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A New Year brings hopeful resolutions, new opportunities, and for Ambergris Caye, lots of rain. It has also brought a group of 12 students from Montana State University sponsored by the School of Architecture who come to work on their school projects and at the same time create beautiful plans and suggestions that our Town Council may use to beautify and/or improve conditions on the island.

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Twenty two graduate students from Christopher Newport University (CNU) in Virginia, and three education professors, spent two weeks at Holy Cross Anglican School in January. The project was part of a service learning course in the CNU Master of Arts in Teaching program. The graduate students entered Holy Cross classrooms to act as partner teachers where they assisted in planning lessons, managing student behavior, and taught for two hours a day so the classroom teachers could attend the in service training provided by the education professors.

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The Second Annual Lobster Fest is set for four days of fun activities Beginning on June 14th and culminating on the 21st of June with a major block party on Barrier Reef Drive.

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Carnaval 2006 lived up to its theme of “Musica, Alegria y Color” and nowhere else was this more obvious than with Flora’s Carnaval Group. For the third consecutive year, this group of Carnaval enthusiasts took to the streets to bring joy and laughter to the residents and tourists of “La Isla Bonita.” Joining forces with this group was The San Pedro Airline – Tropic Air who sponsored this year’s Carnaval group with the hopes of encouraging other businesses to also get involved and thus making Carnaval a bigger and better celebration.

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Twenty five kilos of cocaine are off the streets of San Pedro Town after a local resident turned the drugs in to police. According to the Head of the San Pedro Police Department Assistant Superintendent Dennis Arnold, at about 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 14, a resident who preferred to remain anonymous handed over to police a bag containing 25 packs of cocaine each weighing one (1) kilo.

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Press Release – Ambergris Caye Local Building Authority – February 26, 2008 - A temporary moratorium is in place on all applications seeking approval for the construction of piers on the island. The proliferation done in complete disregard to due process and in relocation of criteria has given cause for great concern to the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC).

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The San Pedro 5-a-side court was converted to a basketball court as San Pedro hosted the first ever semi-pro basketball game on Saturday, March 18. The grounds were packed and the bleachers were at maximum capacity as basketball fans went to cheer for San Pedro’s first semi-pro basketball team. And the fans had reason to be happy and cheer as the Tiger Sharks took the win against Corozal’s Northern Uprising 79 to 66. It was an exciting match with Northern Uprising never taking the lead; the Tiger Sharks dominated the game.

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A press release by the San Pedro Town Council was sent to inform the general public, that, as recommended by the San Pedro Town Council, the Minister of Defense, Housing, Youth and Sports, Hon. Cordel Hyde, has appointed the following persons to serve as the Local Building Authority of San Pedro Town for a period of two years; Chairperson: Mayor Elsa Paz, Council Representative: Mr. Rigoberto Kumul, Members: Mr. Daniel Guerrero, Mr. Miguel Guerrero, Mr. Raul Gonzalez, Mrs. Pinita Verde and Mr. Winston Franklin Panton.

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San Pedro Business Association Tackles Issues - The San Pedro Business Association held its February 2008 General Meeting at El Divino Restaurant on Friday, February 22. At the head table for the meeting were Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Deputy Mayor Joseph Elijio, Elito Arceo and Terry Anderson. Issues addressed at the meeting were taxes, crime, garbage and the master plan among others. BDF Help Decrease Crime

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A new and much needed undertaking has emerged on the island that will prove to be a vital part of the islands rescue and medical services. Sterling Vorus of Island Ferry is currently training his staff to handle many emergencies such as rescuing stranded boaters, first aid, search and rescue, evacuations and ambulance service for the north end to San Pedro and/or to Belize City.

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On Thursday night last San Pedro High was shining like the stars at the Bliss Institute for the Creative Arts. One gold award for the San Pedro High School Band and two gold awards for the dance group organized by the student themselves. This was the result of their performance at the National High School Festival of Arts sponsored by NICH (National Institute of Culture and History) and the Institute of Creative Arts. The event had been on hiatus for over 20 years but was brought back by NICH this year.

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Rich Grimm is back with over 110 skydivers this year in his fourth annual Boogie In Belize. Close to 100 jumpers have taken to the skies every day since Sunday, February 23, as skydivers from around the globe have joined the “Boggie” to marvel at the exotic location of Ambergris Caye, Belize. The sad part of the story is that this might be the last Boggie In Belize since they are losing the landing sight to development and there seems to be no other alternative for the team of skydivers to do a repeat next year.

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Why is it that the contractor responsible for completing the side parallel streets in town decided to close down three streets at the same time and create such havoc on the already traffic congested streets of San Pedro Town?

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Speculations abounded last week in San Pedro regarding the prime lot located on Barrier Reef Drive, which presently houses the offices of the San Pedro Tour Guide Association (SPTGA) and is familiarly known on the island as the old credit union lot. It is understandable that anybody would be interested in the purchase of this prime property, be it a business, an inverstor, or any other party.

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On Tuesday, February 26, Inspector Andrew Ramirez, Staff Officer for Deputy Commissioner of Police was on the island to check out security guards and companies to make sure that every security guard is licensed and that the laws are being followed by the company.

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In the globalized world, low wages are important in developing countries, and that’s why the government-appointed a minimum wage council and took six months to come up with recommendations for a new minimum wage. The council was appointed in May of last year and submitted its report to the Minister of Labor, Francis Fonseca, on Friday December 29.

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Mayor Elsa Paz and her six councilors met with the Ambergris Caye Chamber of Commerce this past Thursday, March 23, at their weekly scheduled meeting and were able to address some current issues that the Town Councilors are working on. Mayor Elsa Paz first congratulated the Chamber on all its accomplishments and dedication to its efforts in bettering San Pedro for all its residents and tourists alike. She also thanked the Chamber for their support during the election campaign and for the voters who voted for her and her councilors.

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Frank Edwards is the man to beat at the Horseshoe Pitching competitions that take place every Sunday at the Crazy Canucks Bar hosted by Don Turner at the Exotic Caye Beach Resort. Nobody seems to be good enough to beat the champ as he remains undefeated for more than 30 weeks now. Ambergris Today got invited to spend a Sunday afternoon at Crazy Canucks and witnessed the friendly game of Horseshoe Pitching where the winner goes home with cash winnings.

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Belize Natural Energy discovered oil in Spanish Lookout 8 months ago. Since then, there has been a sense of cautious optimism because finding oil in three wells does not mean that there are commercial quantities. Last Thursday, that caution was officially thrown to the wind when the announcement was made that Belize indeed has oil in commercial quantities.

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Belize was outstandingly featured in a half page article in Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel dated March, 2006. As a consumer magazine, published on a monthly basis, the Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel positions itself as a publication written for the average American who seeks value in leisure travel, providing them with practical, service-oriented travel journalism on affordable vacations. It currently has a circulation of 550,000 within the United States.

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