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May 21, 2015


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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, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

SPHS suspends students after incriminating photographs surface
On Wednesday, May 20th rumors surfaced of a mass expulsion of students at the San Pedro High School (SPH) due to the alleged distribution of pornographic images. While it has been confirmed that there has been no such event, The San Pedro Sun has received official confirmation that several students were suspended in regards to the same matter. A SPHS Board Meeting was held on Tuesday, May 19th to decide the course of action and punishment for students involved in the disseminating and even those who were the subjects of the pornographic images. SPHS Vice-principal Conchita Flota clarified to The San Pedro Sun that up to press time nine students had been suspended. “Like in any school there are rules, and if broken, those responsible are punished. This is exactly what has happened. Over the past few months there has been controversy over some pornographic images that were circulating. Some of those pictures where so called ‘nudes’ of some female students. While this is a sensitive matter we had to address it,” said Flota. Flota also explained that mass expulsion of 45 students was never even considered by the SPHS Board of Directors, and that the rumors were unfounded. “We do not know who started the rumors, but they are completely false. We addressed the matter as best as we could and suspended the students involved. We had to discipline both the person spreading the pictures and well as the ones that, unfortunately, were in the pictures. Incidents like these happen at schools across the country and it’s not the first time it has occurred in San Pedro,” stated Flota.

SHINE hosts Mayan Magical Night Fundraiser
Reigning Miss San Pedro Michelle Nuñez has been working on a youth enrichment program for young girls through SHINE (Shaping Healthy Identities through Nurturing and Empowerment), and for the past year of her tenure has changed the lives of several young ladies. With the help of On Eagles Wings Ministries (OEWM) and many individuals, the hope is to see a SHINE Center built where at-risk women and young girls can have a safe haven to turn to. In an effort to make the Center closer to reality, Nuñez hosted a Mayan Magical Night Fundraiser to present the plans for the center and to share a little more knowledge about the program. Held beachside at Ramon’s Village Resort, the beautifully decorated setting brought an aura of magic indeed. The wonderful sounds of renowned flutist Pablo Collado filled the air, and all around, conversation and laughter indicated a good turnout of support. First to speak at the event was Deputy Mayor Gary Greif. He praised the works of OEWM and SHINE, thanking Michelle for the initiative and pledged his support to the wonderful cause. Leading the invocation was Clive Welsh, then Emily Fitchpatrick spoke on the works of On Eagle’s Wings Ministries.

Celebrating the island’s teachers and nurses
The 11th annual Teachers and Nurses Dinner was held on Thursday May 14th at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium. The event was sponsored by the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) in collaboration with Area Representative and Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. Teachers, nurses and doctors of the island were treated to an evening of entertainment, drinks, food and fun, all in appreciation of the valuable services they provide to residents of Ambergris Caye. The attendees had the opportunity to mingle and socialize prior to the event, which kicked off around 8PM, and promised to be full with entertainment. Master of ceremonies Councilor Severito Guerrero Jr., along with Miss San Pedro, Michelle Nuñez, ensured that the night’s program was as enjoyable as possible. After the welcome address, by Deputy Mayor Gary Greif and vote of thanks by Councilor Ruben Gonzalez the event officially started, with different fun games that everyone was dared to participate in. Each game was baited with fabulous prizes, from dinners for two at La Palmilla Restaurant at the luxurious Victoria House, to 24 – hour golf cart rentals, grocery certificates, Travellers’ liquors products, wines, cash and more. The fun activities included musical chairs, trying to whistle after eating soda biscuits, modeling, karaoke, and one of the most challenging games, sliding an Oreo Cookie from the forehead to the mouth. There was much loud cheering when contestants were dared to show their dancing skills to the popular beat of “El Cerrucho”.

New Patroness for HelpAge Belize: Marie Elena Sylvestre, BA
HelpAge Belize is delighted to introduce our new Patroness, Marie Elena Sylvestre. We are looking forward to working with her to further create awareness on older person’s rights and to address issues that marginalized their access to healthcare and housing, income security, family care and support. Maria Elena Sylvestre has recently been appointed to the position of Honorary Consul for the Russian Federation in Belize. She has served in many distinguished positions such as the President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Belize, the Chairperson for HelpAge Belize, and as a member of the National Trade Negotiating Committee, which provided support and guidance to the Ministry of Foreign Trade. Mrs. Sylvestre also pioneered the concept of Duty Free retail shopping in the Country of Belize. In 1972 she established the Belize Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd. and its subsidiary, the Belize Diagnostic Center. Mrs. Sylvestre, along with her husband, the late Honorable Louis Sylvestre and assisted by the European Union, conducted research to produce superior cashew nuts that would benefit future cashew farmers in the country.

Island students participate in Reef Week Trivia Competition and Fair
This year’s Reef Week kicked off from Monday, May 11th to Sunday, May 17th under the theme “Protect our Belizean Sea; Keep the Reef Alive and Free”. Highlights of the week’s activities included the 10th annual Trivia contest which saw the participation of students from schools in San Pedro and Caye Caulker. The contest began at 2PM on Wednesday May 13th at the San Pedro Lion’s Den. A total of 13 students participated from San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRCS), Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES), Caye Caulker Roman Catholic School (CCRC), Isla Bonita Elementary School (IBES), New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist School (NHSDAS), and the Island Academy. The purpose of the competition is to test the students’ knowledge about the coral reef environment, the marine life, the protected areas and threats and damages to our coast line and reef. Ultimately the competition promotes reef and marine life conservation awareness through education.

Five Things to Do On a Rainy Day in Paradise
Okay, so you pack up for your fabulous vacation in paradise, swimsuit- check! Sunblock-check! Daydreaming of warm afternoons spent lounging by your resort pool or on the beach; only to your surprise, when you finally do arrive, it’s raining! That splendid Belizean sunshine you’ve been anticipating, well, it’s lost in the clouds for a bit! It’s the tropics, so chances are it very well may happen. So what do you do then, when your snorkeling trip of the day has been cancelled and cozying up in your hotel room all day just isn’t for you? Well, we got you covered! Here’s a list of five things you can do to still enjoy your time in paradise (until those rays of sunshine come peeking through those clouds- probably within the hour to be honest). 1: Coffee at Rum and Bean: 2: A day of Yoga at Ak’bol 3: Visit the House of Culture 4: Be a Chef for a Day 5: Paint and Splash with Melody Wolfe.

Ambergris Today

Miss World Belize 2014 Featured in Chetumal Magazine
Ambergris Today got hold of Revista XOC a monthly magazine of Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico, published by local radio station La Poderosa 99.3FM in which Miss San Pedro 2009/Miss Belize 2014 Raquel Badillo of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, is featured on the front cover. The magazine published photos taken of Raquel by Jose Luis Zapata Photography in their style and fashion section. Ambergris Today was happy to see a local Belizean beauty gracing the cover of a magazine in our neighboring city of Chetumal. Congratulations Raquel!!

25 Years Ago - A Look Back at Old Fashion Cooking In San Pedro Village
After sharing the story of the old fashioned irons for ironing clothes, Ambergris Today received quite some interesting reviews with requests for more gadgets along the same line. Well folks, here are a few more just because you asked for it. THE COMAL OR HOT PLATE: The ‘Comal’ came in various sizes and shapes and were extremely useful in every household. A comal is a smooth, flat griddle typically used in Mexico and Central America, and that included San Pedro, to cook tortillas, toast spices, sear meat, and generally prepare food. The most popular use was to make flour tortillas and corn tortillas as well. They were placed under a pot in which rice was being cooked to prevent it from cooking too fast and from burning, of course. The ‘Comal’ was used to re-heat food, any kind of food, dry or moist. Onions, peppers and tomatoes were roasted over the comal. Now take a look at this one which came with sort of a cooking compartment in which one could cook several items at the same time. Now this is really gourmet cooking twenty five years ago in San Pedro.

Governor General of Belize Launches Chinese-language Edition of Belizean Book
Governor General of Belize, H.E. Sir Colville Young, just recently concluded a productive five-day visit to Taiwan where he officially launched the Chinese Edition of his Belizean book “Pataki Full: Seven Belizean Short Stories” at a press conference hosted by H.E. David Lin, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan). The book was launched in Taiwan to help Taiwanese learn more about Belize who has become one of the country’s diplomatic allies. It is believed that this translation marks the first time that a book by a CARICOM writer has been translated into Chinese. As such, this is a historic occasion and marks a notable strengthening of the ties of culture and friendship between the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Belize. The idea of a Chinese edition of the book was brought up in December last year. Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin said that when he visited Belize at that time, he received the English edition as a gift from Young. At that time, Young also expressed his desire to share the book with Taiwanese and “suggested that it be translated into Chinese and published in Taiwan,” Lin said.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Home and Grid Energy Storage Gains Momentum
Worth a good read, as it goes into the viability of battery storage..... Tesla’s recent entry into the home and grid storage market may be well timed, but the automaker is hardly alone in its quest to bring new sources of electrical power to consumers. Other suppliers, including A123 Systems, Saft, Ambri, Prudent Energy, and Tesla’s sister company, Solar City, are pursuing many of the same applications. Experts say their strategies make sense, especially in light of the fact that coal and nuclear plants face an uncertain future in the US. “If you flash forward into the future, we are all going to desperately need an inexpensive way to store lots of energy,” Jeff Chamberlain, executive director for the Joint Center for Energy Research at Argonne National Laboratory, told Design News. For most of the players, the strategy is also tightly coupled with the growth of renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar. Because wind turbines and photovoltaic cells need some form of backup if they’re ever to play a significant role on the grid, huge battery packs are increasingly looking like a good idea. That will be especially true when renewables reach a level of about one-fifth of the overall available energy, experts say.

SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY
The OAS Department of Human Development and Education and the Centro de Desarrollo y Asistencia Técnica en Tecnología para la Organización Pública (Asociación Civil)-TOP-Argentina, under the Partnerships Program for Education and Training–PAEC-, are offering scholarships for the course: “Evaluación Institucional de Organizaciones Públicas (EIOP)” This is an online course and will be delivered in Spanish.

TOMA ESTE JUGO PARA QUE TU PANCITA DESAPAREZCA EN 7 DIAS!
Todos los ingredientes tienen que estar crudos. Lava todo muy bien y desinfecta cada ingrediente. Coloca todo en un extractor o licuadora ¡yvoila! Tómalo cada mañana y combínalo con una caminata de al menos 30 minutos al día. Tendrás resultados en 1 semana y tus jeans te quedarán como antes!

Conch Soup
Clean conch with lime juice. Place on cutting board and pound with meat mallet. In a saucepan drop conch in boiling water for one minute only. Discard water. Heat oil, add flour and stir until brown making a roux. Add 3 cups of water, a little at a time, stirring constantly. Add salt to taste, and thyme, diced coco, potatoes, carrots and sliced plantain. As soon as soup comes to a boil, turn down heat to medium. Cover pot and let simmer. Now prepare dumplings made from the green plantains. Grate plantains and add a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of shortening. Form into little balls and drop into soup. Stir pot occasionally. As soon as vegetables in soup are just about tender, add coconut milk and conch. Cook and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Serve piping hot.This is a hearty and wholesome soup that can stand on its own. You can add a side serving of white rice or hot corn tortillas. Conch season opens in October and runs to June so this is a great soup for cold weather!

2015 National Song Competition
Sign Up!

Thursday (May 21) is the last day to get tickets for the Wine and Chocolate Night at the Chocolate Festival of Belize from The San Pedro Sun office.
In three days time....you can be in CHOCOLATE PARADISE! Get your tickets now! Few remaining!

Protecting our Scarlet macaws
Yes the chicks are protected! It takes a huge effort to protect our Scarlet macaws from being poached but thanks to the FCD Chiquibul Rangers (shown here, sorry I dont have all the names), the FCD Research Team, Scarlet Six Biomonitoring Team, countless other voluteers and the cooperation with BDF and Police, hopefully this year no Belizean Macaws will be lost to poaching, and at least one (group of) poachers will be detained, charged and sentenced to deter future poachers. Fingers crossed all stay safe!

Summer of Sports Program
Application forms outlining the eligibility criteria, including the terms and guidelines for the Summer of Sports Program, are available at the National Sports Council in Belize City and can also be obtained electronically via the Government of Belize web portal at http://belize.gov.bz/index.php/summer-of-sports-program-2015. For more information kindly contact: Patrick Henry National Sports Council 227-2092 or 227-7051

Government of Belize Summer of Sports Program 2015
The Government of Belize is pleased to announce its Summer of Sports Program, which will be funded by PetroCaribe. The government recognizes that each summer individuals, schools, community groups, government bodies and organizations throughout the country sponsor and manage summer camps in an effort to provide opportunities to engage youth and children in healthy, safe, and stimulating learning activities during the summer holiday. In recognition of these efforts, the government has set aside BZ$500,000 for the summer of 2015 to assist existing organizers with funding for their summer sporting programs. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports is keenly aware that sports and physical education is fundamental to the early development of children and youth; and the skills learned during play, physical education and sport contribute to the holistic development of young people. However, since it is not possible to fund all such programs, this year’s sponsorship will be focused on sporting programs only.

BOLEDO DRAWING for Wednesday, May 20, 2015: 40

31st Annual Garifuna Convention
Here are the details! don't miss out!

Belize Lobster Thermidor Recipe
METHOD: Boil lobster, keeping shells whole. Remove meat, and cut into small pieces. Heat butter, add onion and mushrooms and cook over low heat until soft, but not browned. Stir in flour. Slowly add milk and cook, stirring constantly, over low heat until thickened. Add cream and seasoning. Stir a little of the hot sauce into the slightly beaten egg yolk, stir into remaining sauce.

Commentary: The politics of intimidation fear and victimisation in Belize
In my country of birth Belize and many other so called democratic countries in the world, the citizens of these nations continue to experience intimidation, fear and victimisation by their current governments. This is despite the fact that most of these countries pride themselves as democratic nations. The people that are affected mostly by these types of infractions are the poor and the working class citizens who are dependent on the government for employment and programs. When the constitutions of these nations were written, there were clauses written in them guaranteeing their citizens full fundamental rights. In addition to these rights being spelled out, the representatives who are elected to serve take an oath of office to abide and execute these rights to their citizens. However, some of these representatives after they swear to their oaths tend to forget or ignore the reasons why they were elected to serve.

HOW TO PROPERLY SPEND A DAY IN CAYE CAULKER, BELIZE. AT ALL
How to properly spend a day in Caye Caulker, Belize. At all moments you’re encouraged to “go slow.” If I’m not at the Split, drinking Belikin beers and swimming in the turquoise waters, I’m here instead, comfy in my hammock. snapchat – adventurouskate.

Tapir from 60 feet
Its not every day you get the Belize Forest Department's Wildlife Officer and Protected Areas Officer to go on a field day with you. Plus, its not every day you can show them a Tapir from 60 feet within the first hour of the trip, Macaws in between, a River Otter during lunch and a Solitary Eagle to top it off. Right? Usual stuff in the Chiquibul...

Messy Church!
Everybody invited! FREE! Looking for something great to do with the family? Something fun, healthy and bond building? Then why not give Messy Church a try? On Saturday 23rd May, from 3pm to 5pm, come to St Ann's Anglican Church, Unity Blvd, Belmopan, and enjoy an hour or so of crafts and games, followed by a short praise service with favourite songs, and then a delicious meal together. You can be of any faith, or none, all are welcome to a safe, warm, casual atmosphere. Children, mums and dads - we even have an elders' corner with games and crafts. On the menu, sweet and sour chicken and fried rice, the craft is flame head-dresses, Terry the Toucan will be there, all welcome of any faith or none. FREE!

Presentation and assemble of moorings for Recreational Area at Mexico Rocks.

Coastal Cleanup Campaign on the Turtle nesting Beach at Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve.

HCMR Reef Week 2015: Lisa Carne presented her project "Fragment of Hopes" and Coral Reef Nursers to tour guides and operators in San Pedro.

Thanks to all the organizations who took the time to set up informational booths for the 2015 Marine Fair, and thanks to all the schools for coming out.

Channel 7

Northern PUP Politician's Driver Arraigned for Cane Field Arson
For the past 2 nights, we’ve been reporting on the allegation against 2 men who were suspected of burning cane fields belonging to ASR/BSI. Well, today they went to court charged for arson. They are Orange Walk residents Saulito Vasquez and Efrain Alpuche, the security guard for PUP politician Ramon Cervantez Jr. They were formally arraigned this afternoon, and our news team was in Orange Walk Town to get all the facts straight about this very serious allegation. Daniel Ortiz reports: Daniel Ortiz Reporting…. After just over 46 hours on police locked down, Efrain Alpuche was finally allowed to leave the station a free man. He's now charged with arson for a fire he asserts he didn't commit. Efrain Alpuche Jr. - Accused of Arson "It's good to be out after 48 hours.” Daniel Ortiz "Do you maintain your innocence in this?" Efrain Alpuche Jr. "Hell yes, I an innocent until proven guilty."

Pedagogue Porn or Schoolboy Prank?
Today word went out on facebook and through the rumour mill that there had been mass expulsions at San Pedro high school after a female teacher shared a nude picture with a male student – who then circulated it throughout the student body. But, that turned out to be a major exaggeration: tonight 3 second form boys are suspended after they circulated a bogus nude picture claiming it was a female teacher, when, in fact, it was not. Today we caught up with the Minister of Education, Patrick Faber and he told us that in cases like these, the responsibility rests not with the ministry, but with the school's board of management. Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education "If it is happening in a high school I keep saying to all concern that the first line of authority - and probably in many cases the final line of authority is the school's board of management. So we're hoping that they will be acting on the matter promptly as we. We have to be concern but again it goes with the time and what's happening in the larger world. We cannot expect that situations like this won't occur. If we're living in a time when technology is blowing out of proportion - this is why we need to be careful. We need to move with the change and we need to make regulations that go along with that change in order to keep things in line. Yes I'm very concerned but I'm not alarmed, it's not happening in any alarming manner just as yet and I'm confident that given the mechanisms we have now, that we're able to deal with these situations. I'm pretty sure they won't stop, given the environment we're living in now."

Castro's Very Bad Week Continues With Squatting Claims
Since Last week Thursday, Belize Rural North Area Representative Edmond Castro has been having a very tough time politically. His lawsuit against Channel 5 and Alvarine Burgess last week was – to put it nicely – very uncomfortable, where he was cross examined on every political scandal he’s been involved in while in elected office. Then, he had to sit through several hours of Alvarine Burgess testifying under oath that he took bribes to sign recommendation letters for Asians trying to apply for Belizean Visas. All this while he has a convention coming up in 11 days, and he must convince the people of Belize Rural North that he is the man to represent the UDP once again as standard bearer. And tonight, the political pressures keep mounting. Realtor Emerson Burke wrote a letter, dated May 13 in which he accused Castro of squatting on Lands in Santa Marta Village which he uses to cultivate sugar cane. It’s an activity which a number of farmers have been doing for years. Burke categorically states that this activity by Castro and the other farmers has cost his clients millions of dollars in cancelled sale agreements. Burke’s letter says, quote, “you are in fact complicit in squatting, an illegal action, and an act (that) the Cabinet has expressed vehemently its zero tolerance toward.”

Castro on Alvorine's Sworn Allegations
After his defamation lawsuit was finished on Friday, Castro didn’t stick around for the press to approach him for an interview. We got the chance today to ask, if given that his standard bearer’s position is up for grabs, should he have just left well enough alone and dropped the suit? He made it clear that he wasn’t going to discuss that with the press at this time. He refused to answer, even though it is arguable that he took a political hit from Alvarine Burgess’ allegations in open court: Daniel Ortiz "Bad timing for you as a convention candidate.” Hon. Edmund Castro - Belize Rural North Area Rep "My friend, I cannot discuss that case, that case is in front of the judge and I can't discuss that." Reporter "Do you still expect the prime minister to support you given what transpired in court?" Hon. Edmund Castro "Did I say that matter is in front of the court? So if it's in front of the court." Daniel Ortiz "Political consequences."

Family of Slain American Speaks Out
The family of slain 61 year old American Paul David Signorino has spoken out. Signorino and 47 year old Julian Christopher Jones were murdered in Jones’s home on Friday night in Teakettle. While we were able to gather a few scraps of information about Jones in Teakettle, we were not able to get much background on Signorino. Well, his daughter who lives in Alaska, Amireah Signorino sent out an email in response to the brutal murder of her dad. Today she spoke with us via phone about her dad and the fond memories that she and her family will cherish. Amireah Signorino - Daughter "He is from Alaska, he's lived here all his life and his mother passed away 2 years ago and at that time he moved to Belize and decided to retire there. The Belize police called me and they said he's dead, they killed him. That's what they called and said to me, that’s all they said. He was always giving out kind words, always had a smile. He'll always tell everybody live life simply, your family is the important thing."

BEL Workers "BEX" with 7News
Since Monday we’ve been trying to get comment from BEL’s Belize Energy Workers Union about rumblings of discontent in talks with management – and they have steadfastly refused. But last night we reported – based on information we had received – that they were asking for a raise of 12.5% per annum per year for years – and, boy, did that ever draw them out! Today the union sent out an angry release “railing up” with this station. That’s fine with us, but then they go unto simultaneously disclaim the exorbitant raise request, while backhandedly taking credit for the sickout. And 650 words later, they still haven’t said what kind of raise they are requesting. Here’s what the release says about the 12.5% raise request we reported: “For the record the Union has never asked for such an outrageous salary increase nor for anything closely resembling this…” And about our information that they want 12.5% per annum over four years, the release says, quote, “The BEWU wants to categorically deny this statement. We find out that all the misleading, twisted comments and statements, made by this seemly irresponsible channel, are aimed at discrediting the reputation of the non-management employees of BEL and their Union.”

Summer of Sports Means Grants For Summer Sports Programs
Government today announced the details of its Petrocaribe funded Summer of Sports programme. GOB will make five hundred thousand dollars available to assist sports summer camp organizers with funding grants for their summer sporting programs. It’s limited to ten thousand dollars per programme, and only programs that have been in existence for three years will qualify. Eligible programs must cater to children ages five to 17, must have at least 30 children in the camp and must have secured sporting facilities with rest areas and restrooms. The release stresses that for this year, only sports camps will be awarded grants. So for all those summer camp organisers – where do they line up? Well, it will be administered through the Sports Council – and you can pick up the two page form there, of check the government of Belize web portal at belize.gov.bz.

VIP Not Content With Petrocaribe Changes
It’s a good break for folks like Deon Williams, who is struggling to scrape together funding for his long-standing Third World Football camp. He told us he will be picking up his form tomorrow morning. But, don’t tell that to the VIP political party – properly known as Vision Inspired By The People. When it comes to Petrocaribe borrowing they say the Barrow administration is tending towards tyranny. That’s because the VIP has been trying to gain some third party traction with their strident criticisms of the Petrocaribe Loan Bill. And at a press conference today, they added another cause to their crusade: the change to the special agreement between Belize and Guatemala. We start with Petrocaribe; they say even though the Prime Minister has promised significant amendments to make the law less controversial, the party is unconvinced: Patrick Rogers - VIP "We’re saying that the cosmetic changes that we have heard over the media coming from the prime minister doesn't do anything for what we want to address. And yeah at the end of it we will reach the street Mr. Barrow cause we not hearing anything significant is coming out of those amendments that you said in the media.

Castro Clears the Road
In January, we told you how the Old Northern Highway was getting paved after years of neglect. Area Representative Edmond Castro was able to convince the Cabinet that it is very much needed at this time, and for the past 5 months, the first 5 miles of the road was being worked on. That was finally completed, and now funding for 7 more miles of road has been approved. Today - just in time for his end of May convention Belize Rural Castro held a ceremony to note its importance. Here’s what he told us about his plans to get the entire Old Northern Highway paved eventually: "We were able to secure out of the petrocaribe funds - I think was last year the paving of the old northern highway, which the prime minister was gracious enough to give us access. So we have paved the first 5 miles which we are here to inaugurate the first phase, which is the first 5 miles. Then we were also able to secure the paving of another 7 miles, which will take us close to King's College - which will cover a little bit over half the paving to maskall. I think what I would like to do is once we complete that other phase, I will lobby my colleague again, I will lobby with the prime minister and see if we could get the other pavement section; which would take us to Maruba resort.

Youths Will Be Lounging At Their Department
The Department of Youth Services today cut the ribbon for a game room, lounge and a recording studio at the Belize city office on Regent Street. It’s part of an effort to be more relevant to their young clientele. 7News was there when they cut the ribbon today and we found out more:… There will also be a Computer Resource Learning Centre, and a Free wi-fi Hotspot.

Channel 5

OW Police Charge Two Men for Arson
Just after three this afternoon Orange Walk Police charged and formally arraigned Efrain Alpuche and Saul Vasquez on a single charge of arson. The men had been in custody since [...]

Police Say There Was No Truth to Firearm Allegation
Today at least six members of the Scenes of Crime Squad huddled around the blue Mazda pickup allegedly used by the men accused of burning the BSI fields. They were [...]

Alpuche Out on $40,000 Bail
Just before five this evening Efrain Alpuche managed to secure his bail, and spoke to the media as he exited the Police Station. He maintains his innocence and says he [...]

Nine Students Suspended for Nude Photos
A group of high school students find themselves in plenty of trouble tonight after school authorities discovered that they were circulating nude photographs on social media. That was offensive enough [...]

Faber Speaks on Mass Suspension
When we spoke with Minister of Education Patrick Faber, he said it was the first time that he was hearing of the incident. He told the media that according to [...]

Government Implements New Small Carrier Fees
Effective June first, commuters using Tropic Air or Maya Island Air will pay six dollars more per departure on domestic flights. It’s something called a Rider Fee, and was conceptualized [...]

Municipal Airstrip “Safer” After Renovations
  As we told you, there has been major upgrading of the Municipal Airstrip which, to the minds of the carriers, was long overdue and sorely needed. It is widely [...]

Tropic Air’s Upscale Facility Nearing Completion
One year ago there was a serious land dispute between Tropic Air, the Feinstein Group of Companies and the Ministry of Lands. Tropic stood to lose millions, since they had [...]

Grieving Daughter of Teakettle Murder Victim Speaks
Who killed the two American nationals in Teakettle Village? It has been a couple days since forty six year old Julian Jones and sixty one year old Paul Signorino were [...]

Hattieville Man Charged for Unlawful Sex with Minor
Enrique Pook Junior, who resides in Hattieville, is accused of having sex twice in 2014 with a thirteen year old minor.  In October 2014, a month or so after the [...]

Five Persons Charged for Drug Trafficking
This afternoon, three men and a sixteen year old minor were arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court for Drug Trafficking after  a bag containing one hundred and forty two [...]

VIP says PM Barrow’s Amendments to Petrocaribe Act are Artificial
In the wake of the Petrocaribe Act 2015, dubbed the god-maker in some quarters, there has been a sustained outcry from virtually all sectors. There’s really no problem with the [...]

No Re-Registration Before Elections
The VIP is undertaking to carry out an education and awareness campaign on Petrocaribe, and one organization which has already signed on is the BNTU. But today’s press conference was [...]

ITVET Hosts Annual Open Day
The Belize City ITVET will be hosting its annual Open Day on Thursday. It’s an opportunity for students to show the skills they’ve acquired through displays of goods and services. [...]

G.O.B. Plans Summer Of Sports Program Through M.O.E.Y.S.
The government has come under considerable fire for the controversial Petrocaribe Loans Act. Last week, the Prime Minister announced there will be amendments taken to the House.  Still yet, G.O.B. [...]

BPD Implements New Program to Fight Crime
The police department is embarking on a new program that will see senior officers guide young recruits to improve their policing skills. This is all part of a strategy to [...]

DYS Holds Open Day
The Department of Youth Services held its open day today, and they were showing off major developments. After months of trying to install a music studio in Collet Division, Education [...]

CTV3

Efrain Alpuche speaks Out And Claims He Is Innocent
And upon meeting bail of $40,000 and after spending two nights in jail, the man of the hour, Efrain Alpuche emerged with his usual graceful stance and smile from the police station. Alpuche was first to meet bail and was greeted by his family. Outside the station he did not run away from the media instead he answered all our questions. Here is that exchange. “Well it’s good to be out after 48 hours and I really can’t say anything at this moment I don’t want to pressure the case and but it is good to be out and I don’t know what is case about no am innocent until proven guilty.” Maria Novelo – Reporter “It was both of you that were jointly charged but I just see you coming out?” EFRAIN ALPUCHE – Charged for Arson “No, well I got bail first and I manage to get bail but they are working on Mr Vasquez’ bail as we speak.”

Students Of san Pedro High School Suspended For altering Pornographic Material
This morning on La Isla Bonita, the San Pedro High School was the talk of the town after the schools board suspended several students and a teacher who found themselves in hot water. That decision comes following a meeting with the Directors over pornographic pictures that were shared via social media, presumably from a female teacher. While there hasn’t been any official report from the school, reliable information from the island’s media indicate that the teacher is not under investigation but that 9 students were suspended. It is alleged that the students altered the images that were posted on Social media. The report also added that the Ministry of Education is confirming that the board did meet and are looking into suspending more students. The MOE is advising students in San Pedro Town, that if they have any information, material or evidence of any teacher suspected of wrong doings to visit the Ministry of Education and provide the necessary information to conduct a proper investigation against any teacher suspected of wrong doing.

LOVE FM

Third Party Rejects ICJ’s Involvement in Territorial Dispute with Guatemala
One of the issues the VIP addressed what that of the latest development as it relates to the Special Agreement between Belize and Guatemala. An amendment will be signed before the month’s end between both countries’ foreign Ministers agreeing that the referenda will not be held simultaneously as originally agreed. In this case, Guatemala will […]

VIP Party Says Prime Minister Violated the Constitution
The Vision Inspired by the People, VIP, held a press conference this morning to update the public on its position on critical issues currently affecting the country. Patrick Rogers, first dealt with the Petro Caribe Loans Act and the amendments that Prime Minister Dean Barrow says will be introduced at the next sitting of the […]

3 Students Suspended Following Mischief with Photo of a Nude Woman
Three male students have been suspended from classes at the San Pedro High School following mischievous acts involving a nude photograph. According to the Acting Vice Principal, Giselle Flores, it is a situation that was reported to the District Education Officer, the Board of Directors as well as an attorney that the teacher, who was […]

5 Miles of Paved Road in Maskall Inaugurated
The Maskal Road otherwise known as the Old Northern Highway has undergone major rehabilitation with a five mile stretch of newly paved road. It is the first phase of an ongoing project to completely cover the 20 mile road with hot mix pavement. The initiative comes through the Minister of State, Edmund Castro, who is […]

Resident Says Hopkins Village Has No Police Presence
Yesterday we brought you the story of a Russian national who lives in Hopkins Village, Stann Creek District whose home was invaded by three masked men in late April. We also brought you the story of an American national whose home was invaded last week as well and in early April there was an incident […]

Southwest Airlines Confirms Belize As a Destination
Belize has been listed as a confirmed destination for Southwest Airlines following dialogue between representatives of the carrier and an official delegation from Belize. Reports are that a press conference was held at the Houston City Hall in Houston, Texas, USA. In that conference, the airline’s Chief Executive Officer, Garry Kelly announced that the daily, […]

Pump Prices Reach Double Digits
In recent years, drivers and vehicle owners were grateful when they were given some relief at the gas pumps as the cost of fuel had dipped as low as seven dollars per gallon. It was indeed a relief as the then prices were heading to the 13 dollar mark. But as the years progressed; that […]

PlusTV

Crooked Tree holds Cashew Festival
From humble origins in 1985 as an agricultural show the Crooked Tree Cashew Festival has evolved into an annual showcase for the isolated island village’s humble cash cow – the cashew. Cashew trees are in bloom from March to June and thousands of pounds of seeds are harvested, most of which are made into various delicacies

SICB Suspends Restructuring of Quotas
The Decision taken by the Sugar Cane Production Committee (SCPC) to reduce the sugar production estimates from 1.46 million tons to 1.29 million tons hit hard with the cane farming community of the North. The decision was based on a survey conducted by SIRDI and financed by BSI.That decision lead farmers to protest in front

ICJ Referendum, Guatemala First
Last week the Minister of Foreign Affairs in a press conference with a few media houses announced that he will be travelling to Guatemala to sign an amendment to the referendum agreement with Guatemala. In the restructured agreement Guatemala will go first in conducting a National referendum to decide whether or not to go to

Darrel Carter’s 7th conviction for non payment to GST
Darrel Carter is back in the news and once again it is for non payment of GST. In fact, this is his 7th conviction for the same crime. Today in court, Businessman Darrell Carter pleaded guilty and sparred himself a trial. Prosecutor for GST, Jacqueline Meighan asked the court not to impose the minimum fine

BSI Fields on Fire. Politician Involved?
In related news, the body Guard of Munchi Cervantes was detained in connection with arson. According to reports yesterday BSI’s cane fields were set on fire. BSI security guards responded to the scene and reportedly saw a blue Mazda pickup driving around the area. Shots were reportedly fired and the BSI security guards set chase

Home invasion in Hopkins
In the village of Hopkins, there was a home invasion, legally referred to as aggravated burglary. 62-year-old Ralph Porter, American of Hopkins Village reported that on May 15 about 7:30p.m,. while he and his wife were at home, he heard his dog barking outside. When he went outside to investigate, he saw three men of

NTV goes to Garbutt’s falls
The Northern Territorial Volunteers, ventured to Garbutt’s Falls on Sunday May 17th for their 7th excursion to the edge of the border with Guatemala. Official Numbers say 198 people travelled with the delegation from Orange Walk, besides several other people who went in private vehicle; probably their largest expedition since the Belize Territorial movement first […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Benque Viejo Police seizes 400 grams of Cannabis
Benque Viejo Police conducted a search in an area on A-Street on May 9th which resulted in the discovery of 400 grams of Cannabis. Police reported that around 5:45p.m. They searched inside the cemetery area in that municipality where they made the discovery of a black and red school bag […]

San Pedrano arrested and charged for Ammunition
24 year old San Pedro Resident, Nelson Osvaldo Ventura has been charged for possession of Ammunition. According to the report in the wee hours of Wednesday, Ventura was walking on Lake Street in San Pedro Town when police on patrol saw him acting suspiciously and decided to conduct a search […]

Mariposa Jungle Lodge suffers fire damages
The Mariposa Jungle Lodge located on the Mountain Pine Ridge road, in the Cayo District, owned by American Nationals James and Sharin Brinker, suffered fire damages around mid-day on Saturday May 16. The Lodge’s General Manager reported that around 12:10p.m while she was doing her duties as per normal, she […]

European Union funds “Coconut Industry development in the Caribbean” project
In recent years, the demand for fresh coconut produce and coconut based health and beauty products have skyrocketed on both the regional and world markets but many coconut producing Caribbean countries have been unable to satisfy the growing demand. To combat this problem and help maximize revenues grossed from […]

Horizon Academy 1st ever Business Expo
The Horizon Academy is a small, privately owned primary school that opened its doors back in September of 2009. Today the fully functional primary school comprises of thirteen full time teachers, one principal and an enrolment of 108 students. Horizon Academy’s mission is to meet the goals of its founding […]

2 men charged for Arson of BSI/ASR Cane Fields
Late this afternoon, two persons namely Efrain Paul Alpuche (Ramon Cervantes Driver & Body Guard) and Saulito Vasquez (resident of San Roman Rio Hondo Village, Orange Walk District) were arrested and charged for the crime of arson that occurred at the BSI/ASR Cane fields in San Lorenzo area on Monday […]

Efrain Alpuche and Saulito Vasquez charged for arson of BSI Cane Fields
Efrain Alpuche and Saulito Vasquez were charged today for the crime of arson of BSI’s Cane fields which happened on Monday, May 18th 2015. Alpuche and Vasquez appeared before the Orange Walk Magistrate who read them a single charge of arson for which they were jointly arrested and charged. Because […]

Energy Workers’ Union wants apology from Channel 7
We reported earlier this week that workers from Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) missed work on Monday, even as negotiations progress on a possible increase in salary between 10 and 12.5% under the collective bargaining agreement. Neither side is allowed to speak about the progress of the negotiations, but […]

No re-registration, will third parties boycott?
Members of the third parties and alternative movements have long been calling for the exercise of re-registration, originally legislated to take place every ten years but delayed by successive administrations. Without it, the parties argue, the voters’ list which is key to the fairness of any election has […]

VIP and PNP disdain ICJ referendum
This morning Vision Inspired by the People (VIP) hosted the press at the Belize Institute of Management (BIM) in Belize City to discuss various national issues. Chief among them are the recently announced plans by the Government of Belize to amend the Special Agreement to allow Guatemala first […]

Police say they have gathered enough evidence that implicates Alpuche to the burning of acres of cane fields belonging to the BSI/ASR group of companies in the San […]

Mass Expulsion of Students at San Pedro High School
Reports coming out of Ambergris Caye are that a mass expulsion of several students has taken place at the San Pedro high School this morning. The move according to reports is based on a decision taken by the board of directors over pornographic images of a female teacher that were […]

VIP holds Press Conference
The Vision Inspired by the People (VIP) are hosting a press conference in Belize City today to give their views on national issues including the Government’s decision to allow an amendment to the Special Agreement or compromis to facilitate Guatemala going first in a referendum on taking the […]

The Politics of Intimidation, fear and victimization in Belize and our world democracies
By: Wellington C. Ramos. In my country of birth Belize and many other so called democratic countries in the world, the citizens of these nations continue to experience intimidation, fear and victimization by their current governments. This is despite the fact that most of these countries pride themselves as democratic nations. […]

Blogs

7 things that will make Belize the next country on your bucket-list!
I don’t really need an excuse to travel and explore. I just suffer from a very bad case of wanderlust and the only cure is visiting more and more places. It would be easier for me to make a list of countries and places I don’t have a particular interest in seeing, because pretty much any country catches my attention for some reason – whether it is fabulous nature, incredible beaches, interesting cities, millenary cultures, tasty food and kind people. Yet, Belize never was on my bucket list. That’s until I visited it on a work trip, and I fell so completely in love with it that I wish to go back as soon as possible. Belize is a tiny country. Imagine that only 350,000 people live there; the biggest city, Belize City, has less than 60,000 inhabitants and the capital Belmopan around 16,000. But, for as small as it is, Belize has literally everything to make it a special place to visit, perfect for any kind of traveller. So, here are seven things that will make Belize the next country on your bucket-list: Beautiful nature, Impressive archeological sites, Superb beaches and coral reef, Tasty food, Kind people, Good climate, Chaa Creek Ecolodge and the Macal River Camp.

Life after Actun Tunichil Muknal, Belize
As someone who can struggle with motion sickness, a 30 minute bus ride along a muddy and bumpy road seemed like a nightmare at the start of my adventure into the jungles of Belize. In a few short hours on our return trip, that ride would seem like a pleasure cruise. It’s amazing what a little Dramamine and some perspective can do for an outlook on life. The bus ride was just the first of many challenges on a group trip to Actun Tunichil Muknal. A local Belizean who ran a tour company sold my husband on what was billed as an adventure of a lifetime. It’s a sales pitch perfected over time: “It’s an easy walk!” the promised. Sure, you’ll walk through some water, but it’s always warm: “so warm!” They lied. The first part of our cave adventure doesn’t start at the parking lot. These elements are left off the tour guide’s sales pitch. First, there are the three river crossings in murky water and a healthy hike along a trail where large cats could be lurking behind the next corner. Finally, we arrive at camp only to be told the adventure is NOW beginning. So, we leave behind everything we’ve carried along this early part of the adventure, and walk straight into the mouth of a pitch-black cave with a river running through it.

Solo Travel Destination: Hopkins, Belize
Hopkins is a small, friendly, seaside town. It’s a great location to meet the locals and immerse yourself in Garifuna culture while doing so, escaping the tourist trail and flocks of westerners that make a beeline for Caye Caulker. Hopkins has a more laid back, relaxed vibe and travelers and locals mix easily at the funky Driftwood Beach Bar, which buzzes at night with live music and gossip between locals and backpackers. The Funky Dodo is the main hostel in town, with a bar to chill out and meet other like-minded backpackers. It’s central location is easy to find, and makes a great base for exploring the huge range of activities nearby, such as diving and snorkeling, (I almost saw a whale shark while diving. It swam above us but no one noticed, only the boat crew saw it!) The local lagoon is a beautiful place to go kayaking, meandering down mangrove tunnels, keeping your eyes peeled for sunbathing crocodiles. Visit at night to see the magic of bioluminescence, take a night time dip, and glow in the cool waters. Drive or hitch to the Mayflower Reserve to do some short hikes, swim in the natural pools to cool off, and, if you’re lucky, have a free fish foot spa (it’s a scratchy, tickly feeling). Or, if you prefer something a bit cooler, take a tour to St. Herman’s Cave and try out cave tubing, which is by the far the best way to explore underground caverns.

Pen Cayetano Studio Gallery launches the Dangriga Culture Map
This past Friday, May 15th 2015, saw the launch of the Dangriga Culture Map – the Guide for the Culture Capital of Belize, at the Pen Cayetano Studio Gallery in Dangriga. The event was attended by several business representatives, sponsors, special invited guests and politicians. After a brief welcome by renowned Belizean Artisan and Musician - Pen Cayetano, guests were addressed by Mayor Francis Humphreys, who shared his thoughts on the map and various projects underway to further develop the town. Guest Speaker and Institute for Social & Cultural Research Director – Nigel Encalada, then spoke about the significance of the Culture Map to the citizens of Dangriga and to the nation; serving as a guide for information and exploration for both locals and tourists alike. Final remarks were done by Ingrid Cayetano (wife of Pen Cayetano), who shared her gratitude to everyone who attended the event and played an integral role in the production of the map. There will be 5000 copies of the Dangriga Culture Map available FREE of cost throughout Belize, so be sure to pick up your copy today! Get your copies of the Pen Cayetano Studio Gallery Brochure, Dangriga Culture Map and Pen Cayetano Art Gallery and Studio Tour Catalogue from our Dangriga Terminal.

International Sourcesizz

Moody's: Caribbean sovereign credit quality stabilizes, boosted by tourism and low oil prices
Regional growth in the Caribbean will accelerate in 2015-16 as a result of the recovering tourism industry and sustained low oil prices, helping the credit quality of the sovereigns in the region stabilize following negative pressure in 2014, says Moody's Investors Service in the report "Sovereign Outlook -- Caribbean: Sovereign Credit Quality Supported by Recovery in Tourism, Low Oil Prices." Median growth in the Caribbean was 1.5% in 2014 and should accelerate to 2.0% in 2015. In addition, government debt, which rose following the financial crisis, is slowly stabilizing or in some cases declining, putting average sovereign debt metrics on par with those in Latin America. Debt ratios are stabilizing in Belize, the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Bermuda, Saint Maarten and Trinidad. However, debt pressures are increasing in Barbados and St. Vincent, while they are easing in the Cayman Islands. Nevertheless, the overall stabilization in debt levels in the region will help support current rating levels over the next 12-18 months.

An Extraordinary Glimpse into the First 21 Days of a Bee’s Life in 60 Seconds
In an attempt to better understand exactly what happens as a bee grows from an egg into an adult insect, photographer Anand Varma teamed up with the bee lab at UC Davis to film the first three weeks of a bee’s life in unprecedented detail, all condensed into a 60-second clip. The video above presented by National Geographic doesn’t include commentary, but Varma explains everything in a TED talk included below. The primary goal in photographing the bees was to learn how they interact with an invasive parasitic mite that has quickly become the greatest threat to bee colonies. Scientists have learned to breed mite-resistant bees which they are now trying to introduce into the wild. Learn more about it in this video:

Videos

  • SHARK ATTACK: BELIZE SPORT FISHING, 3.5min. Buck & Max visit Belize for some fast & action packed sport fishing for Dorado, Tuna & Sharks. Featuring underwater footage of a shark attacking our fish

  • Crossfit San Pedro Belize, 1/2min.

  • An attempt at Jaguar Yoga, 36secs. Yoga is really quite tough, but this jaguar in Belize gives it a good go! * Belize Wildlife Centre

  • Guatemala/Honduras/Belize Trip (2015), 8 - minute slide show backed by Guatemalan marimba music

  • Wandering in Belize, 4min. Spent a week wandering around the beautiful country of Belize. Shot with the GH4 and Phantom 2+ with Hero 3+ Black. Mayan Ruins: Altun HA, Xunantunich, Lamanai, Caracol City Scenes: San Ignacio, Belize City Beach/Island scenes: Caye Caulker

  • Shark in Belize!, 3min.

  • A Trip To The Museum Of Belize, 4min.


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