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San Pedro Daily Wednesday,
  April 11, 2012

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2nd Richest Man in the World,
Bill Gates,
on family vacation in Belize

US billionaire, Bill Gates, the second richest man in the world, and his wife Melinda along with other family members are vacationing in the Jewel. News that his yacht was moored nearby sent the residents of the island speculating whether the Gates would drop in to enjoy the island’s charm. Gates arrived this morning on his luxury mega yacht Attessa IV which is sitting right off the coast of Ambergris Caye, outside the barrier reef. As far as we can tell, soon after arrival the Gates family was flown to the private resort of Cayo Espanto off Ambergris Caye and by this afternoon they reportedly headed to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. The billionaire and his family are expected to make stops at various world renowned destinations in Belize including southern Belize, the Turneffe Atolls and the Great Blue Hole. Immigration and custom officials this morning gave them the all clear for a one month stay in Belize but it is not known how long they will remain in the country. The three hundred and thirty foot yacht has a crew of twenty-three and comes complete with a helipad.  The vessel is being captained by Sergiy Pashchenko; it has an estimated value of two hundred and fifty million dollars and can accommodate up to thirty-six guests along with the crew.
Gates, the founder and owner of Microsoft Company, has a fortune worth some sixty-two billion dollars. He has donated in the range of thirty billion dollars to charity and is a recognized as a leading philanthropist. Along with his wife, they have established the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the largest charitable foundations. To understand the magnitude of his wealth, it is estimated that Gates earns two hundred and fifty US dollars every second, which is over twenty-one million US dollars a day. On a point of interest, in January of 2012 the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) signed an agreement with Belize under the Salud Mesoamerica 2015 Initiative during the SICA Head of Central Banks meeting at Coco Beach Belize on Ambergris Caye. The project has sponsorship from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carlos Slim Health Institute. Slim, a Mexican national, is the richest man in the world.

Man shot by Police Goes To Court
2 weeks ago, 7News told you about 25 year-old Tyson Rodriguez, a CAYE CAULKER resident who was shot by island police. Residents say police were in the wrong, but today in Magistrate's Court, Rodriguez was the one being charged for escaping from police.
He was charged with the theft of a silver beach cruiser, which belongs Luciana Espinal; aggravated assault for the knife which he allegedly pulled on PC Juan Choc; possession of a controlled drug for 1.6 grams of cannabis; drug trafficking for 4.8 grams of cocaine; and escaping from lawful custody.
In court, the prosecutor objected to bail due to the prevalence of the crimes, including the offenses against police, and the fact that he tried to escape, which speaks to the fact that he might not show up to court if he is granted bail.
He told the court that he was shot by police in the back, and he was still receiving treatment at the hospital when he was arrested. He alleged that they picked up and held him for the entire Easter Weekend in which he was forced to sleep on the cold ground, which was caused him major discomfort due to the scar from the surgery performed on him.
It was for this reason only that Magistrate Sherigne Rodriguez granted him bail of $4,000, which he was able meet. He is due back at court on May 21.
As we reported, Tyson was shot while fleeing from police who had found him with some weed. Police say he pulled a knife on them.

Belizean Cyclist, Giovanni Choto, brings the garland back home
in 84th Cross Country race

We take you immediately to the start of the 84th Annual Cross Country Cycle Classic which blasted off from in front of Leslie’s Imports at 6:00 a.m. on Holy Saturday with some 73 elite Belizean riders and 7 foreigners in search of fame and fortune. The national road champion, Byron Pope is posted as the #1 seed—but make no doubt about it they’re all here to start this 140 mile journey to San Ignacio and back. And so with the blast of the starting gun, this grueling cycle race begins and personally I would like to congratulate everyone who completed this race at anytime. This is not a walk in the park. At mile 9, we find this trio of Giovannu Choto, Allen Castillo and Sherman Thomas in full control of the pace having executed the perfect break out of the pack. This on the road alliance might not have bothered the big boys in the pelathon but it should have because being united by one singular aim they had been transformed into a mighty force.
In fact around mile 21, Choto, Castillo and Thomas had extended the lead to 2 minutes 23 seconds.
Of course this trio was well aware of the large chase group in pursuit led by Team Santino who had no rider up front. In addition they felt this lead was in cycling terms manageable. Around mile 40, Sherman Thomas began to exhibit signs of struggle and could not hang on to the pace so Choto and Castillo had no other option than to make it a 2 man lead. And as they zipped past the Belmopan Junction, this was the sight that greeted them. People from all walks of life came out to express support. AtMountHope, Giovanni Choto displayed strength going up the hill—grabbing the station prizes easily—Allen Castillo was obviously in trouble. Now here comes the main pelathon some 7½ minutes later with Jose Choto providing excellent blocking for his runaway brother and teammate.
Meanwhile, when the lead duo rolls into San Ignacio over the famedHawkesworthBridge, it’s Giovanni Choto of Western Spirit in the lead role with Allen Castillo of Benny’s Megabytes still showing signs of struggle.
As the race rolls into Ontario, the solitary figure of Young Choto commands the scene since Allen Castillo simply cannot hang on. A look at the back shows Hernan Ochaeta and Erwin Middleton try to pry on escape put of the pack but it would be short-lived. So the chase to catch Giovanni Choto begins in earnest and the man on the pace is the Mexican import and 2010 Cross Country Champion, Carlos Lopez. All the big boys unfortunately seem content to follow his wheel. All this while, Giovanni continues his miracle run and at St. Matthews Village, he’s beginning to believe he can get the job done on this solo flight nursing a four minute lead.
At Hattieville, Giovanni Choto is now only 1 minute 39 seconds ahead of a chase group of 4 but is buoyed by the fact that the Win is within striking distance. The chase 4 features Gregg lovell, Richard Troyer, Carlos Lopez and Donecetti Vasquez and they can see Choto’s number on his back. a couple seconds later, the other chase back with Darnell Barrow, Byron Pope and Brandon Cattouse shows up. At mile 8, two important facts come into view—the Mexican, Carlos Lopez is no longer willing to carry the crowd across and the other Belizean hopefuls must now engineer their own run out Giovanni Choto. It’s a 9 man unit that features Byron Pope, Richard Troyer, Brandon Cattouse, Robert Stewart, Donizette Vasquez, Shane Vasquez and Gregg Lovell. Around Leslie’s Imports, some 10 more riders have amalgamated with the chase bunch. Nevertheless, the moment belongs to Giovanni Choto as he is uncontested at the roundabout into Central American Boulevard. At marine parade, Choto now knows he has the garland in the bag with no challenges in sight. And we salute Giovanni Choto of Western Spirit as he wins his 1st Cross Country in 6 hours, 16 minutes 45 seconds and the 1st by a Belizean in 6 years.
2 minutes 12 seconds later, we have the battle for 2nd place and it’s Brandon Cattouse of C-Ray grabbing this position in impressive fashion, forcing Darnell Barrow of Santino’s into 3rd, Byron pope of Benny’s megabytes takes 4th and Gregory Lovell of Santino’s rounds out the top 5. Jamaican American, Tony Taylor takes 6th, Donezetti Vasquez the Mexican 7th, Quinton Hamilton 8th, Peter Choto 9th and Jose Choto 10th.
Giovanni Choto, Winner, Cross Country Cycling Classic
“I mi feel tired but I mi think about the win and I push myself. And I thank the team and I thank my family and everybody weh push me. Till when I reach Belize city dah then I think I mi wah win. I sure that Belize got a lot of talent; they have Byron Pope, they have Darnell Barrow; everybody but Belizeans have to work. Foreigners noh work.”
Brandon Cattouse, 2nd Place
“Well Cross Country is an endurance race; it’s really long. If Choto dah the kind of guys weh could go and run the whole race like weh ih do today. I can’t run the whole race. I might feel bad. I have to put more training like that kind of training to be competitive like that fi run so far. I wouldn’t have done anything different. This is the way I planned out the race and it came out how I planned it; just that we didn’t catch back Giovanni Choto in time. For the sprint I was watching Donezetti Vasquez from Chetumal, he rides with Depredadores. I know he dah wah really fast guy; I race with him the past three weeks and he’s in really good shape right now. So I follow fi he wheel on the end and I know that wah bump deh really up more and if I surprise then before the bump I know they never mi wah ketch mi back.”
Darnell Barrow, 3rdPlace
“It was a really good race today; I can’t complain, but I need help. There was no team support for me today. I definitely think Santino’s team responded late today, but definitely to me I think we had the strongest team because we had five guys down the stretch but nobody didn’t want to communicate and ride together so it was man for themselves.”
Byron Pope, 4th Place
“Our strategy didn’t work to the fullest. We had a man in the early break which going up gave us the upper hand in the race but the man faltered a little bit and that’s what caused us to really chase in the hills and it really burns us out for a little while noh. So my teammate being dropped really changed the situation in the race because my team is the only team that’s willing to put out a chase all the rest of teams just sit around and try to tag along for the ride.”
Seven diplomatic postings announced
Cabinet approved seven diplomatic postings on Tuesday, April 3.
They are:
Alfredo Martinez re-appointed as Belize’s Ambassador to Guatemala.
Nestor Mendez re-appointed as Belize’s Ambassador to Washington and Canada.
Lois Young appointed as Belize’s Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York.
Janine Coye Felson to continue as Ambassador/Deputy Per-manent Representative to the United Nations.
Perla Perdomo appointed as Belize’s High Commissioner to London, United Kingdom.
Mark Espat in his role as Leader of the Re-negotiating Team appointed Ambassador for Economic Affairs.
Cordel Hyde appointed as Consul General in New York.

The Embassy of the United States of America invites you to a U.S. Citizen Town Hall meeting April 20, 2012
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
at the Blue Water Grill at Sunbreeze Hotel in San Pedro Town
At the meeting, Embassy staff who provide assistance to U.S citizens in Belize will be introduced, discuss what public services the U.S. Embassy offers, hurricane preparedness, 2012 absentee ballot voting, and answer your general questions about our services.
Limited consular services will be offered - accepting adult U.S. passport renewal applications and providing U.S. notary services.
Documents required for:  U.S. passport renewal: Current or recently expired U.S. passport,
completed U.S. passport application form DS-82, one full facial view passport photograph (2"x 2") on a white or off-white background, exact
fee of BZ$220.00 or US$110.00.
U.S. notary services: Fee of BZ$100.00 or US$50.00 for each notary signature.
Lunch available for purchase

South Ambergris Caye
Neighborhood Watch Meeting-
7 PM, Wednesday April 11.

Lone Star Grill & Cantina

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