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August 24, 2016

I will be unable to do the daily news tomorrow, Thursday morning August 25. I will return on Friday morning.


FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

Tropic Air donates to Rotary Club of Placencia
Tropic Air, The Airline of Belize, has announced the July results of its 2016 nationwide #TropicGivesBack fundraising campaign. For every ticket bought at the month’s selected station, $1 is donated to an organization chosen by our staff stationed in that community. July was the chosen month for Placencia, with Belize City Municipal coming in August. As part of the airline’s largest charitable fundraiser of the year, Tropic Air business partners, staff and Customers joined efforts and raised $450 for “Seniors Sitting Together”, a program of the Rotary Club of Placencia. A check was presented to Jim Weller, Acting President of the Club on Tuesday, August 16th.

Ambergris Today

NEMO Issues Flood Advisory for Southern Belize
While central and northern Belize is still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Earl, the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) yesterday issued a flood advisory for Southern Belize. NEMO informs that Southern Belize, in particular the Toledo District, is experiencing flooding. Jacintoville is currently under flood conditions. Aguactae village is inaccessible and water is 15ft above the bridge. Other villages along the Moho River must closely monitor the flood situation and take the necessary precautions. Other villages in the Toledo and Stann Creek Districts must be on alert for flooding.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

National Evangelical Association of Belize convene a protest
Scenes from the assembled crowd outside the Assembly Building in Belmopan as Evangelical leaders protest the recent decision on Section 53.

Firefighters cross-training with the Puerto Rico National Guard
Last week Ambassador Moreno joined more than 60 firefighters from across Belize in Ladyville to witness cross-training with the Puerto Rico National Guard. During the exchange firefighters utilized the almost BZ$1.2 million dollars’ worth of fire fighter equipment that was donated by the US Southern Command through the Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP) last year. Over 200 pieces of personal protective gear, 80 breathing apparatus replacement cylinders, 12 heavy Duty Rescue saws, 14 combustible gas detectors, 6 vehicle stabilization kits, 5 transportable pumps and 40 hand held radios were provided to the Belize National Fire Service. Last week’s exchange represented the second phase of that firefighter project where members of the Puerto Rican National Guard were able to provide their expertise on best practices and procedures to use the equipment with Belizean firefighters from every fire station in Belize. The information exchange allowed the local fire departments to improve their ability to respond to large scale fires, fire threats, and road traffic accidents.

Banana Bank Horse Camp 2016
Banana Bank Lodge has finished another successful Summer Horse Camp. The kids, and the horses, had a fun time. Thanks, Banana Bank! "Every year we have a Family Horse Camp and this year was no exception to the fun-filled adventures at Horse Camp. This year we held camp from July 27th - August 1st and the weather could not have been better - ehem fortunately missing hurricane Earl that started 3 days later."

Zack & Kiki's First Big Adventure at Belize Bird Rescue
62 copies of Zack & Kiki's First Big Adventure: The Great Escape have just arrived at BBR! We are so excited to finally have them on hand in Belize, many people who have visited wished they could buy one and have it signed and had to "make do" with Amazon instead. A great story for all ages about two baby Red-Lored Amazons in the Belize wild. Get your copy when you visit or buy it on Amazon now! Available now at BBR and Corkers Restaurant in Belmopan for $30 ($15 US) and more outlets soon to be. Signed copies by request.

American Sex Offender George Stephen Cunningham in Belize Police Custody
George Stephen Cunningham, 51, American from Delaware, Ohio was arrested on Friday night in Belize City after his boat ran aground off the City's coast. Coast guard came to his rescue and took him into custody after they learnt his identity and background. A warrant has been issued by his home state for his return. No word on when Cunningham arrived in Belize and whether he violated anyone there. He was convicted in Delaware for "Gross Sexual Imposition, Victim Under 13, (attempted)sexual Motivation Conviction Date:15 September 2015"

BELIZE FISHING REPORT: August 14th – 20th, 2016
Adam Marton and this tarpon tagging expedition has become an annual event here at El Pescador. Adam brings a skilled group of Anglers to Belize each summer to satellite tag adult migratory tarpon (fish that are 80 pounds or more are sure to be sexually mature) This is in an effort to save tarpon throughout the world and especially Belize. We do not have any idea where our migratory tarpon are migrating to or from! Tarpon are in decline worldwide and Adam has taken on the cause full force. I personally thank him for this efforts and I am humbled by the time and energy he donates to this cause. The Silver Kings TV show also took up residence here for a few days of permit and tarpon fishing. Look for a couple episodes coming your way soon!

Chosen to Carry the Canadian Host organization's Flag, young Belizean Girl Sailor Excels in International Regatta
In a gracious salute to Belize for participating in Canadian Regattas for the very first time, the host organization (CORK - Canadian Olympic Regattas, Kingston) chose Blanca Velasquez, 16, a Laser sailor from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, (Belize) to be its standard bearer at the opening ceremonies of the 2016 Sail Canada International Youth Championship Regattas in Kingston, Ontario, August 14th (PHOTO 1). Arrangements for Blanca and another San Pedrana, Sarah White, 16, to enter the regatta were made by San Pedro's Belize Sailing School. In the regatta itself, Blanca (PHOTO 2) fought her way through the qualifiers to become one of only 7 girls out of the 38 girls entered to advance to the Gold fleet (the top third of 146 international entrants). And she was the only foreigner among the Gold fleet girls; the others were all Canadians desperate to show that they are worthy of selection to the highly competitive Canadian international team and qualify for Worlds.

Seventeen (17) New Persons now Equipped to Take Care of the Elderly
The Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC), a unit of BELTRAIDE, is Belize’s leading centre for industry specific workforce development, providing effective, demand driven, user-friendly and value based programs that will develop, deliver and sustain a quality work force. Its’ mission is to develop a cadre of well-trained, marketable and self-sufficient individuals able to confidently compete in the marketplace. In keeping with its mandate, seventeen persons, who are employed or seeking employment as caregivers in homes of the elderly or in assisted living facilities, were certified by BTEC on August 23, 2016. The brief ceremony, which was held at the Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC) on the ITVET Compound, Freetown Road, Belize City; signalled the end of 5 weeks of training and internship. Training began on 18th July 2016 and was conducted by BTEC in collaboration with PAHO/WHO, the Ministry of Health, the National Council on Ageing, and with Sister Cecilia Home for the Elderly.

MEET THE WINNER OF THE SEPTEMBER CELEBRATIONS THEME!
The National Celebrations Commission is pleased to announce that the winner of the competition to select the September theme received her prize today, August 23. Mrs. Argelia Mendoza Ken is a teacher and counselor at the Belize High School of Agriculture in the Orange Walk District. Hon. Elodio Aragon, Jr., Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, will acknowledge her contribution and award her a check for $1,000. This award usually takes place at St. George’s Caye during the official September Celebrations Launch ceremony. However, due to damages from Hurricane Earl, that ceremony will not take place this year. Instead, Minister Aragon made an address, which will be broadcast nationwide.

BELIZE DEFENCE FORCE PISTOL COMPETITION
The Belize Defence Force hereby informs the general public and in particular Pistol Clubs, that its Annual Pistol Competition will be held on Saturday 3rd September 2016, at the Hattieville Range next to the Kolbe Foundation. Registration for the competition will commence at 0700 hrs and conclude at 0800 hrs, however pre-registration can be done by contacting Major Ismael Romero at ismael.romero@bdf.mil.bz, fhqops@bdf.mil.bz or by cell 620-5510 or office 225-4889. Members of the media are invited to cover this Competition. For further information contact Lt Col Louis Sutherland, Chief of Staff at 634-7226 or 225-3584

Ground-breaking Ceremony to officially commence the construction of a new Grace Primary School Extension in Belize City
Was held at the new school’s site on Fabers Road, Collet Division on Wednesday August 17, 2016. The Government of Belize in recognition of the critical role of education for social, economic, cultural, environmental and political development by way of empowering future leaders with knowledge, skills and values to enhance Belize’s socio-economic development; is funding the construction of a new Grace Primary School Extension at an estimated cost of $562,300.00 courtesy of a loan from Caribbean Development Bank with counterpart funding from Government. Belize Social Investment Fund is an implementing agency of the Government of Belize and is collaborating with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports for the implementation of this school project as part of its mandate to work in line with the Government’s strategy to address the basic needs of Belizeans in the areas of education, water, sanitation, health, human development and social transformation etc.

Rotaract School Bag Drive
The Rotaract Club of Belmopan had a very successful first School Bag Drive. Thanks, Rotaract! "The Rotaract Club of Belmopan completed their first annually bag drive project. Thanking our sponsor Social Security Board for their kind and generous donations! "

Benque September Celebrations Calendar Launch
Benque is having their September Celebrations Calendar Launch next Saturday, September 3rd, at the Benque Market Plaza. "September celebrations is around the corner! Join us for our official launch on September 3rd! "

Channel 7

General: 13 Year Old Was Not Killed By BDF Weapon. General Says OAS Report Will Vindicate His Army
Last night, we told you that the independent OAS team of experts has completed their investigation into the fatal shooting of 13 year-old Guatemalan Julio Ruano. That's the shooting which happened in April of this year inside the Cebada area of the Chiquibul Forest, which caused the Guatemalan President and his senior diplomats to accuse the BDF soldiers of murder and human rights violations. A press release from the Government of Belize said that the OAS Secretary General, Luis Almagro, would be making a statement on it, but up to news time this tonight, no such comment has been forthcoming. They did tweet these photographs of a meeting between Almagro, OAS Adjacency Zone official Magdalena Talamas (prounounced Tala Mas), the Belizean delegation; Ambassadors Pat Andrews and Alexis Rosado; the Guatemalan delegation, and representatives of the International Group of Friendly Countries. So, tonight, we still don't know what the investigation from the forensics experts says, but BDF Commander David Jones told us this evening, that he confident that it will vindicate his soldiers who came under fire that night in the Chiquibul. Here's what he had to say about his suspicions of where the fatal gunshot came from:

Christians March Against Section 53 Judgment, GOB Non-Appeal
Last night, we told you about how the evangelists were preparing to stage a protest on the steps of the National Assembly Building. They're trying to bring public pressure against the Barrow Government to force them to re-consider their decision not to appeal the Chief Justice's ruling to decriminalize gay sex. It happened today, and our 7News team was right there to watch it all unfold. Daniel Ortiz was also there to challenge them on their continued attempts to resist the ruling. Here's his report: Daniel Ortiz reporting: Hundreds of Evangelists assembled at the foot of the National Assembly Building to show what they claim is just a breath of the full might of their discontent. There were moments which resembled the religious leaders delivering powerful sermons from the pulpit, and at times, it looked like a church crusade had taken up residence on Independence Hill.

Stirm: Church Leading, Not Misleading
While we had the opportunity today, we asked Pastor Scott Stirm about the suggestion that leaders within the church are misleading their congregations to create a false sense of urgency that the ruling is the first step toward same-sex marriage. Last week, the Prime Minister himself took a few questions from the pastors who challenged him that indeed the ruling paves the way in that direction, which conservatives say is the final plan in the LGBT agenda. The Prime Minister firmly rejected that, and when we asked the Attorney General that question once again yesterday she maintained the same position. So, today we asked Stirm if he and the other church leaders who insist that the ruling opens the door to other gay rights challenges are simply misrepresenting the facts. He told us that the leaders of the National Evangelical Association of Belize has gotten numerous legal opinions to back their assertion, and so they firmly believe that they are not misinforming anyone:

The Auditor General's Report: The Visa Hustle
The Citizen Kim scandal broke three years ago in September of 2013, and since then we have learnt many despairing details about how the Immigration and Nationality Department was run like a flea market by public officers, politicians, party cronies, and passport and visa peddlers of all types and backgrounds. Well, tonight, the wider picture is just becoming apparent, and it's like a horror movie, that's so scary, you just can't look away. The long delayed Auditor General Special Audits into the issuances of passports and visas between 2011 and 2013 will be tabled in the House of Representatives on Friday and members received copies last week. It's two documents, the first on passports is well over 200 pages, and the other on visas is about 150 pages. We've been poring over the documents all day, and tonight we can share a few initial details.

Aragon: Tough Time For UDP
So, right now, with all this breaking, it's a tough time to be a member of the ruling UDP, especially for those young politicians who are at the beginning of their career. The Barrow Administration is lurching from one scandal to the next, having only being given a small ease from the William Danny Mason saga. So, what does what Orange Walk East Representative think about the Auditor General's reports? That's what we asked him today, and here's how he responded: Daniel Ortiz: "It would be a very tough time to be affiliated with the UDP Government. Are you prepared for that?" Hon. Elodio Aragon Jr., Minister of State, Youth, Culture & Sports: "First and foremost I am a representative of the people of Orange Walk East Division and I've been given this opportunity to serve them as a representative in the House of Representatives and thus a part of the United Democratic Party in government and I will continue to do that. I don't see any issues that are there. I was not there in terms of that, so I don't see it as an issue. Of course there are issues out there and I think those are being addressed as best as they can by the government."

Workshop On Inner City Violence
In June we told you about the launch of Dr. Herbert Gayle's book entitled "Like Bush Fire". The book explores the topic of violence and what fuels it among young people. Well, Dr. Gayle wants the youth advocates, counselors and leaders to put the content of this book and his research to practice. Today was the start of a 3 day training that focuses on a number of relevant topics dealing with crime and violence in Belize. Dr. Gayle explained why this training is crucial to the future of Belizean youth and those who interact with them: The workshop ends on Thursday.

Educating Caregivers For The Elderly
Today 17 persons graduated from a 5 week care giving course. The main objective was to train those who are interested in caring for the elderly. It was about ensuring these care givers understand what to do with an elderly, how to meet their basic needs and why it is important to properly care for them. We spoke to the coordinator and she told us more about the course. 17 people graduated today.

Investing In Chiquibul
The Chiquibul Forest, its 423 thousand acres make up almost 8% of Belize's territory - but as we've shown you many times on this newscast - it's abundant protected areas are almost a magnet for Guatemalan farmers who have run out of arable land in their own country, and for Guatemalan poachers who press into`the Chiquibul to steal Xate, timber, gold and wildlife. Well now the effort to protect the Chiquibul is getting a major boost form the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development. It's called the Chiquibul Forests Investment Initiative - which was launched this afternoon at the Biltmore. Minister Omar Figueroa outlined the broad strokes of the effort:.. The two and a half hour launch finished this evening - and we'll tell you more about the details in tomorrow's news.

September Theme-Maker Honoured
The September CELEBRAITON SEASON is starting, and this year, theme is "Sovereign and Strong - Together as one!". The person who penned that theme and handed it over to NICH is Argelia Mendoza Ken, who's a teacher and counselor at the Belize High School of Agriculture in the Orange Walk District. So, to make sure that she does not go down as just a footnote in the September Celebrations, NICH and Minister of Culture Elodio Aragon, awardED her with a cheque for $1,000 and an opportunity to meet the press. Today, Aragon told us that he was happy to recognize her public, especially because she is a fellow Suga City resident: This year is also Aragon's first time as co-chair of the September Celebrations Commission, and told us what Belizeans can look forward to on this year's calendar:

Eric Chang Worked Hard For Citizen Kim
Eric Chang - he's the former Belize City Councillor who seemed to have been the intermediary between Wong Hong Kim, or Citizen Kim and former Minister of State Elvin Penner. Penner got the passport fast tracked in Belize, and Chang - it seems - was the man who was to grease the wheels for Kim in Taiwan. At the time, Kim was in a Taiwanese jail - awaiting - and desperately trying to avoid - extradition to South Korea. He wanted the entirely fraudulent Belizean passport to use as a sort of get out of jail card. Now, the auditor general's report on passport irregularities shows the extent of Chang's machinations to get Citizen Kim freed. The report details this in an email from the then Belize Ambassador to Taiwan Cherie Nisbet who says that she got an urgent call from Chang in mid-September 2013. Chang reportedly told her he needed two urgent visas to Belize for two South Korean nationals who needed to go to Belize the next day. Nisbet said she needed all the details before she could help anyone. Chang - she claims - could not explain the emergency and said he may have to call a minister in Belize to issue visas upon arrival.

Channel 5

Christian Pastors Protest Section 53 Change on Independence Hill
Independence Hill on Belmopan felt the wrath and fury of the evangelical movement this morning. About a thousand strong, protesters from all over the country came out against the recent [...]

COLA: “Government Has Washed its Hands like Pontius Pilate”
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, shares the same position that the Church has taken where it concerns the preservation of Section Fifty-three of the Criminal Code.  While the [...]

COLA President Demands That Maya People Be Respected Too
Interestingly, Brackett makes the comparison that government has moved with haste to state that it will not appeal the Section Fifty-three judgment, while it has gone to great pains in [...]

1000 Marched; But Was Anybody Listening?
There was no weekly Cabinet meeting today since Prime Minister Barrow is presently out of the country.  In fact, all was quiet on Independence Hill this morning, save for a [...]

Do You Believe the Ruling on Section 53 Should Be Appealed?
And tonight’s question is: Do you believe the ruling on Section Fifty-three should be appealed? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote [...]

News Five’s First Look at the Special Audit Report on Nationality
The Special Audit Report on Nationality at the Immigration and Nationality Department, 2011-2013, to be laid at the House of Representatives this coming Friday. The audit was concluded three years [...]

Immigration Officials Got Sloppy with Passport Documents
In the following report, News Five Duane Moody zeros in on specific cases of persons provided with passports without the requirements. It is a sorry state of affairs that stinks [...]

No Word As Yet on Independent Investigation of Shooting Death in Chiquibul
The report from the O.A.S. on the shooting death of Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano is highly anticipated and up to news time, the C.E.O. in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, [...]

American Sex Offender Captured off Belize Coast
There’s another revolting report…Police made a significant arrest last Friday which has landed U.S. Sex Offender George Stephen Cunningham in police custody. Fifty-one year old Cunningham, from Delaware, Ohio was [...]

Minister of State for Culture Comments on Immigration Audit Reports
We have been reporting on the Auditor General’s trio of reports on the Immigration and Nationality Service between April of 2011 and September of 2013. They contain hard-to-swallow truths about [...]

Nearly $16 Million to be Spent on Chiquibul Forest
Nearly sixteen million dollars will be spent over the next two years in what the Government is calling its most significant investment to date in the endangered Chiquibul forest and [...]

F.C.D. Has Ambitious Plans for its Portion
Rafael Manzanero, the executive director of F.C.D., welcomes the resources as his organization and its Guatemalan partner, Asociacion BALAM continue to fight illegal Guatemalan incursions for land and natural resources. [...]

Dr. Herbert Gayle Trains Frontline Workers in Fighting Violence
Anthropologist Doctor Herbert Gayle is currently in the country. Along with a team, he is providing training to youths to equip them with the skills to effectively fight and reduce [...]

Caregivers for Older Persons Graduate Training
A caregiver provides three levels of care: preventative, assistive and educational care. They are the bridge between older persons and society and often times recommend interventions to make life better [...]

Argelia Ken Collects Prize for September Celebrations Theme
This afternoon, the National Institute of Culture and History presented the winner of the theme competition for the September Celebrations with a cheque for one thousand dollars. Orange Walk teacher [...]

Why Theme is Appropriate, According to Culture Minister
Co-Chair of the National Celebrations Commission and Culture Minister Elodio Aragon Junior, like Ken, hails from Orange Walk. He told us the theme is apt for this year’s festivities.   [...]

CTV3

OAS Allegedly Rules BDF Not Responsible For The Death Of Guatemalan National
During an interview with the media last week, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that the independent investigation into the death of 13 year old Guatemalan, Julio Alvarado, who was shot and killed in the Cebada area of the Chiquibul forest reserve, allegedly by members of the BDF, was about to conclude. Following the incident Guatemala’s president, Jimmy Morales and Foreign Minister, Raul Carlos Morales launched an aggressive campaign against the BDF in which they accused them of behaving inhumane and unprofessional. We can report tonight that the investigation has been concluded and unofficial reports reaching our news station is that the findings of the probe vindicates our soldiers. While the report has not become available there are very credible reports that point out that the BDF are not responsible for the death of the Guatemalan minor. We are awaiting the official release from the OAS which reportedly should have been released today.

Sex Offender Caught In Belize
Fifty one year old US national and resident of Delaware, Ohio, George Stephen Cunningham, is tonight in custody of authorities from the Belize Police Department after his boat ran aground off the city’s coast on Friday night. Reports indicate that at the time of the incident, members of the Belize Coast Guard responded to his aid but after learning Cunningham’s identity he was handed over to police where he was detained thereafter. Back in his hometown, Cunningham had been indicted November 10th, 2014 on four counts of first degree rape charges against a nine year old minor which he pleaded not guilty to all charges. However, in October of 2015, Cunningham returned to court where he pleaded guilty to four counts of attempted gross sexual imposition so as to avoid facing a jury trial on the previous four rape charges, and a result was sentenced to eighteen months in prison.

Hundreds Demonstrates In Belmopan Against Section 53
Earlier today some 800 hundred religious leaders and members of the National Evangelical Association of Belize convened a protest at the foot of the National Assembly Building in Belmopan, demonstrating against the recent decision taken by the Supreme Court to strike down Section 53 of Belize's criminal code and the Government of Belize’s decision not to appeal. Concern Citizens - Demonstrators: “I came out here to support the church and stand by what the bible says and no turning back.” Reporter: “So you are one of those persons who would like to see the ruling of the Chief Justice appealed?” Concern Citizens - Demonstrators: “Yeah for sure, 100%”

PUP Southern Caucus Joins NEAB In Demonstration
As previously mentioned, members of the PUP Southern caucus were present in this morning’s protest in Belmopan, which was carried out by members of the Evangelical community in demonstration of the Section 53 ruling which overturned Belize’s sodomy law. But this stance is in contrary to previous statements made by the Opposition Leader, Honorable John Briceño in which he accepted the Court’s decision. In an official release, the party leader had gone as far as to say that it supports the Church’s decision to appeal but he did not call on the Government to appeal the order of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. Ministers who were present during the protest today were questioned about the official stand of the party. Honorable Mike Espat – Southern Caucus Representative: “The Party Leader has its own opinion just like everybody else and they are free to share their opinion and that is the way they feel we are just telling you that the Southern caucus is present her today is not supporting this we all members of the People’s United Party and I believe that we can put our heads together and think this out properly.”

Explosive Findings In Auditors General' Report
Explosive – that’s how we can best describe the findings in the three-part special audit carried out by the Auditor General’s office into the Immigration and Nationality Departments. We continue to carry out our own thorough review of the document, and tonight we can report on something else that has caught our eyes. According to Auditor General Dorothy Bradley, while the audit was initially supposed to have been carried out on the Visa Section only, due to the mountain of irregularities the investigation was expanded to cover the National and Passport Sections. And apparently, there is more than enough reason for this decision. According to one of the findings, there were 55,579 cases of approved passports that did not have the required biometric checks during the period August 2011 to September 2013. This is the finger-print and eye scan which are now requirements of passport applications.

PlusTV

Auditor General report says ministers’ interference in visa application illegal
At Friday’s House Meeting, the Prime Minister is expected to table four special audit reports. Three of them are about the Immigration and Nationality Department. Our colleagues at KREM News report that they have obtained a copy of the audit for the period 2011 to 2013 of the Visa Section. Plusnews ...

NTUCB calls for independent investigation into murder of Pastor Lucas
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize has issued a statement in which it calls for an independent investigation into the murder of Pastor Llewelyn Lucas. NTUCB says; “The NTUCB has been and continues to be in disgust, by how Pastor Lucas met his demise. NTUCB wishes to state, for the record; ...

Man shot on Rivero Street, Belize City
A Belize City man was shot twice on Saturday 20th August, in Belize City. Sometime before 7 p.m., 35 year old Clive Arnold, a Stevedore of a Rivero Street address, was shot once to the upper right abdomen and once to the right hand. Police say Arnold was walking on Rivero Street, heading towards B...

Attempted murder of Belize City man in his home
There was another attempt on another Belize City man’s life on Saturday. 50 year old Adolfo McKoy reported that about 11:00 p.m., he opened the house door for one Adajjha Gonguez and went back to his bedroom. He said moments later, he was approached by one Linsford Acosta who had a chrome revolver i...

Car accident near Cotton Tree Village
There was an early morning traffic accident near Cotton Tree Village on the George Price Highway at mile 42 and 43. The incident involved a car and a blue bird passenger bus. The driver of the passenger bus was Omar Barahona, a resident of Cotton Tree Village. Sometime around 7 o’clock on Monday mo...

BSI launched internal investigation into employee’s death
On Friday we told you about the employee of BSI/ASR who died as a result of injuries received on the job site. 41 year old Ismael Jimenez, a father of 5, had been a mechanic with the company but on Friday he was somehow pinned while was using heavy machinery. He was rushed to the Northern Regional ...

Mental Health Association says pushing for a referendum on S53 will increase hate speech
The Mental Health Association has applauded the Chief Justice’s ruling saying that it was made from a base of knowledge rather than emotion. The Mental Health Association of Belize, whose president is Jenny Lovell, says that the right to privacy in consensual sexual activity in adults is long overd...

Amandala

Churches to protest against Section 53 ruling
Although they have not formally said that they will appeal the recent decision by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin to overturn Belize’s sodomy law, the churches are meeting and mobilizing not just to strategize on their next actions—but also to tell the Barrow administration just how displeased they are with its decision not to appeal the Supreme Court ruling. The National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB), which says it represents 280 churches in Belize, is mobilizing its troops for what it dubs “a prayer patrol” around the National Assembly and government administration buildings in Belmopan from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, August 23. Amandala understands that the demonstration was originally to coincide with the meeting of Cabinet usually held on Tuesdays, but organizers later learned that the Prime Minister had departed the country and is not due to return until Friday. They decided to press ahead nonetheless. Reports to our newspaper tonight indicate that at least 20 buses may be headed to Belmopan for the protest.

Sydney “Mackis” Thompson, of Kremandala Raiders, dies
A basketball player of the legendary basketball team, Kremandala Raiders, the most successful team in Belize’s semi-pro basketball history, has died. Sydney “Mackis” Thompson, 52, died on Friday night at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after a long bout of illness. He had been suffering from an incurable disease. After the glory days of Kremandala Raiders, Mackis, who was also a tumbler for the Tumblers, became a car washer and cleaner at the Save U car stand at the Belcan Bridge area of the city, where he cleaned cars daily. However, a friend of his at that stand told us that something went wrong and Mackis became homeless, and sometimes slept under the Belcan Bridge. Mackis had told his friend that doctors had given up on him due to the disease.

Homosexual lover charged with assaulting his partner
On Wednesday, August 10, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin ruled that Section 53 of the Belize Criminal Code, which makes sodomy an offense, is unconstitutional. The ruling has been hailed as a victory for the LGBT (Lesbians, Gays, Bi-sexual and Transgender) community. Today, a man who shares living quarters with another man in what appears to be a homosexual relationship was charged with common assault against his partner. Justin Arnold, 23, appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza and pleaded not guilty to one count of common assault against Noel Garcia, 39, his partner of six months. Arnold allegedly slapped Garcia, and Garcia went to the police station and made a report about the incident.

Faster banking promised with new national payment system
New banking sector reforms are due to be tabled in Parliament on Friday which are intended to modernize money transactions, cutting down the waiting period for customers to receive credit from check deposits and enabling the kind of networking that will allow customers to transfer funds in just minutes from an account at their bank to a party at another bank in Belize. “You can be home in the night and make a credit transfer to somebody in Dangriga at any time of the night—as long as they have a bank account… I can’t wait for it…” said Marilyn Gardiner-Usher, Deputy Governor – Operations at the Central Bank of Belize, who explained the developments in the context of the establishment of a national payment system (NPS) for Belize. The go-live target date is September. She told Amandala that the changes should reduce operating costs for commercial banks, and the Central Bank expects that the reduction will be passed on to customers.

Conductress flung out of bus after it was hit by car
–A conductress was flung from a Baizar bus as a result of the impact of an early morning road traffic accident on the George Price Highway. Mamsie Caliz, 42, a conductress for two years, was thrown onto the street when a black car leaving Belmopan ran into the front side of her father’s bus at around 7 a.m. today, Monday. The bus, which was at the time driven by Omar Barajona, was heading to Belmopan; however, it slowed down near a road bump in Cotton Tree, and at that point a vehicle, allegedly driven at high speed by an unidentified woman, swerved out of its lane and hit the bus.

Tropical wave over Belize causes flooding in southern Belize
NEMO is advising residents of southern Belize, particularly those who reside in the Toledo and Stann Creek districts, to take extra precaution in light of a flood advisory which has been issued in response to a tropical wave that is passing over Belize. According to the Chief Meteorologist Dennis Gonguez, a tropical wave is passing through the country today, Monday, and is expected to pass by tomorrow, Tuesday. The tropical wave, he said, is not widespread, but localized in southern Belize. A statement released by the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) advises, “People who live along rivers, creeks, water ways and low-lying areas and whose home is likely to flood are cautioned to move to a high and safe building with friends, family or in the community shelter before nightfall. Drivers are asked to slow down and put on their hazard lights when driving through the rain and flooded areas.”

Semipro football is back; PLB Opening Season 21016-2017 under way
Belize City fans will have to wait a few more weeks before semipro football returns to the MCC, but the new Premier League of Belize (PLB) Opening Season kicked off in four other venues over the past weekend. There are 9 teams participating in this Opening Season, and Police United was excused from Week 1 action, as they just returned from their opening Champions League encounter with Olimpia, which they lost, 4-0, in Honduras on Tuesday, and were making their way to Mexico City for their match with Mexican champion Pachuca tomorrow, Tuesday. Two games each were played on Saturday, August 20, and Sunday, August 21, in Week 1 of the PLB Opening Season 2016-2017. At the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan on Saturday night, defending champion Belmopan Bandits FC was held to a 0-0 draw by visiting FC Belize, who returned to action after sitting out last year’s competition. Meanwhile, down south at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence, home standing sub-champion Placencia Assassins FC welcomed Freedom Fighters FC back to the PLB competition (after a year lay-off) with a 3-0 put down, courtesy of first half goals from Ashton Torres (15’), Delone Torres (19’) and Justin Linarez (29’).

BDBA Firms Basketball Semi-finals and Finals this weekend
Quarterfinal games were played in the Belize District Basketball Association (BDBA) Firms 2016 Basketball Tournament last Friday and Saturday at the BES gym, setting the stage for the semi-finals and the first game of the finals this weekend. In quarterfinal action on Friday night, August 19, Belize Bank Bulldogs clipped BWSL, 83-78; and Belize City Council Dragons crushed Heritage Bank Heatz, 78-56. And in the other quarterfinals on Saturday, it was BTL edging Mayan Man Warriors, 85-82; and Infotel blowing out Atlantic Bank, 84-56. The semi-finals, which will be played this Friday at BES gym, are “knockout” rounds, with the two winning teams advancing to a “best-of-three” finals series.

EDITORIAL: Anti-Christs
The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) lost a golden opportunity to increase the political discomfort of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) when the PUP rushed to support the pro-LGBT ruling of the Belize Supreme Court on Wednesday, August 10, 2016. Played at its highest level, politics is not about the personal opinions or preferences of the principals. Politics is about establishing positions which the majority of the people (adult voters) support. Politics is always about numbers, majority numbers: 51 means power; 49 amounts to defeat. It is many years since the Belizean people have marched in numbers in the population center or the new capital. Yet, the explosive issues have come fast and furious – Elvin Penner, rosewood, Chiquibul, Sarstoon, Harmonyville, Petrocaribe, BTL, William Danny Mason, and now, issue of all issues – the homosexual law.

The genesis of the Section 53 challenge: Part 1
Caleb Orozco’s constitutional challenge against Section 53 of Belize’s Criminal Code represents a landmark ruling for Belize—but it is also an example of “strategic litigation,” designed to achieve broader aims across the wider Caribbean. According to Tracy Robinson, a Jamaican attorney, almost a decade ago, she worked with a doctoral degree student to conduct a desk review to find “whether there was a reasonable case to be made before a constitutional court regarding the laws criminalizing ‘same sex’ sex.” Robinson, who once chaired the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, an organ of the Organization of American States, said that Belize was chosen because it was the optimal country to bring the case. “No other country has the constellation of factors, in law, which come together to make Belize the ideal location…” she said, in a video conference briefing held in July 2016, leading up to the ruling by Belize Justice Kenneth Benjamin on August 10.

Ruptured water main disrupts supply to 20,000 BWS customers
The Belize Water Services (BWS) dispatched roughly 20 workers and deployed a range of equipment in an effort to tackle the unexpected rupturing of its main on the Sandhill route, which left the company’s biggest customer base, totaling about 20,000 customers, without water for most of Sunday. The areas affected spanned Biscayne and Gardenia off the Philip Goldson Highway, and extended into Belize City as well as locations up to Mile 9 on the George Price Highway. The company informed us that a 24-inch pipe located near New Moon Restaurant in Ladyville broke. The BWS has yet to determine what caused it, but they have ruled out vandalism, since the pipe was located 10 feet underground.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Caribbean on watch for two tropical storms
Tropical Storm Gaston could be the first major hurricane for 2016 in the Atlantic, but a wave headed toward the northern Caribbean Sea could be more of a threat according to forecasters. Gaston has sustained winds of 65 miles per hour as of 11 […]

Minor accused in Queen Street shooting “under hit”
The 15 year old boy accused of the trying to kill a George Street associate a few months ago in front of the Queen Street Police Station missed his intended target and caught a police officer and three other innocent by-standers. He appeared today […]

SMART contributes to hurricane relief efforts
Belize’s leading innovator in telecommunications, SMART, presented a check for $5,000 to the Belize Red Cross. The Red Cross will use this donation to assist in their relief efforts as Belize recovers from the effects of Hurricane Earl. In presenting the check on August […]

Another road traffic accident on George Price Highway
Reports coming out from the west is that there is another traffic accident on the George Price Highway, this time in the village of Ontario. Information is yet sketchy but BBN was made to understand that police officers and paramedics are currently at the […]

Cyclist in afternoon accident passes away
Confirmed reports reaching our newsroom indicate that the cyclist who was knocked down off his bike by a pick-up truck earlier today has passed away. The incident happened in front of the Governor General’s residence in Belmopan. Belmopan police are currently investigating the details surrounding […]

Cyclist knocked down in Belmopan
Reports reaching our newsroom are that a cyclist was knocked down from his bike by a pickup truck just before noon today. The incident happened in front of the Governor General residence in Belmopan and the man has been rushed to the Western Regional […]

Government introduces Chiquibul Forest Investment Initiative
Two non-Governmental organizations and two Government departments are to receive grants in what has been described as an investment initiative by the Government of Belize. Rafael Manzanero’s Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) and the Ya’axche Conservation Trust along with the Forest Department and […]

Tourism industry prepares for biennal expo
The drumbeat is sounding for the 2017 Belize Tourism Expo (BETEX) to be held at the Ramada Princess Hotel and Casino from May 3rd to 5th. Officially hosted by the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) along with the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), BETEX attracts approximately […]

Francis Fonseca calls for “meaningful investment” in sports
Former PUP leader and former minister of sport Francis Fonseca recently observed on Facebook that, “no government (PUP or UDP) has made serious meaningful investments in Sports…this has to change!” Attached to the post is a quote from Nelson Mandela, who during his time […]

Investigation at Vital Statistics on Mason’s fraudulent birth certificate now in hands of the police
Vanessa Retreage, Attorney General, has confirmed that the Vital Statistics Unit’s internal investigation into how accused murderer William Danny Mason got a fraudulent Belizean birth certificate is completed, and a report has been made to police. Earlier Prime Minister Dean Barrow had stated that […]

NTUCB condemns Pastor Lucas murder
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) has finally spoken out, condemning the murder of Pastor Llewelyn Lucas. In a press release, the NTUCB demanded than an external investigation be conducted into the horrific murder of Pastor Lucas. NTUCB President Marvin Mora […]

Lucky woman survives accident with passenger bus
Latoyah Meighan, 32, is recuperating from minor injuries after being involved in a traffic mishap yesterday morning on the George Price Highway within the village of St. Matthews. The incident took place a little after 7:00 while driving her black Chevy car towards Belize City. In […]

PSU Belmopan branch to meet over salary adjustment delay
The Belmopan branch of the Public Service Union (PSU) has called for an urgent meeting today with general members at the Hilltop at 4:30 p.m. In a post published to its Facebook page, the PSU is urging that all members attend since important matters […]

Blogs

Celebrate Independence Day in Belize
After several centuries as a British colony, Belize gained its independence from Great Britain on September 21, 1981. Today, the national holiday is the occasion for two weeks of partying, parades, and street exhibitions leading up to September 21 when every town comes alive with people waving the red, white and blue (the colors of the Belizean flag). Independence Day 2016 will be a special time in Belize as the country celebrates its 35th anniversary of gaining full sovereignty. The occasion will be marked with a number of amazing celebrations, parties, and activities. This year’s official theme is “Sovereign and Strong Together as One.” The issue of whether Spain or Britain would end up controlling Belize was decided in a colossal, week-long naval battle in 1798 off the coast of St. George’s Caye. The British emerged triumphant on September 10, now a national holiday in Belize celebrated by the playing of patriotic music and people dressed in the national colors. In 2016, the September holidays begin on August 28 and will continue right on up to Independence Day on September 21. Every town and village across the country will hold parades featuring marchers, bands, and floats. Be on the lookout for a sea of red, white and blue as Belizeans of all age celebrate the season with patriotic pride. The month of September is also when you can find live music concerts throughout the country. Some as small affairs held in local villages featuring indigenous music while others are big events that draw top-name acts and thousands of fans.

Everything You Need To Retire Or Invest In This Beautiful Caribbean Nation
For me, it was love at first sight. From the first morning I arrived in Belize, nearly 30 years ago, climbed down from the plane onto the runway, threw my backpack over my shoulder, pulled on my sunglasses, and walked across the tarmac in the direction of the one-room Belize City airport, I was smitten. It was nothing I could put my finger on at the time. Just a feeling, like falling in love. You know it when it hits. On that first visit, I met a handful of Belize expats with whom, over the years, I’ve developed friendships I treasure. Visit by visit, in the years to follow, they helped me to get to know this country founded by pirates and where independence and free thinking are prized above all else. These are qualities that I, too, value a great deal. Instinctively, I guess, putting my feet on the ground in this country for the first time, I knew that Belize and I were made for each other.

International Sourcesizz

Belize cashes in excess rainfall insurance
CCRIF SPC (formerly the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility) paid US$261,073 to the Government of Belize under its excess rainfall insurance policy last Thursday, two weeks after heavy rains brought by Hurricane Earl drenched the country on August 4 and 5. The payout, CCRIF said, demonstrates its commitment to act within two weeks after a qualifying hazard event. Earl caused widespread flooding, damage to homes and businesses, interruptions of water and electricity services, and losses to the tourism and agriculture industries across Central America. “The CCRIF board and team are relieved that there was no loss of life – and we hope that the funds received from CCRIF will be useful to the Government of Belize in their recovery efforts. We wish the Government and people of Belize a rapid recovery,” CEO Isaac Anthony stated.

Guardians of the world’s ocean icons convene in Galapagos to chart sustainable future
From 27-31 August 2016, managers from the 49 marine sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List will convene in the Galapagos Islands to explore solutions to some of the world’s most pressing conservation challenges including climate adaptation strategies and market-based approaches to strengthen sustainable fisheries. Along with leading experts and ocean conservationists they will help chart a sustainable path forward for the world’s most iconic marine protected areas. Since the first marine site was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1982, the marine network has grown into a global collection of sites that stretches across topical, temperate and polar zones. Today, World Heritage marine sites comprise 10% by surface area of all the world’s marine protected areas, and include icons such as the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Belize), Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (Philippines), Phoenix Islands Protected Area (Kiribati), and Everglades National Park (USA). They are home to the breeding grounds of the world’s last healthy population of grey whales, the highest density of ancestral polar-bear dens, the world’s most ancient fish and the inimitable marine iguanas.

IACHRreport on historic Belize judgment: Worsening conditions for gays in T&T
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) says it welcomes the decision of the Supreme Court of Belize “that declared unconstitutional the criminalisation of consensual sexual relations between adults of the same sex.” “With this historic decision, Belize becomes the second country in the English-speaking Caribbean to repeal laws that criminalise consensual sex between adults of the same sex that originate in the region’s colonial past,” a release issued on Monday stated. A recent report on violence against members of the LGBTI community in the Americas has, however, noted a gradual worsening of legislative conditions for them in T&T and the Commonwealth Caribbean. The English version of a report on “Violence against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Persons in the Americas” released last week was researched by the IACHR and initially published in Spanish last November. The report notes that T&T “maintains legislation criminalising adult same-sex intimacy” and that “the issue of discrimination based on sexual orientation remains a matter of concern.”

Videos

  • CNN special on Caye Caulker, Belize, 3.5min. Videography for CNN special on the island of Caye Caulker, Belize

  • Wildboyz Season 1 Episode 8 Belize, 22min.

  • Belize 2016, 6min. Trip to Hatchet Caye 2016.

  • Downtown Belize City, 1.5min.

  • Snorkeling in Half Moon Caye. Belize, 17min.

  • Blue Kamikaze on the rocks Belize Mixology style., 2.5min. Edward Alvarez creating a Blue Kamikaze at Belize Mixology's practical training segment at Rumors Resort in San Ignacio, Belize.

  • Belize 2016, 7.5min. Vacances au Belize.

  • Belize Creole Brokdong Project, 1min. Here are some of our participants in the Belize Creole Brokdong Project doing some vocal training.

    August 23, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

    Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    SPTC Delivers Building Supplies to San Mateo
    Through the generous donations of various organizations and businesses, Vice-President of the San Pedro Lions Club, Brittney O’Daniel, along with her business partner, Dave Jenkins, were able to purchase their first batch of plywood, plycem, lumber, and zinc on Thursday, August 18th. The building supplies were distributed among the community members of San Mateo, and will help rebuild homes that were completely destroyed by Hurricane Earl. According to Jorge Aldana of the San Pedro Town Council, the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) performed a damage assessment immediately after the storm. “When we first did our assessment, 49 familes had some level of damages, and since then, that number has grown. All those who indicated that they needed supplies will receive supplies. NEMO also dispensed mattresses to affected families,” said Aldana.

    Atlantic Bank LTD plans to install a second ATM Machine
    Recent concerns from residents in San Pedro Town, has revived the question regarding the possibility of another Automated Teller Machine (ATM) for the local branch of Atlantic Bank. Over the years, while the population has increased by the thousands, the bank continues operating with just one external ATM. This has caused several inconveniences, as customers have to wait in long lines only to find out there is no cash left by the time they reach. In an effort to address the issue, Atlantic Bank has some good news to share. The bank’s management admits that operating with just one ATM is uncomfortable for their customers, thus, the installation of a second external ATM machine is imperative. Branch Manager Karen Lopez commented that a second ATM will be installed, but they do not have a specific date when it will happen. “There is no clear decision as yet where the second ATM will be installed, but what we can say for now is that another ATM will be installed to alleviate the situation,” said Lopez. Even though there are additional machines inside the banks, the introduction of another external ATM will target the customers who do not have access to the bank until late evening, and visitors alike.

    66 Foot Reserve and Use of Seabed: Ministry of Natural Resources explains
    In light of the damage caused by Hurricane Earl, the Commissioner of Lands and Surveys issued a press release on Wednesday, August 10th explaining the utilization of the seabed and of the 66 feet reserve; which may include riparian forests, beaches, littoral forests and shoals. Through the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), and the Lands and Surveys Department, the general public was advised that in order to rebuild or construct a new dock/pier, a permit from the MNR is needed. This once again brought the issue of Queen’s Land/66-foot reserve to the forefront. In Belize, all land up to 66 feet from the high water level is considered national land or “Queen’s Land”. It also means that it is to be kept accessible to the public and free from development. Therefore, occupation of the land without permission constitutes as an offense of unlawful use of National Land.

    Mahogany Bay Village donates vehicle to San Pedro Police Department
    The official handing over of a 2003 Ford Ranger extra cab pickup truck to the San Pedro Police Department (SPPD) came after a generous donation from Mahogany Bay Village. The company has been very involved in the community by assisting different organizations in various ways. On Thursday, August 18th, Pete Davis represented the donor organization and had the honour of handing over the vehicle to Deputy Officer in Charge of the Coastal Executive Unit, Superintendent Henry Jemmott. The addition of the new vehicle to the present fleet was welcomed by Jemmott, who indicated that the characteristics of the vehicle will make it very efficient in their patrols. “The durability of this vehicle will enable us to continue improving our patrols, south and north of the island,” said Jemmott. According to him, vehicles are always a huge necessity for the force, and since the island continues to grow at a rapid pace, the need to increase their patrol coverage is another challenge the police face. “It is important to notice the support of the community and as well, this shows the good relationship between the business community and the police,” said Jemmott. He further stated that any donations given to the police, in this case a vehicle is utilized to ensure the safety of all residents of the island and the well-being of San Pedro Town.

    Ambergris Today

    Belize Performs Exceptional at Canada’s Intl. Championship Regatta
    Kevin Velasquez, 14, who trains at San Pedro's Belize Sailing School, tacked and trimmed his boat to finish 7th over all, out of 127 other international competitors in Canada's Olympic Regattas, Kingston (CORK) 2016 International Optimist Regatta. Sailors from the USA and Bermuda were the only ones who topped him. Kevin's Belize Sailing School team-mate, Caroline Sersland, who just turned 12, made her last race-day here her best and finished 10th in her fleet. Both Velasquez and Sersland were top finishers at the National Optimistic Championship Regatta that was held last year in Corozal Town. Due to their top performances they were ideal candidates for the 2016 Canadian Regatta which the San Pedro Belize Sailing Club facilitated their participation.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Splashers
    Lets get our splash on this Thursday at Crazy Canucks at 2pm. Please sign up on our website

    Emmeth Young Playing Soul Project
    Emmeth Young, one of the best drummers in the hemisphere, will be performing Friday night at the Soul Project. Emmeth has been in Cayo a lot lately, helping with the drumming wokshop at the SISE House of Culture, and playing some at the September Celebrations launch. "THIS FRIDAY, Emmeth Young AND HIS CREW WILL BE DRUMMING ON SOUL PROJECT STAGE. GIG STARTS LIKE AROUND 7PM"

    St. George's Caye September Celebrations Launch cancelled
    Due to damages from Hurricane Earl, there will not be the usual Official Launch of the September Celebrations at St. George's Caye this year. Instead, Hon. Elodio Aragon, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, will launch the celebrations with an address that will be broadcast across the nation. Otherwise, the National Celebrations Commission and its partners are planning a full slate of activities for September.

    3rd ANNUAL YELLOW GINGER FESTIVAL
    YOU ARE ALL INVITED TO COME OUT TO THE 3rd ANNUAL YELLOW GINGER FESTIVAL ON AUGUST 28, 2016 IN FOREST HOME VILLAGE ON THE FOOTBALL FIELD BRING THE ENTIRE FAMILY TO HAVE FUN AND ENJOY OUR CULTURAL DISHES

    Calendar of Events for September Celebrations 2016
    Scheduling your September festivities? Here's this year's Calendar of Events for September Celebrations 2016!

    Belize Screen on the Green in Dangriga Aug. 25
    Please join us for the Belize Screen on the Green in Dangriga for the screening of the movie "42" at the Slaughter House in Dangriga. We are brining the BIG SCREEN, and as always popcorn will be served while supplies last! Movie starts at dark (no exceptions ;)). Hope to see you there!!!

    Southern Belize Flood Advisory
    The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) hereby informs that Southern Belize in particular the Toledo District is experiencing flooding. Jacintoville is currently under flood conditions. Aguactae village is inaccessible and water is 15ft above the bridge. Other villages along the Moho River must closely monitor the flood situation and take the necessary precautions. Other villages in the Toledo and Stann Creek Districts must be on alert for flooding. People who live along rivers, creeks, water ways and low-lying areas and whose home is likely to flood are cautioned to move to a high and safe building with friends, family or in the community shelter before nightfall. Drivers are asked to slow down and put on their hazard lights when driving through the rain and flooded areas NEMO Emergency Coordinators in the south can be reached as follows; Stann Creek, Mr. Victor Castillo at 630 9780; and Toledo, Mr. Kenton Parham at 630 9787. The NEMO Emergency Hotline is 936.

    UPDATE ON THE FORMAL ORGANIZATION OF THE AMERICAN STATES’ (OAS) INVESTIGATION INTO THE 20TH APRIL 2016 SHOOTING INCIDENT IN THE ADJACENCY ZONE
    he Government of Belize (GOB) has received confirmation from Secretary-General of the OAS, H.E. Luis Almagro, that the formal investigation into the incident in which the Guatemalan minor, Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano, lost his life in the Adjacency Zone as a result of gunshot wounds, has been concluded. In this regard, the OAS Secretary-General Almagro in a letter addressed to the Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize, informed the Belizean Government, “that the forensic experts that the Governments of the United States of America and Mexico put at their disposal to carry out this investigation have completed their duties and prepared a joint exhaustive report on the matter…” It is expected that the OAS Secretary-General will release a formal statement on the report and its findings tomorrow, Tuesday, 23rd August 2016.

    Jazzfest 2016 Opening Ceremonies
    The CAYO Welcome Center was the perfect place for the opening of the Belize International Jazz Festival. 3 stages, all with wonderful music, and every different kind.  Ascenthium rocked, as did Project Orchestra. Karen Vernon got some great shots too.

    Channel 7

    Pastors To Protest In 'Pan
    There's a House Meeting in Belmopan on Friday - but the National Evangelical Association isn't waiting around - they're planning a protest for tomorrow! The group sent out a release today saying they'll be protesting on the steps of the National Assembly Building. They say that Pastors, Leaders and Evangelical Churches from all over the country will be making the trip to show how strongly they disapprove of the section 53 judgment, and government's refusal to appeal it. This evening, the Pastor Scott Stirm, Vice President of NEAB, released a statement saying quote, "The ramifications of this controversial decision will bring horrendous results upon our nation and MUST be appealed for [the] full... legal judicial process." End quote. Now, you might ask, why protest on a Tuesday? Well, we are told it was planned to coincide with the regular Cabinet meeting, but it turns out that the Prime Minister isn't even in country - so there won't be any cabinet meeting.

    Government Goes On PR Offensive For Section 53 Judgment
    So, NEAB continues to be the most vocal church group to oppose the gay sex judgement, but the Government is trying to make sure that they aren't moving crowds based on misinformation and misunderstanding. So government has gone on a media offensive - to get its message out. The Barrow Administration wants to make it clear why government isn't appealing and why it does not believe that the judgment paves the way for same sex marriages. So, the Attorney General Vanessa Retreage and Human Development CEO Judith Alpuche were deployed today to the Love FM Morning Show. They were there to again outline what the Government's position is on the Section 53 judgement, and when they came off the air, the Attorney General granted us a brief interview:

    Mental Health Assoc. Says No Referendum, on A Minority's Rights
    And so while the Evangelists will protest against the judgement and government's reaction to it, while at the same time government is making its case in the media - as to why it has no choice but to accept the judgment. And now - to add one more voice to the fray, the Mental Health Association is applauding the judgement. The Association sent out a press release saying that any move to reduce decriminalization and stigma against LGBT people will have positive mental health consequences. The Association agrees with the Chief Justice that the fact of the law's existence was enough to give implied permission for continued stigma and discrimination against the LGBT persons in Belize. And the Association also addressed the idea of a referendum which the Evangelical community and the Belize Progressive Party has been pushing.

    OAS Report On Shooting of 13 Year Old Done, Only Awaiting Delivery Now
    On last week Friday's newscast, we showed you our interview with US Ambassador Carlos Moreno, who revealed that the OAS investigation into the fatal Chiquibul shooting has been completed by the Independent investigating team. Well the Government sent out a statement less than 10 minutes ago confirming it. That late evening statement says, quote, "(GOB) has received confirmation from Secretary-General of the OAS. Luis Almagro, that the formal investigation into the incident in which the Guatemalan minor, Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano, has been concluded." End quote. The Government press release continues to explain that Secretary General Almagro wrote to Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington saying, quote, "the forensic experts that the Governments of the United States of America and Mexico put at their disposal to carry out this investigation have completed their duties and prepared a joint exhaustive report on the matter…" End quote.

    Fatal Accident When Vehicle Shut Down
    Over the weekend, there were 2 accidents in Belize City; one of them resulted in a fatality, and the other put a woman in the hospital with serious injuries. We start tonight with the accident which killed Belize City resident Lionel Robert Hamilton, who also went by the name Lionel Villanueva. That accident happened between Miles 4 and 5 on the Phillip Goldson Highway. It appears that Hamilton was struck by a driver who did not see that his vehicle was in the road. Today our news team went looking for answers, and we found out that Hamilton couldn't get out of the way because the vehicle was having mechanical problems. Daniel Ortiz has that story:

    Slippery Road Causes Car To Crash Into Bus
    And there was another accident, but this time near St. Mattews Village on the Western Highway. It happened this morning around 7:10. 32 year old Latoyah Meighan was driving her black Chevy car to Belize City when she lost control of the vehicle and rammed into an oncoming Baiza Bus that was heading to Belmopan. Meighan reported that the road was slippery and that is why she slid into the bus's lane. Luckily nobody was killed. Meighan complained of pain to the left side of her head, while the bus conductor along with one other passenger received minor injuries.

    Waters Rising In South
    While Central Belize is just recovering from Hurricane Earl, now there's flooding in the south. NEMO reports that a few flood prone areas in the western Toledo District are underwater. Aguacate village is inaccessible and water is 15ft above the bridge. Jacintoville is also experiencing flood conditions. This is due to the Moho River and other villages along the River are advised to closely monitor river levels. NEMO also advises, quote, "People who live along rivers, creeks, water ways and low-lying areas and whose home is likely to flood are cautioned to move to a high and safe building with friends, family or in the community shelter before nightfall."

    Clive Arnold Shot Again
    There was a shooting in Belize City over the weekend which put a man in the hospital. He's 35 year-old Clive Arnold who has been shot before. According to police, Arnold, who is a waterfront worker from Rivero Street, was walking home on Saturday evening before 7 o'clock. That's when a man he reportedly did not see fired a number of shots at him, injuring him in the upper abdomen and the hand. Today, the one of the lead investigators briefed the press on the details they have so far: Sgt. Isai Sanchez, OC - CIB Precinct 1: "36 year old Clive Arnold, a Belizean stevedore of 19 Rivero Street is recovering now at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he was shot to the abdomen and right hand. The incident happened on Saturday 20th August, 2016 about 6:45pm. Clive Arnold was walking on Rivero Street heading home from the direction of Kraal Road when he heard several gunshots.

    AG: Mason Matter With Police
    Earlier in the news we showed you our interview with Attorney General Vanessa Retreage. We also asked her for an update into the investigation into the issuance of a fraudulent birth certificate to accused murderer William Danny Mason. You'll remember it as that fake document which claims that Mason was born in Crooked Tree Village to parents James Mason, a farmer from Cooked Tree, and his common-law wife, Sharon Tillett. The last time we asked the Prime Minister about it, 21 days ago, he told confirmed that the Investigation from the Attorney General's Ministry reveals that 4 public officers from the Vital Statistics Unit was implicated in the document's origin. Today, when we asked the Attorney General, she told us that the report has been passed on to the police, and it is up to them to take criminal action against 4 named persons:

    Gun Misfired at Point Blank Range
    A fisherman is in prison tonight after he barged into another man's house and assaulted him. The incident happened last night at around 11:00. 50 year old Adolfo Mckoy was at his Antelope Street home when he got up to open the door for someone he knew. McKoy reported that when he went back to bed 28 year old Linsford Acosta came in, grabbed him by his neck, put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. But luckily for Mckoy, the gun misfired. McKoy then kicked Acosta and there was a struggle. Acosta then ran out of the house and jumped on a motorcycle . Acosta was later arrested and charged. He is remanded to prison until October 21st.

    Portillo Packed A Pistol In His Pocket
    Peter Portillo is in jail tonight, because the 28 year old had a gun in his pocket when he jumped into a police pickup. On Sunday at midday, 72 year old Lincoln Sunders reported that his friend Portillo had become a drunken nuisance and he wanted the cops to get him out of his house. The police went to Saunders' home on Morter's Alley and offered to take Portillo home. But before he got into the vehicle the cops wanted to search him. Instead, Portillo jumped into the passenger side of the pickup and the police heard something fall to the ground. When they checked, the cops found a silver .38 pistol with 5 rounds of ammunition in its chambers. Portillo was unable to produce a license for the firearm and as a result, he was arrested and charged.

    PM In Houston
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow is in Houston tonight. A government press release reports that he left on Saturday to accompany his wife, Kim for a medical checkup in Houston. He returns on Thursday, August 25th, and until he does Deputy Patrick Faber is holding over as PM.

    Loose Rice Illegal
    We haven't heard about rice for a while now - but when importer Jack Charles shook up the industry months ago with the threat of imported rice, it forced meaningful change. The effect is that all local rice producers have been forced to bag their rice in one pound bags to protect consumers and avoid price gouging. The one pound bags have clear markings, and that means no grocery store or vendor should still be selling loose rice in bags. But yet today when we went shopping at our neighborhood store "Lucky Long," on West Canal we found the same old tactics. WE checked with the Belize Bureau of Standards, which confirms that this is illegal and has promised that it will be visiting Lucky Long. Now, of this is still happening in your neighborhood, the Bureau wants you to call them at 822-0446 or email them at BBS@btl.net.

    Converting Public Service From Paper To Digital Records Mgm't
    The Belize Archives and Records Service is trying to get government to move from Paper based records to an Electronic Records Management System. Now that's no small feat considering the amount of paperwork that is built into the culture of the public service - they just love paper! But, the longest journey begins with one step and today that first step was taken with a workshop at the CITO office in Belmopan. We found out what the participants learned about: At the end of the workshop, participants should be able to adopt a standardized approach to the management of electronic records.

    Tropigas With Back To School Money
    Last week we told you about the 25 kids who got a full high school scholarship from BTL. Well, in that same vein - even if not on quite the same scale - Tropigas today gave away grants of $150 to 35 students. It's not quite a King's Ransom, but it will help needy families with foot the bills for a key back to school supplies. We spoke to the General Manager Maleek Singh about the donation. A parent and a couple other recipients also detailed how this gift will be put to good use. Each of the 35 kids got $150 grant.

    Yu' Numba Play!
    Ought-three" that was the winning single number for Sunday. Now you might ask, why did this Sunday lottery make it in the news? Well, those of you who follow and study the science of numbers will know that it has been a while since 03 has played, almost two years to be precise. The last time 03 played in the lottery is on October 5th, 2014 and the last time it played in boledo is on February 25th, 2014. Many boledo specialists were chattering about 03 this weekend and those who know how to play the averages or just have the luck, won big yesterday when it finally came through.

    Channel 5

    Auditor General’s Special Audit Report on Passport and Immigration
    As many as five years ago, a major immigration scandal rocked the government. It was revealed that ministers as well as senior officials were involved in facilitating visa approvals to [...]

    Lionel Hamilton-Villanueva Perishes in Early Morning RTA in Belize City
    An unfortunate traffic accident claimed the life of a popular mechanic of Belize City. The predawn accident occurred at mile four and half on the Phillip Goldson highway. A taxi [...]

    A Stevedore is Shot Near Kraal Road
    Also in the city, a near fatal shooting incident occurred on Saturday evening.  Clive Arnold, a known associate of the George Street Gang, came under fire while he was walking [...]

    Was Shooting of Clive Arnold Gang-related?
    According to police, they were unable to recover any expended shells from the scene of the shooting since the area covered by the gunman and his intended victim was expansive. [...]

    N.T.U.C.B. Demands External Investigation into Murder of Pastor Lu
    Evangelical Pastor Llewellyn Lucas was abducted from the residence of businessman William ‘Danny’ Mason on Intelco Hill in Belmopan on July eighth.  Along with two other men, Lucas was blindfolded [...]

    Why Was Union Position So Long in the Making?
    The release from the N.T.U.C.B. is rather tardy, almost a month and a half after the incident made international headlines.  According to N.T.U.C.B. President Marvin Mora, the cumbersome structure of [...]

    N.T.U.C.B. Has Section 53 Decision as Agenda Item for Upcoming Union Meeting
    Religious leaders from across the country, particularly those who are members of the National Evangelical Association of Belize, are planning to descend on Belmopan on Tuesday to protest the controversial [...]

    Mental Health Association Welcomes Section 53 Decision
    The recent ruling on Section Fifty-Three of the Criminal Code is getting support from the Mental Health Association. The MHA says it applauds the Chief Justice’s recent ruling which is [...]

    Mikel Longsworth Gets Two Years for Burglarizing Atlantic Bank Storage Room
    A nineteen-year-old Belize City resident who picked up his first conviction for burglary of a storage room belonging to the Atlantic Bank is behind bars tonight having been sentenced to [...]

    Gun-toting Fisherman Forces His Way into Home of Adolfo McKoy
    Another Belize City man is on remand at the Belize Central Prison, accused of forcing himself into the home of a fifty-year old man while armed with a firearm.  Linsford [...]

    U.S. Ambassador Carlos Moreno Says OAS Report on Chiquibul Shooting is Done
    What is the status of the O.A.S. Investigation on the shooting death of thirteen-year old Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano that occurred back on April twentieth inside the Chiquibul?  In mid-May, [...]

    Mesoamerican Congress – What is it Saying about Illegal Trade of Exotic Wildlife?
    A science conference called the Mesoamerican Society for Biology and Consultation Congress is being held in Belize. Today and for the rest of the week, regional experts in biodiversity and [...]

    Flooding in the South
    There is major flooding taking place in southern Belize due to heavy rains on Sunday night.  The National Emergency Management Organization confirms that Jacintoville in the Toledo District is experiencing [...]

    Tropigas Awards Grants for Back-to-School Initiative
    There are four Tropigas Branches across the country—in Belize City, Belmopan, Orange Walk and San Ignacio. Today, about seventy-five students from those municipalities were chosen as the recipients of a [...]

    United States to Assist Belize with Hurricane Relief
    Relief efforts continue across the country in the aftermath of Hurricane Earl. G.O.B. through its partner agencies as well other humanitarian organizations have been providing support to the many families [...]

    Sports Monday: Basketball, Football and Cricket
    Good evening, welcome to Sports Monday.   The Premier Football League Opening Season got off over the weekend with 4 matches countrywide. Saturday night at Capital City, Belmopan hosted FC [...]

    CTV3

    BNTU O/W Branch Rejects Government Proposal
    Last week we aired interviews with Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Minister of Education Patrick Faber in which they both outlined their reasons for proposing that a salary increase for public officers and teachers, which was due since July of this year, be delayed for a year. The Government is claiming that it has had to use its revenues for Hurricane Relief, following the damages sustained from Hurricane Earl two weeks ago. As a result, they have asked teachers and public officers to wait for the agreed on salary increase until next year. Well, the idea isn’t really sitting well with teachers and their Belize National Teachers Union. Today, the Orange Walk branch met at the La Inmaculada School auditorium here in Orange Walk Town to discuss the Government’s request and arrive at a position. According to the Union President, Otilio Munoz, the Government’s proposal is just not acceptable.

    Chopping Victim Gives Statement To Police
    Almost two months ago the peaceful village of Yo Creek in the Orange Walk District was shuddered when news spread like wild fire that several villagers including two children were attacked with a machete by a villager known to suffer from a mental disability. For one of the victims, Luisana Chuc, the harrowing ordeal, which claimed the life of her fourteen year old son, is still fresh in her memory and as she relived that ordeal today while making her official statement at the Orange Walk Police station, she hopes that this painful chapter of her life comes to a close. Luisana Chuc – Victim: “Me siento ya más tranquilla que di mi reporte y se va hacer justicia a este accidente que paso a lo de mi hijo, sé que él está muerto y nada lo revive otra vez pero que paguen todo lo que ellos han hecho.”

    Unicomer Paves The Way For Students To Get Higher Education
    We all know that famous phrase “Education is the key to success” and today UNICOMER, upheld that phrase by assisting 75 students from across the country to be one step closer at achieving higher education. Here in the North Seven deserving youths from Orange Walk and Seven from Corozal received monetary grants from Tropigas as part of their annual grant and scholarship program geared at providing better opportunities for students in need. Zenaida Melendez- Tropigas- OW –trop 1: “Every year Tropigas selects a good amount of students that are in need of a scholarship or a grant, this year we are so privilege to be able to help 75 students and these students are from Standard III to Standard VI but we made a slight exception with some high school this year but they needed to apply through an application form and also be able to submit an essay stating why we should help them and these students were selected after a thorough analysis of all letter.”

    NTUCB Demands International Investigation Into Case Of Pastor Lucas
    It has been more than one month since the gruesome discovery of Pastor Llewelyn Lucas’s decapitated head inside the notoriously known alleged con-man, Danny Mason’s pickup pan in the capital city of Belmopan. Since then, we have heard from the Opposition, the Evangelical Churches and the third parties. They have all demanded that an international investigative team probes the murder. The Government has refused, however, and Prime Minister Dean Barrow has claimed that the Belize Police Department is most fit to carry out the work. Today, the demand got major support when a key social partner group woke up from deep slumber and added their voice to the call for an international investigation. The National Trade Union Congress of Belize, the umbrella organization for all unions, issued a press release calling on the Government to [quote] “ensure that justice is not only seen to be done, but is done”.

    BSI Launches Internal Inquiry Into Death Of Former Employee
    Forty-one-year-old Ismael Jimenez Junior, a mechanic employed at BELCOGEN, lost his life on Friday afternoon after being pinned between two vehicles at the power plant in Tower Hill. The tragic incident has left employees at B.S.I/ASR mourning the loss of a dear friend and today the company issued a release on the tragic accident. Although it is still unclear what exactly transpired that resulted in Jimenez being fatally crushed, BSI has launched an internal enquiry into the accident and at the same time, the company is cooperating with all relevant authorities investigating the incident. In their release BSI also extended condolences to the family and friends of Jimenez and has offered support and assistance to the family. As part of the support, the company has also engaged the services of a certified counsellor to support staff and also family members deal with the trauma of the loss.

    LOVE FM

    Lionel Villanueva Dies in RTA
    A road traffic accident early on Saturday morning left a young man dead. Senior Superintendent Linden Flowers, Officer Commanding Precinct four Police Station, stated that on Saturday morning around three o’clock, police reported to mile four and a half on the Phillip Goldson Highway where they discovered the lifeless body of twenty eight year old […]

    FIFA Tells Women: Live Your Goals
    Live Your Goals Campaign is a FIFA-sponsored event that took place in Belmopan for the first time. The campaign was launched by FIFA in several countries where females are being encouraged to play football. Saturday’s event was geared at the females in the northern districts of Orange Walk and Corozal. Idania Ramirez is the Project […]

    PlusTV

    BSI Employee succumbs to work site injuries
    An employee of BSI/ASR was seriously injured Friday afternoon by heavy machinery and has since succumbed to those injuries. Ismael Jimenez has been a mechanic with BELCOGEN since 2012 but reports are that sometime between 1 p.m and 2 p.m. on Friday afternoon, he was pinned between two vehicles. We u...

    VIP stands in support of section 53
    Vision Inspired by the people has weighed in on the discussion in the aftermath of the Chief Justice’s historic decision to strike down section 53 of the criminal code as unconstitutional, thereby making homosexual acts between consenting adults no longer criminal. VIP says it, “..stands in full sup...

    Ryan Rhaburn makes bail on kidnapping charge
    After previous issues stymied attempts to charge manager Ryan Rhaburn with kidnapping of Canadian-Belizeans Lloyd Friesen and his wife, police were able to lay charges earlier this week. Today the Crown did not object to Supreme Court Justice Troadio Gonzalez granting Rhaburn, represented by ...

    Brother Charged for Unnatural Crime
    The 16-year-old brother of an 11-year-old boy from the Cayo District has been remanded for the crime of committing an unnatural act. He was accused of sodomizing his 11-year-old brother at around 3 on the morning of Friday August 12th while the minor was sleeping. The teenager was arraigned on Frida...

    Gay partners in domestic dispute
    23 year old Justin Arnold of Sandhill village has been accused of domestic assault on his gay partner; a male 16 years older than Arnold with whom he has been in a homosexual relationship for 6 months. This case was brought to court just one week after last week Wednesday’s landmark decision by Chie...

    US considering proposals for hurricane assistance to Belize
    The country of Belize is trying to recover from the onslaught of Hurricane Earl which made landfall in the country on August 3rd. According to Prime Minister Dean Barrow, at a press conference on Wednesday, hurricane relief funds have been slow in coming in; only 1.2 million dollars received so far,...

    FFB holds first day of its U-17 Championship
    The Football Federation of Belize held its opening ceremony for its U-17 Championship, a youth cup where teenagers from all parts of the country come with the hopes of one day forming part of the Under 17 National Team. This Championship is currently taking place at the newly renovated Isidoro Beato...

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Rotary Club of Placencia benefits from Tropic Air’s community program
    Tropic Air, Belize’s premier airline, today announced that a check for $450 was presented to the Rotary Club of Placencia to be used to benefit its hallmark community program referred to as “Seniors Sitting Together”. President of Tropic Air, John Grief III, presented the […]

    Orange Walk teachers want their salary increase now!
    La Inmaculada Auditorium in Orange Walk Town was filled to capacity by members of the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) from that municipality. According to President of the Orange Walk BNTU branch, Otilio Muñoz a resounding “No” was heard from teachers to the deferral […]

    One charged for illegal firearm
    Peter Portillo Jr., 28, has been formally arrested and charged for the crime of ‘keeping a firearm without a gun license’. Police reports are that on August 21 sometime between noon, officers were conducting patrol when their attention was drawn to Portillo where a search […]

    Man escapes shooting
    A 35-year-old man is lucky to be alive today after he was targeted00 on Saturday night Belize City police visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) emergency room where they observed Clive Arnold suffering from gunshot wounds to the upper right […]

    Man escapes death after guns jams
    Adolfo Mckoy, 50, is alive today after the gun of his shooter snapped. According to Mckoy, on Saturday August 20th around 11:00 p.m. he opened the door for one Adajjha Gonguez. Upon returning to his bedroom he was confronted by Linsford Acosta who was armed […]

    NEMO Issues Flood Advisory for Southern Belize
    The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) has issued a flood advisory for Southern Belize, particularly villages along the rivers in the Toledo district. NEMO reports that Jacintoville is currently experiencing flooding and Aquacate village is inaccessible as water is 15 ft. above the bridge. Other […]

    Bus conductor hospitalized after highway collision
    An early morning road accident between a passenger bus and a four door car caused a female conductor to be hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) for medical attention. Breaking Belize News was made to understand that the incident occurred near St. […]

    Unstable conditions to continue
    The general situation for today’s weather is for relatively moist and unstable conditions to prevail. The 24-hour forecast is for cloudy skies with a few showers and thunderstorms mainly over the south and along the coast this morning, spreading inland this afternoon and then […]

    Fiona weakens into a Tropical Depression; meteorologists watch two other tropical waves
    Now a Tropical Depression, Fiona has become less organized and continues to weaken at this hour due to 35 mph wind shear from the west and mid-level dry air impacting the system. But while Fiona may weaken more in the next day or two, […]

    Family desperately seeks to find missing relative
    Deron Lizama has been missing for three days and his family is desperate to find him. Kim Lizama, Deron’s sister, told Breaking Belize News in a phone conversation that her brother went out to deliver cargo to the different Cayes on Friday and has not returned […]

    Blogs

    The Scoop: Are Our Beaches Made of Poop?
    A few months ago, I headed to the Truck Stop for a movie presentation by Rachel Graham, shark champion, sea warrior, educator and biologist with the Mar Alliance. She was presenting an episode of The Great Barrier reef narrated by David Attenborough – SIR David Attenborough – and amidst all the talk of polyps and coral reproduction one statement screamed out to me as totally absurd: our white sandy beaches are made of parrot fish excrement. Wait…what? Parrot fish? The beautiful multi-colored clown fish that are constantly gnawing at the reef? They make our beaches? I don’t remember seeing thousands of them on my last snorkel. This seemed incredibly hard to believe. But then…as I often do…I forgot all about it. Yesterday I went for a walk north and sat for a bit…admiring the sand and the tiny shells that are all over. No really…that’s what I was doing. Lots of things washed up on the shores during and after Hurricane Earl, big chunks of coral, lots of sponges, lots of seagrass and seaweed, logs, trees and plenty of pretty little shells. So I got thinking about this bold statement made by the BBC… And I decided to do some research (no…no parrot fish dissections) – some internet research. And I found out that the common parrotfish is one interesting creature. And some think, may be one of the answers for climate change affecting our coral reefs.

    Buses, bikes, boats and burros: getting there is half the fun!
    They say half the adventure is how you get there, and that couldn’t be more true than when you are exploring the beautiful country of Belize. Chances are you arrived to our country via airplane, and you may even have traveled by air to your final destination within Belize, but now this is where the real fun begins! If you are traveling on a budget, or want to experience seeing the country through the window of a bus, this is the number one mode of distance transportation for the majority of Belizeans. Some routes offer express runs as well as standard runs that make frequent stops along the way. There’s no better way to fully immerse yourself into the local culture than on a bus. Not only will you enjoy the views as you pass through villages, mountains, savannahs and countryside, but the people watching and interacting with fellow passengers is half the fun. No matter what means of transportation you use while discovering Belize, chances are they will be great fun and a big part of your fond vacation memories.

    Belize Culture: Ethnic Groups Explained
    Belize is often called a “melting pot” of cultures, but this may be a bit of a misnomer. The Belize cultures are far better described as an elegant latticework of different peoples weaving around and between each other. The term melting pot is inaccurate because Belizeans don’t meld into one homogenous people, but stand out proudly, displaying their ethnicity and sharing their culture. Of course, not melting into one does not ensure segregation, the dynamic of Belize culture effortlessly reflects facets from each group’s influences and food.

    Exploring Southern Belize
    Whether you’re seeking a relaxing tropical getaway or an exotic jungle adventure, Belize is the ideal destination for travelers seeking a break from the ordinary. One particular portion of the country that’s sure to offer memorable experiences is Southern Belize. The Stann Creek and Toledo districts offer a wide variety of breathtaking sights and scenery to intrigue visitors simply spending a weekend, or calling the country their new home. Here’s what you can expect with a trip down south: Belize features a wide variety of ethnic groups, with the Maya and Garinagu being the two most prominent in Southern Belize. These groups have long preserved their rich culture through delicious food, intricate clothing, vibrant music and unique language. With a visit to the Stann Creek and Toledo districts, visitors can immerse themselves in the rich cultures of these ethnicities and more.

    International Sourcesizz

    The peak of the hurricane season – why now?
    Although the Atlantic hurricane season officially began on June 1st, we’re now entering the “season within the season” - a roughly eight-week period that is often the most active and dangerous time for tropical cyclone activity. From mid-August through mid-October, the activity spikes, accounting for 78 percent of the tropical storm days, 87 percent of the category 1 and 2 hurricane days (Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale), and a whopping 96 percent of the major (category 3, 4 and 5) hurricane days. Why does this peak period of activity begin so deep into summer? There certainly is no lack of disturbances throughout the entire six-month hurricane season. Tropical waves are coming off of the coast of Africa roughly every three days, and the very early and late parts of the year provide additional types of potential seedlings. What’s different, though, is the environment that these potential tropical cyclones tend to encounter. Both dynamics (wind factors) and thermodynamics (temperature and moisture) play a role.

    Advocates urged to use Belize judgement to challenge laws criminalising buggery
    One of the attorneys who played a role in the succesful challenge mounted by a gay rights activist against Belize’s homosexuality laws, said local HIV/AIDS advocates could also test similar legislation. Earlier this month, the Belize Supreme Court ruled that the law criminalising same-sex intimacy was unconstitutional after Caleb Orozco, who heads an LGBTQ rights group, challenged Section 53 of the Belize Criminal Code, which banned “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” and disproportionately affected gay men. Attorney and member of the University of the West Indies (UWI) rights advocacy project Westmin James said that it is widely recognised that the buggery laws on the books in regional jurisdictions, save for the Bahamas, constitute a breach of an individual’s fundamental rights. He said the recent judgment in Belize could “definitely” be applied within member states of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

    Belize gets parametric insurance payout for hurricane Earl rainfall from CCRIF
    The Government of Belize has received a payout of $261,073 from parametric insurance coverage provided by the CCRIF SPC (formerly the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility), after torrential rainfall caused by hurricane Earl. Demonstrating the value of a parametric insurance policy and sticking to its stated commitment, the CCRIF SPC paid out to Belize within two weeks of the event occurring. The CCRIF is a parametric risk pool, providing tropical cyclone, earthquake and excess rainfall coverage to countries in the Caribbean and Central American region. Backed by reinsurance capital and a cat bond, the parametric insurance facility has been called on a number of times to make payouts since its launch. Belize is one of the Caribbean and Central American nations covered for torrential rains by the CCRIF, after the country purchased an excess rainfall policy for the first time for the 2016/17 policy year.

    A vacation interrupted by a hurricane
    At the end of each July, most of the travelers from western Virginia heading down to Placencia, Belize, are looking for an inexpensive beach vacation and some diving, snorkeling or rain-forest adventures. They’re also there to distribute school supplies for Bookbag Santa, a tiny Roanoke charity that organizes the annual trip. My wife and I went on that trip last year. This summer, 25 Bookbag Santa travelers got a bit more adventure than they had bargained for. That was courtesy of Hurricane Earl, a deadly category 1 storm that struck Belize while they were there. The first hurricane of the 2016 season, Earl made landfall in Belize City shortly after 2 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 4. That was about 70 miles north of Placencia, a fishing village of about 1,000 people at the southern tip of a 16-mile-long peninsula.

    Videos

  • WATCH! "Flags in the Air" by Jeanie Brooks, 4.5min. Runner up for Belize Song and winner of "Breakout Artist"

  • WINNER, Carnival Song: Wilson Grinage, 3.5min. The song "Soca Session" took top honors in the National Song Competition 2016 category for Carnival Song.

  • Mayan Cosmology - Day 2, 2min.

  • Mayan Cosmology - Day 3, 5min.

  • Scuba diving in the Great Blue Hole, Belize, 14min. Diving at 40m (131 feet) deep with 20m (65 feet) visibility in The Great Blue Hole, Belize.

  • ALKALINE - PERFORM LIVE IN ( BELIZE ) DISSING POPCAAN | GULLY" VENDETTA HE SAID - AUG 2016, 30min.

  • Half Moon Caye Aug 9, 2016, 27min. Half Moon Caye is an island and natural monument of Belize located at the southeast corner of Lighthouse Reef Atoll. This natural monument was the first nature reserve to have been established in Belize under the National Park Systems Act in 1981 and the first marine protected area in Central America. This is also Belize's oldest site of wildlife protection since it was first designated as a bird sanctuary in 1924 to protect the habitat of the red-footed booby birds (Sula sula)

  • Alkaline Tells Fan To Let Go Of His Foot Full Live Performance In Belize|August|2016, 41min.

  • MAN SHIT w/ Sean Murphy - ep 22 - TARPON IN BELIZE (w/ Andrew Zimmern ), 1.5min. Welcome to BELIZE!! A fly-fisherman's paradise. Today Sean meets up with special guest Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre foods to venture out onto the crystal clear flats of Ambergris Caye to find the elusive "Silver King" - otherwise known as the TARPON! He will NOT fail!

  • Interview with Stephen Okeke at Onyx Artifacts Bookstore July 2, 2016 part 3, 18min. The Psychology of The Belize Market Place addresses directly the problems most Belizeans encounter in their efforts at succeeding in small business ventures. It is evident that most Belizeans that go into small business put in more effort than is necessary to succeed; yet many still fail. The author believes that there are underlying factors that when understood and resolved will enable people who start small businesses to channel their efforts in a direction that will ensure success.

  • Freddy Sanchez on practical test in Belize Mixology's Advanced bartender training in Belize., 2min.

  • Mennonite of Belize, 10min. Ethnic Groups of Belize, Shipyard Mennonites.

  • A Belize Destination Wedding - Megan & Marcus Wedding Story, 3min. Megan and Marcus shared vows at their dream beach wedding at Xanadu Island Resort, San Pedro, Belize.

  • Swimming with Sharks in BELIZE, 8min.

  • Belize diving at Southwater Caye August 2016, 15min. Fantasic diving experience with the family during august 2016. Diving together with Belize Underwater Diving Hopkins.

  • WINNER, Belize Song: Cecil "Cocono Bwai" Jenkins, 5min. The song "Border to Border" took top honors in the National Song Competition 2016 category for Belize Song.

  • Aerial Views~ The Great Blue Hole Lighthouse Reef Atoll, 1/2min.

    August 22, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

    Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    Letter to the Editor: Disappointed fire victims
    Letter to the Editor: It’s close to two months after the fire, and the organization responsible for the funds collected finally distributed it to the victims. A huge thanks to all of the people who gave their time and money towards this cause. It is greatly appreciated and so wonderful to have seen the island come together. Sadly, it is a bit disappointing to learn that after a long wait, not only were the victims scolded for putting forth their opinion to the media after the organization wouldn’t listen or offer a clear answer, but also made them feel as they should be grateful to receive money from this organization—as if they were the ones making the donation. It was also very unclear about how exactly the money was divided from the $260,000. Most of the victims only received $400 to $2,000. So the question is, how can these people (fire victims) start over with that kind of money? Why should the property owners get most of the funds? /s/A group of fire victims that were renting

    Wolfe’s Woofer: Fat Man on the Bus
    “Excuse me, Miss,” I said. “Am I stepping on your foot?” The lady in question was hanging on to the same pole that I had grabbed. I was on the bus from Belmopan to Belize and the passengers were jammed in together like pickles in a jar. It was hot and smelled just like a . . . well, you probably already know what a hot, crowded bus in Belize smells like. “No,” she said. “You’re not stepping on my foot.” “Oh, then it must be you stepping on mine,” I told her. She moved her foot and glared at me. My smart mouth tends to get me in trouble and I figured I’d better watch myself. She was three inches taller than me and outweighed me by forty pounds. She also looked as fit as a mixed martial arts fighter.

    San Pedro resident remanded for carnal knowledge
    The consequences of unlawful sex with a fourteen-year-old female, has 32-year-old Edair Dominguez on remand at the Belize Central Prison. Dominguez is accused of the sexual assault on the minor who resides in the same vicinity as him in the San Juan subdivision of San Pedro Town. When Dominguez appeared in court before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, he was read a single charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. At the time of the alleged abuse, the young girl was 14-years and six months of age. According to the report that the mother gave to police, the offense is said to have happened on July 31st at a house on the island. Following a medical examination, it was confirmed that the child had been carnally known. On Monday, August 8th, while at court, Dominguez was read the indictable offense and no plea was taken. He was remanded to Central Prison in Hattieville and is to re-appear in court on September 23, 2016

    Doctor Love: Getting Desperate
    Dear Doctor Love, My wife is never satisfied no matter what I do. We have been married over three years and I have a good job and I work hard to take care of her. Yet, no matter how much money I make she always says it is not enough and that if we had more we could buy this and that. I have given her a nice vehicle but she is not satisfied with it. She is always picking it apart and finding things wrong with it. I am ready for us to have children but she says that we can’t afford to have them until I get a better job. I showed her that I make more money than most of her friend’s husbands but she ignores that. When I threatened to leave her she started crying and said that she acts the way she does because she is bi-polar. She says the disorder overpowers her true personality and makes her act the way she does.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Governance issues in Belize
    by the Belize Progressive Party. In the wake of the chief justice’s decision regarding Section 53 of Belize’s Criminal Code, the Belize Progressive Party (BPP) takes this opportunity to highlight the urgent need for the enactment and utilisation of appropriate governance tools to address a variety of pressing issues facing our society. In keeping with the best practices of good governance, the BPP views this as a watershed moment to underscore the fact that, by placing in the hands of the judiciary matters that ultimately should be voted on and decided by the public, it serves only to limit society to the confines of a legal system that is undoubtedly subject to undue external influences and pressures, as well as other persuasive factors. As Belize’s ever-increasing stressors multiply concerning matters of: social justice, the preservation of moral standards and local cultural norms, as well as fundamental democratic principles, amid the unquestioned, blatant corruption and the accompanying undue pressures brought on by highly influential, outside forces that impinge upon our society at all levels, there are a number of additional social issues which stand to be resolved in a more suitable fashion.

    Ocean Academy needs router brought down
    Are you coming to Caye Caulker next week (before August 29th)? We need someone to carry down a wifi router for our high school. It weighs 4.8lbs and is 10x6x13 inches. Send your mailing address and phone to us and we will ship it asap to you. Also 7 small tablets need transportation. Thank you, in advance, from Ocean Academy staff and students.

    Kid's Campfire Night
    The SISE Town Council is planning a special Campfire Night at the Galvez Stadium as one of the September Celebrations events. All kids are welcome to do their patriotic performances, and they'll get a gift for doing so. Call 804-2035 for more information.

    How you make good bird guides into great birding guides
    The course is ON. We have been challenging them...and they have been responding!

    A few pictures from a busy full day of birding in 4 location
    Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary 45 species - Salt Creek Estate road 29 species and Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, board walk 41 species and Crooked Tree Village, Pine/oak forest 21 species. Many sightings of first arriving migrants and an awesome 100+ of returning Swallow-tailed kites. I got several life birds through this weekend and some of the more rare sights - at least for us birders from the Southern part of Belize.

    The Reporter

    BNTU Orange Walk branch calls emergency meeting for Monday
    The Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) Orange Walk branch has called an emergency meeting with all its members for Monday, August 22nd. The purpose of the assembly is to discuss the Government’s decision to delay the salary adjustment it had promised and had delivered on for the last few years. Soon after Hurricane Earl, Prime Minister Dean Barrow called a press conference and said he was going to have a discussion with the unions over having a delay with the salary increase for public officers and teachers. This was in light of the hurricane relief efforts. The meeting will take place at the La Inmaculada School auditorium starting at 1 p.m.

    Man and woman injured in motorcycle RTA
    A man and a woman were injured in a motorcycle accident on Princess Margaret Drive Sunday morning. The incident occurred before 6:00 a.m., and involved a Ninja bike that crashed into the cement fence near the Princess Hotel and Casino. While both persons were injured, the woman reportedly suffered several broken bones. Police have not released any information about the incident so far, but sketchy information is that the woman was in a serious condition.

    Investigation underway to determine how mechanic was crushed to death at Tower Hill
    An internal investigation will commence at BELCOGEN cogeneration plant at Tower Hill to determine how Ismael Jimenez Jr., 41, a mechanic at the facility was crushed to death Friday afternoon. Jimenez was trapped between two vehicles and suffered serious internal injuries. The mechanic’s co-workers freed him and took him to the Northern Regional Hospital, where doctors performed surgery to try to stop excessive bleeding. When their efforts were only partially successful, they transferred him to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) in Belize City, but he died on the way. Jimenez suffered massive internal injuries to major organs and was bleed profusely internally.

    The Belize Times

    Under The Sea… – DPM’s vehicle plunges into Caribbean Sea
    If pigs could fly…and cars could swim, oh but wait, Minister of Education Patrick Faber’s Ministerial ride did go for a swim on Sunday night when it plunged into the Caribbean Sea off Marine Parade Boluevard. The Minister has a lot of explaining to do, and according to reports, he tried to with an incoherent series of posts on Facebook, followed by a more sober press conference on Monday in which he babbled on about leaving the car in the care of a friend and it being stolen under the friend’s watch. Faber’s version of how the $130,000 luxury 2013 Toyota Prado assigned to his care found its way into the sea is as good as the story of Santa Claus coming down the chimney to leave your kids Christmas toys. According to Faber, he returned to the city from what we understand was an exclusive Caye party earlier the day. Around 7pm, when Government vehicles should be parked, he drove to an undisclosed address at Mile 3.5 on the Western Highway where he left the vehicle with a friend. He then got a lift to Old Belize and a short while after he was informed that his vehicle was under the sea. How odd, right?

    Corozal Mayor’s vehicle wrecked!
    Was it reckless driving that caused Corozal Mayor Hilberto Campos’s almost spanking new Ford truck to veer into a deep drain in Ranchito Village? Residents are now suggesting that UDP politicians get mule and carts to minimise the damage and losses to the country.

    Ladyville man remanded on murder charge
    A Ladyville man was remanded to the Belize Central Prison this morning, after he was arraigned on a charge of murder. Egbert “Eggie” Baldwin, 18, an unemployed from the Japan area of Ladyville appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith who read the single count of murder to him. Ladyville Police charged Baldwin for the August 2 murder of John Michael Williams, who was shot inside his home. Smith, after reading the charge, asked him if he understood what she had just read. Baldwin replied that he understood the charge.

    PUP Leader visits farming areas damaged by Hurricane Earl
    Party Leader John Briceño along with Hon. Julius Espat, Hon. Orlando Habet and Michel Chebat yesterday toured the communities of Spanish Lookout and Valley of Peace to get a first hand look at the damage Hurricane Earl caused.

    Think About It
    Homosexuality is no longer a crime in Belize. The law at Section 53 of the Criminal Code, Chapter 101 had laid down the following: “Every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.” This was a cruel law. But there was a time when sodomy was considered a dirty, nasty and abhorrent act. It was a hard pill to swallow that men should lust and desire to have sex with other men. Thanks to American movies, television, music videos and music and movie stars, Belize has been softening its views over the years. For the young generation in 2016, homosexuality is no big deal. To the churches in Belize, particularly the Evangelical churches and their followers, homosexuality is not merely a crime but a sin of major proportions. The Roman Catholics in Belize, under the seasoned and experienced leadership of the Rt. Reverend Bishop Dorick Wright also strongly believed homosexuality flies in the face of the Almighty God of the Universe. The Bishop’s view and the view of the Pope is that Christians hate the sin but have love and forgiveness for the sinners.

    Let us stay on track
    If ever a society could fit the description of being “chaotic” or interesting” as is described in the above Chinese sayings, it would have to be a place like Belize. For some time now, we have been watching our country descend into a state of chaos, callousness and immorality. Our evening news has become an exercise in despondency and just when we think it has gotten as bad as it can get, things seem to get even worse. Religious leaders are now pointing to the recent Supreme Court ruling that strikes down Sec. 53 of our Constitution as the key that will finally unlock Pandora’s Box and set upon us the hounds of hell. I put it to them that “this box” has been open for some time now and that just maybe, the hatred, bigotry and intolerance currently on display following Judge Benjamin’s ruling, is more a sign of our decadence than the lewd and lascivious conduct associated with homosexuality. To put things in context, we can compare the brevity of our alarm over the recent beheading of a pastor from Belmopan to the staunch and fervent disapproval emanating from certain quarters regarding this recent court ruling. In all fairness, Hurricane Earl did “blow away” much of the disquiet associated with Pastor Lue’s beheading but really, should we be so much more concerned about two consenting adults living together than the fact that we have living among us, those capable of such heinous villainy?

    The UDP’s Mess
    The Barrow administration is meting out its full arrogance, its greed, its corruption, its nepotism, its mockery and hypocrisy towards the poor and dispossessed, its indifference to the voices of dissent AND of reason. This ruthlessness is no longer palatable to the masses-certainly not to the majority of this small multi-ethnic population which has been suffering. The voices of discontent and disdain towards this vision-less and no-good Government administration are slowly becoming a crescendo. There are frightening signs that the attitude of the Prime Minister is that not one single member of the Cabinet can do wrong. So much so that recently when the PM talked about corruption, he preferred to blame “all of Government” and highlighted that this also includes the public officers who are the operators. Unlike the Prime Minister would readily admit, there is evidence that he should look more to his Cabinet’s way. There is strong evidence that money laundering is one of the many favourite crimes of choice for the criminals in Belmopan. The Financial Intelligence Unit, which falls within the Prime Minister’s portfolio in his role as Minister of Finance, has its head in the sand while people in the international business of following money, sees Belize as a money laundering and crime haven.

    Young Belizean Architect Receives Trainings on Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Development in Taiwan
    A Belizean Architect, Mr Kristian Chanona, will attend a workshop in Taipei, Taiwan on the topic of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Development for Latin-America in the first two weeks of August of this year. It is one of the two dozens of workshops Taiwan offers every year as a means to help countries develop and contribute to international community. Kristian is proud to be representing Belize at the workshop, and will share Belize’s perspectives and experiences in this area. Kristian was born on Christmas Eve in 1976. In the midst of holiday celebrations during a family visit to northern Belize, his parents, Al and Candy Chanona, unexpectedly had to cross the Corozal border into Chetumal, Mexico for the nearest hospital to welcome Kristian’s arrival.

    Judge will allow Bradley Pauman to travel to the US
    Bradley Pauman, an American national who owns and operates Dark Knight Tours, a tour guide business in the Cayo District, and who has been accused of four counts of abetment to commit murder, was granted permission to leave the country today, when he and his attorney Herbert Panton appeared before Supreme Court Justice John Gonzalez. On January 15, 2016, Paumen was granted bail in the sum of $50,000 plus one surety of like amount, after police charged him with the indictable offences. Panton told Justice Gonzalez that his client has been adhering to all the conditions of his bail and today he was asking for a variation to his bail conditions which ordered him not to leave the country, unless he gets permission from the court.

    MY PERSPECTIVE – A CRITICAL RULING
    In the early 2000’s I was the chief advocate, cook, and bottlewasher in Maria Roches’ legal challenge of the Roman Catholic School System’s decision to terminate her employment as a teacher in Toledo because she had become pregnant out of wedlock. I was Ambassador/Special Envoy for Children, Women and HIV/AIDS at the time, and together with many tireless advocates in the National Women’s Commission and other agencies, I advised Ms. Roches and obtained legal representation for her so that she could bring the landmark case of Maria Roches v. Clement Wade to the Supreme Court of Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh. I remember many of the occurrences then as if they were yesterday. And I chuckled later when one or two Labour union leaders tried to take all the credit for Ms. Roches’ successful challenge. Senior Counsel Magali Marin Young took on the case, and Women’s Commission members and other feminists and supporters provided backative and support. I can recall very clearly sitting in the packed courtroom for the hearing of the case. By then, now Prime Minister Dean Barrow had joined with Ms. Magali as attorneys for Ms. Roches. My most vivid recollection is that when Senior Counsel Phillip Zuniga tried to invoke the policy of the Catholic school management as to the immorality involved, CJ Conteh, abruptly stopped him and made it clear that the court was not a court of morality or religion. It was a court of law, he said, in making sure not to entertain the argument that Ms. Roches had knowingly violated Church teachings and the Catholic Management’s rules on morality.

    Judge revokes Belize-American woman’s bail
    A Belizean-American woman, who got caught up in the criminal justice system, is in more trouble than she bargained for after she had successfully applied for and received Supreme Court bail on Friday, only to have Justice John Gonzalez revoke her bail upon discovering that she is the holder of a United States passport. Three sisters allegedly decided to beat-up another woman at her house in Dangriga Town. During the assault, they pulled off the top of her clothing and beat her in front of her young children. Dangriga Police charged the three with aggravated burglary, wounding and damaged to property, and when they were arraigned on the charges in the Independence Magistrate’s Court, only one of them who has an advanced pregnancy was granted bail, so the two who were remanded to prison applied for bail at the Supreme Court.

    Cop accused of rape of 15 year old girl, granted bail
    While the Supreme Court is on recess until the September Session commences in a few weeks, the work of the court continues with Fridays set aside for bail hearings in Belize City. A number of persons who were on remand at the Belize Central Prison appeared today before Justice John Gonzalez for bail consideration. Apart from the high profile bail application of Melissa Ferguson, the common-law wife of William Danny Mason, the bail application of Addison Gillett, 53, a police Special Constable, caught the attention of Justice Gonzalez, who read out some of the police’s facts on the charge against Gillett. Justice Gonzalez, before he offered bail to Gillett, noted that he has been accused of a brutal sexual assault of a teenaged minor.

    Hard Knocks
    So who wants to know who was driving that fancy government SUV when it went submarine mode off Marine Parade? Let me tell you who it wasn’t. It wasn’t some really random person who stole it from where it was parked and went on a joyride. That bogus crap was pulled out of a magician’s hat. Everybody knows a certain someone came back from Goff’s Caye a little “happier” than usual and docked along with the babes at Old Belize. Why in the world would someone park at a “friend’s” on the highway and then go back to Old Belize? That’s just plain stupid. The DPM was at Old Belize having some drinks until about 7:00pm. Some say his “friend” was pissed at him because he overdosed on happy juice. A little while after that the government ride was sitting in the Caribbean Sea and Faber was spinning his story. Listen, even the Police don’t believe that tale but you know how things are in Belize. The Police take orders from their political bosses so as far as they’re concerned that is the end of that.

    A Government of Hopelessness
    Seems like all the Prime Minister has been doing lately is calling press conferences to put out fires. Just the other day he was on the hot seat trying to defend his Ministers who were way too cozy with a man who allegedly cut the head off a Pastor and drove around with it in his vehicle. Then he was dealing with his very good friend and head of the GSU Mark Flowers who allegedly sexually assaulted a minor. Then it was back to the hot seat to remove Mr. Saldivar as Minister of Police. There’s no rest for the wicked, because now he will be bashed again for the DPM’s fancy ride taking a swim in the sea. He’ll probably take heat for his DPM’s drinking problem and domestic issues too. And then there’s the situation where another senior Police Officer’s name has come up in a situation with a very young girl. And of course there’s the economy and an increase in GST (very soon) which will make Mr. Barrow very unpopular in a hurry – even more unpopular than he is lately. And then there’s the fact that teachers and public officers won’t be getting their salary adjustment this year, and the cost of fuel going up, and all our industries screwed. And just all in all, everything is just getting worse, for everybody. So Mr. Barrow is not a happy camper.

    Gilroy Usher, Sr. summer basketball to begin in Port Loyola
    All are welcome to enjoy an evening of Basketball at the Cumberbatch Field in the Port Loyola this Saturday, August 20th, 2016. This event which is sponsored by Gilroy Usher Sr. and the PUP Port Loyola Committee will start at 3:30 P.M. sharp. With the exception of Saturday September 10, which is the Tenth Holiday or St. George’s Caye Day, there will be basketball matches at the Cummerbatch field for five consecutive Saturdays from this Saturday August 20th, 2016 to Saturday September 24th, 2016.

    Hurricane Relief for all, not just some
    Here in Orange Walk we are blessed. After our jewel was hit by a storm more powerful than we anticipated, the cleanup continues and life goes on. For all of us, it could have been much worse. This truly was an incredible storm, strong enough to destroy the low-lying bridge connecting San Ignacio and Santa Elena, powerful enough to destroy the iconic Bird’s Isle in Belize City, yet we suffered no loss of life, while tragically the same storm crossing Mexico caused the deaths of thirty-eight persons. I say again, we are blessed, and we must always remember to give thanks for our continued blessings. I use this opportunity today to remind our government, though, that the real damage extends far beyond Belize City. As we’ve seen in past disasters, this administration tends to focus all attention and a majority of its resources in Belize City. I understand the reason why. The UDP holds a majority of the seats in the old capital and it is considered their stronghold. I understand that the Prime Minister’s constituency is in Belize City. So is the Deputy Prime Minister’s constituency. And other very senior UDP ministers. So this is where all the attention traditionally goes. ...

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Fiona weakens
    Tropical storm Fiona is expected to weaken as it moves into unfavorable conditions. At 5:00 a.m. on Sunday Tropical Storm Fiona was located at latitude 22.2 north, longitude 51.7 west and moving toward the west-northwest at 16 mph. The maximum sustained winds are near […]

    BNTU calls urgent meeting with members in Orange Walk
    The Orange Walk branch of the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) urges all members in Orange Walk to attend an emergency membership meeting on Monday, August 22, 2016 at the La Inmaculada R.C. School Auditorium. The meeting will commence at 1 p.m. and the topic of discussion is […]

    Traffic accident on the Philip Goldson Highway
    A traffic accident happened around 4 a.m. on the Philip Goldson Highway near the Belize Road in the Orange Walk District. According to reports, the driver of a red pickup lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a BEL post. Our sources are indicating that […]

    Blogs

    Crunchy Honey Garlic Pork Chops
    Whisk the eggs and 4 Tbs. water together in a shallow dish. Mix the flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in another shallow dish. Dip the chops in the flour, then over into the egg. Then back over into the flour mixture once again. This is what puts the extra crispy coating on the chops. Be sure to get plenty of flour on in this last coating, then shake them a little and place in a pan with about a half inch of oil. Be sure the oil is hot, but not too hot or the chops will cook too fast. You need to get it good and hot and then turn to about medium.

    International Sourcesizz

    Technology Observations From Belize
    In July, I had the opportunity to join a team of 37 people and spend a week helping the citizens in Progresso, Belize, a remote village of approximately 2,000 people. By design, I was fairly disconnected from my “regular life,” but still I thought about what I could learn from a technology perspective during this unique experience. There were certainly some surprises in this area as well as some reminders for when you (or your clients) travel internationally. There was limited electricity, some running water (but no hot water) and dirt roads in Progresso, and yet I had five bars on my AT&T iPhone because of the single cell tower in the center of the village, which was operated by BTL, the government-owned telecommunications service. The connection speed from this one cell tower was surprisingly fast considering the remoteness of our location. I could have conducted a number of work tasks fairly efficiently if I had wanted to (don't tell my office associates — they were very forgiving about my “inaccessibility”). In fact, I was surprised by the large number of adults and teenagers in the village who owned smartphones. Granted it often wasn't the latest version of the iPhone or Galaxy, but it was still surprising given the lack of other resources. They might not have a bank account, but they had smartphones, and they were very proficient in using them.

    HOW I SURVIVED IN CENTRAL AMERICA WITHOUT A CELL PHONE FOR A WEEK
    It felt like my “home away from home.” I spent so much of my childhood and adolescence listening to the mothers of my Belizean friends speak Kriol, eating Johnny cakes in the morning and stew chicken in the evening, and attending more than a few different family gatherings over the years. A dear friend of mine from college invited me with her to visit her family for the first time, and I was excited to say the least. Nothing could compare to actually being in Belize, being hugged by the humidity, embracing the people and the fresh fish panadas. Although I was almost devastated after forgetting to pack bug repellent, I was excited to snap a gazillion photos to document my trip — one of myself at the Mayan Ruins, on a secret beach, of my fish, plantains and rice and beans, even my unwarranted mosquito bites. That plan failed miserably. Although I managed to make it to the island of San Pedro and all the way to secret beach, all my day’s memories were washed away when I concocted this grand idea that resulted in my playing drunk flip cup with my phone while in the water.

    CHEVENING IN BELIZE
    Applications for 2017/2018 Chevening Scholarships are open between 12:00 GMT on 8 August 2016 and 12:00 BST on 8 November 2016 (both midday UK time). Chevening Scholarships are awarded to outstanding emerging leaders to pursue a one-year master’s at any UK university. The scholarship programme provides a unique opportunity for future leaders, influencers, and decision-makers from all over the world to develop professionally and academically, network extensively, experience UK culture, and build lasting positive relationships with the UK. A Chevening Scholarship offers financial support along with the opportunity to become part of the highly regarded and influential Chevening global network. Applicants can choose any course of study at any UK higher education institution. Visit the UK government's website if you would like to learn more about what the UK is doing in your country.

    Videos

  • BLUE HOLE SHARKS BELIZE, 2min. Aug 2016 Resident sharks of The Great Blue Hole Belize.

  • Belize, 5min. Belize- Summer 2016.

  • Lime Cay Belize, 1min.

  • Alkaline August 2016 Concert in Belize, 2.5min. Alkaline Performing live in Belize at the ITVET Compound.

  • Here it is From Belize, the hatching of the sea turtles It was,something to see Very majestic, 1min.

    August 21, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

    Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    Belizekids.org donates second eye screening device to San Pedro Lions Club
    The San Pedro Lions Club is gearing up to provide eye screenings to the children of Ambergris Caye for the new school year. Just a little over a month ago, Canary Coves Resort handed over a Plus Optix eye screening device to the San Pedro Lions. Through Canary Coves, and the non-profit organization Belizekids.org, the San Pedro Lions were privileged to receive another Plus Optix eye screening device, on Wednesday, August 17th. Since November 2015, the San Pedro Lions Club has been conducting an “Eye Screening Program”, and has screened over 1,500 children on Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, and Corozal. The Lions are committed to providing eye glasses for free to children who need them, and parents/guardians who cannot afford them. Now, with the newly donated eye screener, Lion Jan Brown is optimistic that the figures will increase. “By having a second machine, this means that San Pedro can stand on its own. It also means that we will not have to borrow the machines from the mainland, and have to wait turns to use it. We can do better and faster work, and we can now share our machines if we need to,” said Lion Brown.

    Arts Camp Begins at Boca Del Rio Park
    A group of five college students from Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota began the first segment of their free arts camp on Thursday, August 18th at the Boca Del Rio Park. From percussion to coloring to dancing, the camp saw several children ages five to fourteen being taught various art mediums, and how to appreciate art in general. The camp continued on Friday, August 19th, and the second segment will start on Tuesday, August 23rd and end on Wednesday, August 24th at the Central Park. Camp organizer Kimberly Bartling is looking for more children to participate from 10AM to 12PM and 1PM to 4PM. Kids will enjoy percussion classes, crafts, drawing, dancing, singing, as well as games. It is also requested that children bring along their lunch.

    Turtle nesting sites being assessed after Hurricane Earl
    Since the beginning of turtle nesting season, Hol Chan Marine Reserve has scouted and discovered a total of 55 incubating nests for this year. After Category 1 Hurricane Earl made landfall in Belize, there was only hope that the nests were not affected. August is usually the peak period for the nesting season in Belize, and the Ambergris Caye Marine Turtle Program (ACMTP) recently made another assessment post-Earl on Tuesday, August 9th. The three species native to Belize are the Loggerhead turtle (ChleoniaCaretta), the Green turtle (ChleoniaMydas) and the Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricate). After a crew of Hol Chan members and volunteers assessed Robles Beach, they observed that the hurricane brought a lot of debris to the nesting site, and caused erosion to the southern end of the beach. They recorded two nests as hatched prior to the storm, and one nest completely spoiled.

    SPTC begins plans to relocate Water Taxi companies
    A less trafficked, less congested coastline, is what The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) hopes to achieve for the eastern coast of San Pedro Town. In an effort to begin relocating water taxi companies to the International Terminal at the Sunset Board Boulevard, Mayor Daniel Guerrero, along with Area Representative and Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation Honourable Manuel Heredia Jr, representatives from the respective water taxi companies, Department of the Environment, the Belize Port Authority, the Belize Coast Guard and the Hol Chan Marine Reserve conducted as assessment on the back of the island to discuss arrangements for the ease of transition of the water taxi services to the lagoon side. Guerrero made it clear that once all arrangements are completed, the water taxi services will be moved to the international terminal at the back of the island. “We need to ease down on the congestion at the front of the island, and the change of route is for the better as the island continues to develop,” said Guerrero. “The route we are suggesting for them is viable and it will work. It’s just a matter of time when all the arrangements have been carried out to properly facilitate the companies using it.” Guerrero added that the visitors to the island will be treated with beautiful scenery as they reach the island through the lagoon.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Prime Minister Barrow Departs Country
    The Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow will depart the country on today, August 20th to accompany his wife, Mrs. Kim Simplis-Barrow for a medical checkup in Houston. The Prime Minister is expected to return to the country on Thursday, August 25th. The Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Patrick Faber will act as Prime Minister during the Prime Minister’s absence.

    September Celebrations Launch
    The SISE Town Council had their September Celebrations Launch at the Cayo Welcome Center, and the Queen of the West contestants were there too. There was a lot of fire, and fine, entertainment. Thanks, SISE Town Council!

    Wisdom to Respect, Helping Elders
    The Rotaract Club of Benque and Ka'ana are teaming up to create a special fundraiser to aid the Octavia Waight Centre. There will be a fabulous dinner with a special performance by Alberto Rodriguez. The door prize is a night in the Balam Suite.

    Thirsty Thursdays 2nd Anniversary
    Thirsty Thursdays is celebrating its 2nd anniversary next Saturday, August 27th. It's going to be a big affair, and they'll have giveaways through the night. Richie Galvez will be mixing, as will be DJ Khris and Mr. Ros. Happy birthday, Thirsty Thursdays!

    LUCIO!
    He can play a guitar behind his neck. He can play a guitar while playing a saxophone. His repertoire includes originals, classic Belize songs, and Santana. It was amazing to see Lucio and the new generation (including his young grandson on trumpet) play and equally amazing to see the band appreciating Lord Rhaburn at the Belize International Jazz Festival 2016.

    Lord Rhaburn and Lucio Alcoser
    Two legends who can still make great music! 90 years of performing experience between them... Living legends!

    The Reporter

    St. Vincent de Paul Society donates thousands of schoolbags to selected children
    Thousands of schoolchildren will for the next few days benefit from donations of knapsacks with school supplies through the Saint Vincent de Paul Society’s 10th “Back to School” initiative. The Society’s more than 50 volunteers spent Saturday packing the schoolbags with exercise books, pencils, pens and crayons and began to distribute to the children. Marion Marsden, national president of the Society, told the Reporter newspaper that about 2,500 children from the Belize, Cayo and Stann Creek districts will benefit from the donations. The Society fundraises throughout the year and accepts donation in order to reach these goals. Marsden explained that the volunteers are encouraged to give selflessly towards the project.

    Man loses life on Philip Goldson highway
    A man lost his life on the Philip Goldson highway early Saturday morning. The incident happened when Lionel Villanueva was heading towards Belize City at around 3:30 in his vehicle, which began experiencing mechanical problems. The vehicle came to a complete stop in the road at around Mile 4 and Villanueva got out to push the vehicle off to the shoulder of the road. Just then, however, a van traveling behind slammed into Villanueva and his vehicle, killing him on the spot. Police have since issued the driver of the other vehicle with a Notice of Intended Prosecutions. They have also taken a urine sample to test his blood/alcohol level at the time of the accident.

    US military and local firefighters simulate life-threatening training
    A team of US military soldiers this week completed a five-day intense rescue training with close to 80 local firefighters. The purpose of the exercise was to hone the skills of the firefighters in life-threatening situations. To do this, the chief instructors simulated extreme scenarios where people had to be rescued from an accident scene, which entailed cutting a vehicle to extricate a passenger, in one instance; and someone else from a fire, in the other. Fire Chief, Ted Smith explained the technical intricacies of fighting a fire from inside a building: “In a structure when there is a fire, it produces hot gases. To you, you recognize it as smoke…which affects visibility. And of course the fire produces light, but only within the immediate fire area, you will be able to see. So during the exercise, the search and rescue unit was blindfolded, creating a situation similar to entering a structure that is not directly impacted by the blaze, but the hot gas within the structure spread around.”

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    UN envoy hails “significant human rights landmark” of Section 53 decision
    Dr Edward Greene, United Nations (UN) secretary-general’s special envoy for HIV and AIDS in the Caribbean, has congratulated Belize following the Section 53 decision on August 10, calling it a significant human rights landmark. “This decision … is as important as the judgment of Chief […]

    Activist calls for fight against corruption
    Today is the first day of a planned 3-day rally event called by Raymond Rivers of Belize City. It is not clear what will take place but the event was scheduled for the Marion Jones Stadium. Rivers published a list of demands on Facebook, […]

    Saturday morning accident claims one life
    An early morning accident on Saturday has claimed the life of Lionel Villanueva. We have been unable to get official details from police. Love News published on its Love News Facebook page that Villanueva was travelling on the Philip Goldson Highway when he experienced mechanical problems […]

    Minister of Defense attends two day conference
    Minister of Defense John Saldivar, is attending a two-day conference in Punta Gorda with senior officers from the Belize Defense Force (BDF). In a press release issued today the Government’s press office said the purpose of the annual conference is to apprise and update […]

    PM Barrow departs the country
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow will depart the country today to accompany his wife Mrs. Kim Simplis-Barrow for a medical checkup in Houston. Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Patrick Faber will act as Prime Minister during the Prime Minister’s absence. The PM is expected to return to […]

    Belize: The LGBTQIAXYZLMNOP, The Business Community and The Constitution
    The LGBTQIAXYZLMNOP community in Belice pooled enough resources and human brain muscle over the years….with which they sustained a challenge to the Constitution of Belize….and the courts and politicians recently rolled out the red carpet for them, agreeing with them that the sodomy law […]

    Putting Poverty Into Perspective: When Money Talks And No One Listens
    By: Leon Westby Make no mistake about it, the government is not responsible for our success in life. Ultimately, a man’s wealth is his own to make. Or as Emerson so eloquently put it, “no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil […]

    Blogs

    This, That and a Bit of Complaining on Ambergris Caye
    Things around here are feeling back to normal…late August on Ambergris Caye. Hot days, hot nights, a bit of rain and…from my perspective more tourists than usual. I do not work in a bar, restaurant, hotel or at one of the airlines so I have no numerical proof. But my guess is more – I’m seeing large groups of young people around the island, more people getting off the water taxi with backpacks. You let me know if you agree. Earl is definitely not going to hold us back. Many docks are still in need of repair after Hurricane Earl but much of the town is back to business as usual. And it feels good. Here are some snapshots of the gorgeous weather this week. We did have a few rain showers but man…pretty. And thank GOODNESS for the breeze. Tacklebox: After 2 years of being closed, the 2nd oldest bar on the island is re-opening. Big Daddy’s is the first. The famous Tacklebox then Shark’s Bar then Tacklebox now Island Tackle. I managed the place for 3.5 years (OY!) late 2007 to mid-2011 and now it has changed hands after a lawsuit…

    Lemon Pie
    Preheat oven to 350F / 180C degrees. Brush a square baking dish with melted butter. Crush graham crackers Then add in sugar and butter and blend to mix. Press mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Bake until lightly browned, 8 to 12 minutes. Cool crust, 30 minutes.

    Videos

  • Belize: Garifuna!, 3min. Today we learned more about the diverse people of Belize. The Garifuna have a rich culture that they preserve.

  • Belize Jazzfest 2016, 2min. The cuban group performing.

  • Honeymoon on Ambergris Caye, Belize, 5min. Hanging out at El Pescador, fly fishing, exploring Lamanai, and taking a catamaran trip to Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Shark Ray Alley, and Caye Caulker!

  • Lighthouse Reef Belize, 5.5min.

  • Snorkle Fun Day at Hol Chan Marine Reserve & Shark-Ray Alley near Ambergris Caye, Belize, 4min. Just a fun day of snorkeling and swimming at Hol Chan Marine Reserve & Shark Ray Alley just off the coast of Ambergris Caye, Belize. Thanks to XSite Belize Sailing & Charters for taking us out. Even though it was rainy, fun was had by all.

  • Ambergris Caye, Belize 2016, 3min. My wife and I took a quick trip to Belize in April 2016. We stayed on an island off the coast at an awesome new resort that was 90% empty which is why there are very few other people in any of the footage. We got scuba certified and had a great time snorkeling, kayaking, and all kinds of other cool things. Our friend Luis also drove us around the mainland on our last day and took us to the ruins at Altun Ha.

  • Voyage Guatemala - Belize 2016, 9min. guatemala, belize, antigua, tikal, sumucchampey, flores, lagoatitlan, cayecaulker, bluehole, diving.

  • Rachel Graham: Sharks in Belize Changing Attitudes, 23min. Changing Entrenched Beliefs and Encouraging Long-Term Conservation: Lessons from the Shark World

  • The Great Blue Hole Lighthouse reef, Belize Aug 9, 2016, 13min. The Great Blue Hole- One of the World's Best Dive Sites... Approximately 80 km / 50 miles (2.5 hour) boat ride from San Pedro-Ambergris caye


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