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Set your calender dates to August 3, 4, 5 & 6 because those are the confirmed dates for the San Pedro International Costa Maya Festival 2006. Committee members met earlier this week to once again start planning for the most anticipated festival in the country. And planning starts early because organizing such a huge festival takes much time and preparation. Already on the minds of organizers are all the top notch entertainers for this year festival, in particular the main performance on International Night.

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The San Pedro Lions Club officially crowned Miss Delsie Graniel as their new club queen for 2006 this past Saturday, April 1. Delsie Graniel was asked by the Lions Club to represent them throughout the year’s activities and events both locally and abroad.

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Policies are now laws - In the wake of several disturbing incidents involving tourists visiting Belize, last week the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) officially notified tour guides and operators around the country that they are now working under new rules. According to B.T.B.’s product development manager, Anthony Mahler, high on the list of laws is the fact that guides conducting marine tours must now do so at a ratio of eight tourists to one guide; and for terrestrial trips, there can be only fifteen visitors to one guide.

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This week and next you will notice a whole set of well-dressed up young men and ladies going to the various offices and business establishments. You will not even recognize them as students of San Pedro High in their regular uniforms because they look so professional in their business attire. For two weeks these students will be participating in their yearly office training where they put into practice what they have learned in theory at school.

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For the past weeks the Town Council has kept busy promoting their latest campaign entitled – “La Isla Bonita es mi casa and I like mi casa clean. Stop Littering!” Numerous work-a-thons, advertising campaigns and other propaganda have been made to instill this message on all island residents.

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The Commissioner of Police is pleased to announce that Police Constable #900 Dwayne McCulloch has been selected as Police Officer of the Month for the month of March. PC McCulloch is a five year veteran of the department and is currently attached to the San Pedro Police Station. PC McCulloch was once a stable part of the Albert Street patrol in Belize City and worked for three years in Belize City before being transferred to San Pedro.

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It has been said that San Pedro is a very proud community, a united community, a community with a high level of self-respect. Could this be rhetoric or is this something that can be proven. Well, if coming together to support a noble cause is any indication of unity, San Pedro has proven it with another successful “Radiothon” that raised $75,000 in a record 5 hours.

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Lucilo Guerrero wins $65,000 - For the second time in as many wins, a resident of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, is the latest Lotto winner. San Pedrano Lucilo Guerrero, owner of the Barrel Bar, said that his lucky numbers were 8, 10, 12, 15, and 17, the ages of his wife’s younger relatives. Guerrero realized he had won on Tuesday and early Wednesday morning walked into the Lotto offices in Belize City to claim his prize of $65,000. After taxes, he took home $55,250.

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Belize’s largest airline, Tropic Air, announced a record year in passenger travel and cargo sales for the year 2005. And even 2006 has gotten off to a great start as flight records have been broken and surpassed in air travel for the company. In a statement given to Tropic Air employees, Tropic’s CEO Steve Schulte credited the increase to the hard work and efforts of the airline’s employees to build the customer base and maintain customer loyalty.

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Mechanical problems suffered by a golf car being driven by a young woman caused an accident this past Tuesday afternoon on Coconut Drive at the intersection with Seastar Street. The black golf car backed up on a fruit vendor who was sitting near her place of business on the street corner, as onlookers, including the vendor’s son, quickly rushed to aid the accident victim.

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The Tourism Class at San Pedro Junior College held an interesting debate at the Lions Den last Thursday, April 6, and the intellectuals had the opportunity to expound on their ideas whether foreign investors bring good to our island or more harm than good. Of course the young and restless sixth form students did a lot of research and had interesting points to support their allegations, both on the proposition team as well as the opposition squad.

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Just in time for the Easter holidays, Casa Pan Dulce is introducing a whole new line of enticing delicacies, including the savory “Bocadillos” and gusty cake flavors. The island’s premier bakery has now over 70 different kinds of breads, pastries, and specials offered to their loyal island customers through their two outlets, stores and restaurants in San Pedro.

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Ambergris Today was the first media to break the story about the dangerous Lionfish and its trek from the United States to the Caribbean back in September of last year. And a couple weeks ago we published the reports of the first sighting of the “Reef Killer” in the Belizean waters, particularly at the Turneffe Atoll.

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In a well attended event at Central Park, the UDP convention seemed very upbeat with the general message that a lot of progress has come to San Pedro under its tenure and that it is our duty to keep this progress alive and going.

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Preparedness for Pandemic Influenza - With the constant change of weather many people have been getting sick with the flu, so Ambergris Today decided to contact Dr. Javier Zuniga for friendly advice and we learned more than we expected. Dr. Zuniga explained to us that the Government of Belize along with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) held a two week training workshop to help detect and respond to outbreaks of Severe Acute Respiratory Infections (SARI), with emphasis on Human Influenza.

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On Tuesday, January 27, 2009 the San Pedro Boat Parade Committee handed out donations to two island organizations. A check of $1,000 was handed by Jan Brown (Chairlady of Boat Parade Committee) to the San Pedro Aids Commission in support for their educational program and Fred Somes (Committee Member) handed out a check of $500 to the Holy Cross Anglican School to assist them with their food program which serves breakfast and lunch to over 400 students at the school on a daily basis.

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Crime in Belize is a serious issue and what better way to address this situation than having well trained Police Officers and Criminal Investigation Officers so that they can properly handle these situations and to properly carry out investigations. A total of 30 detectives including one of San Pedro’s officer and Caye Caulker’s Officer are taking a Crimes Investigation Training Course which started on Monday, January 19 and is scheduled to finish on Friday, January 30.

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Holy Cross Anglican School gratefully thanks Rendezvous Restaurant and Wet Willy's for hosting two very successful benefits last week. Internationally acclaimed singer/song writer, Ms. Jill Holly, preformed at both benefits. Ms. Holly generously donated her time and delighted audiences with her musical ability, talent and charm.

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This past week San Pedro Police had its hand full investigating several cases on the island. The biggest and scariest case was that of a triple murder that has the town shocked and has the San Pedro Police Department on high alert. The Department has now claimed that the gruesome murders are all connected with the 25 kilos of cocaine found about three weeks ago in North Ambergris Caye.

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Most of us did not see them touring the island and taking pictures all over the place, but a group of models were in San Pedro in late November/early December for a photo shoot for Buckle’s Spring 2009 campaign.

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