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2/1/2017 to 2/10/2017
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February 10, 2017


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Specials and Events

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


The San Pedro Sun

BAHA issues Bovine Rabies advisory
On February 1st, the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health and Belize Livestock Producers Association, informed all farmers with livestock to vaccinate them against the ongoing Bovine Rabies disease outbreak. The disease is currently being detected in the Corozal, Orange Walk, Cayo and Toledo Districts and is expected to continue affecting unvaccinated herds throughout the entire country. The disease is also being found in sheep; therefore farmers are being advised to vaccinate their cattle, sheep and horses against the virus. Rabies is a highly fatal disease that affects all mammals, and farmers are advised that rabies can be transmitted to humans. The rabies virus can be carried through the saliva of infected wild animals such as dogs, cats, raccoons, and bats. It is then spread to humans or cattle by an infected bite, cut, or scratch.

Kelly McGuire’s birthday celebration benefits Saga Humane Society
On Monday, February 6th, locals and visitors helped award winning country singer/songwriter Kelly McGuire celebrate his birthday at The Palapa Bar and Grill in grand style. McGuire’s birthday bash benefited the Saga Humane Society after being an avid supporter for years, even starring in one of Saga’s public service announcements, “Are you man enough?” The benefit concert left McGuire literally shirtless, as he auctioned the shirt right off his own back, not once, but twice. After his first autographed shirt was auctioned, he turned his back to the crowd, stripped his second shirt off, signed it and handed it over to the highest bidder. He also auctioned two round trip tickets from Tropic Air, as McGuire fan and Tropic Air CEO Steve Schulte raised the bidding bar when he announced that the tickets would be valid for any destination where Tropic Air flies. The audience enjoyed an amazing performance by McGuire as they smiled, cried, and tapped their toes to his tunes. He even dedicated a special song to the Harnishes as they danced along with their precious pup Sunny. Fantastic food, drink specials, and even birthday cake were enjoyed. At the end of the night, raffle tickets sales, a special “Pass the Hat with Dr. Mel” donation, and auctions raised nearly $3,000.

Caye Chapel beach creation project starts without EIA
Recent reports of a beach project on Caye Chapel has raised concerns among government officials and the tourism sector, as it has started without the benefit of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Caye Chapel is an exclusive property being touted as on its way to becoming a world-class golf course. It has been revealed that developers are planning to create a beach area measuring 985 feet long by 98 feet wide, along with a beach club and a sales center. Stakeholders’ main concern is that the project was given clearance by the Department of Environment (DOE), ignoring the Supreme Court’s guidelines when handling these types of projects. On Wednesday, February 8th The San Pedro Sun headed to the island, after receiving reports of dredging activities. No dredging was observed around the island; however, works for the expansion of the beach were in full gear. Heavy machinery was observed near the proposed section of the island that will see the creation of a new beach.

Tropical Knights win the Caribbean Coconut Hockey Cup
The San Pedro Buccaneers, Belize’s only ball hockey club, held its inaugural Caribbean Coconut Hockey Cup against Withrow Park Hockey Club’s Tropical Knights from Toronto, Canada. Hosted at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium on Saturday, February 4th and Monday, February 6th, the bleachers were packed with an enthusiastic crowd of fans. Robert Burrows of the Rotary Club of Ambergris Caye served as the Master of Ceremonies, welcoming all in attendance. Following the official opening ceremony, the first on Saturday game began at 5PM with the San Pedro Buccaneers Squad 1 (the young members) taking on the Tropical Knights (the professionals). There were three 20-minute rounds, during which the Tropical Knights showcased their talent, and left no room for Squad 1 to score. The first game ended 7-0 in favor of the Tropical Knights. The second game of the day saw San Pedro Buccaneers Squad 2 (the older, more experienced members) take on the Tropical Knights. Squad 2 scored one goal, but they were no match for the Tropical Knights, who the game 8-1.

Ambergris Today

BTB Hosts Tourism Transportation Workshop for Taxi Tour Guides
At the conclusion of the workshop participants were equipped to:. Recognize the various roles played by taxi drivers as Tourism Ambassadors for the country. Explain the importance of tourism to Belize’s economy and the Caribbean. Understand the importance of customer service and service quality. Define customer service excellence and understand it’s importance in tourism. List and explain the principles of quality customer care. Discuss tourism trends as it relates to today’s tourism consumer. Share accurate facts and information about the country and its tourism products. Explain how to develop and deliver an effective commentary as a tour guide. Design and put into practice a personal action plan to improve the quality of services to the visitor. Demonstrate best practice as it relates to the delivery of quality service in taxi operations.

Belize Receives Equipment to Fight Forest Fires
On Wednesday, 8th February 2017, the Forest Department and five of its key partners in Forest Fire Prevention and Management received essential fire-fighting safety gears and equipment through the Key Biodiversity Areas Project (also known as the KBA project). During the handing-over ceremony, Minister Omar Figueroa distributed the fire-fighting gears among the Forest Department’s ranges, Toledo Institute of Development and Education (TIDE), Ya’axche Conservation Trust (YCT), Corozal Sustainable Future Initiative (CSFI), the Rancho Dolores Environmental and Development Group limited and Programme for Belize (PfB).

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow traveled to Vienna, Austria
The Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow traveled to Vienna, Austria where she took part in the IAEA's World Cancer Day event on February 3rd, 2017. At the event, Mrs. Barrow sat on a distinguished panel that included Princess Dina Mired of Jordan, IAEA Director General, Yukiya Amano, Amadou Diarra of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) and Director of Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT) Nelly Enwerem-Bromson.

Galicha & Silas Full Moon Concert
The SISE House of Culture is having a Full Moon Concert tomorrow, February 10th, at the CWC. Galicha & Silas are the main event, and DJ Moz will be there to fill in the gaps. Thanks, NICH! "FREE FULL MOON CONCERT: HAPPENING THIS FRIDAY FEB 10TH, CAYO WELCOME CENTER, 7;30 PM. ALL ARE INVITED!"

Glover's Reef 2017
Belize is blessed to have three of the Caribbean's four atolls in its marine environment. This is our Belize. This is the time to love and protect our marine resources.This is the beauty and wonder of the Glover's Reef Atoll, which forms part of the outermost boundary of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System. The Atoll comprises of four islands: Northeast Caye, Long Caye, Middle Caye and Southwest Caye.

Maya: Hidden World's Revealed has been installed at the Perot Museum!
Can you spot the Belize Maya artifacts??

Director Salazar & Technical Director Jones with Grupo Pakal at the Maya Hidden World Revealed exhibition

Spelling Bee champs! Well done
A big CONGRATULATIONS to these two little beatuies who both tied for first place for the Spelling Bee contest today, Karina Sotz and Emily Requena!! These girls will be representing CAYE CAULKER RC SCHOOL in San Pedro in the next coming weeks. If they win there they will be going to Belize City for the finals!!! This is the yearly Bowen n Bowen Spelling Bee contest held for primary schools. If you happen to see the girls congratulate them and encourage them for the next step

NICH Launches “Maya - Hidden Worlds Revealed” Exhibit
Today, February 9th, the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) and the Science Museum of Minnesota held a press conference to launch an exhibit entitled "Maya - Hidden Worlds Revealed". This press conference was followed by a VIP opening ceremony at the Perot Museum of Science. This travelling exhibition is a collaboration between the National Institute of Culture and History and the Science Museum of Minnesota. The exhibit contains 235 artifacts, of which 80 percent are from the National Collection of Belize. This includes small jade items, chert artifacts, obsidian blades, as well as more recognizable pieces such as the Buena Vista Vase. The collection was installed in Dallas by Deborah Lin of Linn Conservation Services, Rebecca Newberry of the Science Museum of Minnesota, Sylvia Batty from the Institute of Archaeology, and Sherilyne Jones of the Museum of Belize.

His excellency Charles Liu in San Pedro
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in Belize, his excellency Charles Liu, made his courtesy visit to Mayor Daniel Guerrero of San Pedro Town and Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation. He expressed his excitement to working with the people of San Pedro.

Tents for San Pedro
Frank Casares of Skydive San Pedro presented Mayor Daniel Guerrero with two (2) igloo-shaped tents measuring 12 ft. in height, 20 ft. in width and 30 ft. in length. These tents will be of great use for the town, especially for emergency cases. Thank you Mr. Frank! Also, thank you to Brittney O'Daniel for helping out in getting the tents/

Archaeology in the Community Program
The U.S. Embassy has teamed up with NICH to create their Archaeology in the Community program, and they are visiting primary schools all over Belize teach the kids more about it. They visited San Antonio this week. Hey, that's Antonio there doing some educating! "The Embassy's Archaeology in the Community program is making its way around Belize! Today, Dr. Jones and Sarah of the U.S. and Dr. Moore and his team of the Institute of Archaeology (NICH) Belize visited the village of San Antonio in the Cayo district. The principal and the teachers wholeheartedly welcomed us to the San Antonio United Pentecostal Primary School. The excitement among the students was contagious!"

Archaeology in the Community program
Today, we traveled to Benque Viejo, where Mount Carmel Primary School students learned about archaeology, the importance of protecting Belize's cultural heritage, and what to do if and when they see someone looting or destroying the country's national treasures. What an amazing group of motivated, curious, and eager to learn students! Thank you, Archaeology in the Community program and the Institute of Archaeology (NICH) Belize, for such a great program and partnership!

Nominations for the "Woman of the Year 2017" contest
International Women's Day and Women's History Month is in March. The Embassy will recognize an outstanding Belizean woman for her inspirational accomplishments and positive contributions to her communities. We are pleased to announce the call for nominations for the "Woman of the Year 2017" contest. Please visit the Embassy's website for more information and the nomination form: https://bz.edit.usembassy.gov/. Deadline for submission is February 28, 2017.

Paradise Theater playing this weekend
Hacksaw Ridge, Bad Santa 2, Nocturnal Animals, Manchester by the Sea. Dari-Dari performing live Saturday at 7:30 and 9:30 $25. *Please Note Bad Santa 2 plays at 9:15 this weekend.*

Juan Carnaval, Queen Elizabeth Park
Feb. 26, 4pm. We are dedicated to safeguarding and promoting our intangible cultural heritage. We take this opportunity to invite the entire Orange Walk community to observe and participate in the Re-enactment of Juan Carnaval. See you all at the Queen Elizabeth Park on February 26th, 2017!!!

Archaeology in the schools
Since Monday, the Institute of Archaeology, in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy Belize have visited St. Martin de Porres Primary School in Belize City, United Pentecostal Primary School in San Antonio, Cayo, and Mount Carmel Primary School in Benque Viejo del Carmen. Visiting archaeologist, Dr. Jones and her team as well as personnel from the IA not only imparted to the children the importance of history, culture and heritage, but let them become junior archaeologists for the day. On Friday the team heads to beautiful Dangriga!

Channel 7

Alrick August Hospitalized After Shooting
A man is battling for his life in the hospital after he was shot at on Western Avenue last night. 25 year old Alrick August was walking down Western Avenue - heading home around 9:00 when a gunman shot him several times. August was hit to the chest, neck and arm. He survived the attack but he is still critical. Today August's younger brother gave us more details about the shooting and Alrick's condition at this time. Randy August, Younger Brother: "Well those guys came and just shot my brother for no apparent reason, like I'm saying for what did they do it, but my brother isn't a trouble guy like that my brother..yeah, just does his job and follows girls and yeah, my brother won't go shoot people on the street for anybody to kill my brother cold blooded in the street like that, well shoot him because he is critical right now in the hospital, you know what I mean? Yeah" Courtney Weatherburne, 7News: "What are the doctors saying right now? How is he doing?" Randy August: "Well they said like right now he got about 8 shots in the chest, back and neck, he did surgery already, he needs blood right now , they said he must be critical, they are trying to wake him out of a coma."

PUP Defends Senator Eamon
Last night we showed you how the UDP is now hammering PUP Senator and Ashcroft Attorney Eamon Courtenay. Well, the PUP has announced today that they are standing by him. Courtenay is considered the closest personal advisor and friend of Party Leader John Briceno, so it wasn't surprising to see a staunch defence of the Senator in a PUP press release today. So how does the opposition justify his acrobatic flips between the Senate floor and the courtroom? Well, they don't really. The release is boldly headlined "PUP SUPPORTS HON. SENATOR EAMON COURTENAY" but after that, the 506 - word press release only makes a single mention of Courtenay. It says nothing of his acrobatics, and simply states, quote, "Senator Courtenay has done a stellar job…highlighting the wrongdoings of this government and continues to enjoy the full support of the Leader of the Opposition." This is after the UDP called on the PUP to remove him immediately.

GOB Met With Business Community About Budget
Will there be new taxes? That what officials from the Ministry of Finance discussed with the Belize Chamber of Commerce and other private sector partners today in a closed door session at the Biltmore. It's the first in a series of consultations regarding the upcoming budget. They discussed strategies that could be employed to get public finances under control. Late last month, the Chamber held a conference of their own to discuss the national budget and prepare for the consultation. Chamber president, Nikita Usher told us that they would be recommending ways to balance the books without increasing taxes, but by cutting government spending. Our news team waited outside the meeting to get a comment, but Financial Secretary Joe Waight declined. The Ministry of Finance is expected to meet with the labor unions tomorrow for further consultations.

BNTU Wants The Government To Re-Register Voters
Last year, the BNTU forced government to introduce transparency reforms with an 11 day strike. And this year, the union is now complaining about that dirty voters' list and the need for re-registration. The BNTU says it is, quote, "tremendously concerned" about voter registration after details became known of, quote, "the wanton distribution of questionable Belizean nationality certificates", end quote. The BNTU says "democracy has been compromised" and is calling on government to immediately address the clean up of the voters' list through re-registraiton. The union calls on other unions, civil society and the general public to join them in calling for an urgent re-registration exercise.

Maya, Hidden Worlds Revealed In Dallas
We first told you about the exhibit called "Maya, Hidden Worlds Revealed" in 2014. The show features a majority of Belizean artefacts and is the largest collection of Mayan antiquities to ever be included in a single travelling exhibit. In the past 4 years it has made five stops: Minnesota, Denver, Boston, San Diego, San Antonio, and tonight - at this hour - it is opening in Dallas, Texas. Our News Director, Jules Vasquez, and camera man Codie Norales travelled there yesterday, and they're attending the opening at this hour at the Perot Museum of Natura and Science. They did managed sent us a black a small slice of why this show is creating such a buzz in Dallas:...

Guilty Of Lurking At Court With Gun
Last year December, we told you about 20 year-old John Orosco who was caught lurking outside the Belize City Magistrate's Court with a loaded gun. That was a grave security concern for the police and the court security, especially given that the June 2010 slaying of gang Leader Andre Trapp proved that predatory gunmen lurk outside the court house because it is one of the only places that they can catch major street figures. Well tonight, Orozco is at the Belize Central Prison serving a 3 year prison sentence after decided to plead guilty to the charge. Viewers will remember that on December 7, 2016, the cops saw him acting suspiciously, fidgeting with his pants waist. The officers decided to search him, and that's when they found a .38 double barrel revolver, which was loaded with 2 live rounds.

Victoria Street Blaze Leaves Family Homeless
A Victoria Street family lost about $10,000 worth of belongings in a fire last night, but they are grateful no one was hurt. That's because 78 year old Elda Card was inside the home by herself when the fire started. She had just come out of the bathroom when she saw the smoke spreading throughout the house. Card told us that as soon as her daughters got her of the house, she heard an explosion. The fire fighters got there in time to put out the fire before it consumed the entire house. Station Manager at the Fire Department told us they still have not confirmed the cause of the fire. Orin Smith - Station Manager, Fire Department: "On Wednesday the 8th of February 2017, approximately 7:17pm the National Fire Service received and responded to reports from the police of a structural fire at number 17 Victoria Street, Belize City. On arrival on the scene was heavy smoke and flame seen coming from the rear of a 25 by 30 plycem structure elevated approximately 3 feet off ground. As a result of the fire the underside flooring on the north of the structure, a portion of the north wall and a section of the kitchen received fire damage. The building is own and occupied by 2 female; a mother and a daughter. At the time of the fire only the mother was at home. Preliminary investigation revealed the fire originated on the north exterior of the structure. Determination of the cause is still under investigation."

San Pedro House Fire Was Arson
While the fire department still has to tie up a few loose ends in that Victoria Street fire, they are certain that Sunday's San Pedro Blaze was arson. As we told you, Calvin Young's San Juan home was completely destroyed by fire. Neither he nor his sons were inside at the time of the blaze. Fire Station Manager Orin Smith told us what he knows in this case. Orin Smith - Station Manager, Fire Department: "That fire was classified as incendiary." Reporter: "Are you aware if anyone has even charged in that incident?" Orin Smith - Station Manager, Fire Department: "No I am not." Reporter: "Could you talk to us terms of what the investigation turned up to make you conclude that it was incendiary?"

Former CEO Saldivar Says Immigration Officers Need To Be Disciplined For Breaching The System
Last night, we showed you a small portion of the testimony from Candelaria Saldivar-Morter in yesterday's Senate Inquiry. She was taking questions from the Senate Select Committee about the irregularities revealed in the Auditor General's report on Immigration. Well tonight, we have a bit more for you from the former CEO who was once in charge of that Department. She shared her perspective on what went wrong, and how no amount of revised guidelines and procedures can keep that department honest, if the Immigration Officers don't follow the rules do their jobs properly. Viewers who have read the Auditor General's reports know very well that there are visitors who turned into Belizean Citizens in a few days, weeks, or months after arriving in Belize. Some of them got nationality even before their visas were approved. So, if you're wondering why there aren't more officers who are facing criminal or disciplinary charges before the Public Services Commission, thats where Senate Inquiry ventured yesterday. Here's that careful examination that the Senate did with the Former CEO on that topic:

Former Immigration CEO Defends Her Reputation
The Former CEO also had to defend herself in yesterday's hearing as well because the Auditor General names her as one of the Government officials who intervened in a questionable way for applicants trying to get immigration documents. As soon as the Senate brought that topic up, she jumped at the opportunity to point out that the Auditor General's team got it wrong with her because she was simply doing her duty as the supervisor of the Director of Immigration. Here's that back and forth with the Senate Senate Select Committee: Hon. Elena Smith, Senator: "Miss Morter, on page 9 at paragraph 8, it identifies you as one of the persons who made request for applicants to be facilitated with Belize Visa. That's on page 9. Could you say whether that is so?" Candelaria Saldivar-Morter - Former CEO In Charge of Immigration "Again, I mentioned earlier that as the CEO I am the supervisor for the director of immigration. And so as the CEO, if any document, if any application whether it is for visa, for passport, for nationality by some way ends up on my desk, it is my responsibility to forward it, because I am not the person that deals with it. So it is my responsibility to send the document over to Miss Marin and say 'these are for your necessary action.'"

The Recipients Of the Ride Across Belize Funds
Last June, 120 people cycled across the country to raise money for the Social Security Board's Ride Across Belize initiative. Today, several raffles, donations and exhausted cyclists later, the SSB handed over the funds raised to feeding programs throughout the country. The SSB's Chandra Nisbit-Cansino and St. Peter's Anglican School's Principal Rosanna Briceno told us how much donations like this matter to the children who benefit from them. Each feeding program received over $6000.

Getting Rid of Belize's Chemical Waste
Today the Department of Environment held a training workshop for partners involved in the production and removal of chemical waste. For the past few years the Department has been working to get rid of chemical waste leftover in the country. That's where POLYECO comes in; the Greek company has been contracted to identify, collect, remove and dispose of our chemical waste in an environmentally friends manner. Chief Environmental Officer Martin Alegria and the POLYECO consultant told us more about the project. Martin Alegria - Chief Environmental Officer "Today we have a 2-day training seminar, first day theory, and second day practical in Cayo District. It's targeting chemical and hazardous waste, management and disposal. Starting first with this initiative in terms of today's training, it's a part of a project we started last year to look at those chemicals we had in inventory far back as 2006 and 2010/2012, that we knew were in Belize and disposal in an environment friendly manner, these include for example DDTs that had been there for over 20 years, BCBs soils that are very hazardous in terms of cancer causing. Obsolete pesticides, that people have either expired or lost labels and don't know what it is.

Channel 5

P.U.P. Issues Message of Support for Senator Eamon Courtenay
The People’s United Party today issued a statement strongly supporting its lead Senator, Eamon Courtenay in the wake of a full-fledged U.D.P. campaign to remove Courtenay from the senate. The [...]

Government ‘Misleading’: Courtenay Says Belize’s Foreign Reserves Cannot Be Touched
The crusade by the U.D.P. started with their call on Wednesday for his removal from the Senate. It has to do with the ongoing fight over arbitration awards granted to [...]

Why Constitutional Challenge is Personal for Courtenay, Coye LLP
As we said, a constitutional challenge has been filed in the Supreme Court by principals of Eamon Courtenay’s law firm against the Central Bank (International Immunities) Act and Crown Proceedings [...]

Teacher’s Union Calls 2012 Nationality Rush “Illegal”
Former Immigration Director Ruth Meighan has admitted that thousands of persons who did not qualify were granted nationality in the mad rush to get them on the voters list for [...]

G.O.B. Must Act on Nationality Question, Says B.N.T.U.’s Palacio
The B.N.T.U., through Elena Smith as the Senator for Trade Unions and Civil Society, has representation in the Senate Select Inquiry where the details of the rot in the system [...]

Why Was Alrick August Shot on Western Avenue?
On Wednesday night there was more gunfire in the relentless violence gripping the City.  Twenty-three-year-old Alrick August of Belize City was shot up to eight times on Western Avenue.  He [...]

Ex-Puerto Azul Investor Daniele Pistolesi Tells News Five About Turning Point in Scam
Tonight, News Five has further details of an exclusive interview with former investor in the failed Puerto Azul project, Italian national Daniele Pistolesi. News Five has learned that the local [...]

Gordon Wade Vs Maria Marin: Who is Telling the Truth About Won Hong Kim Involvement?
Turning to the senate hearings…Did former Minister of State for Immigration and Nationality, Elvin Penner, act alone in granting both passport and Belizean nationality to South Korean businessman turned fugitive [...]

Why Public Service Commission Challenge Failed
As a result of the Won Hong Kim passport and Belizean nationality scandal, the Immigration Department was nearly turned upside down as both Police and internal probes took place. In [...]

Lessons Learned from Missing Visa Foils in West
In Wednesday’s coverage of the Senate Special Select Committee, we highlighted the comments of former head of Services for the Immigration Department, Edgar Cano, who also served for a brief [...]

The Broken Immigration Department: Can We Fix It?
Perhaps the most depressing bit of information coming out of the Senate’s public hearings is how easily the Immigration Department’s plans and schemes were broken by just about anyone with [...]

No Evidence Against Urbie Alamilla in Bar Shooting
Interdicted police officer, Urbie Alamilla, who back in June 2016 was charged with discharging a firearm in the Jade Restaurant located between miles eight and nine on the Phillip Goldson [...]

Social Security: Pay More to Get More?
In January, the Social Security Board announced that they would be going on a country-wide public consultation to discuss increase in benefits; for those making contributions, it means that those [...]

Fire Takes Down House on Victoria Street
Just after seven on Wednesday night, a fire broke inside a wooden house on Victoria Street in north side Belize City. Inside at the time of the blaze was an [...]

Somebody Burned Down Calvin Young’s House in San Pedro
While investigations continue into the cause of the Victoria Street fire, what of the San Pedro fire in the San Juan area on Ambergris Caye? Calvin Young and his two [...]

Ride Across Belize Donates to Feeding Programs
Today, eight feeding programs received cheques from the Social Security Board under its annual Ride Across Belize program. The funds collected during the 2016 Ride will be used to feed [...]

How to Get Rid of Hazardous Material
The Department of Environment is executing the project called Belize Chemicals and Waste Management (BCWM) Project. One of goals of this project is the management and disposal of existing stockpiles [...]

Healthy Living: Stress and Your Health
It’s common knowledge that too much stress is bad for your health. Just last month scientists were able to identify the biological link between specifically the heart and stress. They [...]

CTV3

Saldivar Throws Officers Under The Bus
Prior to Saldivar-Morter’s testimony on Wednesday, four key senior Immigration officials including former Directors Maria Marin and Ruth Meighan and Senior Immigration Officers Gordon Wade and Edgar Cano had testified before the Committee declaring that their responsibilities as Directors and Officers in Charge of Nationality and Visa Sections did not include vetting of documents they received. But yesterday, the former CEO who sat in a much higher management capacity had a different message. She said it was the final officers’ responsibility to ensure that all requirements were met by the applicants. Senator Elena Smith, Member, Senate Select Committee: “These persons, the final persons receiving the files that these persons should ensure that all the steps were done before it got to them or should they have verified the documentation that was given to them for their recommendation or approval?”

David Schitnzer's Face Immigration Documents Leaked To The Media
One of those scandals not mentioned by Former CEO Candelaria Saldivar-Morter but which can be linked to her term in office is that of the fraudulent nationality and passport documents issued to head of Mexican Ponzi scheme David Nanes Schitnzer. Schnitzer was living in Belize for a number of years under the name David Banes before he absconded the country after receiving bail. There is more to report on tonight after Schnitzer’s, or in this case, Banes’ fake documents were leaked to the media. As you may already know, you are required to live in Belize for five years before you can be granted nationality. Well, Nanes was here for less than that time and on December 17, 2012 he received his Belize nationality certificate with no. 28293 duly signed by Minister of Immigration, Godwin Hulse.

A Look At A Small Mayan Cave In Caledonia
Earlier in the week we reported on the discovery of a Mayan cave in the village of Caledonia. There were reports that artefacts were found and that there was some evidence of structures inside. Today we went to the community and to the site of the discovery to see if the reports were true, and found out that the earlier reports going around were a bit exaggerated. According to members of the family on whose land the discovery was made, they had hired an excavator to assist in digging their backyard for the construction of a septic tank. On Sunday February 5th while digging, they noticed that along the wall of the space they had dug out, a small passage was opened. The construction workers got curious and cleared the opening more, only to discover that it led into a small cave, undoubtedly from the Mayan civilization era.

PUP Says Belize's Foreign Reserved Were Never At Risk
Last night via a press release the United Democratic Party called on the People’s United Party to strip its lead Senator, Eamon Courtenay, from his Senatorial seat after Courtenay had filed a constitutional challenge requesting for the Court to strike down the Central Bank International Immunities Act and Crown Proceedings Amendment Act on behalf of Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited. The UDP described Courtney’s move as an outright betrayal of Belize’s national interest which comes in extreme conflict with the Senatorial seat he holds. But even before the ink on the release could dry, Courtney fired back at the UPD stating that he will not be intimidated by Prime Minister and will proceed to file the challenge in an attempt to correct his unlawful actions. And while the UDP called on the Leader of the Opposition to act swiftly to remove Senator Courtney, who is currently out of the country, that is not going to happen because the PUP is in full support of Courtenay’s decision and in a release issued this afternoon made it very clear that Belize’s foreign reserves were never at risk.

BNTU Calls For Cleaning Of Registration Of Voting List
Last year the Belize National Teachers Union organized an 11 days industrial strike action against the Government as they fought for good governance. As a result of the strike, the union had managed to successfully gain the appointment of the 13th Senator, the signing of the United Nations Convention against Corruption and the Integrity Commission. But it seems that the BNTU is hungry for more reform as tonight they are demanding that Government cleans the country’s existing voting list. In their release issued today, the BNTU announced that the union had been closely following the hearing of the Senate Special Select Committee as it relates to the investigation of irregularities at the visa, nationality and passport departments as stated in the Auditor General’s Special Audit Report. And while it had recently been exposed in one of the hearings that there was a major fraud in the 2012 general elections, the matter has raised serious concerns among members of the union who are now calling on the GOB to conduct a re-registration of voters.

CEO Exasperated By All Th Scandals At Immigration
In yesterday’s newscast, we showed you parts of the testimony by Former Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Immigration, Candelaria Saldivar-Morter, who was in charge from March 2012 to December 2013. In her statements, Saldivar-Morter accepted that there were very unusual things taking place at the Immigration Department. In one of her comments, Saldivar began recalling the scandals which surfaced and it was clear that they were more than they could handle. Senator Mark Lizarraga - Member, Senate Select Committee: “All these irregularities taking place besides the final report did you play a more active role in trying to look at the internal controls because these things didn’t happened overnight, were there any other steps that you tried to take as CEO?”

LOVE FM

Issue of Belize’s Foreign Reserves Mixed with Political Overtones
One of the major national issues currently on the front burner for Belize is that of our foreign reserves and the uncertainty as to whether it can be seized in the matter of the arbitration award for BCB Holdings Limited. Yesterday, the United Democratic Party called for the resignation of PUP’s Lead Senator, Eamon Courtenay […]

BNTU Makes Call for Re-registration Exercise
The Belize National Teachers Union has joined the call for a re-registration exercise to take place this year. The BNTU says it has been closely following the ongoing Senate Special Select Committee hearings into the Auditor General’s special report and they are tremendously concerned regarding the matter of voter registration as what can only be […]

Former Immigration CEO Says Delays in Reports to AG Were Unintentional
The first person to appear before the Senate Special Select Committee was the Auditor General Dorothy Bradley. The Auditor General’s Special Reports on Visa, Nationality and Passport covers only about twenty five percent of all the available records at the departments. Bradley told the committee that during the audit, the officers at the department were […]

Former Immigration CEO Says the Department Was to Be Restructured
In a release issued today by the Belize National Teachers union, a reference was made to the certain ‘culture’ observed within the Department of Immigration. The BNTU writes, “Revelations made through the interviews and discussion held at the Senate Special Select Committee hearings, have signaled that the imbedded “culture” of the Passport, Immigration and Nationality […]

Senate Inquiry Questions Minister Mena’s Letter on Visas for Five Asians
Former CEO in the Ministry of Immigration, Candelaria Saldivar Morter was also questioned about a letter sent to the former Immigration Director, Maria Marin by UDP Area Representative Frank “Papa” Mena. The letter contains a list of five Asian nationals who had applied to obtain a visitor’s visa from Belize. Mena states the letter quote, […]

Missing Visa Foils Go From Tench to Wade to Middleton to Eric Chang
Yesterday, the port commander at the Phillip Goldson International Airport, Edgar Cano appeared before the Senate Special Select Committee. Before being transferred to the PGIA, Cano was in charge of the Western port of entry in Benque Viejo del Carmen. Cano was questioned about the disappearance of eight visa foils. It was later determined by […]

30 Plus Years of Accumulated Chemical Waste Remains Undisposed in Belize
Unless you are directly involved with environmental agencies, the issue of chemical waste may not peak your interest and so with that you may not know that Belize has tons of chemical waste accumulated on our terrain from way before our country’s independence. There have been two attempts made in getting this waste shipped out […]

Cancer Kills 200+ in Belize for 2016
For the year 2016 there have been more than two hundred deaths in Belize due to cancer. According to the Director of Health Services, Dr Marvin Manzanero, cancer is second to heart disease when it comes to the leading causes of deaths in Belize. DR MARVIN MANZANERO “We reviewed some of the data leading up […]

Private Sector to GoB: Cut Expenses … Enhance Revenues
Members of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Better Business Bureau met with Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Dr. Carla Barnett and Financial Secretary, Joseph Waight. The meeting focused on government’s budget process for Fiscal Year 2017/2018. According to President of the BCCI, Nikita Usher, the consultation allowed the […]

BDF Volunteer Clears His Name Following Dismissal of Drug Charges
Drug related charges were dropped against a family of three in Dangriga. Correspondent Harry Arzu reports. HARRY ARZU “42 year old Dayton Longsworth is a corporal in the Belize Defense Force as a volunteer here in Dangriga. His home was searched by police on Thursday December 8th and he and his family were subsequently charged […]

The Guardian

PUBLIC ENEMY #1
Michael Ashcroft continues to attempt to bleed the country of Belize on multiple fronts using the same suspects doing this. In Belize, he is using Eamon Courtenay who after voting as the Opposition’s lead Senator on Monday, January 30, to pass laws to secure the country’s assets from Predator Ashcroft, he has now turned around and filed a suit in which he is challenging the legislation which he helped to pass. Courtenay filed an application to challenge the constitutionality of the legislation. The Guardian got a copy of the document which Courtenay filed on Friday February 3 where he is challenging the legislation. Claim 66 of 2017 was filed by Courtenay and Coye LLP where Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited is taking the Attorney General to court claiming that: 1.) ‘both the Crown Proceedings (Amendment) Act, 2017 (the “CPAA) and the Central Bank of Belize (International Immunities) Act; 2017 (the “CBIIA”) are void for being inconsistent with Sections 2,3,5,6,12,17 and 68 of the Constitution.

Remove Senator Courtenay immediately!
The United Democratic Party condemns the recent action taken by PUP Senator Eamon Courtenay. We believe that his action is an outright betrayal of Belize’s national interests and comes in extreme conflict with the Senatorial seat he holds. We therefore call for his immediate removal from the Senate. On February 3, 2017, PUP Senator Eamon Courtenay filed a constitutional challenge on behalf of the Aschcroft group. PUP Senator Eamon Courtenay, by virtue of his challenge, is asking the Court to strike down the two emergency national interest legislations that he had just convincingly supported in the Senate four days prior. In the sitting of the Senate of January 30, 2017, where there was unanimous support for the Bills, Senator Courtenay stated that “…absolutely no one in this chamber, myself included, will vote against a bill that seeks to give further immunity to the assets held by the Central Bank. No one.”

Hon. Elodio Aragon doing Kevin Bernard’s Job!
Mayor Kevin Bernard ,it seems is upset with, the Hon Elodio Aragon Jr . The cause of his anger is the repairs being done to some streets in the Louisiana area of Orange Town. Apparently those streets have not been repaired for many years and those streets have become a pain to traverse. The residents of that area turned to Hon. Aragon after complaining to Mayor Bernard for many years. Hon Aragon who happens to be the Area Representative for that area, heard the cries of those residents and took it to cabinet. After his lobbying at cabinet, monies have been made available and those repairs started, under the stewardship of the Ministry of Works.

Hon. Edmond Castro tours Port of Big Creek and boat transportation facilities in Independence Village
Hon. Edmond Castro, who has ministerial responsibility for the Belize Port Authority, has conducted a tour of port and boat transportation facilities in the South. Accompanied by Ports Commissioner Mrs. Merlene Bailey Martinez, Port Authority Operations Manager Mrs. Sherlett Martinez and Big Creek Officer in Charge (Belize Port Authority) Ms. Jessica Godoy, Hon. Castro first visited boat transportation facilities operated by Independence businessman Carroll Burgess, owner of Hokey Pokey Water Taxi, which transports customers between Placencia and Independence.

Anwar leaves after launch of “Most Advanced Network in the Region”
Anwar Barrow had his mic dropping moment on December 16, 2016 when the Belize Telemedia Limited launched what international experts are calling the most reliable and advanced network system in Central America and the Caribbean (Benoit Coulumbe, HAUWEI), 4G LTE Advanced. By that time, Barrow had already made the decision to move on from the post of Executive Committee Chair but it was of great importance for him to see the successful launch and roll out of the second major network upgrade under his stewardship. With that out of the way, and his legacy cemented, on Friday, February 10, Anwar Barrow will step aside for someone as motivated and with fresh ideas of how to move the state owned company further into the future.

City Council assisting 8 primary schools for PSE
The Belize City Council through the portfolio for Women and Children is making donations to eight primary schools across the city. The first school to benefit was St John’s Anglican when Councilor Hyacinth Latchman-Cuellar presented a cheque to Standard 5 teacher Rashid Murillo. Murillo accepted the donation on behalf of the students who are the intended beneficiaries. He says the donation will be used to purchase a cupboard, bristol boards, white board markers, permanent markers, educational games and colored paper for the students. The Council will hand over funds to seven other schools throughout the months of February and March. The other donations will be given to help Standard 6 students in preparation for the Primary School Examinations set for March and May. The total amount to be donated is just over $6000.

Is Eamon Courtenay violating the Constittuion?
We at the Guardian have some questions for the Leader of the Opposition. These questions are in regards to his Lead Senator Hon Eamon Courtenay. Eamon is not only one of Johnny's Senatorial appointees, but he is a ranking member of the People's United Party. He has also served under previous PUP Party Leaders before. Serving as Senator and Minister in the past. Eamon is also a close personal friend of the present PUP Leader Johnny Briceno and according to what we have heard maybe his confidant / advisor. Now our questions are the following. Did Eamon by his recent actions violate the Belize Constitution? • Is Eamon fit to hold the office as a Senator? • Do Eamon's actions signify what will be the Modus Operandi , of a future PUP Administration? • Does the PUP sanction Eamon's action in regards to his interaction with the Ashcroft related companies? • Will Eamon be removed as Senator and if NO, WHY NOT?

Ministers of Environment for Central America meet in Costa Rica
The Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development, Hon. Dr. Omar Figueroa, attended the meeting of the Ministers of Environment for Central America, held in Costa Rica on February 2 to 3, 2017. The objectives of the CCAD Ministers meeting were: 1) The handing-over of the Pro-Tem Presidency of the Central American Commission of Environment and Development (CCAD), from Nicaragua to Costa Rica; the Presidency rotates among its member states every six months; and 2) To review several regional project proposals currently being developed or implemented in the Central American region, some of which have strong emphasis on the marine environment.

Stiffer penalties for forest offences
Belize’s new amendments to the Forest Act replace outmoded sections of the forest legislation and impose increased fines and stiffer penalties for forest offences. The changes are part of the Forest Department’s on-going efforts to strengthen law enforcement capacity to reduce increasing illegal forest activities, deforestation and degradation of our forest resources. Illegal and unsustainable timber and non-timber extractions undermine Belize’s on-going efforts to curb deforestation and biodiversity loss. In light of this, the new amendments act as deterrents and help to strengthen the department’s legal capacity to tackle illegal logging and other related crimes. The Amendments specifically impose the following changes:

Minister of Defence Hon. John Saldivar begins National Tour of Belize Coast Guard facilities with visit to Forward Operating Base on Hunting Caye
Minister of Defence Hon. John Saldivar and CEO in the Ministry of Defence Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Felix Enriquez have commenced a national tour of facilities operated by the Belize Coast Guard, starting with the South Sector. Accompanied by Commander of the Belize Coast Guard Admiral John Borland, they visited Hunting Caye in the South (Toledo District) where a Forward Operating Base is under construction and is expected to be completed by the middle of April. Prior to that, the Minister and his team stopped at the Port of Big Creek in the Independence area of Stann Creek, where a new site is being prepared for the Coast Guard Sector South Headquarters. Before returning to the mainland, they travelled further south to the Port Honduras Marine Reserve, where members of the Coast Guard provide law enforcement support for the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE) which operates a Ranger Station on Abalone Caye.

Another Session of the Special Select Committee held in Belmopan
Another meeting of the Senate Special Select Committee got underway in earnest Wednesday morning within the National Assembly Chambers in Belmopan. The session was to continue to find facts in reference to the Auditor General Report on Immigration 2011 to 2013. First to appear this morning was Edgar Cano, Senior Immigration officer-- now posted at the International Airport—who was accompanied by his attorney Richard Dickie Bradley. Edgar Cano reported that he has served the Government of Belize for 31 years and could only answer questions relating to the Auditor General Report for the two months time interval that he was on duty and covered by the Report. During his time at Immigration, Edgar Cano was in charge of the Services Section, that received visa applications, application for visitor extension and student permits. He also said that he was on vacation leave from 12th December to January 4th, during the time when visa stickers had gone missing.

New shark specie found in Belize
The Belize Fisheries Department is pleased to announce the discovery of a new shark species in Belize. The new shark species has not been officially named as yet but it closely resembles the Bonnethead shark (Sphyrna tiburo) and was discovered in samples taken from a landing site in Belize through an ongoing shark data collection, monitoring and research program and collaboration between the Fisheries Department and Dr. Demian Chapman, a shark specialist of Florida International University (FIU). Dr. Demian Chapman has been conducting research on several shark species in Belize since 2008 with a focus on Hammerhead shark species, whose international trade is regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of Wild Fauna and Flora.

It has taken five years to reach this stage, but the bi-lateral friendship between Taiwan and Belize has Taiwan hands over tilapia hatchery to the Government of Belize
once more paid off with the delivery to the Government of Belize of a modern Tilapia Hatchery Center near Central Farm in the Cayo District. The facilities were handed to Government Officials on Friday February 3, ushering in a new age of producing and delivering protein rich tilapia throughout Belize. On hand to deliver the facilities on Friday was His Excellency, Ambassador of Taiwan to Belize, Charles K.Y. Liu. “Taiwan and Belize, we are brothers and sisters in a family, we share our experiences, we work hand in hand with each other and most importantly we help each other just like one family,” said Ambassador Liu. Even the Governor General, Sir. Colville Young was impressed with the power point presentation delivered by Project Coordinator Miguel Sosa, who surmised the achievements under the Government of Belize and Republic of China and Taiwan Project. “I am impressed and I am not easily impressed, we say we should grow what we eat and eat what we grow and that applies 100% to tilapia…but I want to congratulate the people who carried out this project, I want to thank our friends, the Republic of China and Taiwan, once again they are helping Belize and teaching us how to help ourselves, thank you very much”

Aids activist killed in San Pedro
The family, friends and residents of San Pedro have laid Jose Felix Ayuso to rest. The well-known and well-respected AIDS activist and carnival aficionado was found stabbed to death inside his island home. He was last seen alive on Wednesday, February 1, at his business place, JoSe’s Salon on Laguna Drive. That was at around 4:30 p.m., and when he didn’t show up for work on the following day, a friend went looking for him at his home, located at the corner of Jew Fish and Seaweed Streets. At around 6:30 p.m., she found his lifeless body inside the house; someone had stabbed him multiple times all over the body and left him to bleed out. Police say that evidence on the scene suggests that he was killed on Wednesday night, and there were no signs of forced entry. Also, the door was left opened, most likely used by the killer after he or she took Ayuso’s life. San Pedro residents continue to mourn Ayuso’s passing as he was known for his selfless kindness, and for his involvement in community work. He was the founder of the San Pedro AIDS Commission, an organization he put a lot of effort into, so that persons living with the disease could get the medical care they needed, and a support structure to work through the emotional toll of being HIV positive. His peers in the Commission proudly saluted him for his kindness and the effort he put in, mostly by himself to get island residents help.

Charged upgraded to Murder for Keimar Nicholas’ accused killer
Enfield Fitzgibbon, 27, was escorted by police from the Belize Central Prison to the Belize City Magistrates Court on Tuesday, February 7, to be arraigned for the murder of 19-year-old Keimar Nicholas. On Friday, February 3, Nicholas succumbed to injuries sustained from a shooting incident on Monday January 23. According to police, around 8:40 p.m. on January 23, Nicholas was socializing with friends on a basketball court in front of his house near Lindo’s Alley when a gunman rode up on a bicycle and opened fire on them. Nicholas was hit by a single bullet to the neck. He was immediately rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for medical treatment. The doctors managed to save his life but even with a successful follow-up surgery the following day he remained in a critical condition at the hospital. The family arranged fundraising events with the hopes of getting him out of the country for specialist care but even then they knew that his chances of survival was less than 50 percent. He died on February 3.

Bail granted to cop accused of attacking teenager
After two nights on remand at the Belize Central Prison, Kenrick Steven Gamboa, 28, is out on Supreme Court bail after he applied to the Supreme Court on Friday, February 3. Bail was granted by Justice Denis S. Hanomansingh. There was no objection to bail which was then granted in the sum of $5,000 plus one surety of the same amount. Justice Hanomansingh ordered him to report once a week, every Monday, to the Mahogany Street Police Station until the case is disposed of. He was ordered to not interfere with the accuser, surrender his passport to the Clerk of Court and attend all court adjournments or bail will be revoked.

Accused pedophile gets bail
A 71 year old man of Santa Elena, Toledo District is home after more than 6 months on remand at the Belize Central Prison accused of having sex on more than one occasion with a child from the age of 8 until she was 11 years old. He is Pedro Pop Ico, who appeared this morning before Supreme Court judge, Justice Denis S. Hanomansingh where he was granted Supreme Court bail in the sum of $5,000 plus one surety of the same amount. He was given stringent conditions in which the elderly man must report to the Bella Vista Police every Friday of the week, effective Friday, February 10, 2017. He must remain living in Bella Vista while his case is before the court, and he must attend all his court adjournments and he must also stay away from his young victim.

Two men charged for killing Mark Jones
Deandre Adolphus, 19, and 33 year-old Bruce Reneau, 2 residents of Iguana Street Extension in Belize City, have been charged for the murder of 29 year-old Mark Anthony Jones. The Victim’s family is also from the Iguana Street Extension area, and police believe that these 2 men shot and killed him while he was about to enter his mother’s yard. The fatal shooting happened on Thursday, February 2, 2017, sometime after 8 p.m. Jones was returning after walking his girlfriend home for the night, which was something that he did regularly. According to police, he was just about to enter the yard when a gunman waylaid him, and fired several shots at him. One of the bullets struck him in the left arm, and it made an exit wound to the left side of his back. First responders rushed him to the KHMH, hoping to get him medical attention, but most unfortunately, he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Mexican could lose 3,465 pounds of ham
Mexican businessman Manuel Pastor Gomez Diaz should be celebrating his 56th birthday on Thursday, February 9, but there is little chance that he will be in a celebratory mood since his shipment of over 150 cases of ham may be confiscated by the Government of Belize for importing the product illegally. The shipment has been in Belize since December 12 and in 15 days Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser will decided if it will remain in the country to be distributed as Government sees fit or if it will be released to Diaz to take home to Mexico. A 20-feet container arrived in Belize with 3,465 pounds of ham on December 12, 2016 without import permits. BAHA gave the importer the option of returning the product from where it came by December 18 but he ignored the order. The case was then turned over to the Customs and Excise Department as the container has remained at the compound of Port of Belize since December 12. Diaz is the Director of a company located in the Corozal Free Zone named Coral’s Company Ltd. The Customs Department has opted not to charge him for failure to have an import permit. Instead, they have applied for the product to be forfeited to the Government.

Robbery leads to the death of John Ortiz
Police continue to investigate the death of John Ortiz, a 44 year-old resident Gardenia village, who they found dead at the side of Phillip Goldson Highway. All indications at this time are that he was murdered in a robbery gone bad, and that his killer took his life for $15. Cops from the Rural Eastern Division were first alerted of the presence of his body in the early morning hours of Monday, February 6. That’s when they responded to reports of a man lying motionless in the bushes on the shoulder of the road between miles 19 and 20. That man was later identified to be Ortiz, and police realized that he had died. They observed that Ortiz had a cut wound to the right side of the chin, another one between the right eyebrow and the right eye, and an abrasion to the right side of the head. The police also saw what appeared to be a partial shoe impression of blood to the right side of Ortiz’s head.

San Pedro Tiger Sharks remains only unbeaten team in NEBL championship
The National Elite Basketball League 2017 campaign continued over the last week with three games on the schedule. On Friday 3rd February at the St. Catherine Academy Auditorium in Belize City, the defending champions the Smart Belize Hurricanes won over the Cayo Western Ballaz by the score of 86-77 to pick up its first win for this year’s competition. The top scorer for the Belize City based Smart Belize Hurricanes was Leroy Louriano with 22 points to go along with his 4 rebounds, 6 assists and a steal. Louriano had support from Akeem Watters who scored 18 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, an assist and 5 steals and Andrew Ortiz scored 16 points and had 6 rebounds. For the visiting Cayo Western Ballaz, the top scorers were Darwin Leslie with 23 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals and James Milton with 17 points and 15 rebounds.

St. Catherine Academy, Ladyville Technical, Gwen Lizarraga and St. John’s in the finals of high school football
The Central Region Secondary Schools Football competition is fast winding down at the MCC Grounds. By the time we hit the streets on Thursday morning, the Central Region would have crowned a champion in both the female and male categories. On Monday 6th February, in game one of the female championship, St. Catherine Academy defeated Ladyville Technical High School by the score of 2-0 to take a one game lead in the best of three series. The goals for St. Catherine Academy were scored by Jodi Pott and Gabriella Mendoza. Meanwhile, in game one of the male championship, Gwen Lizarraga High School defeated St. John’s College by the score of 2-0 to take a one game lead in the series. The goals for Gwen Lizarraga High School were scored by Keron Patness and Michael Deshield.

Softball Federation to hold open male invitational tournament
The Belize Softball Federation will be hosting an Open Male Invitational Tournament on March 4-5 and 11-12, 2017 respectively at Rogers Stadium. The Open Male Invitational Tournament will serve as the selection process for the pool of 36 players from which the final seventeen players will be selected to represent Belize at the X Pan American Male Softball Championship scheduled for Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic September 14-25, 2017. The Pan Am Male Softball Championship will serve as the qualifying tournaments for the Pan Am Games scheduled for 2019 in Lima, Peru and the Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquillas, Colombia in 2018. Interested teams must register with Ms. Tiffany Heusner, Secretary General Belize Softball Federation by Wednesday 1st March, 2017.

Khalil Noralez is the player of the week for Ahmadiyya U-19 Basketball Tournament
The Ahmadiyya U-19 Basketball Tournament continued on Sunday 5th February, 2017, at the Gateway Youth Centre here in Belize City. In the 1st game played, New Road Ballers won over Police Street by the score of 57-34. The top scorer for New Road Ballers was Holden Swazo with 15 points while D Andre Arana top scored for Police Street with 12 points. In game two, Belama Gators defeated Bombers by the score of 39-26. The top scorers for Belama Gators wereJason Philips with 8 points and the top scorer for Bombers was Jaron Alvarez with 9 points. In the third game of the day, Chiefs won over Raising Stars by the score of 31-20. The top scorer for Chiefs was Shaquille Crawford with 12 and for Raising Stars Ace Young was the top scorer with 6 points.

Softball Federation to holds Umpires’ Training Clinic
The Belize Softball Federation will be holding an Umpires’ Training from February 15-19, 2017, at Rogers’ Stadium in Belize City. The Umpires’ Training will be conducted by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Softball Division Chief Umpire Robert Stanton. Robert Stanton has been the WBSC-Softball Division Chief Umpire since 2008 and has led over 40 Certification Seminars for umpires. The training will include theory (classroom) and practical (field) as well as a fitness test and a written exam. The federation is extending an invitation to all softball umpires and those interested in umpiring to register for the up-coming Umpires’ Training. Those interested can contact their respective association presidents Ms. Jerjett Thompson (Cayo), Mrs. Elizabeth Zabaneh (Stann Creek), Mr. Edision Parks (Belize Rural), Mr. Peter Castillo (Toledo) and Ms. Tiffany Heusner – Secretary General Belize Softball Federation for registration forms.

WORDS OF LIFE with Barry Fraser
As we continue to learn about the Christian lifestyle from the letter the Missionary Paul wrote to the Church in Rome, this week we look at more love in action. In Romans 12:14-16, Paul wrote: “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position (or be willing to do menial work). Do not be conceited.” The follower of Jesus the Messiah is to be forgiving, truly sympathetic, reasonable and humble. As Christians, we are under a blessing. That’s why we can’t curse anyone, but only pass on the blessing! The Lord God blessed us when we were His enemies, when we were disobedient to our Heavenly Father. In the same way, we should bless and do good things to those who oppose us, or persecute us.

HITLER, PRICE, DRUMPF AND VOTERS…
Democracy hopes that by each and every eligible voter going to the polls and casting a vote, the best candidate is chosen. Well, as you and I know, many voters stay home on Election Day and then from the small group that do go to the polls some of them vote against their very own interest! Bear in mind that this essay is in no way trying to step on the rights of the voter. I do want to say however, that sometimes voters make the wrong decision. Not unthinkable, since voters after all are human beings; prone to making mistakes! In this work I want to look at three recent major examples of how very smart voters messed-up: There are very few individuals who will say much good about Adolph Hitler. In fact the opposite would be true – he would be roundly condemned. He was responsible for the death of some 150,000,000 human beings; and after all that, he “was sorry that there were not more Germans willing to sacrifice their life” for his crazy scheme. Do not miss the very important point: the very, very smart German Citizens voted the stupid, dunce - Adolph Hitler into office!

The cat in the hat
There is a political commentator on MSNBC, Chris Hayes, who, during his nightly presentation, uses two characters from the children’s book, “The Cat in the Hat” written by American writer, Theodore GEISEL, aka Dr. Seuss. In this book these two characters are named “Thing One” and “Thing Two”. In Belize we behold the appearance of our own two “things” each week. Last week our “thing one” and “thing two” were. Courtney and K. Musa. This Monday night they were K. Musa and G. Brackett. The common denominator it seems is K. Musa. This validates the speculation that the young Musa is positioning himself for the “Golpe” which is being planned to overthrow Juan Antonio and replace the latter gentleman as PUP Party Leader. K. Musa loses no TV opportunity and The Fox/ Love combination is always so willing and ready to accommodate each special “interview” with the young prince from Neverland so he can spew incontinently into the Microphone about all the so-called ills of the UDP Government. Ills, I may add, planted by his serpentine father and wicked step father Fonseca. Regrettably, it is the Belizean people who are reaping this rotten harvest which these two men sowed without let or hindrance for ten solid years. Group of gangsters…. All of them.

New equipment to fight forest fires
The Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) project management unit participated on Wednesday in an important handing-over ceremony at the Forest Department on Forest Drive, Belmopan. Key Biodiversity Areas stakeholders, such as Programme for Belize, who play a significant role in Forest Wildland Fire Prevention and Management, received safety gears and fire-fighting equipment procured under the KBA Project. The distribution of the equipment form part of the Fire Incidence Rapid Response Team activity that will support stakeholders with their respective fire prevention and fire-fighting programs. A press release issued by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment & Sustainable Development and Climate Change states that since the dry season is here, this timely distribution of the much needed equipment will assist the beneficiaries to control fires and mitigate the damages to our forest systems.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

BNTU concerned over voter registration list
The Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) is calling on the Government of Belize to hold a voter re-registration exercise, to ensure that Belize’s democracy is preserved. The BNTU issued a statement this week, saying that it became concerned, after following the Senate Inquiry into the Auditor General’s Special Audit Report of the immigration and Nationality Department from 2011-2013. The union said that the testimonies at the inquiry revealed a wonton distribution of Belizean nationality certificates that it feels are both questionable and illegal.

PUP supports Senator Eamon Courtenay
The People’s United Party (PUP) today issued a press release stating that they voted in favor of the Central Bank (International Immunities) Act, and the Crown Proceedings (Amendment) Act brought to the National Assembly because the PUP believes in defending the national interests and specifically the foreign reserves of Belize. “Belizeans will recall that the Hon. John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition, brought to light that no notice was given by the UDP regarding the details of the legislation so that proper research and consultation be done,” the release states.

Man in hospital after being shot in Belize City
According to reports, Alrick August, 23 of a Belize City address was walking on Western Avenue last night around 8:55 when he was approached by a male person who fired several shots at him.

Welcome home Miss Belize Universe
Miss Belize Universe, Rebecca Rath arrives home tomorrow, February 10, 2017. Rath received overwhelming support from Belizeans at home and abroad throughout the 65th Miss Universe Pageant in Manila, Philippines. The Belize Tourism Board (BTB), NICH, Queen of the jewel, among others have teamed up to warmly welcome Ms. Rath at the Phillip Goldson International Airport which will be followed by a motorcade through the principal streets of Belize City.

San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council to get new administration building
Yesterday, a ground breaking ceremony was held at the old hospital site in San Ignacio Town which will be transformed into the new administration building for the Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena. The administration building was previously located at a building which was considered unhealthy for living, so it was moved to the San Ignacio commercial building where it currently operates from.

UDP calls for the immediate removal of Senator Courtenay
The United Democratic Party (UDP) issued a press release yesterday afternoon condemning the recent action taken by PUP Senator Eamon Courtenay. The release states, “We believe that his action is an outright betrayal of Belize’s national interests and comes in extreme conflict with the Senatorial seat he holds. We therefore call for his immediate removal from the Senate.” The party says that on February 3, 2017, PUP Senator Eamon Courtenay filed a constitutional challenge on behalf of the Aschcroft group asking the Court to strike down the two emergency national interest legislation that he had just convincingly supported in the Senate four days prior.

Blogs

Travel professional flock to Belize for BETEX Travel Expo
Travel industry professionals from all over the world are getting ready for the Belize Tourism EXPO (BETEX), Belize’s signature tourism trade show. The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) officially announced that the event will be held in Belize City from May 3-5. The event starts off with an opening night, where participants will have the opportunity to break the ice and meet in a more social setting, before heading into scheduled appointments for the following two days. The bi-annual event will gather more than 300 registered participants, and give them the opportunity to showcase the very best in Belizean accommodations and products to international buyers, from places such as the United States, Europe, and South America. Wholesalers, travel agents, group travel organizers, corporate travel buyers, event planners, conference organizers, online travel companies and airlines, will get the opportunity to have one-on-one sessions with some of the country’s award winning hotels and tour operators. For those who want to immerse themselves further in the Belizean experience before making a decision, they can participate in familiarization trips, which will be held from May 5-8. During the post session tours, buyers will get to travel to Belize’s pristine jungles, majestic beaches, and other popular destinations, for a first hand look at the many glorious sights, sounds, and tastes that Belize has to offer.

Sea Kayaking Adventure at Glovers Reef Atoll - Belize Adventure
I recently spent two weeks in Belize and I had the most incredible experience. My favourite part was going on a 3-day island adventure where I explored Glovers Reef Atoll by kayak and stand up paddleboard, snorkeled amazing patch reefs, went deep sea fishing, and enjoyed the best beach “camping” experience in Belize. kayaking in belizeFor some context, Glovers Reef Atoll is an amazing and beautiful atoll that is comprised of 5 Cayes – Long Caye, Northeast Caye, Middle Caye, Southwest Caye and Manta island – and is 36 miles off the coast of Southern Belize. Most Belizeans have never been there – I may be making a general assumption based on the group of friends I have but since Belize is small and I’m super popular (Kanye West’s tone of voice), my thesis is not without merit. See, the one friend of mine that has been to Glovers Reef, went there because his father was once the Minister of Fisheries and they visited Middle Caye, which has a Government fisheries base and a research centre owned by the Wildlife Conservation Society. Getting to Glovers Reef Atoll is an adventure, however, my adventure started before catching the early morning boat charter. The night before the trip I was in San Ignacio hanging out with friends I had not seen for 2 years. They easily convinced me to stay up all night partying with them, which to my detriment, made me only get an hour sleep before heading to Dangriga. I left at 4:30 AM, making a quick stop for breakfast in Belmopan and then jetting off along the meandering Humming Bird Highway. A quick note on the Humming Bird Highway, I highly recommend driving it, it has so many beautiful scenes.

The Placencia Casino & Sports Bar in Southern Belize
Located just south of the Placencia Hotel nine miles northeast of the Placencia Village, the Placencia Casino and Sports bar offers world-class entertainment in a lovely upscale setting. Opened in 2016, the Placencia Hotel & Casino features a lounge, five-star restaurant, nightclub, and all of popular games that you’d expect to find in upscale casinos around the world. Built on the grounds of the fabulous Placencia Hotel and Residence, the Placencia Casino and Sportsbar is your one-stop full-service entertainment venue on the peninsula. The Placencia Casino’s ultra exclusive VIP room has over 100 slot machines and 6 gaming tables, including: Blackjack, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Roulette, Video poker, Keno, Las Vegas-style sports book. The sports bar has 17 televisions, including 4 huge HD TVs to ensure that you can enjoy the finest sporting events from around the world. The Placencia Casino offers free shuttle service throughout Placencia peninsula. The shuttle operates on a regular schedule but casino visitors can call ahead and arrange for door-to-door complimentary service.

International Sourcesizz

Students headed for Belize
Crawfordsville High School students will have the opportunity to study in Belize in 2018. The Crawfordsville Community Board of Education unanimously approved a 2018 spring break trip to Belize. First-year Science teacher William Hiatt, who teaches Advanced Placement Environmental Science and AP Biology, said that students will learn about biodiversity — or more specifically the different types of plants and animals living in Belize — through the trip. Hiatt told the board that a travel company he used for school trips in the past reached out to him about the Belize opportunity. There were other trips that they could take, but the Belize trip fit in their Spring Break travel window.

Belize Tells DC Circ. Arbitrator's Conflict Nixes $38M Award
The government of Belize urged the D.C. Circuit Thursday to upend a “rubber-stamped” lower court confirmation of a $38 million arbitral award won by a Central American bank, arguing the judge never properly scrutinized a conflict of interest involving one of the arbitrators. Had the judge applied U.S. ethics rules as required, Juan C. Basombrio of Dorsey & Whitney LLP said during oral arguments, he would have properly upended the 2013 London arbitration award won by Belize Bank Ltd., the former British colony’s leading financial services...

Winter break in the tropics
Ten students of LU’s Reaud Honors College are taking on the spring semester with a new perspective thanks to their studies on sustainability in Belize over the winter break. “It was really eye opening,” said Taylor Marshall, a junior biology major and Spanish minor from Saratoga. “The culture and the wildlife and the challenges that Belize faces were all so new to me, but those same issues affect a lot of people.” The trip was part of a fall 2016 honors seminar course offered by the Reaud Honors College titled “Tropical Sustainability.” The class introduced sustainability challenges in developing nations to students of diverse majors to promote systems literacy, or the ability of people from distinct disciplines to collaborate for effective global solutions.

Videos

  • Belize 2017, 3.5min.

  • Flying south over east coast of Belize in B737, 2017-02-08, 1min.

  • Belize 2017, 4.5min.

  • Kaya - Marine Conservation in Belize, 2min.

  • Couter Cher Salon and Cosmetics Belize City, 1.5min.

  • Tribute to Joseph B by Evan Belize, 12min. Evan Belize "On The Jukebox" composes and rehearses a tribute to Joseph Bologne Chevalier de Saint-Georges and another to Saint Nelson Diamond of Belize

  • POTATO PRODUCERS OF SAN CARLOS ASK FOR MORE THAN 75 CENTS PER POUND OF THEIR PRODUCT, 5.5min.

  • Rastafarian History & Culture in Belize, 37min.

  • Ministry Of Health - Follow up to HIV Rollout, 28min.

  • Understanding the Superbond - The Way Forward, 46min.

  • Belize Cave Tubing and tour, 2min.

  • Chaa Creek, Belize, 6min. A brief look into our trip to Chaa Creek. This place was amazing! Great accommodations surrounded by "Nat Geo" wildlife.

  • Belize trip, 10min.

  • Jankunu performers in Hopkins, Belize, 4min. Jankunu (aka Junkanoo, John Canoe, etc.) performances are common on major holidays in Belize, and this one took place on New Year's Day 2017 at Jalapeno's BBQ & Grill at the main junction in the Garifuna village of Hopkins, Belize.

  • Belize Estuary, 2.5min. North end of Caye Caulker Belize- 110 protected acres to preserve habitat for crocodiles, birds and other wildlife.

  • Monitoring-Projekt in Belize: Aufbau Kamerfallen, 6min. Seit bald dreissig Jahren unterhält die Papiliorama-Stiftung Schutzgebiete in Belize. Ein neues Monitoring-Programm zeigt positive Resultate. Zusammen mit der Regierung und der Universität in Belize soll das Programm nun intensiviert werden. Papiliorama-Direktor Caspar Bijleveld besuchte im Februar 2017 die Schutzgebiete um die bereits getroffenen Massnahmen und den Ausbau des Projektes vor Ort mit Wissenschaftlern und Regierungsvertretern zu besprechen und weitere Daten des Testbetriebs auszuwerten. Auf diesem YouTube-Kanal berichtet Caspar Bijleveld in Form eines Videoblogs über seinen Besuch in Zentralamerika.

  • , 1min. Found this gem digging through our historical records. A chance encounter with on one of the Antillean #manatees found at Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve. Belize boasts a healthy manatee population but these gentle giants are being threatened by increased boat traffic and their propellers and fishing gear like gillnets. Support efforts to protect them by encouraging mariners to slow down in manatee hotspots and the call of fishermen to stop the use of nets in Belizean waters.

    February 9, 2017


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    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    $1,500 Shopping Spree donated to Ambergris Caye’s First Children Home
    On Wednesday, February 1, representatives of Ambergris Caye’s first upcoming children’s home were presented with a gift certificate worth $1,500 in order to supply the facility with necessary equipment upon its launch. Brittney O’Daniel of Raise Me Up and San Pedro Lions Club, Kaitlin McWhorter of Raise Me Up and Britney Travis of On Eagles Wings Ministries (OEWM) gladly accepted the donation, provided by Banyan Bay Resorts (Banyan Bay Suites & Grand Colony Island Villas). The $1,500 gift certificate was part of a giveaway promotion by The Angelus Press, a retail, printing and publishing store that is geared at providing office and school essentials, located in Belize City. Banyan Bay Suites was the winner of the “Pretty Papers” sweepstakes. Shortly after their winning, news about the ground-breaking work on the shelter was announced, and Raise Me Up board members were promptly contacted by Banyan Bay Suites.

    San Pedro Pirates youth camp begins
    The San Pedro Pirates football club began their Under-15 and Under-11 youth camp on Monday, January 30th. Hector Alamilla, San Pedro Town Council’s Councilor of Youth and Sports explained the importance of hosting this youth camp. “It is actually required to have youth teams formed once there is a football club registered under the semi pro team. Our semi pro players will scout out players and maybe in the future, these youngsters can also be players of the club,” said Alamilla. Alamilla, along with Coach Jorge Nunez, said they are impressed by the talent and dedication they have seen so far. “We have seen many children come out and start to train, but I wish to see more children come out. We hope to teach the young participants some of the skills professional players use to improve their game. We would also like to give them a little taste of the game, give them basic instructions, see how much they can learn for themselves,” said Alamilla.

    Shrimp industry struggling in first month of New Year
    The Shrimp Farming Industry in Southern Belize has been battling to recover from a viral disease that has ravaged their shrimp stock. The industry resorted to a new genetic material, which seemed to be working. However, according to unofficial reports, the situation has not improved and difficulties continue. The Ministry of Agriculture has been closely monitoring the situation, and Agriculture Minister Godwin Hulse stated there are signs of a comeback. “There are some promising results, but some disappointment as well. Rainforest Company is producing lovely shrimp, but they have small ponds specially designed to drain. [As to the disappointment], the company has tried to export some to Mexico, but there’s been some setback, which we are trying to seriously analyze. I will put this as bluntly as I can: It’s a technical problem, and it requires a technical solution and so at this time the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) and everybody else is engaged in trying to find that technical solution to the setbacks,” said Hulse.

    BTB hosts Tourism Transportation Workshop
    On February 3rd BTB commenced an extensive workshop for taxi tour guides currently operating in the Fort Street Tourism Zone. A total of thirty-four (34) taxi drivers benefitted from the training which aimed at developing and enhancing their skills; knowledge and professional conduct. The workshop was derived after a survey conducted within the zone, determined that there was a high level of demand, interest and participation for training. The overarching objective was to ensure a high quality of service delivery is achieved within the transportation industry and by extension to the tourism industry; with a rewarding and valuable experience for all visitors to our shore. The facilitator of the workshop Ms. Sharon Banfield-Bovell offers a comprehensive background in tourism with her specialization in Sustainable Tourism Development, Policy Formation, Human Resources Development, Tourism Development and Strategic Planning. The workshop was held on February 3rd, 4th and 5th at the ITVET compound in Belize City and in addition to appropriate theories; also took an interactive and participatory format. BTB recognizes and embraces the role of the transportation sector as a contributor to the success of tourism and is pleased to work with this sector; to enhance its professionalism and productivity.

    SPHS Female Football team are regional champions
    The San Pedro High School (SPHS) female football team returned to La Isla Bonita as the Northern Regional Football Champions for 2016-2017. Through the National Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA), both male and female football teams of SPHS competed against neighboring schools on Saturday, February 4th in the Corozal District. Saturday morning saw both teams playing simultaneously at different field grounds. The SPHS male football team played against Corozal Institute for Technical and Vocational Education and Training, (CITVET) in a grueling match that ended in a 3-2 score in favor of CITVET. In the first half, SPHS boys had a great start, leading with one goal. CITVET then drew with SPHS during the second half, before SPHS scored another goal for the lead. Near the final minutes of the match, CITVET tied the game, and overtime was allotted. Both teams got an extra 15 minutes to break the tie, and CITVET took the victory with a 3-2 score. CITVET then advanced to the championship round, where they soundly beat Corozal Community College (CCC) 4-0.

    Ambergris Today

    Carnaval Spirit Runs In The Blood
    Just recently upon the passing of Felix Ayuso Jr., he was highly associated with Carnaval. Some of his friends said , "He is Carnaval". This flashback reminds us that the spirit of Carnaval might come in the blood. Seen in this flashback of "El Torito" is Feliz Ayuso Sr. as well as Don Francisco "Pancho" Bardalez, uncle of Felix Ayuso Jr (+). We also know that another uncle of Felix, Adolfo Ayuso (+) was another avid Carnaval and comparsa enthusiast. This flashback takes us back into the 1970's when popular radio celebrity Lidia Ramirez came to San Pedro to participate and document Carnaval as it was uniquely known in San Pedro.

    25 Years Ago - Recycling for Necessity
    Today recycling is being encouraged for the good of the environment. But many years ago in San Pedro there was a lot of recycling, except that it was not done for the environment but because of need. Salaries and wages were small and in many instances articles were non-existent, thus the need to make do with what was available. Hold on; here we go! Tin cans were opened very neatly and used as tea cups, coffee mugs or for lack of a better word, drinking vessels. Expensive biscuits came in a beautifully decorated round or rectangular metal cans. These metal cans made excellent and beautiful jewelry boxes. They were also used as organizer boxes to store thread, yarn and knitting materials.

    Belize Fisheries Department Confirms Discovery of New Shark Species in Country
    The Belize Fisheries Department is pleased to announce the discovery of a new shark species in Belize. The new shark species has not been officially named as yet but it closely resembles the Bonnethead shark (Sphyrna tiburo) and was discovered in samples taken from a landing site in Belize through an ongoing shark data collection, monitoring and research program and collaboration between the Fisheries Department and Dr. Demian Chapman, a shark specialist of Florida International University (FIU). The Fisheries Department has implemented a shark data collection and research program since 2013. The objective of the program is to gather scientific data to help develop and implement improved management measures to ensure the sustainability of shark populations in Belize. In this work, the Fisheries Department works closely with shark fishers at landing sites and collaborates with independent shark scientists and conservation organizations.

    Pic of the Week - Sports Fishing in Belize Does Not Get Any Better
    Here's a beauty for you! Local fisherman/guide, Carlos 'Ketchu' Marin, boasts a gorgeous Permit during one of this sports fishing expeditions. Belize is known for its excellent salt water flats ideal for grand slam sports fishing to include all three bonefish, permit and tarpon.

    Rebecca Rath Miss Belize Universe 2016 to Return Home from Manila
    On January 29, 2017, on Fox Television Network, 86 of the world’s most beautiful and accomplished young women vied for the opportunity to be crowned Miss Universe. Among those women was our very own Miss Belize, Rebecca Rath. “Bex “as she is affectionately known, is the first to represent Belize in the Miss Universe Pageant in ten years and was a favorite on social media and popular pageant websites. She was featured in several video clips along with other delegates and showcased her love for the jewel in which she was born and raised. Though she was not among the thirteen finalists, Rebecca’s eloquence and undeniable charm has made her one of Belize’s most celebrated beauty ambassadors in recent times. Rebecca returns home on February 10th. Here is what will take place: - Welcome at the PGIA at approximately 12 noon - Motorcade through principal streets of Belize City following her arrival - Press briefing at the Bliss Centre @2PM The public is invited to line the streets and attend the press briefing at the Bliss to give a warm welcome to one of Belize’s greatest beauty Ambassadors.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    SBDC Workshop: Business Plan Development
    Presented by: Ms. Monique Usher, Post/Teaching Description: Business Advisor SBDCBelize, Beltraide. Location: BTEC Training Room, ITVET Compound, Free Town Road, Belize City. Workshop Date: February 15th, 2017. Time: 9am to 12noon. This workshop aims to help participants understand what the elements of a business plan are. The time constraints of the session, and sensitivity of private client information, do not allow the participants or the facilitator to actually draft any component of the business plan during the workshop. However the workshop instead should be lead as a brainstorming session to allow participants to be thinking of what would be included in their specific plan. As a result, they would write their business plan using the ideas generated during this workshop. Therefore the class should be very informal and mostly discussion based. The manual provides pointers, but it is up to the participants to come up with their own specifics. the Trainer will actively engage the participants throughout the workshop to be sharing ideas and thinking of how each element of the business plan comes into play in their specific business.

    SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY
    The OAS Department of Human Development, Education and Employment the Inter-American Telecommunications Commission (OAS/CITEL) and the National Telecommunication Research and Training Institute of the Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería (INICTEL-UNI, Perú) herein offer scholarships for the online course: "Curso de Seguridad de la Información y Normas ISO 27001" to be delivered in Spanish. The deadline for receiving the hardcopy applications at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NEMO Building, Belmopan for pre-selection and forwarding to OAS Washington, D.C. is July 1st, 2017.

    Good Manufacturing Practices Training for Belizean Exporters
    EXPORTBelize, a unit of the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), in collaboration with the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA), will conduct a one-day workshop on the “Introduction to Good Manufacturing Practices” (GMP) on Friday 10th February 2017 at the BTEC office located inside ITVET Compound on Freetown Road, Belize City. The purpose of a GMP system is to ensure that products are produced in a controlled environment and with good quality and food safety standards, therefore, enabling companies to minimize or eliminate instances of contamination, mix ups, and errors. This in turn, protects the consumer from purchasing a product which is not effective or even harmful. The Good Manufacturing Practices and Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures are the pre-requisite programs for the implementation of any food safety system which is necessary for export markets.

    FOREST FIRE FIGHTING TEAMS TO RECEIVE NEW SAFETY GEARS & EQUIPMENT
    Today, Wednesday, 8th February 2017, the Forest Department and five of its key partners in Forest Fire Prevention and Management will receive essential fire-fighting safety gears and equipment through the Key Biodiversity Areas Project (also known as the KBA project). During the handing-over ceremony, Minister Omar Figueroa will distribute the fire-fighting gears among the Forest Department’s ranges, Toledo Institute of Development and Education (TIDE), Ya’axche Conservation Trust (YCT), Corozal Sustainable Future Initiative (CSFI), the Rancho Dolores Environmental and Development Group limited and Programme for Belize (PfB). Over the past years, the Forest Department and its partners have joined efforts in addressing an increasing number of forest fires, often times pooling both logistical and human resources to fight intense wildfires in remote forested areas. Eugene Waight, KBA project Manager, stated: “This timely distribution of the much needed equipment is in preparation of the upcoming forest fire season and will assist the beneficiaries to better combat forest fires and mitigate the damages to our forest systems.” The wildland fire-fighting protective gears and equipment are worth more than BZ$117,000 and form part of a Fire Incidence Rapid Response Team strategy to better manage forest fires. Some of the items being distributed include helmets, fire-fighting protective clothing, leather gloves, goggles, Kestrel pocket weather station, council combination tool, axes, rakes, swatters, bladder bags, drip torch, fuel containers, chain saws, long handle shovels, global positioning systems, drones, and radios.

    HON. EDMOND CASTRO VISITS PORT AUTHORITY OFFICE IN BIG CREEK
    While on tour in the South, Hon. Edmond Castro took the opportunity to meet with the staff at the Belize Port Authority Office in Big Creek. The team is led by Officer in Charge Mrs. Jessica Godoy. Hon. Castro commended them for their dedicated service and urged them to keep working hard as they continue to make their contribution in regulating the essential service provided by this important port at the heart of Belize’s Productive Sector. The Minister was accompanied on his visit by Ports Commissioner Mrs. Merlene Bailey Martinez and Port Authority Operations Manager Mrs. Sherlett Martinez.

    The State Of MMA In Belize 2017
    As 2016 ends and 2017 is upon us, now is a good time to reflect on the state of MMA in Belize. MMA is still the fastest growing sport globally, and in Belize it has been growing at a slow but steady pace. Compared with other traditional competitive sports such as football and basketball it’s not as popular but it’s getting there. In 2016 there were a couple “bigish” events that took place. One in February and then one in April. These events got decent exposure here in Belize where Belize fighters fought vs fighters from Mexico and Guatemala. The Belize vs Guatemala event in particular got a bit of mileage because of the on-going Belize vs Guatemala border dispute. It could not have been further from the truth, there were good fights and everyone was sportsmanlike. Then towards the end of the year we saw a Belizean (Kristian Usher) win a belt at a tournament for the “Vale Todo Chetumal” promotion. This is good for Belize MMA as it shows that we can be competitive in the regional scene and hold our own at home.

    Belize Free Zone To Renew Members Of Its Chamber Of Commerce Chetumal
    The Chamber of Commerce of the Free Zone is holding the process of renewal of the four members who will be in charge of the board of directors, in the election process, seven of the 15 members of the Chamber participate. Daniel Mora, Curtis Arnold, Anil Hotchandani, Kishore Makhijani, Satish Punjabi, José Romero and Gulab Sharma are all aspiring to one of four positions. Those who will be in charge will have the function of taking decisions for the welfare a number of more than 200 merchants installed in the commercial area.That is, they will have the option to modify and regulate the rules of operation of the so-called Free Zone. These activities do not affect the trade of the free zone, for example- the stores are open to visitors.

    Placencia 14TH Annual Sidewalk Festival
    Are you in Placencia at this time for a while and don't know whats going on this weekend? Come to placencia for BTIA 14TH Annual sidewalk festival. Its all happening this weekend.

    Two 10 minute power interruptions 7:30am to 7:40am & 3:40pm to 4:00pm, Sunday, February 12: entire Orange Walk & Corozal Districts
    BEL to facilitate maintenance works to be conducted by CFE.

    Belize Fishing Report: January 28th – Feb 5th, 2017
    A beauty of a week to begin here at El Pescador! Nick’s first saltwater experience was made even better when he landed a permit on the second cast of his first day! Steve and Scott also landed permit, with Steve landing three in one day!

    Thank you from Belize Bird Rescue
    There are two people in the life of Belize Bird Rescue that we couldn't do without and I do not thank nearly enough. Gordon and Gillian Kirkwood of Belize Animal Rescue are ALWAYS there for us. All of our Belize City area calls are handled by them, saving us hours in time and $$$'s in gas money. They tirelessly and selflessly respond immediately, each and every time, even when it's a wild 'goose' chase. Coupled with the excellent veterinary care we enjoy at Animal Medical Centre , they have the Belize City rescues down to a fine art. Bless you guys for all you do. Here are a few of their recent cases. PS and of course - Gordon's alter ego is Coconut Bway!

    New sailors from Adelle's International Outreach Programme
    On February 5, 2017, the San Pedro Sailing Club (SPSC) awarded each of its newest sailors from Adelle's International Outreach Programme, Emmanuel Avilez, Stephanie Avilez, Junior Avilez and Angel Aliva a certificate of completion for the Optimist Level 1 sailing program. The children are all between the ages of 9 and 12. On hand to congratulate them was Adelle Paz, director and founder of Adelle’s International Outreach Programme. In the summer of 2016, Ms. Paz approached the SPSC leadership to see if there was any way to join forces with the sailing club to teach interested young Belizeans in the outreach program how to sail. Since its inception, the SPSC has had as one of its goals to teach young Belizeans, specifically San Pedranos who would not otherwise have the opportunity to learn, so it was a perfect fit.

    SBDCBELIZE CONDUCTS ITS ANNUAL CLIENT OUTREACH AS PART OF ITS MONITORING AND EVALUAITION
    The Small Business Development Centre, Belize (SBDCBelize), a unit of BELTRAIDE that provides customized, needs-based services to Entrepreneurs, and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Belize to facilitate their competitiveness, is currently conducting its annual client outreach program throughout Belize. The objective of the program is to allow SBDCBelize to meet with new and existing clients to assess their growth, challenges, and assess additional areas that they need guidance and assistance in. As part of this process, surveys are also conducted, in particular: The Centre’s Client Satisfaction Survey, and Needs Analysis to determine training needs. Economic Impact generated is captured via a survey called “Client Growth Assessment “. Which is endorsed by the client and the respective advisor, and approved by the Centre’s Manager. This survey is essential as it reports back on economic indicators such as jobs created, jobs retained, capital investment, and sales generated through the advising and support of SBDCBelize.

    FOREST FIRE FIGHTING TEAMS RECEIVE NEW SAFETY GEARS & EQUIPMENT
    Today, Wednesday, 8th February 2017, the Forest Department and five of its key partners in Forest Fire Prevention and Management received essential fire-fighting safety gears and equipment through the Key Biodiversity Areas Project (also known as the KBA project). During the handing-over ceremony, Minister Omar Figueroa distributed the fire-fighting gears among the Forest Department’s ranges, Toledo Institute of Development and Education (TIDE), Ya’axche Conservation Trust (YCT), Corozal Sustainable Future Initiative (CSFI), the Rancho Dolores Environmental and Development Group limited and Programme for Belize (PfB). Over the past years, the Forest Department and its partners have joined efforts in addressing an increasing number of forest fires, often times pooling both logistical and human resources to fight intense wildfires in remote forested areas.

    Directorate General for Foreign Trade 'Frequently Asked Questions'
    You asked and the Directorate General for Foreign Trade answered! Check out Part One of the DGFT's 'Frequently Asked Questions'! And if your question isn't answered here, be sure to contact the Directorate General at foreigntrade@btl.net. They're waiting to hear from you!

    Letter: Electoral re-registration in Belize
    Amid the gross, intentional dysfunction that haunts our system of governance, the Belize Progressive Party (BPP) wishes to remind Belizeans and true friends of Belize, both at home and abroad, that in order for Belize to progress, effectively, good governance practices and principles must be championed and pursued relentlessly, without fail, not on a temporary or ad-hoc basis, solely for political expediency. In this regard, the BPP reminds one and all that since its inception in October 2015, we have consistently called for the constitutionally mandated re-registration exercise to be undertaken and that upon its completion, the lawful re-districting of the nation’s electoral constituencies also be conducted, so as to comply with the provisions set out in the Belize Constitution, to ensure a more equitable configuration of each electoral division.

    Arte conVoz de Mujer Exhibit, Corozal House of Culture
    Friday, March 10, 2017 @7pm

    Pre-Valentines' ART IN The PARK
    Come celebrate this Saturday February, 11th, 2017 Art in the Park, with music by Chendy and friends bringing the romantic valentines serenades. Calling out all you love birds! Actual background image is a canvas acrylic painting 2' x 3' that will be auctioned this Saturday February 11th at NAIA Resort in Placencia. Painting was done by Anton Leslie.

    Blue Hole Nature Center Inauguration
    The Protected Areas Conservation Trust and the Belize Audubon Society inaugurated the new Nature Center at St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park. The Belize Audubon Society got some great pictures too. "Saint Herman's Blue Hole National Park just got an upgrade! Congratulations Belize Audubon Society and thank you for being one of the country's greatest supporters of the environment! For all the details on PACT's investment and the Belize Audubon Society's new Nature Centre, click here! https://goo.gl/BRtyLU"

    Passing of Shermaine Marie Swith

    The Embassy's Archaeology in the Community program is making its way around Belize!
    Today, Dr. Jones and Sarah of the U.S. and Dr. Moore and his team of the Institute of Archaeology (NICH) Belize visited the village of San Antonio in the Cayo district. The principal and the teachers wholeheartedly welcomed us to the San Antonio United Pentecostal Primary School. The excitement among the students was contagious!

    Government of Belize Road Safety Chart
    How Safe Are You?

    Channel 7

    The UDP Government Declares War On Senator Eamon
    PUP senior senator Eamon Courtenay is under fire from the UDP tonight. It's because he's filed a constitutional motion challenging the two pieces of legislation which seek to firewall the reserves and government's assets from being crow footed by the Ahscroft Alliance. The bills had bi partisan support in the house and Senate where even Courtenay voted for their passage. But now that Courtenay the Attorney is challenging the laws in court, the UDP is calling for his removal. In a press release this evening the ruling party says quote, his action is an outright betrayal of Belize's national interests and comes in extreme conflict with the Senatorial seat he holds, end quote. The UDP warns quite, "If the Ashcroft group were to succeed in getting a US Court order against our reserves, all the assets of the Central Bank would be frozen until the matter is finalized and the amount quantified. During that period, the Central Bank and the country would not be able to pay for supplies or conduct foreign transactions. It would cripple trade and business and bring us to a standstill." End quote.

    Candelaria Saldivar Explains How Broken Immigration Is
    So, while PUP Senator Courtenay was able to leave Senate Hearings before the session was done, the public officer on the stand wasn't so lucky. That's because Former Immigration CEO Candelaria Saldivar-Morter was in charge of the Immigration Department for a huge portion of the period which the Auditor General and her team looked into. As viewers are aware, she's also Defence Minister John Saldivar's sister, and though she had a controversial exit from the Public Service, she asserts that she was a major part of the reform efforts that the Immigration Department made after the Department became embattled with scandal after scandal. That's just the point she made today in the Senate Hearings after hours of testimony and cross examination. There's a lot from her comments today, and we'll not be able to share all of it with you in tonight's newscast, here's a very revealing moment from the conversations when Saldivar told the Senate that band aid fixes will not repair what's broken at the Immigration Department. Here's that moment of real talk that the former CEO engaged in:

    Former OIC Cano Discusses Those 8 Missing Visas
    Saldivar-Morter was the second witness for day, and we'll have a little her a little later on, but we turn now to Senior Immigration Officer Edgar Cano. He's the man who was in charge at the Belize Western Border when those 8 visa foils went missing. As we told you that's the incident which triggered this audit in the first place, and today, the Senate had very tough questions for him about what happened under his watch. Here's How that went: Hon. Aldo Salazar - Chairman, Senate Select Committee: "There is a comment here from an Immigration Officer Vernon Leslie, well this is the report of the Auditor General, who is quoting Vernon Leslie. Basically it's saying that some visa foils went missing, they turned up in Belize City, with a Mr. Eric Chang and Patrick Tillett, who then, according to the Auditor General's report, brought the visa stickers to Belmopan to confirm their authenticity." "The contention in here is that you took the decision to issue visas, using those numbers, despite the fact that the foils - that the stickers were missing. You read that part of the report?"

    Former CEO: The Ministry Pursued Justice In Visa Case
    As we've told you, the Auditor General was very critical of the way that the Immigration Department handled that case, and in her opinion more needed to have been done to either prosecute or discipline those officers who participated or were complicit in what looks to be corruption. The Senate asked Candelaria Saldivar-Morter about those criticism, and here's what she had to say: Hon. Aldo Salazar - Chairman, Senate Select Committee: "In relation to those 8 Visa foils, are you - do you know if any disciplinary action was taken against officers who were involved?" Candelaria Saldivar-Morter - Former, CEO Responsible For Immigration: "Okay, yes. I actually took the case of the missing stickers to the commission." Hon. Aldo Salazar: "What commission is that?" Candelaria Saldivar-Morter: "The public Services Commission."

    Former CEO Saldivar Says Citizen Kim Officers Got Off On Technicality
    They also asked whatever became of the Department's Public Service Hearings on the officers named in the scandal where South Korean Fugitive Won Hong Kim got Belizean Nationality and a Belize passport, while he was in a Taiwanese jail. About 3 years ago, we told you about the 3 officers who were brought up before the Public Services Commission on disciplinary charges for that passport that was never supposed to have been issued. We followed the case, and we showed you how those officers were tried, but they were acquitted. Today, the Senate asked Saldivar-Morter to explain why, and here's what she had to say: Hon. Aldo Salazar - Chairman, Senate Select Committee: "You're familiar with the issue surrounding the Won Hong passport?" Candelaria Saldivar-Morter - Former, CEO Responsible For Immigration: "Yes and again I took the case to the public service's commission against Ms. Sharon Neal, Mr. Omar Phillips, Mr. Erwin Robinson." Hon. Aldo Salazar: "Mr. Sharon Neal, Mr. Omar Phillips..."

    Will Haulover Creek Be Ready for La Ruta Maya?
    Last night we told you about the substantial blockage at the Haulover Creek, which is considered the final stretch of the annual La Ruta Maya canoe race. Trees uprooted from last year's Hurricane Earl and overgrown vegetation has left the narrow channel virtually impassable, especially for a canoe. Today the Minister of State of the Environment, Omar Figueroa, gave us an update on the creek's status and whether it will be ready for next month's big race… Alex Courtenay: "Minister we also wanted to ask you about the Halouver Creek, the channel. We heard it's been blocked recently and it might not be cleared enough for the La Ruta Maya to pass through there. Is there any plans for the ministry to come in and intervene and help to make sure that channel is completely cleared out?"

    Environment Minister Talks About Caye Chapel Project
    In the last Senate meeting, Senator Valerie Woods told the Senate about a major tourism project that was about to begin on Caye Chapel. She also noted that the project was seemingly greenlit, without the completion of an environmental impact assessment. Environemt Minster Figueroa cleared the situation up for us today… Alex Courtenay: "We heard in the Senate last week that a major tourism beach development was being planned and it had been cleared without the completion of an EIA. Can you speak to that and what will be looked into that or if it will be looked into?"

    New Gears To Fight Forest Fires
    Today the Ministry of Environment, through the Key Biodiversity Areas Project, donated essential fire-safety gear and equipment to key forest management partners. The equipment will be distributed to agencies throughout the country, and will help to prevent fires in what is anticipated to be a particularly challenging year. Minister of State, Omar Figueroa discussed the importance of these donations… Dr. Omar Figueroa - Minister of State, Ministry of Environment: "You know it focuses on the key diversity areas. Belize has a lot of unique areas and we need to continually investing in these areas and we need to understand the challenges that these guys face out on the ground. Fire is an extremely important challenge but managed properly it can also enhance the biodiversity out there. The folks from these 5 organisations are very capable, they have been trained in firefighting but often times they lack the equipment. So we're hoping to give them little more tools that they can use out in fighting these fires out in the Belizean landscape." Reporter: "Minister a lot of the times, sometimes a common man or woman don't the importance of fighting forest fires. They say you know what it's just bush, make it burn but you know environmentalist; forestry experts know the importance of these resources to the country. Perhaps just explain to us the significance of that and in terms of loses we've seen in the recent years."

    Tackling That Vexing Rat Problem In the City
    Rats are an unfortunate and all too common presence in Belize City, especially in overgrown areas with a lot of trash. Rats are pests and can spread garbage, destroy property and can carry deadly diseases, also known as the story of Belize City. So, exterminator and UDP friend Ryan Swift, of Ryan Swift Pest Control has partnered with the City Council, the Public Health Bureau and a few Ministers to try and reduce the City's rat population. They have initiated a project aimed at cleaning up the yards and lots of residents in order to give the rodents less food and less shelters. We spoke to Swift and Senior Public Health Inspector Mark Bernard about the project… Mark Bernard - Senior Public Health Inspector: "We are concerned about high population of rodents because of the public health impact. Rodents bite people, they can come in contact with people and you can die from a rat bite, it's not something trivial that you take lightly; you can die from a rat bite. So they also contaminate food, people eat food they can get sick and they can also die depending on what disease they get from the rodent and of course when you hear about rodent first thing come to mind in modern day now is leptospirosis. If you go back a couple centuries ago the plague would have been the first thing you would have heard with association with rodents."

    FSTV Taxi Tour Guides Got Certified
    One of the most important connections that can be formed in the tourism industry, at least on the ground level, is between tour guide and tourist. In most cases, the initial introduction and then the tour itself is what can define a tourist's stay in Belize. So, the BTB wants to ensure that the tour guides at the Fort Street Tourism Village know exactly how to make tourists really enjoy their visit to Belize. Thats why The BTB invited Sharon Banfield Bovell to conduct a 3 day training course on public relations skills. Bovell is a regional human resources development consultant from the Caribbean Tourism Organization. Today we spoke to BTB's Manager from the Destination Planning and Cruise Department. She told us more about the importance of the workshop. Shola Babb - Destination Planning & Cruising Dept.: "The workshop was called Taxi Pride training, however it was not just for the taxis it was also for the other tour guides within the Fort Street tourism zone. It was to work on their people skills, on their customer service, give them other little titbits that they could use when giving their tours. So it was really to enhance what they already have."

    Afternoon Heist At UNO Gas Station
    Police have on suspect detained and one car impounded after a major armed robbery at a gas station yesterday. Three robbers seemed very familiar with the routine and showed up just as the administrator arrived with three loaded deposit bags. He left one at the gas station and was heading out to the Scotia Bank with the other two bags in a Jansport backpack when two men ambushed him. One of them pointed a gun at him and grabbed the bag containing over 15 thousand dollars in cash. The other robber snatched an undisclosed amount of cash from the cash register and they both escaped in a waiting car. Police have found a gold coloured four-door Honda Accord with no license plate which they believe was the getaway car. One man remains detained and two others are being sought.

    The Justification For Forestry Act Penalties
    Earlier this week, the Forest Act was amended to add greater penalties to illegal logging. A new schedule for fines was introduced, which determines penalties based on the ecological importance and scarcity of the tree. Minister of State, Omar Figueroa told us why it was necessary to update the act and employ these stiff punishments... Anyone in possession of illegal logwood is urged to hand it during the amnesty period, which ends on the 20th.

    Transport Minister Tours Big Creek Bight
    The Barrow Administration promised to re-open the Commerce Bight Port in its last manifesto and that put a freeze on relations with the Big Creek Port. Transport Minister Edmund Castro may have been trying thaw things out in a visit to the Port. General Manager Gustavo Carrillo and Operations Manager Mr Aldus Forman led Castro on a tour of the facility. The ministerial delegation then visited the offices of the Big Creek Group of Companies, where they held discussions with General Manager, Zaid Flores. According to an official release, construction of another deep water port, to be built at Commerce Bight is in the early stages of planning. This is perceived as creating a government backed competitor to take market share from the privately owned Big Creek Port.

    The Hurricanes And Their Love Of the City
    The NEBL basketball season is entering its 4th week and the defending champions, SMART Belize Hurricanes started the season with an uncharacteristic pair of losses. But they hit their stride last weekend with a much needed victory over Cayo Western Ballaz. It's not surprise that the victory came in the first night at their new home court, the SCA Multipurpose Auditorium. We visited them there during last night's practice to find out what's the magic of the place. The Hurricanes put their home record to the test this weekend when they face the Dangriga Dream Ballers.

    Channel 5

    U.D.P. Wants Eamon Out of Senate; He Hits Back
    The ruling United Democratic Party has issued a call for the Opposition People’s United Party to remove its lead Senator, Eamon Courtenay, for what it calls an “outright betrayal of [...]

    Ex-Immigration C.E.O. Warns of ‘Unusual’ Events at Department
    The Senate Special Select Committee met with three witnesses today at its public hearings in Belmopan. These were senior Immigration Officer Edgar Cano; Finance Officer Teresita Castellanos, and the now-retired, [...]

    Candelaria Saldivar says Immigration Officers Were Responsible for Checks
    All the senior officers who have visited the Senate Special Select Committee complained that there was little to guide them other than their own judgment, and in some cases, the [...]

    Former C.E.O. Denies Involvement in Visa Recommendation Process
    But what of Saldivar-Morter herself? At one point in the Auditor General’s Report, she was mentioned as one of the persons who asked for the Department to facilitate visas for [...]

    Edgar Cano Disclaims Knowledge of Missing Visa Foils…
    The first witness to be called today was Edgar Cano, the former head of the Services Section of the Immigration Department and briefly posted to the Western Border.  Cano, accompanied [...]

    …Cano Says He Was On Vacation
    Further questioning by the Committee established that Edgar Cano did not leave Belize during his vacation and that he was contacted about the missing visa foils by a Department employee, [...]

    Ministers Had No Sway in Immigration, Claims Cano
    The matter of Ministerial influence in writing recommendations for passports, visas and even nationality has been a continued topic of discussion in the Senate’s public hearings. But to a man, [...]

    Minister Says Environmental Compliance for Caye Chapel Project Granted
    Over a week ago, you heard Senator Valerie Woods raised concerns  in the Senate over a proposed beach development at Caye Chapel. The proposed works include a beach club and [...]

    New Penalties Target Illegal Logging
    On Monday, the Forestry Department announced amendments to the Forest Act that provide for stiffer penalties for illegal logging. The increase in fines will be imposed on persons found with [...]

    “Good Thieves” Have Western Paradise in Fear
    It has been an uphill battle for police and the community, because most of the residents work within the city and often times leave their homes unattended and open to [...]

    Enfield Fitzgibbon Read Murder Charge for Death of Keimar Nicholas
    Police believe that twenty-seven-year old Enfield Fitzgibbon is the gunman who pulled the trigger in the murder of nineteen-year-old Keimar Nicholas.  Nicholas was shot on the night of January twenty-third, 2017 [...]

    One Caught, Two Sought in Uno Gas Robbery
    Belize City police have detained one person and are looking for two others, following Tuesday’s mid-morning armed robbery of the UNO Gas Station on Youth for the Future Drive. A [...]

    Uncle and Nephew Freed Over Caught Hicatees
    An uncle and nephew charged with illegal possession of female hicatee turtles and hicatee nets were freed of four charges today before a planned trial. Magistrate Carlon Mendoza agreed with [...]

    Hefty Fines for Undersized Conch
    In more fisheries news…five fishers caught big fines in the Magistrate’s Court for possession of undersized conch and fishing without a license, but it could have easily been worse. The [...]

    Agencies Handed Fire-Fighting Gear
    Over the past years, the Forest Department and its partners have joined efforts in addressing an increasing number of intense wildfires in remote forested areas.  To strengthen the works of [...]

    CTV3

    Stake Holders Meets With Potato Producers
    Earlier in the week we told you about the concerns of Potato farmers from the village of San Carlos in having to incur substantial loss in this year’s potato crop due to a saturation of the imported product in the local market. Yesterday stakeholders of the potato industry, including Farmers from the Cayo and Orange Walk Districts, Representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, BAHA representatives, the Cooperative Department and Potato Importers met in Belmopan to chart a way forward in this year’s crop production. During yesterday’s meeting stakeholders got the opportunity to discuss the amount of product currently on the ground, ways in which the product can be marketed to ensure a better demand and supply ratio, the calendarization of the product by different areas to cover the three month season and other concerns surrounding production.

    Former CEO Saldivar Outlines Inconsistencies In The Immigration Department
    Three witnesses testified today for the Senate Select Committee’s investigation into irregularities at the Visa, Nationality and Passport sections of the Immigration Department as listed in the Auditor General’s special audit. They were former Officer in Charge of the Visa Section, Edgar Cano; former Finance Officer Teresita Castellanos and former Chief Executive Officer, Candelaria Saldivar-Morter. As the senate hearings enter its ninth week of hearings, the five-member Senate Committee has begun to look deeper into the on goings at the Department for the periods covered by the audit: 2011 and 2013. Today, the Committee got confirmation of the general allegations made by the Auditor General when the former CEO, in her testimony, admitted that they knew that there were many discrepancies taking place.

    Senior Immigration Officer Cano Response To Allegation Made Against Him By AG's Report
    There were many more questionable instances cited by the Auditor General. For instance, there was also the case of eight missing visa foils which the audit report revealed disappeared from the Western border and then ended up being sold in the streets of Belize City. At the time, Senior Immigration Official Edgar Cano was the officer in charge of that section, and was named in the report for his alleged role in the case and today when he appeared before the Committee, he was asked to address it. Senator Aldo Salazar - Chairman, Senate Select Committee: “Basically its saying that some VISA foils is missing, they turned up in Belize City with Mr. Eric Chan and Patrick Tillette who then according to the Auditor General report brought the VISA stickers to Belmopan to confirm their authenticity and that was confirmed as legitimate and according to the Auditors General says that the decision to issue Belize that there is a contention in here that you decided to, despite the fact that those VISAS went missing and I don’t know why they weren’t taken from Mr. Chan and Mr. Tillette if they had it but the contention in here is that you took the decision to issue VISAS using those numbers despite the fact that the stickers were missing, you read that part of the report?”

    Cano Reveals Safest Place To Keep Documents Is Detention Cell
    It appears from many of the testimonies that safes and security units for the proper safe-keeping of sensitive immigration documents was in high demand. We’ve heard from previous testimonies of cases of files having to be placed on desks and floors, but today’s testimony by former Officer in Charge of Visas, Edgar Cano, takes the cake. He revealed that there have been times at his station and others when the safest place to keep documents is a detention cell. Edgar Cano, Former Officer in Charge, Visa Section: “We wanted to look at certain issues for example; border stations have no storage facility to store files, we had that problem at Western Border, we had to maintain our files sometimes in the detention cells where people are momentarily kept because of the facilities itself inconveniently in and those are the areas that maybe required priority because many times we see that we have an office at the Western Border but we don’t have storage and we cannot keep files, it is limited to office space and then we have to put our files in detention cells where we put in people and those are not convenient.”

    Former CEO And Senior Immigration Officer Give Contradicting Statements
    During this morning’s presentation by Senior Immigration Officer Edgar Cano, the Committee asked him to discuss the controversial practise of Ministers submitting letters of recommendation along with applications for visas, passports and nationalities. According to Cano, while he didn’t recall seeing any correspondences from Ministers, he said they would be of no consequence to the application because their reviewed was based on criteria. Edgar Cano, Former Officer in Charge, Visa Section: “Not that I recall right now but if should a minister bring or send an application with his recommendation the services section accepts applications at the counter and if that comes at any time that would go to the front desk at the counter clerk as an ordinary application which the counter clerk at the front will do a preliminary vetting of the application to look at all the supporting documents that goes along with the applications thereafter enter it into our register which upon entering that on the register it goes to a different section which is names as investigation section which then they do all the processing and vetting, final vetting of applications then the application either comes back to me with a recommendation or a denial, comes with a vetting report from investigation, my section does not do vetting of applications and I must make that clear.”

    UDP Calls For Senator Courtney Resignation
    Today the United Democratic Party issued a call to have the PUP’s lead Senator, Eamon Courtney, removed from the senate citing the actions taken by Courtney on February 3rd, when he filed a constitutional challenge on behalf of the Aschcroft group asking the Court to strike down the two emergency national interest legislations. The UDP describes Courtney’s move as an outright betrayal to Belize’s national interests and states in the release issued that it comes in extreme conflict with the Senatorial seat he holds. The release further states that Courtenay, by means of his challenge, is placing Belize’s national assets in jeopardy stating, quote “If the Ashcroft group were to succeed in getting a US Court order against our reserves, all the assets of the Central Bank would be frozen until the matter is finalized and the amount quantified. During that period, the Central Bank and the country would not be able to pay for supplies or conduct foreign transactions. It would cripple trade and business and bring us to a standstill. There is no reason to doubt that PUP Senator Eamon Courtenay knows fully well how his challenge, if successful, would tremendously hurt our country’s economy with immediate effect.” End quote

    LOVE FM

    UDP Calls for Eamon Courtenay’s Resignation
    The United Democratic Party has called for the removal of Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay as a Senator. The call comes after a constitutional challenge was filed on February 3. The Ashcroft group is asking the Court to strike down two pieces of legislation that the Government recently passed to safeguard Belize’s foreign assets. On Friday, […]

    Agriculture Minister Has Hopes for Citrus; Is Satisfied with Sugar and Excited About Rice
    It has been almost four months since Minister Godwin Hulse was assigned the agriculture portfolio for the country. Since taking over the ministry, Minister Hulse has had several meetings with stakeholders in various industries including sugar and citrus. In an interview with Minister Hulse, he spoke of the banana sector which underwent some strains in […]

    Foreign Affairs Officials Make Presentation to Galen Students and Faculty
    Foreign Affairs Minister, Wilfred Elrington was out west today making presentations to the students and faculty of Galen University. His presentations focused on the Belize/Guatemala issue and formed part of the publicity campaign leading up to a possible referendum on the matter. Public Relations Officer, Arlette Gomez spoke more on today’s presentations. ARLETTE GOMEZ “The […]

    Hotchandani Continues Work as Chairman at Corozal Free Zone Chamber of Commerce
    Anil Hotchandani from the Mirage group has been re-elected as the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce at the Corozal Free Zone. Serving along with Hotchandani will be Daniel Mora, Kishore Makhijani and Gulab Sharma. One hundred and five businesses were eligible to vote in today’s elections. Hotchandani received seventy three votes, Mora received sixty […]

    Senior Immigration Officer Highlights Errors in AG’s Audit Report
    Career Public Service officer, Edgar Cano, was today questioned by the Senate Special Select Committee in Belmopan. Cano was the port commander at Belize’s western border before being transferred to Belmopan in August 1 2013. Before the drilling began, Cano pointed out to the Committee that since the Auditor General’s report covers up to September […]

    Former CEO Says Trio of Public Officers Were to Be Held Accountable in Wong Hong Kim Scandal
    The most infamous case in the passport scandal was the one involving South Korean Criminal Wong Hong Kim. The man accused of pushing for the approval of Kim’s Belizean nationality was then Junior Minister, Elvin Penner, who was taken to court by COLA. That case was thrown out. Up to date no one has been […]

    Former Finance Officer for Immigration Confirms Destruction of Visa Stickers
    The third person to be called before the Senate Special Select Committee was Teresita Castellanos. Castellanos was the Financial Officer in the Immigration Department from May 2011 to June 2014. Her name appears several times in the Auditor General’s report, particularly in the executive summary of the visa report. In that executive summary, the Auditor […]

    Police Impounds Vehicle Used in UNO Robbery
    Yesterday we told you of the over fifteen thousand dollars taken during a robbery at the UNO Service Station located on Youth for the Future Drive in Belize City. While two of three male persons are being sought to answer to this latest crime, we can tell you that investigators have impounded the vehicle believed […]

    Belize City Council Supports Innovative Teaching Strategies via Donations
    Several primary schools will be receiving donations from the Belize City Council to aid teachers in their efforts towards innovative teaching strategies. According to City Councilor, Hyacinth Latchman-Cuellar who holds the portfolio for women and children, this initiative was sparked after she received a letter from a standard five teacher from Saint John’s Primary School […]

    Child Advisory Board Remains Active in Belize City
    In 2013 the Belize City Mayor, Darrell Bradley launched his commitment for making the city child friendly in collaboration with UNICEF. As part of that commitment, the Child Advisory Body came about comprising of a dozen young persons between the ages of seven and seventeen. These young persons as noted by City Councillor, Hyacinth Latchman-Cuellar […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Not surprising: Saldivar to Senate Committee
    "A lot of things were unusual at the Immigration Department,” said the department’s CEO for the time period covered in the Auditor General’s Special Report, Candelaria Saldivar. She appeared before the Senate Select Committee this morning to answer questions. According to Saldivar, the findings of the Auditor General’s special audit was not surprising. She claimed, however, that in the instance of the lost visa stickers and the Citizen Kim scandal, senior immigration officers were taken in front of the Public Service Commission (PSC) for discipline.

    Enfield Fitzgibon’s charge upgraded to murder
    Twenty-seven-year old Enfield Fitzgibon now faces a murder charge, upgraded from attempted murder, for the January 23 shooting of Keimar Nicholas. Nicholas was shot on the basketball court on Lindo’s Alley in Belize City that night. His spinal cord was completely severed after he was shot. He died eleven days later on February 3. Fitzgibon’s charge was upgraded yesterday at 10 a.m.

    Forest Fire fighting teams to receive $117,000 worth of gears and equipment
    The Forest Department and five of its key partners in Forest Fire Prevention and Management will receive essential fire-fighting safety gears and equipment through the Key Biodiversity Areas Project (also known as the KBA project). During the handing-over ceremony later today, Omar Figueroa will […]

    Bullet Tree man charged for drug trafficking
    According to police reports, yesterday afternoon about 12:45 p.m., San Ignacio Police conducted an anti-drug operation within Bullet Tree Village, Cayo where officers searched a bag in the possession of 39-year-old Roberto Cordova of Bullet Tree. The search led to the discovery of 4 […]

    San Ignacio police seize 4,568 grams of weed
    San Ignacio Police pursued a blue and white Toyota Tercel unto Joseph Andrews Drive yesterday afternoon around 2:00 where cops noticed a package being thrown out of the window. It was retrieved where it was discovered to be 4,568 grams of cannabis. The occupants of […]

    Senior Immigration Officer of 28 years, Edgar Cano is currently before the Senate Select Committee
    The Auditor General’s report revealed that eight visa stickers had gone missing from the Western border. However, they were sold to former Belize City Deputy Mayor Eric Chang who was told by Immigration officers that the stickers were illegitimate. Nevertheless, the report by the […]

    One detained for $15,000 robbery at Uno gas station
    According to police reports, on yesterday at about 9:00 a.m., police responded to a robbery in progress at the Uno Gas Station on Vernon Street in Belize City and proceeded to the location where officers spoke with the administrator who reported that about 8:58 […]

    Former Immigration CEO to appear before Senate Committee
    Candelaria Saldivar, sister of embattled Security Minister, John Saldivar, is scheduled to appear in front of the Senate Select Committee today. Aside from sitting at home for more than a year and still collecting her monthly salary, Saldivar is in more trouble. She was […]

    How is BREXIT relevant to Belize?
    This morning I read an article in which Pope Francis said the following about BREXIT: “For me, unity is always superior to conflict, but there are different forms of unity and also brotherhood. and here I come to the EU — brotherhood is better […]

    Blogs

    Should I Rent a Golf Cart on Ambergris Caye, Belize?
    Ambergris Caye is the most popular vacation area in Belize for a reason. There is a ton of stuff to do. But do you need to rent transportation to do it? The answer is…it depends. It depends on how active you want to be, how much you want to explore the island – to eat and drink at different spots, where exactly are you staying and how much time you just want to lounge around relaxing. Do you want to go bar hopping? You’ll want a golf cart. Do you want to head down to the Truck Stop for a Wednesday movie night? A cart would be great. Just want to tootle around for the day? Super fun in a golf cart. Here’s the thing…there are TONS of rental carts on the island right now. There is really no need to book way in advance unless it is Christmas/New Years Week or Easter. Golf carts cost from $45 to $75US a day depending on how long you are going to rent them for. Longer is a cheaper daily rate. Try one out for a day or two. Figure out if you want to keep one for the whole week…

    A perfect itinerary for your first visit to Belize, to hit all the top spots in the country!
    Belize is a perfect country to visit if you want the opportunity to see a WHOLE country on a 7-10 day trip. It is about the size of New Jersey and has relatively good transportation options throughout the country. Plus, the country has vastly different terrains and offerings, and if you only see one of the top spots, you are definitely missing out on the others. Belize gets a LOT of repeat visitors, but your first trip, you may want to see it all so that you can decide which is your favorite spot, to spend more time, on your next trip! Recommended Itinerary for Belize: 7-10 days Ambergris Caye/Caye Caulker, to San Ignacio, to Placencia! Step 1 - Getting here, starting at Ambergris Caye:

    International Sourcesizz

    The Must-Visit Caribbean Destination You’ve Never Heard Of
    Just a short 30-minute flight on a puddle jumper from Belize City is Placencia, a burgeoning town that was once a sleepy fishing village. Sandwiched between a lagoon on the west and Caribbean Sea on the east, Placencia appears to be an unassuming destination. Modest storefronts line the only main road and verdant vegetation grows throughout. But dive in a little deeper and you’ll find that its culturally diverse inhabitants—who range from those of Maya and mestizo descent to American expats—are genuinely friendly with a laid-back attitude inherent to such beach locales. The food, too, is unbelievable (or un-Belize-able if you really want to go there) and there’s a little something for everyone—whether you want to explore by land or sea. About two hours from Placencia is Ixcacao, a cacao operation owned by husband and wife, Juan and Abelina Cho. Here, you’ll learn everything from the history of chocolate to how it is made, while sampling some pure hot chocolate (warning, it’s not the sweet and creamy beverage that you are probably used to) and a variety of bean-to-bar dark chocolates. Don’t be alarmed when it melts in your fingers; that’s the mark of high quality. If you have time, opt in for a home-cooked lunch by Mrs. Cho, where the star of your meal is a ridiculously scrumptious chocolate chicken, and don’t leave without buying a couple of bars (try the dark chocolate with cacao nibs) as souvenirs.

    Lost Bob Marley tapes restored after 40 years in London basement
    Lost recordings by Bob Marley found in a damp hotel basement in London after more than 40 years have been restored. The tapes are the original, high-quality live recordings of the reggae legend's concerts in London and Paris between 1974 and 1978. Tracks include No Woman No Cry, Jamming and Exodus. They were at first believed to be ruined beyond repair, largely because of water damage. Marley, who died in 1981, would have been 72 on Monday. The tapes were found in a run-down hotel in Kensal Rise, north-west London, where Bob Marley and the Wailers stayed during their European tours in the mid-1970s. They were discovered when Joe Gatt, a Marley fan and London businessman, took a phone call from a friend, who had found them while doing a building refuse clearance. From the 13 reel-to-reel analogue master tapes, 10 were fully restored, two were blank and one was beyond repair. Work lasted one year and cost £25,000 ($31,200). "They were (in an) appalling (condition)... I wasn't too hopeful," Martin Nichols, a sound engineer at the White House Studios in the west of England, told the BBC.

    More water routes foreseen to connect Chetumal with Belize
    So far two investors have expressed interest in implementing at least three additional water routes between Chetumal and Belize, the Quintana Roo Port Authority (Apiqroo) confirmed. Alicia Ricalde Magaña, director of Apiqroo, said that according to the approach that has been made in the meetings by the interested parties, the plan is to open a passenger, a cargo and a mixed route. The talks are well advanced and it is hoped that this year, the flow of passengers at the Chetumal fiscal pier will materialize and reactivate. “The project is very feasible, they just need to come with us so we can give them the contracts as clients of the Apiqroo”, she said. Ricalde Magaña said that currently, only two Belizean passenger companies operate at the tax pier, whose schedules encourage tourists interested in traveling to stay at least two days in Belize to return to Chetumal.

    Videos

  • Bowen & Bowen 2017 National Spelling Bee - Zone Eliminations, 26min.

  • BodyBuilders prepare for Arnold Classic Competition, 20min.

  • Crystal Auto Rental, 1min.

  • Morning Matters with Suzette Zyden, 58min.

  • Senate Special Select Committee Meeting from the National Assembly, Belmopan, 2hr.

  • Alex + Gretchen, 10min. Coco Beach Resort, Ambergris Caye, Belize, from Island Films

  • Belize Humane Society Discuss responsible pet ownership, 33min.

  • Maximizing Market Opportunities for Belizean Goods and Services!, 1min. The Ministry of Investment, Trade & Commerce

  • Wall Diving the Caribbean!, 7min. Caribbean wall diving with graceful spotted eagle rays, curious caribbean reef sharks, nosey nurse sharks, slithering giant green morey eels, large grouper, southern stingrays, lazy lobster, and much more all up close and personal. This week of diving included my wife 100th dive logged in just over two years after certification. Her buoyancy control is amazing! Dive sites included Half Moon Caye, Glovers Reef, Blue Hole, and all the surrounding areas. Warm Caribbean diving never disappoints. Belize is our favorite in those waters.

  • Drive in to the Radisson in Belize City from the airport, 5min. Completely unedited. Conversation courtesy Markus, taxi driver, and Irene.

  • Salve Regina University Belize, 6min. Dr. Cahce (Salve Regina University) and 8 students studied in Belize for 2 weeks in January 2016. This is some of the footage captured on our GoPro.

  • BELIZE :: rainforests, reefs & ruins, 5min. Epic trip to Belize with EF College Break!

  • Snorkeling in Belize Cruise 2017 1080p, 3.5min.

    February 8, 2017


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    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    SPTC’s Co-ed Softball Tournament continues
    The San Pedro Town Council’s (SPTC) Co-ed Softball Tournament continued on Sunday, February 5th at the Honorable Louis Sylvestre Complex. The second string of games saw Quality Reef, Rusties, San Pedro High School (SPHS), Atlantic Bank, Tuff E Nuff, and Extreme competing against each other. Softball fans represented, cheering and applauding their favorite teams. After three matches, the top teams were Quality Reef, Extreme, and SPHS. The tournament began at 9:30AM with Quality Reef and Rusties playing in the first round. Both teams were off to a good start, but Quality Reef dominated, emerging victorious with a final score of 13-4. In the following game, Extreme faced Atlantic Bank. Extreme wasn’t shy in showing off their skills on the field, and they easily won 13-3 over Atlantic Bank. The last match for the day was between Tuff E Enuff and SPHS. SPHS brought pressure from the start, and unfortunately, Tuff E Nuff didn’t have a comeback, letting SPHS win 12-4.

    Charles Worthington is Grand Master of Estel’s 6th Annual BBQ Cook-off Tournament
    Estel’s 6th Annual BBQ Cook-off Tournament attracted hundreds to taste the most finger-licking BBQ on the island. Held on Saturday, February 4th, this year’s event featured eight grill masters: Jim Gochenouer, Amy Knox, Charles Worthington, Alli Rush, Chris Aycock, Jennie Staines, Kevin Urbina, and Rick Saager. With more than 200 tickets sold, the crowd eagerly awaited tender ribs and brisket smoked over fires, along with Estel’s famous baked beans, coleslaw and handmade flour tortillas. The tournament also offered beer and drink specials, and guests could vote for their top three favorite ribs in the ‘People’s Choice’ category. After much deliberation, the awards for People’s Choice were announced. Coming in third place was Alli Rush, while Charles Worthington took second place. Jim Gochenour swept first place, gaining the trophy and medal for People’s Choice. The top three prizes for the 2017 Grandmaster (Judge’s Choice) awards followed. Amy Knox took third place, while Jim Gochenour graciously accepted his second award of the day. To the sound of drum roll, MC Barrington announced the 2017 winner: none other than, Charles Worthington Jr. himself!

    Tiger Sharks remain undefeated with another win
    The San Pedro Tiger Sharks are currently the only undefeated team in the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) 2017 Tournament, after their win over Belmopan Bandits on Saturday, February 4th. With a final score of 81-55, the island team claimed their fourth victory this past weekend, showing their tenacity as they aim for their third championship in the League. Tiger Sharks’ George Williams led the game with 32 points, six assists, and three rebounds. While, Ashton Edwards finished the game with 13 points, and Raul Roaches tallied 11 points and eight rebounds. Rassi Jenkins contributed with eight points and nine rebounds, and, Kurt Burgess ended the game with six points and doing 11 rebounds.

    Ambergris Today

    $1,500 Donated to Hope Heaven, San Pedro's First Childrens Home
    On Wednesday, February 1, 2017, representatives of Ambergris Caye’s first upcoming children’s home were presented with a gift certificate worth $1,500 in order to supply the facility with necessary equipment upon its launch. Brittney O’Daniel of Raise Me Up and San Pedro Lions Club, Kaitlin McWhorter of Raise Me Up and Britney Travis of On Eagles Wings Ministries (OEWM) gladly accepted the donation, provided by Banyan Bay Resorts (Banyan Bay Suites & Grand Colony Island Villas). The $1,500 gift certificate was part of a giveaway promotion by The Angelus Press, a retail, printing and publishing store that is geared at providing office and school essentials, located in Belize City. Banyan Bay Suites was the winner of the “Pretty Papers” sweepstakes. Shortly after their winning, news about the ground-breaking work on the shelter was announced, and Raise Me Up board members were promptly contacted by Banyan Bay Suites.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Hon. Edmond Castro Tours Port of Big Creek and Boat Transportation Facilities in Independence Village
    Hon. Edmond Castro, who has ministerial responsibility for the Belize Port Authority, has conducted a tour of port and boat transportation facilities in the South. Accompanied by Ports Commissioner Mrs. Merlene Bailey Martinez, Port Authority Operations Manager Mrs. Sherlett Martinez and Big Creek Officer in Charge (Belize Port Authority) Ms. Jessica Godoy, Hon. Castro first visited boat transportation facilities operated by Independence businessman Carroll Burgess, owner of Hokey Pokey Water Taxi, which transports customers between Placencia and Independence. The Minister and his team were then taken on a tour of the Port of Big Creek, led by General Manager Mr. Gustavo Carrillo and Operations Manager Mr. Aldus Forman.

    PACT/MCCAP advert - National Fisheries Policy & Strategic Plan

    Caye Caulker Humane Society Valentines Dog Wash
    Caye Caulker Humane Society Valentines Dog Wash this Saturday on the Beach in front of Caye Reef condos! Doggy shampoo plus monthly flea and tick prevention meds for $5!! Come out and see us and a bunch of cute dogs! NO REGULAR SATURDAY MORNING CLINIC THAT DAY! See you on the beach!

    Mixed Martial Arts Seminar
    On February 17 & 18, we'll be hosting an MMA Seminar with UFC fighter, Nate "The Great" Marquardt. Nate is a current ranked UFC middlewieght, former strikeforce and pancrase champion. He will be teaching MMA techniques ... so this is a must for anyone interested in MMA. Everyone is welcome.

    Driver loses his oranges and his truck
    Driver loses his oranges and his truck during the morning mist at mile 63 on the George Price Highway. This is not the first time a truck has crashed with its load of oranges on that highway.

    Belize Boledo and Lottery EXPOSED!
    By Richard Harrison: Boledo and Lottery are games of chance where the player buys tickets with numbers and get to win multiples of the price of each ticket. Boledo is played daily, while the Lottery is played on Sundays, mostly by poor people hoping to collect gold at the end of the rainbow. These games are owned by the Government of Belize, but they license it out to a private operator, linked to the political party in power. There has been two operators since Independence, and both of them Chinese. The first was there for decades, and was said to be linked to senior persons in the PUP and the second operator was licensed shortly after the UDP came to power in 2008 and is said to be associated with a well-placed political figure of the ruling UDP. The PUP government used to collect $1 million per year for this license and when the UDP government changed the license to its own favorite, they said they were doing this in the best interest of Belize and raised the license to $2 million per year (a whopping 100% increase in benefits for the people of Belize they argued).

    UNINOVA is the newest univeristy in Chetumal, Quintana Roo
    Attention to all our friends in Corozal! UNINOVA is the newest univeristy in Chetumal, Quintana Roo. We are offering up to 40% discount for early bird registration until April 30th, 2017. Take advanage of our various modules by clicking the following link https://www.universidaduninova.mx Classes will begin on September 4th, 2017 and will run during the week and Saturdays. Please visit our campus at Avenida Constituyentes del 74 con Antigua or call us at 9831642986 and ask us on how to take advantage of our full benefits!

    Los Mascarados
    Los Mascarados, a key component of Juan Carnaval. The tradition is a group of men in different disguises would march through the streets of the community at night, dragging chains behind them. They were dressed as old men, witches, demons, folklore creatures, as well as a priest and a devil.The devil would go about teasing people, especially little children and only the priest could chase him away. The purpose of this event was to have some good natured fun, usually at the expense of terrified children. Parents often demanded good behavior from their children by threatening them with the Los Mascarados. The purpose of this event was mainly to have some good natured fun, usually at the expense of terrified children. Parents often demanded good behaviour from their children by threatening them with los Mascarados. The past few years Corozal Town has seen a revival of this cultural celebration through the efforts the House of Culture and the community. Witness Los Mascarados and other components of Carnaval at the Corozal House of Culture's 5th anniversary Grand Cultural Presentation, Friday February 24th.

    Western Ballaz Host No Limit
    The Western Ballaz host the No Limit this Saturday, February 11th. Richard Troyer is returning! Come out to the SHC auditorium and cheer them to victory. "A big thank you to all our fans who traveled with us to Belize City in Friday as we played against Smart Belize Hurricanes. We really appreciate your support and love. Our next game will be at home this Saturday. Come out and support your boys as they go up against No Limit at 9 p.m. Go Ballaz!!!!"

    We are Belize! at Caribbean Travel Marketplace 2017
    Caribbean Travel Marketplace, the Caribbean's largest and most important marketing event was held in Nassau Bahamas on February 2, and 3, 2017. This renowned event allows two intense days of business meetings, where regional tourism suppliers meet with wholesalers from around the world that sell Caribbean vacation travel or plan to sell the region. The Belize Hotel Association, represented by President Leisa Carr-Caceres and Marketing Director, Tessie Duran Tonaco, networked and liaised with several international travel agents, service providers and media personnel, who were highly interested in promoting Belize as a vacation destination to their clients. During the week preceding the event, the BHA actively participated in the CSHAE , CHTA meetings and roundtable sessions along with other Hotel Association Executives, CHTA, and key players in the tourism industry from all around the Caribbean . These five days of intense discussions focused on trends that were impacting the tourism industry in the region and devising strategies to enhance market visibility for the Caribbean and also to mitigate any threats that may be impacting the region as a whole.

    BHA excitement at the New York Times Travel Show
    The Belize Hotel Association created a stir of un-Belize-able excitement at the 14th annual New York Times Travel Show last weekend January 27-29, 2017. Board Members Barbara Hall and Board 2nd VP Julie Kee, kept visitors to our BHA booth well informed about our country and its countless attractions and activities. This of course, piqued their interest in planning a vacation to Belize in the very near future. Attendance at the Travel Show reached a new record of 30,099 which is the highest attendance in the Show's history. Attendance included 9,253 travel trade and 20,846 consumer attendees. The number of exhibiting companies also hit a new record with 560 companies representing over 170 countries. The New York Times is the largest consumer Travel and Trade show in North America.

    Splashers
    Join us this week at Crazy Canucks Beach Bar to paint "Whimsical Seahorse".

    Discovery of New Shark Species in Belize
    The Belize Fisheries Department is pleased to announce the discovery of a new shark species in Belize. The new shark species has not been officially named as yet but it closely resembles the Bonnethead shark (Sphyrna tiburo) and was discovered in samples taken from a landing site in Belize through an ongoing shark data collection, monitoring and research program and collaboration between the Fisheries Department and Dr. Demian Chapman, a shark specialist of Florida International University (FIU). Dr. Demian Chapman has been conducting research on several shark species in Belize since 2008 with a focus on Hammerhead shark species, whose international trade is regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of Wild Fauna and Flora. The Fisheries Department has implemented a shark data collection and research program since 2013. The objective of the program is to gather scientific data to help develop and implement improved management measures to ensure the sustainability of shark populations in Belize. In this work, the Fisheries Department works closely with shark fishers at landing sites and collaborates with independent shark scientists and conservation organizations.

    Minister of Defence Hon. John Saldivar begins National Tour of Belize Coast Guard; Visits Forward Operating Base on Hunting Caye under Construction
    Minister of Defence Hon. John Saldivar and CEO in the Ministry of Defence Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Felix Enriquez have commenced a national tour of facilities operated by the Belize Coast Guard, starting with the South Sector. Accompanied by Commander of the Belize Coast Guard Admiral John Borland, they visited Hunting Caye in the South (Toledo District) where a Forward Operating Base is under construction and is expected to be completed by the middle of April. Prior to that, the Minister and his team stopped at the Port of Big Creek in the Independence area of Stann Creek, where a new site is being prepared for the Coast Guard Sector South Headquarters. Before returning to the mainland, they travelled further south to the Port Honduras Marine Reserve, where members of the Coast Guard provide law enforcement support for the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE) which operates a Ranger Station on Abalone Caye.

    Village Life 2017
    Here is an event coming near you - Bring your FAMILY and FRIENDS for a day of Sports and FUN activities!! Beeline Internet BZE & Love FM - News and Music Power brings to you Village Life 2017 in San Pablo, OW.

    Belize Tourism EXPO (BETEX)
    TRAVEL TRADE SHOW - Belize Tourism EXPO (BETEX) is a two-day centralized trade exhibition at which international tour companies (Buyers) meet with local tourism professionals (Suppliers) to network and experience Belize. BETEX remains as a key marketing initiative of the BTIA – Belize’s leading national private sector tourism association – providing a gateway to the world and an opportunity to partner local and international tourism professionals with the objective of promoting Belize as a great tourist destination. BETEX was first organized in 1996 and takes place every two years, attracting approximately 300 local and international tourism professionals and press representatives. Making new connections with people and nature in different environments is key to traveling. Belize’s sincere commitment to charting a sustainable future is what sets the country apart. The BTIA invites you to be a part of the Belize Tourism Expo 2017 and experience the destination first hand. May 3rd to May 5th, 2017 in Belize City, Belize (Optional post tour May 8th, 2017)

    Ambassador of Cuba holds meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister of Belize
    Lissette Perez, Ambassador of our country, he received at the official residence of Cuba to Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister, with whom he maintained a cordial exchange on the state of bilateral relations and the possibilities To deepen cooperation in the areas of education, culture and sport. Accompanied Faber, the Deputy Minister of culture, Adele catzim and the acting president of the National Institute of culture and history (Nich for its acronym in English), Gregory Vernon. The High Dignitary expressed the willingness of his government to increase collaboration in the area of language teaching and learn more in-depth knowledge of the education system, including Cuban schools of culture and sports. Ambassador recalled the history of cooperation in these sectors, including the one that resulted in the creation of the system of houses of culture in Belize, whose headquarters are preserved in all districts of the country.

    The Belize Tourism Board and JG Black Book Presentations in New York
    Today's meeting was with Judy Perl Travel which is a Virtuoso member and the production finalist for Virtuoso's "Top Year over Year Percentage Growth."

    What a great day full of learning, digging, discovering, and building friendships!
    40 students of St. Martin de Porres primary school learned the ABCs of archaeology from an American archaeologist Dr. Jones and were inspired by Dr. Moore and his engaging team of the Institute of Archaeology (NICH) Belize about appreciating and protecting Belize's rich cultural heritage. They dug, excavated, analyzed, and recorded like true scientists, faced TV cameras, and, hopefully, came away more curious about the world and ready to keep on learning, discovering, and achieving!

    Oral History with Bredda David
    The Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project and NICH (ISCR) collaborating to do some Oral History with bredda David the President of the UNIA (United Negro Improvement Association). We hope to cover Liberty Hall, Isiah Morter and Eboe Town in today's interview. Information from this interview will be used for the new Eco-museum to be established in Downtown Belize.

    Channel 7

    Haulover Creek Won't Be Ready For Ruta Maya?
    Every year in March, Belizeans across the Cayo District, down through the Belize River Valley look forward to the annual La Ruta Maya Race. It's a sporting event - which, much like the cross country - has become more than just a race, it's a cultural happening. But, this year, the path to the end of the race is in serious jeopardy because the Haulover Creek - which is the finishing stretch as it enters Belize City - is substantially blocked. We went on the creek today to see what's the problem and find out what's the solution, if any:... Jules Vasquez reporting We're all used to seeing the dramatic finish of the Ruta Maya race on the 9th of March Weekend as the paddlers come thundering down the Haulover Creek. But this year, two miles of the Creek are virtually impassable, dense with overgrowth and fallen trees - and the Canoe Association has asked to city to clean it up.

    Judge: Pawnshop Interest Rates "Unconscionable"
    Pawnshops are a thriving enterprise in Belize - and their customer base is mostly comprised of the poor and those who can least afford to pay high interest rates. Yet, invariably, high risk credit carries the highest interest rates, and now a Supreme Court Judge has said "enough." Justice Sonya Young issued a judgement yesterday against an Orange Walk based enterprise: Payday Advance and EZ Loans Pawning saying that they had taken advantage of their customer, Janine Vega. Vega made two loans from the company in 2012, the first for $2,500 and the other for a thousand dollars. Security for the lions were Vega's titles to two properties in the Orange Walk District totaling 30.4 acres. Vega only paid back eleven hundred dollars, and failed to make any other payments. So, the owners of the pawn business Laura and Julio Blanco, enforced the security and transferred the land into their names.

    No Arrests In Roadside Murder
    Last night, we told you about the murder of 44 year-old Gardenia resident John Ortiz, whose body was discovered near mile 19 on the Philip Goldson Highway. Police believe he was clubbed in the head, robbed, and left for dead early in the morning. Police canvassed the surrounding area, and picked up a young man who had blood on his heels and on his calf. We are told that so far the investigation shows that Ortiz was lashed out with 2 by 4, after which he was robbed of the $15 which was in his pocket. One person is still detained, but no one has been arrested and charged as yet.

    Charge Upgraded For 19 Year Old's Alleged Killer
    On Friday we told you that 19 year old Keimar Nicholas had succumbed to his injuries, 11 days after being shot in the neck. The man accused of the shooting, Enfield Fitzgibbon was already charged with attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. Today he was brought back to court where his charges were upgraded to murder. He remains remanded at prison.

    The Ham And The Judge's Hammer
    56 year-old Manuel Pastor Gomez Diaz, a Mexican businessman who operates from the Corozal Commercial Free Zone, is in danger of losing 150 cases of chilled ham which landed in Belizean territory, without the proper permits. Gomez Diaz, who is the director of Coral's Company Limited, went to the Magistrate's Court today to fight against a forfeiture application made by the Comptroller of Customs. The 150 cases of ham, weighing 3,456 pounds, landed in Belize on November 20 of last year, but he didn't have an import permit for it. So, BAHA wrote him requesting that it be returned to wherever it came from, but he failed to comply. That's when BAHA turned over the case to the Customs Department, which then made an application for forfeiture. Gomez Diaz hired an attorney and he appeared today before the Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer, to try to get the application thrown out. That attorney has since written to the court asking for the opportunity for their side to be heard. He explained that the ham was not destined for Belize, it was to go to Mexico. He also added that this is not the first time he has imported ham to Belize, but this was the first time that it arrived before he got the import license.

    Coast Guard Commander Speaks On FOB
    Minister of Defence, John Saldivar started his tour of the Belize National Coast Guard facilities this week. Saldivar, accompanied by his CEO Lieutenant Colonel Felix Enriquez and Coast Guard Commandant, Admiral John Borland, visited a site near the Port of Big Creek, where a new headquarters will be built. They also visited Hunting Caye, site of the stillborn forward operating base. Construction on the base came to a halt after public outcry erupted over it being built by a Guatemalan company. That forced the government to take control of the project and put an end to the US funding for it. Admiral Borland gave the media an update on the state of the base, as well as the Minister's country tour... Admiral John Borland - Commandant, Belize Coast Guard: "Presently we are engaged in the tour of the southern sector of the Belize Coast Guard, where the Minister of Defence, Hon. John Saldivar and his CEO and his ministry staff are conducting a tour starting in the south. They will continue with this tour visiting the northern and central sectors. But for now we are in the southern sector."

    La Croix Land Lament
    Belize City Residents living around the La Croix Boulevard and Holy Emmanuel Street Areas behind the Complex may know Mama Rose Fast Food very well. Rosa Rodriguez and her family have been there for over 6 years selling food on that street corner, but, now, she is being forced to move by a woman who claims that her business place is trespassing on her land. She and her family received a letter from the woman's attorney, Jacqueline Willougby, in late December, which demands that they remove the structure from where it is, or else they will "take legal actions" against them. The problem is that the family believes that they occupying road reserve for La Croix Boulevard, which would make it Government land. They've been paying their trade licenses fees to the Belize City Council, and they are complaining that they're being unfairly removed from that location, which puts their livelihood in jeopardy. Today, we spoke with the head of the family, Jose Cervera, and he told us why he is not moving until a court of law tells him that he is wrong. Here's how he explained it:

    Teaching Kids About The Possibilities of Archaeology
    Archeology in the Community: it is a 3 year old program developed by the US Embassy. The focus of the program is celebrating and preserving culture. And of course archeology is an integral part of that process. It is that connection that the program coordinators want the standard 4 students at the St. Martin De Porres School to grasp after today's training session. Courtney Weatherburne was at the school today and has more details. For archeologists, the thrill of a discovery is worth every grueling second spent excavating and examining. Then there is the process of uncovering the story behind the find. Now these precious discoveries are usually made at Maya sites, but today the excavation site was the playground at St. Martin De Porres School. The coordinators of the US Embassy's Archeology in the community program want the students to understand and appreciate this field of work and how it can help them define their identity. Dr. Alexandra Jones - Executive Director, Archeology in the Community: "So today what we are doing is teaching the kids about archeology. What archeology is and why it's important to people in the world as well as Belize people and why kids should take an interest in archeology and cultural heritage and understanding how important their heritage is to who they are as young citizens."

    Who Will Be Trump's Ambassador?
    Now, you would normally see Ambassador Carlos Moreno at these US Embassy events but due to the change of administration, he is no longer the ambassador to Belize - since he was an Obama appointment. So who will President Trump appoint to replace Moreno? Well we don't know as yet but the Charge d ' affaires , who is the acting ambassador told us today that regardless of who it is , the very amicable relationship between the US and Belize will certainly be maintained. Adrienne Galanek - Charge d' Affaires: "The programs will continue as Ambassador Moreno used to like to say is that the programs that were started before him, he was a big part of executing and implementing and then the programs that he carries on and initiates the next ambassador will take on. So it's building the relationship stronger and stronger with each ambassador over time and in the interim until we have a new ambassador, I'll be acting as the charge d' affaires but as of yet we don't have anyone nominated or appointed."

    Fisheries Bust Over One Thousand Undersized Conch
    Over 1000 undersized conch were confiscated this weekend in a joint patrolling operation between the Fisheries Department and the police. The team patrolled around the Lighthouse reef and Turneffe Atoll, where they caught and arrested a total of 9 fishers, all in possession of undersized conch. We spoke to the Fisheries Department's Hampton Gamboa about the busts, and what will happen to all that conch. Hampton Gamboa - Conservation & Compliance Unit Supervisor: "There was a joint operation that was conducted between the police and fisheries officers at Lighthouse and Turneff Atoll. Basically it was an operation that took place from the second to the fifth of February over last weekend and officers while conducting this operation came across a sail boat out at Lighthouse Reef which 6 people were arrested for possession of undersized conch during that operation on that day and also on another day during the same period, there were 3 more individual on another sail boat that was charged, who was found with under size products."

    A New Shark Species in Belize
    And while undersized conch harvesting threatens population of that species, a new species of shark has been discovered in Belize. FIU's Dr. Demian Chapman and the Fisheries Department were collecting data on the Belizean shark population, and took a sample of what they thought was a bonnethead shark. But, after looking at the shark's DNA, they realized that it was a completely different and as yet undiscovered species. It closely resembles the Bonnethead shark which is a part of the Hammerhead shark species.

    BWS Worker Remanded For Gun
    Last night, we showed you the .38 special that police found a BWSL employee with. tonight we can confirm that 28 year-old Rafael Reyes, is at the Belize Central Prison because of it. He was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer on the charges of keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition. He pleaded not guilty to both offenses, and he was remanded to the Belize Central Prison. Police were on mobile patrols yesterday on Dolphin Street, and that's when they searched 2 men, one of whom was Reyes. Inside Reyes's bag they found a black .38 revolver with 6 live rounds of ammunition. He couldn't produce a gun license, so he was criminally charged.

    Got Off Thirteen Turtles Charge
    In June of last year, we told you how the Fisheries Department made a major bust of 17 Hicatee turtles which they allegedly confiscated from from Goldburn Seguro, and his nephew Hilberto. The Fisheries Department accused them of illegally fishing them, and but when it came to actually proving that allegation, they failed to do so. As we told you, the Fisheries Department claimed that they caught both men at the Lords Bank Junction on June 7. They searched a vehicle that they were in, and found 3 of the turtles, so, the Department then allegedly took the pair to Hilberto Seguro's Biscayne Home. That's when they found the other 13 more, and according to the Fisheries Department, they were able to conduct this sting operation because they had been monitoring the duo for about a week. Hicatee turtles are endangered, and they have a strict season and permits for harvesting. So, this supposed to have been an open and shut case right? Well, it turned out that it wasn't because the Fisheries Department did not follow the Magistrates Court's criminal procedure rules. That's because Magistrate Carlon Mendoza ordered that the case had to start today.

    Seniors Step Up
    The National Council on Ageing is celebrating its 14th anniversary. The council has organized a few activities for this week, starting with an early morning flash mob at the Belmopan Market Square today where the Senior Steppers along with a few students and other council partners were showing off their moves. One of the organizers of the event told us that's it's more than just dancing, it's about educating the public about the older generation.

    Factoring In The Elderly
    Apart from today's flash mob, another important element of this observance is their first ever Anniversary review. The council members will meet this week to discuss what they have accomplished and what other programs they will develop going forward. Sure, a program like the senior steppers is the perfect option for many older persons but it might not be a good fit for others. Poot discussed the importance of designing new and more diverse programs to cater to the needs of older persons. The anniversary review will be held on Thursday evening at the Radisson in Belize City .

    Ashcroft Alliance Gets Clearance
    Last night we told you why the government of Belize believes that a ruling from the Washington DC District Court yesterday doesn't pose any real threat to government's assets or the Central Bank reserves. Well, there's a very different take on that same judgement. An article appearing in an online law journal named "Law 360" says that the federal judge on Monday "authorized the enforcement of a…$27.4 million US dollar arbitral award issued to BCB Holdings Ltd.". It adds, quote, "U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly signed off on BCB's motion for an order authorizing enforcement of the judgment against the Belizean government, despite an order issued by the Belizean Supreme Court on Friday prohibiting BCB - now known as Caribbean Investment Holdings Ltd. - from enforcing the award and subjecting company representatives to potential contempt in Belize if they try." end quote.

    Channel 5

    Arbitration War Continues; U.S. Court Puts Own Restrictions on Government
    We can confirm tonight that Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited, formerly BCB Holdings, appeared in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C. on Monday. The companies [...]

    P.S.U. Re-Assures Immigration Officers on Promotions
    Officers of the Immigration Department countrywide were serious enough about the issue of promotion in the ranks that they were reportedly willing to stage a go-slow at their offices on [...]

    Senate Inquiry is Not Reflection of Current Immigration Department, Say Unionists
    Even with the promotion matter now cooled down, there is context – the ongoing public hearings of the Senate Special Select Committee on Immigration. While only current and former senior [...]

    Police Seek 3 in Gas Station Robbery
    Police are investigating a robbery reported this morning at the Belchina UNO gas station on Youth for the Future Drive, right across from the United Democratic Party headquarters. Approximately fifteen [...]

    Judge Hits Orange Walk Pawn Shop for Taking Over Customer’s Land
    Moneylenders Laura and Julio Blanco of Pay Day and EZY Loans Pawning, located in Orange Walk Town, have been ordered by Supreme Court Justice Sonya Young to surrender a thirty-acre [...]

    Defense Minister & C.E.O. to Hunting Caye
    Minister of Defense John Saldivar and his C.E.O. Felix Enriquez today commenced a national tour of facilities operated by the Belize Coast Guard. The visit started in the south with [...]

    Wait Continues for New U.S. Ambassador to Belize
    Just last month, Donald Trump was sworn in as the President of the USA and since that day, Carlos Moreno’s tenure as US Ambassador to Belize came to an end. [...]

    No Shift in U.S.’s LGBT Stance, Deputy Chief Reports
    Since taking office, President Trump has looked to fulfill some of his campaign promises by using executive orders. One of those executive orders is to ban federal money going to [...]

    Mexican Importer Faces Charges Over Ham
    One hundred and fifty cases of ham imported into Belize since December 2016 remain in a container at the Port of the Belize. The importer is Mexican business, Manuel Pastor [...]

    Re-Registration Now, Demands Belize Progressive Party
    Last week the People’s United Party complained of Government’s plans to postpone re-registration once again, this time to after the 2018 municipal elections. However, there are plans to proceed with [...]

    The Next Generation of Archaeologists at St. Martin De Porres
    Primary School students are learning about Archaeology in the classroom through a project between the US Embassy and NICH. The programme, which started some three years ago, has seen the [...]

    Don’t Believe Government ‘Spin’ on Arbitration, B.P.P. Warns
    When we caught up with the Progressive Party chairman Paco Smith today, he also weighed in on Belize’s current troubles with the various arbitration awards under dispute here and in [...]

    Senate Inquiry Must Not Be ‘Exercise in Futility’
    Wednesday’s meeting of the Senate Special Select Committee will feature appearances from Edgar Cano, senior immigration officer; ex-C.E.O. in the Ministry of Immigration Candelaria Saldivar-Morter, and one other person. And [...]

    Celebrating Healthy Ageing with the Macarena
    In the nation’s capital this morning, senior citizens showed that age ought not to get in the way of being healthy and active; in it is just a number. They [...]

    National Council on Ageing Marks 14 Years
    While the National Council of Ageing is plowing along, there is much more to do to ensure that the rights of the elderly population are protected. Executive Director of the [...]

    Training for Senior Citizen Caregivers
    One area that the country has made progress in is the standardization of the care-giving for the elderly. The Council has partnered with BTEC in the past to train caregivers [...]

    Welcome Rebecca! I.C.A. Plans Motorcade and Press Conference for Miss Belize
    Rebecca Rath returns to Belize on Friday from the Philippines where she competed in the Miss Universe pageant. Rath picked up support from Belizeans from all walks of life. And [...]

    Standard Must Be Adhered to with Rewards
    In the weeks leading up to and during the preliminaries of the pageant in Manila, Philippines; Belizeans thrust their full support behind Rath. Thousands participated in online voting on various [...]

    LOVE FM

    DC Federal Judge Authorizes Enforcement of Award to BCB Holdings Ltd
    The fifty million dollar arbitration award against the Government of Belize has been the subject of a back and forth both in the local and US courts and according to a New York article, the latest on the issue came yesterday when a DC Federal Judge authorized the enforcement of the award to the BCB […]

    Canon Leroy Flowers Says Senate Inquiry Is a Farce
    The Senate Special Select Committee inquiry into the Auditor General’s report on the Immigration and nationality department will continue tomorrow. So far four persons have been questioned by the Committee. They are the Auditor General, Dorothy Bradley, former acting Immigration Director, Maria Marin, Former Immigration Director, Ruth Meighan and Senior Immigration Officer, Gordon Wade. Several […]

    Ministry Says Bids are Welcomed for Management of Solid Waste Transfer Stations
    On January 10, 2017 the Government of Belize issued a notice of the withdrawal of PASSA as the contractors managing the solid waste transfer stations. Six days later we explained that reports reaching our newsroom had indicated that their decision to give up their contract had to do with internal troubles that the Mexican group […]

    Family Appeals for Closure Following Death of Dain Dawson
    Virginia Escalante is the mother 33-year-old, Dain Dawson whose body was found in the river near Manatee Lookout in Ladyville Village, Belize District on Thursday, January 19. The family was unable to plan a proper burial for Dawson since the authorities had done so due to the body’s state of decomposition. Fast forward three weeks […]

    Five Fined for 1000+ Undersized Conch
    The Fisheries Department made a bust of just over one thousand undersized conch last week and subsequently had five persons charged in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court. Hampton Gamboa is the Superivisor for the Compliance Unit at the Fisheries Department. According to him the operation was a joint effort between his unit and the Belize […]

    Robbers Target UNO Service Station in Broad Daylight
    Police are investigating a robbery of the UNO gas station located at the foot of the Bel-China Bridge just before nine o’clock this morning. Reports reaching Love News indicate that an estimated fifteen thousand dollars was taken in the robbery. Love News understands that two men entered and relieved one of the workers of a […]

    Defence Minister Engages with Belize Coast Guard
    Minister of National Security John Saldivar is on a nationwide tour of the coast guard facilities. Minister Saldivar’s tour began with a visit to Hunting Caye. Coast Guard Commander, Admiral John Borland, spoke about the Minister’s tour. JOHN BORLAND “Well presently we are engaged in the tour of the southern sector of the Belize Coast […]

    Transport Minister Goes South to Assess Ports and Water Transport
    Defence Minister, John Saldivar is not the only one on tour in the country as his Cabinet colleague, Edmond Castro was recently in the south taking stock of the country’s port and boat transportation facilities. Minister Castro is the substantive minister for Transport with responsibility for the ports. We spoke with the Minister today to […]

    Businessman Contests Forfeiture of Ham by Customs
    Fifty-six year old Mexican businessman Manuel Pastor Gomez Diaz, the Director Coral’s Company Limited, an enterprise located at Central Plaza Commercial Free Zone, appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser to contest an application made by the Comptroller of Customs for the forfeiture of a container containing 150 cases of chilled ham, weighing 3,465 pounds. […]

    BWS Employee on Remand for Unlicensed Firearm
    A resident of a Welch Street address in Belize City is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after he was found with an unlicensed firearm and ammunition. 28-year-old, Rafael Reyes was stopped and searched yesterday at around four thirty on Dolphin Street by police officers who were on mobile patrol. In a black bag […]

    Amandala

    Not another dollar of tax, says BCCI prez
    Officials in the Ministry of Finance are due to meet this week with organizations representing the private sector as well as the unions, for consultations on the upcoming budget cycle, as curiosity lingers over what austerity measures will be implemented to stem the hemorrhaging of public finances, partly due to unmanageable debt, amid an ongoing recession. Amandala is reliably informed that consultative meetings are planned with the private sector—the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) and the Belize Business Bureau—on Thursday, and with the unions under the umbrella of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize on Friday. At those meetings, Government officials will make presentations to the social partners, which are expected to also have their recommendations and/or positions to put on the table. Mr. Nikita Usher, president of the BCCI, has confirmed that the private sector is due to meet with Government officials on Thursday, but in advance of that meeting, the BCCI will hold a meeting with its membership tomorrow.

    For Black History Month, artist Pen Cayetano honors Kremandala’s Evan X Hyde
    The afternoon rains could not deter those who headed to Pen Cayetano’s Studio Gallery in Dangriga Town for a celebration of Black History Month, which featured a ceremony in which the versatile, dynamic artist Pen Cayetano honored Kremandala chairman Evan X Hyde for his stellar contribution to the development of black consciousness in Belize. In the back-water colonial society of British Honduras, young Evan Anthony Hyde returned from his studies in the United States and became Evan X Hyde, a black activist and freedom fighter who dared to speak out against the injustices of the colonial society through the United Black Association for Development (UDAD) a black consciousness movement that he helped to form and later led. If there is one word that can summarize Evan X Hyde over the almost five decades that he has been on the scene stripping away the various layers of hypocrisy in Belizean society, that word is consistent. Shortly after 3:00 p.m., Pen Cayetano began making periodic checks at the gate of his studio compound, after he told the waiting audience that, “the great Evan X Hyde should be arriving any minute now.”

    Joyjah!
    An absolutely stunning Punta Gorda woman with freckled face and natural curly hair named Joyjah Estrada has made Belize very proud. She made it to the cover of the United Kingdom’s bi-annual Love magazine from among 111,000 other competitors who squared off in a social media challenge. Her photo was taken by Kendall Jenner, who is one of the personalities on the reality show, Keeping up with the Kardashians. The twenty-two-year old, who studied at the University of Belize and previously at the Toledo Community College, posted to Facebook on Sunday, “This entire experience has been more than amazing from the day I posted my application for #loveme17 to now. I’ve been blessed with so many amazing hearts across the globe supporting me and my big dreams; my Belizean family was especially a huge part of this journey.”

    “Between the devil and the deep blue sea”
    A succession of litigation wars between the unrelenting Michael Ashcroft Alliance and the Government of Belize, spanning a decade and a half, enters a new round this week, with an announcement from Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited (CIHL), formerly BCB Holdings, that it will mount a constitutional challenge to two pieces of legislation recently signed into law, in what Government says is an effort to stop Belize’s foreign reserves from being siphoned to pay $100 million in arbitration awards to the Ashcroft group. At the same time, the Government of Belize is seeking an anti-enforcement injunction in Belizean courts against the Belize Bank and CIHL to stop them from going after the Central Bank’s foreign reserves in the United States and/or elsewhere. We understand that a filing may be made sometime tomorrow, after the Caribbean Court of Justice pointed counsel for the Government of Belize back to the Belize Supreme Court. The pending court filing is further to the introduction of laws recently approved by Parliament to confirm the international immunity of the foreign reserves of the Central Bank of Belize from being seized to satisfy the foreign arbitration awards. Last Monday, the Ashcroft group filed for an enforcement order in the US—an action which was followed by the passage of new legislation in Belize to not only protect the foreign reserves but also to criminalize with a fine of $250,000 and/or jail time of 2 years any attempt by any party to go after the foreign reserves of the Central Bank.

    Jamaican man, 20, accused of raping Belizean woman, 25
    A twenty-five-year-old woman was raped on Friday night in Ladyville and police have arrested and charged a Jamaican man who appeared to be suffering from some form of mental illness. Andre Knight, 20, appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, who read a single charge to him. In court, the prosecutor, Inspector Egbert Castillo, asked the court to first allow a psychiatric evaluation to be done on Knight, who stared blankly at the Chief Magistrate when she asked him if he understood what she had just read to him. Chief Magistrate Smith agreed with the prosecutor and remanded Knight to prison, and ordered that he be evaluated by a mental health specialist who will determine if he is of sound mind to understand the court proceedings and if the matter could proceed any further.

    Belize Musicians Past and Present celebrates 22nd anniversary
    The longest running talk show in the nation, hosted on KREM Radio, the Belize Musicians Past and Present show, is celebrating its 22nd anniversary on Thursday, February 9. The show is produced to promote Belizean artists nationally and internationally by affording artists a platform on the show to tell their story, and get media exposure. The show was launched on February 2, 1995, and is produced by Tony Wright, assisted by JC Arzu, both of KREM Radio. Wright said that the show will continue, and he wants to see more artists come on the show. He estimated that so far, over 1,000 artists have been guests on the show. In an interview with Amandala, Wright said that previously, there was no other show, or outlet, where the artists could go and tell their stories, and demonstrate their art.

    CSSSA high school football semifinals completed; finals begin today at MCC
    The Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) high school football best-of-two games semifinals were held between Wednesday and Saturday of last week at the MCC Grounds. Female semifinals games 1 were held on Wednesday. In the opener, SCA blanked Maude Williams high, 3-0, with goals from Jodi Pott, Jennifer Estrada and Gabriela Mendoza. And in the nightcap, Ladyville Tech won, 2-1, over Gwen Liz. Lorraine Stephens and Mary Davis hit the target for Ladyville Tech, while Kevon Ricketts tallied for Gwen Liz. On Thursday, it was games 1 for the boys. The opener saw SJC take the 2-nil win over ACC on goals by Carlos Guerra and Dion Cacho. And in the nightcap, arch-rivals Wesley and Gwen Liz played to a 1-1 stalemate. Jalen Babb rocked the net for Wesley, while Orlando Velasquez hit the target for Gwen Liz. We are still awaiting the official details on games 2 on Friday and Saturday. Our unofficial reports, which seem confirmed by appearances at today’s finals games 1, are as follows:

    BDF, 2-0, over Placencia Assassins in sole PLB Week 2 game
    Three Week 2 games in the Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2016-2017 Closing Season were rained out over the weekend. Only Belize City’s MCC Grounds was playable on Sunday, as games were cancelled at the Norman Broaster in Cayo, Carl Ramos in Stann Creek and Victor Sanchez Union Field in Toledo due to rain. In the only Week 2 game played on Sunday, it was scoreless at the intermission; but home standing BDF FC got late goals from Brian Martinez (81’) and Raymond Ramos (87’), to clinch the 2-nil win over visiting Placencia Assassins FC. A PLB release today said the Police United FC vs Belmopan Bandits SC, Freedom Fighters FC vs Verdes FC, and Wagiya FC vs FC Belize games will be re-scheduled to a later date to be announced.

    NEBL “In the Paint”
    It must have felt like forever for the defending champs Hurricanes to finally secure their first win of the season; and understandably so, given the fact that during last year’s championship run, they were essentially immune to losing streaks, never once suffering back to back losses, while coasting to a league best 16 wins 3 loss campaign, inclusive of post season play. So it was a sort of enigma for team management and coaching staff to see their team be immersed in early season mediocrity at (0-2), albeit very early in the campaign. In any event, whatever it was, whether it be the home cooking, or simply the atmosphere which the new SCA auditorium provided, the Hurricanes, with their play, undoubtedly demonstrated that you should never underestimate the heart of a champion.

    SCA girls and Gwen Liz boys take game 1 in CSSSA finals
    We must confess, we haven’t watched many of the high school football games, played in a whirl-wind CSSSA (Central Secondary Schools Sports Association) tournament over the past three weeks at the MCC Grounds; but the playoffs are always exciting, especially when it is “win, or go home.” For the girls, with 6 high schools participating, they each played 5 games in their regular season, and then it was on to the best-of-two games semifinals. For the boys, with 11 high schools involved, Group 1 had 6 teams and Group 2 had 5 teams. So, their regular season for Group 1 was 5 games, and for Group 2, they only played 4 games total in their 2016-2017 CSSSA regular season. Then the top 4 from each group were matched in one-game knockout quarterfinals. The surviving 4 male teams were then paired in the best-of-two games semifinals.

    Editorial: Uncomfortable truths
    At the risk of sounding trite, they say the days of the fat dog are behind us. After some years of living large off the Petrocaribe dollars, reality has started to set in. We still see the mammoth City Centre project going up in the old capital, there is the expansion of the Philip Goldson Highway between the PGIA and the Haulover Bridge, and some work is being done to resurface the Hummingbird Highway after the BNE trucks left it pretty ramshackle. But the furious government spending of recent years is no more. See, no one told the people that there are no free lunches. No one told the people that the UDP were doing exactly what the PUP did in their 1998-2004 heyday: spend all those borrowed millions on projects that were not going to create national wealth or provide any permanent employment or result in any increased revenue to help pay back the loans. In fact, the people were made to believe in the November 2015 campaign that the good times would continue to roll. But now in 2017, the bills have come due. Recently, we’ve seen government had to borrow an additional $50 million from the Republic of China on Taiwan for so-called “general budgetary support,” that some claim were really borrowed from a commercial bank in Taiwan. Simply put, we cannot say whether the money is for salaries or to pay utility bills or exactly what it is for. Government has refused to say.

    US judge grants Ashcroft order in bid to collect BZ$100 mil from GOB
    Despite a favorable ruling in the Belize Supreme Court on Friday, granting the Government of Belize (GOB) an injunction against the enforcement of an arbitral award in favor of the Michael Ashcroft group of companies overseas, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly today handed down an order authorizing the enforcement of the judgment against Belize. Law360, a premier source of online law news, announced the development this evening, saying that it represents “a blow to the government of Belize as it continues its fight to avoid payment.” Belize’s Parliament recently rushed to approve two bills to stop Lord Michael Ashcroft from going after Belize’s foreign reserves, one of them going further to criminalize, through fines and jail time, any attempt to go after Belize’s assets overseas to satisfy the foreign arbitration awards. In all, the awards total BZ$100 million.

    GOB gets urgent injunction to protect foreign reserves from Ashcroft
    This afternoon, government attorney Denys Barrow, SC, rushed to the Supreme Court of Justice Michelle Arana to present arguments for why the court should grant the government an urgent injunction against two Ashcroft alliance companies that had secured an arbitration award in US courts against the government for US$50 million. Following Barrow’s presentation, which lasted almost two hours, Justice Arana granted the injunction, preventing the Caribbean Investment Holding Limited (CIHL), formerly BCB Holdings, and the Belize Bank from going after the Belize Central Bank’s reserves that are deposited in banks in the United States. In an effort to insulate the country’s foreign reserves (reportedly around US $377 million) from the predatory maneuvers of Lord Michael Ashcroft, the government recently rushed legislation through parliament in the form of two new laws, “The Central Bank of Belize International Immunities Act and the Crown Proceedings Amendment Act.” The constitutionality of the new laws, however, are said to be up for challenge from Ashcroft which will likely trigger a new round of litigation against the state by the relentless British billionaire.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Edmond Castro tours Port of Big Creek and boat transportation facilities in Independence Village
    Edmond Castro, who has ministerial responsibility for the Belize Port Authority, has conducted a tour of port and boat transportation facilities in the South. Accompanied by Ports Commissioner Merlene Bailey Martinez, Port Authority Operations Manager Sherlett Martinez and Big Creek Officer in Charge (Belize Port Authority) Jessica Godoy, Castro first visited boat transportation facilities operated by Independence businessman Carroll Burgess, owner of Hokey Pokey Water Taxi, which transports customers between Placencia and Independence.

    Defense Minister begins national tour of Belize Coast Guard
    Minister of Defense John Saldivar and CEO in the Ministry of Defense Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Felix Enriquez have commenced a national tour of facilities operated by the Belize Coast Guard, starting with the South Sector. Accompanied by Commander of the Belize Coast Guard Admiral John Borland, they visited Hunting Caye in the South (Toledo District) where a Forward Operating Base is under construction and is expected to be completed by the middle of April. Prior to that, Saldivar and his team stopped at the Port of Big Creek in the Independence area of Stann Creek, where a new site is being prepared for the Coast Guard Sector South Headquarters. Before returning to the mainland, they traveled further south to the Port Honduras Marine Reserve, where members of the Coast Guard provide law enforcement support for the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE) which operates a Ranger Station on Abalone Caye.

    Biscayne man killed for $15
    John Ortiz, 44, a Biscayne resident was found dead yesterday in the Sandhill area between miles 19 and 20 on the Philip Goldson Highway. According to police reports, he was found with a cut wound to the right side of his chin, one to […]

    Omar Figueroa attends meetings of Central American environment ministers
    The Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development, Omar Figueroa, attended the meeting of the Ministers of Environment for Central America, held in Costa Rica from February 2-3. The objectives of the CCAD Ministers meeting were: […]

    Man found dead on highway believed to be robbery victim
    According to information from police, a body was found yesterday morning between miles 19-20 on the Philip Goldson Highway. The person has been identified as John Ortis, 44, of Biscayne Village. Police have detained one person pending investigation. Police believe that the motive was […]

    The Boledo and Lottery Bonanza
    Boledo and Lottery are games of chance where the player buys tickets with numbers…and get to win multiples of the price of each ticket. Boledo is played daily, while the Lottery is played on Sundays….mostly by poor people hoping to collect gold at the […]

    CCJ declines Belize injunction application
    The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), in an order issued this morning, declined to hear an inter-party application for an anti-enforcement injunction, which was brought by Belize’s Attorney General in relation to a US $50 Million arbitral award owed to elements of the Ashcroft Alliance.The […]

    New amendments impose stiffer penalties for forest offenses
    Belize’s new amendments to the Forest Act replace outdated sections of the forest legislation and impose increased fines and stiffer penalties for forest offenses. The changes are part of the Forest Department’s on-going efforts to strengthen law enforcement capacity to reduce increasing illegal forest […]

    Blogs

    The newest adventure: Zip lining across the Belize River!
    I recently had the opportunity to try out one of the newest zip lines in Belize, and dang was it fun! Seven lines of pure adrenaline, awesome views and one hell of an adventure! This zip line is located at the new ecotourism attraction in northern Belize – the Rainforest Adventure Zone, or RAZ for short. While there are several zip lines across the country, most are found in the Cayo or Stann Creek Districts. RAZ’s zip line is found in the Belize District and the scenery you get to see from up above is a bit different. The most unique aspect of the zip line is that you go over the Belize River. The green hues the river reflects are different than the clear fresh mountain water which you typical go over on zip lines in Cayo.

    7 + Reasons to Visit Glover’s Reef Atoll in Belize
    Composed of three coral atolls, the region of Glover’s Reef in southeastern Belize are world-famous for their transparent conditions and profusion of colorful marine life. Glover’s Reef gained its name in the early days of Belize when an English pirate named John Glover used the sheltered waters of the reef as a base of operations for attacking Spanish merchant ships. Today, the thriving marine biosphere and postcard-perfect tropical island and lagoon of the reef make it one of Belize’s most popular destinations for kayaking, scuba diving, sailing, paddleboarding, and snorkeling. Glover’s Reef Atoll, commonly referred to simply as “Glover’s Reef”, lies in the extreme southeastern part of the country. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Glover’s Reef is the home of a permanent scientific station that studies the incredible diversity of wildlife found in the area. Perhaps the most unique diving and snorkeling opportunities available on Glover’s Reef is interacting with migrating whale sharks during their annual visit to the waters of Belize each spring. Rising from the depths on the occasion of the full moon, whale sharks are drawn to Glover’s Reef because of the enormous numbers of fish spawn and eggs that provide the whale sharks with nourishment. Despite their enormous size, with some specimens measuring up to 45 feet (14 meters) long, whale sharks pose little danger to humans.

    Hockey in Belize? Why not? Go Buccaneers!
    Ball hockey has been an island pursuit since 2010 and most every Thursday you can find as many as 20 folks with sticks in hand whacking that red ball up and down a tennis court near the Grand Bayman complex just south of town. Shouldn’t be surprising. Canadians are well represented in the local expat population and their passion for this game rivals that of New England Patriot fans, Golden Gate Warrior fans, Chicago Cubs fans — to name a few. There are Belizeans and Americans in the local mix too! And two of the toughest goalies you will find are Niki Lamporelli and Dee Regis. Ball hockey is equal opportunity. If you can swing a stick, run the distance and endure the pain — welcome, brothers and sisters. On Saturday the Tropical Knights came straight off the plane to play back-to-back games against the San Pedro Buccaneers which split into two teams, Squad 1 and Squad 2, for logistical reasons.

    Cell phone use around RC school
    I was monitoring the RC School this morning and was shocked by the number of people who were using their cell phones instead of concentrating on driving, I saw parents dropping off their children while texting. People please, use good judgment while driving. The safety of the children is your responsibility.

    Finger Licking Good, Estel’s BBQ Ribs Cook Off
    It all started with a group of four friend sitting around having a few beers and grilling some ribs. Of course the talk of who prepares the BEST finger-licking ribs was always the debate. With Charles Worthington from Estel’s Dine by the Sea preparing some of the best BBQ ribs and meat on the island, a friendly cook off got started where friends were invited to be the judge. Come six years later, the cook off has grown into an international competition with eight grill masters preparing over 1,000 ribs to feed hundreds at Estel’s who can’t get enough bbq ribs. I have been a judge for a few years now; it’s not an easy task (think of all those delicious ribs) but always a great time. Seeing the cook off grow into a much anticipated event on the island is awesome. This year iTravel Belize invited a long-time visitor to the island, great friend Erik Winning from Indianapolis, IN, USA, to hold our spot as guest judge for the 6th Annual Cook off. Needless to say, he had as much of an amazing time as we do year after year.

    How to enjoy Corozal with a great experience
    Many people have different ways to enjoy the entertainment in Corozal. Corozal is being enjoyed many ways by people. Hears by lovely experience and how to get around Corozal. Very unusual mornings, I enjoy watching the sunrise in the morning. Hearing the Sugar Barge on a quiet morning I could hear the motor roaring. Usually, I walk in the mornings I see Many things. Some mornings are very cool; foggy mornings. The first thing I hear is the car spraying for mosquito's going around town spraying that acid spray. That strong bug spray I inhale burns through my nose as I wake up and in the silent morning in Corozal. From the distance I hear the loud birds chirping from the distances waking up the neighborhoods. Those birds hang around the Central Park. As they nest on the trees above they made their home their. Ding! Ding! Ding! the loud clock from the distances the clock for the Central Park is telling the time. That, loud ring from the Central Parks clock goes on every 15 minutes. But, some mornings I enjoy this silent morning. Very peaceful to hear a silent morning as I am waking up. Usually, walking the beach on cool weather, I can see the ducks swimming on the water. Slowly, as the sunrise coming up I can see the ducks and other objects reflection. Even when the people are exercising. And, the color of the sky slowly changing. Corozal has some beautiful mornings and you can't imagine. Some mornings are too foggy I can't see anything from the distance. White mist touching my skin. I can feel that humid wet morning.

    Ten Awesome Belizean Fruits and Vegetables
    If you have eaten with me on even one occasion, you know that I am a complete vegetable geek. I love all things veggie and I especially enjoy experimenting with new ones. And that’s not even to mention foreign fruit! One of my favorite things about living in Belize has been having a whole new suite of produce to try. These are my ten favorite Belizean fruits and vegetables: Jippi Jappa is a woody palm-like plant that is most famously used to make baskets and hats. I have tried my damnedest and cannot find any real information about jippi jappa as a food online. I’m not sure whether this is because I don’t know the English word for the plant or because there isn’t a culture that both eats jippi jappa and also actively posts about food on the internet.

    International Sourcesizz

    Offshore Wind Moves Into Energy’s Mainstream
    When engineers faced resistance from residents in Denmark over plans to build wind turbines on the Nordic country’s flat farmland, they found a better locale: the sea. The offshore wind farm, the world’s first, had just 11 turbines and could power about 3,000 homes. That project now looks like a minnow compared with the whales that sprawl for miles across the seas of Northern Europe. Off this venerable British port city, a Danish company, Dong Energy, is installing 32 turbines that stretch 600 feet high. Each turbine produces more power than that first facility. Offshore wind, once a fringe investment, with limited scope and reliant on government subsidies, is moving into the mainstream. Europe, too, looks all the more attractive, as the United States under President Trump rethinks its stance on renewables.

    Six hiking trips you can do in the Yucatan Peninsula
    The Yucatan Peninsula straddles three states (Campeche, Quintana Roo and Yucatan) in Mexico, including the neighboring countries of Belize and Guatemala. Once a seabed, its topography consists mainly of limestone. The peninsula is dotted with white sandy beaches, cenotes or sinkholes and has a prolific wildlife. A perfect destination for nature and culture lovers, there are many places to explore including its numerous biosphere reserves, historic archeological sites and the second largest barrier reef in the world. In short, it is a great place to do outdoor activities such as hiking. Here are a few trips that both amateur and experienced hikers can do. The Mayan Route will take a bit of your time as it is a trip that needs to be enjoyed at a leisurely pace. Allow anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks to complete hiking tours. One of the best trips you can organize is a tour of the ancient Mayan civilization that covers Tikal in Guatemala and Palenque in Mexico as well as Bonampak, Campeche, Uxmal, Merida and Chichen Itza. For beach lovers, explore the Mayan coast with Tulum, Bacalar, Cayes in Belize and Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

    St. Vincent bans Styrofoam products
    St. Vincent and the Grenadines will as of May 1, 2017 ban the importation of Styrofoam products. Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves made the announcement in Parliament on Monday as he delivered the Budget Address. Gonsalves, who is also Minister of Finance, also announced the removal of Value Added Taxes on biodegradable packaging and food containers. “This measure is intended to lower the costs of these environmentally positive substitutes for plastics, including Styrofoam, and reduce the adverse effects that plastics have on our environment,” he said. Over 100 U.S., Canadian, European, and Asian cities, have banned the use of Styrofoam containers The Story of Stuff Projects explains some of the problems with Styrofoam, including the fact that it does not biodegrade. “It may break into small pieces, even minuscule pieces. But the smaller EPS gets, the harder it is to clean up.” Styrofoam is made of fossil fuels and synthetic chemicals, which may leach if they come in contact with hot, greasy or acidic food.

    Building Political Power in the Caribbean Youth
    We need to encourage young political leaders to fight hegemonic, ageist powers within the state while not marginalizing non-political youth groups. Youth membership in nongovernmental organizations is unfathomably low and throughout the English-speaking Caribbean, there is no vibrant youth “movement” as seen during the 1960s and 1990s. There is a general lack of confidence of youth in the National Youth Councils in advancing their cause. Most significantly, the critical distance among wide sections of young people have from the political process – a mix of disenfranchisement and downplaying the significance of the state – undermines their citizenship and agency in the development process. More than ever, as one of the most organized youth institutions in the region, political youth arms need to challenge the party leadership internally to empower youth in the decision-making process and build consultative and caucusing mechanisms with activist youth organizations in order to translate the voices of youth into state policy.

    Videos

  • Pepsi Maaga Season BASH 2017 - UBAFU Entertainment Belize, 7.5min. A resounding "Thank You" to Pepsi Belize for making the Maaga Season BASH in Dangriga possible. I also want to take the time out to thank the Dangriga Town Council, Dangriga Police, Shannon Castillo, and all who contributed to make this event a success!

  • Belize & Guatemala 2017, 6.5min. Trip to Belize and Guatemala, 2017.

  • Las Terrazas Belize amazing wedding, 10min. June 2016 Las Terrazas wedding where all the guests end up in the pool! Island Films created this awesome video capturing the special day and all the fun.

  • BELIZE 2017, 55min.

  • Taiwan Embassy & GOB Collaborate on Agricultural Project, 27min.

  • Belize Telemedia Limited Feel The Love Campaign, 18min.

  • FECTAB on Cruise Tourism Industry Issues, 28min.

  • Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Environment & Sustainable Development: UNDP Bio Dive, 26min.

  • Belizean Black History, 40min.

  • Belize Protectors Associationin Baker to Vegas Relay, 7min. For a second time, the Belize Protectors Association will take on the annual Baker to Vegas Relay in the United States. Jeanelle Mencias joined the team at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex to see how they’ve been preparing. Here’s more …

  • GOODBYE 2016!! How to celebrate the ending of 2016... In the Caribbean!, 2.5min. Real life video about Corozal sent to us recently by "Ellie Beth Shipley"

  • Chicken Drop San Pedro, Belize, 1.5min. We were told the Chicken Drop at Wahoo is a must do here in San Pedro, Belize. Check it out for yourself! Let us know what you think. Let's just say it was a night to remember and by far not something you experience everyday. haha

  • Scuba School And Family Diver Center Belize, 1.5min.

  • ORANGE WALK’S SEPELLING BEE TOP SPELLERS FEBRUARY 7TH, 2017, 6.5min.

  • VEHICLE DRIVEN BY AMERICAN TOURISTS ERRUPTS IN FLAMES WHILE PASSING THROUGH COROZAL, 2min.

  • Placencia Sidewalk Arts Festival, 20min.

  • Estel's 6th Annual International BBQ Cook Off, 3min. Close to 1,000 ribs are prepared to feed the masses that gather every year to sample finger licking good BBQ ribs at Estel’s annual Cookoff and that is nearly not enough to supply the demand of the hundreds that attend the event. The cookoff is gaining momentum and people are looking forward to the lively event that takes place at the popular island eatery that has established itself as one of the best on Ambergris Caye. Here's the roundup for 2017 6th Annual Cook Off

  • The Gasoline Lollipops@DiveBar, 4min. Dive Bar granted us a new experience by bringing the awesome band The Gasoline Lollipops to San Pedro, Belize. Watch everyone dance the night away and enjoy the live band! It's for sure a good laugh.

  • Mating Bottlenose Dolphins Belize Ocean Animals Creature Feature, 3min.

  • The Beauty of Belize © The Placencia Belize, 5min.

  • Oral History Interview with bredda David going on right now at House of Culture., 10min.

    February 7, 2017


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    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    Letter to the Editor: AS IF SOME LESSER GOD HAD MADE THE WORLD
    The Messiah from Nazareth had one core message for those who would follow his teachings –“Love one another as I have loved you.” Judeo-Christian belief is founded on the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, who taught a gospel of love that was radical in its replacement of blind, rote obedience to forms of faith that revealed the face of the Almighty as a wrathful terrible master, with a gospel of the Creator as a loving, forgiving father. Among the things that the Catholic Church and evangelical Christian churches in Belize have in common is the purported doctrine of “love the sinner, hate the sin”. According to that teaching, the adulterer, the thief, the murderer are all worthy of love, even if what they have done is wrong. Doctrinally, for most Christians, members of the LGBTTQIA community are sinners. Sinners for what they do, because most do not concede that this is about identity and not sin.

    Fire in San Juan Subdivision destroys home
    A residence located in the San Juan Area near downtown San Pedro, was destroyed by a large fire on Sunday, February 5th, shortly after midday. The San Pedro Fire Department (SPFD) responded quickly to the distress call shortly after 12:45PM, and extinguished the blaze without any difficulties. Even though there were no injuries, not much of the wooden structure could be saved. According to official reports from the local authorities, the wooden house measuring about 20 feet in width and 45 feet in length belonged to Calvin Young. The authorities also reported that at the time of the fire, Young, nor any other family member were at home. As the SPFD continue their investigation into the cause of the fire, the value of damages to the property lost has yet to be ascertained. No damages were reported to nearby houses. The SPFD is seeking the public’s assistance with any information they may have regarding the blaze.

    Ambergris Today

    TripAdvisor’s Best Hotels 2017 Announced - Belize Prevails
    Trip Advisor’s 2017 Traveler’s Choice Awards are out and Belize once again boasts four properties in the Top 25 Hotels in Central America list - three from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye and one from Placencia. Belize is still making its mark as a top destination among the best in the world with tourism arrivals keep on breaking records year after year. More international airlines are heading to Belize, adding direct flights from key cities in the United States, Canada and South America. Ambergris Caye boasts listings of the top hotels in Central America with three hotels: Las Terrazas, Victoria House and Coco Beach Resor and Las Terrazas and one from Placencia, Belize Ocean Club Report being voted among the best. Costa Rica is a top contender in Central America with the most hotels on the list, which also include hotels from Panama, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Honduras. Ambergris Caye also has the most hotels listed on TripAdvisor’s Top Lists in Belize and tops some 'Top World' lists with The Phoenix Resort in San Pedro still up high at #2 in the Top 10 Luxury Resorts in Central America list. Sleeping Giant Lodge in Belmopan is #18 in the Top 25 Hotels for Service in the World; Villa Verano in Hopkins is #3 in Top 10 Hotels for Family - Central America; and Coco Plum Island Resort is still high in the Top 25 Hotels for Romance in the World at #9.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Congratulations to the San Pedro High School Female Football for winning the 2017 Northern Regionals!
    Let's Go To The Nationals!!

    Employment Opportunity
    The Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI) the country's leading Private Sector Organization has vacancy for a "Chief Policy Analyst" & "Manager for Business Development" please see attached flyers or call 223-5330 for more information.

    Banking and the Belize Investment Portfolio (BIP)
    On Friday, February 3rd, 2017, BELTRAIDE was invited to be a guest speaker through its technical unit, BelizeINVEST, as a part of a Think Tank initiative at Atlantic International Bank Ltd. (AIBL) and Atlantic International Corporate Services. During the presentation, BelizeINVEST provided an overview of the Belize Investment Portfolio (BIP) Campaign and how the banking sector can participate. This outreach is a series of various to follow with Banking, Real Estate, Engineering, Architects as well as legal service providers in Belize to name a few. The initiative is one that aims to foster the development of a national portfolio to fast-track investment generation efforts, both local and foreign, through targeted matchmaking of pre-packaged investment concepts and “shovel-ready” projects.

    NEW AMENDMENTS IMPOSE STIFFER PENALTIES FOR FOREST OFFENCES
    Belize’s new amendments to the Forest Act replace outmoded sections of the forest legislation and impose increased fines and stiffer penalties for forest offences. The changes are part of the Forest Department’s on-going efforts to strengthen law enforcement capacity to reduce increasing illegal forest activities, deforestation and degradation of our forest resources. Illegal and unsustainable timber and non-timber extractions undermine Belize’s on-going efforts to curb deforestation and biodiversity loss. In light of this, the new amendments act as deterrents and help to strengthen the department’s legal capacity to tackle illegal logging and other related crimes. The Amendments specifically impose the following changes: 1. A Second Schedule to the Forest Act prescribes a new penalty formula that is dependent on the species ecological value and scarcity, volume, and market price. In light of this, any person in possession of specific timber species, such as Mahogany, Cedar, Rosewood, Santa Maria, Pine and others listed, may be fined up to three times the amount based on the calculations in the Second Schedule.

    2 yellowhead babies
    Another gorgeous shot by Nickolas Lormand of Scarlet Studios. These were two of the 12 yellowhead babies that he helped us to release late last year. We still need to raise $275US for an awareness banner by the end of the month. A few spare $$$ may just prevent a baby parrot from being taken away from his parents this year!!! You can donate through out website or via our Global Giving 501c3 fiscal sponsor: https://goto.gg/24305 Thank you!!!

    Audubon Advanced Bird Guides graduation

    Sea Choice Island Produce on Caye Caulker
    Celebrating entrepreneurs! Sea Choice Island Produce is a family run business that's been serving up great 100% natural fruit juices **no sugar added** for 10 years to the Caye Caulker community and its many visitors. They also sell fresh fruit and veggies.

    South Ambergris Caye Neighbourhood Watch February, 2017 General Meeting
    Friends and Neighbors, Please join us this Wednesday at 7:00pm at Lone Star Grill and Cantina for our February general meeting. We have many items to cover and need everyone's input and support. Thank you!

    SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY
    The OAS Department of Human Development, Education and Employment and the Centro del Agua del Trópico Húmedo para América Latina y el Caribe (CATHALAC) in Panamá herein offer the online course: "Pronósticos Metereológicos, su Aplicación y el Papel en la Toma de Decisiones". The application deadline to deliver the hardcopy to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NEMO Building, Belmopan is March 3, 2017 for pre-selection and forwarding to OAS Washington, D.C. by April 3rd, 2017. The OAS will not receive physical application files from the pre-selected candidates. The online application form must be completed on-line and can be accessed at: http://www.oas.org/…/sch…/professionaldev_new_page2_2016.asp here you will find the announcements of the PDSP courses, click on the one you are interested in, go through the end of the page, then you'll find the "Continue" button which will direct you to the online form that you must fill out.

    Solar panels on Caye Caulker
    Great job Caye Caulker for providing electricity via SOLAR PANELS. I wonder if San Pedro and the rest of Belize can start doing the same

    MEETING OF THE MINISTERS OF ENVIRONMENT FOR CENTRAL AMERICA (CCAD)
    The Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development, Hon. Dr. Omar Figueroa, attended the meeting of the Ministers of Environment for Central America, held in Costa Rica on February 2 to 3, 2017. The objectives of the CCAD Ministers meeting were: 1) The handing-over of the Pro-Tem Presidency of the Central American Commission of Environment and Development (CCAD), from Nicaragua to Costa Rica; the Presidency rotates among its member states every six months; and 2) To review several regional project proposals currently being developed or implemented in the Central American region, some of which have strong emphasis on the marine environment. This Ministers of Environment Meeting was chaired by the new Pro-Tem President, Costa Rica; in it, the Hon. Minister Figueroa confirmed the strengthening of Belize’s involvement in the Central American Environmental Agenda, and pledged our assistance in regional strategies and programmes. In addition, Minister Figueroa advanced Belize’s leadership in the development and implementation of regional projects with a strong marine component.

    Tropic Air and Tropic Air Cargo gets new location in Ranchito Village
    Tropic Air and Tropic Air Cargo in Ranchito Village airstrip will be relocating its temporary office to its permanent location about 100 yards from its current site. Stay tuned for their open house and inauguration in the next week or so. Photo of new location.

    Advance Bird guide Training
    What a great opportunity to have been part of the Advance Bird guide Training. A proud/certified graduate with 4th place.:) Huge 'thank you' to BAS, and especially to Roni Martinez Phillip Valderamos and all those who made it happen. Lets keep the birding and fun. Bless!!!

    Advance Birding Guide Course
    Graduation ceremony today for the Advance Birding Guide Course we took August/September 2016. It was hard work but lots of fun and I got to spend hours birding with old and new friends. Many thanks to Belize Audubon Society, Inter-American Development Bank, National Audubon, Belize Tourism Board and our awesome Instructors - "the Legend" Mr. Philip Balderamos and Mr. Roni Martinez, "the chief". Many thanks also to Erneldo Bustamante, Isael Mai, Mario Teul and Reynold Cal who were eternally patient while I struggled with Bird calls. we made it!

    Archaeologist Dr. Alexandra Jones visits St. Martin De Porres Primary School
    What is Belize's cultural heritage? Why should it be protected? These are some of the questions that 40 students at St. Martin De Porres Primary School in Belize City answered today. The students learned about archaeology firsthand from an American archaeology expert, Dr. Alexandra Jones, and members of Belize's Institute of Archaeology. After mastering the theory, the students got right to work--they participated in an exciting hands-on mock excavation exercise! Digging, recording, analyzing... Wonder how many of them will become archaeologists or scientists in general? Stay tuned for more! Dr. Jones is in Belize for the whole week as part of an exciting Archaeology in the Community program. She will be conducting educational and cultural outreach throughout Belize!

    Channel 7

    Rural Man Murdered By Robbers For $15.00
    Tonight, police are investigating the death of 44 year-old Biscayne resident John Ortiz, and all indications are that he was murdered. This morning, news went out that police found his body in the Sandhill area between miles 19 and 20 on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Police confirmed that he had a cut wound to the right side of his chin, one to the right eyebrow area, another injury to the right side of the head, and a scrape to the right cheek. There was an unusual clue as well; the officers saw what looked to be a shoe impression imprinted in blood. The cops moved in quickly, and picked up a suspect who allegedly had blood on his heels and his calf. He's being questioned by investigators, and has reportedly confessed to the killing. This afternoon, our news team spoke with one of his sisters, who shared what information they could with us, based on the very little they knew so far:

    Neighbors Charge For Murder Of Mark Jones
    On Friday we told you about the murder of Mark Jones. The 29 year old was gunned down as he walked into his yard at 9:00 on Thursday night. Tonight, police say the teenager who killed him was his neighbor, and that he was abetted by another neighbor. 19 year old Deandre Adolphus was charged with murder while 33 year old Bruce Reneau was charged with abetment to murder - he allegedly supplied the murder weapon. Police believe that Adolphus used this gun, a Glock 9 millimeter pistol - which they found loaded with 10 live rounds in the area hours after the murder.

    No Breakthrough Yet In Murder Investigation Of One Of San Pedro's Favorite Sons
    On Last week Friday's newscast, we told you about the murder of 44 year-old San Pedro Resident, Jose Felix Ayuso. He's the AIDS activist who was found stabbed to death inside his home on Thursday. Well, on Saturday, his family and friends came out for his funeral ceremony, after which they laid him to rest. As we told you, he was a big part of the island's Carnaval Comparsas, which is always held a few days before Ash Wednesday. In his honor, his family and friends gave him a send off with a funeral procession that looked more like a carnival dance through the streets. As we told you, he was last seen alive at his business place, JoSe's Salon on last Wednesday evening. When he didn't show up for an appointment on Thursday, the following day, his sister went looking for him at his home. That's when she found his body; he was stabbed multiple times all over by a sharp object. The police say that they couldn't find any signs of forced entry, but the front door to his house was left opened.

    Setback For Ashcroft Alliance In US Courts?
    Reports to 7news this evening are that the Ashcroft Alliance may have suffered a setback in the US Courts today. After arguments were heard today, the District Court for the District of Columbia has denied BCB Holdings and the Belize Bank a motion for a restraining order against the government. The court also denied their motion for a permanent anti-suit injunction. As we understand it, the Alliance did succeed with a motion which allows them to go after the government's assets wherever those assets are located within the United States. But, first, they must first apply to the court of that state before they proceed for attachment. But applying would be violating the terms of the injunction government got on Friday. The Supreme Court injunction prevents the Belize Bank Limited and its shareholders from taking any step to enforce that award pending trial of Government's claim. The government is asking the court to grant a permanent injunction based on the argument that the judgement of the CCJ is binding on the Belize Bank and BCB.

    GOB In Apparent Staredown With Bondholders
    In other news which extends between Belize and other territories, on Friday Government again extended its offer to bondholders. This is the second one week extension, but, again, the government has not sweetened its offer to bondholders - it's still offering the very same terms. That basically means its a stare-off, with both sides waiting to see who blinks first. The bondholders are hoping that the Superbond payment which is due on February 20th will give the government some sense of urgency. But, smart money tell us Government won't blink for that either, and is willing to default on that 26 million dollar payment. So, now, the current offer expires on at 5:00 pm Eastern on Friday, February 10, 2017. Government has proposed to push back to bullet payments to three equal, annual installments in 2036, while fixing the interest rate at 4% per annum.

    BTL CEO Anwar Transitions, No Replacement Identified
    In November of 2016, BTL CEO Anwar Barrow announced to staff that he was planning his departure for early 2017. The plan at the time was to make an "orderly transition" to a new CEO - who should have been identified and in place by now. But, after months of advertising and recruitment, BTL still hasn't installed that new CEO but Barrow is moving on at the end of this week. A release says that Barrow, will cease to have the day-to-day responsibilities and role of CEO on February 10th, 2017. Chief Financial Officer Ivan Tesucum will serve as acting CEO in the interim. The release adds, quote, "the recruitment of a new CEO continues." Board Chairman Net Vasquez is quoted as thanking Barrow for, quote, "ushering in a new era…at BTL which has seen increased profits, …lower prices…and we thank him for his great leadership". end quote. Barrow remains on the Board of Directors.

    Psychiatric Evaluation for Alleged Rapist
    Tonight, 20 year-old Andre Knight, a Jamaican suspected to be mentally ill, is at the Belize Central Prison tonight after being taken to court for allegedly raping a 25 year-old Ladyville woman. The victim reported to police that last Friday, at around 4:10 a.m., she was walking from a night club on the Phillip Goldson Highway, heading home. She said that when she arrived at the mile 9 and a quarter bus stop, a dark skinned man grabbed her and pulled her into some bushes. She said that when she resisted, he punched her in the face and then raped her. Police investigated her report, and they charged Knight with the single offense of rape. He was arraigned today before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith. That's when the police prosecutor asked for a psychiatric evaluation to be done on him before the case could proceed any further. The Chief Magistrate agreed and remanded him to the Belize Central Prison until February 20, so that the evaluation can be done. She has also scheduled a preliminary inquiry in the case for April 28.

    COLA President And Friends To Court For Fire-starting Claims
    Today President of COLA, Geovanni Brackett, and four others appeared in Belize City Magistrate's Court. The allegation goes back to October, when the BNTU strike was at its climax, and a tire fire was started on the BELCAN Bridge. While Brackett was nowhere near the bridge at the time, he was recorded at a BNTU rally talking about burning tires in support of the teachers, so - based on this and other evidence - police believe he was the one who orchestrated the bonfire. Brackett was charged for causing the fire, while four others were charged with setting it. Their trial was set to start today, but after the prosecution failed to fully disclose the evidence, it was adjourned. Brackett and his attorney, Kareem Musa told us more... Kareem Musa - Attorney, COLA: "Today was set for the hearing date for the matter with Mr. Geovanni Brackett, the president of COLA along with 5 other defendants. It was supposed to be for a trial, but the prosecution was once again at a loss. They did not have their disclosure ready. They were supposed to have partial disclosure on the last date. They were supposed to give us the remaining disclosure December 16th and even to this day we have not received disclosure, but there was an undertaking given today before the chief magistrate that disclosure would be made today and hopefully by the end of today we get that."

    Pair of Weekend Shootings In City
    A man was shot at in an alley on Amara Avenue. On Friday night around 6:15, 31 year old Eletero Mckenzie was standing near an Amara Street address when 2 men on separate bicycles rode up to him. One of the men pulled out a gun. Mckenzie ran into the alley towards his house. The man fired several shots at Mckenzie hitting him in the right calf and to the right shin. He was treated at the KHMH. And there was another shooting on Saturday morning in the city. It happened during a robbery. At 11:30 a.m., 30-year-old Jovanie Sutherland and his co-worker were pulling along the hose from their company septic tank cleaning truck when Sutherland was approached by 2 men one of whom was armed with a handgun. The gunman pointed the gun at Sutherland and demanded his gold chain valued at $1800 dollars. As Jovanie was taking off his chain, the man shot him in the right leg. The man and his accomplice then ran away with the chain.

    Soldier for Trafficking
    Today a BDF soldier and a friend were arraigned in the Magistrate's Court for drug trafficking. On Sunday, police stopped BDF soldier, Shannon Garcia and Sherwin Kerr who were traveling in a vehicle between Miles 15 and 16 on the Northern Highway. The cops found about 9 ounces of cannabis behind the radio. In court, Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith jointly charged Garcia and Kerr with a single count of drug trafficking. Both men pled guilty, but Kerr told to the court that he would like to plea guilty to the lesser charge of possession. The prosecutor asked for the trial to be adjourned until the 23rd so that he could decide whether Kerr's new plea was acceptable. The Magistrate accepted the adjournment, and because Garcia and Kerr had no previous drug related convictions, she offered them a bail of $500. Both men met bail and await trial later this month.

    Island Cops Get Weed
    On Friday morning San Pedro police searched in an overgrown lot on Jewfish Street where they found a large plastic bag with about 30 pounds of cannabis. Later, at around midday,Belize City police searched an abandoned cement structure on Pink's Alley. They found about three grams of cannabis as well as 11 live rounds of 9mm ammo. During another search, this time under a bridge on McKay Boulevard, authorities found a black Remington 870 12 gauge shot gun and five more rounds of 9mm ammo. All items were deposited as Found Property.

    Fire On La Isla
    Fire's in San Pedro town have caused major loss of property in the past - but this weekend's blaze didn't spread as widely as previous fires. It happened On Sunday 5th around 12:30 in the San Juan Area of San Pedro Town. A wooden house was engulfed in flames. The sole resident Calvin Young wasn't at home and the fire was contained.

    Hon. Figueroa Meets Counterparts
    Minister of State in the Ministry of Environment Dr. Omar Figueroa, met with his regional counterparts in Costa Rica last week. The Pro-Tem Presidency of the Central American Commission of Environment and Development was handed over to Costa Rica; and the ministers reviewed several regional project proposals with a strong marine component. According to a release, Figueroa confirmed the strengthening of Belize's involvement in the Central American Environmental Agenda, and pledged our assistance in regional strategies and programmes.

    New Penalties For Illegal Logging
    Back in Belize, Figueroa's Forest Department has amended the Forest Act to add greater penalties to illegal logging. There's a new schedule of harsher fines and penalties for the illegal harvesting of certain precious trees - such as Rosewood, Mahogany, and Santa Maria. Now, illegal harvesters can be charged up to three times the previous amount. The amendments also increased fines for the damaging of forest roads and waterways, and possession of counterfeit licenses and stamps. A two week amnesty period will be employed. Anyone in possession of illegal forest produce has the opportunity to hand over the material without fear of fines prosecution during that period. The amnesty period ends on the 20th of February.

    Immigration Then And Now
    If you've been tuning into our newscast on Wednesday nights, you'll know all about the Senate Inquiry into the Immigration Department. so far, copious irregularities and illegalities at the department continue to be exposed, kind of like layers on an onion. But, one of the most explosive revelations coming out of the hearings is that in the run up to the 2012 general elections, the Immigration Department rushed through over 2000 applicants for nationality. That caused the system to be compromised, and many applicants got nationality that they were not entitled to. But, even back then, it caught our attention, especially with presence of politicians and political operators, who were working hard to get applicants approved. We kept pressing Ruth Meighan about that back then, and concerns that it was not all above board. We've dug into our archive to show you her answers to those questions then, and what has been revealed in the last 4 weeks. Here's how it looked back then:

    Gun Found On BWSL Worker In City
    Southside Police got another gun off the streets today. Acting on information, they searched a BWSL employee and found a 38 pistol with six live rounds. That person has been detained and we'll release his name and picture when he is charged.

    Taking Over Tilapia
    The success and sustainability of the Tilapia Hatchery Center in Central farm is now in the hands of the Government of Belize. On Friday, Taiwanese Ambassador Charles Liu officially handed over the center to the government. This marks the end of a 5 year training project between Belize and Taiwan. Here is a short excerpt of the handing over ceremony on Friday. Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of Agriculture: "What the Taiwanese Government has afforded us to do and understand it was about 2.5 million US dollars, which is a quite a lot of money, to get this facility up, to provide a hatchery, to provide a space for us to grow in this industry. We cannot thank you enough. So thank you very much." "The end product of course of all of this is marketing, its consumer acceptance of the product, it is our people working together and see it but private sector and public sector. This is a private/public partnership and there is shape here also for private/private partnership. There is space. private/private partnership in the sense of feed production. private/private partnership in the sense of marketing and of course public/private partnership through this facility, through our extension services, through our own continued research through, financing through agencies like the DFC and through continuing research and development."

    Jingle For World Water
    World Water Day will be celebrated on March 22nd. But -if you're into contests and that sort of thing - you should start thinking of your jingle and poem for the water day competition. This year's theme is "waste water" and you can submit a jingle or a poem about waste water. The director of the Water and Waste Water Unit at the PUC Rudolph Williams told us more about the competition and the theme . The deadline for both the jingle and poem competition is this Friday, the 10th. You can visit doe.gov.bz for more information. The winners will be announced on March 22ND.

    Girl Of Belizean Parentage Hugged By Lady Gaga Super Bowl Halftime
    A US High school student of Belizean parentage got her 15 seconds of fame and then some at the Super Bowl last night in Houston. Ally Bellini - who attends Dobie High School in Houston - got a big hug from Lady Gaga during her Super Bowl Halftime performance. About 100 million people just in the United States saw that moment and here's how Houston's ABC Affiliate reported it:... Bellini got to participate as part of her high school's dance team.

    Channel 5

    Who Killed Gardenia’s John Ortiz?
    The body of a Gardenia resident was found before the crack of dawn between miles nineteen and twenty on the Philip Goldson. It took some time before John Ortiz could [...]

    2 Charged in Mark Jones murder
    Police in Rural Eastern Division have one person detained for the murder of John Ortiz, and in Belize City, police also believe they have arrested and charged the men behind [...]

    Police Search for Killer of Felix Ayuso in San Pedro
    Meanwhile, police are yet to crack the murder of Felix Ayuso, whose body was found last Thursday at his house in San Pedro. That is because the suspect is on [...]

    Shooting and Robbery Victim Tells Story to News Five
    There were two shootings in the Old Capital which has seen a spike in gun-violence since the start of 2017. On Saturday, a man was robbed and shot in the [...]

    Eletoro McKenzie also a Shooting Victim
    In the other shooting, thirty-one-year-old Eletero McKenzie was shot to the right calf and chin on Friday evening. Sometime after six p.m., Police visited the K.H.M.H. where they observed McKenzie [...]

    Fire Wipes Out House on Ambergris Caye
    A fire completely destroyed a family home in San Pedro over the weekend. A father and his two sons were not on the island when the blaze claimed their home [...]

    “Belcan Six” Learn Final Trial Date
    Today was set for trial in the case of Geovannie Brackett, President of Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA); Perry “Sticks” Smith, the founder of the Days of Healing [...]

    B.T.L. Looks for New C.E.O.; Ivan Tesecum Replaces Anwar Barrow for Now
    Chair of the Executive Committee of Belize Telemedia Limited and company C.E.O. Anwar Barrow has begun his final week in that capacity, as he leaves office on February tenth, 2017. [...]

    P.S.U. to Talk to Immigration Officers on Promotions
    The Public Service Union is to meet with representatives of its membership in the Immigration Department on Tuesday in Belize City. It comes amid reports that up to twenty clerks [...]

    Superbond Extended Again; Bondholders Still Talking to Government
    The Government has once again extended its offer to bondholders for a renegotiated 2038 Superbond.  On Friday, it announced that the offer remains open until this coming Friday at five [...]

    Former Puerto Azul Investor Blows Whistle on Failed Project
    Three weeks ago the controversial Puerto Azul project for a massive luxury resort and hotel complex in the Lighthouse Reef Atoll unravelled. Seven persons were arrested including chief developer Domenico [...]

    Daniele Pistolesi Says Big Plans Were All a Sham
    Pistolesi contacted us to tell the previously unknown story of investors in the failed project who were “sold a dream” by Giannini and his cohorts, and offer his help in [...]

    Jamaican Charged with Raping Ladyville Woman
    A twenty-five-year-old woman of the Ladyville area was raped and police have arrested and charged a Jamaican national for the alleged crime. Today, twenty-year-old Andre Knight was taken before Chief [...]

    Training the Bird-Watchers at Audubon
    Today, the Belize Audubon Society hosted twenty-one tour guides, who successfully completed a first ever advanced level bird watching training program. Bird watching is a growing attraction of the tourism [...]

    Birding Now a Specialization for Tour Guides
    According to Lizama, Belize is prime and ready to cater to the birding tourism market. The pilot training will see the Belize Tourism Board partner with the Audubon to continue [...]

    News Five Says ‘I do’ to Wedding Expo
    It’s the month of love and for those brides to be, an event by Confetti on Saturday turned out to have all the ingredients for the perfect wedding.  It started [...]

    The Latest in Sport with Sports Monday
    Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   {Feature on weekend sporting highlights….]

    CTV3

    Local Potato Producer In Verge Of Losing Thousands Of Dollars
    Potato farmers from the community of San Carlos here in Orange Walk stand to lose tens of thousands of dollars because their locally grown product is being cast out of the local market by imported potatoes, which continue to saturate vegetable stands and stores far beyond the date normally allotted for importers to bring in the product. The harvesting of the crop began on February 5th and is projected to continue for approximately six weeks giving farmers a limited amount of time to sell the over half a million pounds of potato in this year’s production. But with the saturation of imported potato in the market the sale of the local product seems impossible. Following the great loss absorbed last year when acres upon acres of carrot rotted on the fields, farmers are desperate for solutions to reduce the amount expected to be lost in this year’s potato crop.

    GOB's Time Is Running Out, Extends Proposal for Bond Holders
    The clock continues to click on the Government’s Superbond renegotiations attempts. On Friday February 3rd, a second deadline in the Government’s proposed terms contained in a Consent Solicitation note expired with no agreement arrived at. The Government has put on the table for the debt holders, three options they say would achieve debt relief. Those options are a reduction to the outstanding principal, amend the amortization schedule and coupon, or a maturity extension with amortization/coupon adjustment. The Consent Solicitation was launched on December 6th and was initially due to expire on January 26th. When that deadline passed without any agreement reached, the deadline was extended to February 3rd. But that deadline has also come and gone, forcing the Government to now push back to February 10th as the new deadline. GOB is literally running out of time as it tries to strike a deal with bondholders. This is because a $23 million dollar payment is due on February 20th and GOB has indicated that under the present terms it would not be able to meet the payment.

    Corozal Library At Par With Technology
    Public libraries and their reading initiatives have played a key role in the development of literate societies, but with the rise of technology such facilities have come under heavy pressure to remain useful and relevant. Instead of fighting technology, libraries have had to adapt and that’s just what the Corozal Public Library has begun to do in a small way with the introduction of six new computers for the public to use. Today we found out how the computers will help library users. Francisco Pena - Library Assistant: “The national library service, the headquarters, they gave us some new computers here for us to us and the reason for this is especially for the public for them to us, there is a lot of students that goes to school and they don’t have computer access in their villages and so forth and this is something new that we are implementing having here in our library is for the community and we ask for a small donation of two dollars and the reason for it is so that we can maintain the computers and if we need new parts and stuff like that we can buy them. All this is to implement literacy in the public we want all our youths and the elderly as well to be more active in reading and show that they can better their vocabulary and can defend themselves in this world because we cannot progress in this life without education or the ability to speak or write.”

    BPP Calls For Re-registration Exercise To Be Undertaken
    Following the revelation made by former Director of Immigration Ruth Meighan during a session of the Senate Select Committee where she admitted that the UDP had in a sense committed fraud to secure a win in the elections by approving a large number of persons for nationalization without complying with the requirements in place at the immigration department, Belizeans, including the Opposition have been clamoring for a re-registration exercise to be conducted to rectify this act of corruption. Today the Belize Progressive Party issued a release demanding that the exercise be carried out stating quote “the BPP reminds one and all that since its inception in October 2015, we have consistently called for the constitutionally mandated re-registration exercise to be undertaken and that upon its completion, the lawful re-districting of the nation’s electoral constituencies also be conducted, so as to comply with the provisions set out in the Belize Constitution, to ensure a more equitable configuration of each electoral division.” End quote

    Referee Equip To Make Better Calls
    The Orange Walk Football Association hosted its first ever Referee’s Course this past weekend with the aim of offering both current and aspiring referees the chance to become a certified level entry referee. The course lasted a total of three days and was divided into three main categories….theory, practical and a final assessment which saw the participation of eight individuals. David Jones – Head, Referees of Belize: “Our objective was to lay a foundation for the laws of the game, we are taking nothing for granted we want for this program to go throughout the country and it started here in Orange Walk and it is all about the laws of the game, it is on the laws of the game and the basic flag techniques and the movement of the field of play and we showed them that and hope to have seen younger referees because there other guys cannot take the practical that we did so we did a shorter time and like I say this is a fundamentals of the laws of the game that we are going to do throughout the country.”

    LOVE FM

    Police Finds John Ortiz Severely Beaten and Dead
    Police are suspecting that robbery may have been the motive for a homicide in rural Belize that left 44-year-old, John Ortiz, a Biscayne Village resident, dead. Police officers attached to the Rural Executive Division were on patrol heading north on the Philip Goldson Highway this morning at around three o’clock when they encountered a body […]

    Have Investigators Wrongfully Charge Deandre Adolphus? Mother Says Yes
    Nineteen year old Deandre Adolphus was charged for the murder of 29 year old Mark Anthony Jones. He was arraigned this afternoon and was remanded behind bars until his next court case. Investigators believed that Adolphus was the triggerman who killed Jones as he was entering his yard on George Frazer Street on Thursday night. […]

    Another Week for Superbond’s Consent Solicitation to Expire
    A release from the government stated that Belize has extended its consent solicitation in regards to its move to restructure the ‘superbond’. The release says quote, “The offer contained in the Consent Solicitation Statement was scheduled to expire on February 3, 2017. The offer will now remain open until 5:00pm (New York Time) on Friday, […]

    Government Invites Private Sector for Consultations on Country’s Economy
    Financial Secretary Joseph Waight has written to the President of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), Nikita Usher. The letter reads quote, “As the Government advances on the budget process for Fiscal Year 2017/2018, I hereby extend an invitation to you, the executive and membership of the BCCI to a consultation meeting with […]

    BPP Says Opposition (PUP) Is Being Hypocritical
    Last week the People’s United Party issued a release demanding that a re-registration exercise be done as scheduled this July. Today the Belize Progressive Party issued a release in which it states the current call by the Opposition, is not only late, but also hypocritical since in 2007, the PUP, via Statutory Instrument #17 of […]

    COLA’s President Says His Court Case Is Being Dragged On
    Last year, the President of Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) Geovanni Bracket, along with five others was arrested for allegedly burning tires on the Belcan Bridge in Belize City. This happened during October when the teachers were on their strike. Investigators believe that Brackett and others set fires ablaze on the bridge as […]

    Immigration Director Averts Go-Slow by Employees
    Last week, we reported that 20 Immigration Clerks had expressed discontent over the promotion of one specific clerk who they say did not deserve it. According to persons within the department, the individual who was promoted was given the post of Assistant Immigration Officer over several other persons who have been at the department for […]

    Special Envoy Speaks Cancer in Vienna, Austria
    Belize’s Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis-Barrow was recently in Vienna, Austria participating in a panel discussion led by the International Atomic Energy Agency in commemoration of World Cancer Day on February 3. The discussion focused on the improving access to cancer treatment in developing countries and the public-private partnerships required as well […]

    Raped After Clubbing in Rural Belize
    A 25-year-old woman from Ladyville has reported to Police that she was raped in the early hours of last Friday. The woman told police sometime around four o’clock, she was walking from a night club on the Phillip Goldson Highway on her way home. She said when she reached the bus stop, a dark complexion […]

    Separate Weekend Shootings Reported in Belize City
    Two shooting incidents were reported this weekend. The first occurred on Friday evening. Police say after six o’clock they went to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they saw 31-year-old Eletero McKenzie suffering from gunshot wounds to the right calf and to the right shin. Police say McKenzie was standing behind the fence of an […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    CCJ declines Belize injunction application
    The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), in an order issued this morning, declined to hear an inter-party application for an anti-enforcement injunction, which was brought by Belize’s Attorney General in relation to a US $50 Million arbitral award owed to elements of the Ashcroft Alliance.The application sought to restrain British Caribbean Holdings Ltd. (BCB) and the Belize Bank Ltd. (BBL) from enforcing a final arbitral award that was issued by the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA). The CCJ, in a judgment issued on July 26, 2013, had declined to enforcement the LCIA award on the ground that enforcement in Belize would be contrary to public policy.

    New amendments impose stiffer penalties for forest offenses
    Belize’s new amendments to the Forest Act replace outdated sections of the forest legislation and impose increased fines and stiffer penalties for forest offenses. The changes are part of the Forest Department’s on-going efforts to strengthen law enforcement capacity to reduce increasing illegal forest activities, deforestation and degradation of our forest resources. Illegal and unsustainable timber and non-timber extractions undermine Belize’s on-going efforts to curb deforestation and biodiversity loss. In light of this, the new amendments act as deterrents and help to strengthen the department’s legal capacity to tackle illegal logging and other related crimes. The Amendments specifically impose the following changes:

    Moist conditions predicted
    The 24 hour forecast is for moist conditions to prevail with cloudy skies today and partly cloudy skies tonight. Showers will continue mainly over the central and southern areas and becoming isolated tonight. The wind will blow from the east to northeast at 10-20 knots and the sea state will be choppy to moderate. High temperatures are expected as follows: In the coast – 83 degrees Fahrenheit; 87 degrees Fahrenheit inland, and 72 degrees Fahrenheit in the hills.

    Brian Humphreys is Tropic Air’s Employee of the Month for January 2017
    Tropic Air has issued a press release announcing that Brian Humphreys is their employee of the month for January 2017. Humphreys is the Station Ramp Agent at Belize City Municipal Airport and according to Tropic Air’s president, John Greif III, the dedication Brian has is remarkable. “Not only is he a model employee, always with a helping hand, but he is also eager to learn new skills and grow. He clearly loves what he does”, Greif III said in the release.

    Belizean embraced by Lady Gaga during Superbowl show
    Many Belizeans are fans of the Superbowl. They were fascinated with the performance of Lady Gaga last night especially when she went to the audience and singled out a young girl with Belizean roots and embraced her. Both of her parents are Belizeans. Belizeans […]

    Police seize gun, ammo and drugs on Friday
    On Friday police recovered a gun, ammunition and drugs in two separate searches. The first search occurred at 3:30 p.m., when police conducted a search under a bridge located on McKay Boulevard, Belize City. Cops discovered a chrome and black Remington 870 Magnum 12 […]

    Belize City man escapes attempt on his life
    Eletero Mckenzie, 31, is lucky to be alive after two gun men on separate bicycles attacked him.According to police reports, sometime before 6:00 p.m. on Friday, Mckenzie was standing behind the fence of an unknown alley on Amara Avenue, Belize City, when he saw two unknown […]

    Man shot while cleaning a septic tank
    Jovanie Sutherland, 30, and his co-worker were removing waste from a septic tank with a hose connected to a truck when they were accosted by two men. One of the assailants, armed with a pistol, demanded that Sutherland hand over his $1,800 chain, however, […]

    Royal Marines training in Belize
    Forty commandos of the United Kingdom’s Royal Marines are in the Belizean jungle undergoing training with a focus on survival in hostile environments. They are here conducting training by the British Army Training Support Unit Belize (BATSUB) and the Royal Marines […]

    Cops find gun near bus stop in Sand Hill
    On February 3 at about 2:30 p.m., police conducted a search in some bush at a bus stop in Sand Hill Village where cops found a black plastic which contained one .9mm pistol with a brown pistol grip along with a black magazine and […]

    Young woman on her way home after clubbing raped in Ladyville
    A young woman was raped in Ladyville, Belize District on Friday. According to police, a 25-year-old female of Ladyville reported that on Friday, February 3, 2017 around 4:10 a.m., she was walking from a night club on the Phillip Goldson Highway en route to […]

    Belmopan man charged for sex with minor
    Last Thursday a 43-year-old father visited the Belmopan Police Station along with his 13-year-old daughter who reported that on January 7, she left her home at 1:00 a.m. to meet one Jonathan Che at his residence, where they had sexual intercourse. A medical examination […]

    Police find almost 30 lbs of weed in San Pedro Town
    According to police reports, on Friday, February 3, 2017 about 7:15 a.m., police conducted a search in an overgrown lot located on Jewfish Street, San Pedro Town where they found a large black garbage bag which contained 29.97 lbs of cannabis. The drugs were […]

    House catches fire in San Pedro Town; Police are investigating
    Yesterday around 12:45 p.m., San Pedro Police responded to a call of a house fire in the San Juan Area of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye where they observed a wooden house measuring about twenty feet in width and forty five feet in length engulfed […]

    Blogs

    Judging Estel’s 6th Annual Rib Cook-Off: The Biggest and Baddest in Belize
    Saturday was the SIXTH Annual International BBQ Cook-off. I got there early since I WAS ASKED TO JUDGE!!!! and I didn’t miss my chance. This event is so much fun. And to convey just how much fun, I put together some very low tech animation. Get ready to be WOWed. We received the very first plates. And for the ticket price ($35bzd), everyone received 4 ribs, the tastiest beans, slaw and a big tortilla. If you bought two tickets – you and your friend could try all eight. And vote. I will agree that the plate looks SO tasty, this job seems SO desirable but by the time you taste each one once…and then go around again and then again… I realized that you need some real skills for this. And an INSANELY huge appetite. We handed in our scores and all were tallied. THE CHEFS’ #1: Kevin! Peoples’ #3 Ally #2 Jennie (last year’s Grand Champion) #1 JIM! Proudly accepting the award with his team. Judges’ #3 I FORGOT! #2 Amy AND THE PRIZE OF ALL PRIZES! Judges’ #1 Grill Master: Charles of Estel’s!

    Belize Honeymoon: Rainforest Luxury & Caribbean Indulgence
    Imagine a honeymoon that takes you from luxurious accommodations and delightful amenities in the lush jungles of Belize to a choice of renowned seaside resorts on a beautifully unspoiled Caribbean seacoast. To these stunning surroundings add impeccable service, sumptuous dining, healthy activities, personal spa care and even the attention of a dedicated butler catering to your every whim. Sounds like a dream? Well, it is, and a dream that comes true during a new Belize luxury honeymoon vacation package now offered by The Lodge at Chaa Creek and select partner resorts on Ambergris Caye and the sandy Placencia peninsula on Belize’s southern coast. Our dedicated, creative Romantic Adventures team has joined their colleagues at some of Belize’s most highly regarded Caribbean beach resorts to create the “Belize Embrace” Luxury Honeymoon vacation – setting new standards of luxury for honeymoons worldwide.

    MANATEE UPDATE
    Not really but This little fellow really looked like a manatee to us at the CCHS clinic. He’s been back and has grown up quite a bit but still has the unique manatee-like snout. Sweet and adorable!

    International Sourcesizz

    BELIZE-CCJ DECLINES TO HEAR INTER-PARTY APPLICATION FROM BELIZE
    The Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) Friday issued an order declining to hear an inter-party application for an anti-enforcement injunction which was brought by the Belize government. The application sought to restrain British Caribbean Bank Holdings Limited (BCB) and the Belize Bank Limited (BBL) from enforcing a final arbitral award that was issued by the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA). The CCJ, had in a judgment issued on July 26, 2013, declined to enforce the award by the LCIA on the ground that enforcement in Belize would be contrary to public policy. The dispute has its genesis in 2005 when, in order to settle a commercial dispute, BCB and BBL entered into a settlement agreement with the Belize government. The CCJ said this agreement essentially provided that the two companies would benefit from a tax regime that was specifically created for them without the knowledge or approval of the Belize parliament. The agreement was honoured by the Belize government until 2008 when there was a change in government after general elections.

    Videos

  • SPORTS FEBRUARY 6, 2017, 10min. from PGTV News Network

  • “Enviro-Connect”, 4min. The Department of the Environment - DOE has taken on a fun approach of tackling environmental issues in Belize in its reality competition show, “Enviro-Connect”. Janel Rodriguez found out more about the show and what we can expect for the upcoming season two

  • How to Make Belizean Meat Pies, 12min. Delicious Belizean Meat Pies made simple. Finger biting good.

  • Wedding Expo, 8min. Biltmore Plaza Toucan Hall

  • Welcome To The Jungle - The Royal Marines In Belize, 1.5min. Delta Company, the jungle warfare specialists of 40 Commando, in Belize conducting vital training under the watchful eye of the British Army Training Support Unit Belize (BATSUB) and Royal Marines directing staff.

  • Belize Janvier 2017, 6min.

  • Battlefield Park, Belize Oral History, 3min. In this "2 Cents Cam", we interview residents of Belize City to document the heritage and history of Battlefield Park.

  • Nurse shark at Belize Barrier Reef, 1min. A nurse shark swam through my diving group as we were diving the barrier reef off the coast of Belize, near the Turneffe Atoll.

  • Belize - Hike & Rappelling, 6min.

  • Belize - Ziplining, 1min.

  • Morning Matters of the Day, 64min.

  • Discover Belize, 3.5min.

  • Belize Dive 2, 8min.

  • Belize Coral Reef Photos 2, 3min.

  • Snorkeling In Belize, 5.5min.

  • Belize 2016, 7.5min.

  • 4K BELIZE Sunrise Over Ambergris Caye Sunset at Secret Beach, 2min. 4K Sunrise and sunset in Belize. The sun rises in the East over Ambergris Caye. While the sunsets over Secret Beach on the West side of Ambergris Caye. Near San Pedro in Belize. Unbelizeable!

  • Tackle Box Hol Chan Belize, 3min.

  • BELIZE TRAVEL DIARY || Faith Holt, 5min.

  • Lighthouse Reef Belize, 5min. Third dive on our Blue Hole dive trip, took 1.5 hrs to get to the reef crossing open ocean in a 26 ft skiff with twin 200hr HP outboards, about 2 hrs banging into the waves to get back. Periods where shore not visible. This third dive was a shallow dive staying on top of the reef, but swimming along the ledge and looking over to the wall. Lots of coral, was a bit overcast so the color not as bright

  • Blue Hole Belize, 3.5min. The Blue Hole in Belize, a famous dive site. Similar to the cenote's I dove in the Yucatan, it is a massive sink hole in the surrounding reef. Formed before it became flooded, the famous dive I did takes you to an over hang at 130ft in the wall of the Hole (its bottom lies at 400ft, which requires specialized dive training and equipment). Suspended from this overhand are massive stalactites, made famous during explorations by Jacques Cousteau

  • Shark and sting ray swim. Belize., 17min.

  • Half Moon Wall Belize, 4.5min. Dive site Half Moon Wall, in Lighthouse Reef area along with the Blue Hole. Second dive after starting with the Blue Hole first thing. Descended on to the top of a reef, followed a cavern out to the wall then drifted the wall around 80ft. Repeatedly visited by a reef shark, driving off a ray at one point. Colorful Angel fish at the end

  • Snorkeling in Belize 02, 17min.

  • BELIZE - Belize City, Kuba ze Skierniewic, 6min. szwendanie si po miecie.

  • Snorkeling in Belize 01., 18min.

  • Exploring Underwater Mysterious and Enigmatic Great Blue Hole of Belize, 5min.

    February 6, 2017


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    San Pedro Cancer Society thanks Mrs. Alma Gabourel Staines for donation
    On behalf of the board of directors and members of the San Pedro Cancer Society we extend our most sincere gratitude for your kind donation of $10,055 made from proceeds of your birthday celebrations on the 31st of December, 2016 at which you asked for contributions to the San Pedro Cancer Society in lieu of gifts for yourself. The San Pedro Cancer Society is very honoured in being the recipient of your generosity. For this and the many years of assistance to us and our patients both directly and through the Belize Gastroenterology and Endoscopy Center we are honoured to include you as an Honorary Member of the San Pedro Cancer Society. As a small, active group that is greatly supported by our islander and Belizean communities we have many goals and objectives that we aim to fulfil in order to further assists cancer patients and their loved ones who are both directly and indirectly affected.

    Wolfe’s Woofer: Happy and Mad
    “Hey Mr. Dennis; I thought I would find you here.” I was sitting on the deck at the Holiday Hotel enjoying my morning coffee from Celi’s Deli when Mario walked up to my table and sat down. “Hello, Mario.” I said. “Ooh, that is some black eye you got there. How did you get it?” After he chugged down his beer he said. “I got this black eye for something I said. I had a chance to do a good job last week that paid two hundred dollars for one day but I got drunk the night before and I couldn’t wake up. My friend Jaime got the job.” “That’s a shame,” I said.

    Letter to the Editor: San Pedro Cancer Society 2017 Election of Officers
    Please be informed that the San Pedro Cancer Society held its election of officers on January 21st, 2017. We would like to inform the media outlets, supporters and general public that the result of elections concluded as follows: President – Gonzalo E. Muñoz, Vice President – Miguel A. Perez, Treasurer – Claudia Miranda, Secretary – Luciola T. Muñoz. We look forward to further serving the San Pedro Community and anxiously wait to unveil the many projects and events we have planned. We also take this time to thank you for all the love and support on behalf of our patients and members. Regards, Gonzalo E. Muñoz, President, San Pedro Cancer Society.

    Doctor Love: Mother Doesn’t Know Best
    Dear Doctor Love, I am afraid my ten year old son will grow up thinking he will always have someone to clean up after him. When I ask him to help out with chores, I get huge sighs, rolling eyes, whining and lately, refusal. His room is always a mess, he leaves everything where he lays it and I have become the caretaker for his dog. Every time I try to tell my son what I want him to do, he “forgets” or “was going to do it” and I end up doing it myself. My husband shrugs it off but I don’t want my son to become a man who is lazy and entitled. How can I make him see it is important for our son to learn to be self sufficient and to start to take care of himself? /s/ Mother Doesn’t Know Best

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Fire in San Juan Area of San Pedro
    Just shortly after lunch on Sunday, February 5th, the San Pedro Fire Department responded to a distress call about a fire in the San Juan Area. The firefighters got the fire under control upon arrival, however the house was completely destroyed by the blaze. The San Pedro Fire Department is now launching an investigation to determine the cause of the fire. No one was injured during the fire and officials are reporting that the family was not at home at the time. Also, here's a video.

    FCD aerial recce together with BDF
    FCD undertook the second aerial recce together with BDF. A peek across the Guatemalan landscape shows the impending dangers of the agricultural frontier expansion from Guatemala into the Chiquibul Forest.

    “Building Safer Communities One Child at a Time”
    On January 25-27, 11 police officers from the Belize Police Department’s Community Policing Unit, Mr. Dale Anthony of the Ministry of Education, and the Embassy’s INL representative Lesmore Paul attended a “Building Safer Communities One Child at a Time” conference in Panama City dedicated to the Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) program. Assistant Superintendent of Police Gerald Jones, who is the Commander of Community Policing, Inspector Elroy Carcamo, the GREAT Focal Point Leader, four GREAT Trainers, five GREAT instructors, and Mr. Dale Anthony from the Ministry of Education took part in the event. These Police Officers are currently assigned as GREAT instructors within their communities. The event was the first of its kind in Central America and gave participants a chance to share information on the importance of maintaining lasting relationships with school staff and students, discipline versus arrest, becoming a more confident instructor, strategies to connect and excite student learning, how to stay motivated and sustain your GREAT program, and advanced ethics and decision making. The conference also gave attendees the opportunity to share ideas on best practices for GREAT instructors within the region.

    Belize Museum 15th Anniversary celebration
    Our 15th Anniversary celebration featured a brand new exhibit, as well as recognition for those who contributed to our growth.

    Coral restoration efforts in San Pedro
    Fragments of Hope extends a big thank you to all those came out in San Pedro, and especially to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve office for hosting us on a site visit the next day! There ARE restoration efforts beginning in San Pedro, spear headed by Miguel Alamilla, Manager at Hol Chan. Stop by their office to learn more! Always pleasing when Belizeans get to see more of their reefs; I have spent over 20 years exploring north to south and all of the atolls. Each exposure for each guide to new areas is priceless! Thanks again to Miguel and Kirah and the entire Hol Chan office crew!

    Death of Mr. Felix Ayuso
    The International Costa Maya Festival Committee is sadden by the death of Mr. Felix Ayuso who served as its President in 1996. Our deepest sympathies to the Ayuso family. Pic courtesy of the San Pedro Sun. Pictured are some members of the 1996 Sea & Air Festival Committee: Front row, left to right: Nigel Belisle, Einer Gomez and Mandy Castillo. Second row: Mary Beissner, Victoria Collins, Donna Koehnen, Marissa Salazar and Chairman Felix Ayuso. Back row: Nando Trejo, George Siegrist, Wil Alamilla Jr., and Gach Guerrero

    ACADEMIC PROGRAMS
    by Abdul Marin Nunez. Beloved students of tertiary institutions in country Why do you go to sixth form and university? If not to transform yours country If not to learn to think critically If not to mold the future of the country If not to learn science and technology If not to question authority If not to lean to run our democracy If not to make Belize better for wi pickney I am perplexed Downright vex That you prefer to be annexed Buy political conduits Instead of insist That our campuses be fixed After all we are paying for it Yet the service is bullshit Instructors trying to bring back America When the Nordic countries are better

    The Reporter

    Fundraiser planned to gift Ms Belize Universe
    An all-day fundraiser will be held on Monday in Dangriga to collect monies to gift to Miss Belize Universe, Rebecca Rath for having represented Belize so well in the recent Miss Universe pageant. The telethon is the result of an idea by Emil Torres, a car dealership marketing representative who felt Rath is deserving of a car worth $37,000. Torres said that citizens of other countries show great appreciation to their Miss Universe representative by giving them gifts of significant value. Rath, thought to be one of Belize’s most excellent rerepresentatives, got overwhelming support from fellow Belizeans for the pageant. Some of them had suggested online that the Belize Tourism Board should organize a fitting welcome home ceremony for Rath.

    Quake rocks St. Lucia
    Residents of St. Lucia were stunned by a 5.8 magnitude tremor that rocked other parts of the Eastern Caribbean Saturday afternoon. The University of the West Indies announced that the quake occurred around 3:54 p.m., at a depth of 20 km, 120 km northeast of Castries; 73 km northeast of Fort-de-France, Martinique; and 93 km east-southeast of Roseau, Dominica. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, but reports are that the earthquake was felt throughout the island, shaking buildings and supermarket shelves. Residents in Antigua, Martinique, and St. Vincent also reported feeling the shaking. Earlier in the day, there were two smaller quakes in the region that went unreported. At 1 a.m., one occurred west of Tobago. Then, at around 8:08 a.m., another occurred 31 km northeast of Basseterre.

    Blogs

    Feel Free Enough to Get Hooked in Belize
    As destination wedding photographers in Belize, we are always eternally grateful that we get to share important moments in people’s lives while they are visiting this stunning country, we call home. Other people discover Belize and become repeat visitors because of the fishing. Belize is one of the only places, maybe the only place, where it is absolutely possible to get what fisherman call the ‘Grand Slam’, which is so elusive, in one single day. Belize recognises this and protects its fishing grounds fiercely. It’s all catch and release. Fishing isn’t all there is to do in Belize. With the water sport lifestyle available in a tropical climate, year round, boats are for pleasure as much as they are for sport.

    International Sourcesizz

    Royal Marines feel the heat in the jungle of Belize
    Howler monkeys, tarantulas, black widow spiders and snakes. Just some of the residents who have ‘welcomed’ Royal Marines to the jungle of Belize this week. Taunton-based 40 Commando are putting all of their basic soldiering skills to the test as they learn to fight and survive in one of the world’s most hostile environments. Delta Company, the jungle warfare specialists of 40 Commando, have been in Belize conducting vital training under the watchful eye of the British Army Training Support Unit Belize (BATSUB) and Royal Marines directing staff. The first phase of training saw the Royal Marines conducting break contact drills, close target reconnaissance, survival, patrol and navigation training in the depths of Sibun Gorge.

    Videos

  • Best of Belize !, 10min.

  • Belize SnapShot, 2min. My parents took the trip of a lifetime to Belize, Central America. I got to tag along and capture the moments of our adventures.

  • Fire coral - Belize, 1min. Doug pointing to fire coral while snorkeling in Belize 2/2/17.

  • Fishing for Permit in Belize, 6min. Fishing with Chasin' Tail Guide Services for Permit in crystal clear waters around Caye Caulker, Belize.

  • Belize Dive 1/18/17, 13min.

  • Belize Diving - Blue Hole - 12/14/2016, 4.5min. Video of descent into Blue Hole and stalagmites at 120 feet.

  • Amazing Drone Footage of Belize (Ocean)! (Phantom 3 Standard), 2.5min. Here is some footage of the ocean off the coast of Hopkins, Belize!

  • Amazing Drone Footage of Belize (Beach)! (Phantom 3 Standard), 2.5min. Here is some footage of the beach at Parrot Cove Lodge near Hopkins, Belize! The shots were taken with the DJI Phantom 3 Standard drone.

  • The Great Blue Hole at Depth - Lighthouse Reef, Belize, 1min. Cruising through Belize's Great Blue Hole at depth. One of the best dive's in the world. Max depth was approximately 150'.

  • Descending into the Great Blue Hole - Lighthouse Reef, Belize, 1.5min. Descending into Belize's Great Blue Hole. Named by Jacques Cousteau as one of the top 10 dive sites in the whole world.

  • Belize Janvier 2017, 6min.

  • Getting in the Groove, 1.5min. This weekend, we blended a bit of ballet with Garifuna drumming. Acting Deputy Chief of Mission J. Nathan Bland took part in drumming lessons with renowned Garifuna musician, Joshua Arana. As the pair began to sing Paul Nabor's "Nabi," Nathan's daughter (apparently feeling the groove) gave an interpretive dance contribution with her ballet moves.

  • Nile Jones: A Belizean -American Raisin In The Sun!, 23min. This Belizean Legends "Black History Month Special" for the column, "Scholars Corner", on the young and outstanding Belizean-American brilliance, Nile Jones, comes at the right time since we did this interview with him last year, and saved it for a most momentous time like this. Of course we would have liked to introduce Nile to you the audience just after we rolled out the first in this feature, Aaron Francis, but we thought that Nile's time would be most celebrated on this month when it appears that the struggle for young black male role models in the Belizean-American community in the Belizean diaspora and in Belize has reached an all time high. So then, here is Brother Nile. Nile Jones as a top accomplished achiever in education, music, the arts, and now a prospect at the prestigious Cornell University in New York pursuing a career in medicine is not just the typical kind of kid on the block and one we would find around anywhere. He has triumphed incredibly well through a morass of stagnant black teenage educational achievers though he has had his challenges of peer pressure, the "want to be white" criticism that is always flung at most black males like him, and the hidden forms of racism and cultural prejudice that would derail most high achievers among his peers. Rather, Nile appears to have been born with a natural resistance to these kinds of pressures in a young man's life not withstanding his most powerful cultural upbringing that has empowered him through the relentless war against failure that was waged by his Belizean mother, Charlene Rene.

    February 5, 2017


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    National Aids Commission reveals global/regional statistics on HIV
    The National Aids Commission (NAC) in Belize hosted a two-day workshop on how to train journalists/media personnel in reporting topics regarding HIV (human immunodeficiency disorder)/TB (tuberculosis)/AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). The San Pedro Sun sharing the information gathered during the workshop facilitated by Martha Carrillo (Founder of MC Consultancy) in a series of articles over the next two weeks. In the first series, out on Friday, January 27th, Volume 27 Issue #4, the basics of HIV/TB/AIDS, how it is transmitted, the various stages of HIV, and treatment options for HIV were explained. In this second series, The San Pedro Sun will explore the global and regionally statistics on HIV, and introduce Belize’s leading HIV advocate, Erika Castellanos.

    Kayak rescue
    All of a sudden, the yellow kayak was overturned and floating upside down. The mans bucket, which was surely full of fish considering the duration of time that he had been out, was now submerged and the man was swimming in the water. “I think that man just flipped his kayak,” Rundle said to Black, as he pointed to the kayaker. They both watched as the man struggled to get the kayak back upright, and get himself into his kayak again. It took him many times pushing up and out of the ocean, before he was able to lift back in successfully. No sooner did the tourists begin to breathe a sigh of relief, the kayak flipped over once again and dumped the man back into the ocean. This time, they couldn’t see the fisherman, and his kayak stayed overturned. Immediately, Rundle and Black recognized that something was very wrong with this situation, perhaps he was having a medical issue? and obviously was in need of help. Both were aware of the fact that when in the ocean, it only takes seconds for an accident to become a tragedy. They looked around at the boats on the pier in the hopes that they could find someone to help.

    Sunshine Scholarships Foundation to host Benefit Concert
    The Sunshine Scholarship Foundation directors are inviting the general public to their biggest Benefit Concert yet. The cabaret show will feature internationally renowned Broadway performer, Sean McDermott singing, dancing, and performing to entertain the crowd. For $50BZ, guests can enjoy a fabulous show on Wednesday, February 22nd at the Palapa Bar and Grill, starting at 7PM. The Sunshine Scholarship Foundation is an incorporated entity in Belize, providing scholarships to underprivileged San Pedro children. Since 2014, the Foundation has enrolled approximately ten children in the program, but there are currently over 20 children who need scholarships in order to attend school. The Foundation is also encouraging the community or business partners to sponsor the worthy event. As a gold ($1,000 contribution) sponsor, you will receive six free tickets to the concert, company recognition on all media and advertisement mater, and VIP access. A silver ($500 contribution) sponsor will receive four free tickets, and VIP access, while a bronze ($250 contribution) sponsor will receive two free tickets, and have VIP access.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    It's SUPER BOWL Party time at Kama Lounge
    LIVE MUSIC With Tsunami Nick Kicks Off @ 2pm, Outdoor theater on the Beach, Comfortable seating, Kama in Sober... pay $50 Bz for ALL the Local Rum drinks you can drink. Tropical flavored Shisha, $1 wings....$3 Nachos.

    Come on out and welcome Miss Belize Rebecca Rath back home!!
    (motorcade route will be posted next week)

    Mr. Manuel Pech passes away
    Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the San Pedro Town Council and Staff would like to extend its deepest condolences to the Pech family and friends on the passing of Mr. Manuel Pech. May his soul rest in peace.

    Caye Caulker girls d goh awn bad pan d football field!!
    High school beat us 2 to 1! It was a fun game

    Attention cane farmers! Courtesy: BSI/ASR
    Farmer Message for Week 8: Use a refractometer to determine maturity index of sugar cane. When the brix of the top is equal or close to the brix of the bottom it is ready to harvest. Anything equal to or above 85% maturity index is ready to harvest.

    Marie Sharp's Culinary Class
    The Marie Sharp's Tourist Center offers a culinary class Mondays through Saturdays. The new tourist center, which has every product they offer, is located under the Rainforest Haven Inn.

    One of BBR's beautiful 'blue-head' Northern Mealy Amazons (Amazona guatemalae)
    as taken by Nickolas Lormand of Scarlet Studios. A magnificent picture - thanks Nick!

    Belize Wedding Expo 2017
    Lots of great photos!

    LOVE FM

    Government of Belize gets injunction against Ashcroft allied companies
    Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited, which had changed its name from British Caribbean Holdings, has decided to challenge the “Anti-Ashcroft” bills. As we have been reporting, British Caribbean Holdings and Belize Social Development Limited had won a fifty million US dollar arbitration award against the Government of Belize. Now, in order to keep both companies from […]

    San Pedro activist stabbed to death
    Hipolito Novelo reporting… “San Pedro police are investigating the stabbing murder of 44-year-old Felix Ayuso. He lived alone in the San Juan Area of San Pedro Town. The gruesome discovery was made after six o’clock last night by his sister. He was found motionless inside his bedroom. According to Police Press Officer, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, […]

    Man gunned down in front of his home
    Twenty nine year old Mark Anthony Jones was gunned down last night as he entered his yard on Pelican Street. The shooter, taking advantage of the poorly lit yard, hid behind the house and waited for the precise moment to pounce on Jones. Public relations officer for the Belize Police Department, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood spoke […]

    Sister questions if brother was wrongly targeted
    One man, believed to be the killer of twenty nine year old Mark Jones, is in police custody. Investigators are hoping that he shed some light as to why Jones was shot to death last night. And while police are trying to get everything out of that suspect, word on the street is that Jones’ […]

    Taiwan hands over tilapia project to Belize Government
    The Government of Taiwan handed over a tilapia hatchery to the Government of Belize. Miguel Sosa the Coordinator of the Aquaculture Project shared the details. Miguel Sosa – Coordinator, Tilapia Project “It was a project that had been asked for by our government because there was a need to promote small scale tilapia farming in […]

    Westrac Limited donates to Rotaract Clubs for school projects
    Four Rotaract Clubs have received funding from Westrac Limited to carry out a school refurbishment project. Love News was on hand for the handing over ceremony which took place at Westrac’s office on the Philip Goldson Highway in Belize City. CEO at Westrac Limited, Peter Thiessen told us how they teamed up with Rotaract. Peter […]

    Museum of Belize celebrates 15th anniversary
    The Museum of Belize is celebrating its 15th anniversary. A special ceremony was held earlier today where 15 individuals were honored. Alexis Salazar Director of the Museum shared the list. Alexis Salazar – Director, Museum of Belize “The staff here at the Museum of Belize compiled a list of 15 people to honor. This group […]

    Belize Tourism Board holds training for taxi operators
    The Belize Tourism Board teamed up with the Caribbean Tourism Organization for a Taxi Customer Service Training to enhance the professional development, best practices, skills and knowledge of taxi drivers. We spoke to the Director of cruise destination planning for Belize Tourism Board, Noriko Gamero. Noriko Gamero – Director, Cruise Tourism “The importance of this […]

    Toledo women undergo training
    Paul Mahung reporting… “Facilitator of the training session was program officer at Humana People to People Belize, Regina Hun.” Regina Hun – Facilitator “The training about this job is to teach women how to make pineapple jam and when they learn how to make the jam, they will go home and practice so when they […]

    Minister of Immigration denies reports of concerns amongst employees over recent promotions
    This afternoon, reports surfaced that more than 20 Immigration clerks were expressing discontent over the promotion of one specific clerk who they say did not deserve it. According to persons within the department, the individual who was promoted was given the post of Assistant Immigration Officer over several other persons who have been at the […]

    The Reporter

    Resident of Iguana Street Extension slain in his yard
    Police are trying to solve the murder of Mark Jones, 29, a resident of Iguana Street Extension, Belize City, who was gunned down sometime after 8:00 Thursday night. Jones had just returned to his house with his girlfriend, and was walking in his yard when someone who was hiding in the vicinity opened fire on him, fatally wounding him. Jones died a short while later at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Police do not link Jones’ murder to that of 15 year-old Jaheem Mahler’s, or another shooting in which another youth’s house was shot up the week before. Jones’ relatives have vehemently denied that he was involved in those incidents, since they say he was elsewhere when those shootings occurred.

    San Pedro community activist murdered at home
    Police have detained two suspects and continue to follow two leads into the stabbing murder of Jose Felix Ayuso, 44, a popular hairstylist, community activist and AIDS advocate in San Pedro. Ayuso was discovered on his bed on the upper flat of a house in the San Juan area of the island with more than 30 stab wound on his face, throat and upper part of his body. Police say he was discovered on Thursday night, more than a day after he was last seen alive. Neighbours reported they heard a fight coming from Ayuso’s bedroom, but thought nothing of it because that was no strange occurrence. Police discovered a bloody scene, no murder weapon, but the bedroom door was left ajar. They also have not established a motive for the killing.

    PG turns 122!
    Punta Gorda, Belize’s southern-most town, celebrated its 122nd anniversary last weekend. The event included a panel discussion at the public library with contributors sharing historical accounts and perspectives on Punta Gorda “then and now”. It also included a municipal “Green Day”, and the activities were held with the theme: “Punta Gorda: The Epitome of Pristine Beauty, History and Cultural Diversity, Strives Together for a Productive and Greater Community”. A municipal History Hour also formed a part of the event. PG Mayor Fern Gutierrez, in her speech, spoke of the importance of understanding the history and origin of the community, embracing the cultural diversity of the town and the need for unity as one people. Gutierrez and Town Councillors presented awards to several persons who have contributed to the growth and development of Punta Gorda.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Man shot in Belize city last night
    According to police reports, a man was injured in a shooting that occured between Dean and King streets last night. Eletero McKenzie, 31, was injured to his calf and chin by gunshots. Police has one suspect in custody. Mckenzie is admitted to ward at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and is in a stable condition.

    Man allegedly shot in attempted robbery
    Reports reaching our newsroom is that one man was shot a short while ago in the St. Martin’s area of Belize city. Details are sketchy but information indicates that it was an attempted robbery. BBN will have an update on this as soon as a police report is issued.

    New shark species discovered in Belize
    Researchers from Florida International University (FIU) say that they have discovered a new species of hammer head shark in Belize.Demian Chapman, FIU researcher, was in Belize researching bonnethead sharks, when he made the discovery. Chapman said that when they analyzed the DNA of the shark they caught, it did not match the DNA of the bonnetheads found in this region. The DNA analysis was conducted by Andrew Fields from Stony Brook University. “Now we have to define the range of each of these species individually and assess them independently against where the potential threats are,” Chapman said.

    Gas prices up again
    Drivers all across the country are feeling the effects of a recent increase in the cost of fuel.The price increase took effect on Thursday bringing the cost of Premium gasoline to $10.36 a gallon, up 44 cents. Regular fuel went up by 11 cents per gallon, making the new price $9.68; while Diesel went up by 15 cents per gallon, bringing the new price up to $9.03. According to Financial Secretary Joe Waight, the increase is due to increased acquisition costs and is not the result of any tax increase.

    Fair weather to continue
    The national meteorological center says that a moist northeasterly airflow will continue to dominate our weather. The wind will blow from the east to northeast at 5-15 knots and the sea state will be choppy. High temperatures are expected as follows: In the coast – 83 degrees Fahrenheit; 87 degrees Fahrenheit inland, and 73 degrees Fahrenheit in the hills. Low temperatures for tonight in the coast are expected at 73 degrees Fahrenheit, inland at 68 degrees Fahrenheit and in the hills – 61 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Blogs

    This is Belize: Looking a bit more like the Paradise we always imagined
    Moppit and I walked to Ak’Bol and back this morning and for the first time in a long time this always beautiful walk dazzled me. And I know why, too. Not only is the shoreline almost completely recovered from Hurricane Earl but the beaches are as full and lush as I’ve ever seen them. But, most noticeably, THERE IS NO TRASH TO BE SEEN. This is a rare and incredible sight because even the most charming sections of beach up here are usually littered with plastic refuse and bottles. I urge you to take a walk north from the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge as far as you can up the beach. Don’t delay because the trash will begin piling up soon. Same thing along the concrete road all the way up to the Grand Caribe resort. No trash. Of course, yesterday was the first Friday of the month and that meant First Friday Roadside and Beach Trash Cleanup. So for a few days, as happens every month thanks to an incredibly dedicated band of volunteers, the area north of the bridge looks a bit more like the Paradise we always imagined. Like I said, don’t wait too long. Paradise is a fragile, easily cluttered, thing.

    International Sourcesizz

    A New Species of Hammerhead Shark?
    Scientists believe they have discovered a new species of hammerhead shark. While the “bonnethead,” a small species of hammerhead found in the U.S., the Bahamas, the Caribbean and Latin America, had been considered abundant, after a recent DNA sequencing of bonnethead sharks in Belize, they were shocked to find what is likely an entirely different species. What that means, though, is that scientists will have to reassess each of their extinction vulnerabilities. “Now we have to define the range of each of these species individually and assess them independently against where the potential threats are,” said Florida International University marine scientist Demian Chapman, who is the lead researcher of the team making the discovery.

    Stunning images of crocodiles at Xcalak
    An England-based photographer has captured some spectacular underwater photographs of American Crocodiles. Wildlife photographer Chris Knight traveled to the village of Xcalak on Mexico's Caribbean Coast, near Belize. He took photos of the crocodiles on a 'sweet-spot' shallow enough for them to stand in but deep enough to find prey. He told Media Drum World: 'I have to say I was a bit nervous, but thoroughly excited at this unique opportunity.' Knight first spent a few days diving in the area and learning about crocodiles. He told the site: 'I ask the people that are running the trip for as much information as they can give me about the particular animal, its behavior and how I should act when I am in the water with it. 'Once I have a good understanding of the animal I will start to think about my camera settings.'

    Mayan Pyramids, Crystal Caves and Cracking Coconuts in Belize
    Native culture thrives in Belize, a small Central American country bordering Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the west and south. Although smaller than the state of Massachusetts, Belize boasts a population of more than 300,000 people and eight distinct racial groups. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or already acquainted with Belize, here are eight ways to encounter Native culture while you’re there: Experience the simple life on one of the many islands—or cayes—off the east coast of Belize. Opportunities abound to learn how early residents of these islands lived and explored the Caribbean coast. Book a stay at International Zoological Expeditions on South Water Caye, and learn from Mayan guides how to crack open coconuts, identify native birds and wildlife and dive near the coral reefs. Get to know the unique Garifuna culture through dance in the coastal town of Dangriga.

    Videos

  • Rainy day in San Pedro, 1/2min. about this week... Wish you were here!

  • Ricky's Spice Shack Evolution, 2.5min. Video of the day. Ricky's Spice Shack over the last 2 years, culminating in their store between the Cayo Welcome Center and the Cayo market.

  • Phil and Lorells excellent adventures Belize, 3.5min.

  • Visiting Stunning Belize, 3min.

  • Belize Coral Reef Photos, min. 3

  • Belize 2017, 7.5min.

  • BELIZE 2017, 11min. U30X trip to Caye Caulker.

  • Bryn High Belize reflection, 4.5min. A reflection video about Bryn High's experience in a four week study abroad experience in Belize.

  • Belize DIve 3 Tres Cocos 2017, 5.5min. This is the 3rd dive we did in San Pedro Belize.

  • Trip To Belize: Can You Belize It?, 2.5min. In 2015, Kimberly and I visited Ambergris Caye, a small island in Belize and it was perfect. Not only did we swim with sharks and zip line through the jungle, but there was a proposal and she said "yes."

  • Enjoying the entertainment of this group on the Island of BELIZE, 5min.

  • Enjoying these young ladies dancing to the beat of the drums on the Island of BELIZE, 5min.

  • Hawksbill Sea Turtle Recovery | WCS Belize, 2min.

  • Sea Turtles | San Pedro, Belize | Scuba Diving, 4min.

  • Belize Giant Turtle, 4min.

  • Did you know cervical cancer is the leading cancer cause of death for women and prostate cancer for men in Belize? Have you been tested?, 1min. Mr. Ben McKoy performed his original song, "War on cancer". As Ben says, GET TESTED AND FIGHT THIS WAR ON CANCER!!!

    February 4, 2017


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    Caribbean embraces fisheries collaboration between CRFM and Norway
    The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and a team of Norwegian experts have concluded a successful two-week fact-finding mission in the Caribbean aimed at identifying critical ways in which Norway can support the sustainable development of Caribbean fisheries and aquaculture. The team, comprised of Milton Haughton, CRFM Executive Director; Dr. Åge Høines, Senior Scientist, Institute of Marine Research, Norway; and Mr. Johán Williams, Specialist Director, Norwegian Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, met with Senior executives of the CARICOM Secretariat in Guyana, as well as Ministers, permanent secretaries, chief fisheries officers and other stakeholders in sample countries, affording the team an opportunity to look at the spectrum of fisheries operations across the region in countries and communities with varying types of fisheries and levels of development. The 7 countries covered in the mission were The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, and Trinidad and Tobago.

    Statistical Institute of Belize releases economic figures for 2016
    On January 25, 2016 the Statistical Institute of Belize released its latest 2016 figures on consumer prices, imports, and exports. Compared to December 2015, the country’s imports decreased by 3.2%, while exports decreased by 10.7%, and consumer prices went up 1.1% in December 2016. The All- Items consumer price index recorded an inflation rate of 0.7%, increasing to 104.0 in December 2016 when compared to 102.9 in December of 2015. In December 2016, the ‘Transport’ index rose by 9.9% when compared to December 2015. This index remained the main contributor to the rising inflation rate, as fuel prices rose by 15.5%. Diesel prices recorded the highest increase of 35.9% when compared to December 2015. The ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ category saw an overall 1.6% decrease as ‘Food’ prices went down by 1.5% compared to December 2015. However, sugar prices recorded a 29.4% increase, and ‘All Other Categories of Goods and Services’ prices rose by 0.6% compared to December 2015. There was minimal change in the ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ category. The price of a 100 pound cylinder of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) increased slightly by 1.2% from $83.88 in December 2015 to $84.91 in December 2016.

    Two detained for questioning in the murder of San Pedro resident Felix Ayuso
    The San Pedro Police Department is investigating the murder of 44 year-old Jose Felix Ayuso. Ayuso’s death was confirmed following a distress call from a home in the San Juan Area on Thursday, February 2nd around 7:15PM. His body was found lying in bed in his room on the second floor of a wooden structure. There were multiple stab wounds to the upper body. Initial investigation reveals that Ayuso was last seen alive by his sister on Wednesday February 1st, about 4:30PM at his Unisex beauty salon, JoSe’s Salon, situated on Laguna Drive. She discovered his body around 6:30PM the following day, after he missed a scheduled appointment. Police believe Ayuso was most likely murdered on Wednesday night due to the state in which the body was found.

    SP Department of Human Development aids children of sexual abuse
    The Department of Human Services in San Pedro Town has been advocating for the protection of children on the island who may be vulnerable to sexual abuse. In an effort to keep the community informed, the Department has come forward to detail their services and what they do to protect sexually abused victims. The San Pedro Sun caught up with Adan Kay, the Human Development Officer for San Pedro. Kay stated that the Department mostly deals with cases affecting children, working along with their families in preparation to present their cases before the court. “The police will take care of the criminal part, and we deal with the victim. We provide the court with a report detailing the interview we had with the victim,” said Kay. “At the same time we work along with the child by preparing him or her before they go into court. We provide counseling and also psychological assistance throughout the duration of the case and if necessary after it is done, we can also refer the person to these professionals so they can continue the treatment and try to live a normal life.”

    Sandwich Boards and Street Closures for Construction
    The San Pedro Town Council is hereby requesting all businesses that use sandwich boards as a medium to promote their business, to kindly do so on their own premises. All sandwich boards on public property, including the beach, should be removed and relocated inside the perimeters of the property where the business is located.

    Ambergris Today

    BEL Awards 1,110 Golden Citizens with Electricity Bill Discounts
    Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) is providing 1,110 senior citizens countrywide with discounts on their electricity bills for 2017 through the Company’s Golden Citizen Program. Ms. Ivorine Bulwer, Executive Director of HelpAge Belize, which endorses the program says, “BEL’s services to improve the quality of life for older persons in Belize is an indication of the Company’s appreciation for those who have contributed to the growth and development of the Belizean Society.”

    San Pedro Mourns One of its Heroes - Felix Ayuso
    Residents of San Pedro Town are still in disbelief after the announcement of the death of Felix Ayuso Jr. sent shockwaves of emotions across the island community on Thursday, February 2, 2017. The untimely death of such a significant personality in San Pedro, has left a community heartbroken, sad and angry. The outpour of sadness and support for the Ayuso family is most evident in social media were hundreds of family members and friends mourn the loss of a great man in the community. More so, Felix’s life is being celebrated as residents post pictures, achievements and happy memories along with Felix Ayuso who had positively touched the lives of many in more ways than one.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Passing of Mr. Felix Ayuso
    Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the San Pedro Town Council and Staff would like to extend its deepest condolences to the Ayuso family and friends on the passing of Mr. Felix Ayuso. San Pedro is at a great loss as we mourn the tragic passing of a dear friend - a friend who had immense love and passion for his Isla Bonita and everyone in it. We say farewell to one of San Pedro’s jewels, may you rest in peace amigo.

    Power interruption Sunday in San Pedro postponed
    Postponed until further notice, power interruption previously scheduled for a portion of San Pedro Town from 8:00am to 2:00pm on Sunday, February 5, 2017.

    Cayo to Bullet Tree 10K
    The Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic is having a fun run on Sunday, February 19th. There's a 1 way 5K and a 10K. You can register starting tomorrow at Hode's, which is where the race starts, and ends. "Hot off the press and another exciting first: Join the Cayo Race for Conservation 5K/10K! The bib numbers for this race in the beautiful hills between San Ignacio and Bullet Tree Falls just came in and will be available for early registration ($20) at Hode's Place in San Ignacio starting tomorrow. Check out the flyer for more information and put on those running shoes. Walkers are welcome for the 5K distance. And since this is our first race and we just got started... sponsors and volunteers needed as well (please contact bzwildlifeclinic@gmail.com). Any profits will be used for free entrances to the upcoming, first Chiquibul Challenge Marathon. Are you ready? We hope to hear from you and see you there!"

    Feast Day celebrations for El Nino de Atocha cancelled
    The San Pedro House of Culture & the Valdez family would like to inform the general public that the Novena and Feast Day celebrations for El Nino de Atocha has been cancelled. Our deepest condolences to the Ayuso family. Our hearts are saddened by your loss and our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Valentine Blues Revue, presented by the Belmopan Humane Society
    Alive and well, the Blues in Belmopan !! google Jimmy Thackery and listen to his many cd's on line. Location - Scotchies on the Hummingbird Hwy beside the Mall Store Come out for a night of terrific music Visit our Valentine Room - Wine Bar - Specialty Valentine dessert bar - Photo booth <3 - view the many Raffle prizes Dont want to drive on the highway after the event! No Problem Hibiscus Hotel, and Bull Frog Inn is offering discounted rates if you show a ticket for the Blues Tickets available at SCOTCHIES restaurant- CORKERS restaurant - any board member of the Belmopan Humane Society or call 602 7947 or 822 3067 All proceeds go toward important animal care programs for the BHS

    BELIZE MARINE CONSERVATION AND CLIMATE ADAPTATION PROJECT (MCCAP)
    Consultant to Develop a Rapid Assessment of Management Effectiveness in Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve

    Caye Caulker: Free OA Theatre Workshop for children ages 7-12
    Meet 2pm tomorrow Saturday Feb.4th at Assembly of God Church. Instructor Dora Carrol will lead children through theatre sports, movement and masks.

    Belize Bikers Rally 2017
    Just before sunset this evening, a group of Mexican Harley Davidson Bikers made a short stop in Corozal on their way to Belize City to attend the 2017 Belize Bikers Rally. Welcome to Corozal. Bienvenidos a Corozal hermanos y hermanas Mexicanos! Do enjoy the rest of your stay!

    Belize Biker Rally 2017
    Lots of photos, Courtesy Will Moreno Photography.

    Channel 7

    Beloved Resident Savagely Stabbed To Death On San Pedro
    Tonight, the San Pedro community is mourning the passing of 44 year-old Jose Felix Ayuso, who was viciously stabbed to death inside his home and left there for some hours before he was found. Ayuso was well known as an AIDS activist, and for his many contributions to the island's Carnaval. So, his particularly gruesome murder has caught everyone off guard, and his loved-ones are left to wonder why someone wanted him dead. Today, our news team traveled to San Pedro to get some answers, and Daniel Ortiz reports: 44 year-old Jose Felix Ayuso, a beloved member of the San Pedro community, was found dead inside his home on the Island last night at around the start of the evening news. His sister last saw him alive at around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday; he was here at his business place, Jose's Salon where he catered to the hairstyling needs of locals and tourists. When he didn't show up for work on yesterday, his sister decided to check up on him, and that's when she found his body. He had suffered multiple stab wounds.

    Working Man Killed In Apparent Neighborhood Dispute
    And while San Pedro was reeling from that murder, in Belize City, there was less shock at a murder in the Collett area - between Raccoon and Iguana Streets. When hearing that a 29 year old man had been killed in that area - many hearing the news may have written it off as just another gang related murder. But, Mark Jones was no gangster; he was a working man probably targeted because his neighborhood is at war. His brother - the well-known footballer Floyd Jones told us how he is struggling to come to terms with the loss:... Floyd Jones, Brother of deceased: "They took away my heart still, because he is a part of me. That's my little brother. The pain that I feel, they don't know." "I see lots of men come on the news and a lot of them feel the pain too Mr. Jules, but it's at my doorsteps and I feel the pain now too."

    19 Year Old Succumbs 11 Days After Shot to Throat
    So, while police are investigating those two murders, there is another one to add to the 2017 tally tonight: 19 year-old Keimar Nicholas has died 11 days after he was shot. Nicholas - who as shot in the neck in the ongoing rivalry in the Conch Shell Bay area - was left paralyzed and his family and friends were hoping for a miracle. They had planned a fundraising barbeque to raise funds so that he could get treatment in Merida. But, it wasn't to be. He passed this morning at 10:00 and now his family is left with grief compounded by a 9 thousand-dollar hospital bill, and funeral expenses. This evening, the family's spokesperson told us about finding out that Keimar suddenly died: Shaheed Haulze - Friend of Deceased: "I got a call from his mother and she told me that Keimar passed away. it was really shocking, I didn't expect that news, because I was visiting all the while and he was doing a little good but then when she called me, Keimar died."

    GOB Rushes to Court For Urgent Injunction Against Ashcroft
    This afternoon the Government of Belize rushed to the Supreme Court to get an injunction against the Ashcroft Alliance. Government Attorney Denys Barrow got an urgent hearing before Justice Michelle Arana to stop enforcement of the arbitration award by Belize Bank Limited and BCB Holdings Limited. As we've reported, a US District Court said that BCB Holdings and BSDL Limited are entitled to 50 million US dollars in arbitral awards against the government. GOB has said flatly that it will not pay, so, presumably, to get its pound of flesh, the Alliance would have to move on government's assets, or the Central Bank's Reserves. Those reserves are what hold the currency peg in place, and are the bedrock of the economy. Now, the Ashcroft alliance is moving to seek enforcement of its award in US courts, so Government ran to the Supreme Court to apply for an injunction to stop them. The Attorney for the Belize Bank and BCB Holdings, Eamon Courtenay chose not to appear, so government's attorney Denys Barrow was the only one making a presentation before Justice Arana. After a two hour hearing, she granted the interim injunction. Barrow told us the meaning of it:...

    Man Who Shot At ACP Williams To Jail
    In May 2016 Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams responded to a shooting incident on Euphrates Avenue. Williams intercepted the black Mazda described to him over the radio and advanced towards it. According to Williams, as he approached the vehicle, a man known to him, Zachary Knox reached out, pointed a gun and him and fired two shots. The shots missed, and Williams saw his shooters entire face and was able to identify him. Well, 9 months later, the case went to trial today. Williams testified to see Knox fire at him, while Knox denied even being there. In the end, Knox, who was undefended, was found guilty of aggravated assault. Because Knox had no previous convictions, Magistrate Carlon Mendoza only sentenced him to six months in prison.

    US Emergency Specialists Visit KHMH
    This week the KHMH hosted doctors from the American College of Emergency Physicians in Wisconsin. The doctors visit a couple times a year to teach Belizean medical practitioners how to properly treat seriously ill or injured patients. We spoke to the College's ambassador, Dr. Mark Bruce, about the progress Belize has made in the field of emergency medicine... Dr. Mark Bruce - American College of Emergency Physicians: "We have a long standing relationship with Belize and Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. I'm adjunct faculty with the Medical College of Wisconsin who 6 years ago basically started working on a program to strengthen emergency care in Belize and this was in agreement with the ministry of health, Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin. So since that time we have been working on doing just that. First starting here in the A&E at Karl Heusner to work with the doctors and the nurses and with BERT, the pre hospital provider in this area to do just that, to strengthen emergency care."

    Face Off In OW East
    There's a political controversy brewing in the Louisiana area of Orange Walk East. That's the political turf of UDP Area Representative Elodio Aragon, but a large part of that division also falls within the turf of PUP Mayor Kevin Bernard. So when Aragon started some street works through the Ministry of Works, and the rains came down, Bernard was quick to pounce on him. We have both sides of that story:.. Kevin Bernard, Mayor - Orange Walk Town: "They are doing a job that is not worth what they are doing. I want to make this known clearly that I have said to our operations manager I will send a letter to the ministry of works here in Orange Walk that they must cease and desist from touching anymore street in this town." Jules Vasquez, 7News: "You've been accused by the mayor of Orange Walk Town of calling in the ministry of works and destroying roads in that town. How do you respond?" Hon. Elodio Aragon, OW East Representative: "What has transpired is that we had a little rain yesterday and of course roads that are not finish or completed, of course they get a little mucky. The mayor took that as an opportunity to go out there, videoed it and put it on Fiesta FM, the PUP station and lambast saying look how terrible the roads were done etc. But the roads have not been finish and a lot of people are grateful for the work I am doing."

    Alleged Jewelry Thieves
    Tonight, Richard Ferguson and Yvette August are out of bail after being taken to court for the theft of 11 thousand dollars-worth of jewelry. The complainant, 31 year-old Shari Bradley, reported to police that her Alexandria Street home was burglarized on Wednesday. She checked her belongings and realized that an assortment of her jewelry, worth over $11,000 dollars, had been stolen. Police investigated the report and they charged both Ferguson and August with burglary. They were arraigned before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza, where they pleaded not guilty and were released on $5,000 dollars bail. They must return to court on February 1.

    The Secret History of The Afro-Mexican
    Today the Museum of Belize celebrated its 15th anniversary in style, with the opening of an exhibition celebrating the little known history of Black Mexico. Created in collaboration with the Mexican Embassy in Belize, it's called "El Cimarron y su Fandango", and it uses photographs to show the history of Afro-Mexicans from the days of the slave trade to the present. The Museum's Director, Alexis Salazar, and Mexican Embassy representative, Diego Sampien, told us more about the educational importance of this new exhibit... Schools from all over the country will be visiting the museum to view the exhibit.

    Harley Rally Brings Hundreds of Bikers To Belize
    The annual Harley Davidson Belize Bike Rally started last night - and today the muscle motorbike really started streaming in from all over the America's. The event draws hundreds of motorbike enthusiasts who drive hundreds, even thousands of miles to be a part of the weekend event. Host Nigel Espat of Black Pearl Club told us why the event is gaining in popularity:... The concert will also feature the Pan Tempers. Tomorrow everyone heads to Caye caulker. The most expensive bike there costs about 75 thousand US dollars and the furthest any rider has ever come for the even is from Chile.

    Mek We Dweet, Dara
    On Sunday Dara Robinson will be hosting his 15th annual Bob Marley Tribute and food drive. The venue this year is the Pickwick Club and the idea is to combine positive music with Dara's feeding program which keeps dozens of school kids fed every day. He told us more:… The event opens at 4:00 pm on Sunday for those who just want to drop off food items. Those who attend the event will be able to see classic reggae concerts and cuts, while also seeing the Super Bowl. If you want to make a donation, you can call Dara at 623-3662.

    Channel 5

    Activist Viciously Stabbed to Death in San Pedro
    The prime tourism destination San Pedro has lost an outstanding member of the community who was murdered inside his home in the island.  Forty-four year old Felix Ayuso was a [...]

    In Belize City, Mark Jones Murdered by Ambush
    There was another murder, this time in Belize City where Mark Jones, was shot to death in his own yard. After eight o’clock on Thursday night, Jones was returning to [...]

    Keimar Nicholas Dies; Case Being Treated as Murder
    The third murder victim to the ongoing gun-violence in Conch Shell Bay, Belize City is nineteen-year-old Keimar Nicholas. Around ten o’clock this morning, Nicholas succumbed to gunshot injuries he received [...]

    BCB/Belize Bank and G.O.B. in Legal War over Arbitration
    Developments have been happening fast and furious in terms of another arbitral award being contested between the Government of Belize and the former B.C.B. Holdings and the Belize Bank Limited. [...]

    Gas Prices Up Again Countrywide
    Prices for all forms of gasoline – regular, premium and diesel – are up again following a slight reprieve lasting a little over a week. News Five understands that after [...]

    Zachary Knox Jailed Six Months for Gun Attack on ACP Chester Williams
    Twenty-year-old Zachary Knox, a Belizean/American, is serving the first night of a six months sentence handed down this morning by Magistrate Carlin Mendoza for shooting at Assistant Commissioner of Police [...]

    Elderly Toledo Man Out on Bail after Incest Accusation
    A seventy-one-year-old resident of Santa Elena, Toledo is out on bail tonight after more than six months on remand at the Belize Central Prison accused of sexually abusing a child, [...]

    The Bikers are Back in Town!
    Bring on the loud pipes!  The guttural rumble of a Harley Davidson motorcycle is often an acquired taste.  For enthusiasts, the sound of a hundred bikes roaring through the streets [...]

    A Quinceañera for Museum of Belize
    Fifteen years ago, the Museum of Belize was established from the remains of Her Majesty’s Prison, one of Belize’s longest standing colonial buildings. As former president of the National Institute [...]

    Future Museum Plans Include Houses of Culture and Downtown “Eco-Museum”
    Strange as it may sound, the Museum of Belize is not a national museum – most of its collections detail life in the Old Capital from its days as a [...]

    Taiwan and Belize Mark Success with Tilapia
    A five million dollar investment from Taiwan in the local aquaculture industry is coming to a successful end. In 2012, Taiwan invested and established a tilapia hatchery in the Cayo [...]

    Westrac Gives Funds for School Renovation
    The Rotaract Club of Belize’s four branches—located in San Ignacio, Dangriga, Belmopan and Orange Walk—are collaborating in a national project assisting multiple schools with needed donations for various amenities. Automotive [...]

    From Yes to I do: the Wedding Expo and a Fashion Show Too
    Thinking about getting married soon, or perhaps you’re just looking for something to do with your lover this weekend? You may want to visit the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel for [...]

    “Dara” Feeds the Children and Annual Tribute to Bob Marley
    This weekend sees the fifteenth annual tribute to reggae legend Bob Marley, born February sixth, 1945, in Jamaica. Joel “Dara” Robinson combines this celebration of his personal icon with his [...]

    Belizean Beauty Graces Cover of British Magazine
    On Monday, a new publication of the British style magazine, LOVE, will be released to its over one hundred thousand followers. Interestingly, the biannual magazine is featuring Belizean beauty blogger [...]

    LOVE FM

    Minister of Immigration denies reports of concerns amongst employees over recent promotions
    This afternoon, reports surfaced that more than 20 Immigration clerks were expressing discontent over the promotion of one specific clerk who they say did not deserve it. According to persons within the department, the individual who was promoted was given the post of Assistant Immigration Officer over several other persons who have been at the department for a longer period. Some say that the promotion was politically motivated and clerks at the Immigration Department threatened to go on a “go slow” on Monday. This evening Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration, Beverly Williams, dispelled those reports.

    Senior Immigration officer speaks on procedures not followed in Wong Hong Kim case
    Yesterday, Senior Immigration Officer, Gordon Wade, who was the Head of the Nationality Department, was questioned by the Senate Special Select Committee. In her report, the Auditor General spoke of an egregious breach in the system that led unqualified persons to obtain Belizean nationality. This was the case with Wong Hong Kim. Kim’s nationality application was being fast tracked by former government Minister Elvin Penner who would regularly visit the Nationality Department. In fact, even though Wade told Penner that the Wong Hong Kim application was incomplete, he still made sure that the application was processed.

    Police hold intervention in troubled neighbourhoods
    Police were forced to stage an immediate intervention in the Conch Shell Bay area of Belize City after several shootings were occurring almost every night. More than four shooting incidents have occurred in the area since the start of the year and even the Area Representative, Minister Tracy Taegar Panton, saw it necessary to be part of the intervention. Several interventions have taken place in the area with the purpose of addressing issues within the community. Heading the interventions is Assistant Commissioner of Police responsible for Southside Belize City Chester Williams.

    Community meets with Police to address crime situation
    On Tuesday, more than thirty residents of the Collet Area participated in a community meeting facilitated by Eastern Division South of the Belize Police Department. These meetings were planned with the intent to see how officers can work along with the communities in order to tackle the crime problem in the area. The same was done last night in a separate meeting with residents of Conch Shell Bay and Lindo’s Alley. Assistant Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, shared more.

    Situation returns to normal at northern bridge
    Last week Thursday we reported of the confrontation that took place between Mexican Smugglers called “Fayuqueros” and Belize’s customs officer on the Belize Mexico International Bridge. The situation was said to have gotten worse and one particular Mexican media, “Yucatan Times” had reported that 13 Mexicans had been injured. The Yucatan Times also reported that a customs official pulled a gun and threatened one of the Mexican smugglers. Love News has confirmed with Belize Officials that the information reported by the Yucatan Times is untrue. In fact, the only person injured during the confrontation was a Belize police officer attached to Corozal Police. We were told that a bottle hit the officer in the head causing him to bleed.

    Dara Robinson to hold fundraising event for feeding program
    Joel Dara Robinson has been making a difference in the lives of hundreds of children over the last ten years. Dara has been conducting a feeding program for school children based at his home. One of the main annual events Dara holds to keep the program going is the annual Bob Marley tribute and food drive. On Sunday the fifteenth such event will take place. We spoke with Robinson.

    Businessman charged for discharging firearm in public
    A Chinese business man has been arrested for discharging his firearm in public. Police say it happened during the wee hours of yesterday morning at the Placencia Casino. Reports are that, 59-year-old Canlin Su was the only customer that was in the casino and he reportedly threw coffee on two employees and walked out. According to the manager of the casino, Su came back shortly after and began banging on the doors. He then took out his licensed nine millimeter Luger Pistol and began firing shots in the air. Police responded quickly and the Pistol with a magazine containing eleven live rounds was confiscated. Su has been charged for discharging a firearm in public. He was also charged for common assault and aggravated burglary.

    Belmopan man charged for drug offences
    “Based on information received, Belmopan police visited the home of 25 year old Xu Bin Den of George Price Boulevard Belmopan City at about 1:45 this afternoon which resulted in the discovery of one pound of high grade marijuana. Den was escorted to the Belmopan Police Station along with the drugs after he was taken before the magistrate court where he was arraigned and charged. He pleaded guilty and was charged $2,000.00 for the possession of a controlled drug.”

    Five pounds of marijuana taken off city streets
    Five pounds of marijuana was found in Belize City this morning by authorities. The drug was found during an anti-firearm and drugs operation this morning by a joint team consisting of Special Branch, Strike Team, and the K9 Unit. The high grade marijuana was found in an abandoned lot in the Faber’s Road Extension. According to police, the drug is believed to have been for a known drug peddler operating in that area. It was deposited as found property.

    National Library Service holds health fair
    A health fair was held today the Leo Bradley Library Compound in Belize City. There were number of booths set up by health organizations, who informed students on the importance of a healthy lifestyle. We stopped by and spoke with spokesperson, Emertia Smith. Emertia Smith – Spokesperson: “We here at the Belize National Library Service we are currently having this health fair to let the public be aware that it is very good to maintain healthy lifestyles for longer better living. We are currently we have invited a lot of the health organization to participate in lecturing and to educate the public on healthy lifestyles I think everyone should be concerned with their health but as our day goes by we don’t normally look at what we eat or focus on what we are doing to our bodies. It is very important for us to have healthy lifestyles.

    Witnesses no show delays Senate hearing
    Today’s Senate hearing was delayed for more than two hours. It was scheduled to begin at ten o’clock but the enquiry did not start until after midday. Initially the Senate Special Select Committee decided to delay the Senate hearing for an hour and this was because the two witnesses who were supposed to show up in the morning did not. They are immigration officer Ady Pacheco and Benque’s former Port Commander, Edgar Cano. Pecheco did not appear due to personal medical reasons and Cano decided not to appear because his legal counsel Richard “Dickie” Bradley was not available to make it.

    Senior Immigration Officer disputes comments in Auditor General’s report
    Senior Immigration Officer, Gordon Wade, was subjected to tough questions today by the Senate Special Select Committee. Wade, who was the head of the nationality department, was one of the immigration officers questioned by police in regards to the Wong Hong Kim passport investigation. Today he was questioned for more than two hours. During the final portion of the inquiry, Wade was reminded of what he told the Auditor General in an interview. According to the Auditor General, Wade said that a Minister can approve a Belizean Nationality with one letter and have all other required documents waived. This, according to Wade, was not what he said.

    COBEC holds college fair
    Belize has been a part of the Consortium for the Educational Cooperation of Belize, COBEC for over twenty five years. Today we talked to Karen Martinez, the Belize Co-Chair of COBEC about what the organization has to offer to the people of Belize Karen Martinez – Belize Co-chair, COBEC: “COBEC is a partnership with Belize and international universities like the US and we recently included Canada. We work together to improve capacity, build capacity in Belize and we do a lot of collaboration among all the institutions.

    Minor charged with attempted murder
    A 16-year-old minor has been charged with attempted murder, grievous harm, use of deadly means of harm and conspiracy to commit. This is in connection with a shooting incident that occurred on Monday night. Police were called out to the Conch Shell Bay Area where neighbors reported hearing several gunshots. 21 year old Jaheel Goodger was on his bicycle on West Collect Canal heading towards Ebony Street when he was shot. Reports are that while he was heading to Ebony Street, Goodger saw three men standing at the entrance of the alley. One of the men pulled out a firearm and blasted several shots at Goodger. He was shot to the right leg.

    Men walk free of robbery charge
    Four men accused of the 2012 robbery at the Toledo Teachers Credit Union walked free of the charge earlier today in the southern session of the Supreme Court. PC Oswald Young, BDF soldiers Zacariah Cuz and Romel Elijio and Bernard Linares were charged with the June 2012 robbery in which over thirty six thousand dollars was stolen.

    Senior Immigration Officer speaks on Wong Hong Kim case
    During today’s Senate Hearing, Senior Immigration Officer, Gordon Wade was questioned specifically about the Wong Hong Kim Passport. In her report, the Auditor General states that Gordon was not paying much attention to the date when former Minister Elvin Penner submitted the Wong Hong Kim application. Gordon told the Auditor General that it was not out of the norm for any minister to submit an incomplete application. According to Wade, in the matter of Wong Hong Kim, Penner promised to submit the missing files at a later date.

    Senior Immigration questioned about nationality applications
    Last Wednesday at the Senate Special Select Committee hearing, former Immigration Director Ruth Meighan was questioned about the approval of more than two thousand nationality applications prior to the 2012 General Elections. In her testimony, Meighen suggested that these nationality certificates were fraudulently issued for the 2012 Elections. That matter was brought up again when Senators Aldo Salazar and Eamon Courtenay questioned Senior Immigration Officer, Gordon Wade, about it.

    Chairman speaks on budget for Senate hearings
    During the creation of the terms of reference, the Senate Special Select Committee had trouble agreeing on a budget for the public hearings. With the new fiscal year approaching and with reports that the Government’s budget will be one of austerity, the media asked the Chairman of the committee, Aldo Salazar, about the committee’s budget. According to Salazar, the budget only covers up to the end of the fiscal year.

    Chairman says hearings should proceed without 13th Senator
    Osmany Salas was sworn in as the Senator representing the non-government organizations on Monday. This came after a 2008 manifesto promise made by Prime Minister Dean Barrow. Senator Salas made his debut two days ago when he contributed to the debate on the Crown Proceedings Act and the Central Bank Immunization Bill. Some in the environmental community Belize that Senator Salas should also be part of the Senate Special Select Committee which is carrying out public investigation into the findings of the Auditor General Report on Passport, Nationality and Visa. Chairman of the Committee, Senator Aldo Salazar says that it is not something he would support.

    Police Minister says strategic plan being developed
    Last year Belize saw an increase in gun related violence. That trend continued into the New Year and when he appeared on Love FM’s morning show earlier this week, Minister of State, with responsibility for the Police Department, Elodio Aragon Junior said they are developing a strategic plan to combat crime.

    House destroyed by fire
    A house was destroyed by fire yesterday. San Ignacio Police visited Santa Familia Village in the Cayo District where 53-year-old Antonio Ayala reported that while he was at work when he was informed that his house was on fire. The structure was completely destroyed by fire. The property and contents are valued at sixty thousand dollars and were not insured.

    Sixty six persons graduate from BELTRAIDE job preparedness training
    The Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC), a unit of BELTRAIDE awarded certificates today to 66 people who completed tourism based Job Preparedness Training in Belize City. We spoke with Lejia Melanie Gideon the General Manager at BELTRAIDE about the program

    Public officers participate in seven week training
    “ The Ministry of Public Service is currently having a seven week introductory course for pubic officers. Five government departments will benefit from the training course. Jacquelyn Sealy the administrative officer for the Ministry of Public Service with responsibility for training spoke to Love News about the importance of the training.”

    PUP calls for re-registration exercise to take place
    The People’s United Party is demanding that a re-registration exercise takes place as scheduled in July of this year. The PUP says the Elections and Boundaries Commission has confirmed that the re-registration exercise will not take place until after the municipal elections in 2018. Area representative for Caribbean Shores, Kareem Musa said that is unacceptable. He said while back in 2007 and 2012, the Opposition agreed that the timing was not right for the re-registration to take place, that is not the case this time around.

    Two men detained for City shooting
    Belize City police have detained two persons in connection with a shooting incident that occurred last night. According to reports, at around 8:10 last night, police were called out to the Conch Shell Bay Area where neighbors reported hearing several gunshots. Police say that 21 year old Jaheel Goodger was on his bicycle on West Collect Canal heading towards Ebony Street when he was shot. Reports are that while he was heading to Ebony Street, Goodger saw three men standing at the entrance of the alley. One of the men pulled out a firearm and blasted several shots at Goodger. He was shot to the right leg. Since the shooting, investigators have detained two persons and are seeking a third man.

    Amandala

    Kiemar “Bewee” Nicholas, 19, paralyzed from neck down
    A young and once healthy teenager now lies in a hospital bed unable to move because he is paralyzed from his neck down. Kiemar “Bewee” Nicholas, 19, was on a basketball court in Lindo’s Alley with two other friends on the night of Monday, January 23, when a gunman ambushed them and shot him in the neck. Nicholas was immediately rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) for treatment. After the shooting, word had quickly circulated that he had died, but when we later spoke with his father, Troydon Nicholas, he told us that his son had a 50-50 chance of survival and was in the intensive care unit at the KHMH. However, things took a turn for the worse and we were told today, Tuesday, by Troydon Nicholas, that his eldest son Kiemar, was paralyzed.

    Activist Felix Ayuso, 43, stabbed to death
    Popular San Pedro hair dresser and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) activist, Felix Ayuso, 43, was found dead in his home tonight. According to Police Press Officer Fitzroy Yearwood, he was found with multiple stab wounds across his body inside his home at the corner of Jew Fish and Seaweed Streets in San Pedro. His murder has triggered an outpour of sympathy on social media, especially from the gay community to which the executive director of the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), Caleb Orosco, said he belonged. Orosco told our newspaper, “I knew Felix for over a decade. He was a committed activist who shared concerns about the system’s slow response in the area of HIV prevention for men who have sex with men. He and I spent many years distributing prevention commodities or health information to the specific and general population on the island of San Pedro.” “His death was unnecessarily brutal,” Caleb added, but said he has to wait for police to conduct their own investigations before saying more.

    Gordon Wade blames Elvin Penner and Ruth Meighan for 2012 irregularities
    A whopping 2,110 immigrants, mostly Guatemalan nationals, received Belizean nationality certificates between October 2011 and February 2012. According to former Immigration Director, Ruth Meighan, as a result these persons were able to register and vote in the 2012 General Elections which the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) lost by a total of 812 votes according to Opposition Leader, John Briceño. According to Meighan, those persons did not satisfy requirements for nationality and should not have been granted nationality certificates. Senior Immigration Officer, Gordon Wade, on Wednesday told the Senate Select Committee that the issuance of nationality to those individuals was largely the decision of the Director and/or the Minister, who, according to him, may have held a different interpretation of Section 10 of the Nationality Act.

    “Between the devil and the deep blue sea”
    A succession of litigation wars between the unrelenting Michael Ashcroft Alliance and the Government of Belize, spanning a decade and a half, enters a new round this week, with an announcement from Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited (CIHL), formerly BCB Holdings, that it will mount a constitutional challenge to two pieces of legislation recently signed into law, in what Government says is an effort to stop Belize’s foreign reserves from being siphoned to pay $100 million in arbitration awards to the Ashcroft group. At the same time, the Government of Belize is seeking an anti-enforcement injunction in Belizean courts against the Belize Bank and CIHL to stop them from going after the Central Bank’s foreign reserves in the United States and/or elsewhere. We understand that a filing may be made sometime tomorrow, after the Caribbean Court of Justice pointed counsel for the Government of Belize back to the Belize Supreme Court.

    Other high-ranking UDP officials all “frequently visited” Immigration Department
    To serve as an elected Cabinet minister with responsibility for one or more government ministries is a time-consuming task. However, several ranking UDP Cabinet ministers took it upon themselves to deliver applications for immigration documents to the Immigration Department on behalf of their “constituents.” In their testimonies to the Senate Select Committee, former Immigration Director, Ruth Meighan and her successor, Maria Marin, have both confirmed the frequent visits to the Immigration Department by government ministers, mayors and other high-ranking officials of the Dean Barrow administration. At Wednesday’s Senate hearing, Immigration officer of twenty-seven years, Gordon Wade, would also confirm the same occurrence to the Senate Select Committee.

    Pen Cayetano reflects on Evan X Hyde and the Black Power movement
    No wait ‘til di man dead fi tell ahn ‘e good.” This is a well-known Creole adage that underscores that if a man is to be honored, it is best to do so while he is still alive! According to renowned Garifuna painter and musician Pen Cayetano, that is why he has chosen to put off a special tribute this Sunday to honor Amandala’s publisher, Evan X Hyde, and the movement which he helped to lead in the 60s – the United Black Association for Development (UBAD). The tribute is planned for 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 5, at Pen Cayetano’s Studio Gallery in Dangriga. “I am deeply honored by Pen’s invitation. Very much honored,” Hyde told Amandala today. “All is set to go. I think we will have a big crowd,” Cayetano said in anticipation of the upcoming event, the very first he is organizing to mark Black History Month, observed every February.

    Week 3 in NEBL
    On Friday night, Dangriga Dream Ballers hosted their first home game for this season. The Ecumenical High School Auditorium was pulsating with the Garifuna drums and the Sweet Pain Band, while approximately 800 fans had the stadium packed to capacity. The home team jumped out to an early 33-19 lead, which they were able to extend to 16 pts in the second quarter with their great defense and fluid ball movement. Cayo Western Ballaz was plagued by turnovers in the first half, with limited chemistry and offensive rhythm, while the home squad was fueling on all cylinders on both ends of the court. Darwin “Puppy” Leslie of Cayo Western Ballaz led a short one-man surge to end the first half, to keep the lead manageable at 12 pts, 43-31. With the home team maintaining a comfortable double digit lead, and feeding off the loud stadium, Dangriga Dream Ballers were in control of the game. However, in the third quarter, the visiting team mounted an 11-0 run in the third quarter to grab a 59-58 lead, going into the fourth and final quarter of the game, outscoring the home squad 28-15 in the third quarter. With 3 minutes remaining, the game was tied at 67, but Cayo Western Ballaz went on a 15-3 run to seal the 82-70 victory over Dangriga Dream Ballers.

    CSSSA high school football semifinals end Friday for females, and Saturday for males at MCC
    The best-of-two games semifinal series is half-way completed for both females and males in the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) 2016-2017 football competition being played at the MCC Grounds. The female semifinals started yesterday, Wednesday, and will end tomorrow, Friday; while the male semifinals started today, Thursday, and will be completed on Saturday. Eight (8) male high school teams started this week with knockout quarterfinal games on Monday and Tuesday. In the opener on Monday, January 30, it was SJC, 2-1, over E.P. Yorke with a goal each from Eric Rodriguez and Carlos Guerra, while Kevin Najera scored for E.P. Yorke. And in the nightcap, it was Wesley, 5-0, over Sadie Vernon Tech with 2 goals from Kermit Sutherland and 1 apiece from Godwin Neal, Bernard Bailey and Jaylyn Thomas.

    Belize National Volleyball Championship, Jaguars and Lady Jaguars repeat
    The Belize Volleyball National Championship was held this past weekend with 15 matches on Saturday and 6 matches on Sunday at the Belize Elementary gym. A total of 11 teams participated, with teams coming from Corozal, Orange Walk, Cayo, Spanish Lookout, Toledo, and Belize City. The team names were: Lady Jaguars, SQ Stars, SQ Junior Stars, Jaguars, Toledo Scorpions, Corozal Massives, SQ Dragons, Alpha Warriors, Orange Walk, Rednecks, and Scorpions. Scorpions and Jaguars survived the pool of death, 1st and 2nd, while Toledo and Corozal Massives came out of pool B. In the female division, SQ Stars completed the preliminary round undefeated as #1 ranked females. Lady Jaguars was 2nd ranked, and Junior Stars 3rd ranked.

    Dangriga sports stats
    In last week Friday’s do-or-die game from the Dangriga Zone between the males of Ecumenical and Delille Academy, after 60 minutes of serious, hard, competitive action, the match ended in a 3 to 3 draw. It was a must-win for Delille Academy males. Ecumenical males only needed a draw, since both schools were tied in points, but Ecumenical was up by a 1-goal difference. That draw sent Ecumenical males to the District Regional Finals along with Delille Academy females from the Dangriga Zone this Saturday, February 4, hosted by George Town Technical High at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence. From the Independence Zone will be George Town Technical High males and females, along with Independence High males and females. From the Toledo Zone will be Julian Cho males and females.

    Editorial: Roots, respectables, and rogues
    Lately at this editorial desk, we have found ourselves being drawn into a discourse we felt we had moved beyond in 1977, the year when we explicitly committed to Belizean nationalism as opposed to black nationalism. Post-1977, we maintained a special concern for the black community, of course, but the circumstances which had caused the division in, and dissolution of, the UBAD Party in 1973 and 1974, respectively, made it so that we were marginalized in the Southside. The Southside of Belize City became a stronghold of the United Democratic Party (UDP), but that same Southside has become a bloody battleground over the last quarter century and more, a period during which the UDP has won four different terms of office. Since 2008, in fact, the UDP has won three consecutive general elections. How does one explain the continuing carnage involving our young men murdering each other at civil war levels, while the most powerful of Cabinet politicians are theoretically representing them in government? Please be assured that this essay is not about simplistic, name-calling UDP and PUP party politics. The UDP as such is not to blame for the Southside tragedies. There is a historical landscape which is responsible for the fact that we Belizeans have not been able to achieve national liberation. We have not even come close to doing so. Let us now consider that historical landscape.

    From the Publisher
    It is many, many years that I am to write a column like the following, which is about sailboats and how it used to be here when I was a child. But I have always, always put the subject aside and dealt with other material. One of the reasons I have always put the subject of sailing and boat racing aside is I have considered the subject an intricate, technical, difficult one to explore adequately for those who are landlubbers, as they say. I finally decided to take the bull by the horns and attack the subject after I read of how important speed was in the sailing craft which the British were using to intercept slave ships from other nations after the British themselves had abolished the slave trade in 1807, while other European nations persisted. (At the end of this column, I will reproduce the passage in question from the David Olusaga book which I have been quoting from recently.) When I was a child growing up in Belize in the 1950s, sailboats were still the dominant feature where fishing, travel, and transportation were concerned along the coastline of the colony. There were boats with inboard motors which had been around for some time, such as the Heron H, the Maya Prince, the Africola, and others, in addition to the tugboats which the mahogany contractors, most prominently BEC, used to tow mahogany logs chained together down the Belize Old River and the Haulover Creek to the Belize City harbor for loading in steamships.

    On the Passing of their Great Leader Fidel Castro
    “A revolution is not a bed of roses. It is a battle between the future and the past,” said Fidel Castro. Exquisite words of wisdom from the mouth of an experienced leader and revolutionary figure. That quote consummately embodied his life, a life which in the not so distant past of imperial oppression and the hope for a more sovereign and productive future, fueled the fire that drove the resilient and charismatic leader of the Cuban revolution and champion of his people. It is with heartfelt solidarity that we, the students of St. John’s College, offer our condolences to the people of Cuba. We celebrate the life and legacy of El Comandante, Fidel Castro. It is fitting that we pay our heartfelt gratitude to one of the greatest supporters of humanity, to one of the greatest leaders in liberation, to a man who held the economic, social and cultural development of all humanity as of significant importance to a revolution.

    DEVIN DALY’S “TEAM FOG NAESTVED” CELEBRATES BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
    Last week Saturday Belizean basketballer Devin Daly and his Team Fog Naestved of Liga – Basket Liagen won their first ever basketball championship in remarkable fashion, on the road, against the defending champions Denmark Horsens IC,and by the final score of 81-80. According to the team’s Fog website, Phillip Nolan was huge in the clutch, sinking one of two free-throws with 0.8 seconds remaining in regulation to give the triumphant Team Fog the long awaited championship; something which had evaded them since entering the league in 2001, and after three third place finishes in 2011, 2014 and 2015. The win, according to the team website marked the first time that a sports team from Naestved has won a major sporting championship in Denmark. The win, however, was no walk in the park, but instead required Team Fog to overcome a seemingly unsurmountable 10-point deficit with just about 3 minutes remaining in regulation, something they did, on their way to their first ever pro-basketball championship.

    PUP leader John Briceño on skullduggery in the Immigration Department in 2012
    Leader of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), John Briceño, is calling for a criminal investigation into what he considers voter fraud. At the end of last year, Briceño had received leaked documents revealing that over 2,000 immigrants had received their Belizean nationality in an expedited fashion within two months prior to the 2012 General and Municipal Elections. The nationalization of those persons, according to Briceño, was facilitated so that they could vote in an election in which the PUP lost by a total of 812 votes. During last week’s Senate hearing, former Immigration Director, Ruth Meighan confirmed that a large number of immigrants had received their Belizean papers right before the election. However, she revealed that in many cases they did not meet legal requirements for those Immigration documents issued to them.

    “He is a machine from fifteen”
    Lehman’s College Belizean Vince Young has been turning heads of late with his great play, most notably being that of his Head Coach, Steven Schulman. After hitting for a career high 21 points 7 rebounds 2 assist 1 stealand 1 block in their 91-81 win over Brooklyn College on January 20, 2017, Young immediately followed up that game with a 19 points performance, on 6 of 7 shooting from the field, against St. Joseph (Long Island). In his post-game press conference following the win against St Joseph, Coach Schulman, when asked to describe the recent play of Young, replied “He is a machine from fifteen, if he is left open he is going to knock it down”. Young is dynamic and comes off the bench, and while he currently averages 5.2 ppg, he’s obviously trending upward with his recent play of late scoring in double figures in 7 of his team’s last 10 games; while averaging 12.6 ppg during that span. Lehman’s College competes in the City University of New York Athletic Conference (CUNYAC). It is an NCAA Division III basketball program. It currently sits at second in the conference with a (13-8) record behind Staten Island (16-6). Vince Young Jr. is the son of Vince Young Sr. of Bird’s Isle restaurant and Linda Hemsley, and the grandson of Henry Young, former Minister of Tourism. We at the desk continue to wish him much success.

    A cruel prison sentence for one youthful indiscretion
    Belize’s criminal justice system suffers from a monumental flaw of insufficient legal representation. There are not sufficient attorneys at the Legal Aid office. In fact, the Legal Aid office, located near the end of Albert Street, in Belize City, has less than six attorneys to spread across the entire country. With many of the laws of Belize in need of revision, the applications of some of the archaic laws are sometimes in conflict with some of the protection enshrined in the Constitution of Belize. Due to the inadequacy of legal representation, many citizens who cannot afford an attorney appear in court on a wide range of indictable offences defenseless and have to face off with trained attorneys — experienced prosecutors. That is what happened in February 2011, in the Southern Session of the Supreme Court where a minor, 15 years and 5 months old, who was a third form student at the time, was tried, convicted and sentenced to the mandatory minimum sentence of 12 years in prison for unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl who was 13 at the time of the sexual act.

    The Reporter

    Chinese businessmen face Belizean authorities
    Two Chinese businessmen are in police detention this week pending drug and gun charges in two separate incidents. Zhubin Deng, 25, a Belmopan businessman, was found in possession of one pound of high grade marijuana after police busted him around 1:45 p.m., at his home […]

    Bob Marley tribute set for Sunday
    For the 15th consecutive year, the music of legendary Jamaican artist Bob Marley will, on Sunday, entertain patrons and supporters of Joel “Dara” Robinson’s charity drive to feed hungry schoolchildren. Robinson shared with the Reporter that the event continues to grow each year, and more […]

    Teenager says police keeping him from his home
    With tension running high in the Conch Shell Bay community in Belize City in the wake of a slew of murders and shootings in the area, police have now engaged the community in an intervention attempt. Police and area representative Tracy Panton recently reached out […]

    New law shielding Central Bank reserves approved unanimously
    In an unprecedented show of bipartisan unity, both sides of the House of Representatives voted unanimously to approve two Bills to shield the Central Bank of Belize assets against foreign court judgments, which the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Dean Barrow introduced at a special sitting of the House in Belmopan […]

    KHMH renovations will delay elective surgeries
    The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) is delaying non-emergency (elective) surgeries for the next three to four weeks, to renovate its operating theaters. KHMH CEO, Dr, Adrian Coye explained this week that the hospital’s four operating theaters will be receiving infrastructural upgrades such as new walls, floors […]

    Bureau of Standards prosecute businesses for over-pricing
    Four businesses in Independence Village, Toledo district have been prosecuted for selling merchandise at prices higher than the controlled price and have been fined for such, while three of them have also been penalized for not displaying the prices of the products. The Belize Bureau […]

    Belize Chinese celebrate New Year of the Rooster
    The Belizean Chinese community celebrated the start of the Year of the Rooster, with the New Year’s festival beginning Saturday, January 8, the start of the lunar year. In China it’s the start of the Spring Festival, the longest public holiday;a time when many Chinese workers take a week off […]

    BFLA sends Valentine’s Day message for youths
    With the upcoming Valentine’s Day celebration, and its significance to intimate relationships, the Belize Family Life Association (BFLA) is calling on Belizean youths to make smart sexual choices during the celebration. The BFLA emphasized that many youths will be motivated by Valentine’s Day to engage in sexual […]

    One-year-old drowns in well
    A one-year-old toddler of the Maya Mopan area in Belmopan City drowned after he fell into a well located at the back of his home on Saturday. Around midday on January 28, Edwin Lorenzo Duartes of a La Mux Street, was playing outside his home in […]

    Minor arrested for Monday night shooting in Conch Shell Bay
    A minor was formally arrested and charged for a shooting incident that happened in the Conch Shell Bay area of Belize City on Monday night. The 16-year-old is accused of firing several shots and wounding 21-year-old Jaheel Goodger. The minor has been charged for attempted murder, […]

    Cops find guns on Belize City’s southside
    Police recovered two illegal firearms from the streets of southside Belize City this past weekend. On Friday January 27, the South Side Strike Team conducted a search on an abandoned lot on Santa Barbara Street in the St. Martins area where officers found a .9 mm […]

    Editorial
    Twelve years ago, in 2005 the then Prime Minister of Belize entered into a secret accommodation agreement with the owners of Belize Telemedia Limited. The Musa Government agreed to give the Ashcroft company a cast-iron guarantee that if the company did not make a 15 percent net profit on its […]

    Gas prices up again!
    Drivers countrywide can expect to spend more on fuel, after a price hike in all types of gasoline took effect this week. The price change, which took effect as of Thursday, February 1, sent Premium gasoline up 44 cents, pushing up the price to an […]

    Gapi’s brother got 17 acres for $800?
    The “hotbed of corruption” that Prime Minister Dean Barrow has described the Lands Department to be is living up to its name. More documents surfacing this week, suggest the former minister’s brother purchased crown lands for next to nothing. The documents show that on September […]

    Senior immigration officer plays “pass the blame”
    The latest witness in the public inquiry into corruption at the Immigration and Nationality Department, blamed junior officers and Ministers of Government for the irregularities cited in the Auditor General’s Special Audit Report. Former Officer in Charge of the Nationality Section of the Department, Gordon […]

    Cops go to jail for grevious assault charge
    Two policemen are in jail tonight on the orders of the Court for their role in beating up 19 year-old Michael Crawford. Crawford suffered a severe beating at the hands of three men. He has identified two of his attackers, Police Constable Kenrick Gamboa, 28, […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Westrac continues to give back
    Westrac has developed a growing reputation for its continued support to communities across Belize. Today Westrac presented a check in the sum of BZ$17,789.23 to the Rotaract Club of San Ignacio to fund a national project. The Rotaract Club of Belmopan, the Rotaract Club of Dangriga and the Rotaract Club of Orange Walk will all be participating in a project to assist a total of seven schools in some way or another.

    Paralyzed Conch Shell Bay youth dies
    Kiemar Nicholas, 19, was paralyzed after he was shot to his neck last Monday. His spinal cord was completely severed after he was shot in the Conch Shell Bay area of Belize City. Today we received reports from his family that he has succumbed to his injuries. He reportedly died last night. Funeral preparations are underway.

    Why did NCL ship divert from Harvest Caye?
    Over 6,000 cruise ship passengers visited Belize City this week, because their scheduled trip to the Harvest Caye port was canceled. The Norwegian Gate Way and Norwegian Dawn, diverted to the Fort Street Tourism Village (FSTV) on Wednesday and Thursday. The company’s public relations officers in Miami had reported to local media that the ships diverted as a safety measure, because there was an obstruction in the channel leading to Harvest Caye. However the Belize Port Authority says that there was no such obstruction.

    Efforts underway to gift Miss Belize Universe new car
    Miss Belize Universe, Rebecca Rath represented Belize at the 65th edition of Miss Universe in Manila on January 29 and received massive support from Belizeans at home and abroad. Now there is an effort underway to try to gift her with a new car. Many Belizeans were posting on social media requesting that the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) hold a rally for Rath since she highlighted Belize on the international platform. Belizeans supported Rath throughout the entire pageant process, sharing different ways to vote for her and continued to express gratitude and appreciation because she represented Belize excellently.

    A Belizean residing in Punta Gorda has made it to the cover of the United Kingdom’s popular, “Love” magazine.
    Her name is Joyjah Estrada and she was photographed by Kendall Jenner, an American fashion model and television personality, originally known for appearing in the E! reality television show, “Keeping up with the Kardashians.” This is what Jenner had to say about the young woman who had studied at the Toledo Community College: “I loved how committed Joyjah was to the project. She flew in from Belize, had all these visa problems and then was a dream to shoot. She has that amazing face, all those freckles, and she seemed so genuinely excited to be there.

    BTL warns customers of scam alert
    Belize Telemedia Limited issued a statement informing its customers that the company investigated the recently reported issue of random international calls to DigiCell Numbers. In most instances customers would see a missed call registered on their call log. Most reported calls with number prefixes from +675.

    Ashcroft Alliance will challenge new law that protect Belize’s foreign assets
    The Ashcroft Alliance is moving to have the Supreme Court of Belize strike down the recently passed law which protects Belize’s foreign assets. In a recent release issued by Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited (CIHL), the company is filing a constitutional challenge that “intends to bring a claim in the Belize Supreme Court to challenge the constitutionality of the Central Bank of Belize Act and the Crown Proceedings Act, which received the support of both the government and the opposition in the House of Representatives and the senate”.

    9mm and ammo found on Iguana Street this morning
    According to police reports, a .9 mm Glock loaded with 10 live rounds was found by the GSU in the vicinity of Iguana Street this morning. It is believed to be the weapon used in the latest murder of Mark Jones.

    Police issue official report on murder in San Pedro
    According to police reports, last night around 7:15 p.m., police visited a residence at the corner of Jew Fish and Sea Weed Streets, where on the second floor of the wooden structure officers saw 44-year-old Jose Felix Ayuso, barber of the same address lying in his bed room with multiple stab wounds to his upper body. Initial investigation reveals that Ayuso was last seen alive by his sister on Wednesday at about 4:30 p.m. at his Unisex beauty salon situated on Laguna Drive. About 6:30 p.m. yesterday she decided to make checks on him at his residence when she discovered the body.

    More than 2000 grams of weed found in Southside, Belize city
    According to police reports, on Thursday morning at 6:45 a.m., the Southside Strike Team, Special Branch and K9 unit conducted a search in an abandoned lot in the Faber’s Road area of Belize City, which led to the discovery of a black plastic bag containing 2,009.4 grams of cannabis.

    Police find weed in Bullet tree village
    Police on anti-drug operations in the Bullet Tree village, Cayo conducted a search in an abandoned lot where cops found two black plastic bags containing 545 grams of cannabis.

    Belmopan Chinese businessman charged for weed
    According to police reports, on Thursday February 2 at about 1:13 p.m., police searched a house situated on the George Price Boulevard, Belmopan where officers found a transparent plastic bag containing 461 grams of cannabis. Zhubin Deng, a businessman of Trial Farm village, Cayo was present at the time of the search

    Police issue report on Mark Jones murder
    According to police reports, last night police visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they saw the body of 29-year-old Mark Anthony Jones of #189 Pelican Street Extension, Belize City, with gunshot wounds to the hand, side and back. Investigations reveale that Jones was walking inside his yard when a male person approached and fired several shots at him causing his injuries.

    Blogs

    Traveling into Town on Ambergris Caye, Belize
    There are a few ways to get to town these days. 1. A good long bike ride 2. Rent/own a golf cart and take the (sometimes very bumpy – sometimes very dusty – sometimes muddy) ride down to town. My ride is unpaved for about 4 miles and then a few miles paved as you get closer to the bridge. It takes about 30 minutes. 3. Own a boat or take the Coastal Xpress water taxi. Depending on the number of stops, it can take 10 to 30 minutes. Yesterday, for the first time in about a year, I took the water taxi. And was left wondering…why don’t I do this more often? The closest dock/pick-up is at the resort to our south, X’tan Ha Resort. It’s easiest if you call ahead or have you hotel call to make sure they stop to pick you up. The boats run every two hours to and from town, up and down the coast.

    Living la vida lobster
    The Belizean fishing industry dates back to the time of the Maya when snappers and anchovies were the most important food from the sea. Over the years sleepy fishing villages prospered from the bounty of the sea, from the northern cayes of Ambergris and Caye Caulker, to the mainland coastal communities of Corozal, all the way south to Punta Gorda. For generations, fisher folk benefited from harvesting fish, but did you know it wasn’t until the 1920’s that they became lobster trappers as well? At that time lobster were so abundant many old-timers tell the stories of how you could simply catch them from the beach! Although the Caribbean Spiny Lobster were once regarded as ‘trash fish’ by the locals, that trash turned to treasure when the US market for the crustacean opened after North American lobster numbers declined. In the first years of exportation, Belizean fishermen sold their lobster tails for one cent a pound! Of course the industry was advancing with the times, and motorized boats, along with the availability of ice allowed the fishermen to thrive. By the late 1940’s the lobster industry grew to be the most lucrative marine export product, with freezer boats coming from the US, and new processing and cold storage facilities in Belize City. For the fisher folk, this meant full-time, year-round lobster fishing, and they were now getting five to seven cents a pound!

    Travel Safe and Busy Planning
    I recently read and replied to an interesting thread on Keeping possessions safe in Belize. While most hotels do offer safes in their rooms or in the lobby but there is always a possibility you may find yourself in need of some good stashing ideas. I have listed a few simple tricks below should ever find yourself in a position when it is time to make like a squirrel and “stash your nuts.” While I recommend using your safest options first, do not forget the creative kind should you ever need them. A pile of papers can easily hide a passport. Under the TV is a good hiding spot (if it is not a wall-mount). A few dollars casually in plain view could keep light fingers from looking. For carrying money on your person spread it around. Have a small amount handy in your pocket and and also a reason why that is all you have. Photocopy and photograph all your ID. Do not bring more than you need to when you go out at night.

    Harley Davidson visiting Corozal Belize: Harley Davidson in Corozal?
    If you ever wonder sometime's you see those Harley Davidson Motorcycle around Belize? They go around Belize riding motorcycles. A group of Black Pearl, Harley-Davidson, Belize goes around riding motorcycle and shows off their rides. First stop was at Corozal scotty's bar and grill. and will continue through Saturday. Make sure to come out tonight for the concert at the The Ramada Belize City Princess Poolside that's only $10 for Entry. They stopped today for a lunch to mingle and meet Belizeans around Belize. When you see these kinds of Motorcycle you will never stop by and see this Motorcycle along the seaside. Here are some photo's Below of the Belize Black Pearl, Harley Davidson Motor rally in Corozal. Yes, you will ask Harley DAvidson in Belize? Yes, Those guys wearing Black Jacket, Colored leather boots, Long leather with bright colors, Mask to cover their eyes while they are driving, Helmet, Some Hand Grip , While they are driving. And, this guys are well drivers and are known for their appearance around Belize. Their Motorcylce going 90mhp? They rock with their loud sound when they turn it on.

    International Sourcesizz

    The Must-Visit Caribbean Destination You’ve Never Heard Of
    Just a short 30-minute flight on a puddle jumper from Belize City is Placencia, a burgeoning town that was once a sleepy fishing village. Sandwiched between a lagoon on the west and Caribbean Sea on the east, Placencia appears to be an unassuming destination. Modest storefronts line the only main road and verdant vegetation grows throughout. But dive in a little deeper and you’ll find that its culturally diverse inhabitants—who range from those of Maya and mestizo descent to American expats—are genuinely friendly with a laid-back attitude inherent to such beach locales. The food, too, is unbelievable (or un-Belize-able if you really want to go there) and there’s a little something for everyone—whether you want to explore by land or sea. Nestled within 200 acres of private property is one of the newest kids on the block, Naïa Resort and Spa. A ritzy edifice is not what you come here for, but instead, a cozy and intimate hotel composed of 35 individual accommodations sitting on soft white sand. There’s nothing quite like waking up to the sounds of waves crashing against the shoreline and the sight of palm trees swaying back and forth in the wind, which is exactly what you get from a beach-facing bed in a studio room with glass double doors. If the Caribbean waters aren’t enough for you, opt for a one-bedroom beach house outfitted with a personal plunge pool.

    Found: One (Relatively) Cute Shark And One Hideous Ghost Shark
    There are so many small mysteries left in the world. Today’s evidence—a hammerhead shark and a ghost shark, both new discoveries. One is small and, dare we say, cute? For a shark? The other is the largest species of ghost shark ever discovered and, to the human eye, really ugly. The new species of hammerhead shark was discovered in Belize by a team studying bonnethead sharks. These smallish sharks are plentiful in the Caribbean Sea and were thought to be one big happy family of sharks. But when a team of scientists analyzed the DNA of bonnethead sharks captured in Belize, they discovered that these sharks were a different species from the ones that live around Mexico, the U.S. and the Bahamas. Even though all the sharks look quite similar, the DNA of the Belize sharks showed they hadn’t interbred with those other groups of sharks for several million years.

    World Cancer Day 2017: Key Panellists Share their Experience
    Improving access to cancer treatment in developing countries requires strong political commitment and effective public-private strategic partnerships. This was the conclusion of a panel discussion at IAEA Headquarters in Vienna today to mark World Cancer Day 2017. During the discussion, Princess Dina Mired of Jordan, First Lady Kim Simplis Barrow of Belize, and Amadou Diarra of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) shared their perspectives. Belize’s First Lady Kim Simplis Barrow, a cancer survivor herself, called for more equitable access to cancer care in Central America and the Caribbean. “We all share the same goal: to reduce the burden of cancer,” Ms Simplis Barrow said. “But small countries face specific challenges, which is why regional partnerships may be one good way to advance jointly and share resources. We need a broad coalition of government and non-governmental organizations, high-level leadership and commitment. I strongly believe that political leaders can become champions in making a positive change.”

    Caribbean embraces fisheries collaboration with Norway
    The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and a team of Norwegian experts have concluded a successful two-week fact-finding mission in the Caribbean aimed at identifying critical ways in which Norway can support the sustainable development of Caribbean fisheries and aquaculture. The team, comprised of Milton Haughton, CRFM executive director; Dr Åge Høines, senior scientist, Institute of Marine Research, Norway; and Mr Johán Williams, specialist director, Norwegian ministry of fisheries and coastal affairs, met with senior executives of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat in Guyana, as well as ministers, permanent secretaries, chief fisheries officers and other stakeholders in sample countries, affording the team an opportunity to look at the spectrum of fisheries operations across the region in countries and communities with varying types of fisheries and levels of development.

    Royal Marines Commandos En Belice, ¡Bienvenidos A La Jungla!
    Monos, tarántulas, arañas viuda negra, y serpientes. Éstos son algunos de los residentes que han "dado la bienvenida" a los Royal Marines1 a la jungla de Belice esta semana. 40 Commando Royal Marines (del ejército británico), con sede cerca de Taunton en Somerset2, están poniendo a prueba todas sus habilidades básicas de soldado a medida que aprenden a luchar y sobrevivir en uno de los ambientes más hostiles del mundo. Delta Company, los especialistas en Guerra En La Selva de 40 Commando Royal Marines, han estado en Belice impartiendo el entrenamiento vital bajo la atenta mirada de la Unidad del Ejército británico de Entrenamiento y Apoyo a Belice (BATSUB) y el equipo directivo de los Royal Marines. La primera fase de entrenamiento, los Royal Marines efectúan simulacros militares de combate, reconocimiento cercano de objetivos, supervivencia, patrullaje y entrenamiento de navegación en las profundidades de Sibun Gorge.

    Videos

  • Wanderlust3, 6min. Can't stop adventuring! This time making my way around Portland, OR, Costa Rica, Belize, and Guatemala. The adventure runs on!

  • St. John's Cathedral, Belize Oral History, min.

  • Jumproping backwards while fly fishing in Belize., 17sec.

  • SIX YEARS IN BELIZE!, 10min.

  • Cormorant rescued by Belize Animal Rescue, 1.5min. It's just not all parrots you know. This cormorant was rescued by Belize Animal Rescue and transferred to BBR and was in a very poor shape. He had a fairly large parasite loading but also seemed to have injured one of his wings somehow. After a few meds, and with some rest at BBR he soon got better and was able to be released not too far from where he was found. Gordon and Gillian from BAR came to view the release which was a joy to see.

  • Belize - General shots, 3min.

  • Belize 2017 Snorkeling, 3min.

  • Belize Now Feb 3, 2017, 36min.

  • Lamanai Mayan Ruins Tour in Belize - Lorenzo's Flights, 3min. We took a 60 minute boat ride, 45 minute van ride, another 30 minute boat ride to finally reach the Lamanai Mayan Ruins in Belize! Truly an incredible experience.

  • Travel Vlog Carnival Dream Cruise BELIZE Excursion -AirBoat Nov 2016, 22min.

  • Harley Davidson In Belize, 2.5min.

  • Belize, 3min. I was fortunate enough to spend my winter break in Belize traveling and teaching. Here is a video capturing my travels with my new friends and students. It was truly an experience I will never forget.

  • Diving in Belize, 5min. Diving at San Pedro, Belize with Amigos Del Mar. Bottlenose dolphin, Spotted Eagle Rays...

  • #Chusey Snorkle Belize 2017, 7.5min.

    February 3, 2017


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    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    Beloved local activist and Sanpedrano Felix Ayuso found dead inside his home
    On Thursday, February 2nd, at around 6:45PM, San Pedro Police confirmed the death of 43-year-old Felix Ayuso. The body of the deceased was discovered at his home in the San Juan Area. Foul play is suspected in Ayuso’s death, as police have confirmed external injuries to the body. According to reports, Ayuso’s body was discovered by a family member who was inquiring of his whereabouts. Ayuso was last seen on the afternoon on Wednesday, February 1st. Due to the state of the body, at press time, Police believe he died on Wednesday, February 1st. Ayuso is a well-known member of the island community. He served as the President of the San Pedro AIDS Commission, and was an invaluable part of the San Pedro traditional Carnaval Comparsas. He was the proud owner of JoSe’s Salon, where he tended to local and international customers with much talent. His generous spirit and involvement in community service made him well-known across the island. Survived by a son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, and a host of family and dear friends, Ayuso will surely be missed.

    GOB passes bill to immunize Central Bank reserves
    On Friday, January 27th, the Government of Belize (GOB) held an emergency sitting of the House of Representatives and introduced a bill to protect the Central Bank of Belize reserves. The move by Prime Minister Dean Barrow was considered to secure the reserves from Ashcroft Alliance, who is seeking enforcement to have the Belize Government pay US$50 million dollars in arbitration awards ordered by US Court. The bill, known as ‘A Bill for an Act to restate for greater certainty the immunity of the Central Bank of Belize for legal proceeding with other states,’ is expected to criminalize any attempt to enforce access to the reserves. At the House Sitting last week, the bill breezed through the session, and even though the Opposition only had a first look at it, they pledged their full support.

    Second annual ACES Gala fundraiser held at Crazy Canucks
    On Saturday, January 28th, Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES) hosted its second annual gala fundraiser at Crazy Canucks. Organized by ACES’ board of directors, the dinner gala included generous donations by local restaurants, live music by Daryl Kennedy, and lots of items up for auction and raffle. All proceeds collected go towards ACES costs of operation. Established in 2010 under the current management group, ACES is a non-profit community school – not a private school – that offers quality education for 116 students, of which 10 have special needs. 2017 projects for ACES include hooking up to the community sewer system as well as a construction remodel for a two-story building. Guests at the event had the chance to buy tickets and drop them in to any of the ‘fish bowls’ representing fantastic prizes. There were packaged items such as “Queen for a Day” which included massages, fun tiaras, champagne, and even maid service, while the “Blame it on Buffet’ basket came complete with a bottle of tequila, margarita glasses and a blender. Fish Bowl tickets sold at six for $5 and 12 for $10, and at such a deal, hundreds were sold! There were also incredible packages for both a silent and live auction, with artwork, dive and snorkel packages, fishing adventures, overnight stays and more.

    National Bureau of Standards seeks transition to statutory body
    After receiving a grant for US$280,000 from the Caribbean Development Bank, the Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS) is looking at the possibility of transitioning from a governmental institution to a statutory body. The BBS hopes to accomplish this change through the establishment of a national quality infrastructure and technical regulation regime. The first step to such accomplishment has been an assessment of standards currently in place and the preparation of a draft plan. This plan is intended to bring Belize up to par with the rest of the region, as well as internationally, in its testing, sampling and inspection capabilities. The draft was created with the assistance of the private firm Quality Systems Solutions and Initiatives. Sheryl Anderson, Managing Director of the firm explained that discussions have been on-going to determine Belize’s current status relating to standards, along with the country’s strengths and weaknesses. “We are looking at the gaps within the Belizean society, because there is a particular standard all countries need to be pegged to,” said Anderson. “So we are looking at the specifications, at where Belize is right now.”

    SPTC will continue efforts to control the Zika situation
    Recently, the Belize Tourism Industry Association’s (BTIA) Caye Caulker Branch hosted health officials from the Ministry of Health (MOH) to hold aggressive campaigns regarding the prevention of Zika. In the neighboring island of Ambergris, San Pedro Town is also on board to fight the virus. Zika, which is a virus transmitted by an infected female Aedes aegypti mosquito, was declared a global epidemic in 2016. After an initial outbreak in Caye Caulker, the SPTC took all the prevention measures to ensure that San Pedro had a defense plan. With the dry season in place, the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) is prepping to restart its efforts in eradicating the virus. Although the Pescador fire and Hurricane Earl were unexpected, we are refocusing on starting our campaigns and spraying for this New Year,” said Jorge Aladana of the SPTC. He further stated that the SPTC supports mosquito eradication, and the council spends roughly $100,000 annually for vector control. “When you look at the vector control, the SPTC spends $100,000 just to assist the MOH yearly. We even provided our public health inspector with a golf-cart so he can have transportation while conducting these campaigns. We do not have our own vector control team, but they mobilize from Belize and come to San Pedro. The SPTC provides transportation, lodging, and even food. During the rainy season (June to November), the SPTC pays for the workers to do fogging in cycles. They either do it at dusk or dawn for three days straight, every seven days. However, if it rains, it interrupts the cycle,” said Aladana.

    Surveillance cameras installed at SPHS
    In an effort to heighten school security measures, San Pedro High School (SPHS) has installed three surveillance cameras around the campus. The suggestion was initially proposed by former Officer in Charge of the Coastal Executive Unit, Superintendent Sandra Bowden to not only enhance security, but serve as a reference tool whenever a school issue is being investigated. According to SPHS Principal Emil Vasquez, the cameras are the school’s first step to becoming a safer campus. “The majority of schools are moving in this direction and for security purposes, we are trying to have extra eyes. This comes by no surprise because I mentioned it to the student body from the beginning of the school year. When you have over 600 students in a school, 30 teachers are not enough to keep an eye on everyone. We need to know what is happening around the school,” said Vasquez. With approved funding from the school board, the camera systems ensure general safety and security for the school administration and students during schools hours, along with after-school extracurricular activities and programs. The presence of cameras also serves as a crime deterrent, preventing theft, vandalism, and illegal activities such as drug or alcohol use.

    Ambergris Today

    First International Hockey Tournament This Weekend
    Yes! Belize does have a Hockey Club. It formed about 7 years ago and is made up of Belizeans and expats from Canada, the USA and England who normally play on the Tennis Courts at the San Pedro Fitness Club. This Saturday, 4th February 2017, an International Hockey Tournament will be held at the San Pedro High School Auditorium commencing at 4pm and finishing at 8.30pm. Entry is FREE and there will be a food stall and bar with local beers and rum drinks costing just $4. The play offs and finals will be at 3pm on Monday, 6th February at the High School. (NOTE: There will be no bar or food available on Monday) This Tournament came about at the behest of The Withrow Park Hockey Club from Toronto in Canada playing this Saturday as The Tropical Knights. They dared to challenge the San Pedro Buccaneers to do a battle on the field of hockey - winner takes all!

    Belize Forest Department Looking After Threatened Species
    Key stakeholders met at the Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center on Tuesday, 31st January 2017, to modify and update the Threatened Species List 2005. The Forest Department, through the involvement of more than twenty-five local, regional and international experts and wildlife conservation representatives, is presently updating Belize’s National Threatened Species List for terrestrial wildlife. As a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity, Belize’s efforts to update the list is only one of the many activities underway to ensure that Belize meets its global commitments and contributes towards the global Sustainable Development Goals to secure the survival of threatened species, maintain biodiversity, and improve wildlife conservation efforts.

    Sandwhich Boards and Street Closures for Construction Notice
    The San Pedro Town Council hereby requesting all businesses that the use sandwich boards as a medium to promote their business, to kindly do so on their own premises. All sandwich boards on public property, including the beach, should be removed and relocated inside the perimeters of the property where the business is located.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    SBDC Workshop: INTRODUCTION TO DEVELOPMENT FINANCIAL STATEMENTS-ACCOUNTING PART II
    resented by: Mr. Charles Gladden, Accounting Lecturer, University of Belize. BTEC Training Room, ITVET Compound, Free Town Road, Belize City. Workshop Date: 9th February, 2017. Time: 9am to 12noon. This course targets individuals who are seeking a better understanding on the basics of accounting in order to interpret financial statements. It is ideal for individuals who are accountable for public funds but are not accounting experts! Basic terminology and normal account balances are covered. Please note: No computers are used in this course. Cost: $40.00 Includes snacks and refreshments.

    BTEC AWARDS CERTIFICATES ON TOURISM BASED TRAINING
    The Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC), a unit of BELTRAIDE, on Wednesday, 1st February awarded certificates to 66 persons after completing a tourism based Job Preparedness Training in Belize City, which was held from 11th –27th January, 2017. The Job Preparedness Training, had the participation of one of the largest groups, and was made of two components: soft skills (attitudes and behaviors) and technical skills (industry specific). This is the first time in Belize City that BTEC executed training in three technical areas: Front Desk, Introduction to Bartending and House-keeping/Janitorial. Sixty-six persons (66) completed the training with over 98% completing successfully and the remaining 2% receiving certificate of participation. Each participant was required to sit a Pre-test in English, Customer Service and Basic Tourism Facts.

    National Council on Ageing Anniversary
    This year marks the 14th Anniversary of the National Council on Ageing. The NCA was established in 2003 following Cabinets approval of the Belize National Policy on Older Persons. This year the council will be celebrating its anniversary during the week of February 6-10th 2017. The anniversary activities will open with an intergenerational flash mob on Tuesday; February 7th, 2017 at the Belmopan Market Square. The flash mob will feature participation from our Senior Steps group, schools and organizations that support the council’s work. The flash mob highlights the importance of active and healthy ageing which is a key component of the council’s work. It is also an opportunity to show case the talent and vitality of older persons in a new and creative way.

    SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY
    The OAS Department of Human Development, Education and Employment and the Instituto de Ecología-INECOL-in Mexico herein offer the online course: “DIPLOMADO INTERNACIONAL EN LÍNEA SOBRE RESTAURACIÓN DE ECOSISTEMAS Y SERVICIOS AMBIENTALES”. The deadline for receiving the hardcopy of your online application at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NEMO Building, Belmopan has been established at February 15, 2017 for short-listing and forwarding to OAS Washington, D.C. The online application form must be completed on-line and can be accessed at: http://www.oas.org/en/scholarships/professionaldev.asp there you will find the announcements of the PDSP courses, click on the one you are interested in, go through the end of the page, then you’ll find the “Continue” button which will direct you to the online form that you must fill out.

    BEL Electrical Power outage - Sunday 6am - 7am
    Much of the western highway, from Democracia to Unitedville so all Belmopan and many side areas.

    10th NRM Symposium Abstract Call
    The 10th annual Natural Resource Management and Research Symposium is approaching, and they are doing a call for abstracts. The deadline for submission is February 24th. "The Mesoamerican Society for Biology and Conservation-Belize Chapter (MSBC) in partnership with the Ya’axché Conservation Trust (Ya’axché) and the Global Trees Campaign (GTC) are organizing the 10th installment of the annual natural resource management and research symposium under the theme “Science Based Management for the Sustainable Use and Conservation of Belize’s Natural Resources”. This year’s symposium is an effort to maximize the impact of knowledge sharing by combining the 2nd Global Trees Symposium and the 10th NRM symposium. The Global Trees Symposium is an effort to highlight the importance of rare and threatened tree species and the management practices that can ensure the survival of these species in the long term. The 10th annual Natural Resource Management and Research Symposium welcomes abstracts for both oral presentations and posters discussing research, case studies, lessons learnt, and practical applications related to natural resources management and research in Belize."

    'Maya - Hidden Worlds Revealed' exhibit
    The 'Maya - Hidden Worlds Revealed' exhibit moves to the Perot Museum in Dallas Texas. Institute of Archaeology personnel is also taking part in the installation of this well-received exhibit.

    MICRO-LEVEL RESPONSIBILITY FOR BLACK BOYS
    Excerpt from my book: INSIGHTS INTO GANG CULTURE IN BELIZE. By Nuri Muhammad. I was recently reviewing a study/research examining the child rearing practices of the various ethnic groups of Belize, both in the urban and rural areas, done by a David Smith, back in 91/92. This study, as far as I know, was never published except for some preliminary findings that were handed out by NOPCA back in 1993. The study revealed that there are distinct patterns of child rearing among the ethnic groups of Belize, influenced by historical, socio-economic and environmental factors. For example, Smith points out that the cuddling period for the Mestizo child is much longer than for the Creole child. This prolonged cuddling period where the child received continues affirmation affected the early self-esteem of the growing child positively. Children, on the other hand, who experience continuous harsh criticism from an early age, displayed very low self-esteem. At first glance this research would seem to suggest that Creoles are harsher with their children than Mestizos, until you take into consideration other factors, like the urban/rural divide and other socio-economic factors affecting those polled. The Creole in the rural areas had a longer cuddling period than those Creoles polled in Belize City and as a result their children were better adjusted than those in the city. However, the Mestizo in the urban area still had a longer cuddling period than Creoles in the urban areas. Their cultural retention of parenting survived the pressures of urban living; at lease at the time of this study.

    EXPORTBelize, BELTRAIDE Collaborates with the Belize Bureau of Standards to host review of National Rum Standard
    EXPORTBelize, a unit of Beltraide, in collaboration with the Belize Bureau of Standards facilitated a session for the review of the Belize National Standards for the specification for Rum. Present, were representatives from the four major rum companies in Belize which included: Travellers Liquors Ltd., Cuello’s Distillery Ltd., L&R Liquors, and Noble Spirits. The session started with a presentation about the Belize Bureau of Standards and the standards development process. A presentation about Regional Trade and Development was also made by a representative of the Directorate General for Foreign Trade, which covered recent developments in the regional rum industry. The session culminated with a section by section review the standard document with participants providing inputs for possible update of the standard.

    Passing of Carolina Sermeño Verde
    Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the San Pedro Town Council and Staff would like to extend its deepest condolences to the Sermeño/Verde family and friends on the passing of Carolina Sermeño Verde. Carolina was a warrior and sure gave a good fight. May her soul rest in peace.

    Chiquibul Toyota Expedition
    The Chiquibul Toyota Expedition is set for 29th and 30th of April, 2017. To get the details on how to help protect the Chiquibul by being on the Expedition contact: Ryan Marin at ryan@belizediesel.com

    Birding in Belize
    When u find your Comfort Zone{Birding} nothing can make your day or life anymore interesting.

    Joy Estrada is on the cover of Love Magazine. You GO, girl!
    JOYJAH is on the cover of LOVE MAGAZINE!!! I'm still full of all sorts of emotions trying to wrap my head around this... but lets take a moment and just look what God did y'all. This entire experience has been more than amazing from the day I posted my application for #loveme17 to now.. I've been blessed with so many amazing hearts across the globe supporting me and my big dreams, my Belizean family was especially a HUGE part of this journey, y'all made sure I was SEEN throughout the competition. You can ask Zulie & Brandunn i cried happy tears every day before I even knew I was one of the top 20 finalists be photographed by Kendall. I already felt like a winner. Every single day I had the sweetest posts, heartfelt prayers & direct messages in my inbox. From people I barely even know but they followed my journey and genuinely loved/believed in me, I could tell they wanted me to WIN! Little did they know I already felt like a winner.

    Channel 7

    Trouble in Paradise? Norwegian Cruise Ships Divert From Harvest Caye
    This morning, it raised a lot of eyebrows within the Tourism Industry when - for the second time in as many days - a Norwegian Cruise line ship called the Norwegian Dawn, didn't go to NCL's Harvest Caye to make the scheduled call. This morning, instead of taking its 2,200 guests to NCL's private cruise port off Placencia, the Norwegian Dawn diverted to the Fort Street Tourism Village in Belize City, after making hasty arrangements with the Management to add them on the list of calls today. The same thing happened yesterday when the Norwegian Getaway, another ship carrying 4,000 guests, didn't make its scheduled port call at Harvest Caye on Wednesday. So what's wrong at Harvest Caye? We tried to get a comment from the BTB, but they didn't respond. One group of people who weren't complaining, however, were the local tour operators who could make money from tours with the Norwegian Dawn's passengers - who are known to spend more than Carnival's cruisers. So, the appearance of an NCL ship in the Belize City harbour today, was a sudden and unexpected stroke of good fortune. This evening, we spoke to Tom Greenwood, the President of FECTAB, about the real time effect of the Dawn's call in Belize City:

    Conch Shell Youth Says Police Chased Him From His Home
    Tonight. a resident of the gang warfare ridden Conch Shell Bay Area says the police have made him known he is not welcomed in the area. Joshua Gillett says he can't go home because he claims the Southside Commander Chester Williams told him he will be locked up if he does go home. Today, the 19 year old Gillett - who says he is a fish scraper told the media of his plight:... Joshua Gillet - West Collett Canal Residence: "This morning, Mr. Chester Williams stated to me that I can't go in my own area where I live which is 46 West Collet Canal, because right now a gang war is happening right now and he told me until there is peace then I could come back. Now I don't understand why he is chasing me out of my own area where I make my own money because I am a fisherman. When I can't go to the sea, I scrape fish right at the market. Other people from other area where used to hang out there was told not to come back. I am the only one who lives at the area who they chased, they actually chased me from my own house like Mr. Williams want me to live on the street. I don't know what he want."

    Ashcroft Alliance Will Challenge New Law To Protect Reserves and Gov't Property
    The news in the House and Senate between last weekend this week has been the bipartisan support for legislation seeking to insulate the country's reserves and governments assets, and firewall them from being claimed in any lawsuit by the Ashcroft Alliance. As we have reported, the Alliance is trying to recover 50 million US dollars which a US Court upheld as arbitration awards due to two Ashcroft Allied companies: British Caribbean Holdings and Belize Social Development Limited. The government of Belize says it won't pay a cent to them because Belize's highest court - which is the CCJ - has rejected the agreements. Well, the Alliance today made official what everyone expected; they will make a constitutional challenge of the new law. A release says that Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited - which used to be named BCB Holdings…"intends to bring a claim in the Belize Supreme Court to challenge the constitutionality of the Central Bank of Belize Act and the crown Proceedings Act." It continues, quote, "the effect of the legislation is a clear attempt to intimidate and restrain Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited from pursuing its right in judicial proceedings that the government has lost."

    Casino Workers Say Gambler Went Berserk
    A Casino goer has been charged for firing his weapon inside the Casino. Yesterday morning around 1:38, 59-year-old businessman Canlin Su allegedly assaulted 2 on-duty workers at the Placencia Casino near the Plantation area on the Peninsula. Su, who was the only customer at the time, reportedly threw coffee on the 2 workers and walked out. But that wasn't the end of the scenery. Su allegedly came back with his weapon. Workers say he banged on the Casino door and fired a shot in the air. Police have since confiscated his licensed 9mm Luger Pistol with a magazine containing 11 live rounds. Canlin Su - who is from Maya Beach - has been charged for discharging a firearm in public, common assault and aggravated burglary.

    Car Dealer Wants to Get Rebecca a Ride
    Rebecca Rath represented Belize in the Miss Universe pageant last Sunday. Although Rath did not win, or even make it into the Top 13 semifinalists, the support she received from her fellow Belizeans was incredible. Many citizens called for a parade to be held in her honor when she returns home next week, while others, such as Emil Torres, wanted to gift her with a brand new car. Torres, who is the manager of Caribbean Motors, came up with the idea to provide Rath with a new Haval SUV - which a line carried by his delaership. The idea was to raise funds through public donations to purchase the car, and then hand it over to Rath. Howver, since starting the initiative on Tuesday, Torres has received a lot of negative feedback. Many people feel that he might be using the initiative as a marketing ploy, while others feel that the money would be better spent elsewhere. We spoke to Torres today, and gave him a chance to explain exactly what he wants to come out of this effort... Emil Torres - Caribbean Motors: "The idea came up of course because a lot of people that know me knows that I deal with vehicles. Vehicles are my industry that's what I know. It's my career, it's what I eat breath and sleep. Fortunately and unfortunately at times. So it's only natural that I if came up with an idea or wanted to do something it would have had to steam off from what I know. You can't expect me to want to donate a house or a laptop or a motorcycle. I don't deal with those things."

    Radisson Constructing Pier For The Long Run
    The Radisson Fort George is the flagship hotel in Belize City's, while its pier is one one of the few very long piers extending out from the city's coast. And they have paid dearly for that. The pier was wrecked during both Hurricane Richard in 2010, and Hurricane Earl in 2015. And so now, the hotel has come up with a design which should withstand storms and last decades. Jim Scott, the Radisson's General Manager, told us more... Jim Scott - Gen. Manager/CEO, Radisson Fort George Hotel: "It's going to be built back a lot stronger, a different design, slightly wider but I think the most significantly difference is it's going to be built out of cement totally and it's going to be a lot stronger that it was before which was PVC cement piles with wooden planks, wooden braces. This is going to be all cement. So it's going to be a lot stronger. It's totally built by Belizean company. One contractor and its moving along. With hurricanes there is a lot of situations where there could be damage. If it was just water surge and wave action I think Roque was real accurate, but if there was a large barge or boats that might hit it in a storm situation, sure there should be damage but this one is pretty strong. There is no wood to knock on but knock on the sea wall."

    The Grilling of Gordon Wade
    In last night's news, we brought you excerpts of the sworn testimony from Gordon Wade, the Senior Immigration Officer who once was in charge of the Nationality Section of the Immigration Department. It was the very first time he had given any public comment, and possibly the first time that he was even filmed by the media, since his name started getting called back in September and October of 2013, when the Elvin Penner/Citizen Kim passport scandal first broke. We showed you how he took questions from the Senate Select Committee on the Won Hong Kim scandal, and described the encounters with the UDP ministers who were in and out of Immigration Department pressing influence. He also confirmed that there was a rush before the 2012 General Elections in which 2110 applicants got nationality. Well, one other part of yesterday's hearing which we didn't get to show you was Wade's testimony, which points fingers away from himself and to the front-line Immigration Officers below him, for the fraud and forgery which allowed for visitors to illegally acquire Belizean Nationality.

    Baron Gets Off Fondling Charge
    26 year old Baron Anderson, a sailor residing at 55 John Smith Street, Belama Phase 2, was acquitted of a charge of sexual assault today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. The complainant, Charlotte Roches, a cashier at Raccoon Street Police Station, testified that at 9:30 on New Year's night in 2015, Anderson grabbed her private parts while she was playing a machine at Golden Casino, on Newtown Barracks. Anderson, testified and admitted that he was at casino standing beside Roches while she was playing the machine but he denied that he sexually assaulted her. He said that he and Roches had a relationship for over 6 months and that it was he who gave her the money to gamble. He said that it was only after Roches lost all the money he gave her and he refused to give her more that she assaulted him.

    Chinese Belizean Caught With High Grade Weed
    Belmopan police have charged A Chinese - Belizean man for trafficking in high grade marijuana. Belmopan police searched the Zhubin Deng's home on George Price Boulevard around 1:45 this afternoon. They found over 1 pound of they type of marijuana known as Oaxaca ("Wahaca") - which is said to be imported from Mexico. Deng will be taken to court tomorrow.

    5 Pounds Of Product
    And city police also made a bust of high grade weed - about 5 pounds of it. This morning the Special Branch, the Strike Team and the k9 unit searched an abandoned lot in the Fabers road extension area. They found just under 5 pounds of high grade marijuana. This drug is believed to be for a known drug target operating in that area. It was deposited as found property.

    Landlord Put Tenant's Business In Street
    47 year-old Vanzie Lamb, a landlord from Barracat Street, is out on bail tonight following an allegation from one of his tenants that he burglarized her. 20 year-old Tahira Theus, reported to police that sometime between January 15 and January 31, Lamb broke into her room - which she was renting from him - and stole several of her belongings to a total value of $1,000. Police investigated the report, charged him with burglary, and today, he was arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. He pleaded not guilty and explained to the Senior Magistrate that he didn't burglarize her room. He said that Theus owed him $275, which was two months' rent, and she made no attempts to pay him. Lamb said that he broke the lock on her door and put her belongings outside. Lamb was released on bail of $1,500, and he must return to court on April 5.

    Cops and Community Converse
    Crime on the south side of the city has been a a problem for decades, and anyone who's studied it at any length will know that more cops, more guns, and more patrols won't solve it. But can the community create its own solution? That's what the South Side police are exploring with a series of meetings with residents of the Collet and Albert areas. Meetings were held on Tuesday and Wednesday nights of this week, and South side Commander Chester Williams, today discussed the success of those meetings and the initiatives coming our of them...

    Making Mediation Matter
    The police also outlined ongoing intervention initiatives to steer at risk youths away from violence and gangs. Williams told us what police are trying to achive... Williams says that his department hopes that these mentorship programs, plus additional police presence will help to quell the violence in the area.

    UDP Finnegan Friendly with PUP Julius
    When PUP Cayo South Representative Julius Espat was ejected from the House of Representatives on August 26th, it made the the worst kind of history in the nation's parliament. After that, he held more than a handful of press interviews and other engagements to publicly plead his case that he was wronged by the former House Speaker, Mike Peyrefitte. And while he left with a bang, he came back without even a sound - Espat slid right into his seat, smooth as a slide in a slide projector. He gave one thank you to his sponsor Michale Finnegan and got on with the business of the house - end of a very complicated story. Yesterday Finnegan told us he's glad Espat is back:... Espat earns a salary of about 1,300 dollars monthly as a parliamentarian and he lost that salary for four months.

    BEL Gives to The Seniors
    Wouldn't it be great if BEL gave everyone a discount on their bill ? Well, if you are one of the 1,110 Belizean senior citizens randomly selected by BEL, then you will be getting that discount. It's part of their Golden Citizen program. Senior citizens are randomly selected countrywide for the discount program based on criteria: you have to be a Belizean 65 years or older, you must have one active account and it must be registered in their your name and residence. In a press release Ivorine Bulwer, Executive Director of HelpAge Belize, endorses the program saying, " (it) is an indication of the Company's appreciation for those who have contributed to the growth and development of the Belizean Society." This year's recipients doubled the 2016 figure.

    Channel 5

    Caribbean Investment Holdings Will Challenge New Anti-Arbitration Laws
    Mere days after the Central Bank of Belize (International Immunities) Act and the Crown Proceedings (Amendment) Act were rushed through their stages at the National Assembly; they are under challenge [...]

    Police and Residents of Conch Shell Bay Hope to Solve Deadly Feud
    Gun violence in the area of Conch Shell Bay in the Old Capital has seen a sharp spike since the start of the year. Murders and shootings connected to feuding [...]

    Police Address What Happened to Latest Shooting Victim
    As we said, on Monday night, twenty-one-year-old Jaheel Goodger was shot during a brazen attempt on his life as he rode through Conch Shell Bay.  His assailant has since been [...]

    Kareem Musa: G.O.B. Has No Excuse for Re-Registration
    The Opposition People’s United Party was first off the mark in condemning a proposal by the Elections and Boundaries Commission to postpone the timing of re-registration of voters to after [...]

    B.N.T.U. and Ministry of Education Complete Court-Ordered Mediation
    A court ordered mediation between the Belize National Teachers Union and the Ministry of Education has concluded.  Although the outcome of that process will not be made public, News Five [...]

    Sinaloa Cartel General, Operating in Southern Mexico and Northern Belize, is Arrested
    A senior drug operator for the Sinaloa cartel controlled by the ‘El Chapo’ Guzman has been caught by Mexican police.  Roberto Najera Gutierrez, a.k.a. ‘La Gallina,’ is said to be [...]

    A Reward for Rebecca after Miss Universe Appearance
    Miss Belize Universe Rebecca Rath…does she deserve to be gifted a brand new late model vehicle, despite not placing in the recently held Miss Universe Pageant?  It’s an initiative that [...]

    How to Get Your Own Belizean Island on eBay
    It is not clear how many of Belize’s cayes and islands are privately owned, although quite a few have come up in the news recently as sites of tourist developments. [...]

    At Senate Inquiry, Ex-Nationality Chief Discusses Use of Economic Citizenship
    The Auditor General’s Report states that despite economic citizenship being ended in 2002, “replacement nationality certificates were fraudulently backdated and fraudulent nationality was given under the guise of registration and [...]

    Who Else Benefited from Access and “Culture” at Immigration
    Prominent Ministers of Government, from former Minister of Immigration John Saldivar to Edmond Castro, have been named as being frequent visitors to the Department of Immigration in the time of [...]

    Directors Took Process for Granted, Gordon Wade Claims
    Also part of the “culture” at the Immigration Department was a tendency to take everything at face value – if the preparatory work had been done at the lower levels [...]

    Aggravated Assault on Cops or Police Brutality on Youth Following Weed Drop?
    A Belize City mother is alleging that her son, Dean Nembhard Junior, is yet another victim of police brutality and that she has videos showing police taking advantage of him. [...]

    Heavy Fine for Weed Find on Partridge Street
    A Crooked Tree resident will have to pay up to ten thousand dollars to the court after being found guilty of drug trafficking two hundred and thirteen grams of marijuana. [...]

    Smart Belize Hurricanes Find New Shelter, Hope for Winning Ways
    The 2017 National Elite Basketball League tournament began in January of this year and a total of seven teams: San Pedro Tiger Sharks, Belmopan Bandits, Dangriga Dream Ballers, Cayo Western [...]

    King’s Park Versus Yabra in First Ever Rugby Sevens Game
    On Saturday, for the first time in Belize, two teams will be competing in a Rugby-Seven match.  The sport started in the nineteenth century by William Webb Ellis, who in [...]

    The National Library’s Health Fair
    The National Library hosted a one day health fair today – it wasn’t held in 2016, but they say that the initiative is an annual one.  A number of local [...]

    Regular Training to Improve Services at K.H.M.H.
    On Wednesday we spoke with Dr. Adrian Coye, the C.E.O. of K.H.M.H.  You heard him talk about the works being done to the operating theatre over the next couple months. [...]

    CTV3

    Another Rise In Fuel Prices
    Just last week consumers received some much needed release as the prices in fuel saw a small reduction, but those low prices were short lived as fuel prices will see a hike effective midnight. So…if your gas tank is running near empty, our advice to you is to fill up because at midnight tonight the prices for Diesel, Premium and regular gasoline will see a marked increase at the pump. Regular gasoline will see an increase of eleven cents going from nine dollars and sixty four cents to nine dollars and seventy five cents while diesel will rise by fifteen cents raising from eight dollars and ninety five cents to nine dollars and ten cents. But the highest increase will be seen on Premium gasoline which will rise by forty four cents going from nine dollars and ninety nine cents to a whopping ten dollars and forty three cents. Of course the increase is yet to be announced by GOB.

    Pedestrian Ramp Completed By Solomon's' School
    Earlier in the week we told you about the works being carried out by the Orange Walk Town Council to construct a pedestrian ramp in front of the Salomon’s Seven Day Adventist School, a project, which the school and surrounding residents have been advocating for since the tragic accident which claimed the life if nine year old Gerardo Lopez in late 2015. Today we visited the construction site where we caught up with Mayor Kevin Bernard who told us about the project’s progress thus far. Mayor Kevin Bernard – Orange Walk Town Council: “I am happy to see that the work has been completed here there are some minor little touches that needs to finish; the painting, the necessary signage as I mentioned this morning on Despierta Belice, we have already the sign and we want to make sure that coming to the approach to the pedestrian ramp there is enough reflectors on both ends that people can be aware that you must come to a stop at the pedestrian crossing we are definitely happy and I know the residence in the area”

    Senior Immigration Disputes Ruth Meighan Statement
    Yesterday, Former Officer in Charge of the Nationality and Permanent Residence Sections of the Immigration Department, Gordon Wade, appeared before the Senate Select Committee and attempted to distance himself from any wrongdoing cited in the Auditor General’s special audit for the period 2011-2013. Wade, flanked throughout the entire proceedings by his attorney Andrew Bennett, explained that his job was to vet documents before they were approved, that is, to ensure that the required files for nationality had been received and filed before he passed on the application with his recommendation to the Director of Immigration. Wade’s testimony was that he always ensured that the required documents were reported as received. When this was not the case, he would not approve or submit to the Director but with caution notes. This is significant because in her testimony last week Former Director Ruth Meighan had cast doubt and suspicion on the officers below her, who she blamed for passing falsified documents and files for her to approve. Here’s some of Meighan’s testimony, followed by Wade’s.

    MOW Messes Streets In Orange Walk East, Who Is To Blame?
    Since the beginning of 2017 the Orange Walk Town Council made a commitment to the residents of Orange Walk East to work on streets in the area which are in desperate need of repair. Although the council has been keeping with their mandate, and commenced works in the lower Louisiana Area, their work was halted when the Ministry of Works entered the area, to also work on these streets. While this seemed like a good thing, to have GOB helping with road rehabilitations, it soon proved not to be, as the streets have been left in an even more deplorable condition. Today when we spoke to Mayor Kevin Bernard about the current condition of the streets, he expressed grave concern. Mayor Kevin Bernard – Orange Walk Town Council: “I want to make it known that I’ve said to the operations manager that I will send a letter to the ministry of works here in Orange Walk that they must cease and deices from touching any more street in this town because if that is the type of job that they are going to do to create mess, chaos, and havoc for the people living in those areas then it is best they go out and fix sugar roads and this is what they need to do I don’t want them to touch any more of our streets what I want them to go back and fix the mess that they have created because we cannot allow our residence that deserve better than that.”

    More Street Works Coming To Orange Walk
    Since taking office in 2012 the Orange Walk Town Council has been hard at work in improving infrastructure in our Town and have successfully rehabilitated a total of 35 streets across town in addition to five drainage projects and cemented 8 intersections. But the work does not end there for Mayor Bernard and his team and more street works are in the books. Today we spoke to Mayor Bernard who gave us a rundown of what those works are. Mayor Kevin Bernard – Orange Walk Town Council: “Right now in terms of our infrastructure project we have WASA is working on Tate Street they are changing their pipelines immediately as soon as they finish we are going to see the paving of both Tate Street, Progress and by that time WASA would have already been working on Arthur Street which we should see also two coats paving on those roads, we have also made a decision that there is a section of Progress Street, that junction just by Crystal that T that links to Democracia and then in that area it keep breaking up and then heavy equipment use there and so we are looking at the possibility to cement that intersection during the project so there will be some inconvenience when those works start and I ask the patients of those residence again all this is for the enhancement of our town to improve our infrastructure.”

    The Guardian

    Prime Minister Barrow secures Belize’s reserves and Courtenay betrays his Lord!!!
    Senator Eamon Courtenay, who some describe as the least liked person in politics, delivered a critical blow to the Ashcroft Alliance on Monday, January 30, when he voted to seal the country’s assets from the reach of “predators” like his Sith Lord. Before voting in favour of the bill, Courtenay said, “No one - absolutely no one in this chamber - myself included - will vote against a bill that seeks to give further immunity to the assets held by the Central Bank. No one.” With those words, he drove a dagger deep into Ashcroft’s back. “Et tu Brute!” It was the final and most painful blow in an attack that started three days earlier, Friday, January 27, when Prime Minister Barrow introduced the Central Bank Immunity Bill. Prime Minister Barrow kept close to his vest the intention of passing the Central Bank Immunity Bill through the House of Representatives on Friday, January 27, which “restate for greater certainty the immunity of the Central Bank of Belize from legal proceedings in other states”. The bill passed with unanimous support from members of the House, Government and Opposition, and makes it tougher for the Ashcroft Alliance to go after the country’s assets abroad as payment for arbitration awards upheld by U.S. Courts. It was not announced until Thursday, January 26, that there would be a Special Sitting of the House on Friday. Only Cabinet officials were aware of the intent to introduce the bill in order to prevent the alliance from learning of its existence and launching a preemptive strike.

    Brother cops charged for beating 19 year old
    Brothers, 28 year old Kenrick Steven Gamboa, and his younger brother, 24 year old Akeem Rashaad Gamboa remain in police custody after being arraigned on Wednesday evening at the Belize City Magistrate’s Court in connection with the alleged beating of a Belize city youth, 19 year old Michael Crawford. At 4:00 on Wednesday evening the brothers who were unrepresented and who are police officers residing at #6683 Police Street, Belize City were both read a charge of grievous harm. Allegations are that on Saturday, January 28, 2017, they intentionally and unlawfully caused grievous harm to Michael Crawford. While both were charged jointly for that offense, the older brother, PC Kenrick Gamboa was charged alone for the offense of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon to wit, a firearm upon Micahel Crawford.

    Voter re-registration to be done next year
    The Elections and Boundaries Commission has decided that the re-registration of voters will take place in 2018 after the Municipal Elections. The Commission will also carry out a redistricting exercise to try to balance the 31 constituencies, so as to try to reduce the disparity in their respective sizes. The Opposition, PUP, on no proper basis, are interpreting this postponement as something sinister, blowing it out of proportion. Back in August of 2016, the Prime Minister first indicated in a House Meeting that the Government was minded to postpone the 2017 re-registration until after the 2018 municipal elections. The Elections and Boundaries Commission and the public officers from the Elections and Boundaries Department have had some time to consider the wisdom in that course of action, and they have found great merits in it.

    Aragon Tours National Forensic Services
    The new strategy to deal with crime which will be unveiled shortly by the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Elodio Aragon Jr., is a multi-pronged approach which will incorporate the input of several governmental organizations. One such agency is the National Forensics Services which is headquartered in Ladyville. On Monday January 30, Aragon toured the National Forensics Services and met with the staff to abreast himself with the capabilities and needs of the Service. In a presentation which lasted over an hour, Hon. Aragon was brought up to speed with where the NFS finds itself at present and was also presented with the challenges faced by the various sections of the NFS. In an interview with the Guardian Honorable Aragon explained us the purpose of his tour, “I am visiting the Forensic Center, looking at where we are. You know, where the forensic lab is in terms of the people that deal with the chemistry, the biology, and the people who are dealing with the firearms and crime.”

    Kareem should start re-registration in Caribbean Shores
    The adage goes that if you spit in the air it will fall on your face. Maybe Kareem Musa should take this into consideration the next time he decides to be the mouthpiece of the PUP on the upcoming re-registration exercise. He is heard commenting publicly that there is some great need for the re-registration exercise to take place this year. What he fails to tell the public is that like many other PUP politicians, there are persons registered in his division who do not live there. If he is so interested in doing a re-registration maybe he should start in his constituency. There is one Pulu who lives in Pinks Alley or Magestic Alley who is registered at some house on Tenth street.

    BDF soldier accused of sexual assault
    Kevin Chun, 22, a soldier of the Belize Defense Force is out on bail after a female police corporal, 42, reported that he sexually assaulted her at a bar in Ladyville Village on Friday night, January 27. In a report to police, the corporal said that at around 10:20 p.m. on Friday she was conducting special duties at the Cocktail Bar on Wood Pecker Street in Ladyville with PC Morrison when they were notified that a young man was inside giving trouble. The officers responded to the distress call and the bartender pointed them to a short man standing near the bar. This individual was later identified as Kevin Chun, a BDF soldier. Chun had a beer bottle in his hand and was swinging it back and forth as if he was going to throw it at the bartender. The corporal rushed over to Chun, took away the bottle and told him to relax. While standing in front of him, Chun suddenly felt someone’s hand pressing on her vagina. When she looked down she saw Chun’s hand and she slapped him. The officer arrested Chun and escorted him to the Ladyville Police Station where he was charged.

    Arthritis suffering grandmother of Majestic Alley charged for weed
    Beverly Whylie, 59, dragged herself to court with her walking stick on Monday, January 30, to face a single charge of possession of a controlled drug, 23.9 grams of cannabis, which she was allegedly busted with during an early morning police raid of her home at #3 Pinks Alley on Monday. According to police, at about 10:15 a.m., PC Shamir Mai and other officers attached to Eastern North side Strike Team were on mobile patrol when they stopped at Whylie’s residence to conduct a search for illegal drugs and firearm. During the search, PC Mai said he looked under a sofa set and found a bag containing 60 separate parcels of cannabis. The person present inside the house at the time of the search was Beverly Whylie. She was escorted to the Queen Street Police Station where the cannabis was weighed in her presence and amounted to 23.9 grams.

    Child drowns in a well in Belmopan
    Members of the Maya Mopan family of Lorena Duarte are still mourning the drowning of her youngest child Edwin Lorenzo Duarte, which occurred on Saturday afternoon of this past weekend in Belmopan. The energetic child fell into an open well, the main water supply source of his family; as the other family members were washing clothes and attending to other chores. Edwin Duarte was taken to the Western Regional Hospital, but too much water had already flooded his lungs and he passed away.

    David Enriquez to stand trial in Supreme Court for theft
    Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith ruled on Friday, January 27, that there is sufficient evidence against David Elroy Enriquez, 39, for him to stand trial for three counts of theft in the April 2017 Session of the Supreme Court. Enriquez will be on trial for allegedly redirecting almost $500,000 in Government subvention for the Toledo Community College to a private account. Enriquez appeared in the Belize City Magistrates Court with his attorney Oscar Selgado on Friday for a Preliminary Inquiry (PI) before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. Prosecutor in the case, Inspector Egbert Castillo, submitted as many as ten witness statements and nine documentary evidence which will be used against Enriquez at the Supreme Court trial. The Treasury Department discovered that money set to be deposited in specific accounts were redirected to others. Allegations being made against Enriquez are that on January 12, 2014, he dishonestly transferred the sum of $47,638.71 from the Treasury Department to a Belize Bank account registered under the name Seine Bight Community Training Program.

    Coast Guard makes weed arrests on Turneffe Island
    Justin Flowers, 22, pled guilty to drug trafficking in court on Monday, January 30, when he was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrates Court along with two other men and a 13-year-old minor. According to police report, on Saturday, January 28, they received a call from Coast Guard personnel about four individuals who they caught on Turneffe Island in possession of cannabis. The Coast Guard personnel said he placed the four persons, Elijah Usher, 18, Justin Flowers, 22, Stanley O’Neil, 23, and a minor, 13, all of Tibruce Street, under arrest after he was on Turneffe Island and saw them with two transparent plastic bags which contained cannabis. They were turned over to police who detained them and weighed the cannabis in their presence. It amounted to 862 grams. They were all charged with drug trafficking.

    Two guns off the streets
    Belize City police have removed two guns off the streets of Belize City. They report that on Sunday January 29th they conducted a search in an abandoned lot on Oleander Street in the St. Martin’s de Porres area where they found a .38 revolver with two live rounds and three expended shells. No one was found in the area and the gun was deposited as found property.

    Jamaal Warrior remanded for burglary
    The infamous criminal figure Jamaal Warrior, 23, is behind bars at the Belize Central Prison on remand for a charge of burglary. Allegations are that on Sunday, January 29, he broke into the home of Sharon Peters at #10 Albert Street West and stole a Skyler curling iron valued at $150, an extension cord valued at $20, a bracelet valued at $80, a Sony Ericson cellphone valued at $75, a pair of ankle socks, a plastic snake, a set of playing cards and other personal belongings amounting to a total of $438. Warrior was unrepresented when he was escorted to the Belize City Magistrates Court on Tuesday, January 31. He was read a single charge of burglary by Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. Warrior pleaded not guilty and told Chief Magistrate Smith that he was beaten badly by the police officer who arrested him.

    Carl Lino gets 3 ½ years for unlicensed firearm
    Carl Lino, 24, will have to serve 3 ½ years behind bars after he was found guilty of keeping an unlicensed firearm and ammunition. Lino was set to stand trial on Tuesday, January 24; however, he decided to plea guilty to the charges. With that, Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith remanded him to prison until Friday, January 27, while she went over the decision of whether or not to impose the recommended five year sentence. On November 12, 2014, Lino allegedly tried to kill George Street associate Andrew Tate who was shot once in the head. Police responded quickly and intercepted Lino who they shot once in the thigh after he opened fire at them. Police apprehended him and found him in possession of a .38 revolver firearm loaded with several rounds of ammunitions. Tate survived the injury and Lino was charged for the incident.

    Nolle Prosequi in case against Patrick Menzies
    Crown Counsel Sherigne Rodriguez had to withdraw charges of attempted murder against Patrick Menzies, 35, on Thursday, January 26, when Justice Adolph Lucas refused to grant an adjournment to March so she could get one of her main witness in the country to testify. The trial against Menzies for the attempted murder of police officer Delwin Casimiro and Natasha James commenced on January 24. Rodriguez had called five witnesses to the stand, including the two alleged victims, before requesting the adjournment. Inspector Dennis Myles is out of the country and will not return until March 18, 2017. He is the officer who recorded witness statements back in 2011. Two friends went out to a function at the Princess Hotel and Casino on Saturday, June 4, 2011, Deacon Rodney Lino and his friend Patrick Menzies. By the end of the night, the men claimed that an accidental bump ended in them being beaten by men who turned out to be police officers. Lino and Menzies claimed police brutality and reported the incident but police’s version of the story was different as a policeman was ran over and almost lost his life.

    San Pedro Tiger Sharks wins again in Elite Basketball play
    The 2017 National Elite Basketball League competition continued over the last weekend with a number of games across the country. On Saturday 28th January, 2017, out at the San Pedro High School Auditorium in San Pedro Town, the former champions San Pedro Tiger Sharks continued its dominance of the young season so far when it won handily over the defending champions the Smart Belize Hurricanes by the score of 85-75. With this win, the San Pedro Tiger Sharks have improved their record to 3-0 while the defending champions the Smart Belize Hurricanes have dropped to 0-2. The top scorers for the San Pedro Tiger Sharks were George Williams with 27 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal; Ashton Edwards who scored 21 points to go along with 1 assist and a steal; Raul Roches who tallied 16 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists and Kurt Burgess who scored 9 points but pulled down 14 rebounds while dishing out 5 assists to go along with a steal.

    Ahmadiyya U-19 Basketball League opens
    The 2017 Ahmadiyya U -19 Basketball League opened on Sunday 29th January, 2017, at the Gateway Youth Centre in Belize City. The U-19 league has 10 teams participating and will run for eleven weeks. All 10 teams will be in competition every Sunday with the first game commencing at 9:00 am. On Sunday 29th January, in the first game played, Raising Stars won over Spartans by the score of 47-25. The top scorer for Raising Stars was Aaron Young with 28 points and for Spartans the top scorer was Wayne Bennett with 9 points. In game two, Truckers won handily over Bombers by the score of 49-18. The top scorer for Truckers was Justin Bailey with 14 points and for Bombers it was Jaron Alvarez with 4 points. In game three, 3rd World won over Police Street by the score of 38-33. The top scorer for 3rd World was Adrian Hall with 8 points while Everald Tablada top scored for Police Street with 15 points.

    Belmopan Bandits open in winning form in defence of its national title
    The Premier League of Belize opened its Closing Season Tournament on Saturday 28th January, 2017, with a single game on the schedule. In the game played out at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the defending champions the Belmopan Bandits, opened defence of its national title in winning form when it blanked the visiting FC Belize Team from Belize City by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Elroy Smith. The competition then continued on Sunday 29th January, 2017, with three more games on the schedule. At the MCC Grounds, the national sub-champions the Belize Defence Force also opened in winning form when it blanked Wagiya by the score of 6-0.

    Central Region high school football competition enters playoffs
    The Central Region Secondary Schools Football Competition has now entered its playoffs with two games on Monday 30th January, 2017. In the first game in the male Quarter final round, St. John’s College eliminated Edward P. Yorke High School by the score of 2-1 to advance to the semi-final round. The goals for St. John’s College were scored by Eric Rodriguez and Carlos Guerra, while Kevin Najera scored for Edward P. Yorke High School. In the second game in the Quarter final round, Wesley College eliminated Sadie Vernon Technical High School by the score of 5-0. The goals for Wesley College were scored by Kermit Sutherland (2) Godwin Neal, Bernard Bailey and Jaylyn Thomas. The male Quarter Final round then continued on Tuesday 31st January, 2017, with two more games. In the first game of the afternoon, Anglican Cathedral College eliminated Maud Williams High School by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Darrell Flowers.

    Belize Softball Federation to holds Umpires’ Training
    The Belize Softball Federation will be holding an Umpires’ Training from February 15-19, 2017, at Rogers’ Stadium in Belize City. The Umpires’ Training will be conducted by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Softball Division Chief Umpire Robert Stanton. Robert Stanton has been the WBSC-Softball Division Umpire in Chief since 2008 and has led over 40 Certification Seminars for umpires. The training will include theory (classroom) and practical (field) as well as a fitness test and a written exam. The federation is extending an invitation to all softball umpires and those interested in umpiring to register for the up-coming Umpires’ Training.

    HIV/TB “Creating an enabling environment for key populations” Workshop for media in Belmopan
    The National AIDS Commission, with the sponsorship of the United Nations Development Program UNDP as a part of the Global Fund Project for HIV, TB and Malaria, held a one on one session with the media on Monday of this week at the George Price Center for Peace and Development in Belmopan. A major goal of the encounter is to create an enabling environment for key populations affected by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus HIV and TB in Belize. HIV Consultant Martha Carrillo shared with us the status of HIV at the Global and local levels. UNAIDS reports that there were 36.7 million persons living with HIV around the world in 2015, from which 1.1 million have died. Some 78 million have been infected since the start of the HIV pandemic and 35 million have died. At the world level, the good news is that some 17 million people are now accessing antiretroviral therapy. In Belize, 239 persons were HIV positive in 2015 with the majority being males.

    BAHA urges livestock producers to vaccinate against rabies
    The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health and Belize Livestock Producers Association informs all livestock farmers to vaccinate their livestock against the ongoing Bovine Rabies disease outbreak. The disease is currently being detected in the Corozal, Orange Walk, Cayo and Toledo Districts and is expected to continue affecting unvaccinated herds throughout the entire country. The disease is also being found in sheep and therefore farmers are being advised to vaccinate their cattle, sheep and horses against rabies

    Belize’s export option for economic growth
    The Directorate General for Foreign Trade (DGFT) hosted a workshop on a strategy for boosting exports in Belize on Friday morning of last week in the National Emergency Management Organization NEMO training room at the NEMO Headquarters in Belmopan. Among the conclusions from that session was that a faster than normal real Gross Domestic Product growth for Belize would have to be export driven. The workshop was facilitated by the renowned Professor Victor Bulmer-Thomas of the University College of London. Professor Bulmer-Thomas, through the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), has done much academic work on Belize and Central America trade relations from which his analysis is derived. He had made a similar presentation at the IDB Headquarters in Belize in May of last year. In addition, Professor Bulmer-Thomas is the co-author of the book “The Economic History of Belize”.

    7 Belizeans to study medicine in El Salvador
    As part of cooperation between the Government of Belize and El Salvador, 7 Belizeans will get the opportunity to study medicine in that country. Minister of Health, Hon. Pablo Marin along with the Ambassador of El Salvador to Belize, Hon. Luis Carabantes Palacios met with the recipients of the medical scholarships which are offered through the government of El Salvador to Belizean doctors to pursue specialty areas in Medicine. Minister Marin was happy to meet and express gratitude to the successful applicants for their interest and support to pursue areas which are not common in Belize. From the seven recipients, three will take up General Surgery, two in Psychiatry, one in Pediatrics and one in Internal Medicine. The program was made possible through the cooperation from the Minister of Health of El Salvador, Violeta Menjivar.

    Forest Department leads effort to update national threatened species list
    Key stakeholders met at the Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center on Tuesday, 31st January 2017, to modify and update the Threatened Species List 2005. The Forest Department, through the involvement of more than twenty-five local, regional and international experts and wildlife conservation representatives, is presently updating Belize’s National Threatened Species List for terrestrial wildlife. As a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity, Belize’s efforts to update the list is only one of the many activities underway to ensure that Belize meets its global commitments and contributes towards the global Sustainable Development Goals to secure the survival of threatened species, maintain biodiversity, and improve wildlife conservation efforts. According to the Forest Department’s Wildlife Manager Edgar Correa, this update of threatened species is essential to identifying emerging threats and potential impacts on priority species, as well as pinpoint effective forest protection measures necessary to safeguard wildlife.

    Belize improving ties with Mexico
    On Monday, the Embassy of Mexico in Belize was delighted to receive Rosa Elena Lozano Vázquez, Secretary of Economic Development of the State of Quintana Roo. A press release from the Mexican Embassy indicates that her visit included meetings with Hon. Erwin Contreras, Minister of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investments and Commerce, and with Hon. Tracy Panton and Amparo Masson, Minister of State and Vice Minister of Investments and Commerce, respectively. These meetings were aimed at identifying trade and investment opportunities between Mexico and Belize, and also offered an opportunity to analyze the impact a prospective trade agreement between the two countries could have on increasing bilateral trade.

    Punta Gorda day a massive success
    There was a massive celebration this past weekend as Punta GordaTown in the Toledo District commemorated its 122nd Anniversary under the theme “PUNTA GORDA, THE EPITOME OF PRISTINE BEAUTY, HISTORY AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY, STRIVES TOGETHER FOR A PRODUCTIVE AND GREATER COMMUNITY”. The celebration kicked off last Thursday evening, January 26, 2017 with a panel discussion at the public library with contributors sharing historical accounts and perspectives on Punta Gorda “then and now”. Friday, January 27 was observed as Municipal Green Day featuring members from all sectors of the community wearing GREEN as a symbol of peace and growth. Also on that day, there was Municipal History Hour from 9:30 until 10:30 in the morning.

    66 complete professional training
    There are sixty-six more Belizeans who have successfully completed professional development courses offered by the Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC) and are now applying those newly acquired skills at their place of employment or are looking for a workplace to show off what they have learnt. Forty-six youths completed the Front Desk Training Course, thirteen individuals (young and old) completed the House-Keeping Course and seven completed the Advance Bartending Training. The courses ran from January 11 to 27 and on Wednesday, February 1, Minister of State in the Ministry of Economic Development, Hon. Tracy Taegar-Panton, and General Manager of Enterprise and Innovation at BELTRAIDE, Melanie Gideon, joined the successful participants at a graduation ceremony at BTEC’s Enterprise Training Room on the ITVET compound in Belize City.

    Retrospectively - Alternative Facts
    Over the past few days, Belizeans have observed from a distance the change of political power further north in the United States. One of the interesting side shows to it was the emergence of the term “alternative facts” as used by a senior official in the new administration to justify information that, to put it nicely, did not correspond to reality. In fact, there were some in the US media who immediately pointed out that the term alternative facts simply means falsehoods and lies. While that may just be American politics at its best, or worse, depending on one’s perspective, we must quickly realize that we are not exempt and certainly not immune from this type of deception as there are so many persons right here in Belize who all too frequently try to use “alternative facts” to mislead the Belizean public. In no case has it been more obvious yet insidious as in the case of the many so-called and self-proclaimed experts, critics and spin masters of the opposition who have tried to inflate the cost of the settlement on the nationalization of BTL.

    Prestigious Canadian scholarships to help Belizean students tackle issues of coastal resilience
    Scholarship applications are now open to prospective Belizean students to study in Canada next year as part of a prestigious scholarship program being offered by Vancouver Island University (VIU) that aims to build resilience in coastal communities in Belize and Canada. The program, funded through VIU’s Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship program, is designed to increase cooperation among Canadian and Belizean scholars and community organizations that are working on issues of community resilience in coastal areas, including: • Capacity to foster sustainable economic activity, particularly tourism. • Management of water in coastal zones, including drinking water. • Developing and managing parks and protected areas in or near coastal communities. • Coastal communities’ responses to climate change. • Sustainable aquatic foods and local agricultural production. VIU is currently hosting five top Belizean students who were awarded QEII scholarships last year to pursue their Masters degrees in Community Planning and Geographic Information Systems.

    Senior Immigration officer Gordon Wade appears before Senate Commission
    Gordon Wade, the Senior Immigration Officer who was in charge of the Nationality Section, has had his first day before the Senate Select Committee. He was called to give an explanation on the portion of the Auditor General’s report on Immigration, which calls out what was supposed to have been careful and critical examination of Nationality applications. The audit report shows a different snapshot from 2011 to 2013, where many applicants managed to get visas to visit Belize. After that, in a few short weeks, months, and sometimes a few short days, these same applicants were able to get nationality long before they qualified for it under the law. He was the chief officer who should have ensured that persons like this did not get forwarded in consideration for nationality.

    Why wait until next year for re-registration?
    To listen to the higher-ups in the People’s United Party speak, one would believe that they were preparing themselves to be canonized as saints. They of all the people in this country have the nerve to be accusing others of stealing elections. Their latest wolf’s cry is to be calling for a RE-REGISTRATION of electors. In this latest attack they have been saying that the United Democratic Party stole the last General Election and that the UDP intends to steal the Municipal Elections coming up in March of 2018. The voice we have been hearing on this one is none other than their leader Johnny and perhaps the soon to be leader, Kareem Musa, the son of Said Musa. Now the older Musa has been winning elections in the Fort George Constituency for a long time and he has faced six opponents in seven elections. He has won all 7 of those elections every time by margins of 500 to 700 votes. Prior to him winning the margins of victory were between 75 to 150 votes except for 1961 when it was a blowout.

    WORDS OF LIFE with Barry Fraser
    Over the past few weeks, we have been looking at parts of the letter the Apostle, Missionary, and prolific letter writer Paul wrote to the believers in Rome. These ancient words are timeless in their practical instruction for us today! Let’s look at what Paul said about love in action. In Romans 12:9-13, Paul declared: “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need, Practice hospitality.”

    There is a New Catholic Bishop
    Dangriga native Father Lawrence Nicasio has been appointed to lead the Catholic Diocese in Belize. He’s taking over from outgoing Bishop Dorick Wright, who has been locked in a prolonged struggle with severe illnesses, including kidney failure. Bishop Christopher Glancy was consecrated in 2012, and he was brought in as an auxiliary to help Bishop Wright in managing the affairs of the church, while Wright managed his health complications. Bishop Wright will go into early retirement at age 71, and Bishop Nicasio will replace him. Bishop Glancy will remain as the auxiliary Bishop. Speaking about his predecessor, Bishop Nicasio told the press that even though kidney dialysis is a physically taxing ordeal for most people, Bishop Wright “stays strong”, and is “always ready to chat”. Published information from Catholic Church says that Bishop Nicasio holds a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, USA. He also holds a Masters degree in Divinity from the Kenrich College Seminary, from the same archdiocese. He was ordained as a priest in 1989, and he has served the church all over the country.

    The Belize Times

    Barrow’s Dirty Voters List
    The Dean Barrow Administration is actively seeking to delay a registration of voters, due by law on July 1, 2017, because they say the next general elections are too far away. They’re flip-flopping away from their excuse the last 2 postponements, which was that the country was too close to general elections. The Opposition Party is asking for it to be done, and demanding that the Government follow the laws of the country, but the ruling party is stubbornly sticking to its decision even though the last re-registration exercise was 20 years ago. The Elections and Boundaries Commission reports that there are currently over a 198,000 registered voters in Belize. There is proof that the Opposition has provided in the past that there is fraud within the voters list. However, the latest bit of evidence came last week from former Immigration Director Ruth Meighan who conceded that just before 2012 General Elections there was fraud committed for Belizean nationality where UDP politicians and agents were rushing in to get nationality for persons who didn’t qualify. That fraud on nationality certainly transferred over to the voters’ list, and that was how the UDP managed to steal the 2012 elections.

    Party Unity in OW
    On Saturday the National Party Council of the People’s United Party met in Orange Walk Town. This was the first quarterly meeting for 2017 of the second highest governing body of the PUP, which includes the members of the National Executive and delegates from all thirty one constituencies. True to his leadership style of reaching out to the people, the Party Leader Hon. John Briceño endorsed having the NPC outside of the Party Headquarters in Belize City, and has pledged to rotate the venue throughout the country. Welcoming the delegates to Orange Walk was Mayor Kevin Bernard who spoke of the work of the Town Council and the challenges they have faced having to deal with a vindictive central government. Despite that he said that with the support of the people he and his Council have gotten the job done, paving streets, renovating parks and providing quality service to all residents of Orange Walk Town. He called for all sections of the Party to awake to action to rescue Belize from the grips of this oppressive UDP regime.

    Belize’s Star Shines Bright
    Tonight there is no word on whether the government of Belize and the Belize Tourism Board will acknowledge Rebecca Rath’s achievements in Manila. There has been no press release after Sunday’s Miss Universe pageant, as there was after US Olympian Simone Biles won gold in the Olympics. There has been no talk of a motorcade or of the keys to the city being handed over. As one, the collective heart of a hopeful nation fell on Sunday night as Miss Universe host Steve Harvey called out the name of the last semi-finalist. Our representative, Rebecca Rath, did not make it to that round. For hours the social media circuit buzzed with frenetic activity, Belizeans crying foul. The reality, though, is that by her very presence and activity in the run-up to the pageant, Rebecca Rath provided Belize with amazing positive publicity. For weeks this young Belizean captured the hearts of international media outlets, and Belize was named prominently in them. She may not have won, but she represented Belize proudly and well.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Late night murder in Belize City
    BBN has confirmed that a man was gunned down on Iguana Street Extension in Belize City just before 10 pm tonight. The victim is identified as Mark Jones. Police are currently on the scene conducting their investigations.

    San Pedro activist found dead
    Confirmed reports reaching our newsroom is that a well known San Pedro resident was found dead earlier tonight in his home in the San Juan area. San Pedro police are yet to release further details and as such BBN could not confirm if murder is suspected or if the death is due to natural causes. BBN will have an update as soon as the police issue an official report. Update: The victim is identified as forty three year old Felix Ayuso, a hairdresser residing at the corner of Jew fish and Seaweed Street in the San Juan area of San Pedro. He was found motionless in his bed with several stab wounds to his body.

    Tribute to Evan X Hyde organized by Pen Cayetano and Family
    On Sunday at 3 p.m., the Pen Cayetano studio gallery is celebrating Black History month with a special tribute to the Evan X Hyde, the publisher of The Amandala Newspaper. Speakers included on the agenda are Cynthia Ellis-Topsey, Dr. Theodore Arnda and Evan X Hyde, himself. The art exhibition is being led by Pen, Ingrid and Mali Cayetano. Following Hyde’s return to Belize following his studies in the United States, he was one of the chief founders of the 1969 United Black Association for Development (UBAD) which focused largely on black empowerment.

    Chinese Businessman goes berserk inside Placencia Casino
    A Chinese businessman who went berserk inside the Placencia Casino is at this time in police detention facing charges. According to police reports, yesterday officers responded to reports of shots being fired at the Placencia Casino located in the plantation area on the Placencia Peninsula. On arrival they saw 59-year-old Canlin Su, Chinese businessman of Maya Beach area in possession of a firearm in front of the casino.

    PUP preparing to fight UDP
    The People’s United Party (PUP) is seeking to recall the United Democratic Party’s embattled Orange Walk Area Representative, Gaspar Vega. At the Party’s first National Party Council meeting for 2017 it was indicated that the challenge will be launched exactly 18 months after Vega secured his victory in the 2015 General Elections. Additionally the party took the opportunity to lash out against the government for its third restructuring of the country’s Super Bond. According to the PUP, it appears that GoB still cannot get it right after its third attempt.

    Two Police officers jailed for beating teenager
    Yesterday two Belize City cops, Kenrick and Akeem Gamboa (brothers) appeared in court after they were charged for beating a teenager. The nineteen year old teen told police that on Saturday he was socializing at a home on mile four when the two officers gained entry and attacked him. According to the teen, one of the men pointed a firearm on his direction and fired several shots to intimidate him.

    National Council on Ageing celebrates 14th Anniversary
    Today marks the 14th anniversary of the National Council on Ageing which was first established in 2003 following Cabinet approval. Events to commemorate the anniversary will begin on February 7th at the Belmopan Market Square with a flash mob featuring various supporters to showcase the talents, creativity and youthfulness of older persons. On February 9th the council will have an anniversary review in Belize where it will evaluate its progress as it continues to press for older persons to be a part of the National Agenda.

    National Threatened Species List to be updated
    Yesterday, the Belize Forest Department issued a press release informing the public that key stakeholders met at the Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center on Tuesday, January 31st, 2017 to modify and update Belize’s Threatened Species List. The Forest Department, through the involvement of more than twenty-five local, regional and international experts and wildlife conservation representatives, are collaborating to update the country’s National Threatened Species List.

    Blogs

    Black History Month is being held in Dangriga
    Around the world the month of February is celebrated as the Black history month where the the people who migrated from Africa to the other side of the world Honduras, Belize, United States and other countries who observe Black History Month are a culture to represent their culture background. On February 1st, 2017 the United States commenced its observation of their Black History month. Belize has many challenges when it comes to celebrate this month especially. when no one is really involved or though making their culture Black History Month recognize in Belize. Earlier this year a press release was taken out that their will be having an event in Dangriga. To represent the Black History Month in Belize. A celebration that will take place this Sunday February 5th, 2017 in Dangriga. Renowned Garifuna artist, Pen Cayetano, and his family will be organizing a special observance of Black History Month for 2017, and the musician and painter will be preparing for a showcase that will be displaying a centerpiece of the observance this year in February, for a special tribute to Evan X Hyde and the United Black Association for Development (UBAD) a black power movement which Hyde and his peers led in Belize in the 1960s. The launch of Black History month by Pen will be scheduled to commence at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 5, 2017 at the Pen Cayetano Studio Gallery at 3 Aranda Crescent in Dangriga Town.

    San Ignacio to Host 15th Annual Belize Archaeology Symposium
    On June 28-30, 2017, the Belize National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) will host the 15th annual Belize Archeology Symposium at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel in San Ignacio, Belize. This year’s special topic will be “The Origin of Ancient Maya Lifeways and Society: Preclassic and Early Classic Developments.” Admittance for the symposium is $10 BZD for residents and $20 BZD for non-residents. Registration will open at 7:30 AM on each day of the symposium. Pre-registration is heartily encouraged and attendance is by invitation only. For more information, contact the Institute of Archeology at 822-2106 or by email at research@nichbelize.org.

    World Cancer Day: Belize Focuses on Increasing Access to Care
    Belize, a country of just 330,000 inhabitants and limited resources, is bringing cancer care to the fore. In the run up to World Cancer Day —taking place on 4 February 2017— First Lady Kim Simplis Barrow is speaking up for change and is campaigning to increase access to cancer care, based on recommendations from the IAEA. “I am a cancer survivor because I was one of the lucky ones,” Simplis Barrow said. “For many in Belize, this is not the case.” In October 2011, Simplis Barrow found out she had breast cancer and managed to receive treatment abroad. Cancer patients in Belize who do not have the means to be treated in another country have little hope, Simplis Barrow said. Even many of those who manage to find treatment abroad do not survive because their diagnoses are given too late or because there is no follow up treatment available locally. Her aim is to make sure Belize establishes a cancer care facility where Belizeans can be treated.

    JOB FAIR: You are invited TODAY Corozal!
    The 2017 Harvest Season is here! Join us at our job fair to explore our employment options! We have 100's of vacancies available. Be sure to bring the following: 1.) Your Resume 2.) Copy of Your Social Security Card 3.) A Current Police Record 4.) Any diplomas/certificates and/or additional qualifications you may posses.

    Digicell number scam alert
    BTL informs our customers that the Company investigated the recently reported issue of random international calls to DigiCell Numbers. In most instances customers would see a missed call registered on their call log. Most reported number prefixes was from +675. We have since blocked these numbers to immediately eliminate fraudulent action. DigiCell customers are advised and urged not to answer or return any such missed calls from unknown international numbers and or to block them immediately.

    BEL Awards 1,110 Golden Citizens with Electricity Bill Discounts
    Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) is providing 1,110 senior citizens countrywide with discounts on their electricity bills for 2017 through the Company’s Golden Citizen Program. Ms. Ivorine Bulwer, Executive Director of HelpAge Belize, which endorses the program says, “BEL’s services to improve the quality of life for older persons in Belize is an indication of the Company’s appreciation for those who have contributed to the growth and development of the Belizean Society.” The random selection is made annually from qualifying account holders who are Belizean Citizens, 65 years of age or older with only one active electricity account registered in their name at their residence. Since the launch of the program in 2012, the number of awardees has been increased annually, with this year’s total more than doubling the 500 selected in 2016.

    Belize Scholarship Opportunities
    NIIED is excited to announce the application guidelines of the 2017 Korean Government Scholarship Program for Graduate Degrees. For the year 2017, we will invite 670 international students from 156 countries, for degree (Master's & Doctoral) and non-degree research programs. Please visit www.studyinkorea.go.kr for more details. http://www.studyinkorea.go.kr/en/main.do  Scholarships  GKS Notice (currently posted on no. 320) Check the guidelines carefully for further information such as the eligibility requirements, required documents and directions to submit the application. The deadline will be decided by each office that accepts the application documents, i.e. the Korean Embassies or selected universities. Please make sure to check their separate announcement for the deadlines.

    Summer Family Travel to Belize
    Adventure vacations are the latest and greatest ways to share once-in-a-lifetime memories with family—to bond with busy kids and spend uninterrupted time with the people you love most. At Caves Branch Jungle Lodge, you get everything but the same-old, same old resort experience. Come during the summer months and you’ll even enjoy affordable rates. Here are just a few activities you and your kids can share at Caves Branch Jungle Lodge, where adventure is so more than just a word! -After scaling waterfalls, finish off with the best fun ever --jump into the pool below, laughing and screaming as Dad takes video images of every splash-down. -Float through a primitive jungle and into a series of caves on tubes to see everything from lush plants to ancient crystalized interiors guaranteed to grab the attention of the most petulant teens. -Challenge everyone in the family to a safe, unforgettable zip line experience, sailing across treetops like action heroes conquering a leafy green canopy.

    International Sourcesizz

    La humillante derrota de México
    Great history - the Mexican troops were defeated in 1842 by the Republic of Yucatan which was a country back then. The Republic of Yucatan includes what's today Campeche, Yucatan and Quintana roo. This win was in large part thanks to the Mayas. This the reason why when many Mayas move from the war to what would become Belize they called us Yucatecos.
    Existen en la historia nacional, de todos los países, silencios que no muchos se atreven a romper. Anécdotas que recordarlas duele y es preferible no enseñarlos a las nuevas generaciones. Algunas veces estos hechos van en contra de la propia historia oficial y equivale a una blasfemia mencionarlos. En el caso mexicano existe un acontecimiento en particular que son muy pocos los que lo conocen. Estoy hablando de la guerra Mexico-Yucateca que se tuvo su haber entre los años 1842 y 1843. Para esos años la República de Yucatán ya se había establecido como nación independiente y se aproximaban a una de sus más grandes hazañas: su victoria sobre la nación mexicana. Después del triunfo de la revolución de Santiago Imán y de la obtención de su independencia el 16 de mayo de 1841. Y una de sus principales preocupaciones fue la defensa de la pobre nación. Para eso los yucatecos importaron armas desde Estados Unidos, Francia e Inglaterra.

    Scientists report possible new hammerhead shark species
    Researchers in Belize believe they've discovered a new species of hammerhead shark. At first, scientists thought they were examining a bonnethead, a small hammerhead species found in the United States, Bahamas, Caribbean and Latin America. But DNA analysis suggests the shark is a separate species. Because the bonnethead is currently considered a single species with a wide distribution, scientists with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature classify it as a species of "Least Concern" for risk of extinction. But if the bonnethead is in fact two species with more localized distributions, that classification could change. Though the hammerhead specimen looks like other bonnetheads, DNA analysis suggests it's part of a group that stopped breeding with bonnetheads from the Bahamas, Mexico and the United States several million years ago. Since then, the group has accumulated enough genetic differences to warrant classification as a unique species.

    Videos

  • Transparent BPO Job Opportunities, 23min.

  • Fushion HR - Job Seekers Platform, 27min.

  • Position of the PUP on Re- distribution and Re- registration, 31min.

  • Cave Tubing - Belize, 6min.

  • Belize 2016, 4min. Our school trip to Belize with EF Tours!

  • Belize Vacation, 23min.

  • Belize- Winter 2017, 6.5min.

  • Midas Belize, 3.5min. Accommodation and Golf Cart and ATV Rentals.

  • Raw Vegan Foods Retreats in Belize, 2.5min. This retreat is for those who enjoy life and want to continue to by living life on their terms and choosing reboot their thought on eating and looking at like and living life differently. This is for you.

  • FISHING IN BELIZE!, 2.5min.

  • Mexican Embassy, Museum of Belize Team Up for Anniversary Exhibition, 2min.

  • BELIZE, 22min. Beschrijving.

  • 2017 Jan Belize, 19min.

  • Xunantunich Archaeological Reserve- Mayan Ruin- Belize 2016, 1.5min. And yep! I was out of breath! We had already went up so far already.

  • BELIZE BEST SNORKEL TOUR EVER, SHARK AND RAY FIGHTING, 7min. En: Catching sharks, rays and moreys, turtle and the best tour guide on the world, if u want to touch sharks and rays don't doubt with LA gaviota tours, free drinks and food is this full day tour, Spanish: El guía de la gaviota tours es el mejor puedes tocar tiburones, rayas, tortugas, peces etc... comida y bebida a bordo y es imprescindible...

  • Swimming with SKARKS!!! And STINGRAYS in Belize, 15min.

  • Expedición Isla Bonita - Blue Hole BELIZE, 10min. Primera Expedición del 2017. Saliendo de Cancun México, parando en Mahahual para de ahí al día siguiente salir hacia San Pedro Belize a bucear y después terminar en el famoso Blue Hole

  • Belize Trip 2015, 30min. Dive trip to Belize! Splash Dive Center made sure we had a great time even on bad weather days! Stayed at Jaguar Reef in Hopkins and Itza Lodge at Lighthouse Reef. Lots of turtles, sharks, eaglerays! Blue Hole was incredible

  • Xunantunich - Mopan River Ferry Crossing - Cayo DIstrict Belize, 6min. Crossing the Mopan River by Ferry on way to see the Mayan Ruins @ Xunantunich. November 2016.

  • Zenaida Moya Show Episode 8, 2hr.

  • ReefCI island view, 1min. aerial

    February 2, 2017


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    First ever Field Hockey Caribbean Coconut Cup comes to La Isla Bonita
    The Caribbean Coconut Cup will be the first ever International Field Hockey Tournament to be played in Belize. The event will be hosted on Saturday, February 4th at the San Pedro High School’s (SPHS) Angel Nuñez Auditorium, at 4PM. Following the official opening ceremony, Belize’s only field hockey club, the San Pedro Buccaneers, will face the Tropical Knights from Toronto, Canada. Entrance is free, with food and $4 rum drinks and beer on sale. There will be three teams participating in a ‘Round Robin’ tournament: the Tropical Knights from Canada (the professionals), the San Pedro Buccaneers SS1 (the young members), and the San Pedro Buccaneers SS2 (the older experienced members). According to organizer Victor Murphy, this tournament was requested by Withrow Park’s Hockey Club. “The Tropical Knights, which is under the Withrow Park Hockey Club, dared to challenge the San Pedro Buccaneers on the field of hockey. I mean, the winner will take all! We gladly accepted the offer, and extend a very warm welcome to our guests from Toronto. We hope they can experience the warmth of the people and the wonderful sights and sounds that this dream island and the country of Belize has to offer,” said Murphy

    SPTC addresses high influx of vehicles on the island
    It is believed that as San Pedro Town continues rapidly developing, the issues regarding traffic congestion may not go away anytime soon. Aldana reiterated that the SPTC will work closely with the island’s Transport Department to alleviate the traffic conditions before it spirals out of control. He shared that they will continue monitoring the situation and appropriately manage the influx of vehicles to the island. Efforts to address the traffic conditions were also discussed at a recent traffic public consultation held on Monday, January 16th in San Pedro Town. Invited guest Darwin Juell from Canada, a veteran in creating traffic plans for different municipalities, shared ideas on how to tackle the issue on the island. The need for more sidewalks, better taxi services, and additional streets were some one of the main topics discussed. Juell strongly suggested monitoring the influx of vehicles on the island before an action plan can be executed. In his presentation, he stated that almost 60% of the vehicles on the island are golf carts, which do take most of the parking space at any time of the day. He further commented on the approaches to deal with the issue, including pedestrianizing of streets and the beach, the drafting of a taxi operational manual, and the possible implementation of public transportation. For the time being, residents were once again encouraged to also do their part and use their vehicles only when necessary and to continue making use of the public parking lot on Angel Coral Street.

    U.S Embassy denies any changes in US Visa policy for Belizeans
    An online ‘article’ claiming changes to visa policies for Belizeans has been declared false by the United States Embassy in Belize. The false article had indicated that the US had set a quota on visas issued to Belizeans, causing much concern. On Monday, January 30th the Public Affairs section of the embassy issued an official release in response to the article. The official note stated that there have been no new rules or regulations limiting the number of US visas for Belizean citizens. Belizeans were advised to visit the Embassy’s website for the most-up to-date and accurate information. The notification ended by indicating that the US and Belize have strong bilateral ties based on shared interests and they look forward to enhancing their friendship.

    SPTC starts its first Softball Tournament
    The first Co-ed Softball Tournament officially opened on Sunday, January 29th at the Honourable Louis Sylvestre Complex. Organized by The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), the first set of games saw six teams (Atlantic Bank, Rusties, San Pedro High School (SPHS), Extreme, Sea Star, and Tuff E Enuff) competing against each other before a crowd of softball fans. After several games, Rusties, SPHS, and Sea Star emerged as the top teams. According to Hector ‘Tito’ Alamilla Jr, Sports Councillor at the SPTC, the teams in the tournament will compete for six weeks before entering semi-finals. “After the six weeks, the four teams with the most wins will qualify for the second round. This is where eliminations will take place in order to determine which two teams will go for the championship game at the end of the tournament,” said Alamilla. The SPTC would like to thank all teams for being part of the tournament as well as the fans who came out to show their support. The games continue this weekend on Sunday, February 5th, starting at 9:30AM at the Honourable Louis Sylvestre Sporting Complex.

    Rebecca Rath shines at the 65th Miss Universe Pageant
    From swimsuits to evening gowns, the 65th Miss Universe Pageant drew in a total of 5.2 million viewers worldwide on Sunday, January 29th. The highly anticipated pageant was held in Manilla, Philippines at the Mall of Asia Arena, where 86 contestants from across the globe vied for the crown. Rebecca Rath, Belize’s beauty ambassador, proudly put the country on the map with her elegance, intelligence, and fashionable attire during the competition. After three weeks of preparing for the grand event, 24-year-old Miss France Iris Mittenaere took the title of Miss Universe 2016. The Miss Universe preliminary competition was hosted by Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach and Derek Ramsay on January 26th. The beauties commenced the competition by introducing themselves before displaying their swimwear and evening gowns.

    Ambergris Today

    66 Receive Certificate in Tourism Based Job Preparedness Training
    Today, February 1, 2017, The Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC), a unit of BELTRAIDE, awarded certificates to 66 persons who completed a tourism-based Job Preparedness Training in Belize City, which was held from 11th –27th January, 2017. The Job Preparedness Training, which had the participation of one of the largest groups, was made up of two components: soft skills (attitudes and behaviours) and technical skills (industry specific). This was the first time in Belize City that BTEC executed training in three technical areas: Front Desk, Introduction to Bartending and House-keeping/Janitorial. Sixty-six persons (66) completed the training with over 98% completing successfully and the remaining 2% receiving certificate of participation. Each participant was required to sit a Pre-test in English, Customer Service and Basic Tourism Facts.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Tres Cocos First Friday Trash Pickup for February 2017
    Keeping it clean on the first Friday of the month! Don't miss out on the fun! It is that time again! The First Friday trash-attack is this week! (Look how beautiful the beach path looked after last month's efforts!) We will meet at our regular place, the Paradise Theater parking lot and work our way north along the concrete road and beach to Marbucks! Notice the earlier start -- 8 a.m. Thank you for helping to keep Isla Bonita. We need you! (We will have gloves, bags, trash sticks for all. Just bring your love for the island.)

    The Caribbean Coconut Cup
    The Caribbean Coconut Cup - International Ball Hockey Tournament!!! Coming to San Pedro, Feb 4-6 at SPHS

    SAN IGNACIO FIRE
    On Tuesday January 31, 2017, San Ignacio Police visited Santa Familia Village, Cayo District where 53-year-old Antonio Ayala reported that while at work he was informed that his wooden house measuring 32’ X 40’ was on fire. The structure was completely destroyed by fire. The property and contents valued at $60,000 were not insured. To assist the family call 6102895 or 6515378.

    Seafood Guide to Belize
    Unsure of open/closed season for local seafood? We have printed pocket sized seafood watch guides for Belize, in Spanish & English versions-available at the Placencia Tourism Center-or contact me directly for any amount! San Pedro: we are bringing an entire box of the Spanish version for uno tomorrow!

    Victoria Peak Trail Open Season 2017
    We are pleased to announce the opening of the Victoria Peak Trail for 2017. Victoria Peak Natural Monument was declared a Protected Area in 1998 for its uniqueness and aesthetic qualities. In addition, the protection status ensures the survival of one of Belize's few tracks of elfin woodland forest. The spectacular journey to the summit of Victoria Peak (1,120 meters) entails a 27 kilometer hike through the jungles of the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, culminating with an impressive vista of the Cockscomb Basin, in the Maya Mountains. Please contact the Belize Audubon Society to register your group; for more information on the dates, cost and logistics; ask for Ms. Delia Noble. Email: giftshop@belizeaudubon.org Telephone: (work) 223-5004/4987/4988

    Estel’s 6th Annual BBQ Cookoff!
    BBQ lovers of San Pedro are invited to join once again in the 6th Annual BBQ Cookoff on February 4th, 2017 at Estel’s by the Sea. This year 12 grill masters have been invited to take the quench in competing for the titles of: Grand Champion, People’s choice, and Judge’s choice. Lots of appetizers and drink specials. It will be a smokin good time! All proceeds go to the Sunshine foundation! 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

    Placencia Sidewalk Art Festival February 11th & 12th, New Artists, Chocolate Making, Art Auction and More!
    For over a decade the Placencia Sidewalk Arts Festival has brought together Belize’s top artists and those people, local and foreign, who appreciate the work they do so well. This year’s festival, through the sponsorship of Naïa Resort and Spa, will be adding a new dimension to the annual event. “Art After Dark” is a gala dinner that is honouring six painters from the Placencia Peninsula who have left their mark on Belize’s cultural scene. Not only will attendees get to meet, dine and forge relationships with the honourees, Anton Leslie, Earnest Garcia, Greta Leslie, Lola Delgado plus Omar and Grayson Sierra, but will also be able to bid on their latest works in a silent auction. Naïa invites you to join them on Saturday, February 11, at Naïa’s restaurant “1981” for what will certainly be a night of good food, good company and great art. Seating is limited so please purchase your tickets early so you won’t be left out.

    Medical Scholarships through El Salvador
    The Minister of Health. Hon. Pablo Marin along with the Ambassador of El Salvador to Belize, Hon. Luis Carabantes Palacios met today with recipients of medical scholarships offered through El Salvador to Belizean doctors to pursue specialty areas in Medicine. Minister Marin was happy to meet and express gratitude to the successful applicants for their interest and support to pursue areas which are not common in Belize. From the seven recipients, three will take up General Surgery, two in Psychiatry, One in Pediatrics and one in Internal Medicine. This was also made possible through the cooperation from the Minister of Health of El Salvador, Violeta Menjivar.

    Forest Department Leads Effort to Update National Threatened Species List
    Key stakeholders met at the Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center on Tuesday, 31st January 2017, to modify and update the Threatened Species List 2005. The Forest Department, through the involvement of more than twenty-five local, regional and international experts and wildlife conservation representatives, is presently updating Belize’s National Threatened Species List for terrestrial wildlife. As a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity, Belize’s efforts to update the list is only one of the many activities underway to ensure that Belize meets its global commitments and contributes towards the global Sustainable Development Goals to secure the survival of threatened species, maintain biodiversity, and improve wildlife conservation efforts. According to the Forest Department’s Wildlife Manager Edgar Correa, this update of threatened species is essential to identifying emerging threats and potential impacts on priority species, as well as pinpoint effective forest protection measures necessary to safeguard wildlife. He further explained that at the end of the workshop, a National Threatened Species List 2017 will be developed.

    RABIES VACCINATION FOR CATTLE, SHEEP AND HORSES STRONGLY RECOMMENDED
    The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health and Belize Livestock Producers Association informs all livestock farmers to vaccinate their livestock against the ongoing Bovine Rabies disease outbreak. The disease is currently being detected in the Corozal, Orange Walk, Cayo and Toledo Districts and is expected to continue affecting unvaccinated herds throughout the entire country. The disease is also being found in sheep and therefore farmers are being advised to vaccinate their cattle, sheep and horses against rabies Farmers are advised that rabies can be transmitted to humans and to report suspect cases to BAHA. Rabies is a highly fatal disease that affects all mammals. The disease is always fatal but can be prevented through vaccination of animals and post exposure treatment to humans. Affected animals will usually show nervous signs and aggressive behavior. Most animals will show excessive salivation as swallowing becomes impossible. Avoid coming in contact with animals showing these symptoms and immediately call BAHA Officers.

    Calvin back on Caye Caulker
    Calvin is back with his beautiful jewelry!! Awesome to see him doing much better! Welcome back buddy!

    Sandwich Boards and Street Closures for Construction
    The San Pedro Town Council hereby requesting all businesses that use sandwich boards as a medium to promote their business, to kindly do so on their own premises. All sandwich boards on public property, including the beach, should be removed and relocated inside the perimeters of the property where the business is located. The San Pedro Town Council is hereby requesting all construction companies and contractors needing to use any street (public property) to facilitate their construction tasks, to kindly request for a permit with the supervisor of the San Pedro Traffic Department, for street closure, at least forty-eight hours (48 hrs.) prior to the scheduled date of use.

    5th Anniversary Celebration, Grand Cultural Presentation, Corozal House of Culture
    Friday, Feb. 24 @ 7pm

    Belize's Wonder Women! Carolina Verde
    Ms. Verde was born on August 6 and grew up in beautiful island of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. She is presently living in Belize City, a single mother of two (2) beautiful kids along with her grandson. She's full time employed at a law firm and also has her part-time business of creating outfits, tutus, hair accessories and more. She is considered to be very ambitious, confident, strong, kind hearted and independent. She is also known to be very caring, friendly, loving and offers a helping hand to anyone. Being a single parent is not an easy task but she pushes very hard and makes sure she provides the basic necessities for her kids. In 2015 her life changed completely, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She went through Chemotherapy, Radiation and Surgery. She's been a fighter; a survivor; and a woman of strength. Her strong will to live for her family has her going each day.

    Education USA Belize Reference Center
    Stop by our Education USA Belize Reference Center at the Leo Bradley Library in Belize City and check out the new research tools and equipment to help you find the right school for you!

    Congratulations to the Belize Defence Force (BDF) on their 39th Anniversary!
    Presiding over the celebration event was Governor General Sir Colville Young. The Ministry of Defence Chief Executive Officer, Felix Enriquez, delivered the address to the Soldiers of the BDF, as well as hundreds of onlookers, where he emphasized the importance of bringing the Belize-Guatemala border dispute to the International Court of Justice. He also highlighted the long-standing relationship with the Louisiana Army National Guard (LANG). Present at the event were Major General Glenn Curtis and other representatives from the LANG and U.S. Embassy staff members. The event included the intake of new BDF recruits, a Tae Kwan Do exhibition, as well as a demonstration by the BDF's Special Assignment Group (BSAG).

    FCD’s Karst Chief Ranger training team members in the Chiquibul
    The primary goal of this team is to explore, document and monitor the Chiquibul Cave System which is co-managed by FCD with the Institute of Archaeology.

    Paradise Theater playing this weekend:
    Lion, Bleed for This, Arrival, Moana. Superbowl presented on the big screen Sunday, 5pm- Free

    Channel 7

    Public Officers A No-Show, Senate Inquiry Gets Late Start
    Last week, in our coverage of the Senate Hearings on Immigration, we told you that the Senate was to call Immigration Officers Gordon Wade, Ady Pacheco and Edgar Cano to testify today. Well, they did try, but Ady Pacheco and Edgar Cano were no-show's. Cano was the officer in charge of the Belize Western Border Station for the Immigration Department during the audit period. Gordon Wade, according to Directors Maria Marin and Ruth Meighan, was in charge of the Nationality and Permanent Residency Sections. Ady Pacheco's name also kept showing up in the Citizen Kim Scandal, alongside Gordon Wade, and both are named dozens of times in the Auditor General's Report. So, they both have a lot to explain, but today Pacheco did not show up due to what was explained as "health reasons". Cano was unable to present himself, because his attorney, Richard "Dickie" Bradley, was unavailable for today. It caused the Senators to wait for 2 hours and 15 minutes, with uncertainty that any of the witnesses would show up at all today.

    Former Head of Nationality and Permanent Residency Explains Citizen Kim
    So, even though the Senate was waiting for Wade and his attorney Andrew Bennett to show up at 11, they didn't arrive until 12:15, and shortly after that, the long delayed hearing began. Wade has been at the department for 27 years, and he has been a Senior Immigration officer for the past 10 years. As head of the Nationality and Permanent Residency Sections during the period under investigation, his name appears over 75 times in just the Nationality Report So the Senate went straight to the Citizen Kim passport scandal, and here's a few of the questions that the Senators had for him: Hon. Aldo Salazar, Chairman - Senate Select Committee: "Mr. Penner, did you treat him as if he had the authority to take a file from you?" Gordon Wade - Former OIC, Nationality Section: "He was the Minister of Immigration sir." Hon. Aldo Salazar: "What is the answer to the question? Did you treat him as if he had the authority to take a file from you?" Gordon Wade: "Yes sir."

    Wade Describes Ministers' Role In Pressing Influence
    So, as you heard Wade say, the then Minister of State Elvin Penner was the one who pushed for the Won Hong Kim file to move along even though it ought not to have gone anywhere in the Department. Wade's version is that Penner requested the file from him, and then took it over to his head to his immediate superior, the then Director, who would have been Ruth Meighan at that time. And according to Wade, Penner wasn't the only one who kept pressing for files to move up the chain, even though the files were incomplete, and the applicants didn't qualify. He said that there were other Ministers trying to move documents along, and that it was a normal occurrence for Ministers to get involved in this way. Here's some of the pointed questions that they asked him:

    Wade Say the Law Was Misinterpreted
    Wade was also asked about the explosive revelation from the last hearing in which Former Immigration Director Ruth Meighan agreed that in the rush up to the 2012 general elections, there were a number of applicants who did not qualify for nationality, but they got it anyway. With that, they were able to get on the voter's list, which they shouldn't have. Well, when the Senators asked Wade about it, he said that the Directors and the Minister interpreted the law in a way he didn't agree, which allowed for people who entered illegally, and lived in Belize for some years, to get nationality. Here's his version: Hon. Eamon Courtenay, PUP Senator "If an applicant was out for 6 months or 2 months, 3 months..." Gordon Wade - Former OIC, Nationality Section "They would have to have reasonable excuse for being out that amount of time." Hon. Eamon Courtenay "For example?" Gordon Wade "A death in the family, medical, something to that affect." Hon. Eamon Courtenay "What if you are residing abroad?" Gordon Wade "Well then you won't be considered."

    Wade Denies Making Explosive Statement
    So, while he was pointing fingers at his direct superiors for that one, there came a moment, almost at the end of the hearing in which the Senators turned up the heat on him just a bit more. It's in reference to a portion of the audit report in which the Auditor quoted Wade himself as saying some very serious things. In the report the Auditors quote him as saying quote, "A Minister can approve Belizean nationality with one letter and all other requirements are waived, including fees, security clearance, civic test; everything can be waived. The law has the requirements but that does not matter because the law also states that a Minister has the final say. Applicants do not even have to be in the country for the five (5) years. As long as a Justice of the Peace or Minster writes a letter stating that they knew the applicant for over 5 years, and that they are of good behaviour, they are approved. That process takes the place of all requirements. This happens especially around election time when ministers and area representatives submit lists of applicants who should get nationality. Those persons do not even have to show their Passports to prove that they came into the country with visas."

    Alleged Beatdown By Babylon Brothers
    This evening, two police officers – who are also brothers, Kenrick and Akeem Gamboa, were arraigned in the Magistrate's Court for the alleged brutal beatdown of a nineteen year old. On Saturday, Crawford was hanging out at a house at mile four when the Gamboa brothers and another assailant rushed him. The allegation is that one of them then took out a gun and fired at him. Crawford attempted to flee, but was chased into the city, where the officers allegedly caught and beat him. Crawford's mother made a formal complaint, and he positively identified his alleged assailants.

    SEA Caught Off-season Conchs, Issue Dire Warning
    The Independence Magistrate's Court saw some action today too. The Southern Environmental Association Rangers caught two fishermen, Sanasermo Torres and Earl Lamb separately with undersized conch in the Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve. Both men were charged for separate cases of possession of unprocessed and undersized conch. Torres was caught and charged for possession of 49 conchs, while Lamb was charged for the possession of 86. Both men pled guilty to charges, and were fined $20 per conch, plus legal fees. The Southern Environmental Alliance is using the story to warn, quote, "the population of the queen conch is already in steady decline and may very soon not be available for fisheries should we continue on the path of unsustainable harvesting."

    Au Revoir, Ritchel
    Ritchel Dominguez had taken quite a high profile as the Director of Sports at the National Sports Council. He took up the post after his political boss from Orange Walk East, Elodio Aragon was assigned the portfolio for Sports after the November 2015 General election. But, 7News has confirmed that Dominguez is Director no more. Sports Minister Patrick Faber told us via text message, quote, "His contract expired and we've chosen not to renew, but he is being considered for an alternative posting within the National Sports Council." End quote. His one year contract expired on January third – and Dominguez left on January 17th. Charlie Slusher is now the Acting Director working along with Raul Rosado Jr – who is the Chairman of the National Sports Committee. Seems Dominguez's fortunes went down because Elodio Aragon is no longer at the Ministry of Sports. He was re-assigned to the Ministry of Home Affairs in September. And, it seems that when Aragon left, Dominguez, who is from Aragon's constituency, lost his political protection, and ultimately, his job.

    UDP Party Whip Says PUP Confused on Re-Registration
    Last night the PUP went on the offensive against government's plan to launch a re-registration exercise in 2018. The PUP says it has to be now, but UDP Party Whip Michael Finnegan took a broader historical view, and said that – in the context of what the PUP said on the verge of the last re-registration – they party doesn't know what it want:… Hon. Michael Finnegan - UDP Mespo. Representative: "In 1997 the PUP vigorously argued that to have a re-registration would be disenfranchising voters. The PUP argued back then you don't have to have a re-registration, what we need to do is to clean up the voters list. Don't disenfranchise people, clean up the voters list by getting those off the list who are dead etc. Now the PUP some years later it has changed its position and it is vigorously arguing for a re-registration, whe deh believe inna, whe deh really want?"

    Finnegan Says Re-Registration Costly, We Ask, Why?
    Well, what the opposition really wants is re-registration before the municipal elections in 2018 – because they claim the voters' list is bloated with fraudulent voters who were hastily naturalized before the 2012 general election. But, Finnegan says be careful what you wish for because a re-registration is costly and complicated. Here's our far ranging discussion with him about what makes it costly:.. Hon. Michael Finnegan - UDP Mespo. Representative: "To have a re-registration it doesn't bother me, you could have it if I think I said that but I don't see the urgency for it. It has an energy cost, it has a mental cost and most importantly it has a financial cost to get people to go to register da those polling station. I could inform the PUP demagogue from Caribbean Shores it's not an easy task." Jules Vasquez: "But a part of the financial cost is to bring back in your same phantom voters." Hon. Michael Finnegan: "What are phantom voters?" Jules Vasquez: "Phantom voters Mr. Finnegan I believe you know well what it is." Hon. Michael Finnegan: "Can you interpret the word phantom for me please?" Jules Vasquez: "Maybe we don't agree on the terminology but those are voters who vote in a division but don't live in that division."

    Finnegan Says Bradley Needed His Constituency's Votes
    Hoping for the best is not what Mayor Darrell Bradley told us got him elected. Yesterday, the two term mayor told us he got elected on his record, not as a product of the UDP political machine in the city - and all the voters list bloat that comes with it. Today, Finnegan told us otherwise; he said that Bradley wouldn't have won without his division: Jules Vasquez: "You are always seeking to register new people why is that? Because the strength of the constituency, the strength of the party, is the strength of the city council although Mr. Mayor likes to play quite heartily." Hon. Michael Finnegan - UDP Mespo. Representative: "Can't win without me." Jules Vasquez: "Well he just said yesterday he win on performance." Hon. Michael Finnegan: "He can't win without me and Barrow and Boots and Taeger."

    What Species are Endagered?
    Yesterday key environmental and conservation stakeholders met to begin work on updating and revising the National Threatened Species List 2005. The list identifies at risk terrestrial species, as well as threats that could impact them in the future. The effort is also a part of the Forestry Department's endeavours to contribute towards global Sustainable Development Goals by maintaining the country's biodiversity and improving wildlife conservation efforts. After consultations have concluded a new National Threatened Species List 2017 will be developed.

    More Trained For Tourism
    Since its inception in 2014, about 900 people have participated in Beltraide's Belize Training and Employment Center program, BTEC. And out of that 900, about 80% or 720 participants are employed. Well, that is the hope for the 66 who completed the training today. All 66 received certificates for completing one of three of the main courses offered: Housekeeping, the introduction and advanced level of bartending, and front desk training. Now, these fields might not seem like the most highly regarded job options but according to the participants and Beltraides's representative, these training sessions can open up many business opportunities: Courtney Weatherbure: "Do you have any prior skills or knowledge about bartending?" Renesha Reynolds - Intro & Advanced Bartending Training: "I have no experience bartending outside of my house but I know knowledge about bartending because I watch a lot of TV shows about bartending and stuff like that." Courtney Weatherburne: "What are some of the drinks you were comfortable making at home with your family and friends?" Renesha Reynolds: "I tried different drinks like rum and coke but I learnt that the correct name is old fashion so yes.."

    Finnegan Not Convinced of Corruption By Senate Hearings
    Since November we've been faithfully reporting on the proceedings of the Senate Inquiry into Immigration Irregularities. Today a senior immigration officer took Centre stage and outlined how political meddling influenced irregularities. In the court of public opinion, which has a very low standard of proof for politicians, the spectre of political corruption can be clearly seen. But not so for Finnegan, who like his party leader Dean Barrow – is not yet convinced:… Hon. Michael Finnegan- UDP Mesop Representative: "And listening to the senate hearing I am not convinced yet at this stage that any politicians, UDP minister, do anything that is clearly illegal and could convict them in a court of law or in the court of public opinion. I nuh see it but when I see I wah tell you." Jules Vasquez: "But mista Finnegan maybe me and you nuh the watch the same thing or we have different standards of judgement." Hon. Michael Finnegan: "So weh you see that I nuh see?" Jules Vasquez: "What I have seen is that there are ministers, particularly from the Cayo caucus have been mentioned so far, who frequently went up there pursuing the interest of persons for whom they had written recommendations, etc." Hon. Michael Finnegan: "Yes that is correct."

    Finnegan Says "The Hustle" Has Its Difficulties For The Pols Who Play It
    And while he makes no apologies for giving away government money to constituents, Finnegan says those politicians who hustle money have practical difficulties managing the cash:…

    Black History Month's Meaning in Belize
    It’s the first day of Black History month in the US and there will be a host of events and TV shows throughout the month. Even President Donald Trump said a few words about the celebrating black history. But what about in Belize? What does it mean to us a people? Courtney Weatherburne had a special sit down conversation with the National Kriol Council’s Cultural Attache Myrna Manzanares. Here is that discussion.

    Channel 5

    Former Chief of Nationality Calls Out Bosses for Decisions Made in 2012 Rush
    The Senate Special Select Committee sought to call three witnesses to today’s public hearing at the National Assembly in Belmopan. But only one made it – the former Office in [...]

    Gordon Wade Says He Was Overruled by ex-Minister of State Penner on Won Hong Kim File
    Won Hong Kim, the South Korean fugitive, who started the entire current Immigration saga, is hardly forgotten though his ultimate fate after a desperate bid to dodge extradition by claiming [...]

    Ministers Saldivar, Contreras, Castro and Others Named as Frequent Visitors to Immigration
    Senior Immigration Officer Gordon Wade, who has been working with the department for twenty-seven years, also added layers to established testimony that Ministers of Government were in and out of [...]

    Gordon Wade Confirms There Was No Communication in Immigration
    Last week, ex-Director of Immigration Ruth Meighan sidestepped questions of whether she was a “rubber stamp” for final approval of applications for visas, passports, and nationality certificates. But she repeatedly [...]

    Wade Blames His Juniors for Messing Up Nationality Files
    But what did Wade really see in those many files passing over his desk during those two years he was in charge? He said that a completed file with the [...]

    Wade Says He Didn’t Tell Auditors Some of the Things Mentioned in Final Report
    Auditor General Dorothy Bradley made one major correction to her audit report of the Immigration Department – that former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Michael Peyrefitte, was allowed under [...]

    Minor Charged for Latest Conch Shell Bay Shooting
    Turning to the courts….a sixteen year old has been charged for the most recent shooting incident in Conch Shell Bay area of Belize City. On Monday night, sometime after eight [...]

    Cops Charged in Assault of Teenage Rival
    Two cops were charged with grievous harm when they appeared in court today. Brothers twenty-eight-year-old Kenrick Gamboa and twenty-four-year-old Akeem Gamboa were jointly for grievous harm upon nineteen year old [...]

    Pickstock Rep Talks about Benefits of Re-Registration
    The decision by the Elections and Boundaries Commission to embark on countrywide re-registration and redistricting exercises after municipal elections are held in 2018 has raised the ire of the People’s [...]

    Immigration Troubles Are Nothing New, Laments Elrington
    While Elrington is often up to speed on events, he says he has not been keeping up with developments in the ongoing senate inquiry.  Last Wednesday, while under oath, former [...]

    Referendum on I.C.J. Coming for Guatemala; Belize Not Ready Yet
    Is Guatemala ready to go to referendum on whether its age-old claim over Belize should go before the ICJ?  Earlier today, an official from the Guatemalan electoral commission told the [...]

    Why Ady Pacheco and Edgar Cano Missed Senate Hearing
    As reported at the top of our newscast, two of the three witnesses scheduled to appear before today’s panel were absent to due to medical and legal issues respectively. Because [...]

    Whose Names Are On Senate’s Witness List? Elvin Penner’s, For Sure
    A total of four witnesses have been called by the Committee so far: Auditor General Dorothy Bradley; former deputy director Maria Marin; former Director Ruth Meighan; and former Officer in [...]

    Illegal Conch Busted in Marine Reserve
    Two fishermen appeared in the Independence Magistrate Court for possession of unprocessed and undersized conch.   Sanasermo Torres was busted with forty-nine conch and Earl Lamb with eighty-six by rangers of  [...]

    K.H.M.H. Does Surgery on Operating Theatres
    Late last week, the K.H.M.H. announced that ongoing renovations have caused a limitation in service delivery. The national referral hospital says that the specific area to be impacted is the [...]

    BAHA Watches for Bovine Rabies in North, West
    There is an outbreak of Bovine rabies in three districts. BAHA announced today that the disease has been detected in the Corozal, Orange Walk, Cayo and Toledo Districts. As such [...]

    Mexican Embassy, Museum of Belize Team Up for Anniversary Exhibition
    The Museum of Belize is celebrating its fifteenth anniversary this Friday. As a part of its celebration, it’s hosting a Mexican exhibition entitled “El Cimmaron y Su Fandango,” among other [...]

    BTEC Unveils Latest Graduates
    A job preparedness training certificate ceremony was held today at the Belize Training and Employment Center on the ITVET Compound. A team of six persons manage a network of partnerships [...]

    CTV3

    A Call For Gaspar Vega To Resign
    On October seventeenth of last year, Former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Gaspar Vega resigned from cabinet following the unearthing of land scandals involving his son Andre Vega and UDP insider Sharon Pitts, which cost GOB almost one million dollars. But the long list of corruption within the lands department during former DPM’s tenure as Minister of Lands did not end there as several other land schemes surfaced in which Vega allegedly abused his authority to enrich his family and associates through dubious land transactions. But even after everything that has been found against Vega, he decided to simply resign from Cabinet but not from the House of Representatives thus remaining as area representative for Orange Walk North. While many Belizeans have been asking for Vega’s resignation one of the prime advocates for him to resign has been well-known Orange Walk business man and former PUP standard bearer for Orange Walk North, Ramon ‘Munchi’ Cervantes in his pursuance to bring criminal charges against Vega, for wrong-doings committed within the land department during his tenure. Today Cervantes visited our morning show, Despierta belice, where he unearthed deals which have landed a total of one thousand, six hundred acres of prime farmland along the Philip Goldson Highway in the village of Carmelita, in the hands of the Vega family.

    Another Rise In Fuel Prices
    Just last week consumers received some much needed release as the prices in fuel saw a small reduction, but those low prices were short lived as fuel prices will see a hike effective midnight. So…if your gas tank is running near empty, our advice to you is to fill up because at midnight tonight the prices for Diesel, Premium and regular gasoline will see a marked increase at the pump. Regular gasoline will see an increase of eleven cents going from nine dollars and sixty four cents to nine dollars and seventy five cents while diesel will rise by fifteen cents raising from eight dollars and ninety five cents to nine dollars and ten cents. But the highest increase will be seen on Premium gasoline which will rise by forty four cents going from nine dollars and ninety nine cents to a whopping ten dollars and forty three cents. Of course the increase is yet to be announced by GOB.

    Truckers Back At Work But For How Long?
    Yesterday we told you about the small protest carried out in front of the Sugar mill at BSI/ASR by the men responsible for driving the trucks that deliver the company’s cane quota to the factory in their pursuit of fair treatment. As reported yesterday the men were up in arms after they were informed that their salary per ton of cane delivered to the mill may be reduced from two dollars to one dollar and fifty cents. The men who drive the trucks of contractors hired by BSI for harvesting and delivery of their product refused to make deliveries until an understanding is reached as for the price being paid to them. In an update to that matter, we can tell you that the men were back at work this morning making their usual deliveries to the factory, but while the standoff was put on pause, according to one of the truck drivers whom we spoke with this morning, this is only until they receive a respond to a letter sent to contractors and BSI representatives regarding an adjustment to their pay.

    Opposition Leader Explains Why Members Voted In Favor Of Bill To Protect Belize's Assets
    A special Sitting of the House of Representatives was called on Friday where two new bills were debated. Both bills were basically designed to protect Belize's foreign reserves from, Belize Social Development Limited and Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited, the pair of Ashcroft companies that are trying to recover the over one hundred million Belize dollars in arbitral awards granted to them by a US court. As we showed you on Friday a division was called and the Bills were approved after the PUP side of the House voted in favor. During an interview with Opposition Leader this weekend at the National Party Council Meeting held in Orange Walk, he spoke of the reasons behind the PUP’s approval.

    Senior Immigration Officer Testifies Before Senate Select Committee
    Former Officer in Charge of the Nationality Department, Gordon Wade, appeared before the Senate Select Committee today as it held its eighth hearing session as part of a probe into the Auditor General’s special audit report into Immigration irregularities. Wade was scheduled to appear in the afternoon session, following the morning witness Immigration Officer Ady Pacheco. But once Pacheco didn’t show up for health reasons, Wade was asked to turn up. Wade is a senior immigration officer with 27 years’ experience. Today he had to answer tough questions about the role he played at the Immigration Department and whether he was a player in any of the irregularities cited in the report. As has been the case at previous hearings in which two former Directors have appeared, Wade found it important to state what his responsibilities were and why they exculpate him from any wrongdoing.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Rabies vaccination for livestock advisory
    The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health and Belize Livestock Producers Association informs all livestock farmers to vaccinate their livestock against the ongoing Bovine Rabies disease outbreak. The disease is currently being detected in the Corozal, Orange Walk, Cayo and Toledo Districts and is expected to continue affecting unvaccinated herds throughout the entire country. It is also being found in sheep and therefore farmers are being advised to vaccinate their cattle, sheep and horses against rabies Farmers are advised that rabies can be transmitted to humans and to report suspect cases to BAHA. Rabies is a highly fatal disease that affects all mammals.

    KHMH delaying elective, not emergency surgeries
    CEO of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), Dr. Adrian Coye, explained today that the hospital will only be delaying non-emergency surgeries for 3-4 weeks while the operating theaters are being renovated. Coye explained that the hospital is making massive infrastructure investments to improve the quality of the services of the hospital; however, the services will undergo a series of interruptions over the year the operating theaters are being renovated. “The level of investment we are making will cost almost $2 million,” Coye said today. “We’re not just improving the equipment, but the systems we use as well.”

    Sixty-six graduate from BTEC training course
    Today, the Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC) gave out certificates to 66 graduates from its Job Preparedness Training course. BTEC held the graduation at it’s office on the ITVET compound in Belize city, where it handed out completion certificates for the three-week course in Front Desk, Introduction to Bartending and Janitorial House-keeping. Lejia Melanie Gideon, BTEC General Manager, explained that the participants had to undergo 7-10 days worth of soft skills training in areas such as time management, effective communication and taking criticism before going through the technical aspects of their training for the specific jobs.

    Senate hearing into immigration scandal stalled
    The Senate hearing into the scandal at the Immigration Department was to have continued today at 10 a.m. However, two of three Immigration Officers called before the Senate Select Committee did not turn up and the third is yet to arrive in Belmopan to […]

    Minor charged for Monday night shooting
    Jaleel Goodger, 21, was shot once to his leg on Monday night but managed to escape from an armed assailant. However, police have since charged a 16-year-old minor in connection with the incident. The minor was slapped with a series of charges including: Attempted Murder, Grievous […]

    Belize~ Cayo tourism marketing and the Maya
    Picture: villamargaritabelize.comIn early 1998, I went to a CAYO BTIA meeting at Windy Hill Resort….there they spoke about events-based marketing and creation of richer travel experiences….which helped give birth to my first community-based project “La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge”. Tomorrow I will be […]

    Almost 1,000 grams of weed found in San Ignacio and Santa Elena towns
    According to police reports, on Tuesday, January 31 at about 11:00 a.m., San Ignacio Quick Response Team and the K-9 Unit conducted a joint anti-drug operation within San Ignacio where officers conducted a search on an empty lot in the Shawville area which led […]

    Santa Elena man busted for drug trafficking
    Yesterday at around 1:30 p.m., San Ignacio police, while on mobile patrol on Cristo Rey Road, Santa Elena Town, Cayo District, stopped and searched 25-year-old Ferdinand Muschamp, who was in the possession of a brown knapsack. The search yielded 262 grams of cannabis. He […]

    House burns in Santa Familia
    According to police reports, yesterday, San Ignacio Police visited Santa Familia Village, Cayo District where 53-year-old Antonio Ayala reported that while at work, he was informed that his wooden house measuring 32’ X 40’ was on fire. The structure was completely destroyed by fire. […]

    Man shot on Monday night
    A man was shot sometime around 8:00 p.m. Monday night in Belize City. According to police, officers visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they saw 21-year-old Jaheel Goodger suffering from a gunshot wound to the right leg. Initial investigation reveals that while Goodger […]

    Blogs

    New North Ambergris Caye Hot Spot
    I was recently invited to a cool party across the bridge by Paul who was doing some marketing for a new North Ambergris Caye Hot Spot. When he said I could bring a plus one, I picked Sandie. She is always willing to play chauffeur and I knew she would enjoy a relaxing poolside party. I knew it would be a great place to catch up with all the “north” people we do not see often, and there were many that day. It was a great party. We were treated to an afternoon of delicious tropical cocktails, tasty treats and live poolside music by Dennis Wolfe. It was great chatting with all our North Ambergris Caye friends that we do not see as often. We also got to tour the rooms at Casitas Tres Cocos. Of course I instantly fell in love with Casita Crocodile and the big white towel croc guarding the cozy looking bed. As we walked down the path looking at some of the other rooms, another one that captured my attention had an outside shower and private plunge pool. In addition to the big king bed it also had a private kitchen and an adjoining casita option. Another feature I really liked about the rooms is their unique long tiled double sink design.

    Why You Should Visit Belize in February: Events Galore
    It’s hard to pick the busiest month in Belize…and while Christmas week may be the busiest week of the year, February may be the busiest in terms of a month of solid events and visitors. The weather is absolute perfect. Kelly McGuire Concerts – Each year Texas singer/songwriter celebrates his birthday in Belize…a country he loves and has written many song about… Placencia Sidewalk Arts Festival, Saturday February 11th and 12th Super fun event with lots of beautiful art of all kinds from all over the country. I attended in 2014 and have been dying to go back. Carnaval in San Pedro: This super uniquely San Pedro fiesta is a bit mysterious and a ton of fun. Mysterious because it is not always clear when things are starting. But that’s all good…just go with the flow, have a Belikin or two and wait for the crowd. Belize City Street Art Festival: Just a day…but music, art and fun. It’s right down the “main drag” – just over the swing bridge. An easy day trip from San Pedro or Caye Caulker on the water taxi.

    Where to Stay in San Ignacio Belize
    If you’re looking for where to stay in San Ignacio Belize, I have the perfect location for you: Table Rock Jungle Lodge. When we decided to travel to Central America we quickly knew we wanted a bit of the jungle and a bit of the beach; I feverishly began searching on TripAdvisor for hotels that would fit our needs in two cities on opposite sides of the country. Here’s what we loved about the resort: WELL KEPT: even though they had just survived Hurricane Earl about a week before our arrival, we thought the resort was incredibly well manicured and kept. Alan, the owner, apologized for the “mess” and, thought we appreciated his sentiment, we had no idea what he was talking about. SUSTAINABLE: the best example of sustainability at the resort I can think of was that they only had USB ports in the rooms to charge devices, not full-fledged electrical outlets. Otherwise if you were hoping to blow dry your hair (not sure why you would in the jungle, during summer, but anyway…) you had to do so in a common area (pictured below), complete with comfortable hammocks and games, near the dining area. This truly made it more pleasant for us! The resort’s small and even if I left a camera battery to charge I felt secure in doing so. Table Rock Jungle Lodge Belize photos from Sometimes Home travel blog. Sustainable resort with hammocks for guest use.

    Do Not Miss Placencia's Sidewalk Arts & Music Festival in 2017
    Every year, the small fishing village of Placencia comes alive as the central sidewalk is transformed into an interactive art gallery and music festival. Sculptors, painters, singers, photographers, musicians, and vendors from all over the country come to Placencia to display their art and sell a wide range of delicious local foods and drinks. With plenty of games and activities to entertain the whole family, the Placencia Sidewalk Arts and Music Festival is a must-see festival in Belize. Starting at 10:00 am, the central sidewalk in Placencia comes alive, with every inch of the 4000 foot-long strip bursting with colorful art, beautiful handicrafts, gorgeous photographs, amazing sculptures, fun games, joyous music, poetry readings, mouthwatering food, and delicious drinks. Many local operators and taxi services provide transportation to Placencia from anywhere in Belize. In addition, Placencia Airport has numerous domestic flights to and from Belize City (both the municipal airport as well as Philip Gordon International Airport), Dangriga, and Punta Gorda, with service provided by Tropic Air and Maya Island Air.

    International Sourcesizz

    Humans May Have Arrived in North America 10,000 Years Earlier Than We Thought
    A 24,000-year-old horse jawbone is helping rewrite our understanding of human habitation on the continent. The caves were hidden high above the Yukon's Bluefish River, at the base of a limestone ridge in the middle of a sprawling wilderness. When a helicopter reconnaissance of the river spotted the caves in 1975, it may well have been thousands of years since the last humans entered them—or so hoped archaeologist Jacques Cinq-Mars. Between 1977 and 1987, Cinq-Mars led a team into the remote wilderness, battling clouds of mosquitoes and cold weather to excavate the layers of sediment and bones. What he found was a game-changer. At the time, the prevailing theory was that the Clovis were the earliest human inhabitants of the Americas, with sites across North and Central America containing their iconic spearheads. As early as the 16th century, Europeans proposed that a land bridge between Asia and North America might have provided the route for early human migration; by the 1940s scientists were actively looking for and finding evidence for the bridge’s existence. And in the 1930s, spear points discovered near Clovis, New Mexico were discovered to match the artifacts found in Beringia, convincing people that the Clovis came first, approximately 13,000 years ago. But when Cinq-Mars brought the fragments found at the Bluefish Caves back to the laboratory, he came to an incredible conclusion: humans had actually occupied North America as early as 24,000 years ago.

    Leave crusader loses Belize envoy job after Johnson intervention
    Boris Johnson has forced a rival Leave campaigner who met Donald Trump before him to quit his role as Belize’s diplomatic envoy to the UK. Andy Wigmore, who was the communications director for Leave.EU, left his role as a trade and investment envoy for Belize last week amid questions over whether he had breached a ban on diplomats engaging in political activity during the Brexit campaign. Mr Wigmore, 50, is a spokesman for Arron Banks, who bankrolled Leave.EU. They both met Mr Trump shortly after his victory in the US presidential election along with Nigel Farage, the former Ukip leader.

    Discovered: Possible New Species Of Hammerhead Shark
    Scientists have discovered what they believe to be a new species of hammerhead shark, prompting concerns about the species' vulnerability and whether conservation practices in place today are widespread enough to protect them. The bonnethead, a small species of hammerhead found in the United States, Bahamas, Caribbean and Latin America, has been considered abundant, productive, and widely distributed. However, when scientists recently sequenced the DNA of what they believed to be bonnethead sharks in Belize, they were shocked to find that they are likely an entirely different species. Currently, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature lists bonnetheads as "Least Concern" for extinction risk, in part because they are described as a single species spread across a large area. The discovery that there might actually be two species with smaller distributional ranges and overall numbers means scientists must reassess each of their extinction vulnerabilities.

    Videos

  • NGO Senator Interview - The Way Forward, 23min.

  • Valley of Peace Public Quarry privatized, 7min. Villagers in Valley of Peace don't know how their public quarry became private property.

  • Documentary Belize Red Cross (Special), 17min.

  • Consortium for Belize Educational Cooperation (COBEC) - Annual Conference, 30min.

  • Snorkeling with Sharks in Belize, 2.5min.

  • Eboe Town, Belize Oral History, 4min. n this "2 Cents Cam", we interview residents of Belize City to document the heritage and history of Eboe Town.

  • Street Art Festival, 1min. The Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project will be at this year's Street Art Festival on Febraury 25th. We will have interesting games and activities for all ages and best of all, you will be able to win prizes. Look out for our Historic Buildings Trivia Questions popping up all month on our facebook page. The first person to post the correct answer may collect a gift bag at our booth.

  • PG Day Forum: Punta Gorda, Then & Now, 106min. Punta Gorda from My Perspective

  • Black History Belize, 6min.

  • Referendo con Belice se prevé para septiembre(Ver video), 1.5min. ICJ referendum set for September. Q300 millones es el monto estimado en costo para esta consulta. Guatemala y Belice estarían por efectuar una consulta popular para conocer si la población ...

  • MMA talk- a growing sport in #Belize, 90min. Sports Talk with Raynord Garbutt

  • Discover Kanantik Belize, 2min.

  • Discover Belize, 2min.

  • Dolphins in Belize, 1.5min.

  • Riding ATVs in Belize, 6.5min.

    February 1, 2017


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    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    Ambergris Today

    Miss Belize Universe Unites an Entire Nation
    An entire country came together to support an ambassador to our beautiful country and its people. It was a nerve-wrecking wait to see if Miss Belize made it into the top 13 at the Miss Universe Pageant held on Sunday evening; an entire country glued to their televisions. Belizeans were in high hopes that their beauty ambassador would make it far into the pageant. Alas it was not so, but in no way due to the lack in effort or perseverance by Miss Belize Universe Rebecca Rath. She represented Belize with much confidence, pride and determination. She shined in the preliminaries, was the spotlight of international pageant watcher and media houses and was featured in various news outlets as a favorite. Rebecca awakened an entire nation and received overwhelming support throughout her experience at the Miss Universe Pageant.

    Belize to Improve Forensic Services and Unveil Crime Strategy
    The Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs Hon. Elodio Aragon Jr conducted a tour of the National Forensic Services (NFS) Headquarters in Ladyville on January 30, 2017. Honorable Aragon met with management and staff, acquainting himself with the services offered by the institution, and through their discussions identified capabilities as well as shortcomings of the NFS. The Minister was given a presentation which provided an overview of the current status of the NFS. The presentation also addressed topics such as drug and alcohol testing, and ballistic testing using the Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS), a modern automated firearms identification system. Minister Aragon committed to do all in his power to address the concerns and needs of the NFS to allow for the proper delivery of services.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY
    The onsite course “Introduction to the Rule of Law” will be offered by the OAS Department of Human Development, Education and Employment, the Inter-American Telecommunications Commission (OAS/CITEL), and the United States Telecommunication Training Institute (USTTI). The deadline for receiving applications in Washington, D.C., will be March 1st, 2017. The OAS will not receive physical application files from the pre-selected candidates. The online application form must be completed on-line and can be accessed at: http://www.oas.org/en/scholarships/professionaldev.aspp here you will find the announcements of the PDSP courses, click on the one you are interested in, go through the end of the page, then you’ll find the “Continue” button which will direct you to the online form that you must fill out. Print and submit the complete online application to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NEMO Building, Belmopan by February 15, 2017 for pre-selection before forwarding to OAS Washington.

    Splashers
    Join us this week at Crazy Canucks Beach Bar to paint "Mr. Hoppy".

    Rebecca Stirm represents Belize at SICA Achievement Expo in El Salvador
    The Central American Integration System (SICA) held an Achievement Expo in El Salvador where they reported on the several successful projects made possible through funding from the Republic of China, Taiwan . Among those achievements was the EMPRENDE Fund where owners of small business in Central America were given seed capital to develop, improve or expand their business. Recipients of the seed capital displayed their products to Tsai Ing-wen , president of Taiwan.Representing Belize was Rebecca Stirm, fashion designer and owner of Rebecca Stirm Clothing. Rebecca was granted the opportunity to address the president on behalf of Belize and to speak about her accomplishments through the programme.

    ISLA BONITA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL HOLDS CULTURE DAY
    On Friday, January 27, 2017, the Isla Bonita Elementary School hosted its annual Culture Day in which they invited Councilor Flora Ancona to witness all the presentations the students had prepared. Belize is known to be a very diverse country, and you can bet all the cultures were present - from Mestizo to Mennonites and Chinese to the Indian Culture, they were all there beautifully presented by the students with food, music, dances and history. Thank you for inviting us Isla Bonita Elementary School!

    Scholarship-Bilateral Program for international students
    Ministry of Education of P.R. China is pleased to offer Scholarship-Bilateral Program for international students in 2017-2018 academic session. Scholarship supports undergraduate programs, masters programs, doctoral programs, general scholar programs and senior scholar programs. Scholarship supports undergraduate programs, masters programs, doctoral programs, general scholar programs and senior scholar programs.

    ACCESS TO THE COROZAL COMMERCIAL FREE ZONE FROM THE OLD BRIDGE AT THE SANTA ELENA BORDER REMAINS CLOSED
    Custom authorities from Belize and Mexico have met to mitigate strategies to enforce measures against "fayuqueros" or "hormiguitas", who really are Mexican merchants that contraband goods from the Corozal Free Zone across to Mexico. As a result, access to these merchants has been closed from both the Belize and the Mexican sides of the borders. Last Thursday evening, January 26th, 2017 a confrontation between Belizean custom officers, and Mexican merchants who allegedly engage in contraband, ended when Mexican military authorities took up positions on their side of the Subteniente Lopez (old Santa Elena/Chetumal) bridge linking Belize and Mexico. During the confrontation, a Belizean policeman was injured, apparently from a rock that was hurled at him. The confrontation began when Belizean authorities attempted to stop and cease goods from a number of "fayuqueros" that had emerged from the Corozal Free Zone with bales of merchandise. It is no clear if the bales of merchandise were undeclared or if any illegal action was taking place. The Corozal Commercial Free Zone has been well known as a back door for conduct questionable trading activities.

    BTEC AWARDS CERTIFICATES ON TOURISM BASED TRAINING
    The Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC), a unit of BELTRAIDE, will award certificates tomorrow, February 1st, to 66 persons who completed a tourism-based Job Preparedness Training in Belize City, which was held from 11th –27th January, 2017. The Job Preparedness Training, which had the participation of one of the largest groups, was made up of two components: soft skills (attitudes and behaviours) and technical skills (industry specific). This was the first time in Belize City that BTEC executed training in three technical areas: Front Desk, Introduction to Bartending and House-keeping/Janitorial. Sixty-six persons (66) completed the training with over 98% completing successfully and the remaining 2% receiving certificate of participation. Each participant was required to sit a Pre-test in English, Customer Service and Basic Tourism Facts.

    ATTENTION BELIZEAN SUPPLIERS!
    If you can provide any of the below products, please go to http://www.belizeinvest.org.bz/cetsuspension and submit an intent to supply or learn more. You can also learn more by calling EXPORTBelize, a unit of Beltraide at Ph: 822-3737 or by emailing to export@belizeinvest.org.bz

    Mrs. Libertad Cal and preserving traditional Maya dances
    Mrs. Libertad Cal along with other villagers of Yo Creek from Yucatec Maya descent . Mrs. Libertad Cal has been working for years in preserving the traditional Maya dances. She is a pioneer of the Yucatec Maya Movement along with Mrs. Felicita Cantun, Ismael Cal and others in the preservation of our Maya culture in Northern Belize, particularly in the Orange Walk District

    FCD’s research team has sampled 26 out of 40 sampling plots in the Raspaculo and Macal River systems
    This Freshwater Macroinvertebrate research is financed through the PACT Medium Grant.

    "El Cimarron y Su Fandango" Exhibition
    It's almost here! As part of the Museum of Belize's 15th Anniversary Celebration, we are launching a photographic exhibition titled "El Cimarron y Su Fandango", on Friday, February 3rd.

    The Placencia Breeze February 2017
    Pg 3 From the Fire Hearth - Chocolate Pg 5 BTIA news / Sidewalk Art Festival Booth Form Pg 7 Croc Corner Pg 9 BTIA Membership Spotlight - Naïa Resort and Spa Pg 11 Seine Bight News Pg 13 New Books / Amik Kil Ha' Spotlight / Orca sighting Pg 15 & 18 Placencia BTIA Members Pg 16 & 17 Placencia Peninsula Map Pg 19 Scarlet Macaws Pg 20/21 Placencia Peninsula Guide Pg 22 Zumba Spotlight / Fitness Information Pg 23 The SEA NN / Seine Bight Beach Clean Up Pg 24 BTIA Membership Spotlight - Casa Sunsandsea Pg 26 Community Corner Pg 27 Licensed Tour Operators in Placencia / Licensed Tour Guides in Placencia Pg 28 Placencia Humane Society News Pg 29 Placencia Rotary Events Pg 30 Placencia Peninsula Happenings Pg 31 Calender of Events

    Channel 7

    Shots Fired Again In Conch Shell, This Time Victim is a 21 Year Old
    Last week, we showed you how Area Representative Tracy Taegar-Panton was partnering with the police to try to de-escalate tensions in the Conch Shell Bay area. Well, it appears that more work is needed because there was another shooting in near the fish market last night. It happened at around 8:00 when 21 year-old Jaheel Goodger was shot by a gunman. According to police, he was riding a bike on West Collet Canal, heading towards Ebony Street, when he saw 3 men standing in front of an unknown alley. He said that one of them fired several shots at him, one of which hit him in the right leg. Now, for the residents of the Conch Shell Bay area, they find themselves in what looks to be an escalation of tensions within the same neighbourhood. On New Years Day, 22 year-old Collin Sutherland was murdered there, and since then, there's been the murder of Clinton Frazer, the shooting of 19 year-old Keimar Nicholas, and, last night Goodger. All this while police have blanketed the area, in fact, reports say the shooting happened within sight of two cops last night.

    Family Says Teenaged Shooting Victim Is Paralysed
    Turning now to 19 year-old Keimar Nicholas, as we told you last week, he has been hospitalized at the intensive care unit. That's following a shooting last Monday night right on the basketball court in this Lindo's Alley yard. He was shot in the neck, and, now, his family and friends say that it has caused him to become paralyzed from the neck down. They're trying to get him specialized treatment in Merida, but they don't yet have to money to cover the expenses. They're hoping that the public will assist them by supporting two barbeque sales, which they have planned for this coming Saturday, and the following Saturday. This morning, his friend, Shaheed Haulze, spoke with us about his prognosis if he doesn't get the funds required to be sent abroad for more specialized care:

    Alleged Killers Fight In Front of Courtroom
    Today in front of the Magistrate's Court, a fight broke out between two alleged murderers who were under police escort. The first was John Chessman, who along with his recently murdered brother, Robert Gillet, was accused of the rape and decapitation of Naomi Garcia in 2005. Chessman is on remand for another murder which happened in 2012. The second man in the fight was Jayaer Flores, who is the alleged murderer of Porshan Pipersburgh and his seven year old cousin, Tyler Savery. According to reports, Chessman managed got his hands on a glass bottle, broke it and attempted to attack Flores. Police then intervened and used pepper spray to stop the assault. Flores managed to avoid injury, but Chessman was taken to the KHMH for injuries he received breaking the bottle and from coming in direct contact with the pepper spray.

    Mayor Presents City Audit
    The Belize City Council has released its external audit for the financial year ending 2016. The audit, performed by Panell Kerr Foster lays bare all the city's financial affairs, from the salaries paid to the mayor and councilors, to the debts owing to the sanitation contractor. Now, there's no law requiring the council to release an audit, or even to perform one, but the mayor - who is never too shy to blow his own horn - said it is a key element of transparency:... Darrell Bradley, Mayor - Belize City "We want there to be no hiding of the fiscal challenges of the municipality and we want the accounting to be open, and to be subject to review." "We want people in the public to be satisfied that when they procure municipal services, when they pay property taxes, trade license, they pay for their driver's license or other fees, that their money is being put to good use, and so we have this measure as a measure for transparency."

    City Will Use Customized License Plates To Offset Lost Revenue
    Now, heading into the next fiscal year, the city will be reducing trade license fees - and to make up for a part of the one million dollars in lost revenue - the council has to find new ways of creating revenue. The mayor says they are looking at a customized license plates program where vehicle owners would pay one thousand dollars to use a plate with their name or lucky number on it:... Darrell Bradley, Mayor - Belize City: "The law allows to sell a plate that is a designer plate and we have some samples here. But again those are areas that we are looking to generate revenue, to raise our financial position without having it a tax. Because if you want a regular plate, you just pay the regular plate, and the regular plate price, so that there's no increase in anyone. But, for example, we've had from time to time people inquiring us, when I get my driver's license plate, can I get a special number, can I put my name on the plate, can I have a special indication, or a series of numbers or letters on my plate."

    PUP and UDP Differ on Date For Long Overdue Re-registration
    It's coming up on 21 since Belize hasn't undergone a re-registration exercise. And because of that everyone in politics knows that that the voter's list is bloated with phantom voters and persons who are deceased or have migrated. That mess became even more ominous last week when Former Immigration Director Ruth Meighan agreed in the Senate Hearings on Immigration that the rush up to the 2012 General Election, there was nationality fraud, which transferred over to voter fraud. That has only serve to strengthen the PUP's conviction that re-registration must happen soon, and one is due at the beginning of July. But, the first hint that the re-registration would be postponed a third time came last year August from the Prime Minister. Here's how he put it then: Well, since then, the Elections and Boundaries Commission has had some time to give it greater consideration, and they're agreeing with the Prime Minister that it should take place after the 2018 Municipal Elections. They're receiving immediate backlash on that decision from the PUP, who fired off a press release today, while a meeting to finalize this decision was still ongoing.

    Mayor Says Phantom Voters Didn't Account for His Landslide
    And we also got the chance to ask the mayor about re-registration. His UDP party comfortably controls six of the ten seats in the city, and it is widely believed that the collective constituency strength of the UDP is what has carried Bradley and his council to two landslide victories. And within those constituencies there are lots of phantom voters; people who don't live in the constituency but who are registered there. They are the voters who would be weeded out in a re-registration. Now, with the government saying that it will have a re-registration after the municipal elections, we asked Mayor Bradley if he hasn't benefitted from the bloated voters list:... Darrell Bradley, Mayor - Belize City: "Well I don't want to make any comment on that. Because a re-registration exercise is an exercise which involves a tremendous amount of analysis and labor. So that re-registration exercises are required by law at certain intervals, but one of the reasons why the law places intervals on them is because of a recognition of the inherent difficulties in doing that." "You rightly pointed out that municipal elections are very much within our sight. You are looking a little over a year. I don't want there to be any kind hurry circumstances. So that I wouldn't want to give a commandeer, because they may be practical limitations which I myself do not see why that kind of exercise cannot be done within the little over a year period."

    Mayor Says Senate Probe Is Not The Solution to Systemic Corruption
    And so while it seems the mercurial mayor may offer himself again as a UDP Mayoral candidate, it is well known that he doesn't always tow the party line. Last year he broke with the party line and said he supported a Senate Inquiry - but not one with a government majority. Well, that was a part of the pressure that forced government to ultimately capitulate - and concede its majority to a mix of opposition members and social partners. And now that that Senate subcommittee is underway, we asked the Mayor if he is scandalized by the revelations of what his own party members were doing:... Darrell Bradley, Mayor - Belize City: "That there must be accountability. I think that the members of the public want to be satisfied in relation to whatever is going on at immigration to know what exactly was happening, who was involved, and how high was those persons involved and that it is stopped." Jules Vasquez, 7News: "Are you surprised that your predecessor in Caribbean Shores Mr. Santino Castillo was brought in in the whole Jin chen An situation?" Darrell Bradley, Mayor - Belize City: "I can't give any specific comment in relation to anything that would have transpired before that."

    PUP Leader Wants Criminal Investigation
    And that accountability is the same thing that John Briceno is asking for - except he is calling for a criminal investigation. That's what he told CTV-3 in Orange Walk after the party's National Party Council Meeting on Saturday:... Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "Now here we are with the former Director if Immigration who was the Director at that time who basically admits that there has been some sort of electoral fraud. We want to make it absolutely clear, we are going to hold the government accountable, the Prime Minister needs to do the right thing, and he needs to seek at what is going to look at his legacy. Is he going to allow for this to continue to perpetuate this kind of electoral fraud. We are saying that we need to hold the people accountable the people that have orchestrated this plan so we are saying that the Prime Minister needs to call in the DPP to do a thorough investigation." "We have to hold the government accountable, we have to let them understand that the law was broken and if the law is broken then we need to hold the people accountable. There must be a full and thorough investigation and let the chips fall where they may. if people are found guilty, if ministers are found guilty they need to answer."

    A Revival With Muscle
    In July, the Trinity Assembly of God Church is planning a countrywide event, aimed to inspired both old and new members of the church. But it's not all day worship and praise - nothing like that. The event, dubbed the Belize Festival of Hope, will bring together performers, athletes and personalities from around the country and throughout the world to participate in a revival event which will include extreme sports, a strength team, dances, drama, games and music. We spoke to one of the festival's national leaders, Pastor Ruth Pipersburgh, about what's to come... Pipersburgh says that she expects the Festival of Hope to ATTRACT thousands of Belizeans and foreigners.

    Will Belize Ban E-Smoking?
    Last week, the Parliament in Barbados passed legislation to ban cigarettes and e-cigarette smoking in public areas. Everyone knows what an e-cigarette is, but e-cigarettes are less well known. Vaping as it is called, uses a handheld electronic device that vaporizes a flavoured liquid, which delivers nicotine to the user without burning tobacco. E-cigarettes were first promoted as a tobacco free and less harmful alternative to cigarettes, but many in the health sector see it as just a different way to get people hooked on nicotine. So what is Belize's ministry of health doing about it? That's what we asked the Drug Council's Esner Vellos today:.. Esner Vellos - Director, NDACC, MOH: "The Ministry of Health through the national drug abuse council, we are working very hard to make sure that we will be able to implement legislation that would protect the lives of individuals not only those who consume tobacco but also those who did not consume and those are who are affected by 2nd hand smoking. the national tobacco bill, the draft tobacco bill that we are making recommendations for legislation is looking at not only traditional tobacco products, but also the modern type tobacco products that are in 1 way or the other marketed to be sexy if you can say the word and attractive to the younger generation."

    PUP Leader Calls UDP's Cannes Cabinet Members "Gullible"
    The whole Puerto Azul debacle may have blown up last week, but the UDP continues to feel the after effects. After all, the Ministers of Investment and Tourism were there in Cannes, France at the launch for the bogus project, mugging with celebrities. The Leader of the Opposition says they jumped at a free ride:... Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "It shows that we are gullible. It shows that our ministers, for a free ride, they would go and just say all kinds of things to the media without being very careful, without studying the proposals that are in front of them and all they were thinking about was a free trip and now see what is happening. All of us, the country of Belize gets a black eye."

    City Council Calling All Hoods
    The Lake Independence area is often troubled by crime and gang rivalries. But, on Saturday, February fourth, the City Council is hoping to increase the peace with a basketball and football marathon. Councilor Jason Edwards told us what's on offer:... The event will be held at the Lake I Complex field and basketball court.

    Channel 5

    2 Sought in Credit Card Attack on ATM’s
    Another massive credit card scam has been uncovered in the local banking system and police are on the lookout tonight for a pair of thieves who have withdrawn an undisclosed [...]

    Postpone Re-Registration Again? P.U.P. Says No Way
    At this hour, a meeting of the Election and Boundaries Commission is taking place. It was called by Chairman Doug Singh to discuss several proposals related to conduct and practice [...]

    Re-Districting before Re-Registration is Illogical, Says Kareem Musa
    The P.U.P. also says that it denounces any attempt by the Commission to carry out a re-districting exercise before a re-registration exercise, since such an exercise, in its view would [...]

    Will Voters’ ID’s Go the Way of the Dinosaur?
    The voter’s identification card carries none of the shine of the passport, or Social Security card or driver’s license. Indeed, its sole use seems to be to identify a voter [...]

    P.U.P. Leader Vows Accountability in Alleged Election Fraud
    The Opposition People’s United Party is planning a press conference on Thursday of this week. On the agenda is a frank discussion of the revelations coming out of the Senate [...]

    Kareem Musa Says “Eye-Opener” Inquiry Reveals Excessive Ministerial Influence
    While the party awaits its turn to address the single biggest revelation coming out so far from the Senate Special Select Committee, deputy leader Kareem Musa offered some general observations [...]

    Legal Guardians Refusing to Return Belmopan Kids to Grieving Widower
    A custody battle is brewing in Belmopan where a San Martin family is before the courts fighting to regain care of their eight children. According to Santos Fermin Sagastume, back [...]

    Jasmine Alert Prez Says Case “Crosses the Line”
    Since his wife’s passing, Sagastume and his daughter have not been able to contact the children and don’t know their whereabouts. But the family has been in touch with personnel [...]

    Conch Shell Bay Rocked by Another Shooting Incident
    Since the start of the New Year, Conch Shell Bay, a bustling community which is home to the popular Fish Market, has quickly become a hotspot in the city.  The [...]

    Budget Cuts Will Make Belize “Leaner and Meaner,” According to A.G.
    In the run-up to the presentation of the General Revenue and Appropriations Bill, also known as the Budget, in March; there will be planned consultations with civil society, the business [...]

    Who Authorized Beach Construction at Caye Chapel?
    Has the Department of the Environment cleared a planned beach creation on the popular island of Caye Chapel without the benefit of an environmental impact assessment? The question came up [...]

    P.U.P.’s National Party Council Meets on Economy and Immigration
    As mentioned earlier in the newscast, the People’s United Party held the first National Party Council meeting of the New Year in Orange Walk. The main resolution which we told [...]

    Soldier Messed with Lady Officer, Taken to Court
    A B.D.F. soldier is in trouble with the law for unruly and unbecoming behaviour. Twenty-two-year-old Kevin Chun is accused of touching a female police officer on her private parts on [...]

    Youths Caught with Weed Stash at Turneffe
    On Saturday, Coast Guard officials busted twenty-two-year-old Justin Flowers, eighteen-year-old Elijah Usher, Stanley O’Neil and a minor all of Belize City with eight hundred and sixty two gram of weed [...]

    Chinese Community Says Happy New Year!
    The Chinese zodiac is divided into twelve blocks just like the western astrological calendar, but the major difference being that each block covers a period of one year instead of [...]

    Grieving Hamilton Family Implores Police to Speed Up Investigation into Triple Arson Murder
    The Hamilton family of Aloe Vera Street, Belize City, continues to look for answers four months after a senseless act of arson of their house. They lost not one, but [...]

    Cop Brothers Attacked Suitor for Ex-Girlfriend?
    Cops gone crazy over engagement? One woman is alleging that two officers – one attached to Rural Eastern Division and the other assigned to Eastern Division South – made an [...]

    City Cops Went After 12 Year Old Boy For No Reason, Family Alleges
    On Monday night you heard the mother of a thirteen year old boy complain about police actions against her son in Punta Gorda. Today, we spoke with the sister of [...]

    CTV3

    Corozal Taxi Driver Alleges Police Extorted Him
    A well-known taxi driver from Corozal is making some serious allegations against a couple Orange Walk Police officers who he says stole money from him. Jorge Sanchez, better known as Chino, says that he had driven to Orange Walk last night to deliver some items. While here in Orange Walk, he said he stopped at a Chinese store where he was invited to take a beer. He said that during this time, a police patrol stopped and the officers began questioning him. Sanchez explained that instead of offering a safe exit out of Orange Walk, the officers turned on him when they robbed him. He explained.

    Opposition Leader Shares Solutions For Super Bond Issue
    Belize’s depressed economy has taken center stage in national discussions for quite some time now and even more so recently following GOB’s failed attempt at re-negotiation Super Bond 3.0. A few days ago the Government offered bond holders to bring the interest rate down to four percent from six point seven percent due in August, and for principal payments to be made in the years 2036, 2037, and 2038. However, that offer was flatly rejected by bondholders, but GOB decided to extend the response time for bond holders to 5:00pm on Friday, February 3rd. But as it has been reported in previous days, bondholders have sought further statements from the Barrow administration on its plans to keep Belize from further risks with its financial stability. Over the weekend we took the opportunity to ask Leader of the Opposition on his party’s position on the current state of the Super Bond, here is what he had to say.

    Opposition Leader Explains Why Members Voted In Favor Of Bill To Protect Belize's Assets
    A special Sitting of the House of Representatives was called on Friday where two new bills were debated. Both bills were basically designed to protect Belize's foreign reserves from, Belize Social Development Limited and Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited, the pair of Ashcroft companies that are trying to recover the over one hundred million Belize dollars in arbitral awards granted to them by a US court. As we showed you on Friday a division was called and the Bills were approved after the PUP side of the House voted in favor. During an interview with Opposition Leader this weekend at the National Party Council Meeting held in Orange Walk, he spoke of the reasons behind the PUP’s approval.

    LOVE FM

    One year old child died after falling into a well
    Fem Cruz reporting… “The Durante family in the Maya Mopan area of Belmopan continues to mourn the untimely death of their one year and six month old child, Edwin Duerto whose body was found face down inside a well. According to the mother of the child, on Saturday January 28th sometime around 12:35pm in the […]

    13th Senator makes debut
    Recently elected Senator, Osmany Salas made his debut this morning at a Special Sitting of the Senate in Belmopan. Senator Salas was sworn in and is representing the nongovernmental organizations. The appointment of the 13th Senator was a manifesto promised made by Prime Minister Dean Barrow in 2008 but it was not until last year […]

    Senators support bills to protect Belize’s reserves
    Today Senators debated the Central Bank of Belize International Immunities Bill 2017.The bill was first introduced during the Special Sitting of the House of Representatives on Friday. Dubbed the “Anti Aschroft” Bill, the piece of legislation seeks to protect foreign reserves held by the Central Bank of Belize in other countries. The passing of this […]

    Stiffer penalties for forestry offences
    Today, the Senate ratified Forest Amendment Bill. This means that the penalties for people who are caught committing forestry offences were restructured. In other terms, the fines imposed for this particular offence will be tougher since the fines were too lenient. Lead Government Senator, Godwin Hulse, explained. Senator Godwin Hulse “Actually as most people are […]

    Caye Caulker men hit with drug charges
    Police operations on Saturday in Caye Caulker resulted in the arrest of three men. Police say they conducted a stop and search which resulted in the arrest of Everald Bodden who was charged for drug trafficking. Bodden was found with one point two grams of cocaine. In the second incident, Police found forty three pounds […]

    Motorcyclist knocked down and killed
    Fem Cruz reporting… “A fatal traffic incident on the Hummingbird highway claimed the life of Anthony Garnett a resident of San Ignacio Town. Olga Galvez spoke to Love News after the accident.” Olga Galvez “I was sitting on my veranda when suddenly I hear loud bang and I ran out and I saw some debris […]

    Gaspar Vega’s absence from House meetings questioned
    Former Cabinet Minister Gaspar Vega resigned from this Ministerial post as a result of a land scandal that broke where a parcel of land was acquired by Vega’s son, Andre Vega at two thousand five hundred dollars then later flipped for four hundred thousand dollars which the Government of Belize paid out. Since his resignation, […]

    San Ignacio Children Advisory Board teams up with Town Council
    The Children Advisory Boards were formed as a part of UNICEF’s child friendly initiative. Over the weekend, the CAB in San Ignacio Santa Elena teamed up with the Town Council. Vanessa Neal is the CAB Rapporteur. Vanessa Neal – CAB Rapporteur “As you can see this morning is one of the first activities that the […]

    Churches prepare for Festival of Hope
    The Festival Hope of Belize is coming to the BTL Park in Belize City in July 22. Dan King, the lead coordinator of the Belize Festival of Hope has spoken in over sixty nations to a total of over two million people and has taught people around the word the secrets of life, love, health […]

    Justin Flowers charged for drug offences
    Twenty-two year old Justin Flowers, one of four persons charged with drug trafficking for 862 grams of cannabis, pled guilty to the charge when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. He was fined ten thousand dollars and ordered to pay two thousand dollars forthwith. If he defaults on payment of the […]

    Amandala

    13 Senators united on bills to protect foreign reserves
    All 13 Senators—including the newest addition to the upper house of Parliament, Senator Osmany Salas, representative of the NGO community—gave their support for a pair of bills rushed through Parliament over the past two business days in what has been described as an emergency maneuver to shield the foreign reserves of the Central Bank of Belize from the claws of companies controlled by British billionaire Lord Michael Ashcroft, seeking to have arbitral awards of US$50 million enforced via court order in the US court in the District of Columbia. There has been much back-and-forth about what got Belize in the place that it now finds itself —”between the devil and the deep blue sea,” as Senator Elena Smith, representative of the trade unions and civil society, put it during today’s debate. Senator Rufino Lin, representing the private sector in the Senate, said: “We cannot afford to give away our hard-earned foreign reserve dollars to satisfy unbridled greed…”

    No new US visa policy: US Embassy
    A fake online news report saying that the recently installed US president Donald Trump, in a controversial executive order signed on Friday, January 27, captioned, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry To The United States”, also imposes a new quota restriction of 100 visas a year to Belize with a limit of three months’ validity, has drawn the attention of many Belizeans after it was widely circulated on social media. Personnel at the US Embassy in Belize also heard of the circulation of the report, and although when we contacted them this morning there was not yet any official word, a notice was sent to the press later today signaling that, “…there have been no new rules or regulations limiting the number of U.S. visas for Belizean citizens.” The correspondence to the press added that, “The United States and Belize have strong bilateral ties based on shared interests and we look forward to further enhancing our friendship.”

    “Meet and Beat” policeman “chance” 12-year-old student
    At the beginning of the year, it appeared that the Belize Police Department was overwhelmed by the spike in violent crime, especially on the south side of Belize City. Nonetheless, the department’s high command has been out pounding the pavement with its “Meet and Greet” program designed to cultivate trust in citizens for the police’s community crime fighting methods. While the police high command emphasizes Meet and Greet, however, the rogue cops in their midst continue to resort to what could be dubbed “Meet and Beat.” This is a story about the senseless beating of a 12-year-old standard 4 Salvation Army Primary School student, who suffered an unnecessary assault on his freedom of movement at the hand of a “meet and beat” policeman who was patrolling with other officers in a police mobile patrol unit on Cemetery Road on Friday, January 27, sometime around 11:00 a.m.

    PUP and UDP gang up against Ashcroft
    At an emergency meeting held in Belmopan, parliamentarians from both sides of the floor—the ruling United Democratic Party and the Opposition People’s United Party—voted in favor of a bill to protect the foreign reserves of the Central Bank of Belize, an estimated US$377 million (mostly held in the US), from being seized to satisfy two arbitration awards totaling US$50 million awarded to companies controlled by British billionaire Lord Michael Ashcroft. Ashcroft, a shrewd businessman with Belizean citizenship, has financed both of the political parties, which both signaled their support for the bill as a show of nationalism amid what Prime Minister Dean Barrow now deems an economic war.

    Weeping grandmother fined $200 for weed
    A 59-year-old grandmother was brought by police to the Magistrate’s Court today for the court’s afternoon session. She cried most of the time she was in the court’s holding cell area. At least the police officers controlling the court holding cell did not see it fit to put the weeping grandmother in the cell. By the time Beverly Whylie’s case came up before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, she was overwhelmed in sadness and barely could walk to the courtroom, where she sat down after she managed to walk in, her tears still streaming down her cheeks. Chief Magistrate Smith read the charge to Whylie, who pleaded “guilty with a cause.” Police charged Whylie, a Pinks Alley resident, for being in possession of 23.9 grams of cannabis.

    What’s really happening at the Subteniente López border crossing?
    Was there a violent clash between Belizean Customs officers and Mexican smugglers that left 13 persons injured? An article published by a Mexican news agency, the Yucatan Times, claims that there was. According to the article, the incident occurred at the Subteniente López border crossing on Friday after the customs officials refused to allow a group of about 20 people to cross the border because they failed to pay taxes on the merchandise purchased at the Corozal Free Zone. The article further claimed, “The situation worsened when one of the Belize agents, who had crossed into Mexican territory, pulled his gun and began threatening the alleged smugglers.” Thirteen Mexican smugglers were injured as a result, the article claimed.

    PLB 2016-2017 Closing Season kicks off with Week 1 games
    Without much fanfare, the Premier League of Belize (PLB) kicked off its 2016-2017 Closing Season over the past weekend with Week 1 games at four different venues, where all 8 participating teams saw action. Orange Walk United, which made its first entry in the PLB Opening Season, where it finished at the bottom of the standings, has declined participating in the Closing Season. Out west at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium on Saturday night, defending champion Belmopan Bandits SC clipped visiting FC Belize, 1-nil, on a goal by captain Elroy Smith. Despite still experiencing financing problems, FC Belize, under the leadership of veteran Mark “Kelo” Leslie and head coach David “Manu” McCaulay, remains a strong defensive team; and the Bandits are satisfied with the victory to start the season against an adversary that held them to a scoreless draw to start the previous Opening Season.

    WW Race #1 results
    Here are the results from Weekend Warriors (WW) racing held yesterday, Sunday, January 29, which represents Race #1 of the current 3-race “Series.” The Class A & B left from Cotton Tree Village Primary School at 8:40 a.m. and finished at Leslie’s Imports, for 40 miles; whilst the C Class started from La Democracia Junction, for 30 miles, finishing at the same place. Finishing order for the “A/B” was: 1st place – Isaiah Willacey (Santino’s, 1:39:20); 2nd place – George Abraham (Bel-Cal, st); 3rd place – Collet Maheia (Kulture Megabytes, 1:41:36); 4th Daniel Cano (Santino’s, st); 5th Preston Martinez (Digicell-4G, st); 6th Kenroy Gladden (Kulture Megabytes, st); 7th Charles Garay (BFSC-El Pescador, st, 1st “B” rider); 8th Santiago Cus (Smart, st, 2nd “B” rider); 9th Kirk Sutherland (Digicell-4G, 1:42:47); 10th Sean Duncan (Smart, st, 3rd “B” rider); 11th Santino Castillo (Santino’s, st, 4th “B” rider); and 12th Jack Sutherland (Digicell-4G, st).

    Week 3 in NEBL
    On Friday night, Dangriga Dream Ballers hosted their first home game for this season. The Ecumenical High School Auditorium was pulsating with the Garifuna drums and the Sweet Pain Band, while approximately 800 fans had the stadium packed to capacity. The home team jumped out to an early 33-19 lead, which they were able to extend to 16 pts in the second quarter with their great defense and fluid ball movement. However, the visiting team mounted an 11-0 run in the third quarter to grab a 59-58 lead, going into the fourth and final quarter of the game, outscoring the home squad 28-15 in the third quarter. With 3 minutes remaining, the game was tied at 67, but Cayo Western Ballaz went on a 15-3 run to seal the 82-70 victory over Dangriga Dream Ballers.

    CSSSA football reg. season ends, playoffs this week
    The regular season ended on Saturday for the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) 2016-2017 football competition, and playoffs are scheduled for this week. On Thursday, January 26, (F) Maude Williams High and Wesley played to a 0-0 stalemate. And (M) Gwen Liz bombed Excelsior, 8-nil, with goals from Orlando Velasquez (2), Kieron Patnett (2), Michael Deshield, Jadon McGregor (2) and Jurel Westby. Excelsior was awarded a penalty, but missed. On Friday, (F) SCA won (3-0) over Pallotti by forfeit. And (M) Sadie Vernon dropped Maude Williams, 4-1, with goals from Stephan Bowen (2), Cion Augustine and Christian Gladden; while Egbert Myers scored for Maude Williams.

    Justification, obfuscation, and lies
    In these days leading up to Pen Cayetano’s Black History Month event in Dangriga, we have been reflecting at the editorial desk on our 48-year history at Kremandala, and on the socio-cultural-economic situation which existed in British Honduras/Belize in 1969 – the year our black-consciousness initiative began. Five hundred years ago, the Europeans began a process which involved two deadly crimes against humanity. In the language of religion, these would be described as mortal sins, evils which would condemn one to an eternity of hell punishment. First, the Europeans seized the ancestral lands of Indigenous Americans, and, secondly, they enslaved African peoples and forced them to work those stolen lands so that the Europeans could become as wealthy and powerful as we now see them to be.

    http://amandala.com.bz/news/publisher-343/
    The following passages are also taken from David Olusoga’s monumental BLACK AND BRITISH, and they describe the insanity of slave ships seized by Britain’s West Africa Squadron after the British abolished the slave trade in 1807. The descriptions reproduced here are of the human cargo of slave ships which were forced back to West Africa before they could continue on their journeys to Brazil and Cuba, Portugal and Spain not having outlawed the slave trade when the British did. From the accounts below, you can imagine how indescribably horrific were the nightmares of those shackled, nameless Africans who made the journey across the Atlantic Ocean which took months under conditions even animals would not have survived.

    Advice to GOB for raising revenue
    Dear Editor, Methinks that a good way for GOB to raise revenues is by applying a low-import duty, e.g. 2 to 5%, on those articles that come in absolutely free of import duty. Cooking oil, stoves, refrigerators, disposable diapers etc. This level of tax would not hurt the consumers too much and would not encourage evasion. On the other hand, charges for toilet bowls and accessories should be lowered so that usage of pit latrines is discouraged. Regards, R. Cuello

    Bondholders didn’t bite — GOB extends offer deadline
    Holders of Belize’s billion-dollar superbond, due to mature in 2038, did not take up an offer from the Government of Belize by the Thursday, January 26, 2017 deadline, to accept a lower interest rate and a delay in repayment of principal being sought by GOB amid ongoing economic turmoil. In a release issued on Thursday via the website of the Central Bank of Belize, the Government of Belize said that it was extending by a week the period during which holders may respond, so the new deadline is February 3, 2017. The Government of Belize has been hoping to strike a deal with bondholders by the time the next payment on the bonds is due, on February 20. Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow said today that the offer is being extended “for what we feel is good and sufficient cause.”

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    BTEC awards certificates on tourism based training
    The Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC), a unit of BELTRAIDE, will award certificates tomorrow, February 1st, to 66 persons who completed a tourism-based Job Preparedness Training in Belize City, which was held from 11th –27th January, 2017. The Job Preparedness Training had the participation of one of the largest groups and was made up of two components: soft skills (attitudes and behaviors) and technical skills (industry specific). This was the first time in Belize City that BTEC executed training in three technical areas: Front Desk, Introduction to Bartending and House-keeping/Janitorial. Sixty-six persons completed the training with over 98 percent completing successfully and the remaining 2 percent receiving certificates of participation. Each participant was required to sit a Pre-test in English, Customer Service and Basic Tourism Facts.

    PUP demands re-registration
    The opposition People’s United Party issued a press release today informing that Doug Singh, Chairman of the Elections and Boundaries Commission called a meeting of Commissioners.The PUP says that according to the agenda, the purpose of the meeting was to discuss several proposals, which the People’s United Party considers retrograde and flagrantly undemocratic.

    13th Senator sworn in
    Yesterday, the newly selected 13th Senator, Osmany Salas took his oath of office inside the Senate. Salas joins three other social partners as he represents the NGO community. Salas makes history in Belize as the first 13th Senator and first NGO Senator. This signifies […]

    Honduran man charged for drug trafficking
    Yesterday morning around, 10:00 a.m., San Ignacio police were on mobile patrol on the George Price Highway in front of Kontiki Gas Station when officers stopped and searched 51-year-old George Antonio Dubon, a Honduran national of Branch Mouth Road, San Ignacio who was carrying […]

    Police issue report on shooting last night
    According to police reports, last night around 8:10, police visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where officers saw 21-year-old Jaheel Goodger of a Belize City address, suffering from a gunshot wound to the right leg. Initial investigation reveals that around 8:00 p.m., while Goodger […]

    Minister Aragon tours National Forensic Service
    The Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs Elodio Aragon Jr., today conducted a tour of the National Forensic Services (NFS) Headquarters in Ladyville. Aragon met with management and staff, acquainting himself with the services offered by the institution, and through their […]

    Universal Hardware’s Family day February 11, 2017
    Universal Hardware will be hosting its annual Friends & Family day on Saturday, February 11th in Spanish Lookout, Cayo district and will feature blowout sales, raffles and giveaways. Everything at the event will be on sale including Shindaiwa brush cutters, Echo chainsaws, Homelite trimmers, Briggs […]

    The death of trust and the rise of truth
    NOT BY FORCE It is important that you understand, that your country was not sold out by force… …it was sold out by men and women who wanted quick access to wealth and power and not producing and creating anything. The two-party system […]

    France wins Miss Universe 2017
    The 65th edition of the Miss Universe pageant was held last night in Manila, Phillipines. Miss France, Iris Mittenaere was crowned the 65th Miss Universe. The 23-year-old beauty queen is also a dentistry student. Mittenaere told the judges minutes before she was crowned Miss […]

    Police start mentorship program to help in fight against crime
    Assistant Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams has organized a mentorship program which he believes will help in the fight against crime. It is titled “the Police Youth Mentorship Program” and on Saturday it kicked off with 75 participants or mentorees. There were a total […]

    Man badly beaten in PG
    A Burrel Boom man was badly beaten by five persons in Punta Gorda on January 26. The incident occurred sometime around midnight when the victim and a male friend had left an inter-office basketball match and had gone to the popular “Roots” bar in […]

    Blogs

    Music Star Kelly McGuire: Breaking the Law in Belize
    As discussions about non-citizens and lawlessness heat WAY up in the United States, it was oh-so-fitting yesterday that when I was running some errands in my home of San Pedro, Belize, I spotted foreign music star, Kelly McGuire, blatantly breaking our local laws. Kelly McGuire is a Texas based singer/songwriter who visits San Pedro at least once a year for his annual February birthday bash. He’s been known to make it down up to 3 times a year. Kelly’s LOVE of Ambergris Caye and albums like “King of the Island” and “Boat in Belize” make him hugely popular down here and his story telling and SUPER friendly, easy going personality get you easily hooked, not matter what your musical tastes. Kelly is down here right now doing a variety of shows in a variety of places. He’s got a big following so get to the shows early. He’s helped raise money and awareness for SAGA Humane Society – and starred in a few public service announcements about spaying and neutering. Very Bob Barker. And for a variety of other charities.

    6 Things That Make Belize The Perfect Place to Recharge In 2017
    If you’re a traveler then you’ll know that “Post-trip travel fatigue” is a thing” and some of you will read that and wonder “Can I actually be tired after a Vacation?!”. It is possible and indeed, depending on the nature of your destination you can go back home feeling more burnt out than you did before you embarked on your vacation. We here like to think that the point of a vacation is to take a break and recharge, to feel fresh, if albeit a little crispy when you get back! With that philosophy in mind, here are 6 things that make Belize the perfect place to recharge: 1 Relaxing setting, 2 Tropical Luxury, 3 Adventure & Exploration, 4 Comfort food, 5 Human connections, 6 Natural immersion.

    22 things first-time visitors to Belize should know, to prepare yourself for your adventure here!!
    We have had requests for a blog post to discuss the differences between rules/laws/expectations in Belize vs. North America, so that you can get the most out of some of the freedoms here, and also not get yourself in trouble by doing something that is natural in the US (drink from the tap for example), but that you are advised not to do, here! 1.) Placencia is the only place you can drink water straight from the tap - there is an underwater spring in Placencia, but the rest of the country uses city or cistern water. In other words - don't drink the water ANYWHERE else - brushing your teeth is fine, and some people in Ambergris Caye, will tell you they drink it. I can tell you from personal experience that I DO NOT drink the water anywhere but Placencia :). 2.) You can feel comfortable driving in Belize - it is not a place where you need to worry about crime on the road, and the "highways" are like country roads, but they are not terrible. You just need to know about speed "humps", the fact that the sun sets early and driving at night is not recommended for your first time, and to know what the check points are - you can read about all that HERE.

    Why You Must Visit Caves Branch Botanical Gardens
    Anyone who has ever been to Belize knows that the raw beauty of nature and the thriving wildlife are two of the best reasons to visit the country. Established in 2008, the Caves Branch Botanical Gardens provide visitors an excellent way to witness and learn about the importance of the flora and fauna in Belize. The Caves Branch Botanical Gardens have an incredibly diverse selection of indigenous plants that dazzle the senses with their brightly flamboyant colors. Other plants are more subtle in their charm, displaying their ingenuity in adapting to the competitive natural world of the rainforest. The Caves Branch Botanical Gardens are much like a living textbook, introducing visitors to the multitude of unique and beautiful plant species that thrive in Belize. The gardens are home to the largest collection of epiphytes found anywhere in Belize. Epiphytes are plants that grow on other plants and include orchids, bromeliads, ferns and many other families. Among those epiphytes you can find at our garden are a myriad of fragile but yet beautiful orchids and bromeliads. Some of the most popular plants living on the grounds are the Black Orchid, the national flower of Belize, vanilla orchids, and micro orchids with the flowers measuring just 2 millimeters (0.078) inches in diameter.

    International Sourcesizz

    Retirement Ready: Retiring to the Caribbean on the cheap
    English-speaking Ambergris Caye is the largest island in Belize at 25 miles long and a little over a mile wide. San Pedro is its only town. About 30 years ago, Ambergris became a hot spot for divers and fishermen, thanks to the Belize Barrier Reef, just a half-mile offshore. Expats give up little living on Ambergris Caye. Power, water, cellphone coverag and Internet are reliable, and you can buy most necessities for daily living on the island. Expats who live on the island report a cost of living, including rent, of $2,000 to $3,000 a month and properties can be purchased from around $175,000.

    How One Couple Exchanged Winter in Idaho for Eternal Summer in Cayo, Belize
    Three years ago, David and Cathy Thayer moved from northern Idaho to Cayo, Belize. In Idaho, the Thayers had nine months of winter each year. In Cayo, they have 12 months of summertime. Despite the promise of eternal summer, Cathy did not immediately embrace the prospect of packing up and leaving her U.S. life behind. "When David first got this idea of moving to another country into his head, I humored him," Cathy says. "He'd start talking about moving to a new country, and I'd listen. To his face I'd say, 'Ah, that's interesting, dear.' To everyone else I was saying, 'No way!'" When her husband came to her with the notion that the couple retire overseas, Cathy hadn't traveled anywhere other than Paris. When David told her he'd bought tickets for them to travel to Belize, she was shocked. "I didn't know anything about Belize at the time, but I knew one thing," she says. "I knew that Central America is nothing like Paris." However, David realized that if he had any chance of realizing his dream of life in a new country, he needed to get his wife on board. Reluctantly, Cathy agreed to take the trip. "I agreed to travel to Belize because I told myself it'd be a nice vacation. That was the extent of my commitment at first," she says. "However, I have to admit that I found I liked two things about Belize right away. First, I could communicate with everyone, because English is the language here. And, second, it was warm."

    Mom Makes Children World Citizens
    In many cities across America Black parents are struggling to raise their children in circumstances that are not friendly. In some cases there are failing educational systems, low employment, contaminated water, violence, racism, crime, police brutality and many other issues that weigh heavy on the hearts of caring parents. These concerns are often the reality in low income sections of the Black community. But, not all Black children are subject to these problems. In Indianapolis, Indiana the Mabilijengo family lived a different reality. Living with their mother were two children (Bilal and Fatimah, twins now 16 years old) and one teen (Nailah, who recently turned 21). They were raised in a rural area on the southeast side on Indianapolis. They were home schooled, deeply steeped in Black culture, and well trained in agriculture, home building, entrepreneurial skills, martial arts and music appreciation. In early January of 2017, she and her children boarded a plane to fly over 2000 miles away for a new life in Belize (an independent country in Central America). They have been planning on the move for several years. The reason for Mama LeTava’s determination to relocate was to remove her children from a failing American society that has institutionalized racism to a point that it is inescapable regardless of what community one lives in. But more importantly, she wanted her children to be able to become world citizens who would use their skills and talents to grow socially and intellectually beyond what is possible in the United States. She wanted them to have citizenship in a country where the majority of the people look like them.

    Traces of Maya Civilization’s Initial Collapse Found in Guatemala
    Centuries before its cities were totally abandoned, the Mayan civilization suffered its first sudden collapse, US and Guatemalan researchers have determined at the Ceibal archaeological site in Guatemala with the aid of the latest radiocarbon dating technology. “Water scarcity, dwindling economic activity, wars and a breakdown of the family are some of the problems we detected in our archaeological excavations at a site of the Maya Preclassic period of around 200 A.D.,” Takesh Inomata of the University of Arizona at Tucson told EFE. “Because of those social problems, the Mayan cities were abandoned,” said the director of the research project in which nine US and Guatemalan specialists are taking part. Inomata said that while “there’s a lot of information and theories” about “the collapse” of the Maya civilization in the Classic period (225-900 A.D.), almost no one has studied the Preclassic period, which continued from around 1,000 B.C. to 225 A.D.

    Watch How Drones Fight Pirate Fishing From the Sky
    Belize has long struggled to control illegal fishing both in its waters and by vessels flagged to its country. But efforts to turn the tide are starting to pay off, says Julio Maaz, who serves as a fisheries coordinator in the country with the nonprofit group Wildlife Conservation Society. In March 2014, the European Union suspended all seafood imports from Belize, saying the country had not acted forcefully enough to prevent illegal fishing, also known as pirate fishing.

    Videos

  • Living With Depression - A Conversation with Client, 38min.

  • Manta ray at Lighthouse Reef, Belize, 15sec.

  • BELIZE - targ w Belize City, 3min.

  • FAYUQEROS AWAIT LIFTING OF RESTRICTIONS AT THE NORTHERN BORDER, 3.5min.

  • Mental Health Association - A coordinated approach to mental health, 26min.

  • Belmopan Creek Cleanup, 2.5min. The Belmopan Junior Youths teamed up with the Belmopan City Council to clean up garbage and the fallen trees that Hurricane Earl pushed over. Thanks! "Some clips from our latest service project :-)"

  • Belize Aggressor III Jan 2017, 23min.

  • Adventures in Belize 2017!, 14min. Our trip will forever be engraved in our minds and souls, but just to help a bit, I kept the camera rolling.

  • Belize NYE - BucketLust, 4min. Put together an edit recapping the inaugural BucketLust trip in Belize to ring in 2017. Great time with great people. In BOJ we trust.

  • Belize Navidad 2016, 4min. Canivel Belize 2016.

  • Sharks viciously fight over fish remains, 1min. Nurse sharks in Belize are quite relaxed and easygoing, until there is only one fish head between ten sharks. These large beasts are always hungry and always willing to steal food from one another. The first one to get to this meal knows he has to work hard to keep it away from the ones that are on his tail. One larger shark actually works his way under the one with the fish and he grabs it right out of his mouth. He is able to swallow the fish before the first one has a chance to get it back. This is a food fight that was very dramatic for the swimmers who were just above the action!


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