned, not bestowed or dictated. Nevertheless, we write as “normal” Belizeans. There is no arrogance, nor superiority, nor dishonesty in our DNA. We are just simple folks but we understand more than you think we do. This is the time of the year when we tend to resort to what has become meaningless clichés about goodwill towards men, peace on earth, wishes for a merry Christmas and so on. You get the drift? We do not want to steal the thunder but we are also certain that we have an idea about your annual Christmas message. Actually, in its entirety, it has become the annual cliché of the year. We are sure that with all the spotlights for the television camera, you are far removed from the reality of what we really want for Christmas. It would add meaning to your Christmas message. What we really want Mr. Prime Minister, is good governance and a responsible government.

    The True Meaning of Christmas
    By: Eduardo Santos Mark Forsyth is the author of A Christmas Cornucopia: The hidden stories behind our yuletide traditions published by Viking Penguin. He penned this article in ‘The Telegraph’ newspaper which to some extent, amply describes our present Christmas festivities in Belize. Gone are the days where religion and cultural affairs played a key role in our festivities. Now it’s one long festival of gluttony and debauchery. I leave you with Mr. Forsyth’s article in toto. Think you know the true meaning of Christmas? You’re wrong and you always have been. Everybody has forgotten the true, religious meaning of Christmas; these days it’s all “feasting to excess, dancing, and crowning the doors” – or at least that’s what Gregory of Nazianzus said in 386AD. Christmas on December 25 was first recorded in the year 354, it’s fair to say that the complaint is very nearly as old as the festival itself.

    Thinking Out Loud
    As I told you last week when our tree in Orange Walk was destroyed by malicious vandals, I had no doubt that the collaboration between our Council and the community would mean a new tree in short order, and so it has come to pass. I have learned by experience that there is nothing that cannot be achieved when this community pulls together, and as always I give thanks. At the risk of repeating myself, I also give thanks to the community for its unwavering support where the infrastructure in our town is concerned. I am very proud of all of us. Not only is Orange Walk very likely the municipality where the most real infrastructure work has taken place through an intensive works program, but it is the municipality which has received absolutely no assistance from Central Government other than a tiny allocation every month. So what you see happening in our town is a result of good financial management, commitment and community – no grants or bonds or political gifts.

    Still No Charges in Pakeman RTA
    After almost nine months, the family of popular mechanic Dean Dawson, 45, of Gardenia village in the Belize District has not had closure as it relates to the police investigation into the traffic accident that led to his death. Dawson was struck off his bicycle on the night of March 30, 2016 and did not survive the severe injuries. The driver behind the wheel of the Government issued Isuzu D-Max pick-up that hit Dawson was none other than the Director of the Government’s Press Office, Dorian Pakeman, 34. Pakeman would claim that it was Dawson who swerved into his lane but the evidence on the Philip Goldson Highway showed differently as tire tracks pointed to Pakeman hitting the brakes moments before, during or just after impact and NOT in his lane.

    The UDP’s 3R’s – Reuse…Recycle & Regurgitate
    It was announced via SSB release today that Dr. Colin Young will be the new Chief Executive Officer, replacing vanquished CEO John Flowers whose unpopularity with other heads of Department spelled his demise. Young also serves as CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Sustainable Development and Climate Change, and as the Chair of the Protected Areas Conservation Trust. He is a member of the Board of Directors of BTL, serves on a climate change board and is one of the UDP’s campaign managers. He got the top spot at the SSB without submitting an application. This is how the UDP does it, typical MO for an organization that has found itself suffering from a terminal talent deficiency. So one set of persons are reused, recycled and regurgitated…from one posting to the next, from one Board to the next, from one role to the next. Young won’t be lonely at the SSB. The UDP’s most recycled and regurgitated person is the Chair of the Social Security Investment Committee.

    Harvest Caye Sparkles…But At What Cost?
    After snubbing the local press for weeks, Norwegian Cruise Line finally relented and invited the press to tour their Harvest Caye Cruise Port. Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia Jr., Tourism Director, Karen Bevans, and photographers from the Belize Tourism Board accompanied the media houses. Were they there to participate, or babysit the press which the Government often treats as unruly? This is a one-of-a-kind facility in Belize and with a price tag of over a hundred million dollars…it comes with world-class amenities comparable to the best resorts and hotels in the region. The island is designed to keep as much of the business from NCL’s cruise ship calls to Belize right in that one location, to meet a vacationer’s every want and need, so that they don’t have to leave until the day is ended. There is only one token tour operation that is allowed to take Harvest Caye visitors on mainland tours in Southern Belize. Only H2O Tierra has a contract with NCL to do that kind of business. About 75 calls that NCL used to make in Belize City are now lost to the local tour operators from FECTAB who will suffer business losses for it. Tourism insiders say that NCL cruise tourists are generally the ones who spend the most when they visit Belize, and the two replacement cruise lines from Europe, TUI and MSC, won’t meet the shortfall that NCL’s absence will cause.

    Land Dispute Results in Bloody Murder
    Police continue to look for the gunman who shot and killed 68 year-old Santa Elena Resident Paulina Urbelina Sanchez. This grandmother of 29 died in front of 2 of her granddaughters, aged 7 and 8. The murder happened at around 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 18, at Sanchez’s home at #6 Orange Street, Santa Elena Town. Police investigations reveal that Sanchez had just returned home and was standing in the doorway of her house when a gunman ambushed her. Her daughter, Paulina Suarez, who was on the way to bring her food, arrived just in time to hear her plead with this gunman for her life. The victim reportedly begged for mercy, saying, “Please don’t kill me! Please don’t kill me!”

    Argument over God Leads to Murder
    Police are looking for help from the public to apprehend 27 year-old Honduran Howard Martinez. He is wanted in connection with the brutal stabbing murder of 27 year-old Freddy Cerritos. The killing happened on Friday, December 16, at Cerritos’ home in the San Martin Area of Belmopan. Both men were reportedly good friends, and at around 5:30 p.m., they were socializing. Police are certain that alcohol was not a factor in this dispute. It appears that the two men were having a discussion about religion and God. Somehow that conversation turned into a disagreement, and investigators and the family are puzzled as to what made Martinez so angry that he attacked Cerritos. He pulled out a knife and stabbed Cerritos 8 times, and he then ran off. Persons nearby rushed Cerritos to the Western Regional Hospital, but he died within 10 minutes of being attacked.

    Business Bureau Warns of Dark Days Ahead
    While the Chamber of Commerce has been eerily silent on the current crisis facing the business sector in Belize, and the crisis predicted in 2017, the Belize Business Bureau has jumped into the fray. In a release issued this week, the BBB warns GOB that the Foreign Exchange Peg is threatened by the public sector funding gap. The release details Belize’s dire economic situation and offers a list of suggestions which it believes will help to improve the country’s financial outlook. According to the Bureau, Belize is facing seven major issues including a revaluation of Belize’s currency, GDP moving towards 101.7 percent of GDP, diminishing USD reserves, negative GDP growth, per capita less than half of the region’s average, no strategy for de-risking and a widening gap due to the external and domestic gap destabilizing the foreign exchange rate peg. The BBB also noted that in March 2015 an IMF report warned if external debt surged to 100 percent of GDP, it would reflect a 30 percent depreciation of Belizean currency. Pulling no punches, the BBB asserts that the government needs monetary discipline so there can be minimal uncertainty and a controlled trade balance in the country.

    2016 May Be Record Year for Murders
    As we go to press, in our last edition for 2016, all attempts to obtain official murder statistics from the Police Department have been futile. But by our unofficial count, there have been 140 murders already this year, with 10 days left to 2017. It gives us no pleasure to report that once again Belize is being touted as one of the deadliest countries in the world. Another year is gone without the Police Department having access to a specialized facility to conduct DNA testing and forensic analysis, despite this being a campaign promise by Dean Barrow since 2008. Murderers and rapists have been allowed to walk free because our law enforcement personnel have been neglected by the policy-makers and movers and shakers in government who have been intent on filling their own pockets. Very little attention has been paid to providing proper equipment to our officers. Instead we have become a beggar nation, content to wait for scraps thrown from the US or the UK.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Three men shot tonight in Belize City
    Three men were reportedly shot in the Jane Usher Boulevard in Belize City moments ago. Reports to our newsroom are that the men have since been transported to KHMH where their condition remains uncertain. A source told BBN that one man known to the […]

    Round 2 – BNTU hunkers down, Education Ministry digs in
    Today, the Ministry of Education issued a public service announcement informing parents, teachers and students that classes will resume on January 3, 2017. In their release, the Ministry explained that the school calendar has been adjusted to accommodate a total of 6 days for […]

    Rainy weekend ahead
    Mostly moist weather is expected to prevail over the next 24 hours with cloudy skies and some showers and isolated thunderstorms over most areas. The wind will blow from the northeast at 5-15 knots. The sea state will be choppy to moderate. High temperatures […]

    Dorian Pakeman still not charged
    Director of Government Press Office, Dorian Pakeman, has still not been charged in connection with the road traffic accident that left Dean Dawson dead. According to ACP Broaster who spoke to the media today, police are awaiting the results of some samples sent to […]

    Man kills common law wife?
    Michelle Moreira was recently discovered dead by police with chop wounds across her body. According to ACP Edward Broaster, her common law husband has since been detained by Ladyville police. He is being treated as a primary suspect in Moreira’s death according to Broaster. […]

    Police issue official report on fatal traffic accident
    Last night around 6, police responded to a road traffic accident between miles 11 and 12 on the Phillip Goldson Highway where they saw a red ford pickup truck with license plates C-54107 on the side of the highway extensively damaged. Police encountered Jose […]

    Blogs

    My 9 Favorite Spots to Watch the Sunset On Ambergris Caye
    Ambergris Caye is really the caye of sunrises. The reef is to the east and almost all hotels and resorts are oriented that way. But let’s be honest…you are on vacation! Waking up between 5:15 and 6:15am is great for some (smaller children and older men) but most of us like to sleep in. I’m here about 350 days a year and I can count my sunrises on one hand. 1. Cocotal Inn – I said no particular order but this spot on the lagoon side of the Cocotel Inn is staged perfectly for the sunset. A small dock made for two. White adirondack chairs. It’s perfect. 2. The Barrel Bar. A bit more adventurous. Located north of town on the lagoon side is Barrel Bar. It has gone through some name and management changes but it remains basically the same. A ramshackle building and dock over the lagoon with lots of character. It’s a local spot for sure but order a beer or a rum and coke (I’m quite sure they are not making strawberry daiquiris) and head to the back porch. The view over the mangroves is spectacular.

    Belize to be one of 2017's biggest travel trends
    Belize is expected to be one of the top trending travel destinations of 2017. Situated just a stone’s throw away from North America, with English as its official first language, a trove of activities and tourist attractions, and with increased airline routes and cheaper rates, it’s no doubt that Belize would shoot to the top of many travel bucket lists. It used to be that Belize’s tourism pitch was as “Mother nature’s best kept secret”. That has not been the case in recent years, however, as that secret is probably now as well guarded as Victoria’s. Tourism arrivals to the small country that enjoys the best of Central American and Caribbean landscapes have consistently trended up, and for good reason. It’s hard not to be entranced by Belize’s breathtaking ocean views, the historical significance of its ancient Mayan ruins, the exciting adventures awaiting in its lush forests and jungles, the captivating colors, the warm hospitality, the cultural diversity, the delectable cuisine and the year round tropical climate. MSN Lifestyle recently highlighted some of the best activities for tourists to indulge in while in Belize. It recommended visiting one of the most historical Mayan ruins in the country: Xunantunich. The archaeological site is situated on a hill just at Belize’s border with Guatemala. Villages from neighboring Guatemala can even be seen from atop the ruin. A visit to this site would no doubt make for a memorable experience and would certainly make for great photo opportunities.

    Ten things to know before traveling to Belize
    Belize is the vacation destination of a lifetime waiting to happen. It is incredibly beautiful and warmly welcoming. It comfortably close to home for Northern American visitors. It is surprisingly affordable and is sure to provide tons of fun for all members of the family but before booking your adventure vacation to the “Jewel” here’s what you need to know. 1.) It was home to ancient Mayan cities and civilizations and there are many ruins and archaeological sites scattered across the country. These mysterious historical monuments offer a glimpse into the past of the people who once inhabited the land. 2.) Belize was first occupied by Spain but later became a British colony. It was granted independence from Great Britain in 1981 and remains a member of the Commonwealth nations. 3.) It is locked in an age-old territorial dispute with Guatemala, which claims Belize as part of its territory. The countries are currently in the process of arranging measures to settle the dispute in the International Court of Justice. 4.) Early in the country’s development, its economy depended heavily on agriculture and later oil but now tourism is the number one foreign exchange earner hence its emphasis on providing an excellent tourist experience.

    International Sourcesizz

    World's wackiest cocktails and most unusual drinks
    Jack Maxwell, host of Travel Channel’s Booze Traveler, shares a sampling of cocktails made with some surprising and intriguing ingredients. The hidden treasures include seaweed, pinecones and even "big-bottomed ants." Here are 7 of the world's wackiest cocktails and most unusual drinks from around the world. In Belize, cool and refreshing cocktails are in high demand. Seaweed, which is abundantly available in the country, is mixed with brandy and condensed milk for a smoothie that's quite sweet but extremely refreshing. Really want to make it? Here's what you'll need: 4 or 5 ounces brandy 1/8 ounce seaweed gel (2 heaping spoonfuls; you can buy Irish moss or dried Caribbean seaweed dried and boil it, butmake sure you remove any creatures, then puree it in a blender), 4 teaspoons sweetened condensed milk 4 ounces whole milk 3-4 tablespoons vanilla powdered milk Ice Cinnamon, to sprinkle on top

    The most iconic Reuters photo from nearly every country in the world in 2016
    Reuters and its award-winning photographers are on almost every country on the globe. 2016 was a year of political upheaval, and Reuters was there to capture it. But they also made sure not to forget the more quotidian aspects of life. These 142 photos — one for almost every country Reuters covered this year — don't capture the politicians who led their nations or the athletes who represented them on the world stage. They're about the everyday person just living their life. Here are 142 photos that best represent almost every country in the world in 2016. BELIZE: Palm trees buckle under the pressure from Hurricane Earl.

    Expats highly rate health care in Mexico and Central America
    One of the biggest concerns about moving to a Central American country or Mexico is the quality of health care. To determine if this objection and others is valid, in late April, Best Places In The World To Retire conducted a survey primarily of expats from the U.S. and Canada who were living in Panama, Belize and Nicaragua. The survey had a margin of error of +/- 5%. The study found these worries were not justified. More than two in five of the expats received good health care in these places. The expats said that the technical resources and quality of care were often comparable to those in the U.S. and that the cost was more reasonable. They also praised the accessibility of health care and physicians’ bedside manner. In Expats: Expectations & Reality, 31% of the respondents reported that they thought they could achieve “better access to less expensive, quality healthcare” by moving abroad. In a subsequent question, 42.6% reported that this was the reality. Separately, Best Places In The World To Retire, collected data from over 450 expats, who answered more than 6,000 questions.

    Videos

  • Channel 5 Christmas Special 2016 Part 1, 54min.

  • Channel 5 Christmas Special 2016 Part 2, 48min.

  • Snerklin’ | Hol Chan Marine Preserve, Belize | December 27th, 2016, 6.5min. Snorkeling off Ambergris Caye Belize

  • It Wanted The Chips | Belize Day 3, 17min.

  • Keymission 360 test dive Belize 2016, 4min. We tested the underwater features of the Nikon KeyMission 360 4K, and we're very disappointed with the result. You can see for yourself. You will see some wipes, from one shot to the other.

  • Simone Biles visits Belize, 6.5min.

  • HON John Briceño 2017 New Years Message, 8min.

  • New Year's Marathon - Orange Walk Rotaract Club, 23min.

  • Ask A Wine for NYE - Karl H. Menzies, 40min.

  • New Year's Glam Glow Up (ChristmasFeature), 20min.

  • Kevin and Jordan Swindell - #JoGoesSwinning in Belize, 10min.

  • Belize, 11min.

  • Snorkeling with Sharks in Belize December 2016, 1.5min. Boat to the barrier reef off the coast of Belize near San Pedro. This area is known as Shark Ray Alley.

  • Stann Creek, Belize (Hike and Tube), 3min. Cockscomb Jaguar Reserve - We went with D-Tours of Placencia and learned a lot from a knowledgeable guide. He pointed out cutter ants, howler monkeys, a tarantula, toucans, and a great many fascinating plants.

  • nurse sharks of belize, 2.5min. Just a peaceful swim with the mysteriously beautiful nurse sharks of the Belize Barrier Reef.

  • Snakes of Belize, 12min. A short educational video on the snakes of Belize, debunking the mythologies of their danger and outlining basic behaviors and habits.

  • Welcome to Belize | Shark Ray Alley, Caye Caulker & The Split!, 13min. Come and watch me explore Belize, in this vlog I got to explore Shark Ray Alley, Caye Caulker & The Split! Our Tour Guide was AMAZING! That Rum Punch was NICE!

  • Tulum Mexico & Belize - Mike & Kate Honeymoon, 9min.

  • Belize December 2016, 35min.

  • Hispanic Elvis In Belize Nailed It!, 3min. Me & My wife Went To This Private Islanf In Belize , Central America Called Starfish Island On Our Honeymoon for lunch and to swim in the ocean. We Didn't Know We would run into Elvis!

    December 29, 2016


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    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    Simone Biles enjoys her Christmas Vacation in Belize
    Three-time world, all-around champion, and four-time Olympic Gold Medalist Simone Biles enjoyed a most incredible holiday break in Belize. Biles, who has Belizean roots, was offered a getaway vacation package to Belize by the Belize Tourism Board following her astounding performance at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this past summer. She arrived on Thursday, December 22nd, spending her Christmas vacation along with her family on Ambergris Caye, enjoying the time of her life, Isla Bonita style! The gold medal winning Olympian was received with much fan-fare upon landing in Belize City, and after an evening of official events that included a motorcade and the presentation of the Keys of the City, Biles touched down on La Isla Bonita on Friday, December, 23rd. Despite some rain during the holiday weekend, the gymnast appeared to have enjoyed her time on the island.

    Ambergris Today

    Simone Biles’ Christmas Vacations in San Pedro, Belize
    Simone Biles chose San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize to spend the Christmas vacations with her family. From the looks of it, she had an amazing time on the island despite the little bit of rain we had over the holiday weekend. After her official welcome (motorcade and presentation of Key to Belize City) to the country that was held in Belize City on Thursday, December 22, Simone hopped on to Ambergris Caye to get away from all the media rush and just spend quality time with her family. By the looks of her Twitter and Instagram accounts, Simone had an amazing Christmas break dining at the top island restaurants, relaxing on the beach, swimming with the sharks at Hol Chan, fishing, visiting Caye Caulker, horseback riding and even taking an aerial tour of Belize’s Great Blue Hole.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    ATM: Eastern Police Division South Officers in St. Martin's community
    Doing our weekly Wednesday's "Meet & Greet" session, our last one for this 2016 year with the residents & businesses. I must say, everyone, homes & businesses are very receptive, positive minded & spoke highly of this weekly "Meet & Greet" session!!! & for that, we say a big thank you.

    Channel 7

    Teachers Hold The Hardline
    School should start early – next week Tuesday, January third, right after the New Year's holiday. Or at least that's what the Ministry of Education and the School Managements say. But tonight, the teachers union is still saying "no-go": School for its members will start as regularly scheduled on January the ninth. That's the message in a press release sent this evening. It says that children and teachers are entitled to three weeks leave as stated in the education rules. And then it reiterates that schools – not the ministry - must make the decision on make up days. Now the school managements sent out press releases stating that they had made that decision, and according to the teachers, that's the problem. The union release says that they were never included in the discussion, and they are not pawns of the school managements. They say that they should be the ones planning along with the school managements, not the Ministry.

    'Fonso Implicated In Fatal Accident
    Alfonso Noble is the nationally known UDP mouthpiece who's been the host of WAVE TV's Fus Thing Da Mawnin for about 10 years. But this weekend he spent the Christmas holidays in police detention - after he knocked down and killed a man. Gilbert Meyers was riding a bicycle near mile four on the Western Highway when Noble ran him over. After that, the talk show host and Guardian newspaper editor spent over 80 hours in police detention before he was sent to court this morning. Daniel Ortiz found out why the controversy over the case is already overshadowing the death of Gilbert Meyers:.. UDP Mouthpiece Alfonso Noble was uncharacteristically mute after his Magistrate's Court arraignment this morning. Daniel Ortiz: "Brother Fonso…" Alfonso Noble - Charged with Manslaughter: "No comment." Reporter: "Anything to say to the family?" Alfonso Noble - Charged with Manslaughter: "No comment." He's facing 4 charges, including manslaughter by negligence, for knocking down and killing Hattieville Resident Gilbert Myers.

    Southside Commander Explains Why They Held Noble for 80+ Hours
    So, why did the police hold Alfonso Noble for those 80+ hours, instead of sending him home after taking his written statement? That's what we asked the South Side Police Commander, Chester Williams. He told us that in this instance, police were simply being extra careful; nothing else factored in. Here's how he explained it: Jules Vasquez: "Was he singled out for detention because he's a well-known UDP mouthpiece?" ACP. Chester Williams - Commander Southside: "What the police were interested in first and foremost was to do things the right way and to do it by the books. We did not want to have any misstep in the investigation, we didn't want to blunder with the investigation and it is not unprecedented that a person is kept in custody after an accident, this has been done before. The police would normally issue NIP in circumstances where it is difficult to ascertain what may have occurred on the scene so the police investigation process will take a little while longer, so the police would normally do that. But from the police investigative view they are of the belief that a certain person may have been at fault, the police can proceed and prefer charges immediately without issuing an NIP and in this case that is exactly what we did and Mr. Noble I can tell you was not singled out because he is affiliated with any political party and he understand what it is we were doing, I explained to him the process and I must say that he cooperated in terms of how he was -- his entire behaviour towards the investigation as well as at the police station I must say was very good and the process I explained to him and he understood."

    More Fatal Accidents On The Highway
    And there is news of another fatal traffic accident at this hour. It happened around 6:00 pm near mile twelve and a half on the Northern Highway by El Cas. Police couldn’t tell us much except that a McFadzean bus and a pickup had a head on collision. One person is dead after he was flung unto the highway. We’ll have more on this tomorrow. And then there was another fatal accident last night on the Western Highway. This one happened between miles 40 and 41. 48 year old Salvapan resident David Alfaro was pushing his bicycle when 41 year old San Ignacio resident Tedford Pate knocked him down with his Isuzu D-Max. Both men were heading towards Belmopan. Pate gave a urine specimen and Police served Pate with a notice of intended prosecution.

    Alleged Grandmother Killer Arrested
    10 days ago, Paulina Urbelina Sanchez was killed at her home, in front of her young grand daughters. Well, on Saturday police caught their main suspect. He is 24 year old Trevor Jones a Belizean mechanic of Santa Elena town. He has been arrested and charged for murder. Sanchez’s family believes he was hired to kill her as part of a property dispute.

    Family Loses Teen To Pre-Chrsitmas Murder
    A pre-Christmas murder has shattered another city family. On Friday night after 8:00, 19-year-old David Andrews was gunned down and killed at the corner of Seagull and Raccoon Streets. Andrews had just left his family at a store nearby when 2 men on a motorcycle rode by and shot him 4 times. I went to try and find out why anyone would want young Andrews dead. Ramona Carcamo - Mother: "He did not like when I worked hard and so he bought me a drink so I could feel good and he only gave me the drink and he left and I never saw him again...(crying)" An energy drink is the last thing Carcamo got from her son before he was shot and killed. On Friday night, Carcamo better known as "Mama Chula" was selling food at her usual spot. Her son David Andrews and other relatives were hanging out, keeping her company as she worked. But later on, after Andrews got a call, he told his family he was going to take a drink for a friend nearby on Raccoon street. But instead of hearing his voice around the lane, the family heard gunshots ring out.

    Police Have A Suspect For Murder, Quelling Retalliation
    And police are looking for one person in connection with the Andrews murder. We spoke to Southside Commander Chester Williams about their suspect and the possibility of retaliation. ACP. Chester Williams - Commander Southside: "Police responded to information of shots being fired in the area Seagull and Racoon Street. Upon responding they saw one David Andrews suffering from gunshot wounds to the back on the chest area. He was transported to the KHMH where he was pronounced dead on arrival." Jules Vasquez: "Now this we're told that it's two men on motorbike?" ACP. Chester Williams - Commander Southside: "Yes the information that we have gathered is that two men came on a motorcycle. Motorcycle park one of them came off the cycle, approached the deceased and uttered a few words to him and then fired the shots and then they got back on the cycle and then they drove off." Reporter: "He was the intended target sir?" ACP. Chester Williams - Commander Southside: "From all indications yes he was and we are looking for one person who we believe maybe able to assist us in the investigation."

    Southside Fighting To Keep Murders Down for 2016
    And while police always work to nip retaliation in the bud – in this case, it's also a statistical imperative. That's because Southside murders for 2016 are down from last year – but just by one. Murders are up across the country, and Southside is working to say that it has registered a decrease. Williams explained:… Jules Vasquez: "Are you confident that you will be able to supress any retaliation and there will not be a spiralling of violence as we close the year?" ACP. Chester Williams - Commander Southside: "Well we will continue to do what we normally do in terms of mediation and intervention between the rival groups. At the end of the day we want to close the year good. I am happy to say that while other parts of the country have experienced an increase in murder for the year 2016; Southside Belize City is one of the only region that has less murder comparing to last year and we're very close to the margin and we do not want to go above where we were last year so we'll continue to hold fort to be able to close off the year as best as we can."

    Cops Got Deadly Assault Rifle
    And north side police were also putting in work this weekend. They found an assault rifle in an abandoned building. The cops say they searched an abandoned wooden building in the King's Park area and found a Colt brand AR-15 assault rifle with a magazine containing 6 live rounds of ammunition. No one was around and it was labelled as found property.

    Teenager Shot For No Reason?
    And there were a pair of shootings in the city over the extended weekend. The first happened on Police street where a minor was targeted. Commander Williams gave us details:… ACP. Chester Williams - Commander Southside: "One Christmas Day the police were called to Police street, that's in the St. Martins Depores Area where information was received of shots being fired. Upon responding they were informed that a victim has been transported to the hospital. We later learnt that victim to be one Phillip Elejio, he suffered gunshot wounds to the foot and was admitted in a stable condition. He was released from the hospital the following day which was the 26th and is currently at home recovering. The information is that two persons passed by on separate bicycles one of whom fired shots in the direction of the victim which caused the injuries." Jules Vasquez: "Sir do you all know what motivated this?" ACP. Chester Williams - Commander Southside: "Well we are still trying to ascertain, the victim is a student at ACC and we have no information of him being involved in any gang activity and so we're still trying to find out if indeed he was the person who was the intended target."

    Byron Jeffords Targeted Again
    And then on Wagner's lane, a man who has been targeted many times before was shot again. 22 year old Byron Jeffords who was stabbed in July was targeted again. Williams told us more:.. ACP. Chester Williams - Commander Southside: "On the 26th police received information of shots being fired on Wagner's Lane and they responded. Upon responding they were told again that the victim has been transported to the hospital. They later found out the victim to be one Byron Jeffords and he suffered gunshot wounds to the hand; Don't ask me which hand Mr. Goodin -- to the hand. He is currently admitted in the hospital." Police have a fixed patrol in the area and did see two men fleeing. Our records show that Jeffords was first targeted when he was kidnapped at the age of 15, then he was shot when he was 17, and stabbed earlier this year. He lives in a gang-infested area.

    GI Joe Remanded After Theft Charge
    Eleven days ago, Janet Seawell reported to police that she was walking on Cemetery Road at 4:00 in the morning when she met Cecil Franklin, also known as GI Joe. Because she had known Franklin for several years, she allowed him to walk with her to a nearby bus stop, but when they got there Franklin attacked. According to Seawell, he grabbed her around the neck and stole her $700 cell phone. He then punched her in the face and told her to take off her clothes. Seawell then began screaming in fear which caused Franklin to run away with the phone. Franklin was picked up by police, and appeared in the Magistrate's Court today. He pled not guilty to charges of robbery and wounding. Franklin was denied bail after the prosecutor objected on the grounds that he had a long history of crimes of dishonesty. He was remanded into custody until February 3, 2017.

    New Carnival Ship Makes Call In Belize
    The largest ship in the Carnival fleet arrived in Belize today. The Carnival Vista, which started construction in October of 2014, was completed in March of this year. The Vista can hold a maximum of around 4000 passengers and 1500 crew. A plaque ceremony between the BTB's Noriko Gamero and the ship's Captain marked the first call on Belize. The Carnival Vista offers cruises to destinations around the world including Spain, Italy, Aruba and Grand Cayman. And while the BTB is doing its best to buoy hopes in the Cruise sector, local tour operators don't expect much from this new ship. That's because most of the tour business from Carnival cruises goes directly to Chukka. And second, Carnival cruisers are not known to be the most lavish with their spending. And so while cruise tourism has major concerns, the overnight sector is also slightly concerned. That's because overnight arrivals were slightly down – reportedly by less than 2% in November. December is also expected to show a modest decrease.

    MC Yogi, You New Year's Ticket?
    The Belize International Yoga Festival will take place on NEW YEAR’S EVE at the Harbor View Greens at 12 Fort Street. The Festival, which is an all day event, will feature classes in several yoga disciplines and host inspirational discussions. There will also be a special workshop and musical performance hosted by MC Yogi, a hip hop artist and yoga teacher. We spoke to MC Yogi and Michelle Williams, one of the organizers about the event and why it’s an interesting alternative to bring in the New Year with Yoga... Everyone is welcome to be a part of the yoga festival, no matter how much experience they have.

    Cops Finish The Year On The Right Foot
    You’ve already seen him many times on the news tonight, and today Chester Williams and his Southside police could be seen on Central American Boulevard, between Mahogany Street and the western Highway. They were doing meet and Greet in that area – the last such session for this year. Williams says he wants to start out fresh next year:…

    One More Honour For Simone
    And, finally, tonight, Belize’s guest of honour for the Christmas vacation Simone Biles has been named the Associated Press Female athlete of the Year. Biles received a total of 39 votes from editors and news directors out of a possible 59 to earn the honour. She beat out decorated tennis great Serena Williams.

    Channel 5

    Alfonso Noble Knocks Down and Kills a Cyclist on Christmas Eve
    The Christmas weekend was an exceptionally violent four days, where road traffic accidents and shooting incidents claimed multiple lives across the country.  There were as many as five RTAs beginning [...]

    Well-Known Media Personality Refuses to Provide Blood Sample Following Fatal RTA
    U.D.P. loyalist Alfonso Noble spent the entire weekend – all of four days in Police custody. But he didn’t spend those days in a cell – instead he spent them [...]

    20 Year Old Struck Dead by Vehicle on Placencia Road on Christmas Morning
    Twenty-year-old Israel Lopez of Hope Creek, Stann Creek District, met his death unexpectedly on this holiday weekend. On Christmas morning he was on his way home from a night of [...]

    Belmopan Man Killed in Fatal Collision in St. Matthew’s Village
    The last fatality of the weekend due to a traffic accident took place on Tuesday night on the George Price Highway. Police from Roaring Creek visited an area between Miles [...]

    David Andrews is Latest Murder Victim in Belize City
    On Friday night, a man was shot and killed in the City. David Andrews was standing near the intersections of Seagull and Raccoon streets when two men rode up on [...]

    A Bloody 2016 – News Five Takes a Look Back
    One hundred and thirty-six murders have now been recorded for 2016, following the death of David Andrews on Friday. And while it is safe to say after a quiet Christmas [...]

    Teen Student Escapes with Bullet to foot for Christmas
    A shooting on Christmas Day left a Belize City student with a gunshot wound to one of his feet. He was treated and released from the hospital. Police say that [...]

    One Detained for Boxing Day Shooting on Wagners’ Lane
    Another man was shot in the city. On Boxing Day, Byron Jeffords was on Wagner’s Lane when he was approached by two men on bikes and one of them shot [...]

    Second Accused Charged in Robbery, Attempted Murder of Teen
    Elward McKay joins Alexander Bainton who was charged this past Friday for the robbery of a seventeen-year-old back in September of this year. Bainton was arraigned and remanded into custody [...]

    B.N.T.U. Maintains Stance on Christmas Vacation
    The Belize National Teachers Union has issued a release reiterating its position that classes for the upcoming semester will resume on January ninth, 2017.  B.N.T.U., in accordance with the Education [...]

    How Will Trade Union Congress Resolve Presidential Problem?
    Following the Annual General Meeting of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize in San Ignacio on December seventeenth, the Congress is without a duly elected president. Marvin Mora, who [...]

    Acting Prez Promises More from N.T.U.C.B. in 2017
    Willoughby-Sanchez told us that she is eligible to run for the presidency in her own right, and is “praying” over a decision on whether to do so. But whoever does [...]

    Belize Hosts First Yoga International Festival
    The first Belize International Yoga Festival takes place this weekend on New Year’s Eve near the Harbor View Greens in Belize City from six a.m. to midnight. Titled, “Breathe – [...]

    CTV3

    Mennonite Knocked Down And Killed In Orange Walk
    A seventeen year old boy is tonight dead, following a fatal traffic accident just one day before Christmas Eve on the August Pine Ridge Road. Reports from Orange Walk Police indicate that the victim, Benjamin Grant of Shipyard camp 23, and his older brother 20 year old Abraham Grant, were riding along the August Pine Ridge Road on a horse and buggy when a pickup truck traveling in the opposite direction crashed into them causing the buggy to overturn. Inspector Jose Mendez – Second in Command Orange Walk: “Sometime around 6:40pm, Orange Walk Police responded to a call at August Pine Ridge road, that would be next to the entrance to the Shipyard road close to Camp 23, where they saw a pickup truck bearing license plate #Texas – 2928 with extensive damage to the front as well as one horse buggy that the Mennonites use extensive damage also, they are 42 year old Heinch reported to the police that he was travelling toward Shipyard direction when the incident happened, two occupants in the vehicle in the cart buggy Benjamin Grant and Abraham Grant, Benjamin receive serious head and body injuries and while Abraham received injuries to his leg and body both were transported to the Northern Regional Hospital where Benjamin succumb to his injuries while undergoing treatment.”

    Seven Injured In Traffic Accident Near Carmelita Village
    Also on Friday night, as many as 7 individuals including 4 minors were injured in a traffic accident, this time near mile 42 on the Philip Goldson Highway. According to Orange Walk Police, acting upon information received of a traffic accident near the Crooked Tree cut off, they were dispatched to the area, and upon their arrival they saw a Wingle Pickup truck and a Ford escape on the side of the road, both with extensive damages. Inspector Jose Mendez – Second in Command Orange Walk: “We also responded to a call at mile 42 o the Phillip Goldson Highway where two vehicles were seen extensively damaged and a Wingle pickup and a Ford Escape and there the police had to deal with several people injured namely Catalina Sepeda 65 years old, Lorena Sepeda 31, Lorena Cervantes 31, and four minors ranging from 6 to 13 years of age all were transported to the Norther Regional Hospital and I believe two are still are at the hospital undergoing treatment, at around this time we did take sample from the driver and has been sent to the forensics lab for analysis and we are waiting for the result of it and then most like we are just awaiting for the driver to be discharged from the hospital.”

    Custom Officer Takes Police Officer To Court
    Before the Christmas break, we had reported on an incident at the northern border between a Police Officer and the head of the Customs designated for the area. The reports had not been fully confirmed because neither side wanted to speak to the press about it. Today we got confirmation that the incident did occur when we saw 30 year old Police Officer Ismael Molina appear at the Magistrate’s Court to answer to a charge of “obstructing an officer of customs”. That Customs Officer is Earl Miller, who as we explained is the head honcho for the customs at the border. Miller claimed in his statement to the Police and the Court that on December 20th, Molina physically attacked him with a punch to his face when he requested that Molina removes a vehicle. In Court, Molina complained bitterly that he didn’t even have time to blink prior to appearing in court because he had received the court summons on his work desk only 5 mins before. Oddly, it was Miller who served the summons himself.

    UDP Mouthpiece Knocks Down and Kills Bicycle Rider
    Alfonso Noble, the Editor of the El Guardian newspaper, which is the newspaper organ of the United Democratic Party, and also a well-known co-host of the UDP morning radio show on Wave Radio, was arraigned in Court this morning after he reportedly knocked down and killed a man on the George Price Highway on Christmas Eve. Noble was driving his red-in-colour Nissan Pickup on the highway from Belize City to the Mile 8 community on December 24th when he knocked down a well-known former boxer Gilbert “Tyson” Myers Jr. between miles 3 and 4. Myers had gone to Belize City to visit a family member and was riding back to Mile 8 when the incident occurred. Noble has reportedly been on lockdown since, through the extended holiday, awaiting the Magistrate Court’s regular session. This morning he was taken to court to stand before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser and was read three charges: causing death by careless conduct, driving motor vehicle without due care and attention and failing to provide specimen. He was released on a bail of $5,000 and his case was adjourned until February 28, 2017.

    Noble Refuses To Provide Specimen for Examination
    Earlier you heard Noble’s attorney accusing the Police of pandering to the public pressure and acting prematurely in proceeding to place charges on his client. Well, the police prosecutor in the case Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams rejected those claims and even admitted that Noble has gotten what some may consider as special treatment when he wasn’t place in a cell block while under detention. Reporter: “But Mr. Noble was detained a total of four days at the Raccoon Street Police Station and I know this is irregular because usually when it is an accidental death persons are release and then you get signed bail and then you reach court the next following day, was he single out for detention because he is a well-known UDP mouthpiece?” Chester Williams – Assistant Commissioner of Police: “What the police were interested in first and foremost was to do things the right way and to do it by the books, we did not want to have any mistake in the investigation, we didn’t want to blunder with the investigation and it is not unprecedented that a person is kept in custody after an accident, this has been done before, the police would normally issue NIP in circumstances where it is difficult to ascertain what nay have occurred at the scene so the police investigation process will take a little while longer...”

    Controversy On Re-opening Of School
    The dispute between the Belize National Teachers Union and the Ministry of Education, over the makeup time for the eleven days strike taken by BNTU, continues to unfold. As viewers may be aware, the Ministry of Education along with school managements agreed to add 6 days to the school calendar to catch up with the curriculum, which would require teachers to go back to the classroom on January 3rd and not on the 9th as it had previously been stipulated in the education rules. Today with only a few days left before classes are expected to resume, the BNTU issued a press release reiterating their position, which is to have their teachers back in school until January 9th. In their release the BNTU points out that the rule used by the Ministry to try and force teachers to surrender six days of their Christmas vacation is not a valid one, and quotes Rule 131(4) of the hand book of policies which states that an amendment made to the school calendar where a school falls short of one hundred and eighty days, “special arrangements shall be made by the school Not the Ministry of Education to fulfill this requirement’

    LOVE FM

    Editor of Political Newspaper Takes Heat Following Involvement in Fatal Traffic Accident
    He is editor for the Guardian Newspaper and a host on “First thing da mawning” on Wave TV. He is also a known political mouth piece for the United Democratic Party but tonight, Alfonso Noble, faces the possibility of getting a criminal record. Noble appeared before Magistrate Sharon Frazer who read him four charges. He […]

    Christmas Weekend Records One Murder
    There was a murder over the weekend in Belize City. On Friday night, police responded to shots fired at the corner of Seagull and Raccoon Streets. When police responded, they saw David Andrews on the ground suffering from gunshot wounds to the back. He was quickly taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital but was […]

    Trevor Jones Arraigned for Elderly Woman’s Murder
    A mechanic of Santa Elena Town, Cayo District has been charged with a single count of murder. The charge against 24-year-old, Trevor Jones comes following the killing of 61-year-old, Paulina Urbelina Suarez on Sunday, December 18, 2016. Jones was charged late last Friday evening and with the closing of the Magistrates’ Court, investigators in San […]

    Collision at St Matthews Turns Fatal
    Police in Roaring Creek Village, Cayo District are investigating a fatal traffic incident that occurred last night on the George Price Highway, claiming the life of a resident of the Salvapan Area in Belmopan. Fem Cruz has the story. FEM CRUZ “Roaring Creek Police were called out to a fatal traffic accident on the George […]

    Christmas Morning Hit and Run Kills Israel Lopez
    Police in Independence Village, Stann Creek District were called out to the Placencia Road near Santa Cruz where they encountered the body of a man lying on the right side of the road. Investigators processed the scene just after six o’clock Christmas morning and found that the man of Hispanic descent suffered severe head injuries […]

    Hopkins Police Investigate Christmas Eve Accident
    Just after 4pm on Christmas Eve, Police in Hopkins were alerted of an incident in the Chachibu Area just south of Hopkins Village where they encountered a black Chevy Colorado pickup truck on the right shoulder of the road bearing significant damages to the left portion. Police also found a black Chevy Silverado pickup truck […]

    Teenager Dies in Christmas Eve Traffic Accident
    Orange Walk Police were alerted between the hours of seven and eight o’clock on Christmas Eve night of two separate traffic incidents in their jurisdiction. The two incidents occurred minutes apart with the first being on the August Pine Ridge Road. In that incident, 17-year-old, Benjamin Krahn lost his life while his relative, 20-year-old, Abraham […]

    Six Persons Injured in Carmelita Accident
    The second traffic incident occurred in the vicinity of mile-42 on the Philip Goldson Highway in the village of Carmelita. This case involved two vehicles and resulted in six persons being injured. Reports are that a Ford Escape being driven by 27-year-old, Fernando Hernandez of Guinea Grass Village was headed north to Orange Walk when it […]

    Two Separate Shooting Incidents During Christmas Weekend
    On Christmas Day Belize City Police under the Command of ACP Chester Williams who is in charge of Eastern Division South, responded to reports of shots being fired on Police Street. Upon arrival on the scene, officers were informed that the victim, a student, Phillip Elijio was shot to the foot and rushed to the […]

    Finding Spaces for Local Doctors in Belize
    For some years now there have been complaints from certain sections of the community regarding the high number of foreign doctors operating in our local hospitals. With consideration that there are many locals that have been going away to Cuba and other countries to study medicine, Love News asked the Director of Health Services, Dr […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Chinese woman shot in robbery attempt in Sugar City
    An attempted robbery just around 9 tonight in Orange Walk town resulted in a Chinese woman sustaining gunshot wounds. The attempted robbery occurred at the Sun Luck store on Riverside Street. The Chinese victim was rushed to the hospital for treatment. This is a […]

    Another fatal road traffic accident on Belize’s highways
    Reports reaching our newsroom is that one person is dead as a result of a road traffic accident that occurred shortly after 6 pm tonight on the Phillip Goldson highway. A bus and a red vehicle collided in front of El Cas around mile […]

    BNTU hunkers down – Classes resume on January 9th 2017
    Today the Belize National Teacher’s Union BNTU issued a press release stating that in an effort to allay all confusion about the reopening of classes, the Union reiterates that children and teachers deserve and are entitled to all three weeks of their Christmas vacation […]

    Traffic accident on George Price Highway claims one life
    Last night around 7:00 there was a fatal road traffic accident on George Price Highway between miles 40 and 41. The body of David Alfaro of Belmopan City was seen lying on the road at the scene of the accident. He was found with […]

    Man’s Christmas gift is surviving murder attempt
    Phillip Elijio was shot to the foot on Christmas afternoon while walking on Police Street, however, his injuries were not life threatening. According to ACP Chester Williams, Elijio was approached by two men on bicycle. One of the men withdrew a firearm and fired […]

    Man survives Boxing Day murder attempt
    One man is lucky to be alive after a gunman tried to cut his life short on Boxing Day. According to ACP Chester Williams, the victim, identified as Byron Jeffords was walking along Wagners Lane when two men on separate bikes approached him. One […]

    Suspected killer arraigned in court
    A 24-year-old mechanic of Santa Elena Town, Trevor Jones, was today arraigned in the Belmopan magistrate’s court for one count of murder. Jones is accused of murdering 61-year-old Paulina Urbelina Suarez of Santa Elena town on the night of December 18, 2016. Jones had […]

    Former BPP candidate plans malpractice committee
    Former Belize Progressive Party (BPP) Candidate in the Albert constituency, Dr. Jose Espat is planning to form a committee in the new year. He posted to Facebook that, “This committee will be with the purpose of serving this entire nation in getting justice every […]

    Alfonso Noble out on bail
    Guardian Newspaper Editor, Alfonso Noble, is currently out on a $5,000 bail after being arraigned in court for knocking down and killing Gilbert Myers near mile four on the George Price highway on Christmas Eve night. Noble was charged with one count of causing […]

    Blogs

    New Haven-Style Pizza Right Here in Belize?
    If you have been reading my blog even sporadically, you know that I love San Pedro’s hot spot and only food park, The Truck Stop. Not only do they have delicious food and ICE CREAM but a happening bar and lots and lots of fun events from the monthly Farmers’ Market to Wednesday movies under the stars. NOW, by popular demand, they have opened a fourth food truck – a cargo container fully kitted out with all the fixings AND a serious gas fired pizza oven – called A Slice of Haven. Last night I went for my first taste of Haven and the place was filling up. Not in a crowded, annoying way…just lots of people eating and drinking, enjoying the sunset, spotting tarpon & bonefish and just having a great time. I have driven through and traveled through the North-east United States many many times. I grew up in New Jersey just north of New York City and attended Smith College in western Massachusetts. Northampton to be exact. So, based on my path (in yellow), you assume that I have tasted what has been called by almost every expert “the best pizza in the world”…Pepe’s of New Haven, Connecticut. Anyone would think that.

    Taste tasting Chef Toshiya’s JYOTO creations
    If you’re like me, then I bet you are anticipating the grand opening of JYOTO Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar in San Pedro Town. JYOTO promises to be one of a kind, offering authentic Japanese cuisine (after all sushi was invented in Japan) on Ambergris Caye. Manning the kitchen will be Toshiya Tsujimoto, who has traveled the world perfecting his sushi-making skills. I recently had the honor sampling Chef Toshiya’s during a private sushi dinner party, and words cannot fully explain the flavors this Japanese native is bringing to Belize! Toshiya practically dances in the kitchen, fully concentrated in dishing out spectacular plates. With glasses full of sake and hip-hop music in the background, we were ready to dig in! These and more Japanese dishes are at his new restaurant inside Mahogany Bay Village. JYOTO is scheduled to open mid-January 2017, but for those of you that are like me and simply can’t wait, Chef Toshiya does catering services for private sushi parties!

    Christmas in Belize aka Land of Missfit Toys
    Christmas in Belize is always a big reminder that we live in the land of misfit toys. Since many of us moved here without friends and family, we make our own for the Holidays. The Cayes as well as the mainland, come alive for the Holidays and Christmas week and along with New Years Eve, mark the end of a busy and festive month. Brightly adorned Christmas trees and decorations are everywhere. Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Felize Navidad became the standard greetings or Belize Navidad as I saw from a few different people making the “Belize Joke” on the internet – great minds think alike. Ham and turkey sales skyrocketed, potato mashers and dessert makers worked overtime. If you were lucky enough to get an invitation to a Belizean Family Christmas you might also have been lucky enough to enjoy some homemade local favorites including: fresh fish and lobster, tamales, garnaches, panades, salbutes, ceviche, and other yumminess. Homemade Rum Popo; a rum cream beverage is also popular at this time. The fruitcakes my friend Denis and I saw at the local bakery were heavily doused with rum.

    On your way to Placencia, Belize for vacation? Here are some gorgeous images from around the village!
    Get more excited for your vacation (or take a break from looking at snow) by checking out some of our images below, these are mostly taken from Main Street, starting at the pier walking north... The pier...the most southern tip of the peninsula...some really cute shops and great people watching! On the right is Above Grounds coffee house, a great second floor balcony to people watch. You'll feel like you are in a treehouse. Mojo, another great second floor people-watching fun time.....Fridays they have a great Happy Hour 5-6:30...often there is live music on the balcony One of the farmer's markets in town, the produce is sold at these stands - not the grocery stores

    International Sourcesizz

    Watch How Drones Fight Pirate Fishing From the Sky
    Belize has long struggled to control illegal fishing both in its waters and by vessels flagged to its country. But efforts to turn the tide are starting to pay off, says Julio Maaz, who serves as a fisheries coordinator in the country with the nonprofit group Wildlife Conservation Society. In March 2014, the European Union suspended all seafood imports from Belize, saying the country had not acted forcefully enough to prevent illegal fishing, also known as pirate fishing. But the country responded by upping its enforcement activities (including by deploying the coast guard), and the European Union restored its trade relationship by the end of that year. Further progress has been made since then, but the country still has a ways to go, says Maaz. Belize's multimillion coastal fishing industry is made up of 2,700 registered fishermen, with 650 vessels. The country's international fleet is made up of 33 vessels.

    Church sells gift jars to raise money for mission trip
    Peace Lutheran Church’s mission team has plans to return to Belize this summer. To help with expenses, the team has already begun to raise money to help with expenses. This last one, which ended Dec. 18, was a bit of a different one, but one that they discovered when over very well. “We put together jars of mixes for people to buy,” said Tina Sondgeroth. Those jars included a cinnamon and sugar mix, which made snickerdoodles, a muffin mix, a cinnamon spice beverage mix, and a Christmas pancake mix. The jars were then decorated with Christmas ribbon and bows. “Since this was the first year we did the jars, we only made up a few,” she said. “We ran out that first Sunday and began to take orders.”

    Videos

  • Sport Fishing TV 2017 Season Preview, 1min. Blue marlin in Panama. Bonefish in Belize. Bluefin in New England. And that's just the start. The all-new season of Sport Fishing Television premieres on New Year's Eve on Destination America, Pursuit Channel and Fox Sports Sun.

  • Belize Scuba Trip, 4.5min.

  • Belize 2016, 3min. December 17th-27th

  • Belizeans’ Season’s Greetings from the Streets, 4min.

  • Beginner Shark Diving in Belize, 8min. San Pedro, Hol Chan, Shark Ray Alley.

  • 7th Annual Habinahan Wanaragua (Jankunu Dance) Competition, 110min. For those who missed the 7th Annual Habinahan Wanaragua (Jankunu Dance) Competition this year held in Dangriga,here's a little peak.

  • Simone Biles Speaks About Education and Social Media Impact, 1.5min.

  • Snakes of Belize, 1min. The intro to a small film project I'm working on... The intro is simply to capture the attention of people who have been conditioned only to watch sensationalized media. The rest will be informative and outline a few of the more common species found throughout Belize.

  • Some amazing sushi is coming to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye!!!, 1min. A decadent way to serve up our Belizean Spiny Lobster

  • ALFONSO NOBLE TAKEN TO COURT, 1/2min. Editor for the Guardian Newspaper, Alfonso Noble, was involved in a fatal traffic accident over the Christmas weekend. Noble was driving a red Nissan on Saturday night heading home when upon reaching mile 4 on the George Price Highway he knocked down Gilbert Myers. Myers was heading home in the same direction on bicycle at the time of the incident. Noble had stopped to render aid and was subsequently taken into police custody by police officers. Noble was issued a charge sheet for one count of manslaughter by negligence causing death by careless conduct, driving without due care and attention and failure to provide specimen to police. Noble is currently being arraigned.

  • Welcome to Belize | Kings Park & San Pedro, 15min. Come and watch me explore Belize, in this vlog I got to explore Belize City a little & San Pedro.

  • Belize Bonefishing, 4.5min. Flyfishing the flats near Ambergris Caye, Belize.

  • We Finally Made It!!! | Belize Day 1, 16min.

  • Cave Tubing in Belize - 2016, 2min.

  • Belize in 9 Days, 3min. Backpacking our way through San Ignacio and Caye Caulker! Incredibly thankful for all the people we've met and the experiences we've lived

  • Belize, 2min. Mayan ruins

  • town... | Belize Day 2, 13min.

  • BELIZE 2013 - MISSION TRIP, 5min. This was my first ever Mission Trip that I went on when I was in the 8th grade. I went with my school to Belize to work on construction on a school and enjoy the scenery!

  • »» B E L I Z E ««, 4.5min. 9 days of backpacking through Belize - grateful for all the beautiful souls I met and memories I will carry.

  • Belize Barrier Reef 2016, 2.5min.

  • Raether Fam Belize 2016, 3.5min. Exploring Ambergris Caye

    December 28, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Donation to Support Holy Cross
    Donations will only be matched for a few more days! Today is the day to act to make a difference in the life of the children of San Pedro, Belize, by sending your donation, large or small, to be matched by our corporate donors. With this match your gift can bring: A safe, clean and colorful classroom for children to learn A healthy lunch that each student can count on being there Access to computers, library, and dental care - all so important for future employment. But we can't do it without you. Please send your check to The Holy Cross Education Foundation, 7550 Corporate Way, Eden Prairie, MN 55344 Attn Mr Brian Ostenso. Or click here to donate online. Please don't wait, as only gifts sent by Saturday 31 December will be matched. Thank you for your support.

    Splashers
    Lets get our splash on this Thursday at Crazy Canucks at 2pm.

    Plane runs of Runway in Placencia
    After photos were shared, online groups removed the post. Bystanders claim a logos was in the process of being peeled off the plane after the mishap.

    BNTU Council Press Release
    Belize National Teacher's Union Corozal Town Branch has passed on a press release from the BNTU Council of Management suggesting that students and teachers return to classes on the original date set on the school calendar being Monday, January 9th, 2017.

    STOP! Tampering with electricity can ruin lives!
    BEL is offering assistance and advice to make electricity affordable – as low as $1 per day for low income households.

    Rotaract Christmas for Kids
    They visited Calla Creek to give out presents to kids. Thanks, Rotaract! "Rotaract club of Benque Viejo in partner with Unicomer Belize Limited went to bring "Navidad del Niño Beliceño" this afternoon at Calla Creek Village. We celebrated Christmas with them making it an afternoon filled with joy and happiness. We shared the Christmas spirit with them by giving gifts, treats, toys to the kids from the village and grocery baskets to families from the village. A huge thanks to Unicomer Belize Limited for their generous support. Also to the Manzanero Family, Ms. Maria Smith, Stacy Alfaro and all members from the Rotaract Club of Benque Viejo, thank you To Ms. Teen 2016-2017 Tinike Penados. Thank you and Merry Christmas to all!!!"

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Road traffic accident on George Price Highway
    Reports reaching our newsroom is that there was a traffic accident on the George Price Highway in St. Matthew’s village a short while ago. An eye witness has confirmed to BBN that a man was seen lying in the middle of the road apparently […]

    Belize sees bloody and brutal 2016, 135 people murdered
    Belize has already buried 135 murder victims in 2016, only 10 bodies less than the record breaking body count of 145 in 2012. And 2016 is not over yet. The Police Department attributed most of the senseless murders to gang violence concentrated mainly in […]

    Belize: A Production, Tourism, Financial and Trading Mecca 2017-2022
    As Belize crawls into 2017, it faces daunting financial and economic challenges….BUT there are no challenges without opportunity. These challenges and opportunities require bold, decisive action on the part of ALL Belizeans. I have previously offered ways of fixing the Belize economy, which did […]

    Trevor Jones charged for murder of Santa Elena grandmother
    On December 23, Trevor Jones, a mechanic of Santa Elena Town in Cayo, was charged with a single count of murder. Jones was charged for the murder of Paulina Urbelina Suarez, 61, who was shot in her house on the night of December 18, […]

    Star athlete Simone Biles voted AP Female Athlete of the Year
    On Thursday, December 22, 2016, Simone Biles arrived in Belize and was received with a warm welcome and a motorcade. The Belize Tourism Board had invited Biles after she made international headlines this past summer at the 2016 Olympics held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; […]

    Blogs

    Sushi is the Star when Japan Meets Belize
    There is a new Japanese Chef in town and he has everyone talking about Sushi! I always enjoy writing about People on our Map that join us from far away places. This reminds me of how special and culturally diverse Belize is. We are lucky to be able to learn skills from around the globe right here at home. Our fishermen have been learning new techniques from Toshiya Tsujimoto since he arrived in San Pedro. He has shared with quite a few how to prepare fish in order to serve it sushi style. His friendly disposition has already earned him friends all over the country, but it’s his passion for food that caught my attention. Dorian and I are blessed to be invited to tastings often, but a few weeks ago we got to participate in something a little different. We were not just tasting food, we were presented with little works of art with enormous flavor by a chef so passionate about his offerings that you could taste it in his food. Toshiya started off our tasting experience with bait fish! Not commonly found in restaurants, Balihoo is something you’d more likely find on the end of a fishing line waiting to catch a much bigger fish. He had skilfully transformed it into a crispy starter and decadent dish to follow. We were met with so many delicate flavors that night. Most grown or caught right here in Belize.

    International Sourcesizz

    The Mr. Nobodys: Heirs of the Belize-Guatemala Territorial Dispute
    Between the vast plains that were once part of a thick jungle in Peten province, hundreds of Guatemalans are left to their fate. Paved roads and electricity are both very far away. These forgotten Mr. Nobodys are among the world’s poorest. In San Jose La Flores, a small settlement located a few yards (meters) from the Belize-Guatemala Adjacency Zone, locals hike to a noplace in both and neither countries. There they log timber, hunt game and prospect for gold in the rivers. Clashes between the inhabitants of the settlement and Belize security forces, who Guatemalans say use extreme force, are frequent: the last recorded case occurred on April 21 of this year, when Julio Alvarado, 13, died after presumably being shot with Belizean bullets. His father Carlos Alvarado told EFE he was walking with his two sons through the Adjacency Zone when Belizean soldiers opened fire. “My son was not a dog but they killed him like one,” he said. Living near the hillside that divides the two countries is Juana, 45, who came here from her native Izabal seeking a better life. That never happened.

    Could Harvest Caye be the Caribbean's new cruising hot spot?
    There's always been something a little exotic about the idea of a cruise to Belize, a country known for ancient Mayan ruins, lush rain forests and one of the world's most spectacular barrier reefs. But the reality of visiting the sparsely populated Central American nation by ship often doesn't quite lived up to expectations. The only port in the country capable of receiving large cruise vessels until now, at Belize City, is a difficult place to land. Passengers arriving on big ships must tender a long way to shore on small boats, a time-consuming and often unpleasant process. Once there, they are dumped into a sometimes seedy neighborhood with little in the way of allures. Some just turn around and head back to the ship. Enter Harvest Caye, a new gateway to Belize about 70 miles down the coast that some in the cruise industry think could transform the experience of visiting the country by ship -- and become one of the Western Caribbean's most popular cruise destinations.

    Willkommen im Paradies - die Kreuzfahrtinsel Harvest Caye in Belize
    Stellen Sie sich vor, Sie liegen an einem riesigen Strand mit hellstem Sand, werden rund um die Uhr von Angestellten betreut, genießen den lieben langen Tag Cocktails und wenn Ihnen dies zu langweilig wird, spielen Sie Golf oder schwingen sich auf "Ziplines" hoch über der Bucht in die Lüfte. Klingt nach Paradies? Ist aber Realität, und zwar auf der Kreuzfahrtinsel Harvest Caye in Belize. Beim Betreten der Insel wird man von Stangen begrüßt, die aus dem Boden ragen. Sie versprühen feinen Nebel. Doch es ist nicht kalt - im Gegenteil: Der Nebel erfrischt, sonst könnte man die 38 °C wohl kaum aushalten. Auf diese Weise aber fühlt man sich wie im Paradies: Ein Himmel in allen Abstufungen von Blau, gleichmäßiges Meeresrauschen, hellster und feinster Sand, 400 Meter Strand. Wo ein solches Traumziel zu finden ist? Auf der Kreuzfahrtinsel Harvest Caye in Belize.

    The 21 Best Budget Travel Destinations For 2017
    From the Philippines to Georgia, this year’s list of best budget travel destinations features exotic ideas from some of the world’s experts in travel. While some of these countries made the cut thanks to fluctuating currencies (Australia, we’re looking at you), others like Kyrgyzstan are more off-the-beaten path. With this list, stretch your dollar further in 2017. Time to get traveling! Hopkins, Belize: While this surprising little paradise has a reputation as one of the most expensive countries in Central America, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a budget destination. Belize is still a whole lot cheaper than Europe or the Florida coast. Although a great deal of the 240 miles of coastline are built up with resorts, like Placencia, Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, we found one little bastion of chill hiding in plain sight: Hopkins. Hopkins, Belize is everything that a Caribbean beach paradise should be - natural, rough around the edges, with fallen palm leaves littering the beach and driftwood washed up on the shoreline. Food and accommodation options are simple, maybe even a bit limited, but that will be the last thing on your mind as you sway in a hammock at sunset, wishing your time here would never end!

    Simone Biles went swimming with an absolutely unbelievable amount of sharks and we’re in awe
    Gold medal winning Olympian Simone Biles is having the most incredible holiday ever right now, and we wish we could tag along. Not to worry, though. The gymnast has made sure to keep us in the loop as she shares envy-worthy Insta-posts of her island adventure. And from the looks of things, Simone’s Belize getaway is filled with gorgeous ocean views and even some canoodling with sharks! You totally read that correctly…the athlete just proved to us how fearless she truly is. She’s so fearless! The 19-year-old Olympian joined her brothers in the deep blue as they swam with sharks! SO MANY SHARKS, GUYS.

    Videos

  • Beginner Shark Diving in Belize, 8min. San Pedro, Hol Chan, Shark Ray Alley.

  • Belize 2016, 5min.

  • The Arrival - Belize Day 1, 5.5min. My Mom and Dad took the trip of a life time for their 25th anniversary celebration. Belize, Central America. In this short five part series, explore the world and the sea with us in Belize.

  • Belize Navidad Lamoureux's, 10min.

  • MY TRIP TO BELIZE!!!!, 6.5min.

  • Marines Teach Infantry Tactics to Belize Soldiers, 3min.

  • 2016 Belize Phototour, 13min. Pictures set to a couple songs from our 2016 Belize vacation. We stayed at Mariposa Jungle Lodge in Cayo. We went hiking, did Actun Tunichil Muknal cave, Rio Frio Cave, Caracol Mayan site, nice waterfall, Xunantunich and Cahal Pech Mayan site, rode horses in the jungle, Tikal Mayan site, and zip lining in the jungle.

    December 27, 2016

    Did you know that today Tuesday, December 27 is a Public and Bank Holiday in Belize. Yup! (In lieu of Boxing Day) Merry Christmas!!!

    Various competing theories for the origins of the term boxing day circulate in popular culture, none of which are definitive. However, the Oxford English Dictionary gives the earliest attestations of the term as being from England in the 1830s, defining it as 'the first week-day after Christmas-day, observed as a holiday on which post-men, errand-boys, and servants of various kinds expected to receive a Christmas-box'.

    So what is a Christmas-box? A Christmas-box is a present or gratuity given at Christmas. In Britain, it was a custom for tradespeople to collect "Christmas boxes" of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year. This is mentioned in Samuel Pepys' (member of the English Parliament) diary entry for 19 December 1663. In his diary he stated that the custom was linked to an older English tradition and the tradition was that since servants would have to wait on their masters on Christmas Day, the servants of the wealthy were allowed the next day to visit their families. The employers would give each servant a box to take home containing gifts, bonuses and sometimes leftover food.

    Various historical accounts differ slightly, however, what they all had in common was that they all involved giving something to the less fortunate or needy in some sort of a box.


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

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    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    San Pedro Branch of Belize Red Cross says thank you for making “Nurse Holly” rock
    On Saturday, December 17th, the San Pedro Branch of the Belize Red Cross (SPBRC) participated in San Pedro’s annual ‘Lighted Boat Parade’ and presented “Nurse Holly”. Entering the parade for the third time, the Red Cross was awarded third place for their decorated boat. Members of the SPBRC would like to acknowledge and thank the following individuals and groups for their help in creating “Nurse Holly”: Kendall Beymer of Ecologic Divers, who donated his dive boat; Charlie Mejia for being the boat Captain and Manuel Mendoza as his first mate; and Brittney O’Daniel of Sandbar Restaurant and Hostel, who donated money to help transform Beymer’s boat into “Nurse Holly”. They also thank the entire boat parade organizational team, who made it possible this year: Emily Moore of The Baker, Mermaid Supermarket Store, Casa Pan Dulce, Black Orchid Restaurant, and Super Buy for donations of food, drinks and lodging for the volunteers and guests on the boat.

    Arnold Lino sentenced to 3 years for drug trafficking
    Island resident 27-year-old Arnold Lino has been charged and remanded to the Belize Central Prison to serve a sentence of three years for the offence of drug trafficking. According to the police report, on Saturday, December 17th around 2:40PM a quick response from the police conducted a search at a room of an apartment complex located on the Bayside of San Pedro Town. The room was at the time rented by Lino and one Edwin Henry. Upon completion of the search, police officers found six separate sealed transparent bags containing a green leafy substance suspected to be cannabis. Immediately both suspects were detained by police and escorted to the station along with the said drugs. When the drugs were weighed they totalled 723 grams just below one pound. Lino took full responsibility and pleaded guilty for drug possession and control. He was then given three years of mandatory sentence. As a result, all charges on Henry were dismissed.

    Letter to the Editor: Amazing Sponsors for the Christmas Inspiration at The Zoo day
    Dear Editor, Thank you for allowing me to express my sincere gratitude to the amazing sponsors that made the Christmas Inspiration at The Zoo day such a huge success. It all started when I wanted to take a friend of mine and her daughter, who uses a wheelchair, to enjoy the new wheelchair friendly paths at The Belize Zoo for a day out. The idea somehow took on a life of its own and I ended up taking my friend, her daughter and a group of beautiful children from The Inspiration Center, an outpatient rehabilitation centre for children, from all over Belize, who have special needs. 20 clients from The Inspiration Center, their siblings, their carers and some of the dedicated and fantastic staff team arrived at The Belize Zoo on a rainy day in a comfortable bus, along with the lovely driver Charles. They were greeted by Jamal Andrewin Bohn, Director of Education, along with his energetic and entertaining team of educators, who took everyone on an adventure full of wonder, laughter and joy, to visit all of the gorgeous wild animals who live there.

    Wolfe’s Woofer: Psychiatric Seminar
    Dale brought his cup of coffee over to my table at the Holiday Hotel and took a seat. “Hey, Wolfe.” he said. “About six years ago a psychiatrist came to the Lion’s Den for a seminar. He handed out a bunch of those weird psychiatric tests. Do you remember that?” “Remember? Hell, I’m still embarrassed about it.” The psychiatrist had given us a short test of words with missing letters like BOO_S, P_N_S, _ _NDOM, F_ _K and S_X. The correct answers were BOOKS, PANTS, RANDOM, FORK and SIX. To my humiliation I had failed to get one correct answer. Dale said, “I ran into that psychiatrist this morning. He’s giving a seminar at the Lion’s Den this afternoon and he invited us to go. He specifically asked if you are O.K.”

    Season’s Greetings from the staff of The San Pedro Sun
    Each year, as we reflect on the passing of 365 days, we tend to measure the quality of that time based on how good or bad it was. No matter how you consider 2016 to have been, even the worst year has its shining moments, and the best year has its downfalls. It’s what we make of each, and every one of those 365 days that adds up to the final tally. 2016 was indeed a tough one, with the passing of some of my most beloved musicians, actors, leaders and the heartbreak of global unrest. On the other hand, 2016 was full of adventure, good health, dear friends, a loving family and living on a beautiful island in the Caribbean. No matter how complicated life can be, each day life on La Isla Bonita offers a special blessing. Be it the whistle of an osprey as it soars above, or the endless beauty of our bluest of blue waters, these gifts remind us of the true majesty each day can hold. As we look to a new year, full of promise and possibilities, let’s always remember the daily gifts in our lives that so often we neglect to see, and know that each bit of gratitude adds towards the tally of a good year ~ Tamara

    Doctor Love: Leap of Faith
    Dear Doctor Love, An attractive and intelligent female started working at my place of employment about two months ago. We have become good friends and enjoy each others company. Every day the males flirt with her and ask her out, but she seems to have no interest, and she does not have a boyfriend. Here is the problem. I am also very attracted to her and would love to ask her out but I am a female. I have not “come out” as of yet, but there is no question in my mind that I am gay. I really want to be more than friends, but I cannot handle the shame of asking her out and being rejected. There will be no going back, the truth will be known and I won’t be able to deny it. If I don’t ask her out, I will always wonder if I missed an opportunity for great happiness. Should I take the “Leap of Faith?”

    The Reporter

    Traffic accident claims life
    A man is dead following a traffic accident earlier tonight on the George Price Highway. The accident occurred in St. Matthew’s Village sometime after 8:00 p.m., and the victim was a man, who has not yet been identified.

    Mechanic charged for murder of elderly woman
    Police have charged Trevor Jones, a mechanic of Santa Elena Town, Cayo, with the murder of Paulina Urbelina Suarez, 61, who was shot dead at her house earlier this month. Jones was remanded to the Hattieville Prison until Wednesday, on the strength of the signature of a Justice of the Peace (JP), because the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court was already closed by the time he was charged. On Wednesday, Jones will officially be arraigned in Court, and will be given a date to return. Suarez was at her house on the night of December 18, when someone entered and shot her multiple times. Police had detained a daughter of Urbina, but released her when they could not establish a link between her and the suspected gunman.

    Saharan snow could mean change in weather in other regions
    The presence of snow in the Sahara Desert could mean a change in weather in other regions, but scientists have not yet specified how. Residents of the small Algerian town of Ain Sefra experienced snow covering red ssnd dubes on Monday. The snow stayed for a day in the town, which is about 1,000 metres above sea level and surrounded by the Atlas Mountains. Ain Sefra’s average temperature last year was 20 Celsius. The last time snow fell in the Sahara – world’s largest desert – was almost four decades ago, when a flurry struck Ain Sefra, known as “The Gateway to the Desert,” on February 18, 1979. The Sahara Desert covers most of Northern Africa and it has gone through changes in temperature and moisture over the past few hundred thousand years.

    Separate traffic accidents claim two lives
    Two men are dead as a result of traffic accidents early Christmas morning. In the first incident, Gilroy Myers was knocked down and killed at around mile three on the George Price Highway sometime around dawn. Reports are that a red Nissan pick-up truck, allegedly driven by Wave TV and Guardian newspaper’s Alfonso Noble, was heading from Belize City towards Mile 8 community when it knocked down Myers. In the second incident, police are asking the assistance of the public in identifying a man whose corpse was found on the in Independence village about an hour later. Police believe the hispanic man was the victim of a hit and run incident, or may have fallen out of the pan of a truck. The man had a huge gash on his head.

    Climate and El Nino have possible effect on spread of Zika
    A new study suggests that climate changel along with last year’s El Niño phenomenon are responsible for the Zika virus to spread rapidly across South America. The University of Liverpool says while the Zika virus and mosquitoes that spread it have been around for a while, several factors – including specific climatic conditions – possibly made the disease a public health emergency status. “There’s a window of temperature that’s ideal, and when you look at 2015, the numbers were in the right range,” according to Cyril Caminade, research associate with the university’s Institute of Infection and Global Health and author of the study. Caminade added that the climate was only one of the factors that contributed to helping the spread of the disease. “These are populations who haven’t been exposed to this particular virus before, so they were completely naive to it. This pathogen was also particularly virulent. And two years after it was introduced, you have the perfect climatic conditions for it to spread,” Caminade added.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Moist conditions to continue
    Mostly moist weather is expected to prevail over the next 24 hours with cloudy skies and some showers and isolated thunderstorms over most areas. The wind will blow from the east to northeast at 10-20 knots and becoming gusty near the heavier showers and […]

    Another Mayan monument destroyed
    Another Mayan monument in Orange Walk has been mowed to fix a road.The unnamed monument existed an estimated kilometer and a half away from the Fresh Water Creek Forest Reserve located on the Honey Camp road in Orange Walk. CTV3 News reported that almost half […]

    Government loyalist Alfonso Noble involved in fatal highway accident
    Staunch government loyalist and editor of the United Democratic Party’s (UDP) Guardian Newspaper, Alfonso Noble, was reportedly involved in a road traffic accident near mile 3 on the George Price Highway last night, in which one Gilbert Myers was killed. The incident happened some […]

    Blogs

    Christmas Eve Sailing and Snorkeling with the Lady Leslie
    For those up north, it’s a very different Christmas down here and sometimes hard to imagine. But different doesn’t necessarily mean bad – it can mean GREAT. Here are some pics of our sailing trip yesterday – to Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley for snorkeling and lunch on Caye Caulker. Pineapple salsa, conch fingers, rice and beans, sushi rolls, lobster fritters and coconut tarts… We chartered the 40 foot catamaran, the Lady Leslie — a gorgeous boat and a fabulous crew of father, Martin, son, Jody and son-in-law, Ricky. All born and raised in San Pedro. The day started off with looming clouds – both in front of us and behind us. We only got a little sprinkle… Hol Chan had more boats than I’ve ever seen…but everyone loved the snorkel. The guides are great at keeping the groups separated. And off to Caye Caulker – we arrived by noon, ate at the Rainbow Grill (reliably taste food with DELICIOUS conch and lobster fingers) just at the end of the pier where we parked.

    Simone Biles spends Christmas vacation in Summer bliss
    Since Olympic gymnast Simone Biles touched down in her self-proclaimed “second home” Belize last Thursday, many news outlets and travel blogs have taken note of the fact that her vacation resembles less of a chilly Christmas winter and more of a summer beach party. Biles arrived in country last week with her family and was met with a warm welcome rivaling Belize’s toasty Christmas climate and a wave of local support. She was the highlight of a motorcade that made its way through the principal streets of Belize City. On-lookers came out to get a glimpse of the Olympic hero. She was welcomed by government officials, Belizean athletes and the general public at an official ceremony held at the Battlefield park. Biles, in an interview with the Belizean media on Thursday, had said she intended to spend her Christmas vacation soaking in the sun and salt waters of the Caribbean sea. The dual American-Belizean citizen who delivered four gold medals in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janerio, Brazil has made good on that promise. Her Instagram account has given her followers a glimpse into the splendors of an ideal ocean paradise that is the perfect vacation destination all year round.

    International Sourcesizz

    Canada's CTV Recommends Belize As A Hot Travel Trend for 2017
    Just in time to help with planning next year’s vacations, Canada’s CTV News recently announced its top “Travel trend for 2017” – the tiny but chock-full-of-attractions country of Belize. And new Canada-to-Belize City direct flights have made it easier than ever to take, as CTV put it, “A walk on the wild side,” The Lodge at Chaa Creek reports. “We were very happy to see CTV recommend Belize as having 'plenty to offer travellers looking for a walk on the wild side'," Chaa Creek’s marketing administrator Roberto Harrison said. “Especially as Canadians have been enjoying our ‘Wildly Civilised’ eco-resort for decades. “And with travel from Canada to our doorstep getting easier all the time, we’re looking forward to seeing more of our northern neighbours this winter.” Mr Harrison said WestJet Air’s new twice weekly nonstop service from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport to Philip Goldson International in Belize City, combined with Tropic Air’s service from the newly upgraded Sir Barry Bowen Municpal airport to the Maya Flats airstrip adjacent to Chaa Creek, means that northern visitors can “Have breakfast with snow falling outside and then be outdoors splashing around the pool before enjoying dinner that same day. “

    Videos

  • JONKUNNU DANCE BY FPS MEDIA BZ, 2min. This Christmas, we’re pleased to present to you our new video highlighting the Habinahan Wanaragua [Jonkunno Dance].The Garinagu are keeping culture alive at Christmas by passing this dance unto the next generation.The Video also features drummers from Lebeha Drumming Group from Hopkins Village. Feel free to like and share this video filmed and produced by ©FPS Media.

  • Christmas in Paradise | Caye Caulker, Belize | December 25th, 2016, 2.5min.

  • DIVING HALF MOON WALL LIGHTHOUSE REEF BELIZE 720x480 AVI, 7.5min.

  • THE AQUARIUM HIGHLIGHTS, Lighthouse Reef Belize 720x480 AVI, 2min.

  • Trip to Belize, March 2016, 3.5min.

  • Merry Xmas & Happy New Year Belize, 6.5min. Showing all things Belize, my country is beautiful from all angles.

  • You Gotta Belize - Honeymoon GoPro, 4min. CHEERS! From San Pedro to Caye Caulker to Altun Ha. A Belize Honeymoon done right.

  • Celeni is making and selling Mayan calendar @ Caye Caulker, Belize. 12.nov, 2016, 5.5min.

  • Spearfishing Lionfish in Belize, 5.5min. While staying at Hamanasi Resort in Belize, I had the opportunity to spearfish lionfish. Lionfish pose one of the greatest threats to the sustainability of coral reefs throughout the Caribbean. They are decimating marine life along the Belize barrier reef. Visitors get the chance to scuba spearfish the lionfish, learn how to clean the fish, and see how it is prepared back at Hamanasi for guests to eat for themselves.

  • Guatemala & Belize 2016 720p, 7.5min.

  • Herping Belize Part II, 5min. As darkness falls on the jungle, Michael catches a tarantula by hand, and continues herping into the night, finding many fascinating creatures not often seen in their natural habitat!

  • Belize Shark Ray Alley, 5min. Some GoPro footage from Shark Ray Alley in Belize. This is an open ocean snorkel so these rays still have their business ends. Some of the nurse sharks are about 5 1/2 ft long. There's an appearance by a barracuda at the end.

  • The Blue Hole - Belize 2016, 14min.

  • Trip to the Lamanai Mayan ruins in Belize, 4.5min. Took a boat up the New River to explore the Lamanai Mayan site in Belize.

  • Snorkeling Laughing Bird Caye in Belize off coast of Placencia, 4.5min.

  • Snorkeling in Belize, 5min. Snorkeling at Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Video includes sea turtles, eels, nurse sharks, barracudas and various fish.

  • Shark Ray Alley snorkeling in Belize, 2min.

  • Belize - Esmeralda Canyon, 2min.

  • Chocolate Covered Chopstix - Snorkeling in Belize, 2min.

  • Belize Progressive Party Christmas Message 2016, 6.5min.

  • Lemenigi Wanaragua Club Sharing the Christmas Spirit in the Nation's Capital. The Garden City., 6min.

    December 25, 2016

    Season's Greetings!

    I will be unable to do the daily news tomorrow, Monday morning December 26. I will return on Tuesday morning.


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    Security forces find over 60 pounds of marijuana in Northern Ambergris Caye
    Six packages containing 65.3 pounds of marijuana were discovered by the Belize Coast Guard (BCG) floating within the area of Rocky Point, approximately 15 miles north of San Pedro Town. At the time of the discovery, no one was around and the packages were this labelled as ‘found property.’ The official report from the San Pedro Police stated that Master Chief Gilroy Martin Lewis from BCG reported to them that on Wednesday, December 21st at around 2PM, while on a sea patrol, they observed several brown packages floating on the water. According to Lewis, the brown packages were retrieved from the water and inspected. One of the packages appeared to be damaged and a green leafy substance could be observed inside. The patrol immediately suspected it was cannabis and upon confirmation, the drugs were transported to the San Pedro Police Station where they were secured and later transported off the island to Belize City. The drugs are estimated to have a cost of approximately $40,000 Belize dollars.

    Another Maya Monument destroyed in Orange Walk for landfill
    On Wednesday, December 14th, Belize’s oldest research and education institution on Belize’s culture, the Institute of Archaeology (IA), began investigating reports of a Maya monument being destroyed in the Orange Walk district. Belize is abundant with Maya archeological remains and artifacts, and this time, the Ministry of Works are allegedly to blame for bulldozing an unexcavated monument. Just one and a half kilometers away from the Fresh Water Creek forest reserve located on the Honey Camp road in Orange Walk, CTV3 News reporters discovered that almost half of an unnamed historic mound has been razed. Monochrome pottery shards, typical of the pre-classical period, could be seen in the immediate area, where much of it was reduced to rubble. According to reports by CTV3 News, the material extracted is allegedly being used as landfill by the Ministry of Works to fix the Cocoa road, a feeder road for sugar cane farmers in the area.

    Belize recognized for Measles and Rubella Elimination
    Belize has been officially recognized for eliminating measles, rubella and Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS). The Ministry of Health (MOE) shared the announcement from the Regions of the Americas via a press release on Tuesday, December 13th. The recognition is based on evidence provided by the Measles-Rubella National Commissions (MRNC) and the review of the current epidemiological situation, which noted that the country has eliminated the disease, virus, and syndrome. In September 2016, Minister of Health Pablo Marin attended the 55th Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), where the declaration was first announced. Therefore, in recognition of the MOH’s excellence, they were given a second place award, and the declaration was signed by the members of the International Expert Committee of the MRNC.

    Sunrise Realty hosts open house for Solaria Villa #2
    A stunning beach front villa located in Northern Ambergris Caye was the main attraction during an open house event organized by Sunrise Realty. The island- based property management company hosted a group of guests as part of their campaign efforts to market Solaria Villa #2 on Thursday, December 15th. The villa is just one of the many properties Sunrise manages. The beachfront property is located four miles north of San Pedro Town nestled between Rendezvous Restaurant and Las Terrazas Resort, and located conveniently nearby the world class PADI dive centre, White Sands Dive Shop. The villa has just under 5,000 square feet of living space, featuring four large bedrooms, all with customized ensuite facilities, plus a powder room on the ground level. On the second level, and adjacent to the master bedroom is an office as well as an owner’s lockable closet, and utility room with a full sized washer and dryer. The building even features a garage that can accommodate a golf cart, kayaks and bicycles!

    Stakeholders review assessment of the Environmental Clearance Process
    A one-day consultation held on Wednesday, December 14th in Belize City brought together stakeholders from the public sector and environmental community to a validation workshop on the Assessment of the Environment Clearance process report. At the reunion, hosted at the Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina, participants identified relevant feedback, which will be included in the final assessment report and legislation that will be presented next year. The initiative has been in the pipeline since 2015, when the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change embarked on the project. Earlier this year, the Spanish firm Limia and Martin was hired to carry out an in-depth analysis of the Environmental Clearance Process, also known as an EIA, carried out by the Department of the Environment. This firm was tasked with identifying weaknesses and gaps in the process’ procedures that had last been amended in 2006. According to Emmanuel Martin, General Manager at Lima and Martin, the goal of the project is to support the Government of Belize in achieving inclusive and sustainable natural resource-based growth and to enhance climate change resilience. During the presentation last week, Martin revealed that some of the major findings of the project so far was a lack of efficiency and efficacy of the program in the views of many participants.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Children from The Inspiration Center at the Zoo!
    Holiday cheer was in the air when we hosted a special day out for the charming children from The Inspiration Center. This wonderful institution is dedicated to enriching the lives of children with disabilities in Belize through inclusive cultural and recreational activities. The Zoo, being accessible to persons with physical disabilities, was a perfect venue for such positive engagement. Teaming up with conservation colleague, Colette Kase, and the folks at the Inspiration Center, the children and their families were given a day to remember! Zoo staff kicked off the day with a “VIP” tour for 50 guests, including the children and their families. The weather was just right for the Zoo’s “wild residents” to be up and active. Tapirs, toucans, macaws and monkeys all came over to greet our special guests. Junior Buddy the jaguar eagerly showed off his climbing skills, while Panama the harpy eagle flew right down near his admirers, and happily chirped away, as if he had a lot to say!

    The Reporter

    Murder rate at 136 for 2016
    Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie says that the Beluze Police Department remains committed to curbing the high murder rate, in light of the countrywide murder count for 2016, which stands at 136 up to today. This number is just ten fewer than the record of 145, perpetrated in 2012. Whylie explained that the majority of the murders are difficult to stop because of the circumstances involving them. “Many of the murders, especially of recent, have not only been heinous but senseless. We’ve had murders between friends drinking. We’ve had murders between friends speaking about religion. We’ve had persons people entering houses and senselessly shooting persons, and those kinds of murders are difficult to prevent,” Whylie explained. The Commissioner added that the police have increased the number of patrols for the Christmas, and to try to keep the numbers low in the coming year. “We will continue to strategize. Next year, we will be introducing some additional strategies which will be shared with the public and I am certain that those should make a difference once again,” Whylie shared.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Fatal accident on George Price Highway
    There was a fatal accident on the George Price Highway a short while ago. The accident occurred just outside of Belize City near the Bravo Motors headquarters. The body of the victim lies motionless on the roadside. BBN could not confirm the exact nature […]

    Latest shooting victim identified
    Belize City criminals have not taken a Christmas vacation from crime. Police have confirmed that the latest victim of gun violence has been identified as David Andrews. Last night we had reported that he was shot while on Raccoon Street where his mother was […]

    International Sourcesizz

    Simone Biles is having the most incredible tropical holiday vacation
    While many of us are freezing our butts off here in the Northern Hemisphere, Simone Biles is having the tropical vacation of our DREAMS. She doesn’t say in her to-die-for Instagrams where she’s hiding out for the holidays, but we did a little internet digging, and it looks like Biles is spending this week in Belize. Biles says she plans on getting married one day in the gorgeous Central American country. We totally get it. Belize seems about as dreamy as second homes get. Especially during the holiday season when it’s pretty flipping chilly in the United States and basically paradise in her “second home” Oh, also, on Thursday Belize City had a motorcade in which Biles was the highlight, because when Simone comes to visit, you better roll out the red carpet in her honor. During her trip, Biles posted a pic of the ocean that made us gasp and wish that summer would hurry its butt along, we miss beach days!

    Belize police worried about escalating murders
    The Belize police have blamed gang violence for the increase in murders here this year. So far 135 people have been killed surpassing the 2015 figure and just shy of the 2012 record of 145 murders. Police commissioner Allen Whylie told reporters that while law enforcement authorities will enter 2017 determined to reduce the number of murders in the country, many of the murders “have not only been heinous but senseless. “To my recollection we are at, I believe, 135 murders, which is not where we would have wanted to be, and not where we had expected we would be at the end of December; we still have another week to go and that figure could change.

    Videos

  • Mealy Parrots over the Sinkhole - Journey to Nohoch Ch'en, 1.5min. During our 14 day expedition to the vast Nohoch Ch'en Sinkhole, our team discovered the sinkhole was frequented by Mealy Parrots, the largest of the Amazonian Parrot family. The parrots obviously loved the echoing effect of the sinkhole, and I was lucky enough to witness a pair fly make several laps to ascend out of the sinkhole, their iconic "whats up!?" call echoing off the sinkhole walls.

  • Belize, 4min. Part 2 Cruise

  • Belize Vacation, 1.5min.

    December 24, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    Second annual Adopt a Bear brings Christmas cheer to hundreds of children
    Thanks to the ‘Adopt a Bear’ project and the generosity of many, on Wednesday, December, 21st more than 200 children in San Pedro Town received Christmas presents. The project, which was created in 2015 by a group of volunteers on Ambergris Caye, has taken the duty of ensuring that the island’s less fortunate children receive a gift from Santa. This year the program was organized by members of the charitable organization Raise Me Up, which invited the general public to adopt a bear ornament from the Christmas trees at participating businesses. On each bear, the name of a child with his/her wishes is written on it. By adopting a bear, a person is committed to fulfil the child’s wishes. The program suggests that wishes should reflect on educational items, things that the child needs, or something that they really want. Many children followed these criteria, however, according to organizers they could have wished for anything they wanted.

    San Pedro Tiger Sharks claim third place in COCABA basketball tournament
    The San Pedro Tiger Sharks basketball team are back on the island after representing Belize in the COCABA (Confederacion Centroamericana de Baloncesto) basketball tournament held in San Salvador, El Salvador. The games took place from December 13th through the 18th, and saw the island team bringing home third place after giving their best in a series of four matches against different teams from around Central America. In the first match on Wednesday, December 14th, the Tiger Sharks faced team Corre Caminos from Panama. The game ended in 92-72 win for the Panamanian team. The following day the Tiger Sharks were defeated again by Salvadoranian team Santa Tecla, with a final game score of 105-75. During the third day of the competition, it was clear that if the Belizean team wanted to continue in the competition they needed to a win. On Friday, December 16th, they did just that, defeating team Falcones from El Salvador by an advantage of 8 points. Things began improving for the Tiger Sharks, and the following day they took on Atlantico from Honduras, winning the game by 20 points! The Sharks had made a major comeback and were going for more.

    Santander to provide BEL with cheaper power supply
    On Tuesday, December 13th, Belize took a major step in becoming self-sufficient in energy production after signing a 15 year agreement between Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) and SS Energy, a subsidiary of the sugar producing company, Santander, located in the Cayo District. This new source of electricity supply to the national grid is expected to continue improving the quality and reliability of BEL’s power services nationwide. At the signing ceremony in Belize City, John Avery, Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), explained that the project has been in the works since 2013, when Santander was selected as one of the bidders to negotiate with BEL for power purchase. “Belize has the least capacity for local power production in the first six months of the year,” said Avery. “This additional source of electricity will now greatly improve the sustainability of our electricity service.” The initial agreement is for the supply of 16 megawatts of power, which is scheduled to start on February 1, 2017. The power purchase agreement for now will be for just 8 megawatts, which is expected to yield between 18 to 25 million kilowatts per hour.

    Another spectacular Caribbean Christmas Colors Contest
    For the eleventh year, The San Pedro Sun staff toured across San Pedro Town judging colorfully lit houses for their annual Caribbean Christmas Colors Contest. The competition is held to recognize residents who decorate their houses in the spirit of Christmas, and Caribbean Christmas Colors is intended to give back to a community that promotes holiday joy. With brightly lit homes adorned with festive ornaments and twinkling lights, San Pedro residents certainly seemed to be feeling the holidays. On Friday, December 16th, judges secretly drove around looking for those holiday homes. As far as three miles north of Sir Barry Bowen Bridge all the way to the DFC Area, there were lights to be seen, some in obscure locations, while others proudly shone like beacons.

    San Pedro RC School receive solar panels to save energy
    In a quest to minimize San Pedro Roman Catholic School’s (SPRCS) carbon footprint and their electricity expenses, a team of volunteers from California Polytechnic State University (Calpoly) in San Luis Obispo, California USA donated and installed 14 solar panels. According to Project Leader David Goldsmith, the idea of installing solar panels inspired his team to start making preparations as early as February 2016. “We really wanted to help this community, and we thought it would be a great chance for us to do so. This became a reality when the Calpoly Construction Management Department received a grant to fund the project. Then we, through the late Professor Tom Glavinish from the University of Kansas, found out about the project and starting planning our trip here from February of this year. Through our coordination with Eddie Halliday, our electricians, and the school, we were able to install 14 solar panels,” said Goldsmith.

    Ambergris Today

    Celebrity Spotting: Dancing with the Stars Derek Hough in Belize
    American professional Latin and ballroom dancer, Derek Hough, has been spotted vacationing in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize this week. He went diving at the Great Blue Hole on Wednesday along with celebrity fitness trainer Mark Harari and father Bruce. The trio have shared Tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts of their vacations which has brought them to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize from exploring the Maya ruins in Mexico and Guatemala on their week-long vacation. Derek, Mark and Bruce stayed at the Palms Oceanfront Suites, went diving the Blue Hole with Ramon’s Village Dive Shop, have been spotted having breakfast at Pineapples Restaurant and casual touring the island on their holiday vacation. Since September 2007, Hough has become known for his work on the ABC dance-competition series, Dancing with the Stars, on which he has won a record six seasons. Derek is also is also a choreographer, actor, singer-songwriter, and musician. Mark is a top celebrity trainer for the stars in Hollywood.

    Second Annual Adopt a Bear Brings Big Smiles to Hundreds of Children
    Reaching out to twice the amount of children from last year gift-giving Adopt a Bear program, the event managed to hand out 345 gifts to children in San Pedro and Belize City this year. Elated children who would otherwise not receive gifts for Christmas, gathered at the San Pedro Lions Den on Wednesday, December 21, 2016, where the gifts were handed out. Huge smiles were seen on children’s faces as they got the chance to sit and take a picture with Santa Claus and open their gift. Many received exactly what they asked for thanks to the kind gesture of their sponsors. For the second year in a row, this project has given island residents and businesses the opportunity to make a child’s Christmas spirit a lot much better. Children who receive gifts are selected from different organizations throughout the island that included from families who benefit from the Food Bank service, social services and the San Pedro Police Department. This year children from Liberty and King’s Homes in Belize City were added to the program.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    A few safety tips from the The Belize Road Safety Initiative!

    XMAS TOY GIVEAWAY BY SPTC AND MARKET DOCTORS

    Poets Corner: Defeat
    By Abdulmajeed K.Nunez. The law has lost it teeth The PM is admitting defeat Returning Belize to law and order is an impossible feat Only in Belize Vanessa Retreage Since the people’s heads are buried in the sand like ostrich Our people are so naive! Only in Belize Can an attorney general be threatened with no investigation by police? The PM should have defended his colleague Is that the way he defended the other thieves? Despite full compliments of the police A spineless PM will then accept her release In this country there is no peace This was a shameful presentation to the press This shows the PM is gutless

    Santa is out in the Eastern Division North
    With Police Officers (Fitzroy Yearwood), Cadets and other volunteers. Needy families are being gifted food hampers and toys for the holiday season.

    Merry Christmas!!! Our Toy Drive was so much fun!!
    It was such a blessing to be able to distribute the donated toys to a village that was definitely in need of smiles!! The faces we saw, the reactions we witnessed, and the tears of joy that were brought, were so worth it! Kids from all angles rushed us as we drove around the village and we are more than sure not one child was left without a toy. We also visited 3 particular families which were directed to us by the area representative, Mr. De la Rosa. One family sadly had a father who has been suffering from tuberculosis for about 2 years,and unfortunately cannot work. His family was left with some zinc, wood, nails and a basket of food. Another family, whose mother was a victim of abuse by her husband has been left with a foot injury and a steel plate permanently left in her leg. Her family was left with toys, big basket of food and medication for her son. Lastly, a mother of 5, had her youngest suffering from dehydration and was on the brink of losing her little life. Doctors even turned her away. We are blessed to announce that the baby is doing SO MUCH better. She was left with toys, baby items, food and some other goodies.

    Channel 7

    2016 - Can Police Keep Murder From Spiking To an All-Time-High?
    It's two days to Christmas and eight days before the New Year - a time for both merriment and family bonding. But hundreds of police officers won't be at home with their families - they'll be on duty - doing their best to keep everyone safe and their property secure. And in 2016, it's been harder than ever to keep people safe: officially there have been 135 murders recorded by police. It's close to a 15% increase over last year, and 2016 is on track to be the most deadly year since 2012. That's more reason than ever to pray for peace and sobriety during the holidays, but either way, the police top brass will have to do some major stocktaking. At a time where there are more uniformed police than ever before, why does violent crime continue to spiral out of control? That's what I asked the Commissioner today:...

    Compol Faces Tough Questions About Contraband Cops
    But were the police doing their best last week when Cayo police say they were forced to let a Special Patrol Vehicle go with three cases of contraband beer? It's a case we first reported on last Thursday, where the Officer in Charge of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, Richard Rosado led the search of an SPU mobile. The ten police officers in the vehicle were coming off two weeks of jungle duties at tourism and border sites. The police who were conducting the search had intelligence that there were contraband beers and a sack of weed in the pickup. They took the truck in to the station to be searched. And here's where the story becomes unclear. Cayo police say Deputy Commissioner Blackett called from headquarters to tell them to sotp the search and let the truck go. Blackett says he did not such thing. He says he only interceded after the truck had been searched and nothing more than contraband beer was found. He says the officers were coming off a long shift in the jungle and he wanted them to get home. So the pickup was released with the contraband and sent on its way to Belmopan.

    Cayo Cops Get Suspect In Murder of Grandmother
    There was a major breakthrough today in the investigation into the murder of 68 year old Paulina Urbelina Sanchez. San Ignacio police report that the suspected killer was detained in a pre dawn operation this morning. He will now be the subject of an ID parade by the various persons who saw him enter Sanchez's Santa Elena home on Sunday night.

    Chester Norales Re-Arrested For Beating Up Elderly Neighbor
    All this week we've been reporting on Chester Norales, the 36 year old accused of beating up and robbing his 93 year old neighbor, Patrick Grant. He was freed of charges of dangerous harm and burglary 4 days ago when they were struck out. But then Southside Commander Chester Williams said he would be re-arrested and charged with the same offences as soon as possible. Well that happened yesterday and Norales appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. She didn't take any plea because the case will be tried in the Supreme Court. He met bail of $3,000, and will reappear in February 2017 for a preliminary inquiry.

    Rural Police Confirm Identity Of Jane Doe Nine Days Later
    Belize Rural Police have just gotten a positive ID for the Jane Doe whose body was found floating in the Belize River nine days ago. The break in the case came through a lead that LOVE FM got from a radio listener in PG - who provided a basic outline of who the woman may have been, and who she was with. Half an hour ago police confirmed Jane Doe is Michelle Moreira from Punta Gorda. Today, before her identity was confirmed, Officer Commanding for the rural area ACP Edward Broaster told us that they are looking for her common law:... ACP. Edward Broaster - OC., Rural Eastern Division: "Since the information that came from Love FM we have managed to get other information as to exactly where they were staying just prior to the demise of Jane Doe and that is between the Boom Bridge on the highway and we identified an abandon house that Jane Doe and an individual was living in."

    Ambassador Shoman Says Guat Regs Were Super-Unknown
    Last night, you heard Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington discussing those offensive Guatemalan Fisheries Regulations. They blatantly claim fishing rights over Belizean territorial waters from Punta Gorda, all the way to the Sarstoon River. And while the regulations have been around for almost 15 years, no one in Belize had ever seen or heard of it, until we reported on it earlier this week. But we figured if anyone knew anything, it would be Assad Shoman. He's the country's foremost authority on all things connected to the Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute. We contacted him via email and he told us that he also did not find out about these regulations until this week. Shoman says, quote, "I very much doubt that anyone in government knew about this. Had the Ministry of Foreign Affairs become aware of it, I am sure a strong protest note would have been sent to Guatemala pointing out that the regulation had no effect whatsoever in international law, that it did not in any way affect Belize's sovereignty in the areas... The Guatemalan government should, in accordance with good international legal practices, repeal those parts of the regulations that violate the integrity of Belize's territory as defined in the boundary treaty of 1859 between Guatemala and Britain." End Quote.

    Jacqueline Willoughby, Acting President OF NTUCB Maps Road Ahead For Umbrella Organization
    Last night we showed you our interview with Marvin Mora, the former President of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize. Even though he was re-elected to serve a second term as President, he has to step aside because the constitution of the NTUCB doesn't allow anyone to serve more than 2 terms on the executive. So, first vice president Jacqueline Willoughby, now finds herself at the helm of the Union umbrella group. Collectively the NTUCB represents the interests of about 20,000 workers countrywide. This evening, told us that they will have to hold a bi-election, so that a new president can be elected: Jacqueline Willoughby - Acting President, NTUCB: "I think it was a serious oversight on the part of the players in terms of who ran the last time. The constitution indicates that once you have served 2 consecutive times on the executive committee who cannot be re-elected. It may have been an oversight on the part of brother Mora and others there to not have remembered that he actually ran already and that just caused him to, well his post immediately became unlawful."

    Teenager Allegedly Beaten By Beaton
    Twenty-one year old Alexander Beaton appeared in the Magistrate's Court today where he was charged with attempted murder. Beaton was picked up by police after a 17 year old boy reported that two persons robbed him of his possessions, valued at just over $1000, and then stabbed him. Beaton was also charged with dangerous harm, use of deadly means of harm and robbery. He was remanded into custody until February 17, 2016. His alleged accomplice, Elward Mckay was charged with the same offences.

    Christmas Comes For Sherla
    On last night's news, single mother of four Sherla Adolphus made a heartfelt plea for help. She's the mother of Dean Dawson's children. He was killed in a high profile traffic accident at the end of March. Now, Adolphus - whose sons are aged 7, 6, 5, and 1 - says she can't care for her children and she can't afford to work and hire a baby sitter. It's a sad story at Christmas and it caught the ear of rural Commander Edward Broaster. He made the connection with the Mahitani family, the owners of Delta Store. They want to help 15 families and Broaster thought Dawson surely fit the bill. We found them at Delta Store today:... Murli Mahitani - Delta Store: "The thing is we are more believers in humanity and we feel to help people who can't help themselves, they become destitute you see, because we depend on their business so much and it's time to give them. Besides, my mother had left a certain amount of money after she expired, which we are gradually spacing it and giving it to the people. We intend to help about 10-15 different families."

    Sherla Sued Pakeman
    And a large part of Adolphus's story is that Dorian Pakeman - the man who knocked down and killed the father of her children - has stopped assisting her. She says that he stopped answering her messages in October, and coming unto Christmas she hasn't heard a thing. Well, what she didn't say is that right around that time, she filed civil suit against Pakeman. On October third, her attorney Nick Dujon sent him a letter notifying him of the civil action. Pakeman - who had been helping her with finances since May was advised that he could no longer assist after she filed suit. Today, Sherla Adolphus conceded that Pakeman did assist her significantly for as long as he could:... Sherla Adolphus - Mother of Dawson's Children: "Yes he supported me quite some time and he told me that he didn't have his job again, so whatever he has he will share with me. Sometime he gives me $50, $100. But I see where he cannot supply my home. So after a while I stop bother him, because I see where he don't have it. I don't know. But I'm not judging him, because he was so kind to me and he promised to help me in whatever."

    Police Still Waiting On DPP for Pakeman Directive
    Of course, the matter is still not settled criminally. This is the most reported on and scrutinized traffic fatality we've seen in years, and police are still working with the DPP to get it right. Today, the Commissioner explained: As we have reported, there appears to have been substantial tampering with blood samples in this case.

    Police And The New Minister
    And in other policing news, it's gone nearly un-noticed, but there is a new Minister of Police - and we don't mean Elodio Aragon. He's the Minister of State who took over day-to-day management of the ministry in October. We mean the substantive minister who is now Wilfred Elrington. He took over in the most recent shuffle two weeks ago. While Aragon retains day-to-day control, Elrington is his boss, and today Commissioner Whylie told us that the new minister has been getting has hands-on feel for this important ministry:... Allen Whylie, Commissioner of Police: "There are some things as I alluded to will be changed. I am certain that Minister Elrington will give us directions. I know has met with the CEO already and he has indicated that there are some changes that he wants to see done and I am certain that we will be open to those, because ultimately the idea is ti improve in terms of what we are doing and try to increase and enhance safety and security for our citizens." Elrington is an attorney of many years' experience and he has also served as a judge on criminal and civil matters.

    Special Lunch for 100 Kids, They Had Turkey, But They Also Have "Beef"
    Eastern Division police have been more active than Santa's Little Helpers on Red Bull during this Christmas. They've turned policing into philanthropy, making Christmas special for families across the district. But today Eastern Division Southside did a little more than just gift - giving. They launched a pilot programme called the Youth Mentorship Program - and they did it in style, hosting 100 children for Christmas lunch at the Radisson. Southside Commander Chester Williams explained the ambitious initiative:... ACP. Chester Williams - Commander Southside: "The police youth membership club is an initiative that is geared towards breaking the gang cycle. the time that we will be spending with them, we want to do different topic areas that will be geared towards making them better while at the same time let them learn to put aside their personal differences because as young as they are there are serious beefs in that room as you see right now and we want to help them to overcome those issues and what is unique about the program is that it is not police officers who'll be mentoring them we have people who are volunteering their time on weekends to come in and deal with different aspect of the mentorship program. what we did was that we look at children who are at risk, we look at children who are in school and demonstrating that propensity for bullying or being bullied and in terms of the females, we also look at those who at risk of teenage pregnancy."

    Northside Cops Keep Caring
    And while that's a southside initiative, on the northside, the officers of Precinct 3 took to the streets to deliver Christmas hampers to residents who really need it. The cops were accompanied by their youth cadets, as well as other volunteers. The division's public relations officer Fitzroy Yearwood told us more... Aside from distributing hampers, Belize City and Ladyville police have been taking members of their community shopping and surprising them at random with monetary gifts.

    Police Warn Against False Report
    But the cops have lots of regular policing duties too, and rural officers say precious resources were wasted today when a man made a false report in the Belize River Valley. 61 year old Errol Baptist, a chef from Double Head Cabbage village was seen with a large cut wound to the right fore head. He said that he had been robbed. But when police checked the security Camera at the village grocery, they found that he fell asleep on the step, rolled off and burst his head. Polcie say it's a false report, and advise the community if they do this they will be charged for a mischievous act.

    How Di Christmas Di Cohn?
    It's the deathless question that Belizeans all over ask each other at this time of year: how di Christmas di cohn? Today we got our colleague Giovanni Brackett to ask it in the Belize Streets. And the tireless Brackett didn't stop until he got an answer from everyone: And that’s 7News on this, the day before Christmas eve. From all of us here at 7News - we hope you have a safe and blessed Christmas. We’ll be taking the Christmas break as well - and ask you to join us back here on Wednesday when we’ll have all the news that happened over extra long weekend... So goodnight, have a merry Christmas, and I’ll see you back here on Wednesday.

    Channel 5

    2016 Murder Count Threatens Record; ComPol Addresses Plans to Reduce It
    The murder count for 2016 sits at one hundred and thirty-five with just a week to go. It is already a worse figure than 2015 and not far off from [...]

    Police Closing in on Naming “Jane Doe”
    Police say they are almost sure that they have identified Jane Doe. They have gotten contact information for a family that believes the dead woman found in the Belize River [...]

    Dean Dawson’s Widow Pleas to Police to Solve Fatal Accident
    Earlier this week you heard Police say that while the case of the fatal RTA of Dean Dawson has been lengthy – they are making incremental progress but are still [...]

    New Police Outposts in Armenia, Valley of Peace
    Today, Belmopan police delivered their version of a Christmas gift to residents of the villages of Armenia and Valley of Peace in the Cayo District. The villages are respectively the [...]

    Simone Biles Speaks About Education and Social Media Impact
    On Thursday, Simone Biles landed in Belize to much fan-fare courtesy the B.T.B. and other local partners. By now you would know that the world’s best gymnast is the adopted [...]

    Delta Store and Rural Eastern Division Team Up for Christmas Cheer
    Delta Store is giving back and the man in the middle is ACP Edward Broaster. Rural Eastern Division’s top cop identified fifteen families to receive a cheque of one hundred [...]

    Christmas Comes for Northside Police Hamper Recipients
    ‘Tis the season for sharing, caring and giving and with Christmas only two days away, Santa is still roaming the neighborhoods in the city gifting deserving families. This Santa, though, [...]

    A New Beginning? Mentorship Program Targets Southside’s At-Risk Youths
    How do you solve a problem like gang violence? The Belize Police Department has tried truces, interventions, aggressive patrolling and arrests; the courts, and societal condemnation, but little has managed [...]

    Moses Sulph Shares the Spirit of the Season
    On Thursday, well-known community activist Moses Sulph, along with a team of volunteers, shared the gift of giving with a group of underprivileged children from the St. Martin’s de Porres [...]

    Police Say Don’t Let Safety Take a Holiday
    For the last few days on this newscast, we have been featuring safety tips for Belizeans to avoid incidents and mishaps over the Christmas season. On Thursday, police commander for [...]

    God and Faith at Heart of Christmas, Says Catholic Pastor
    Christmas is less than two days away and the religious festival celebrating the birth of Christ is being observed across the country by various denominations.  Earlier today, we spoke with [...]

    The Evangelical View of Christmas from Scott Stirm
    While he has made his name as an activist for Christian and traditional values, particularly when it comes to fighting amorality and homosexuality, Scott Stirm is first and foremost a [...]

    Belizeans’ Season’s Greetings from the Streets
    It’s less than two days away from Christmas Day and downtown Albert Street was bustling, as residents did their last minute grocery shopping for that traditional turkey dinner, while others [...]

    Amandala

    Guatemala eyes Punta Gorda
    Belizeans have expressed outrage over the recent revelation that Guatemala had since 2005 sneakily passed fishing regulations for the Amatique Bay, which includes Belize’s southern waters in an area which we have determined to cover an estimated 100 square miles. The map unveiled this week by activist Wil Maheia of the Belize Territorial Volunteers, who received it from Barranco fishers, includes a line that extends from Guatemala’s northeastern coastline up to Punta Gorda in Belize, without acknowledging Belize’s border with Guatemala. In a statement issued today, the Government of Belize called Guatemala’s move “a flagrant violation of international law and Belize’s maritime sovereignty.” Leslie Colón, chair of Barranco Sustainable Fisherfolk Coop, told Amandala that on 20th September 2016, eight fishers from the Barranco area were invited to attend a meeting in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, which was attended by a total of 30 fishers—the remainder of them being from Guatemala. The meeting was being facilitated under a bi-national project, Cross-Border Alliance for Healthy Fisheries, by EcoLogic, a US-headquartered NGO with a regional office in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.


    Leopold Rhamdas, 41, a security guard at Princess Casino, received a $3,000 loan from the Belize Bank on Tuesday afternoon. However, hours later, he would be robbed of it at gunpoint, after he posted a photo of the cash proceeds from the loan in a pornographic Facebook group. Sergeant Mark Humes of the Racoon Street Police Station told Amandala today that sometime around 3:45 a.m. on Tuesday, they received reports that two gunmen demanding cash stormed Rhamdas’ home at the corner of Giles Street and Nicholas Street in the Lake Independence area. One of the alleged perpetrators wore a dark peak cap and the other tied a red shirt over his head as they tried to conceal their identities. According to Sgt. Humes, they have not since detained anyone in connection with the incident, but police are investigating.

    Simone Biles in Belize
    –Simone Arianne Biles, the 19-year-old world-famous superstar gymnast originally of the USA, but who has Belizean citizenship through her mother, Nellie Cayetano Biles, arrived in her second home, Belize, with fanfare, in answer to a special invitation from the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) to come relax in Belize after her stunning performance at the Rio Olympic Games in August. For the BTB, the social media engagement with Biles, who immediately replied accepting the invitation, is a marketing strategy which has worked well in garnering attention for Belize while the world’s attention was fixed on Biles. For Simone, though, she had no difficulty accepting the offer to come to Belize—the only place she fishes, a hobby she has been engaged in, in Belize since she was a little girl, although she officially attained her citizenship two years ago. At a welcome press conference held at the Best Western Biltmore Plaza right after her arrival in Belize today, Biles, a petite Belizean-American 4 feet 8 inches tall, stood tall in conveying her key message to Belizean youth and athletes—that wielding mind over matter leads to success.

    Pickwick sues Princess Entertainment
    The $8 million Pickwick Belize building on Newtown Barracks in Belize City which eventually became the short-lived Princess Golden Casino was the subject of a lawsuit at the Supreme Court today. The claim, filed by Pickwick against Princess, seeks damages for breach of contract and fraudulent misrepresentation. Attorneys for both sides made oral submissions to buttress their written submissions before Justice Courtenay Abel, who is scheduled to issue his ruling at 9:00 a.m. on January 20, 2017. This morning, Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay, representing Pickwick, outlined the claimant’s evidence in the civil suit. Pickwick’s claim against Princess is for the breach of a 15-year lease and a casino management agreement which the parties had entered. Pickwick contends that the gaming company had signed a lease for their building for use by Princess Golden Casino, but after two years, the casino closed its doors and Princess Entertainment, the parent company, took back its machines and pulled out its staff. The parties had a memorandum of understanding in which Princess had reportedly undertaken to manage the casino on behalf of Pickwick. In court, Princess cited a loss of revenue as the reason for pulling out of the venture.

    Citrus growers plan comeback through $6 mil project
    A whopping 6 million Belizean dollars—that is how much the Citrus Growers Association (CGA) says it needs to rebound and improve citrus production, which would counter some of Belize’s economic challenges by bolstering growth and building the country’s foreign reserves. Hard-hit in recent years by citrus greening, a devastating disease, growers want to plant new trees and replace old ones, and they will start to seek investors early next year to help finance the project. Henry Anderson, CGA’s chief executive officer, said that the sector is well-positioned to contribute to major export earnings. He told the media today that citrus prices are at an all-time high, with a box of oranges fetching up to BZ$16 on the market. He projected that within the next three to five years, prices will soar even higher and as prices continue to increase, Belize can benefit exponentially.

    Pussyfooting with Dean Dawson RTA death investigation
    On the night of March 30, 2016, Gardenia mechanic Dean Dawson, Sr., 45, lost his life in a horrific road traffic accident when he was mowed down by an Isuzu D-Max pickup truck that was heading towards Ladyville from Orange Walk. The accident occurred between Miles 22 and 23 on the Philip Goldson Highway, as Dorian Pakeman, the director of the Government Press Office, was making his way home to Ladyville in the government vehicle. Dawson was riding his bicycle on the highway when he was knocked down. A lot has happened between the time of the accident and now, but Pakeman has not been made to answer for the accident which claimed Dawson’s life. Today, Monday, Amandala asked Director of Public Prosecution Cheryl-Lynn Vidal about the status of the police’s investigation of the Pakeman accident. DPP Vidal told us that she is still waiting for the police investigators to comply with requests that she had made. The file was sent back to the DPP’s office without the completion of what she had requested, so the DPP sent it back to the police so they could comply. That was several weeks ago. DPP Vidal told Amandala that Pakeman would be charged as soon as the police comply with her request.

    San Pedro High School girls, Ecumenical High School boys win NSSSA 2016 Basketball Champions
    Here are the final results and individual awards for the National Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA) basketball championships, hosted by Stann Creek Ecumenical High School at the Stann Creek Ecumenical gymnasium on Friday and Saturday, December 16-17. San Pedro High School (SPHS) basketball girls did not win a single game in 6 outings when they represented Belize at the CODICADER Games in Tegucigalpa in September of this year, but it toughened them enough to win the NSSSA 2016 championship. Aliyah Elliot of SPHS won Most Blocks, Most Rebounds, Most Steals, Most Assists and Most Valuable Player awards.

    OWFA Amateur League 1st Division Week #9 results and standings
    ORANGE WALK TOWN, Tue. Dec. 20, 2016–The Orange Walk Football Association (OWFA) Amateur League 1st Division Tournament continued on Sunday, December 18, at People’s Stadium with 5 games played in Week 9 of the competition. In game 1, Progresso United FC bombed Crystal FC, 11-nil, with goals from Wilfredo Lino (2), Dennis Charley (4), Alex Diaz (3) and Zamir Heredia (2). Game 2 saw Progresso FC crushing United Ballers FC, 8-0, with goals from Eric Osorio, Gabriel Perez (4), Eliazar Itza and Mauricio Estrada (2). In game 3, it was San Felipe FC, 6-0, over Chan Pine Ridge FC, with goals from Tani Dominquez (2), Israel Jones (2), Cesar Martinez and Victor Amaya. Game 4 saw Desert Storm FC and Trinidad FC playing to a 1-1 draw. Arnold Henriquez shook the net for Desert Storm, while Travion Martinez hit the target for Trinidad. And in game 5, Sinbad FC won by default (3-0) over Progresso Jrs. FC.

    Home fans instrumental in PLB semifinals 2nd leg
    The stage is set for the finals of the Premier League of Belize (PLB) Opening Season 2016-2017, and the home fans had something to do with it. In both semifinals 2nd leg over the past weekend, featuring teams that had drawn in all their on-field encounters in regular season, it was the added energy and loud, vocal support of home fans that might have tipped the scale in favor of the victorious home teams, Belmopan Bandits (1-0 over FC Belize) and BDF (2-0 over Police United). The pattern of regular season draw games had continued the previous week in the semifinals, with Bandits and FC Belize ending 1-1 in their 1st leg at the MCC; but was interrupted when Police United won 3-1 over BDF in San Ignacio. But there was a special circumstance in that Police victory: BDF star goalkeeper Tevin Gamboa was visibly hobbled by injury during the whole game, and their outstanding midfielder Osmar Duran could not play, due to a strained muscle sustained during his mid-week training with the National “A” Team. And both would be back in the BDF line-up for game 2 on Sunday at the MCC.

    More big station prizes in KREM New Year’s Classic
    On Friday, December 16, another $1,000.00 prize was added to the list of big station prizes for the Elite Male Category of the 27th Annual KREM New Year’s Day Cycling Classic 2017. The official top finishers in the KREM New Year’s Cycling Classic 2016, after disqualifications were made by NADO (National Anti-Doping Organization) in conjunction with the

    A Christmas gift from Guatemala
    Guatemala’s Christmas gift for Belize arrived on Wednesday, December 21, 2016, four days before Christmas. It was a set of Guatemalan fisheries regulations, complete with a map, giving Guatemalans the right to enter and plunder waters above the Sarstoon River which have been Belize’s territorial waters from the time of the 1859 Treaty between Great Britain and Guatemala. How the gift was delivered is not clear. Belize’s electronic media broke the news on Wednesday, but two of the most important Belizean officials where Belize-Guatemala relations are concerned, Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington and Brigadier-General David Jones, claim not to be aware of the “new” Guatemalan fisheries regulations. (NOTE: Subsequent to writing this editorial, we have been informed that these regulations supposedly date from 2005.) When informed of the regulations and the map, General Jones, the commanding officer of Belize’s army, expressed immediate, noticeable concern, but Foreign Minister Elrington, as is his wont, was practically blasé. Anybody who knows Belize knows that Christmas is a time of the year when Belizeans are completely distracted and are not interested in matters of state. Perhaps the Foreign Minister was only expressing the seasonal nonchalance, but what we are looking at here, when we look at the “new” fisheries regulations and map published by Guatemala, is the most disrespectful act of aggression by the Guatemalans in our lifetime. We consider it their most disrespectful act of aggression because it was apparently done with willful, cold-blooded, and deliberate intent. In the streets, it would be the equivalent of someone saying to you, “F—k you!”

    From The Publisher
    I think we Belizeans have to pay some attention to the world around us. It’s not as if we can do that much about anything really. We’re such a tiny country after all. I can’t really argue with those of you who feel that ignorance is bliss, and those of you who say that what you don’t know can’t hurt you. Maybe it’s better your way. When I came of age, the aspect of Christmas that intrigued me was what happened right after the Christ Child was born. Remember, Joseph the carpenter and his pregnant wife, Mary, had to travel the rough road from their home village of Nazareth to the town of Bethlehem. Joseph and Mary were Jews, a people trampled and oppressed by the mighty Romans, and the Roman Emperor, one Caesar Augustus, was carrying out a census to see just how many subjects he ruled. Joseph and Mary couldn’t even get a room at an inn when they reached Bethlehem: they had to spend the night in a stable for animals, which is where the Son of God was born, in the Roman colony of Judea. In Judea, the Jews had a King Herod whose power was under the jurisdiction of the Roman governor appointed by Caesar Augustus. Three Wise Men or Kings (The Magi) who, as the Bible tells us, came to Bethlehem from the east in search of the Christ Child whose birth had been prophesied, ran into Herod, who said to them, listen, when you find this new King come back and let me know where He is so that I can go and adore Him.

    Let’s talk about vaccines
    Dear Editor, The Ministry of Health announced their intention of giving vaccinations for HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) to all Standard IV girls in late October, early November. When concern was raised about the merit and safety of such a program, Dr. Manzanero, in an interview on November 10th, said the negative feedback was due to “serious misconceptions”. He said that not everything one reads on the internet is necessarily true and it is necessary to document sources. We agree that a lot of things on the internet are untrue. We don’t rely on the internet stories; we investigate the sources which include noted doctors and scientists as well as people adversely affected by the vaccine. Dr. Manzanero condemned those raising questions about the vaccine’s safety and advises that the source of information should be documented, yet he fails to offer any documentation. He said, “We asked around, as we are one of the last countries to embark on this.” Asked around? What is that?

    The new geopolitical reality
    Dear Editor, As I looked on the news and saw the Russian ambassador to Turkey assassinated and the terrorist attack with a mere truck in Germany, I contemplated the new geopolitical reality of the world, the Caribbean and especially Belize. It is very difficult to fight an enemy that’s fanatically committed. The Caribbean is historically and immensely connected to the United States and Europe. They are our number one trading partners. We study in both zones and we have a lot of family and friends that live in both zones. The de-risking is one of the side effects of this global war on terrorism on Caribbean countries, including Belize. De-risking has made doing business in all Caribbean countries more costly and inconvenient. I am certain there will be other detrimental side effects to this international war on terrorism. For instance, travelling internationally will definitely become more cumbersome, and international trade will become more onerous.

    Cuba and its Delegation
    Dear Editor Amandala, Permit me to congratulate Cuba and its Delegation for the following: “On 19th December 2016, the plenary of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) ratified by a majority of its Member States the Declaration on the Right to Peace as previously adopted by the UNGA Third Committee on 18th November 2016 in New York and the Human Rights Council (HRC) on 1st July 2016 in Geneva. This Declaration was presented by the delegation of Cuba with the support of many other delegations and some civil society organizations. Along the inclusive and transparent negotiation process of the Declaration, conducted by the Chairperson-Rapporteur of the Open Ended Working Group (OEWG) on the right to peace, Ambassador Christian Guillermet-Fernández of Costa Rica, all delegations and some civil society organizations actively participated in the three consecutive sessions of the OEWG in Geneva (2013-2015).

    2016 Year in Review: Part I
    The past 12 months have seen more than their share of tragedies and controversies—from the gruesome beheading of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas to the striking down of Belize’s sodomy laws to a string of scandals surrounding the issuance of Belizean immigration documents and the sale of lands—but the single most important story for 2016 has been the country’s persistent troubles at the Sarstoon River, where Guatemala remains defiant in its attempt to annex Belizean territory even beyond the northern limits of their border with Belize. Things came to a head between Belize and Guatemala in April, following the shooting death of a Guatemalan minor who had been found engaging in illegal milpa farming inside the Chiquibul along with his father and brother, in an incident which an independent foreign investigation later concurred was an act of self-defense. However, in response to the incident, Guatemala mobilized its military, and principally the Kaibiles special forces, to Belize’s border, eliciting fears of a violent invasion. Further problems were averted, however, after the political leaders of both countries, who were in Washington at the time, discussed the matter. Nonetheless, relations between Guatemala and Belize broke down, and Guatemala withdrew its ambassador from Belize.

    MELVAN “MAJELI” MCGREGOR: THE BREEZE OF BELIZE (PART ONE)!
    This incredible and historical three-part documentary series on Melvan “Majeli” McGregor illuminates a whole new spectrum within Belize’s music world. It brings us some much missing pieces in Belize’s music history as the legendary Belizean musician unravels the movers and shakers in Belizean music during the 1950’s, 60’s, 70’s, and even the 80’s some ten years later as he returned from Ottawa, Canada, playing an awesome horn. Majeli comes back to Belize in 1979 like a Belizean prodigal son to pay tribute to two of his idols, legendary Belizean musicians and saxophonists, Pete Matthews and Bill Belisle, whom he credits for inspiring him to play jazz the way he does and to later pursue his musical career abroad digging deep into the realms of the African-American art form called jazz. While there, Majeli met some outstanding musicians like the African-American jazz maestro, Saeed Abdul Khabeer, a devout Muslim, who took on the musically thirsty Belizean musician and made an everlasting impact on his life.

    BTV gravely concerned over Guatemala’s official Sarstoon position
    The Belize Territorial Volunteers (B.T.V.) expresses its grave concern over the release of an official document by the Government of Guatemala restating Guatemala’s annexation of the whole half of Belize’s portion of the Sarstoon River. This official Guatemala document was the subject of a report on page 3 of the 18th December 2016 edition of the Amandala newspaper. The B.T.V. is aware that this is not the first official release from Guatemala restating its new approach to the Belize half of the Sarstoon River. What is new is that since early 2015 the Guatemala military forces have been patrolling and exercising, “ownership” and sovereignty over Belize’s half of the Sarstoon River. Guatemala has moved from the position of not recognizing Belize’s borders to a new and dangerous level in which they have now effectively annexed and taken physical and military control of this portion of territory, which has always been used unimpeded by Belizeans for more than a hundred years.

    It’s “Corto”! “Maradona” needs our help
    A couple months ago, we heard reports of an Over-40 football player who had suffered a stroke, and was thus wheel-chair bound. The story we heard, was that he had just buried his mother, whom he had lived with and taken care of, and was grief stricken on her loss, when, two weeks later, he himself suffered a massive stroke. I heard some guys say it was this short, dread-locked veteran named Michael Sutherland, whom they all called “Maradona,” that was often present and enthusiastically involved in the annual Mugger Day event and weekly Over-40 games in Belize City. I have already jumped 60, and am not a regular anymore at these games, so the name “Maradona” did not ring a bell; and the name Michael Sutherland was not familiar to me either, as I only know many football associates by their nicknames. I wasn’t sure who the player was, but I sympathized with his plight. Stroke is something else, and, regrettably, it has stricken some fairly young and still active players. One that immediately comes to mind is the late Calbert “Pomo” Usher, who suffered a stroke around 1972, when he was still in his mid-thirties. And more recently, the great Wayne “Hogman” Olivera, who was still active in veteran football games when he suffered a stroke. Yesterday, on KREM Radio’s Press Cadogan Show, we received a phone call from the said “Maradona,” who explained his plight a bit differently from we had understood it. “Maradona” said he had suffered an injury while playing football, and it caused a pinched nerve that left him paralyzed from the waist down.

    The Reporter

    Salvation Army distributes Christmas hampers to needy
    More than 800 needy families will have a meal to eat over the Christmas holidays, through the decades-old effort by the Salvation Army, to distribute food hampers at Christmastime. The Christian movement started to distribute the hampers on Thursday to communities all over the Belize […]

    New land regulations causing problems for realtors
    Responding to a sudden change in the regulation for real estate transactions, the Association of Real Estate Brokers of Belize (ARREB) called an emergency meeting this week to appraise its members of the implications. AREBB President, Hugo Moguel, explained that the meeting held on Wednesday, […]

    Plant World Nursery seeking investors
    The Citrus Growers Association (CGA) of Belize has partnered with the Legacy Fund to create an investment opportunity for farmers and other stakeholders to invest preferred stocks in a company called Plant World Nursery. The company is a separate legal entity from that of CGA. […]

    SSVP donates 200 food hampers
    The Society of St. Vincent De Paul (SSVP) St. Ignatius Conference hosted its annual Christmas food hamper drive on last Saturday at its parish hall in Belize City. SSVP donated over 200 food hampers to needy families. The organization hosted fundraising events and sought donations to […]

    Do’s and don’ts to having a better night’s sleep
    Dietitians and health experts say the foods and other things we consume before bedtime play a major role in the quality of sleep we enjoy. Foods to consume before bedtime Milk and dairy products contain a sleep-promoting substance called tryptophan and are highly-recommended before bedtime. […]

    BHS Battle of St George Caye project acquires 20 historical Spanish documents
    The Belize History Association’s (BHA) project todocument as accurately as possible the events surrounding the Battle of St. George’s Caye, celebrated a milestone with the acquisition of 20 original historical documents from Spanish historical archives. Herman Byrd Ph.D of the Belize Archives and Records Service (BARS), Angel Cal Ph.D of […]

    US President Obama to sign law strengthening US/Caribbean ties
    United States President Barack Obama is expected to sign into law legislation aimed at bolstering United States/Caribbean relations on a wide range of key issues that was unanimously passed in the U.S. Senate last Tuesday. The United States-Caribbean Strategic Engagement Act creates an avenue for […]

    BNTU and GOB headed to mediation
    The Government of Belize and the Belize National Teacher’s Union (BNTU) will try to settle the issue of salary deductions through court connected mediation, rather than going to a full trial. Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin ordered mediation when the parties went to court on Friday December 16, […]

    Belmopan City Council forges partnership for strategic development
    The Belmopan City Council has forged a partnership with an international organization to assist the rapidly-growing city introduce a master plan for strategic urban development, and properly manage the use of existing public spaces. UN-Habitat, which is the United Nations’ human settlement program, has […]

    Bus driver gets lifesaving surgery in Cayman Islands
    A bus driver with James Bus Line survived a life threatening heart condition thanks to surgeons at Health City in the Cayman Islands. Tyron Coleman had been suffering from coronary artery disease, which restricts blood flow to the heart, and had to undergo cardiopulmonary bypass surgery. Coleman […]

    Three dead in Yo Creek accident
    A highway collision involving a Tillett bus and a green Ford F-150 pickup left three Yo Creek villagers dead last Saturday night. The crash killed the driver and passengers of the pickup truck on impact. According to police, when officers arrived at the scene they observed […]

    Man allegedly murdered by friend over religion
    A 27-year-old Belizean mason of San Martin Village was stabbed to death by one of his closest childhood friends in Belmopan City last Friday because of an alleged disagreement about religion. Belmopan police are currently trying to determine the whereabouts of Honduran national Hovard Felipe Martinez, […]

    Widowed grandmother targeted by hit man over land dispute
    An elderly woman was attacked and shot inside her home at #6 Orange Street in Santa Elena Town last Sunday and reports indicate her murder may have been cause by a bitter land dispute amongst relatives. On Sunday at around 7:30 p.m, 68-year-old Paulina Urbelina Suarez […]

    Editorial
    Technology in recent years has found new uses for our Sun. It not only provides us with warmth and light. It not only regulates the rhythm of our lives, creating day and night, applying photo-synthesis to make our crops grow and water vapour to provide rain. Today solar power creates […]

    Belize rejects regulations allowing Guatemalan fishers in Belizean waters
    By Marion Ali Assistant Editor A newly-released document from the Guatemalan government, suggesting that its inhabitants are permitted, under that country’s regulations, to fish unimpeded in certain zones of the Sarstoon River (all the way up to Punta Gorda), has received quick rejection from the Government of Belize (GOB). The […]

    BNTU won’t budge on Christmas vacation
    Despite a directive from the managing authorities that schools should reopen on January 3, the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) is maintaining that teachers should report to work on January 9. “Our position is as it was last week, that our members should have their […]

    Belize welcomes Olympian, Simone Biles
    Simone Biles, the 19-year-old Olympic gold-medal winning gymnast, who claims strong ties to Belize and is a dual-citizen, was welcomed to Belize on Thursday with a motorcade through Belize City streets. Biles arrived in the country along with her family on an invitation from the […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Shooting in Belize City
    Reports reaching our newsroom is that a man was shot a short while ago on Raccoon street in Belize City. There is heavy police presence on the scene at this moment. This is a developing story and we will have more details as the information […]

    Police nabs suspect in murder of elderly Santa Elena woman
    San Ignacio police have nabbed the suspect who allegedly killed Paulina Urbelina Suarez inside her home in Santa Elena on Sunday night. According to the police the suspect was captured in a pre-dawn operation and is now in police custody. Yesterday BBN reported that […]

    Armenia gets new police station
    Today a ceremony was held for the official opening of a brand new police station in the village of Armenia. Village residents have requested increased police presence for some time and the station will ensure a constant presence in the community. Officer commanding Belmopan […]

    Simone Biles – Sober reflections of Belize’s dream
    The exemplary performance last year of 19 year old Simon Biles at the Olympic games, was celebrated in Belize yesterday after she was invited by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB). Biles visit to Belize will no doubt be a great boost to our tourism […]

    2016 Man & Woman of the year: Luke Palacio, Dorothy Bradley
    The end of the year is a time to reflect on and evaluate one’s self, accomplishments, flaws and goals for the upcoming year. The year 2016 was a turbulent one and 2017 already promises to hold tougher times ahead. But as the book closes on […]

    Belize votes in favor of LGBT agenda at UN
    On Monday at a meeting of the United Nations, Belize’s Ambassador, Lois Young, voted in favor of a pro LGBT agenda after UN voting records indicated that she had voted against it.The Belize Action Team led by Pastor Scott Stirm sent out a statement yesterday informing […]

    Documents show former Immigration CEO was paid for vacation while already on leave
    It has been widely reported that former Immigration CEO, Candelaria Saldivar, retired from the public service this month after being on paid administrative leave for 19 months. However, while collecting her salaries for staying at home, BBN has seen documents which show that she […]

    Mora wins NTUCB presidency but will not serve
    Marvin Mora was elected President of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) for a third straight time on Saturday, however, he will not be able to fullfill his term. He knocked out his challenger, Hubert Enriquez, by a large margin. But Mora will […]

    Belize City man robbed after posting picture of loan cash on Facebook
    Belize City resident Leopold Rhamdas reported to police that sometime after 3:00 a.m. on Wednesday, he and his family were sleeping when they were awoken by someone knocking on their door. When he opened the door, two men barged in and one of them […]

    Murder victim’s daughter turns herself in
    San Ignacio police have reported a breakthrough in the murder of Paulina Urbelina Suarez. Her daughter, with whom she had is reported to have had a longstanding land dispute with, turned herself in to the San Ignacio police station yesterday morning. She is currently […]

    GOB responds to Guatemalan Fisheries Regulations
    The Government of Belize (GOB) has issued a press release regarding the purported fishing zones claimed by Guatemala under its domestic legislation and regulations of 2002 and 2005. According to GOB, the maritime spaces of Belize are established by the Maritime Areas Act of […]

    Blogs

    2016: You’ve Been Good To Me So Far
    There are only a few more days left in 2016…and for me, this last holiday week often seems to be a blur. All the planning, my seemingly countless posts about Christmas in Belize and events…POOF. Blink and it will be the New Year. So before that happens I thought I’d say THANK YOU. For reading, for the many messages, for loving Belize. FOR VOTING FOR ME TO GO TO INDIA and for the support during this year of blogging and posting and also loving it here. Well…every day, maybe not every single hour. But, hey, this is real life. There have been a bunch of changes for me – the biggest being my MOVE. From 2 miles south of town (still an easy peasy commute into San Pedro) to 7 miles north…in da bush. It’s beautiful up here but man, it’s a serious change of scenery.

    Simone Biles Calls Belize Her Second Home
    I don’t know how we ended up inside the Simone Biles motorcade in Belize City yesterday, but somehow during all the chaos we did. When asking to get ahead of it for media shots, a traffic officer directed us behind the police truck in the lead. LOL!! So there we were in the center of it all, in our little orange iTravel-mobile. All we could think of is wave back at the crowd. We were so excited to have met Simone. She is sweet, friendly and always carrying a big smile. Biles has been an inspiration to the Belize youth. She will be addressing students across the country during a motivational speech session at the Bliss Institute of Performing Arts on Thursday, December 29. Simone and her family were welcomed by hundreds in the city. A large crowd waited for her arrival at Battlefield Park in downtown Belize City where the motorcade ended. She was received with loud applause and was presented with gifts and the key to the city by Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley. Later that evening she was hosted by Prime Minister Dean Barrow and family at a private dinner.

    A day in a life of caring for Hope
    Before I started out as a volunteer at Wildtracks on the manatee team, I naively assumed that all manatees were much alike: gentle seagrass-munching giants. Two weeks later, I have to take back my initial presumption, as I am astonished by how diverse the characters of each of the 7 manatees in rehabilitation actually are. The youngest of the lot, Hope has quite a personality! My first encounter and bonding opportunity with her was during one of her pool changes. She inquisitively investigated me and almost immediately started nibbling on the cord of my swim shorts. The mischievous little manatee calf even managed to regain hold of the cord after I thought that I had safely tucked it away… Currently her intensive care pool gets changed twice a day and during this time one of the caretakers spends exercise (read “quality”) time in her larger play pool with her. It is an absolute treat to see her twirl in the water and play with her tennis ball. At times she gets a thrill out of actively chasing the person in the pool with her, while at other times she enjoys hitching a ride. She was born early August, so she is still a little baby! As manatees stay with their mothers until the age of 2, the human foster parents at Wildtracks provide her with plenty of contact, providing important social support, making the pool interactive play dates a vital part of her foster care.

    Your Belize Cooking Guide - How To Make Belizean Black Fruit Cake
    If you ask any Belizean both young or old what make Christmas a Belizean Christmas, they'll more than likely tell you it's Black Fruit Cake and Rum Popo. In truth, this combination has over the years become two of the most important elements of the Belizean Holidays. Step into almost any household and you'll find mini workstations (typically run by the matriarch of the house), with eggs being beaten, batter being mixed, and milky mixtures being stirred by younger family members. If you're lucky enough to be visiting Belize this Christmas, you should definitely try to get your hands on a slice of Belizean black fruit cake with a glass of rum popo. For those of you who can't make it, we've prepared the following cooking guide on how to prepare these tasty Christmas favorites. Do enjoy!

    It’s a Slice of Haven at The Truck Stop!
    Pizza…Pizza with bacon and mashed potatoes…Too much? How about, not even close! Okay, maybe an anchovy and habanero pizza? Spice and salt…or, how about garlic conch white sauce pizza? Yeah, you can’t complain about that can you? Throw in a super crispy, thin crust that’s gotten a lovely char (NOT burned…charred to perfection) in a FIERY hot (think 625 degrees) oven. Handmade melty mozzarella that stretches as you bite into each slice… All of this is available at A Slice of Haven, north of the bridge at one of the coolest spots in Tres Cocos, The Truck Stop. They teased us for the longest time, not telling us what new truck was behind the tarp…just that it would soon join Cool Cone, Rasa and Arepa to serve something delicious. Chef Hazni Ghazali, foodie and chef extraordinaire was once again consulted for the pizza delights of Slice of Haven.

    Living Rent Free and Earning an Income by the Beach in Belize
    Fifty-year-old Sue Vasquez grew up in the harsh winters of the Midwest. She wanted nothing more than a life where she could spend more time with her husband, Carlos, enjoying sun and warmth. “We were drawn immediately to the laidback culture of Belize, and sunny days all winter long,” says Sue. Being years away from retirement, and still needing to work, Sue looked into moving to a place where she could work less and be steps from the beach. “I wanted to wake up each morning on the sea,” says Sue. After trying several different places, she discovered the small, tropical country of Belize six years ago, and hasn’t left since. “I love the perfect stretch of uncrowded beach, right on my doorstep, and the beautiful turquoise water.” Sue managed a few different businesses in Belize but always kept her sights on her dream of managing a small resort. Tourism in Belize is growing every year, and after three years, she found her perfect fit. She now manages a boutique micro resort located within Placencia village. It’s common here for managers to live right on site, so she now has a brand-new beach apartment where she can see the water from her front door. As this is part of her employment package, she lives there with no rent or bills.

    And it isn’t even noon yet, on a glorious Friday on Ambergris Caye, Belize
    We were walking up the coast to Rose’s studio where Moppit and I picked up the Old Moncho 59, our golf cart, for a little Christmas shopping in town. Moppit loves riding in the golf cart. She will jump into almost any golf cart and look at me quizzically, as if wondering why I’m not joining her for a joy ride. Life is pretty simple through the eyes of a dog. I picked up a package this morning that my son Ryan sent to me on Oct. 19 — a bit over two months ago! It contained a pair of glasses and a very inexpensive Chromebook. Duty on that was $150 BZD. Ah, well. At least I can see again. Speaking of which, if you live on Ambergris Caye and recently found a pair of glasses (bifocals) in a black container, they might be mine. Big improvement from the days when I used to misplace a whole golf cart….. We returned the golf cart to Rose and resumed our walk down the coast, toward home.

    International Sourcesizz

    Tips for Holiday Travel Safety: Are you #ReadyToTravel?
    Traveling overseas this holiday season? Here are a few things to think about before you head out. Follow @TravelGov on Twitter and send us your holiday travel selfie using the hashtag #ReadyToTravel! Travel.state.gov has information for each country, including entry/exit requirements, safety and security information, travel warnings or alerts, health and vaccination requirements, and special circumstances you may run into while abroad. For example, in Nepal, if you want to go on a hiking expedition (maybe you’re trying to summit Everest on Christmas Eve to see Santa fly by?), you are required to register with the Nepal Tourism Board. The country pages on travel.state.gov provide this type of specialized information!

    Videos

  • Christmas message from Manuel Heredia Jr. , 7.5min.

  • BelCampo Belize, 3min.

  • Simone Biles Visits Belize on Christmas Vacation, 1.5min.

  • Monkey time in Belize, 2.5min.

  • Belize 2016, 4min.

  • Tips for a Heart Happy Christmas, 33min.

  • Educational Series - Understanding Superbond Pt 2, 44min.

  • How to make Christmas Centerpieces (Christmas Special), 11min.

  • Santa Claus and Mrs Claus making the rounds in Belize City!, 55min. Belizan Christmas spirit. Do nice! by Will and Dalia Moreno. Just about the sweetest thing I've seen all year.

  • SEASON'S GREETINGS!!!, 4min. Duane Moody and intern Maria Reneau took to the streets of Belize City to capture the spirit of the holidays. From passersby and businesses, they all sent season’s greetings to their families and loved ones.

  • Christmas message by John Briceno, 4min. Merry Christmas and may our Lord bless Belize!

  • The father was also a father figure. Father John Maher. S.J. Rest in Peace, 11min. I am Blessed to have had you in my life! You played a huge part in molding me into the man I am today. My life is better because of you! I thank God for you Fr. John L. Maher S.J. Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory!

  • 10 Days in Belize – New Years 2016, 3.5min. "The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses are still truly adjusted to each other; who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood." – Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • Scuba Diving - Belize - Hol Chan Marine Reserve - Night Dive, 6.5min. Night dive in Belize's Hol Chan Marine Reserve approximately 20 fr below the surface. Many exotic sea creatures are featured including octopus, eels, sting rays, star fish, and more.

  • Jordan & Alicia Belize Wedding Film Teaser, 3min. Belize Wedding Films by Jose Luis Zapata Studios.

    December 23, 2016


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    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    Living Word Church and Evangelical Alliance host massive Christmas Outreach
    To bring in the Christmas season, Living Word Church, along with the Evangelical Alliance of San Pedro, hosted a Christmas Toy Outreach on Sunday, December 18th. Before heading to the Honorable Louis Sylvester Stadium, the churches began their outreach with a Christmas caroling parade from the Boca Del Rio Park through the town core. With decorated golf-carts carrying singing church goers, the parade surely caught the attention of the public. They also shared the message of Jesus Christ, and gave cupcakes to bystanders. As the parade finished at the stadium, over 1,500 people gathered for the occasion. Pastor of Living Word Church, Ian Zaldivar then shared a spiritual Christmas message, “The Gifts for a Kings”. Pastor Zaldivar disclosed the story about the three wise men who brought three gifts to baby Jesus: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Although it may seem strange to give those gifts to a baby, he explained that Christians believe that the gold is associated with Kings and believe that Jesus is the King of Kings; frankincense is sometimes used in worship in churches and showed that people worshipped the child Jesus; and myrrh is a perfume used to anoint dead bodies, a symbol of Jesus’ suffering and death.

    Forest officers take part in SMART Training
    On Tuesday, December 6th and Wednesday, December 7th, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) hosted a two-day training workshop on the use of the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) for employees from the Belize Forest Department and Corozal Sustainable Future Initiative (CSFI). SMART is an innovative software application designed to help rangers reduce the illegal trade in wildlife and timber. On Tuesday, December 13th, a press release from WCS detailed the successful workshop, stating that it was a “milestone along Belize’s road to becoming the first country in the world to adopt this globally-used tool for both marine and terrestrial conservation management.” The workshop participants were the first to be introduced to the SMART software, trained to use mobile devices to collect, store and upload georeferenced data, and how to present the analyzed results in meaningful reports. Funded by the International Program of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the wider goal of the training was to strengthen enforcement efforts in Belize’s forests and protected areas. The SMART tool has revolutionized approaches to monitoring, control and surveillance of protected areas and forests across the globe. It does this by providing a system for managers to better plan patrols, manage data, and report on results to decision makers. It has a low cost of implementation (software is free) and is easy to use and understand.

    Seniors citizens enjoy San Pedro Lions Club annual Christmas Party
    The San Pedro Lions Club once again hosted their highly anticipated and popular Senior Citizens’ Christmas party on Monday, December 19th. With doors opening from 6:30PM, over 60 guests were warmly welcomed by fellow Lions and Leos members. After the guests were seated, they were treated with an appetizer, drinks, turkey dinner with all the trimmings, and dessert. According to Lion Melanie Paz, the party has become an annual event to show the seniors that the Lions Club appreciates them for their contribution to San Pedro Town. “This is a fun event for our senior community, and a way to serve them as many of them served us members one way or another when we were younger. This is our special opportunity to make them feel appreciated, and a way to bring the community closer,” said Paz.

    Belize’s Chaa Creek is finalist in National Geographic’s 2017 World Legacy Awards
    National Geographic has recognized Belize by selecting the Lodge at Chaa Creek as one of the 15 finalists to be presented in their 2017, ‘World Legacy Awards’ (WLA). The announcement of the WLA finalists is a partnership between National Geographic and ITB Berlin, which highlights the value of sustainable tourism and responsible travel throughout the globe. It also seeks to honor companies, organizations, and destinations that drive positive transformation of the tourism industry. In an official media release, National Geographic praised the finalists for “showing the way forward to a brighter future for people and the planet” by “driving the sustainable tourism transformation of the global travel industry”. The Lodge at Chaa Creek has been chosen as one of the three finalists for the “Engaging Communities” award, along with Thailand’s Andaman Discoveries and Chambok Community Based Eco Tourism/Mlup Baitong in Cambodia.

    What’s New: Pier 366 Seafood House!
    Banyan Bay Resort is home to a new restaurant, specializing in seafood and Caribbean cuisine. Formerly known as Rico’s Restaurant, the new and improved Pier 366 Seafood House has been rebranded to highlight Belize’s marine delicacies. The over-the-water restaurant decor has been revamped, featuring a covered dining room, patio seating, a vine-covered pergola, a “swing” lounge, plus communal table and beach bar. Leading the kitchen at Pier 366 is Barbadian national, Garfield Victor. An award-winning chef with over 15 years of experience, Victor is bringing his fresh take on seafood and Caribbean cuisine to Ambergris Caye. Promoting a “sea to table” dining experience, Pier 366 offers only the freshest ingredients caught in the Caribbean Sea. With specialties in lionfish, snook, grouper, red snapper, shrimp, conch, lobster, octopus and stone crab, customers will always have an array of options at Pier 366.

    Ambergris Today

    Florida Caribbean Cruise Association Hosts Holiday Gift Projects in Belize
    The Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) in collaboration with the Belize Tourism Board proudly hosted its 2nd and 13th annual Holiday Gift Exchange Projects in Harvest Caye and the Fort Street Tourism Village respectively. Every year with the assistance of the Ministry of Education, ten different schools are selected from different regions so their students can participate in this noteworthy event. This year, the Cruise Industry catered to 400 students selected from the schools. The South of Belize was the first to experience the Christmas feeling on December 14th as this was the first destination for the FCCA to spread the Christmas cheer. With Harvest Caye hosting, a total of 200 children at this event experienced the true joy of Christmas when they received Christmas gifts and snacks from Santa Claus and his twenty-five helpers that arrived via the Norwegian Getaway cruise ship. Entertainment was provided by a DJ, Ozzie the clown who made balloon animals for each child and a face painter who painted every child’s face. These children also received their own personal tour around the Caye to experience the beautiful paradise known as Harvest Caye.

    BHA Featured in Petit Futé Newest Released Belize Travel Guide
    The Belize Hotel Association prides itself in taking bold steps to break into new markets in various innovative ways. One such way is through strategic advertising in several languages allowing the association to promote its members and Belize in many different parts of the world. The development of the Spanish version of the BHA guide proved to be a very successful endeavor, and now the BHA is proactively moving into the French Market. Petit Fute is the editor of city guides and tourist and travel guides for 40 years and covers more than 630 destinations in France and worldwide, including 90 exclusive guides. In 2015, over three million tourists chose Petit Fute to organize their stay. The "country guides" are practical guides written for individual and group travelers. They also treat the cultural aspects of the destination and are printed in colors with a number of maps and pictures. Petit Fute offers paperback, Ebook and Web versions for its guides.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    San Pedro Local Organizations & Causes, for the spirit of giving
    Ambergris Caye Crocodile Education Sanctuary, Ambergris Caye Elementary School, Belize Red Cross San Pedro, Isla Bonita School, IUCNSSC-Crocodile Specialist Group, Pack for a Purpose, SAGA Humane Society, San Pedro Cancer Society, San Pedro Lions Club.

    No Caye Caulker Lobster Fest in 2017
    This year we were faced with many obstacles and challenges, but with dedication, perseverance, and team work we were still able to pull off an enjoyable event. Furthermore, in the recent years it has become very challenging and disappointing to know that key players and/or beneficiaries of this event have no interest in assisting/supporting the event. We take the opportunity to remind all principals that the Caye Caulker Lobster Fest Committee is a non-profit organization. Each and every year the organizers invest a significant volume of their respective personal time to boost business for our island. There is only so much that we can do and thus without the support and cooperation from the business community, it becomes very difficult for us host an event as big as Lobster Fest. Therefore, at this time, with sadness in our hearts, we are announcing that the members of the committee have decided to take a break and see what the future holds for this festival. Once again, a special thanks those who have supported over the years and we truly hope that with increase support we can revive this festival in the near future. See you soon…

    EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES - OAS SCHOLARSHIPS
    The Organization of American States (OAS), through the Department of Human Development, Education and Employment (DHDEE) and the following institutions; Galilee International Management Institute, Israel (GIMI), University of the West Indies (UWI) and International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) are offering scholarships and training opportunities to qualified candidates of the Americas, through the OAS Partnerships Program for Education and Training (PAEC).

    MEDICAL SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY - I-SHOU UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
    The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) herein announces the scholarship opportunity offered by the I-Shou University School of Medicine for International Students Scholarship Program in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the International Cooperation and Development Fund (Taiwan ICDF). This is a four-year Full Scholarship MD Program for bachelor degree and applicants must possess a bachelor's degree to apply. All courses offered by this Program are taught in English.

    SCHEDULE OF OPERATIONS
    The Department of Transport takes this opportunity to wish all busowners/operators across the entire country of Belize a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year. The Department of Transport would also like to remind all bus operators that they have a legal and binding contractual arrangement with the Government of Belize (Department of Transport) through their Road Service Permits to provide all daily bus runs to the commuting public on the days and time (Bus Schedule) stipulated on their Road Service Permits during this festive season. Bus operators are hereby advised that failing to provide the necessary runs in accordance with their Road Service Permits is an offence liable, on summary conviction, to a fine of five hundred dollars ($ 500.00) or to imprisonment for six (6) months, or to both such fine and term of imprisonment. It shall also be lawful for the Transport Board to revoke or cancel the Road Service Permit to an owner or operator of a motor omnibus.

    San Pedro Town Council Holiday Hours
    The San Pedro Town Council offices will be closing on: •Friday, December 23, 2016 at 12:00 noon, and resuming to regular working hours on Wednesday, December 28, 2016. •Friday, December 30, 2016 at 12 noon, and resuming to regular working hours on Tuesday, January 3, 2017. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    Belize Int'l to Chetumal on Tropic starts Jan 16, 2017
    Belize and Chetumal to be even closer. Tropic Air Belize Interjet to start flights January 16th, 2017.

    Rotaract Christmas Basket Distribution
    Feelgood news of the day.  The Rotaract Club of Benque distributed their Christmas gift baskets in Benque and Succotz, and the Rotaract Club of San Ignacio distributed gift baskets in San Marcos. "On our 3rd Annual Food Drive . Once again the Rotaract club of Benque Viejo distributed gift baskets to our lovely people form Benque and San Jose Succutz.  Thanks to all for thier full support. Giving smiles and happiness to our kind and loving people. Today, the Rotaract Club of San Ignacio went to bring Christmas to the Village of San Marcos in the Cayo District. The club distributed Christmas lunch and food baskets to all the families in the village and all the children received toys! The Navidad del Nino project is proudly sponsored by Unicomer-Courts Belize."

    Western Border's Christmas celebrations
    Season's Greetings from the BTB.

    Christmas celebrations at the FSTV
    Season's Greetings from your friends at the BTB!

    Ka'Kabish Archaeological Research Project
    It is no secret that our cultural and archaeological heritage is under threat of being destroyed by looters as well deforestation and agricultural advancement. We are proud to say one project is doing what they can to save one site from such a fate. Two months remain for the Ka'Kabish Archaeological Research Project to raise the money to purchase the land where this one vibrant city now sits. Visit the link below and see how you can contribute to save this site and preserve it for future generations to appreciate.

    Congrats to all the winners of Caye Caulker Fuels for today's Christmas Raffle!
    First prize went to Mr. Porfilio Guzman who won a 40 inch LED flat screen TV Second prize went to Carlos Ayala who won $100 worth of fuel Third prize went to Romel Diaz who won a Christmas ham Season's Greetings on behalf of the Management and Staff of Caye Caulker Fuels!

    Government of Belize Responds to Guatemalan Fisheries Regulations
    The Government of Belize wishes to remind the general public that the maritime spaces of Belize are established by the Maritime Areas Act of Belize which is wholly in accordance with international law. Recent reports in the media have referred to purported fishing zones claimed by Guatemala under its domestic legislation and regulations of 2002 and 2005. The Government of Belize points out that the Administration in office in Belize at the time of the promulgation of the legislation and regulations by Guatemala, must have been unaware of their existence. Otherwise, that previous Administration would surely have protested the flagrant violation of International Law and Belize's maritime sovereignty, which the regulations constituted. In any event the present Administration makes clear that there can be no validity to, or international or Belizean recognition of, any law or regulation in Guatemala or any other country that purports to infringe on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Belize.

    Welcome Resource Center Holiday Cheer
    The Welcome Resource Center is spreading a bit of holiday cheer with the people they serve. Over a hundred participants are being treated to a day of fun games, food and gifts!

    What You Should Know about El Pilar
    The name of El Pilar means watering basin, which is quite understandable if you consider the location of this ancient city. If you want to pinpoint the exact location of this ancient Mayan city, it’s safe to note that you can access it via San Ignacio as well as the Bullet Tree Falls. These are placed on the Belize River. Many underground streams are found here and that’s the reason why you will find an abundance of vegetation in this particular location. Again, this is understandable if you take into consideration the uniqueness of this place and the amazing benefits that it can deliver for any visitor.

    Las Posadas
    The San Pedro House of Culture is honored to be hosting the 8th night of Las Posadas this Friday, Dec. 23rd. Join us on the for Las Posadas as we celebrate and promote an island tradition. Belize Navidad.

    Channel 7

    Simone Biles In Belize, And Why Her Family Calls It Home
    She won a record five medals at the Rio Olympics, and tonight Simone Biles is in Belize, the place her family calls home. Biles arrived at the PGIA this afternoon with her family from Houston Texas where they live. They held a press conference at the Biltmore where she was welcomed home, and told the media what she's looking forward to in a well deserved vacation: Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education: "Simone and her family, welcome home." Simone Biles: "I think it's time for a vacation so that's why we came down here with the family to spend time with it. We came a dual citizen because my mom is from here, the whole family we're all dual citizens so I thought it's pretty cool but I still compete for the U.S but whenever I come here I get to use the passport." Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education: "We are Belizeans no matter where we are and I think that Simone and her family are the best example to show us that we can put Belize on the map no matter where we reside. So I asked the gathering this afternoon to give her family and she will receive many applauses I'm sure for the time she's here so let's give her family that applause because they have done a great task in making sure that she's brought up with that Belizean nationalism in her. I'll tell you even though she doesn't reside here she's Belizean and more Belizean than some of us who live in Belize."

    Nellie Cayetano Biles Explains Why Belize is Home For Her Family
    Now, if you’re wondering what Simone’s connection to Belize is, it’s simple. Her step-Grandmother – who is also her adoptive mother is Nellie Cayetano Biles. She’s the daughter of former Senator and well-known Neal Pen Road businessman Silas Cayetano. She’s been bringing all her children – including Simone to Belize for years – she told us why it’s home to them:..

    Welcome Motorcade For Simone
    At just four feet 7 inches and 100 pounds, you might have missed her in the motorcade, but as one of the world's most elite, accomplished and finely tuned athletes, Simone Biles doesn't need to command any extra attention. In fact, she came to Belize trying to get away from all that. Still, she had to do some of that kind of ceremonial glad-handing today at Battlefield where she was the center of attention, receiving praise and congratulations for her achievements at the 2016 Olympics. Biles also got several gifts from government officials and athletes, and even received the key to Belize City from Mayor Darrell Bradley. We spoke to the Director of the BTB Karen Bevans about what her vacation plans are for the next few weeks... Karen Bevans, Director, BTB: "We just did a welcome ceremony and a basic overall welcome for her so she can feel at home in Belize. We tweeted to her, she responded. She took the time to make plans and get her family together and everyone to come to Belize. So we thought showing her how proud we are of her, recognizing the fact that she did this for Belize and again putting the name Belize out there because this is being seen internationally as well. So for more than one reasons, we thought that this was a fabulous idea. From the turnout and participation here today, I'm sure that you would agree with me as well."

    Major Coast Guard Drug Find At Rocky Point
    Rocky Point on Northern Ambergris Caye is one of the most drug-laden parts of Belize. That's because the Mexican cartels drop their drugs in the waters which adjoin Xcalak in Mexico. For this reason, the San Pedro drug kingpins have young men constantly combing the beach looking for drug drops. But, yesterday it was the Coast Guard doing the finding. Under circumstances which are still not clear, they came up with 65.3 pounds of drugs in Rocky Point. It has been labeled found property since no one was in the area.

    Police Closing In On Man Who Killed Grandmother
    Cayo police are getting closer to solving Paulina Urbelina Sanchez's murder. Police told us today that they have confirmed the identity of the shooter and are searching for him. Another break in the case is that the relative suspected to be involved in the shooting, has turned herself in along with her attorney. As we told you the 68 year old Sanchez was killed at her home in Santa Elena in front of her grand-daughters. It appears to have been a hit. We'll keep following this case.

    Elrington Rejects Guatemalan Law
    Last night, we showed you that controversial fisheries law from Guatemala. It claims Belizean territorial waters off the coast of the Toledo District, starting from Punta Gorda Town, all the way to Guatemala's Punta Cocolí. According to this regulation, any Guatemalan fisherman who fishes off the coast of Belize in this area, is doing so legally. Of course, according to Belizean law, that is completely illegal. Well, we've been doing a bit of checks, and it turns out that the regulation is not new. In fact, it was passed into Guatemalan law back in 2002. That's right; more 14 years ago. Yet, it is the first time that Belizeans are seeing it. Even the BDF General had no knowledge of it. But, make no mistake, it's there, and seen on this map, the portion highlighted in red, says that all of this area, including the Sarstoon River, makes up part of Zone 1 of their fisheries regulations. So, did the Belize Government know about it, and if yes, have they disputed it in the form of a diplomatic note of protest? That's what we asked Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington this evening. He said, that it was during the PUP's Godfrey Smith's time as Foreign Minister, and if they followed the established protocol, Belize would definitely have contested it with a diplomatic note of protest:

    What Next With Referendum Law
    Turning to the proposed amendments to the Referendum Act, as we told you, the Barrow Administration tabled a bill to amend the legislation at the last sitting of the House of Representatives. That was two weeks ago, and it is currently being reviewed by the House's Constitution and Foreign Affairs Committee. When it goes back to the House, the changes to the law will make it so that instead of a threshold of 60% of those who vote, only a simple majority will be required to make a referendum binding. A simple majority is only 50% plus 1, and today when we asked Elrington, he clarified that this doesn't mean the 50% of the registered voters of Belize must turn up to vote in the referendum. It simply means that 50% plus 1 of the total voters who show up on that day, will decide whether or not Belize agrees to submit Guatemala's territorial claim to the International Court of Justice. We asked him about the possible implications that a small minority could be decide the fate of Belize, which would be undesirable. Here's what he had to say on that topic:

    The Elections Mess At NTUCB
    This weekend, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize held its Annual General Meeting to elect a new executive. After the election, incumbent Marvin Mora was re-elected in an overwhelming majority. The problem is that the by-laws do not allow for a union member to be elected to office more than 2 times. Before being elected in early January 2015, Mora served as the 2nd Vice President under Dylan Reneau's Leadership. So, with those two elected terms under his belt, he was ineligible to serve a third term, but it appears that no one checked the NTUCB's by-laws, and so he participated in the elections, and he was duly elected. But, unfortunately, he cannot serve a third term. This afternoon, he told us what happened, and why he must step aside and allow the newly elected 1st Vice President to lead the NTUCB: Marvin Mora, Former President, NTUCB: "That is a section that deals with the amount of times an executive can run for office of the congress. Unfortunately for me, nobody remembered that I had ran 3 times. So, we went through the entire process of elections, somebody was nominated to run for the same post. We went into elections for my post as president again and I was elected again 47 votes to 8 votes."

    Dean Dawson's Baby's Mother Makes A Plea
    On Tuesday we told you about Dorian Pakeman's pending court case. 8 months ago the Press Office Director knocked down and killed Gardenia resident Dean Dawson Sr. Since then, no criminal charges have been brought against him and police say they are waiting for further order from the DPP in this very muddled case. But whatever the outcome of the criminal investigation, nothing can bring Dawson back. That is what the mother of his children Sherla Adolphus and her kids have to face for the rest of their lives. And Adolphus says she has been struggling just to get by. She came to our studios this morning in despair, calling on Pakeman or anyone to help. Sherla Adolphus - Mother of Dawson's Children: "Christmas...it's not nice for me right now. Right now I'm going through a lot of stress because I don't have any support for any of my children. I came to Belize this morning, don't know where to turn. I came here this morning to see what I can do for my kids because I don't have any support from anyone since their father died. I used to get help from the guy who killed him for just 2 months. Certain he'll give me a little money, but now I have not received anything, or heard anything, I called him, I texted him, he did not answer me."

    Real Estate Brokers Lament Stamp Duty
    Last night we told you about the emergency meeting of the Association of Real Estate Brokers of Belize. They're concerned about fast emerging changes in Central Bank regulations and Ministry of Natural Resource Policies - which have slowed down real estate transactions. We asked President Hugo Moguel about how the slowdown in the Real Estate sector affects the overall economy: Hugo Moguel, Pres., Assn. of Real Estate Broker of Bz: "You have to understand that real estate is our capital market, we don't have a stock market, this is how people exchange interest, and how people invest. It's a cleaner, easier way to bring investment into this country. I can tell you, tourism has been blooming, and real estate has been following along." Jules Vasquez, 7News: "Because of the state of flux at the land's department, transition, putting in new systems and changes in leadership, real estate transactions have slowed down."

    Nellie Biles Explain Belizean Lineage
    In about half an hour, Simone Biles and her family will be hosted by the Prime Minister at a dinner. It will surely be an event that her grandmother Nellie Biles Cayetano will enjoy. As you heard earlier she's the daughter of a former UDP stalwart and trustee, the now deceased Silas Cayetano. He died 5 years ago after spending extended time with her family in Houston. That's where he got to know Simone Biles and her sisters. But, Simone is not a blood relation to Silas Cayetano or Nellie Cayetano Biles. Nellie explained how she came to be Simone's Mother and grandmother:... Jules Vasquez, 7News: "Please explain your family relation with Simone because you are her step grandmother really." Nellie Cayetano - Simone's Grandmother: "That is correct I am married what was Simone's, my husband had a previous wife and Simone's biological mother is his daughter. So she had a total of 4 children when she was having difficulty with substance abuse at that time and we talked about, because the 4 children were then placed in a foster home and that information was shared with us. So we collectively thought that the best thing to do and I mean the only thing to do really is to help out. So we brought 4 of the children with us."

    A Custom-made Christmas
    Today it was the Customs and Excise Department's turn to spread the Christmas spirit. The departments employees held a Christmas party for the children of the Liberty Children's Home. The acting Comptroller of Customs, Colin Griffith and the Director of the children's home told us why events like these are so important for the children, especially at this time of the year... The kids were also visited by Santa Klaus who had a gift for each of them,

    Lake I Woes
    Lake Independence Boulevard, the road that connects the Philip Goldson and George Price highways, has been seeing its fair share of repairs recently. In October we noticed a few spots on the road that seemed to be breaking apart, so we reached out to Romel Berges, whose company RJB Construction paved the road. He didn't have much to tell us at the time, because an excavation to determine the problem had just started. Well, it's been a couple months - and another round of repairs are now underway, so we reached out again, this time to Christy Mastry, the General Manager of Belize Infrastructure Limited. Mastry told us that the problem was with the cement median, which was allowing water to seep into the road, and disturb the clay underneath. Mastry says that the work currently being done is to seal up the median, and that when it's finished we won't have to worry about the road breaking - which, it seems - shouldn't have been a worry in the first place.

    Capital Cops Catch Weed
    We've told you about the various Christmas police patrols that are in full effect. Well apart from that, there are the usual drug and weapon seizures . This evening BELMOPAN police busted 3 men with 2 pounds of weed in Salvapan. Marvin Barrera, Akeem Richards and Eden GOMEZ were arrested and charged for Drug Trafficking. Akeem Richards will be charged additionally for bribery as he tried to pay his way out with $300 dollars.

    Bus Runs During Holidays
    For you commuters who are worried about getting home or getting around on the bus this Christmas weekend, Relax! All bus runs will be like any other day. Well, at least that is what the Department of Transport expects from bus operators. Today they sent out a press release reminding bus operators of their " legal and binding contractual arrangement with the Government of Belize through their Road Service Permits." The release continues by saying "They must provide all daily bus runs to the commuting public on the days and time stipulated on their Road Service Permits during this festive season". And the bus operators who don't want to follow through with their runs and feel like taking it easy for the holidays like has happened before, they will be fined $500 or imprisoned for six (6) months, or both such fine and term of imprisonment. It ends by saying "It shall also be lawful for the Transport Board to revoke or cancel the Road Service Permit to an owner or operator of a motor omnibus."

    Channel 5

    Simone Biles is Here and Warmly Welcomed
    Hundreds of Belizeans gathered today to get a glimpse and take pictures of the world’s best female gymnast Simone Biles. The famed athlete who won five medals at the 2016 [...]

    Can You Help Police Solve Baby Janeeka’s Death?
    Two weeks ago, a month shy of her second birthday, twenty-three-month-old Janeeka Campbell suffered a most brutal and senseless death in St. Matthews’s village, in the Cayo District. According to [...]

    Suspects Sought in Two of Three Recent Belmopan-area Murders
    Police in the Belmopan area have been kept busy recently with several murder cases. Teakettle’s Abner Vasquez was beaten to death in the village on December second. On December fifteenth, [...]

    Belize Action Frowns on U.N. Turnaround Over LGBT Expert
    On Monday, a vote at the United Nations General Assembly cleared the way for the appointment of an independent expert, Thailand’s Vi-tit Mun-ta-bhorn, on sexual orientation and gender identity issues. [...]

    Scott Stirm Says Some Animals are not More Equal than Others
    According to Stirm, the U.N.’s endorsement continues and possibly accelerates the slippery slide of humanity toward accepting abnormal and harmful behaviour. He also contends that it harms the freedoms guaranteed [...]

    What’s Become of the Church-State Commission?
    The Church State Commission, first described as a “morality commission,” was announced in the aftermath of August’s Section Fifty-Three decision. Chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber, it was set [...]

    G.O.B.: Guatemala Fishing Law Doesn’t Count
    Late this evening, the Belize Press Office issued a release responding to the Guatemalan Fisheries Regulations, a story that the media broke on Wednesday. The release goes on to state, [...]

    A Handsome Sum for Chon Saan to Become Immigration Belmopan?
    Will the Government of Belize pay as much as four million Belize dollars for the Chon Saan Palace Restaurant building in Belmopan? That’s what News Five sources say, though manager [...]

    Fire Service Stops Potentially Catastrophic Fire in St. Martin’s Area
    A potentially dangerous house fire was averted this afternoon, thanks to prompt response by personnel from the National Fire Service.  Shortly after twelve o’clock, a call was placed to the [...]

    New Equipment for City Council as Part of Flood Mitigation Project
    The Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Project has brought significant changes to the north side of Belize City, particularly the busy residential areas of Belama and closer to downtown on Douglas Jones [...]

    Concrete Works on Pause for Christmas
    The Belize City Council has been steadily working on its concreting project for Belize City, converting a couple hundred roadways to concrete. However, Christmas season means a break for some [...]

    Police Officers’ Kids in Belmopan Receive Pre-Christmas Treat
    The spirit of the season is not only limited to Belize City. This afternoon in the nation’s capital, a special party was organized for the children of police officers in [...]

    Christmas for the Mentally Challenged in Belize City
    The Welcome Resource Center held its annual Christmas party for its one hundred and fifty plus persons living with a mental condition. Staff, volunteers and donors engaged the participants in [...]

    Group Hug in Action at B.T.L. Park
    There was a party at B.T.L. Park on Wednesday – with live music and lots of gifts. Local charity Group Hug got out two hundred children and treated them to [...]

    Salvation Army’s Helping Hand
    Over eight hundred persons this year will receive Christmas hampers courtesy of the Salvation Army. Today, the hefty bags of goodies were handed over to recipients at several locations across [...]

    Donations Slow, But Kettle Drive Keeps On
    Now the Christmas hampers to needy families is just one of the many activities that the Salvation Army does during the season. Those include the annual Christmas party for over [...]

    LOVE FM

    Husband Pleads Guilty; Wife’s Verdict Remains Pending for Marijuana
    A Nicaraguan national who was remanded into custody after she was charged with drug trafficking for 10.7 grams of cannabis has been released on bail. Twenty-six year old Katley Molina, a domestic worker of Orange Walk Town, met bail in the sum of $5,000 that was offered to her today by Justice Adolph Lucas after […]

    Burglars Escape with Jewelry and Gifts Worth 20K+
    Police are investigating a robbery that netted thieves more than twenty one thousand dollars. A businesswoman of Seine Bight Village reported to Police that she closed her gift shop located in Placencia on Monday evening at six o’clock. She said when her daughter opened the shop the following morning she noticed that it had been […]

    Authorities Seek Missing Men
    Two men have been reported missing in the Belmopan area. 36-year-old Emilio Lopez, Salvadoran national of Springfield Community on the Hummingbird Highway was reported missing. Lopez was last seen on Saturday, December 10 at about five thirty in the evening. He was wearing a white, short sleeved shirt, black long pants and black tennis shoes. Lopez […]

    Christmas with the Homeless and Mentally Challenged
    Dozens of men and women who are currently being entertained at the Belize City Resource Centre on Tibruce Street in Belize City is a group of persons that Joyce Ellis says the population does not normally gravitate towards. These men and women are either homeless or mentally ill but despite these hurdles, today they are […]

    Welcome to Belize, Simone! We are so proud of you!
    Simone Biles is the most decorated American gymnast, winning 19 Olympic and World Championship medals. Born in Ohio in 1997, Simone Biles has become one of America’s top gymnasts. After dominating at the junior elite level, she won her first U.S. and world all-around titles in 2013. In 2015, she claimed a record third straight world all-around title. She went on to lead the U.S. Olympic women's gymnastics team, nicknamed "The Final Five," to win gold at the 2016 Summer Games, and dominated the competition, winning gold in the women's individual all-around, vault and floor exercise and bronze in the balance beam. With 19 Olympic and World Championship medals, she is the most decorated American gymnast.

    The Guardian

    Simone Biles’ arrives in Belize
    Following her astounding performance at the 2016 Rio Olympics, the Belize Tourism Board sent out a tweet congratulating Simone Biles and her team, the Final Five, on their performance and taking the opportunity to invite them to visit Belize. Simone readily accepted the invitation stating, “My second home, you betta Belize we’re coming.” On Thursday December 22nd, the Nation of Belize will warmly welcome Simone and her family to their second home- Belize where they will spend the Christmas holiday. To honour her arrival and officially welcome her, the Belize Tourism Board has organized a Grand Welcome Motorcade on December 22nd from 4p.m. to 5:30p.m. Joining Simone in this motorcade will be representatives from various sporting associations; Belize’s volleyball, cycling, bodybuilding, martial arts, football and track and field athletes will also be celebrated during this event. Also in attendance, will be representatives from our women’s and youth groups. BTB takes the opportunity to encourage all sport fans, athletes and the wider public to join us in the motorcade as we celebrate this momentous occasion.

    Man accused of brutalizing 93-year-old gets off
    Chester Noralez is free after police could not locate the case file for dangerous harm upon 93-year-old Patrick Grant. Grant, who lives by himself on Fern Lane in Belize City, was in a coma after he was savagely assaulted in his home by a thief who stole his TV on December 27 of last year. Police believe that thief is Grant’s own neighbour, Chester Noralez, 35. Grant suffered severe head injuries and had to be placed in a coma. According to reports, Grant was asleep when an intruder entered the house and attacked, hitting him several times to the head and face. As soon as Grant was incapacitated, his attacker proceeded to ransack the house and ended up stealing Grant’s television. As soon as his family was informed of the assault, they rushed over and took him to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was forced to fight for his life. Police investigation led to a quick arrest and charge of Noralez from whom the stolen television was retrieved.

    Harvest Caye opens up to Belizean media
    When their cruise ship docks at the island, they will be able to easily get ashore via the only berthing facility in Belize that is able to accommodate cruise ships of this size. They enter the “Village” where they are greeted by Belizean artisans who are able to sell their wares. They are given a permanent place in this part of the caye to allow guests to buy memorabilia to remind them of Belize. Once they have had enough of the gift shops, they can visit the Landshark Bar and Grill. That is a restaurant which brings the Jimmy Buffett restaurant chain from the US to Belizean soil. Readers will remember that it has indoor and outdoor accommodations, with an upper deck, and it can seat several hundred people. Landsharks is managed by Belizean businessman Dustin Bowen and his company Provisions Belize. His company is contracted to cater to all the food and beverage needs of the thousands of guests who visit the island every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Bowen employs 130 Belizeans to staff the Landsharks, and 10 other bar and grill facilities that have been strategically set up all across the island. Landsharks is right next to the island’s 1500 square-foot pool, which is also capable of accommodating hundreds of guests. If the guests want to swim in the sea, they can do so at the beachfront portion of the island.

    Prime Minister Christmas Message
    This year I have been made especially conscious of the hope and blessings that Christmas represents. The continuing miracle of Jesus’s birth, put on this earth by God expressly to save us, is renewed for everyone at this time. The nativity is the source of our faith and the wellspring of our belief that God, in Christ, is our guardian, our refuge and our strength through good times and through bad. It is also the fount of our obligation to be our sister’s keeper and our brother’s keeper. While that Christian duty is an all year one, we practice it with particular ardency during this season.

    Aragon Christmas Cup
    After several months of intense competition, the Aragon Christmas Cup came to an explosive end on Sunday December 18. On this day two teams faced each other in a battle that would see the winner walking away with $5000.00 Belize Dollars. It was fireworks from the first whistle blow as Carmelita FC tacked the tried and tested two time defending champs – Progresso FC. The game took its full course and then some, as they two teams played exceptionally well giving the fans more than value for money. After the expiration of regulation time the match went into overtime and then into penalty kicks. It is then that Carmelita vanquished the defending champs and walked away with the coveted first place prize and trophy.

    BEL Submits Proposal to PUC to Maintain Electricity Rates
    Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) has made a submission to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), proposing that the Mean Electricity Rate (MER) is maintained at $0.3699 per kWh for the remainder of the Annual Tariff Period: January 1 to June 30, 2017. The Company is also proposing to simplify the tariff basket for all Industrial customers into a single “Industry” classification. If approved by the PUC, medium and large manufacturers and processing plants as well as others engaged in value-added production will benefit from a new rate structure that will lower their electricity bills over time. BEL’s submission made on December 10, 2016 is in fulfillment of its Mission “to provide reliable electricity at the lowest sustainable cost, stimulate national development and improve the quality of life in Belize.”

    Unauthorized Use of the Ministry’s Name and Logo
    The Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation has been made aware that an entity or group is using the name and logo of the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation & Poverty Alleviation to promote a “Take a Child Home for Christmas” campaign. The Ministry, however, has NOT been contacted by any group or individual regarding such a campaign and is not collaborating with the entity promoting the program. The group’s use of the Ministry’s name and logo, as well as the name and picture of the Dorothy Menzies Child Care facility is therefore not only unauthorized by the Ministry, but is misleading to the public. The group has been asked to cease and desist from advertising any such campaign using the Ministry’s name, logo, or residential care facilities.

    Spreading the Love Orange Walk East Style
    This time of the year means a lot of things for everyone, for some it is a time for family reunions and parties while for others it means gifts and sharing. Well for one UDP area representative, it means just that – gifts and sharing. Honorable Elodio Aragon Jr. has this week been very busy in his constituency spreading Christmas joy to old and young alike. The Orange Walk East Area Representative was in Palmar Village on Saturday, Santa Marta Village on Sunday and Carmelita Village on Tuesday and Tower Hill on Wednesday where he partook in Yuletide Celebrations with the residents of these villages. In every case toys were distributed to each and every child of every village. Not one child was left without a toy and it was a great satisfaction to see the excitement and happiness in each child’s face. The sharing was not limited to the kids as the adults had their fair share of enjoyment. Mr. Aragon and the Orange Walk East Committee managed to raise funds for the purchase of hundreds of toys for the children and attractive prizes to raffle.

    Defence Minister Serves BDF Soldiers at Christmas Luncheon and Award Ceremony
    Minister of Defence Hon. John Saldivar was main speaker today at the Belize Defence Force Annual Christmas Luncheon and Award Ceremony held at the BDF Headquarters at Price Barracks. In his address to officers and soldiers of the BDF and other invited guests, Hon. Saldivar stated, “The Belize Defence Force can be proud of its many achievements and accomplishments over the past year; and indeed they were significant achievements administratively, operationally and in training.” Commenting on the recognition of the invaluable service rendered by the BDF, he remarked, “At the Ministry we are cognizant of all the hard work that the men and women of the BDF perform on a daily basis, and I am extremely proud of your continued resilience and undeniable effectiveness despite the limited resources. My detailed tour gave me a first-hand look at the tremendous work that the BDF does and indeed the support required.”

    Defence Minister congratulates and presents awards to members of Belize Coast Guard
    Minister of Defence Hon. John Saldivar was main speaker today at the Belize Defence Force Annual Christmas Luncheon and Award Ceremony held at the BDF Headquarters at Price Barracks. In his address to officers and soldiers of the BDF and other invited guests, Hon. Saldivar stated, “The Belize Defence Force can be proud of its many achievements and accomplishments over the past year; and indeed they were significant achievements administratively, operationally and in training.” Commenting on the recognition of the invaluable service rendered by the BDF, he remarked, “At the Ministry we are cognizant of all the hard work that the men and women of the BDF perform on a daily basis, and I am extremely proud of your continued resilience and undeniable effectiveness despite the limited resources. My detailed tour gave me a first-hand look at the tremendous work that the BDF does and indeed the support required.”

    Triple fatality in Orange Walk
    Two families from Yo Creek Village in the Orange Walk District are in mourning after 3 of their youths passed away in a traffic accident. They are 22 year-old Minor Hernandez, and his neighbours 26 year-old Jason Gongora, and his cousin Giovani Gongora. The massive collision happened at around 8:30 p.m., on Saturday, December 17, 2016. All three men were travelling in a 1998 Ford F-150 pickup on the Yo Creek Road, and they were only 3 and a half miles away from Orange Walk Town. It is not known at this time how exactly the accident happened, but they had a head-on crash into a Tillett Bus, which was carrying passengers to the rural parts of the Orange Walk District. The impact caused the front portions of vehicle to be completely destroyed, and the bus’ engine and transmission were torn apart. All 3 men were flung from the vehicle, and it is believed that they died at the moment of the collision or shortly thereafter from the head and bodily injuries they suffered.

    Fisheries Administrator, Ms. Beverly Wade’s Key Note Address at World Heritage Site Forum held December 6, 2016 at Bliss Center for the Performing Arts
    Twenty-three years ago, we embarked on a journey that would see our barrier reef system receiving world heritage status. In March 1993, Belize with funding from the World Heritage Centre held a three-day workshop organized by the Belize National Commission for UNESCO to identify features in Belize that could demonstrate outstanding universal value. From that workshop, Belize…through the then Coastal Zone Management Unit and the Fisheries Department…. nominated to the World Heritage Centre a “cluster” world heritage site which would include protected areas that would provide significant value in demonstrating the importance of our complex reef system. With a total area of 96,300 hectares, the seven sites represent 12% of the total barrier reef and atolls. These sites: the Bacalar Chico Forest and Marine Reserve, Blue Hole National Monument, Half Moon Caye National Monument, South Water Caye Marine Reserve, Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve, Laughing Bird Caye National Park and the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve represent this distinctive coral reef ecosystem in the Western Hemisphere.

    Elderly widow gunned down in her home in Santa Elena, Cayo
    An elderly female and resident of Santa Elena Town, in the Cayo District, was gunned down in her home on Sunday of this past weekend. Paulina Urbelina Sanchez a resident of number five Orange Street, off the Loma Luz Boulevard in Santa Elena was awaiting dinner from her daughter when a lone gunman of Hispanic descent –believed to be a minor--entered her home and fired several shots at her. She had screamed at the gunman in Spanish “Porfavor no me mates” but here request went unheeded. Witnesses to the crime report seeing the gunman jumping into a nearby vehicle and escaping from the scene. Shortly thereafter, on that Sunday, December 18th at about 7:30 pm San Ignacio Police visited the La Loma Luz Hospital where they observed the lifeless body of Sanchez. The body of the 61 year old female had multiple gunshot wounds to the upper body. Her body was transported to the San Ignacio Town Hospital Morgue where it awaits a post mortem.

    $5 weed may result in deportation
    Honduran national Gustavo Adolfo Borgas Gonzalez, 23, will have to spend the Christmas holidays behind bars at the Belize Central Prison after he was busted on Fabers Road with a $5 marijuana draw, 0.7 grams, on Monday, December 19. Gonzalez wasted no time and pled guilty to one count of drug possession when he appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza on Tuesday, December 20. Normally the magistrate would impose a fine for this charge. However, the issue of Gonzalez’s immigration status was raised after he struggled to speak English in court. With the assistance of an interpreter he was asked to produce his immigration documents. Gonzalez could not do so. Therefore, he was sentenced to one month imprisonment for the drug possession conviction and was additionally charged with failure to produce immigration documents. He wasted no time and once again pleaded guilty to the charge. He was imposed a fine of $1,000 which he was ordered to pay forthwith or serve six months imprisonment. Since he was unable to pay the fine, Gonzalez was transported to the Belize Central Prison. The sentences are to run concurrently so Gonzalez will serve only six months in prison.

    Minor arrested for BEL robbery
    A 16-year-old minor is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after he was charged for robbing a BEL security guard of his service firearm. The robbery occured last week Thursday, December 15, at the BEL compound on the Phillip Goldson Highway. The security guard reported to police that he was approached by two men who overpowered him and took away his gun. The minor was detained on the same day of the incident. According to reports, he was on a bus heading towards the Southside of Belize City when police caught him. He claimed that he went to visit a female friend at a high school near BEL. He then left and got on a city bus. Police intercepted the bus in front of the Social Security Board on Princess Margaret Drive. The minor was taken off the bus and escorted to the police station where he was positively identified as one of the persons who robbed the BEL security guard. Police investigation continues as a second person remains at large.

    Man murdered near Belmopan
    A stabbing incident last Friday at number 8 Guyana Street in the San Martin area, Belmopan City, Cayo District, has resulted in one death. Belmopan Police visited the Western Regional Hospital and observed the lifeless body of Freddy Cerritos, a 34 year old Belizean Mason. Police observed on his body several stab wounds just above the left ankle. The Doctor on duty had pronounced him dead on 16th December 2016. Police officers are now seeking the suspect who is a Honduran and is known to them. Investigations into this murder continues as the motives are unknown at the time; however the stabbing occurred due to a misunderstanding between both persons.

    Man found murdered by Buena Vista in Cayo
    Family members discovered the decomposing body of Belize resident and farmer Manuel Medrano near Buena Vista Village in the Cayo District at around midday last Thursday. The father of eleven children was found wrapped in a blanket and in a pond near his farm. A post mortem has revealed that Medrano had been strangled. Family members of Manuel Medrano suspect that it was a case of robbery that resulted in them losing a loved family member. As family members of Manuel Medrano report that his wallet, pellet gun and a number of important documents has gone missing at the farm house where he worked. Also gone missing from the 60 year old's farm was a black Milun motor-bike.

    Aggravated burglary in Western Cayo
    There was a reported case of forceful entry into a business place in Western Cayo. Aura Marina Ramos 43 year old Belizean Saleswoman of Calla Creek Village in the Cayo District has reported that about 8:30 pm on Thursday of last week whilst at her home, an intruder unlawfully came into her place. Ramos heard someone unlock the front door and shortly after a male Hispanic person with dark clothing wrapped around his face and wearing a gray T shirt, black short pants and a pair of slippers, entered with a knife in his right hand. Fearing for her life she immediately ran towards the back door, but was caught by the intruder, who then pulled her towards him and placed the knife to her throat. A struggle ensued between Ramos and the intruder where she sustained a cut wound to her right hand whilst trying to wrestle the knife away. The male person then uttered for her to keep quiet and then pulled her handbag away.

    Chinese store in San Ignacio robbed
    Three men have entered a Chinese store in San Ignacio Town and robbed its proprietor. Jun Wen Li, 44 year old Chinese Businessman residing at the corner of Joseph Andrews and 3rd Street, San Ignacio Town, Cayo District, reported that on Friday of last week at about 3:13 pm he was robbed in broad daylight hours. Li was sitting behind the counter in his City Corner Supermarket, when a dark skinned male person entered his store wearing a grey jacket with the hood over his head. Another male person then entered right after him dressed in a black T shirt and a Black and Grey camouflage 3/4 pants and a grey shirt over his head and he was holding a silver 9 mm pistol. This second male person then pointed his gun at Li and his workers. A third dark skinned male person entered the store dressed in a white shirt and a black shirt over his head and proceeded to go behind the counter to take out money out of the cash register, as well as a black smart Samsung phone value at $90.00 Belize currency and a 10 inch IPod Air valued at $500.00 US.

    Brothers busted with weed, Kirk Lamb takes rap
    Belize City resident, Kirk Lamb, 33, has to pay $10,000 by December of 2017 or spend three years imprisonment for 236 grams of marijuana. The bust was made on Friday, December 16, at Kirk and David Lamb’s home at #20 Saint Peter’s Street in the Kings Park area. According to members of the Northside Strike Team, they visited #20 Saint Peter’s Street and met the two brothers fixing a weed whacker. They informed the brothers that they were there to conduct a search for illegal firearms and drugs. During the search, they found two black plastic bags containing cannabis in one of the rooms. The brothers were arrested and escorted to the police station where the weed was weighed and amounted to 236 grams.

    Men charged in bizarre Mark Phillips shooting set Free
    Mark Phillips, 18, a resident of Armadillo Street in Belize City, was shot on August 20, 2015. However, the would be complainant turned out to be a suspect in an execution attempt gone wrong. Phillips, 16 at the time, was out on bail at the time of the shooting and had a court imposed curfew as part of the bail conditions. He told police that he went to buy food close to his curfew time just so that he would not violate it and risk being jailed once again. This was when he passed by the Queen Square Anglican Primary School compound, which is located at the corner of Armadillo and Dolphin Streets. There he saw a few of his friends playing basketball. Shortly after he stopped to watch his friends play, a gunman who he knows, approached and fired a shot at him. He and his friends ran away and while running he was shot in the lower abdomen area. Police investigation; however, revealed that Phillips was shot by an armed friend. Allegations are that they were trying to ambush Delbert Palacio through an alley near the Queen Square Primary School.

    BTL launches “Most Advanced Network in the Region”
    The Belize Telemedia Limited held its final regional launching of its 4G LTE network on Friday, December 16, in Belize City so Belize is now officially home to the most reliable and advanced network system in Central America and the Caribbean. When the company announced the agreement with HAUWEI for the development of the 4G LTE network in March of this year, Anwar Barrow, Chairman of BTL’s Executive Committee, said, “This is the Rolls-Royce of networks we are getting.” Fastforward nine months later and few people would dare to disagree. The main criticism of BTL’s project was in reference to the cost. The company’s only competitor, Speednet, had recently launched its 4G LTE network for only $9 million and BTL was purchasing the technology for $40 million. This raised eyebrows across the board. BTL’s Chairman, Nestor Vasquez, gave a reason for this and it was probably not enough to calm the skeptics. He said, “I can only give you one simple answer, we are not buying the same thing - that’s for sure.” Vasquez could have probably elaborated a bit more – that’s for sure – but the only effective explanation would have to be left for the network itself.

    Max Orosco and Windell Thurton to stand trial for murder
    Max Orosco, 22, and Windell Thurton, 19, will stand trial in the April 2017 Session of the Supreme Court for the murder of Ian Blair. Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer ruled that the prosecution established a prema facie case for murder during a preliminary inquiry on Tuesday, December 20. Prosecutor in the case, Cpl. Christopher Smith, presented statements from as many as nine witnesses, including Dr. Marcos Rugama Miranda who was also injured during the home invasion/murder. On Wednesday, January 27, of this year, Rugama Miranda’s home on Simon Lamb Street was invaded my armed men. According to police investigation, at around 1:40 a.m., the doctor was outside on his back verandah picking in freshly laundered clothes. He returned inside and that was when he found two dark complexioned men assaulting his friend, Ian Blair. One of them was armed with a gun and the other with a knife. The doctor grabbed a piece of furniture and other appliances and threw it at the men in an attempt to rescue his friend. Blair managed to use the distraction to his advantage and he ran into the bedroom. The man with the knife ran after Rugama and stabbed him in the center of the chest. He collapsed right at that spot and when police arrived on the scene they found him bleeding and injured.

    Marvin Myvett tells judge weed is for epilepsy
    Marvin Myvett, 31, of Paslow Lane in San Ignacio Town is at the Belize Central Prison after he was busted in Belize City with 123 grams of marijuana and charged for drug trafficking. Myvett was unrepresented when he appeared before Magistrate Norman Rodriguez on Wednesday, December 21. Before giving a plea, Myvett asked if he could first explain his case. He told Magistrate Rodriguez that he did have a bag of weed in his possession but not for drug trafficking because he does not sell. He explained that he suffers from epilepsy so he uses the weed for treatment. He boils some and smokes some. With that said the prosecutor agreed to accept a guilty plea for drug possession instead of drug trafficking. Possession is a far less serious offense but the threshold is 60 grams. Myvett was given a huge break but his luck would soon run out.

    Men busted with 4 kilos of weed
    Dean Edward Cain, 35, of #101 Amara Avenue and Alston Sydney Adolphus, 39, of #427 Jesus Kenn Street, Belama, are out on bail after they were busted with 4.1 kilograms of weed in Ladyville. Officers of the Gang Suppression Unit were on mobile patrol in the Ladyville area on Friday, December 16, when their attention was drawn to a black Mercedes SUV. The officers pulled over the vehicle near the intersection of the Philip Goldson Highway and Ladyville Technical High School where the two occupants were informed that a search would be conducted on the vehicle for illegal drugs and firearm. The occupants agreed and complied with police. Nothing incriminating was found on the men so the vehicle was then taken to the Ladyville Police Station for a thorough search. The men were asked if they had anything to declare. According to police, Adolphus said, “I done know da somebody knock me off. I have thing inna the vehicle so I wah declare the drugs I have.” When asked where in the vehicle he had the drugs, he said, “in the tire”. As a result, the officers went to check a spare tire at the back of the vehicle.

    Belize Defence Force and the Belmopan Bandits Premier League of Belize finals
    The Premier League of Belize 2016-2017 Opening Season Competition will enter its final round on Saturday 24th December 2016, with game one of the championship series at the MCC Grounds in Belize City, when the host-team the Belize Defence Force will begin its march against the defending champions the Belmopan Bandits. The game is scheduled to commence at 4:30 pm. Meanwhile, the second game in the series is scheduled for Saturday 31st December, 2016, at 7:30 pm out at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan. On Sunday 18th December, 2016, at the MCC Grounds, the Belize Defence Force eliminated the Police United FC from the competition when it defeated them by the score of 2-0 to secure the second and final spot in the championship. The goals for the Belize Defence Force were scored by Vallan Symms in the 81st minute of play via a penalty kick and by Kyle Bunda in the 87th minute of play for the whitewash win.

    Play for Change, World Baseball Softball Confederation launch official charity partnership
    The Play for Change (PFC) Charitable trust and the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) today announced a new partnership that will enable more children around the world to benefit from PFC’s sports programmes, which aim to improve health, education, employment and inequality outcomes. With baseball and softball’s global positioning across more than 140 countries, the PFC and WBSC partnership will be able to increase availability of educational/health/social sports programmes to reach the lives of more children and their communities around the world. PFC, through their carefully designed sports programmes, has seen participation from over 6,000 children this year through sports such as badminton, basketball, football and volleyball. PFC will be able to further expand the reach of the programmes in 2017 with the addition of baseball and softball. PFC and WBSC will work together to begin baseball/softball programmes in targeted territories while boosting programme resources (e.g., baseball/softball educational materials, coaching/training, kit and equipment) worldwide. PFC and WBSC will also plan joint fundraising activities.

    Coast Guard and Kelly Street wins in CYDP semi-final round
    The Conscious Youth Development Programme Peace Cup Tournament semi-final round continued on Saturday 17th December, 2016, with two games on the schedule. In the first game played, Coast Guard defeated Survivors by the score of 6-0. The goals for Survivors were scored by Arthur Garbutt, Qrvin Wade (3), Steven Martinez and Giermo Ramirez. In the second semi-final game that was played, Kelly Street defeated Tut Bay FC by the score of 2-1. The goals for Kelly Street were scored by Tareek Muschamp while the only goal of the game for Tut Bay FC was scored by Brian Martinez. The competition will resume on Saturday 7th January, 2017.

    2017 National Elite Basketball League season to commence on January 13
    The Commissioner of the National Elite Basketball League Karim Juan informed the general public that the NEBL will commence its fourth season on Friday 13th January, 2017. The fourth season will see eight teams competing for the top prize. The teams that will be competing in the 2017 campaign will be the Orange Walk Running Rebels, Belize Hurricanes, Belize City No Limit, San Pedro Tiger Sharks, Belmopan Bandits, Dangriga Warriors, Cayo Western Ballaz and a new franchise from Chetumal, Mexico. It is noted that games will be played in Chetumal, and the Chetumal team will also play games in Belize, using the same home and away format. For the up-coming season, each team will have a shot clock, which will greatly enhance the competitive nature of the game. The defending champions, the Belize Hurricanes will open the 2017 championship on Friday 13th January, 2017.

    WORDS OF LIFE with Barry Fraser
    Over the past four weeks we have been looking at prophecies concerning the long-awaited Messiah, and how they were fulfilled by Jesus of Nazareth. Now the wait is over. Christmas recalls the birth of the Savior, Emmanuel, God is with us. The Gospel writers Matthew and Luke give us two accounts of the birth of Jesus. Mark begins with the ministry of John the Baptist. However, John takes us back to the very beginning of life on this planet, the creation of all things, and the creation of humanity. John 1:1 & 2 informs us that: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” “In the beginning” means eternity past. God always existed, along with the Word.

    PUP Surrogates
    A recent editorial in the Amandala newspaper suggested that UDP supporters are targeting and even ridiculing the BNTU and its president, Luke Palacio. I have listened to almost all the talk shows on WAVE Radio and have read related articles in the GUARDIAN, WHICH are the main UDP voices out here and I cannot recall any disrespect to the teacher’s union or its leaders. All the other media houses have nothing but adulation for Palacio et al. Especially our local version of Donald Trump, Louis Wade, who hates the UDP with a passion. I know this because the cable provider here in OW, Centaur, has Wade and his bigoted sidekick on the screen 24 /7. As soon as you turn on the TV you will hear that nauseating Texan drawl and see the two-horned dragon filling your diagonals with brewed hatred aimed at this UDP Government. Wade is the true living example of unbridled fanaticism, Mr. Hyde; the man spews propaganda day in, day, out; with his never-ending zealous political attacks from an allegedly Christian TV network. Hogwash I say. The other example of thin –skinned fanaticism is the everlasting perpetual PUP face Eamon Courtney. Watch his eyes how they roll when he speaks. Another AUDREY Matura.

    Christmas Message - Bishop Philip Wright Anglican Diocese of Belize
    Greetings and best wishes this Christmas Season from the clergy and people of the Anglican Diocese of Belize. For quite some time now I have viewed life on earth as primarily trying to make sense of, and thereby trying to cope with, the disconnect between what should be and what really is. How we respond to this disconnect largely determines what we ultimately make of our life and, as such, can have a direct correlation to the quality of the life we live. This applies to our personal life, our professional life, and our religious life. The inconsistences and contradictions of life have been a source of interest and challenge to the believer and non-believer alike for a very long time. The celebration of Christmas, which for me does not make much sense without an appreciation of the preceding Advent Season (largely because of the rich and significant scripture readings which cover the season), ought to forcefully bring to our collective and individual consciousness the fact that we continue to live in this disconnect I mentioned earlier. Not only does our annual celebration occur between the first and second coming of Christ, but it also occurs within the space of our disconnected realities – between what should be and what is. We simply need to take a look at what is happening around the world these days to appreciate how true this is. Nationally and internationally we see the failings of those in leadership; the injustices perpetuated by those with the power to do so; the debased behaviour of dictators and criminals alike; and the increasing disregard for the values and principles we once were prepared to adhere to.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Bus schedule for festive season
    The Department issued a release reminding all bus operators of the legal and binding contractual arrangement with the Government of Belize (Department of Transport) through their Road Service Permits to provide all daily bus runs to the commuting public on the days and time […]

    Almost $22,000 of items stolen from gift shop in Placencia
    According to police reports, on Monday 33-year-old Rosa Max, a businesswoman of Seine Bight Village reported that on Monday night around 6:00, she closed her gift shop (Rosa’s Gift Shop) located on the sidewalk near Friends Restaurant in Placencia Village. On Tuesday morning […]

    Former police Minister freed of charges in court
    Former Minister of Police, Dough Singh, appeared in court on Wednesday. Singh appeared before Magistrate Norman Rodriguez to answer to charges brought against him by the Belize Port Authority. According to the Port Authority, Singh was the owner of a boat which was used five […]

    Man missing from Springfield community
    According to police reports, on Monday, Eric Moreira of #10 Orquidia Street Las Flores area Belmopan reported that on Saturday, his uncle, 36-year-old Emilio Lopez, Salvadoran of Springfield Community on the Hummingbird Highway went missing. Lopez was last seen on Saturday evening around 5:30 […]

    Elderly man from Valley of Peace missing
    On Monday, around 7:30 a.m., Xiomara Maldonado of Valley of Peace visited the Valley of Peace Police Sub-Station and reported that her father 59-year-old Arnulfo Maldonado has been missing from their house since Sunday. She stated that he has mental problems and is forgetful. […]

    Star athlete Simone Biles arrives in Belize today
    Last week, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) announced that Olympic gymnast Simone Biles would be arriving in Belize for a motorcade and invited the general public to come out. Biles made international headlines this past summer at the 2016 Olympics held in Rio de […]

    Belize City man robbed of monies he posted on Facebook
    A man was robbed of a $3,000 bank loan he had just received after he posted photos of the cash in a Facebook group. According to the family, the incident occurred sometime around 3 a.m. on Wednesday. Two men one of whom was armed […]

    Blogs

    Acquafino Island Resort & Spa aims for the ultimate in tailored luxury
    “Holy sunset!” I thought to myself, as I took my spot on a poolside lounge chair at one of the newest luxury island resorts off the coast of Ambergris Caye. And where was this spectacular sunset you may ask? It is at Acquafino Island Resort and Spa. Just west of Ambergris Caye, there is a little island that is home to what promises to be an ultra-luxury private getaway. While the resort is not open yet, it has been the location for a couple fund raising events and we were offered a sneak peek of what is to come at Acquafino. It’s just a five-minute boat ride to the resort, and the perfect chance to marvel at the beautiful western coast of San Pedro Town. At Acquafino, the 230-degree views of the Caribbean Sea set the mood for the perfect vacation. The focal point of the resort has to be their beach club – 10,000 square feet palapa covered area with bar and seating showcases an infinity swimming pool facing the western horizon. The beach club is the perfect spot to catch some fabulous sunsets. Raise your glass to toast the surreal hues of the sky as the sun says goodbye to another day in paradise.

    A Great Christmas Party and Parade
    I was happy they chose El Patio for the San Pedro Red Cross Christmas party this year. Open air, ambient seasonal decorations and close to home. Even though we waited out the rain and circled the block, my friend Jack and I were still among the first to arrive. Our Vice Chairperson, Ashty and top volunteer Brenda were chatting on the sofas so we joined in. It was not long before Mayor Danny showed up and we got to enjoy his company a bit before the party started. We had a great time socializing and enjoying some tasty treats including Jalapeno poppers. I could not resist Facebook messaging one of our Johnstown, Colorado Red Cross volunteer vacationers Tracy, as El Patio poppers are his favorite. This was the second year Ecologic Divers sponsored our boat. Last year we had a Cadillac Catamaran, this year Brittney wanted us to get closer to the judges and steered us into the Blue Attitude a roomy Blue Hole dive boat. I was glad for that as the second time we passed for final scoring, Charlie pulled in close enough for Sandie to hand off to the Mayor and other esteemed jusdges our annual Red Cross Christmas treat. The boat was perfect, we had a nice covered officer’s club with a spread of different treats and beverages. THose that were daring climbed out the front window and up to the Captains Nest. At one pount I saw 2 of the male nurses sitting on the bow like hood ornaments.

    Belize Bucket List Guide: The Ultimate 2017 Belizean Adventures
    Never been to Belize before but want to have the ultimate experience while you’re here? Read on for the Ultimate Bucket List for your 2017 Belize Adventures! 1 Sky Dive into the Blue Hole, 2 Jump off a waterfall – Butterfly falls/Maya king falls, 3 Scale Victoria Peak Or Doyles Delight, 4 Sightsee from Baldy beacon, 5 Jet board in Caye Caulker, 6 Parasail off San Pedro, 7 Camp on an atoll, 8 Swim with Whale sharks, 9 Try meat pies, patties, and tacos, 10 Stay in a southern fishing village, 11 Have ceviche by the beach, 12 Chill at an adventure Lodge, 13 Go deep sea fishing, 14 Fly over the mountains in a helicopter, 15 Search for jaguars in Cockscomb, 16 Bird watch for raptors and birds of paradise, 17 Learn how to make Chocolate, 18 Learn to play Garifuna drums, 19 Relax at a tropical spa, 20 Horseback ride to a Mayan ruin, 21 Learn some kriol, 22 Learn to punta, 23 Participate or follow the La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge, 24 Attend one of the seasonal festivals (or all).

    Living the Laptop Lifestyle on the Stunning Shores of Belize
    Just one short year ago, I announced over the dinner table that I’d decided to sell my business and move to Belize. My family wasn’t a bit surprised since I had been threatening to do so for the better part of a decade. But, this time, I followed through! Now I plan my days around dozens of tempting distractions and work only when the mood (or inspiration) strikes. I attend yoga classes three days a week—a healthy habit I never seemed to find time for back home. I’ve met many expat friends while practicing my poses in a breezy palapa (a sort of thatched gazebo) or sipping a fruit-filled smoothie after class. For years, I’ve dreamed of exploring the world and indulging in my life-long passion for underwater photography. However, I was lucky to take one, maybe two, dive trips a year. So naturally, one of the main reasons I moved to Belize was for the exceptional scuba diving. Now I simply walk next door, where my gear is always ready for a diving adventure. The reef is just a five-minute boat ride away and a full day of diving is less than $80. Since moving to Belize’s tropical island paradise, Ambergris Caye, I’ve photographed sharks, eel, turtles, squid, and throngs of graceful spotted eagle rays.

    Enjoying a Laidback Income in a Caribbean Paradise
    When I’m back home in the States, I’m often asked why I moved to Belize. It’s not a difficult question to answer…but with all the things I love about living here, the answer can be a long one. Belize is a peaceful country where English is spoken, the cost of living is low, and the dollar is accepted everywhere. But there’s so much more to this paradise to love. Just south of Mexico‘s Yucatan Peninsula, the country boasts a jaw-dropping Caribbean coast that runs the length of the country. In the beach town of Placencia, where we live, the ocean is a sparkling turquoise and the beaches are pristine stretches of white sand, with brilliant green palm trees as far as the eye can see. And, with temperatures in the 80s F all year long, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy it. Just a short car ride from Placencia, you’ll find some spectacular hiking spots, bird watching, mountains, rivers, tropical forests, Mayan ruins, and much more. My husband, Dave, and I love walking through town, and stopping for a seaweed shake from Brewed Awakenings, right in the village. Last week, we enjoyed a tranquil two-hour walk around the peninsula. All the beachfront is public, and you’ll pass by by charming guesthouses, luxury homes, rustic resorts, beachfront bars, stretches of untouched natural beach, and wildlife like tropical birds and huge iguanas.

    Making Homemade Cheese in Belize
    With a relaxed Caribbean vibe, hundreds of tropical islands, and year-round balmy weather, few people think of Belize as a country where world-class artisanal cheeses are made. But thanks to the dedicated work of dairy farmers preserving traditional European methods, sampling homemade cheese is one of the many surprising benefits of visiting Belize. In 2012, the intrepid owners of the Caves Branch Adventure Lodge in Belize began producing cheese for its guests and a few nearby hotels. After the cheese became a verified hit, the lodge began offering a course, teaching visitors how to make six different savory varieties. Caves Branch Adventure Lodge now offers a comprehensive four-day, five-night cheese making vacation package taught by internationally acclaimed cheese experts from the Three Shepherds Farm in Vermont. Participants will get hands-on training, literature, and access to all of the necessary equipment on site at the lodge, learning every step of the cheese making process. This comprehensive cheese-making vacation package includes four days of course instruction, three meals per day, lodging at the resort, and the full use of the Caves Branch facilities, including: swimming pools, the hot tub, and guided walking tours of the 15-acre grounds that include both botanical and orchid gardens. The last day of the course is reserved for a fun group outing. The beginner course is being offered from January 26-31, 2017, while an advanced course will be held January 31-February 4, 2017. Spaces are limited, so interested persons are encouraged to reserve their spot today.

    Living on a Dream Income in a Tropical Paradise
    After nearly four years living in San Pedro town on the tropical island of Ambergris Caye in Belize, I still wake up every morning to the sweet sound of birds singing and think how lucky I am. San Pedro is a lively little town with an engaged and active expat community. My husband Marcos is a Belizean-American, so we’d visited San Pedro many times over the years. It always felt like home. We loved the sub-tropical climate and the English-speaking population with their easy smiles and laidback attitude to all aspects of life. Everything moves at a slower, more-relaxed pace here. Getting used to it was a challenge at first, but once you adjust, life becomes a much more enjoyable, low-stress affair. For instance, even standing in line at the bank is an opportunity to catch up with friend’s lives, and make new friends. Even transport moves at a slower pace—with golf carts being the main mode of transport on the island. Driving your golf cart at a top speed of 15 mph is the perfect way to enjoy the breathtaking island scenery. Some folks come here to retire, in large part due to stellar immigration program—the Qualified Retirement Program. The QRP provides official residency and tax-free entry of household goods, a car, a boat, and even an airplane. Anyone over 45 is eligible and it also covers spouses and dependent children. People who choose to enter this program may not work in Belize, and must be able to show a monthly income of $2,000 from investments or pensions.

    International Sourcesizz

    Belize’s Maya Beach Hotel Expands
    The Maya Beach Hotel and Bistro in Belize has expanded with the addition of three new suites. The hotel added three brand-new suites, bringing the hotel’s room count to 13 units, ranging from standard one-bedroom rooms to beachfront cabanas to three-bedroom apartments. “We’re thrilled to offer even more private, relaxing options to our guests,” said Ellen Lee, co-owner of the property. “At Maya Beach Hotel, we embrace the natural beauty and cultural identity of Belize and the Placencia Peninsula. Our rooms are simple, comfortable and accessible to all the amazing adventures that await our guests.” The boutique hotel is home to a pool, a bar and a signature restaurant, Bistro.

    American Canyon High athlete recovering physically, emotionally after snake bite
    A calm suddenly washed over Sarah Thompson, the kind that comes with surrender. She sat in the back of a rickety ambulance as it rumbled down a Central American dirt road. A voice within her was screaming at her for not screaming, for not being hysterical. But she already knew how this story would end. She had resigned herself to it based on the scene surrounding her 15-year-old daughter. The convulsions. The blood. The desperation of the nurse manually pumping the balloon ventilator. “This is where Audrey dies,” Sarah Thompson told herself. “You’re going to be the mother of just one child. This is Audrey’s time. This is where she is going to die.” As it turned out, the snake that bit Audrey last June during a family vacation in Belize was no match for her. The stroke she suffered from the poisonous venom, and the limited emergency care available to her, was no match for her resiliency. The months of recovery and rehabilitation, still ongoing, are losing to her spirit.

    How to see Chichen Itza without the crowds
    Sounds of the jungle were as thick as the humidity. Birds chirped and trilled. A deep hoot added a bass note. An almost mechanical staccato clicking joined in. I was following a Mayan guide, Juan Gualberto Tun Pat, down a garden path on the grounds of my hotel, where life is so insistent that young trees sprout in the middle of the gravel walkway. At a wrought-iron gate, two guys sat at a weathered Formica-topped table, the young one working math problems, the older one tuning a radio. They paused to check my entrance ticket, exchanged greetings with Juan in their language, Yucatec Maya, and waved us on our way. I felt like I’d just slipped through the secret back door to Chichen Itza, the Mayan archaeological wonder in the interior of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The collection of pre-Columbian architectural masterpieces — pyramids, temples, columns — represent an ancient Mesoamerican culture steeped in art and science. The former urban center covers more than four square miles and two distinct periods — one collection of buildings was constructed by the early Mayans, while others date to a time after the Toltecs arrived and merged cultures with the existing community, Juan said.

    Videos

  • Belize 2k15 Vacation, 4.5min. Belize was of the best trips. The water was crystal clear and Great Fishing.

  • 2016 Belize Phototour, 13min. Pictures set to a couple songs from our 2016 Belize vacation. We stayed at Mariposa Jungle Lodge in Cayo. We went hiking, did Actun Tunichil Muknal cave, Rio Frio Cave, Caracol Mayan site, nice waterfall, Xunantunich and Cahal Pech Mayan site, rode horses in the jungle, Tikal Mayan site, and zip lining in the jungle.

  • Silent Santa in Belize, 3min. Christmas cheer.

  • Secret Santa Belize 2016, 10min. Grocery give away, bus stops.

  • Simone Biles press conference, 10min.

  • UNBELIZEABLE- Belize 2016, 3min.

  • Belize, 3.5min.

  • Motorcade to welcome Simone Biles to Belize, 3min. Motorcade through Belize City on Thursday, December 22, 2016.

  • Belize Day, 9min. Chilling in the hot sun of Belize in December! Loved every moment of it too lol November 27th thru December 4th NCL Dawn Cruise

  • Man Cuts Cohune Leaf in 3 minutes in Belize, 4min.

  • Kekchi Family Sing "Silent Night" in Belize, C.A., 2min.

  • Belize Hanal Pixan Yucatec Maya tradition first day, 3min. Mr. Felipe Tzul a Yucatec Maya(Maya Masewal) from the village of Patchakan in the Corozal explaining the first day of the Maya tradition Hanal Pixan. The Yucatec Mayas of northern Belize continue honoring their deceased .

  • Simone Biles: Olympic Gold Medallist In Belize, 10min. Olympic Gold Medallist Simone Biles has arrived in Belize. However, her visit is welcomed by few Belizeans. While some are excited to see the young Olympian claiming Belizean roots, social media has been wrought criticism over Belize Tourism Board's means of promoting the country.

  • Why Belize?, 6min. This is the first video in a new series that I will be uploading that is following my experiences when studying abroad in Belize City, Belize. Students and faculty from State University of New York at Fredonia, and other SUNY schools will be traveling there on January 2nd until January 15th 2017.

  • Belize swamp boat tour, 6min.

  • 100 Cohune Leaf Cut for Thatch in Belize, C.A., 1min. It takes about 200-250 cohune leaf to cover this 10 x 14 thatch kitchen.

  • Simone Biles airport arrival, 3min.

    December 22, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    Commercial Fisher Folk License Renewals to commence in January 2017
    The Belize Fisheries Department (BFD) informs the public that the renewal of commercial fisher folk licenses will begin on January 4, 2017. The BFD stated in a press release that renewal of licensing for respective districts will have a grace period until January 31, 2017. For San Pedro Town and Caye Caulker Village, licensing will be carried out at the BFD Office in Belize City on Monday, January 23, 2017 through Friday, January 27, 2017. Fishermen are advised to bring along all required documents upon renewal to facilitate the process. The cost for a Fisher folk License is $25 and the fee for a Vessel License is also $25. The BFD notes that no exceptions will be made for incomplete documentation, and no permits will be issued to minors. In case of loss of Fisher Folk and/or Vessel license, the fisher must present the receipt issued by the Police Department or the report stating the loss of the license (Fisher Folk and/or Vessel license).

    Iris Salguero represents Belize at Miss World 2016
    Miss World Belize 2016, Iris Salguero from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, represented Belize at the 66th edition of the beauty pageant held on Sunday, December 18th at the MGM National Harbour in Oxen Hill, Maryland USA. The event saw the participation of delegates from across the world, and witnessed the coronation of 19-year-old Stephanie Del Valle of Puerto Rico as Miss World 2016. First runner-up was Yaritza Miguelina Reyes Ramirez of the Dominican Republic, while second runner up was Natasha Mannuela from Indonesia. Salguero, as many of the contestants, arrived in the United States weeks before the pageant in order to participate in a series of activities and to continue preparing for the grand night of the show. Salguero left Belize enroute to Washington on November 24th, from where she participated in different events such as a Christmas Brunch for the children of an organization called Dream Academy. She also had a tour of the city, the School of Rock in Broadway New York City, and the House of Representatives. Salguero also took part in sporting events, modelling and recorded along with the choir that performed the opening ceremony as was shown at the pageant.

    Belize gets $US10 million loan from Caribbean Development Bank
    A loan of $10 million US dollars has been secured by the Government of Belize (GOB) from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). The funds will be used by the Government’s Social Investment Fund (SIF), to finance social and economic projects in rural and under-served areas in Belize. The total cost of the project is estimated at $US12.5 million, of which GOB will provide the balance. The loan was approved under the condition that all goals are achieved regarding the programs that are to be introduced in the poorest areas of the country. The loan has the purpose to provide these less developed communities with services such as gender-equality, climate resilient infrastructure, and basic social services. Many projects in the past have provided many rural areas with electricity, road access and potable water. One of those projects during this year was the million-dollar project for the upgrade a rudimentary water system in the village of Maskall, Belize District. The project brought clean and safe drinking water to the many residents of the village.

    BYM holds ‘Call on Angels’ Charity Fashion Show
    The Belize Youth Movement (BYM) organized their first ever, “Call on Angels” charity fashion show on Saturday, December 17th. Following the boat parade, the fashion show lured in more than a hundred individuals to the Angel Nuñez Auditorium at 8:30PM. Hostesses for the night were Miss Chiquitita 2016-2017, Lindsey Williams, and Miss San Pedro 2016-2017, Marisha Thompson. They welcomed the audience, thanking them for their presence. The purpose of the charity fashion show was to benefit children who may not afford school by assisting them for a brighter future. The entire show featured the talent of local models, ranging from toddlers to adults. The first set of models displayed unisex causal clothing from both Love Belize and Island Bargain Center. They were followed by models showcasing preteen fashions. In the ‘jeans and white tank’ category, the models strutted their way to the center stage where they presented a dance.

    Ambergris Today

    Belize Plans Celebration for Gymnast Simone Biles’ Arrival
    Following her astounding performance at the 2016 Rio Olympics, the Belize Tourism Board sent out a tweet congratulating Simone Biles and her team, the Final Five, on their performance and taking the opportunity to invite them to visit Belize. Simone readily accepted the invitation stating, “My second home, you betta Belize we’re coming.” On Thursday December 22nd, the Nation of Belize will warmly welcome Simone and her family to their second home- Belize where they will spend the Christmas holiday. To honor her arrival and officially welcome her, the Belize Tourism Board has organized a Grand Welcome Motorcade on December 22nd from 4p.m. to 5:30p.m. Joining Simone in this motorcade will be representatives from various sporting associations; Belize’s volleyball, cycling, bodybuilding, martial arts, football and track and field athletes will also be celebrated during this event. Also in attendance, will be representatives from our women’s and youth groups. BTB takes the opportunity to encourage all sport fans, athletes and the wider public to join us in the motorcade as we celebrate this momentous occasion.

    San Pedro R.C School Receives Solar Panels From Capoly University, California
    Five students from Calpoly University in San Luis Obispo, California, along with two faculty members and two industry members, have installed 14 solar panels at the San Pedro Roman Catholic School. The project is not a new one, but it was discontinued in 2012 when a professor from Kansas University, Tom Glavinish, who began this project, passed away. Today, Calpoly University students have decided to continue and finish up his work. The job took them about a week to complete, with some delays in the shipment of tools and equipment, but the university students couldn’t be happier with the results. They hope to continue this project for as long as they can and hope to be back in Belize soon. The solar panels were installed on top of the restroom facilities and will assist in lowering electricity costs for the school. The San Pedro community extends a HUGE thanks to Calpoly University.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Belize Fishing Report, Weeks of December 11th – December 17th, 2016
    A Nice quiet week before the Christmas rush with only 6 boats heading out daily. Most of our guests were after bonefish this week with scores being landed. They found fish in “muds” where large schools tear up the bottom in search of food creating an area of dirty water. They found fish tailing in shallow water, they found a few big ones that were gathering to spawn in the deeper water.

    Master Class 2017 with Alexander Shtifanov
    If you are interested in signing up for the Master Class 2017 with Alexander Shtifanov coming to Belize on the following dates: *March 6th at Rain Restaurant in San Pedro *March 11th at the BTEC building in Belize City *March 15th at the Tipsy Tuna in Placencia, But are unsure what it entails, then take a look at him in training below. Spaces are very limited. 50% deposit required to secure space. Inbox or text 626-7518 to secure your space and learn from the NO.1 Flairtender in the world!

    Rumpopo on Caye Caulker
    My dad's very famous, tasty, fresh, mouth watering, delicious Rumpopo is still available! Order up guys! Quart $20 and Liter $30. He also made a few "flosses" for $10. His phn # is 6660788. If he doesnt answer (it's bcaz he's on a tour) u can contact my mom @ 6239947. She will be sure to get ur order in. They already have a few bottles ready for sale, so dont be shy, go get one, or two or a lot hahaha. Head towards Bowen & Bowen, turn right and it's d upstairs white house rite after Bowen.

    St. Francis Xavier Credit Union brings BIG smiles and cheers to hundreds of children in our Corozal community
    The St. Francis Xavier Credit Union held its Annual Christmas Treat and Cheer in front of their offices so that many of our Corozal children are able to equally celebrate the reason for Christmas. St. Francis Xavier Credit Union is a financial institution for the people and by the people and has given selflessly to our Corozal community. We give thanks for its kind gesture in bringing the spirit of Christmas to all the children of Corozal. On behalf of the Staff and Members of this great institution, which we are a proud member of, we join in wishing a Merry Christmas to all the children of Corozal and their families. Cheers and Peace.

    Key Documents from the Spanish Account of the Battle
    Dr. Alfaro hands over 20 key documents selected from the BSGC Translation Project.

    VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT Communication Assistant
    The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), a non-profit organization, saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. The WCS Belize Program is seeking to recruit a suitable individual to fill the part-time position of Communications Assistant. The Communications Assistant will be hired for a period of 6 months, February to July 2017. This position will support the work of the Communications Coordinator, the Assistant Country Director and other WCS program staff in raising awareness about key conservation issues through social media outlets, community engagement and campaign activities that align with WCS Communication Strategy.

    November 2016 Trade & Consumer Price Index
    According to latest figures released by the Statistical Institute of Belize, on average, consumer prices were 1.3 percent higher in November 2016 than they were in November 2015. The All-Items consumer price index stood at 104.2, an increase from 102.9 in last November. For the first eleven months of 2016, a year-to-date inflation rate of 0.6 percent was recorded. The ‘Transport’ index remains a major contributor to the overall rise in consumer prices, recording a 9.4 percent increase in comparison to November of 2015. ‘Fuel’ prices rose across the board, as Regular gasoline saw an increase of 22.1 percent, Premium gasoline rose by 18.4 percent, and Diesel prices increased by 25 percent in comparison to the same month of last year. During the month of November 2016, Belize’s imported goods were valued at $172.2 million, down 9.4 percent or $17.9 million from the $190.2 million imported in November of 2015. Belize’s largest import type, ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’, saw its greatest drop since the start of 2016, falling sharply from $60 million to $43 million, as purchases of auto parts fell by a substantial $18 million for the month. Items meant for Belize’s ‘Export Processing Zones’ and ‘Commercial Free Zones’ decreased by smaller amounts of $6.6 million and $1.6 million, respectively. While the decline recorded in the former category was largely the result of lowered imports of electrical transformers and metal furniture, the reduction in the latter was mostly brought upon by reduced purchases of tennis shoes and clothing. Importation of ‘Mineral Fuels and Lubricants’ fell by a minimal $1 million for the month, as increases in the quantities of regular and premium fuels were counterbalanced by a drop of about three fourths in diesel imports.

    BEL & Employees Continue 18-Year Tradition - 150 Christmas Hampers Distributed Countrywide
    Employees of Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) distributed 150 hampers over the past two days in communities countrywide, as part of the Company’s Christmas outreach initiatives. This annual 18-year tradition is funded from personal contributions by employees and the Company. Hampers for 90 families contain the main ingredients for a traditional Christmas dinner while those for 60 senior citizens under BEL’s Golden Citizens Program, who were identified as needing additional care, contain canned goods and toiletries. The hampers are valued at approximately $160 each. In keeping with the Company’s Mission of “improving the quality of life in Belize”, BEL partnered with care agencies to sponsor seasonal activities. These included Christmas luncheons for the elderly at HelpAge Dangriga and Casa Chan Kaan in Corozal and Christmas parties in Belize City at Belize Assembly for Persons with Diverse Abilities (BAPDA) and the Welcome Resource Center for people with mental health challenges.

    A Pandemonium Christmas
    Pan & Bram...This Friday @7pm

    Las Posadas de Navidad
    Join in this beautiful candlelight procession as we accompany Mary and Joseph in their quest for lodging in Bethlehem. Praying and singing traditional posada songs, we will culminate our journey with a feast at the San Pedro House of Culture. A wonderful family outing, and a great way to prepare for Christmas. Hope to see you there! Friday, December 23 at 7 PM - 11 PM.

    2017 Oceana Calendars
    Hot off the press! Get your 2017 Oceana Calendars before they run out! Visit our office in Belmopan to get yours and enter 2017 with a renewed appreciation for Belize's precious marine resources.

    Channel 7

    Guatemalan Fisheries Regulations Annex Belizean Waters
    For the past year and a half, the Sarstoon River, and the coastline of Toledo have been the focus of much controversy and a chronic sore point for Belize Guatemala relations. We've shown you how the Belize Territorial Volunteers have had numerous confrontations with the Guatemalan Navy, based at the Mouth of the Sarstoon. We also showed you how for the past 11 years, the BDF patrol, which uses Belize's side of the River to make trips to the Cadenas Observation Post, has been subjected to harassment by the Guatemalan armed forces. There were talks earlier this year for a protocol to de-escalate tensions, and those negotiations have all but stalled. Recently, we showed you how a SATTIM conservation patrol was stopped by Guat. military, telling them that the Sarstoon is a military zone. So, despite the Government's insistence that Belizeans still own half of the Sarstoon River, it appears that Guatemala has been exerting some measure of control over it.

    Border Activist Says Regulatory Annexation Is Apiece for Guatemalan Aggression
    And so while the BDF General is cautious to comment since he hasn't had a chance to review it thoroughly, Border Activist Wil Maheia is already on the offensive. He believes that this is another clear piece of evidence of Guatemala's attempt to annex Belizean territory and take control over it. This evening, he told us that he is demanding that the Belize Government take all available measures to get the Guatemalan government remove these regulations, which seek to police Belizean waters. Here's what he had to say: Wil Maheia - Border Activist: "Well we are deeply disturbed at what we read in the Amandala and the fact that the Guatemalans have actually made it law that they have annexed the Sarstoon. We have been going there and in this region you have a lot of countries who are claiming other countries but no country actually goes in and actually occupy and take over without any kind of international incident so it is sad that at this time of the year when we as Belizeans are supposed to be enjoying ourselves, take a few days off to give thanks to the lord and be grateful for a country; we are losing our country and we have not heard a word from the government and we have not heard a word from the opposition. We need that the government need to explain to the people what happened at the Sarstoon since 2015 we Belizeans continue to get harassed going up into our own country."

    BDF Commander Not Commenting On Cash Stolen
    This afternoon's conversation with BDF General David Jones also gave us an opportunity to ask him about the reports of the big money burglary at his residence at Price Barracks. It happened two and a half weeks ago, and police told us that he started to make an official compliant at the Ladyville police station, but then he never finished it. We were also told that $30,000 dollars in cash was stolen. We've been trying to get a comment from him, but he didn't respond to our requests. So today, we asked again. This time, the General told us that he isn't prepared to share any specifics. Here's how he explained why: Daniel Ortiz: "We have received reports that your home was burglarised and a large quantity of cash had been stolen. Are you able to share details with us on that?" Brig. Gen David Jones - Commander, BDF: "Well I have not formally give any report as to how much was stolen from my house. I've heard rumours out there but the police are doing the investigation, I'm not going to comment on it."

    Chester Says He'll Re-Arrest the Other Chester
    Last night we told you about Chester Norales – the 36 year old accused of beating and robbing his 93 year old neighbour Patrick Grant one year ago. He was freed of charges of dangerous harm and burglary after police lost the case file. Well, he won't be free for much longer. Police told us today that they will re-arrest him as soon as they find him. Southside Commander Chester Williams set the record straight today saying that the case file wasn't missing at all, they just had to follow the DPP's directives in this case. ACP Chester Williams - Commander of Southside Police: "Well the charges were indeed dropped yesterday at the magistrate's court but be reminded that he was charged with an indictable offense and therefore we will be arresting and charging him with those offenses. The principle of law is that he had not been placed at peril ..."

    Men Walk Free of Charges After Allegedly Shooting One of Their Own
    Today four men walked free after being charged with aggravated assault with a firearm. The thing is, the four men are linked to a city gang, and allegedly shot one of their own while trying to shoot a rival. It happened in August of last year, when Lloyd Leslie Jr., Dwayne Evelyn, Mark Phillips and Barry Johnston, allegedly waited for Delbert Palacio to turn into an alley. When Palacio came into view, one of the men allegedly opened fire, but something went wrong and Phillips ended up getting shot instead. All four men appeared in court today, but – as might have been expected - Palacio failed to show up to testify and Magistrate Norman Rodriguez struck out the case for want of prosecution.

    A Unique Investment Opportunity In Citrus
    The Citrus Growers Association is looking for investors – and today made a public offering of preferred stock in a company called Plant World Nurseries. It's a venture we first told you about in 2015, an effort to make the industry more resilient. But now CGA has divested the company and made it completely independent, firewalled from whatever financial difficulties the CGA may face. Plant World is offering a 6% return on investment – which is better than what you'd get at a bank. They are looking to attract industry stakeholders, small farmers and institutional investors to buy into 40% of the company's equity. Ervin Perez of the Legacy Fund which is arranging the sale, made the pitch along with executives from the CGA:… Ervin Perez - Managing Partner, Legacy Fund: "CGA is willing to offer institutional investors and the country as a whole, small farmer an opportunity to invest in one of the fastest growing opportunities within the industry. You understand the industry whether you're in the CGA or not in the CGA as a farmer you need to replant. There's only one certified nursery between Brazil and Florida and that's the one here."

    Realtors Rail Against New Central Bank Regulations
    The Association of Real Estate Brokers of Belize held an emergency meeting today at the Biltmore to discuss new Central Bank Regulations that could have a profound impact on the way business is conducted in this industry. Now, Real Estate is not formally classified as a major sector of the economy like agriculture or manufacturing, but this sector provides an important economic impetus, driving construction, employment and services. But, many times, the proceeds from big money real estate transactions never touch ground in Belize; the money from the sales are often banked abroad. That represents the loss of serious amounts of hard currency, and in this current economy which is strapped for foreign exchange, government wants those US dollars in Belize. We spoke to President of the Association Hugo Moguel about the concerns of his membership:…

    Doug Singh Taken Before Court For Minor Port Charges
    Former police minister Doug Singh was in Magistrate's court today facing a minor criminal charge brought by the Belize Port Authority. Singh is the owner of a skiff which was used by Belize Sand and Marine Company in July of this year to scout an area east of Baron Bliss Lighthouse for dredging. The Port Authority says the boat wasn't licensed and the captain, who happens to be named Andy Palacio did not have a captain's license. The case was set for trial today, but Port Authority prosecutor Harrison Heulett requested an adjournment because he did not have all of the evidence. Magistrate Norman Rodriguez denied him the request because he did not follow the rules and he struck out the case. Singh left court free of all charges.

    Mayor, No Fronting On Foreshore
    Last week we reported on the battered state of the drain coverings on Southern Foreshore. Since then the covering have been removed, and the street has been closed. The street, which is a major bypass for the congested downtown area has been blocked since last week. We asked the mayor what's next... Alex Courtney: "Now mayor speaking about congestion and traffic especially in downtown Belize City, I asked you this before but is there any update on the condition or repairs that's going on the Foreshore street?" Darell Bradley, Mayor - Belize City: "I have to check on that because my understanding is that has been done already -- if it hasn't been done already the only thing is really just to source some of the slabs. One of the problems I indicated to you earlier is that we recognise that's a problem because of the corrosion from the sea water and its several times that we've had to repair those iron bars and it is nuisance so that we've had to block off a section of that street at times and we're trying to really change it so that we put down cement slabs that we don't have this problem in the future but I have to give you an update in relation to what is going on in relation to that."

    Will Willoughby Share New Municipal Toys With Mayor?
    We also asked the Mayor about all those fancy new pieces of equipment that Councilor Phillip Willoughby has been sporting around town. They are funded by the flood mitigation project to be used specifically for streets and drains built under that project – but will the Council requisition them for use across the city? Here's what the mayor said... Darell Bradley, Mayor - Belize City: "The assignments of those vehicles are part of the flood mitigation project and the flood mitigation project as you may know is a tremendous initiative of the IDB working in part with the Ministry of Works and the Belize City Council in relation building the capacity of the municipality to be flood resistant. You would have seen significant amount of works going on, clearing out drains including several significant canals; Douglas Jones Canal works going on in Belama Phase 4."

    Serving Lunch For The Soldiers
    This afternoon, in a Christmas tradition that goes back decades, the men and women of the Belize Defence Force were treated to lunch by their bosses. The idea is that for the entire year, they give selflessly of themselves in service to the country. So, on this one day, their superiors – who usually command them here and there – are the ones who dutifully serve them. Commander, General David Jones, told us that it's one of the few days that the soldiers get to relax and loosen up, just in time for Christmas: Brig. Gen David Jones - Commander, BDF: "The objective is to say thanks to the soldiers for the hard work and dedication they have been providing for the nation throughout the years and throughout this year and it's an opportunity for the officers and soldiers who have been passing orders to them for the entire year to actually serve them foods and drinks. We've had separate but similar ceremonies at the different out stations."

    General Jones, No Ordinary Honor
    So, while the rank and file of the BDF were being honoured by their superiors, their boss, General David Jones, is preparing to receive a huge honour of his own as well. Next year, he will be inducted into the Fort Leavenworth Hall of Fame. That's the prestigious US military school where Jones studied. We asked him about the honour: Brig. Gen David Jones - Commander, BDF: "I have received correspondence already that there is intent for me to be inducted into the Hall of Fame at Fort Leavenworth Kansas. This honour is bestowed on officers who have been outstanding in their career and officers who have attended the commander general staff college at Fort Leavenworth Kansas and have risen all the way to rank of commander of their armed forces. So being that I was a graduated of that college and my performance while I was there and being that I have risen to the rank of the commander of the Belize Defence Force I have been invited to go and be inducted in the Hall of Fame which means I will also address the graduating class at Fort Leavenworth when I go there."

    Traffic Cops Keep The City Straight
    And while it’s not quite getting called up to the Leavenworth Hall of Fame, today, a select few Southside police were honored for their efforts in alleviating and controlling traffic in Belize City. Mayor, Darrell Bradley and the Commander of Southside Police Chester Williams handed out the awards. We spoke to the mayor and a few recipients about the City Council’s involvement in the ceremony and the importance of honouring good cops…

    Southside Santa for Sylvia
    And this afternoon, ACP Williams rushed to Tropical Park near Hattieville for a special Santa-style visit. He went to check in on a senior citizen who had sent him a handwritten letter asking for help. Well, Sylvia Hoare probably thought that request had fallen by the wayside, but she got a super Santa surprise today when Williams pulled up to her house. Here’s how it went:…

    Southside Shares The Love
    And the giving continued this afternoon at around 3:00 when a motorcade of police vehicles left the Raccoon Street police station and rolled through the streets of Southside Belize City. Now they weren't showing off or testing their new rides again, these police officers were giving out Christmas hampers. After collecting canned foods and other grocery items from the police department and the business community, they packaged them all up and made door-to-door deliveries to needy families. We followed along: ACP Chester Williams - Commander of Southside Police: "You know we are in the Christmas season and it is a season of love, a season of joy, a season of sharing and as a police department what we are doing this afternoon is sharing the love and sharing with people who we know for some reason or the other can't afford to have the necessities they would need for Christmas. Courtney Weatherburne: "How many hampers are you guys distributing?" ACP Chester Williams - Commander of Southside Police: "Today we are disturbing a total of 95 hampers across Southside Belize City, we try to identify those persons who we know are unable to provide for themselves and if you notice in most cases they are elderly people who live alone and we find sometimes that the elderly people are left. They don't have a means of income so it is difficult for them to provide for themselves for Christmas so as a police department we try to reach out to them to see how best we can assist in making their Christmas come true."

    Northside Did Give
    And Northside officers were also out this afternoon spreading Christmas cheer. We also rode along as they distributed 20 hampers. We spoke to one Buttonwood Bay resident who told us how this package will make her Christmas a lot more special and enjoyable. Northside cops will continue to distribute hampers on Friday.

    BEL's Corporate Character Comes Out At Christmas
    And it seems, di hampers cyaan done. BEL employees also distributed 150 packages over the past few days as part of the Company’s Christmas outreach program. 90 of the Hampers contained the main ingredients for a traditional Christmas dinner, while those for 60 senior citizens contained canned goods and toiletries. The hampers are valued at approximately $160 dollars each. And, in another tradition, on Christmas morning, BEL employees will also serve breakfast and distribute care packages to shut-ins and the homeless in Belize City.

    Hug It Out At Christmas
    And in one more burst of Christmas giving, an organization called GroupHug held its annual Christmas Charity Event. Since 2015, the organization has strived to engage young people in community and charity outreach, while helping at-risk youths. The organization is known for its annual backpack drive, which supplies hundreds of needy children with school supplies. But today it was about Christmas, and organizer, Andre Pitts, gave us more details… At the end of the event all the children received gifts, along with the prizes they’d already won.

    How To See Simone
    And before we close tonight, here’s how you can see Olympic Gold Medalist Simone Biles tomorrow. As we told you her motorcade leaves the Biltmore at 4:30 pm. It goes down the Phillip Goldson Highway unto Central American Boulevard into Cemetery Road unto Orange Street to Albert Street, then to Regent Street and it ends at the Battlefield Park. There will be a welcome event at the Park for Simone and her family. Representatives from various sporting associations including volleyball, cycling, bodybuilding, martial arts, football and track and field are slated to join in the motorcade.

    Channel 5

    Guatemala Map Validates Steady Encroachment by Fishers in Belizean Waters
    Tonight, there are two developments on the territorial claim to Belize that could explain Guatemala’s aggressive behavior for months. A map released by the Guatemalan government has surfaced showing that [...]

    Keep Calm on Guatemala Violations, Says Elrington
    Over the past two years, Guatemala has been asserting sovereignty over the area, going as far as militarizing the remote area and now escorts Belizeans traversing our side of the [...]

    Chester Noralez Not Home Free; Will Be Re-Arrested for Senior Citizen’s Beating
    He walked free from court on Monday afternoon for the brutal attack on an elderly man, but tonight police are looking for thirty-six-year-old Chester Noralez. He is to be re-arrested [...]

    B.D.F. Commander Jones Was Not Home at Time of Burglary
    The Price Barracks residence of Brigadier General David Jones was broken into a few weeks ago, while the B.D.F. commander was out of the country.  The discovery that his home [...]

    C.G.A. Proceeds to Annual General Meeting with Audited Financials
    Turning to developments in the agriculture sector…. The Annual General Meeting of the Citrus Growers Association planned for January twenty-first, 2017, is a crossroads in the survival of the multi-million [...]

    Citrus Crop Underway after Earl-related Delay
    The 2016-2017 citrus season is behind schedule due to impacts from Hurricane Earl in August. Millions of dollars in damages was suffered by growers of grapefruit and orange, the former [...]

    C.G.A. Plans Spin-Off of Plant World Nursery
    Almost five years ago, the Citrus Growers Association opened a four-million Belize dollar nursery for citrus plants which it sells to growers. The Plant World Nursery, located off the Southern [...]

    Ministry of Lands Clamps Down on Land Transactions with Foreigners
    If you are a non-resident of Belize looking to invest in land in the Jewel, you will want to know that there are now changes in transactions that will affect [...]

    Local Real Estate Market Depressed; No Money Available
    President of the Association of Real Estate Brokers of Belize, Hugo Moguel, also discussed the general state of the market for real estate. He explained that while the international market [...]

    Wait Continues for Refurbished Commercial Center
    Vendors departed from the Commercial Center in downtown Belize City a few months ago in advance of plans for a major project intended to spruce it up and give it [...]

    Doug Singh Walks on Charges from Port Authority
    Businessman fifty-four-year-old Doug Singh appeared in court today in connection with two port authority offences that he was charged with earlier this year. Back in July, Singh who is the [...]

    7 Traffic Officers Get Recognized by City Hall
    Spare a thought, as you drive bumper-to-bumper in our crowded City this week, for the traffic officers. Those from the Transport Department, City Traffic Department, and officers manning the checkpoints [...]

    Police Meet Community and Give Out Christmas Hampers
    Officers attached to Eastern Division South were out and about in south side Belize City today, but it wasn’t for its routine meet and greet sessions; instead they were giving [...]

    Technology to be Expanded for Police Patrols in Ladyville
    The increase in burglaries and robberies has been on the rise in recent weeks and the neighboring communities around Ladyville are helping the Police to keep their neighborhoods safe. In [...]

    More on Slick Attempted Home Invasions in Ladyville
    And that technology seems to be much need in places like Sunset Park and Lake Gardens. These are two small communities within the Rural Eastern Division. And ACP Edward Broaster [...]

    David Jones Joins U.S. Military Hall of Fame
    B.D.F. Commander David Jones will be inducted into the military Hall of Fame at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in March 2017.  The achievement comes after the Brigadier General accomplished the feat [...]

    B.D.F. Take Break for Christmas Party
    The announcement of Jones’ induction came this morning during the annual B.D.F. luncheon.  The brass catered to almost nine hundred soldiers presently enlisted in Belize’s armed forces.  Today, those men [...]

    LOVE FM

    Guatemala Takes Control of the Punta Gorda Coast, Says Article 45
    There is much concern looming as reports have been circulating regarding new regulations published by Guatemalan authorities surrounding fishing zones in the Sarstoon. No comment or report has been forthcoming from the Government of Belize but Love News has gotten a copy of the document which indicates that fishers from Guatemala can conduct small scale […]

    Jane Doe May Be Michelle Moreira of Dangriga
    Rural Eastern Division have yet to officially established the identity of Jane Doe, the woman whose body was found semi- decomposed in the Belize River a couple of days ago. Jane Doe is described as being of creole descent and has a tattoo with the letters M. I. C. H with a rose on her […]

    Family is Homeless Following Hurricane Earl and December House Fire
    A family from Roaring Creek Village is seeking the public’s assistance after their home was destroyed by fire. We hear more in this report from correspondent Fem Cruz. FEM CRUZ “Roaring Creek Police along with the fire department are investigating an early Wednesday morning fire in the village of Roaring Creek that destroyed the home […]

    CGA and Legacy Present the Plant World Nursery
    The Belize Citrus Growers Association has made plans to raise about six million dollars through an investment opportunity. The association has partnered with Legacy Fund which managed by Ervin Perez to create an innovated business idea that would attract investors and grow the citrus industry in Belize. It is a strategic financial move that has […]

    IDB Reports Double-Digit Decline in Belize’s Exports
    An international report focusing on imports and exports was published earlier this month with a focus on Latin America and the Caribbean. According to the report, exports are expected to fall approximately fifty billion dollars or about six percent for 2016. Three Caribbean countries, however, were noted as seeing extreme declines including Belize which saw […]

    Simone Biles Is Coming
    The Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro placed Simone Biles on the international scene and saw Belize extending an invitation to her to visit at the expense of the Belize Tourism Board. Biles does have Belizean heritage as the woman she calls her mother, Nellie Cayetano Biles is Belizean and with that she has been […]

    Dodging Disaster in the Realty Industry
    The Association of Real Estate Brokers of Belize called an emergency meeting with its members today. The meeting was prompted by a set of regulations that the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Central Bank began enforcing in November of this year. These regulations have caused much delay in business transactions between realtors and their […]

    Senior Military Officials Waits on BDF Soldiers at Christmas Luncheon
    The annual event where senior officials take a few hours out to serve food and drinks to the soldiers of the Belize Defence Force took place this morning at Price Barracks in Ladyville, Belize District. Over nine hundred men and women enjoyed the Christmas luncheon which has become a special event on their military calendar […]

    Brigadier General Heads to the Hall of Fame in Kansas
    Commander of the Belize Defence Force, Brigadier General David Jones was quite excited today when he spoke with the media on his upcoming induction into the Hall of Fame in Kansas, USA. He explained how this honor came about and what it means for him. DAVID JONES “I have received correspondence already that there is […]

    Love Foundation and Friends Cater to the Special Needs Children
    Today the Love Foundation has teamed up with its partners to host a number of special needs children at a Christmas Party in Orange Walk Town. Love News spoke with Yvette Lui about the event. YVETTE LIU “We partnered with UNICOMER, the Love Foundation, the Orange Walk Down Syndrome Group , The Women Achieving Valuable […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    New developments in the Citrus Industry
    The Citrus Growers Association (CGA) of Belize, held a press conference today at Biltmore Plaza in Belize City. According to CEO Henry Anderson, the CGA is encouraging its growers to plant half million more trees to compete with Brazil and Florida. The CGA claimed […]

    Still no charges for Pakeman
    Rural Eastern Division Commander, ACP Edward Broaster told the media yesterday that charges still haven’t been brought against Government Press Officer Director Dorian Pakeman for knocking down and killing Gardenia resident Dean Dawson Sr in March.According to Broaster, the case file is still with the […]

    No arrests made in disturbing murder of elderly woman
    On Sunday night a gunman emptied his clip on a 61-year-old grandmother of 29 in her home and in front of her grandchildren. Still, no arrests have been made in the case. Police are unable to locate the suspected gunman, who is alleged to […]

    Controversial LGBT activist to receive award in London
    Caleb Oroszo, the LGBT activist who won a landmark decision in Belize Supreme Court overturning anti-gay laws, will be traveling to London in January to receive the David Kato Vision and Voice Award, which is presented annually in memory of murdered Ugandan LGBT activist […]

    Ministry of Human Development concerned about FB post
    The Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation issued a release today stating that it has been made aware that an entity or group is using the name and logo of the Ministry to promote a “Take a Child Home for Christmas” […]

    Motorcycle stolen in San Ignacio
    According to police reports,19-year-old Angel Alexander Xis of Kontiki Extension in San Ignacio reported that yesterday about 12:00 a.m., he parked his 2015 white Meilun motorcycle in front of his house. Later around 7:00 a.m., he noticed that his motorcycle was missing. Police are […]

    Blogs

    Seas D Day, Seaduced By Belize’s Newest Addition Or My Love Affair with the Leeward Side of Ambergris Caye
    It is INCREDIBLY beautiful back there. And until now you had a just few options to experience it. You could drive to Secret Beach – and join the crowd at the bars and restaurant there (you can check it out in this post), you could go out with a flyfishing guide or you could charter a boat to the areas above. But now there is a new tour boat called “Sea’s D Day” – an island spin on Roman poet Horace’s Carpe Diem – that is taking regular trips up the west side. And doing it with all the bells and whistles and comforts you can imagine on a pleasure boat. And some that surprised me. It leaves from the lagoon side of town – just off the Back Street on Seaduced’s dock. It is fully kitted out. Paddle boards, kayaks, tubes, fishing poles… There is an upstairs and an AIR CONDITIONED down stairs with a front deck. A kitchen that is GORGEOUS for a home much less a boat! A fryer, an oven, lounge areas…

    A Caribbean Island Lifestyle With a Healthy Side Income
    “Sitting on my sofa, I can look out to the Caribbean Sea and watch the water crash over the barrier reef,” says Rose Alacantra. “The view from my condo connects me with nature. It helps frame my day-to-day attitude.” Rose and her husband Bob live in a two-bedroom, beachside condo in the upscale Tres Cocos neighborhood of Ambergris Caye, Belize. In the summer of 2013, Rose and Bob left the San Francisco Bay Area behind to begin a new life in Belize. Originally, they’d considered some other countries and other regions of Belize. Their plan was to spend six months on Ambergris Caye, Belize’s largest island, and six months on the mainland in the town of San Ignacio. But Ambergris Caye was the magnet that wouldn’t let go. They never made it to San Ignacio… Rose and Bob quickly adjusted to Ambergris Caye’s easy-going Caribbean lifestyle. “Living here grants me the time to look beyond my to-do list…look beyond social media…look beyond commercialism…to focus on what is meaningful to me,” says Rose. From day one, Rose relished the many options for outdoor activities and social interaction. “Early on I enjoyed the adventure of living on an island, discovering where to shop, dine, and play. My husband and I cycled everywhere. We took daily yoga classes. Our fellow yoga practitioners became our close friends. From there I found my path to doing what I enjoy, which is teaching fitness.”

    International Sourcesizz

    Bahamas and Belize Share Caribbean Mediathon Win
    The Bahamas and Belize have collaboratively made history by winning the Compete Caribbean Mediathon held recently in Barbados, November 22nd-23rd, 2016. It was the Caribbean’s first mediathon. The winning proposal came from a team comprising University of The Bahamas Director of Communication Mrs. Tameka Lundy and UB Media Journalism student Deanya Knowles and Belize television personalities Courtney Weatherburne and Marleni Cuellar. The winning proposal, called “STEM-tastic”, aims to leverage traditional and new media to increase the participation of Caribbean nationals in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) careers. The proposal involves producing a whimsical book series for 8-11 year olds in the Caribbean region which showcases success stories of individuals whose STEM careers have made them icons. The compelling feature of the book series would be the use of augmented reality technology to reinforce interest in books and reading and encourage young children to aspire to careers in the STEM field.

    Northern Triangle of Central America Situation Update - December 2016
    UNHCR’s Regional Office in Panama is implementing the Regional Protection and Solutions Strategy for the NTCA situation in close collaboration with country offices, state entities and partners. The Regional Office oversees UNHCR’s operations in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, as well protection activities in Panama, Nicaragua and Cuba. The NTCA strategy also encompasses activities in the United States of America, Mexico, Belize and Costa Rica, with permanent coordination being ensured between respective country offices. Central America is suffering a wave of violence stemming from organized criminal groups, including record high homicide rates, sexual violence, disappearances, forced recruitment into gangs, and extortion. Violence affects a diverse range of people including children, women, as well as LGTBI persons. Insecurity is also compelling an increasing number of persons to flee their homes and to seek international protection, particularly in bordering and nearby countries. The United States of America, Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and El Salvador are all affected, either as countries of origin, transit or destination, and in some cases, in a combination of these.

    Regional experts make 'slow, steady progress' on safe seafood policies
    There is still a long way to go but experts meeting here last Thursday expressed optimism that slow but steady progress was being made toward introducing region-wide laws, rules and regulations intended to make Caribbean fish and seafood not only ready for world trade but safe for Caribbean tables. The experts, drawn from fisheries, legal affairs, food health and safety and standards agencies across ten countries in the Caribbean Forum of ACP States (CARIFORUM), ended two days of deliberations on model legislation, protocols and guidelines for health and food safety related to fisheries and aquaculture. “Still a long way to go but making progress,” said executive director of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) Milton Haughton at the workshop in Barbados.

    Videos

  • Prime Minister's Christmas Message, 2min. Peace and joy to ALL and very best wishes for the New Year!

  • Blue-black Grassquit, Toledo District Belize, 3/4min.

  • Belize Bonefishing, 5min.

  • Belize 121616, 2.5min. From Norwegian Pearl we took a tender to the port of Belize. From there we acquired a taxi to explore the city ourselves. The total price was $30 per couple. Using the taxi you're able to stop at any time you like to get out and take pictures. We spent about our half touring the city and then went to Kukumba Beach. We stayed at Kukumba Beach. Our taxi driver Bert came back and picked us up and dropped us back off at the port.

  • Lean and slide on a Belize airboat, 2min. Belize airboat tour is a must. Raise arms, lean into the sharp 90 turn. What a rush! I look like I got a bug up my nose.

  • Belize monkeys and Iguanas, 5.5min.

  • Kriol Brukdong | Belize Dance Tradition, 4.5min.

  • Belize History Association, 38min.

  • National Kriol Council - Old Fashion Christmas, 32min.

  • Ms. Gillett's Black Cake, 30min.

  • Lova Boy Sweet Belize, 3.5min.

  • Good Mawnin Belize, 3min.

  • Non Rev Life: Belize Pt 2, 8min. art 2 of my belize vacation.

  • Vacation to Belize/ Vlog | Brenda Manalac, 40min. Its a long video so get your snacks:) This trip was sooo much fun, very different from California but so beautiful. Hope you enjoy:)

  • TR Shine - Soca Dan Dada (Official Music Video) "2017 Soca" (Belize) [HD], 3min.

  • A Taste of Paradise, 3.5min. Follow me as I make a quick trip down to Belize! Thanks to Royal Belize and Belize Underwater for always making each trip a trip to remember!

    December 21, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    FCCA and BTB host annual children’s holiday party in Belize City
    The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) partnered up with the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) once again to host their annual Christmas Party on Friday, December 16th. Held at the Fort Street Tourism Village in Belize City, the party was well-attended by 200 students from eight different schools, along with their teachers. This celebration definitely brought the Christmas spirit to the students, as they were made to feel more than special. The staff of the Norwegian Pearl and BTB treated the special guests to refreshments and food. While the DJ hyped up the room with the latest songs, Ozzy the Clown offered entertainment by way of balloon art, creating hats and animals for the excited kids. The staff also distributed Christmas goody bags for the kids to enjoy. Afterwards, the children had several opportunities to play games for prizes and even get their face painted. Near the end of the party, the staff of the Norwegian Pearl Cruise line took on the role of Santa’s helpers, as they passed gifts to Santa so he could distribute them to the girls and boys. There were very big smiles on the boys’ and girls’ faces as they opened and played with their gifts. More games were on the agenda, and teachers had the chance to be in the spotlight with a hula-hoop competition.

    Prime Minister Barrow delivers end of year press conference
    A series of modifications in the current Government’s administration were announced on Tuesday, December 13th by Prime Minister Rt. Honorable Dean Barrow. At his last press conference for 2016, held in the capital city of Belmopan, Barrow briefed the media on the departure of Attorney General and Minister of Natural Resources, Senator Vanessa Retreage, and the changes in his third cabinet reshuffle. Barrow began the press conference by clearing all speculations in connection to Retreage’s resignation. He explained that she had given a one- year time limit of service upon her appointment in November of 2015. Retreage, who was present at the press conference, thanked Prime Minister Barrow for the privilege to serve the government, and the people of Belize. She further explained that due to both family and business commitments she is returning to her private practice.

    Another spectacular Caribbean Christmas Colors Contest
    For the eleventh year, The San Pedro Sun staff toured across San Pedro Town judging colorfully lit houses for their annual Caribbean Christmas Colors Contest. The competition is held to recognize residents who decorate their houses in the spirit of Christmas, and Caribbean Christmas Colors is intended to give back to a community that promotes holiday joy. With brightly lit homes adorned with festive ornaments and twinkling lights, San Pedro residents certainly seemed to be feeling the holidays. On Friday, December 16th, judges secretly drove around looking for those holiday homes. As far as three miles north of Sir Barry Bowen Bridge all the way to the DFC Area, there were lights to be seen, some in obscure locations, while others proudly shone like beacons. After a fun tour, deserving homes were awarded based on categories. Fabulous prizes were given to: Best Overall, Best Theme, Most Creative, Jan Jensen Memorial, North Star, Honorable Mention, Mrs. Claus’s Choice, Best Business, Reason for the Season, and Santa’s Special Pick.

    PACT awards $2.28 million in grants to Belize organizations protecting the Chiquibul
    Four Belizean conservation organizations were awarded a total of $2.28 million on Tuesday, December 13th, through the Protected Areas Conservation Trust’s (PACT) Environmental Management Fund. The recipients of this important financial aid were the Belize Defense Force (BDF), the Forestry Department, Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD), and the Ya’axche Conservation Trust. The initiative to strengthen these organizations that operate in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve began in August of this year. The Ministry of the Environment unveiled the Chiquibul Forest Investment Initiative, which will see an investment of an unprecedented $15.8 million over the next two years. During the unveiling in August, the Ministry promised to outlay the finances as soon as possible, and that has now begun. Executive Director at PACT Denicia Francisco said the reason these institutions were awarded such financial assistance came from the fact that they are directly involved in the protection of Chiquibul. “Over the next two years, $2.5 million dollars will be made available to these organizations from the PACT’s Environmental Management Fund,” said Francisco.

    Ambergris Today

    Belize Participates in Food Safety in Fishery Sector Training
    “This course will allow the streamlining of our laboratory testing capabilities and has provided a better understanding of what the EU wants,” said Avis O'Reilly-Richardson, Senior Chemist from the Food Safety & Technology Laboratory, Bahamas. “There are many areas in my country where there are no controls; e.g. imports, fishing vessels, etc. The information received as well as the discussions with other participants will help me to develop systems for these controls in the future,” another participant said. Dr. Susan Singh-Renton, CRFM’s Deputy Executive Director and CRFM's Project Coordinator, welcomed the course saying that it “…allowed the trainees to develop a stronger understanding of the full extent of laboratory and regulatory requirements for fulfilling international sanitary standards for fish and fishery products, and allowed them also to share lessons and best practices in considering possible solutions for many of the challenges faced in putting the methods into actual practice in their home countries.”

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Secret Santa strikes!
    A mother of 9 in Ladyville was treated to $300 grocery shopping courtesy a secret santa coordinated by Ladyville Police. The media went along and spoke with the grateful recipient after she completed her Christmas shopping at Sky Supermarket.

    Secret Santa strikes again!
    A mother of 4 kids & 3 grand kids was treated to Christmas shopping at Bottom Dollar in Belize City. A secret santa, through the Police Department, treated the family to $300 worth of groceries. The Majestic Alley resident was taken by surprise!

    SECRET SANTA STRIKES FOR A THIRD TIME TODAY - THIS TIME ON THE SOUTHSIDE!
    Last year the Rural Eastern Division Police pioneered the concept of a "Secret Santa," police acting as the agents of anonymous donors to spread Christmas cheer. This afternoon on Southside, ACP Chester Williams took up the initiative, selecting retired mother of 13 Dawn Flowers to receive 300 dollars worth of groceries at Publics Supermarket on Central American Boulevard. The Iguana Street resident was surprised that police came to her door and dismayed when they suggested someone at publics complained about her. But she was humbly grateful and appreciative. Christmas hampers will be handed out in Belize City tomorrow while the regular RED Secret Santa is ongoing in Ladyville.

    Popeye's is looking for two house keeper
    Applicant must bring a valid social security card when applying. (visit office to apply!)

    5K Jungle Race
    Hurrah to our friends at US Embassy Belmonpan, Belize for kicking butt during their 5K Jungle Race - part of the DSS Global Race for Charity Challenge. They raised $482 for DSF!! You are awesome!

    BELIZE 2017 - LE GUIDE NUMÉRIQUE
    The Belize Hotel Association prides itself in taking bold steps to break into new markets in various innovative ways. One such way is through strategic advertising in several languages allowing us to promote our members and Belize in many different parts of the world. Petit Fute is the editor of city guides and tourist and travel guides for 40 years and covers more than 630 destinations in France and worldwide, including 90 exclusive guides. In 2015, over 3 million tourists chose Petit Fute to organize their stay. The "country guides" are practical guides written for individual and group travelers. They also treat the cultural aspects of the destination and are printed in colors with a number of maps and pictures. Petit Fute offers paperback, Ebook and Web versions for its guides. Their latest project was to produce a 300 page Belize guide in French, that will be sold and distributed in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, French Canada and other French speaking countries throughout the world. The Petit Fute team, spent two months in Belize staying at different hotels, visiting restaurants, doing tours, sightseeing, and learning the country and its landmarks. After experiencing our country and what it has to offer, they compiled their recommendations based on what they felt would be most appropriate for the French traveler. In addition the country receives added marketing being prominently featured in the the third edition of the Le Guide de la plongee/ Diving in the world guide.

    Splashers
    Lets get our splash on this Thursday at Crazy Canucks Beach Bar at 2pm.

    Unauthorized Use of the Ministry’s Name and Logo
    The Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation has been made aware that an entity or group is using the name and logo of the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation & Poverty Alleviation to promote a "Take a Child Home for Christmas” campaign. The Ministry, however, has NOT been contacted by any group or individual regarding such a campaign and is not collaborating with the entity promoting the program. The group’s use of the Ministry's name and logo, as well as the name and picture of the Dorothy Menzies Child Care facility is therefore not only unauthorized by the Ministry, but is misleading to the public. The group has been asked to cease and desist from advertising any such campaign using the Ministry’s name, logo, or residential care facilities.

    Governor General Hosts Annual Christmas Party

    Toyota Chiquibul Expedition
    AN UPCOMING EVENT: FCD has partnered with Toyota Company for the Toyota Chiquibul Expedition, which will take Toyota owners to learn the wonders of the Chiquibul Forest. Toyota drivers, look out for your invitation to join and help protect the Chiquibul!!!

    Belize History Association Newsletter
    The first issue of our Newsletter is now live. Read/Download/Share to learn more about our activities and snippets of our history.

    Channel 7

    No One Detained For Killing Woman In Front of Grandkids
    Cayo police are still looking for the man who executed 68-year-old Paulina Urbelina Sanchez. On Sunday night around 7:30, Sanchez was standing at the door of her Santa Elena home when a lone gunman emerged and shot her. She fell and bled out on her verandah in front of 2 granddaughters, aged 7 and 8. What's even more disturbing is that Sanchez's murder may be linked to a family land dispute over Sanchez's house - where she was killed. The report is that the man was hired to get rid of Sanchez so a relative can take over her property. The suspected relative is believed to be out of the country at this point. But police are looking into this angle and still have to confirm if this is the motive in this case. Sanchez leaves behind 29 grandchildren.

    Source of Deadly Dispute Was Religion, Not Liquor
    Belmopan police are also trying to close the San Martin murder case: they still haven't found the main suspect Howard Martinez. Martinez allegedly stabbed his friend 27 year old Freddy Cerritos on Friday evening. They were hanging out, having a religious discussion but that exchange took a sudden turn and Martinez stabbed Cerritos about 8 times. Family and friends are still in shock as to what would drive Martinez to snap. Well the police today confirmed that it wasn't liquor because there is no evidence that liquor was involved so it's a case where a conversation went from religious to murderous. If you see Howard Martinez kindly call Belmopan police.

    Accused of Brutal Beatdown of 93 Year Old Neighbor, Chester Norales Gets Off
    Last year on December 27th, 93 year old Patrick Grant was robbed and almost beaten to death in his Fern Lane house. It made major headlines because the 93 year old was beaten so viciously, and the alleged attacker was his neighbor 36 year old Chester Noralez. Although Grant has physically recovered from that traumatic experience, he will now have to face the unsettling fact that his alleged attacker, Noralez will be roaming free. That's after Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer struck the case out of court because police lost the case file. So Noralez got off both charges of dangerous harm and burglary. Noralez has a pending sexual assault case before the court.

    Man Robbed of 20K Chain, Almost Loses Life
    A man was robbed of his $20,000 chain last night and nearly shot in the head for it. 53 year old Griffith Moody was outside his house loading his vehicle when an armed man approached him and told him to turn over his belongings. Well, Moody gave up his chain but not before the man fired a shot that grazed his head. Police told us more about this brazen theft. Sr. Supt. ALDEN Dawson, Deputy OC, ED South: "Police visited the KHMH emergency ward, they met one Griffith Moody, 53 year old of #8 Lakeview Street. Police learned from that time from Mr. Moody that he was in front of his residents along with a friend, loading some items in his van when he was approached by 3 masked male persons, one of the persons placed a gun to his head and made demands of his property, fearing for his life he handed over a gold chain which valued $20,000 and while doing so the male person fired a single shot which caused a wound at the right side of Mr. Griffith's head. At this point the injury is not life threatening and he is in a stable condition." Courtney Weatherburne, 7News: "Were all 3 men armed or it was just one of the 3 who came up and shot him to the head?" Sr. Supt. ALDEN Dawson, Deputy OC, ED South: "One of the 3 men was armed who fired the shot and caught Mr. Griffith in the head. There is 2 persons in custody at this time and the investigation continues."

    Still No Resolution in Dean Dawson Knockdown
    It's been over 8 months since Dorian Pakeman knocked down and killed Gardenia resident Dean Dawson Sr. But, police haven't been able to decide whether they should bring criminal charges against the Government Press Office Director, who's currently on unpaid leave, or if he should go free. Pakeman has been unable to report to work because the Prime Minister, to whom he answers directly, is waiting for DPP's office to decide. On the other side is the victim's family and friends have also been forced to wait for what they believe is a just outcome. And so today, we asked Rural police if they're any closer to arriving at a decision. Assistant Police Commissioner Edward Broaster told us that the DPP has the case file, and she has given them certain directives: ACP Edward Broaster - OC, Eastern Division Rural: "As far as what I was briefed, I think it was last week we got the file back from the DPP and there were two directives that were not complied with and as soon as those directives are complied with, that matter will be dealt with."

    Ministry Complains About Bogus Foster Care Programme
    Today, the Ministry of Human Development reacted strongly to a Facebook campaign named, "Take A Child Home For Christmas." The flier prominently features the ministry's logo and the Dorothy Menzies Children's Home, and urges the public to, quote, "provide a temporary, safe and caring environment where children can seek refuge". The flier says that the initiative is Organized by a group called "Insiders Belize Cooperative." Well, the Ministry sent out a release this evening saying don't buy into it because it's bogus. The Ministry says it quote "has not been contacted by any group or individual regarding such a campaign...(which is) misleading to the public". The group has been asked to shut down the facebook campaign, pronto. But for those who do want to help a foster child at Christmas, the ministry does operate what's called a "Respite Program." Through this program, interested persons work with the Ministry to give holiday and weekend care for children in foster homes. If you want to be a part of that you can contact the Department of Human Services at 227-2057/227-7451.

    Two For Murdering Man At Doctor's House
    In January, a trio of men were charged for the murder of Ian Robert Blair which happened at the home of his friend Doctor Marcos Rugama on Simon Lamb Street. Well, only two of them will stand trial for murder and other charges. 22 year old Max Orosco and 19 year old Windell Thurton, will be tried in the April 2017 session of the Supreme Court. This is the conclusion of a Preliminary Inquiry into the murder. They will also be on trial for attempted murder, dangerous harm, use of deadly means of harm and aggravated burglary against Dr. Rugama who was stabbed in the chest. A television was also stolen. Both men told the court that they will be calling witnesses to give alibis for their whereabouts at the time of the murder.

    Police Still Can't Say Who Was Driving Pickup In Collision That Caused Three Deaths
    Orange Walk police still cannot say who was driving the pickup that crashed into a Tillett Bus on Saturday night on the Yo Creek Road. There is some confusion because the massive impact caused the passengers in the pickup to be flung from their seats. Police also cannot say yet whether speed or alcohol were a factor in the collision. But, regardless of what caused it, three families are spending Christmas grappling with the loss of three young lives: 22-year-old Minor Hernandez, 26-year-old Jason Gongora, and his cousin 22 year old Giovani Gongora. All three were neighbors in Yo Creek, and for the families, the pain and the loss is immense. Here's how a cousin of Jason Gongora put it:... Kenny Gongora, Cousin, Jason Gongora: "I always loved him like my brother because that is what he is, my brother and that is how I always saw him, like my older brother, and he was a man very happy,loving with his sisters and with his mom, with his parents, he was always very caring and he liked to joke around with his little sisters, my aunt, his mother told me that every night when they were going to bed, they joked around before going to sleep and they told each other jokes as brothers and sisters among themselves and in truth I will always remember Jason as a loving, humble person."

    Santa Comes Early For City Council
    Last week we showed you how the City Council got a street sweeper as part of the municipal drainage project. Well, this week, Santa gave councilor Willoughby another early Christmas present: this one even more grand. It's a vacuum truck with all the bells and whistles, and we found out how it works today:... Make way on the roadways for the City's newest acquisition, locally this would be called a sludge truck, but its known industrial as a Vacuum Truck. It's been acquired to clean out these drains built in the municipal drainage project. It's a fairly simple proposal - big hose sucks drains clean. That is at the most basic level. But it is also a lot more complex and precise. This nozzle for example is inserted into the drain - And the hose can snake for hundreds of feet to emit a high pressure spray Which can still be heard and seen coursing through the drain two hundred feet away. sort of a pressure washer for the sewer - After that the drain can be seen flowing freely in inky black swirls. But this drain was easy, it was only recently built.

    Rural Cops Using Technology To Foil Burglaries
    Every year around the holiday season, police have to prepare for a spike in crime, particularly burglaries and thefts. The criminals always appear to be looking for that "Christmas come-up", and in Belize Rural, the cops have had to foil 3 break-ins in the past few weeks. Fortunately, a very vigilant community assisted in two instances, but the thieves are getting smarter in their attempts to stay one step ahead of the police. This morning, the Commander of the Rural Eastern Division told us that they need the communities in their jurisdiction to make sure that they don't get complacent. ACP Edward Broaster - OC, Eastern Division Rural: "They need to be very vigilant. We had last week a couple guys coming with weed wackers pretending to be cutting yard and attempted to burglarize several homes. Fortunately, we were on top of them and they had to run and leave their weed wacker. Talk to your neighbors and let them know what's happening. We have people like for example in the Lake Garden area and other areas forming their WhatsApp chat so that they can communicate with each other and report suspicious activity and really communicate with one another."

    Southside Cops Caring For Community
    Though they have fewer square miles to cover than the rural cops, police on the southside are also on high alert. Deputy OC for Eastern Division South Senior Superintendent Alden Dawson told us more about their Christmas police patrols and the fun activities they have planned for Southside residents.

    Secret Santa's Shopping Spree
    It's only 5 days to Christmas, but Rural police played Santa today. It's a neat program where the cop basically use the Department's bad reputations to randomly detain people for no reason at all, and then quickly make up for it by giving the pretend detainees a Christmas gift they could never expect. That's how it went this afternoon - and we'll get to that but this morning it was more straightforward where Police selected residents for a 300-dollar shopping spree, sponsored by Secret Santa. Daniel Ortiz has that story:

    Secret Santa Gives Bucks On The Bus
    Well, the shopping sprees continued this afternoon in the city, followed by our favorite: Secret Santa on a bus. That's where commuters get hauled off the bus about some mystery complaint, and then learn that Secret Santa is gonnna make their day. Alex Courtenay was there for the afternoon session:... Alex Courtenay reporting: This afternoon's giveaway was held in two sections. The first was $300 shopping spree at Publics in Belize City, but there was a catch. The winner had no idea it was coming. Reporter: "When the police showed up a while ago, what were you thinking?" Dawn Faber - Shopping Spree Winner: "I wanted to know who made a complaint about me because I didn't harass anybody from I know myself. When I got in this place I started to cry because I said 'mien who made a complaint against me when I know I'm no kind of problem'."

    Simone, Come Home!
    She won 5 Olympic medals in Rio, and now Simone Biles is coming to Belize to celebrate. The world's top gymnast, has often been quoted as saying that Belize is her favourite place to vacation, and that's because her step-grandmother - who she calls her mother is Belizean Nellie Cayetano Biles. And while she's visited Belize many times before, on Thursday Simone Biles will arrive as a guest of the nation. She's accepted an invitation from the Tourism Board to vacation in Belize. So, if you want to see her in person, there'll be a motorcade through the main streets of Belize City on Thursday starting at 4:00 from the Biltmore. The motorcade will end at the Battlefield Park in downtown Belize City where there will be a brief welcome ceremony. The New York Times reports that Simone Biles is a dual citizen of Belize and the USA. She boasts regularly about how much she loves to fish in Belize.

    Cayman Cared For Coleman
    Last month, James bus driver Tyrone Coleman returned home from Cayman after receiving life saving heart surgery. Coleman, was diagnosed with coronary artery disease, which restricts blood flow to the heart. His family did their best to raise money to fly him to the US to undergo surgery, but they were unable to cover the costs. That's when they got an email from the Belize-Cayman Association telling them that their expenses were covered. The hospital where Coleman received his surgery, Health City, has released a video about his experience. Here's a small part of it... The surgery was a complete success, and Coleman is currently at home recovering.

    Channel 5

    Teachers and Government Still Can’t Decide When to Come Back to School
    Teachers and students across the country are officially on Christmas vacation.  Some are enjoying time with friends and family, while others are catching up with their to-do list ahead of [...]

    United Nations Votes for Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation Issues
    The United Nations is set to appoint an independent expert on sexual orientation and gender identity issues, following three contentious rounds of voting at the international body in New York [...]

    Senior Citizen Robbed and Shot Overnight on Lakeview Street
    Crime continues to grip the city. A shooting overnight has left a fifty-three year old Belize City resident hospitalized. Griffith Moody was outside his home on Lakeview Street with a [...]

    Charges Coming For Dorian Pakeman in Accident?
    Gardenia Mechanic Dean Dawson was knocked down and killed earlier in March of this year and so far there has been a lot of back and forth, but no one [...]

    Homeless “Jane Doe” in Belize River Still Unnamed a Week Later
    Police are no closer to identifying the body of the woman retrieved from the Belize River last Wednesday. When it was fished out of the river, it was noted that [...]

    American Charged With Forty-Year-Old Double Murder of Tourists to Belize
    After as many as forty years, a double murder case has been cracked. An American from California has been charged with two counts of maritime murder for the deaths of [...]

    Behind Prison Walls, Inmates Hope for New Lives
    A recent ruling by the Court of Appeal will have significant bearing on the lives of inmates convicted for murder. The decision primarily hinges on parole rules mandating that those [...]

    Chester Noralez’ Case for Savage Beating of Neighbor Dropped in Court
    Thirty-six-year-old Chester Noralez, a repeat offender, accused of brutally attacking an elderly neighbor last year, is home free tonight after the court struck out the matter against him because his [...]

    Accused Killers of Ian Blair to Stand Trial
    Two Belize City men will have to stand trial for murder at the April 2017 session of the Supreme Court as well as a slew of other offenses including attempted [...]

    Christmas Surprises and Cheer for Rural Eastern Division
    Around this time in 2015, Rural Eastern Division Police based in Ladyville were stopping buses along the Philip Goldson Highway at a checkpoint. They selected certain passengers and in typical [...]

    Secret Santa Works Overtime on Northside
    Kris Kringle, Saint Nicholas, Santa Claus – fairytale or not – a Secret Santa was out and about today spreading Christmas cheer from Ladyville to Belize City with his elves [...]

    Southside Mom Gets Needed Help from Police
    The Police’s Secret Santa was all over the Belize District today. This afternoon he came down to Southside and specifically to Iguana Street, where a mother and step-mother of thirteen [...]

    Downtown of Old Capital Safe for Shoppers
    While residents are finalizing their last minute shopping and preparations for Christmas, the sad reality is that it is also a time when there is an increase in the number [...]

    Burglars Getting Slick in Ladyville; Community Watch Will Help
    For most Belizeans Christmas is a time of spreading cheer but it’s also a time when criminals spread fear –robbing and burglarizing homes. Those criminal elements have been around the [...]

    Belize Bank, Mercy Kitchen Share Christmas with Families in Gungulung
    It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas for twelve Belize City families who otherwise would have had things a bit harder this time of year.  Thanks to an enduring [...]

    What’s Hot for Christmas gifts? News Five Goes Shopping
    There are only four more shopping days before the Christmas. Across the City, the rush and buzz is in the air as shoppers look for deals. But what items are [...]

    CTV3

    A Double Murder In Belize Thirty Eight Years Ago, One Man Is Charged
    A 75 year old elderly man has been arrested in California for a killing that happened in Belizean waters over 38 years ago. Two British students, Peta Frampton, and her boyfriend Christopher Farmer came to Belize on vacation in June of 1978, the couple hired American Sailor Silas Duane Boston to take them to Mexico on his yacht. But the couple never made it to their destination, as it was uncovered that Boston ended up killing them in July - and dumping their bodies in the sea. According to ABC 10 in Sacramento, Boston almost got away with this cruel crime until an investigation into his wife’s death rekindled police investigations and led to Boston’s arrest in Northern California last week. According to ABC 10, Boston’s two sons, who were just boys when the incident occurred, confessed to police that they had witnessed the murders. The elderly man appeared in a California court where pled not guilty to the murders. Boston ended up in Belize with his sons Christopher and Vince in the 70's, while he was running away from statutory rape charges in California. Boston is also being accused of killing his wife Mary, who went missing in 1968.

    BBB Concern About Belize's Increasing Debt
    The Belize Business Bureau, which is a chartered private business sector group, has raised alarm over the economic situation in the country. The Bureau issued a release today indicated that it is concerned that Belize is at risk of devaluation if the state of affairs is not corrected. The release notes that Belize is facing seven major issues, including revaluation of the Belize dollar, unsustainable GDP to debt ratio that could possibly rise to 101.7%, negative GDP growth, loss of correspondent banking, and a widening funding gap. The release notes that the IMF had warned in 2015 that if the GDP to debt levels increased to 100%, it would reflect a 30% depreciation of the Belize dollar. The Bureau advised that to maintain the exchange rate, Belize needs monetary discipline, minimal uncertainty and a controlled trade balance.

    Orange Walk COPS Gear Up To Fight Crime
    The Orange Walk Police Formation has undertaken several security measures in an attempt to minimize the level of crime throughout our town in sight of the fast approaching Christmas season. The reason for that is the fact that majority of culprits seem to take advantage of the festive season to carry out their criminal acts and their targets often results to be the business community. Yesterday during an interview with Inspector of Police Jose Mendez, he elaborated on specific measures that the department is implementing across the community to fight crime. Jose Mendez – Inspector of Police, Orange Walk Town: “At this Christmas Season the premier element will be there and we have our met and greet programs, community policing programs whereby the police interact with the business community especially advising them as to their security measures to be more efficient, our personnel visited thee areas and advise them as to if they see anybody suspicious within the area they could dial our 911 number which is free so they can give us the information for us to respond to it.”

    No Charges Against Pakeman As Yet
    Popular mechanic Dean Dawson of Gardenia village was killed in an accident on the Philip Goldson highway back in March this year involving the Director of the Government Press Office, Dorian Pakeman. But a full 10 months and a half later, there has been no resolution to the case and it is still not known whether Pakeman will be charged or not. As you may be aware, it was discovered that Pakeman had traces of cocaine in his blood at the time of the accident. Today, ACP Edward Broaster, the officer commanding Rural Eastern Division was asked for an update. ACP Edward Broaster – Officer Commanding Eastern Division: “As far as what I was briefed, I think it was last week we got the file back from the DPP and there were two directives that were not complied with and as soon as those directives are complied with that matter with be dealt with. I think it has something to do with the reports from the forensic las as soon as those labs are completed action will be taken in regards to that matter.”

    Centaurs' Corozal Winner Collects His Prize
    A lucky Centaur Cable customer has already felt maximum Christmas cheer when he came by the Centaur office on 4th Avenue to pick up his Christmas raffle grand prize. 76 year old Feliciano Tun of 8th North Street here in Corozal Town was selected as the winner at Centaur’s Expo and Bram held on Saturday. This morning he picked up his prize and he told us just how much he will enjoy his new gift. Servulo Baeza - Manager, Centaur Corozal: “Don Feliciano Tun acá le presentamos la televisión que gano en la rifa y que es como la compañía le muestra el aprecio a ustedes los clientes por ser parte de la familia de Centaur so una vez más Feliz pascua y que disfrute de su nueva televisión.” Feliciano Tun, Winner, Centaur Corozal Christmas Raffle: “Le doy gracias a la compañía pues que he ganado y que Dios quiera que sigan adelante ustedes. Me siento muy alegre que pues me toco la suerte y pues yo no pensaba eso pero me vinieron a decírmelo y pues le digo no creo nada de estas cosas y pues que hasta que lo bidé en la televisión que pasaron mi nombre haya y pues ni nuera vino a ver que si es cierto y pues esa muy bonito el servicio como lo dan ustedes y pues Feliz Navidad para todos y para ustedes también.”

    MAMAS Continue To Empower Women
    There are a number of initiatives that are carried out across the north to empower women in society. One group however, has without a doubt left their mark here in the Orange Walk District, Mujeres Ayudando A Mujeres a Superarse, MAMAS has been operating for over ten years, offering a number of courses to women interested in learning a trade and making a financial difference in their lives. This past Saturday a group of women who took part in the cake decorating, and cosmetology classes graduated with honors. According to coordinator of the MAMAS group, Ofelia Novelo, the aim of MAMAS group is not only to assist women in the community but empower women to become self-sustainable. Ofelia Novelo- Coordinator MAMAS: “La importancia en cualquiera persona en aprender diferentes oficio es para que sea el benéfico para ellos y su familia; uno para tener un poco de dinero así van saliendo adelante ayudando a sus esposos y pagando su colegio de sus hijos todo haciendo sus productos que ellos hicieron este ano ese es la importancia de ello y el beneficio que ellos tienen para poder salir adelante en esta vida.”

    Amandala

    Double maritime murder, cold case cracked
    –A United States federal indictment for Silas Duane Boston, 75—a California man who had reportedly been charging tourists to snorkel and scuba dive in Belize without a license decades ago and was accused of murdering some of his clients—was recently unsealed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of California in a 38-year-old cold case in which two British lovers who had been visiting Belize as a part of a one-year overseas tour met their torturous deaths in what experts certified as asphyxia by submersion—or drowning by force. US investigators were able to land the arrest of the man, reportedly from a convalescent home, earlier this month, after finally receiving statements between October 2015 and February 2016, from multiple sources, among them Boston’s own sons, 11 and 13 at the time, whose accounts claim that the British couple, Christopher Farmer, a doctor, then 25, and Peta Frampton, a recent law school graduate, then 24, were tortured and killed before their travelers’ checks were forged and spent.

    Disappearance of police file thwarts case
    In the criminal justice system, all kinds of stories emerge to suggest that all is not well. Apart from the constant parade of accused murderers walking from indictments, critics contend that cases before the lower courts are thwarted by all kinds of “hanky-panky”. This morning, Chester Norales, 36, appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser in a case for which he was first arraigned last December, when police charged him for committing burglary and dangerous harm against his next-door neighbor, Patrick Grant, 93. It turns out, though, that the prosecution could not proceed with the trial, because there was no police case file. This left the Magistrate with the only option of striking out the charges against Norales, who walked away a free man today.

    Callous murder of Paulina Urbelina Suarez, 61
    A widow of Santa Elena was murdered on Sunday night, and police are investigating the possible connection between the woman’s murder and a land dispute with relatives. Superintendent of Police in Santa Elena, Richard Rosado, said that Paulina Urbelina Suarez, 61, was killed by a person who was closely acquainted with her and her family, but they provided no further details. Police reports are that at around 7:30 on Sunday night, Suarez was on the verandah of her home in Santa Elena Town when she saw a male of Hispanic descent walking towards her with a pistol in his hand. She pleaded with him not to kill her but as she retreated into her house, the armed invader followed her inside. In the presence of her three relatives, Suarez was shot multiple times in her upper body, as the gunman emptied the magazine of his pistol before leaving his crime scene.

    3 youths dead after horrific RTA
    Three young men lost their lives and one other person was critically injured in a tragic road traffic accident which happened on the Yo Creek Road, near Orange Walk Town, this weekend. According to police, the collision occurred near Cuello’s Distillery at about 9:00 Saturday night, when a Ford F-150 pickup collided with a Tillett passenger bus, resulting in extensive damage to both vehicles. The impact of the collision tore apart the engine and transmission from the passenger bus and crushed the pickup with the passengers inside, causing them to die on the spot from massive head and body injuries. The young men were removed from the mangled pickup by a team from the Orange Walk Fire Service with the “Jaws of Life” cutter. The accident victims, all of whom lived in Yo Creek Village in the Orange Walk District, are Minor Hernandez, 22, an electrician of Yo Creek, Jason Gongora, 22, and Giovanni Gongora, 26, a construction worker.

    Benque cop, PC Edif Sierra, arraigned in trafficking of 8 Salvadorans
    Police Constable Edif Sierra, the Benque Viejo cop accused of involvement in the trafficking of 8 undocumented Salvadorans, was arraigned on Friday in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court, where he was offered bail of $2,000 for allegedly facilitating the commission of an offense under the Immigration Act and a further $500 for traffic offenses. He was able to meet bail and has been ordered to return to court on January 27, 2017. Sierra is also facing internal disciplinary sanctions from the Police High Command for “prejudice to good order and discipline,” as well as charges from the Traffic Department for failure to affix a vehicle registration plate and driving an unlicensed motor vehicle. Superintendent Richard Rosado, Commander of San Ignacio Police, said that the eight Salvadorans found with PC Sierra were also taken to court on Friday for illegal entry into Belize. They pleaded guilty and were all fined $1,000, to be paid immediately. They were able to pay the fine, and an order was issued for their deportation back to Salvador.

    Simone Biles, celebrated Olympic gymnast, arrives in Belize this Thursday
    Simone Biles, 19, the US gymnast with Belizean citizenship who famously snagged 4 gold medals at the recent Rio Olympics, is due to arrive in Belize this Thursday, December 22, when she will be welcomed with a grand motorcade through the main streets of Belize City. Biles, who has received the 2016 BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year Award for breaking new ground, is “the first American and fifth female to win four gymnastics gold medals at a single Games,” according to the BBC. Biles is connected with Belize, which is one of her favorite destinations to relax, because Nellie Biles, the daughter of the late Silas Cayetano, a Garifuna man of Belize, adopted Simone and her sister in 2001. Simone is the biological granddaughter of Nellie’s husband, Ron, an American. Her biological mother is Shanon Biles.

    Home teams prevail, Bandits over FC Belize, and BDF over Police in PLB Semifinals
    The fabled home-court advantage played a big role in both games over the weekend to determine which two teams would make it to the finals of the Premier League of Belize (PLB) Opening Season 2016-2017. The first leg of the semifinals had been played the previous weekend, when #3 seed Police United dropped #2 seed BDF, 3-1, at the Norman Broaster Stadium; and #1 seed Belmopan Bandits came from behind jairo-rochez-img_0389to secure a 1-1 draw against #4 seed FC Belize at the MCC Grounds. This past Saturday night, the Bandits were at home for the decisive game 2 at their Isidoro Beaton Stadium; while BDF returned to their home base at the MCC Garden to attempt the herculean task of surmounting the 3-1 advantage held by visiting Police United. And there was celebration for the home fans at both venues.

    Yabra 10 & Under Grassroots Semifinals results; Finals this Saturday
    The knockout semifinals in the Yabra 10 & Under, Grassroots Football Competition were played on Saturday, December 17, at the Yabra Field. In the first semifinal, #1 seed City Boys defeated #4 seed Face of Belize, 1-0, on a goal by Tom Moguel. The other semifinal saw #2 seed Carlston FC gaining a 2-nil victory over #3 seed Ladyville Rising Stars, with a goal each from Tayshawn Broaster and Kenyon Pratt. The Finals will be played this coming Saturday, Christmas Eve, at Yabra Field. Saturday, December 24 1:30 p.m. – (3rd place game) Face of Belize vs Ladyville Rising Stars 2:30 p.m. – (championship game) City Boys vs Carlston FC Award ceremony follows.

    Chief Thursday Race results – December 15
    Here are the results for the regular weekly Chief Thursday Race for December 15, which went from Leslie’s Imports to Hattieville and back. 28 Weekend Warriors (WW) and Elite riders started the race, and 21 completed the ride. Finishing order was: 1st place – Richard Santiago (1:01:35); 2nd Ernest Bradley (Smart, st); 3rd Herman Requena (Smart, st); 4th Adrian Faux (st); 5th Brandon Cattouse (C-Ray, 1:02:02); 6th Darien Anderson (Benny’s, st); 7th Ron McKenzie (Benny’s, st); 8th Sahir Guerra (st); 9th Byron Pope (Benny’s, st); 10th Robert Mariano (Digicell-4G, 1:02:13, 1st “A” rider); 11th Kenroy Gladden (Kulture Megabytes, st); 12th Vallan Symns (Kulture Megabytes, st); 13th Santino Castillo (Santino’s, 1st “B” rider); 14th Kaya Cattouse (C-Ray); 15th Alicia Thompson (Kulture Megabytes); 16th Nelson Zayden, Jr.; 17th Palas Joseph (Lampaz); 18th Gilroy Robinson (Santino’s); 19th Dean Belisle (Bel-Cal); 20th Colin Maheia (FT Williams); and 21st George Abraham (Bel-Cal).

    SHJC Scorpions and Kings are crowned SSBA Champs; 3 more divisions to be decided on Thursday
    The San Ignacio & Santa Elena Basketball Association (SSBA) tipped off its finals on Saturday night in the Under 19 and Senior divisions. In game 1, defending Under 19 champions, Pepsi Christian Ambassadors lost their first and only game of the season against Kings, who claimed the U-19 title. Kings was led by Bryton “Bushy” Young, who had the game high with 9 pts, while Shevaughn Harris finished with 8 pts. Tevaughn Lennan was the top scorer for Pepsi Christian Ambassadors with 8 pts. In the nightcap, the young and upstart Senior Squad from Sacred Heart Junior College defeated the #1 seed, Maraton Mambas, 55-51, to cap off two upsets for the night. Jamie Carbajal had the game high with 18 pts for SHJC Scorpions, while Karl Williams sank 16 pts, and Jarret Davis netted 10 pts in the win. Michael Lyons was the top scorer for Maraton Mambaz with 14 pts, and Vandell Fuller finished the game with 11 pts.

    Editorial: Power corrupts
    During the 1960s, the People’s United Party (PUP) won 51 out of the 54 House seats contested in the 1961, 1965, and 1969 general elections in Belize. During those years, a kind of sneering class superiority became more manifest amongst some of the frustrated middle class Belizeans who supported the National Independence Party (NIP). The NIP core felt that the PUP base was less educated, more vulgar than they were, that the PUP base was unscrupulous and dishonest, and the uppity NIP felt that PUP Leader, Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price, was exploiting the poor and the uneducated. When Mr. Price appointed a relatively illiterate PUP lady from Hattieville to the prestigious Senate, there was a great outcry from the NIP followers, who considered such a move to be disrespect, perhaps even mischief, on Mr. Price’s part, the type of move the NIP felt had become typical of him. As the years went by and power began to corrupt the PUP’s leaders more and more in the 1970’s, a more sophisticated Opposition emerged in 1973, when the United Democratic Party (UDP) was formed, incorporating the aforementioned NIP, the People’s Development Movement (PDM), and the Liberal Party. The new UDP was more hard-nosed about its political campaigning than the NIP had been, and the new UDP actually included a faction of the divided, street-based UBAD Party, so that there was somewhat less of a middle class attitude in the UDP. At the same time, the PUP was becoming somewhat less roots, because its continued success attracted more middle class support.

    From the Publisher
    On Saturday afternoon on my computer I was listening to a speech by a Professor Sylvia Wynter in which she said that while young black males make up 6 percent of the population of the United States, they comprise 47 percent of America’s prison population. Her statement led me to wonder what would be the comparable statistics in Belize. We have had a humanitarian crisis here for some three decades, a crisis originating in the slavery and colonialism brutality imposed on our ancestors by the British. But in the words of the late Tupac Shakur, “No one notices the youth unless they’re shooting …” To make Belize’s human tragedy more complex, the political rulers of our society are of the same ethnicity as those who are the victims of a form of genocide. Christmas week is not the time to pursue this topic, but it is for sure that this is a crisis which will grow worse in 2017. For now, I will use my column today to draw your attention to excerpts from two articles which appeared in the November 26, 2016 issue of The Economist. The first is about oil and climate change, and the second discusses the phenomenal success of Indian immigrants in the United States. Their brilliance in engineering and science has been highly impressive.

    It’s “Corto”! “Maradona” seeks help
    –A few weeks ago, we heard reports of an Over-40 football player who had suffered a stroke, and was thus wheel chair bound. The story we heard, was that he had just buried his mother, whom he had lived with and taken care of, and was grief stricken on her loss, when, two weeks later, he himself suffered a massive stroke. The wheel chair part is accurate; but Maradona, I learned yesterday, did not suffer a stroke. What I also found out was that Maradona is actually a brother whom I have known for decades as “Corto,” being a very short player. We will have a more detailed account of his story in our weekend issue. But for those who, like myself, were not sure who this local “Maradona” was, and who now seeks our help, we print his picture above, taken at his 4th Street home in Kings Park last night. In brief, Maradona says he needs to raise around $2,000.00 for an M.R.I. on his spine so that an operation can be done for a pinched nerve, and he possibly could walk again. He can be reached at 663-5333.

    Senate approves ICJ resolutions
    At its sitting held in Belmopan on Thursday, the Senate approved two resolutions supporting the agreements signed by Belize and Guatemala 8 years ago to submit the territorial differendum to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), pending the outcome of national referenda to be held in both countries. Apart from the resolution authorizing ratification by Belize to the 2008 Special Agreement between Belize and Guatemala to Submit Guatemala’s Territorial, Insular and Maritime Claim to the International Court of Justice 2016; the Senate also approved a second resolution, authorizing ratification by Belize to the 2015 Protocol to the Special Agreement between Belize and Guatemala to Submit Guatemala’s Territorial, Insular and Maritime Claim to the International Court of Justice 2016. Leader of Government Business, Senator Godwin Hulse of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP), said that ultimately, the final decision on whether the matter will actually be adjudicated at the ICJ is in the hands of voters.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Business Insider says come to Belize
    Business Insider, a popular online publication, posted an article entitled “ 11 trips everyone should take in their 30’s,” in which Belize is listed at number two. Article here: http://www.businessinsider.com/trips-everyone-should-take-in-their-30s-2016-12/#argentina-1 The article offers a brief description highlighting some of the many leisurely things to […]

    Tyron Coleman receives life saving surgery at Health City, Cayman Islands
    In October, BBN reported of bus driver Tyron Coleman who was in need of assistance to undergo heart surgery. Story: http://www.breakingbelizenews.com/2016/10/22/tyron-coleman-financial-assistance-undergo-open-heart-surgery/ The James line bus driver is recovering and doing well thanks to Health City Cayman Islands. Coleman saw various doctors in Belize and […]

    American accused of 1978 double murder in Belize
    Silas Duane Boston, 75, was nabbed by the FBI on December 1 for the double murder of an English couple which occurred 38 years ago. According to ABC 10 in Sacramento, Peta Frampton and her boyfriend Christopher Farmer were on board Boston’s yacht named […]

    International wheelchair foundation donates to Belizeans
    Last week, a total of 35 new wheelchairs was donated by the International Wheelchair Foundation based in California. They were distributed on Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker to 33 individuals and two organizations. The San Pedro Lions Club and the San Pedro Community Health […]

    Elderly mother allegedly killed for land
    Why would any want a 68-year-old mother, grandmother and widow shot to death? This morning Superintendent of the Santa Elena police formation, Richard Rosado, told Breaking Belize News that the murder of Paulina Urbelina Suarez was the result of an ongoing land dispute with […]

    Tropic Gives Back to San Pedro
    Tropic Air donated over $1,300 shared between the San Pedro Roman Catholic School and the San Pedro Tourist Guide Association in November as part of its ongoing #TropicGivesBack charitable campaign.Tropic raised a total of $1,384 for its October installment of the campaign. The school and […]

    Belize~needs just a little more love?
    Love, according to Merriam Webster English dictionary means: 1 a (1) : strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties (2) : attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt […]

    Blogs

    10 travel tips to manage the Belize International Airport & Tropic/Maya Island Air like an expert!
    Over the years, we have learned a ton from our own travel, and the questions and problems guests have had in getting here. Here are the top 10 tips we've learned on how to navigate the Belize airport and regional jet system like a pro! 1.) Tropic and Maya Island Air - The most popular method of travel around Belize, is to take one of Belize's regional planes ("puddle jumpers") from the Belize International Airport (BZE) to the village airports (in our case, Placencia). You can pre-book this flight by going to www.tropicair.com, or www.mayaislandair.com. The flights are scheduled throughout the day to most larger villages. The flight is only 40 minutes long to Placencia, and once you're away from the mainland, the water turns beautiful shades of blue and turquoise. It is like an excursion in itself! 2.) Make it fun! Ask the pilot if you can sit in the co-pilot seat - they will let you if you ask. The right side of the plane shows you the Maya Mountains, the lagoon, and across the mainland. The left side shows you spectacular views of the Caribbean Sea - get your camera out!

    International Sourcesizz

    Penetrating Storm Walls With 8 Powerful New Eyes
    Jettisoned from the belly of a plane, a Pegasus rocket blasted into space last week carrying eight hurricane-hunting microsatellites. Known as the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System, or Cygnss, the fleet was designed by researchers at the University of Michigan to measure wind speeds near the sea surface. The data will improve how scientists predict and observe hurricanes and tropical storms brewing near the Equator and the tropics, according to NASA, which sponsored the project. Each of the suitcase-sized satellites weighs about 64 pounds and, after unfurling its wings, measures five feet across. Each uses less power than an incandescent light bulb. The satellite constellation will orbit Earth about 300 miles above its surface, and will work in tandem with four GPS satellites already in orbit at an altitude of some 12,000 miles.

    First look: The Caribbean's newest cruise destination, Harvest Caye
    What's it like at Harvest Caye, the new cruise destination along the coast of Belize? See for yourself with a scroll through our newest Cruise Port Tour, in the carousel above. As can be seen in the tour, the 78-acre island playground features a seven-acre beach, sprawling pool area, zip lines, water sports, eateries, bars and shops. It also serves as a hub for tours to Mayan ruins and other sites on the mainland of Belize. Unveiled in November, Harvest Caye was developed by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, the parent company of Norwegian Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises. All three lines have ships scheduled to visit the island over the coming year, and the port eventually could draw vessels from other lines, too.

    Die Kreuzfahrtgesellschaftsinsel Harvest Caye
    Der Himmel kennt alle Farben von Weißblau über Tiefblau bis nach Türkis. Irgendjemand aus der Reisegruppe will auf einer Anzeigetafel etwas von „100 Grad Fahrenheit“ gesehen haben, das wären 38 Grad Celsius. Doch am Boden liegt Nebel. Jedenfalls, wenn man die Insel Harvest Caye zuerst betritt. Überall am Wegesrand ragen Stangen aus dem Boden, als hätte ein Gärtner den Spleen gehabt, Besenstiele in die Erde zu rammen. Die seltsamen Gebilde versprühen feinen Nebel – sie sind dazu da, die Badegäste ein wenig abzukühlen, das trockene heiße Klima für den Moment etwas zu mildern. Dan, der interessierte Gruppen über die Insel führt und das Konzept erklärt, kommt ins Stocken, wenn man wissen will, ob die Insel der Firma Norwegian Cruise Line gehöre. Einerseits: Natürlich nicht, wir befinden uns in dem Land Belize, der kleinen, armen Republik in Mittelamerika, eingeklemmt zwischen Mexiko, Guatemala und Honduras. Das einzige Land der Region, dessen Amtssprache Englisch ist und das vor 35 Jahren erst aus der Abhängigkeit von Großbritannien entlassen wurde. Andererseits: Von alldem sieht man hier nichts, auf Harvest Caye befinden sich nur Gäste der Norwegian-Kreuzfahrt und die vierhundert Angestellten, die ihnen Wege säubern, Cocktails mixen und Golfschläger von einem Ort zum anderen fahren.

    Regional experts make 'slow, steady progress' on safe seafood policies
    There is still a long way to go but experts meeting here last Thursday expressed optimism that slow but steady progress was being made toward introducing region-wide laws, rules and regulations intended to make Caribbean fish and seafood not only ready for world trade but safe for Caribbean tables. The experts, drawn from fisheries, legal affairs, food health and safety and standards agencies across ten countries in the Caribbean Forum of ACP States (CARIFORUM), ended two days of deliberations on model legislation, protocols and guidelines for health and food safety related to fisheries and aquaculture. “Still a long way to go but making progress,” said executive director of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) Milton Haughton at the workshop in Barbados. Haughton said that following the workshop the draft model legislation is to be reviewed, and followed by another round of consultations held with stakeholders and a legal team before it can be finalised and submitted to regional policy-makers for consideration.

    Caribbean Christmas – Unique Traditions From Across The Region
    There is nothing like Christmas in the Caribbean. First off there’s sun, warm wind and sea and sand but most of all people put more emphasis on the festival, beginning early on in December with cleaning and preparation as well as the endless parties and of course shopping for all the various Caribbean delicacies and drinks that make Christmas in the Caribbean, incomparable. Here are some unique Christmas traditions from islands across the region: Belizeans are entertained by John Canoe bands with their costumed drummers, chanters and dancers at Christmas and their Christmas trees decorating come mainly from the Mountain Pine Ridge in Belize. A holiday favorite in Belize is a rum-and-eggnog concoction called “rum popo.”

    Videos

  • SANTA CLAUS VISITS OF THE CHILDREN OF ORANGE WALK CENTRAL, 6min. Christmas is just six days away but here in Orange Walk, Santa Clause has already been making his rounds visiting well-behaved children. This past weekend, Santa visited the children of Orange Walk Central as Honorable John Briceño and the Orange Walk Central Executive Committee hosted their annual Christmas party for the children of the constituency.

  • Spence Finlayson on Love FM Belize Morning TV Show, 61min.

  • Junior at belize zoo, 2min. Jaguar experience at the Belize zoo with Junior the Jaguar.

  • Geography Final Belize, 12min.

  • A lil video of the Amazona oratrix, 20sec. When you find out you are enticed to something you deeply enjoy/cherish, not only because they are amazingly beautiful, but know their status is declining due to human activity;

  • Ham Preparation ( Christmas Special ), 15min.

  • Colac's Sumptuous Rum Popo (Christmas Feature ), 11min.

  • Belize Tourism Board - Simon Biles Visit to Belize, 16min.

  • Road Safety Initiative, 30min.

  • PM Barrow Christmas message, 2min.

  • Crusing in Belize, 7.5min. We had an incredible vacation and got our ASA 104/114 at the same time. Then a couple of days of doing absolutely nothing in Placencia before heading home. Thank you http://belizesailingvacations.com, Matt and Danny for a once in a lifetime vacation!

  • Iguanas everywhere in Belize, 1.5min. Iguanas everywhere in Belize. The airboat ride is a must.

  • Belize 2016, 10.5min.

  • Martha - Christmas Braam "DRINK A RUM ON CHRISTMAS MAANING", 32.5min. Belizean Brukdown style music "DRINK A RUM ON CHRISTMAS MAANING" original by Lord Kitchiner, is now sweetened all over again by: Martha Weatherburn from the southern part of Belize in 'Punta Gorda', Produced by: Patrick Barrow (Caye Records).


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