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Dis da di Bling Soljahs! The newest reggaeton/hip hop music band to hit the island debut their driving drum-machine tracks this Tuesday on the Reef Radio’s early morning show, getting rave reviews from radio listeners for their music. The tracks, including the hits “Dueña de mi Corazon” and “Esposa Mia” will soon be recorded for the Bling Soljahs’ new CD, which will be hitting the Belizean market very soon.

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Police treating case as murder, but not ruling out suicide - Several persons have been detained for questioning in regards to the death of Otto Rodriguez Jr., whose body was found sometime around 9:30 p.m. last Wednesday, April 12, inside his apartment room on Sea Grape Street, located south of San Pedro Town near the San Telmo area. Twenty five year-old Rodriguez, the son of beloved island doctor Otto Rodriguez, was found lying lifeless on his back on his bed with a plastic bag covering his head and a brown belt tied around his neck.

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Golf car accident victim Julia Mangear, popularly known as the “fruit stand lady”, was in critical condition this Wednesday as of press time, struggling with complications that emerged after undergoing two surgeries at a Belize City hospital. Julia’s poor family were also struggling at the same time to meet the mounting medical bills being incurred due to the surgeries at the hospital and were seeking assistance with the costs.

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Belize’s first major Reggaeton bashment hit San Pedro, Ambergris Caye and Belize City over the Easter holiday weekend with a concert that featured both local and international artists.

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The Saga Society held its first annual Easter Raffle on Sunday, April 16, 2006 at BC’s Bar and Grill as part of their “Hundred Days for a Hundred Neuters/Spays Campaign.” It was a fun-filled event that helped raise $1,400 for the charitable organization.

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Once again, the San Pedro Smile Center has provided over 100 children and adults with a healthier smile, as a team of volunteer dentists from the U.S.A. conducted a free dental hygiene clinic for one week at the Polyclinic II. The team of highly-experienced dentists rendered dental care services to school children from Isla Bonita Elementary, New Horizon Adventist School, and Island Academy, as well as many adults.

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Lions, youths, friends, and the general public are all invited to attend the 29th Lions Zone 59 Convention, which will be taking place in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, this weekend, from Friday, April 28 to Sunday the 30th. The yearly gala event for the Lions of Belize was last held in San Pedro in 2001, during the 24th Zone 59 Convention.

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Members of the board of directors of the McClenaghan Center of Hospitality Training at Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio visited the island last week upon invitation from Patty Arceo, member of the international board of directors. Board members of the center met in San Pedro to formulate a program which will provide island residents the opportunity to receive hospitality training courses in the tourism sector (hotels, restaurants), in particular tour guide and eco tour guide training.

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Fundraising efforts to cover the medical costs of Julia Menjibar Guerrero (the Fruit Stand Lady) got underway last week in San Pedro with the help of several online good Samaritans and the Reef Radio. 57-year-old Julia suffered serious injuries when she got hit by a golf car while working at her fruit stand on Coconut Drive and had to be flown by helicopter to Belize City for emergency medical treatment.

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The year 2005 has proven similarly successful for arrivals predominantly through two ports of entry, being the Philip Goldson International Airport and the border points. Tourist arrivals at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) for the months of January – December, 2005, recorded a 7.4% increase over the same period last year. This port of entry single-handedly represented 73.8% of all overnight visitors.

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A leading indigenous group from southern Belize dispatched a protest, but government has already given the green light to an oil exploration company, U.S. Capital Energy Belize, to conduct seismic testing within the Sarstoon-Temash National Park. Chief Forest Officer Wilber Sabido has confirmed this in a letter to Greg Choq, the Director of the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, which co-manages the national park.

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It is very difficult for many to fathom the idea of traveling in the smallest of vessels through a vast and dangerous sea, across thousands of miles battling giant waves, the blistering sun, hunger, thirst and great fear. But the hope of a better life has driven thousands of Cuban residents to take the unthinkable challenge of crossing the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea to find refuge in another country.

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Ambergris Today had the opportunity to spend an entire afternoon with the reigning Miss Belize, Tanisha Vernon, this past weekend and enjoyed the company of an articulate, friendly, career driven beauty queen; yet she confessed of being a sporty tomboy while growing up. And one could never imagine Tanisha growing up as a tomboy, as when you meet her you are greeted by a polite, well mannered and poised 20-year old who immediately charms you with her friendliness and grace.

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Three weeks ago, Belize police found 34 high-powered rifles buried on the small island of Deer Caye (known locally as Cayo Venado), which lies just west of North Ambergris Caye, near the Belize/Mexico border. Last week Thursday, April 20, police once more found another cache assortment of weapons, ammunition, and fuel, on a small island lying about 1 mile north of Deer Caye.

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It is with great pride that we announce that San Pedro’s very own Mr. Gapsar “Gach” Guerrero is the new Chairman of the Belize Tourism Board. Gach was appointed by the Minister of Tourism and along with Mr. Guerrero a team of eight other members were elected. The board consists of Mr. Einer Gomez and Mr. Elito Arceo from San Pedro, Mr. Santino Castillo and Stanley Longsworth from Belize City, Mr. Neal Bradley from Caye Caulker, Mrs. Marion Roberson from Cayo, Lindsey Garbutt from Placencia and Mrs. Isela Zabaneh from Dangriga.

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After hearing exuberant concerns about increased fees for building permits from business owners Ambergris Today, sought out to get the facts straight and contacted the Ambergris Caye Local Building Authority. Present at the meeting were, Chairman of the committee, Juan Alamilla; Councilor Nano Guerrero; Mr. Frank Panton, Inspector Landy Trejo, Secretary Candy Bradley and Engineer Omar Mitchell.

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The blockbuster movie Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull that was released last week in theatres has stirred up some attention to Belize and the famous Crystal Skull from Lubantuun. Now you can find information on the Crystal Skull and Belize on the internet, television and in countless magazines.

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Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation and Pro-tem President of SICA (Central American Integration System) was the host for the 18th meeting of the Central American Tourism Council which was held at San Pedro Ambergris Caye on Thursday, September 16 through September 18. A delegation of representatives from the eight Central American countries including Belize were present on Friday, September 17, to discuss ways in which the tourism product can be supported and marketed among member countries.

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Chef Jennie Staines of the world famous Elvi’s Kitchen proudly represented not only San Pedro but the entire country of Belize in Guatemala, as she did a marvelous job in preparing a huge spread of Belizean dishes for all to enjoy.

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The Government of Belize has issued a press release informing the nation that on September 16 the World Bank approved a $30 million Bze loan for Belize to improve service delivery in several municipalities or towns. Of special note is the word “several”. Why not all towns which are seven in total and in this context each town would be getting $4.2 million which could be used to improve infrastructure and thus improve the environment and quality of life of its residents.

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