Recent Belize News
xxx
Click here to return to
Today's Belize News

May 20, 2012


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

WEEKLY WEATHER OUTLOOK FOR BELIZE
Valid: May 14 – May 21, 2012

Synopsis: Model projections showing a low developing just offshore the coast of Belize by Thursday of this week. This feature will favor showers and thunderstorms increasing especially on Thursday through Monday. The onset of the rainy season could be early for some regions of Belize this year.

A quasi-stationary front over the Louisiana Gulf Coast to the central Gulf of Mexico has an induced surface trough of low pressure over the Yucatan Peninsula. These features together with a divergent SW’ly airstream from the Pacific aloft, have been generating outbreaks of thunderstorms and showers over Campeche, El Peten and western and southern Belize over the past 24-36 hours.

Analysis of the upper level weather charts show that the winter-time westerlies have now become disrupted over the subtropics, which is indicating a return to a summer pattern and the gradual onset of the 2012 rainy season. The GFS model projections of stability indices, surface pressure pattern and low level winds for the next five to seven days points to an increase in moisture and instability in the NW Caribbean and over northern Central America, as a surface low pressure system tries to become organized this week, and evolves into the first weak disturbance for the season just over and offshore Belize. The low will remain stationary just offshore central Belize on Thursday, and will then begin to track NNE into the eastern Gulf of Mexico during the coming weekend. Cloudy and unsettled weather will therefore persist over Belize during most of this week, with showers and thunderstorms becoming more persistent on Thursday through Monday of next week. This could mark the beginning of the rainy season for Belize. However, it is likely that the onset of the rains will be gradual in most places as we move towards June, but yes, the transition to a rainy season airflow pattern is almost completed as we should see more rainy days over the next seven to ten days.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekend Weather Report

The San Pedro Sun

Reef Week held under the theme “Celebrating our Natural Heritage Securing our Future”
Reef Week is being celebrated on Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker under the theme “Celebrating our Natural Heritage Securing our Future.” For that reason, Hol Chan Marine Reserve planned a number of activities which started on May 14th and continues through May 18th, all geared at celebrating the natural environment and educating the population about the importance of the wetland and the reef system in Belize. As part of the activities, students from both islands were invited to participate in the various events. Events kicked off with a Mangrove Rehabilitation Day where primary school children were invited to plant mangrove in the Boca del Rio area near the park. The mangrove seedlings were placed in tube encasements using the Riley Encased Methodology. According to Education Officer at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Mariela Archer, a total of 30 mangrove seedlings were planted. “Our goal is to create awareness within the entire country and the islands, about the importance of mangroves to us, especially for up-keeping our coastlines,” said Archer.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize Film Festival moving to Cayo
NICH is eyeing Cayo for the Belize Film Festival. Cahal Pech might be the new location from now on. Makes sense to have it in the prettiest part of the country.

AALAWI Productions features Eco Love by Joris Hendrik
Joris' dress made out of a blue tarp is featured on AALAWI Productions' site. They did a photoshoot at Altun Ha ruins, which made for a nice back drop. The next Eco Love fashion show should be in early Summer. Where will it be this time? "This wasn't supposed to actually be a photoshoot, but it came out nice, so I decided to release it. The dress is made of a blue tarp and safety pins over the corset part. You can visit the designer and see more of his Eco Love creations, Joris Hendrik's Fagebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/JorisHendrik"

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

LOVE FM

Friday, May 18 - POLICE NEWS
A violent home invasion in Bullet Tree Falls village in the Cayo district has left the community shaken, one man injured and three youths in police detention. The incident happened late last night at the home of sixty nine year old retired French Photographer Gilles Chereau. Acco...

LUPUS ASSOCIATION TO HOLD WALK TO BRING AWARENESS TO DISEASE
The Belize Lupus Association is trying to raise awareness about the devastating and potentially life-threatening impact of the disease on its victims. An estimated five million people around the world are living with Lupus. In Belize, the exact number of people afflicted wi...

WORK TO REMOVE ASBESTOS ROOF AT TOLEDO SCHOOL BEGINS
Preliminary work started this morning for the rehabilitation and reconstruction work on three school buildings at St. Peter Claver School in Punta Gorda. Paul Mahung reporting... “The preliminary work began with the removal of old and hazardous asbestos r...

OUTSTANDING TEACHERS HONORED
A number of outstanding teachers were recognized at a special ceremony last night. Deputy Chairperson of the Belize Board of Teacher Education is Dr. Eve Aird. Dr. Eve Aird – Deputy Chairperson, Belize Board of Teacher Education “The outstanding tea...

COMMONWEALTH SECRETARY GENERAL ENDS WORKING VISIT TO BELIZE
Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma leaves Belize today. Sharma was on a three day working visit to the country. During his visit he engaged in various meetings with the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, other Government ministers and the banking sector, in an...

BUSINESSMAN MURDERED IN BELIZE CITY
Marion Ali reporting… Family and close friends of forty-six year old Jeremy McNab looked on and sobbed as crimes investigators moved his body away from his business at Corner Curassow Street and Central American Boulevard on Thursday night. McNab, who rented the locati...

LOVE TV

Man accosted and shot on North Creek Road
The other shooting occurred at around one forty five this morning and has left twenty six year old Codrington Bood Junior in a stable condition with a bullet wound to the left side of his abdomen. Bood was reportedly riding his bicycle on North Creek Road in Belize City around one forty-five a.m. when a man approached him and told him “don’t move.” Police have no leads into this shooting.

Two men shot on Mahogany Street
While police try to crack the murder of businessman, Jeremy McNab, their desks also have a number of other shootings to solve. Two hours after McNab was shot dead at his store, eighteen year old student Brandon Bradley and twenty one year old Alfredo Tun Junior were also shot. It happened as taxi driver, nineteen year old Brandon Mejia, arrived in his green taxi car along with Bradley and Tun at B & H Shop on Mahogany Street to purchase drinks. Brandon Bradley lies in a critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital while Alfredo Tun Jr. is listed as stable. Police have not yet established a motive.

Family of burn victim seeks answers/justice
The family of a man is upset that he was set on fire, allegedly by a next-door neighbour five days ago and up to now, the neighbour is still walking about while the burn victim is fighting for his life. The incident happened at around midnight just as fifty-six year old Joseph Usher was walking through his neighbour’s yard to go to his adjacent yard at the corner of Antelope Street and Central American Boulevard. According to Usher’s daughter, Josephine Usher, she got the call a few minutes later and rushed to the hospital to inquire what had happened. To her disbelief, her father had been set on fire by the neighbour and she told Love News that so far, there has been no genuine effort on the part of the police to make an arrest or to investigate the circumstances what happened. After Joseph Usher was set ablaze, he ran leaving his pair of slippers, woolen cap and shirt and ran to wake his sister that he lives with, Jacqueline Usher. This afternoon, the Police Press Officer, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, explained why no action has yet been taken. Joseph Usher is in the Intensive Care Unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and is currently in an induced coma and he has been given a fifty-fifty chance to live.

Students from the north go on field trip to Toledo
A group of students, teachers and parents from Libertad village were in Toledo yesterday on an educational tour. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Minister John Saldivar continues nationwide tour
Minister of National Security John Saldivar continued his nationwide tour today in the west. Correspondent Elaine Berry reports.

Family of burn victim seeks answers/justice
The family of a man is upset that he was set on fire, allegedly by a next-door neighbour five days ago and up to now, the neighbour is still walking about while the burn victim is fighting for his life. The incident happened at around midnight just as fifty-six year old Joseph Usher was walking [...]

Home invasion reported in Bullet Tree Falls
A violent home invasion in Bullet Tree Falls village in the Cayo district has left the community shaken, one man injured and three youths in police detention. The incident happened late last night at the home of sixty nine year old retired French Photographer Gilles Chereau. According to police reports, Chereau was in his bedroom around nine o’clock last night when he heard his dogs barking and then his mother, ninety one year old Yolande Chereau scream. When he got out of bed, Chereau says that he say a man wearing dark clothing and a mask. As he attempted to run downstairs, Chereau says another man swung at him with a machete, hitting him on the right elbow. Police say that a struggle ensued, during which time Chereau managed to grab a machete and tried to chase the two men. That was when he was reportedly hit in the head, rendering him unconscious. Chereau says that when he regained consciousness, his hands and feet were tied. The robbers got away with a flat screen television set, two thousand dollars in cash, an expensive digital camera and a laptop computer. Police say they have since detained a 17-year boy, an unemployed of Bullet Tree Village; along with eighteen year old Jacob Banner also of Bullet Tree Falls village and twenty year old Alfredo Badillo a resident of Alta Vista Village in the Stann Creek pending the outcome of their investigations.

Work begins to remove asbestos roof from Toledo school
Preliminary work started this morning for the rehabilitation and reconstruction work on three school buildings at St. Peter Claver School in Punta Gorda. Our Toledo Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Blogs

I Hate To Be the Bearer of Bad News: It's Raining
But many of you know that already. You've been grabbing your umbrella on the way out the door for a few days now... The weather has ranged from full blown, drenching rain to on-and-off sprinkles to hot, humid sun with looming clouds. Not ideal...but as we move into the rainier season, we need to expect it once in a while. Yes, generally at the beginning of the more stormy season, the rain is contained to the night and early morning. And it doesn't last for three days...but June 1st IS the official start to the hurricane season. And as the summer goes on...the Caribbean starts swirling (for all of you not "in the know", swirling is a technical meteorlogical term).

Top 3 ways to enjoy your vacation with your kids
Sometimes, admittedly, I think of the words, “vacation” and “kids” mixed together, and I feel guilty and woeful. The equation has often equaled exhaustion; fun, but the drop-down-on-the-hotel-bed-I’m-beat-by 5pm sort of amusement. I loathe ever having to say, “Well, it was fun for the kids!” with a wince and lilt in my voice that suggests that I sacrificed my time for their sake- (of course we all do this in parenting at times). I want us ALL to be enjoying our time. I want to be enjoying my vacations more – not just doing more, and seeing more, but feeling more when I am with my family. Hefty Expectations? Not really. The time is quick on vacation, and you think thoughts like, “4 more days left, 3 more days, ooops, tomorrow we leave!” and that can suck the life out of you and your time together. We found 3 guidelines that helped us navigate the waters of vacation – not foolproof, but worth the undertaking on the path to happier times together.

Caye Caulker is mosquito-less – or do I speak too soon?
For anyone that has spent any amount of time on this island there is definitely a seasonality for our least favorite critters – mosquitos and sandflies! We find that in the dry season between November to May these lay almost dormant, bothering us little in the populated areas of Caye Caulker. Typically after the first rain (generally in June) these flies descend on the town as a swarm and the grocery shops almost sell out of coils and vapes to counter these flying demons!! This week we experienced our first rains (slightly early but not unheard of)! Rain is a blessing at this time of the year as they washed down the dust from buildings, brighten the green of leaves in the trees, water vats fill up and those with allergies have finally stopped coughing! This combined with the fact that most of the rainfall happens at night and therefore are days are largely dry and with sunshine, the rain is definitely most welcome! However what is absent are the flies … where are they? This week was their call to action and yet there is no apparent action!! We are not complaining of course and perhaps we have spoken too soon – but could there be a mosquito party going on in Mexico that all of our flying gems are attending and therefore they are not here? Or, perhaps a more likely explanation – the diligent spraying from some week’s ago brought down the mosquito population in advance of the rain??? If the later explanation is the reason then the Village Council are to be thanked – the management for the foresight in organizing the the obviously strategic battle and for ‘Tiger and crew’ for painstakingly spraying the island both morning (and I mean EARLY morning) and evening!

International Sources

Runner's astonishing journey from Big Issue seller to Olympic flame carrier
JUST three years ago, Joel Hodgson was sleeping rough on the steps of a police station. Today, the 24-year-old is preparing to carry the Olympic torch. Born in Belize in Central America, adopted by Scottish parents and brought up in Renton, Dunbartonshire, Joel’s life has already been an amazing rollercoaster. And, in another twist, he is now training to run for Belize at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014. In July, the former Big Issue seller, who now works for one of London’s top law firms, will proudly carry the Olympic torch through the capital. And last week he discovered he could play an even bigger role at the Glasgow games and line up with some of the world’s best athletes – including world record holder Usain Bolt – in the premier athletics event, the 100m. Joel has come a long, long way since being born in Belize. Abandoned by his mum when he was just three months old, Joel – and his sisters Yvette, 26, and Keisha, 27 – ended up in a children’s home. But, when he was four, they were adopted by Scots marine engineer George Hodgson and his wife Susan, 62. Joel said: “My birth mum walked out on us when I was a baby and left us with our dad, who was a very bad man. Social services put us in a home. “The Hodgsons wanted to adopt three children and chose my sisters and I, without knowing we were all related. “Then they brought us back to Scotland and we had an amazing childhood. “I rememberseeing snow for the first time and running outside in my underpants. I didn’t know it was going to be so cold. “Sadly, my dad passed away when I was seven. I owe my Scots mum and dad everything. I owe them my life. “Who knows what would have happened to me if I had been left in the home in Belize? I would have probably got sucked into a life of crime and drugs. “It’s thanks to the Hodgsons I am the person I am today. We’ve all done well. My sisters both have good jobs. “Our parents never let us forget our roots and took us back to Belize every two years to visit our older brother Raymond. “We couldn’t have wished for a better mum and dad. I’m determined to make them proud.”

Dr. Jen Bigelow and family take on Belize ministry
When Mooresville family practitioner Jen Bigelow and her husband, Lee, spent a week in Belize for a week, Jen said the wheels began to turn...

May 19, 2012


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

WEEKEND WEATHER OUTLOOK FOR BELIZE
Valid: Friday - Monday, May 18-21, 2012

The weather has been showery over the past five days, associated with instability in the lower and mid levels of the atmosphere and an influx of moisture from the Pacific. A weak 1010 mb surface low has formed just offshore Belize, and will remain in the area during most of the weekend. The GFS model then moves this system slowly north eastward by Wednesday of next week. The persisting low will continue to generate outbreaks of showers and some thunderstorms especially in the west and south this weekend and on Monday.

Daily rainfall rates for Friday through Monday will be in the range of 0.25-0.75 of-an-inch, especially in the western portion of Belize and in the South. Higher rates of 1.00-2.00 inches are expected in the hilly terrain of SW Cayo, western Stann Creek and northern Toledo districts.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekend Weather Report

The San Pedro Sun

SPTC, SPTGA and Belize Port Authority works to make San Pedro’s Beaches safer
San Pedro has seen various incidents in the past months where boating accidents have left individuals limbless or injured. Sadly, these accidents could have been avoided if the cause for them had not been speeding. In response, the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), San Pedro Tourist Guide Association (SPTGA) and the Belize Port Authority are working hand in hand, to prevent these incidents from occurring again. The entire coast line of Ambergris Caye is deemed a No Wake Zone, meaning that boaters by law are required to slow down to the point of “idle” speed while in that zone. This is, of course a law to maintain safety and prevent accidents. In a meeting earlier this week, all entities gathered to discus a main area of concern, the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge and the Boca Del Rio swimming area, which we are now being informed is a “NO” swimming area. San Pedro Town Mayor, Danny Nuñez informed, “The river I had mentioned before that we are asking all boat operators and tour guides to go at a slow, idle speed so that we can protect the bridge and for the safety of the kids swimming in that same area. The Port Authority will be putting signs up as well, two in the back area, two in the front, and two on the sea wall concerning the safety of swimming in that area. This area is very dangerous; however the kids as well as the general public have been using it as a popular swimming area, due of the white sand that has over-flown from the improperly placed geo-tubes. Our objective is to divert swimming from the river area to the front where it would be safer to swim.”

Education Minister tells SP educators that “Education is everyone’s business”
The Minister of Education, Youth and Sports Hon. Patrick Faber launched his two-week countrywide tour beginning in San Pedro Town under the theme “Celebrating Education.” The tour was launched on Thursday May 10th at the Angel Nunez Auditorium and is the first of a series of Town Hall type meeting with education stakeholders which will take place in all district towns. The main purpose of the tour is for the Minister of Education to meet with the education stakeholders and the community and share with them what the Government of Belize (GOB) is doing in the area of education. It also serves as a means for the Minister to listen to the concerns of the education stakeholders and the community and to see the areas that need attention in order to improve the quality of education in the country. In his address to the attendees, Minister Faber explained that 26% of the annual National Budget is allocated for education. Such investment surpasses by far the amount other countries in the region invest; an estimated six to eight percent. But in investing so much, Minister Faber explained that there is no “quality for value.” He stated, “We have been investing so much but do not get the best from such investment. It clearly shows the inefficiency in the education system and it will take everyone to fix it.” He went on to say that in order to get quality for value, “everyone must be on board with the Strategic Plan.” In acknowledging the “tough issues” within the education system on the island, Faber added that “education is everyone’s business and as such we need to get the entire community to help address the issues affecting the island. We need to get the business community, the Mayor, the Area Representative, we need to get the entire island involved if we want to see some of these issues addressed.” Faber’s comments came following issues raised such as the lack of class room space on the island; the hardship teachers face such as high cost of living, cost of housing; petition for benefits that would offset some of the expenses on the island, feasibility and lack of proper teacher’s training for island teachers that will improve the quality of education.

Ambergris Today

The Eco Kids Rainforest Adventure Continues…
Chaa Creek has had a rich past as an ancient, bustling ancient Maya community and trade centre, as a vibrant part of the early British Honduras chicle and logging industry and as one of the many farms supplying San Ignacio town before becoming home to Belize’s first eco-resort. "We respect this colorful heritage while at the same time recognizing the importance of contributing towards a positive future." As part of our commitment to Green sustainability, all of us at Chaa Creek are continually promoting greater environmental awareness and respect for the things that make Belize so special. We also try to pass on our passion for protecting Belize’s unique natural beauty and resources. And who better to reach out to than the future custodians of Belize’s natural wealth – our children.

Belize in the Lifetime Network Spotlight
Mark your calendars for Belize's debut on the Lifetime Network which airs on Friday, June 29, 2012 and Friday, July 20, 2012. The Balancing Act is America´s only one hour morning show that is about women, for women, and trusted by women. Celebrating life and all there is to accomplish, The Balancing Act inspires and empowers women, with entertaining and educational shows, which helps place them in the best position to achieve success in every area of their lives. The Balancing Act Morning Show reaches an audience of over 96 million people. So stop and take the time to watch Belize’s very own Dr. Jaime Awe and Mrs. Laura Esquivel-Frampton promoting Maya 2012 and Belize as Mother Nature's Best Kept Secret.

Teachers Celebrated During Education Week
Happy Teacher's Day! The San Pedro Town Council hosted all the wonderful teacher of Ambergris Caye in a great banquet and party at the San Pedro Lion's Den on Thursday, May 17, 2012, as part of Education Week, joining them in the celebration was the staff of the Dr. Otto Rodriquez Poly Clinic. Today, May 18, marks Teacher's Day and school is out for today as teachers in their respective schools celebrate with individual trips, parties and special programs.

Misc Belizean Sources

Public and Bank Holiday Payroll Info
As a follow up to my update in December 2011, one of the major changes that the Labour Amendment Act No 3 of 2011, (effective May 1, 2011) effected was the payment for public and bank holidays and that for Christmas Day, Good Friday and Easter Monday. I have been waiting to see if the Labour Department would have reversed this modification to the principal Labour Act but to date this has not been done and it is perhaps time for Employers to make the necessary changes to their payroll. The changes are: Assuming the employee is at work on a public and bank holiday, under the ( Amendment Act), 2011, all work done on public holidays shall now be paid at the rate of one and a half times the employee ordinary rate, in total. That is, you get your regular day’s pay plus half your ordinary day’s wage...

Driving Message from the U.S. Embassy in Belize
The U.S. Embassy reminds all U.S. citizens in Belize to drive cautiously and at a safe speed when traveling on the Western highway and other highways in Belize. On May 16, 2012, a fatal motor vehicle accident occurred on mile marker 44 of the Western Highway, killing four people and leaving a fifth in critical condition. Initial police investigations list the slippery road conditions as one of several contributing factors in the crash. A similar accident occurred on May, 15, 2012, without fatalities. Historically, there have been numerous fatalities on the Western Highway, usually linked to a host of factors including excessive speed, weather conditions, lane spacing and poor construction. The various areas of wear and asphalt paving along the Western Highway contribute to changes in traction and vehicular maneuverability...

VIDEO: Placencia Belize, Around The Village
A walking and driving tour of Placencia Village.

Mr Greedy's Pizzeria gets new website
Mr. Greedy's new website is live! The best pizza in Cayo, and the bar that brought happy hours to downtown. Ms. Ellerry Garbutt did a great job building this site. Time for some $2 rum and cokes!

BNYCF's Chess Olympiad today at UB
today, at the University of Belize's gym, the Belize National Youth Chess Foundation will have the 2012 Chess Olympiad. Grandmaster Maurice Ashley will be there. The theme is "Building a Safer, Smarter Society one move at a time." Good luck to all.

Sports Day at Broaster Stadium Today
Youth for the Future, Cornerstone Foundation, and Youth in Action are hosting a Sports Day tomorrow at Broaster Stadium. It starts at 9:00am. You can call the YFF at 804.0540 for more information. Have fun!

Cayo Mural Project pictures
Tag the Town, a community art project, is doing another mural. This one is a little different, and is a cicada. "The cicada sings like there is no tomorrow, because there is none." There are also pictures of the project in Benque: "Creativity is cheaper than alcohol." They have a special font, the Ahau Font, that was created by Abdi Castellanos and Jose V. Guerra Awe. It's a mix of graffiti and elements found in Ancient Maya glyphs.

Joe's Fry Baked Plantain
Plantain's are a good source carb. Sometimes when we think that the plantains are bad, that's when they are actually at their best, taste wise. In this recipe, I'll show you how to cook the plantains so they are the peak of perfection and taste. You'll never look at plantains the same again.

COKE SURPRISE
A Belize City man bought a coke this morning anticipating a refreshing drink of the well loved beverage. But as he opened it, to his surprise he found what appeared to be a roach's egg casing floating on top. The man promptly took the allegedly contaminated beverage over to the Bowen and Bowen office on Slaughterhouse Road in Belize City. On his way to drop off the coke with the foreign object in it, the surprised coke consumer stopped by to record his astonishing find. A quick check with the Bowen and Bowen office ion King Street did not yield any answers as our call was placed on hold for about 2 minutes before we hung up.

Channel 7

BUSINESS-OWNER KILLED EXECUTION-STYLE; ONLY GUN STOLEN
When we left you last night, it was with the news that there had been another murder in the city: 48 year old business owner, Jeremy Ellis McNab had been killed. It happened inside his business place, Mobile Hardware at the corner of Cemetery Road and Curassow Street. Monica Bodden was on the scene last night - and here's what she found out:... Monica Bodden reporting The murder of 48 year old businessman Jeremy McNab happened inside his Mobile Hardware store on Curassow Street a little after 7 last night. He was found lying face down in a pool of blood behind the counter of his establishment. He was killed execution style - 3 shots to the chest at point black range. It was a horrific scene - especially for his 2 employees who witnessed the tragic episode. They were inside his store at the time when 2 men entered. According to police the men had a conversation with McNab and then one of them pulled out a 9 millimeter pistol from his pants waist and aimed it at McNab - firing 3 shots at him. The men then left with McNab's licensed firearm. According to neighbors around the area, McNab was still breathing but expired shortly after. 3 nine millimeter expended shells were retrieved as the scenes of crime technicians processed the scene. McNab's body was later placed in the pan of this police pick-up truck - as the entire neighborhood gazed on in disbelief -as it was carted away through the crowds - into the city streets and then unto the morgue.

TWO MEN SHOT IN CITY
And before the night was over - two more men were shot in the city. Around 9:30, on Mahogany Street, 18 year old Brandon Bradley and 21 year old Alfredo Tun were walking out of B and H shop when a man opened fire on them. Tun was shot to his legs, and has been discharged from the hospital, while Bradley was shot to the left leg and is recovering from an emergency surgery. And then, early in the morning, another man was shot. 26 year old Codrington Bood was shot by a robber. Police press officer Fitzroy Yearwood told us more:.. Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, Police Press Officer "He was attacked by a Hispanic male. This person put a gun on him and told him not to move. He is saying that within a split second he heard the gun go off and realize that he was hit in the abdomen. He manage to grab on to the weapon and he and this person had a struggle, but this person because he had injuries ended up getting hit with the same firearm in the head. He realizes when he woke up that he was robbed of his bicycle and a cell phone." "Bood is also listed in a critical condition in the KHMH." The gunman got away with Bud's cellphone, bicycle and even a small bible. Bood has been discharged from the hospital. Police have no suspects.

MAN BURNT BY NEIGHBOR HAS 50/50 CHANCE
Tonight 57 year old Joseph Usher is in the intensive care unit at the KHMH fighting for his life- after he was allegedly doused with fuel and then lit on fire by a neighbor. The incident happened around midnight on Sunday in a yard at the corner of Antelope Street and Central American Boulevard. According to Usher's family, they are not quite sure of what took place but from what they understand, Usher was walking through another neighbor's yard to enter his own when he was set on fire. He suffered severe burns to the head, back, chest, and both arms and was rushed to the KHMH. Today 7news caught up with his distressed sister and daughter. Jacqueline Usher, sister of burn victim "I was sleeping when I heard a bang at my door, I said not Joe again. When I came out I saw him burn, he was burned up. He wasn't on fire, the fire had already out. I start screaming and crying, the people on the streets were shouting that someone set him on fire. I tried to call his daughter on the phone but she didn't hear what I was saying because I was crying. I told he to come now." "The police and ambulance came right away, probably someone on the streets call them. I was praying to God for strength to keep my head together. I open the gate and they came in. The state I was in - they could take an interview from me. They ask me what happened, but I didn't know anything."

HOME INVASION OUT WEST
There was a terrifying home invasion late last night in Bullet Tree Village - which is in the Cayo District. It happened at the residence of Gilles Chereau, a retired French Photographer. At 9:00 he heard his dogs barking, then his 91 year old mother screamed out. Chereau jumped out of bed to see what was the matter when he was ambushed by two men, one of them with a machete. A struggle ensued where he managed to grab the machete and tried to chase the two male persons and that was when a third person appeared and knocked him unconscious. When he regained consciousness, his hands and feet had been tied. The assailants stole his flat screen Television, his professional digital camera and a Laptop computer. Police have since detained a 17-year old male from the Village; along with 18 year old Jacob Banner, and 20 year old Alfredo Bidillo, from Alta Vista Village, in Stann Creek.

POLICE SAY PG COUPLE PREVARICATED
On Tuesday, we told you about the Sho family from Toledo, who claimed that they were brutalized by a police officer from San Antonio village. Late yesterday evening, the police press office finally gave us the police department's current position on this matter, which is that the family members were the ones who aggravated the situation. According to the Police Press Officer, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, there was an independent witness who was interviewed about this matter. This witness reportedly said that the officer was escorting an ex-girlfriend of one of the Sho men to the house to pick up her belongings. When this girl arrived, Casalina Sho - who appeared in our interview - reportedly attacked her, and the officer was forced to step in to try to de-escalate the situation. According to this witness, when the Sho sons saw the officer trying to restrain their mother, they approached the officer in a threatening manner.

COMMONWEALTH SECRETARY GENERAL WRAPS UP IN BELIZE
There were three regional Meetings held in Belize over the past three days - all related to the Commonwealth Group of Nations. First there was the meeting of ministers of local government of the Caribbean, second there was the Caribbean Local Economic Development Programme - and third there was the Commonwealth Local Government Forum. And, then in addition to all that, the Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma was also visiting. If you don't know, the Commonwealth Group of Nations is an organization of 54 independent member states - which were part of the British Empire. So Secretary General Sharma holds sway over a large and important bloc of countries and at a closing press conference today, he said after meeting with four ministers, the Prime Minister and the Leader of The Opposition, there are specific, key areas of assistance targeted for Belize:.. H. E. Kamalesh Sharma - Commonwealth Secretary-General "All of my meetings were engaged and informative, and afforded the opportunity to gain an up-to-date perspective of how the Commonwealth's work is viewed, and how we may be of greater assistance and relevance to all Belizeans. There are particular challenges in Belize for its young people, and the Commonwealth is committed to pursuing actions that place young people at the heart of national development and even pursue possibilities for new assistance in the following areas: public service strengthening including support for training of public servants; building knowledge and skills to develop small and medium enterprises, including capacity of these enterprises to generate income from exports; supporting youth enterprise, including continuing to explore opportunities for commercial banks to support young professional and business creators; and, professionalization of the media, including training for journalists and exploration of a voluntary Code of Conduct."

COMMONWEALTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT CONCLUDES MEETING
And while the Commonwealth Secretary General was at the Radisson, over at the Princess the Commonwealth Local Government Forum was holding its closing press conference. This was the meeting that had the participation of Trinidadian Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar - who is the patron of the CLGF. At the closing press conference, key players underscored the major themes in the statement coming out of the meeting: those are Democracy Good Governance and Local Economic Development. Outgoing Chair of the CLGF, Zenaida Moya outlined the historical significance of the event:.. Zenaida Moya, outgoing CLGF chairperson "It has been a quite fruitful meeting, and a historical meeting as well because of the fact that it's the first time that such a meeting was held in Belize. The only other time that it has been held in the Caribbean - the Commonwealth Local Government Forum Board Meeting - has been in Jamaica. And so, we are very pleased that Belize could have hosted it."

PM BARROW TO MIAMI; DPM TO BARBADOS
Prime Minister Dean Barrow, left the country today to re-join his wife in Miami as she continues treatment for breast cancer. He is scheduled to be away until Wednesday and Deputy Gaspar will act as Prime Minister until tomorrow when he departs for the Mexico-CARICOM Summit in Barbados - a high level meeting between President Calderón of Mexico and all Prime Ministers and Presidents of CARICOM State Members. When Vega leaves, Minister of Education, Patrick Faber will then act as Prime Minister until the PM's return.

SHOT FOR BEING "A SNITCH" IN RHABURN RIDGE
You might not be familiar with the name Rhaburn's Ridge - but it's an immigrant community at the northern boundary of the Belize District. Well - even there - snitching seems to be a big deal - in fact a man was shot for it! It happened in March - but police are just reporting it and say they are looking for two men. 29 year old Francisco Sosa says on AMrch 21st three men form the village accosted him and accused him of being a snitch. They followed him to his house, and banged his door open: one of them carried a shotgun, the other a machete. Humberto Garcia fired a shot at him injuring his left hand, right leg and left leg. His injuries were classified as dangerous harm and police say he was only recently released from the hospital. Police are looking for Humberto Garcia and Edgardo Deras both of Rhaburn Ridge Village.

SIXTH FORMER WINS REGIONAL ESSAY COMPETITION
Last night, we told you about the World Telecom Day Conference which was held at the Princess Hotel and Casino. This year's theme was "Women and Girls in ICT". Well yesterday, the leading Caribbean ICT Organization, CANTO, announced that a Belizean has won their 6thAnnual Essay Contest based on that theme. 17 year-old Amenzee Amu, a student of Saint John's Junior College, has submitted essays 3 times for this annual contest, and on her third attempt, she finally won. It's a distinct honor because CANTO chose her essay as the winning piece over all other entries from countries across the Caribbean including Antigua, The Bahamas, Dominica, Guyana, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Jamaica, St. Maarten, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, as well as Belize. Today, we spoke to Amu who told us that it is not only a mark of distinction for Belize, it was also a gift to her from God.

OUTSTANDING TEACHERS HONOURED
Today, the two week celebration of Education week culminated in teacher's day - where most of your favorite "Ms"'s and "Sir"'s went far afield for recreational trips - in honour of their day. The ceremonial culmination was held last night at the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall with the Teacher Awards. Education Minister Patrick Faber underscored the value of good teachers:.. Announcer "And the winner is, Mr. Lord Wade, ITVET Belize District." Announcer "And the winner is, Therese Roches, RCH Anglican Primary School, Belize District" Announcer "And the winner is, Mr. Armando Gomez, ITVET Orange Walk District."

Channel 5

Samantha Carlos: Innocent, Free and Victim of the System

Robbers escaped with over two hundred thousand dollars in a heist at Heritage Bank in Orange Walk on April fifth, 2011. Two of three men, entered the bank and asked to speak to the loan officer, while the other waited outside. They were escorted to the office of Bank Manager, Samantha Carlos, who was held [...]

Was it a hit or a robbery? McNab Murder

There were three separate shootings in the Old Capital on Thursday night that has left one person dead and three others hospitalized. The first was the execution of forty-eight year old businessman and owner of Mobile Hardware Store, Jerminie Ellis McNab. Shortly before seven on Thursday night, McNab was inside his business on Curassow Street [...]

4 persons shot within 6 hours

Two and half hours after the murder at Mobile Hardware, shots rang out once again; this time on Mahogany Street. At around nine-thirty, police visited the K.H.M.H. where they saw eighteen year old Brandon Bradley suffering from apparent gunshot wound to the left leg and twenty-one year old Alfredo Tun Junior with gunshot wounds to [...]

Shot for his bicycle and phone

The fourth shooting victim is twenty-six year old Codrington Bood Junior. This Friday morning, just before two a.m., Bood was ambushed by an armed robber while riding his bicycle on North Creek Street in Belize City. A gunman pointed a pistol at him and told him, “Don’t Move!” In the blink of an eye, the [...]

French nationals victim of Cayo Home invasion

Violent crime was not limited to Belize City. In Bullet Tree Falls Village of the Cayo District, two elderly persons were the victims of a home invasion. Around eleven-thirty p.m. on Thursday, sixty-nine year old Gilles Chereau, a retired French Photographer and his mother, ninety-one year old Yolande Chereau, were inside their home they were [...]

Viewer poll on businessman and GOB mending fences

In an unprecedented move, Prime Minister Dean Barrow extended an olive branch to the Ashcroft Group of companies, saying that there has been too much confrontation rather than cooperation. In light of this, we asked viewers this week: Do you support that the mending of fences between the Government and Lord Michael Ashcroft will in [...]

Youth Voices Poetry Slam

Words can be very powerful and one local group is bringing the rhythm of speech to the stage tonight. Youth Voices is launching the Word Power Slam Poetry Campaign. The event will kick start an eight month campaign by the Global Parish Project, which includes performances, workshops and a school tour. News Five spoke with [...]

Lupus Walk raises awareness about the illness

While the Youth Voices team spread the message with talk, another local group is doing much the same with their walk. Many may not be familiar with the incurable disease called, Lupus, which can be damaging to different body systems, including joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, the heart, and lungs. You also may not be [...]

Commonwealth Secretary General announces new partnerships with Belize

Over the last three days, Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Kamalesh Sharma was in Belize on a working visit. His stay was kicked off with the Commonwealth Local Government Forum. During his stay, Sharma met with Prime Minister Dean Barrow, Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca, Cabinet Members and other leaders. Sharma told the media [...]

Attorney’s letter turns the wrong side of Justice Hanomansingh

The lower courts of the country are always packed with legal matters, but today the Supreme Court had more than its fair share. As many as sixteen bail applications were presented, but there was one more that Justice Dennis Hanomansingh refused to hear. In fact, the judge chastised attorney Leo Bradley Junior for what he [...]

$10,000 in bail offered for gun charge

But back to the bail applications that were actually heard by Justice Dennis Hanomansingh in the Supreme Court today. At least ten were successful, three will continue next week and the other applicants had their charges withdrawn. One of the major issues was the bail application for Michael Herrera, his mother Nurse Judith Rocke and [...]

Caribbean Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors in Belize

One hundred and fifty representatives from throughout the Caribbean are in Belize for the annual congress of the Caribbean Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (CARAIFA). The congress, which will be hosted at Coco Beach Resort in San Pedro, starts on Sunday and runs until next Wednesday. It is expected to be four days of [...]

District Festival of Arts to showcase best performances

The district level Festival of Arts are ongoing countrywide and it’s all leading up to a week of activities for the National Festival. A month long art exhibit is also included in the national festival and it’s opening next Tuesday at the Bliss. According to Creative Arts Development Officer Denise Enriquez, the exhibit will feature [...]

Rotaractors from the region converge in Belize

A hundred and twenty youth from Central America are in Belize as a part of the Rotaract Annual Conference. Rotaract Belize works alongside another group that together encompasses seven countries; Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panamá. On a yearly basis, Rotaract hosts a Bi-district conference for all Rotaractors from these countries [...]

PM leaves country to join wife in Miami

Earlier today, Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country and headed back to Miami where his wife, Kim Simpliss Barrow is undergoing treatment for breast cancer. According to a release from the Government Press Office, the Deputy Prime Minister, Gaspar Vega will be the acting PM for today and Saturday. Vega then leaves for Barbados [...]

Belikin adds cacao to special batch of stout

Bowen and Bowen is the bottler of Belikin Beer and Stout. In 2011, the brew master made a commemorative Christmas edition of Sorrel Stout. The local beer company has whipped up a new formula that has a chocolate flavor. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.   The contents of the cacao pod, which, in the past, [...]

LOVE FM

Thursday, May 17 - POLICE NEWS
Forty nine year old Yun Sing He reported to police that on Wednesday night he was inside the Good Fortune Restaurant along with his employees when four men entered, one of whom was brandishing a firearm. One of the men reportedly took Yun Sing He into the kitchen and robbed him of his ...

INDIAN AMBASSADOR TO BELIZE BIDS FAREWELL
He has been the Indian Ambassador to Mexico and Belize for the past three years and his term of office is coming to a close. Today Indian Ambassador, Denish K. Jain, left on his farewell visit to Belize in his official capacity. Before he did, however, the Ambassador sat do...

POLICE INVESTIGATE FORGERY AT THE IMMIGRATION DEPARTMENT
The alleged forgery of Fuel Orders has been reported at the Immigration Department. Finance Officer Teresita Castellanos conducted an audit at the end of April based on information that the signature of the Deputy Director was being forged. Castellanos told police that duri...

BELIZE HOSTS CARAIFA's ANNUAL SALES CONGRESS
The Belize Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors will be hosting their regional counterparts for 26th Caribbean Sales Congress. The event will take place in San Pedro and begins on Sunday. The annual event which is held in a different territory each year, brings to...

BELIZE JOINS IN CELEBRATING WORLD TELECOM DAY
World Telecommunications and Information Society Day is being celebrated today by all countries that are members of the international telecommunications Union, a United Nations based organization. In Belize, Belize Telemedia Limited is celebrating with the theme Women and girls i...

MARK KING RETAINS POLITICAL SEAT
Last week attorneys for the appellants and respondents in the election petition application against the UDP’s Lake Independence Area Representative, Mark King, argued on whether or not Mark King violated the law when he did not declare a purported contract that his firm has with ...

CTV3

Former Bank Manager Exonerated Of All Charges
April 5th 2011 marked the brazen bank robbery of Heritage Bank here in Orange Walk which netted robbers over $200,000. Following police investigations former bank manager Samantha Carlos was detained for conspiracy to commit robbery after it was believed that she was involved in the robbery. In addition, four other persons were detained, namely Ricky Valencia who was charged with robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery, Harold Valencia brother to Ricky Valencia who was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery, Noel Usher who was charged with robbery and Marva Welch who was charged with handling stolen goods after she was found with $1,200 believed to be part of the monies stolen. But the case against the five individuals started falling apart when Noel Usher, who it is alleged would have been the crown witness in the case, was murdered in October 2011. And then the case basically got cold with the death of Ricky Valencia who was murdered execution style on 21st February 2012 on Caesar Ridge Road in Belize City. From there it was all down hill for the prosecution leaving only Samantha Carlos, Harold Valencia and Marva Welch to stand trial.

P.U.P First Leader Passes Away
Tonight the People’s United Party is mourning the death of their first leader John A. Smith who passed away on Tuesday May 15th. The 93 year old died in Metairie, Louisiana in the company of his wife and children. Smith is well known to the People’s United Party and Belize, as one of the fathers of the country’s Nationalist Movement. Smith was a founding member of the People’s Committee in 1948 and became the first leader of the P.U.P in 1950 prior to which he served as a member of the Belize City Council from 1944 to 1955 including Mayorship from 1947 to 1950. Smith was also a member of the Legislative Assembly for six years from 1948 to 1954. He subsequently migrated to the United States where he remained a proud Belizean and instilled his passion for Belize to his children. John Smith is survived by his wife, Consuelo Smith (Nee Riverol) and four daughters: Jean Bernard, Anne Angelle, Donna Bodin, and Patricia Smith; Sons-in-law Gary Bernard, Terry Angelle, and Russel Bodin as well as a number of grand-children, great grandchildren and a host of nieces and nephews. Funeral Services for the late John A. Smith will be held on Saturday May 19th at the St. Phillip Neri Church in Louisiana. John Smith dead at ninety-three.

Calling All Kite Lovers
On Sunday May 20th; the Orange Walk Civic Committee will be hosting a kite competition for children under the ages of 14. All kites must be homemade and of course be able to fly. There will be prizes for the most unusual kite, highest flying kite, largest flying kite, the most colorful kite and the smallest kite. The competition will provide an avenue for children to express their creativity and artistic talent. If you are interested in taking part in the competition, which starts at 9:00am at the BSI Field, you can register at Leonardo’s located at # 1 George Street. Judging will take place between 11:00am and 1:00pm. All proceeds will go to another child friendly event.

San Victor R.C School Holds Open Day
In celebration of Education Week and in commemoration of the Quality Child Friendly School Initiative, San Victor RC Primary School in the Corozal District held their annual open day today. The event was focused on demonstrating the students’ skills by exhibiting their drawings, essay writings, origami’s and many other projects. We visited the school this morning where we were given a tour by the students. “Good morning, welcome to San Victor RC School’s Open Day. The theme is ‘Together We Can Achieve Quality Education For All”. Kindly follow the arrows.” And that’s exactly what we did, like obedient students setting the example, we followed the arrows. And In doing so the first booth we encountered was that of pre-schoolers who were busy enjoying their snack upon our arrival. Believe it or not these 40 young minds have been busy with their hands over the last three weeks learning how to manoeuvre a scissors. Learning how to cut out shapes is what the students learnt next and that’s exactly what they had on display today. The arrows then led us to the infant division where we found Idirma Gutierrez and her peers ready to present their pieces of work including drawings, paintings and hand crafted flowers.

BHOC Celebrates World Museum Day
The world wide communities of Museums are celebrating the 35th anniversary of International Museum Day which brings to perspective the role of museums in our society. In a world where technology often overcomes tradition and culture, the rediscovery and appreciation for heritage is a steaming vitality for young children and other community members and today the Banquitas House of Culture brought back to life everything Belizean. Janine Ayuso, Reporting Here in Orange Walk the Banquitas House of Culture is at the forefront in celebrating International Museum Day by observing new techniques to get visitors interested in observing the occasion. As part of the activities, the house of culture was brought to life with special performances and presentations prepared for school children and other visitors.

Oceana Files Another Case Against Government In Court
The Non-governmental organization OCEANA is not letting up the fight against the decision concerning the rejection of over 8000 signatures from the petition for a referendum on offshore drilling. Ocean submitted an application for leave to apply for a court review of the disqualification of the signatures on May 4th. That case will be heard in the Supreme Court on June 20th. Another pending litigation against GOB is the matter of six oil contracts that are being challenged by OCEANA. The oil drilling concession contracts were issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources between 2005 and 2007 to Island Oil Belize Limited, Tropical Energy Limited, PetroBelize Company Limited, Princess Petroleum Limited, Providence Energy Belize Limited and Sol Oil Belize Limited. Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, and the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage have jump in the litigation as interested parties. Yesterday Vice President of OCEANA Belize, Audrey Matura Shepherd, gave the NGO’s stance upon the matter.

Quality Child Friendly School Initiative Program Launched In Orange Walk
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports in collaboration with UNICEF kicked off the Quality Child Friendly School Initiative Program at a district level today. The program is aimed at establishing a system which if put into practice could enhance school effectiveness within the districts. The program was implemented two years ago in the Belize and Toledo Districts and today the four remaining districts were all at the forefront of the launch. This of course means that Orange Walk is also in the educational race. “It takes a community to raise a child” that’s an old saying that goes way back, but when it comes to education all methods available for the insinuation of learning is put to practice. And that is the main objective of the Ministry of Education; provide children with the highest level of education by involving the community at large. Today Orange Walk observed the launch of the first Quality Child Friendly Initiative at the Multi Purpose Complex where power point presentations were set up to educate all participants, including students, of the QCFSI’s purpose.

LOVE TV

No wake regulation to be enforced around San Pedro
The situation of observing No Wake zones around San Pedro town is being addressed by municipal authorities. Love TV’s Maria Novelo reports.

Indian Ambassador on farewell visit to Belize
He has been the Indian Ambassador to Mexico and Belize for the past three years and his term of office is coming to a close. Today Indian Ambassador, Denish K. Jain, left on his farewell visit to Belize in his official capacity. Before he did, however, the Ambassador sat down with Love News’ Marion Ali, during which he explained the many strands of diplomatic achievements, including the closer connections between our two countries. Ambassador Jain left a parting message for his Indian compatriots in Belize and to all Belizeans on a whole. India spends one billion each year to assist developing countries like Belize in areas of technical cooperation.

Belize observes World Telecommunications Day
World Telecommunications and Information Society Day is being celebrated today by all countries that are members of the international telecommunications Union, a United Nations based organization. In Belize, Belize Telemedia Limited is celebrating with the theme Women and girls in ICT, during a brief ceremony this morning, Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors at Belize Telemedia Limited, Nestor Vasquez, explained what the day is all about and emphasized the importance of this year’s theme. According to Vasquez, Information and Communication technology is used in television, internet and mobile phones which also allows for mobile banking and today Atlantic Bank is joining BTL in providing mobile banking to its customers. Guest speaker during the ceremony was Process and Quality Manager for Atlantic Bank Limited, Claudia Lopez. The Chief Executive officer in the Ministry of Energy Science and Technology and Public Utilities Dr. Colin Young, reiterated the importance of women in ICT during the keynote address this morning. The winners of the ICT essay competition were announced and included two students at the tertiary level and one from the secondary level. Executive Chairman Nestor Vasquez and CEO Dr. Colin Young proceeded to cut the ribbon and officially open the exhibit in the King’s Room of the Princess Hotel where information on the different sections of BTL will be displayed throughout the day to students and others alike.

Canada-funded CARILED launched
The Commonwealth Local Government Forum meet came to a close last night at the Princess Hotel. An official closing was held in which speeches were delivered by a representative of the Canadian International Development Agency. CIDA is funding the CARILED project to the tune of twenty three point two million US dollars. The project was launched by the patron of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum, the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Kamela Persad-Bissessar. She said that the only path to recovery from the global financial crisis in the region is to focus on sustainable economic growth and development. And she outlined how that should be done. Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar also announced that her country is deeply investing in CARILED, since the project will be headquartered in the twin-island republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Persad-Bissessar also outlined another program that is being implemented in Trinidad and Tobago which she says might be of great benefit to CARILED. According to the Prime Minister, partnership with CARILED will complement the regional planning program and aid in restitution of its activities and she looks forward for this collaboration. After the closing ceremony, everyone enjoyed a reception at the Calypso Restaurant at the Princess Hotel. The Board is meeting today at the Princess after which a statement will be given to the press in relation to their meet this afternoon.

Petition against Mark King thrown out of the Supreme Court
Last week attorneys for the appellants and respondents in the election petition application against the UDP’s Lake Independence Area Representative, Mark King, argued on whether or not Mark King violated the law when he did not declare a purported contract that his firm has with the government of Belize. The appellant, Martin Galvez, who lost the elections to King, and his attorney, Senior Counsle Lisa Shoman, claim that King ought to have made a public declaration. King’s attorney, on the other hand, Senior Counsel Denys Barrow, said that there are various types of contracts and the law is specific on those which require public declaration. Today, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin handed down his ruling, and it was in favour of Barrow and King. Shoman, who spoke with reporters first said she saw things differently. Senior Counsel, Denys Barrow, was confident that he had the better argument. King himself has been silent throughout the hearings, but today he broke that silence. And while he did not admit that his security firm does have a contract with the government, he said the firm provides security services to quote … “a lot of people”. Martin Galvez, in the meantime, is weighing his options of taking the matter to the Court of Appeal.

Students from the north go on field trip to Toledo
A group of students, teachers and parents from Libertad village were in Toledo yesterday on an educational tour. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Family remembers the life of Arthur Smith
The slick road conditions are thought to be the cause of Wednesday’s tragic road accident at mile forty-four on the Western Highway which claimed four lives. The small GEO Prizm car with the four casualties was heading towards Belmopan when its driver, forty-five year old school counselor, Karen Tillett Castillo, lost control and slammed into an oncoming Isuzu Rodeo. One of the persons who perished was forty-five year old Arthur Smith, also known as “Smiggit”, a well-known bus driver who catered to mostly chartered trips out of Belize City. In retrospect, Smith’s sister, Harriet Smith, told Love News that she never imagined that her brother would be killed the way he was. Smith was accompanying his thirteen year old daughter, Alicia Smith, her mother, Karen Tillett Castillo and her mother, sixty-eight year old Nicholasia Tillett. All four perished in the crash. Another family member, school teacher, twenty-eight year old Monique Robinson was the sole survivor in the Geo Prizm car.

Motor Cycle reported stolen
A motorcycle belonging to Intelligent Solutions has been reported stolen. Computer technician Duane Staine reported to police that sometime between midnight and seven o’clock yesterday morning, someone removed the company’s 2009 Meilun-10 motor cycle from where it was parked in his yard. The value of the stolen motor bike is put at two thousand dollars. Police investigation continues.

Police raid Brian Brown’s house
Police have conducted an operation at the home of thirty six year old businessman Brian Brown. The search, which was carried out on Wednesday morning, led to the discovery of several Ziploc plastic bags containing compressed cannabis, several small plastic bags containing suspected crack cocaine and a bullet proof vest. According to the police press officer, no one was at home at the time of the search. All drugs were weighed amounting to 1,124 grams of Crack Cocaine and 762 grams of cannabis. They were all sealed and labeled as exhibit in the presence of a Justice of Peace.

Conviction for Good Fortune Restaurant robbery; another robbery reported
25-year-old Keith Williams, a security guard who was charged with robbery and kept firearm without a gun licence was sentenced to seven years today after he was found guilty of the charges. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser who imposed the sentences stipulated that the sentences are to run concurrently so Williams will only serve five years. The incident occurred around 2 a.m. on December 26, 2011 at Good Fortune Restaurant and Bar located on Newtown Barracks. The complainant, businesswoman Xin Ye Zhang testified that she was about to close when three men entered and one of them of them held her up at gunpoint. She said they stole her Nokia cellular phone that has a value of $1,000.00. She said the men also made off with $700.00 and $500.00 worth of phone cards. She identified Williams as the person who was taking the money off the counter and giving it to a man who was at the door. In a statement he gave from the dock Williams said he went to Queen Street Police Station to make a report of a robbery and the point 25 pistol the Police found in his pocket was one he took from the robber during a struggle. After Williams reported the alleged robber the Police took him to Good Fortune Restaurant and Zhang identified him as one of the persons who robbed her. Williams then took the Police to his house and handed over some dollar coins which he said was his share of the proceeds from the robbery. A second man, Brasel Gordon was charged jointly with Williams for robbery but he did not have a case to answer because the witness who identified him did not appear to testify. And while that 2011 case has ended with a conviction; tonight there is another incident involving the very same business establishment. Forty nine year old Yun Sing He reported to police that on Wednesday night he was inside the Good Fortune Restaurant along with his employees when four men entered, one of whom was brandishing a firearm. One of the men reportedly took Yun Sing He into the kitchen and robbed him of his wallet containing $2,300.00b in cash and two cheques with a combined value of five thousand and seventy five dollars; whilst another went to the cash drawer and helped themselves to six hundred dollars, along with personal documents belonging to the employees. All four men then exited and made good their escape. Police investigation continues.

Alleged forgery of government fuel orders discovered
The alleged forgery of Fuel Orders has been reported at the Immigration Department. Finance Officer Teresita Castellanos conducted an audit at the end of April based on information that the signature of the Deputy Director was being forged. Castellanos told police that during her audit a fuel order book could not be located, despite extensive searches. When a reconciliation of fuel bills for the Immigration Department was done, it showed that the same serial numbers on the missing fuel order books were used on fuel orders tendered at gas stations to obtain fuel. A further examination of the tendered fuel orders allegedly shows that the signature of the deputy director is a forgery. After the internal investigation at the Immigration Department, the matter has now been turned over to the police who are carrying out a criminal investigation.

PlusTV

Commonwealth Secretariat holds press conference on visit to Belize
This morning at the Radisson Fort George Hotel Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma hosted a press confe...

Belize City streets to get facelift
The rains have started and Belize City residents are already suffering the discomfort that results when they hit th...

Lupus walk slated for Saturday
Cancer is a well documented disease and everyone knows about it. But there is a ground swell of support rising up f...

Amenzee Amu wins CANTO essay competition
The Caribbean Association of National Telecommunications Organizations (CANTO) every year hosts an essay competitio...

Popular Belize City businessman murdered
It is another story of crime and violence when CIB personnel last night visited a crime scene at #102 Curassow Stre...

Another home invasion in the West
In our news update this morning we told you about reports of a home invasion in the West. Well according to police ...

Two injured in shooting
A shooting incident took place last night in Belize City. At 9:35pm C.I.B. personnel visited the K.H.M.H. where the...

Former Bank Manager acquitted of robbery charge
In April of 2011 former Heritage Bank Branch Manager, Samantha Carlos, was charged with conspiracy to commit robber...

Will Said Musa step down from Fort George?
Hon. Said Musa may be preparing to step down as PUP Fort George area representative. Reliable sources to Plusnews h...

Man shot, robbed of Bible
This morning at 1:55am, C.I.B. Personnel visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they saw 26yr old Codring...

Freak accident at Baking Pot Ferry
Travellers to Spanish lookout are familiar with the solid metal bridge which spans the width of the Belize River. H...

Hon. Vega holds over in PM Barrow's absence
Prime Minister Barrow left Belize today (May 18) to re-join his wife as she continues with her medical treatment. D...

Man followed home, shot, after confrontation
29yr old Francisco Sosa, Guatemalan of Rhaburn’s Ridge Village, Belize District reported that on Wednesday March 21...

Amandala

CJ throws out Martin Galvez petition against Mark King
“There is a contract between Brints Security Services and the Government of Belize, and that is signed by Mark King,” insists Lisa Shoman... Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin made a landmark election petition ruling—which will serve as a legal precedent not just in Belize, but in the wider Caribbean—when he declared in the Belize Supreme Court this morning that a contract for security services with the Government of Belize does not require disclosure before election, as Martin Galvez, political opponent of Lake I area representative Mark King, had argued in a petition filed in April, challenging the legitimacy of King’s election on March 7.

Terrible tragedy – 4 die in W. Highway collision
Two others survive... A horrific collision on the Western Highway between a gold Geo Prism car, bearing license plate BZC-38571, and an Isuzu Rodeo claimed the lives of four relatives around 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 16, around Mile 45 on the Western Highway, on the outskirts of Cotton Tree. Two other victims are in critical condition.

Case withdrawn against accused conspirators in Heritage Bank robbery
Third accused, charged with handling, awaits her fate... On Tuesday of this week, at a preliminary inquiry in the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court, charges were withdrawn against two of the remaining accused in connection with last April’s robbery of the Orange Walk branch of the Heritage Bank in which some $202,000 was taken.

Third Matura brother shot to death in front of his home
Matura’s brothers, Glenford and Anthony, were killed in separate incidents within weeks of each other in 2010, and his cousins, Mark and Jermaine, were also previously targeted (Mark was killed, while Jermaine has been shot several times).

Police issues warrant for arrest of Brian Brown
The GSU conducted an anti-drug operation around 6:00 a.m. yesterday, Wednesday, in the old capital, Belize City, on Jimmy Dyer Street in the Fabers Road Extension area; searched the property of Brian Brown, 36, an auto dealer, who was not at home; and found several Ziploc plastic bags containing compressed weed and several small plastic bags containing crack cocaine.

Murder at corner Cemetery and Curassow
Popular businessman, Jeremy McNab, shot to death in his store.... The mayhem in this beleaguered city continues. Around 7:05 tonight, a Belizean businessman reportedly died when he was shot three times in the chest in his store, the Mobile Hardware Store, located at the corner of Cemetery Road and Currasow Street.

No Champions League for Belize’s Placencia Assassins
Well, it’s official. Belize will NOT be represented in the next edition of the CONCACAF Champions League tournament, beginning July 31, in which the champion clubs of all countries in CONCACAF (North, Central America and the Caribbean) get to participate. The newly- crowned Belizean football champions Placencia Assassins will follow 3-peat national champions Belize Defence Force, and before them Culture Yabra, as Belizean champion clubs who were denied participation in the prestigious regional club tournament.

Placencia Assassins are Premier League 2012 champions
Upwards of two thousand football fans were a part of football history on Saturday night, May 12, at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan, where Placencia Assassins were crowned 2012 Premier League of Belize football champions, after they drew 1-1 with the recently formed but star-studded Police United FC. The Assassins had taken game 1 by a 2-1 score the previous Saturday night at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village, so the 1-1 draw this past Saturday gave them the aggregate victory and the championship by a 3-2 margin.

Kaya is #1, wins Women Cross Country Classic
It was no fluke, or no accident yesterday, Mother’s Day, in the Women Cross Country Classic, where once again, as has become the trend lately on the home stretch in female cycle races, Kaya Cattouse of C-Ray Cycling Club out-sprinted her competitors to claim the coveted garland and etch her name in the history book of female cycling in Belize as the 23rd Women Cross Country Classic Champion.

OLA and Coalition want to join Oceana in legal challenge to 6 offshore oil contracts
Both the Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) and the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage have applied to the Supreme Court to join Oceana Belize in challenging the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment over the validity of 6 offshore petroleum contracts awarded by the Government of Belize.

Rice and beans
We believe that it is safe to say that beginning with his first term as Prime Minister, the Hon. Dean O. Barrow has sold himself to the Belizean public as an implacable opponent of British billionaire, Lord Michael Ashcroft, whose policies and operations on the country’s financial (and economic) landscape were seen as inimical to the best interests of Belize, to say the least.

Repeal Prevention of Corruption Act – it’s useless!
This is certainly true. It is we the people that put leaders in office and it is we the people that must keep the HAT on them during their term of office. We must join together to make sure our elected officials are “HAT” - honest, accountable and transparent. We must bring pressure on them, if necessary, to obey the law or pay the penalty for breaking it!

Blogs

Second 24 h at Banana Beach Resort
I finally finished editing all my Banana Beach Resort pics and along with that comes the write up on our second 24 hours there. You can see pics and write up of our first 24 h on my 2 day getaway at Banana Beach post. [This post a work in progress time has run out and I have to get to Red Cross First Aid training at Fidos - will finish asap.] The second day brought us another great sunrise, more fantastic, food, some more boat action, pool time, a massage and 2 bubble baths. - Meals were fantastic our entire trip, as you can see from all the food pics. My new obsession is triple Chocolate Obsession from El Divino – foodgasm. - Staff catered to our every need - Banana beach has a nice tropical ambiance, loved our ground floor Oceanfront room. It was perfect and we loved being steps from the beach and pool. - We felt safe and secure during our stay there and noticed many of the guests including ourselves got to know the onsite security.

Finding Great Souvenirs in San Pedro, Tough but Not Impossible: Graniel's Dreamland
These would make beautiful gifts, right? But let's back up... It can be tricky finding a distinctive and affordable gift for your friends when you are on vacation. There are lots of shops in town but many sell the same old thing. Stuff like t-shirts (don't get me wrong, I've purchased quite a few of them...especially the Belikin beer ones), plastic jewelry, shot glasses... or magnets and mugs that were obviously ordered with the stipulation "fill in your country here"... But exotic hard woods of all colors are one of Belize's most beautiful (and rare) resources. Graniel's Dreamland on Middle Street (aka Pescador Drive) takes full advantage of them. Turning the woods into so many beautiful things for your home and for gifts. NONE of these woods are dyed...the hues below are the woods' natural colors. (Friends and family...now you know where I got all of those cutting boards!) They have also recently introduced these flip flops in a few different patterns to hang on your wall. Love them too. They cost about $50bzd (or $25 USD). I asked the sales woman what the two most expensive and rare types of wood are...she had two. The first is zericote/ziricote, a dark wood with uneven waves. Pretty, right? Apparently this tree produces an edible fruit but I need to do a bit of research on that. And the other is the rosewood burl...huge knots in the rosewood tree that are very rare and can weigh up to 50lbs. Instead of a straight or wavy grain, it is a mass of pink to red circles and squiggles and makes for some really pretty but pricey bowls. My point? There are over 20 different types, rarities, price levels and colors of wood to choose from at Graniels.

A cautionary tale on eating the Devil’s eggs
The Clathrus Ruber also known as the Basket stink horn or “the Devil’s egg” is an intriguing fungus. Its fruit is a hollow sphere with interlaced branches and can be found feeding off decaying woody plant material, and is usually found alone or in groups in leaf litter on garden soil, grassy places, or on woodchip garden mulches. The height ranges from 8 to 20 cm. The leathery, basket like structure is usually bright pink to pale orange. Despite the smell of Stink horn mushroom usually being considered an unpleasant odor, it is still considered a delicacy in many European and Asian countries where they are readily available in markets under the common name “Devil’s egg”. An important caution to heed is that of consuming the Devil’s eggs” only during the egg stage and not as a mature fruit to avoid poisoning.

International Sources

Ethnic Cooking Recipes | International Recipes | Caribbean Recipes
Thousands of ethnic Cooking Recipes including Cooking Videos, International Recipe Search Database and more. Take a look at these great Caribbean recipes.

May 18, 2012


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


The San Pedro Sun

San Pedro residents outraged about the crime situation on the island
There are growing concerns regarding the crime situation on San Pedro amongst some sectors of the community in San Pedro Town. The concerns stem from a series of home invasions and burglaries that have gone unsolved. Adding to their frustrations is the pace and approach the San Pedro Police Department is taking in trying to solve these crimes, along with complaints that some recovered items have gone missing within the police department. These were some of the sentiments expressed during a meeting which took place on the night of Monday, May 14th at the San Pedro Town Council. In attendance were several members of community who have recently been victims of crime as well as all seven members of the San Pedro Town Council and members of the San Pedro Police Department A resident of Northern Ambergris Caye detailed her experience in which she, along with her children, were a victim of a home invasion where they were terrorized and their belongings stolen. While her son was not physically harmed, he remains traumatized and concerned for his safety after he was attacked by the intruders. “Already I have no faith in the system. I am not seeing the police presence in the way they should be,” expressed the very emotional resident who asked to remain anonymous. The child who was present also gave an emotional account of the incident and told the Officer Commanding the San Pedro Police Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Vienie Robinson that while he can clearly recognize his attacker, “I am afraid that he comes back after me when he gets out of jail.”

First Caribbean Bank to relocate San Pedro Branch operations to Orange Walk Town
CIBC FirstCaribbean has announced its intention to relocate its San Pedro Branch operations to Orange Walk Town. To facilitate this move our San Pedro branch will close permanently to the public on June 15, 2012. In an official statement, Country Head, Glen Smith indicated that the current economic climate had necessitated a thorough review of the bank’s operations, resulting in strategic decision to relocate to the Orange Walk District. “We remain committed to our clients in San Pedro and we encourage them to continue to bank with us through a number of options, including our Visa Debit Card products; Internet and Telephone Banking; and by mailing in Cheque Deposits. We are also exploring additional options for providing banking services to our clients in the area that will be advised to our clients as they are finalized.”

First ever Village Expo a huge Success
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) in partnership with the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) hosted its first ever Village Arts and Craft Expo this year. The Expo took place at the Princess Hotel & Casino’s King’s Room on Saturday, May 12th between the hours of 9am and 4pm. The organizers originally catered to 80 booths but once the Expo began, they quickly had to add additional booths. There were a total of 97 booths featuring local products for the general public to experience and sample. Products showcased included local jewelry (earring, chains, bracelets), slate carvings, paintings, embroidery, wood work (bowls, picture frames, carvings, etc), clay pottery, sewn and crochet dresses, skirts, blouses and pillows, woven baskets, locally made cultural sweets, pepper sauces, home made soy sauce, locally made sauces, carpentry (chairs, tables etc), black cake coloring which is also used to give chicken its golden color in stew or baked, recycled material purses and arts to name a few.

Terryl Godoy wins Bowen and Bowen Coca Cola Art Competition
Man at Work”, Terryl Godoy, long term resident of San Pedro, is the winner of the Bowen and Bowen Coca Cola Art Competition. Bowen and Bowen inaugurated its celebrations of the golden anniversary of coca-cola in Belize with an art competition and exhibit that will be taken across the country. It featured paintings by both professional and novice artists who were challenged to illustrate Coca-Cola’s appearance in important moments of Belizean history. The competition was held on May 8th at the House of Culture. The San Pedro Sun caught up with Terryl, also known on the island as a One Man Band, to get a little feed back on his grand win. “For this exhibition, we were supposed to do something that represents Coca Cola and happiness, what we can remember about Coca Cola in the past, something that is very happy. I did a piece that showcases what I perceive Belize to have been in the 60s or 70s. It really had people’s minds wondering like what or where is this painting. Because of how realistic it seems people try to associate it with a certain place or location. In actuality, this piece is a creation from my mind’s eyes. I just thought about a scene and I painted it. So the truth is, it never did exist and I don’t know if that’s the thing that probably got to the judges and forced them to take a good look at that piece more than once. But the painting was created to give viewers the effect of visualizing what Belize used to look like, so everybody that lived in that time could probably relate to that painting.”

Ambergris Today

First Caribbean Bank SP Branch Permanently Relocating to Orange Walk
CIBC FirstCaribbean has announced its intention to relocate its San Pedro Branch operations to Orange Walk Town. To facilitate this move the San Pedro branch will close permanently to the public on June 15, 2012. In an official statement, Country Head, Glen Smith indicated that the current economic climate had necessitated a thorough review of the bank’s operations, resulting in strategic decision to relocate to the Orange Walk District. “We remain committed to our clients in San Pedro and we encourage them to continue to bank with us through a number of options, including our Visa Debit Card products; Internet and Telephone Banking; and by mailing in Cheque Deposits. We are also exploring additional options for providing banking services to our clients in the area that will be advised to our clients as they are finalized.”

Misc Belizean Sources

Free First Aid training May 19th
If you would like to learn a range of basic first aid skills please sign up for the one time free first aid training by the Belize Red Cross. To get on the list reply and count yourself. This Saturday May 19th at Fido's - lunch will be provided 9:00am - 3:00pm please show up 15 min early to sign in. We will be downstairs till roughly 10:30 for lessons and presentations then move up stairs for the practical work. After this paid courses will be available for individual groups and businesses.

Official video – A day on Caye Caulker
This is the official video of the Caye Caulker chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association. Explore the tropical island of Caye Caulker, situated within the Belize Barrier Reef.

VIDEO: Diving South Water Caye
Featuring Splash Dive Center, Placencia, aboard Princess Ailsa with Captain Edlin Leslie, Divemaster Prince Gongora, Divemanster and Discovery Instructor Nedia Chaplin

Seth Montfort at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel
Seth Montfort, a internationally renowned pianist, played for Mother's Day at the Bedran Hall in the SIRH. It was an amazing show. He played many classics, including Claire de Lune and Rhapsody in Blue, and had entertaining stories to tell between the pieces. The food was wonderful and the music was fantastic, making for a night to remember.

Kids Eco Camp Promotional Video
"Memories that last a lifetime" is right! In this short video one can see many of the events that last year's eco kids did while at the Summer Eco Kids Camp. Now is the time for children to submit their essays on why they want to be an Eco-kid. Chaa Creek is giving away 24 scholarships, so start writing.

Galen University offers Masters of Education
Galen University has their brochures for their Masters of Education out. They are teaming up with the University of North Carolina at Wilmington to offer the degree. For more information call 824.3226 or email aharrison@galen.edu.bz.

Rebecca Stirm's Designs from Mission Catwalk
Rebecca Stirm still leads with the most wins, 3, in Mission Catwalk. Here are her designs from the last 2 weeks. The first is from the 'avant guard' competition, and the second is from the 'spandex' competition. Good luck, Rebecca! She's listed in 2nd place on the Mission Catwalk FB page.

Slavery and Emancipation Exhibit at the Benque House of Culture
Their was a monumental turnout for the Slavery and Emancipation exhibit at the Benque House of Culture! The Institute of Archaeology was there, teaching students all about the Maya, while giving out great prizes for answering questions. The Belize Archives Department was there with an exhibit showing some classic pictures, and how they preserve and restore documents. We encourage everyone to go see this amazing exhibit over the next month.

Belize Mega Bingo Results For (May 16, 2012)
Mini X 50.00 Each (8 Balls) 24 ­73 ­21 ­29 ­48 ­30 ­41 ­56­ Straight Line 100.00 Each (10 Balls) 24 ­73 ­21 ­29 ­48 ­30 ­41 ­56 ­32 ­25­ Lucky Two 5.00 Each (11 Balls) 24 ­73 ­21 ­29 ­48 ­30 ­41 ­56 ­32 ­25 ­9­ Lucky Three 25.00 Each (11 Balls) 24 ­73 ­21 ­29 ­48 ­30 ­41 ­56 ­32 ­25 ­9­ Four Corners 50.00 Each (18 Balls) 24 ­73 ­21 ­29 ­48 ­30 ­41 ­56 ­32 ­25 ­9 ­34 ­40 ­43 ­36 ­35 ­70 ­10­ Arrow 300.00 Each (22 Balls) 24 ­73 ­21 ­29 ­48 ­30 ­41 ­56 ­32 ­25 ­9 ­34 ­40 ­43 ­36 ­35 ­70 ­10 ­39 ­4 ­14 ­68­

Channel 7

UDP BREATHES EASY; MARK KING ELECTION CHALLENGE DISMISSED
Tonight, the UDP faithful can rest easy: the election petition against Mark King - which seemed to have the most solid ground - has been struck out of court. The election petition against King, which was brought by his political opponent, Martin Galvez, challenged his legitimacy as a duly elected member of the House of Representatives. Galvez's attorneys, Godfrey Smith and Lisa Shoman, provided the court with documents which claimed that King was the Managing Director of the Security Firm, Brints, and that his company was in a contract with the Government of Belize. By the election rules, this supposedly made King unfit to take up elected office because he failed to declare his interests in this company to the public via the media. Denys Barrow, who was representing King, argued against Shoman and Smith before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin for several weeks, and in the end, Barrow was able to get Chief Justice Benjamin to dismiss the petition. It's a landmark case because never before in the Caribbean has contract law been litigated as thoroughly as this. Chief Justice Benjamin's decision today has set a precedent when he accepted Barrow's submissions that the disqualification law refers to a limited class of government contracts, and that this security contract was not in that class.

HON. KING CONFESSES TO CONTRACT
And while the lawyers are through with their arguing - for this round at least - for the public, the burning question raised by the petition remains unanswered: Did King have a government contract? After the hearing, King, who has been silent for several weeks now, told the media that his security company does indeed have this contract. It's seems safe territory now, and when he was asked to comment on it, he was very forthcoming. Here's what he had to say: Daniel Ortiz "We still only have the allegation that this contract exists? Does your side have any actual proof?" Lisa Shoman - Attorney for Martin Galvez "No, there isn't only an allegation. We actually exhibited the contract that we're complaining of, and that is contained in the petition. It's there; it's always been there since the leave stage. There is a contract between Brints Security Service and the Government of Belize, and that is signed by Mark King." Marion Ali - Love News "As far as the contract is concerned now, would you be privy - would you be willing to share with the public what's the scope and nature of the contract?" Hon. Mark King - House of Representative Status Was Questioned "Absolutely not, still, simply because of the fact that the attorney just explained that it doesn't matter if you have a contract, it does not apply to this provision. Whatever my company, Brints Security, have, whatever I have personally, that is not public knowledge unless the law requires me to give that to the public, then it should be public knowledge, so at this point, no."

GSG KINGPIN BRIAN BROWN ELUDES POLICE
Tonight, George Street Kingpin, Brian Brown, the man known in the streets as "The Father" is a wanted man. Police have a warrant for his arrest and say they intend to charge him for multiple offences, including drug trafficking. Multiple reports - from his own camp - said that Brown was going to hand himself into police today - in the presence of his attorney - but that did not happen. And so tonight, he is at large - and is being pursued by police. As we told you last night, it all started at 6:00 on Thursday morning when police got past Brown's imposing 13 foot fence. He was not at home - and so the GSU got a Justice of the Peace to accompany them on the search. Tonight, we revisit the property to show you what they found:.. Jules Vasquez reporting This is Brian Brown's surveillance grid - Brown's family claims the 7 empty screens are for inside that the GSU disconnected when they did the search. Police say that inside one of the bedrooms they found a plastic bag with some cash, and inside the top drawer of a night stand beside the bed, they found $2,420 US cy. They also found a bag inside the laundry basket with $25.00 BCY in $1.00 coins. And police say they made their biggest find here in the bathroom - where they allege that hidden under the flooring of the basin cabinet, they found a bag with several large pieces of suspected crack cocaine amounting to 307 grams - along with $27.00 BCY in $1.00 coins. And in the living room in this entertainment center they found $408.90 Bcy in different denominations and a medium size digital gram scale were found.

GUNPOINT ROBBER GETS FIVE YEARS
25 year-old Keith Williams is spending the first night of a 5-year sentence after he was convicted of robbery and keeping an unlicensed firearm in Magistrate's Court. A Chinese businessman fingered him as one of 2 assailants who robbed him on Boxing Day last year. According to police, Xin Ye Zheng reported that on December 26, 2011, he was at his store, Good Fortune Bar, which is located on Newtown Barracks. While he was closing up the shop, he was robbed by at gunpoint by 2 men who stole an undisclosed amount of cash, and then escaped. Quick police response led to Williams being detained along with 32 year-old Brassel Gordon, and when he was searched, the officers found a large amount of cash on him along with a .25 caliber pistol. As a result, they charged both men with robbery, and Williams was additionally charged with keeping an unlicensed firearm. Both Zheng and the arresting officer testified against both men for the prosecution in this trial, but 3 weeks ago, Gordon was acquitted after his attorney, Dickey Bradley, made a no-case submission due to lack of evidence. Well today, the trial came to completion after Williams offered his own defense.

BDF'S INTELLIGENCE CELL
The Belize Defence Force is developing a unit called, an "Intelligence Cell." It sounds double-O-7-ish - except they won't be doing it in BMW's, instead, they'll be using Chinese-made Meilun motorbikes. Five of these were donated today by the Ministry of National Security - and he explained, The Cell. Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security "We were able to procure 5 motorcycles to be handed over to the intelligence Cell of the BDF and the Intelligence Cell is the unit that does the gathering of intelligence with respect to both our borders, national security and internal security. So I am happy that we were able to give them this additional mobility so that they are able to move across the country and gather information that pertains to our national security." Brig. Gen. Dario Tapia, Commander - BDF "One of the main means that we have is mobility to be able to get our job done in a timely and efficient manner and so we recommended that we needed some motorcycles to be able to do some remote areas patrol." "What this offers us is an ability to go to remote areas efficiently to maintain a military presence and that alike." The cycles are worth sixteen thousand, five hundred dollars.

ARMED ROBBERS GET OFF WITH 3K IN CASH
Last night, a Chinese Restaurant Owner in Belize City was cleaned out by armed gunmen. IT happened just before 8:00, when four men entered good fortune restaurant with a gun. They dragged the owner, 49 year old Yun Sing He into the kitchen and took his wallet, with two thousand 300 dollars in cash - while another went into the cash drawer and snatched up six hundred dollars. The men ran off and police have made no arrests.

IDAHO DAY CELEBRATED IN BELIZE
Today gay and human rights activists in Belize joined 80 countries around the world to celebrate IDAHO, not the state in the USA famous for potatoes, but the "International Day against homophobia." Today supporters of UNIBAM and the We Are One in Human Rights Campaign gathered at the Smokey Mermaid Restaurant today in a show of solidarity against, homophobia, violence against gay persons, and all forms of discrimination in Belize. Of course, it's also a chance to shore up support against the religious right - which is stridently opposed to the homosexual lob buy. 7news spoke with Gay Rights activist and President of UniBAM - Caleb Orozco. Caleb Orozco, Gay Rights activist and President of UniBAM "While societies speak about discrimination, the issue of discrimination around homophobia. It also is a day to highlight some of the problems that gay bisexual transgender persons face across the world. There are 1.5 billion people who experience or lived under very discriminatory laws around the world. There are 78 countries according to International Lesbian and Gay Association in their report which has laws that discriminate against gay people but more precisely today is about the humanness about how people treat each other because of their difference." "For us the issue is to bring the issue of homophobia to the table. You don't have to believe about or take a position of sexual orientation or marriage equality or gay rights but we all want the same thing to be treated with respect when walking the streets. Not everybody is treated fairly or with respect. There are things that are happening in Belize like getting into a taxi and just because you are suspiciously gay, the taxi would charge you more or the taxi would simply pass by because you look too gay."

GETTING WOMEN AND GIRLS INTO ICT
Today is being observed as World Telecom Day in 147 countries and Belize is one of them. The theme is Women and Girls in information And Communication Technology. Executive Chairman Net Vasquez underscored the importance of this message in his opening remarks at the King's Room of the Princess Hotel and Casino:.. Nestor Vasquez - Executive Chairman BTL "Today we join the rest of the world and we celebrate together under the theme "Women and Girls in ICT." Isn't that a good theme? Wow. Presently in several countries, the ICT Industry is facing a shortage of skilled workers. One of the reasons for this shortage is the fact that women are significantly underrepresented in this Industry. I am proud to say however that the upper levels of management here at BTL - the ratio between men and women is almost one to one." And after the speeches, the main attraction was launched; the annual open day - where BTL showcases all its cool gadgets and technology - a prize attraction for hundreds of school children. Public Relations Manager Anjali Vasquez told us how they worked in the theme of Women and Girls:.. Jules Vasquez "Women and Girls in ICT? It seems so far-fetched when we are in a country that only has 13% in Internet penetration."

COURT: FORMER BEAUTY QUEEN WAS NOT A BANK ROBBER
It made headlines in all the media houses when former Heritage Bank BRANCH Manager, Samantha Carlos, was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery for the April 2011 heist of the Branch which she managed. Well, the preliminary inquiry was completed, and both she and Harold Valencio were free of the charges on Tuesday. Viewers may recall that Valencio and Carlos were charged with conspiracy to commit robbery because the police believed that she and Valencio assisted the now deceased Ricky Valencia and Noel Usher with preparation and information, which they allegedly used to rob the bank. When the prosecutor tendered all the evidence, Carlos' attorney Dickey Bradley, made a no-case submission on her behalf. He said that there is no evidence that Carlos conspired with any of these men; indeed, there was no evidence she even had contact with them. After considering the submission, Magistrate Merlene Moody dismissed the charge against Carlos because she agreed that there was no evidence that implicated her. Bradley didn't finish there; he pointed out to the prosecutor that their main witness was Usher, who had been cooperating with their investigation until his death. Well, Valencio's other co-conspirator was Ricky Valencio, who is also now deceased. They agreed that with no evidence from any of these men, it is hard to prove that Valencio conspired with anyone, and as a result, they withdrew the charge against him.

PROFILE: Benjamin Jose Acosta
Tonight's I Am Belize Profile is about Benjamin Jose Acosta - a veteran teacher from Corozal - who came up hard in the North. He's now teaching at Trinity Methodist in Belize City - and in tonight's profile, he explains how he stays motivated as a teacher.

NURSES PAMPERED
This week is being celebrated as Nurse's Week. It kicked off on Saturday with a nurse's conference and throughout this entire week, activities are taking place at health institutions countrywide to honor and appreciate our nurses. One of those activities at the KHMH is a spa day - where nurses got to enjoy a relaxing atmosphere while being pampered. Monica Bodden got an invitation. Monica Bodden reporting There's not much argument that nurses have one of the most important jobs. Their profession alone focuses on the care of every individual to attain, maintain, or recover optimal health and quality of life. Nurses are on call 24 hours a day, including all major holidays. So a week of pampering and showing appreciation to our nurses is more than well deserved. As nurse's week continues, the nurses at the KHMH got pampered today with a spa room.

JUDY BOUCHER IN TOWN
And there's another big artist in Belize tonight. She is no dancehall sensation, rather a blast from the past. You may know her for hit songs such as Can't Be With You Tonight and You Close The Door - That's right, Judy Boucher is in town. The St Vincent born reggae, R&B and Country singer is known around the world for her soulful voice and this weekend she will be performing in the City at the House of Culture for a show called "A Night Under The Stars." We got to interview Boucher up close and in person. Judy Boucher, artist "Things have been really great for me these past months. I am just so busy I can't believe what is happening. Everybody wants a piece of Judy Boucher and it's just amazing to be here again." "When I got the call from Black Star Entertainment I just say, yup Belize people still in love with Judy Boucher and it's wonderful to be back." Monica Bodden "Now tell me, what can we expect coming this Saturday night?" Judy Boucher, artist "Of course we are going mix it up a bit. We are going to go back to my first album, of course there about 10 albums in all, so we are going to try to make sure that we get everyone's favorite songs. I know it's going to be very hard because everyone has their own favorite. But we will try and do the popular songs."

MURDER UPDATE
And before we close off tonight, we've got one more update on the murder which happened just after 7:00 on Curassow Street in Belize city. It happened at the corner of Curassow Street and Cemetery Road where the owner of Mobile Hardware Jermaine McNabb was shot by an unmasked male in a shooting that does not appear to have been a robbery. We'll have more on this story tomorrow.

Channel 5

Breaking News: Businessman killed in Old Capital

There is breaking news; a few minutes ago, at approximately seven p.m., a man was shot and killed near the junction of Cemetery Road and Curassow Street. The police are on the scene and our cameras are headed in that vicinity. The victim has been identified as Jermaine McNab, the owner of Mobile Hardware. His [...]

King keeps his Lake I throne; petition struck out

The Opposition party lost the March seventh elections by just over sixty votes. It immediately launched four election petitions in constituencies where the margins were razor thin. One was brought to the Courts on April tenth by Martin Galvez against Lake I Area Representative, Mark King. This morning, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin crushed that petition [...]

Barrow says King’s contract not tied to Public Service

Denys Barrow, attorney for King, says that it is quite the contrary. He explains that there would only be grounds for disqualification if King’s contract was directly linked to the public service. Barrow contends that there is no other law in Belize that disqualifies a public officer from being elected to office.   Denys Barrow, [...]

King speaks about contracts

Mark King who has kept mum throughout the court proceedings gave a statement to the media today following the Chief Justice’s decision. With the contract in question already exhibited in court, King did not deny that Brint’s Security provides services to the Government.   Mark King, Lake I Area Rep. “In regards to the entire [...]

Brian Brown’s mom denies having contact since raid

The Gang Suppression Unit searched the residence of Brian Brown, also known as Derrick on Wednesday. The raid started at six a.m. at Jimmy Dyer Street on Faber’s Road and continued throughout the day. The GSU says it found several Ziploc plastic bags which contained compressed marijuana, suspected crack and cocaine, a bullet proof vest, [...]

Corporation vying for a Belize Sugar Industry Buyout

The Honduran Banco Atlantida proposal is off the table; there are however, reports that negotiations for the acquisition of Belize Sugar Industries Limited by a U.S. based company are currently underway and an offer to purchase majority interest in the financially embattled company has been submitted to B.S.I. American Sugar Refining, the world’s largest multinational [...]

Trinidad & Tobago’s PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s parting words

Trinidad & Tobago’s Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s maiden visit to the Jewel was a brief working call during which she attended the Commonwealth Local Government Forum launched at the Princess on Wednesday morning. Despite her delayed arrival the Trinidadian head of government was on hand for the launch of a twenty-three million dollar initiative to [...]

Caribbean Association of National Telecommunication Organization Awards

It’s World Telecommunications Day; the good news is that a Belizean student topped the region in a prestigious essay competition with a prize of one thousand US dollars plus a netbook computer. It is the sixth contest held annually by the Caribbean Association of National Telecommunication Organization (CANTO), a trade association for Information and Communication [...]

4 killed in accident; counselors assist students to cope with loss

On Wednesday morning, four family members were tragically killed on the Western Highway as they headed to Belmopan in a Geo Prizm car. The accident at Mile forty-four is attributed to a downpour on Tuesday night which caused the highway to be slippery and deadly. Nicholasia Tillett, her daughter, grand daughter and son-in-law all perished. [...]

Former bank employee exonerated of charges related to robbery

Former Queen of the Bay Samantha Carlos, who was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery following the April 2011 holdup of the Heritage Bank in Orange Walk Town, is home free. At the end of a preliminary inquiry, the charge against her was withdrawn due to insufficient evidence. During the P.I., attorney Dickie Bradley submitted [...]

Double murder trial begins for San Pedro Fishermen

The trial of four fishermen who are accused of a double murder in San Pedro began on Wednesday in the Supreme Court. Brionne Swift, Victor Garnett also known as Prince, along with cousins, Frank Edwards Junior and Gabriel Salazar appeared before Justice Herbert Lord. They are jointly charged for the January twenty-ninth, 2009, double murder [...]

Cab driver denies trying to kidnap his ex

Forty-one year old Belize City cab driver Willward Pinto is tonight refuting an allegation made by his ex-girlfriend in court on Wednesday that he attempted to kidnap her earlier this week. According to Pinto, he was taking his former common law, Rhea Pennill, to work on Monday afternoon when they became embroiled in a dispute [...]

Hurricane Richard stories of displacement continue

An elderly man from Hattieville is turning to the media hoping to get attention to his plight. The seventy year-old man was in prison when Hurricane Richard damaged his house in 2010. Rupert Flowers’ house was evaluated for assistance during the hurricane reconstruction program, but he claims the replacement house was taken to the property [...]

Another night to remember with Judy Boucher

Reggae, R&B and Country sensation Judy Boucher is back in Belize to perform before legions of her fans this holiday weekend. The Vincentian singer, famous for her string of timeless hits including ‘Can’t Be With You Tonight’ and ‘That Night We Met’, will be performing at the House of Culture on Saturday night. If you [...]

Jamaican Artist, Popcaan, brings his brand of music

There is another concert this weekend for dancehall lovers. Belizean Americans, Problem Sean and Bolo of All in Entertainment, have brought in Andrae Jay Sutherland known for his hit songs like: Naughty girl, Party shot and Raving…It’s Popcaan in concert this Saturday in Belize City. Artists from New York and Belize—including lead male vocalist, Nello [...]

Healthy Living and Michael Finnegan talk Cancer

This month is cancer awareness month. In Healthy Living last week, we discussed the options available locally for screenings of breast cancer. This week, we turn our attention to another cancer. Minister Michael Finnegan is a survivor of prostate cancer. He was diagnosed two years ago and sought immediate treatment. Finnegan has been vocal about [...]

LOVE TV

Commonwealth Local Government Forum meeting opens
Representatives of Local government bodies from across the Caribbean and the Commonwealth are meeting this week at the Princess Hotel in Belize City. Over two hundred delegates are attending various interrelated meetings. At the launch of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum meetings this morning, Belize’s Minister of Local Government Senator Godwin Hulse said that local government is an important sector in a functional democracy. A highlight of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum meetings is the launch of a six year program funded by Canada, which is designed to assist municipal and village councils to forge a closer working relationship with Central Government while at the same time enhancing their own economic development. Chairperson of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum Zenaida Moya Flowers, in her presentation at the opening outlined various initiatives which the Belize City Council under her administration undertook as a collaborative venture with the business community to establish. Moya told her colleagues that it is this kind of partnership that will ultimately make or break any local government relationship with its constituents and is a key component of the Cardiff Consensus reached last year. The Commonwealth Local Government Forum is being held under the theme: Strategies for local economic development in the Caribbean. The twenty three million US dollars CARILEC project will be formally launched this afternoon by the patron of the Forum, the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Kamela Persad-Bissessar. Chairman of the Caribbean Forum of Local Government Ministers Noel Arscott of Jamaica in his presentation this morning, expressed the region’s appreciation for Canada’s help with the CARILEC project. Arscott who is the Minister of Local Government for Jamaica says that the CARILEC project comes at a crucial time, when the region is moving to enhance the functional role that Local Government entities in the democratic systems that aid in the development of the peoples of the region. Also during this week’s series of meetings, the board of directors of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum will begin the process of identifying a successor to the current chairperson Zenaida Moya, who has another twelve months in her leadership of the forum.

New Justice of the Appeals Court sworn in
The other appointment is that of Justice Samuel Langole Awich to the Belize Court of Appeals. Like Pitts, Awich today took the oath of office at Belize House in Belmopan. Awich’s elevation to the high court was announced last month, even though there were opposition to the appointment expressed by the Belize Bar Association and the opposition People’s United Party.

New chairman of Election and Boundaries Commission
There are two new government appointments to report tonight; but the details are woefully lacking. The Government press office has provided photographs with captioning that says that former Attorney General Bernard Q. Pitts was appointed as the new chairman of the Election and Boundaries Commission. Pitts succeeds Alberto August, who announced his resignation from the post following the March seventh general elections. B.Q. Pitts took the oath of office today at Belize House in Belmopan.

Jury finds man not guilty of rape
35-year-old Brian Smith was found not guilty of rape yesterday in the court of Justice Herbert Lord. The jury of six men and three women deliberated for about two hours and 15 minutes before it arrived at its verdict. The incident occurred on February 19, 2011 at Smith’s home. The complainant, a 17-year-old student, testified that she met Smith when she went to stay at her father’s house for the weekend. She said Smith who was a close friend of her father gave her 50 cents to buy noodles and when she was returning from the shop, Smith called her from his yard and told her he wanted to see her. She said Smith closed the door and pushed her down on the bed and forcibly had sex with her. Smith testified and admitted he had sex with the girl but said it was with her consent. Smith was represented by attorney Brian Neal. It was Neal’s first case at the Supreme Court since he was admitted to the Bar about four months ago. Crown Counsel Talia Meighan Francis represented the prosecution.

Guatemalan national busted with 9mm pistol
A twenty one year old Guatemalan national has pleaded guilty to the charge of kept firearm without a license. Leonel Boteo Ralda was captured in Santa Elena town on Monday night after initially running away from officers who were conducting a search of an area on Joseph Andres Drive in San Ignacio town. Ralda was wanted for questioning in connection with a burglary report made by a Canadian businessman from Santa Elena town. When police eventually caught up with Ralda and searched a bag he was carrying, they found a Glock 9millimeter pistol with an empty magazine. The firearm was found to be the property of Alian Langlois. On Tuesday, May fifteenth, Walter Ralda was arraigned in the San Ignacio Town Magistrate’s Court, where he pleaded guilty to the charge of Kept Firearm Without a Gun License. He was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment. Ralda was also arraigned for the charge of Handling Stolen Goods; but he pleaded not guilty to this charge. That case has been adjourned until August sixth.

Petition against Mark King thrown out of the Supreme Court
Last week attorneys for the appellants and respondents in the election petition application against the UDP’s Lake Independence Area Representative, Mark King, argued on whether or not Mark King violated the law when he did not declare a purported contract that his firm has with the government of Belize. The appellant, Martin Galvez, who lost [...]

PlusTV

Brian Brown’s home ransack by GSU
Yesterday we reported to you how the GSU had locked down Brian Brown's home on Jimmy Dyer Street in Belize City. Th...

Intelligent Solutions motorcycle stolen
Duane Staine, a 24year old computer technician of Belize City reported that between 12:00am and 7:00am on May 16, s...

KHMH pampers their own for Nurse’s Week
This week is been celebrated as Nurse’s Week throughout Belize. The week is held annually to honor the dedication a...

City Hall compensates woman injured on sidewalk
Earlier this week we told you about Lovine Welch. Welch was walking down Mahogany Street when she slipped into a ho...

The Alliance to Reduce Sexual Exploitation conducts pledge drive
The goal of the Alliance to Reduce Sexual Exploitation (A.R.E.) is to help decrease exploitation in Nicaragua and B...

Preschoolers show off their artistic talents
The Child Stimulation Center at UB today staged an exhibit, in recognition of Education Week, of the fine craft and...

Police investigate possible forgery at Immigration Dep.
Finance Officer for Immigration Department, Teresita Castellanos, reported that on April 30 she carried out an inve...

BNE donates new classroom building
The Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust earlier this week conducted a handing over ceremony at the Belmopan Comp...

BTL commemorates World Telecommunication and Information Day
Today at the Princess King’s Room in Belize City, Belize Telemedia Limited celebrated World Telecommunication and I...

More on Commonwealth Local Government Forum
The Caribbean Association of Local Government Authorities (CALGA) held opening ceremonies at the Princess Hotel for...

Suspect in kidnapping case granted bail
On Monday, an attempted abduction of a Belize City woman occurred on the Western Highway. Yesterday, the man who al...

Chinese Restaurant loses thousands in armed robbery
A Chinese businessman of Newtown Barracks was robbed at his restaurant last night. Sometime around 7:45pm YUN Sing ...

The Reporter

EDITORIAL
The legislation which allows for the voters of Belize to trigger a referendum requires a mandate from ten percent of the voting population. That means that those participating in the petition exercise need to be registered voters. It is not therefore surprising that the referendum petition organized by Oceana Belize earlier this year had such a high proportion of unaccepted ballots. When the signatures of the referendum petitioners were checked against the official voters’ list, it was found that many who submitted their names in the referendum petition, including students and young people below 18, were not authorized to vote. We do not understand why the Chief Elections Officer has been slow to point this out, or why she has not been more helpful in explaining why more than 8,000 votes were rejected,but the recent lawsuit brought by Oceana Belize which named the Governor General as a party in the dispute seems mischievous and irascible. When he was approached by Oceana on the subject, the Governor General replied promptly and courteously that the matter was not something over which he had any jurisdiction. That is true! The Governor General is the representative in Belize of our Head of State, who is Her Majesty the Queen. He does not become involved at the administrative level of political disputes.

Court Again? Pt.1
By: Neri Briceño Belize appears to have joined the new global trend of litigated settlements. In today’s modern world virtually everything is addressed in the courts. Individuals, companies, organizations and even countries now seem unable to meet, debate, discuss and ultimately settle differences without the presence of an attorney. Decisions are now not a matter of right or wrong or what is fair and honest, but rather one of technicalities and who has the best lawyer. In other words the age old saying that good prevails over evil, holds no more and actually now appears to be the reverse. Sins from the past inevitably cause problems in the future and the European system of colonialism is what has us saddled with this ridiculous Guatemalan territorial claim that we must now face. The British for the most part have taken the Pontius Pilate approach and washed their hands clean of this problem. They have pretty much dropped off the dirty Guatemalan claim at our doorsteps. To understand the behind the scene play that is happening regarding the Guatemala/Belize claim, all we have to do is follow the money, power and political influence and the picture becomes much clearer. Guatemala by virtue of its size and population has one of the largest economies in Latin America. Guatemala is both a powerhouse economically and politically. It has extremely strong ties with the U.S.., and with the U.S.’s two closest allies; the U.K. and Israel.

COLA and Coalition challenge offshore Oil PSA
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) and the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage have applied to the Supreme Court to join Oceana Belize in disputing six petroleum production sharing agreements (PSA’s). These licenses were awarded to Island Oil Belize Ltd, Tropical Energy Ltd, Petro Belize Company Ltd, Princess Petroleum Ltd, Providence Energy Belize Ltd, and Sol Oil Belize Ltd between 2005 and 2007 by the former Minister of Natural Resources, Mr. Johnny Briceño. Oceana claims that these six companies are speculation companies with no expertise and no prior experience in oil exploration. Crown Counsel Herbert Panton held over for Crown Counsel Nigel Hawke and objected strongly to COLA and the Coalition joining the action. He said he needed time to review the application before responding. Arguments as to why COLA and Coalition application should not be allowed will be presented on the Ministry’s behalf when the matter returns to court next Wednesday, May 23. Both NGO’s have challenged the Government about offshore oil exploration

Magistrate’s Court staff receive valuable training
The Magistrates Courts’ staff countrywide benefitted from a training seminar in Professional Development funded by the British High Commission and the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative at the Lodge at Chaa Creek between Friday to Sunday, April 20-22. The session was designed in two parts – an all inclusive session and then separate training for support staff and magistrates and was facilitated by Antoinette Moore and Deputy Commissioner Ms. Jackie Brown. Mr. Dan Suter, Criminal Advisor to the Eastern Caribbean attended from his base in Barbados to make a presentation he entitled, “No Witness, No Justice and the role of the Criminal Justic advisor.” Other topics addressed were: Self Management, Professional Ethics, Customer/Public Relations, Interpersonal Relationship, Judicial Ethics, Judicial Consideration When Granting Bail, Human Rights and Gender Sensitivity, and Judgment.

What ails thee Belize? Is it a matter of moral poverty?
by Hilaire Bennett Journalists have been reporting on the damaging impact, the useless violence in the streets of the “old capital” on the Belizean society. One recent editorial identified the “root cause of crime as today’s criminals being bred in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods”. It identifies poverty and joblessness as the causes crime. Some local writers advocate for more money to be allocated to social programmes and for more government involvement in the down-town communities of this country. One writer even blamed “corruption” as the root cause of poverty, crime and other social ills. All these suggestions hold grains of truth. But it is important to bear in mind that poverty and joblessness have always been with us here in Belize, from colonial times. Furthermore there has been no conclusive evidence from research to show that providing more opportunities in the poorer neighborhoods would make a difference in reducing violent crime. One writer referred to a new theory from the American Journal of Psychiatry which suggests that the root cause of crime may be biological and not social. The theory suggests that some people may be born with brain deficiencies which make them prone to violence. Recently experts from the medical profession expressed a theory that the brains of children may degenerate between birth and three years because some of the many millions of nerve endings may not get linked up, or do not combine suitably.

GSU finds drugs, cash during 12 hour search
The Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) found stashes of crack cocaine, marijuana and tools used for criminal activity in an early morning raid at the George Street home of Derrick “Brian” Brown, 36. The search which lasted more than 12 hours revealed a pair of handcuffs, ski masks and a set of blue plates used exclusively by government vehicles. Police seized 1,124 grams of crack cocaine, 762 grams of cannabis, $2,728 in U.S. currency and $2,250 in Belizean currency. Police have issued an all-points warrant for Brown’s arrest. They intend to charge him with six counts of drug trafficking; possession of a “bong” used for smoking cannabis and possession of an unregistered bullet-proof vest found in his home. Brown’s home was guarded by a security camera system, but he was not at home when the police arrived. His mother, who lives next door, was able to reach him by cell phone. In order to legitimize their search, the police took along a Justice of the Peace as witness. Police seized a set digital scales, used telephone SIM cards, and a cellular phone. They also took possession of a white sheet with what appeared to be human blood stains. Police say they will send it to the National Forensics Lab for analysis along with a ski mask that has a similar stain. Although Brown has been under police investigation several times, he has never been convicted of any crime.

Crash claims four lives
Four family members on their way to get U.S. visas in Belmopan lost their lives in a collision near mile 44 on the Western Highway on Wednesday morning, May 16. Karen Castillo, 45, her mother Nicolasa Tillett, 68, her brother-in-law Arthur Smith Sr. and her 12-year-old neice Alicia Smith all died when the Geo Prism in which they were travelling collided head on with an Isuzu Rodeo, driven by Canadian national Corrine Abcock, 56, who was left trapped in her vehicle. According to eye witnesses the Geo prizm lost control and its occupants were flung from the vehicle on impact. Despite the mangled scene, two persons survived the crash – twenty-eight year-old Monique Robinson who is also a granddaughter of Nicolasa Tillett and Corrine Abcock. Both were trapped in their vehicles when police arrived and were subsequently rescued and transported to the Western Regional Hospital for medical attention. It is believed the slippery road caused by rains contributed to accident.

Justice Awich to Court of Appeal
Cabinet Secretary Mr. Carlos Perdomo acting as Governor General in the absence of Sir Colville Young this week administered the Oath of office to Judge Samuel Lungole Awich as a Justice of the Belize Court of Appeal. Sir Colville left Belize Wednesday to attend the inauguration of President Ma Jing-Jeou of the Republic of China on Taiwan, who has been re-elected as President. Justice Awich, a native of Uganda, has served Belize as a Justice of the Supreme Court from April 2001 until he reached the retirement age of 65 on Tuesday May 15. He also served as acting Chief Justice when Dr. Abdulai Conteh left office in October 2010, until the new Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin arrived in September. The Acting Governor General also swore in former Attorney General, Mr. Bernard Pitts as the new Chairman of the Elections and Boundaries Commission, replacing Mr. Alberto August, who has gone on to become the Chairman of Belize Water Services. The Senate approved Mr. Pitts’ appointment last Friday, May 11.

Martin Galvez election petition struck out
Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin struck out the election petition brought against the UDP’s Lake Independence area representative, Hon. Mark King, on Thursday, May 17. Benjamin upheld the application by King’s attorney, Senior Counsel Denys Barrow, to strike out the petition lodged by the Opposition People’s United Party Lake Independence candidate, Martin Galvez. Galvez’s petition, filed on April 4, contended that an contract existing between the government of Belize and King’s company, Brints Security, disqualified him as a candidate. According to the stipulation of Section 58 (1) (h) of the Belize Constitution: “No person shall be qualified to be elected as a member of the House of Representative who is a party to, or partner in a firm or a director of a company which is a party to, any contract with the government for or on account of the public service and has not, within one month before the day of election, declared publicly and in a newspaper circulating in the electoral for which he is a candidate, a notice setting out the nature of the contract and his interest or the interest of any such firm or company therein.” King had failed to declare Brints Security’s contract before he was nominated for the March 7 General Elections. The court had heard Barrow’s application to strike out on Thursday, May 10. Galvez’s attorney, senior counsel Lisa Shoman told reporters following the ruling that: “His Lordship took the view that the words for and account of the public service should mean very narrowly the institution of the Public Service.” Shoman said that they do not agree with that interpretation and the legal team will be discussing it. She said the decision is an appealable matter, because it turns on the interpretation of the Constitution. Barrow told reporters that the judge accepted all of the submissions his side had made, tracing the history of this provision of the Constitution and ended up with the determination of what the Constitution intended to capture in relation to contracts. “It is clear from what the judge has now decided that the Constitution does not intend to disqualify just anybody, because you have just the fact of a contract with the government of Belize.”

Cayo North Petition is null & void, Rodwell Williams says.
by Benjamin Flowers The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP)’s petition against the United Democratic Party (UDP)’s Cayo North area representative, Elvin Penner, is null and void, attorney Rodwell Williams argued before Justice Minnette Hafiz-Betran on Tuesday, May 15. Williams said that the petition filed by Orlando Habet’s attorneys, Said Musa and Anthony Sylvestre, is an abuse of the court process, because their second petition was by and large a “cut and paste” copy of their original April 2 document that Justice Hafiz-Betran had already struck out. He said that leave was granted to them to prepare an actual petition, but what was presented was not in compliance with the court’s orders. He said that by doing so they have rendered the petition a nullity. On Monday, April 2, the last day in which petitions regarding the March 7th general elections were to be heard, Musa and Sylvestre, appeared before Justice Betram to request leave from the court to file a petition and included a “draft” copy of the intended petition. The document included allegations of bribery against Penner, as well as a challenge against the Returning Officer’s refusal to conduct a recount in the March 7th General Elections. Several points, including the bribery allegations, were rejected, because the deadline for filing under those grounds had passed. However, on Tuesday, April 10, leave was granted to file a petition in respect to the refusal of the recount. Sylvestre, however, maintains that there was no abuse of process; and that no violation of the Representation of the People’s Act was committed. If Justice Betram accepts Williams’ submission, it will be the end of the end of the Cayo North election petition in the Supreme Court. Justice Betram has reserved judgment until May 24.

Blogs

What Do Things Cost in Belize?
People ask, what do groceries and things cost in Belize? Well this week I had to go grocery shopping to pick up a few groceries, so I thought this would be a good time to give you an idea of what some things cost here in San Pedro, Belize. In a previous post "Belize, A Day in My Life", I talked with you about where I do a lot of my shopping. We tend buy and eat both America and Belizean products. Of course most Belizean products will be cheaper than US products and things are going to be more expensive on Ambergris Caye where we live than the mainland. One reason why we shop at several stores is to be able to find certain things we want. One store may carry a certain butter I buy and another store may carry the meat that I like to buy. Going to 3 and sometime more stores to get everything I need is not unusual. Then I still have to go to the Belikin Distributor to pick up my 5 gallon bottles of water and Maria's Fruit and Vegetable stand to get the fruits and veggies we like.

International Sources

Top Caribbean beach destinations
Belize named in best Caribbean beach destination – again!!! We are so very proud of ourselves as once again, Belize is named 2nd best Caribbean beach destination by the readers of Caribbean Travel and Leisure. Although many may point out that our beaches are not perhaps in reality our strength – as our amazing reef with snorkeling and scuba opportunities definitely is – but it is our ‘beach life’, particularly in Caye Caulker, that earns us this title!! Thank you Caribbean Travel and Leisure – next year your readers will vote us into the No 1 spot!!!

May 17, 2012


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


The San Pedro Sun

Collaborative Network of Persons Living with HIV holds Media Meeting
C-NET + Belize, the Collaborative Network of Persons Living with HIV in Belize, held its first ever HIV Solidarity day and Media Round Table on Saturday May 12th. The meeting and event took place at the Pan American Social Marketing Organization (PASMO) building at #34 Princess Margaret Drive. The Media Round Table commenced shortly after 4PM with invited members of the media. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce C-NET to the general population, with the aim to reach individuals infected or affected by the HIV Virus and disseminate information that they feel is very important and will contribute to the continued empowerment of individuals living with HIV. C-NET was initiated by a group of Persons Living with HIV (PLHIV) with the aim to improve the quality of their lives and those of their peers, through the assistance of REDCA, the Central American Network of Persons Living with HIV. C-NET hopes to accomplish this through various activities which share information pertinent to PLHIV, education and communication. C-NET aims to propel and develop its members’ individual capabilities while promoting a mutual respect for their Human Rights. C-NET + was formed in July of 2011 with the aim of contributing to improving the quality of life of people with HIV in the country and to engage more actively in the national and regional response to HIV -AIDS. Seven people founded the network, which was constituted as the first organization of and for people with HIV in Belize. On October 14, 15 and 16th 2011, C-NET + held its first General Assembly, which saw dozens of PLHIV from all districts of Belize participating.

NEMO Week planned for Belize Rural South
Each year the hurricane season starts June 1st and ends on November 30th. Prior to the beginning of the season the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) hosts a “NEMO Week” in preparation for the season. This year, the week is observed under the theme, Preserving Life and Property and will take place during the week of May 27 – June 1, 2012. As part of the national activities, all schools throughout the country have been invited to join and participate in a National poster contest to be judged in Belmopan for NEMO Week. The contest is open to students in standard 4 to 6 in all primary schools countrywide. Entries must be submitted through the school’s principal or a class teacher no later than May 22nd and depicting the theme “Preserving Life and Property”. Posters will be judged on expression of the theme; creativity and originality, visual clarity and appeal; broad audience appeal and educational value. There will be prizes for first, second and third places. The winning posters will be used as display during NEMO week at NEMO Headquarters in Belmopan and other displays throughout the year as well as will be considered for promotional materials. Poster contestants will be competing at a chance to win $1,600 in prizes.

Four dead in fatal traffic accident on the Western Highway
The Western Highway proved deadly once again, after four people died in an accident on Wednesday morning, May 16th. According to Belmopan Police, they responded to a scene of an accident at mile 44 on the Western Highway where they saw the lifeless bodies of 12 year old student Alicia Smith, 68 year old Nicholasia Tillett, and 45 year old Karen Castillo who was lying in the middle of the highway. The body of Arthur Smith Sr. was found in some bushes off the highway. 28 year old Monique Robinson, a teacher, was seen trapped in the front right passenger seat. Robinson was transported to the Western Regional Hospital where she is listed in critical condition. The four bodies were also transported to the hospital, where they were pronounced dead on arrival. Initial investigations revealed that all five persons were traveling in a gold Geo Prizm car bearing license plate BZC-38571 from Belize City to Belmopan, whereupon reaching Mile 44, they collided into a blue Isuzu D-Max, driven at the time by 56 year old Corrine Abcock, a Canadian National, who was traveling in the opposite direction.

Justice Sam Awich sworn in as new Justice of Appeal
Justice Samuel Lungole Awich was today sworn in as a Justice of the Belize Court of Appeal by the Acting Governor General, His Excellency Carlos Perdomo, at Belize House, Belmopan. Present at the swearing-in ceremony were his wife, son and daughter. Justice Awich who is originally from Uganda has served as a Supreme Court Judge in Belize since April 2001. He retired as a Judge of the Supreme Court on 15th May 2012 after attaining the age of 65 years. Justice Awich was appointed as Acting Chief Justice in October 2010 on the retirement of the former Chief Justice, Dr Abdulai Conteh. He continued to act as Chief Justice until September 2011 until the appointment of Justice Kenneth Benjamin as Chief Justice.

COLA and The Coalition apply as co-claimants challenging Oil Concession Contracts
In the Supreme Court today, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) and The Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage presented applications requesting to be joined as co-claimants in Oceana in Belize’s present claim against the Ministry of Natural Resources, challenging the validity of six Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs). The PSA’s, also called oil concession contracts, that are being challenged were granted by the Minister of Natural Resources to Island Oil Belize Ltd, Tropical Energy Ltd, PetroBelize Company Ltd, Princess Petroleum Ltd, Providence Energy Belize Ltd and Sol Oil Belize Ltd between 2005 and 2007. Crown Counsel Herbert Panton, holding over for Crown Counsel Nigel Hawke, informed the court that they object strongly to the joinder and needed time to review the application and provide a response. The matter was adjourned to May 23 at which time arguments will be presented on behalf of the Ministry as to reasons why these two organizations should not be joined as co-claimants. The applicants are both non-governmental organizations that have been very actively involved in challenging the Government on the issue of oil exploration offshore and onshore in protected areas. COLA is a known grassroots organization that has been operating since 2008 and the Coalition comprising some 36 membership organizations was formed on June 8, 2010 in response to the revelation that almost all of Belize’s marine and terrestrial acreage had been given out under oil concessions unbeknown to the general Belizean population.

PUP’s first leader dies in the USA
The People’s United Party (PUP) first Party Leader, John Smith, has died. 93-year-old Smith passed away on Tuesday May 15th surrounded by his wife and children in his home in Metairie, Louisiana, U.S.A. The announcement was made by the PUP Secretariat on Wednesday May 16th in which the Party says that “The PUP pays tribute to the life of John A Smith.” John Smith became the first Party Leader of the People’s United Party September 29th, 1950 after the People’s Committee was dissolved making way for the first political party in Belize’s history. Smith led the PUP for two years, up to 1952, after which Leigh Richardson took over up to 1956. Smith stepped aside as leader following differences within executive members of the PUP. Besides being the first PUP Leader Smith was a Legislator in the British Honduras Legislative Assembly, Mayor of Belize City, City Councilor, and Vice-President of the General Workers Union. His contributions to the building of a new Belize are two many to mention as he laid one of the pillows of what Belize is today. Smith was a member of the Belize City Council from 1944 to 1955, elected Mayor of Belize City in 1947 and 1950, member of the Legislative Assembly from 1948 to 1954, the founder of the People’s Committee in 1948 and first PUP Party Leader. He was also Vice-President of the General Workers Union.

Ambergris Today

Sinfull Deliciousness at Caprice Bar and Grill
Well, I’ll torture you a bit and leave dessert for last in this review; sorry! But undoubtedly San Pedro Holiday Hotel has transformed its restaurant and bar from something great to something even more spectacular. Celi’s Restaurant has given birth to Caprice Bar and Grill that now offers a fine dining experience in a chic outdoor environment. The dining room went from indoors to their outdoor deck that is perfectly shaded by UV protecting transparent blue material that sets the mood during the day as you enjoy the eye-popping ocean scenery of the blue Caribbean Sea.

Experiencing the “Hands on Healing” of Reiki
Our Reiki practitioner – Pam Burton, offered the Angels an experience of the ultimate power of “hands on healing” therapy. We were very excited to try out this form of treatment as we had never heard of it; and to be honest, we were a bit curious as to what we would experience. Once on the massage table, my instructions were to close my eyes and relax. After a few deep breaths Pam, Reiki practitioner, commenced our session. As this is a non-touching technique; Pam never placed her hands on me; her hands are held a few centimeters away from my body. She started by placing her hands above my head (The Crown Chakra). I could feel a warm and tingling sensation as she made her way throughout my body, taking about five minutes in a position before moving to another.

Contestants Announced for Miss San Pedro High
The San Pedro High School is informing the community to save the date for the Miss San Pedro High School Pageant 2012 taking place on Saturday, June 2, 2012 at the R. Angel Auditorium at 7:30pm. The seven lovely contestants vying for the crown this year are: Fatima Reyes, Kaysha Martin, Ethel Villatoro, Nicky Coleman, Arlethe Lima, Nissi Arzu and Emily Simoes. Come out and support this spectacular event full of fun and entertainment.

Seniors Start Graduation Celebrations
There is nothing more left on the minds of San Pedro High School Seniors who have learnt that they are graduating next month - Prom, Parent's Night and Graduation! On Wednesday, May 16, 2012, as they get to know that they have passed their final high school exams, the seniors celebrate with the traditional signing of uniforms where they write special congratulatory messages to their classmates. Congratulations to all San Pedro High School graduating Seniors of 2012!

Tropic Air’s Zipline & Waterfall Rappelling Adventure
Tropic Air adds another spectacular package to their list of special tours for its customers. This time around, they pack an exhilarating adventure in a packaged tour that takes you to southern Belize in Dangriga, Stann Creek District. Together with Bocawina Adventures and Eco-Tours Ltd. Tropic Air will have you flying south, travelling into the Bocawina National Forest and zip lining Belize’s longest single cable run of 2,300 feet (1.5 miles in total, 12 platforms).

Belizeans Hold Strong in Oil Drilling Fight
COLA and The Coalition apply as co-claimants challenging Oil Concession Contracts - In the Supreme Court today, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) and the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage presented applications requesting to be joined as co-claimants in Oceana in Belize’s present claim against the Ministry of Natural Resources, challenging the validity of six Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs). The PSAs, also called oil concession contracts, that are being challenged were granted by the Minister of Natural Resources to Island Oil Belize Ltd, Tropical Energy Ltd, PetroBelize Company Ltd, Princess Petroleum Ltd, Providence Energy Belize Ltd and Sol Oil Belize Ltd between 2005 and 2007.

Town Council Working on Maritime Safety for San Pedro
Officials of the Belize Port Authority, Mayor Daniel Guerrero and President of the San Pedro Tour Guide Association, Mr. Phillip “Billy” Leslie met with local media to explain about their plans on improving maritime safety in San Pedro.

Belikin to Debut Chocolate Stout at Cacao Fest
Belikin has announced that it will be proud to present Chocolate Stout which will be tapped at the Cacao Festival in Punta Gorda this weekend! Nolan Michael, Belizean brewmaster for Belikin, talks about the latest to come from the Belize Brewing Company, Chocolate Stout.

Misc Belizean Sources

El Pescador Fishing Report, Week of May 5 – May 12, 2012
Weather Conditions: Sunny skies, a little wind, and flat out beautiful. Winds: E 5 – 15. Some days in the back it was N, NE. Air Temperature: Highs in the mid 80’s and the lows were in the low 70’s. Water Temperature: around 80 degrees Moonphase: Last quarter on the 12th. WHAT GUESTS WERE CATCHING:

Matachica Resort and Spa completes multi-million dollar redesign
Long considered the hidden jewel of Belize, Matachica, the exquisite, award-winning beach resort has announced the completion of a multi-million dollar redesign and expansion. Heralded as the anti-generic beach resort, Matachica now offers an even more spectacular Caribbean getaway with a signature relaxed attitude and barefoot elegance. Matachica’s impeccably chic overall décor draws upon the owner’s passion for both the island’s native heritage and his extensive global travel. “When I first arrived on the island, I was instantly hooked by the effortless, laid-back way of life” explains proprietor Daniel Lighter. “This resort could not exist anywhere else in the world, because every aspect of your experience is drawn from, and a reflection of, the unique character of this beachfront paradise.” Though only a short water-taxi ride from the lively shops and restaurants of San Pedro, Matachica is located on the secluded island of Ambergris Caye. From the moment you step onto our private dock, you will discover the breathtaking way Matachica has integrated itself into the lush azure surroundings. The resort itself sits on miles of natural white sand beach overlooking the crystal blue sea. If you are feeling adventurous, paddle one of the resort’s kayaks for a fifteen-minute ride to the second-longest living barrier reef on this planet. While these and scores of other activities, from scuba diving and snorkeling, to fishing, trekking and historic site excursions, are easily accessible, you may also choose to find a secluded hammock for quiet contemplation and to soak in the island rays. Recent additions to the resort include 12 brand new and even larger casitas, as well as full upgrades to all existing rooms. In all, Matachica features 25 single casitas, and 1 two-bedroom villa, named our Luxury Caribbean Villa. Each villa is thatched roof, vibrantly-painted and feature private patios, fully updated bathrooms and original art. Though entirely air conditioned, many choose to throw open their windows, in order to experience the panoramic seafront views and enjoy the warm tropical breeze. Moreover, Matachica has added a spectacular infinity pool, a fleet of new kayaks and sailboats, and new equipment for day-trips and local adventures.

Jungle cats caught on camera in Belize
A jaguar prowls past the camera. Credit: Maarten Hofman/Ya'axché Conservation Trust. A camera trap survey, set up by scientists from Ya’axché Conservation Trust, has caught pictures of Central America’s two big cats: the jaguar and the puma (known locally as the red tiger). Both species are threatened by habitat loss and unsustainable hunting of their prey, and it is thought that only around 250-400 jaguars now remain in the Maya Mountains. “Although local people appreciate the beauty of jaguars, these cats are coming under increasing pressure from agricultural expansion, which is pushing people into their territory,” said Lee Mcloughlin, Protected Area Manager at Ya’axché Conservation Trust. “This is not only resulting in habitat loss and fragmentation, but also leading to conflict between jaguars and people, who are fearful of the danger these animals can pose to livestock and pets. “Inevitably, the jaguars come off worse in this battle.”

Hidden Valley Inn 4X4 Trail Excursion
Hidden Valley Inn is having a special weekend where you can tackle some rough roads. They'll have trails set up so you can go off roading around Mountain Pine Ridge. Sounds like some extreme fun! Call 822-3320 or e-mail office@hiddenvalleyinn.com for more information.

Ariel Rosado Bike Ride pictures
Danny Chung got some great photos of the Ariel Rosado Memorial Bicycle Race. "The Ariel Rosado Foundation was created to raise funds for those in need. The pictures in this album were taken from the bike ride from Galen University Campus in Central Farm to Bruce Bike Shop in Belize City. Yours truly was the Official Photographer for the event. Enjoy!"

International Museum Day at Benque House of Culture
Yesterday at the Benque House of Culture. The opening of the Slavery and Emancipation exhibit. "Official ceremony, launch of educatinoal exhibit, & booths by Institute of Archeology and the Belize Archives Department"

Cayo Classifieds for the week
Cayo's most comprehensive classified ad publication with great bargains. Deadline to place ads are every Thursday @ 5 pm.

Channel 7

A TRAFFIC TRAGEDY: FOUR FAMILY MEMBERS KILLED ON ROAD'S SLIPPERY SURFACE
This morning at 7:30, the limestone surface of the Western Highway again proved terribly tragic. Four members of one family were killed when their car lost traction and spun out of control - at mile 44 on the western highway. The impact - in a word - was astonishing - and 7news was on the scene an hour after it happened - here's how it looked: Jules Vasquez Reporting The destruction is so complete it almost defies description. This Geo Prizm was actually ripped into two parts The front of the car stood alone, while the back was some feet away - each side, mangled and twisted almost beyond recognition. This is the Isuzu rodeo that crashed into it. Denroy Tillett - Brother Of the Deceased "I can't tell you how the accident happened, but from what I heard, it's just a loss of control of the vehicle. I had 5 family members in the vehicle, and from what the police officers told me, 4 died. One is in critical condition at the hospital in Belmopan." Brian Chavarria came upon the scene as it was happening - he says he just saw car parts flying

THIRD MATURA BROTHER KILLED
This morning at 7:00 am - a man was killed in Belize City. 28 year old Kaylon Matura was going to work - when a gunman pulled up and shot him multiple times. Matura has dodged death two times before - but this morning - he could not - and he became the third of the Matura brothers to be murdered in the city. Indeed, he was stalked by death, but according to his family - in this case they believe it is a case of mistaken identity. Monica Bodden found out more today: Monica Bodden Reporting The shooting happened on Central American Boulevard just before 7 o'clock this morning. The victim - 29 year old Kaylon Matura was standing on this sidewalk just yards away from his house -when a gunman pulled up and opened fire on him. Matura tried to run but tumble in front of his front gate. The gunmen then continued to fire shots at him. His common-law-wife of 8 years was inside their home along with his 4 children. They heard the entire commotion. Voice of: Nathalie McKenzie - Common-law Wife of Deceased "This morning, I got up, and I asked him if he was going to work, to which he said he would. He said that he was only going to sign in, and he would come back. I said that I wouldn't have to make any sandwiches then, since it was raining. I told him to show me the thing on the car that I had to move when I am driving. He said he would, and he walked out before me; I turned back to get my umbrella. I didn't get it right away; I went to my daughter because she was making some cup noodles in the microwave. So I was showing her the amount of water that she was to put in there, and that was when we heard the shots." Reporter "How many shots?" Voice of: Nathalie McKenzie "I heard 8 shots, and when I heard the shots, I told my daughter that it was 'Dad'. She said, 'Yes, mommy, it's Dad. Look at him running with his back bleeding.'"

GSU TAKES HOLD OF KINGPIN BRIAN BROWN FABER'S ROAD FORTRESS
There is major news to report tonight out of Belize's underworld - as the GSU has locked down George Street Kingpin Brian Brown's home on Jimmy Dyer Street in Belize City. The exhaustive search started at 6:00 this morning and continues at this hour. Brown's home has a 12 foot high fence, razor wire and multiple surveillance cameras. Police forced open the sliding metal gate - and proceeded to search the premises with a justice of the peace, since Brown was not at home. A neighbor told us how they got in: Voice of: Neighbor of Brian Brown "What happen is that I was sleeping, and I just heard a banging, and I then heard vehicle doors slaming. I just jumped out of my bed, and I came to see what it was. When I looked, the gate was opened. Apparently the knocking was the gate that they were beating on. All of them were in the yard." Monica Bodden "A lot of officers?" Voice of: Neighbor of Brian Brown "They brought 2 or 3 truckloads. One was still at the corner. They went for a locksmith. They came with a locksmith, pinch bar, mauls, and some other tools that I don't know the the name of. And they broke the back door open, and they went in. No one was at home. I went to them, and I told them that he is not here; I also asked them what they wanted. They didn't say anything. They just continued to search, opening up all the vehicles and doing whatever. I asked them how they can just be doing this and he wasn't there. They said that they have a JP, so it's legal. But I thought that GSU couldn't go to people's house without somebody being home." As of this evening, a warrant has been obtained for the arrest of Brian Brown. There are reports that he may hand himself into police tomorrow along with his attorney. The GSU invited us to the home this evening to see what all they have found at the property which is tagged Brown Enterprise Auto Rental Sales. Police found several parcels of cannabis - which is reported to have a very strong aroma - what would be called "high grade" in the streets. The Cannabis is divided as follows: 291 grams compressed found in the kitchen under the sink, 110 grammes loose cannabis found on a railing on the verandah, 361 grammes cannabis in an engine coolant gallon. They also found a number of pieces of crack cocaine - 800 grammes in another engine coolant gallon.

COMMONWEALTH MEETING IN BELIZE
A major regional meeting is being held at the Princess Hotel and Casino in Belize. The Caribbean Local Economic Development forum opened at the Princess Hotel and Casino and closed just a short while ago. IT focuses on the role of local government in Local Economic Development as well as enabling micro, small and mediums sized enterprises in the Caribbean. This is the first CARILED forum being held in Belize, and it has drawn some big names, including Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma and Ministers of various Commonwealth countries. Minister of Local Government, Godwin Hulse outlined the main purpose of the forum: Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of Local Government "Improving the lives of the citizens and those we govern, both in their basic living conditions and their economic well-being, is then the goal. To this end, we must continue to promote democracy and decentralization of authority. The Central Government may devolve considerable authority to the local authorities, dependent on the capacity of such authorities, to manage the responsibilities. This program this morning is about that, but the concept of a local government managing the economic development is as far-fetched as getting to the moon for small countries. And so the CARILED Program, which we are talking about this morning, aims to do just that. How do we get local authority involved in the economic development, which would bring more taxes and jobs, etc. in in the area?"

TRINIDADIAN PM IN BELIZE
As we noted, the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Kamla Persad-Bissessar is in Belize for the meeting. She didn't arrived until 4:0 this afternoon because he flight out of Miami was delayed - with a flat tyre, of all things. But when she arrived, Persad-Bissessar was composed and keen on attending the meeting to give her support for a special entrepreneurial fund - for which she is the patron. She told Jules Vasquez more:.. Hon. Kamla Persad - Bissessar - Prime Minister, Trinidad and Tobago "There is a very important initiative which I will be launching. I'll speak of it later this evening. It is what is known as the CARILED project. This project is one in which we have received 23 million dollars from CIDA - the Canadian Government, with respect to the development unit. The money is to be utilized in the CARICOM region for young, small entrepreneurs to develop a skills and expertise in those areas. So I think that it is a very important project, and it was useful for us to launch it here, in a CARICOM nation, with your own prime minister. I was very happy to meet with him, because in Trinidad and Tobago, we are leading an initiative where we want to adopt the Caribbean Court of Justice as our final court of appeal for criminal matters. So the gradual session to that particular jurisdiction may require an amendment to the CARICOM Treaty. And your honorable prime minister leads a portfolio area in terms of justice matters. So, of course, consultation with him, and certainly to seek the support of Belize, should it be, that we need, the treaty could possibly be amended. We are hosting a CARICOM heads meeting in Barbados on next Sunday and Monday, but regrettably, your honorable prime minister will not be there. So it was most opportune that I could have met him here in person, whilst taking advantage of the local government forum, the Commonwealth Local Government Forum, to seek his support and his views on this matter."

MCAFEE SAYS HE'S THROUGH WITH THE LOCAL PRESS
John McAfee says he's going global in his pubic relations fight against the Government of Belize. As we've reported McAfee's Orange Walk Estate was searched by the GSU 15 days ago - and since then there have been a number of claims and counterclaims between him and the GSU. Recently, the GSU charged three persons for trying to buy informants for McAfee within the GSU. Well, the 66 year old issued a rather haughty statement today saying, quote, "As of noon, today….I will no longer be speaking to the Belizean press the dialog between myself and the Government of Belize deserves a larger stage, and a press that is not aligned with local politics….it is time for cooler heads to consider our dialog, and time for a larger audience." And so, this morning - in case you didn't quite hear the church bells chiming, or feel the earth shaking - McAfee gave an interview to a weblog called Gizmodo. He says he will be following up with more interviews over the next few weeks - we'll tell you when he breaks out of the blogosphere.

AND THE NEW DIRECTOR IS.....
Three weeks ago on this newscast - we alluded to the likelihood that Laura Esquivel will be the new Director Of the Tourism Board. Well, the announcement was made today and Esquivel confirmed to us that as of June fourth, she will assume the post of acting director of Tourism. The post of director has been in a sort of limbo since September of last year when Seleni Matus left quite suddenly after she and the Board of Directors clashed over governance issues. Since then there has been a low profile interim director. She joins new board Chairman Ian Lizarraga and new CEO Tracy Taeger Panton.

OCEANA/COLA CHALLENGE OFFSHORE OIL CONCESSIONS
Oceana Belize is well known for its staunch opposition to offshore drilling, and right now, they have a pending litigation against the Government of Belize for the rejection of thousands of the signatures for their referendum which has been denied. But, that's not the only litigation that Oceana has brought; they also have a pending matter to challenge several of the offshore oil drilling concession contracts which the Ministry of the Natural Resources issued between 2005 and 2007. Those contracts include the ones issued to Island Oil Belize Limited, Tropical Energy Limited, PetroBelize Company Limited, Princess Petroleum Limited, Providence Energy Belize Limited and Sol Oil Belize Limited. Oceana will be joined by COLA and the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage has also expressed their intent to become interested parties in this case. Today, attorney Godfrey Smith, who is appearing on behalf of Oceana and proposed interested parties, and Crown Counsel Herbert Panton presented themselves before Justice Legall for the preliminary hearing in which Smith presented Oceana's position. Panton indicated to the court that GOB intends to make preliminary objections to this challenge, but he asked for more time in order to properly respond. The matter was adjourned but Justice Legall has only given Panton and the Attorney General's Ministry until May 23 to file their response along with the required affidavits. It was a very short hearing, but we spoke to Oceana's Vice President, Audrey Matura-Shepherd.

MAN COMMITTED FOR GAS STATION DOUBLE MURDER
When David Longsworth and Edgar Ayala were killed at a gas station in 2010 - it shook the city. Well now, a man will stand trial for the murder. The preliminary inquiry for 41 year-old Ervin Reneau, who was charged for the 2010 double murders of Edgar Ayala and David Longsworth, finished in the Magistrate's Court today. It was determined that he will stand trial in the Supreme Court. Reneau was charged with 2 counts of Murder, and 4 counts of attempted murder which police say he committed against William Henry, Antonia Medina, Ursula Longsworth, and Esram Brackett-Martinez. When police arrested him on December 2, 2010, he was caught with a 9 millimeter pistol, and as a result, he was also charged with keeping an unlicensed firearm. Today, the prosecutor tendered 27 witness statements and 23 pieces of evidence which they plan to use against Reneau. He also indicated to the court that he will call 2 witnesses to testify in his defense. His trial is scheduled to be called up in the September sessions of the Supreme Court. As we reported, Longsworth and Ayala were murdered at the Texaco Gas Station at Mile 1 ½ on the Northern Highway on December 1, 2010.

FIRST PUP LEADER PASSES
Tonight, we note the passing of John Smith - the first leader of the People's United Party and one of the fathers of Belize's Nationalist Movement. Smith died yesterday at the age of 93, in Louisiana with his wife and children. Smith entered public life as a member of the Belize City Town Council in 1944, and was elected as Mayor in 1947. He was one of the founding members of the People's Committee in 1948 - which transitioned to the People's United Party in September of 1950. He was party leader until 1952 when internal division led to his resignation from the party. Smith left the country a few years after, returning only to visit family. Leigh Richardson became the next leader - and he too left the country in 1956 - handing over to George Price - who became leader for an unmatched 40 years. With the passing of Smith - all five fathers of the nationalist movement have now passed on; they are, Phillip Goldson deceased 2001, Nick Pollard deceased 2003, Leigh Richardson deceased 2008, George Price deceased 2011 and John Smith deceased 2012.

AWICH TO COURT OF APPEAL, OFFICIALLY
Last month, we told you about the Justice Samuel Awich's impending elevation to a Justice of the Court of Appeal. Well, despite the protests of the Belizean Bar Association and the Leader of the Opposition, Justice Awich was officially sworn into the office today in Belmopan. He was sworn in by the Acting Governor General, Carlos Perdomo. According the Government Press Office, because he is now 65 year-old, Awich officially retired as a Judge of the Supreme Court yesterday. Awich's elevation is notable because, as we reported, the legal community opposed it. Also sworn in at today's ceremony was Bernard Q. Pitts; he is now as the Chairman of the Elections and Boundaries Commission. Pitts, who has recently vacated office of Attorney General, takes over from Alberto August who resigned earlier this year.

MAN CHARGED FOR GF ABDUCTION
On Monday, we told you about the abduction of the Belize City woman which reportedly happened that afternoon. Today, the man who allegedly did it, was taken to court. 41 year-old Wilword Pinto, a taxi man of Rivero Street, was charged with aggravated assault and wounding which he allegedly committed against the woman. He pleaded not guilty to the charges, and he was granted bail of $5,000 with the condition that he must stay away from the woman, who police say is his ex-girlfriend. He was able to meet bail this evening, but he is expected back in court on June 20. As we reported, a woman said Pinto abducted her using his taxi, and when he was taking her up the Western Highway, she reportedly jumped out of his moving vehicle and sustained injuries. She received help from a concerned Belize City resident who then called the authorities, who then transported her to the KHMH.

MAN ACCUSED OF CHOPPING TO COURT
26 year-old Gareth Hemmans Jr., was arraigned for attempted murder when he appeared in Magistrate's Court today. Police say that he nearly chopped 40 year-old Miguel Zaiden to death. On Tuesday, May 1, 2012, Zaiden and Hemmans were reportedly socializing on Madam Liz Avenue, when they got into an argument. It quickly escalated into a fight, and according to police, Hemmans then pulled out a machete and inflicted several chop wounds to Zaiden. Zaiden suffered wounds to both upper arms, the right forearm, and the left elbow, but fortunately, he was rushed to the KHMH in time. In court, Hemmans was read charges of attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm, and grievous harm. Because of the nature of the offenses, no plea could be taken and he was remanded to prison until June 15.

A Pledge Against Sexual Exploitation
Sexual exploitation is a global issue, and although it is present in Belize, it has been overlooked, to some extent. Well, the Alliance to Reduce Sexual Exploitation is trying to change through an awareness-raising campaign. It plans to recruit DJs and conduct discussions in Belize to inform the public about the risk factors involved. Three members of the alliance stopped by our studio to tell us more about this issue and the goals of the organization. Whitney Hein - Member, Alliance to Reduce Exploitation "We're here to raise awareness about sexual exploitation in Belize City, as well as the United States and Nicaragua. But in Belize, we're focusing on getting young people talking and interested in the issue, to not keep it under cover, but to really bring it to light." Leila Pandy - Member, Alliance to Reduce Exploitation "Recently, in 2010, the US State Department put Belize along with a few other countries from the Caribbean on their watchlist saying that we weren't doing enough to effect change in trafficking. Belize is both a transit and a source country. We weren't doing enough to put together proper legislation and penalties to reduce the demand for sexually exploiting our youths." Whitney Hein "We were formed through Heartland International, which a non-profit organization in Chicago, and they partnered with WIN Belize and Casa Alianca in Nicaragua. So women from all 3 of those countries first met in Chicago and formed project groups. And the 3 of us, plus our 2 Nicaraguan counterparts all felt strongly about this issue, so we formed a project group to work together to fight sexual exploitation."

Ms. Blease From Belize "Run Dance" In Kingston Ja.
We always hear about international DJ's this and DJ that - but one Belizean DJ has truly earned the title. Linda Blease - who DJ's under the moniker "Miss Blease" - has just returned from a successful tour of Jamaica. She did ten shows in three weeks at the hottest clubs in Kingston -and made multiple appearances - even snagging a mention in the daily newspaper, the Observer. In a phrase - "she blew up" - in Kingston, the most happening City in the Anglophone Caribbean. It's no small feat - particularly for a female DJ - and, to our knowledge, she's the first to do so many shows in Jamaica. She just came back yesterday and we spoke to her today about what it was like:.. Linda Blease from Belize - International DJ "I played at 10 or 11 events all around Kingston." Jules Vasquez "And you are the first Belizean DJ to play events like this, and to receive so much acclaim in just 3 week in Jamaica." Linda Blease "Yes, I definitetly feel happy. I guess it's my time to do things now. I am sure that they will have people who come up, and it will be easier for them to get the same opportunity." Jules Vasquez "How much of it depended on the fact that you're a female from a far-away country." Linda Blease "Actually, none of it because it's kind of tough. If you're a female or a male, especially somewhere like Jamaica, they are very rough. So, if you don't perform well, if you are female or male, they'll throw something or boo you off the stage. I saw them do it to a couple of people. The good thing is that it didn't happen on this side. I am happy that I did well."

Popcaan In BZ
And while Ms. Blease came home from Jamaica, Dancehall artist, Popcaan is visiting Belize tonight. He touched down this morning for a show on Saturday night at the Princess Poolside. This evening he told us more about Saturday's performance. Problem Sean - Promoter "The big event - the biggest event - bigger than all other events happening, we've got Popcaan. Make sure you come out. Ladies, make sure you come out. Popcaan is speaking at the Princess Hotel. He is performing live. There's no other place to be but at Princess Hotel this weekend. Popcaan is performing live." Bolo - Promoter "Well, it's most definitely going to be a safe environment. we've got Keyon Vibes, Billy Yongs, Nello Player, and the main performer, Popcaan. So, it's going to be great show. We want all the ladies and dudes come out and enjoy themselves." Monica Bodden "So the event will be taking place where?" Problem Sean "It will be at the Princess Poolside along with Club Next as well. The amount of people we're expecting from ticket demands and requests, the poolside is not going to be big enough. So, it's going to be a sold out event."

Channel 5

Family of four perish in fatal highway accident
There was a horrible traffic accident this morning at mile forty-four, a dangerous stretch of the Western Highway. Four of five family members between the ages of twelve and sixty-eight perished. The Belize City family was heading to the US Embassy in Belmopan when they collided into an Isuzu Rodeo. The road condition in this [...]

Another Matura murdered on Boulevard on broken dreams
While the highways turned deadly, there was another homicide in the City this morning and from our records it is murder victim number fifty-one for this year. It happened just before seven o’clock; twenty-eight year old Kaylon Matura was ambushed as he was leaving his house for work with the Ministry of Works. He is [...]

GSU busts infamous Brian Brown
A warrant is out for Brian Brown, a well known street figure. For about ten hours today, the Gang Suppression Unit raided Brown’s house on Fabers Road where they found cash in Belize and US currencies, cocaine, crack and cannabis hidden in various areas of the house. They also found ski masks, a bullet proof [...]

Commonwealth Local Government Forum opens in Belize
The Commonwealth Local Government Forum opened in Belize City today. Trinidad’s Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, flew in for the event as did the Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Kamalesh Sharma and other representatives from numerous member countries. Canada announced a twenty-three million dollar initiative for local economic development in the fifty-four member state organization that [...]

Commonwealth Sec. Gen. talks development for Belize
The Commonwealth Secretary General, Kamalesh Sharma, began the first of his three day visit to Belize on the occasion of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum. Prior to arriving in the country, Sharma was in Mexico City with President Felipe Calderón, the Chair of the G20. Dialogue between Heads of the Commonwealth and the G20 are [...]

Under protest, Justice Awich officially elevated to Court of Appeal
The Bar Association and the opposition party both objected to the appointment of Justice Samuel Awich to the Court of Appeal last month. But this morning, the justice took the oath at the Belize House inBelmopan, in the presence of his wife, son and daughter. Judge Awich, who is originally from Uganda, was a justice [...]

New Director of Tourism is Laura Esquivel Frampton
There is another appointment to report tonight. Word to News Five is that Director of Quality Assurance, Laura Esquivel Frampton, is being named the new Director of Tourism, replacing Seleni Matus who resigned from the post in September, 2011. The B.T.B. team also includes Tracy Panton as C.E.O. and Ian Lizarraga, the executive chair of [...]

Coalition and COLA join Oceana in Referendum suit
Oceana filed an application on May fourth for leave to apply for judicial review of the disqualification of eight thousand and forty-seven signatures from the petition for a referendum on offshore oil drilling. That application will be heard on June twentieth, but there’s another challenge before the Supreme Court and it involves production sharing agreements [...]

NGO explains why COLA and Coalition jump on to claim
As for the application for COLA and the Coalition to become interested parties in the case, Crown Counsel Herbert Panton, holding over for Crown Counsel Nigel Hawke on behalf of the ministry, indicated to Justice Oswell Legall that they strongly object to the applications. Panton requested additional time to review the case and has until [...]

Ervin Reneau will face trial for gas station murders
A preliminary inquiry concluded this morning, in the case against Ervin Reneau, who was committed to stand trial on numerous charges, including two counts of Murder. The charges are in connection with an incident that occurred on November thirtieth, 2010 in which David Longsworth and Edgar Ayala, were fatally shot during a robbery at the [...]

Taxi-man forced his ex on a cab ride
It appears that a relationship gone sour has landed a Belize City taxi-man before the Court on two criminal charges. Rhea Pennill reported to police that her ex-boyfriend, forty-one year old Willward Pinto, attempted to kidnap her around three-thirty Monday evening. Today, Pinto was charged with Aggravated Assault and Wounding upon Pennill. Pinto appeared before [...]

Guatemalan found with gun stolen during burglary
A San Ignacio man who was wanted in connection with a burglary is now in double the trouble. On Monday, police conducted a search on Joseph Andrews Drive for twenty-one year old Guatemalan national, Walter Boteo Ralda. When he spotted the police vehicle, Ralda took off running into Eleventh Street, but was caught. The cops [...]

P.U.P. mourns passing of first leader
The People’s United Party has lost its first leader. Today, the party expressed its condolences to the family of John Smith, who died on Tuesday in Metairie, Louisiana. Smith, who was ninety-three years old, passed away at home with his wife, Consuelo and their children by his side. In Belize, Smith founded the People’s Committee [...]

LOVE FM

Wednesday, May 16 - POLICE NEWS
The latest murder in Belize City has claimed the life of twenty-eight year old Kaylon Matura who was shot in front of his home on Central American Boulevard in Belize City. Love News spoke with Police Press Officer Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood. Inspector Fitzroy Year...

TOLEDO PREPARES FOR CACAO FEST
Activities in connection with this year’s Toledo cacao festival will begin tomorrow in Punta Gorda. Paul Mahung reporting… “The activities will be held from Thursday May 17 to Sunday May 20 as explained by Chairman of the Toledo Cacoa F...

BELIZE HOSTS THE COMMONWEALTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT FORUM
Representatives of Local government bodies from across the Caribbean and the Commonwealth are meeting this week at the Princess Hotel in Belize City. Over two hundred delegates are attending various interrelated meetings. At the launch of the Commonwealth Local Government F...

MINISTRY OF NATURAL RESOURCES FACES MORE OPPOSITION ON PRODUCTION SHARING AGREEMENTS
On Wednesday Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) and The Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage presented applications requesting to be joined as co-claimants in Oceana in Belize’s present claim against the Ministry of Natural Resources, challenging the validity ...

NEW JUSTICE OF THE BELIZE COURT OF APPEAL SWORN IN
Justice Samuel Lungole Awich was sworn in today as a Justice of the Belize Court of Appeal. Justice Awich who is originally from Uganda has served as a Supreme Court Judge in Belize since April 2001. He retired as a Judge of the Supreme Court on 15th May 2012 after attaining the age of...

TRAFFIC ACCIDENT CLAIMS FOUR LIVES
A traffic accident shortly after seven o’clock this morning has left four people dead and two others hospitalized. The incident involved a Geo Prism car and an Isuzu Rodeo. Four of the occupants of the car, 45-year-old Karen Tillett Castillo, Arthur Smith, 68-year-old...

NEWS FLASH - Road accident near Cotton Tree Village claims 4 lives.........28 year old man shot while exiting his yard in Belize City!!!!
An SUV and a Sedan car traveling in opposite directions on the Western Highway near the village of Cotton Tree in the Cayo District collided this morning between the hours of 7 and 730. Of the five passengers traveling in the SUV, 4 have been confirmed dead while the other is in a serious c...

Tuesday, May 16 - POLICE NEWS
29-year-old security guard Mike Sabal charged with the theft of five pounds of tobacco leaves also known as fonto was found guilty of the charge today. Because she found that Sabal had lied when he said it was the first time he came to court, Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser reman...

BELIZE'S COPYRIGHT LAW FIRMLY INTRODUCED
The Belizean Society of Composers Authors and Publishers, BSCAP, held a press conference this morning at the House of Culture in Belize City, to discuss steps taken by the organization to firmly introduce Copyright and inform artists about the importance of it. Jason Guerrero spo...

US EMBASSY ASSISTS TOLEDO POLICE WITH EQUIPMENT
The United States Embassy has made a donation of equipment to the Punta Gorda Police. Paul Mahung reporting… "The equipment valued at over 2,800 US dollars were handed over to Punta Gorda Police by Embassy of the United States of Ameri...

TEACHERS ATTEND ACADEMIC CONFERENCE
Teachers from across the country will be meeting over the next two days. Cecilia Smith is the Director of teacher Education and development Services. Cecilia Smith – Director, Teacher education and development services “We are hosting an academic co...

FORMER OMBUDSMAN CONTINUES HIS PROTEST AGAINST GAY RIGHTS
Former Ombudsman Paul Rodriguez has taken his protest to Punta Gorda. Paul Mahung reporting... “Love News caught up with former Ombudsman Paul Rodriquez while he was walking on PG Front Street and carrying a large size poster bearing his message which he echoed verb...

PORT OF BELIZE AND STEVEDORES REACH AGREEMENT
A dispute between stevedores and their employer, the Port of Belize Limited, has ended with an arrangement – albeit after two sessions today with the Christian Workers’ Union representing the men. The stevedores, who load sugar from barges onto ships, were asking for,...

LEADERS OF COMMONWEALTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT MEET IN BELIZE
A two-day meeting of the leaders of commonwealth local government organizations opens tomorrow in Belize City. The meetings include the annual Board meeting of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum and are being held at the Princess Hotel in Belize City. Chairperson of th...

CTV3

Horriffic Traffic Accident On The Western Highway Claims Four Lives
This morning a fatal traffic accident that occurred on mile 44 on the Western Highway claimed the lives of four individuals. Police investigations reveal that a family of five travelling in a Gold Prizm car with license plate BZC-38571 were heading to Belmopan from Belize City when upon arriving mile 44 they collided into a blue Isuzu D-Max. The opposing vehicle was being driven by 56 year old Canadian National Corrine Abcock who resides in the Mountain Pine Ridge Area. When Belmopan police arrived at the scene of the accident they were faced with the lifeless bodies of 68 year old Nicholasia Tillett who was accompanying her family to Belmopan, Tillett's daughter 45 year old Karen Castillo who was a councelor at Maude Williams High School, and Karens daughter 13 year old Alicia Smith were seen lying in the middle of the highway. Later, the body of 43 year old Arthur Smith Sr., father to Alicia Smith and brother to Castillo was located in nearby bushes. The fifth passenger traveling in the Prizm car was 28 year old teacher Monique Robinson who was found trapped in the front right passenger seat. Robinson was quickly transported to the Western Regional Hospital whereby she is listed in a stable condition. The four lifeless bodies were also transported to the hospital where they were pronounced dead on arrival. As for Abcock, she was first transported to the Western Regional Hospital but later transferred to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. According to Abcock, the blue Isuzu served into her lane causing the fatal accident. The family was on their way to the U.S Embassy to apply for visitors visa.

U.S National John McAfee Says He Will No Longer Speak With Belizean Media
It took place about a week ago and the tension between U.S national John McAfee and the Gang Suppression Unit is still on edge. On May 1ST the GSU raided McAfee’s Residence here in Orange Walk and detained him and his employees for more than 14 hours. McAfee was then taken to Belize City and released until 1:30 on Tuesday morning without any charges after the intervention of the U.S Embassy. In recent news, Matilda Garnett, a second class clerk of Belize City, Police Constable Darius Martinez of Orange Walk and ex-cop Rodwell Richards were all charged for attempt to corrupt an officer and were labeled as affiliates of McAfee. The charge is derived from the attempt to bribe Police Constables Adrian Lopez and Stacy Humes to get information on an investigation being carried by the GSU against McAfee. After the three public officers were charged, all attempts to get McAfee for comment proved futile. But yesterday the U.S National fired off a press release in which he states that GSU Commander Marco Vidal and his unit remain persistent in their attempts to discredit him. Of course he is referring to a press release issued by the Gang Suppression Unit on Friday May 11th which made all allegations that Richards was McAfee’s right hand man. McAfee makes claim that he serves no relationship to Garnett and that Richards, who is clearly his friend, has never been asked to provide any information pertaining the activities of the GSU. In the press release McAfee goes on to ask, “Why is the Gang Suppression Unit, whose purpose is to suppress gang activity, be spending time, money and resources pursuing a minor misdemeanor charge allegedly involving business people?” He then proceeds by making a solemn remark stating that there are serious crimes being committed by gangs which the GSU should be suppressing. Finally he makes all suggestion that the name GSU be changed to BSU meaning Business Suppression Unit. Today when we contacted McAfee for comment he told us he will not be making any further comments to the Belizean Media.

Teachers of Saint Peters Anglican School Nominated For Teacher Award Program
The Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award Program is an inspirational initiative brought to the fore by the Ministry of Education to honor accomplished teachers who for many years have dedicated their time and efforts to the progress of young Belizean Children. Yesterday we told you about Orange Walk’s Nominees for the outstanding leader of the year award and the outstanding teacher of the year award for ITVET’s. Tonight, those remarkable teachers being highlighted are the districts representatives for the Primary level and Special Education level who have both been selected from St. Peter’s Anglican School. Janine Ayuso Reporting Miguel Mai has been in the teaching Profession for 25 years. Every day he works along with students ensuring that they receive the best education possible without expecting any type of recognition. Miguel Mai, Teacher “I don’t really like the spotlight but I won this award two years ago so this year is the second time I think that I owe it to the students they really have showed me that they trust in me and sometimes they like put pressure on me making me feel like they really believe I will pass them and so I’ve been working very hard I give them free extra lasses on evenings we come on Saturdays and we come on Christmas holidays and Easter holidays to do extra work because we have some special students who might have entered very weak in standard six so that we can bring them up to a level that we can trust they will perform well in the exam. I don’t really, I was not working with the objective to win this award I work to help the children I have so if I meet this class that needs an extra mile I go the extra mile if I meet a class that needs for me to go two more miles I do that. If in the end that brings an award such like this one I welcome it also but it’s not my main thing to win these awards and I’m not competing against anybody else in any other school I’m just doing my work to help these children as much as possible.”

Legal Battle Between Orlando Habet And Elvin Penner Continues In Court
On Monday evening, in the court room of Justice Minnet Hafiz, attorneys Said Musa and Rodwell Williams where back in court battling the election petition filed by Orlando Habet against Elvin Penner, the Cayo Northeast Representative. Habet’s attorney Said Musa filed the leave on grounds on recount and bribery on the part of Penner. Justice Hafiz struck out the bribery grounds but granted stay for the recount grounds. However, Musa filed for leave to appeal Justice Hafiz’s decision to strike out the bribery, and again, they were unsuccessful. Musa; though, came up with a different strategy. He intended for the court to hear a motion which he filed for his own petition to stay. Justice Hafiz refused Musa’s application but the attorney says that the appeal will surely go to the Supreme Court for a final decision. Said Musa, Attorney “It has not affected us in terms of our right to proceed with the appeal, but it certainly will affect us in terms of whether or not at this stage certainly by tomorrow whether we will have any petition to proceed with. But here again I must repeat that the bottom line is that this matter will be heading for the Court of Appeal to make a final determination.” That’s where the election petition was left off on Monday but yesterday it took an unexpected turn. Both legal teams argued on whether the procedure used by Musa and Anthony Sylvester was in fact faulty. When they filed for leave to bring the election petition to the Supreme Court, Said Musa and Anthony Sylvester, also filed the actual petition that they intended to present before the court, that is, if the court granted the leave. Justice Hafiz established that the filing of the actual election petition was done out of time frame and Rodwel Williams argued that the documents are in fact invalid and hence should be struck out based on abuse of process.

Students of San Jose Government School Promote Civic Pride
HUMANA, the non-governmental organization whose motto is “Working with the poor” is currently working with 23 rural communities on a massive cleanup campaign across Northern Belize. Last week Tuesday we ran a story of the cleanup campaign in Santa Cruz and today we bring you students hard at work cleaning 2 miles of the northern highway- from the entrance of San Jose Village to San Pablo Village. Hipolito Novelo reporting Forty eight standard five students from San Jose Government School along with members of Humana People to People, where out early this morning cleaning up a portion of the Northern Highway. Their challenge was to pick up all the garbage along the two miles stretch of road starting from the entrance of San Jose Village to San Pablo Village. The initiative was originally brought forward by the school but was eventually backed up by Humana People to People whose aim is to assist schools promoting civic pride. Wilbert Tzul, Project Coordinator, HUMANA “We are doing a cleanup campaign in the community of San Jose and San Pablo but I have to “big-up” San Jose Government School for taking the initiative. They actually planned that they wanted to do a cleaning campaign in the main high way of both communities. But then, taking advantage of this invitation I also tendered the invitation to San Pablo RC School and then San Pablo Community School. I also invited both chairladies that is Miss Anita Mesh from San Jose Village and then the chairlady of San Pablo Miss Dalila Mendez. They’re also contributing towards worthy initiative of keeping the community clean.”

LOVE TV

Four perish in Western Highway crash
The Western Highway has again claimed multiple lives in a single deadly traffic accident. It happened near Cotton Tree village in the Cayo district early this morning. Love TV’s Marion Ali and video journalist Brian Castillo went to the scene and bring you the following report, which we advise contains horrific pictures. Two persons remain [...]

Belize City man acquitted of rape charge
35-year-old Brian Smith was found not guilty of rape today in the court of Justice Herbert Lord. The jury of six men and three women deliberated for about two hours and 15 minutes before it arrived at its verdict. The incident occurred on February 19, 2011 at Smith’s home. The complainant, a 17-year-old student, testified that she met Smith when she went to stay at her father’s house for the weekend. She said Smith who was a close friend of her father gave her 50 cents to buy noodles and when she was returning from the shop, Smith called her from his yard and told her he wanted to see her. She said Smith closed the door and pushed her down on the bed and forcibly had sex with her. Smith testified and admitted he had sex with the girl but said it was with her consent. Smith was represented by attorney Brian Neal. It was Neal’s first case at the Supreme Court since he was admitted to the Bar about four months ago. Crown Counsel Talia Meighan Francis represented the prosecution.

Aggravated robbery reported in Benque Viejo del Carmen
A man from Benque Viejo del Carmen has reported being the victim of an aggravated robbery. Seventy five year old Juan de Dios Garcia, a resident of the Santa Cruz Area of Benque Viejo del Carmen, reported that he was accosted on Saturday afternoon at his farm house located at Camp 6. The elderly man says that he was approached by four Hispanic male persons who were all armed with machetes. One of the attackers reportedly placed a machete to his throat and demanded money and a chainsaw. He reportedly told them he did not have either money or a chainsaw, after which the men reportedly tied him up, beat and gagged him. De Dios Garcia says that he faked being unconscious while the assailants searched his bedroom. The robbers reportedly stole his Licensed Single Action Shotgun and ten cartridges and four machetes before making good their escape into nearby bushes. De Dios Garcia says he managed to untie himself and made his way to the Police Station to make the report. Investigations continue.

Man charged for carnal knowledge of 16 year old
Police in Belmopan have arrested and charged a man for the crime of Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. According to police reports, a sixteen year old girl, in the presence of her father, reported to police that on the night of March twenty fourth, she visited a farm owned by Francisco O’Neal Palacio. The girl says that during the visit, she engaged in sexual intercourse with Palacio. A medical examination has been scheduled as the minor is believed to be pregnant. Palacio was arrested and charged on Monday.

Butane theft reported in Belize City
There is a report of butane theft in Belize City. The Manger of Western Gas Company, located at mile four on the Western Highway Melgar Eynar reported to police that sometime between the Saturday and Monday, a total of one thousand, two hundred and seventy five gallons of butane was stolen from the establishment. The estimated value of the stolen butane is put at seven thousand, seven hundred and seventy seven dollars. Police are looking for three persons for questioning in connection with this investigation.

Belize hosts Commonwealth Local Government
A two-day meeting of the leaders of commonwealth local government organizations opens tomorrow in Belize City. The meetings include the annual Board meeting of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum and are being held at the Princess Hotel in Belize City. Chairperson of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum is the former Mayor of Belize City, Zenaida Moya. Carl Wright, who is the Secretary General of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum, told Love News that the two-day meeting will discuss some very important issues. Special guest at this week’s meeting is the patron of the Forum, the Honourable the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Mrs. Kamla Persad-Bissessar. According to a statement from her office, the T&T Prime Minister oversee the launch of the Canada funded twenty three million US dollars Caribbean Local Economic Development Program which aims to strengthen local governance and to stimulate local economic growth throughout the region. CARILED will be headquartered in Port of Spain, Trinidad.

Commonwealth Local Government Forum meeting opens
Representatives of Local government bodies from across the Caribbean and the Commonwealth are meeting this week at the Princess Hotel in Belize City. Over two hundred delegates are attending various interrelated meetings. At the launch of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum meetings this morning, Belize’s Minister of Local Government Senator Godwin Hulse said that local [...]

Guatemalan national busted with 9mm pistol
A twenty one year old Guatemalan national has pleaded guilty to the charge of kept firearm without a license. Leonel Boteo Ralda was captured in Santa Elena town on Monday night after initially running away from officers who were conducting a search of an area on Joseph Andres Drive in San Ignacio town. Ralda was [...]

Belize City man charged for attempted murder
26-year-old Gareth Hemmans Jr. was charged with attempted murder and two other charges. It is alleged Hemmans almost severed the left arm of Miguel Zaiden. The other charges included grievous harm and use of deadly means of harm. No plea was taken because the offences are indictable. Neither could the court offer him bail because [...]

Former leader of the People’s United Party dies
News has been received of the death of the former leader of the People’s United Party John Smith. According to information received, Smith, who was ninety three years old, died in the United States in the company of his wife and children. John A. Smith was a founding member of the PUP in 1950 and [...]

Former Ombudsman stages one man protest in PG
Former Ombudsman Paul Rodriguez has taken his protest to Punta Gorda town. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Port dispute settled … for now
A dispute between stevedores and their employer, the Port of Belize Limited, has ended with an arrangement – albeit after two sessions today with the Christian Workers’ Union representing the men. The stevedores, who load sugar from barges onto ships, were asking for, among other things, for their meals to be delivered to them to the loading dock four miles out to sea and, to be paid per shift rather than on a weekly basis. On an average, stevedores who work sugar barges are paid roughly $110 per 12 hour shift, and those men, 33 of them, went on strike on Monday morning in their bid to bring the Port of Belize to the bargaining table. The first session between the Port’s Receiver, Arturo Vasquez and the CWU’s Secretary General, James McFoy, ended at around twelve thirty and at that point, there was no dice, as McFoy, and angry stevedores, briefed reporters. But right after the interview, something was done. The Port called back the Union representative and the stevedores into a second discourse that ended shortly before three this afternoon. And when that was over, the dust had settled and work had resumed. Love News has been trailing the day’s events outside the Port of Belize compound and was there when McFoy emerged from the meeting the second time around. Love News also got a first word with the Port’s Receiver, Arturo Vasquez. The parties, meanwhile, will begin negotiations on May 24th, regarding a Memorandum of Understanding that dates back to 2004. And it stands to create great losses on all parties involved if at the end of the negotiations, there is another stalemate. That document was signed on April 23rd of this year and outlines priority areas that will be discussed when that round of talks commence. If this latest strike was not settled, it would have meant that the sugar ship named the Emwika Naree would have departed Belizean shores without seventeen thousand tons of sugar from BSI for export to Europe. It would have been a blow to all parties concerned. Now that the dispute is settled however, Vasquez told Love News that the one shift that was lost due to the strike can be made up over the three weeks that the stevedores will be loading the ship.

Artists organization discuss benefits of copyright
The Belizean Society of Composers Authors and Publishers, BSCAP, held a press conference this morning at the House of Culture in Belize City, to discuss steps taken by the organization to firmly introduce Copyright and inform artists about the importance of it. The conference was hosted by Glenn Tillett and included a speech by Jason Guerrero who spoke about how BSCAP came about and some of the work it has been carrying out. Greg Vernon from NICH congratulated BSCAP on the work and founding member Bredda David Obi spoke about the twenty seven year process of making copyright in Belize possible. CIBC First Caribbean Bank’s Country Manager Glen Smith, spoke of the banks undertaking of this initiative for which they have become Belize’s first licensee. Artist Berne Velasquez, also a member of BSCAP spoke with Love News after the conference and explained the importance of copyright for him as an artist. The following are some highlights of what transpired during today’s Press Conference. Smith was presented with a plaque on behalf of BSCAP and Guerrero said one of the methods they plan to undertake is to do some “door to door knocking” to insure that artists become involved. Meanwhile they will continue to campaign and make the general public award of just what falls under the copyright law.

Public Service Information Day held
Public Service Day is around the bend and as part of the celebrations leading to that day, twenty five departments under the public service participated in the Public Service Information Day, held in the parking lot of the Complex Building in the Lake Independence Area. According to District Representative for the Public Service Information Day, Alyssa Perdomo, the aim of today’s event is for the different departments to showcase the different services that they provide to the public. Love News also wanted to be informed about some of the Departments in the Public Service and so we ventured into the exposition and spoke with some of the presenters, most of who said that today grants them a big opportunity to make the public become more familiar with their services. Perdomo says this event is held on a yearly basis and has been in effect for about five years and it takes a lot of preparation on behalf of the Public Service National Committee who have also planned a week of activities scheduled to kick off on Public Service Week in the month of June.

Bees terrorize Belize City family
A family on Fabers Road in Belize City is tonight asking for assistance is getting rid of a swarm of bees that was terrorizing them today. Love News was called out to the area this afternoon, where Shannov Vernon told us that since morning, the bees swarmed his house and he has been trying to get rid of the unwanted visitors. Like Vernon, Love News has attempted to contact the Department of Agriculture in Belize, but got no response.

Teachers undergo specialized training
Normally teachers are the ones at the front of the room imparting knowledge to their students. For the next day, however, they are the ones learning how best to apply techniques to ensure maximum learning. Dr. Andrew Manning is from Mount Saint Vincent University in Hallifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. He is one of the presenters at the session. The training is taking place at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel and it ends on Wednesday.

Authorities take steps to improve traffic in San Pedro town
Authorities in San Pedro are taking steps to improve traffic management on the island. Love TV’s Maria Novelo reports.

Crime wave continues: another youth dead!
The Crime Wave continues to plague Belize City as another youth fall victim to gun violence. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo, with assistance from video journalists Brian Castillo and Myles Gillett covered the crime beat today and brings you the following reports.

16 year old charged for murder
A 16-year-old boy who resides on Currasow Street has been charged with the murder of Leo Palacio Jr. The boy was arraigned today in Belize Family Court. No plea was taken because the offence is indictable. Neither could the court offer him bail because of the nature of the charge. He was remanded into custody. The incident occurred on the night of May 11. According to reports, Palacio and two others were standing at the corner of Central American Boulevard and Pelican Street when a gunman opened fire on them. Palacio was fatally injured. The others received gunshot wounds but survived.

PlusTV

4 family members killed in car crash
A gruesome road traffic accident happened at the start of the rainy season. Just before 8am this morning (May 16) a...

Early morning shooting leaves family fatherless
Another fatal shooting took place this morning in Belize City. Just before 7am this morning, 28 year old Kaylon Mat...

GSU activities spark neighbourhood complaints
If you listen to word on the streets, the name Brian Brown is oftentimes at the center of controversy. Police, howe...

Lack of police response frustrates assault victim
A villager from Santa Familia is not pleased with the response of the San Ignacio Police Department. Thirty year ol...

Belize plays host to the Commonwealth Local Government Forum
The Caribbean Association of Local Government Authorities (CALGA) held opening ceremonies at the Princess Hotel for...

OCEANA rallies the troops for lawsuit, GOB objects
In the Supreme Court today, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) and The Coalition to Save our Natu...

New Chairman of Elections and Boundaries Commission sworn in
Also sworn in at today’s ceremony was Mr. Bernard Pitts as the Chairman of the Elections and Boundaries Commission....

New Justice of Appeal's Court sworn in
Justice Samuel Lungole Awich was today sworn in as a Justice of the Belize Court of Appeal by the Acting Governor G...

Orange thieves on the loose A concerned citrus grower from the Stann Creek valley area is asking residents of the area to be on the lookout for...

Guatemala national convicted in connection to burglary
San Ignacio Police has a Guatemalan National in custody. Police conducted a search on May 14 in an area on Joseph A...

The Guardian

Cut and Paste Attorneys
Attorneys Anthony Sylvester and Said Musa have become somewhat the laughing stock of the legal community in Belize after they have been able to successfully bungle an Election Petition they have taken on, on behalf of Orlando Habet. They are now being called the "Cut and Paste attorneys" after they attempted that maneuver in an attempt to try to pull a fast one on the Supreme Court. Their attempt had started from April 10th when they bunched together 8 affidavits along with an election petition to have a recount declared against Hon. Elvin Penner. The document contained arguments among others that alleged that Hon. Penner had bribed voters during his election. It also demanded a recount of the votes. However, that process was struck down by Justice Minnette Hafiz-Bertram on April 10th but at the same time she granted them leave to apply for a true petition. In the process by which a petition is heard, it must first be given leave before it is presented in court. In this case, the not-so-dynamic duo attempted to present a petition before it was granted leave. So, the court struck it down along with the accompanying 8 affidavits. They, however, were given leave to apply for leave and that they did. At some point, these two attorneys had decided that they would simply cut and paste the original document they had tried to pass as an election petition. Senior Counsel representing Hon. Elvin Penner went to great lengths in court to point this out. He began explaining that the petition presented was in fact the same old one which was struck down earlier on. He explained that two of the affidavits in the most recent petition were actually a part of the first document presented. He then explained that what appeared as a petition was actually a document which had been edited significantly; what made it bad was the fact that the document was disjointed where entire paragraphs had been taken out but those presented it did not take time to make the numbering of the paragraphs be sequential in order. Williams continued to explain that because the document presented as an election petition was in fact one that had been presented earlier and struk out it was a nullity. In effect, the duo did not present a petition at the time of the deadline and therefore, the entire matter should be struck down.

New Buyer for BSI makes Proposal - $10.8 M Dollars more in Sugar Payments for Farmers
The Belize Sugar Industries Limited is in the process of hearing a proposal by a company interested in purchasing the majority interest in BSI through the purchase of equity in the company. American Sugar Refining (ASR), the parent company of Tate and Lyle, presented to BSI a proposal in which it intends to spend 40 million Belize dollars in capital expenditure over the next 3 years. The infusion of capital will see the improvement and expansion of the Tower Hill Mill. Being that Tate & Lyle is a subsidiary to American Sugar Refining, the proposal includes the increase in price for the purchase of raw sugar by Tate and Lyle from BSI from 335 Euros to 425 Euros per tonne of sugar cane. This will be based on the yearly purchase of 70,000 of sugar. According to the proposal, this will yield BZ. $16.6 million dollars, which will see the cane farmers receiving 10.8 million dollars more and the factory receiving 5.8 million dollars more. ASR also proposes to increase the supply agreements with Tate and Lyle past 2015 for raw sugar, and premium special grade sugars. Also included in the proposal is the offering of technical services between BSI and ASR as well as the financing of extension services to cane farmers. There are also components for the funding of the planting and cultivation of sugarcane by cane farmers. An agronomist assisted by 4 staff members are also expected to be added to improve production of sugarcane as well as harvesting practices.

Cop, Ex-cop and Clerk charged for Attempting to Corrupt a Police Officer
Former police officer, 40- year-old Rodwell 'Tiger' Richards appeared in Magistrate's Court on Monday May 14th where he read a single charge of attempting to corrupt a police officer. Richards was charged after P.C. Adrian Lopez, who is attached to the Gang Suppression Unit, reported that on May 8th Richards attempted to influence him to provide confidential information regarding the John McAfee case in return for money. In court, Richards pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Ervin Reneau to stand Trial for Double Murder
Ervin Reneau appeared in Magistrate's Court on Wednesday May 16th where he was committed to stand trial for the November 30, 2010 double murder of David Longsworth and Security Guard, Edgar Ayala.

Chopped His Friend while Drinking
On Wednesday, May 16th, 26-year-old Gareth Hemmans Jr., a caterer, appeared in Magistrate’s Court where he was charged with the attempted murder of 40-year-old Miguel Zaiden.

Woman claims Ex-boyfriend tried to Kidnap
Taxi-driver, 41-year-old Willward Pinto of #18 Rivero Street appeared in Magistrate's Court on Wednesday May 16th where he was charged with aggravated assault and wounding upon his ex-girlfriend, Rhea Pennil. He was offered and met bail in the sum of $5,000.

Murder in Belize City
Police are investigating the murder of 28-year-old Kaylon Matura who was killed as he left his home on Wednesday May 16th. Reports are that Matura at around 6:59 a.m., he was leaving his home on Central American Boulevard on his way to work when he was approached by a man who fired several shots hitting him twice in the chest and once in the chin. He was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was dead on arrival. Matura is one of four brothers who have been killed in similar fashion.

Murder on Gravel Lane in Orange Walk
An early morning shooting in Orange Walk Town on Gravel Lane - a street off the Belize Corozal Road - resulted one man being killed and the other seriously injured.

Cayo Teacher murdered in His Home
Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of 45-year-old school teacher Marco David Thompson, who was found dead inside his home at the corner of West and Second Streets in San Ignacio Town. Thompson's nude body was found lying face up in his house shortly after 1p.m. on Sunday May 13th. There were three cut wounds to the right side of his neck. Reports are that he was last seen socializing in the pre-dawn hours of Sunday morning with a male companion whom he was seen with purchasing food in front of the Belize Bank branch in San Ignacio. Earlier on, he had been partying at the Blue Angel's Nightclub. Police investigations indicate that the house was ransacked, his cellular phone was missing and his wallet had been emptied. Thompson was a teacher at Sacred Heart College in Cayo where he taught English and was also a counselor and did drug and alcohol addiction counseling in the community.

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar visits Belize
The Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, is on a two-day visit to Belize. She arrived on Wednesday, May 16, to take part in two Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) events. Upon arrival, her first stop was to pay a courtesy visit to Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean Oliver Barrow.

Multi-Million Dollar Development Project launched in Belize
Belize will be one of several Caribbean countries to benefit from a multi-million dollar project geared at enhancing local economies by providing support to small and medium size enterprises.

MOE launches Quality Child-Friendly Schools Program
On Monday, May 14, the Ministry of Education launched the National Quality Child-Friendly Schools Program at the House of Culture in Belize City. UNICEF developed a framework for child friendly educational systems and schools and has introduced it to countries that signed on to the Convention on the Rights of a Child.

1% Service charge for changing Belize dollars to coins
Customers of at least two banks in Belize have expressed concern over a new service charge that has emerged at the banks. One caller during Wave's Fus Thing da Mawning expressed his sentiment saying that two banks, namely the Belize Bank and First Caribbean International are charging a fee to have Belize currency changed into smaller denominations of Belize currency.

Belize City’s Public Service Departments holds Open Day
BDF officers share information with students On Tuesday, May 15, representatives of government departments in Belize City gathered at the Charles Bartlett Hyde Building to meet with members of the public and share information on their inside operations.

PM Barrow’s address at Belize Bank 25th Anniversary
I am happy to have been asked to make some brief remarks on this occasion celebrating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Belize Bank. That first step ramified, of course, and led later to the establishment of the Belize Bank Group of Companies, so very much a part of the banking and commercial life of our country.

Oceana’s Mischief Moves from the Court of Public Opinion to the Supreme Court
On 21 December 2011, Oceana in Belize filed an action in the Supreme Court asking the court to declare that six Production Sharing Agreements (PSA) signed between six oil companies and the Government of Belize are null and void. Oceana asked the Court to declare that the six Production Sharing Agreements between the Government of Belize and Island Oil Belize Ltd., Miles Tropical Energy Ltd, Petro Belize Company Ltd, Princess Petroleuum Ltd., Providence Energy Belize Ltd, and SOL Oil Belize Ltd, were null and void because:-

The Belize Ministry of Health Responds to Request
The Belmopan Mental Health Consumer Association for Users, Families and Volunteers BMHCA takes this opportunity to thank the Ministry of Health for the continued commitment to providing newer medications—that produce little side effects for the treatment of mental illness. It is important that we have a constant supply of these newer medications, considered by mental health experts as crucial to preventing catastrophic relapses. Patients that are on treatment and stable are productive citizens and can significantly boost the Country’s GDP.

From Bad to Worse - Booths with Leaf Roofs
The infamous roof with coconut palm leaves Last week, the Guardian pointed out that the Orange Walk Town Council, under the leadership of Mayor Kevin Bernard, had taken to dismantling the newly constructed extension to the Orange Walk Town Market. At the time, the workers had taken off the roof from most of the stalls but did not complete the job. At the time of us writing the article, we were hopeful that nobody would make off with the zinc roofing that had been take off the structures. Well, hopeful was all that we could have been as on Friday May 4th, the roof for the stalls was replaced. The problem however, is that we are not certain if the zinc was misplaced or just stolen, but the replacement roof had a lot to be desired.

Kelly Street Education Center complete
Just over a year ago, on April 28th, Tobar's W&J Home Construction donated a 14 by 26 foot house to the Caribbean Shores constituency. The purpose was for the establishment of an education and resource center. After much work and lobbying the center is finally operational and on Monday, May 14th, the ribbon was cut to officially declare it so.

Chief Justice to Rule on Martin Galvez’s Election Petition
Hon. Kenneth Benjamin, Chief Justice of Belize, will reveal his decision on Martin Galvez’s election petition against Honourable Mark King on Thursday, May 17. King defeated Galvez in every box in the 2012 General Election and Galvez decided since he can’t win by popular votes, he would try a thing in court. His attorneys, Lisa Shoman’s, submissions on his behalf were less than impressive and Attorney Denys Barrow had no choice but to move a no case submission. Both attorneys argued in court on Thursday, May 10.

Justice Sam Awich sworn in as New Justice of Appeal
Justice Samuel Lungole Awich was today sworn in as a Justice of the Belize Court of Appeal by the Acting Governor General, His Excellency Carlos Perdomo, at Belize House, Belmopan.

Kaya Cattouse New Female Cross Country Champion
The Belize Cycling Association sponsored its 23rd Annual Women’s Cross Country Classic on Sunday May 13, 2012, Mother’s Day. The 69-miles-event which started from in front of Columbus Park in San Ignacio Town to Mile 2 on the Western Highway, attracted 6 female riders. At the conclusion of the race, it was Kaya Cattouse of C-Ray Cycling Team that outsprinted 3-times champion Shalini Zabaneh of Team Sagitun to capture her first female Cross Country title. Cattouse completed the ride in a time of 4:29:00. Shalini Zabaneh, who lost her bid for a 4-peat had to settle for the bridesmaid spot this time around. The third rider to cross the finish line was Marinette Flowers, who is unattached followed by Patricia Chavarria of AAA Loans Cycling Team, and she was followed by Kirah Eiley of C-Ray Cycling to round off the top five finishers. The other finisher was Iris Centeno of Team Sagitun. We say congratulations to Kaya Cattouse.

Placencia Assassins National Football Champions of Belize
Placencia Assassins Premier League of Belize 2012 Champions The first ever Premier League of Belize Football Competition is now history. The second and final game of the championship series was played on Saturday May 12, 2012 at the Football Federation of Belize Stadium in the City of Belmopan between the previously unbeaten Police United and the Placencia Assassins.

Belize Boxing Federation General Assembly May 19
The Belize Boxing Federation will be holding its General Assembly Meeting on Saturday May 19, 2012, at 10:00 am at the offices of the National Sports Council at Rogers Stadium. The General Assembly will have as its main point on the agenda the elections of officers. The Belize Boxing Federation informs all of its members that registration and membership fee must be completed by Thursday May 17, 2012. Registration forms can be pick up from the Offices of the National Sports Council at the Rogers Stadium on Dolphin Street in Belize City. The newly elected officers will then chart the way forward for the reviving of Boxing in the country. All Boxing personnel, trainers, boxers, fans and the interested person are invited to attend the Boxing General Assembly.

Tangled web in Belize City Primary Schools Softball Competition
The on-going Belize City Primary Schools Softball Competition has weaved a tangled web with no clear cut leaders in the girls and boys competition. The competition continued on Tuesday May 15, with games in both the girls and boys categories. In the girls game played earlier in the afternoon, Unity Presbyterian School defeated St. Luke Methodist by the score of 11-8. The winning pitcher was Ashonti Carr and the losing pitcher was Ishell West. In the boys’ game, St. Luke Methodist ran all over St. John’s Primary School by the score of 14-1. The winning pitcher was Marcos Martinez and the losing pitcher was Warren Smith.

Telemedia to defend Charles Solis Memorial Trophy
The Belize Softball Federation will be holding the 5th Annual Charles Solis Memorial Tournament on Sunday May 20, 2012, at Rogers Stadium the home of softball in Belize. This year’s Memorial Tournament will be utilizing its new format that was approved by the Management Council of the Belize Softball Federation in January of this year. The new format will feature the National Softball Champions of Belize along with the team that is leading its respective competition at the Charles Solis date. The Official Opening Ceremony is scheduled for 9:30 am with. Jude Lizama, 1st Vice President and former assistant coach with Charles Solis official opening the tournament. The 5th Annual Charles Solis Memorial Tournament will utilize the “Double Elimination” Format Competition and will see the participation of Telemedia, the National Softball Champions of Belize, Mirage Lady Rebels of Belize City, Camalote United from the Cayo Association and Flowers Bank “Easy Does It” from Belize Rural. The Tournament Director is Edison Parks, 2nd Vice President of the Belize Softball Federation and he will be assisted by. Floyd Flowers.

Telemedia edged Mirage Lady Rebels in City Softball Competition
The four teams Belize City Senior Female Softball Competition continued on Tuesday May 15, 2012, at Rogers Stadium between the top two teams in the competition, defending champions Telemedia and Mirage Lady Rebels. The game was a nail-biter right down to the bottom of the 7th inning when a questionable call by Home Plate Umpire Deon Sutherland, on whether or not the bunted ball was cleanly caught or trapped by Telemedia’s starter and winner Mary Flowers that killed the potential Mirage Lady Rebels’ rally. Umpire Sutherland ruled that the ball was a clean catch and thus ended the game with Telemedia escaping from a potential Mirage Lady Rebels rally to a 2-1 win. Telemedia batting in the top of the 1st inning scored 2 quick runs when centre fielder Lydia Cacho opened the game with a triple when she drilled a Laneisha Jones fastball into the left-centre field gap. Cacho later scored on Jones’ wild pitch. The next batter catcher, Earline Belisle, then singled to centre field and then took advantage of centre fielder Marsha Casasola’s fielding error that allowed her to advance to second base. She later scored on right fielder Barbara Cadle’s two- out single to centre field.

The Challenges as BEL Transitions - The 4.1.1
Since Thomas Edison's first power plant lit up 800 light bulbs in New York City on the evening of September 4, 1882, electricity has become our most prevalent energy form. It drives a nation’s economy and powers smart technologies that enhance our quality of life. This philosophy is no different in Belize. When the previous owners of BEL decided that the best course of action was for government to take over BEL, the government did. The options were not many, and a responsible government would ensure that the country is not plunged into rolling blackouts. Electrical energy has become one of those all important inputs for private and business consumers. As the new BEL approaches its first anniversary, it is imperative that we reflect on the transition, what has transpired and the future goals and objectives. Of course, we must be mindful of the challenges that were faced and the challenges to be faced in the future.

The Life You Save May Be Your Own - Hurricane Season Starts
It appears that Raymond Waters is already here; the official start of the Hurricane Season will be upon us in the next two weeks. The rainy season, which usually starts in the south around now and transitions northward, seems to have already made that transition and it appears as if the rainy season has begun. An early rainy season is usually a good thing for the farmers and the agriculture sector. Crops bloom and greater yields become a more certain possibility, but an early rainy season may also signal an early increase in cyclonic energy which can lead to the early start of the Hurricane Season. It can also mean that flash floods, which are common at the start of the rainy season, are likely. If the rainy and hurricane seasons, are early, on time, late, or if there will be flash floods it really does not matter. What matters is that we are prepared for any eventuality when it occurs. Knowing what to expect, and what to do, in response to a threat is what really matters. We must be mindful that threats come in many forms. In 2010, the threat was Category 2 Hurricane Richard, in 2008 it was Tropical Storm Arthur and flooding due to the remnants of Tropical Depression 16; in 2000, it was the Category 4 Hurricane Keith; and in 1998 it was Category 5 Mitch. Dr. Gray of Colorado State University and Professor Saunders of the London University College both agree that there will be below normal hurricane activity this season. On the high end of the forecasts, Dr. Gray expects that there will be 10 named storms, of which 4 are expected to be hurricanes, of which 3 are expected to be major hurricanes this season.

Refrigeration Technician Association meets with Stakeholders
The Association of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technicians (ARACT) presented its first Annual Implementation Work Plan and its Budget and Expenditure 2012 to industry stakeholders on Tuesday, May 15, at the Princess Hotel and Casino. ARACT has existed since 2008 but was officially established with the passage of the Refrigeration Technicians Licensing Act in 2010. The association is responsible for the processing of license applications. Local technicians had numerous questions for ARACT at its conference on Tuesday. Hezron Hernandez, President of ARACT, said that the main concern of the technicians is in regard to enforcement of the law. Technicians are asking for leniency, which the association seems willing to grant. However, Hernandez explained that technicians in Belize have already been given years of grace periods when compared to other countries. The new regulations in the industry are a result of Belize’s commitment to the Montreal Protocol.

Intercultural Communication of International Students
Monique Yearwood, Belizean Studying in Taiwan, and friends By now, it is no secret that the world is becoming increasingly global. Resources, whether in the form of people, products, or services, are now more readily accessible, as they continue to cross international borders. Undoubtedly, the exchange of resources and various goods from one country to another requires human interaction. People from diverse echelons of society, cultures, and countries interact with each other in the exchange process. Zhao & Wildermeersch (2008) state, “Internationalization is one of the most important and fast growing driving forces for higher education in the new century” (p.2). They believe that by incorporating an intercultural/international approach into the teaching and other functions of the institution, then the entire environment of the institution shifts to that of an international one, whereby it is aligned with international protocols, and its national as well as international standards are strengthened (Zhao & Wildermeesch, 2008). Thus, it is evident that schools are welcoming internationalization, because of the many benefits it offers them. More and more universities worldwide are seeking accreditation for this puts them on the international forefront, and they are able to build their reputation as a world-renowned institution and recruit international students. Still, it must be noted that the internationalization of higher education does not guarantee positive intercultural interaction.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Community News: Cancer Awareness Walk
I would like to congratulate those members of the Caye Caulker Cancer Society, who have taken up the initiative in having their Cancer Walk in awareness for Cancer month (May). The entire community is encouraged to participate in this endeavor as we do have persons who are cancer survivors on our La Isla Cariñosa, Caye Caulker. Please take very important note of the date and time:

Socials – Congratulations to Zoe de la Fuente
Local Hicaqueña, Zoe de la Fuente, daughter of Wendy Auxillou, also Editor Extraordinaire of the Caye Caulker Chronicles and Grand-daughter to Mrs. Ilna Auxillou, first ever Caye Caulker Educator and first Principal to Caye Caulker R. C. School, graduated this past week with her Associate of Arts Degree from Lone Star College-Cy-Fair in Cypress, Texas. Being a go-getter, Zoe also has future plans in furthering her education and has applied to several Universities including the University of Houston, the American University of Paris. She is also considering attending the University of London in the UK. On behalf of the Caye Caulker Chronicles, please join me in offering best of Wishes to Zoe in her future educational goals! Apart from studious duties, she also manages one of the most well-known brand named, multi-national retail stores in the US named Juicy Couture on an almost full time basis. She is a teenager’s every inspiration that when there is a will, there is a way! All the best to you and hats off to you, Zo Zo!

Socials – Happy 96th Birthday, Mr. Tony Vega Sr.
Legendary Mr. Tony Vega Sr., long time resident and famous icon on Caye Caulker celebrated his 96th Birthday filled with Love and Greetings from his family and close friends on Saturday, May 12th, 2012 at his Caye Caulker home. Happy Birthday to you, Mr. Vega and I am pretty sure you will be seeing more to come. God bless you always on behalf of the Caye Caulker Chronicles!!

Blogs

How much does it cost to live in San Pedro, Belize?
I get this question a lot, especially from folks who are considering retiring or moving to Belize in the future, and I always tell people "it depends". Because it does, and because it's almost an impossible question to answer since everyone's lifestyles are different. I refuse to be tied down to a number, or even a range, because there are so many variables. Here are some of them: 1. Which part of Belize do you live in? Ambergris Caye/San Pedro is the most expensive place to live in the country in part because it is an island, so goods have to be shipped in via boat or air; and in part because it's the most popular tourist destination in the country, so prices on many items are elevated knowing that folks on vacation will pay more for what they need and want here. Vacation budgets tend to be quite a bit more lavish than those of people living in a place full-time. I'm going to talk only about our costs of living here on the island. Groceries and some other items will be less costly in other parts of Belize.

Cerros Ruins in Corozal District
In Corozal district you can visit Cerros Ruins and Santa Rita. Paul and I were on a Mexico to Belize adventure and had to overnight in Corozal as we missed the last Tropic Air flight. Our cab driver Ravey who had got us in Chetumal and driven us across the border took us to see Santa Rita Maya Ruins on our way to finding a us a nice hotel. Today’s write up comes from Dr Al. my most controversial commenter who wanted to do a guest post. I decided to take my chances and say yes, surprisingly I did not need to add a disclaimer on this one ha ha. About 2 minutes from Corozal as the Albatross flies or an hour by car, are the oldest Mayan ruins in Belize. Located on the Cerros peninsula, they date from about 200BC to 400AD, also known as the pre classic period. To get there leave early to beat the heat. Bring lots of water and possibly long pants as the mosquitoes can be a challenge. Travel down the Northern Highway just past the marker for Tony’s Inn and look for the sign : Copper Bank,Chunox, and Sarteneja. There should be a brown one also with a pyramid. Take that road and then the second right which is the New River road. Eventually you reach the ferry which is a quaint old hand cranked sugar barge: The ride is free but the ferry operators enjoy a cold drink. (beer is ok). After 20 minutes you reach the other side. Continue until you reach a fork in the road and hang left to the village of Copper Bank. As you enter there will be a Cerros sign pointing left. Follow that to another fork and keep left and follow to the ruin site. ( If you see a sign saying Benvidos a Guatemala turn around ) Once there, there should be a security guard near the small museum and the cost is 5$BZ/person.

One Evening in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, My Flight Home on Tropic Air and Buying Alcohol at Belize International Airport
I had flown to San Pedro Sula, Honduras from Belize City, spent a few days in Omoa, travelled to Tela and La Ceiba to catch the ferry to Roatan, I went to Guanaja, aka The Prettiest Place on Earth (and told you about it for two days: Part One & Two), I wrote about Roatan twice (West End and West Bay)... Sheesh...I have been very long winded about my trip to Honduras! But two weeks can not be so quickly and easily compacted. Here is my last post. San Pedro Sula is a great kick-off spot for pretty much all of Honduras. When I first planned my trip, I couldn't decide. Hit the ruins in Copan? Visit a micro-brewery on Lake Yojoa? But then my planning was made easier, my friends Danni and Cesar (who are driving the PanAmerican Highway) would be in Honduras at the exact time I was. A ride and fun people to travel with! And did I mention that you can fly directly to San Pedro Sula from Belize City on Tropic Air? Look at these super cute employees in the SPS airport. But let's not get ahead of ourselves... I had taken the ferry from Roatan to La Ceiba. From there, my friends drove me to San Pedro Sula (about 2.5 hours). My flight back to Belize City left the next morning. If you are taking the bus, you can check out www.hedmanalas.com...they are the "first class" bus service between the two cities. San Pedro Sula is a seriously industrial city surrounded by mountains. It is smoggy and filled with all sorts of industrial parks...most seem to be agricultural products and fertilizer producers. It is the business capital of Honduras. I had one night to spend there and I really just wanted to relax. A friend had recommended a reasonable B&B in a safe part of town. La Posada Bed and Breakfast. For $35 USD, you get a cool, clean room, a RIDICULOUSLY friendly, English speaking host, cold beers on demand, a cute courtyard pool...

Getting a Golf Cart Permit
Our golf cart was shipped over to Belize back in March, but we have not been able to drive the golf cart yet because we were waiting to get a golf cart permit. Bill turned in the completed application and paid the $50.00BZ application fee six weeks ago. We already had the golf cart made street legal by adding tail lights, a horn and a rear view mirror. We just needed our permit. List of things we had to submit with our application to apply for a golf cart permit: 1. Copy of valid driver's licenses (we used our US driver's licenses) 2. Certificate of title (bill of sale) 3. Documents showing proof of Permanent Residence (Bill is on the QRP-Belize Retirement Program) 4. Pictures of golf cart and where it will be kept when not in use. We took several pictures of the golf cart on each side. We also took pictures showing that it has been made street legal. We also had to show pictures that we had off road and enclosed parking for the golf cart as well.

International Sources

Aquatic resorts: SeaBase1, The New Wave Of Underwater Hotels
At SeaBase1, where affordable eco-tourism is the focus, you'll be able to mix research and relaxation. Recreational guest divers can join professionals on tasks like reef restoration - ideally to the east of Ambergris Caye in Belize, the hoped-for location. The project's chief instigator, Richard Cooper, a longtime University of Connecticut marine sciences professor, was himself an aquanaut on Sealab and several of the world's first science-oriented sea bases in the 1960s and '70s. Dr. Cooper died last year, but a board of directors, including his son, carries on with a plan to create a nonprofit corporation and raise the roughly $35 million they'll need to create this diving destination. SeaBase1 is envisioned as a boxy, four-story structure that will be more dormitory and laboratory than hotel - a real working base, with room for up to 25 aquanauts. Butlers need not apply. Divers will enter at the top of the base, a depth of about twenty feet. As the name implies, SeaBase1 could beget SeaBase2 and a series of additional bases in other places.

Simple power-generation systems for Belize?
A volunteer group from National Tsing Hua University managed to solicit solar power panels for Belize, where they plan to build simple power-generation systems.

The 102-year-old Hibs fan from Belize
Sam Martinez has been a Hibernian supporter for almost 70 years and has never seen them lift the Scottish Cup. In fact, the last time they won the trophy was in 1902, eight years before 102-year-old Mr Martinez was born, in the central American country of Belize. Mr Martinez will not be at Hampden when his team plays Hearts in the all-Edinburgh cup final on Saturday because he stopped going to games in his 90s. But he will be watching on TV in his local supporters' club. And he is praying Hibs can win the cup at their ninth attempt during his lifetime. Mr Martinez came to Scotland in 1942 to work as a lumberjack. He was one of a group of 800 volunteers who took on forestry work in the Highlands. After the war he moved to a hostel in Edinburgh. "My very first month in Edinburgh I was walking down York Place and a crowd of people were coming down the road," he told BBC Scotland. When he asked he was told there was a football match at Easter Road. He joined the queue and someone gave him a free ticket Mr Martinez said: "I thought he was taking the mickey out of me, being the only black man in the queue." But he took the ticket and enjoyed the game so much he has remained a supporter ever since. The early days of Mr Martinez's support coincided with the most success period in the club's history Hibs won the league three times in the five years up to 1952, with the help of the players who have become known as the Famous Five - Gordon Smith, Eddie Turnbull, Lawrie Reilly, Bobby Johnstone and Willie Ormond. There have been few major successes in recent years but Mr Martinez said the club had always been friendly and treated him well. "They are really good to me there," he said. "I can't desire any better. "On my 100th birthday they gave me the hall for free. I had more than 300 guests there. "They still invite me for my Christmas dinner. I am very happy in Edinburgh. There is absolutely no obstacle, no danger. Life is just wonderful."

From Belize to Kiev, the complex web at heart of Sean Quinn court action Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/from-belize-to-kiev-the-complex-web-at-heart-of-sean-quinn-court-action-16159445.html#ixzz1v8CvJB5t
He was once known for creating thousands of jobs and generating millions of pounds in his native Northern Ireland and across the Republic. Fermanagh businessman Sean Quinn — who was once Ireland’s richest man with a fortune estimated at £3.7bn — had a vast international property and investments portfolio. Declared bankrupt in January, Mr Quinn was stripped of control of his manufacturing business empire last April over billion-pound debts. The 65-year-old owes €2.8bn (£2.2bn) to Anglo Irish Bank, and left Irish taxpayers to face paying off his massive liabilities. A complex global web of companies linked to his family empire has emerged during Belfast and Dublin court cases involving the Quinns and their business dealings. Sean Quinn, his son Sean Quinn jnr and the former billionaire’s nephew Peter Quinn were accused of contempt of court. The proceedings were taken by IBRC — the former Anglo Irish Bank — over alleged “asset-stripping”. It is fighting a legal battle for control of Mr Quinn's international empire as part of its attempt to recoup the huge amount of money it is owed. The bank deployed a team of offshore asset-recovery experts as part of its bid to unravel the Quinn family's complex corporate structures, which control assets in Russia and Ukraine. Sean Quinn jnr and Peter Quinn — who strenuously deny any wrongdoing — and Mr Quinn have denied he was the chief orchestrator of alleged moves to put international property assets beyond the reach of the former Anglo Irish Bank. This concerns businesses, property and ventures across the globe including England, Prague, Belize, Kiev, Moscow and Sweden and the British Virgin Islands.

Artifacts From a Time of Many Droughts
Thursday, May 9 There are 25 pools at Cara Blanca, and we have only just begun plumbing their depths. In 2010, divers explored eight pools and, in addition to gauging their size and depth, extracted 10-foot-long sediment cores using four-inch-diameter PVC pipe from two pools: Pool 2 (16 feet deep) and Pool 6 (60-feet deep). The history of changing climate and landscape is slowly emerging from the cores via pollen and soil analyses. Radiocarbon dating shows that the Pool 6 core covers a period before and after the Classic period (around A.D. 550-850), the time when the Maya population was at its peak and kings were at their most powerful. Then kings disappear from history in the southern Maya lowlands. I have told this story before. But now results from several field seasons increasingly demonstrate that something was going on between A.D. 800 and 900. That something is drought. Several multiyear droughts occurred, and all of the water jars date to this 100-year period. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Incredibly, Maya farmers persevered.

Area Residents Enjoy Passport DC
Belizean Ambassador Nestor Mendez, his wife Elvira and son Anwar stood in front of the embassy greeting awed guests who came to experience a sample of Belizean hospitality. The visitors who trooped onto the embassy grounds on Saturday, May 5 were among the thousands who participated in the fifth Passport DC. The event is a month-long celebration that whisks local residents and visitors on a global journey without ever leaving the city. This year, 43 embassies participated. Guests could buy a commemorative passport for $5 and have staffers at the embassies they visited stamp their books. While the expectation was to be immersed in food, music, dance, and countries' cultures, heritage and history, few expected to shake hands with an actual ambassador. "Hello. Welcome to the Embassy of Belize. I'm Nestor Mendez. Thank you for joining us," he said. "Did you say you were the ambassador?" one man asked. "Can I take a picture with you?" "It would be an honor," Mendez said with a broad smile before posing for one of many snapshots. "It's great," Mendez said afterward. "I think people enjoy the personal touch." Mendez, who has been Belize's ambassador to the U.S. for four years, said Passport DC is an excellent vehicle to familiarize people with his country and all it has to offer. "It's the first time that we've participated. It's important for Belize. We have so much to offer in tourism," he said. "We're a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic country with a rich heritage. This is fantastic. People see what Belize is all about. We are for people who want something off the beaten path. What we offer is tourism par excellence. When you come to Belize, this is the treatment you receive."

Hey Caye Caulker, we need to talk…
It’s not often that 2 words can describe a place. Caye Caulker, you are beautiful, fun, picturesque, hot, tropical, exciting, interesting, rah rah rah…. but none of these are the 2 words that perfectly describe you. I need not mention any adjectives and still I can describe you perfectly. “Go slow” Only in Belize can you wake up from a mid afternoon nap in one of the plentiful hammocks, take a few lazy steps to the bar, take a beer back to your hammock, light a joint and be told by the locals, in all seriousness, to “go slow!” Or be staggering down the street hungover, shuffling about 1meter per minute with your eyes half shut and be told by the locals to “slow down, man!” “Mate, if I go any slower I think my heart’s gonna stop” Or, my personal favourite, whilst being offered cocaine, and this actually happened, be told to “go slow”. Um, buddy, you’re not filling me with supreme confidence in your product if you’re telling me that I am already too hyperactive in my current, sober state. Firstly, what exactly are you trying to sell me? Valium or cocaine? And secondly, “Noooooooooooooooooooo!” Slow enough for ya, pal? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to paint you as a drug pushing alcoholic island where nobody gets anything done. I’m just using extreme examples to emphasize the alien concept of “go slow”. In my world of big cities and 9-5 work, deadlines and speeding tickets, weekends that slip by in the blink of an eye and other things that I simply don’t have time to think of, I find it hard to make time for sleeping and eating, let alone the luxury of going slower. So, in reality what I’m saying to you Caye Caulker, is that even though it seems alien to me, I enjoy being encouraged to stop and smell the roses by your cheerful people. But maybe I took the whole “go slow” thing a little too far. There are so many cool things to do here! Kite boarding, scuba diving the Blue Whole, 3 day sailing trips, fishing tours, and swimming with sharks, turtles and dolphins.

Cayo in Pictures Slideshow
From the photos to the music, this is a solid slideshow from all over Cayo. There are tons of pictures from Cahal Pech Resort, the Saturday market, Cahal Pech ruins, and Poustinia Art Park in Benque. The market pictures and Poustinia pictures are great. It's not Belizean music, but it goes well with the slideshow.

Belize Zoo and Five Sisters travel article
While many pictures are of a family's vacation around Cayo, there are some really great pictures of the Belize Zoo, and Five Sisters Lodge. Five Sisters gets a great review, and you can see the falls there in detail too. Xunantunich pictures are also in there. "On to our fabulous hotel, the Five Sisters, in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve where we swam in the falls and enjoyed the cooler mountain climate. I was enthralled by how happily the pines and palms intermingled. It was sensational to see fire flies zipping through the bromeliad clad pine trees. And the smell! A mix of pine and vanilla orchids and plumeria. Heavenly.

May 16, 2012


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


The San Pedro Sun

2 Horse Power Yamaha takes 1st Place in 2012 Eco-Challenge Kayak Race
Twenty seven teams took off from the “Embarcadero” area of San Pedro to take on the 8th Annual Lagoon Reef Eco-Challenge on May 12th. Both junior and senior kayakers alike took to the creeks and waves of Ambergris Caye for their chance to claim the coveted prize and bragging rights of what has quickly become the most popular sporting event on the island. The 42 mile long race took them along the banks of the lagoon at the back of Ambergris Caye, through thick mangrove wetlands and winding creek pathways all the way north to the border between Mexico and Belize, snaking their way through the small channel separating the two countries, just a few feet apart, and then pinning the teams against wave after wave of Caribbean Sea along the Ambergris Caye shoreline as they sprinted to the finish at the Central Park in San Pedro Town on May 13th.

The San Pedro Police force gets 27 new Special Constables
There will be more boots on the ground conducting patrols along with the police after 27 islanders were sworn-in as Special Constables. The swearing in took place after the completion of two days of training on Saturday May 12th and Sunday May 13th upstairs of Fido’s Restaurant. The training of the Special Constables was conducted by Inspector Gerald Jones and Corporal Johnny Tun, both instructors at the Police Academy in Belmopan. The Special Constables received training in areas such as The Constitution of Belize, Justifiable force and harm, Powers of Arrest, Beat and Patrol, Searching of Suspects, Methods of Arrest, Station Diary and Giving Evidence in Court. According to Officer Commanding the San Pedro Police Formation Assistant Superintendent of Police Vienie Robinson, the newly sworn Special Constables will conduct voluntary duties in foot patrols, diary entry, follow up from front desk inquiry made by members of the public, assist with special events, assist in natural disaster, boat and traffic patrol along with other minor duties. “It is very important for you to know and understand that all information that you are privy to while assisting the police is confidential,” cautioned ASP Robinson in addressing the Special Constables. She added that, “You are now sworn in to help in enforcing the laws and as such must conduct yourself differently. The Police Department will not tolerate any wrong doing from you and the minute you are found involved in wrong doings, we will release you from being a Special Constable.” ASP Robinson also cautioned the Special Constables and asked them to be extra vigilant of rogue officers and to distance themselves from dishonest activities.

SPTC honors San Pedro Mothers
Mothers are truly treasures, and on Saturday, May 12, the San Pedro Town Council showed their appreciation for the town’s mommies with a special program designed for laughter, entertainment and lots of love. Headlining the evening was Pierre David (Parodiando of Mexican TV), but before he could come onstage and give his performance, there were many activities scheduled to warm up the crowd before his act. After the national anthem and heartfelt prayers, Mayor Daniel Guerrero gave a touching speech to the 1,000 plus mothers in attendance. He expressed his gratitude to all the mothers – past, present and future – who take care of us on the island. He indicated that though he felt the loss of his own mother, he was grateful for the time and memories he had of her and implored those who still had the gift of their mother’s presence to show appreciation not only on one day, but every day.

Ambergris Today

Community Meets with Police to Address Crime Issues
A meeting addressing the crime situation on the island was carried out on Monday, May 14, 2012, at the San Pedro Town Hall. Island residents who have been victims of crimes such as burglaries or robberies met with island officials including Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Councilors and Assistant Superintendant Vienie Robinson of the San Pedro Police Department. The purpose of the meeting was to address the escalating crime situation on the island and finding solutions to alleviate the situation and have a safer San Pedro.

Riding the Sea Turtle!
We had a quick second to take this picture at Central Park during the Lagoon Reef Eco Challenge. These tourists asked a local to take their picture while they had fun posing with the Sea Turtle statue. Memories of a FUN VACATION!

San Pedro Teens Take on Swim Challenge
On Sunday, May 20, 2012, six San Pedro High School students took it upon themselves to organize a swim challenge that would not only demand much of their physical abilities, but would also demand much attention to the state of our coral reef and the personal health of everybody. The team, lead by 18-year-old Eric Donis, set out to swim from Caye Caulker to San Pedro, a 15-mile distance that would challenge them to prove to people that living healthy lives is the best way to go and also create awareness during Reef Week about the need to keep our coral reef healthy. The swimming team consisted of Eric Donis, Mario Donis, Emir Marin, Joey Melgar, Christopher Melgar and Brandon Santos. It was four o’clock in the morning and the swimming team and I were all ready to get the challenge started. As soon as Hol Chan Ranger Grimaldo Acosta arrived we embarked on a twenty minute boat ride to Caye Caulker.

Misc Belizean Sources

Croc Print Auctioned for ACES!
Bid today at Giving Lots and Help Take a Bite Out of Extinction! The funds will go to ACES! This is a fantastic opportunity to buy “Nile Crocodile” – a highly collectable print from a drawing of a Nile Crocodile. Printed on superb Fabriano 5 art paper, signed by world famous artist Gary Hodges (www.garyhodges-wildlife-art.com) and limited to 1500 copies, it was published in 2000 and completely sold out many years ago. “Nile Crocodile” has sold many times on the secondary market for high prices. This print has been made unique and all the more valuable with the addition of the signature of actress Rula Lenska, and wildlife organisation founders Jill Robinson (Animals Asia), Simon Cowell (Wildlife Aid and TV show "Wildlife SOS" presenter & producer) and Dave Currey (EIA).

Saga Humane Society Monthly Cook-Off Fundraiser
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 6 – 9 p.m. Hosted by AJ’s (Average Joe’s) “Bar Food or Finger Food” is the theme! Known for their fabulous wings and chili, AJ’s will be our host for May! Challenge the host…think about all the different ’Bar Food or Finger Food’ available to make. It’s easy to enter a dish. And a Nano IPOD is the First Place Prize for the winning dish! The monthly cook-off is always a fun social event for the whole family. Bring the kids...bring your dog! We look forward to seeing you all there!

ORANGE THIEF ALERT
A concerned citrus grower from the Stann Creek valley area is asking residents of the area to be on the lookout for orange thieves. According to the citrus grower, a father and son duo, reportedly from the Cayo district has been going into orchards in the middle of the night and reaping oranges and hauling away their loot, apparently for sale elsewhere. The grower says that on Sunday night alone, 210 boxes of oranges were stolen from him. Although he has reported the matter to the Pomona police station, the grower says he has not been getting any assistance from the police and that is why he is turning to the public for assistance. Anyone who sees a “suspicious” F250 truck with white cab and metal box, is asked to call the nearest police station.

Channel 7

SUGAR SHIP LOADING, THINGS SWEET AGAIN BETWEEN PORT AND STEVEDORES
When we left you last night the Port of Belize was at a standstill; the Sugar Ship Emwika Naree had been abandoned by Stevedores who were demanding that Port Management deliver food to them - "Tea, dinner, tea" as they put it. And that's where it stood this morning: two shifts of work had been lost, and no loading had been done on the 17,000 ton ship for 24 hours. That's revenue going down the drain for Port of Belize, and it forced a crisis resolution meeting at 10 this morning at Port of Belize. The first round finished two hours later and 7news was there. Jules Vasquez reporting Coming out of the meeting at noon, McFoy said that no conclusion had been reached: Jules Vasquez "What comes out of the meeting?" James McFoy - General Secretary, CWU "Nothing, to be honest it's nothing. We went through and we gave some conditions or proposals again and we said that we are not dealing with all the demands. All we could be satisfied at this point in time is let the workers get their pay on a daily base and then forget about the food, then the other things in demand we will discuss when we start negotiation." And, until then - they were ready to continue leveraging the sugar ship that's in port against their demands:

PORT MANAGEMENT SAYS IT'S READY TO MOVE FORWARD
And while that is the union's side of it - what does management think? Yesterday CEO Arturo "Tux" Vasquez told us that he could not cope with negotiation on one hand, and demands being made simultaneously on the other hand. But today it seems he came around to deal with at least one of those demands. He told us why management agreed to grant the stevedores pay on a per day basis as they had requested. Arturo "Tux" Vasquez - CEO, Port of Belize "Today the priority was really to get everything back on track. So I think it was important for us to meet and at least be compromise in what we agreed on." Jules Vasquez "Were you force to give in because of the work stoppage?" Arturo "Tux" Vasquez "In these negotiations you know and actual manner and behavior of the unions is always to try to get you to the table, try to force you into certain things but at the end of the day if it was not something practical for us or something that we can do even if it creates a little more work for us then I don't think I would have given into it." "Paying them on a daily basis as I said two weeks from now we will look at it and as we get into it if there is any complications I am sure that we will discuss it further in the negotiation." "Today on both parties the interest really here was to get things back on track and to agree to something like this I don't think it's that much of a deal for us to agree. It is not what we would prefer to do but it is not that as the person here making that decision - is something that I would have said absolutely no and create a bigger problem."

TOLEDO FAMILY COMPLAINS OF POLICE ABUSE
Last week, we received word of a case of alleged police brutality of in San Antonio, Toledo. Now, we get stories like this all the time here in the city, but this one is from a southern village, and what makes is serious is that it's not just one person alleging police brutality; it's an entire family. The Sho family mailed a letter to our newsroom last week, and when we couldn't respond to them because they had no contact number, they came all the way to Belize City to speak to us. According to the family, a police officer barged into their home and brutalized them. This very same cop has since charged them with serious criminal offenses, and they say that he did this to cover up his brutish, outlaw behavior. It's a very serious allegation, for which they provided medical forms which proved that they received injuries, which they say the officer inflicted. We've decided to use this officer's name because he is the one who has brought all the charges against 4 members of the family, and it's his name that appears on all the charge sheets. Here's how they explained the entire ordeal today: Daniel Ortiz reporting The Elders of the family, Emiliano and Casalina Sho, sat with us and recounted their feelings of blatant disrespect and disregard for their rights as citizens. Their description of the entire ordeal may seem dramatic, but trust us; this is no laughing matter. Casalina Sho was the first up, and she explained Officer Rodriguez's initial, explosive contact with her family members. She struggled to put words to her distress and rage at the situation, but here's how she explained it: Casalina Sho - Family Claims brutality "This incident happened on the Thursday, 3rd of May at 2pm. My son's wife took the police into my son house. The police officer did not come with a warrant for my son." "The officer told my son that he will kill him. He kicked my son and choked him and put him on the ground and told him that he will kill him. The officer took out his pistol and pointed it at my son saying that he will kill hm. " "When I saw what was happening I started to scream, I told the officer please don't do that, don't kill my son. The officer kicked me in my stomach and he said that he will shoot all of us in the house. He fired a shot in the house. I scream at him telling him not to do that; "please don't do that P, please left my son alone." That is what I told him." "He told us again that he will shoot all of us."

ELECTIONS PETITION WENDS ON IN COURT
Last night we told you about the strike out motion for Orlando Habet's Election Petition against Elvin Penner that was being heard in front of Justice Minette Hafiz. So far, the interpretation of the rule of time limits has been a major issue for Habet's petition. Back when they filed for leave to bring the petition, Habet's attorneys, Said Musa and Anthony Sylvester, also filed the actual petition that they intended to bring if the court granted leave. The court determined that this filing was irregular because Habet needed to get leave before they could file the petition. As a result, it was struck out, but the leave was heard on April 10, and it was granted. Confusing, right? But, it put Habet's attorneys in a time crunch, they had only a few hours to re-file a petition before the deadline at the end of the day. But, haste makes waste, and some mix-up happened causing sections of the petition to be improperly filed. Elvin Penner's attorney, Rodwell Williams, submitted in court today that because of this, and because of the fact that they quote, "cut and pasted" sections of the petition document which Justice Bertram already ruled inadmissible, this new document should also be struck out based on abuse of process. This would effectively put an end to the Habet election petition at the Supreme Court level. He and Sylvester argued their points this afternoon in court, and we spoke to both sides when they came out. Here's what they had to say about the current situation: Reporter "He is saying that your case should be struck out for base on non-compliance and abuse of process. Explain to us how you feel about that." Anthony Sylvestre "There has in fact been no non-compliance. There has been no non-compliance of none of the election petition. That is the representation of the People's Act and that was the point we made to the judge that there has been no such non-compliance."

SEPTUAGENARIAN SAVES HIMSELF FROM RUTHLESS ROBBERS
Yesterday afternoon a 75 year old man from Benque Viejo was tied up and assaulted by robbers - who attempted to suffocate him. At around 3:00 yesterday afternoon Juan de Dios Garcia, a 75 year old farmer in the Santa Cruz area of Benque Viejo Town, was at his farmhouse located at camp 6, when 4 Hispanic men armed with machetes ambushed him. One of the men held a machete to his throat, and they demanded money and a chainsaw - which Garcia did not have. The men then tied him up and beat him before stuffing a towel in his mouth and covering his nose, leaving him to suffocate. But he still had his wits about him, and Garcia pretended to be unconscious, so the robbers proceeded to the bedroom where they stole a licensed shotgun valued at $350, ten 16 gauge cartridges and 4 machetes. After the men fled into nearby bushes, Garcia managed to untie himself and reported the robbery to the Police.

SWALLOWED BY HOLE IN THE SIDEWALK, WOMAN BREAKS ANKLE
Our next story is about a woman who broke her ankle when she fell into a hole in the sidewalk. Today Lovine Welch is walking on crutches after she cracked her ankle in two. According to Welch, on Sunday night, she was walking on Mahogany Street -when she didn't notice that one of the sidewalk covers was missing. She stepped into the massive hole that was filled with water and broke her ankle. Today she is putting the blame on the Belize City Council who she says should be more vigilant in the upkeep of pedestrian walkways. And to make matters worse, she told us an employee of the Council contacted her today and wasn't showing any sympathy when he asked her to find her way on crutches to City Hall. "We were going to visit my mother because it was mother's day and so we decided to go visit her. When my husband and I were walking I saw the hole and I told him that I pray to God that no one falls into this hole." "On our back I was the one that fell into the hole. I didn't know that I would have drop in that hole. I hurt my foot and my back; I sprain my ankle, broke and crack it." "When I call the city hall they told me that I must go there. I told them that I am on crutches, I am not use to crutches, I am use to my two feet." Monica Bodden "Someone from city hall called you?" Lovine Welch "Yes ma'am Mr. Gonzalez and he told me to go there at 2pm. I told them that I am on crutches and I cannot reach there. I drop and knock my foot on the cement walkway, my foot was bleeding. My husband bought two bags of water from the shop and he washed it off and he catch a taxi because I couldn't walk." Reporter "I see your foot in a cast right now. What did the doctor diagnose you with? You crack you ankle in two places?" Lovine Welch "The ankle cracks that why they had to put in a cast."

MAN BEATS RAPE RAP
35-year-old Brian Smith, accused of raping a 17-year-old high school student, was acquitted in the courtroom of Justice Herbert Lord today. Crown Counsels Meagan Francis and Christophe Rodriguez called several witness to testify against Smith, but their main witness was the 17 year female who accused him. She told the court that on February 19, 2011, she was called to the home of the accused, who is well-known to her family. She said that Smith then made sexual advances at her, and when she refused him, he grabbed her, pinned her to bed, and raped her. Smith, who was represented by attorney Bryan Neal, testified under oath that he and the 17 year-old agreed to have sex on that date, and that she who came on to him. The jury deliberated for less than 3 hours, and when they came back, they acquitted him of the charge. As a result, Smith was able to walk out of court a free man.

ANOTHER MINOR CHARGED FOR MURDER
Last week we told you about 25 year-old Leo Palacio Jr., who was murdered on Thursday night - while two others, including cyclist Byron Pope - were shot. Well, police say a teenager did, and the 16 year old minor was arraigned in Family court today for murder. He has been remanded to the Wagner's Facility on the prison compound until June 27. This minor's mother told reporters outside of court that her son was falsely arrested and charged, and he wasn't given an identification parade. As we reported Palacio, Byron Pope and a 17 year old were hanging out at the corner of Central American Boulevard and Pelican Street when 2 men ran out from the direction of Curassow Street. One of the men pulled out a firearm and fired shots which killed Palacio, grazed Pope and injured the 17 year old.

ARE SCHOOLS CHILD FRIENDLY?
It's education week - well, actually, education week two. Indeed, the footprint of the education sector has gotten so big that it requires two weeks - not just one to sound out all the issues. Yesterday was the launch of the Quality child Friendly School initiative. The programme actually started in 2009 - and was piloted in piloted in 9 schools in the Belize and Toledo Districts. So, what does a child friendly school mean? And shouldn't schools be inherently child-friendly? Well, the truth is they aren't and Dativa Martinez of the Education Support Services told us that listening to children is a major part of that: Dativa Martinez, Education Support Services "It is an initiative that is intended to help schools as much as possible to help themselves to create child friendly environments for students." "It gives schools an opportunity to examine themselves. It calls for reflection on how their schools are and what is the profile of their school and that needs to take into consideration everything about their school. Everybody has a role to play particularly the students. You have to listen to the students for it to work well."

TEACHERS TRAIN FOR THIS CENTURY
And, while that was yesterday, today as part of Education week, the Ministry of Education opened its first biennial Teachers Education Conference. The two-day conference has participants examining current education issues and getting up to speed with recent education research findings. 7news spoke with Cecilia Smith who is the Director of Teacher Education and Development Services. Cecilia Smith, Director of Teacher Education and Development Services "Today we are hosting an academic conference on teacher education. We are together to examine issues, challenges and successes that we've been having with respect to teacher education and development." "We've brought a wide cross section of stakeholders together; we have teacher educators, we have managing authorities, we have teachers in service, we have teachers in training, we have school leaders. We have a wide cross section of stakeholders that are today and are tomorrow discussing issues in teacher education." "I can speak to two particular features that are going to be the highlight of the two-day session; one is a panel discussion that is going on right now. We have selected panelist that have particular functions or responsibilities with respect to the development of teachers." "We have one of the employers of the largest numbers of teachers in our country on the panel, sister Barbara Flores. We have with Dr. Thompson who has been the principal of the Belize Teachers College who will bring to the table the perspective of lessons learnt. We have Dr. Wilmer Wright from the University of Belize. We have Dr. Marcia Stuart from the joint board of teacher education and for the most part our discussing will focus on what it is we are currently doing with respect to developing 21st century ready teachers."

POLICE CATCH AND CONVICT WANTED MAN WITH CANADIAN'S GUN
On 14th May, 2012 at 6:45pm San Ignacio Police conducted a search at an area on Joseph Andrews Drive, San Ignacio Town where Walter Leonel Boteo Ralda, 21yrs, Guatemalan who was wanted for questioning in connection with a burglary report made by a Canadian Businessman of Santa Elena Town on 24th February, 2012. Upon seeing the Police vehicle Ralda ran into 11th Street towards Guadalupe street where he was caught and a search conducted on a bag that he had in his possession led to the discovery of a Glock 19C 9mm pistol with an empty magazine. The firearm was found to be the property of Alian Langlois. On Tuesday 15th May, 2012 Walter Ralda was arraigned at the San Ignacio Town Magistrate's Court, where he pleaded guilty to the charge of Kept Firearm Without a Gun License and was sentence to 5 years imprisonment. Ralda was also arraigned for the charge of Handling Stolen Goods where he pleaded not guilty and his case was adjourned until 6th August, 2012.

Channel 5

Port of Belize and Christian Workers Union reach agreement
Tonight, a go slow at the Port of Belize has been called off and loading operations are resuming on board a Thai vessel loaded with sugar. After a protracted meeting that started this morning and ended in the afternoon, the Christian Workers Union and the Port of Belize signed off on a six point agreement [...]

Commonwealth Sec. Gen. and Trinidad PM in Belize for high level meeting
The Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Kamla Persad-Bissessar will be in Belize this Wednesday. It coincides with the visit of the Commonwealth Secretary General, Kamalesh Sharma who arrived earlier today. Belize is hosting both a Commonwealth Local Government Forum and CARILED, the Caribbean Local Economic Development, on new initiatives to start in Belize. Persad-Bissessar [...]

Police seek 3 men for questioning about teacher’s murder
A trio of men is tonight being sought for questioning in connection with the brutal slaying of forty-five year old Marco Thompson, a second form teacher of Sacred Heart College in San Ignacio Town. On Sunday afternoon shortly after one o’clock, Thompson’s nude body was discovered in a pool of blood inside the living room [...]

No arrests yet for Gravel Lane murder
As for the murder of twenty-two year old Luis Cardenas, who was killed in Orange Walk on Sunday morning, police have yet to levy any charges. Several persons of interests have been questioned in connection with the shooting, but no arrests have been. Cardenas was on a friend’s verandah on Gravel Lane when at around [...]

Reducing taxpayer burden; do you support GOB and Ashcroft mending fences?
Tonight’s question is: Do you support that the mending of fences between the government and Lord Michael Ashcroft will in the least reduce the financial burden on taxpayers from litigation? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on our e-poll at channel5belize.com. You can also send an [...]

Penner Petition takes another turn in Court
In Monday’s newscast we reported on an election petition by Orlando Habet against returning Cayo North area representative Elvin Penner on the refusal of a recount of ballots. The case took another turn today when lawyers from both sides were back in court. Arguments were heard on whether the procedure used by attorneys Said Musa [...]

Judgment reserved until May 24th for Penner Petition
But Sylvestre maintains that due process has been followed and that with respect to the Representation of People’s Act they have complied with the law in respect of election petition rules.   Anthony Sylvestre, Attorney for Orlando Habet “When this matter first came on the tenth of April, there were time constraints and the fact [...]

McAfee says GSU acting like “Business Suppression Unit”
Three persons have been charged for attempting to corrupt police officers in connection with a raid that was carried out at the estate of John McAfee on April thirtieth. Matilda Garnett, a second class clerk of Orange Walk, Police Constable Darius Martinez and ex-cop Rodwell Richards were all labeled as affiliates of McAfee, who attempted [...]

Minor charged for killing one of 3 shooting victims
A minor has been charged for the May tenth murder of Leo Palacio Junior, who was fatally shot on Central American Boulevard. Two other persons were injured in the shooting; cyclist Byron Pope and a seventeen year old minor. The accused sixteen year old appeared in Family Court this afternoon and was read a single [...]

Secret relations with minor, but not guilty of rape
A thirty-five year old man anxiously waited to receive the verdict of whether he would be found guilty or not guilty of raping a seventeen-year-old minor. The incident in question allegedly occurred on February nineteenth, 2011. The prosecutor, Crown Counsel, Meagan Francis was assisted by Crown Counsel, Christophe Rodriguez who called several witnesses to testify, [...]

A salute to Public Service Week
Public Service week will be observed in June, with several activities to mark the occasion. But before that, government departments today hosted students and the general public at the Charles Bartlet Hyde Building on Mahogany Street for Public Service Information Day. The aim of the event is to educate attendees on the services that are [...]

25 years of Belize Bank Services, possibly going regional
On Friday night, the Prime Minister extended the olive branch to the Michael Ashcroft group of companies at a huge social event to mark the silver anniversary of the Belize Bank. That public announcement may have eclipsed the re-branding of the bank that that has become the dominant financial institution in the productive sector. A [...]

Record P.S.E. takers, but not all seats occupied in high school
Seven thousand one hundred and seventy-six students sat the 2012 Primary School Examination. The record number of students calls into question whether or not classroom spaces would be adequate in high schools. By 2015, fulfillment of the Millennium Development goals include one hundred percent enrollment in high school. Education Minister Patrick Faber says there are [...]

Artists want to get paid; copyright on the way
Under copyright laws, Belizean and international artists stand to collect royalties for songs aired in Belize. At a press conference his morning, BSCAP; the Belizean Society of Composers Authors Publisher says it is advancing the protection of rights of copyright owners in the music entertainment industry through enforcement of the law. BSCAP mission is in [...]

Update on Catarina Ishim, girl with face tumor
By now you know that twelve year old Catarina Ishim, the little girl from San Pablo, Toledo underwent over twenty hours of surgery in mid April to remove a massive tumor from her face. Since then, she and her father have been staying at the home of Dr. Rick Glover in Knoxville, Tennessee. In an [...]

LOVE FM

US EMBASSY ASSISTS TOLEDO POLICE WITH EQUIPMENT
The United States Embassy has made a donation of equipment to the Punta Gorda Police. Paul Mahung reporting… ““The equipment valued at over 2,800 US dollars were handed over to Punta Gorda Police by Embassy of the United States of Ameri...

TEACHERS ATTEND ACADEMIC CONFERENCE
Teachers from across the country will be meeting over the next two days. Cecilia Smith is the Director of teacher Education and development Services. Cecilia Smith – Director, Teacher education and development services “We are hosting an academic co...

FORMER OMBUDSMAN CONTINUES HIS PROTEST AGAINST GAY RIGHTS
Former Ombudsman Paul Rodriguez has taken his protest to Punta Gorda. Paul Mahung reporting... “Love News caught up with former Ombudsman Paul Rodriquez while he was walking on PG Front Street and carrying a large size poster bearing his message which he echoed verb...

PORT OF BELIZE AND STEVEDORES REACH AGREEMENT
A dispute between stevedores and their employer, the Port of Belize Limited, has ended with an arrangement – albeit after two sessions today with the Christian Workers’ Union representing the men. The stevedores, who load sugar from barges onto ships, were asking for,...

LEADERS OF COMMONWEALTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT MEET IN BELIZE
A two-day meeting of the leaders of commonwealth local government organizations opens tomorrow in Belize City. The meetings include the annual Board meeting of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum and are being held at the Princess Hotel in Belize City. Chairperson of th...

Monday, May 14 - POLICE NEWS
A shooting incident on Saturday morning in San Pedro town has left one man injured. The incident happened around two thirty five on Saturday morning in the San Pablo area of San Pedro town. The victim has been identified as thirty year old Barrington Usher. According to pol...

CHANGES AT BELIZE BANK TO COMMEMORATE 25TH BIRTHDAY
Belize Bank today announced that as part of its twenty fifth Anniversary the institution will be undergoing a major rebranding of its commercial banking operation. According to a statement from the Bank, the rebranding effort includes a new logo, a new tagline, and supporting marketing...

TIDE's RESEARCH PROGRAM CONCLUDES
Five youths of the Toledo district have successfully completed the Toledo Institute for Development and the Environment’s Community Research Program. Paul Mahung reporting... “Five youths of the Toledo District have successfully completed the Toledo...

COMMONWEALTH SECRETARY GENERAL TO VISIT BELIZE
Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma is scheduled to arrive in Belize on Tuesday for a working visit. Love News spoke with Public Relations Officer for the Commonwealth Secretariat Yvonne Chin. Yvonne Chin – Public Relations Officer, Commonwealth Se...

NEW EDUCATION CENTRE LAUNCHED IN BELIZE CITY
Education week continues and this afternoon, the Dion Rowland Caribbean Shores Education Center was launched with a ceremony which was held at its location in Caribbean Shores. According to Minister of State with special emphasis on Economic Development, Santiago Castillo, the sc...

MINISTRY OF EDUCATION LAUNCHES A NEW INITIATIVE
The Quality Child Friendly School Initiative, a project by the Ministry of Education was officially launched this morning at the House of Culture in Belize City. The program is molded to guarantee the success of students through various learning modes especially their inclusivene...

WELL KNOWN TEACHER AND MENTOR FOUND MURDERED
Marion Ali reporting… “The body of popular high school teacher, forty-five year old Marco David Thompson was removed from his house at 46 Corner West and Second Streets in San Ignacio Town on Sunday afternoon, some twelve hours after he was last seen partying in the to...

POLICE INVESTIGATE SHOOTING IN ORANGE WALK
Manuela Ayuso reporting… 22 year old Luis Figueroa Cardenas , 18 year old Amin Mendez Jr and36year old Deon Hyde were all hanging out at Mendez’s rented house at 13 Gravel Lane in Orange Walk Town when a gun man approached on a bicycle and opened fire. It was aro...

CTV3

23 Year Old Becomes Orange Walk's Fourth Murder Victim
On Sunday morning shots rang out on Gravel Lane here in Orange Walk Town which later resulted in the death of 23 year old Luis Cardenas Junior. During the early morning shooting 36 year old Deon Anthony Hyde who is now recuperating from his injuries at the Northern Regional Hospital, was also shot four times. Cardenas and Hyde were hanging out at the residence 18 year Amin Mendez when a lone gunman rode up to the house on a bicycle and released a hail of bullets at the men. Reports suggest that this latest homicide, which has left residents of Gravel Lane shaken, may be in retaliation of 21 year old Abel Robinson’s murder. Reporter Hipolito Novelo and Cameraman Kenric Simpson went looking for answers yesterday morning and filed the following report. Hipolito Novelo- Reporting It is widely rumoured that this house located on number 36 Gravel Lane is associated with illicit drug activities and over the weekend it quickly turned into a murder scene with 23 year old Luis Cardenas being the main character of this latest homicide. On Sunday morning at around 3:45 18 year old Amin Mendez Junior was hanging out on the veranda of his house along with Cardenas when they were joined by 36 year old Deon Anthony Hyde. A few minutes after Hyde’s arrival a male individual on bicycle rode up to the house and fired a hail bullets at the men. Fortunately for Mendez, he entered the house seconds before the shots rang out and managed to escape unhurt. But the same cannot be said for Hyde also known as “crypto” who was shot four times-once on the left ribcage, once on the back, once on the right arm and once on the right side of the buttocks.

Three Public Officers Allegedly Friends Of John McAfee Charged For Attempting To Corrupt And Officer
Three Public Officers, two from Belize City and one from Orange Walk have been charged for attempting to corrupt an officer. First we’ll tell you about the two from Belize City who were charged with the crime after they allegedly tried to retrieve information from an officer pertaining to the investigation being carried out against U.S National John McAfee by the Gang Suppression Unit. Viewers might recall that on Monday May 1st the Gang Suppression Unit raided McAfee’s home here in Orange Walk, detained him and his employees for more than 14 hours, took McAfee to Belize City and then released him at 1:30 on Tuesday morning without any charges after the intervention of the U.S Embassy. That took place one week ago and reports are that on Monday May 7th Matilda Victoria Garnett, 44 year old Second Class Clerk working at the Vital Statistics Unit, allegedly contacted a member of the GSU and asked him to meet with her at a certain location. The officer allegedly met with Garnett who informed him that she was acting on behalf of McAfee. The woman, it is alleged, proposed to the officer that he provide her with reports regarding the operations of the GSU associated to McAfee and that he would be “handled” well. But apparently the officer wanted no part of the game and reported the matter to the Commander of the GSU Marco Vidal. A sting operation was put into effect the following day. During the consequent meeting Garnett allegedly introduced the officer to 40 year old Security Consultant and Assistant Manager at Benny’s, Rodwell Richards, who she said was one of McAfee’s right hand. Allegations are that Richards made the same offer to the officer and went as far as to offer him $200.00 and promised that he would be well taken care of once he kept them informed of the investigations carried out against McAfee.

OWTC Honours All Mom's With Special Mothers Day Program
The celebration in honor of mothers across the world took place last week and while Belizeans made their big statement to mom on May 10th, the Orange Walk Town Council prepared an amazing event to illustrate the importance of mothers in society this past Sunday at the Central Park. The event started off with a special mass in honor of all mothers and right after that it was time for mom to win some special prizes. Here are some highlights of the program. Janine Ayuso- Reporting Hundreds of mothers from Orange Walk Town and surrounding villages came out on Sunday evening to participate in the Orange Walk Town Councils Mother’s day event. While seated and eager for the many presentations ahead, the loving mothers were greeted by Mayor Kevin Bernard who reminded them of how special they are. Kevin Bernard, Mayor “Today the second Sunday in May mothers all across the country and in many parts of the world are recognized and honored for the Orange Walk Town Council we believe it is important for us because it is a special day as we gather today to celebrate our mothers for what they have done for us and for what they continue to do and it is important that they get praised this day because we can never thank them enough our appreciate them enough or love them enough. With that said my first message is let’s celebrate our mothers always. To the children I say you should pamper your mother spend some quality time with them let them known they are loved more that what they understand. I am fortunate that my mother is still an integral part of my life without her I would not be where I am today, without our mothers we would not be where we are today. But my most important message is this- don’t wait for one day in the year to cherish the woman in your life, every single day of your life and every single day of her life let her know how much you love her.”

The Scenic New River Plays Witness To The 2012 Lamanai River Challenge Canoe Race
This past Saturday 16 canoe teams from across the country gathered at the Lamanai Maya Ruin to participate in the Lamanai Canoe River Challenge 2012 organized by the National Institute of Culture and History. With a total of 6 categories, the 32.2 miles race started at about 9:20am with the teams expecting to cross the finish line at around 2:00pm. Without a doubt, it was a long and challenging race with the last teams crossing the finish line just minutes before the 7 hour deadline. Our camera was there to capture all the excitement. Hipolito Novelo- Reporter This past Saturday the New River which stretches 32.2 miles from the ancient Maya Ruin of Lamanai to the Banquitas House of Culture in Orange Walk Town, became a river highway for 16 teams that participated in the Lamanai Canoe River Challenge 2012 organized by the National Institute of Culture and History, NICH. Brian Woodard, Associate Director, NICH It was pretty interesting because of the water course its different there’s a lot of curves you can get lost and stuff like that and this morning when the canoe race started there was a couple canoes that cap sided, rescue boats had to go and flip them back and so forth. There was a lot of people who were not familiar with the water because it was slow and still and so forth like that but it was pretty good I think we just saw the last canoe coming in it was approximately six hours and let’s say 48 minutes the last canoe came in but it was fun for everyone. The race was comprised of 6 categories namely: masters, juniors, male, female, mixed and pleasure. The 12 station cash prices, adding up to over $9,000, prompted the 16 teams to paddle their way to the finish line putting their strength to the test. With each stroke of the paddle, the waters of the scenic New River seemed like the biggest challenge ever. But at the end of the race there could only be one first place winner for each category. In the Master’s class, Wat-A-Ting came in first crossing the finish line at 5 hours and 10 minutes followed by The Grumpy Old Men who finished with 6 hours 23 minutes on the clock.

Banquitas House Of Culture Holds Cultural Event
And while some spectators were enjoying the canoe race, others participated in a cultural event that took place right in front of the Banquitas House of Culture. The event marked the opportunity for Orange Walkenos to showcase their talent and work of art ranging from hand made jewelry to Mayan Artifacts and cultural foods. Hipolito Novelo Report’s. Hipolito Novelo- Reporter While visitors waited for the canoe race to arrive they took pleasure in a cultural festivity organized by the Banquitas House of Culture where basically everything from food, to cultural items and handmade jewellery were on sale. In the jewellery section we found Blanca Mendez who decorated her booth with her hand made jewellery ranging from rings, earrings and necklaces. Blanca Mendez- Makes Handmade Jewellery “Esto lo empese a hacer para que lo pueda vender es un arte que me gusta. Ay anos que cuando salgo vendo bastante esto me gusta a mi porque me da dinero. Es bueno wue tenga actividades como este porque nos ayuda a salir adelante y la gente compra nuestor product.” Promoting an array of cultural foods was Executive Member of the Belize Association for the Development of Arts, Loyola Castillo.

LOVE TV

Youths complete Toledo Community Research Program
Five youths of the Toledo district have successfully completed the Toledo Institute for Development and the Environment’s Community Research Program. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

High school teacher brutally murdered in Cayo
From the north, we go west, where the killing of a high school teacher has left the community of San Ignacio in shock. Love TV’s Marion Ali and video journalist Myles Gillett went to Cayo this morning to bring you the following report. Love News understands that San Ignacio police have detained three persons of interest in connection with the murder of Marco Thompson. Authorities have also retrieved the suspected murder weapon … a butcher knife from the suspects kitchen.

PlusTV

Punta Gorda family grieving at police injustice
An entire family today is perplexed as one of their own is behind bars for something that he did not do. A Christia...

Woman falls in 'man hole' on Belize City sidewalk
It is no secret that the streets of Belize City are in terrible condition, but that is an understatement to Lovine ...

Port of Belize workers on go-slow
There is disharmony continuing at the Port of Belize as stevedores demand better working conditions. According to s...

First Biennial teacher education conference
Today at the Biltmore Plaza the first ever Biennial Teacher Education Conference was held. The two days conference ...

Students fall ill after eating icecream dosed with gasoline
While Sacred Heart High school students and teachers are still dealing with the death of one of their own Marco Tho...

Land dispute escalates in Ranchito Village
The land dispute is building up in the Village of Ranchito in Corozal…. The village Council purchases, subdivides a...

Elderly man tied up, beaten and robbed
On May 14, Juan de Dios Garcia, 75 years, Farmer of Santa Cruz Area Benque Viejo Town reported that on 12th May, at...

Man charged after allegedly impregnating teen
A carnal knowledge incident which took place last year has now come to light. In August of 2011 a 15-year old femal...

Woman reports attempted kidnapping
A case of attempted kidnapping took place yesterday afternoon in Belize City. According to reports to the media, a ...

More details in the murder of Orange Walk resident
We glossed over the murder of 23 year old Luis Cardenas Jr. in last night’s newscast. But now we’ll fill you in on ...

Gallons of butane stolen from Western Gas Company
On May 14, Melgar Eynar, 33 year old manager of Western Gas Company Limited, located at mile four on the Western Hi...

Motorcycle taken from owner's yard
On May 14, Anna Friesen, reported that between the hours of 6:45am and 6:30pm on that date her green 2007 Meilun br...

Amandala

Teacher found nude, stabbed to death!
San Ignacio police are investigating the violent, mysterious death of a high school teacher who was found dead, with stab wounds in his neck, in his living room in the West and Second Street area of San Ignacio.

Sex for headache!
Man, 67, tells woman, 31, he could cure her headache – has sex with her twice! Samuel “Cu-Cu” Jones, 67, of Santa Elena, Cayo District, has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison on a charge of rape until Wednesday, August 8, when he will reappear in court.

Barrow urges Belize Bank to help break impasse
“Pride of place in the financial system of Belize as the country’s largest and oldest bank, also carries a heavy responsibility”... The Belize Bank has a 110-year history, dating back to the founding of the Bank of British Honduras in 1902, and this past weekend, it celebrated its 25th anniversary as The Belize Bank at a gala event held Friday night in Belize City. The main speaker for the event was Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow—an interesting development against the backdrop of a string of litigations that had ensued between the bank and the Barrow administration since 2008. Barrow, in his address, called for “a new beginning.”

John Chessman, 22, acquitted of third murder charge
He was acquitted of the brutal murder of Mara Naomi Garcia just weeks before he was arrested for the murders of Karen Crawford and Maurice Cadle... Today in the Supreme Court of Justice Adolph Lucas, John Chessman, 22, was found not guilty of the double murders of Karen Crawford, 19, and Maurice Cadle, 44.

Habet election petition may be headed to Court of Appeal
“Dissatisfied” with Supreme Court rulings, candidate is seeking second opinion, but attorney for respondent wants case thrown out... Claim No. 201 of 2012, Orlando Habet vs. Elvin Penner and Others, an election petition on the result of the March 7 general elections in the Cayo Northeast division, continued in hearings on Thursday and today, Monday.

Richards, ex-cop, and Matilda Virginia Garnett, clerk, charged with attempting to corrupt an officer
The officer was told that he would be “handled” if he disclosed confidential information... The Gang Suppression Unit’s house raid and long detention of John McAfee made headlines a few weeks ago. McAfee was handcuffed for almost fourteen hours while his residences were being searched for illegal guns.

Undisputed national football champs – Placencia Assassins
The first Premier League of Belize (PLB) national football tournament culminated on Saturday night at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan, where 2011 Super League of Belize champion Placencia Assassins, who joined the Premier League anticipating the celebrated exit of former FFB president Dr. Bertie Chimilio, proved that they are truly number one in the nation, when they clinched the PLB championship with a 1-1 draw in game 2 of the Final against first-year over-achievers Police United. Placencia Assassins had won game 1 of the home-and-away final series at home in Independence the previous Saturday night, May 5, by a 2-1 score; so they only needed a draw to win the series and the championship by an aggregate score, which they did this past Saturday, May 12.

Winds of change at BzSA Honey Camp Lagoon Regatta
The young and not so young sailors who participated in the three-day Belize Sailing Association (BzSA) Honey Camp Lagoon Regatta returned home with medals and wonderful memories to share with family and friends. The three-day event included roasting marshmallows over an open campfire under a tranquil starry sky; the opportunity to make new friends, gain sailing knowledge and experience through training exercises; and, of course, the ultimate race to win a spot on the National Team.

Ms. Y 2012, Ms. Julian Murray, crowned last Saturday
Ms. Murray is a proud mother of 8, blessed with 20 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. She enjoys singing, entertaining, gardening, and travelling. Her greatest accomplishment has been as a Marks Woman Shooter, but she can now pride herself in being Ms. Y 2012.

The saga of John McAfee, of McAfee Antivirus fame, continues
The Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) is reporting the arrests of three Belizeans who they allege had been co-opted to seek GSU informants for John McAfee, 66, the American multimillionaire whose Orange Walk estate was raided in a GSU-led operation on his compound exactly two weeks ago, on Monday, April 30, 2012.

Commonwealth Secretary-General to start three-day Belize visit
Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma begins a three-day visit to Belize on Tuesday, 15 May. It will be his first. Mr Sharma will hear first-hand how the small Caribbean nation has been coping with the challenges posed by the global fuel, food and financial crises. He will also explore how the partnership between Belize and the Commonwealth can be deepened.

Editorial: A tragedy of mammoth proportions
Offhand, we cannot recall a younger person being charged with such a crime, but we consider it a tragedy of mammoth proportions because of what it is telling us about ourselves as a society. If convicted, the young man could face serious prison time.

Hakeem Bush talks about SCA’s Beka Lamb play and Christmas stories
Some scenes could have been better where the play is concerned: in the first part with Daddy Bill Lamb, I think Bill Lamb should have dressed more in the 40’s and 50’s style, as they did back then.

Blogs

Almost Stormy
Judging from the size and color of the storm clouds yesterday as Dick and I left the taco shack, we were expecting to get soaked at the beach. Both of us were waterproofed and excited at the thought of getting soaked in a good downpour, as it turns out we barely got wet. After I got home I checked my San Pedro Weather and it showed we were supposed to get .4 mm of rain total for, but it seems like we fell short of that in our area. Anyone else get stronger storm action on Ambergris Caye that we did? When I clicked view detailed forecast for San Pedro it looks like we will get some rain from tomorrow afternoon for the next few days. Temperature clocked in at a high of 29° or 83°F and low of 26°C or 78°F with winds at 18mph / 28kph ENE. Reminder from Timrose at Nemo – Hurricane season is upon us and it is time to get prepared. Pacific Hurricane season dates from today May 15thto November 30th and Atlantic hurricane season dates from June 1st to Nov 30th. When you want to check out coming Belize storm action – Nemo, National Hurricane Center website and Wunderground both listed on tacogirl blogroll.

Back to Roatan, An Afternoon in the West Bay and The Ferry Ride Home
We had been in Guanaja, Honduras for two days (see: Part One and Part Two), loving it but we had hardly seen Roatan. It was my friend Danni's 30th birthday, it was time to head back. The 1.5 hour ride back from Guanaja is so much calmer...the seas and the winds are with you and that prevents you from getting absolutely drenched. Less an amusement park ride, more civilized boat trip. We stopped to buy lobsters from some fishermen/snorkellers on the way to Roatan. $500 lempira for 5 big lobsters. (About $25 USD) Cesar, as usual, is the chef. Simply steamed with some garlic and butter...they were delicious. Gets me excited for the upcoming Lobster season in Belize. Don't forget, the San Pedro Lobster Festival to kick it all off is June 15th to June 23rd. It's your chance to party like a lobstar... Danni dressed for her big birthday dinner. We meant to go out afterwards...really we did...

First step to the Development of a National Biodiversity Monitoring Program
On Thursday, April 26th, 2012, the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) in collaboration with the National Protected Areas Secretariat, and the Forest and Fisheries Departments hosted the first national workshop for the development of a National Biodiversity Monitoring Program (NBMP). "...The Environmental Research Institute (ERI) was created primarily for research and monitoring and producing results that are directly relevant and applicable to the sustainable management of Belize's natural resources..."

History of Slavery and Emancipation Exhibit opens tomorrow
The Benque House of Culture will have their latest exhibit, the History of Slavery and Emancipation Exhibit, open tomorrow at 9:00am. This coincides closely with International Museum Day, which is Thursday. After the exhibit festivities, the Institute of Archaeology and the Belize Archives Department will have an educational display.

Our Country! Video
Demian Solano Photography has released a nice video that was taken all around Belize. Of course, Cayo is represented. "The past 2 weeks took me to nearly every corner in this beautiful country working with great people on assignment for Belize Bank. This is the end result and I hope you like it as much as I do :)"

PACT at the Belize Cancer Society's Cancer Walk
More great pictures from the Belize Cancer Society's Cancer Walk in Belmopan. "Prevent and Control Cancer 'Together we can do it!'" Cancer Walk 2012"

Scientists return to cenote excavation in Belize
Cayo has some cool cenotes around. One of them in east Cayo will be getting explored some more. Moon Guides has an article about it. "Lisa J. Lucero, a professor of anthropology, returns to work in Belize... She has been working in a 200-foot-deep cenote at Cara Blanca, near Valley of Peace village. The dig is in the vicinity of the remarkable Banana Bank Lodge. Her team had discovered bones of an extinct giant sloth called Eremotherium, radiocarbon dated to 'anywhere from 9,000 to 39,000 years ago.' But, she writes, 'I am most interested in ancient Maya offerings, particularly those that date to a certain time period (about A.D. 800 to 900) when increasing evidence shows that a series of multiyear droughts, perhaps as many as eight, struck the Maya area.'"

Happy Birthday Captain Kevin!
Shamefully we have to actually write, Happy belated Birthday Captain Kevin as this slipped by yesterday without many of us realizing our error!! Kevin came back yesterday from an overnight and said little about his plans for the rest of the day and we all presumed that he would be sleeping after he commanded Ragga Queen back from Placencia!! Luckily we made up for it last night at the I&I and the Oceanside!! Kevin is always going to be one of the most popular members of the Ragga crew both in the office and on the boats with crew and passengers alike and if you knew him, you would really understand why!! Kevin came to Raggamuffin about 6 years ago without direction or expectation – and yet since his arrival, this budding artist, photographer and obviously Captain and Tour Guide has flourished on this island! For all of those who do not have the privilege to really know this man, it is really difficult to define what makes Kevin so very special. As a friend and colleague he is un-deniably loyal and his deep, humble sincerity, generosity and selflessness for all that surrounds him makes him so very unique. Kevin is truly an inspiration to many of those that are following in his footsteps like both Shane’s, Chris and Dylan making them realize that they too with hard work can reach as far as Kevin. Happy belated Birthday Kevin and we truly proud to have him as part of our Raggamuffin Family!

The 8th Annual Lagoon Reef Eco-Challenge Kayak Race
This past Saturday and Sunday was the 8th annual Lagoon Reef Eco-Challenge kayak Race. It is a two day event with over $15,000 in prizes to be given away. The Eco-Challenge was started because Elito Arceo who owns a tour business, is an environmentalist, a community activist for San Pedro Town and was concerned about the developments that began threatening the areas of the lagoons. He wanted to bring attention to the beautiful lagoon areas that he loved as a child and to get others to appreciate the beauty and the importance of these areas in Belize. Looking for some of the first kayakers to come through the finish line. Finish Line. The race began Saturday morning with 27 two man kayak teams on the lagoon side of Ambergris Caye. There were no female competitors this year. Maybe next year I will need to form a kayak team and try out kayaking or maybe not. It must have been some tough paddling because by the 2nd day only 16 teams were still in the race.

International Sources

Mexican author Carlos Fuentes dead at 83
The Mexican author Carlos Fuentes has died aged 83. Fuentes was one of the most prolific Latin American writers known equally for his fiction and his essays on politics and culture. His most famous works were The Death of Artemio Cruz and The Old Gringo. He was associated with the Latin American Boom - a literary movement made up of mainly young authors whose politically critical works broke with established traditions. He died in a hospital in Mexico City. Hospital sources did not comment on his cause of death. Mr Fuentes wrote a wealth of novels, plays and essays and regularly commented on political events in Spanish newspaper El Pais. Born in Panama in 1928, he did not move to Mexico until he was 16. The son of a diplomat, Mr Fuentes spent much of his childhood moving around the Western Hemisphere. He said it was this which allowed him to view Latin America from a distance, giving him a critical edge.

How to Uncover Underwater Artifacts
Five-gallon buckets are so very useful. Little did I think we would use them to explore ancient Maya offerings underwater. While dive gear consists of high technology like trimix gases and the underwater camera, archaeology gear consists of low technology, like the bucket and shovel. During excavations, archaeologists usually fill the buckets with dirt, which is then sifted through half-inch or quarter-inch mesh screens for artifacts. But here, Chip would be using the buckets underwater — at a depth of nearly 200 feet. The plan was to begin excavations downslope from the ceremonial building on the southwest edge of Pool 1, where we think anything the Maya threw in would roll down. But first we had to find empty pigtail buckets at the local gas station. John Carr at the Banana Bank Lodge offered us the use of a broken shovel. Now we were ready to go.

UTSA International Trade Center starts Belize program
Cliff Paredes, International Trade Center’s director (shown in front of group in photo), and Barbara Mooney, international business consultant with the International Trade Center, conducted the first Small Business Development Center Counselor and Director Certificate Training Program in Belize City, Belize, May 8-10, the center at the University of Texas at San Antonio announced. The training attracted representatives from the public, private and academic sectors who are interested in participating in the process of adapting the Small Business Development Center concept in Belize. This training is the first of four modules and is part of the SBDC Caribbean Project that will develop SBDC networks in Belize, Jamaica, Barbados, St. Lucia and Dominica. This project will help startup companies, as well as established micro and small businesses, with tools and technical assistance.

May 15, 2012


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

The May 13th, 2012 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • 67 Year Old Santa Elena Man Charged For Rape
  • Guatemalan Man Found With Gun And Bullets
  • Ian Lizarraga - New BTB Chairman
  • Fire Destroys 1 Millon Dollars Worth of Lumber
  • The Full Article On PC #11 Francis Aldana
  • Editorial: Much Needed Improvements In Dispensing Justice In The Nation
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices

The San Pedro Sun

Police Officer arrested and charged for “attempting to corrupt an officer”
On Friday May 11, 2012 the Gang Suppression Unit arrested and charged Matilda Victoria GARNETT, Public Officer and Rodwell RICHARDS, former Police Corporal, both of Belize City, for “attempting to corrupt an officer“. On Saturday May 12, 2012, Darius MARTINEZ, a 42 year old Belizean Police Corporal of 15 Riverside Street, Orange Walk Town, attached to the Faber’s Road Precinct, Belize City, was charged with the same offence. The charge arises from two calls placed by MARTINEZ from his personal cellular telephone to a member of the Gang Suppression Unit the previous day (Friday May 11,2012). During the first call made early in the afternoon, MARTINEZ, who is well known to the officer whom he called, said that he was assisting INTERPOL and 922 TIPS with an investigation on McAfee and was interested in information contained in a diary found during the search executed at John McAfee’s residence in Orange Walk. He placed another call to the same officer later that day and insisted on getting information, saying that he wanted to help “the millionaire McAfee”, “a friend” and that the officer could “make money” once the officer assisted in providing certain information and if the officer “watched” the Unit on his behalf.

Barrington Usher shot in the San Pablo area
San Pedro police are investigating a shooting incident. Sometime around 3am today, May 12th, police responded to a call that shots had been heard in the Escalante area south of San Pedro Town. When police arrived to the area they found a man with what appeared to be gunshot wounds to his face and bleeding profusely. The man was identified as Barrington Usher of the Escalante area. Usher was rushed to the Otto Rodriguez Poly Clinc II for medical attention. According to police, Usher explained that around 3am he was awakened by a knock at his door. When he checked through his window he noticed someone familiar to him from the same area. An argument began between the two men which lead to the person pulling out a gun and shooting Usher through the window. Usher sustained one gunshot wound to the left cheek area of his face. At the clinic he was stabilized but then fell unconscious while receiving treatment. Usher was transported to The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) where he is listed in critical but stable condition. Police are looking for one person as their investigation continues. The San Pedro Sun will post more information as it becomes available.

SPHS hosts third annual Business Fair
Admin in The San Pedro Sun | The Island Newspaper Saturday, 9:35 AM The San Pedro High School (SPHS) held its third annual Business Fair on Saturday May 5th. Third and fourth year students showcased their business plans, marketing skills and product choices to a crowd of peers and judges.The fair offered the students the opportunity to display their creativity as well as what they’ve learned over the years at the SPHS. According to, Josue Sosa, Principles of Accounting instructor for third and fourth formers, the students were informed at the beginning of the year of the fair. They were responsible for identifying a product, creating a business, identify a location, securing funds, preparing a business plan, marketing their product and on Business Fair day, displaying their businesses in every step. “While the third formers had to concentrate mainly on a business plan and execution of that plan, the fourth formers have almost the same assignment except, their main focus was on the marketing aspect of the business. The teachers decided what products the kids will produce and the students focused on marketing.” Businesses bearing names such as; 5 Brothers Bakery, Choco Mix Chocolate, Belizean Blizzard Shaved Ice and Ice Cream, Splendiferous Cupcakes, Heat Wave, Island Treats, Tropical Treats, Mini World Center, Teen Scene, Graffitti Inc. and Skynet Imports among others, were showcased. 5 Brothers Bakery informed that their company was established in 2002 by five brothers who wanted to share their love of baking with the general public. Their aim is to offer the best in baked goods with a smile, and that they did as they spoke of how their business started. Bearing large welcoming smiles; they informed that their initial cost was $100,000. Instead of acquiring a loan, the brothers decided to create an equal partnership whereby each invested $20,000. The brothers explained that as mandated by their partnership, all profits coming out of the business is also shared equally at 20%.

Ambergris Today

The Reef Swimming Challenge
THE KATRINKA CHALLENGE -This was a ten foot square raft anchored half way between the beach and the reef and the challenge was for any amateur swimmer to swim from the beach to the raft or Katrinka. First let us build a Katrinka. It is a wood structure sort of like a box, ten feet square and maybe three feet high. There was enough space inside to fit six metal oil drums which would keep the raft afloat. Then it was permanently moored about six hundred yards offshore midway between the beach and the reef. As simple as that! THE REEF CHALLENGE -Once swimming to the Katrinka became a regular activity and it did not seem like a challenge anymore, the more intrepid boys, AND GIRLS, challenged one another to swim from the beach to the reef. “It is not too far”, they said to encourage themselves. “It is only about three fourths of a mile or double the distance from the beach to the Katrinka.” This challenge was commenced by the teenagers but very soon many children who were like fish in the sea took up that easy challenge. Once we go to the reef, we rested there in the shallow spots for a few minutes, inhaled the fresh surf of the reef, waved to our friends on the beach and headed back with a much swifter pace because we were then swimming with the waves and not against them.

Good-Bye To Trawlers In Belize
By now it is common knowledge that shrimp trawlers and all forms of trawling nets are illegal in Belize. This flashback pays tribute to the days when Sanpedrano trawlers brought fresh shrimp from down south to the Belizean tables. Mr. Rosendo ‘Papi’ Graniel and Mr. Alberto ‘Beto’ Nuñez were proprietors and captains of their own shrimp trawlers like this one. With a crew of four, they raked the ocean floor down south and brought their catch to Caribeña Fishing Cooperative for the local Belizean tables as well as for the export market. Did you know that trawling for shrimp was done only at night? If you do not believe us, ask Mr. Alberto Nunez

San Pedro Police Department Introduces Special Constables
Close to 25 Special Constables were sworn in on Sunday, May 13, 2012, after ordinary citizens completed a basic police training (special constables) course and can now volunteer their time to the San Pedro Police Department. The two-day training course was hosted at Fido’s Courtyard in which the trainees learned the basics on constitutional rights, custody of prisoners, justifiable force and harm, searching of prisoners and suspects, courts and their functions/beat and police duties, report writing and powers/methods of arrest. The training was carried out by Inspector Jones and Corporal Tun.

Police Investigate Shooting Incident Over Weekend
According to police reports, on Saturday, May 12, 2012 about 2:35am, Police responded to a report of a shooting incident in the San Pablo Area, San Pedro Town. Police visited the residence of 30-year-old, Barrington Usher, where he was seen lying in a pool of blood suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the left side of his face. The report stated that a 26-year old female reported to police that whilst she was at home along with Barrington Usher lying in bed, between the hours of 2:35am and 2:40am, she heard a knocking on the front door. Barrington Usher then proceeded to open a window, looked out and then is when she heard Barrington talking to a male person outside. She then heard a loud bang and then saw Barrington Usher fall off the bed unto the floor and started bleeding profusely.

Ana Medrano - Mother Of The Year 2012
It was another impressive event this year as the San Pedro Town Council held its annual Mother's Day Extravaganza on Saturday, May 12, 2012. Mrs. Ana Medrano was named Mother of the Year and Mexican entertainer Pierre David stole the show with his spectacular performances. It was a fun-filled evening for all mothers to enjoy. The highlight was the coronation of Mother of the Year 2012, Mrs. Ana Medrano, whose name was drawn from a list of other candidates. Mother of the Year 2011, Mrs. Yolanda Ayuso was present to crown the new Mother of the Year along with Miss San Pedro, Yakarelis Hernandez and Miss Lions Shantell Pascassio.

Belizean Shores Team Wins Eco Challenge 2012
Douglas Penland of Belizean Shores placed fourth in last year’s kayak race along with partner Jimmy Polonio, but this year Penland with new partner Fernando Giacoman bounced back to win the 8th Annual Lagoon Reef Eco Challenge that took place over the weekend in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. The race kicked off with 27 double male kayak teams, no female competitors this year around, on Saturday, May 12, 2012. It was a very tight race as two teams battled strongly of first place. At the end of first day of competition Team ‘2 Horse Power Yamaha’ managed to beat Team ‘Southwind Boys’ by only nine seconds; coming in third was Team ‘Coast Guard’ just eight minutes behind second place.

Misc Belizean Sources

Commentary: Belize Belongs to Belizeans
This is an issue that is important to us but that many Belizeans refrain from addressing because of their lack of knowledge on the subject, the anger and frustration it causes when discussing the matter and the relationship many Belizeans have with Guatemala in tracing some of their very own family roots, like myself whose grandmother was born in Livingston (Labuga) Guatemala and still has many relatives in Guatemala. After studying history for many years, I am a strong believer that the Guatemala's claim to Belize is weak because of the following reasons: 1. It is based on the landing of Christopher Columbus in the Caribbean in 1492, which subsequently led to the Treaty of Tordesillas granting Spain and Portugal territories in the region, which they claimed as their own. This was mediated by a Spanish Catholic Pope Alexander the V1.

Craft Making in Big Falls
Last Wednesday afternoon I had the opportunity to visit the Chiac family home here in Big Falls village. I went along with Judy Karwacki and Cheryl Chapman from British Columbia. They are both consultants in cultural tourism. Judy comes with years of experience in the travel business and international experience consulting in the develop of cultural sustainable tourism. Cheryl comes with first hand experience of establishing cultural tourism businesses with her First Nation people in Canada. She is a leader in the Aboriginal Tourism Association of BC Her real name translates as “Sun rise when salmon come” The Chiac family home on Big Falls is a new cultural tourism experience in Big Falls village with a focus on craft making. What makes this different is that the family make their living selling their crafts to other villagers rather than tourists, although that is likely to change when visitors learn of the incredibly fun learning experience to be had there.

BOOK: The New Orleans Sisters of the Holy Family: African American Missionaries to the Garifuna of Belize
The Sisters of the Holy Family, founded in New Orleans in 1842, were the first African American Catholics to serve as missionaries. This story of their little-known missionary efforts in Belize from 1898 to 2008 builds upon their already distinguished work, through the Archdiocese of New Orleans, of teaching slaves and free people of color, caring for orphans and the elderly, and tending to the poor and needy. Utilizing previously unpublished archival documents along with extensive personal correspondence and interviews, Edward T. Brett has produced a fascinating account of the 110-year mission of the Sisters of the Holy Family to the Garifuna people of Belize. Brett discusses the foundation and growth of the struggling order in New Orleans up to the sisters’ decision in 1898 to accept a teaching commitment in the Stann Creek District of what was then British Honduras. The early history of the British Honduras mission concentrates especially on Mother Austin Jones, the superior responsible for expanding the order’s work into the mission field. In examining the Belizean mission from the eve of the Second Vatican Council through the post–Vatican II years, Brett sensitively chronicles the sisters’ efforts to conform to the spirit of the council and describes the creative innovations that the Holy Family community introduced into the Belizean educational system. In the final chapter he looks at the congregation’s efforts to sustain its missionary work in the face of the shortage of new religious vocations. Brett’s study is more than just a chronicle of the Holy Family Sisters’ accomplishments in Belize. He treats the issues of racism and gender discrimination that the African American congregation encountered both within the church and in society, demonstrating how the sisters survived and even thrived by learning how to skillfully negotiate with the white, dominant power structure.

Latest version of Belize Constitution available online
I'd lke to share the link to our National Assembly page - http://www.nationalassembly.gov.bz/ and let you know that you CAN download the LATEST version of the BELIZE CONSTITUTION from this page - scroll down the sidebar on the left - it is the last item. FINALLY! Much kudos and thanks to Eddie Webster, the Clerk of the NA.

Jaguar Rising: A novel of the Preclassic Maya
A young man's coming-of-age adventure story. Tikal, Uaxactun, San Bartolo, Cerros, Lamanai, El Mirador, Kaminaljuyu, Lake Amatitlan. “Exceptionally well written with a breathtaking plot, contains fast paced action and adventure, has precise attention to the smallest details of Mayan life. As I read the book, I felt I was there in the Mayan world. I couldn't stop reading.” “From the Macaw symbolism to the artistic, color, scribal and many other elements the book captured many of my favorite things about the Maya Preclassic.”

Jaguar Wind And Waves: A novel of the Early Classic Maya
A woman's journey of personal growth and transformation. Tikal, Uaxactun, El Peru/Waka’ in Guatemala. Teotihuacan in Central Mexico. “The wealth of Maya detail brings the story to life yet never becomes overpowering, preachy or a history lesson. The personal story is paramount and utterly compelling. Jaguar Wind and Waves brings the era believably to life, and tells a universal story that makes for a great read. Highly recommended!”

Commonwealth Secretary-General's three Day Visit to Belize beginning Tuesday 15 May, 2012
Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma begins a three-day visit to Belize on Tuesday, 15 May. It will be his first. Mr Sharma will hear first-hand how the small Caribbean nation has been coping with the challenges posed by the global fuel, food and financial crises. He will also explore how the partnership between Belize and the Commonwealth can be deepened. The Secretary-General is expected to meet with Prime Minister Dean Barrow and various members of the Belize cabinet. He will also attend a board meeting of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum. Mr Sharma, who arrives in Belize from Mexico City after meeting with Mexican President Felipe Calderón, Chair of the Group of 20, will brief Prime Minister Barrow on the outcome of his discussions with the G20 Chair. The discussions are in the context of consultations which G20 chairs now customarily have with the Heads of the Commonwealth and La Francophonie ahead of G20 summits. They provide the opportunity to strengthen the global legitimacy of the G20 and ensure that the views and particular concerns of small and vulnerable economies like Belize are heard ‒ even if those states are not seated at the G20 table. The Commonwealth Secretary-General will also update Prime Minister Barrow on the Commonwealth Secretariat’s institutional reform agenda following a report from the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group in 2011.

ATLANTIC BANK DREAMS UP NEW MONEY MAKER AT YOUR EXPENSE.
ATLANTIC BANK HITS SMALL SAVING ACCOUNT HOLDERS WITH NEW TAX, OR SERVICE CHARGE. Imagine my surprise last week, when out on Caye Caulker I went to get $200 out of my account for living expenses. My home is out WEST in the twin towns. Like most ATLANTIC BANK small savings customers, most husbands and wives have a joint account. Often one works somewhere else in the country and returns on weekends, or thereabouts. My wife at home keeps the savings passbook, as she has to meet the house living expenses. I ran short of cash and went to the local branch of Atlantic Bank on the island and was told this time around, that a penalty was being charged for not having the passbook with me. In order to take out $200 I would have to pay a FEE of $6.05. Well they had my back against the wall. I only had $2 in my pocket. Needed my money, so accepted the service charge. There was no other change. Same look up the account on the computer, same withdrawal slip and signature. Same photo I.D. and no problem. Just that my small needs cost me $6.05 extra. If I had known I would have taken out a few hundred more. I´m hoping I can hang on long enough for the next visit from my wife out here at the island and she can bring me a few hundred dollars. The bank being a bit expensive to use. Makes you wonder what is going on in the banking circles in Belize? Friendly banks seem to be a thing of the past and the bottom line profit seems to rule the roost nowadays.

VIDEO: Dive Belize South Water Caye
Featuring Splash Dive Center, Placencia, aboard Princess Ailsa with Captain Edlin Leslie, Divemaster Prince Gongora, Divemanster and Discovery Instructor Nedia Chaplin

FCD Environmental Youth Group Cleanup Campaign
The Friends for Conservation and Development Environmental Youth Group had a cleanup campaign this weekend. They are located in Succotz, as is the FCD.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Marco Thomas
The world has lost a great man who gave his all towards the goal of educating the future of Belize. As a teacher and a counselor, he was a positve force in the community, and he made quite a difference in Cayo. Words can't express how much he'll be missed. Pandy has uploaded a video from SHJC's 2012 graduation where Mr. Thomas was the master of ceremonies.

I Want to Be an Eco Kid of the Belize Rainforest
Kylie Sacksick wrote this great essay for the Eco Kids Summer Camp at Chaa Creek. Any kids between 8 and 13 can send in a 300 word essay explaining why they want to be an eco-kid before June 4th. "At my school, they teach us to reuse, recycle, reduce and compost to conserve the environment. At home I collect all my moms plastic bottles, aluminum cans and styrofoam packaging and bring them to our school for the recycling program. I help to water my mom’s plants at home and pick up waste in the yard and put them in the garbage bin. I use a plastic bottle that I refill with water everyday for school. But imagine if I can live, learn and practice all this with friends and animals in the rainforest, oh how I would count my blessings and cherish every moment to be an eco kid of the rainforest."

Belize Cancer Society Cancer Walk in Belmopan
The Belmopan branch of the Belize Cancer Society had a successful march Saturday. Belmopan City Online was there to take pictures. "On May 12 dozens (maybe hundreds) of Belmopan residents walked together to support the local Cancer Society and stand together to fight and prevent cancer!"

‘Women of Caye Caulker’ Documentary due to start filming!
Wendy Auxillou, one of the four dynamic Auxillou sisters to have been born and raised in Caye Caulker – is returning in July to create a documentary to highlight these amazing women’s stories as they have been instrumental in shaping the Caye Caulker we have today! The documentary will definitely be fascinating to all of those of us that have even a half interest in this tiny island as these ladies struggles need to be told to preserve our history. The director is asking for funding for the project and indeed at Raggamuffin have made our pledge, however more money needs to be raised for the film to get underway. For those who want to make a donation, click here. According to the funds site …… INTRODUCTION: The women of Caye Caulker who were instrumental in shaping the history of this tiny Belizean island of my childhood, when the population totaled less than 400 inhabitants about 40 years ago are now dying off, and their stories have never been told. These heroic women endured hardships and innumerable challenges in this harsh frontier environment, and persevered. My own mother is now 80 years old, yet her own story of being the most educated woman on this tiny island village where there was no electricity until the 1990s has never been told. She persevered, despite the deep-rooted poverty and lack of educational opportunities, and went on to become the first local principal of the elementary school. This is her story, and the story of all the other Hicaquena women whose sacrifices have never been recorded … until now. WHO ARE WE DOCUMENTING? We will be documenting the lives of 20 women of Caye Caulker Village in Belize, from their earliest history on the island until now. Many of the women are now in their 80s. Their stories are dying off along with them, and a rich history of struggle, entrepreneurship and endurance in the face of adversity is being lost along with them. This must be preserved. HOW ARE WE GOING TO DO THIS? We will be producing a 1.5 to 2.0 hour documentary on the lives of these women from childhood until now — how life has evolved over the passage of time for them, what they think of development on their once laid-back island village, the cultural traditions that have been lost in the process, and what they think of all the changes they have seen in their lifetimes. This will be a made-for-local-television documentary, plus a 1000 “print” run on DVD and flash drive, for those would like personal copies. It will also be distributed to local schools as an educational tool, and to the national archives of Belize as a historical archive. WHEN IS THIS GOING TO BE DONE? I will be heading to Belize in the next few weeks to begin filming of the documentary. The final product should be ready by the end of September 2012. Again, if anybody sees the value in this documentary, please pledge your donation by clicking here.

Channel 7

PORT OF BELIZE, FROM GO-SLOW TO STANDSTILL
Tonight there is a work stoppage at the Port of Belize - and a BSI Sugar Ship that's waiting to be loaded - may have to wait a mighty long time. The work stoppage is the result of a go-slow which the waterfront workers activated this morning at 6:00. The stevedores say they want to bring management to the bargaining table and the only way to get them there is by making the Port management feel the effect of a go-slow. The go-slow is focusing on the Emwika Naree - a ship that's here to load up with seventeen thousand tons of sugar from BSI for export to Europe. The Stevedores job is to load the sugar from eight barges unto the ship - a process that takes weeks - but with the go slow it could take months - crippling the Port and BSI. And tonight things are already at a standstill - since the stevedores went from slow to stop when their lunch was not delivered to them at the pier head. Now, you may be asking - since when do Stevedores get lunch delivered to them? Trust us, that's only one part of a very tangled and thorny dispute - which started at 5:00 am at the Port of Belize and 7news was there. Jules Vasquez has the story:... Leopold Smart - Stevedore, 40 Years "A man has to die for his bread. That's what I was telling them; a man has to die for his bread." Jules Vasquez reporting That was the sentiment this morning 60 Waterfront Workers massed up in front of the Port of Belize Limited to unofficially-officially launch industrial action against the Port ownership - which right now is a receivership. Raymond Rivers - Stevedore "We sent proposals to these people. They sent back letters stating that they are broke; they can't deal with us. And we see that they are buying a whole heap of things in this yard, and they say that they are broke. We were going to work sugar this morning, and we are implementing a go-slow because we need these people inside to move faster."

SCHOOL TEACHER KILLED IN CAYO
Mercifully, the weekend in the city was peaceful - but still there were brutal murders in Orange Walk and Cayo. We start our coverage in Cayo where a school counselor was viciously stabbed to death. On Sunday - mother's day, no less - Marco David Thompson was found stabbed to death at the home of his adopted nephew, cyclist Ron Vasquez. Monica Bodden went to Cayo looking for answers:.. Monica Bodden reporting It was inside this house that the body of 45 year old Marco David Thompson was discovered by his brother. He was found around one o 'clock on Sunday afternoon- lying face up in a pool of blood on his living room floor. He had 3 large stab wounds to his right side of his neck and was found completely nude. After the crime was committed the killer made his way out through the backdoor - passing several vicious dogs that live inside the same yard.

ONE MAN SHOT, ONE MAN KILLED IN OW
And while Cayo police look into that stabbing, Orange Walk police are investigating the murder of a man who was shot in the head. Yesterday morning at 4:00 am, Luis Cardenas was found dead at a residence on Gravel Road while 36 year old Deon Hyde was seriously injured- and found across the road. At about 3:45am Cardenas and Hyde were hanging out on the verandah at the residence when a man rode past and fired several shots at them. Cardenas was shot to the head and died on the spot while Hyde survived - though he suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Hyde was critically wounded, but after surgery he is now listed in a stable condition. Reports are After being shot, Hyde ran across the street to the neighbors house and then into the veranda where he collapsed. While on the ground, Hyde begged the occupants of the house to call the police. Reportedly there are two persons detained for questioning at the Orange Walk police station. Unconfirmed reports are that Hyde is not collaborating with the police. Cardenas has been in the news before, charged for attempted murder in 2008.

PM BARROW & ASHCROFT GETTING READY TO "KUMBAYA"?
On Friday night, the Belize Bank celebrated its 25th Anniversary - and the man who owned the bank for much of those 25 years, Michael Ashcroft jetted in for the event. It's noteworthy because his acolytes say that Ashcroft has not visited Belize for three years, since BTL was nationalized. And he kept his distance because of a very cold, bitter and protracted war between the Ashcroft Alliance and the Barrow Administration. But on Friday night - relations seemed to be thawing. Not only was Ashcroft in town, but the featured speaker at the Belize Bank gala was Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow. They didn't quite hold hands and sing Kumbaya, but the Prime Minister made it clear that - as regards the Belize Bank - which has been kept on a very tight leash by its regulator, the Central Bank - it's time to - as he put it - replace confrontation with cooperation. Here are portions of his remarks from the event at the Radisson:... Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "The state would want to see an ordered and mutually supportive relationship between the financial system players and the financial system regulators." "It is no secret though that in this regard confrontation rather than cooperation has been too much the norm in recent times. This is discomforting all round and a large dose of shared goodwill is now required to address the problem." "Though nobody is naive enough to expect that the regulatory relationship will ever turned adversarial. But the occasions when this happens must be the exception rather than the rule and a financial system cannot function properly in climate of unceasing litigation. A way must therefore be found out of this thick at this briar patch."

GSU CHARGES COP WHO SAYS HE'S "FRIEND" OF MILLIONAIRE MCAFEE
On Friday we told you that the GSU had arrested two persons: public officer Matilda GARNETT, and former cop, Rodwell Tiger RICHARDS for "attempting to corrupt an officer", specifically for soliciting a GSU officer to give them a heads up when they would next be moving in on US Investor John McAfee. Well now, another person has been charged for the same thing: and this one is an active police corporal from Orange Walk who was charged with attempting to corrupt an officer on Saturday. The GSU alleges that MARTINEZ called a member of the GSU on Friday saying that that he was assisting INTERPOL and 922 TIPS with an investigation on McAfee and was interested in information contained in a diary found during the search at of McAfee's residence in Orange Walk. He call the officer again later that day and insisted on getting information, allegedly saying that he wanted to help quote, "the millionaire McAfee", and that the officer could make money once he assisted in providing certain information. Well, the officer was in no mood for that game, and a Warrant for the apprehension of MARTINEZ was obtained. When the Unit attempted to execute the Warrant at his home in Orange Walk, they were informed that he had left for work at 10:00 am in Belize City.

AN ELECTION PETITION THAT'S "A RIDDLE WRAPPED UP IN AN ENIGMA"
Last week, we told you about the Orlando Habet's election petition that is currently in front of Justice Hafiz-Bertram against Elvin Penner contesting his legitimacy as the Cayo Northeast Area Representative. As we reported, in the preliminary hearing for the leave to bring the election petition, Penner's attorney, Rodwell Williams was able to argue successfully to get the major part of Habet's claim of bribery struck out of court. Habet's lawyers, Said Musa and company, only have the recount grounds which they can use in the election petition. Last week, Musa then filed for leave to appeal Justice Hafiz-Bertram's decision to strike out the bribery, and again, they were unsuccessful when Justice Hafiz-Bertram refused to grant it. Well, Musa refused to let the matter rest, and today, they came with another play. Williams had filed a motion to strike out the election petition on recount grounds, which would effectively end Habet's legitimacy contention, and that matter was to be heard today. Instead, the court started to hear a motion which Musa filed, in which he wanted to have his own petition stayed! If you can follow it, the significance is that by, the election petition rules, only the respondent - meaning Rodwell Williams - could apply for that stay. It seemed like Musa and company were railroading their own election petition, but Musa submitted that the recount ground is not the election petition that they really want to hear. He says that they are determined to get the bribery grounds in, and that's why he asked the court to stay the election petition's proceedings until the bribery matter is heard and determined in the Appeal Court, which they have filed for in the face of the Supreme Court's refusal. Justice Hafiz-Bertram eventually refused the stay application from Musa, and the strike out matter was finally started this evening, and it's slated to continue tomorrow. This means that the actual election petition hasn't even started - and we spoke to Musa about the very circuitous matter outside of court. He said that it is clear that this matter is going to the Appeal court for a final determination - which means it's going to be marathon, and not a sprint like we might hope for.

MAN IN A DRUNKEN RAGE ALMOST MAKES KIDS BURN TO DEATH
Two small children almost burnt to death yesterday in the Cayo District - apparently because of a drunken man's rage. Yesterday in Buena Vista Village, Estela Cano was home with her two daughters, a 4 year old child and a 4 month old baby were asleep in her house when Freddy De Jesus Tabora, a 43 year old Honduran National woke them up. Tabora, IS the ex-common law husband of Alejandra Cano, who is one of Estela Cano's daughters. He was drunk, and arrived at the house with their three children. He demanded the keys for his Geo Prizm, and when she refused, he got angry and punched her in the face. Her sister tried to intervene, so he punched her as well. Both of the sisters then ran out of the house, looking for help, leaving the two minors inside the house with Tabora. Shortly after, they saw the house engulfed in flames, and with the help of neighbours, the minors were rescued. The four month old child received burns to the upper legs, arms and cheek.The house was a 35' by 25' cement structure with zinc roofing. The police are looking for Freddy De Jesus Tabora in connection with this incident. Early Saturday morning in San Pedro, a man was shot in the face through his window. At around 2:40 Saturday morning, Barrington Usher, a 30 year old resident of the San Pablo Area in San Pedro Town, was sleeping when a knock on his door woke him up. He looked out the window and recognized the caller as a man from the area. They began to argue, and the man then pulled out a gun and shot Usher through the window. Usher was shot in the left cheek, and was bleeding profusely, so he was rushed to the Otto Rodriguez Poly Clinic II for medical attention. He was then transported to the KHMH where he was in a critical but stable condition.

GAS STATION WITH MISSING FUEL
It is a gas station known for discount fuel - so much so that we've even featured it on the news - but it seems the Belize Diesel Teaxco was miscounting its own fuel! In April the Accountant checked the figures and found that a whopping 5,463.26 gallons of fuel worth $61,187.54 was unaccounted for. So how does so much fuel just go missing? Belize diesel did not want to comment but one possibility is that the fuel was never received at the gas station. And, in Belize city, a man was robbed of $850 in cash and items while watching television in a family member's living room. 41 year old Mark Tillett, was visiting a family member on Hibiscus Lane at around 9:30 on Friday morning. He was watching T.V. when he heard the back door open, and three men stormed into the house. One of them was armed with a .38 revolver, and held it to Tillett's head while another man grabbed his hands and held them behind his back. The third man tied a piece of blue cloth around his mouth and robbed him of everything! From his gold earrings, to his NIKE tennis shoes. The men then took his keys and went to search his vehicle, but they did not steal anything from it. The men escaped, but police have a known suspect they are looking for.

SHALINI DENIED A FOURTH CROSS COUNTRY TITLE
The female cross country was held on Sunday. Only 6 women participated, including defending champion Shalini Zabaneh. But three time winner Shalini did not get her fourth Cross Country title. This year, Kaya Cattouse grabbed the number one spot, and we caught up with her after the race where she told us, it was just her time. Kaya Cattouse, Female Cross Country winner "It feels good. You know you dedicate yourself to something, you trained hard, you do everything the right way and it feels good to be victorious. For the future hopefully I can represent Belize in October in Antigua at the Caribbean Games." "Our strategy for today was simply bringing it to a sprint. I have one of the best domestics in the field and she kept the race together for as much as she could - she was pacing and all that. I really didn't have to pace on the road, but what I had to do was follow all the attacks because Shalini was attacking us. She threw some hard blows but I was fast enough to get on her wheel right away so that she doesn't get a gap on me." Shalini Zabaneh, 2nd Place - Female Cross Country "It's hard to drive it alone, if they helped then we could have stayed away but it was just pretty much to bring me down. Three of us got in it a couple of times, but trying to driving it alone it's hard when you have no help. They were pretty all ganging up against me. It's hard to race like that." Monica Bodden "What was the preparation process like for you for today?" Shalini Zabaneh, 2nd Place - Female Cross Country "Really hard, a lot of interval training but just didn't have the legs today. Losing makes you humble, so you have to get back and try to work hard to get on top."

PLACENCIA WINS!
On Saturday at the FFB Field in Belmopan the Placencia Assassins won the 1st ever Premier league of Belize's Football Championship. They dominated Game 2 of the championship series, scoring in the 12th minute on a free kick by midfielder Elias Donaire, leaving the Half time score at one - nil. After a very physical, injury laden second half, at the end of regulation, the score was still one - nil. But the Police team's Evan Mariano saved some face heading in the equalizer in the ninety second minutes. Still, Placenia won by aggregate goal score in the championship series: 3-2 building on a 2-1 win in Game 1. Dalton Eiley got the MVP award. Placencia also got a $25,000 cheque from Minister of Sports: Herman Longsworth.

SANTI BUILDS CENTER IN SHORES
The Caribbean Shores Education Centre was inaugurated today. It is a project that began under Carlos Perdomo, and new area rep Santiago Castillo took it up when he was elected. After the ceremony, he talked more on what this means for Caribbean Shores and the residents who live there. Hon. Santiago Castillo "The center was started by the honorable Carlos Perdomo, the previous area rep. along with his chairman at the time Said Perdomo who is now my vice chairman and its wasn't completed. It probably reached a level of 50% and after being elected my committee and I, which includes my chairman Roger Espejo, Ms. Pearl Stuart, my secretary and my treasurer Casia, my daughter. We decide to finish this project." "We will be opening like 3pm in the afternoon. They will have use of computer; we only have 6 computers, so we will limit them to an hour each. The idea is to help enhance them whether it's to do their homework, surfing the web or learning about computers." "We decide to do it in the Kelly Street area which is the most impoverished area in my constituency." Area Resident "It will benefit as long as the parents push it, because if the parents don't push it for their kids to come here to do their homework and stuff, then the kids will have to go outside to do their school work." "It will benefit the area a lot. I can ensure that it will be okay, but without the other people insurance it will end up not benefitting the kids." The centre also includes a basketball court.

MAN ALMOST BURNT ALIVE
59 year-old Joseph Usher, a resident of Belize City, is in the intensive care unit at the KHMH after a man threw fuel on him and then lit him on fire According to police, Usher was inside his sister's yard at the corner of Central American Boulevard and Antelope Street when an unknown assailant threw a bottle of fuel on him. Before Usher could escape, the man then lit him on fire, and the assailant then ran off. Usher was rushed to the KHMH, but he suffered severe burns to the head, back, chest, and both arms. Usher is in the intensive care unit. And finally tonight there is a report on a disturbing case of attempted kidnapping which happened this afternoon. According to reliable reports to our newsroom, a female claims to have been abducted by her ex-boyfriend - a taxi man - in Belize City. He was taking her up the highway and she jumped out of his moving vehicle and sustained injuries. She received help from a concerned Belize City resident who then called the authorities, who then transported her to the KHMH. This alleged assailant's vehicle was then located in an area off Faber's Road, where the police were investigating this afternoon. Police Press Officer Fitzroy Yearwood confirmed to us this evening that they have a suspect detained for questioning.

Channel 5

Cayo teacher murdered in his home
A well known teacher was stabbed to death at his home in San Ignacio. His body was found on Sunday afternoon by a roommate. Marco Thompson was stabbed multiple times by a yet unidentified person who apparently had easy access into the building. The motive for the murder is not known but one theory is [...]

Ride by murder in Orange Walk
There were two murders over the weekend; in San Ignacio, a well known teacher was stabbed to death and in Orange Walk, a hail of bullets was unleashed by a lone gunman on Gravel Lane on Sunday morning. One bullet found its mark on Luis Cardenas, AKA “Pais”; he died on the spot. A passerby, [...]

Lord Ashcroft and Prime Minister Barrow’s Peace Talk
If you felt the ground shake on Friday night, that is because there is a major shift in relations between the government and Lord Michael Ashcroft. Ashcroft, the man who has been at the epicenter of an open war by the government in the past three years and in endless litigation in local and overseas [...]

The Penner Petition still too close to call
On April tenth an election petition was filed against returning area representative Elvin Penner on the refusal of a recount of ballots and an allegation of bribery. The petition for the allegation of bribery was struck out and Justice Minnet Hafiz granted leave to hear the recount petition. A notice of appeal was filed by [...]

The education process to ICJ Referendum
At the headquarters of the Organization of American States in Washington, delegations from Belize and Guatemala agreed to hold simultaneous referenda on October sixth, 2013. The citizens of both countries will decide if forwarding the territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) will be the final measure to resolve the issue. But it [...]

Police, ex-cop and clerk in McAfee Mess
In the local courts, a police officer, an ex-cop and a second class clerk have been charged for allegedly attempting to bribe police officers, following a raid by the Gang Suppression Unit at the estate of millionaire businessman, John McAfee. During the raid on April thirtieth, seven firearms were found on the property, and police [...]

17 homeless after Guerrero Street Fire
Seventeen persons have been left without a roof over their heads after the two-storey wooden and cement structure they once called home was gutted by fire. The upper flat of the house that was located on Guerrero Street burst into flames sometime after two on Saturday morning. Three families that occupied the building lost all [...]

Suitcase not overweight, but has 14 pounds of weed
There was a joint operation between the Special Patrol Unit in Belmopan and Special Branch in Belize City today. It is billed as an ongoing choke hold operation. Police recovered one suitcase containing fifteen parcels of compressed marijuana in an abandoned lot in the Conch Shell Bay Area. The weight of the drugs totaled fourteen [...]

$60,000 worth of fuel stolen from Belize Diesel Service Center
Over sixty thousand dollars worth of fuel are unaccounted for at the Belize Diesel Service Center. The shortage was discovered by the company’s accountant, Cecil Knowles at the end of April when he was conducting a reconciliation of fuel. A total of five thousand, four hundred and sixty-three gallons of fuel, valued at sixty-one thousand, [...]

Attempted murder by setting victim on fire, while another shot in the face
Two persons are tonight in critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after attempts on their lives. And although they may carry the same surname they are not related. The first incident involved a shooting early Saturday morning in La Isla Bonita in the San Pablo Area. Thirty year old Barrington Usher was at [...]

Santi’s Shores Education Center on Kelly Street
Kelly Street, off Freetown Road, is transforming. Known for sporadic bursts of violence, there is a brand new facility that will provide opportunities for the youth of the area and the extended Caribbean Shores. An education centre was inaugurated this afternoon; the ribbon was symbolically cut by four government ministers. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports. [...]

Sugar Barge Stevedores on strike
There is a developing story tonight on unrest between stevedores, represented by the Christian Workers Union, and the management of the Port of Belize Ltd. Since eight o’clock this morning dockworkers responsible for the offloading of sugar barges off the coast of Belize City have effected industrial action against the administration of PBL which is [...]

Port Receiver discuss stevedore issue
According to receiver, Arturo Vasquez, the Christian Workers Union forwarded a list of demands on behalf of the stevedores and was expecting a prompt response from PBL management. When the administration chose not to present a counterproposal prior to discussing the details of a new collective bargaining agreement, employees decided to take action. Most affected [...]

Sports Monday’s Women Cycling Edition
Good evening I’m James Adderly and this is Sports Monday.   The Premier League of Belize reached money time inside the FFB Stadium Saturday night as Police United made its final bid to grab the 2012 Championship by playing host to the red hot Placencia Assassins who came in after winning game one of the [...]

CTV3

23 Year Old Becomes Orange Walk's Fourth Murder Victim
On Sunday morning shots rang out on Gravel Lane here in Orange Walk Town which later resulted in the death of 23 year old Luis Cardenas Junior. During the early morning shooting 36 year old Deon Anthony Hyde who is now recuperating from his injuries at the Northern Regional Hospital, was also shot four times. Cardenas and Hyde were hanging out at the residence 18 year Amin Mendez when a lone gunman rode up to the house on a bicycle and released a hail of bullets at the men. Reports suggest that this latest homicide, which has left residents of Gravel Lane shaken, may be in retaliation of 21 year old Abel Robinson’s murder. Reporter Hipolito Novelo and Cameraman Kenric Simpson went looking for answers yesterday morning and filed the following report. It is widely rumoured that this house located on number 36 Gravel Lane is associated with illicit drug activities and over the weekend it quickly turned into a murder scene with 23 year old Luis Cardenas being the main character of this latest homicide. On Sunday morning at around 3:45 18 year old Amin Mendez Junior was hanging out on the veranda of his house along with Cardenas when they were joined by 36 year old Deon Anthony Hyde.

Three Public Officers Allegedly Friends Of John McAfee Charged For Attempting To Corrupt And Officer
Three Public Officers, two from Belize City and one from Orange Walk have been charged for attempting to corrupt an officer. First we’ll tell you about the two from Belize City who were charged with the crime after they allegedly tried to retrieve information from an officer pertaining to the investigation being carried out against U.S National John McAfee by the Gang Suppression Unit. Viewers might recall that on Monday May 1st the Gang Suppression Unit raided McAfee’s home here in Orange Walk, detained him and his employees for more than 14 hours, took McAfee to Belize City and then released him at 1:30 on Tuesday morning without any charges after the intervention of the U.S Embassy. That took place one week ago and reports are that on Monday May 7th Matilda Victoria Garnett, 44 year old Second Class Clerk working at the Vital Statistics Unit, allegedly contacted a member of the GSU and asked him to meet with her at a certain location. The officer allegedly met with Garnett who informed him that she was acting on behalf of McAfee. The woman, it is alleged, proposed to the officer that he provide her with reports regarding the operations of the GSU associated to McAfee and that he would be “handled” well. But apparently the officer wanted no part of the game and reported the matter to the Commander of the GSU Marco Vidal. A sting operation was put into effect the following day. During the consequent meeting Garnett allegedly introduced the officer to 40 year old Security Consultant and Assistant Manager at Benny’s, Rodwell Richards, who she said was one of McAfee’s right hand. Allegations are that Richards made the same offer to the officer and went as far as to offer him $200.00 and promised that he would be well taken care of once he kept them informed of the investigations carried out against McAfee.

LOVE TV

Historic St. John’s Cathedral is getting a new organ
St. John’s Anglican Cathedral is celebrating two hundred years of service to Belize this year. Today, the musical organ that has been in the Church for quite some time was dismantled and a new one will be installed in its place. Love News visited the Cathedral and spoke with Bishop Phillip Wright who walked us through the history of the organ. Bishop Wright says they have maintained the shell of the original organ because a musical instrument like that is very scarce in the country. To us it doesn’t look like such an easy task to play the organ and Bishop Wright pointed out just who have been the gifted people to delight the congregation with their playing skills.

Child friendly initiative launched
A new initiative started today that is designed to enhance the learning environment for children. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo and video journalist Brian Castillo have our report.

Trio accused of trying to corrupt a public officer
Two men and a woman were charged with attempting to corrupt a public officer when they appeared in court today. They are 48-year-old former police Corporal Rodwell Tiger Richards, 42-year-old Police Constable Darius Martinez and 44-year-old second class clerk Matilda Garnett. They pleaded not guilty to the charge. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser offered each of them a bail of $3,000.00 which they met. Their case was adjourned until July 16. According to the allegation, on May 8 Richards approached Police Constable Adrian Lopez, who is attached to the Gang Suppression Unit and offered to give him $200.00 if he provides information about the GSU operation in relation to American national John McAfee. It is also alleged that on May 7, Garnett, who is attached to the Vital Statistics Unit approached Lopez and offered to give him money in return for information about GSU operation in relation to McAfee. Martinez, on May 11, it is alleged contacted Police Constable Stacy Smith by telephone and offered to give her money for information about the GSU operation in respect to McAfee. Smith is attached to the GSU.

Murder in Orange Walk leaves neighborhood in shock
There are murders on opposite sides of the country to report tonight. The weekend violence has authorities in both Orange Walk and San Ignacio towns trying to piece together the series of events that led to the brutal homicides in both municipalities. Our reporters and video journalists have been busy putting the stories together today and we begin tonight with a report from our Orange Walk Bureau Chief Manuela Ayuso Cantun and video journalist Brian Castillo.

Education Centre inaugurated in Caribbean Shores
Education week activities continued today with the inauguration of the Dion Rowland Caribbean Shores Education Center. According to Area Representative Santino Castillo, the school was named after an unsung hero, Dion Rowland, a young man who supported the community project with the youths of the area but tragically lost his life to violence. The center also includes a basketball court for the use of the young people in the area. Special Guests at today’s launching ceremony were Attorney General Wilfred Elrington and Minister of Education Patrick Faber, who told Love News his ministry is very supportive of the project.

Belize Bank undergoes re-branding
Belize Bank today announced that as part of its twenty fifth Anniversary the institution will be undergoing a major rebranding of its commercial banking operation. According to a statement from the Bank, the rebranding effort includes a new logo, a new tagline, and supporting marketing campaign. Misty Michael is the Marketing Manager for the Belize Bank Limited. The Belize Bank Limited is Belize’s oldest and largest, continuously operated banking institution, dating back to 1902 as the Bank of British Honduras. An official statement from the Bank says that in line with the institution’s strategic objectives, the Banks goal is to be the pre-eminent financial services provider in Central America and the Caribbean. Michael says that to achieve this goal, specific emphasis will be placed on its most valuable resource: the customers. The Belize Bank currently had twelve branches spread out across the country.

Murder in Orange Walk town
An early morning shooting incident in Orange Walk town has left tone man dead and another fighting for his life. Correspondent Arturo Cantun reports.

Murder in San Ignacio town
A Cayo high school teacher was found murdered in his home on Sunday afternoon. Our Cayo correspondent Elaine Berry has the story.

PlusTV

Sacred Heart College loses dynamic teacher in home invasion
Recently, San Ignacio was boasting a reduction in crimes such as home invasions, robberies, and even murders. Well ...

'Dalla Taxi' drama fuelling up in the north
The Orange Walk ‘Dalla Taxi’ drama is fuelling up. There is rising discontent between the regular taxi operators an...

Drunken brawl ends in house fire
Police is also investigating a case of Arson. On Sunday morning shortly after 12am police responded to a report in ...

Kaya Cattouse unseats three time champ in female Cross Country
Kaya Cattouse is the winner of the 2012 female cross country. Three time defending champ for the annual female cros...

One dead, another injured in Orange Walk shooting
There is also another murder reported; this time in Orange Walk Town. It reportedly happened early this morning, Ma...

Teen arrested in gun bust
On Sunday morning (May 13) CIB personnel conducted a search on Goal Lane, in Belize City. They entered the home of ...

Legacy Destiny House grand opening
A new drop in center in Belmopan opened its doors on Friday night. It is called Legacy Destiny House. The launch of...

Sen Sen Grocery store robbed
Ashley Zhu a Chinese Businesswoman of Sen Sen Grocery located at #5 Corner Daly & Craig Street, in Belize City repo...

Man robbed while visiting relatives
Mark Tillett had a bad encounter whilst visiting with a relative. 41year old Mark Tillett reported that on 11th May...

Blogs

The 8th Annual Reef Eco-Challenge - A Great Town Event
Each year, two-man or woman teams of kayakers take to the water for a 42 mile, two day kayaking marathon. The event highlights reef conservation and environmental friendliness and is just a super fun competition for those paddling (I'm hoping...these guys looked WHIPPED at the end) and for those on shore enjoying a Belikin and cheering them on. The event started at 6am, Saturday at the football field at the back of time. The racers paddled up to Bacalar Chico (the Mayan dug split that separates Ambergris Caye from the Yucatan Peninsula), camped over night and paddled back down yesterday. There were all sort of prizes at the end (not just ones for the true winners). There was: kayaker who had the most fun/smiled the most, most eco-friendly team, team that got the most lost, team that came in last place (apparently both of their paddles broke as they were just starting out Saturday morning). Elito Arceo, the organizer and host of the award ceremony, was having a good time recounting stories of the two day event. He's a pretty funny guy.

Yeah, About That Whole “Mayan Doomsday Calendar”...
I think we might need to push the conspiracy theory back a few years, thanks to the discovery of a Guatemalan inscription that represents the oldest Mayan calendar found to date. How many years are the Doomsdayers off? Oh, maybe 7,000? The ring number (a Mayan method of calculating astronomical dates, which is stunningly complex) and the lunar charts shown in the black-and-white paintings shown above point to dates almost seven millennia in the future from their A.D. 800 origin. They are accompanied by images of mayan scribes and subjects, as shown below. That puts any Mayan future predictions a bit beyond December 2012. But we already knew that was BS, right? Yet some still need convincing. University of Texas archaeologist David Stuart had this to say about the Mayan calendar, whose repeating nature is misconstrued as predicting an apocalypse: “The Mayan calendar is going to keep going for billions, trillions, octillions of years into the future. Numbers we can’t even wrap our heads around.” The Mayans kept these accurate calendars in order to coordinate religious festivals and royal events, especially to appeal to their gods for things like harvests and weather. In fact, at the time the Guatemalan paintings were made, they were locked in a deadly drought, and were perhaps charting dates for future appeals to a higher power.

International Sources

Ashcroft-Barrow Détente
The Dassault Falcon 7X carrying British billionaire Lord Ashcroft had not landed on Belizean soil for a full three years, and with good reason. His million dollar campaign contribution in 2008 to the then opposition United Democratic Party had helped to make Dean Barrow prime minister of Belize, the small, impoverished Central American nation of which Ashcroft had once said, “if home is where the heart is then Belize is my home”. But by 2009, Mr. Barrow had declared Lord Ashcroft – who had once served as Belize’s UN ambassador and been nominated by the Government of Belize for a knighthood – public enemy number one and a “new age colonial master”. Mr. Barrow nationalized the highly profitable phone company once associated with Lord Ashcroft, enacted ad hominem legislation with stiff jail sentences for anyone seeking to arbitrate against the Belize government anywhere in the world and launched a sustained public relations campaign characterizing Ashcroft, Lord of Chichester, as the enemy of the Belizean people.

Un-Belize-able! Ex-CEO of ResCap is just beachy
While billions of bad loans hit home for mortgage servicer Residential Capital yesterday when it filed for bankruptcy protection, the former chief responsible for its failed strategy can seek shelter miles away — in the tropical paradise of Belize. Bruce Paridis, a laid-back 62-year-old Midwesterner, became ResCap’s first CEO in 2005, when GMAC Mortgage merged with RFC, the Paridis-run GMAC unit that specialized in subprime loans for borrowers with less than stellar credit. “Since [Minneapolis-based] RFC was making so much money, the powers that be decided to go with RFC’s business model,” a ResCap exec told The Post. “Many departments were transferred to Minnesota, and RFC ruled supreme. It was only after the bubble that they realized how bad the RFC portfolio was and have been bleeding from these legacy assets ever since.” Today, Paridis is chairman of the nonprofit Home Ownership Preservation Program, which provides foreclosure counseling, and co-owns the Blue Tang Inn in Belize. Paridis, who retired from ResCap in 2007, did not return an e-mail for comment.

Shyne Calls Himself a 'Legend,' Diddy His 'Brother' & Speaks on 'Gangland' LP
AFP/Getty Images Shyne recently partnered with Israeli startup All Our Power, an international movement that aims to have consumers pool their buying power to force companies to lower prices for its members. In an interview with The Huffington Post regarding his union with AOP -- he's an investor -- the former Bad Boy signee, who currently lives in Belize after he was deported in 2009, spoke on his forthcoming Gangland album, reconciling with Diddy and critics bashing him. The Orthodox Jew rapper will release his Gangland LP in July. The "street album," as he calls it, will be released independently and serves as a precursor to his next LP, due in December. He'll also release a solo album in spring 2013. Shyne's new music hasn't been well-received by fans or critics. While he's aware of the negative feedback, the MC prides himself on being a "legend." "They said what they felt and I kept working, because at the end of the day I set a standard," he says. "Shyne is a legend, so people expect legendary performances from him. When it's not that, you got to keep working to get to that. The music I have now is a billion times better than all of that." As for Diddy, who has been criticized for leaving Shyne out on his own after the rapper took the fall for the infamous Club New York shooting that landed him in jail for eight years, the two have put their differences aside.

Mindpix Corp. launches new website and announces new Global Music Concert and TV Production Project in Belize
Mindpix Corp. (Pink: MPIX) launches their new website, www.mindpixcorp.com, and announces the pre-production of a Global Music Concert and TV Production and Broadcast Extravaganza in Belize on December 21st, 2012. Mindpix Corp., in association with eMax Media Group, is in the pre-production of a Global Musical festival for TV Broadcast, at a genuine Mayan temple in the country of Belize, Central America, and scheduled December 20- 21st, 2012. Armando Almirall , President of Mindpix Corp., stated, "We are honored to be invited to participate as the lead producers of this incredible global music concert, TV Production, Web-cast and Broadcast event." Armando Almirall, President of Mindpix Corp, and Nick Bougas, President of GreenWise Productions, stated, "Our vision is to provide an entertainment experience that coincides with an upcoming event that has already grabbed the imaginations of tens of millions of people who are waiting with a huge sense of anticipation of something extraordinary happening on this date. We intend to give them a focus for this amazing event and a celebration to match!

May 14, 2012

WEEKLY WEATHER OUTLOOK FOR BELIZE
Valid: May 14 – May 21, 2012

Synopsis: Model projections showing a low developing just offshore the coast of Belize by Thursday of this week. This feature will favor showers and thunderstorms increasing especially on Thursday through Monday. The onset of the rainy season could be early for some regions of Belize this year.

A quasi-stationary front over the Louisiana Gulf Coast to the central Gulf of Mexico has an induced surface trough of low pressure over the Yucatan Peninsula. These features together with a divergent SW’ly airstream from the Pacific aloft, have been generating outbreaks of thunderstorms and showers over Campeche, El Peten and western and southern Belize over the past 24-36 hours.

Analysis of the upper level weather charts show that the winter-time westerlies have now become disrupted over the subtropics, which is indicating a return to a summer pattern and the gradual onset of the 2012 rainy season. The GFS model projections of stability indices, surface pressure pattern and low level winds for the next five to seven days points to an increase in moisture and instability in the NW Caribbean and over northern Central America, as a surface low pressure system tries to become organized this week, and evolves into the first weak disturbance for the season just over and offshore Belize. The low will remain stationary just offshore central Belize on Thursday, and will then begin to track NNE into the eastern Gulf of Mexico during the coming weekend. Cloudy and unsettled weather will therefore persist over Belize during most of this week, with showers and thunderstorms becoming more persistent on Thursday through Monday of next week. This could mark the beginning of the rainy season for Belize. However, it is likely that the onset of the rains will be gradual in most places as we move towards June, but yes, the transition to a rainy season airflow pattern is almost completed as we should see more rainy days over the next seven to ten days.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekend Weather Report


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

Capt. Hillyboo's Fishing Report, 5/13/2012
Well this week was a very exciting fishing week. Capt Shark's together with Holiday Hotel hosted the 6th annual Dorado Fishing Tournament and it was a success. A total of 19 boats participated. The boat Cristina took first place landing 2 dorado's, and the Real Deal, captained by yours truly, me ( Hillyboo Lara) came out with the second place landing 2 dorado's as well, but only 1 of them qualified giving me the second place. My girlfriend caught the fish and sadly we lost a second one. It was a big bull. The Aliyah Marley captained by Ricky Marin came out 3rd. The fishing was good but could have been better if the tournament had not been held during a full moon...

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Lydia's Guest House, Placencia, Belize
Affordable and Clean Accomodations for the budget traveler.

VIDEO: Lydia's Cabanas, Placencia Belize
Comfortable 1 and 2 Bedroom,Clean Cabana Accommodations for the Budget Traveler. :Long term rentals available.

JCariddi Photography
JCariddi Photography has published some amazing shots of Gabriella Berrera's Addiction line of clothes. Mr. Cariddi has some great photos, and just created a FB page. Happy Birthday, Mr. Cariddi!

The Circus is in Town
This article isn't really about "the largest circus in Central America(so they claim)" having rolled into town. It's actually about the group that is working with the Cornerstone Foundation on the health accessibility mapping project. And about their day at Cahal Pech. "Yesterday, we had a great meeting with the Cornerstone Foundation about a health accessibility mapping project to benefit the people of San Ignacio. Students listened attentively to the lecture led by the foundation’s director. They then developed a plan to identify different GIS layers needed to suppport the data requests of the Cornerstone Foundation. The students quickly learned that unlike most US GIS projects there is not much readily available data. Thus, they headed into the field in small groups to interview residents, collect GPS points, document attribute data, and create field notes for later inclusion in GIS. By most accounts it was a hot, but interesting day. What’s most exciting is I think the students came up with a creative analysis of the problems identified by the Cornerstone Foundation. The student maps will be directly shared with the community and the Cornerstone Foundation in the next few weeks."

Happy Birthday Dylan!
Dylan’s sea roots are firmly in his family tree with all that he knows being born and raised in Caye Caulker and working the with the sea. His sea experience is therefore without question and that, twinned with his humble and sincere character means that we are working hard together to mould this young man into a Tour Guide and Captain! But before that, today he will celebrate another milestone, his 23rd birthday and for that we want to wish him Happy Birthday!

International Sources

Discover the beauty of Belize
The central American country, once the heartland of Mayan civilisation, boasts rugged mountains, lush lowlands and the longest barrier reef in the western hemisphere, all of which can be experienced in a single expedition thanks to a tie-up between Francis Ford Coppola Resorts, which bears the name of its famed filmmaker and hotelier, and Alexandra Cousteau. The eight-day discovery experience allows intrepid holidaymakers to trace the footsteps of Cousteau, the granddaughter of environmentalist Jacques Cousteau. She trekked through Belize last year to gather information for a forthcoming documentary that aims to heighten awareness of the country’s water issues. After touching down at Belize International Airport, guests will visit the national zoo en route to Blancaneaux Lodge, home for three nights of the holiday and where they will plant a tree to offset their journey’s carbon footprint.

For the first time, researchers track manta rays with satellites
For the first time, an international team of researchers has used satellites to track the movements of manta rays, providing valuable new information about the massive rays, which are considered "vulnerable" to extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The preliminary findings for the Atlantic mantas showed that they traveled as far as 680 miles over a one- to two-month period searching for food, sticking close to the coastline. They also spent considerable time in shipping lanes, which rendered them vulnerable to being hit by freighters. The manta ray, Manta birostris, is the largest of the rays, reaching as big as 25 feet across. Although they are closely related to sharks and are often called "devilfish" because of their frightening appearance, they are actually harmless to humans. The animals are filter feeders, straining large volumes of water through their mouths to extract zooplankton and fish eggs. They are considered vulnerable because fisherman often capture them to use as bait for sharks. Their gill rakers (fingerlike structures that filter out prey) are also used in traditional Chinese medicine. A team headed by Rachel T. Graham of the Wildlife Conservation Society in Punta Gorda, Belize, attached transmitters to six individuals -- four females, one male and one juvenile -- off the coast of Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. They reported in the journal PLoS One that they monitored the rays for periods ranging from 27 to 64 days, until the transmitters fell off.

Blogs

Solar Halo over San Pedro
Yesterday afternoon thanks to following my instinct and deciding to text tacoboy to see if he was having a good day at work, he replied back right away telling me to look at the sun. I went outside on the veranda, looked up and saw something super cool – a big halo around the sun. Of course I grabbed my camera and started snapping away to get a few good shots of this interesting weather phenomenon – not every day you get to see a solar halo. Solar Halos occur with cirrus clouds which have a thin and wispy appearance and are high altitude clouds, usually above 20,000 feet. These high altitude clouds are made of mostly ice crystals in the atmosphere which refract sunlight much like a prism does creating the colors of a rainbow around the sun.

Guanaja: Maybe the Prettiest Place I've Ever Been, Part One
The three Bay Islands sit about 10 miles off the coast of Honduras in the Carribean Sea. All of the islands have a history based in shipping, fishing, pirating and being discovered by Christopher Columbus himself (CC landed on Guanaja in 1502). The islanders speak primarily English as well as Spanish...very good for me. My Spanish, used extensively on the mainland, consists of "hola", "uno mas" and lots of hand gestures. Roatan (see: Roatan & the West End) is the most populated, most visited, has a cruise ship port and an international airport. But there are three islands all together...Roatan, Utila and Guanaja. (Said Gwa-NAH-ha). About 8 miles from Roatan is the least visited island of Guanaja. Wikipedia tells me that there are about 10,000 residents of Guanaja. I find that very hard to believe. But what is definitely true is that the majority don't live on the actual island (which is very hilly and densely wooded), most live on a small cay called just "The Cay" by residents. And there is not one car. Just alleys and sidewalks and houses and boats jammed packed into this tiny space. It's actually been called the Venice of Honduras (a bit of stretch but let's go with it).

Guanaja, Honduras: Maybe the Prettiest Place I've Ever Been, Part Two
The island Guanaja is interesting to me for so many reasons. The residents (citizens of Honduras...though some deny it) speak English and Spanish. The large main island is sparsely populated while everyone huddles on the tiny, tiny cay. The Cay has no roads or cars. The residents have a very close tie with the Cayman Islands (The Cay was founded by people from the Caymans). Almost everyone has family there and people travel back and forth. Jimmy Carter fishes there. There is talk that the US is building a base there. It is amazingly gorgeous and relatively unvisited. What is not interesting? So I described how I got to Guanaja and where I was staying in yesterday's post: Guanaja Part One. We were staying at Bo's Island House on the west side of the island, our host, George, had a cool boat and it was time to explore. Bo's has a great beach but like most of the beaches on the main island, there is hardly anyone else there. We had a few beers, hopped onto the boat and headed through the canal to the east side and the little cay where most of the residents of Guanaja live. The main island is practically untouched.

May 12, 2012

WEEKEND WEATHER OUTLOOK FOR BELIZE
Valid: Friday until Monday, May 11-14, 2012

Synopsis: A stable easterly to south-easterly airflow will persist across the NW Caribbean region and Belize this weekend. Surface heating and some influx of moisture could set-off some outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms mostly inland later on Sunday and Monday.

Rainfall Projections: Daily rainfall accumulations will be in the range of 0.01-0.10 of-an-inch over most areas on Friday and this weekend. However, daytime heating and the influx of some moisture will provide the energy for localized showers and thunderstorms, but mostly in the interior on Sunday and Monday. Daily rainfall rates will be in the range of 0.25-0.50 of-an-inch on Sunday through Monday in some localities of the Cayo, Stann Creek and Orange Walk Districts.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekend Weather Report


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

The San Pedro Sun

Students sit the last Part of PSE
Standard six students from across the country sat the second part of the Primary School Examination (PSE) on Monday, May 7th. 197 students from primary schools in San Pedro Town and Caye Caulker Village sat the exams at the San Pedro High School. The second part of the exam tests the student’s ability in two subject areas, namely Mathematics and Social Studies. The Mathematics had two parts, papers I which was the problem solving and paper II which was the multiple choice segment. In Social Studies, the students received 50 multiple choice questions which ranged from politics, to local government to current events. In speaking to The San Pedro Sun, Kai Yu of New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist Primary School explained that the examination overall was easy with a few challenging questions mainly in the problem solving section of Mathematics. Yu said that while studying hard did help, mentoring and mock test prepared by the teachers played a crucial role in them sitting the exam.

The 8th Lagoon Reef Eco-Challenge set; kayakers are ready!
Final preparations are ongoing for the 8th annual Lagoon Reef Eco-Challenge Kayak Race that is scheduled for this weekend, May 12th and 13th. The challenge consists of two days of kayaking, a total of 42 miles, within the inner lagoons and along the shores of Ambergris Caye. The main purpose is to celebrate and highlight the importance of the ecosystem on and around the island. The challenge, which began back in 2005, has become one of the main events that islanders look forward to each year. This year, organizers expect in excess of 40 teams to enter the challenge with over $15,000 in prizes. The main organizer of the Lagoon Reef Eco-Challenge, Elito Arceo, explained that the route has been marked and all the “nuts and bolts” are in place for the race which will kick off in two days’ time (Saturday May 12th) from the Barcadero area.

ACES rescues Tia the Anteater in San Juan
A Collard Anteater or Tamandua, was rescued in San Juan on Sunday night, May 6th, thanks to the quick response of wildlife specialists Vince and Cherie Rose, of ACES, the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary. The little critter is now receiving care at the TAMANDUA World rehabilitation facility in the Cayo District. The Collared Anteater is not commonly seen on the island but at times has been reported roaming the streets in the less traveled areas of town as well as the northern area of Ambergris Caye. It is a nocturnal, terrestrial and solitary creature which lives in trees and is found in Central and South America. As its name suggests, it feeds mainly on ants, termites and bees extracted after ripping apart their nests with their fore-claws. The average size of a Collard Anteater is around 23 inches in body length; while the tail would range around 19 inches with an average weight of about 13lbs. The suffering Anteater, affectionately dubbed “Tia” (Aunt in Spanish) was found in San Juan under a London bridge in polluted water. According to Cherie, ACES was on a crocodile call in the area, when the little critter was found dehydrated, and apparently very tired. Her tail was bleeding from about three places and appeared to have bite marks, slightly healed, on her nose and neck.

“The Importance of Traffic Safety” poster and essay contest announced
Kenrick “Kenny” Brackett, town councilor responsible for transport has joined forces with The San Pedro Sun and Reef Radio to launch a traffic safety poster and essay contest under the title, “The Importance of Traffic Safety.” The poster contest is slated for primary grade students and is divided into three different age groups. Infant 1 and 2, Standard 1,2 and 3 and Standard 4,5 and 6. The students are to design posters that include the various traffic signs such as pedestrian crossing, stop, yield and roundabout and what they mean. Each of the three age groups will choose one winning poster to be submitted to the judging finale. Along with the submission each age group must collectively create an advertising “jingle” or ad to go along with the poster

ACCSD welcomes Environmentalists to San Pedro
Last week Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development (ACCSD) were honored to have the visit of Ms. Lori Maddox and Heidi Weiskel from ELAW, USA along with colleagues Alejandra Serrano –CEMDA Mexico, Emilio d’Cuire – IDAMHO Honduras, Jeanette Noack – Alianza de Derecho Ambiental y Agua, Guatemala, Candy Gonzalez – Belpo, Belize and Mary Toy and Adrian Vernon – PCSD Placencia, Belize. They were welcomed by ACCSD with a tour to the proposed marine protected areas in the Mexico Rock’s, Los Bajos and Mata Cayo Frances Lagoon. During the afternoon they met at the ACCSD office for a meeting with the Board of Directors of ACCSD. The purpose of the reunion was to share the effects and strategies to preserve the natural resources shared among the respective countries. ACCSD briefly gave a description about the proposed marine protected areas they are currently working on, which are Los Bajos, Mexico Rocks and Mata Cayo Frances Lagoon. Each attendee was able to share their own strategies, methods and results on their countries and on goals which they are working on together with their communities to protect their environments.

Ambergris Today

Students Honor San Pedro Moms
Moms are so special and dear to all of us, and for this reason students of San Pedro celebrated in grand Mother's Day on Thursday, May 10, 2012. ABC Pre-School held the mother's day day arts and crafts session where moms got to enjoy a special day with their children. Teachers and students of San Pedro RC School held a mother's day program for all the moms. Students recited poems, performed dances and songs and there were raffles carried out throughtout the program. Below are some pictures for your enjoyment!

Environmentalists Share Their Knowlege with San Pedro
Last week The Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development (ACCSD) were honored to have the visit of a group of environmentalist which consisted of Ms. Lori Maddox and Heidi Weiskel from ELAW, USA along with colleagues Alejandra Serrano –CEMDA Mexico, Emilio d’Cuire – IDAMHO Honduras, Jeanette Noack – Alianza de Derecho Ambiental y Agua, Guatemala, Candy Gonzalez – Belpo, Belize and Mary Toy and Adrian Vernon – PCSD Placencia, Belize. They were welcomed by ACCSD with a tour to the proposed marine protected areas in the Mexico Rock’s, Los Bajos and Mata Cayo Frances Lagoon. During the afternoon they met at the ACCSD Office for a meeting with its Board of Directors. The purpose of the reunion was to share the effects and strategies to preserve the natural resources shared among the respective countries.

Princess Presents Conservation Award to Minister Lisel Alamilla of Belize
On Wednesday, May 9, 2012, HRH The Princess Royal (Princess Anne) presented a Whitley Award for inspirational conservation leadership to Belize’s recently appointed Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development for her work to protect the Maya Golden Landscape as Executive Director of the Ya’axché Conservation Trust. The Honorable Lisel Alamilla received the award during a ceremony at the Royal Geographical Society in London, hosted by Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN) – the UK-based charity which organizes the international awards scheme. Her Whitley Award comprises a project grant of £30,000 (US$48,480) donated by The William Brake Charitable Trust, an engraved trophy and membership of the influential network of past Whitley Award winners.

Andy Palacio Gets Homage at Belize Consulate Los Angeles
Although one of his three large size art work on display is that of President Obama and Prime Minister Dean Barrow, Greg Palacio’s painting entitled “Homage to Andy V. Palacio” created the most conversation during the official opening of his exhibit on Saturday, April 28th, at the office of the Belize Consulate in Los Angeles. With family, friends and supporters in attendance, Greg walked his audience through all sixteen pieces of his works emphasizing the motivation for each. Palacio has received several awards for his work. He has exhibited his paintings in the United States and in Belize, most notably at: The Findings Museum in San Pedro, California; California State University in Los Angeles; the Rialto Theater in Atlanta; Cambridge University in Boston, Massachusetts; Fields Museum in Chicago, Illinois; El Camino College in Torrance, California; the Pasadena Public Library, and the Bliss Institute in Belize. His work can also be found in private collections and in prestigious institutions, as well as gracing book covers, CD jackets, postcards, calendars, and in books.

Misc Belizean Sources

Chaa Creek's Summer Camp Scholarships
Chaa Creek is having their annual Summer Kids Camp from July 21st through July 29th. Kids can submit an essay about why they want to be an eco-kid, and win a scholarship for the camp. Once again, 24 children will be selected to receive the scholarships. The kids will have the time of their lives while learning about the jungle, the Maya, the history of Belize, and much more. "ATTENTION PARENTS: Chaa Creek's 2012 ECO KIDS SUMMER CAMP scholarships. The due date for essays is June 4th and the Summer Camp is at Chaa Creek from July 21st - July 29th. Thank you for your participation, feel free to share with other parents and friends."

Women's Cross Country Cycling Classic this Sunday
This Sunday, starting at 8:30am in Cayo, and ending in Belize: the 23rd Women's Cross Country Cycling Classic. Good luck to all! The SIRH posted a good picture for the C-Rey team. "The first female rider to cross the finish line will receive $800.00, a trophy, garland, $500.00 BTL phone package and 2 Hot Stone Massages. The second place finisher will receive $600.00, a trophy, and lunch buffet for 2. The third place person will receive $400.00 and a trophy, 4th place will receive $125.00 and a trophy, 5th place will receive $75.00 and a trophy, while 6th -10th places will receive medals."

Amber Sunset's Belizean Summer Specials
Amber Sunset, Cayo's newest eco-lodge is offering 50% off for Belizeans through September 30th. Treat yourself to a relaxing jungle getaway this Summer. For more information, call 824-3141.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake
We tried this recipe for Pineapple Upside Down cake because it seemed simple to make and it required a cast iron pot. We absolutely loved the taste and texture of the cake which was surprising to us being that it didn't have any butter in it. The butter was actually mixed in with the brown sugar to top the cake.

Understanding the Complexity of the Modern Belizean Economy
Belize has a small, domestically focused economy that has experienced solid but unspectacular growth over the past twenty years thanks to strong population growth and the gradual development of its tourism sector, as well as a generally pro-business policy by both major political parties. Belize benefits strongly from its historic links to the United Kingdom and the tradition of free market capitalism it inherited, as well as the corporate legal framework integral to the British Common Law system. Although once dominated by a small number of “colonial” corporate entities, Belize now has a remarkably open economy where major international investors have been able to acquire and control significant assets such as the major electricity and water utilities. Nonetheless it should be noted that shortly after gaining power in 2008, the Barrow administration re-nationalized Belize Telemedia Ltd. (the dominant telecom utility) in order to remove it from the control of British financier Michael Ashcroft, which the Barrow administration appeared to feel was playing too large a role in Belize’s economy as he also owned the country’s largest bank. Belize’s 2010 GDP was estimated at USD 1.40 billion (official exchange rates) and USD 2.65 billion on a purchasing power parity basis. GDP grew at about a 4% compound rate from 1990-2008, although growth slowed considerably since then as a result of the global financial crisis. After remaining flat in 2009, it is estimated that Belize’s GDP grew by 2.0% in 2010, and is poised to return to trend-line growth of 3%-5% in 2011. Belize’s 2010 GDP was categorized into three major sectors (CIA Fact Book): · Agriculture: 22% · Industry: 20% · Services: 58%

Channel 7

THREE MEN KILLED, THREE SHOT IN ONE HOUR ON THURS NIGHT
Last night 3 people were shot and three of them killed countrywide within one deadly hour that saw killing in Belize City and Dangriga. We start our coverage of the very violent Thursday evening in Dangriga - where 36 year old James Hyde was executed. Now, these kinds of crimes are all too common in Belize City - but in Dangriga, it's unheard of. Jules Vasquez went south today to see what may be behind this one - here's his report:.. Jules Vasquez reporting The shooting happened here at this property at the corner of Riverside and Oak Streets. James Hyde, called Peca, was known to hang out with friends right here every evening. Last night at 7:20, he was sitting in this bloodstained chair, facing the North Stann Creek River when a pair of gunmen came out of a car and crept up from this side of the yard and released a hail of bullets on him. The force of the shower of bullets caused Hyde to fall backwards here. Random bullet holes can be seen all over the area.

MAN KILLED IN CITY, ELITE CYCLIST GRAZED
And twenty minutes before that execution in Dangriga - there was a shooting in the city. 25 year old Leo Palacio was killed - and Elite cyclist and National Road Champion Byron Pope almost lost his life. 17 year old Dennis Talbert, 22 year old Pope and Palacio were hanging out at the corner of Central American Boulevard and Pelican Street when two dark complexion male persons approached them running from the direction of Curassow Street. Police Press Officer, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood told us what happened next:.. Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer "Whilst these men were hanging out on Central American Boulevard they saw two dark complexion men on bicycle coming from the direction of Curassow Street. These men open fire when they approach them causing the injuries. The men rode off making good their escape afterwards."

GSU SAYS PUBLIC OFFICER TRIED TO BRIBE OFFICER ON MCAFEE'S BEHALF
And about one hour after that shooting - there was a wild shootout on the south side of Belize City - and 30 year old Jason Canto was killed. It happened at Dale barbershop on the canal side - where residents heard as many as twenty five shots fired. 7news was on the scene and we'll have that story for you shortly, but first, there is a quite remarkable development in the John McAfee case. You'll recall that McAfee is the American investor who was strung up by the GSU when they searched his Orange Walk Estate ten days ago. Well, this evening the Commander GSU says that a public officer tried to get a GSU officer to turn informant for McAfee - and tell her whenever the GSU will make a move on him again. Here's how it went down: On Monday of this week 44 year old Matilda GARNETT, a Second Class clerk who works at the Vital Statistics Unit allegedly contacted a member of the GSU and asked him to meet her. He did, and GARNETT, claiming that she was acting on behalf of McAfee proposed to the officer that if he would provide her with reports on the operations of the GSU as they related to McAfee, he would be quote, unquote, "handled" well. The officer reported the matter to the commander of GSU and a sting operation was conducted the following day. During that meeting, GARNETT is alleged to have introduced the officer to another person who she said was one of McAfee's "right hands", 40 year old Rodwell RICHARDS - a former policeman. He is alleged to have made the same offer to the officer and allegedly went as far as giving him $200.00 with a promise of being "well taken care of" once he kept them informed.

ROBBERS GO AFTER BUSINESSMAN, KILLS HIS BODYGUARD
As we told you at the top of the newscast, three men were killed and three more injured in shootings across the country last night. We've already told you about two of those murder - and now we have the sotry of the third. One hour after the first shooting in the city which claimed the life of Leo Palacio, there was a wild shootout on the southside of Belize City - and 30 year old Jason Canto was killed. Here's what happened: Two men went to rob a businessman who was getting a haircut in Dale Barber Shop - and Canto sprang to his defence. A hail of gunfire ensured, leaving Canto dead, one patron wounded and one of the robbers with multiple gunshot wounds. 7news was on the scene and Monica Bodden spoke with Canto's family today. Here's the full story:.. Monica Bodden reporting This is where the shooting happened at Dale's Barber shop on West Canal at 7:45 last night. A crowd of spectators gathered around the scene - many in shock trying to digest what had just happened. Witnesses heard as many as 27 shots let go in a hail of gunfire. The victim, 29 year old Jason Canto lay dead inside the Baber Shop as

COMPOL'S WISHES DENIED, GUATEMALAN GUN CARRIER ARRAIGNED
Last night we told you all about the case of Guatemalan Ismael Antonio Moran Enriquez. He was caught entering Belize with a loaded 45 Colt Pistol on Wednesday. It's a prohibited firearm but the Commissioner of Police David Henderson did not want him to be charged. The COMPOL says that Moran had no intent of entering the country and was just helping a woman across with a bag. But, there was no bag and no help being given. And so the Director Of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lyn Vidal found that the facts presented by the police were not borne out in the evidence, which was forwarded to her. She instructed the officer in charge of Benque Viejo to have Moran arraigned. That happened this morning - where he was read charges of possession of a prohibited firearm and ammunition. He pleaded not guilty, and was remanded to prison. His case was adjourned until August ninth.

DOG OWNER CHARGED FOR BIZARRE BAT INCIDENT
33 year-old Russell Gongora, a businessman of Los Lagos, was arraigned for harm in the Magistrate's Court today. It is alleged that Gongora's dogs attacked a man, but instead of helping the man defending himself, Gongora fought with him. According to police, 35 year-old Andre Gonzalez, an Airlines Manager, reported that he was walking on a street in Los Lagos on Wednesday, when he was attacked by two dogs that rushed out of a nearby yard. Gonzalez said that he pulled out a baseball bat to defend himself from being bitten by those dogs. But according to Gonzalez, that's when the owner of the dogs, later identified as Russell Gongora, came out of his house, and wrested away the baseball bat. Gongora apparently got angry because Gonzalez was using it on his dogs, and that's when he allegedly used it to strike Gonzalez all over his body. Gonzalez ended up suffering injuries to his lips, behind his left knee area, and to the left side of the back.

CHESSMAN GETS OFF THIRD MURDER ACCUSATION
22 year-old John Chessman Jr., who was charged with double murder of 19 year-old Karen Crawford and 44 year-old Maurice Cadle, was acquitted today in the Supreme Court before Justice Adolph Lucas. This is the second murder trial in which he has walked free. On May 29, 2008, Crawford and Cadle were killed in Bermudian Landing in what police believed to be the product of drug-related activtities. One of the witnesses testified that at around 7:30 on that day he was walking home from work when he saw Crawford and Cadle socializing on Cadle's verandah along with another Bermudian Landing resident. That's when a gunman, whose face was not visible, ran from around the house and pointed the gun at them. The gunman was reportedly looking for Emmerson Wade, Crawford's boyfriend, who wasn't there at the time. According to the witness, he saw the gunman fire a shot which hit he house, and that's when he ran away to try to get help. Minutes later, he heard 3 more gunshots. During that time, the gunman, who police believed - but couldn't prove - came with 3 accomplices, and one of the men shot Cadle in the left temple area. One of the assailants then shot Crawford in the back of the head, and everybody escaped without any witnesses being able to identify them.

COPS GET TRAINING
Often-times on the news - you'll hear members of the public complaining about the police. Some of the criticisms are fair; some are not, but the truth is that the Department remains a ripe target for criticism because many of its officers lack training and professional development. But that's what's been happening at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan this week: Management Training for Inspectors. A few of the participants told us what they were learning and how they plan to put it to use:.. Inspector John Sanchez, Deputy Commander, ADU "This training was geared up all about police management. It was gear up towards preparing us as managers - as young managers in the senior officer bracket of the police department to better plan and organize and lead our officers in the daily execution of their duty and by extension our deliverance of service to the wider public which we are mandated to do." Inspector Santiago Ciau, Commander Homicide Unit "We also train on analyzing evidence - how to represent evidence in court. What type of evidence you need to present in court and likewise we deal widely on police corruption. What measures needs to be taken to stop corruption, police brutality, measures needs to be taken to minimize it or to stop it on a whole and also we did the drills for police officers because there will come a time that you will need to do you training and drilling is a part of the training that we need to teach."

WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY RIDES
The 23rd Annual Women's Cross Country Classic will be held this Sunday, Mother's Day where 7 female riders will be competing for the title in the 70 mile long ride. The race may not feature as many riders or be as rich as the men's event, but the title is still prestigious. IT starts at the Columbus Park in San Ignacio Town at 8:30am and travels to Belize City for a finish at Leslie's Imports. Today 7news caught up with one of the organizers who told us that the race will be competetive. James Muschamp, Organizer "Sundays' race is slated to start at the Columbus Park in San Ignacio, at the foot at the Hawksworth Bridge just in front of the police station and it is schedule to travel along the Western Highway and finish in front of Leslie's Import." "To date we have 7 females registered for the race. The day is schedule to be a hot day, these females will be contending for the title of female cross country champion and we are expecting the race is going to be somewhat long." "In previous we had up to 15 riders riding the race. Over the last couple years the numbers of female have been declining somewhat. Over the last two years I've seen between 7 and 10 females riding the race. To see the numbers of females riding the race - they are still competitive, they just as competitive as the guys in the big cross country. It's just that females take on more than one role." "Some of these females are moms, some ate students. They all have different hats that they wear and on top of that they are riding against each other for the coveted title."

LISEL ALAMILLA'S AWARD, A CLOSER LOOK
Earlier this week we told you about the prestigious international conservation award won by Minister of forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Lisel Alamilla. It's the Whitley Fund For Nature Award for inspirational conservation leadership for the work Alimilla did to protect the Maya Golden Landscape as Executive Director of the Ya'axché Conservation Trust. Tonight we'll share with you the video cataloguing that work - which was prepared by the Whitely Fund and narrated by renowned naturalist David Attenborough: As noted before, this is the second year in a row that Belize has a Whitley Award winner - last year a similar prize went to marine conservationist Dr Rachel T. Graham. But that's not all, Marine Biologist Nicole Auil Gomez was the first Belizean to win it back in 2005.

Channel 5

3 shot in Barbershop, one dead; prominent businessman the hero
Thursday night was an unusually bloody night. There were three murders within the span of an hour—two in Belize City alone and one in Dangriga. We’ll have full details of the all the murders. But we first start with the last murder for the night which brings us to Dale’s Barber Shop on East Canal [...]

More shootings; on Boulevard, 3 injured, one dead
The increased patrols throughout the former capital did little to deter gunmen from reaching their target. The shooting sprees, normally reserved for the weekend, continued unabated. Earlier in the night, police were called to another scene, this one on Central American Boulevard. Three men were shot and one was murdered. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports. [...]

Viewers have their opinion registered in online poll
This week’s question was: Should tax payers’ monies be spent to pay the gangs a weekly salary? It appears to have struck a chord among viewers and almost six hundred voted on our e-poll. Ninety-two percent said “no” to paying the gangs, while eight percent said “yes”. The blog section was also loaded with comments [...]

GSU charge McAfee associates for tying to corrupt a cop
The Orange Walk residence of millionaire businessman John McAfee was stormed by Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) personnel during a police operation on April thirtieth. The raid which resulted in the arrest of three security guards left a bitter taste in McAfee’s mouth and he later demanded an apology from the Belize Police Department. Tonight, two [...]

Did trouble follow a murder victim from Capital to Dangriga?
A man, originally from Roaring Creek, was murdered in Dangriga on Thursday night. James Hyde was at a yard where he and a group of friends regularly convene after fishing. That location is where he was ambushed from behind by at least three armed men. He is not known as a trouble maker among Dangriga [...]

Cops launch 2 investigations into Boco T’s death
  As previously reported in Thursday’s newscast, a criminal investigation is being conducted by the Belize Police Department to determine whether Kevin ‘Boco T’ Kelly, who died while in custody at the San Pedro Police Station, was indeed murdered. Kelly was initially detained on the night of April twenty-sixth following a robbery on the island [...]

Guatemalan charged for crossing border with loaded prohibited weapon
Guatemalan national, twenty-eight year old Ismael Antonio Moran Enriquez is tonight on remand at the Central Prison after he was caught at the Benque Viejo Border on Thursday morning with a point forty-five Colt pistol loaded with ten live rounds. The Melchor de Mencos resident, however, was not immediately charged but kept in detention and [...]

Russell Gongora charged with Aggravated Assault
Guns aren’t the only weapons that are causing charges to be levied in local courts. Apparently pets can also cause arrests. Two dogs belonging to Los Lagos resident, thirty-three year old Russell Gongora, reportedly attacked Andre Gonzalez as he walked by on Wednesday. But today, Gongora was read two criminal charges, not because his dogs [...]

Belize City man acquitted of double murder
John Chessman Junior, one of three Belize City men accused of executing a brutal double murder in Bermudian Landing in 2008, was acquitted of those charges earlier this evening. Chessman, who saw his case committed to trial at the Supreme Court following the collapse of similar cases brought against his accomplices, appeared before Justice Adolph [...]

Mother’s Day celebrated; kids say why mom is the best
Mother’s Day is coming up this Sunday and most persons are making big plans for the special ladies in their lives. The flowers have been bought to be delivered on Sunday. However, one lucky mom was in the spotlight on this morning’s Open Your Eyes after her daughter submitted a winning story on why she [...]

LOVE FM

Thursday, May 10 - POLICE NEWS
46-year-old Angel Espat, the manager of Shell Gas Station in Ladyville, who allegedly punched one of his employees, was charged with harm when he appeared in court. Espat pleaded not guilty to the charge. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser offered him a bail of $1,000.00 and a...

BELIZE AND MEXICO TO MEET FOR 3rd SPECIAL TRADE MISSION
Trade and commerce have been around for ages and many countries depend on their natural wealth or skills to advance their economies. Next week, Belize and Mexico will sit down for a third special trade mission to look at new ways of merging our assets in the field of infrastructu...

NEW DEVELOPMENTS FOR IMPROVEMENT OF RICE QUALITY AND COMPETITIVENESS
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture is implementing needed measures to assist the rice industry in the Toledo district. Paul Mahung reporting… “ The measures are in line with efforts being made by the Ministry of Natural Resources and...

CLAIMS OF POLITICAL VICTIMIZATION IN THE MINISTRY OF WORKS
Former employees of the Ministry of Works in Orange Walk Town are claiming victimization. Manuela Ayuso Cantun reporting… “Former employees of the Ministry of Works are claiming that their services were terminated as a result of political victimiza...

CHIEF JUSTICE TO RULE ON ELECTION PETITION NEXT WEEK
Election petitions filed last month in the Supreme Court of Belize between the two political parties have had political pundits and fanatics passing their opinions on how the respective judgment will go. That day will come one week from today but following legal arguments this af...

BELIZEAN RECEIVES BASKETBALL SCHOLARSHIP
17-year-old Devin Daly, a student of St. John’s College recently participated in the King James Basketball Tournament in Ohio, USA. For the fourth year honor student, his performance at the tournament attracted the attention of college scouts and today surrounded by officials and...

MINISTER OF NATIONAL SECURITY EXPLAINS DELAYED AUTOPSIES
Since the sudden death on April twenty-sixth, of thirty-four year old Kevin Kelly, known as Boco T, his family and friends have been vocal about their suspicion that the police were responsible for his death. Kelly died while in police custody at the San Pedro Police Station and ...

CTV3

LOVE TV

Single woman works to feed her family
With the approach of Mother’s Day celebration on Sunday, there is a flurry of activities designed to show special favors to that special woman. And with today’s hard realities, the day’s celebration will be especially sweet for one special lady. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo and video journalist Brian Castillo reports.

American national says he came to Belize to molest a child
The United States Justice Department is reporting that an American national has pleaded guilty to traveling to Belize almost eleven years ago to molest a child. Seventy two year old Roland J. Flath entered the guilty plea on Wednesday of this week during a federal court appearance in Milwaukee. Love News reported back in June of 2010 that Flath, who resided in Copper Bank in the Corozal district, was arrested by police on charges of allegedly sexually assaulting a teenage girl. According to initial report, the sexual assault of the minor began when she was ten years old. Flath was arraigned in Magistrate’s court; but absconded while on bail. He was arrested in February of last year by the Guatemalan National Civil Police and extradited to the United States where he was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and the U.S. Marshal Service. The case against Flath is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide United States initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. The program was launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Flath faces a potential maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.

Guatemalan national charged for prohibited firearm
A Guatemalan who was nabbed at the Benque Viejo border crossing earlier this week has been remanded to the Hattieville Prison for being in possession of a prohibited firearm on Belizean territory. Twenty-eight year old Ismael Moran Enriquez, who reportedly had the loaded weapon in his pants pocket, crossed the western border asking Immigration authorities if he could assist a lady carry a bag through the border station. His problem was that when he did so, he was on Belizean soil with a firearm that is prohibited under Belizean law. The .45 Colt pistol was loaded with ten live rounds, and it is licensed in Guatemala, but to Moran’s boss. Police Press Officer, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood told Love News that contrary to other media reports, Enriquez was dealt with swiftly.

Man walks free of double-murder charges
A jury of eight women and four men deliberated for about four hours and fifteen minutes today in the courtroom of Justice Adolph Lucas before it found twenty two year old John Chessman NOT GUILTY of the murders of forty four year old Maurice Cadle and nineteen year old Karen Crawford. Cadle and Crawford were shot and killed around 8 o’clock on the night of Tuesday, May 29, 2008 in Bermudian Landing village. The chief evidence for the prosecution was a verbal statement Chessman gave to police Sergeant Nicholas Palomo that was admitted as evidence after a voire dire was held. Palomo said that on June third, 2008 Chessman told him that he, Chessman, wanted to know how he was linked to the murders because it was so clean. Palmo also said that Chessman told him that where Crawford fell was where the money was; but Crawford brought a flashlight when she should have brought a shovel. Palomo said he asked Chessman if he wanted to give a written statement and Chessman declined. One witness, Robert Panting, testified that he saw the two deceased and Owen Hendy on the verandah and a gunman came from behind the house and asked for Emmerson. Panting said he saw when the gunman opened fire. Panting said he witnessed when the police arrived and he saw Cadle lying on the ground in a pool of water with a gunshot wound to his right temple. Another witness, Owen Hendy, who had identified Chessman as the person who pointed a pistol at him and the pistol misfired three times, was not available to testify because he could not be located. Crawford was shot in the back of the head. Chessman gave a statement from the dock in which he denied having anything to do with the murders. Chessman was represented by attorney Trecia Pitts Anderson. In 2008, Chessman and his brother, Robert Gillett, were acquitted of the murder of Myra Naomi Garcia whose throat was cut with a samurai sword after was raped.

Murder in Dangriga
The murder flurry was not confined to Belize City. Dangriga police are also trying to solve the fatal shooting of thirty-seven year old James Hyde, who was shot dead while at a friend’s house. It happened at the Corner of Oak and Riverside Streets, reportedly by occupants of a white four-door car. At the receiving end were Hyde and two friends, Akeem Noralez and Michael Jackson, who lives at the address. Police are also investigating the motive of this fatal shooting.

City homicides claim two lives
Three more families are tonight mourning the senseless murder of their loved ones. Two of the homicides happened in the old capital, less than an hour apart. Love TV’s Marion Ali and video journalist Myles Gillett were on the crime beat early this morning.

Mexican trade mission headed for Belize
Trade and commerce have been around for ages and many countries depend on their natural wealth or skills to advance their economies. Next week, Belize and Mexico will sit down for a third special trade mission to look at new ways of merging our assets in the field of infrastructure. The whole effort aims to develop greater investment opportunities for Mexican and Belizean businesspeople who can find some common ground in their respective line of work. Head of the Mexican Embassy’s Trade, Tourism and Investment Unit in Belize, Marco Antonio Lopez, says the event will be open to all businesspeople who are looking for joint ventures. He assures that it is not the aim of the Mexican businessmen to compete with Belizeans or monopolize the market, but to increase their range, and perhaps even look to the Caribbean and Central America to market their products. The whole goal from the local standpoint, according to Events Planner and Public Relations Coordinator at the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service, Nilda Sosa Riverol, is to create new and more innovative business opportunities for Belizean investors. The trade mission starts next Wednesday and runs thru to next Friday.

Election petitions continue through the courts
Election petitions filed last month in the Supreme Court of Belize between the two political parties have had political pundits and fanatics passing their opinions on how the respective judgment will go. That day will come one week from today but following legal arguments this afternoon for the two contenders, the PUP’s Martin Galvez against the UDP’s Mark King in Lake Independence, the attorneys for the two sides weighed in. Galvez is taking King to court on grounds that King did not declare prior to his bid for political office that he had a contract to provide security services for the Government of Belize. Galvez’ attorney, Senior Counsel Lisa Shoman, was confident that her arguments were solid. While Shoman is of that view, Senior Counsel, Denys Barrow, who represented Mark King, felt entirely different, and he made a submission to have the case struck out. The day’s proceedings were based on arguments over an old piece of legislation dating back more than two centuries ago. Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin will rule on the matter May 17th. Meanwhile, attorneys in the other election petition that was heard today, Senior Counsels, Said Musa for the PUP’s Orlando Habet and Rodwell Williams for the UDP’s Elvin Penner. On April tenth when the matter was first called up, Supreme Court Justice, Minette Hafiz, ruled that the bribery charge against Penner could be brought forth because the time allowed by law for that charge to be brought against someone had already expired. Today, Mr Musa, who argued that the time had not elapsed based on another date that he made reference to, asked the Supreme Court to consider the bribery charge to be allowed. Justice Hafiz ruled that she could not make a ruling on that matter and referred both sides to the Court of Appeal.

Alleged Freedom Street robber arraigned in court
33-year-old Jose Ayala, a supervisor residing on Freedom Street who allegedly robbed a woman at gunpoint was charged with robbery when he appeared in court today. Ayala pleaded not guilty to the charge. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser explained to him that the court cannot offer him bail because the offence was committed with a firearm. She also explained to him that if his attorney Simeon Sampson applies to the Supreme Court for bail and bail is denied the Magistrate Court cannot offer him bail even after the three months has elapsed. She remanded him into custody until July 4. The incident occurred around 5:33 p.m. on April 28. The woman, 23-year-old Shantae White reported to the police that she was walking on Newtown Barracks and she was approached by two men when she reached the intersection with Wilson Street. She said one of the men pointed a firearm at her and she handed over her white purse that contained $175.00, a pair of black shoes, her pink cellular phone, her wristwatch, her silver chain with eagle medal and her makeup kit. She said the items amounted to $935.00 in value.

Employer charged for hitting employee
46-year-old Angel Espat, the manager of Shell Gas Station in Ladyville, who allegedly punched one of his employees, was charged with harm when he appeared in court. Espat pleaded not guilty to the charge. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser offered him a bail of $1,000.00 and adjourned his case until July 5. The incident occurred around 6 a.m. on Monday, May 7. The employee, 25-year-old Deloid Crawford reported to the Police that when he arrived at work Espat called him into his office and they had a discussion about him causing problem to Espat’s business. Crawford said Espat then punched him to the right side of his face and caused some harm. Crawford was given a medico legal form and the doctor examined him classified his injury as harm. Espat said Crawford disrespected him and his daughter.

Armed robbery in Belmopan
An armed robbery was reported in Belmopan yesterday evening. Fifty one year old Carlos Medina tells police that around five o’clock yesterday evening, he and an employee were standing in front of his residence when he was approached from behind by two men of dark complexion. One of the men reportedly pointed a black and silver nine millimetre pistol to Media’s face. Fearing for his life, Medina says that he dropped his black portfolio bag containing five hundred and forty eight dollars in cash, and several books on the ground. The gunman reportedly picked up the bag and both men fled the scene. Belmopan police say they are looking for twenty year old Emerson Faber and twenty year old Julian Dyer, both residents of George Street in connection with this incident.

American businesswoman held up and robbed
An American businesswoman was held up and robbed last night in her home in San Ignacio town. According to police, the terrifying incident occurred around eight o’clock last night when sixty year old Nancy Skiles was accosted by three masked men who were armed with machetes. Police say Skiles was attacked in her home in the Trench Town Area San Ignacio Town. Reports say that one of the masked men grabbed Skiles around her neck and told her not to say anything or she would be killed. Police say Skiles was ordered to lie on the floor and the robbers proceeded to tie her hands behind her back. Whilst on the ground, police say Skiles told them that she saw two other men dressed in black with masks covering their faces and armed with machetes. One of the men reportedly asked her for a Laptop computer, and when she said that she did not have any, the man punched her to the face injuring her upper and lower lips. The men proceeded to search Skiles’ house and stole her purse containing two thousand, five hundred dollars in cash and other documents. The three assailants then fled the scene. Police investigation continues.

PlusTV

Barber gunned down inside shop
The second murder took place about an hour later. Jason Canto was brutally murdered in his barber shop last night. ...

Officers placed on interdiction during internal audit Boco-T death's
A post mortem examination on the body of Kevin Kelly aka Boco T was conducted by Dr. Mario Estradabran on Tuesday w...

One dead, two injured in Belize City shooting
We start with the first murder of 25 year old Leo Palacio last night at around 6:30pm. Initial investigation reveal...

National Heritage Library hosts conservation tour
A wave of green was visible at the National Heritage Library building today; it wasn’t the grass but a group of Hol...

Forum on colon cancer and colonoscopy
Let’s change gears here…An important forum on colon cancer and colonoscopy was held last night (May 10) at the Geor...

Dangriga resident murdered by masked men
And the body count rises as another murder was reported out of the town of Dangriga. Local resident James Hyde was ...

Man walks free double murder charges
John Chessman has been acquitted of double murder charges today. He is the second suspect to walk in connection to ...

Vehicle stolen from BNE compound
The BNE TRUST is known for its charitable work within the Belizean Society. However not everyone will consider its ...

Weekend Village Expo at Princess Hotel
The Belize Trade & Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) is collaborating with the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) ...

ARACT embarks on new training initiate
The Association of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technicians (ARACT) was established with the passage of the R...

Amandala

Roland J. Flath, 72, pleads guilty to molesting girl, 14, in Belize
Flath had absconded from Belize but he was arrested in Gulan, Guatemala... Roland Flath, 72, the US national who was busted in June 2010 in Copper Bank Village, Corozal, by Belize police, allegedly with pornographic materials on a laptop and desktop computer, and who had been accused of having sexual relations with a Belizean minor from the time she was 10 years old, until she was 14, had pleaded guilty in a US court to sexual exploitation of a Belizean minor, according to a release on Wednesday, May 9, by the US Department of Justice.

Moment of glory: SJC’s Devin Daly will play for Michigan College
Devin Daly, 17, dreams of one day playing in the U.S. National Basketball Association (NBA) for one of his favorite teams, the Los Angeles Lakers.

Shooting victim Frank Vasquez, 29, dies in hospital
Frank Vasquez, 29, a mechanic of Neal Pen Road, died of injuries sustained in a shooting incident on Saturday, May 5, on Wednesday morning at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH).

5 shot, 3 die in late Thursday night shootings
Leo Palacio, Jr., 25, of Racoon Street, was shot four times in his chest and side, and was pronounced dead on arrival at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, while his two friends who were with him, suffered gunshot injuries. One was shot in his arm, a flesh wound, while the other was shot in his leg; the two were admitted to ward.

Manuel Teck Cucul, 79, charged for death of wife, Maria Chen, 82
Dangriga police yesterday arrested and charged Manuel Teck Cucul, 79, a Guatemalan farmer, with murder for the death of his common-law wife, Maria Chen, 82.

Will CJ throw out election petition against Mark King?
Decision on Thursday, May 17... Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin today, Thursday, heard arguments in a petition by Mark King, the United Democratic Party’s Lake I area representative, asking the court to strike out the election petition filed by his political opponent, Martin Galvez, of the People’s United Party, on the claim that the petition discloses no real reason for the action.

Golf news – BAGA Tombstone & Bze Golf World Cup
This Saturday, May 12, is the BAGA (Belize Amateur Golf Association) 5th Monthly Tournament. It is a different format than normal, but we will still have Gross, Net and Senior trophies.

Launch of the Placencia Sailing Club
In the late afternoon of Saturday, May 5, two Optimists in line astern formation close hauled through the gap between the Placencia peninsula and the Placencia island. It had taken about 15 minutes of beating to wind from the Southwinds Resort to reach this point.

The grand finale Saturday night at FFB Stadium
Part 2 of Placencia Assassins vs Police United FC... It’s a new FFB administration, and a new Premier League of Belize hosting its first football competition in the post-Bertie era, and a national football champion will be crowned on Saturday night at the completion of game 2 in the home-and-away finals series.

David Michael Higgins charged for crystal meth
On Saturday, May 5, David Higgins, 44, arrived at the Philip Goldson International Airport on an American Airlines flight from Dallas, Texas.

Ideas and Opinions - COMMON CAUSE
If there is a job to be done, and one man can’t do it. What should he do? Find another man of like purpose to help him. Then if the job is too big, add a third, and so on, until their combined efforts are more than enough for the task at hand. The same for a group, or an organization or a community. Make alliances with other groups, organizations, and communities until they become an overwhelming force to take a fortress or destroy a citadel, if those were their objectives. I am writing this article as a consequence of a conversation I had with a young man, the son of a great friend, who made major contributions to this society. His son is cut from his same cloth and has the potential to emulate his father. I am moved because he thinks that there are too many ills which beset the body politic. I am moved because he considers that the situation in our country is hopeless. It should be for the citizens of my generation, who shouldn’t expect to be around, if things ever change enough to please us, not for the younger generations. These generations have a job to do. Is the situation hopeless? How can we know that it is? Only if we do everything that we can to change it and fail. Here is an example of what I mean.

A Right? Absurd!
Common sense should tell Caleb Orosco that the only way for his petition to the Supreme Court of Belize to succeed is to prove that the cornerstone of the Belizean understanding of human rights is a figment of our imagination. As long as almost 100% of us believe in God as Creator and Supreme Lawgiver, homosexuality cannot be claimed as a human right.

Editorial: Education woes
It’s that time of the year again when thousands of our children will be graduating from pre-school, primary school, high school, sixth form and university. In the case of primary school we are looking at 7,000-plus Standard Six students – arguably the largest primary school leaving class ever.

Blogs

Another new fruit and a few photos from our veranda
Sorry for the lack of blogging recently. It's been really hot and sunny, and we haven't done anything all that adventurous lately. We spend more time indoors hiding from the sun, but we do still ride our bikes into town most mornings to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, and a few groceries. Yesterday Maria gave us some interesting little fruits to try out. They look like tiny little round limes that are kinda dried out and past prime. I'd heard of a small round fruit called craboo that is much beloved by locals, but after reading that it stinks and doesn't taste too good if you weren't raised on it, I wasn't too keen to try it. However, after googling, I determined that these little fruits were not craboo at all -- they are genip, also known as waya. Here's the web page that confirmed their identity: San Pedro Sweet Treats: Genip/Waya.

Hon Lisel Alamilla wins Whitley Award!
Belize glows with pride again as yet another of our Belize eco-warriors earns International recognition by winning a major conservation award in England from Princess Anne. Hon Lisel Alamilla, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development was this years prize winner of thirty thousand pounds, donated by the William Blake Charitable Trust. Alamilla has been selected for the prestigious Whitley Award for inspirational conservation leadership for her work to protect the Maya Golden Landscape when she was Executive Director of the Ya’axché Conservation Trust – a post which she left after the election in February to become a Senator-Minister. Although Alamilla has been noted in the past for her more terrestrial work, she is very much linked with last year’s winner of the same award, Dr Rachel Graham, who is Belize’s resident Shark and all round Marine biologist who will not allow her to take her eye off our precious reef in her current position. Congratulations Lisel – it has been too long since you visited Caye Caulker, come back soon!

International Sources

Local students fundraise to benefit school in Belize
Students at Redcliff Middle School may not know poverty first-hand, but they are well aware of its existence. As a result, the entire student body - roughly 450 students - has taken it upon themselves to raise money for a school in Belize. The school is roughly the same size as Redcliff but without the same amenities. "One of our teachers - Mrs. (Natalie) Sampson - came back from Belize. It's a really poor country in Central America," said Mckenna Patriarche, a Grade 7 student who is also student body president. Sampson visited a number of schools in Belize, but it was one in the village of Ladyville (population 5,000) that left the biggest impression. "The students didn't have much at all," said Lauren Smith, spirit president. "The desks were all rickety but she was inspired because the kids were so happy and wanted to learn." Patriarche, Smith, finance president Jasmine Sodhi and class representative Katie White took it upon themselves to get the school involved in an effort to help those students.

Local pastor travels to Belize to shepherd boy for eye surgery
On Tuesday, the Rev. Chad Ballard, senior pastor at Green Acres Baptist Church in Bastrop, will fly to Houston, where he will then be re-routed for about a three-hour flight to Belize. He's no stranger to the country, where in the outskirts of civilization’s tropical paradise suited for some there's also ubiquitous, harsh poverty for far too many. Ballard first become acquainted with a rural section of the country five years ago on a church mission's trip, which has since led to the creation of a non-profit organization called the Heavenly Vision Foundation (named after Scripture in Acts chapter 26); its mission is to help the locals there and has spurred seven trips of close to 40 members of Green Acres, including one just a couple of months ago. Ballard is also no stranger to many of the locals. One of them, an 8-year-old, is who Ballard will be transporting to another town Thursday for surgery to correct a severe cross-eyed stigma. The surgery was arranged by a fellow missionary from Texas, Ross Weaver, who has recruited physicians to perform the surgery on Jose, along with more native needy children.

Belize students here to learn teaching
Anel Andrade, an education student at Corozal Junior College in Belize, has been teaching in the Central American country for more than 15 years, but recently she received a little education herself from some Bainbridge teachers. “They had different activities, and it was a privilege to observe language arts and math lessons,” said Andrade, 36, who has taught school in Belize for more than 15 years. “It was very surprising the different strategies and what teachers used in the teaching methods during the class lesson. It was so interesting there wasn’t enough time.” Andrade, four other Corozal Junior College education students and their professor, Dr. Noel Carballo, were in Bainbridge on April 30 and May 1, shadowing teachers at Jones-Wheat and Potter Street elementary schools. This was the first time a Belizean delegation of students and their professor had visited Bainbridge College. Their time was also spent at some local retail establishments in Bainbridge, picking up school supplies to take back with them.

Ballplayer Statue Suggests Sports Were Big in Ancient Mexico
Sports may have been all the rage for ancient Mesoamericans, scientists say after discovering a portion of a figurine of an athlete near Oaxaca, Mexico. The figure indicates the activity known as "the ballgame" was even more widespread than thought in Mesoamerica, which extended from central Mexico to Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. The partial figurine shows about 2 inches (5 centimeters) of a male ballplayer's chest. The head and legs have been broken off. It seems to be wearing a ballgame costume, including a wide belt covering the abdomen and an elaborate mirrored collar like those worn by other examples of ballplayers known from other areas of Mesoamerica. "Because the ballgame is associated with the rise of complex societies, understanding its origins also illuminates the evolution of socio-politically complex societies," study author Jeffrey Blomster of the George Washington University said in a statement. "Exploring the origins and spread of the ballgame is central to understanding the development of the Mesoamerican civilization."

Diving for Underwater Offerings
We did not leave for the field until 9:30 a.m. Because our exploration diver Chip Petersen is using trimix (oxygen, nitrogen and helium) gases, double-checking the gas tanks before and after the hour-plus trip to Pool 1 is critical. Using this gas mix will allow him to safely and effectively explore depths beyond traditional scuba diving, and that is where we expect to find Maya offerings. At Pool 1, as the divers began getting their gear in order, Ernesto, Cleofo, Juan Antonio and Stanley constructed a ladder that the divers need to enter the pool, since the surface is eight feet below ground level. Placing a homemade ladder off the diving platform. Our videographer, Marty O’Farrell, noticed last season that the bottom of the pool is roughly half the size of its surface, because of the slope beginning on the south side going down toward the cave opening. Andrew explored the shelf approximately 15 feet below the surface beneath Structure 1, the ceremonial building (likely a water shrine) on the southwest edge of the pool. Why is this significant? Because this underwater topography (bathymetry) determines where divers search for offerings. If the Maya made offerings from this building, they probably would have either landed on the shelf 15 feet below or rolled all the way down, 150 to 200-plus feet. The depth is the first challenge.

May 11, 2012

WEEKEND WEATHER OUTLOOK FOR BELIZE
Valid: Friday until Monday, May 11-14, 2012

Synopsis: A stable easterly to south-easterly airflow will persist across the NW Caribbean region and Belize this weekend. Surface heating and some influx of moisture could set-off some outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms mostly inland later on Sunday and Monday.

Rainfall Projections: Daily rainfall accumulations will be in the range of 0.01-0.10 of-an-inch over most areas on Friday and this weekend. However, daytime heating and the influx of some moisture will provide the energy for localized showers and thunderstorms, but mostly in the interior on Sunday and Monday. Daily rainfall rates will be in the range of 0.25-0.50 of-an-inch on Sunday through Monday in some localities of the Cayo, Stann Creek and Orange Walk Districts.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekend Weather Report


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

Come out this Saturday 12th May, 2012 at the FFB and support your Belize Police Department in the biggest game of their Rookie Season.

It's the Placencia Assassins Vs. POLICE UNITED.

The San Pedro Sun

John McAfee “demands” an apology for GSU raid
John McAfee, the inventor of the McAfee AntiVirus Scan demands an apology from the Government of Belize after members of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) stormed into his estate located on the outskirts of Orange Walk Town. The 66 year old expatriate was the subject of an aggressive search and 14-hour long detention by police that eventually required US Embassy intervention to secure his release. The wealthy US investor, who moved to Belize in 2008 and spends his time between homes in San Pedro and Orange Walk, says that not only was he a victim of an aggressive search but his doors were busted open despite being unlocked. In an exclusive interview with The San Pedro Sun on May 9th, McAfee recalled that sometime around 6AM on Monday, April 30th, GSU personnel descended on the mainland property, namely the Belize Ecological Foundation Limited, located next to the Tower Hill Bridge in Carmelita Village, Orange Walk District. After the GSU officers entered his estate, McAfee said that his dog, Caramelo, was shot and killed. Thereafter, the men broke down doors and ransacked the nine houses on the compound. “I was awakened by a commotion; megaphones and dogs barking and people yelling. I went outside and saw a lot of soldieries in attack formation coming down the driveway with automatic weapons,” said McAfee.

San Pedro’s Tatiana Rivero to represent Belize in Miss America Latina del Mundo Pageant
San Pedro’s very own Tatiana Rivero will be Belize’s delegate to the Miss America Latina del Mundo Pageant in Mexico. 23 year old Tatiana is no stranger to pageantry and has represented Belize internationally before. The Sanpedrana will be amongst 35 contestants from the Caribbean, North, Central and South Americas at the two-week event, ending with the pageant on Saturday, June 9th. “I feel very excited and honored to be chosen to represent my country Belize and I am very proud of being a Belizean,” said a very confident Tatiana. All the contestants will compete in various segments such as the national cultural costume, swim and evening wear. The top qualifiers from those segments will move on to participate in a question and answer segment.

Second autopsy confirms cause of Boco-T’s death; Police Officers suspended from active duty
A Press Release sent out to the media today confirms that Kevin Kelly (aka. Boco-T) did not die of natural causes. After a second autopsy was performed on Kelly to clear up any ambiguities, the performing medical physician concurred with the finding of the first autopsy dispelling the idea that Boco-T’s death was accidental. This has led to all of the officers mentioned in the case to be suspended from duties awaiting the result of an internal criminal investigation.

Hon. Lisel Alamilla wins prestigious Whitley Award Fund
Hon. Lisel Alamilla, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, is one of the recipients of the 2012 Whitley Foundation Awards. She received the Whitley Fund for Nature award from the Princess Royal at the 2012 Whitley Awards Ceremony, held on the 9th of May at The Royal Geographical Society in London. Alamilla joins six other nominees from countries like Indonesia, Madagascar, Peru, and Costa Rica in competing for project funding worth £30,000 (US$48,480). The honour recognises the Minister’s work to unite and equip the people who live in the Maya Golden Landscape to match development pressures, including population growth, agricultural change and increased demand for natural resources, with protection for the area’s world-class scenery, wildlife and traditions. The Whitely Foundation granted her the funding, donated by the William Brake Charitable Trust, which she has stated to hand over to the Ya’axche Conservation Trust here in Belize.

Ambergris Today

SP Town Council Keeping With School’s Wish List
In April of this year Mayor Danny Guerrero and Councilors set out on a familiarization campaign in part to address issues concerning the island. During this time Mayor Guerrero and councilors met with school principals who presented the council with a few issues that the schools were facing and needed immediate attention. In reviewing the schools letters and wish list, the San Pedro Town Council has begun delivering some items on their lists. On Wednesday, May 9, 2012, Deputy Mayor Severo Guerrero Jr., along with councilor Gaby Nuñez, personally delivered to the San Pedro Pre-School items they had asked during the council’s visit. Two wall clocks and a standing fan were handed to Principal Rosela Guerrero who was very much grateful for the donation.

Coca-Cola Moments Of Happiness
Bowen & Bowen Ltd. is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the bottling production of Coca-Cola in Belize this year. To highlight this Golden Anniversary the company had 50 painters to conjure up the quote “Open Happiness” Coca-Cola through painting in an art competition/exhibition that will travel around the country. Coca-Cola is the beverage of choice and can be found at just about every social event. Whether or not you enjoy an ice-cold Coca-Cola in the morning with your delicious hot tacos or over the rocks with smooth local rum and a slice of lime in the evening after a hard day’s work, Coca-Cola refreshes Belizeans of every walk of life, every day.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize Mega Bingo Results For (May 9th, 2012)
Mini X 50.00 Each (8 Balls) 59 ­36 ­68 ­60 ­17 ­18 ­62 ­28­ Lucky Three 25.00 Each (10 Balls) 59 ­36 ­68 ­60 ­17 ­18 ­62 ­28 ­56 ­9­ Four Corners 50.00 Each (12 Balls) 59 ­36 ­68 ­60 ­17 ­18 ­62 ­28 ­56 ­9 ­31 ­7­ ...

The Top 5 Most Popular/Common Cars In Belize By Brand
Whether it is the latest model or an old-fashioned one, Belizeans prefer and choose cars as the number one means of transportation. If you don’t believe me here is something for you to ponder on. How much gas stations are in Belmopan City alone? You will be astonished as to the number of gas stations we have available and let’s not even talk about the other parts of Belize. In other countries, trains and planes are more common but cars are still the number one means of transportation anywhere you go -- no wonder car companies are some of the richest in the world. In Belize, we ride tough cars because of the ugly state of the roads that we possess but every now and then I see some people riding some smooth wheels. Cars like those are not meant for our roads but people still like to risk it and go for the hot rides – Belizeans love to brag! If you know what I mean! Everyone has a preference and a style as to which vehicle they like and feel safe with. Some choose Japanese cars, some prefer German cars, and some go with the more popular USA brands.

Nevermind the Apocalypse: Earliest Mayan Calendar Found
The oldest-known version of the ancient Maya calendar has been discovered adorning a lavishly painted wall in the ruins of a city deep in the Guatemalan rainforest. The hieroglyphs, painted in black and red, along with a colorful mural of a king and his mysterious attendants, seem to have been a sort of handy reference chart for court scribes in A.D. 800 — the astronomers and mathematicians of their day. Contrary to popular myth, this calendar isn't a countdown to the end of the world in December 2012, the study researchers said. "The Mayan calendar is going to keep going for billions, trillions, octillions of years into the future," said archaeologist David Stuart of the University of Texas, who worked to decipher the glyphs. "Numbers we can't even wrap our heads around."

The Tomistoma Fund Art Project
At long last, all the drawings have been scanned and made into a fun, short youtube video. It is rather remarkable reviewing all of the coloured papers, they were all really unique and showcased the creativity, imagination, and interest of every student. To them, this video is owed. A big shoutout goes to "Nana", Dov and Laura Magy, and the Casado family for their support, it wouldn't have been possible without your generous donations. Credit for the original drawing goes solely to Akai, please check out his other work at http://uchiha-zooa.deviantart.com/, he has really helped our organization from the start. It would also have not been possibel without the support from ACES, please check them out if you haven't already. During a stay in Belize, our nonprofit organized a series of educational presentations for the local schools on Ambergris Caye. Over 1,000 students took part in our presentations promoting the importance of science and conservation. At the end of our elementary presentations, we provided art supplies and coloring papers to the students, hoping to gain some interest from the students. What we received was truly remarkable. There was a "spark" in every student's artwork, which showed genuine creativity, imagination, compassion, and thought. Enjoy.

Mexican Trade Mission to Belize
The Mexican Embassy hosted today a press conference to announce the visit of a Mexican trade mission to Belize from May 15th to 18th, in collaboration with the Trade and Investment Mexican Agency, ProMexico. A delegation of Mexican business people will visit Belize in order to promote trade and to identify potential buyers and suppliers of various products and/or services. Companies include: Adrian Manuel Xeque Solis; Botanas y Frituras del Sureste La Lupita; Fábrica de Postes; Galletera Richaud Hermanos, Inco Peninsular; Industrias Metalo Yucateca; Mitchel Salchichonería Alemana; Productos Richaud, Sayer Lack Mexicana; Septi-K; and Victor Manuel Pat Rodriguez. Products include hurricane shutters, reinforced concrete poles, wood and metal furniture, pipes, biodigestor tanks, coating, jewellery, plastic bottles, and snacks and carmels. The delegation will be at the Mexican Embassy in Belmopan on Wednesday, May 16th and at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City on Thursday, May 17th, to meet with their Belizean counterparts, government officials and representatives of various organizations. For further information, please call the Mexican Embassy’s Trade, Tourism and Investment Section at 822-0406 or write to malopez@embamex.bz

Canada and the Belize Police Commissioner Project
Support for OAS - Belize Police Commissioner Project Implementing Partner: Organization for American States Cost: $422,620 Timeframe: April 2012-March 2014 Canada is working in a cost sharing arrangement with the Government of Belize to support a foreign commissioner of police who will lead the police department, implement initiatives and mentor future commissioners of police. This project will support Belize’s objective of reforming and modernizing its police force. Fundamental to these efforts will be the implementation of sustainable programs and processes that focus on identified needs, such as criminal investigation, human resource management, and accountability amongst the senior ranks of the police department.

Picture of the Day: Feed the Children Fashion Show
Danny Chung has posted more great pictures from the Feed the Children Fashion show. This one is quite unique, and very well done.

Calla Creek Primary School Fund Raiser
4 the World is doing a fund raiser to build 2 new classrooms for the Calla Creek Primary School. They'll be building the classrooms over this Summer, and we hope to get to help them out. Kudos to 4 the World!

Youth For The Future in Benque
Youth for the Future's office is now open in Benque! Congratulations to Mr. Jimmy Leslie, who is the Youth Empowerment Coordinator. Youth for the Future is a youth center aimed at empowering young people to pariticipate in the development of Belize. More power to them! You can contact them at yffbenque@gmail.com, and find them in the Benque Town Hall. "Youth for the Future office now in Benque, because investing in our youths is the way forward."

Bridal Photo from Ka'ana
Another feel good bridal photo taken recently in Cayo. This one was taken at Ka'ana by Olivera Rusu. Great picture, and you can see her other ones at Xunantunich.

Buy and Sell Weekly Classifieds
Check out this week's Cayo Classifieds. The entertainment section is shaping up quite nicely. Serendib has a 'progressive happy hour.' Amber Sunset has buy one get one free coupons in there for frozen drinks. Midas has a 50% pool entry coupon.

Channel 7

POLICE HESITANT TO CHARGE GUATEMALAN CAUGHT WITH FIREARM
Tonight a 28 year old Guatemalan is in police custody - after he was caught at the Benque Viejo Border yesterday with this .45 Colt pistol loaded with ten live rounds. That's a prohibited firearm, which means automatic lockup, followed by mandatory remand and trial - and so you might think it's an open and shut case - but, not so fast. 36 hours after he was busted, Ismael Antonio Moran Enriquez has not been arraigned or remanded, though he has been charged and is in custody. And that's because the Commissioner of Police David Henderson didn't want him charged in the first place. In a very candid interview over the phone, Henderson told us that he feels it would be, quote, "really unreasonable to charge him," end quote. And why is that? Henderson says Moran had asked Immigration personnel at the border to let him assist a woman to carry a bag across the border station - and he never left the customs building. But, 7news has confirmed that he did walk past the Customs Inspection ramp - without a bag - and that's when Customs personnel pulled him over and found the gun. Anyone who's travelled will know that customs and immigration are two different things - and Immigration can't allow anyone to pass customs. But that's just what Moran tried to do - and when the Customs officer told him he had to make a declaration that's when they say he started to act suspiciously.

POLICE'S SECOND POST-MORTEM CONFIRMS BOCO - T BEATEN TO DEATH
Today - exactly two weeks after he died in police custody - the funeral was held at St, Mary's Church in Belize City for Kevin Kelly, known as Boco-T. As we've been reporting, a post mortem examination conducted by Dr. Mario Estradabran on Tuesday showed that he died of, quote "internal bleeding, due to multiple abdominal trauma, due to blunt instrument type" - which basically means, he appears to have been beaten to death - possibly with a club or boots. That contrasted sharply with the original police account, which was that he may have broken his neck when he jumped a high fence while eluding arrest. It is a huge and consequential difference - and to make sure it is so - the police did a most unusual thing last night: they had a second post mortem done by a second doctor. Now that is absolutely unheard of - but the second post mortem, which lasted from 6:00 pm to 8:45 pm and was conducted by Dr. Hugh Sanchez confirmed Estradabran's findings. So, today, the police department - already embarrassed by the long time it took to get the post mortem done - have to go another humiliating step forward and launch an investigation into what appears to be a wrongful death. Minister of National Security John Saldivar discussed it with us today:.. Hon. John Saldivar - Minister of National Security "We therefore have now intensified our investigation into this matter to determine what exactly took place leading to the death of Mr. Kelly and we have placed all the officers who were around when this was happening - we've placed them on interdiction while the investigation is proceeding."

POLICE DETAIN PERSONS FOR THE CARLOS MEDINA ROBBERY
Tonight, police say they have two known suspects for yesterday armed robbery of a jeweler. It happened at 5:00 pm on Pickstock Street in Belize City. 51 year old Carlos Medina, and his assistant Emmet Jones were entering his yard when two men walked up - one of them pointed a 9mm pistol to his face. Medina told police he dropped his black portfolio bag with $548 dollars inside. They robbers snatched up the bag and ran from the scene - leaving their slippers behind. Police have reviewed footage from a nearby security camera and say they are looking for a pair of 20 year old's from George Street.

ELECTION PETITION: BRIBERY GROUNDS FAILS AGAINST PENNER AGAIN
In the past two months - we've reported on election petitions many times. But that was all the preparatory work - leading up to today when the actual petitions were argued in the Supreme Court. Now, bear in mind this is unfamiliar territory; only once or twice before have election petitions been fully argued in court - most times they are thrown out at the preliminary stage. So, first up was the Orlando "Landy" Habet's petition against Cayo Northeast Area Rep., Elvin Penner. As we reported, Habet's petition against Penner is on the grounds that he bribed a majority of the new voters by paying for their naturalization papers to become Belizeans. He also alleged that Penner engaged in other corrupt practices to win the election.

MARK KING PETITION DAY 1: THE ORIGIN OF DISQUALIFICATION LAW
And while that election petition was being heard in one courtroom, another was staged before the Chief Justice this morning. That hearing concerned Martin Galvez's petition against UDP Lake Independence Area Rep., Mark King. Viewers may recall that Galvez is contending that King is disqualified from being a member of the House of Representatives because at the time of his nomination, he had - and still has - a $135,000 Government Contract and he didn't declare his interests to the public. Galvez says that the proof exists that King is the managing director of the Brints Security Firm, which has the contract to provide security for several government buildings, including the Charles Bartlett Hyde Building and the San Ignacio Sales Tax Office. The actual petition stage, which has already been granted by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin might not even arrive because Attorney Denys Barrow, who is representing King, made an application to strike the petition out of court. He says that there are no grounds for it. Barrow and Attorney Lisa Shoman, who is representing Galvez, argued at length today on the strike-out application.

AMERICAN WOMAN'S HOME INVADED
Around 8:15 last night, 60 year old San Ignacio Resident Nancy Skiles - an American Buinesswoman of Trench Town Area was roughed up in a terrifying home invasion. Skiles was approached from behind by 3 men. One of the men wrapped his hands around her neck and told her not to say anything or else she will be killed. She was then ordered to lie down on the floor where her hands were tied behind her back. While on the ground she saw two other men dressed in black with masks covering their faces and armed with machetes. One of the men demanded that she hand over her Laptop Computer. Skiles didn't have one and that was when she was punched to the face. The men then rummaged through her entire house and stole her purse with two thousand five hundred dollars in cash. No one has been arrested.

BUSINESSMAN CHARGED FOR ATTACKING EMPLOYEE
46-year-old Angel Espat, the Manager of Shell Gas Station in Ladyville, is facing a harm charge after he allegedly punched one of his employees in the face. According police, Delvith Crawford reported Espat called him into the office on Monday about a complaint he received from a customer whose gas tank cover had been broken. Crawford denied it - and claims that Espat punched him in the right side of the face without any provocation. As a result, police charged Espat with harm, and he was brought before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer today. Espat pleaded not guilty to the charge, and he was granted bail of $1,000, which he was able to meet. He is expected back in court on July 5.

SJC JUNIOR BALLER GETS A BIG OPPORTUNITY
A few weeks ago we told you about the Belize Junior team that went to the King James AAU tournament in Akron, Ohio. The whole idea behind the trip was to get exposure for some of Belize's best young talent and to get them in front of basketball scouts from US colleges - who would hopefully recruit them for college programs - giving them a chance at an education - and boosting Belize's stock of players with international training and exposure. Well, the plan worked - because today a student from St. John's College signed a letter of intent with Lake Superior State University in Michigan for a full athletic scholarship. It's a huge, rare event - and it was properly observed at Devin Daly's School, St. John's College - Monica Bodden was there and she has this report:.. Monica Bodden reporting The Fordyce Chapel at St Johns College was filled to capacity -as the entire high school gathered to support and cheer on one of their very own. Seated at the head table was 17 year old Devin Daly a fourth form honor student of the High School. Daly was one of the 15 best young basketball players to represent Belize at the King James Amateur Athletic Union Classic.

BREAKING NEWS: MAN SHOT ON RACCOON STREET
There was a shooting in the city about half an hour ago. It happened at the corner of Raccoon street and Central American Boulevard. According to reports, one person was injured. He was rushed to the KHMH. We'll have more details on this tomorrow.

MEXICAN TRADE MISSION LOOKING FOR POTENTIAL BELIZEAN OUTLET
A Mexican Trade Mission will visit Belize next week from Wednesday to Friday. They are coming to investigate partnership or joint venture opportunities - but, basically, they want to see what they can sell Belize and possibly the Caribbean. The companies that are coming specialize in hurricane shutters, wood and metal furniture, jewelry, plastic bottles and snacks. Makes sense for them to explore a new import-dependent market, but does it make sense for Belize's business sector which could be gobbled up by the larger Mexican enterprises? That's one of the questions we asked today at an press conference announcing the visit: Marco Antonio Lopez Leon, Head of Trade Tourism Investment - Mexican Embassy "The companies are coming here looking for joint ventures. They don't want to monopolize the market, they want to increase the range so they can be present in Belize but as a partner more than as a competitor." Jules Vasquez "Is Mexico looking to penetrate that CSME market by setting up operations in Belize and then capitalize on that geographical advantage that Belize has."

BLAKBERRY'S PROFILE: FROM THE STREETS TO MUSIC
Tonight's I Am Belize Profile is about Kenroy Espinosa - you'll probably know him as the rapper called Blakberry. He grew up poor in Belize city hustling pints and ended up in jail. But that's where he turned his life around and decided to pursue a career in music, determined not to go back to jail. In tonight's profile he explains what led him to be a youth mentor:..

GHETTO GIRLS FASHION SHOW DEBUT
Our next story is about a fashion show competition - but a very unusual one - because it's mixed in with a bit of biting social commentary. It's called the Ghetto Girls Fashion Show - (we know, that sounds mean, right?) - but that's what the organizers have dubbed it. They say they have been to 'hoods all across the southside of Belize City- to prove that so called ghetto Girls can dress and impress. Here's what the organizer told Monica Bodden today:.. Kenny G, Organizer "Actually what we are having is a Miss Ghetto Gial competition, a pageant, a fashion show. Not discriminating ghetto girls but they say that you can ghetto fabulous in all different kinds of ways." "It's like doing this interview right now - ghetto fabulous means yes I am doing this interview right now and all I did to prepare was to put on some clothes and put some "cus cus" perfume on - ghetto fabulous."

Channel 5

Galvez/King Election Petition hinges on interpretation of “Public Service”
Two election petitions arising from the March seventh general elections were heard in the Supreme Court today. Martin Galvez is seeking to disqualify Mark King, the Lake Independence area rep, for a contract with the government which he did not disclose prior to the elections. Attorneys for both sides presented arguments throughout the day before [...]

King’s Contract may be inconsequential to CJ’s decision
The Galvez petition is based on a contract that Brint’s Security Service had obtained with the Ministry of Finance. Galvez alleged that King is the General Manager of Brint’s which has a one hundred and thirty five thousand dollar contract which started in July 2011 and ends in July 2013. Brint’s contract includes the Charles [...]

Habet tried to pen Penner for a recount in Supreme Court
Down the hall in the courtroom of Justice Minnet Hafiz, attorneys Said Musa and Rodwell Williams squared off on another election petition. The petition was filed by P.U.P. candidate Orlando Habet, who lost in the Cayo North division by only eleven votes to area representative Elvin Penner. Habet is seeking a recount and also made [...]

Musa will take Penner Petition to Appeal Court
Attorney Said Musa also commented on the proceedings, saying that they will take their claim directly to the Court of Appeal.   Said Musa, Attorney for Orlando Habet “We had applied to the court for leave to appeal the court’s decision that was made in the Orlando Habet matter when she struck out the allegations [...]

Cops on Duty during Boco T’s death placed on interdiction
A trio of officers attached to the San Pedro Police Station is tonight on interdiction and a criminal investigation has been launched into the death of Kevin ‘Boco T’ Kelly. Boco T was buried today, but the circumstances surrounding his demise while being held inside a cell at the San Pedro Police Station on April [...]

Academic and baller gets a Jesuit basketball scholarship
St John’s College was in a celebratory mood today. One of its own, a seventeen year old fourth former, has landed himself a scholarship at a US university. Devin Daly is not only a sound academic student; he is also excellent on the basketball court. Those skills have earned him a spot at the Lake [...]

American National Guilty of molesting Belizean child
A seventy-two year old fugitive from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin was caught in Guatemala in February 2011. Roland J. Flath was wanted for “traveling in foreign commerce and engaging in and attempting to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor.” He was charged in absentia in the Wisconsin court in October 2010 for the [...]

Model behavior: CYDP Supervisor charged with Robbery
In the local courts, twenty-three year old CYDP Supervisor, Jose Ayala appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer for Robbery. He pleaded not guilty to the charge and was remanded to the Central Prison until July fourth. Shantai White alleges that around five-thirty p.m. on April twenty-eighth she was walking on Newtown Barracks when two men [...]

Assailant who attacked Hofius Manager is charged for assault
Well-known Belize City businesswoman Jacqueline Roe, the Manager of Hofius Ltd., was allegedly attacked by a knife-wielding assailant while walking towards Swing Bridge on Tuesday. Fortunately, several passersby came to her rescue. Her attacker, who has since been identified as forty-five year old Kirk Nicholas, was later arrested and appeared in court today where he [...]

Elderly American woman victim of Home Invasion
An elderly American businesswoman from the West is the most recent victim of a brutal home invasion. According to sixty year old Nancy Skiles, she was at her house in the Trench Town Area of San Ignacio sometime around eight o’clock on Wednesday night when three men dressed in black, reportedly armed with machetes, accosted [...]

Belize and Mexico bridge the Trade divide
Trade relations between Belize and Mexico have been described by local and foreign investors as anemic despite legions of nationals from both countries crisscrossing the Belize/Mexico Border to conduct business on a daily basis. In an effort to strengthen those ties the Trade and Investment Mexican Agency, ProMexico, is partnering with the Embassy of Mexico [...]

Village life at Arts and Crafts Expo
It’s the first of its kind; a Village Arts and Crafts Expo that will showcase the talents of Belizean artisans to local and international visitors. This Saturday at the King’s Room of the Princess Hotel and Casino in Belize City, local artists from villages countrywide will get an opportunity to market a wide range of [...]

Whitley Fund for Nature Award features Lisel Alamilla
As we reported on Wednesday night, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development Lisel Alamilla, is now also an award winning conservationist. Alamilla received the 2012 Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN) Award and almost one hundred thousand dollars to continue her work with Ya’axche Conservation Trust in the south. The recognition is particularly for conservation [...]

BGYEA and Harmonyville going full steam ahead
Mile forty-one on the Western Highway, better known as Harmonyville, is the pet project of the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Agency (BGYEA). BGYEA dreamt big and squatted on the land while making plans to develop the area into a community that could be inhabited by first time landowners. BGYEA’s president, Nigel Petillo, somehow got the [...]

Healthy Living examines breast cancer options
Mother’s Day is coming up this Sunday in celebration of motherhood. But the entire month of May is observed as Cancer Awareness Month in Belize. In the United States, it is believed that about one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. Closer to home, a cancer registry [...]

LOVE FM

Tuesday, May 8 - POLICE NEWS
Amir Reyes, a prison officer residing in Orange Walk who allegedly tried to smuggle 324 grams of cannabis into Belize Central prison was charged with drug trafficking when he appeared in court today. Reyes pleaded not guilty to the charge. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith o...

BELIZEAN DELIVERS TOP SPEECH AT VALEDICTORY SERVICE IN JAMAICA
A Valedictory Service was held today for the Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica. The top speech was delivered by Barry White of Hattieville Village. Later this year, over six Belizeans will be graduating from the NMLS. Among them are Michelle Trapp-Zuniga, Barry Whit...

BUSINESSMAN SHOT AT IN ROARING CREEK VILLAGE
Belmopan Police are investigating a shooting incident that occurred in Roaring Creek Village last night. Fem Cruz reporting… “Mariano Cruz, 32-year-old businessman of Roaring Creek Village told Love News he was at home last night watching television along wit...

ACTIVITIES FOR EDUCATION WEEK CONTINUE
Educators from primary, secondary and tertiary levels are gathered at the Bliss Institute for the performing arts today, where another activity in observance of education week is taking place. That activity is a symposium that looks to expand the knowledge of not only educators b...

PUC SAYS NO TO INCREASE OF ELECTRICITY USAGE RATES BUT YES TO FEES' ADJUSTMENTS
Your light bill rates will not go up but there are going to be some changes as a result of approvals granted to BEL. The changes come after the electricity company submitted a list of fees and charges that they requested consideration for by the Public Utilities Commission. ...

MINISTER ALAMILLA WINS WHITLEY AWARD
Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Lisel Alamilla has won the Whitley Awards. The award was presented this afternoon by the Princess Royal, Princess Anne at the Royal Geographical Society in London England. Alamilla contested against six othe...

CTV3

19 year old Student Charged For Rape
On September 30th 2010 Izak Chan Junior was charged for rape at the Orange Walk Magistrates Court after a 17 year old sixth form student of Muffles Junior College accused him of having sexual intercourse with her against her will. Since it was an indictable matter the case was set to be heard before Judge Dennis Hanomansingh at the northern session of the Supreme Court. Yesterday, after listening to arguments from both the defense and the complainant a jury of 12 found 19 year old Izak Chan guilty of rape. Chan, who faces a minimum sentence of 8 to 10 years imprisonment, was remanded to the Kolbe Correctional Facility until the 23rd of May when sentencing is scheduled. On September 18th 2010 the then 17 year old student reported to Orange Walk Police that on September 17th she was raped by four of her male colleagues. The group was reportedly drinking at the Banquitas House of Culture when they decided to leave for another location. The girl was taken to an area along the Honey Camp Road and allegedly raped by the four individuals including Chan.

Three More Employees Fired From Ministry Of Works Orange Walk
First it was Cirilo Teul and Adrian Wade and just when you taught that the firing at the Ministry of Works here in Orange Walk had stopped, three more employees received their walking papers this morning. Steve Leiva, Cesar Cal and Cornelio Leiva were on the list of seven hard working employees at the ministry of works that were targeted by the Minister of Works and Transport Rene Montero to be fired for no valid reason. Montero’s plan was exposed a few weeks ago when a letter, written to him in response to his request for termination of the seven employees, by Alfredo Cruz, the then Administrative Officer at the Ministry, was published in the Belize Times. Despite the fact that Cruz rebuffed the idea of the seven employees being terminated, Montero did not stop on his track and fired Cirilio Teul, Adrian Wade and as recent as this morning Steve Leiva, Cesar Cal and Cornelio Leiva. Today Cornelio Leiva, who worked for 16 years at the ministry as a driver and mechanic, out rightly blamed Honorable Gaspar Vega for his termination.

First Time Mom Blames NRH For Her Son's Death
We continue tonight’s newscast by reporting on a sensitive story involving the staff from the Northern Regional Hospital and a 27 year old woman who lost her new born baby boy. On March 13th 2012, Kimberly Bull from the Village of Guinea Grass was admitted at the Northern Regional Hospital at around 8:00am to deliver her baby. After Bull was examined by a doctor, it was determined that her cervix was open to 5cm. She was; however, left in bed up until 2 o’clock suffering from terrible contractions. According to Bull it was not until 4:00pm that the same doctor examined her again and burst her water bag without even informing her. According to the first time mom, that’s where her worst nightmare began. Kimberly Bull, Lost her Baby “It was a rough experience that I had at the Northern Regional Hospital. It was the delivery of my first baby. I was so happy to that I was going to have my baby. Accordingly it didn’t go as plan that I had. So, the nurses they, well they are nurses but they don’t treat people as if we are human beings. They treat us as animals.”

Northenos Win KTV Latino
It was called the hottest show in Belize and as the third season of KTV Latino Karaoke competition got underway, live audiences and viewers at home eagerly awaited the new singing talents from across the country. It all started off with the auditioning of about fifty competitors out of which only twenty two made it through the first cut. The lucky bunch faced a live audience and a panel of judges to prove their Stay in the competition but only fourteen of the best moved on to compete for the first place position. After several performances at the Bliss, a live audience and viewers at home tuned in to witness the declaration of a season three winner on Tuesday night. Tonight we are proud to announce that of the final four contestants on stage the North seemingly took over the show as first and second place winners Nassain Montalvo and Francesca Awe proved to be the top singers and fan favorites.

Education Week Celebrated In Belize
“Together We Can Achieve Quality Education For All” is this year’s theme in which the Ministry of Education and schools from across the nation are celebrating education week. Every year the two weeks celebration is set aside to honour teachers and to highlight the importance of obtaining an education. According to the District Education Manager for Orange Walk Carla Alvarez, Education Week also serves as an epoch of reflection on educational goals that ought to be accomplished. Carla Alvarez, District Education Manager, O/W "I think a lot of it has to do with- it’s for us to take the time to reflect on what really are our goals in education, what we need to accomplish and we all work together in doing that. So it’s more sensitization. It has to do also with a time of reflection. A part of that is also the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award ceremony. Here in Orange Walk we have nominees from the primary, secondary, tertiary and we have an outstanding leader of the Year nominee. We also have a Special Ed nominee. So next week Thursday we travel to Belize City, Thursday night, and we hope that some of our nominees will be selected as the outstanding teacher or leader of the year for the entire country."

Doctor Mario Estradabran Back At Work
After more than a month of negotiations and a number of bodies piling up at morgues countrywide, the Ministry of National Security and Belize’s only Forensics Doctor have finally come to an agreement. News tonight is that the ministry has renewed Doctor Mario Estradabran’s contract under terms and conditions and a salary that he was comfortable with. The contract we understand is effective immediately and will run for the next two years. Reports are that when Estradabran’s two year contract expired on February 1st, the Ministry of National Security sent him a contract under the same terms and conditions as well as salary as the previous one. Estradabran reportedly refused the offer and submitted a proposed contract with changes in terms and conditions and a sizable increase in salary. The ministry refused the proposal prompting the commencement of negotiation for mutually acceptable new arrangements. Before the new contract was signed the last post mortem Estradabran conducted was on the body of Taylor Street gang leader, Arthur Young.

Education Week Celebrated In Belize
week. Every year the two weeks celebration is set aside to honour teachers and to highlight the importance of obtaining an education. According to the District Education Manager for Orange Walk Carla Alvarez, Education Week also serves as an epoch of reflection on educational goals that ought to be accomplished. Carla Alvarez, District Education Manager, O/W "I think a lot of it has to do with- it’s for us to take the time to reflect on what really are our goals in education, what we need to accomplish and we all work together in doing that. So it’s more sensitization. It has to do also with a time of reflection. A part of that is also the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award ceremony. Here in Orange Walk we have nominees from the primary, secondary, tertiary and we have an outstanding leader of the Year nominee. We also have a Special Ed nominee. So next week Thursday we travel to Belize City, Thursday night, and we hope that some of our nominees will be selected as the outstanding teacher or leader of the year for the entire country."

LOVE TV

Minister Alamilla wins the Whitley award
The Honorable the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Ms. Lisel Alamilla has captured the prestigious Whitley Awards. Alamilla received her award today from the Princess Royal, during ceremonies at the Royal Geographical Society in London England. Alamilla joins six other nominees from countries like Indonesia, Madagascar, Peru, and Costa Rica in competing for project funding worth £210,000. She won the award for a community empowerment and education project in the biodiversity-rich Maya golden landscape of southern Belize and along with it, Alamilla is bringing home £30,000. That money, according to Alamilla will be hand over to the Ya’axche Conservation Trust.

Armed robbery reported in Belize City
There was an armed hold up in Belize City last night. The proprietor of Romero’s Suits at the Corner Central American Boulevard and Raccoon Street reported that around eight thirty last night he was inside his business establishment along with his wife, when a tall dark complexion man entered and enquired about the cost of a pants. The man then took out a handgun, pointed it at the proprietor and demanded money. Fearing for his life, the owner says he handed over one hundred and twenty dollars in cash. The robber then proceeded to robbed the owner’s wife of one hundred and thirty five dollars before fleeing the scene.

Teen accused of attempted murder
There was an armed hold up in Belize City last night. The proprietor of Romero’s Suits at the Corner Central American Boulevard and Raccoon Street reported that around eight thirty last night he was inside his business establishment along with his wife, when a tall dark complexion man entered and enquired about the cost of a pants. The man then took out a handgun, pointed it at the proprietor and demanded money. Fearing for his life, the owner says he handed over one hundred and twenty dollars in cash. The robber then proceeded to robbed the owner’s wife of one hundred and thirty five dollars before fleeing the scene.

Policemen suspended while authorities investigate death of Kevin Kelly
Since the sudden death on April twenty-sixth, of thirty-four year old Kevin Kelly, known as Boco T, his family and friends have been vocal about their suspicion that the police were responsible for his death. Kelly died while in police custody at the San Pedro Police Station and not one, but two autopsies have given [...]

Election petitions continue through the courts
Election petitions filed last month in the Supreme Court of Belize between the two political parties have had political pundits and fanatics passing their opinions on how the respective judgment will go. That day will come one week from today but following legal arguments this afternoon for the two contenders, the PUP’s Martin Galvez against [...]

Belizean teen gets athletic scholarship to study in the USA
A popular quotation says in part: keep reaching for your dreams. And that is just what a Belize City teenager is doing. And the road to the top just got a whole lot easier for the young man to pursue the dream of a lifetime. Love TV’s Ava Diaz Sosa and video journalist Brian Castillo [...]

Alleged Freedom Street robber arraigned in court
33-year-old Jose Ayala, a supervisor residing on Freedom Street who allegedly robbed a woman at gunpoint was charged with robbery when he appeared in court today. Ayala pleaded not guilty to the charge. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser explained to him that the court cannot offer him bail because the offence was committed with a firearm. [...]

Ministry of Works snubs reporters query over fired workers
The hype of the March seventh general elections is slowly fading away; but for a group of workers of the Ministry of Works in Orange Walk the nightmare is just dragging on. Love TV’s Manuela Ayuso Cantun reports.

PlusTV

Young Belizean baller gets big break
Today the St. John’s College Fordyce Memorial Chapel was abuzz with activity as a joint press conference was held t...

Police Minister orders internal investigation into Boco-T’s death
Kevin Kelly a.k.a. Boco-T died in police custody last month. His post mortem was performed on Monday (MAY 7). The p...

Belmopan CITCO wrestles with vendor squatting at market
Market vendors populate the Belmopan market space, and in several instances freelance vendors occupy enviable spots...

13 complete PhD in education studies
This week is Education Week and a key event was the Research Symposium & Oklahoma State University Doctoral Graduat...

Mexican trade mission coming to Belize
The Trade and Investment Mexican Agency (PorMexico) in collaboration with the Embassy of Mexico is organizing a tra...

Belmopan CITCO seeking alternative for farmers market
And while there may be some tension between Elizabeth Mendez and the Council, there is still the issue of the propo...

Father of three succumbs to gunshot wounds
Frank Vasquez a 29 year old resident of Belize City was shot in the face, left shoulder and back as he was walking ...

Lisel Alamilla receives International Whitley Awards
The Princess Royal (Princess Anne presented a Whitley Award for inspirational conservation leadership to Belize’s r...

Police looking for suspects in Belize City robbery
In last night’s newscast we reported on a robbery of a jewellery store owner. 51 year old Carlos Medina, owner of M...

Youth charged with aggravated assault
There was a report of aggravated assault in the south. Silvanus Makin, of Columbia Village reported that around 7:3...

NICH Canoe River Challenge scheduled for Saturday
The National Institute of Culture and History and the Belize Canoe Association will be hosting its first ever “NICH...

Woman assaulted, robbed in San Ignacio
San Ignacio Police responded to a call from Nancy Skiles, last night (May 9). 60 year Skiles, an American Businessw...

Bank repossess car from new owner
Theodora Andrews reported to police that she had purchased a white 1999 Isuzu Rodeo from Vanessa Slusher in Novembe...

The Guardian

Estradabran’s Contract Approved
The Police Department has been able to conduct post mortems on 9 out of 11 bodies which had been awaiting the procedure after pathologist, Dr. Mario Estradabran had discontinued doing them while he awaited the renewal of his contract. The remaining post mortems will be completed tomorrow. While the backlog has been cleared, the contract for Dr. Estradabran has been finalized. The contract has been revised and has been forwarded to Dr. Estradabran for his agreement and subsequent signing. It is expected that the contract will be signed on Thursday, May 10th. Dr. Estradabran had discontinued doing autopsies while he was in negotiation with the Ministry of National Security. During the negotiations, he was asking for a higher salary along with other requests. Information suggests that most of his demands are being met and his contract should be finalized without a problem. Meanwhile, the ministry does not anticipate that there will be backlogs in autopsy services.

Destructive O.W. Mayor
On Monday, May 7th, vendors at the Orange Walk Town Market looked on in complete amazement and disappointment as workers from the Orange Walk Town Council began to dismantle market booths that were just recently completed to serve as an extension for vendors in that municipality. The 19 stalls took two months and 25 thousand dollars to construct and in a single swoop and in what can only be termed as the council taking leave of their senses, simply began to break down the structure. According to the vendors, who were anticipating the construction of the stalls, the facility was constructed to accommodate tacos and food vendors, who are crammed in the existing market. During the inauguration former Mayor of Orange Walk Town, Phillip de la Fuente announced that the stalls would be distributed shortly. The same idea was passed on to the vendors by the current council and they were even asked to apply for space. To their dismay, however, town council employees arrived on Monday morning and began to strip the roof off the structure. There is absolutely no explanation as to why this is taking place. When the Guardian checked on Wednesday, the destruction had only reached half way of the roof and the work was abruptly ended. Maybe the Mayor and the council came to their senses after the public in Orange Walk took to the local airwaves and lambasted them for destroying what can only be deemed as a beneficial addition to the municipality’s infrastructure. Hopefully, no one makes off with the zinc that was torn off the structure and it is replaced, and vendors can get benefit from the installations. According to information we have gathered the facility is a good source of income, which has the potential of generating up to $1,500 monthly. It seems that the current council is not in need of any finances yet, we understand, they are quickly spending what was accumulated over years of hard work at by the former UDP council.

Hierarchy Versus Equality
The issues that currently divide communities and countries appear to be wide ranging and disparate, but if viewed within the context of an individual’s control over his or her own destiny, a pattern emerges and the fight appears to be over hierarchy versus equality. In the social sphere, this divide pits supporters of patriarchal and authoritarian structures against those who emphasize social inclusion and individual rights. Patriarchal societies tend to be rigid, stressing rules and procedures and penalizing or inhibiting individual initiatives. The Headman (and it is almost always a man) is the fount of all wisdom and adjudication. Below him in authority are a select group of men, usually related through kinship or marriage, which implement the patriarchal structures. This structure is repeated through various layers down to the family group where the father is the head of the household and makes all major decisions for the family. The patriarchal model is the primary pattern seen in agrarian and nomadic pastoral societies and hence, it is the model promoted in the sacred writings of cultures with a nomadic or agricultural history. Scholars agree that hunter/gatherer cultures tend to have relatively non-hierarchical, egalitarian social structures with no full-time leaders. In ...

Scholarships from Ariel Rosado Memorial
The Ariel Rosado Memorial Education fund held it first fundraiser on April 28th and already the organization is announcing that it is accepting applications for scholarships for the upcoming school year 2012-2013. The foundation says it will be offering 5 scholarships for secondary school, 5 for tertiary level education and 5 for primary school students to learn to sail. The high school scholarships will cover tuition, fees and books for four years and will be valid for high schools in Belize. The university scholarships will be for associate degree programs at Galen University and will cover cost of tuition only for the duration of the program being done. There will also be tuition covered for certificate programs or short courses at the University of the West Indies Open Campus in Belize. Application Forms are available at Bruce Bike Shop at 1834 corner Chancellor Street and Blue Marlin Boulevard, West Landivar, Belize City. Interested persons can also call 223-5674/600-6665. Completed applications forms must be received at Bruce Bike Shop on or before 15th. June 2012.

Princess Anne rewards Hon. Lisel Alamilla for Work at Ya’axché
On Wednesday, May 9, Her Royal Highness, Princess Anne, presented a Whitley Award for inspirational conservation leadership to Belize’s recently appointed Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Hon. Lisel Alamilla, for her work to protect the Mayan Golden Landscape as Executive Director of the Ya’axché Conservation Trust.

“The Real Deal” to present Update on Marion Jones Stadium
“The Real Deal” is a very informative show that is quickly taking control of Thursday nights in Belize. It starts at 8 p.m. on Wave TV and Channel 7 and provides inside information on a wide range of topics. On Thursday, May 10, the show will feature the Marion Jones Stadium construction site.

UK Foreign Minister for Latin America welcomes Referendum Date
Jeremy Browne, Foreign Office Minister for Latin America, today commented on the agreement between Guatemala and Belize to hold simultaneous referenda on 6 October, 2013 on referring their territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). He said: “I welcome the agreement, announced last Friday, by the Foreign Ministers of Belize and Guatemala, to hold referenda on 6 October 2013 on the question of referring the Guatemala-Belize territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The UK supports the ICJ route as a means to finding a long-term and sustainable resolution which is acceptable to both states. The resolution of the territorial dispute continues to be a long-term priority for the UK. Our funding for the Organisation of American States (OAS) office in the Adjacency Zone, and our contributions to the legal fees fund to assist both countries during the ICJ process, confirm our long-standing support. This agreement is an important step towards increasing stability, development and trade in the region.”

“Trafficking in Persons: The Scale of the Challenge”
Belmopan, 7th May, 2012. On May 3rd and May 4th, 2012, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) facilitated a two-day colloquium for the Judges of the Supreme Court of Belize on the issue of trafficking in persons. The two-day colloquium had the following objectives:

Hon. John Saldivar continues Ministry Tour
The Minister of National Security, Honourable John Saldivar, met with members of the Belize Defence Force Volunteer Battalion, Immigration Department and Police as he continues his country wide tour.

Prime Minister Barrow in Good Health
The Office of the Prime Minister is pleased to inform the general public that Hon. Dean Barrow is in very good health and is presently in Miami accompanying his wife for medical treatment. It has come to this Office’s attention that mischievous rumors have been circulating to the contrary regarding his health. On occasions, Prime Minister Dean Barrow has experienced a very common medical condition known as vertigo, which causes dizziness. Three weeks ago, the start of Cabinet was delayed by half hour because the Prime Minister experienced one such episode. As a precaution, the staff called for a doctor to meet with the Prime Minister. He has since had a full check-up and received a clean bill of health. Hon. Dean Barrow continues his healthy exercise routine and does regular check-ups with his doctor.

Ministry of Health increases its Dental Services to Children with Special Needs
The Dental Department of the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Belize Center for the Visually Impaired (BCVI), Community Agency for Rehabilitation and Education for Persons with Disability (CARE) and the United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) held a two day workshop on wellness care for Special Needs children on April 26th and 27th at the Stella Maris School in Belize City. The objective of the workshop was to certify dental surgeons to care for Special Needs Children. The workshop increased access of dental care for Special Olympics Athletes as well as children and adults with intellectual disabilities. At the conclusion of the workshop, dental surgeons and other professional doctors provided their services to approximately one hundred Special Needs Children at the Belize Elementary Gymnasium. This year, a total of 13 dental staff from the Ministry of Health participated as a part of Special Smiles. Special Smiles is a new component of the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes initiative. Founded in 1996, this program is designed to help athletes improve their health and fitness to improve their ability to train and compete in the Special Olympics. It also encourages dental and hygiene students as well as practicing dental professionals to volunteer to do screenings at Special Smiles events. Special appreciation is extended to all participating organizations and volunteers, Dr. Irvin McKenzie, Jamaica’s Chief Dental Surgeon and Mrs. Elodia Bautista, National Director Special Olympics Belize for organizing the event.

Child Friendly schools
The Ministry of Education is celebrating accomplishments in education over the next two weeks under the theme “Together: we achieve quality education for all.” Over the two-week observance the Ministry will be holding a series of events to highlight the strides that have been made in education. One of those will be the unveiling of a new initiative called the Quality Child- Friendly Schools Program on Monday, May 14th. The new initiative is geared at improving education at the primary school level by encouraging schools to look within and determine and chart a way to improve themselves. Through the program, schools will be guided at self-improvement with a specific focus on delivering on the curriculum. Areas of self-improvement include having teachers that care for their profession, having safe and healthy learning environments, encouraging community participation and having some level of quality assurance through effective inspectorate of the school. In 2009, the project was piloted in 9 schools with great success now the ministry hopes to expand the program to 30 schools across the country. The program will be officially launched on Monday May 14th.

Belize Telemedia to launch 4G Services in Belize
Looking at the ecological process that humankind has transitioned through, it is quite evident that communication is a requirement. It is predicted that when humans came into existence on earth, they did not know how to communicate with each other. They couldn’t speak any language; they had no idea of the use of body language and it was even more difficult to communicate with people who were at a distance. They couldn’t communicate so they faced hardships individually. Now, humankind wants to communicate on the go and one such communication environment is mobile communication. Mobile communication means communicating while on the move. There have been several developmental stages, such as, first generation (1G), second generation (2G), third generation (3G), and fourth generation (4G).

BTB announces New Board Of Directors
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is proud to announce the appointment of its new Board of Directors. On April 4, 2012, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism and Culture selected the ten member board, re-appointing three members from the last board and selecting six new board members. Serving the board as an ex-officio member is our newly appointed CEO of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Mrs. Tracy Panton. “The successful and sustainable development of our industry is dependent upon robust leadership and direction,” said the Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. “I strongly believe the new Board of Directors will be able to ensure positive growth in our tourism industry over the next year.” Drawn from discipline and expertise, these board members understand their key role in the continued development and achievements of the BTB, translating to an overall economic growth for the Belize Tourism Industry. The new Board Chair, Ian Lizarraga, says he is honored to be serving the industry in this new capacity. “It is paramount to position Belize globally as one of the most attractive emerging destinations, while ensuring efficiency and improved standards within the industry, and guaranteeing ease of entry for tourists entering Belize,” said Lizarraga. “Our first order of business, however, is to address the hiring of a new Director of Tourism and a new Marketing Director.” Mr. Lizarraga replaces the outgoing chairlady, Mariam Roberson from San Ignacio Resort. The BTB would like to thank its past chairlady and all past members of the BTB’s Board of Directors for their service and dedication to the Tourism Industry. A full listing of the new Board at the BTB is provided below: • Ian Lizarraga, Board Chair and Representative for the Belize Western Region of Belize; • Roger Espejo, Representative for the Belize City Council; • Gaspar Guerrero, Representative for San Pedro; • Einer Gomez, Belize Hotel Association Representative; • Neil Bradley, Representative for Caye Caulker and Outer Cayes; • James Scott, Belize Tourism Industry Association Representative; • Robert Pennel, Representative for the Southern Region of Belize; • Emil Arguelles, Attorney-at-Law; • Orlando de la Fuente, Representative for the Northern Region of Belize.

BELTRAIDE to open First Small Business Development Center in Belize
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) plans to open the first Small Business Development Center (SMDC) in Belize later this year. Starting a business is no easy task. There are many cases where the best ideas fell flat because of poor planning. SMDCs help entrepreneurs by assisting small businesses with financial, marketing, production, organization, engineering and technical assistance as well as providing feasibility studies. At the moment, BELTRAIDE already provides assistance upon request to aspiring entrepreneurs. However, there is much more that can be done to promote entrepreneurship in Belize. The SBDC Model is a proven model for success and representatives of BELTRAIDE, the Development Finance Corporation, the University of Belize, and other institutions are participating in a training program as Belize prepares to adapt the SBDC Model in order to help local small businesses.

Apprentices earn Full-Time Employment
Many of us have heard or uttered condemning words upon our youths about their desire to work and be productive citizens. We have labeled them lazy but perhaps that is just an excuse we have developed to not do our part to reach out and lend a hand. Since the United Democratic Party was elected to govern in 2008, young people have stepped up over and over again to prove that all they needed was an opportunity. The National Youth Apprenticeship Program held its second graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 3, and 45 young men and women graduated. In his 2010 budget speech entitled “Recovery Today, Prosperity Tomorrow”, Prime Minister Barrow reintroduced a National Youth Apprenticeship Programme. The program came to life through the lobbying of Hon. Patrick Faber, who saw the need for alternative educational opportunities for out-of-school at-risk youths and single mothers. Faber’s colleagues in Cabinet backed the program based on their knowledge of its past success under a UDP administration.

Students sit Second Half of PSE
On Monday, May 9, more than 7,000 students from across the country sat part two of the Primary School Examinations.

Belizean Scholar recognized by the ITC
Betty Jean Usher-Tate was selected by the International Test Commission for its prestigious ITC Scholar Program. The seven scholars recognized by the ITC for the July 2012 conference in Amsterdam, The Netherlands are from: Pakistan, Malawi, Brazil, Philippines, Ukraine, Belize and China. In Amsterdam, Usher-Tate will present her work entitled "Reading Tests: A Decade of Sources of Validity Evidence".

Care Belize Signs MOU for better physical therapy in Belize
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on Wednesday May 9th at the office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children in Belize City. The partnership agreement was signed by Evan Cowo, director CARE- Belize and Ruth Duggan, team leader for Team Canada Healing Hands. The agreement will involve consultation regarding the Belize Inspirational Centre, education programs in rehabilitation therapy, provision of Caregiver School programs and potential of supervision of rehabilitation students. CARE-Belize is an NGO that supports education, rehabilitation, advocacy, income generation activities for persons with disabilities in Belize. Team Canada Healing Hands is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the provision of rehabilitation education, training, and care in areas of need.

Bowen and Bowen Celebrates 50th Anniversary
Bowen and Bowen is celebrating its fifty-year anniversary as the bottlers of Coca Cola and related products in Belize. The company is perhaps the most celebrated corporate citizen in the country because of its many contributions to sports and community development. For its golden anniversary, Bowen and Bowen is presenting a fifty-piece art exhibition.

Diabetes Association creates Diabetes Registry
Whenever the topic of diabetes comes up and there are requests on official statistics, they are almost never available with any precise numbers. The Belize Diabetes Association is attempting to change that with a new project entitled the Management of Diabetes in Youth (MODIY) Project.

Hicatee Closed Season
The Belize Fisheries Department is hereby reminding the public that the closed season for Hicatee is from May 1st to May 31st, 2012. The Department is also informing all restaurants, food vending establishments and the public that the purchase or sale of the Hicatee (including its products such as cooked meat) is prohibited under the Fisheries Laws. The following laws are applicable: No person shall: (a) have in his possession more than three such turtles at any one time; (b) transport on any vehicle more than five such turtles; (c) fish for such turtles during the period from 1st May to the 31st May inclusive in any year; (d) fish for females of such turtles greater than 43cm (17.2 in) and smaller than 38cm (15.2 in); (e) fish for such turtles in any of the areas specified in the Fifth Schedule attached to these Regulations; (f) Sell or purchase such turtles. (g) Have in possession or use any ‘Hicatee Nets’. FIFTH SCHEDULE: Fishing for Hicatee in the following areas is prohibited: 1. Belize River: from Beaver Dam Creek to Labouring Creek; 2. New River: from Irish Creek to Water Bank; 3. Rio Bravo: upstream from Dos Bocas Dam, including Booth’s River; 4. Cox and Mucklehany Lagoons and headwaters of Mussel Creek; 5. Northern and Southern Lagoons and tributaries (Manatee lagoons and Manatee River); 6. Sibun River: between Ferguson Bank and Sibun Bar. Any person who contravenes any or part of the regulation in relation to the turtle locally known as ‘Hicatee’ commits an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine of two thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both such fine and imprisonment. The Public is advised to call the Fisheries Department Enforcement Section at 224-4552 or 223-2623 to report on illegal fishing activities or further information.

Belize Humane Society introduces Subsidised Spay and Neuter Program
In an effort to limit the impact of unwanted breeding of the population of dogs and cats in the streets of the Old Capital, the Belize Humane Society and Animal Shelter (BHSAS) has introduced a subsidized spay and neuter program in Belize City. Under the program, BHSAS will pay 1/3 of the cost of spaying and neutering anyone’s dogs and cats at the Animal Medical Center (AMC) located off Victoria Street near Freetown Road. The animal’s owner would only be liable for the remainder of the normal costs of these operations at this leading veterinary practice. While the program has been initially implemented with the AMC, BHSAS intends to expand the scheme to include other vets in Belize City in the near future. The public should call AMC on 223-3781 to make the appointments, or for answers to any other questions about this program.

Marine Mammal Surveys 2012
The Coastal Zone Management Authority & Institute in the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries & Sustainable Development completed marine mammal aerial surveys along the entire coast of Belize. Nicole Auil Gomez led manatee surveys on April 3rd – 4th, and cetacean (dolphin and whale) surveys on April 13. The Oceanic Society carried out the surveys for the Turneffe Atoll on April 10th - 11th, led by Dr. Holly Edwards.

UNICEF hosts Visual Communication Workshop
UNICEF hosted a workshop at the Black Orchid Resort in Burrell Boom Village on visual communication from Monday, May 7 to Wednesday, May 9. Representatives from various social service organizations gathered in an effort to design different modalities for creating visible and informed changes in respect to issues impacting children in Belize.

Friend sets up Elvis Bevans; he’ll spend 5 years in Jail
Elvis Bevans was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment after being found guilty of keeping an unlicensed firearm, keeping unlicensed ammunition and keeping prohibited material. On Sunday May 22nd, 2011, Bevans was found in possession of a 9 millimeter pistol with an extended clip as well as 19 live rounds at the corner of Neal’s Pen and Kraal Roads in Belize City. Bevans’ case is one where he was found guilty because of doing a favor for a friend. In May of last year, 30-year-old Jermaine Garnett asked Bevans to do him a favor. Bevans was to take a gun from one location to another in order for it to be handed over to police. Shortly after he was moving the gun, police busted him. In the trial which concluded before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, Bevans was found guilty despite the fact that evidence suggested that he had been set up. Apparently, Garnett had made a deal with the police in exchange for not having charges brought against him regarding some drugs that had been found in his car earlier on.

Tourist busted with Crystal Meth
On Monday, May 8th, an American tourist appeared in Magistrate’s Court to answer to charges of drug possession. The tourist, David Michael Higgins, 44, entered Belize on an American Airlines flight 2145 with marijuana and Methamphetamine in his possession on Saturday May 3rd. An officer posted at the PGIA in Ladyville reported seeing a male person of Caucasian descent getting off an American Airline flight from Dallas, Texas, USA. The passenger was behaving suspiciously and as a result, the police officer approached Higgins, who was at the time in the presence of a Customs Officer. The officer approached the area and informed the Customs Officer that he needed to conduct a search on Higgins. He was then escorted by the Customs Officer to the Special Branch office at the PGIA where a search was conducted on him. Police found two small transparent plastic bags that were wrapped up in tissue inside his right front pocket. The bags contained what appeared to be methamphetamine and marijuana. Higgins appeared in Magistrate’s Court on Monday where he pleaded guilty to possession of .6 grams of cannabis. Due to the fact that the court requested drug certification to confirm the presence of the Class B drug, his case was adjourned for Tuesday. The results came back from the National Forensic Service and it concluded that they detected the presence of methamphetamine and that confirmatory analysis was pending. Higgins appeared before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith on Tuesday where he maintained his guilty plea and she fined him $1,000, which he was ordered to pay forthwith or in default 2 months imprisonment.

Herman Requena captures Pablo Marin Cycling Classic
The Belize Cycling Association in collaboration with the Hon. Pablo Marin, Minister of Health and the Area Representative for the Corozal Bay Constituency sponsored the 7th Annual Pablo Marin Cycling Classic that was held on Tuesday May 1, 2012. In the Open Elite/Masters Category, the first rider to cross the finish line was Herman Requena of Benny’s Megabytes who completed the 80-miles-course in a time of 3:35:53. The second rider to cross the finish line was Byron Pope of Benny’s Megabytes, third place went to Robert Liam Stewart in a time of 3:38:17. Fourth place went to Quinton Hamilton in a time of 3:40:00, fifth place went to Darnell Barrow of Santino’s Belize, and sixth place went to Roger Troyer in a time of 3:40:15. Seventh place went to Shane Vasquez of Western Spirits also in a time of 3:40:15, eighth place went to Gregory Lovell of Santino’s Belize in a time of 3:41:41, ninth place went to Leroy Casasola also of Santino’s Belize in a time of 3:41:56 with tenth place going to Edgar Nissan Arana of C-Ray in a time of 3:41:56.

Boxing Federation to hold General meeting
The Belize Boxing Federation will be holding its General Assembly Meeting on Saturday, May 19, 2012, at 10:00 am at the offices of the National Sports Council at Rogers Stadium. The General Assembly will have as its main point on the agenda the elections of officers. The newly elected officers will then chart the way forward for the reviving of Boxing in the country. All Boxing personnel, trainers, boxers, fans and the interested person are invited to attend the Boxing General Assembly.

23rd Annual Women Cross Country Classic this Sunday
The 23rd Annual Women Cross Country Cycling Classic is scheduled for this Sunday May 13, 2012. The event is organised by the Belize Cycling Association under the regulations of the International Cycling Union. The race is scheduled to commence at 8:30 am from in front of Columbus Park in San Ignacio Town and will travel to the Memorial Park in Belize City where it will concludes. The Technical Meeting in connection with the 23rd Annual Women Cross Country Classic is scheduled for Thursday May 10, at 7:00 pm at the UWI Conference Room in Belize City. The first female rider to cross the finish line will receive $800.00, a trophy, garland, $500.00 BTL phone package and 2 Hot Stone Massages. The second place finisher will receive $600.00, a trophy, and lunch buffet for 2. The third place person will receive $400.00 and a trophy, 4th place will receive $125.00 and a trophy, 5th place will receive $75.00 and a trophy, while 6th -10th places will receive medals.

Laneisha Jones hurled perfect game
The 78th Belize City Senior Female Softball Competition continued at Rogers Stadium on Wednesday May 2, 2012, between Mirage Lady Rebels and Hurricanes. The air that night was not right for the ghosts of softball past to make their annual pilgrimage to the MECCA of Softball in Belize. But despite that, all the right ingredients for a perfect game were not there, however Mirage Lady Rebels’ Laneisha Jones had other things on her mind when she hurled her first ever PERFECT GAME in her softball career. Laneisha Jones, the starting and winning pitcher for Mirage Lady Rebels, faced the maximum batters that she could face 12 and returned all 12 batters. In the process, she recorded 8 strike outs and allowed 4 ground ball outs.

Placencia Assassins in driver’s seat
The first championship under the newly formed top football league of Belize will come to an end on Saturday May 12, 2012, at the Football Federation of Belize Stadium in Belmopan, when the Police United takes on the Placencia Assassins. In the first game of the two games series played on Saturday May 5, out at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village, the home team Placencia Assassins edged the previously undefeated Police United by the score of 2-1 to take a 1 game lead in the championship series. The Placencia Assassins were the first to get on the scoreboard when Luis Torres scored the 1st goal of the game in the 35th minute of play to give his team an early 1-0 lead. That lead was further increased when Ashley Torres scored his team’s 2nd goal in the 43rd minute of play for a 2-0 lead. It was not until the second half of the game that the mighty Police offence was able to penetrate the Placencia Assassins’ defence when Evan Mariano scored his team’s only goal of the game in the 84th minute of play to cut the deficit in half. At the sound of the long whistle it was indeed a 2 -1 victory for the Placencia Assassins.

Primary Schools Softball heats up at Rogers Stadium
The 2012 Belize City Primary Schools Softball Competition is well underway at Rogers Stadium with exciting games being played during the school week. On Tuesday May 8, in the female game played, Wesley Upper School defeated Muslim Community School by the score of 11-7. The winning pitcher was Shandy Vernon and the losing pitcher was Jaddah Sacasa. In the male game, it was St. Mary’s School winning over Wesley Upper School by the score of 18-7. The winning pitcher for St. Mary’s School was Christian Bailey and the losing pitcher was Jamal Augustus.

Cheaper Fuel is Possible
One gas station in Belize City has been proving for a year now that prices at the pump can be made cheaper if there is a concerted effort by all. Texaco Gas Station located at Mile 1 on the Northern Highway, has been offering 15 cents less on a gallon of any fuel purchased there during the week and 30 cents off on a gallon of any fuel purchased on the weekend. The big question in everyone’s mind is: how is this gas station is able to cut prices the way it does? In speaking with the managers for the station, the answer is simple, they are taking a hit on their bottom line. As it is, gas dealers’ take on Premium is 10.25% for premium or $1.09 per U.S. gallon; 11.15% on Regular or $1.04 per U.S. gallon; 11.75% on diesel or $1.04 and 10.6% or $0.82 on kerosene. In the past, the gas dealers’ take on gas was in the region of 7% but that was negotiated up to over 10%. The government already has brought down its import duties on fuel with premium being $3.16, regular $3.05 and Diesel $2.16; there is no duty on kerosene. Then there is a $0.17 environmental tax on all the fuels. All other taxes on fuel have been eliminated. The bottom line is that even while the world market prices of fuel cannot be controlled, there are small but meaningful ways that others can contribute to making fuel prices more bearable.

The Reporter

Editorial
A ruling handed down last week by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasburg declared that those persons in same-sex partnership cannot be expected to have the same rights and privileges as married couples. With regard to married couples, the court held the view that that in the light of social, personal and legal consequences of marriage, the situation (of same sex couples living together) could not be said to be comparable to that of married couples”. This civil ruling by the European Court is in harmony with religious teaching of many churches which maintain that sexual expression through sexual intercourse and especially through procreation have their proper place within marriage, between and a man and a woman, as expressed through their pledge of vows. The Strasburg ruling also made it clear that if governments decide to accept gay marriage as part of their legal system, they will not be able to discriminate between a man-and-man marriage and a man-with-a-woman, or marriage between a woman with a woman and a woman with a man.

Elvis Bevans convicted for gun and ammo that police had arranged to pick up
Elvis “Hooligan” Bevans, 39, a barber of Belize City, will spend 5 years in prison, because he was found guilty of firearm and...

One man freed of firearm and ammunition charges, five others still behind bars
Five out of six persons who were remanded last month on firearm offences are still behind bars, even though Kent Lynch, 19, has already...

Three murders in one evening
Despite the beefed up Belize Defence Force and police patrols, two Belize City men, Leon Palacio and Jason Canto, and James Hyde of...

Oceana seeks judicial review on referandum petition
Oceana, joined by private citizens Tom Greenwood and Audrey Bradley, applied for leave from the Supreme Court to file a judicial review...

Kevin Kelly died from blows to abdomen
The results of an autopsy performed on Kevin “Boco-T” Kelly 12 days after he died in police custody on San Pedro, has his family...

Campol vs DPP over Guat gunman
Acting Commissioner of Police David Henderson has locked horns with Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl-Lynn Vidal over Guatemalan...

Hon. Lisel Alamilla honored with prestiegeous Whitley award
by Benjamin Flowers Senator Hon. Lisell Alamilla, the minister of Forestry, Fisheries, and Sustainable Development, has won the...

Bishop Christopher Clancey elevated to Auxiliary Bishop of Belize City and Belmopan
Thousands of the faithful Catholics from all over Belize flocked to the St John’s College Gymnasium last Saturday morning, May...

Lose weight without side effects
Losing weight has been a major concern for many in the 21st century. World broadcasting CNN news report showed on the first day of this...

Donate your blood and make a difference
What is blood donation? — Blood donation is the term doctors use when a person gives (donates) blood. A person who donates blood is...

Placencia plugs Police 2-1 in Premier League championship finals
The Placencia Assassins plugged the Police United Football Club 2-1 in the first game of the championship finals of the 2012 Premier League...

Lady Jaguars & Rebels win in Belize City volleyball
Defending champions Lady Jaguars and Male Rebels enjoyed victories when the Belize District Volleyball Association’s Division 1...

World Cup venues will be ready, Brazil tells FIFA
FIFA, football’s world governing body, has no reason to worry about preparations for the 2014 World Cup, Brazilian Sports Minister Aldo...

Puerto Rico aims to become fully bilingual by 2022
The governor of Puerto Rico is trying to do what more than a century of American citizenship has failed to accomplish: make Puerto Ricans...

Blogs

Spread the word ……….. great events helping excellent projects!!
With Ambergris Caye being such a fun place it only stands to reason that this island has some of the best fundraisers. Below is information on 2 really fun events starting this weekend and May 27th, to put on your to do list. The St. IV and V class at the Island Academy is having a GARAGE SALE on Saturday, May 12 from 9am-12noon on the lot next to Asian Garden Spa. Benefiting – Mama Vilma’s Family Home and Liberty Children’s Home both excellent projects. Needed – stuff to sell (spring cleaning anybody?) Donations can be dropped at Asian Garden Day Spa until May 11. and people to come and buy ……!

Oh My Cashew!! (OMC): The Fruit, The juice, and a Cashew Cake that you'd ask for as a last meal...
Mmmmm Cashews...now, everytime u say cashew MOST people think of the nut, then again most people don't know the cashew is a fruit and well let's just say it's interesting. Ok, Here is what a Cashew Fruit look like. The greyish, blackish, green color Kidney Bean looking Seed on the top is actually what produces the cashew nut. But wait, don't just grab this thing and eat it now, it's actually very poisonous and actually needs to be roasted whole outside in the open because while roasting in a big bathe pan (is what traditionally they roast cashews in) the smoke can also cause severe damage to your lungs. You see it is actually a carcinogen...(its bad). But, once roasted the nut is shelled and let me tell you delicious and the fruit (we call it the apple). Now, there's the nut that almost everyone in the world knows but then there's the fruit...what does it taste like? what is the texture? what the hell do you do with it? OK first question, Cashew is bitter & tart and sweet and really juicey ( the juice staines clothes and doesnt come out beware!). Texture? stringy but not too stringy, really juicy, and soft kinda like a soft pineapple...NOW, for the fun part...what do you do with the fruit other than stick it in the fruidge for it to get cold on a hot day then eat the sucker!

The Bark Beater – An Ancient Maya Tool
Bark beaters are tools developed by the Maya, very much like a meat tenderizer, used to make bark cloth. Other uses include the production of paper, clothing, bedding, mosquito nets and dance masks as well as plastering walls. Bark beaters were made of limestone, wood, ground stone, and even sea shells and their size and shape vary depending on their use. Some bark beaters had long handles and others had an encircling groove around the sides so that they would fit in one hand. This simple, multi-use utilitarian tool was not exclusively invented or used by the Maya since many civilizations and people around the globe and over time have used similar tools. Bark beaters were however important to the Maya for daily use and in present times are important for archaeologists to better understand the great Maya civilization.

Happy Mother’s Day!!
Whether you are a mother or you have a mother, Mother’s Day is a day to be recognized and celebrate the beauty of mothers and motherhood. Mothers Day is celebrated on a variety of different dates around the world – today is 10th May and in Central America, this is the official day of celebration (although many will celebrate on Sunday too)!! Although for many reading this today may not be their countries actual Mothers Day, the sentiments remain the same whatever day of the year and therefore we give thanks to all mothers and indeed grandmothers around the world! No Love like a Mother’s Love There is no love, like a mother’s love, no stronger bond on earth… like the precious bond that comes from God, to a mother, when she gives birth. A mother’s love is forever strong, never changing for all time… and when her children need her most, a mother’s love will shine. God bless these special mothers, God bless them every one… for all the tears and heartache, and for the special work they’ve done. When her days on earth are over, a mother’s love lives on… through many generations, with God’s blessings on each one. Be thankful for our mothers, for they love with a higher love… from the power God has given, and the strength from up above. by Jill Lemming To all our Raggamuffin Mothers as well as all those mothers of Raggamuffins – we shout out loud and proud – Happy Mothers Day from Caye Caulker!!!

Fundraisers for Mama Vilma's Family House and Liberty Children's Home this Month
I wanted to help Tacogirl spread the word about two great events happening this month on Ambergris Caye. There will be two fundraiser events benefiting Mama Vilma's Family Home and Liberty Children's Home that you will not want to miss. Starting this weekend the St. IV and V class at the lsland Academy is having a garage sale on Saturday, May 12th from 9:00am until 12 noon and it will be located on the lot next to Asian Garden Spa. They need garage sale items, so if you have any donations, they can be dropped off at Asian Garden Spa until now until May 11th. All proceeds of this sale go to Mama Vilma's Family Home and Liberty Children's Home. Mama Vilma’s Family Home provides disenfranchised families and children with temporary housing, food, medical care, counseling and education to foster their connection with the San Pedro community and assist with developing a strong family unit. Liberty Children’s Home is a sanctuary for children in need, providing a natural loving, nurturing environment, and a high standard of education. Situated in Ladyville, on the outskirts of Belize City, Belize, Central America. Liberty is a refuge for abused, neglected and abandoned children from throughout Belize. It is unique in its commitment to child-centered care and education.

International Sources

The truth behind the 'Maya apocalypse'
Anyone still sweating a Dec. 21, 2012 winter solstice End of the World courtesy of the ancient Maya calendar may want to consider a trip here, to the storied Penn Museum. Opening this weekend, the "Maya 2012: Lords of Time" exhibition comes complete with panels debunking all sorts of buncombe about the Maya, from doomsday calendar predictions to their "disappearance." "The reality about the Maya is far more interesting than any of the stories out there about them," says curator and archeologist Loa Traxler of the University of Pennsylvania. "There are still 7 million Maya people living in the world today. So we can learn from the descendants of the classic Maya about their cultural beliefs and inheritance," Traxler says. Starting, as the exhibit notes, with the absence of any expectations of the world ending. Rather than springing from the Maya themselves, the idea gained traction with the 2006 book, 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, by Daniel Pinchbeck, which prophesied big doings for this year, a prediction followed in more doom-saying books by various authors and the critically-panned disaster flick 2012. (Another underpinning of the 2012 apocalypse idea is the suggestion that a stone panel from the Maya site of Tortuguero predicts the end of the world this year.

Chasing Birds And Sharks In Belize
When the subject of my daughter's high school spring break came up earlier this year, the family discussion turned to getting away for a week -- someplace easy to get to, fairly inexpensive and beachy. Hawaii was the frontrunner, but we decided we wanted something more exotic. It was that impulse that led us to Belize, the tiny Central American nation just below Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula on the western most part of the Caribbean. About the only thing we knew about Belize was that it was a destination for scuba divers, snorkelers and fishers. After some research, we looked west to Belize's interior and eventually embarked on one of our most memorable adventures, driving three hours from Belize City's International Airport to a 7,200 acre private reserve in the Mountain Pine Ridge area of the Cayo District, not far from the Guatemalan border. Over four days, we hiked through dense tropical jungle on well-maintained trails to spectacular waterfalls, swam in crystal clear pools beneath the falls, explored caves both on foot and in canoes, watched huge Turkey and King Vultures glide over 1,000-foot escarpments, and scampered up the sides of the mystery- and jungle-enshrouded Caracol Mayan ruins. At times, as we bumped along rutted dirt roads in our guide's SUV or swam in waterfall pools, gazing straight up sheer stone walls covered in dense jungle vines, we felt as if we were in an Indiana Jones movie.

Plastic Seas Altering Marine Ecology
Plastic trash is altering the very ecology of the world's oceans. Insects called "sea skaters", a relative of pond water striders, are now laying their eggs on the abundant fingernail-sized pieces of plastic floating in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean instead of relying on a passing seabird feather or bit of driftwood. With an average of 10 bits of plastic per cubic metre of seawater, there are now plenty of places for sea skaters to lay eggs in a remote region known as the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, 1,500 kilometres west of North America. Not surprisingly, egg densities have soared, a new study has found. "We're seeing changes in this marine insect that can be directly attributed to the plastic," says Miriam Goldstein, study co-author and graduate student at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. This is the first proof that plastics in the open ocean are affecting marine invertebrates (animals without a backbone), which will have consequences for the entire marine food web.

AmyLynn Flood
Your proudest professional moment: Two moments stand out … making partner in 2007 and participating in “Project Belize” last July. The experience in Belize ...


Click here to return to
Today's Belize News


Commons Island Community History Visitor Center Goods & Services
Search Messages CIG Info


Copyright by Casado Internet Group, Belize