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One dead in early Sunday shooting

San Juan area

San Juan area

San Pedro Sun | UPDATE: The San Pedro Police have reason to believe that the gunshot victim – now identified at Bijan Wade – was beaten/tortured at a different location, and then was apparently driven home in a golf cart where he was dropped off in front of his house. He was then shot in the head at least once, although there were multiple shots heard. Quick work by the Police has located the golf cart that is believed was used to transport the victim. Anyone with further information is asked to please contact the San Pedro Police Station (226-2022). Police are looking for two suspects.

At around 6:00am, The San Pedro Sun received a call that a young man lay dying on the street in the San Juan area as a result of a shooting. He was still alive when daylight broke, and Police scrambled to locate a doctor and nurse, then transported him to the San Pedro Poly Clinic II, where he was officially pronounced dead at 7:15am.

Police have not released the name of the victim, as family has not been notified. However, according to witnesses at the scene of the crime, it is believed that the shooting was the end result of a fight that escalated to yet another senseless murder.

Sueño Del Mar Closes – Timeshares Act put to the test

Sueño Del Mar Belize

Sueño Del Mar Belize

San Pedro Sun | Many who visit San Pedro leave with a dream of some day owning a piece of Belize. Sueño Del Mar offered a new concept in resort ownership called fractional living. Now the 140 families who invested in this property are living a nightmare since the property closed its doors in mid-September as a result of falling into receivership.

In an interview with Kevin Meyer, former Sueño Del Mar manager, The San Pedro Sun found out that after much consideration, management decided to close on September 12th as they determined their next course of action. On September 13th, receiver Mark Hulse was appointed by British Caribbean Bank to take over Sueño Del Mar. Once control was handed over, the receiver relieved the staff of their duties and shut down the resort.

The debate now is if investors in Sueño Del Mar are protected by The Timeshare Act of Belize. In October, club members and part owners of Sueño Del Mar started copying letters to the The San Pedro Sun, wherein their concerns were relayed. The common sentiment in the letters is that the owners’ rights are not being considered. One letter in particular states, “As members, we are no longer allowed to visit or stay at the Resort. Our personal property is under the Receiver’s control… the Bank will not recognize the membership interests, and that the mortgage will cut off the Club and its members entirely.

He says the Timeshare Act does not apply, and that he has “six legal opinions” saying the members have no rights. On the bank’s behalf, he says that the only way the members will ever see the Resort again is if they buyout the bank’s mortgage position. To do that he says, the members must pay all of the principal and the accrued interest which has retroactively been set at 15% per annum…” (more…)

Miracle for Baby Maddy

Baby Maddy

Fundraisers for Baby Maddy

San Pedro Sun | Madlyn Mishelle Eiley, was born to parents Michael Eiley and Kristy Rodriguez, on September 24th 2010. Her birth brought un-surmounted joy to the lives of both parents. This joy however, was short lived, as they soon became aware of a life threatening medical condition that “Baby Maddy”, as she was known by loved ones, was suffering from.

Baby Maddy was diagnosed with abnormal atrioventricular connection, incomplete mitral valve atresia, arial septal defect, and mild tricuspid regurgitation. This news came as a shock to both parents as well as loved ones. Research into the condition surfaced information that the condition can be remedied, and an initial surgery tallying at around US$80,000.00 would be the initial phase in what could be a long journey towards a healthy “Baby Maddy”. Surgery as well as treatment will require that Baby Maddy, along with guardian, travel abroad. With the current economic situation within the country, parents and loved ones are worried, but hate to think that this precious gift from God, would not be able to live a full life. With faith in God, and a steadfast spirit to save Baby Maddy, friends, family and loved ones have embarked on their journey to raise funds and muster support for this precious angel. (more…)

NEMO holds last meeting to officially Close the Hurricane Season 2010

Belize Hurricane Season

Belize Hurricane Season

San Pedro Sun | Hurricane season 2010 started on June 1st and promised to be one of the most active in recent years. With twenty names listed: Alex, Bonnie, Collin, Danielle, Earl, Fiona Gaston, Hermine, Igor, Julia, Karl, Lisa, Matthew, Nicole, Otto, Paula, Richard, Sharry, Thomas, Virginie and Walter, hurricane season 2010 was well underway. For us here in Belize, the threats didn’t start until September 14th.

What started off as an area of interest, I92L out in the Caribbean, moved westward and reached tropical storm status “Tropical Storm Karl” late Tuesday afternoon, September 14th. At about 7:30am on Wednesday September 15th, the center of tropical storm Karl made landfall just north of the country of Belize, passing through and going towards Chetumal, Mexico with maximum sustained winds of about 45 mph. The extent of the tropical storm covered the area between San Pedro and Belize City, covering the Orange Walk and Corozal Districts and northward over the Yucatan Peninsula. This was the first threat that placed the country on high alert and even made landfall.

This was followed shortly after by Matthew and Richard. Hurricane Richard was the 17th named storm and the 10th hurricane of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season.

Richard developed from an area of low pressure that stalled in the Caribbean Sea in mid-October. It slowly organized and was declared a tropical storm and given the name Richard on October 20th 2010. At around 5:40pm on October 24th, Hurricane Richard made landfall about 20 miles south-southeast of Belize City at peak intensity with wind gusts of about 90-100mph. (more…)

Duo remanded to prison in connection with San Pedro robbery

Wings Department Store

Wings Department Store

Love FM | Two men have been arrested, charged, taken to court and remanded to the Hattieville Prison following the robbery of Wings store and its manager last week. The two men are 33 year old Oliver Peters of a Belize City address and 31 years Edward Barona of DFC Area in San Pedro Town.

According to police, sometime around 8:05pm on Wednesday, November 17th, the Manager of Wings Store, 39 year old Pakarshi Wadhwa, reported that he was attacked, robbed and injured by two men of dark complexion. Wadhwa told police that he was heading to his apartment located on the third floor of the building when he was attacked. Initial police investigation reveals that Wadhwa had just closed the store, located on the ground floor and was entering his apartment when he was ambushed inside.

While in his apartment, the men took away his gold chain and his cellular phone and also his wife’s cellular phone and a gold anklet. The men then proceeded to escort him to the ground floor, which houses Wings Store where they stole an undisclosed amount of money. One of the two culprits then took a hammer and hit him twice in the head injuring the well shaken Wadhwa, after which they made good their escape. (more…)

Back From Our Trip

Joey Stevens in Ambergris Caye Belize

Joey Stevens in Ambergris Caye

One Caribbean Weather | Well, Joey and I made it back on the air today after a whirlwind tour of Curacao, Puerto Rico and Belize. We had a great time and want to thank all the nice people we had a chance to visit and meet on all three of our stops. There are some great shots of Joey and I in San Pedro Belize on Taco Girls Blog, you can view them at…..I think we will be home for awhile but I will continue to update you on our adventures so keep checking back here. I want to thank Jim and Crystal at Banana Beach Resort in San Pedro for putting us up while we were on the island, they have a beautiful resort down there and the staff is excellent!! Well I gotta go for now, my beak is getting tired from pressing these keys…it’s great to be back and Joey and I missed you all. Keep watching…..

Tropic Air adds new Cessna Caravan to fleet

Tropic Air Belize

Tropic Air's New Cessna

San Pedro Sun | This week, Tropic Air received yet another new Cessna (208B) Caravan. It arrived in San Pedro, directly from the Cessna factory in Wichita, Kansas, on Wednesday, November 17th, and represents an investment of over $4 million dollars in the future, economy and people of Belize.

Tropic now has eight Caravans in its fleet with five more on order. This new aircraft is part of Tropic’s commitment to providing its customers with the most comfortable and technologically advanced aircraft. It also continues with the fullfillment of the airline’s pledge of constant fleet renewal.

The new Caravan comes complete with the Garmin G1000 glass cockpit system and air conditioning which will ensure that its customers fly in safety and comfort. It will provide the additional airlift needed for the tourism industry and for new destinations such as Belmopan.

So on your next flight, be sure to see if you are on their newest baby. Look for the tail number V3-HHK.

New roadway south of airstrip causes concern

San Pedro Roads

Blocked Canal Access

San Pedro Sun | Last week The San Pedro Sun was informed of a new pathway that was created directly south of the airstrip’s fence. Upon investigating the area we found what appears to be a new roadway connecting Hope Street and the street directly in front of the property owned by Island Construction. The roadway measures about 10 ft wide and approximately 200 feet long and passes over two drainage canals that run parallel to southern end of the airstrip.

Providing drainage under the filled in crossing for the eastern canal are four 8″ PVC pipes intended to allow the flow of water from one side to the other. The western canal was filled with dirt about six to twelve inches in depth. Residents of the surrounding area grew concerned that the chances of major flooding could occur at the southern end of the airstrip, as the culverts, in some resident’s opinions, do not seem to be able to provide adequate drainage in the event of a major thunderstorm, and hence would cause quick flooding of the airstrip.

The San Pedro Sun met with Mr. Jim Zykan (Manager) and Mr. Craig Pruitt (Owner) of Island Construction respectively as part of our investigation. Island Construction accepted responsibility for the “re-creation” of the roadway to gain access to town, as there was a pre-existing street several years ago and offered an explanation for their actions. (more…)

Tropic Air plans expansion to Honduras and Guatemala

Tropic Air Belize

Tropic Air Belize | Belize-based Tropic Air intends to introduce new flights to Honduras and Guatemala within the next 12 months. Carrier chief executive Steve Schulte tells ATI at the 2010 ALTA leadership forum the carrier has already started the process to gain authority to launch service to Honduras, and is examining option for acquiring larger, twin engine turboprops for new service to Honduras.

Tropic Air is planning an expansion of its Cessna 208 fleet, which currently stands at seven, according to the Flightglobal ACAS database . The carrier on 17 November took delivery of a new aircraft to replace another it recently sold, and plans to add two additional Cessnas by the fall of 2011.

Schulte says Tropic Air should reach record passenger numbers it recorded in 2008 beginning this month and continuing through October 2011, after the number of passengers the airline carried fell 15%-16% during the first few months of 2009.

The timing of the recession actually helped Tropic Air, he says, as most tourists to Belize plan their vacations a significant amount ahead of time. He also states a large number of condo owners with properties in Belize continued to travel during the recession.

Schulte reveals that Tropic Air intends to apply for ALTA membership after the conference.

One arrested for Wings robbery

Wings Department Store San Pedro

Wings Department Store

San Pedro Sun | San Pedro Police have confirmed the detention of one person as part of their investigation into the robbery that occurred last night at Wings Store. While no official release has been made by the Police Department, The San Pedro Sun was able to confirm the detention of male of a Belize City address.

Sometime around 8:30 last night, Pakarshi Wadhwa, the manager of Wings Store, located on Coconut Drive in San Pedro, was heading to his apartment located in the second floor of the same building when he was attacked. Wadhwa had just closed the store, located on the lower flat of the building when he was ambushed inside his apartment building and was beaten in the head before robbed of two cellular phones and an undisclosed amount of money both in cash and checks.

It is uncertain how the man gained access to the upper flat of the building but according to attendants in nearby establishments, they were alerted by screaming coming out from the upper flat of the building. When they came out to see, they realized that a robbery was taking place, and that someone was being hurt. Wadhwa was rushed to a private clinic and the police was quickly alerted. Police responded promptly and managed to mobilize patrols and conducted searches in the general area.

The San Pedro Sun understands that at least two people were involved in the robbery but police would only say that one person has been detained. How did police come up with the arrest in such a short time? The Sun confirmed that after the surveillance cameras were reviewed, images captured the incident as it unfolded. Hence with the help of surveillance cameras images, police were able to apprehend an individual that fits the images caught on the surveillance cameras.

Wadhwa was airlifted last night for further medical treatment in Belize City shortly after midnight but has since been released and is recuperating at home. This is the second robbery in less than 2 days. On Wednesday, Marina’s Store Extension Shop in the DFC area was robbed in broad daylight.

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